Publix Apron's Cooking School Craft Beer Dinner feat. Bold City Brewery

We, at Bold City Brewery, are excited to announce that we will be featured at a four-course special Beer Dinner presented by the Publix Aprons Cooking School (Publix store – 10500 San Jose Blvd) on Wednesday (March 25) beginning at 6:30 pm! Click below for tickets! Look at the amazing menu Read more

2nd Annual Locals Only Beer Fest - Sat. March 28

The 2nd Annual Locals Only Beer Fest is this Saturday! Join the JAX Chamber and ImpactJAX for a laid back afternoon of fun activities and local craft beer this Saturday from noon-5 p.m. There will be tons of beer from Intuition Ale Works, Bold City Brewery, Veterans United Craft Read more

Lagunitas Pint Night at Dahlia's Pour House​

Lagunitas Pint Night at Dahlia's Pour House​ Wednesday, March 25. Lagunitas will be taking over Dahlia's taproom. Buy the beer, take the pint home. Some nifty Lagunitas beer schwag will also be given away. Read more

Southbound Brewing Pint Night at BREW Five Points

BREW Five Points​ will be featuring Southbound Brewing Company​ for their Tap Takeover, Thursday, March 19 starting at 6 pm! Details below ... Savannah, GA's first production brewery takes over the BREW tap line. Stay tuned for details. Here's the lineup: Scattered Sun Belgian Wit Hoplin IPA The Reaper Belgian Quad Moonlight Drive Imperial Read more

Zeta Tasting feat. Sixpoint Brewery - Wed. March 11

Head over to Zeta Brewing this evening for this week's tasting featuring Sixpoint Brewery. You may get to catch a glimpse at their cute rep, Patrick! Give him a squeeze on his cheeks when you see him. He likes that! 7 - 9 p.m, $10 per Read more

Pints For Pup - Veterans United Craft Brewery - Wed. March 18

Join European Street Cafe​ (Beaches) next Wednesday startin at 5 pm and drink for a wonderful cause! Veterans United Craft Brewery​ is fundraising for a local charity, Florida Service Dogs, an amazing organization that provides education, advocacy, and professionally-trained service animals for qualified persons with disabilities. Veterans United, Champion Read more

Intuition Ale Works host Kegs & Eggs

Most of you know that if you see me running, call 911 ... For all you Running Fans, I toast you with brew in hand! Be sure to hit Intuition Ale Works Kegs & Eggs event after the Gate River Run starting at 10 am! There is a full Read more

Cigar City Pint Night at Engine 15

Cigar City Brewing Pint Night at Engine 15 Brewing Company starting at 4 pm! Buy the pint, keep the Read more

10 Breweries / 20 Beers

Tonight at Burro Bar starting at 7 Read more


David vs Goliath – Craft Beer Seeks Tax Breaks

I get visions … no, not clairvoyance … and no, not pink elephants when I’ve been out and about on an extended Jax Brew Bitch Prowl. Hmmm … well, maybe Tinker Beer, the Brew Fairy – but NOT pink elephants – ever.

The visions I mentioned are those I get when I read a book, a blog post, an article.

Reading this article by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos in Fox News – Politics website ( , these visions came to my mind:

David and Goliath, Tip Outs and the board game of Risk.

Tip Outs – defined as:

“An amount or percentage of a server’s tips that the server shares, either voluntarily or as mandated in a tip tip_outsharing or tip pooling agreement, with other employees such as bussers, bartenders, back waiters and host/hostesses whose job duties indirectly assist the server.”

The Government wants their “tip out”. Some of the rationale the Government offers to validate their claim for a portion of breweries’ revenues includes administration of the funding for the infrastructure used by the brewery in roadways and utilities, oversight and enforcement of regulations and public services of police, fire and ambulance availability.

In the article, the common beef that both the Small BREW Act (supported by microbreweries) and thedavid_goliath-1 competing Fair Beer Act (supported by Big Beer) are trying to address is that both David and Goliath feel Government’s mandated “tip out” is excessive and limiting their ability to expand and create more jobs. Although “job creation” is an overused political touchstone phrase, there is no doubt that some of these taxes could best be used INSIDE the breweries – whether micro- or macro-.

The David and Goliath allegory can be easily interpreted. The paragraphs in Ms. Vlahos’s article:

“Driving the fight are small, independent craft brewers, who are growing in both size and popularity in the United States – so much, that beer giant Budweiser spent $9 million on a Super Bowl ad this year mocking the craft beer phenom. Now, the “pumpkin peach ale” producers have their own lobbyists and are enlisting home-district members of Congress to sponsor legislation cutting the excise tax on their sudsy creations.”

and, in discussing the Big Beer-friendly Beer Institute,

“The institute comprises MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation and others, as well as AB InBev. The latter became the biggest beer company in the world, after American producer Anheuser-Busch was acquired by the Brazilian-Belgian giant InBev in 2008. Together, they represent a $245 billion industry with 2,800 breweries and 2 million jobs worldwide.”

stagger the imagination. David has indeed become a contender in Goliath’s world. And that world is getting smaller, bit by bit – craft beer convert by craft beer convert – pint by pint – snifter by snifter.

Big Beer territories are being seized by smaller local-focused craft beer microbreweries like countries in the riskboard game of Risk. The new flags flying over these territories are there because of folks like you who continue to take the battle to the barricades consistently with every beer you order – with every bottle or can you purchase – at every craft beer establishment you frequent.

Thank you for what you do. YOU are our most effective Davids.

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash Comments Off

Mardi Gras & Nola Brewing Tap Takeover at Silver Cow – Fri. Feb 13

Nola Tap Takeover blank 3
The Silver Cow is celebrating Mardi Gras with NOLA Brewing Tap Takeover this FRIDAY (Feb 13) starting at 5 pm! Beads, Brews & Cajun Chews!

Silver Cow …
Show us your taps! We’ll show you ours … Come celebrate Krewe du Brew with NOLA Brewing for Mardi Gras here at Silver Cow this Friday, February 13, starting at 5 pm and get a sneak peek of the soon-to-be-open, The Annex which is just next door.

On the menu will be: Crawfish Etouffee which was also featured in Intuition Ale Works Cooking with Intuition and Cajun Red Beans & Rice with Smoked Andouille Sausage along with King Cake, Beads and of course Brews from Nola Brewing.

We will feature six brews on tap including one special beer that has never been available in Florida before!

Silver Cow
1506 King Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Beer Dinners, Blog, Brew Flash, Cooking with Beer, Events, Happy Hour, Just Tapped, Lagniappe, Newsletter, Pint Night Comments Off

The Discernible Dissing of Craft Beer By Budweiser

Another “Super Big Football Game” in the books. I was in Gainesville at a Bold City Brewery event at World of pumpkin peach aleBeer for the entire game – companion loved it – he was able to see every play of the game.

Now a week later, I have compiled the comments I have overheard from customers during the various discourses at Silver Cow and those companion has overheard at his work into a stack of opinions I have started sorting through.

“Discourse” … hmmm … a wonderful word meaning, “written or spoken communication or debate”. Break it down. Uh-oh. Those three little letters, “d .. i .. s”. Dis.

In modern usage, “dis” has come to mean, “speak disrespectfully to or criticize” as a verb and ”disrespectful talk” as a noun. Negative. Like disjointed, disabled, disadvantage, disagreeable, disappointing, disapproved, disbanded, discarded, discomfort, disdain … I’m sure you can think of others.

Was it the last minute call for a pass instead of a run that has been the topic of discussion? To some disgruntled Seattle fans, maybe. However, it was a Budweiser commercial which has displeased craft beer lovers across the entire country. You saw it. You felt it.

Craft beer was dissed. As I mentioned in a recent article ( and republished by Void Magazine online (, Big Beer would be coming out soon with new commercials slamming craft beer drinkers. I just didn’t know it would be this soon.

Please read this article by E.J. Shultz ( and note what Budweiser VP Brian Perkins had to say about the basis for the commercial.

Mr. Perkins stated “This is not an attack on craft beer this is not an attack on competition. The only other budweiser_fussedbeer that we reference in the spot is a fabricated, ludicrous flavor combination of pumpkin peach ale.” … Distortion.

He goes on to say, “… occasionally we do have a little bit of fun with some of the overwrought pretentiousness that exists in some small corners of the beer landscape that is around beer snobbery. That is the antithesis of what Budweiser is all about.” … Disingenuous.

I’m sure the shareholders are disheartened to know that Mr. Perkins feels free to spend millions on a commercial to poke fun at “small corners of the beer landscape”. “Small corners of the beer landscape” – trying to make it seem like there are just small pockets of “beer snobs” around the country. A backhanded way of slamming ALL of us who enjoy the variety of styles and creativity of microbreweries. The idea of pockets which Mr. Perkins floats up is accurate, though the type of pockets he dismisses as unimportant. Because he knows something.

Mr. Perkins knows that the “small pockets” of folks in the “small corners” of the beer landscape are increasingly choosing to place the money pulled out of those pockets into the hands of microbreweries instead of into the coffers of Big Beer. He has to deal with this reality on a daily basis – in order to keep his job. THAT’S why he felt justified in Budweiser spending millions of dollars to “poke fun” during the Big Game”.

Mr. Perkins also knows that once a Big Beer drinker finds at least one microbrew style they like, they will never return to the world of Big Beer. They have nothing to offer a craft beer convert.

As Mr. Shultz notes in his article, “He (Mr. Perkins) said the goal of the ad, called “Brewed the Hard Way,” is to “talk in a positive, affirming way about Budweiser quality.” The ad, for instance, touts Bud’s “beechwood aged” brewing process that, as the spot notes, has been in place since 1876.”

Think back to when you used to buy Big Beer. Did you choose Budweiser because you knew it was made with a “beechwood aged brewing process”? Not likely. Your disaffection for Big Beer came about due to your preference for more flavorful brews.

Big Beer has an opportunity here. Investing in or purchasing outright successful microbreweries and then LEAVING THEM ALONE. Big Beer, EMBRACE the new beer culture and support it by putting money where more and more mouths are being watered. Beats wasting resources on developing and presenting discordant commercials.

The outcry brought forth by this dismissive commercial has been significant, funny and heartwarming to microbrewery owners and staffs all over. Social media has exploded with reactions to it – and counter-disparaging photos of toilets reportedly holding Big Beer type fluid flood the internet.

So, as craft beer lovers, let’s do something positive. As I point out in my other article noted above, invite a Big Beer drinker out for an evening. Respect your friend’s palate – and look for a “beginner” craft beer. Consider springing for it. We need to gain more loyal craft beer enthusiasts – and it’s time to focus on that.

When we do, we bring about some positive “dis” meanings.

Discover, Disciples, Distinguished.

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash, Newsletter Comments Off

Fill My Cup: Beer & Bible Study – open to all at Silver Cow, every Monday

Fill My Cup: Beer & Bible Study – open to all. This Monday (and every Monday) 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Whether you’re new to the bible, new to beer or well versed in both, we invite you to join us at Silver Cow every Monday at the Silver Cow. All walks of life and faith welcome. Come and enjoy a great discussion, fellowship, and of course some amazing craft beer!

Meeting location:
Silver Cow
1506 King Street
Jacksonville, FL 30-1220

Every Monday, 5:30-6:30

Join the group on Facebook at:

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash, Events, Lagniappe Comments Off

80th Birthday for Canned Beer

Is it your birthday today? If so, you share a birthday with the beer can!beer_cans_f

The first beer sold in cans occurred on this day in 1935, so the beer can turned 80 today. How ‘bout you?

Although the canned beer was quite the thing back then, it went through a phase of lower popularity for many years. Until very recently, “beer in a can” was deservedly associated with the mass-produced, mass-marketed varieties, aka “Big Beer”.

Finally, someone decided that with the improvements made in the can material and the process of canning in general, having beer in a can was not too much different than having it a keg. Protected from sunlight – protected from the air.

In just the past couple of years, canned beer has regained prominence with more and more microbreweries choosing can over bottle. Embrace this advancement in the craft beer industry! Celebrate this day with a can of your favorite brew – and tell it Happy Birthday!

Here’s more information about the first canned beer sold:

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash, Lagniappe Comments Off

The Assault on Florida’s Microbreweries

Herbert Hoover – no, not the inventor of a vacuum cleaner – but the 31st President of the United States – once HerbertHooversaid,

“Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress.”

Amen … Well said, President Hoover.

Maybe a more familiar celebrity to you, Walt Disney, was once quoted,

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

Competition is a good thing. Of course, it is. Even the Federal Government only allows a limit to open Walt_Disneycompetition under special circumstances and programs. Who would ever want to limit competition? Think about it, the best … sorry … hold on, there’s someone at the door.


Q: Who’s there?
A: “The Florida Independent Spirits Association, the Florida Retail Federation and the beer wholesalers’ lobbying organization.”

Q: The Florida Independent Spirits Association, the Florida Retail Federation and the beer wholesalers’ lobbying organization WHO?
A: “Quit asking questions! Big Beer called and said, “We’re losing market share!”

Q: Go away. We don’t want any.
A: “Hey, shut up! We’re more important than you. We represent Big Beer and our friends include some big retail companies. You don’t understand – we’re only concerned about you, the consumer.”

Q: Is that so? … In what way?
A: “Well, you know – that whole thing about allowing microbreweries to sell their products to customers who want them inside their establishments. It’s hazy – it needs clarification. Without clarification, the consumer might buy something he or she likes while cutting out the distributor. It makes for a more affordable product and helps the microbrewery stay in business. We can’t have that.”

Q: Why not? Sounds pretty good to me. Plus, our local distributors’ reps don’t have a problem with the way it is now.
A: “Are you stupid? The microbreweries are able to create delicious beer using whatever ingredients they want and can afford. Big Beer can’t do that – they’re stuck using an industrial process to produce a beer which used to be the only product around – they’re on TV a lot, by the way. Look for some great new commercials in the near future! But, back to the issue at hand …

Big Beer has really been trying – they have spent a lot of money creating beer names and labels which sound like a microbrew. Labels – THAT should be enough to maintain their market share – all our in-house experts tell us so – they’re on TV a lot, by the way. Look for some great new labels coming out in the near future! … But, back to the issue at hand … why are you not opening the door?”

Q: Do you think your decreasing market share might be due to the quality of the product underneath those labels? … Why not make changes in your system to provide better products?
A: “BLASPHEMY! … how DARE you? … what do YOU know? … you’re not a shareholder! … Big Beer is too big to fail! … they can’t change their system – it would be too difficult and their leadership is not concerned enough to do so. We can’t ask their top management to start a new initiative in developing better tasting mass-produced beer- their more sophisticated business acumen would prevent that. Plus, their workforce couldn’t do it anyway – they’re too busy batching what they do now to fund top management’s salaries and benefit packages. Hey, if you won’t open the door, why don’t you meet us for Happy Hour? You can get a large bucket full of bottled Big Beer and a hot dog for $2.99! IT’S BIG BEER TIME! …Drink responsibly … did we tell you about the commercials coming up?”

