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Jax Beer Society to host booth at One Spark 2015

Jax Beer Society logoThe Jacksonville beer scene has been building for years. Ever since Brian and Susan Miller opened Bold City in 2008 craft beer fans have been clamoring for more and more hand-crafted, full-flavored beer. Now, six years later, Jacksonville’s eight craft beer breweries and three of the area’s beer distributors have banded together to found the Jax Beer Society an organization dedicated to promoting Jacksonville craft beer and craft beer culture.

The group announced today in a press release that they will host a creator booth at this year’s One Spark Festival in downtown Jacksonville. Read the press release below for full details.

Jacksonville, FL – Jax Beer Society, a nonprofit trade association committed to developing and preserving an active beer culture throughout Northeast Florida, launched earlier this year and made its debut at the Riverside Craft Beer Fest in late February.

“Jax Beer Society is thrilled to be part of One Spark, which is one of Jacksonville’s most exciting events. We hope to raise awareness of our group, build involvement in the community, and add to the already growing number of beer enthusiast and associate memberships. Additionally, we are excited to promote Jax Beer Week, which will take place Nov 8-14,” said Kara Scremin, President of Jax Beer Society.

Membership is open to brewers, wholesalers, associate members (e.g. retail outlets, brew pubs) and craft beer enthusiasts who are interested in working together to advance the emerging craft and specialty beer scene in Jacksonville and to promote regional events and festivals that support the industry.

Jax Beer Society founding members are: Aardwolf Brewing Co., Bold City Brewery, Engine 15 Brewing Co., Green Room Brewing, Intuition Ale Works, Pinglehead Brewing Company, Veterans United Craft Brewery, Zeta Brewing, Brown Distributing, Champion Brands and North Florida Sales.

“Our beer community has always been very supportive of each other. So, it was only natural that we come together to elevate Northeast Florida’s beer culture and make a focused effort on Jax Beer Week. The interest and support the community has shown for Jax Beer Society has already been overwhelming — and we’ve only just begun,” said Scremin.

Memberships can be purchased at www.JaxBeerSociety.com/members or by visiting the Jax Beer Society booth at One Spark located outside Visit Jacksonville, 208 N Laura St. the organization’s main focus will be the coordination of Jax Beer Week which will take place November 8th through 14th. Jax Beer Society will organize a number of events across the city that focus on promoting the area’s craft and specialty beer scene. Jax Beer Week will culminate in a two-day grand tasting event at Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville on November 13th and 14th.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Beer

 

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Jax Beer Week 2014: Friday, May 29

jax_beer_week_2014Jax Beer Week is winding down, but that does not mean that the events are slowing down. Be sure to stop by the events below and be sure to sign up for our social media feeds to get more last-minute information on entries. You can sign up forour feeds at www.JaxBeerGuy.com

Also, be sure to check back here tomorrow morning for information on the week’s grand finale event!

Pinglehead Brewing Company/Brewer’s Pizza
Taproom release – Bold City Brewing Company Abbey’s Ale

Intuition Ale Works
Taproom release — Barrel Aged Anniversary IPA

Bold Bean Coffee Roasters
Coffee-holics have been flocking to this home-grown coffee shop for their caffeinated java, but something everyone may not be aware of is that Bold Bean also serves up some of the best craft beers in the area. On any given day you are likely to find beers from many of the local breweries on tap including Intuition Ale Works and Bold City.

Today you can swing by the Stockton Street location in Riverside for a Swamp Head Brewing Company event to commemorate Jax Beer Week.

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Jax Beer Week

 

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Jax Beer Week 2014, May 28

JaxBeerWeek2014Jax Beer Week is at its mid-point and the events keep getting better and better. Tonight’s line-up includes a gourmet beer dinner, a gourmet beer and cheese pairing and more special releases.

New information is also coming in regarding a week-capping event to be held Saturday, May 30 at Grape & Grain Exchange in San Marco. For just $10 you can purchase a tasting of 12 different craft beers at the event. In addition, local breweries will be offering 8-ounce pours of some very special beers for $3 to $4 each. Watch for more details coming soon.

Finally, the great folks at UBER are offering free rides (up to $20) during Jax Craft Beer week to insure that you can enjoy yourself and still get home safe. Simply follow the link below and sign up using promotional code JaxBeerGuy.

www.uber.com/go/jaxbeerguy

Check back tomorrow for more great Jax Beer week events and updates!

The Blind Fig
The Blind Fig teams up with Engine 15 for a beer dinner featuring tasty pairings and loads of fun.

The dinner will feature four delicious courses and five outstanding brews. Tickets to the event are $50 per person and can be purchased in advance by calling the restaurant at (904) 337-0146 or at the door. The reception beer will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Pinglehead Brewing Company/Brewer’s Pizza
Taproom release – Green Room Brewing Company Thin Mint Stout

Intuition Ale Works
Taproom release — Tequila Barrel-Aged House Boat with Lime & Salt

Black Sheep Restaurant
If there is one thing you need to know about this restaraurant housed in the eye-catching wedge-shaped building just outside of the Five Points area of Riverside, it is that you must try the poutine. The dish – French fries mixed with cheddar cheese curds and covered in rich, beef short-rib gravy – is so good that many guests go just for a fix of it. But, poutine is far from the end of the list of reasons to visit the eatery. Another good reason is the views from one of the only roof-top restaurant seating areas in Jacksonville. And, then there is the craft beer they keep on tap.

