Tag Archives: Kölsch

Intuition Ale Works creates two brews for One Spark

onesparkAt a recent kick-off party for the Downtown is on Fire initiative, Intuition Ale Works debuted their Smoke IPA. But, if recent wins by the brewery are any indication, it seems that they are just as on fire as downtown. For the second year in a row, the brewery has been tapped as the Official Brewery of One Spark, billed as ‘The World’s Crowdfunding Festival.’

Intuition will be brewing two limited release beers for One Spark 2014 instead of just one like last year. According to a press release from the brewery, demand for last year’s One Spark Kölsch was so high that the decision was made to add another brew to the lineup this year.

In addition to One Spark Kölsch, a smooth German-style ale with mild hops and a crisp finish inspired by the kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany, Intuition will brew One Spark Alt. The new beer is inspired by the altbiers brewed in Dusseldorf, Germany and is an amber malty brew with a smooth finish. Interestingly, the beers are examples of the two ale styles produced in otherwise lager-dominated Germany.

Intuition Ale Works founder Ben Davis decided to create the second brew due to the wildly successful nature of the One Spark event last year as well as the enthusiastic acceptance of One Spark Kölsch. Of the event, Davis said, “People can use One Spark to directly support the ideas of others. As a Jacksonville native and small business owner, I know that supporting our downtown core with events like these and contributing to the spirit of innovation will be vital to our city in years to come.”

One Spark is a five-day event that connects people with great ideas to the resources they need to bring those ideas to fruition. The festival runs from April 9 to April 13, 2014 in a 20-square-block, multi-Venue gallery in downtown Jacksonville, Fla.  Artists, entrepreneurs and innovators display their ideas for all to see and vote on. Attendees vote on the projects they like the best to distribute nearly $300,000 in funds.

Davis has proven to be an outspoken and unwavering downtown advocate with his involvement in the afore mentioned Downtown is on Fire campaign. His Smoke IPA was inspired by and created exclusively for downtown Jacksonville only as part of the movement and should be appearing on tap at bars and restaurants in the city core now. For a list of locations serving Smoke IPA, go to the Downtown Marketing Collaborative’s website:

One Spark and One Spark Alt will be available on draft at the One Spark Festival in the San Marco Dining District Food Village and at beer kiosks set up throughout downtown Jacksonville during the festival.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Epcot German Beers a Big Hit

This past weekend I helped celebrate the birthday of one of my most dear friends at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. This annual event has been going on for 16 years and has just gotten bigger and better each year. But, don’t let the name fool you, wine is not the only adult beverage featured at the festival; there is also a significant amount of beer from around the world available.

If you have never been to Epcot, let me give you a brief overview. The original concept of the park was for it to be a self-sustaining community in which people worked, lived, and played. However, after the death of Walt Disney, the plans changed to a more theme-park approach. The park is broken into two main areas; Future World, which contains pavilions dedicated to Space, Energy, The Seas, The Land, Imagination, and Test Track. The second section of the park is the World Showcase with pavilions themed to specific countries like Mexico, China, Norway, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, England, and Canada. It is in the World Showcase that the Food & Wine Festival is held. During this festival, other countries are represented through food and drink as well as the permanent countries.

I met my friends at 11:00 near the giant geodesic ball called Spaceship Earth in the Future World section of the park. We checked the festival guide and made our strategy for the day, deciding to attack the World Showcase starting on the Mexican side of the lagoon. The Mexican pavilion was serving Dos Equis beers, nothing spectacular, so we moved on. It was early enough in the day that the throngs of crowds had not arrived yet and we were able to stroll in a leisurely fashion from country to country. A stop was made in China for some Salt and Pepper Shrimp on Sichuan Noodles and Pork Pot Stickers. China was serving Tsing Tau beer, but I passed knowing that ahead lay the Germany pavilion and it’s Bier Garten.

We stopped at Germany and decided it was time for a few beers. The Bier Garten was sponsored by the Radeberger Gruppe, a German beer company whose goal is to maintain the traditions of German beer-making by allowing breweries to remain autonomous in their regions. This is in stark contrast to many beer conglomerates who outsource brews to the least expensive producers or opt to change traditions by using cheap ingredients. Radeberger Gruppe sees itself as a guardian of authentic German beer culture and holds the traditions of the past in the highest of esteem.

Eight beers were on offer and I first opted for the three-beer flight of Sion Kolsch, Hovels, Braufactum Roog.

As any true Kolsch should be, Sion is brewed in Cologne and because of that it is legally protected to be able to use the term Kolsch. Sion uses pale barley and wheat malts to produce a very pleasant and interesting flavor. The nose presents sweet malts and subtle hops while the texture is crisp with a pleasant fruity flavor that gives way to biscuit malts and a slight hop finish.

Braufactum Roog is a Smoked Wheat Ale that combines the flavors of a wheat ale with the smokiness of malts that have been roasted over beechwood. Not quite as smoky as a rauchbier, but the smokiness is readily apparent in its aroma. The brew pours a deep reddish-brown and rewards the taster with a smoky, almost meaty flavor with juniper and orange zest, as well as hints of banana.

Hovels is a unique beer that defies categorization. It is a top-fermented beer brewed at Hovels Hausbrauerei in Dortmund, Germany from a recipe developed in 1893. This beer pours amber red with strong citrus aromas and caramel malts. The flavor is reminiscent of caramel, bread, and dark raisins with a semi-dry finish.

After the sampler I also wanted to try the Schofferhofer Weizen a relatively new beer first produced in 1978. This tasty brew has won many awards and is often referred as the champagne among wheat beers. As a true German Hefeweizen Schofferhofer pours pale and hazy with a sweet floral aroma. The flavor is what you would expect from a hefeweizen and is rich in yeast, clove and slight lemon zest.