Q: Yes, you did – and no thank you about the Happy Hour. I have two quart-growlers of one style of beer and a gallon growler of another style from one of our awesome local microbreweries. I would have bought a half-gallon of it, but in Florida it’s against the law to sell beer in half-gallon sizes – for some stupid reason.
A: “Don’t even go there, friend – we’re willing to allow half-gallon growlers given approval of our clarification of the present law. Remember it’s best for you if we get clarification. Don’t worry about the reasons – we’re smarter than you.”

Q: Well, thanks any way for stopping by – no clarification needed from the consumer end, though – just leave it alone.
A: “Okay – but remember Big Beer has great labels and names – and hot lookin’ ladies in their commercials, too! Have a cold Big Beer and you’ll get the ladies! Drink responsibly.”

Okay, sorry about that – I’m back now.

According to a recent article in

“Florida liquor stores and beer distributors are challenging the way the state issues licenses allowing craft breweries to sell their products in tasting rooms, a move that brewers say could put dozens of breweries out of business or, at the very least, halt rapid growth in the industry.

The Florida Retail Federation is suing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the associations that represent Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors distributors have asked to intervene in support of the suit. Separately, the Florida Independent Spirits Association filed a challenge with the agency. The association includes ABC Fine Wine & Spirits chain, which is the state’s largest liquor store chain.

The groups said they aren’t trying to shut down the brewery tasting rooms, but rather to clarify the law that allows the brewers to serve draft beer to drink on site and cans and bottles to take home.”

“Clarify the law”??? … Honestly??? …

First, let’s take a look at who is behind the lawsuit.

According to their website:

Florida Independent Spirits Association, Inc. is a Not For Profit corporation in the State of Florida. FISA was created by a dedicated group of independent alcohol retailers in December of 2013 to combat legislation proposed by Florida grocery chains to put liquor on the shelves of grocery stores.”

Visit their web page and read all the way to the bottom:

Another page on their website gives an indication of what they’re after:
“We were successful in defeating Wal-Mart & Target’s proposed legislation last session that would have placed spirits (hard liquor) directly on grocery shelves. FISA’s lobbyist, Scott Dick and his team, were successful in keeping the current restrictions in place!”

It’s easy to get on the bandwagon of Walmart-haters. Allegations of Walmart hurting locally owned businesses and killing jobs are thrown about like empty cans of Coors Light. I wonder what the local folks who work at these Walmarts feel about being vilified.

What FISA is really saying is “Limit our competition’s ability to provide what the customer wants in a manner more convenient for them. Screw the customer – make them buy from us.”

Although the Florida Retail Federation supports craft brewers in being willing to sell growlers to go if the product is brewed on the premises (including the “evil” half-gallon size), they oppose brewers selling other malt beverage products not brewed on the premises.

There’s that “make them buy from us” showing up, again …

According to their website:

The Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (FBWA) is a not-for-profit trade association of over two-dozen independent licensed beer distributors throughout Florida. For over 25 years, we have been providing hundreds of fresh, quality beers to licensed retailers in our state, from Pensacola to Key West.

The FBWA is dedicated to educating policy makers, licensees and the general public about the societal value in regulating the manufacturing, the independent distribution of, and the retail sale of alcoholic beverages.”

Read that as – “You need education, you rube-like consumer. You’re just ignorant of our industry.”

On their website, there is an article written by Mitch Rubin, FBWA’s Executive Director. In part, Mr. Rubin states, “It is not our intention to shut down tasting rooms. In fact, we support every brewery’s right to have a tasting room and to sell growlers of beer brewed on the premises.”

Okay. I, for one, actually believe him. But I think he would be able to get to the “common ground” he seeks quicker if he just simply said, “The breweries’ distributors deserve their cut. Cough it up.”

Keep in mind, the alcohol industry’s political strength comes from the beer distributors, not the Big Beer corporations themselves. The main group representing these beer distributors is the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Here is an article by its President:

The system mentioned is the Three-Tier System. For more basic info about the Three-Tier System, read a quick Wiki,

What Mr. Purser has said in the NBWA article assumes a system not tinkered with politically or influenced by deep pockets. In essence, Mr. Purser alleges any misgivings the public has about the Three-Tier System can be assuaged by education. In other words, they’re smarter than we are – we’re ignorant of all the value the system has brought and continues to bring to the table.

Education again.

He states in the website-published article, “Thanks to an independent, three-tier distribution system that is unique to the United States, American consumers have access to the most choice and variety of any country in the world – with retailers selling thousands of labels of beer from more than 3,000 breweries. This system allows brewers and importers open access to an independent distributor tier, making our system efficient and balanced.”

Efficient and balanced? More like, “Where’s OUR cut?” … How would continuing to allow microbreweries to sell their creations in their own taproom without selling it first to a distributor undermine the fabric of our country? Answer – it won’t.

It is not surprising that over time, there have been ways found to take advantage of the Three-Tier system for alcohol distribution – by guess who? … those with deep pockets. Here is a great article which highlights both pros and cons of the Three-Tier System.

It has been said, “In identifying manure, ‘nose’ is better than ‘ear’ …”. Sniff it out – follow the money.

Big Beer has been losing market share slowly over the past few years – and the corporate business gurus at these organizations still don’t get it.

Read this article –

The telling paragraph to me is:

“It all boils down to positioning,” said MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England. As other beers get heavier, Coors Light — which is marketed as “the world’s most refreshing beer” — is the perfect choice “on a hot day or following a hoppy, malty brew when you want something that is a little lighter to wash that down,” Mr. England said.”

Corporate speak. I’m sure he got a bonus for saying that.

The problem is – is that it DOES boil down to positioning – but the positioning is something that in this case needs to be determined resolutely by the consumer on a DAILY basis – not by the jaded marketing staff and consultants of Big Beer implementing a 5-Year Plan. In a somewhat stagnant market, their “positioning” efforts can be effective and a valid course of action. But in an emerging, slowly maturing but rapidly changing market like craft beer? I think their “positioning” will be the product’s high water mark attained collectively by the beer drinkers – a mark driven SOLELY by taste perception EVERY visit – EVERY day. Respectfully, Coors Light is NOT the perfect choice on a hot day or following a hoppy, malty brew. And I think you know that, Andy.

Look, I don’t have a problem with Coors, Bud, Miller, etc. – and you beer geeks out there had better be careful denigrating the mass-produced beverages too much … why? … because it will be just simple human nature for those who religiously drink Bud and such (around 75% of the beer-drinking market, mind you) to take offense at what you’re saying – they’ll take it personal. When they do, what chance do we have of luring them into the craft beer world? Answer: Zilch. (oh my, that would make a great new Big Beer name – Zilch Lite, but I digress)

Staying at odds with Big Beer drinkers cannot help the craft beer industry – especially right here in Jacksonville. By being satisfied with the current number of craft beer lovers in our community is sort of like a small island having one casino and no tourists coming in to gamble. The locals all visit and the same dollars are circulated in and out of the casino – in to gamble, out in salaries and support agreements. Little to no growth … nothing to get really excited about. Do we want that in the Greater Jacksonville Craft Beer Community? Hell, no. May it never be!

Mark my words, Big Beer will be coming on strong in the near future with commercials making craft beer drinkers out to be smug, stuck up snobbish villains putting down real hardworking Americans who drink the mass-produced varieties. Invite a Big Beer drinker out for an evening. Respect your friend’s palate – and look for a “beginner” craft beer. Consider springing for it. We need to gain more loyal craft beer enthusiasts – and it’s time to focus on that.

So what can we do about this lawsuit thing?

The Florida Brewers Guild has set up a crowdfunded legal defense fund. It is estimated that $100,000 will be needed to fight this in the legal realm. The opposition is funded with those with “deep pockets”, so this is a reasonable approximation of the necessary amount.

Here is a link to the site:

Any contribution will help as the Florida Brewers Guild is literally fighting for the life of the Florida craft brewing industry.


Contact the opposition:
Florida Retail Federation (850) 222-4082
Beer Industry of Florida (850) 222-8960
Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (850) 224-2337
Florida Independent Spirits Association (850) 421-9100

Ask them why they believe breweries should be required to first sell the beer they serve in their own taprooms to their distributor before offering to their customers.

Remember … sniff out the manure – and follow the money. At the end of the day, it is still about Big Beer trying to limit competition.

Another celebrity of sorts, Fidel Castro once stated:Fidel-Castro

“I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating… because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition.”

Fidel Castro. Limits competition. Hates the American spirit. His leadership has worked so well for the Cuban people, hasn’t it? Good role model for competition-haters everywhere.

Hey! Now THERE’S an idea for the folks who the Florida Independent Spirits Association, the Florida Retail Federation and the beer wholesalers’ lobbying organization represent! … a new mass-produced beer … a brand new label!

I can see it now during a future commercial break:

The Dictator – an Imperial Reddish Pale Lite India Lager Pils – a new girl-getter – the Official Beer of Communism! Available only at friends of The Dictator. Drink responsibly.

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash, EU Jacksonville, Lagniappe, Newsletter, Outside Jax & FL Comments Off

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Release in Jax – Pub Crawl & special events

If you’re a craft beer lover, I bet I can make you salivate with two simple words.Bourbon County2

Bourbon County … See? Let the slobberfest begin!

It all takes place on Wednesday (November 26) and Friday (November 28) right here in Jacksonville!

On that Wednesday, 100 lucky people in Jacksonville will be the ONLY people in Florida to be enjoying the Goose Island 2014 Bourbon County Stout along with a number of its variants during the 2014 Jacksonville Bourbon County Pub Crawl!

This is how it will work:

Starting at 7:00pm, the first 100 people to line up for the Pub Crawl at Silver Cow (1506 King Street – 904.379.6968) will receive an official wristband, Passport and a 5 oz snifter to use while on the Crawl.

At Silver Cow, you will receive a 5 oz. pour of Bourbon County Stout for $5. Limit one 5 oz. pour per Pub Crawler.

Keep in mind, your Passport MUST be stamped in the following order to be able to proceed to the next Bourbon County1establishment to purchase the variants listed with these establishments:

1) Silver Cow (1506 King Street – 904.379.6968) – Bourbon County Stout – 5 oz. pour – $5
2) The Garage (2692 Post Street – 904.894.7465) – Bourbon County Coffee – 5 oz. pour – $5
3) Dahlia’s Pour House (2695 Post Street – 904.738.7132) – Bourbon County Barleywine – 5 oz. pour – $5
4) Kickbacks Gastropub (910 King Street – 904.388.9551) – Bourbon County Vanilla Rye – 5 oz. pour – $5

Once you have your Passport stamped at all four locations, you will receive a Raffle Ticket. The Raffle will be held at 10:30pm for rare and very special Goose Island products and swag!

Please note the 100 reserved spots for the Pub Crawl will be first come – first served. Be among the first 100 people at Silver Cow on Wednesday, November 26 for the Bourbon County Pub Crawl!

What an exciting way to spend the evening before Thanksgiving!

Black Friday (November 28) will have a new meaning this year – you will be amazed.

8:00 AM
Get up early and be up at Beer: 30 (1271 King Street – 904.388.0033) for its opening at 8:00am. You will probably want to get there quite a bit earlier to get in line. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST, those in line will receive:

1) Limited Edition Bourbon County snifter from the Goose Island Brewery!
2) Limited Edition Bourbon County poster!
3) A 12 oz. pack of Intelligentsia Coffee – the coffee used in the Bourbon County Coffee!

Also, Brew Five Points will be providing freshly brewed Intelligentsia coffee! That’s not all! A local bakery will be handing out Bourbon County Doughnuts to those in line!

Inside Beer:30, you will be able to purchase:

12 oz. bottles of Bourbon County Stout
12 oz. bottles of Bourbon County Coffee
12 oz. bottles of Bourbon County Barleywine
22 oz. bottles of Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

Please keep in mind the variants are limited in quantity, so get there early! This event is open to the public so anyone can get in line!

After the event, you will be able to find these bottles at other establishments, including:

Grassroots Natural Market (2007 Park Street – 904.384.4474)
Total Wine & More (4413 Town Center Parkway – 904.998.1740)
Broudy’s Fine Wine & Spirits (353 Marsh Landing Parkway – Jacksonville Beach – 904.273.6119)
Broudy’s Fine Wine & Spirits (5000 Hwy 17 #1,2, Fleming Island – 904.269.7029)
Select ABC Liquors

9:00 AM
You’ll be ready for breakfast – a Bourbon County Breakfast – Kickbacks Gastropub style!

That’s right! After your purchases at Beer:30 head on down to Kickbacks Gastropub (910 King Street – 904.388.9551) for a specially prepared breakfast paired with a 5 oz. pour of Bourbon County Coffee!

Okay … I don’t want to be the cause of a stampede, but the FIRST 10 people in line at Kickbacks will receive their breakfast for free!

Please note – you do NOT have to participate in the event at Beer:30 to line up for the Bourbon County Breakfast at Kickbacks. This event is also open to the public!

Brew Five Points (1024 Park Street – 904.374.5789) has an incredible event planned for you! The event will be called “Deconstructed Bourbon County Coffee” and will be held WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

For only $15, you will receive:

1) A pour of the Bourbon County Stout;
2) A pour of the Intelligentsia Zirikana (Rwanda) coffee;
3) A pour of the Bourbon County Coffee.

5:00 PM
World of Beer (9700 Deer Lake Ct – 904.551.5929) will be having a Goose Island Tap Takeover with 14 beers including the Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barley wine and the Bourbon County Coffee!

After the event, you will be able to find the Bourbon County beers on tap at several locations, including:

Zeta Brewing (131 1st Ave North – Jacksonville Beach – 904.372.0727)
Rain Dogs (1045 Park Street – 904.379.4969)
Copper Tap House (13500 Beach Blvd, – 904.647.6595)
The Salty Pelican (12 N Front St – Fernandina Beach – 904.277.3811)
Dog Star Tavern (10 N 2nd St, Fernandina Beach – 904.277.8010)

Don’t miss out on these phenomenal Jacksonville Bourbon County events! For more information on any of these events, please contact the various establishments or visit their websites and social media outlets.

