Tag Archives: Swamp Head Brewery

Inaugural Riverside Craft Beer Festival releases beer lists

riversidebeerfestLast week I brought to you news of a new beer festival happening this Saturday, February 22 at the Riverside Arts Market. This week, the event coordinators released the beer lists for both General Admission and VIP guests. The list is heavy on local Jacksonville and Florida beers like Intuition, Cigar City, Bold City and Swamp Head Brewery. But, there are also beers from a number of regional and national craft brands like Samuel Adams, Breckenridge, Boulder, and Founders.

General admission to the event is free, but those who wish to sample beers must be over 21 and have a valid, government-issued ID. Attendees then may purchase as many tickets as they like to sample the more than 60 craft beers available at the festival. Tickets cost $2 each and are good for one seven ounce pour of beer.  There are also a limited number of VIP tickets available that grant access to a a tented VIP Only area, all-you-can-eat lunch catered by Mojo’s 4, special beers that are not available to other attendees, a special keepsake mug and four beer tasting tickets. VIP tickets are $100 each until midnight Friday, February 21, after that the price increases to $125. VIP tickets can be purchased at (

The beers available to VIP guest only include:

Intuition Ale Works

  • Underdark Imperial Stout

Evil Twin Brewing

  • Ryan & The Beaster Bunny

Stillwater Artisanal Ales

  • Existent Belgian Ale

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

  • Natasha Rocks America

Cigar City Brewing Company

  • Torcedores Series Matt’s Django Friday Saison

Green Flash Brewing Company

  • Palate Wrecker

Samuel Adams Brewing Company

  • Juniper
  • Golden Yuzi
  • Ruby Mild
  • Backwoods Porter
  • Third Voyage
  • Merry Makers

The beers available to the general public include:

Samuel Adams Brewing Company

  • Rebel IPA
  • Samuel Adams Lager

Terrapin Beer Company

  • Hopsecutioner
  • Rye Pale Ale

Moosehead Lager & Hop City Brewing Company

  • Barking Squirrel
  • Mr. Huff

New Belgium Brewing Company

  • Fat Tire
  • Ranger
  • Snapshot
  • Belgian Blonde

Aardwolf Brewing Company

  • Belgian IPA
  • Nonchalant IPA

Pinglehead Brewing Company

  • Pinglehead Imperial Red

Intuition Ale Works

  • People’s Pale Ale
  • I-10 IPA
  • King Street Stout
  • Jon Boat Coastal Ale

Southbound Brewing Company

  • Scattered Sun Wit
  • Hoplin IPA

Big Storm Brewing Company

  • Arcus IPA
  • Wavemaker Amber

Lagunitas Brewing Company

  • Lagunitas IPA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Ruthless Rye IPA

Engine 15 Brewing Company

  • Nut Sack Brown Ale
  • Rye of the Tiger

Mile Marker Brewing Company

  • Mile Marker Zero Blonde Ale
  • Mile Marker 1565 Ancient City Red Ale

Swamp Head Brewery

  • Big Nose IPA
  • Wild Night Cream Ale

The Brew Bus

  • Double Decker Porter
  • Are Wheat There Yet

Cigar City Brewing Company

  • Invasion Pale Ale
  • Hotter Than Helles

Three Palms Brewing Company

  • Single Hop Citra Amber

Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

  • Caitlin

Coronado Brewing Company

  • Hoppy Daze IPA

Erie Brewing Company

  • Derailed Black Cherry Ale
  • Railbender Ale

Founders Brewing Company

  • Red’s Rye IPA

Left Hand Brewing Company

  • Fade to Black Volume V
  • Warrior IPA

Lazy Magnolia Brewery

  • Southern Pecan
  • Timber Beast

Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado

  • Avalanche Amber
  • Regal Pils

Boulder Beer Company

  • Sweaty Betty

Brewery Ommegang

  • Adoration

Bold City Brewing Company

  • Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale
  • Killer Whale Cream Ale
  • Mad Manatee IPA

Green Room Brewing Company

  • Head High IPA
  • Pablo Beach Pale Ale
  • Count Shakula Stout

SweetWater Brewing Company

  • 420 Pale Ale
  • Festive
  • Happy Ending

Green Flash Brewing Company

  • 30th Street Pale Ale
  • Le Freak

Southern Tier Brewing Company

  • Unearthly IPA
  • 2XIPA

Aviator Brewing Company

  • Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel
  • Hog Wild IPA

The event is being put on by the Riverside Rotary Club to raise money for a walking/running track at Stockton Elementary school. The goal is to provide an opportunity for physical activity for students of the school and the neighborhood in an effort to fight obesity. 