To celebrate Jax Beer Week, stop in as the Blk Shp crew taps a special Cigar City keg.

Grape & Grain Exchange
Speakeasies were once the only place for a thirsty person to get a potent potable. But, since the abolition of prohibition, the often glamorous hidden gems have gone by the wayside. But, if you are in the know, you can gain access to one of these backroom bars in San Marco right on the Square. Grape & Grain Exchange offers a self-service style beer cooler and signature mixed drinks in its front room but, behind the bookshelf is a cozy, swanky hideaway the harkens back to the flapper era.

Join the in-the-know crowd for a Cigar City cheese and beer pairing at G&GX for Jax Beer Week. But, be sure to get there early as seating is very limited.

The Silver Cow
The Silver Cow will be celebrating Jax Beer Week with the First Family of Craft Beer in Jacksonville – the Millers of Bold City Brewery tonight, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Bold City Brewery family will bring with them some very cool Bold City swag.

The King Street Beer District watering hole will tap Bold City’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Chinook, Abby’s Ale as well as their ever-popular Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Killer Whale Cream Ale and Man Manatee IPA available in cans.

The Cow will also be selling Abby’s Ale posters for $35 each with all proceeds going to First Coast No More Homeless Pets along with $1 from every Abby’s Ale pint sold.

Featured dishes coming from The Silver Cow kitchen tonight include:

  • Creole tomato and goat cheese bruschetta made with Abby’s Ale
  • Shrimp Creole made with Killer Whale Cream Ale
  • Crawfish Quesadillas made with Dukes Cold Nose Brown Ale

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Beer

 

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Pinglehead Brewing ready to distribute

It has been promised for some time and today it has finally happened, Pinglehead Brewing – the beer production segment of Brewer’s Pizza – has achieved what, to some, is the seemingly impossible: they are now licensed and legally able to sell the beer they make on-premises in growlers. And soon, they will be kegging and distributing their beer to area restaurants and bars, so you will be able to get a pint of the tasty Pinglehead Red at establishments other than Brewer’s Pizza.

Why did this take so long and what is the big deal about selling beer they make at Brewer’s/Pinglehead to patrons at the restaurant/brewery? In a few words; Florida law.

Due to the byzantine nature of Florida beer laws, all Florida breweries, even the smallest, mom and pop operations, must use a distributor to sell their products to retail. Brewpubs, such as Brewer’s Pizza and Engine 15, can brew their own beer and sell for on-premises consumption, but they cannot sell their own beer in growlers for off-site consumption. This law in particular rubs brewpub owners wrong since they can sell other brewery’s products in growlers, just not their own.

Most of these laws have ties to the state of the beer industry before Prohibition. Before the country went dry, breweries often owned bars and sold lots of beer for very low prices. The combination of low prices and brewery-owned establishments led to over consumption in the eyes of do-gooders. It also led to fierce competition among breweries for consumer share.

After Prohibition, laws were passed to keep the breweries in check and to prevent them from owning bars and keeping beer prices too low. The thinking was that higher beer prices would encourage moderation. The three-tier system was introduced in which brewers were required to be separated from the retail sale of beer by a middleman or distributer. This system effectively inflated the price of beer by requiring another entity to handle the product and add charges because of their handling. Essentially this meant that in order for a brewery to sell beer for off-premises consumption, they have to package the beer in a bottle, can or keg, a distributor has to pick the beer up and transport it to heir warehouse, then the distributor must take the packaged beer to a retail location for sale to the public. What this literally means is that even if a keg of beer is brewed right next door to a tavern, the tavern could not simply go next door to purchase a keg of beer; they must order it from the distributor who may be all the way on the other side of town.

To make things even more difficult, in the state of Florida, entities are only allowed to hold a license in one tier of the three-tier system. This law is what prevented Brewer’s Pizza from the retail sales of beer for off-premises consumption. Because Brewer’s Pizza already held a license for retail beer sales, they could not get one for manufacturing beer. Therefore, they had to go through the long process of separating the brewery from the restaurant, and then license the brewery as a manufacturer of beer under the Pinglehead name.

Confused? Many people are.

The bottom line is, now that Pinglehead is a licensed manufacturer, they can hire a distributer to sell their beer to other bars and restaurants. The brewery can also sell beer for off-premises consumption at its brewery location just as Intuition Ale Works, Bold City, and Green Room can. And that is cause for celebration.

In the coming weeks expect to see Piinglehead showing up in a few bars and as a featured beer at the upcoming Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival, May 18.