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Intuition Ale Works celebrates 4 years of craft beer brewing excellence

Has it really been four years? … WOW! … time flies when you’re drinking great craft beer! IntuitionAleWorks

Thinking back to the earliest days of Jax Brew Bitch, companion and I remember how excited we would get as we would approach Intuition’s taproom door. What new creation awaited us? … what new friendship would we begin? Which spectacular staff member would be serving us?

Guess what? … we STILL get just as excited pondering all those possibilities as we enter Intuition Ale Works today!

Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street – 904.683.7720) is turning FOUR YEARS OLD!

The big anniversary celebration takes place at the brewery on Saturday, November 22nd but the team at Intuition will be celebrating the whole week leading up to that day. Here are the details about all of their amazing events!

Intuition will be releasing at least one new beer in the tap room every day from Tuesday (November 18) until Friday (November 21). Here’s the line up:

TUESDAY: State Line w/ Habanero

WEDNESDAY: Cantaloupe Saison w/ Cracked Pepper

THURSDAY: Smoke IPA w/ Pineapple

FRIDAY: Golden Graham Jon Boat

Please keep in mind that each beer will ONLY be available the day it is released. Then, on Saturday (November 10394082_10152479958266453_6063427141845296587_n22), all the beers will be available in the brewery and tap room. There will be 20+ special release brews on tap for the big anniversary bash!


Interested in trying all 20+ beers? With the Beer Passport you can win prizes for trying them all.

Beer Passports will be available in the tap room starting Tuesday ( November 18). The folks at Intuition will be serving up 7-ounce pours of all their brews. Every time you drink a brew that week, you’ll receive a stamp on your passport to keep track of the beers you’ve tried. If you try twenty or more beers by Saturday (November 22), you’ll get a voucher for a gallon growler and a fill of your favorite brew. PLUS you’ll be entered into a raffle to win $100 tap room dollars!

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that they are only printing 100 Beer Passports – so make sure to come and get yours on Tuesday!


Join Intuition Ale Works as they kick-off their anniversary week with a tap takeover at Pele’s Wood Fire! They’ll have 15 taps devoted to Intuition’s creations and will be offering happy hour all night long. That means $3 Jon Boat, $3.50 I-10 AND $5 pizzas! The Intuition crew will be there with giveaways.


Intuition is partnering up with Black Sheep Restaurant in 5 Points for a rooftop Belgian beer-pairing dinner on Tuesday starting at 6:30pm.

Join them for five courses by Chef Waylon Rivers paired with some of your favorite Belgian brews like Sage Wit, Honey Badger Saison, Mercury’s Wings BPA, Noir Belg and their seasonal Punk Monk Imperial Belgian Dubbel.

Tickets are $75 and are very limited. To reserve your seat at the table, call the restaurant at (904) 380-3091.


Both the Riverside and Jax Beach Bold Bean locations will be tapping a very special collaboration brew on Tuesday. Intuition worked with the Bold Bean team to create the Blonde Coffee Stout, a unique special release brew with oats, cocoa nibs and Brazilian coffee. The beer will only be available at Bold Bean and in very limited quantities, so when it’s gone, it’s gone!


On Wednesday, Intuition is hosting a special beer and cheese pairing with Cypress Grove Chevre, an award-winning artisan goat cheese maker, in the brewery bar. Debbie from Cypress Grove and Riley from Intuition will be on hand to guide the pairing of 5 cheeses and 5 beers, including a unique One-Off! Special glassware will be provided by Cypress Grove, along with other goodies. Tickets are $20 and are extremely limited. Get yours now at this link:


Intuition will be heading out to Jax Beach to spend Wednesday evening with their friends at Engine 15 Brewing Company for an Intuition Pint Night starting at 7pm. They’ll have seven of Intuition’s brews on tap that night: Barrel-Aged Amsterdam Falafel, Noir Belge, Double Elimination, Truck Stop Stout and 3 of our core beers.


Join the Intuition crew at World of Beer Southside on Thursday evening for the BIGGEST Intuition tap takeover EVER! They’ll be pouring at least 20 of Intuition’s creations starting at 6pm and there will be fun swag giveaways.


Intuition is partnering with Jaxsons Night Market to celebrate beer, food and community on Thursday evening! Contributors to their cookbook, Cooking with Intuition, will be selling a number of dishes prepared with Intuition brews at the Market and Cari will be selling signed copies of the cookbook.

Also… cans of King Street Stout will be available at the Intuition Biergarten for the first time outside of Intuition’s tap room !


Intuition is celebrating their dual anniversary with Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails with Brunch for Dinner on Friday night starting at 10pm! This late-night bash will feature an incredible lineup of beers all paired with Chef Tom Gray’s craveable brunch-inspired small plates. Featured beers include Duuuvaaal, Shotgun Shack and several brunch-themed beers brewed just for the occasion.

The Jax Brew Bus will be making a special roundtrip from Riverside.

Tickets can be purchased at


Intuition Ale Works anniversary will be a beer-lover’s dream. All of their anniversary brews will be on tap along with a long list of special release and barrel-aged treats!

Intuition has pulled a special event permit so they’ll be closing down the street in front of the brewery to blow out the festivities. There will be food trucks out in the street featuring fare by Funkadelic and Driftwood BBQ. The folks at Fretto Prints will be there all day with their on-site t-shirt printing contraption selling unique, one-of-a-kind souvenir tees.

Intuition will also be hosting a raffle to raise money for the Florida craft beer political committee. Just $10 per ticket gives you the chance to win a Yeti cooler bag customized by Burro Bags or an UNDERDARK package that includes bottles of all three vintages and lots of swag!


Join Intuition as they shake off an epic week with a Hangover Brunch at Mellow Mushroom Avondale on Sunday morning! They’ll have 10 of Intuition’s brews on tap to pair with their already awesome brunch menu, including some breakfast one-offs and the return of Contraption, a special release double IPA.

Personally, I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone at Intuition Ale Works for all you have done for the Jacksonville craft beer community. I also thank you for what y’all have done for me and companion in our endeavors – and for making Intuition Ale Works always an enjoyable stop on Jax Brew Bitch Prowls.

Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street – 904.683.7720)

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Let’s give thanks to our Veterans …

Where are going for fun today? … tonight? … this weekend? Aren’t we blessed to be able to CHOOSE where we go and happy-veterans-day-pictureswhat we do? As Americans, we are somewhat distinctive in the belief that we all have that right.

It could have been different, you know – and still could be. What makes the difference – what keeps tyrannical power from ruling over us – dictating our every move – is our armed forces. They have made and continue to make the difference – those brave men and women who have and continue to protect our freedoms.

If you are out and about this week and notice a veteran or active duty soldier, please consider buying them a pint to show your appreciation for what they do. Have no doubt they will appreciate it and will remember your kind and thoughtful gesture.

On behalf of companion and myself, thank you veterans and active duty military personnel for making this country strong.

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Raise your pint and celebrate International Stout Day!

One definition of the word stout is, “bold, brave and dauntless”r620-a61e37efe84a636af2b94d34fd3b338c

I like that – and YOU should, too!

TODAY is International Stout Day – a day set aside to honor and enjoy this distinctive dark beer at just about any beer-laden establishment around the world. Even establishments which haven’t embraced “craft beer” will probably have Guinness or Smithwick on tap. If you are a newbie to anything other than the mass-produced brands of beer, be brave and step out of the norm by trying one of these stouts, available almost everywhere.

Those more immersed in the world of microbrews will most likely be looking for something heavier – higher alcohol content – with notes of chocolate, coffee or anise.

So today, be determined to become emboldened and be dauntless in your search for significant and delicious stouts on International Stout Day! The only loser is the non-participant!

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A message to all …

Hello, all!

I wanted to give you a quick update about things. As many of you know, being the in the first year of operations248068_311493365602946_352137400_n of the Silver Cow, opening The Annex (next door to Silver Cow) within a couple of weeks and being in the middle of dealing with my mother’s failing health in Louisiana and trying to get her transferred to Florida, I haven’t been able to stay up on posts here at JaxBrewBitch.

I hope you will continue to bear with me as I deal with these major things.

As an update, I have a new section of JaxbrewBitch which will have a lot of useful information for you. It is approximately 70% complete – but I believe it will be worth the wait for all of us craft beer lovers! This new section will not replace anything – but augment what is there.

You can tell the site looks different (read that as “messed up”) since GoDaddy moved me over to a new server. It turns out some of my old but useful WordPress plugins cause some issues with the new server (per GoDaddy support) and I am on the hunt for new and better plugins to add more functionality to the current website – functionality for YOU.

Please stay tuned as Companion and I work our way through these things which take so much of our time. I look forward to the day when we’ll see you all out and about and enjoying craft beer – not only here at Silver Cow and The Annex but at all the outstanding “brews and chews” establishments around the Greater Jacksonville area.

It is because of YOU that craft beer is growing in popularity and stature. Your patience and continued support of JaxBrewBitch, Silver Cow, The Annex is certainly and sincerely appreciated. Thank you for all for being here for us.

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“Knave! … Pumpion! … if pumpkin be the food of love, play on!”

“Go to, then. We’ll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion. We’ll teach him to know turtles hqdefaultfrom jays.”

WOW! … even William Shakespeare appreciated all the various useful aspects of pumpkins! When he penned this portion of the dialogue between Mistress Ford and Mistress Page in “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, he used the word “pumpion” for what we now refer to as pumpkin.

Modern society has bastardized “pumpion” to describe a person who has little regard for his/her appearance or smell and enjoys making snide comments aloud to get a reaction. There are pompous folks who have, as companion eloquently defines, a “goat-smellin’ ass.”

Whereas the modern “pumpions” seem to show their … well, you know … at all times of the year, the “pumpion” of Billy Shakespeare’s time garners much more attention as the Fall/Winter seasons descend upon us – not only in kitchens around the country – but in microbreweries, as well. You’ll now be seeing all manner of pumpkin beers appear on the shelves of local packaged beer purveyors and along tap line-ups of several Greater Jacksonville area craft beer establishments.

For those new to craft beer, be aware there are variants in this style and each variant finds palates for which they satisfy. Typically, you’ll find one variant and “stick with it” from year to year.

Here is a simple list of three pumpkin beers, each with different tastes:

Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking Imperial Pumpkin AleIMG_0041
All Hallow’s Eve is a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. It is thought that we harness this magic to brew our powerful pumpkin ale. Not so, but it is with great respect to the magic of their trade that our brewers produce this fine beer. Take a whiff of this complex ale and your journey has just begun. At first sip, a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds, yet another victim enraptured by the Pumking. Note: 8.6% ABV

Shipyard Brewing Company Pugsley’s Smashed Pumpkin
A big bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. Pale Ale, Wheat and Light Munich malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of Saphir and Hallertau Hops to balance the sweetness of the fruit. Note: 9.0% ABV

Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Pours orange in color with notes of buttered pie crust, roasted pumpkin, and a melange of pumpkin pie spices. Medium bodied with flavors of caramel and roasted pumpkin notes and an underpinning of floral hop bitterness that leads into a harmonious blend of pumpkin pie spice and finishes with drying alcohol heat that creates a balance with caramel in the finish. Note: 8.5% ABV & 35 IBUs

Embrace the season – visit your favorite craft beer establishments and select a pumpkin ale on tap – and find a bottle or two or three to take home. Keep in mind this is truly a seasonal thing – even as a craft beer newbie, you’ll find that you will save your pumpkin beer selections for the Fall and Winter.

You may encounter someone who turns their nose up to your selection. They might even say, “I just don’t like any vegetable beer. Why would anyone mix gross watery pumpkin with good beer?” Simply answer,

“Knave! … Pumpion! … if pumpkin be the food of love, play on!” … To their silent and confused response, then add:

“Get Thee and Thine goat-smellin’ ass to a library.”

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Look out Barley Mow Brewing, Jax Brew Bitch is coming your way!

I am so STOKED – and honored! … I get to brew with Barley Mow Brewing Company’s owner Jay Dingman! I will also download (1)have a featured beer in Barley Mow’s taproom – I will be sharing more details soon! My Instagram photo recently won the “Light Up Your Senses” contest and I look forward to scheduling this day of brewing with them.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone at Barley Mow Brewing – for the contest – and their beer!

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Alewife – New Craft Beer Establishment coming to 5 Points Riverside!

Talk about timing!

My recent article in Void Magazine’s Bruval Edition focused on Women in Craft Beer. Coming soon to Historic Five alewife 2Points is Alewife, a new craft beer establishment featuring retail craft beer sales, a tasting bar, and craft beer focused classes!

Owned by Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burkett, this significant addition to the craft beer community in the Greater Jacksonville area will bring a new level of stature for women seriously involved in the microbrewing industry!

Here is the official Press Release:

“Alewife, a new craft beer establishment featuring retail craft beer sales, a tasting bar, and craft beer focused classes, is set to open this fall in Riverside’s Five Points. Owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket have signed a lease to move into 1035 Park Street, the former site of Riverside Liquors. The business model is unique to the Jacksonville area, fulfilling not only the customer’s demand for a quality craft beer product, but also offering opportunities to explore, taste and learn about the evolving world of craft beer.

Featuring an extensive selection of bottles and cans from the best craft brewers in America, including those local to Jacksonville, Alewife will serve as a community-focused establishment to celebrate and discover handcrafted ales and lagers from craft brewers across the country. Guests can grab a seat at the tasting bar to enjoy a flight or full pour from one of the six constantly rotating taps, or they can select a bottle from the cooler to enjoy as they browse the shelves. If guests don’t have time to enjoy a beer on-site, there will be six-packs, four-packs, large format bottles (“bombers”), and single 12 oz. bottles and cans to be taken home.

In addition to the retail operation, Alewife will create a unique niche in the Jacksonville craft beer market by introducing a series of educational classes and workshops designed to expand the communities’ craft beer knowledgebase. These classes, designed for both seasoned beer enthusiasts and novices alike, will pair an educational component with beer tastings, and will be the foundation of Alewife’s goal of educating their customers about the diverse world of craft beer.

The name Alewife is a nod of respect to the rich history behind the role of women in brewing. In medieval Europe, before beer production increased in scale and prestige to become a commercial activity taken over by men, brewing beer was a domestic affair performed by women. When extra beer was available, the women, referred to as alewives, would hang a broom – known as an ale-stake – above the door. This let other households and passersby know that beer was for sale.

About owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket: Pickard, who will lead front-of-house operations at Alewife, is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, a home brewer and has experience working behind the bar with positions held in both Washington, DC and locally. Pickard has brewed beer with a commercial craft brewery, developed and led craft beer tasting and pairing events for both corporations and individuals, and completed numerous craft beer-focused classes and workshops. Her former professional career was in sustainability project management for an architecture trade association.

Burket, who will run back-of-house operations, has a professional background in facility management, event operations and marketing. Her passion for the craft beer industry has led to participation in various craft beer-centered educational workshops and to extensive beer-focused travels.