Riverside Arts Market is located under the Fuller Warren Bridge on Riverside Boulevard. Parking for the event is free in the LPS surface parking lot. For more information go to the event’s website or FaceBook page linked below.



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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Beer Festival


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Florida — Georgia weekend gets its own beer

bitter-rivalryThe week of the Florida – Georgia football game in Jacksonville is always an exciting and busy time. RV City begins filling with fans of both teams displaying their team pride with flags, banners, signs, colorful awnings, mannequins, and even more interesting displays. Fans of these teams are zealous to say the least. And that includes the brewers at the two breweries in each of the team’s home towns. Swamp Head Brewing Company calls Gainesville, Fla. home along with the Florida Gators, while Terrapin Beer Company hails from Athens, Ga. the same as the Georgia Bulldogs.

Four years ago the owners of the two breweries began talking about brewing a collaboration beer to commemorate the annual gathering known in Jacksonville as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party. An entry on the Swamp Head blog says, “Since our inception, we have thought ‘It would be fun to do a beer with our friends at Terrapin for the Florida Georgia game in Jacksonville.’” This year, those discussions came to fruition with the Swamp Head/Terrapin collaboration Bitter Rivalry.

The two brewers began to toss out ideas, Craig Birkmaier for Swamp Head and Spike Buckowski for Terrapin, but the conversation kept coming back to using the other thing each state is known for: Florida oranges and Georgia peaches. So, the two settled on an English Bitter style brew with hints of both. They also wanted to make the beer sessionable so they kept the ABV low so that fans can enjoy many pints as they celebrate their teams and with friends.

Because both breweries are supporters of their home teams, they also decided to come to Jacksonville for the game and host several tasting events. If you would like to try the beer with the brewers consult the schedule below to find out where they will be. Or, if you just want to know where you can find a pint of this delicious collaboration, check the handy list provided below as well.

No matter which team you root for this weekend, be sure to try this Bitter Rivalry and remember to party safe and responsibly.

  • Thursday, October 31, join the brew crews from both breweries at Aardwolf Brewing Co., 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 31, the fun continues at Mellow Mushroom Southside for the Halloween Party, 8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 1, head over to World of Beer – Jacksonville Southside, 6:00 p.m  — 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 1, onto Green Room Brewing, 9:00 p.m. — ?
  • Saturday, November 2, head down to Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub, 11:00 a.m. until game time to enjoy brews with crew.

The distribution of this beer will be very limited and it will all be released starting on Thursday, October 31st. Most of the beer will be distributed in the Jacksonville market for FL/GA weekend with some reaching into St. Augustine and a small amount will stay here in Gainesville.  We will have the beer on draft at The Wetlands starting Oct. 31 as well.

Here is a list of the locations that will be getting kegs of Bitter Rivalry: Remember, this beer will probably go quickly and won’t be tapped until Thursday.

Jacksonville/St. Augustine

  • North Star Pizza Bar – Downtown
  • Fionn McCools — Downtown
  • Underbelly – Downtown
  • Dahlia’s Pour House – Riverside
  • European St – Riverside
  • Kickback’s  — Riverside
  • Bold Bean Coffee Shop – Riverside
  • Stripes and Solids – Orange Park
  • Brewer’s Pizza – Orange Park
  • Mellow Mushroom — Southside
  • World of Beer — Southside
  • Stogies Cigar Bar — Southside
  • European St – Jax Beach
  • Engine 15 – Jax Beach
  • Mellow Mushroom — Jax Beach
  • Green Room Brewing – Jax Beach
  • Poe’s Tavern – Atlantic Beach
  • JP Henleys – St. Augustine
  • Dos Coffee – St. Augustine
  • Mellow Mushroom – St. Augustine
  • Floridian – St. Augustine
  • Taps 210 – St. Augustine
  • Mojo BBQ – St. Augustine
  • Gas Full Service – St. Augustine
  • Aardwolf – San Marco
  • Grape and Grain Exchange – San Marco
  • Salty Pelican – Fernandina
  • Tomoka Brewery – Ormond Beach
  • Saucy Taco – Julington Creek


  • The Top
  • Loosey’s
  • Brass Tap
  • Stubbies
  • Mother’s
  • Salty Dog
  • The Swamp
  • Tall Paul’s
  • Tipple’s
  • KC Krave
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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Beer News


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Florida — Georgia rivalry extends to beer this weekend

Every year about this time, downtown Jacksonville turns into a huge party. Everywhere you look there are signs in orange and blue as well as red and black advertising drink specials and raucous entertainment. Hundreds of RVs roll into the parking lots surrounding Everbank Field. Awnings roll out, and the three day long party begins. It has been dubbed as the “world’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” and the reality lives up to the hype. I refer to, of course, the annual gridiron clash of fierce rivals the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs that takes place in Jacksonville every year as a matter of tradition.