Finally, after hitting a few more food stands, we returned to Germany to try the Braufactum Indra, a German IPA made with wheat as well as barley malts while still adhering to the German Purity Law of 1516. This excellent brew is dark orange in color and greets you with pleasing aromas of banana and cloves as well as earthy notes. The flavor is honey, blood orange, and herbs with the bitterness typical of an IPA.

Other beers that were available at the festival were more typical of the countries they were served in. The Belgian tent was serving Stella Artois, Hoegarten, and Leffe. The Moroccan pavilion had Casa. And Italy had Moretti. England was serving the usual Guinness, Bodingtons, Bass, and Harp while Canada was serving Moosehead. There was also a Craft Beer tent serving a selection of beer like Abita Purple Haze and Blue Moon.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival concludes for this year next weekend, so if you want to drink around the world, I suggest you head to Orlando this weekend.

Until next time,

Long Live the Brewers!


Marc Wisdom

1 Comment

Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Beer, Beer Styles


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mile Marker Brewery in St. Augustine Set to Make Their Mark

Great ideas are often the result of a few beers, better ideas sometimes come from a few more than a few. Mike Fierro and Vance Joy came up with an excellent idea while imbibing on a few beers — why not leverage Fierro’s knowledge of the beverage industry with Joy’s love of brewing beer? From these beer-fueled questions came Mile Marker Brewing the newest brewery to grace the First Coast.

While not yet open for business, Mile Marker is well on its way to claiming its place in the north Florida beer landscape. With the help of another friend, Dennis Grune, manning the brewhouse and fermentors, Mile Marker will be taking St. Augustine by storm in a few short weeks. As a matter of fact, as I stood there talking to the brewery trio, Vance announced that they should have all licenses in place in less than a week.

Mile Marker promises to be a laid-back, casual place to drink a few pints and shoot the breeze with friends. The bar is beautiful golden, varnished wood with blue  to give it a feel of being underwater. The brewery’s logo sea turtle is evident in several places throughout the room – in the original painting hanging behind the bar that will grace the Mile Marker Zero Kolsch-style Ale label, burned into the wood of the swinging doors behind the bar, on the coasters, hanging on the wall. This place will definitely be comfortable.

The brewery is a cavernous area with more than enough room for expansion. The partners plan to host events both public and private in the huge space. They will also conduct brewery tours to help educate the curious on how their beers are brewed. But possibly the most striking features of the brewery area are the huge wooden doors to the cold room. Thick, dark wood, hanging on overhead rails that Mike and Vance made and hung themselves.

With a name like Mile Marker and a sea turtle on their logo you might think that this brewery is eco-friendly. And that would be a good assumption since Mike and Vance plan to support many animal-centric charities. Spent grains will be donated to Diamonds in the Rough, an animal rescue charity that specializes in saving work animals — particularly horses — and nursing them back to health. They also plan to align themselves with sea turtle rescue agencies in keeping with the spirit of their logo.

When the brewery opens, three beers will be served, with plans for several more to arrive soon after. All three were offered for tasting and all passed muster admirably. The beers will be named for the Florida Keys and their mile markers. The name Mile Marker came to just sort of came to Mike one day. Little did he know that the big boys up the highway had just let that name go. But, AB’s loss was Mile Marker’s gain.

Mile Marker Zero Kolsch-style Ale is a refreshing, easy-drinking version of the classic German style. It is mild and supremely sessionable displaying hints of sweet malts, mild hops, and lemon zest. This is also going to be the first beer to be bottled by the brewery for distribution.

Marathon Key Red is auburn-colored brew that smells of roasty malts and mild orange or tangerine citrus. The flavor is an explosion of   caramel malts and medium bodied hops. This is a very approachable red that can still stand up to the expectations of a serious beer aficionado.

The third beer offered was Islamorada IPA. This is also a very approachable brew with slightly more aggressive hops than the red and a pleasant grapefruit aroma. The flavor reveals good hop character that is upfront enough for an IPA lover, but not so in your face that a novice would run screaming from it. The hops are balanced by a sweet malty backbone and an almost buttery aftertaste.

Mile Marker is a worthy and welcome addition to the North Florida brewery scene. With the amount of quality beer that will soon be available on the First Coast, one may never need to travel far for something new and exciting. And if the beer at Mile Marker continues to taste as good as those tasted, St. Augustine may find itself as a beer destination in and of itself.

Until next time,

Long Live the Brewers!


Marc Wisdom

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Beer, Local Brewery


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sam Adams new seasonal beers perfect for hot months ahead |

Samuel Adams (beer)

Image via Wikipedia

The guys over at Amber Waves just posted the blog entry linked below about the new Sam Adams Summer Styles 12-pack coming to Jacksonville stores in the next week or so. The 12-pack comes with a variety of great beers including a Saison called Rustic Saison and a Kölsch named East-West Kölsch.

I have tried the Saison myself and mentioned it in a previous blog post here (see what I had to say below the link). It is, indeed, a beer worth drinking. I look forward to getting ahold of the Kölsch . When I do, I will certainly report back my thoughts.

Summer is such a great time for tasty beers!

Read the entire Amber Waves post here:

Sam Adams new seasonal beers perfect for hot months ahead |

Samuel Adams Rustic Saison

Straw yellow with a slight reddish tint, this beer forms a thin head which dissipates quickly but still leaves nice lacing on the glass. Spice and wheat strike you first when you sniff this beer and the flavor follows suit. There is a bitter after-taste to this brew, but that is certainly not a deterent.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Beer, Beer News, Beer Styles


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,