Jacksonville has emerged as a city at the forefront of the craft beer scene in the state of Florida, and also the entire southeast. The city features multiple acclaimed craft breweries; local, regional and national craft beer focused restaurants and bars; and a growing craft beer-specific retail market. The Alewife concept will complement the current offerings and provide an experience for Jacksonville residents not currently available.

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The Volstead – even this Bitch needs a cocktail once in a while

Bathtub Gin … I guess that phrase can bring a number of images to mind – AND I would guess the quality of those IMG_1865images would be based upon your past encounters with bathtubs – either clean or well … you know.

The phrase originated during Prohibition – an era beginning in 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution declared the production, transport and sale of alcohol illegal. To put teeth into the law, the Volstead Act – named after its sponsor – provided the means to enforce the Amendment.

This over-reaching law was the genesis of a large increase in homemade booze, prisoners, the power of organized crime and corruption within law enforcement agencies. However, the personal consumption or possession of alcohol was not against the law. So, from the consumer’s perspective, all one had to do is find the right hook-up – or make it themselves – hence, the bathtub gin reference.

You could look at that period of history as an early craft liquor progressive movement – a lot of black market booze available for enjoyment – and a fun place to share that illegal liquor with friends in an exciting atmosphere, often with dancing and music, was the local speakeasy.

Jacksonville has a rather new establishment harkening back to that era – The Volstead (115 W Adams Street – 904.414.3171). Companion and I had wanted to visit the establishment even before it opened. Walking by or driving by the place during earlier prowls alerted us it was coming.

We made The Volstead our destination that evening to try some of their giggle water – I mean, I needed to show IMG_1857folks that I knew my onions. Okay, okay – I’ll dispense with the 1920s jargon. Don’t be such a Mrs. Grundy!

Seriously, The Volstead provides a time capsule of the era in its ambiance, comfortable seating and welcoming atmosphere that we are going to make it a regular stop when we are out and about in the future.

The beers on tap that night were (descriptions per breweries’ websites):

Green Room Brewing Double Overhead Double IPA
This brew is a favorite with our beer aficionados. Hoppy and bitter with a piney-grapefruit taste. Well balanced and drinkable, especially for the ABV. Note – 9.1% ABV & 80 IBUs

Aardwolf Brewery Belgian Pale Ale
A refreshing, hoppy Belgian-style ale. Note – 5.9% ABV & 28 IBUs

Guinness Extra Stout
This is it, the one that started it all. Crafted to perfection for over 200 years, GUINNESS® EXTRA STOUT is descended from the definitive West India Porter known as Extra Superior Porter. Crack it open, and the first sip tastes as fresh as ever. The unmistakeable deep-dark color, the crisp hint of roasted barley, the fresh breeze of hops, and the refreshing bite all make for the bittersweet reward. Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS.

Companion opted for Green Room’s Double Overhead and thoroughly enjoyed it while we visited all the various seating options The Volstead has to offer – both inside and out back.

I was in “full experience mode” and decided I would try a cocktail. I know, I know … but sometimes you’re in the mood for a jorum of skee or such. I chose the (description per their menu):

The Volstead Candied Painted SidecarIMG_1860
We put a fresh coat of paint on the original, and man does it look fly. Meukow cognac, blood orange liqueur, lemon juice, agave nectar and black truffle tincture. Need I say more?

WOW! … it was sweetly delicious! It is going to be tough going back and not getting that again – but I am intrigued with their cocktail menu (viewable on their website). One selection really caught my eye – the Brandy Alexander. I would have liked to get one of those as well that night but I didn’t want to get too ossified.

When you find it time to iron one’s shoelaces, you’ll find the restrooms very clean and in keeping with the era’s motif. Sorry – that’s right – I told you I wouldn’t break into 1920s jargon.

From the living room seating in the front to the bar’s significant amount of seating to the outside seating area in the rear of the building, you will find a comfortable place to spend your visit.

We enjoyed our discussions with Matt and Christie, the two servers who took care of us that night in a splendid style.

I wish to express my appreciation to the staff for a wonderful first experience at The Volstead – certainly a regular destination on future Jax Brew Bitch Prowls.

It was most decidedly darb! Hey! … if you don’t like my choice of words, go tell it to Sweeney!

The Volstead

Green Room Brewing

Aardwolf Pub & Brewery

View more images on Facebook

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Golden Isles Brew Supply

Homebrewers in southeast Georgia and those in the far northern regions of Florida pay close attention!

Joshua Austin is the Owner of Risen Dead Brewing LLC which is opening Golden Isles Brew Supply in final-150x150Brunswick, Georgia. Joshua contacted me and shared the following information:

“A little bit about my company, Risen Dead Brewing LLC. We formed in September of last year selling homebrew software, equipment, and magazines online. As we steadily grew over the following months, I realized that a local homebrew supply store was something that is much needed in Southeast Georgia, as there isn’t currently one. Being a homebrewer in Southeast Georgia isn’t always easy, as our only options are to drive over an hour to Savannah or Jacksonville, or pay high shipping costs from online stores. We’re aiming to fix that. We’re looking to open Golden Isles Brew Supply in a centrally located shopping plaza in Brunswick, GA that would make it easy and convenient for any brewer to come in hangout, or to pick up everything they need for their brew day.

We started a crowdfunding campaign at to help raise startup funds to secure the retail space, and obtain initial inventory.

We will also be at OneSpark ( in Jacksonville, FL, April 9th-13th, at the Suntrust Building to try and raise funds there too.”

Awesome idea and GREAT ‘location, location, location”, Joshua! Well done!

One thing I love about the craft beer community in and around Jacksonville is that we’re a big family and believe in supporting all craft-beer centric businesses as much as possible. If you can help Joshua with this start-up, visit the links above and come out to see Joshua at OneSpark!

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I awoke today and had my choice of breakfast. I had my choice of coffee creamer. I had the freedom to plan my day – my night – my tomorrow. I can go where I want and choose when I want to go. I can set my own goals.

What makes all these things possible are the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Those freedoms exist because of those who have come before us and defended those rights and the preservation of our country, sometime paying the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.

It is hard to imagine any words or any memorial could assuage the pain of those family members left behind by a fallen loved one. I doubt there ARE any words – but sometimes they need to be said nonetheless.

On behalf of Tinker Beer the brew fairy, companion and myself – thank you to all those families who have lost someone in the service to our country and to all those active, reserve and retired military members and THEIR families for allowing us the freedom to do what we do by doing what YOU do – and have done.

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Barley Bus Ticket Giveaway and American Craft Beer Week News

Are you a subscriber to the Hypnotic Hop? … if so, you know it has been quite a while since the last edition. However, the Hypnotic Hop is going out Wednesday with details on how you can win tickets to ride the Barley Bus on Friday/Saturday, May 16!

If you are NOT a subscriber, simply sign up and enter your email address in the white box to the upper right of this site – it’s absolutely free! The Hypnotic Hop contains the latest in craft beer news, local and regional events and specials only available to Hypnotic Hop subscribers. Sign up now!
Hypnotic Hop

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Barley Bus 2014 Ticket Giveaway & the Hypnotic Hop

The Jax Barley Bus will be hitting the town next Friday (May 16th) from 6pm to midnight!barleybus2014 3

Admission will be FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. This bus will make stops at various craft bars and breweries throughout Jacksonville, including Silver Cow! The bus will be loaded with beers from Green Flash, Southern Tier, Bold City, Green Room, SweetWater, Kona and more. And guess what? … The breweries are picking up the first beer at each bar! To those that have been on the bus before, you know how much fun is in store for those lucky ones on the bus! Believe me, THIS year is shaping up to be even better!

Sound good? … Wanna go? … I have two tickets to give away! … learn how you can win these by reading the next edition of my newsletter, the Hypnotic Hop!

Yep, I know. I’ve been way too quiet – which has been a little surprising for companion. He’s really been missing getting out and about on our Jax Brew Bitch Prowls! … Poor soul. So, as I have said before, I’ve been nurturing my little calf, Silver Cow and have been working to get the fun Brews and Chews Reviews going once again. This will be a good way to help in that regard.

If you are already a Hypnotic Hop subscriber, simply look for the next edition in your e-mail account. If you have not registered for this free newsletter, just visit and enter your e-mail address to start receiving the Hypnotic Hop – a concise rundown of some latest news in the craft beer industry, some updates on local happenings and specials and giveaways available ONLY to Hypnotic Hop subscribers!

For more information on the Barley Bus, please visit

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Soylent Green anyone? 8 Beers you should avoid

May I have my daily ration of Soylent Green, please?

I love old movies. Did you ever watch “Soylent Green” starring Charlton Heston from 1973? It’s available on DVD from Netflix, by the way.

In the movie, the world is overpopulated and totally polluted. The natural resources have been exhausted and the nourishment of the population is provided by Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans. So as not to spoil anything if you haven’t seen this movie, let me just say there is a revelation that Soylent Green is comprised of something other than just plankton. Ewww … “Grody to the max” as companion says folks used to say at the time the movie was released.

“Soylent Industries” makes me think of the mass-produced mass-marketed brands of beer – and those manufacturing concerns (large corporate breweries) which produce them. I also think of shareholders, “manufacturing efficiencies”, “manufacturing trade-offs”, etc.

Contained within a letter to shareholders of one of these corporate breweries, published online, is the following paragraph:

“As we look toward 2012, we believe the global economy will be little changed from the challenging conditions of the past year. In this environment, we will continue to focus on what we can control, striving to grow our revenues ahead of the product of industry growth and inflation, to drive higher profitability and cash generation, while strengthening the financial foundation of the business through further reductions in leverage.”

Hmmm … nothing about making better beer. Nothing about better quality ingredients. Nothing about the consumer. The consumer is really lost in this, don’t you think?

Well, except for the notion that consumers will drink ANYTHING as long as it has one of the corporation’s brands slapped on the can, bottle or tap handle.

But further research will reveal the following:

So, the next time your non-craft-beer-drinking-friends grab one of the mass-produced brands listed in the article, ask them how that genetically modified fluid really tastes. Before they can answer, quickly say, “I bet just like Soylent Green” – and then tell them to rent the movie.

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So, this is what comes to my mind when I contemplate Senate Bill 1714 …

Marilyn Monroe was wise beyond her years in a number of ways. Though plagued with the pressures and temptations which obviously come with superstardom, she had clarity of mind to once state,

“The trouble with censors is that they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn’t any.”

The wrong focus. Barking up the wrong tree. Outlawing haystacks for the benefit of needle manufacturers.

This is what comes to my mind when I contemplate Senate Bill 1714. On Tuesday, April 8, the Community Affairs Committee voted to send this Bull … I mean Bill … forward.

You know what this Bill, if passed by the Florida Senate, would do?

It would require craft breweries to sell their canned and bottled brews to their distributor and then BUY IT BACK from them in order to sell it on premises. Of course, there would be a mark-up when they BUY IT BACK.

BUY IT BACK? … don’t you just love government? … so much smarter than we are. Dumb asses.

What would motivate a State Senator to sponsor such a Bill? … concern for his/her fellow man?

Please … please … read this article from the Chicago Tribune about this issue:,0,7999932.story

Now that you’ve read the article, let us visit one particular paragraph contained within it:

“In Florida, where craft brewers say their market share remains under 6 percent and most breweries produce under 3,000 barrels annually, the small beer makers are out-gunned in the legislature, where influential politicians have vowed loyalty to the national distributors.”

Market share under 6% – companion says probability gurus would say the number of State Senators who truly know what craft beer is and what it does for local economies would thus be very low. So throw out “concern for the fellow man”. Follow the money. “Vowed loyalty to the national distributors” means they believe the words spouting forth from the mouths of dead Presidents printed on currency.

But we can fight this. WE can let the Senators know we’ll remember them in coming elections. WE can educate them about craft beer breweries do for Jacksonville – for our State.

Marilyn Monroe was confident in some of her abilities. She also said,

” Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

She knew with the right tools, she could accomplish what she wanted. WE have effective tools – our phones and our e-mail accounts. Let’s all USE them – call AND write your State Senator and tell them we do NOT want them to support SB 1714. Tell them our future – and THEIR future – is in the hands of the small businesses and all the folks who support those businesses via patronage and supplies.

Remind your Senator of one last quote from Marilyn:

“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that?”

Possibly, a Senate seat, that’s what. We’ll see.

To find the name and contact information for your State Senator, please visit:

Senate Bill 1714 – Malt Beverages

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Downtown is on fire … IAW’s Smoke IPA release

“It was called Satellite City.”

I looked over at companion as he said that, thinking it had something to do with NASA. He had just finished telling me about a large land development in northern Texas on which he had worked while employed with his father’s land surveying company.

The development of single-family homes on large lots had been planned years before he had traversed through and around the parcel in the early 1970’s, gathering trigonometric field data while at the same time working on his “savage tan”. His father’s company had been retained to survey the perimeter for the bank, the property then being in receivership.

Companion said the motivating factor for the establishment of this community 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth and 60 miles northwest of downtown Dallas had reportedly been to meet a perceived demand for residential housing brought on by “Urban Flight”.

“Urban Flight” is the mid-20th Century term for the significant exodus of people living in the city to the suburbs or further out. Follow the money – downtown businesses soon followed – or folded. For you re-run junkies, think of the tenants of the apartment houses in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window moving out to a suburb such as New Rochelle in The Dick Van Dyke Show. More room – not hearing your neighbor snore – not smelling what they are having for dinner, etc. Good times.

But this migration away from the metropolitan downtowns for wider-open-spaces had a bummer of a flip side, as well. Like Puff, the Magic Dragon losing his lifelong friend Little Jackie Paper, each abandoned city core fell into neglect. Flies on the wall of downtown establishments were probably scratching their wings saying, “What the heck happened?”

Jacksonville was not immune – it’s not hard to see buildings that had their heyday decades ago. But Jacksonville is vastly different from other urban cores in that we have such a grand opportunity of taking advantage of what our downtown has within commercial-arms-length:

The River
The Tram
JTA Trolley

When we have had our friends visit from out of town, there has never been a visit where we haven’t heard from them how beautiful our skyline is. The colors combined with the river setting they say, is magnificent. It is. You darn tootin’, it is.

Thank goodness Jacksonville has a committed “Jackie Paper”, the Downtown Marketing Collaborative – a group of private sector entrepreneurs dedicated to bringing our Puff, the Magic Dragon (Jacksonville Downtown) out of its cave by steering a promotional campaign known as “Downtown is on Fire” – named to remember the fact what Jacksonville is now rose from the ashes of the great fire which destroyed most of the City in 1901.