The history of the Florida – Georgia rivalry is one steeped in tradition, but hazy in its origins. As is to be expected, the two teams do not agree when it all began. Georgia says the rivalry began in 1904 when its football squad played a University of Florida team in Macon, Ga. Georgia dominated the Florida team by a score of 52-0, but this team was not from the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was from one of the four schools that merged to form the modern University of Florida. The first game that is recognized by both schools was played in 1915.

This year the rivalry extends beyond the field and into the pubs, bars, and breweries of Jacksonville with events that pit Florida beers against Georgia beers. The classic rivalry will play out at Northstar Substation Friday, October 26 with brews from Gainesville’s – home town of the Gators – Swamp Head brewery squaring off against the beers of Terrapin Brewery which is situated in Athens, Ga., home of the Bulldogs. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. stop by the downtown bar and restaurant located at 119 East Bay Street to support your favorite brewery. There will be multiple taps for each brewery and representatives as well!

If you are out at the beach and would prefer to keep a bit of distance from the seething masses, you can still participate in a Florida – Georgia rivalry. Green Room Brewing Company will host a tap takeover featuring beers from both states. While there, be sure to try some of the brews produced by the Green Room team right there on-premises. Favorites like Pablo Beach Pale Ale and Double Overhead IPA are sure to please.

Finally, cruise on out to the Southside of town and stop in at Mellow Mushroom in Tinseltown. There you will find another Florida vs. Georgia tap takeover with Terrapin’s founder John Cochran. He will be fielding questions as well as serving up Terrapin’s delicious Pumpkin Fest beer in real hollowed out pumpkins.

See all the beer-centric events happening in Jacksonville at:

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery, Events


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Beaches Summer Fest 2012 a rousing success

On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Beaches Summer Fest 2012 took place on a perfect late summer night complete with cool breezes and wonderful company. As mentioned in the preview article on the event last week, beer people are innately generous and the organizers of this great event are no exceptions. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and based on mere observation, it looks like the charity can expect a rather large contribution.

The event showcased a virtual who’s who of the Jacksonville brewing scene. There were breweries, vendors, distributors, and beer celebrities all in attendance.

All five local Jacksonville breweries were represented at the event including:

Intuition Ale Works with their I-10 IPA and Triad Belgian-style Tripple

Pinglehead Brewing with Landslide Double IPA and Moon Dance Oatmeal Stout

Bold City Brewing with 1901 Red Ale and Rhino Rye Pale Ale

Green Room Brewing with Pablo Beach Pale Ale and Cherry Key Lime Wit

Engine 15 with Old Battle Axe and JamMin Jasmine Saison

But local breweries were not the only breweries in attendance. Also present were Swamp Head Brewery from Gainesville, St. Somewhere Brewing from Tarpon Springs, and the new kid on the block Three Palms Brewing from Tampa. Another fine brew being poured at the event by Eric Jankowski of Micro Man Distributors was Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat.

While beer is always a major draw at these events, the food at this one was nothing less than spectacular as well. There was truly something for everyone ranging from fine cheeses presented by Grassroots Natural Market to sinful desserts created by Alley Cakes. Highlights included fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs with chipotle-strawberry barbecue sauce from The Perfect pair Catering Company, The Tree Hugger hummus wrap from On the Fly Sandwiches & Stuff, and Gator Burgoo from Brewer’s Pizza. Also providing food for the event was Ocean 60 Restaurant who brought Grouper Ceviche.

Another aspect of the evening was the adventurous and toe-tapping sounds of Firewater Tent Revival. On their Facebook page, the band describes itself as, “Punk rockers gone rogue. Now we are a knee slapping beer drinking good time band. We play eclectic bluegrass and old country drinking songs.” They certainly had the room jumping. And for those looking for mellower sounds the duo of Paxton and Mike entertained folks on the outdoor deck with their acoustic stylings.

The event also featured an impressive array of items up for silent auction including an extremely rare 11.5 ounce bottle of Westvleteren 12 Trappist Ale that, at last look, was going for $100. Other items included beer company mirrors and signs, a Long Board branded bicycle and surfboard, gift baskets, experiences, and impressive artwork.

