Yesterday Jacksonville’s newest brewery opened the doors of its tap room and event area to the public. From the size of the crowd and the smiles on everyone’s faces, it was a very welcome addition!
I got to the brewery early and red t-shirt clad employees were scurrying around completing last minutes tasks and adding finishing touches. The event area — essentially the warehouse area next to the brewery — is now decked out with a plank wood bar and a large chalkboard with the beers current available. The area is large and airy, a cool breeze blowing through the open dock doors kept it comfortable for the large crowd.
And then there is the Tap Room. A combination of old and new, brick and chrome, dark high-top tables and concrete floor make it a welcoming, eclectic area sure to become many beer afficianados favorite hang out. The addition of a few televisions with sporting events on them would make it a mecca for sports-loving Jacksonvillians looking for great beer.
Four beers were being served for the Grand Opening; People’s Pale Ale, King Street Stout (which was already good upon my last tasting a few weeks ago, but has now fully matured and is my favorite IAW beer), Riverside Red, and the as yet un-named wheat beer. In fact, they were having a contest to name the wheat beer. My entries; Wild Westside Wheat and Will “Wheat”on.
The crowd at the opening was huge, many lined up outside the gate to be one of the first to be in the Brewery Mug Club (I got number 11 — the frirst 10 numbers were reserved). With only a little over a hundred memberships available, it was obvious that the club would fill up quickly. And, by the time I left around 6:00 PM it looked as if it had.
Once inside, the crowd was animated and friendly. Everyone was enjoying themselves, discussing the beer in very positive and complimentary fashion. Groups of friends gathered around the tables set up in the warehouse, milled around and laughter filled the brewery.
The day was an unqualified success and a testiment to the hunger the Jacksonville area has for great beer. Now with Bold City and Inuition Ale Works only a few short blocks apart and Kickback’s just a few blocks as well, we have the makings of Jacksonville Brewery/Pub district. With luck we will see more great establishments like Intuition Ale Works poppin up soon!
Congratulations to Ben and the gang at Intuition. A job well done!