According to the Collaborative:

“Downtown Marketing Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to raising awareness about all that Downtown has to offer. For years, people have talked about revitalizing interest in Downtown, but we want to do more than just talk; we want to give Jacksonville’s residents an explosion of information that will incite them to come witness the blaze for themselves.

The embers of this campaign have been burning for some time now. Our job is to stoke the flame. Jacksonville is a city that holds a colorful history, bright future and endless possibilities. Downtown is at the center of it all, and we believe Downtown is where amazing things can (and do)happen. Where all it takes is a spark to start a flame.”

Recently, I was invited to an event by Natalie Wearstler, Copywriter & Media Strategist of Wingard Creative which is working with the Collaborative. The event was billed as the “Smoke IPA Event” since the focus of the evening would be the release of the Smoke IP by Intuition Ale Works. This tasty creation will only be sold in establishments located downtown, as is fitting. Ben Davis, owner of Intuition was motivated to work with the Collaborative from his desire to see downtown resurrected. The decision to develop a smoky-flavored brew was the appropriate path to follow. It’s a great beer. You darn tootin’, it is. I had one …. Okay, two. Well, and maybe split a third one with companion. But who’s counting?

About the Smoke IPA, Intuition states:

“Intuition Ale Works has teamed up with Downtown Is On Fire to give Downtown restaurants and bars a beer that is uniquely their own: Smoke IPA. Inspired by the Great Fire of 1901 and the Downtown Is On Fire campaign, this limited-edition specialty beer pays respect to Downtown Jacksonville’s history and gives the neighborhood’s current residents, workers and fans something to be excited about as we look to the future. Outside of the Intuition Ale Works tap room, this beer will only be distributed to Downtown accounts.”

Describing their new creation, Intuition provides the following information:

“An IPA with a smoky twist! This beer is brewed with smoked malts, for a flavor similar to a ham and pineapple pizza – a little sweet, a little savory, and a whole lot of delicious. ABV is 6.1%.”

The beer will be available at the following downtown locations:

1904 Music Hall (19 North Ocean Street)
Burrito Gallery (21 East Adams Street)
Burro Bar (100 East Adams Street)
Dos Gatos (123 Forsyth Street)
The Florida Theatre (128 East Forsyth Street)
The River Club (1 Independent Drive, Suite 3500)
Underbelly (113 East Bay Street)
The Volstead (115 West Adams Street)
Zodiac Bar & Grill (120 West Adams Street)

The event was held rooftop at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) and the weather was beautiful. Companion and I arrived just as the live music being provided by the talented Mondo Mike and the Po Boys with Spice began.

Firehouse Subs, which had its beginnings in Jacksonville, was graciously supplying delicious salad and sandwiches to those attending that evening. In speaking with their local rep, I learned that Firehouse Subs has recently released a new selection of healthy meal alternatives for those seeking such fare.

During the evening, the Collaborative made us aware that they understood there was a perception problem which must be overcome about downtown parking and safety. The Collaborative is not a politically influencing or active group – any more so than say, you or I. They are providing the spark so that the fire which we all as Jacksonvillians can build, will ignite.

We NEED a vibrant downtown. Our businesses located there need a vibrant downtown. WE need to make this happen. So, how can we help the Collaborative change the perception of the paucity of parking and sense of uneasiness some have about downtown? Let me explore a tangent with you.

Parking – there’s gobs of parking – scattered throughout downtown. But here’s what Tinker Beer, the Brew Fairy tells me. She says women want to get DRESSED UP, lookin’ hot and hit the happenin’ spots downtown – but they DON’T want to walk a mile in heels to do it. AND, they don’t want to be leered at or hooted at by unfortunate vagrants. AND, they don’t want to be approached for a handout. AND, they don’t want to park in a dark, uninviting parking lot. AND, if they are fortunate enough to find a parking spot close to the venues, they don’t want to spend half their last paycheck to park for four hours. I think Tink is on to something here. But it takes more than an idea – and it shouldn’t be only the downtown businesses paying for it – it takes a focus by the City Council to help development and allocate taxpayer resources to light the parking lots, install better signage and to publish in print and online legible easy-to-follow maps of available parking locations. Can you say “smartphone app”? Get on that, private sector.

I hate tax hikes – but I would be willing to pay another half-cent sales tax if that money would go STRAIGHT into the planning AND IMPLEMENTATION of providing inviting, accessible and reasonably priced parking downtown. Throw in another half-cent if THAT money would be going to entice creative developers to un-blight those areas of downtown currently being described as “Ewwww”. I’m NOT talking about creating bureaucratic committees to study the issue and publish their thoughts – I’m talking about being proactive and doing it. WOW! … that is something I thought I would NEVER say – that I’d be willing to vote for a sales tax hike. But I mean it. You darn tootin’, I mean it.

Imagine the realization of what the Downtown Marketing Collaborative wishes to accomplish with “Downtown is on Fire”. Imagine the JTA Trolley haulin’ folks all over to visit the various “brews and chews” establishments both in and out of downtown. Imagine more pedi-cab rides downtown. Imagine The Tram chock-full of people EVERY run. Imagine several Jax Brew Bus-type vehicles working simultaneously. Imagine new breweries. Imagine new restaurants, bars and pubs. I salivate at the thought.

What’s standing in the way? … Right now, the perception is often “politicians” and “greedy developers” – their constant battles and finger-pointing at each other – and by the general public, as well. However, forward-thinkin’ folks like Tinker Beer realize a couple of things:

Politics – It’s easy to talk smack about the City Council. But remember, each of them has constituents to whom they have to answer (collectively over a million of them, by the way) AND we live in the largest city by land area in the United States. No wonder there are varying ideas about how, where and when precious time and taxpayer money should be spent. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right to voice their opinion … thank God for that. So, give the Council a break – and a heartfelt thank-you if you see one of them.

The reality is that City Council members are serving to help this city – OUR city – and there is NOTHING wrong if they wish to leave a positive legacy. THIS IS A PERFECT CHANCE FOR ALL COUNCIL MEMBERS TO RALLY AROUND THE DOWNTOWN FLAG – what a tremendous legacy for ALL of them if they take the steps to put some dollars to work and send direction to City staff to get “boots on the ground” to help in this effort. The Downtown Marketing Collaborative is standing “at the ready”.

And guess what? Not every developer or business owner is a greedy “blankity-blank” who eats small homeless children for dinner. It takes profit to grow a business – and hire people – and keep them employed. They also probably like to eat at some of the places you do. And they need to make a living too, don’t forget. Give them a break, as well. More than likely, you’re living somewhere which was, at one time in history, a vision of a developer.

We have a chance. A perfect chance – right now – to all work together to help the Downtown Marketing Collaborative achieve their goal. Now is the time to start.

Companion has often said that we live in a country whose minds have bounced a basketball onto the surface of Mars, had it crack open and a traveling robot come out and send photography back to Earth. Re-vitalizing an already beautiful downtown Jacksonville with so many existing supporting features? … I think we can figure this one out. You darn tootin’, we can.

My thanks to Natalie Wearstler for the invitation for the “Downtown is on Fire – Smoke IPA Event”, to Ben Davis and his talented and dedicated folks at Intuition Ale Works for the inspired creation of the delicious Smoke IPA and to all the folks at MOSH for providing such an incredible roof-top venue from which to admire our beautiful downtown.

Let’s do our part. Make plans to have a “Downtown Date Night” – do your research – find the parking – drop your lady off in front of the venue for now. Go in a group, if that would currently make you feel more secure. But go. By all means, please go.

If we ALL work together with the Downtown Marketing Collaborative – our own “Little Jackie Paper” – will get our “Puff the Magic Dragon” – OUR beautiful downtown – to once again fearlessly roar out his name.

I, for one, will be listening for that. You darn tootin’, I’ll be listening.

Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street – 904.683.7720)

Downtown is on Fire website
Downtown Marketing Collaborative

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Remebering Dr. Martin Luther King

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Inclusion – we have a ways to go. Inclusion is a concept which, when it works, is a two-way street. Different cultures have different beliefs and it is human nature to gravitate toward those you at least feel will have a similar outlook.

Think about it – you arrive at a party with many strangers and a couple of people from your office. Where do you go? More than likely, even though you see those folks from work every day, you still end up standing next to them.

One of the things I love about the craft beer community is that it crosses over racial and socio-economic barriers so staunchly embedded in other areas of life. I am encouraged when I see a crowd of craft-beer lovers of different ethnicities and lifestyles enjoying fellowship around the “Brews and Chews” collective table we have here in Jacksonville. Let’s keep up the good work.

Dr. King also said:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Take a step of faith – embrace the concept of inclusion – and approach someone you see at one of the Greater Jacksonville area’s local establishments having an obvious different life experience. Craft beer is the perfect segue. The fabric of your life will be strengthened for you doing so.

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Whale Blubber at Goozlepipes & Guttyworks? – read on, you might win a free beer!

Other than online, where would you go to see the World’s Longest Beard? … one of Napoleon’s Napkins? … how about a collagenous matrix of whale blubber thought originally to be a giant octopus?

Any guesses? (By the way, the blob of whale blubber was found in November, 1896 on Anastasia Island and known as “The St. Augustine Monster”) … okay, you lightweights … the answer is: The Smithsonian Institution (Museum).

The St. Augustine Monster

The St. Augustine Monster

For this blog post, I decided I would now list ALL the items the Smithsonian contains …

You knew better, didn’t you? … anybody would … far too many items to consider. Ask anyone what they think the Smithsonian has inside and 8 out of 10 people will say “EVERYTHING”. It is certainly famous for having rare, unique and often the most bizarre things.

Here in Jacksonville, we are fortunate enough to have the “Smithsonian of Craft Beer”, Kickbacks Gastropub (910 King Street – 904.388.9551). You know I’m right – what owner Steve Flores established just a few years ago has become the de facto “Beer Central” of Northeast Florida.

Long-time followers of my blog are aware of the many times Kickbacks has been a stop on Jax Brew Bitch Prowls. It was during these many enjoyable visits that I realized that what Kickbacks offers is often “Museum Beers” – those beers as unique as one of Napoleon’s napkins.

Rumbledethumps, Stoemp, Bubble and Squeek, Quack $13.79

Rumbledethumps, Stoemp, Bubble and Squeek, Quack $13.79

The Kickbacks’ “Beer Bible” has been long known to be magical – even mystical. Thinking back a couple of years ago, companion and I experienced what we still refer to as the “Beerapalooza” night with two young gentlemen, Erich and Carlton, in from Minneapolis on business. We had met them at Intuition Ale Works near “last call” and Erich had informed us he was a beer conneiseur. Companion suggested they follow us to Kickbacks, which they did. I instantly went up to Jimmie behind the bar and requested the aforementioned “Beer Bible”. Once I handed it to Erich and he started perusing it, companion said Erich looked like an adolescent boy looking at his first Playboy magazine. Steve Flores acknowledges the “Beer Bible” is a little out of date but once construction is complete, he will start on an update. In the interim, simply ask your server – they will find out if they happen to have your selection.

Companion and I were in the mood for Kickbacks Gastropub’s delicious and decadent Blue Cheese Stuffed Cheeseburgers recently, so we stopped by there for dinner. Steve Flores was gracious enough to drop by the table and endured some our questions about the expansion. He excused himself and retrieved his iPad and proceeded to show us a preliminary food menu once Goozlepipes and Guttyworks opens. Holy Sweet Mother of Gastronomical Adventures! … here’s just a small sampling of what you can expect:

Krispy Creme Ground Bacon Burger $9.99

Krispy Creme Ground Bacon Burger $9.99

Rumbledethumps, Stoemp, Bubble and Squeek, Quack $13.79
Duck and pork belly confit, folded in mashed potatoes with a parsnip, carrot and pea fondant topped with parsnip chips and fresh herbs.

Krispy Creme Ground Bacon Burger $9.99
1/2 pound ground bacon burger served on a Krispy Creme donut bun with creole remoulade, topped with bacon slices, pickled green tomato and pepper jack cheese.

Boba Cacio e Pepe $9.99
Tapioca balls with a Pecorino and parmesan butter sauce, topped with fresh cracked pepper, a poached egg and sliced truffles.

Boba Cacio e Pepe $9.99

Boba Cacio e Pepe $9.99

Southern Tier Pumking Milkshake
Vanilla ice cream, Southern Tier Pumking and pumpkin seed oil, topped with white chocolate mousse and rimmed with graham cracker dust, cinnamon and brown sugar. Subject to availability, you may request that we use Pumking’s darker and mysterious alter ego, Warlock.

Okay … I’m hungry again, darn it …

Southern Tier Pumking Milkshake

Southern Tier Pumking Milkshake

Steve was also so kind in giving us a tour of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks mid-construction. Amazing – with each area so unique – and exciting. Every area we entered was like entering another hallway or room in the Smithsonian.

One aspect of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks will be the opportunity to annually “lease” a personal “beer locker” – yes, that’s right – I envision a rush to get one of these much like the historic Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. The price? … I’m not saying now – BUT, I can tell you that Steve plans on developing a “benefit package” where, if you take advantage of it, you’ll be in essence getting your money back each year. Count me in, Steve!!! … (everybody back off, I want to be near the front of the line!)

Oh, yeah! … we had some beer with our burgers that evening:

Bear Republic Brewing Company Café Racer 15™ Double IPA
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone… Note: 9.75% ABV & 100+ IBUs

New Belgium Brewing Lips of Faith Coconut Curry Hefeweizen
Coconut Curry Hefeweizen has been pouring down the history of American Home Brewing for many years, from the legendary Charlie Papazian to the 2010 National Homebrewer, Remi Bonnart. The latter helped New Belgium brew this hazy, straw-colored gem to life. The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug. Note: 8% ABV & 14 IBUs

So, I trust I have established the basis that Kickbacks Gastropub and it’s soon to be born “monster sibling”, Goozlepipes and Guttyworks have and will have many “rare and unique” beer and food selections available – “rare and unique” like the items within the Smithsonian Museum as noted in my fourth paragraph.

I had to think quite awhile to determine the remaining adjective “bizarre” from that fourth paragraph … but then I realized it is right in front of my face every time I visit Kickbacks Gastropub. Well, not ACTUALLY in front of my face. It’s near the corner of the bar … the first person who e-mails ( me the correct answer receives a free pint, compliments of the Jax Brew Bitch … and who knows? … maybe a tour of “the innards” of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks, compliments of resident “beer docent”, Steve Flores.

My heartfelt appreciation to Steve Flores for the extended detailed tour of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks, the kitchen staff for the awesome food and to the entire staff of Kickbacks Gastropub for making this visit even more interesting than the World’s Longest Beard … ??? … what’s wrong? … what???