And if all of the beer, food, music, and auction items were not enough to keep you entertained, the evening also provided a prime opportunity to see and be seen with Jacksonville’s brew-centric glitterati. Among that group flitting from table to table was the social butterfly Regina Heffington, the Jax Brew Bitch herself. Also spotted was Michael Payne of the soon-to-be-opened Aardwolf Brewing Company, Steve Rushe owner of Beer Junto, and Ed Stansel of the Times-Union’s Amber Waves beer blog. Susan and John Miller of Bold City Brewing were also spotted roaming the event as was Mark Stillman and Eric Lumen of Green Room Brewing. Bob Sylvester of St. Somewhere made the trek to the event as well, to pour his outstanding Belgian-influenced brews as did Randy Reaver of Three Palms from Tampa.

But, though the event was by all accounts one of the most well-conceived and executed beer events in the area and, judging by the smiles of others and personal experience, a complete and utter blast, it is important to remember that there was a mission behind the celebration. That mission was to raise funds to fight the debilitating disease, muscular dystrophy. To that end Jamie Gillis, one of the event organizers, speaking on behalf of the Beaches Summer Fest Team of 8, said that the event had garnered an, “estimated $18,500 and counting.” This estimate came as of Tuesday, Sept. 18 with contributions still coming in.

Worth noting is that all of the vendors, distributors, caterers, and musicians donated their time to the event. Even the Courtyard by Marriott, at which the event was held, donated its facilities to the cause. This means that every dollar that came in to the event will make its way to the MDA for them to use in their search for a cure with nothing held out and no one to pay.

Keep abreast of plans for next year’s event by following the Beaches Summer Fest page on Facebook at: You may also continue to make contributions to the cause by going to:

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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Beer, Beer Festival, Food


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Swamp Head sets sights for GABF medals

Florida is a burgeoning hotspot for the craft beer world right now. According to industry website Rate Beer, there are more than 85 establishments that brew beer for public consumption in the state with many more in the way. One of the most promising is the small, but growing, brewery that makes its home among the Gator fanatics in Gainesville – Swamp Head Brewery.

Luke Kemper did his college studying in Colorado among the booming craft beer scene in and around Denver and was often called upon to bring home cases of beer on school. For a while that was OK, but soon a seed of an idea began to grow – maybe Gainesville needs its own craft beer brewery. It was from that see that he grew the idea of Swamp Head Brewery. It was not an overnight process; Kemper rallied the support of the local government and rounded up his equipment before producing his first batch in April of 2009.

Swamp Head operates on a 10 barrel, two-vessel, copper-clad brewing system. It is not a large system and the little brewery works hard to keep up with demand. And demand for the breweries products is definitely there due in no small part to the extraordinary skills of head brewer Craig Birkmaier.

Kemper believes that craft beer keeps gaining popularity because of the current generation’s desires for more choices and exciting new products. He also attributes it to the growing “Culture of people wanting to support local.” He believes that people want a sense of ownership and take pride in their local products. Something that he practices as well as preaches as is evident in his company motto; Inherently Floridian. Kemper take great pains to purchase as much of his ingredients form local suppliers and even donates his spent grain to a local cattle farmer to feed to his livestock.

“I’ve always looked to New Glarus as a sort of role model,” Kemper said. “They produce something like 100,000 barrels a year and only distribute in Wisconsin.”

Under Birkmaier’s watchful eye, brews from Swamp Head have garnered multiple awards with many more on the horizon. Some, Kemper hopes, will come at next month’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver. This year will mark the third appearance at the GABF for Swamp Head. “We have to make a name for ourselves,” Kemper says. To that goal, Kemper is bringing his brewing staff to man the brewery’s booth Friday night and all day Saturday.

The brewery will be pouring several of their favorites at their booth including:

Smoke Signal – A 2011 Gold Medal Best Florida Beer award winner, this is an American-style Smoked Porter that clocks in at 6.9% ABV.

Stumpknocker – Took the Silver Medal in 2010 and the Gold in 2011 as Best Florida Beer, this brew is a American Pale Ale that benefits from two dry hop additions.

Dark Water – Another award winner, this brew took the Gold in 2011 for Best Florida Beer and was created through a collaboration with Eric Lumen of Green Room Brewing in Jacksonville Beach. This is an American-style Black Ale at 6.4% ABV that gets its color from chocolate wheat malts.

Cottonmouth – This Belgian-style Wheat Bier is 5.0% ABV and brewed with coriander and bitter orange peel.

Catherine’s Passion – Silver Medalist in 2011 Best Florida Beer Awards, this Russian Imperial Stout is infused with organic cocoa nibs and dark roast organic fair-trade coffee.

Kemper is excited to attend the GABF again this year. “There’s a lot of craft beer out there,” he says, referring to his old Colorado stomping grounds.

With the addition of the exceptional beers from Swamp Head, there is even more.

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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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