 

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Jacksonville Brewing History: Jax Brewing Company

Most people who live in and around Jacksonville are aware that Anheuser- Busch operates a brewery on the city’s northside. A smaller, but nonetheless important group knows that Jacksonville is home to several truly remarkable craft breweries such as Intuition Ale Works, Bold City Brewery, and Green Room Brewing. But, few know that Jacksonville’s history tells of another legendary brewery that once operated within the city limits.

In 1913 a brewer, German-born William Ostner, from St. Louis moved to Jacksonville to start his own brewery. He chose a spot on West 16th Street near Myrtle Street and built his brewery with the assistance of his father-in-law, the patriarch of a brewing family in New Orleans. The name of the brewery has bounced around from Jacksonville to New Orleans and finally to Texas, but in the beginning the name paid homage to its hometown. Ostner named the brewery and the beer it produced Jax.

A year after the brewery began producing beer for the thirsty citizens of Jacksonville; the Great Depression ravaged the nation. But, like the current financial climate, the downturn in the economy did not affect the brewery and it became wildly successful. Locals believed that beer brewed in close proximity to their city tasted fresher and cost less than brands brought in from the big brewers in St. Louis and Wisconsin. A brewery in your hometown became a status symbol and drinking a locally produced beer became the height of proper beer-drinking etiquette.

But, just a year later, a more local event took a toll on the burgeoning brewery and brought beer production to a screeching halt. The commander of a nearby military base petitioned the city of Jacksonville to prohibit alcohol sales. His request came on the heels of reports of drunken soldiers roaming Jacksonville’s streets over the weekends causing discipline problems on the base and unease with the civilian population. In May of 1918 the city council voted to turn Jacksonville into a ”dry” city forcing Ostner and his Jax Brewing Company to cease brewing operations. The company changed its name to Jax Ice & Cold Storage and rode out Prohibition supplying ice to the Durkeeville neighborhood and selling near beer to the citizens of Jacksonville.

When, at long last, Prohibition ended in 1933, Ostner quickly changed the name of the company back to Jax Brewing Company and hastily prepared beer for the masses of Jacksonville citizens who wanted something a little stronger and more flavorful than near beer. Within a week, Jax was being served in local bars and taverns for 10 cents a glass. Within two weeks the brewery had bottled beer back in the local markets.

By the late 1930s, Ostner led his company to becoming one of the largest industrial employers in Jacksonville. Jax Beer, a crisp Pilsner-style lager, became one of the most popular drinks in the southeast. Distributors in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina transported the beer to areas north of Jacksonville, which further increased the brand’s status. In response to public demand the brewery began producing two new varieties of beer: stout and ale. During these heady glory years, Jax Brewing increased production to approximately 200,000 barrels annually.

But, in the 1940s another obstacle fell into the path of the bustling brewery. National brands like Busch, Pabst, and Schlitz began using big budget advertising campaigns to squash the smaller breweries that survived prohibition and began eroding the local beer mentality of the public. Jax responded with slogans and advertising of its own. Ads featuring large images of Jax beer proclaimed, ”Here’s an Old-Timer You’ll Always Remember,” others implored, “Try Jax Beer.” Finally, the beer settled on the slogan, “The Drink of Friendship.”

Marketers for the brewery began describing the beer as “tangy” and “zestful,” but in order to cover all the bases, they also called the brew “mellow” and “smooth.” These seemingly contradictory exclamations were soon joined by “fine,” “full-bodied,” and ”refreshing.”

But, pressure from the big boys continued and in the 1950’s when the industry began moving to aluminum cans; the Jax Brewing Company simply could not keep up. The cost of converting the factoring to the newer equipment proved prohibitive and a difficult decision had to made.

In 1956, Jax Brewing Company sold their copyright to the Jackson Brewing Company, a long-established firm in New Orleans, LA. The company, named for the nearby Jackson Square, had previously produced a beer called Jax and proceeded to expand with its newly-obtained rights. But, in the mid-1970s Jackson ceased operations and the Jax name changed hands again. The old brewing and bottling house are now shops and restaurants with a museum dedicated to brewing on its third floor.

The new owners of the Jax name was none other than the Pearl Brewing Company of San Antonio, TX. Understanding that the brew was a much-loved southern fixture, Pearl continued to produce the beer using the original formula from the Jacksonville and New Orleans operations. They even kept the label design to garner good-will among the beer’s many admirers.

Later, Pearl purchased the Pabst Brewing Company and retained the Pabst name. Unfortunately, this resulted in the end of the Jax Beer era since Pabst made the decision to discontinue production.

To this day the original Jax Brewing Company building stands on West 16th Street. Parts of it are overgrown with weeds and other parts are home to various small businesses. The march of time often erases the memories of our past. In the case of Jax beer, you can still catch glimpses of its presence in our city. Every now and then you will come across a piece of brewery merchandise emblazoned with the bright red “Jax” emblem at a flea market or garage sale. These little discoveries prove that Jacksonville, as it returns to a vibrant beer-centric city, is merely following in the footsteps of predecessors who knew that beer truly is “The Drink of Friendship.”

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Beer, Beer Education

 

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