Hey, relax! … jeez oh pete! … I COULD have said, “whale blubber”.

Kickbacks Gastropub

Bear Republic Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing

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Swamp Head Brewery announces new location and expansion …

Have you ever spent the night in a swamp?

No??? … wow, you must have lived a sheltered life. I have – slept overnight in a swamp before, that is … and NO, I wasn’t passed out.

There are some really strange and unique sounds peculiar to a swamp environment, believe me. Screeches, howls, flutters and slithers all escalate in the dark during the evening. Sometimes, even when you leave the swamp, you can still hear a few of the sounds.

In the very near future, you’ll be hearing the sound of construction issuing from the swamp located west of Jacksonville known geographically as “Gainesville” when Swamp Head Brewery begins its major expansion into a new location! … per their Press Release:

GAINESVILLE, FL, November 25, 2013 – Scherer Construction of North Florida, a leading Design/Build, Construction Management, and General Contracting firm, announced today that they have been contracted to design and build a new brewery and tasting room for Swamp Head Brewery in southwest Gainesville.

The project involves new construction of a 13,300 S.F. building on a 5-acre site located off of SW 42 Ave. near the Alley Katz Lanes bowling alley. The new building will include a full brewery, canning, warehouse, offices, and tasting room with a large outdoor deck. The site also alleviates the parking issues of their previous location and has ample room for future growth. The expanded new location will increase and streamline their production capacity, including canning.

The project is currently in the design phase with construction starting by April 2014 and a scheduled completion of September 2014.

Scherer Construction is proud to partner with Swamp Head Brewery, Gainesville’s craft brewer since 2009, focused on brews that are inherently Floridian. Their staple beers include: Wild Night Honey Cream Ale, Cottonmouth Belgian Wheat Bier, Stump Knocker American Pale Ale, Midnight Oil Oatmeal Coffee Stout, and Big Nose American IPA. They also brew their award winning Migrational, Spasmodic, and Elusive Recluse series. Some of their creations are now being canned for wider distribution. To learn more about Swamp Head, please visit:

Scherer Construction of North Florida, LLC is a 30-year old Design/Build, Construction Management, and General Contracting firm founded in 1984 in St. Petersburg, FL and headquartered in Gainesville, FL since 1991. The company’s projects span many commercial divisions including retail, industrial, aviation, religious, institutional, financial, office, health, non-profit, hotel and unique segments. Over 90% of Scherer’s business is referred or repeat from current clients. Scherer differentiates itself on integrity, experience, and the ability to self-perform many sub-contracted trades, such as sitework and concrete. To learn more, please visit:

Taken during my visit to Swamp Head Brewery - with Head Brewer, Craig Birkmaier and Owner, Luke Kemper

Taken during my visit to Swamp Head Brewery – with Head Brewer, Craig Birkmaier and Owner, Luke Kemper

I am SO excited for the team at Swamp Head Brewery! … an awesome group of folks brewing outstanding beer!

I can’t wait for the new place to open … when it does, I’m sure I’ll be spending some more nights there in the swamp …. Yes, okay … then, most probably passed out. That’s why I have companion!

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Engine 15 Brewing Company expanding to 2nd location in LaVilla area of downtown.

The Little Engine that Could … DID!

I am so pleased and honored to announce that Engine 15 Brewing Company will be opening a second and much bigger location! Per their Press Release:

Engine 15 Brewing Company of Jacksonville Beach is expanding its brewing facilities with a new production brewery in the downtown Jacksonville neighborhood of LaVilla.

Big things to come for Engine 15 Brewing Co.

Big things to come for Engine 15 Brewing Co.

“This new facility will allow us to grow our distribution while keeping our Jacksonville Beach location to serve our customers new and interesting beers and food.” Says Luciano Scremin, Co-owner and Brewmaster.

The new production facility will increase beer production from the current capacity of approximately 1,000 barrels per year at the Jacksonville Beach location a total capacity of 10,000 barrels per year. The company will install a 20 barrel brewhouse and 60 barrel fermentation tanks, along with a large format bottling line. All of which are scheduled to come online in February of 2014.

Something to smile about indeed

Something to smile about indeed

The brewery will also add a canning line in late 2014. The new location encompasses 1.3 acres and two buildings totaling 38,000 square feet under roof, which will allow ample space for a tap room and outdoor beer garden.

“The Jacksonville Beach location will remain and be tasked with creating fun and interesting new beers without the pressure of strict brew schedules to meet production quotas.” Stated Sean Bielman Co-owner and Brewer at Engine 15.

By the way, that’s a little over 0.87 acres – almost a full acre under roof!

A sincere Jax Brew Bitch “CONGRATULATIONS!” to Engine 15 Brewing Company! … we all knew you could do it!

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Jax Brew Bitch to open Silver Cow – Craft Beer, Fine Wine & Eatery on King St. in Riverside

Hopefully, in the near future, you will hear a mooing coming from near the corner of King and Park Streets. It will be the Silver Cow … That’s right! … I will be opening a little Craft Beer and Nosh Spot on King Street.

“Are we almost there? … how much longer? … when can we stop to pee???” – the universally anticipated kids’ questions with which I pestered my mother on our way out to California, driving from Louisiana. But hey, my questions were justified! … we were MOVING there – to San Francisco, leaving my world of Mardi Gras, crawfish and pirogue boats for Haight-Ashbury, sourdough bread and trolley cars. Adventure beckoned and I was darn sure ready to get there – after a few restroom stops along the way, of course.

My usual daily activities had to take a back seat, along with me, as we made our way out west. I would still be doing homework, household chores and growing up in San Fran – just in a vastly different environment.

Lately, my usual daily activities have had to “take a back seat”, as well. If you have noticed a little slow-down in my posting about events, it has to do with a new journey about which some of you may already be aware.

Since late-July, I have been working with partner Brent Reynolds on opening a craft beer / fine wine / nosh establishment in the Riverside area. We are “almost there” with this hopefully-soon-to-be-open spot on King Street near the intersection of King Street and Park Street (1506 King Street). The name of the establishment will be Silver Cow.

I knew it would put a strain on my schedule getting it ready – and I hoped I could keep up with posting – but I got behind for a multitude of inescapable reasons. Fortunately, I will be able to start keeping up a little better with things now that we’ve entered the last leg of this journey and will soon have internet within the walls. Since I will not be opening until 3:00 pm, this will allow me to re-capture some blogging time during the morning and early afternoon.

Realizing my attendance at some events may be curtailed, I approached Kelsey Dellinger, who has already assisted in some articles and joined me at some events. We are planning to transition Kelsey into a position there at Silver Cow, as well. She and her husband Chase are an awesome craft-beer savvy couple which companion and I are proud to call friends.

Another exciting addition to the Silver Cow staff will be my original Ale Angel – Kat Williams, whom I met at Kickbacks Gastropub in the very early days of Jax Brew Bitch. Her beer knowledge and following will certainly benefit Silver Cow. Kat was the initial motivation for my term of endearment for the staff at Kickbacks – “my Kickbacks Kids”.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the selection of John Woodcock as my General Manager. For those of you who have been following my blog from early on, you might remember John as the Kickback’s server who was quite disgusted with my request for a Michelob Ultra during my second visit to the establishment. After simply placing my selection down in front of me but treating companion as a king for ordering John’s suggestion of a porter or stout of some kind, I demanded John select something for me. He did – and the Jax Brew Bitch was born. Thus, John became my “Beer Sensei” during my early Prowls and I am thrilled we have been able to coordinate his busy schedule with Silver Cow’s.

We’re going to have our growing pains, no doubt – but my commitment to Jax Brew Bitch remains constant. I hope you will bear with me as I am on “final approach” toward the opening of Silver Cow – and I hope you will become a regular at “The Cow” as we refer to it internally – a laid back, chill-out place where you can have a pint of good craft beer, a nice glass of wine, some tasty nosh – all in a comparatively quiet surrounding. That’s my goal, at least.

Each morning, I ask myself … “Are we almost there? … how much longer?” … I really can’t wait for Silver Cow to open. Honestly, I’m about to pee myself.

I want to thank all of you for your continuing support of what I do here at Jax Brew Bitch – its means so very much to me – as do the friendships companion and I have forged via our foray into the Jacksonville craft beer scene. To many of those friends who have donated barrels and wares to give Silver Cow charm and character, stopped by to show support, to grab a paint brush, to empty the trash, to share a beer, to climb a ladder – my heartfelt appreciation.

It is because of ALL OF YOU that the Silver Cow became a possibility and is now nearing a reality. Rest assured that with the help of companion, Brent, John, Kelsey and Kat, our plans are to actually expand this website for all of you while Silver Cow starts on its own path. Logically, Prowls and Cow Paths are interrelated and I believe will ultimately be beneficial to you – AND to both Silver Cow and Jax Brew Bitch. I look forward to seeing you there at Silver Cow – and everywhere else in our community during future multi-faceted, multi-staffed, multi-beered Jax Brew Bitch Prowls.

Oh, and by the way – NO – I will NOT be offering Michelob Ultra at Silver Cow. John said so.
Silver Cow on Facebook

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Please remember to thank a Veteran …

Imagine living in a world where the progress and future of craft beer was in the hands of the corporate management of the mass-produced, mega-marketed beer brands.

I shudder to think. I’m sure you do, too – because we can certainly do better than that, right?

We can also do better by our military than we are currently doing. Not only is THEIR progress and future in the hands of the incompetent in Washington, D.C. (both parties), OURS is, as well.

Congress has what, a 9% approval rating? … any craft beer which only pleases 9% of the people certainly won’t be around long – it means it tastes like … well, as companion says, “you can pour it back in the horse”.

But that’s where we find ourselves – and I normally avoid trying to discuss politics here – but I felt motivated to do just that on this special day – Veterans Day.

Even though we all hold little hope of improvement within our screwed-up political system, WE can do our own part to show our support and appreciation to all those who have worn a uniform in service to our great country – and those (and their families) currently making the sacrifices to defend us daily. It is because of them that we can get out and about enjoying “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

If you have the means and see one of our veterans or active-duty service men or women, offer to buy them a pint – or at least tell them how much you appreciate their service to the United States.

Here’s hoping we Americans, as a whole, can take hold of the government as craft-beer lovers, brewers, distributors and resellers have steered the industry toward a bright future – and do better by those who have dedicated their lives – to serving their country.

On behalf of Tinker Beer, the Brew Fairy, companion and myself, a most heartfelt thank you to those in the military, retired and active duty – for all you’ve done – and do.

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Something Saintly this way comes … Saint Arnold Brewing Co. comes to Florida

Companion tells me of his childhood visits (actually pilgrimages to Texan-born kids like him) to the Battleship Texas which is berthed at the site of the San Jacinto Battleground on the south side of the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston. That conflict was the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution in which the Texian army defeated and captured Mexican General Santa Anna and his army on April 21, 1836.

Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

The city of Houston was named for the leader of that Texian army, Sam Houston, by the city’s founders, Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen, New York Real Estate entrepreneurs who purchased over 6,600 acres with the intent of building a city.

During the 20th Century, Houston’s open-armed business policies and lax and accommodating zoning restrictions enticed a large number of people to move into the area to seek their fortune or to secure better paying jobs.

Keeping up the entrepreneurial spirit of the city’s founders, two other figures emerged staking claim to an important chapter in Houston’s ultimate business history – Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol, founders of the Saint Arnold Brewing Company. They chose their hometown Houston because it was the largest city in the country that did not have a microbrewery.

Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol - Founders of Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol – Founders of Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

Their first keg of beer was shipped on June 9, 1994. Brock was a longtime homebrewer and had considered opening a brewery as far back as college, although that was quickly dismissed as a silly idea. Seven years after graduating, Brock revisited the idea, enlisted Kevin’s help and the brewery was off and running. Goes to show you, perseverance can pay off!

Now, Saint Arnold Brewing Company has an impressively large staff, having grown exponentially since their humble beginnings – much like the City of Houston.

I am honored to be able to post the following Press Release about a significant development at Saint Arnold Brewing Company:

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Extends Reach to Florida Gulf Coast Markets
Houston brewery’s world-class beers now available to craft beer fans in four states!

HOUSTON, November 4, 2013 – Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, has finalized agreements with distributors in Florida and will enter markets along Florida’s Gulf Coast this month. Florida is just the fourth state where Saint Arnold beers are available, joining Texas, Louisiana and Colorado.

Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer

Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer

Saint Arnold, which is named for Saint Arnold of Metz, the patron saint of brewers, is ranked 45th on the Brewers Association list of top craft breweries. It operates out of a 104,000 square foot 3-story brick building originally constructed in 1914. Saint Arnold’s brewhouse was imported from Klosterbrauerei Raitenhaslach, a Bavarian monastery.

“We’ve been serving beer enthusiasts along the Gulf Coast for nearly 20 years – first in Texas and for the past three years in Louisiana – and we think we’ll fit right into the markets along Florida’s Gulf Coast,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner.

Saint Arnold inked agreements with Coastal Beverage Ltd., Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Great Bay Distributors Inc., Lewis Bear Company, Peace River Distributing, Pepin Distributing Company, Suncoast Beverage Sales and Tri Eagle Sales. The agreements pave the way for Saint Arnold’s expansion into Gulf Coast Markets from Pensacola to Naples, Florida.

Initially, Florida beer fans will find the following on tap in restaurants and pubs, with gradually expanding retail distribution of six-packs:

Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower BeerA true German-style Kölsch that is crisp yet has a sweet malty body that is balanced by a complex, citrus hop character. This delicate flavor is achieved through multiple additions of German Hallertauer hops.

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA

Saint Arnold Elissa IPAA hoppy beer that achieves proper balance with malty body despite huge hop additions in the kettle that give it a wonderful bitterness. Elissa IPA is dry-hopped in the fermenter to create the pleasant floral, hoppy nose.

Saint Arnold Christmas AleA rich, hearty ale featuring five different malts, making it perfect for the holiday season with a malty sweetness and spicy hop character. It can be paired with fruit cake, Christmas pudding and squash bisque.

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

Note: Companion and I had the Saint Arnold Christmas Ale on tap in New Orleans a year ago and we were so impressed with its flavor, we went to the store and bought a boatload of bottles to bring home!

I am so excited that this brewery’s creations will also be available soon in the Greater Jacksonville market! … let’s all do our part to welcome this new arrival in the way only craft-beer-lovin’ Jacksonvillians can. Sam Houston’s battle cry was “Remember the Alamo!” – so, please remember to check back here for the latest news on Saint Arnold Brewing Company and remember to look for their products whenever you visit your favorite local beer purveyors.

A most heartfelt Jax Brew Bitch “Welcome” to Brock Wagner and his team from Saint Arnold Brewing Company! …. HOWDY!

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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New Belgium Brewery & Girls’ Pint Out collab brew – Sin and Tonic

Follow along on Twitter Hastag: #SINwithGPO #JaxGPO #NewBelgiumBrewing … starting at 8 pm

New Belgium Brewery has embraced the rising number of women involved in the creation, distribution and consumption of craft beer in this country!

The brewery has collaborated with Girls’ Pint Out co-founder Jenn Litz in creating Sin and Tonic, a take on a gin & tonic beer cocktail made with Sorachi Ace hops, juniper and citrus spice-blend. They even threw in a little quinine in the production of this rarity!

New Belgium is sharing this special Girls’ Pint Out collaboration beer with GPO chapters across the country. There are only 9 kegs available and the Jacksonville Girls’ Pint Out chapter was selected to receive one of these rare kegs of Sin and Tonic!

Join us at 8:00 pm at Kickbacks Gastropub on Wednesday, October 23 as we tap this special beer! … $3.95 pints!

We will host a Q&A session hashtagged on Twitter where we can chat with other GPO groups across the country and the brewer!

Sin and Tonic – a gin and tonic themed beer with traditional gin spices and quinine, the bittering agent found in tonic water. It has a citrus aroma with a tangy sour bite and a lingering crisp bitterness from the quinine. Note: 6.2% ABV

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Brew Flash, Events, Girls Pint Out, Lagniappe, Pint Night Comments Off

Happy Birthday, Bold City Brewery! May your taps be eternal …

FIVE YEARS AGO … Thinking back to October of 2008, I am amazed at the difference in my life between bcb5 annivthen and now. Companion and I had been visiting the Jacksonville area as often as time and resources allowed during the previous ten years we had been living in Florida.

In less than a year, the uprooting from our Central Florida surrounds would begin and my focus about our future would be shifted in a way I could have never imagined.

Companion was commuting for awhile in his new position here in Jacksonville until I could join him in early 2010. One of the first places he took me was Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle St – 904.379-6551). His boss had taken their group there right before the previous Christmas and he liked it, of course.

I wasn’t into beer at all, then. On a hot day by the pool, I MIGHT have been enticed to drink a lime-flavored mass-produced beer of some type – but seldom.

The Miller's - 2008

The Miller’s – 2008

Arriving at Bold City (circa April, 2010), I was amazed how the ambiance of the taproom overcame the industrial flavored exterior. Companion ordered me the sampler of beer, explaining as a new customer, there would be no charge for the sampler tray as long as we ordered me a pint of one of the brews after trying all Bold City had to offer.

Companion also introduced me to the “crunchy s**t” – the mixed snacks available upon request. All this was SO new to me – but I remember being so impressed at how friendly co-owner Susan Miller and her staff were that day. This experience led me, a few weeks later, to agreeing to try a suggestion by our server at Kickbacks – a porter or stout of some kind. That evening at Kickbacks, the Jax Brew Bitch was born.

Since then, all of you who have followed my blog and supported me in my other craft-beer promoting outlets have made what I do now at Jax Brew Bitch, EU Jacksonville Magazine, Active Magazine, Jacksonville Girls Pint Out … and Bold City Brewery … possible and rewarding for me.

FIVE YEARS AGO … A very significant event in the history of Jacksonville occurred. Bold City
opened its taps for the very first time! … And guess what? … YOU are the reason … again … that Jacksonville’s oldest microbrewery will be celebrating its 5-Year Anniversary with an awesome day of beer, food, music and warm fellowship!

Come join us for our 5-year Anniversary Party on Saturday, October 19, from 1 pm – 11 pm. This is our way of saying thank you for your loyal patronage and to show you how much we appreciate your love and support!

$2 pints, all day including Barrel Aged Dukes and Mad Manatee!

Live Music by The Bold City Bandits, Firewater Tent Revival, and the Glenn Chandler Project!Music Lineup 2013

Raffles for free beer for a year, free growler fills for a year, swag and more!

A special hog roast by Farmer John of Turkey Meadow and Jolly Mon Catering!

The Riverside Trolley will be running from 2 pm until 11 pm … sponsored by Bold City Brewery and European Street Café on Park Street.

Additional free parking will be available at the Fire Fighter’s Hall parking lot located across Stockton Street where the tall building can be seen and the Riverside Baptist Church parking lot on the corner of Park and King.BCB ESt map 6

Additional stops on the route will be at the corner of Stockton and Rosselle, Post and King Street and Park and King Street.

I cannot express how much I appreciate the Miller family and staff of Bold City Brewery for allowing me to play a part in their business. They make me feel welcome and part of the family every day.

I also want to thank each of you for your continued support of the Jax Brew Bitch – your loyalty and friendships mean so very much to me – and I am truly humbled by all your generosity. Thank you for taking valuable time out of your busy days to read my posts and follow my other social media outlets.

I look forward to the next five years – another five years of beers ! … WooHoo!

On behalf of Tinker Beer, the Brew Fairy, companion and myself – thank you again – for being here … and Happy Birthday Bold City Brewery! May your taps be eternal.

Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle St – 904.379-6551)

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Get off your butt and join me for Runtoberfest and a beer!

As I watch and read the news, I’m reminded of what to appreciate and be grateful for. This should not have to be done Runtoberfest 2013- we should be constantly reminded by “auto-button”, when we gripe about running late, feeling tired, having to wait in line or in sitting in heavy traffic.

There is always someone in a worse situation than us. I just saw a guy on the news who was the last to cross the Chicago marathon and he had Muscular Dystrophy:

Maickel Melamed, 37, of Venezuela is a symbol of determination. He is battling muscular dystrophy and finished this year’s marathon at 1:30 a.m.: Read his amazing story here.

Then, I saw where a man is dying but the doctors and nurses were able to make arrangements so that he could “walk” his daughter down the aisle and give her away: Read this heartwarming story here.

Runtoberfest 5K Race is a great way to show your support for these awesome and challenged athletes and be thankful for what we take for granted.

I plan on attending this even if I have to walk it … I will look like the chubby kid chasing the ice cream truck, but it’s an awesome cause and yeah, there’s beer. This will be my first race of any kind, evuh!

After that (and before the race), everyone can celebrate at European Street Café (Park St) for Oktoberfest (aw, yeah buddy, time to do the Chicken Dance). Hop on the trolley (it’s free thanks to E. St and Bold City and additional parking provided by Riverside Baptist Church and the tower at Fire Firefighter’s Hall on Stockton and Rosselle) and head over to Bold City Brewery’s 5-Year Anniversary Celebration which will be going on from 1 pm to 11 pm.

Let’s ALL do it – let’s get up off our collective be-hinds and make an effort. Any of you who see me gasping for breath on the side of the road are certainly welcome to come introduce yourself – and to bring me a beer.

Registration is only $30 but if you enter TEAMHOPHEADS you will get $5 off your registration:
Here’s what you’ll get:
1. FREE BEER (or soft drink)
2. Custom technical race t-shirt and goodie bag
3. Post-race party at European Street Cafe’s Octoberfest celebration!

AND if you come dressed in Oktoberfest costume you will receive an additional free beer from European Street. So that would give them two free beers after the race.

PLUS the first 150 to sign up they will also get a free beer coupon to use at Bold City Brewery!

The race is Saturday, October 19th at 6:30 PM at European Street Cafe in Riverside (2753 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL) and will feature a fast 3-loop 5K course with the finish line in the middle of European Street’s Oktoberfest Celebration! It will be GREAT RUN plus benefit the amazing CAF athletes!

Winner will receive:
Age Group Awards 3 deep with custom race beer glass
FREE Pair of On Running shoes for overall Male and Female winner
Engraved Warsteiner Beer Boot from European Street Cafe for Overall Men’s and Women’s winner

Register at:—run4beer-runtoberfest-5k.html

Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF is an amazing organization that changes lives by providing support, opportunities and hope to people with physical disabilities so that they can pursue active lifestyles through sport. Learn more about CAF (Challenged Athletes Foundation) here.

See earlier post for Bold City Brewery’s 5 Year Anniversary Celebration – Saturday, October 19, starting at 1 pm – 11 pm here.

And details for European Street Café’s Oktoberfest Celebration (Park St. – Riverside) – Saturday, October 19, starting at 11 am – 9 pm here.

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Have you expressed your inner Pie?

“That’s a Peter Gabriel album,” I responded. “What are you talkin’ about?” companion asked.

Your Pie - Southside Jax

Your Pie – Southside Jax

“You said your father said it was time to bring in New Blood. ‘New Blood’ was an album.”
Companion let out an audible sigh. I told him I actually knew what his father meant decades ago – it was when he was retiring and handing the controls of the business over to him. The “new blood” was someone who would bring new ideas, technology – new energy into the company.

The exciting things about having “new blood” come into the Greater Jacksonville area’s “brews and chews” scene is that this is happening more and more AND there is plenty of room for more.

Preparing the bread bowl for the Caprese Salad

Preparing the bread bowl for the Caprese Salad

I was recently contacted by Dea Sims with an invitation to come to Your Pie (Express your Inner Pizza!) (4828 Deer Lake Dr W. – 904.337.0155) and have some lunch.

Dea and her husband, Mike own this location AND the one in Fleming Island. Plus, they are planning to open six more!

The “Your Pie” story is fascinating:
“Drew French first experienced authentic Italian cuisine while honeymooning on the island of Ischia in 2006. The laid-back, impromptu gatherings with his new wife’s family and friends all centered around authentic Italian food and served piping hot out of a traditional brick oven, provided inspiration to the future entrepreneur.

Back stateside, Drew opened the first Your Pie in his hometown of Athens, Georgia – just a few blocks away from his alma mater, UGA. Nestled on the edge of sorority row, he quietly began crafting the proprietary recipes that are the foundation of the Your Pie menu today. Fast-forward through several years of Greek Madness, catering for numerous music festivals, crazy busy Pi(e) Days and more, and we’re an “overnight success” – seven years in the making. Today there are seventeen Your Pie locations throughout the Southeast and many more in the works.

We serve fresh, flavorful food and we do it really fast. We’ve infused authentic Ischia traditions with the eclectic vibe of Athens and college towns everywhere. Oh, and we serve A LOT of craft beer, too!”

Never ending line of ingredients to choose from!

Never ending line of ingredients to choose from!

Of course, I was SO excited on that day (Monday, October 7) to be able to visit Your Pie! … Dea welcomed me warmly and I instantly liked the atmosphere. It is clean and inviting – casual and family-friendly.

Dea and I “got in line” – which is what you do to order your food – a self-directed assembly line process where your every wish to be incorporated into your selections. Dea explained about the Your Pie business model and she and her husband’s plans for the future.

There is such a wide variety of options at Your Pie, it took me a little bit to decide upon the following:

The Nat 10″ Pizza Pie ($8.95) – Fresh Basil Pesto sauce, Mozzarella, Feta, Grilled Chicken, Spinach,

The Nat 10″ Pizza Pie ($8.95)

The Nat 10″ Pizza Pie ($8.95)

and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. I wish I could have taken home the sauce! This pizza was sweet and, of course, had all my fav’s on it! You can eat the entire crust!! No crust tossing with this and you can ask for extra sauce for dipping!

Caprese Salad ($6.95)

Caprese Salad ($6.95)

Caprese Salad ($6.95) – Spinach, fresh mozzerella, basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top with house dressing. I watched them make this in front of me and actually toss the dough, stretch it out and bake it while I ordered my pizza and sandwich. It comes with a side of marinara for dipping your bread bowl – WooHoo! No, this is not a sour dough bowl like you get with soups! This was just stupendous and so fresh!

Elle’s Bells ($6.95) – Mozzerella, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, banana peppers and sundried tomato pesto sauce. This was a massive panini and it’s not totally pressed and dried out like some I have eaten before. You know, you bite into it the crust stabs your face and you end up wearing a crusty mustache. Nope, not at Your Pie!

Elle’s Bells ($6.95)

Elle’s Bells ($6.95)

Gelato (small $2.95 large $3.75 and pint $5.95) – Hazelnut Chocolate Pumpkin with Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. *faint … I wanted to bathe in this stuff!! (Actually, I would have if I was going home immediately following my visit!)

The beer I selected was Terrapin Beer Company’s Hopsecutioner IPA (description per Terrapin’s website):

Terrapin Beer Company Hopsecutioner IPA
You love hops, you ask for hops, and Hopsecutioner delivers! This Killer IPA earns its title by being brewed with six different hops to create an aggressive, yet exceptionally well-balanced, beer. Expect citrus and pine on the nose with a beautifully bitter finish; a strong malt backbone keeps the bitterness in check. We brewed this IPA for hop lovers and you may lose your hop head over this one! – Note: 7.3% ABV and 71 IBUs

There are only 5 ingredients in their dough! No junk or preservatives. They also have a low-cal menu with a lots of choices for under 700 calories, if you’re in to that sort of thing:

Take a look at their Southside location menu:

Your Pie also offers a reward system. $1 = 1 point. 50 points = $5 Your Pie credit. That’s not all – they offer catering services, as well!

2-for-1 Happy Hour weekdays from 3 – 7 pm Sundays all day!

2-for-1 Happy Hour weekdays from 3 – 7 pm Sundays all day!

They currently have eight craft beer on tap:
Abita Purple Haze $4
Intuition Ale Work’s Jon Boat $4.50
Yuengling $3
Brooklyn Brewery Lager $4
Blue Moon $4
Terrapin’s Hopsecutioner $5.50
Lagunita’s IPA $4.50
Samuel Adams Oktoberfest $4.50

Several bottles of beer and wine including:
Guinness $5.50
Amstel Light $4
Angry Orchard $4
Heineken $4
Newcastle $4
Sierra Nevada $4
Coors Light $3
Miller Lite $3
Peroni $3
PBR $2

This place filled every craving – Salty, Sweet, and Savory – AND craft beer to boot! … Simply stated, it’s Your Pie Heaven!

Excellent service and staff!

Excellent service and staff!

Your Pie offers a 2-for-1 Happy Hour, weekdays from 3 – 7 pm. Sundays, all day!

Some other info on Your Pie:
• Gluten free and Vegan choices are on the menu.
• Monday nights, kids eat free
• A significant number of charity events are coming up including Pies for Paws to benefit Friends of Clay County Animal Shelter.

Be sure and make plans soon to visit this establishment and Express Your Inner Pie! … you will love your food – you will love your beer – you will simply love … Your Pie!

Your Pie – Southside Jax

Your Pie – Southside Jax

My heartfelt appreciation to Dea Sims for the invitation and for being gracious enough to spend time with me, to her staff for making me feel welcome and serving up some phenomenal food!

Your Pie will certainly be a regular stop on future Jax Brew Bitch Prowls!

Want to win a $25 gift card to try Your Pie? Sign up for my newsletter, The Hypnotic Hop by entering your email address near the upper right of my site. The Hypnotic Hop will be going out late Wednesday.

View more photos from Your Pie on facebook here.

Your Pie – Southside Jax (4828 Deer Lake Dr W., C-1 – 904.337.0155)

Your Pie Fleming Island (1545 County Road 220, Suite 125 – Fleming Island – 904.375.9771)

Terrapin Beer Company

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Brooklyn Brewery Craft Beer Dinner at Whole Foods Market

“Holy cow! … look what I found!”, I exclaimed to companion yesterday. I was going through my closet and happened upon

Brooklyn Brewery at Whole Foods Market

Brooklyn Brewery at Whole Foods Market

a pair of jeans I had not worn since early Jax Brew Bitch days. They were clean – I had washed and folded them prior to stacking them in a long-forgotten corner of the closet.

When I pulled them out, I heard something and stuck my hand in one of the pockets and pulled out a faded receipt and a laundered $10 bill. “WooHoo!”, I added. “Two beers!”

You know what it’s like finding a “hidden treasure” – I get the same type of feeling when I find a neat little out-of-the-way establishment with good “brews and chews” – or when I get to experience a rather unique event.

Thus, I was quite overjoyed to be invited to the Brooklyn Beer Dinner at Whole Foods Market (10601 San Jose Blvd – 904.288.1100) on Friday (Sept 27)! Adrienne M. Cartagena, Marketing & Community Relations for Whole Foods Mark had been so kind to send me that invitation.

Companion would be assisting our friend (and contractor) at the Silver Cow that evening, so I invited Kelsey Dillenger

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Terrine with Brooklyn's Brewery Sorachi Ace Farmhouse Saison

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Terrine with Brooklyn’s Brewery Sorachi Ace Farmhouse Saison

to accompany me. She and her husband Chase are craft beer hounds like us and they will be assisting me in the future here at and at the Silver Cow.

Companion was kind enough to agree to drop us off there at Whole Foods Market a few minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. The bar at Whole Foods Market is quite a “hidden treasure” itself – a gem in the midst of a lot of commercial development in that area of San Jose Boulevard.

Kelsey ‘s overview description and comments are magnificent:

Beer belongs on the dinner table, as we found out first hand on Friday at our intimate 4-person table settings detailed with silver charger plates that were soon filled with the most delicious 5 courses.

As the food and beer were served, we got a quick introduction of the course placed before us from the chef himself,

Shrimp & Angel Hair Skewers with Brooklyn's Local No. 1 Belgian-inspired Strong Golden Ale

Shrimp & Angel Hair Skewers with Brooklyn’s Local No. 1 Belgian-inspired Strong Golden Ale

followed by a detailed description of the paired beer and some history to go with it.

What I found interesting was to hear that Europe is looking to the US for beer inspiration and that pumpkin beer is an old American tradition starting, I believe in the 1700s, from using pumpkins to supplement the beer recipes when needed.

I think my favorite pairing was the dessert. I thought it was really smart to not use chocolate in the recipe and pair with a chocolate stout. The chocolate was not too sweet though.. Kinda that dark bitter chocolate. Worked really well!

Our gracious hostess was Adrienne M. Cartagena herself! … Chef Andrew Cassel and his talented team, Christian Kerwin and Brandon Denton were the creators of the culinary masterpieces we enjoyed (descriptions follow) and the impressive Beer Expert was Rich Nowak of Brooklyn Brewery.

Rich Nowak - Brand Manager at Brooklyn Brewery

Rich Nowak – Brand Manager at Brooklyn Brewery

Rich provided not only a description of each beer but some of the history of the beer, its label and the brewery itself. This additional focus on each paired beer really added to the experience. Kelsey and I were very impressed.

Here is the outstanding paired items we enjoyed during this marvelous event:

SMOKED SALMON & GOAT CHEESE TERRINE – Layered smoked salmon with goat cheese and vegetables
Sliced and served with homemade lavash crackers – Paired with Sorachi Ace Farmhouse Saison

Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace Farmhouse Saison
Most Brooklyn beers are made with a blend of hop varietals. As a chef does with spices, we look to get the best qualities of each hop and create a harmony of flavors and aromas. However, a few years ago, our brewmaster ran into a hop unique enough to deserve its own moment in the sun. A large Japanese brewery first developed the hop variety “Sorachi Ace” in 1988. A cross between the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” varieties, it exhibited a quality that was unexpected – it smelled really lemony.

The unique flavor of Sorachi Ace was bypassed by the big brewers, but we thought it was pretty cool. So we made a

Ginger Ice with Brooklyn's Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Ginger Ice with Brooklyn’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale

special beer with it, and added the beer to our Brewmaster’s Reserve special draft beer program last year. Most Brewmaster’s Reserve beers are only available for a short time, and then they’re gone. But we liked this one so much, we decided to bring it back and give it the star treatment. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but made entirely with now-rare Sorachi Ace hops grown by a single farm in Washington. We ferment it with our special Belgian ale strain, and then add more Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After the dry-hopping, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemongrass / lemon zest aroma backed by a wonderfully clean malt flavor.
Note: 7.6% ABV and 34 IBUs

SHRIMP & ANGEL HAIR SKEWERS – Delicate pasta wrapped around grilled shrimp with a buerre blanc dipping sauce – Paired with Brooklyn Local No. 1 Belgian-inspired Strong Golden Ale

Brooklyn Brewery Local No. 1 Belgian-inspired Strong Golden Ale
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we forge barley malt and hops from Germany, aromatic raw sugar from Mauritius and yeast from Belgium into our latest beer, Brooklyn Local 1. Behind the full golden color you’ll find an alluring aroma, a dynamic complex of flavors, Belgian flair, Brooklyn fortitude and a dusting of our special yeast. To create this beer, we use the old technique of 100% bottle re-fermentation, a practice now rare even in Europe. It gives this beer a palate of unusual depth. Enjoy it locally or globally, as an aperitif or with your favorite dishes. – Note: 9.0% ABV and 26 IBUs

GINGER SNOW – Reed’s ginger beer infused with some raw ginger, granité style. Served in a frozen glass and topped with diced crystallized ginger. Paired with Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Hop & Barley Smoked Cornish Game Hen with Brooklyn's  Local No. 2  Belgian-inspired Dark Abbey Ale

Hop & Barley Smoked Cornish Game Hen with Brooklyn’s Local No. 2 Belgian-inspired Dark Abbey Ale

Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Early American colonialists, seeking natural ingredients for brewing ales, turned to pumpkins, which were plentiful, flavorful and nutritious. Blended with barley malt, pumpkins became a commonly used beer ingredient. Post Road Pumpkin Ale brings back this tasty tradition. Hundreds of pounds of pumpkins are blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with an orange amber color, warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish.
Note: 5.0% ABV and 24 IBUs

HOP AND BARLEY-SMOKED CORNISH GAME HEN – Game hen smoked in-house with hops and barley,
Served with savory chestnut dressing and au jus – Paired with Brooklyn Local No. 2 Belgian-inspired Dark Abbey Ale

Brooklyn Brewery Local No. 2 Belgian-inspired Dark Abbey Ale
Here in Brooklyn we’ve combined European malt and hops, Belgian dark sugar, and raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm to create Brooklyn Local 2. Our special Belgian yeast adds hints of spice to the dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate flavors. After 100% bottle re-fermentation, the beer reveals a marvelous dry complexity, enjoyable by itself or at the dinner table.
Note: 9.0% ABV and 21 IBUs

VANILLA BREAD PUDDING – Challah bread pudding flavored with Madagascar vanilla topped with crispy

Vanilla Bread Pudding with Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout

Vanilla Bread Pudding with Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout

brown sugar gratin and a Kirsh-marinated boozy cherry – Paired with Black Chocolate Stout

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, our award-winning rendition of the Imperial Stout style, once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. We use three mashes to brew each batch of this beer, achieving a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specially roasted malts. We brew it every year for the winter season. It is delicious when newly bottled, but also ages beautifully for years.
Note: 10.0% ABV and 51 IBUs

I’ll give you a moment to grab a napkin to wipe up the drool – I know you need it. Please visit Whole Foods Market in the near future and enjoy this hidden treasure we are fortunate to have in our community.

My heartfelt appreciation to Whole Foods Market ...

My heartfelt appreciation to Whole Foods Market …

My heartfelt appreciation to Adrienne Cartagena for the invitation and for being such a wonderful hostess, to Chef Andrew, Christian Kerwin and Brandon Denton for the outstanding food, Taylor Yelton from Champion Brands, Rich Nowak of Brooklyn Brewery for the knowledge he imparted and to Kelsey Dillenger for accompanying me and for nailing that description.

And thanks to companion for driving and understanding why I currently have the pockets of ALL his slacks turned inside out.

View more photos from Brooklyn Brewery Craft Beer Dinner at Whole Foods Market on facebook at: DinnerWholeFoodsJax

About Whole Foods Market
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 73,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2012, the company had sales of $11.7 billion and currently has more than 340 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

About Brooklyn Brewery
In 1984, Associated Press correspondent Steve Hindy returned from a six-year stint in the Middle East and settled in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. Hindy had caught the homebrewing bug from diplomats stationed in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where alcoholic beverages were forbidden. With his downstairs neighbor, Tom Potter, a former lending officer at Chemical Bank, Hindy quit his job and founded The Brooklyn Brewery.

For more of the fascinating history of Brooklyn Brewery, visit:

Whole Foods Market

Brooklyn Brewery

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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 23

Ever hear of “Counterphobia”? It is “the preference of a phobic for fearful situations”.

Do you happen to know someone with this condition? No?

You can meet hundreds of “Counterphobics” if you visit Halloween Horror Nights 23 at Universal Studios this year. I know they are phobics because I overheard many of their conversations while standing outside the Universal gates with others in the media awaiting our R.I.P. guide to escort us into the park.

These discussions all centered around their fear of unknown noises, ghosts, gore, dismemberment, knives, guns and zombies. Yet, there they were – standing in the queue, all awaiting (with great anticipation, mind you) their entrance into this “hub of horror” with their “ticket to terror” in hand.

This year, HHN is crawling with “walkers” who pop up … well, anywhere. Be sure to keep looking over your shoulder as you make your way through the park – and keep an eye on every shadow. If you need a safe haven during your visit, the several “bar stations” located all over Universal are good places to stand … well, most of the time, that is. Keep in mind nothing within Halloween Horror Nights is meant for small children – this is all grown-up stuff!

Universal’s Entertainment team collaborated with the creators of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Horror video game series Resident Evil and critically-acclaimed horror films “Evil Dead,” ”The Cabin in the Woods” and “An American Werewolf in London” to bring the elaborate haunted houses to life.

There are eight new Haunted Houses – and as a member of the Media, I was able to visit each one that evening.

Holy Underpanticus Destroyium! … I was screaming like a little girl all the way through them … or was it the man behind me? … or the beheaded female corpse I almost stepped on? … maybe it was all three of us. We weren’t the only ones, either – just look at what’s in store for you inside these haunted houses this year at Halloween Horror Nights:

The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven
Walk in the footsteps of the survivors as Season 3 of AMC’s horror hit relentlessly attacks you from all sides. Stay alert as walkers could trap you anywhere along your journey from the town of Woodbury to the claustrophobic confines of the derelict prison.

Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City
Raccoon City is overrun with Umbrella Corporation’s most terrifying experiments—and the only option is complete destruction. You’ll need to duck and dodge Lickers, Hunters, and Nemesis himself if you have any chance of escaping Capcom’s video game terrors before missiles send everything back to hell.

Evil Dead
Relive “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience” as gruesome Deadites try to possess your soul. There is nowhere to hide as every creaking floor board and tangled vine is ready to pull you down, making you one with the Evil Dead.

The Cabin in the Woods
Experience a live recreation of the film that ripped the horror genre inside out. Beneath the cabin’s rustic appearance lies a secret facility that unleashes terrifying beings that you thought only existed in nightmares.

An American Werewolf in London
Based on the John Landis horror classic, you’ll travel to the Slaughtered Lamb, experience the gruesome wolf attack on the moors, and live the chaos of Piccadilly Circus. Beware the moon because tonight it brings only death.

Urban Legends: La Llorona
She is known as the weeping woman. To hear her mournful cries sends chills colder than the murky, watery depths she drowned her children in. Forced to eternally walk the earth, she seeks others to share her pain and suffering, now and forever.

Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance
Serial killer, Bobby “The Blade” Galletta, is about to meet Ole’ Sparky. 2000 volts are going to send him into a horrific realm of pain and suffering. His victims are bound to turn Bobby’s afterlife into an unimaginable and infernal torment.

Havoc2: Derailed
Hang on tight aboard a militaristic train convoy that is secretly transporting the “Dogs of War”—a genetically engineered super soldier outfit. These bloodthirsty maniacs are only bent on mayhem and destruction of a speeding train. This is Havoc!

If you’re thinking you’ll be out of harm’s way as you walk between the haunted houses, think again. This year marks the first time Universal Orlando has dedicated its entire Halloween Horror Nights street experience to a top name in pop culture. The scare zones you will be walking through are the iconic scenes of all three seasons of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” – such as the overrun city of Atlanta and Hershel’s Barn complete with fleets of flesh-hungry walkers.

To provide a respite from all the gore, Universal Orlando is presenting two shows this year at Halloween Horror Nights 23:

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure
Party on as those two most excellent dudes return to skewer the biggest stories of the past year with the biggest names in pop culture.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – A Tribute
Let’s do the Time Warp again! Rock out to clips from the classic cult film with your favorite Transvestite, live tribute performers, and audience participants.

I have recovered somewhat since my visit to this thrilling event a few days ago. I still have my head, my soul and most of my body parts. Plus, I DID overcome a phobia while experiencing what Universal Orlando created for this Halloween season. It’s called Urophobia.

This year, don’t miss out on this incredible experience! … grab your family, friends and an extra pair of undershorts and embrace the dark side at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23.

Halloween Horror Nights 23 will be frightening folks from September 20 through November 2, 2013. HHN opens their gates of doom at 6:30 pm – Midnight (1 am and 2 am on select nights. Please see calendar at http://www.halloweenhorrornights…dates-and-hours.html Ticket Prices: Florida Resident $42.99 Non-resident $91.99 Stay & Scream – Purchase with your Theme Park ticket for an additional $38.99 For tickets and more information visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights…

EU Jacksonville Halloween Horror Nights 23

With our RIP Guides

With our RIP Guides

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