Art Exhibit to Benefit Planet Swim Foundation feat. local Jags

“Déjà vu” is the latest art exhibition by Dylan Ross and will be debuted at Silver Cow this Friday, October 24th. That night, from 6-10p, Dylan will host the opening night of his exhibition and also donate several pieces of art to be auctioned or raffled off in benefiting Read more

Folio Weekly's Best Of Jax Party at Bold City Brewery - Sun. Oct 12

Folio Weekly’s Best Of Jax Party will be held at Bold City Brewery on Sunday, October 12 beginning at 4 pm to 8 pm! The amazingly talented 77D's will be performing in the brewery and a lot of fine food will be provided by the catering team of Mojo's Read more

Bold City Brewery's 6 Year Anniversary Bash - Sat. Oct 18

Mark your calendars (and prep your liver) for Bold City Brewery's 6 Year Anniversary Bash on Saturday, October 18. $2 Pints all day including BBA Dukes and BBA 1901 (lawd, have mercy!) ... Live music all day including the recently paroled Bold City Bandits! Raffles for Free Beer for Read more

Enter to win an IceMule Cooler filled with Bold City Beer!

Attention Jacksonville! NEW CONTEST ALERT! The #CircleUpBoldCity contest with IceMule Coolers has launched! Do you like beer? Do you like cold beer, specifically? How about football? Answer yes to any of those questions? Well, Bold City Brewery has some good news for you. Bold City Brewery has partnered with Read more

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 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" Read more

Get over to Veteran United Craft Brewery!

Good morning Jax! You're about to get a chance to taste this special brew, the Cup-O-Joe Espresso Oatmeal Stout at Veterans United Craft Brewery starting today at 1 pm and VUCB has begun their Mug Club memberships! Read more

Dog Days of Summer at Silver Cow

Just tapped & Dog Days of Summer! The Silver Cow is donating $1 of every Bold City Brewery's Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale pint and can sold beginning today through Wednesday to support the creation of The John Gorrie Dog Park at Riverside Park. Just tapped: Tocobaga Red Ale Read more

Jacksonville Magazine's NE Florida Beer Cup

Tix are going fast for Jacksonville Magazine's Northeast Florida Beer Cup, Sept 25, 6:30 - 9 pm! Brews, chews and live entertainment. For more info Read more

Aardwolf Brewery Co. Tap Takeover at Brew Five Points

Join BREW Five Points this Thursday (Sept 25) for Aardwolf Brewery Co. TAP TAKEOVER, 6-8pm. BFP be showcasing four selections from Aardwolf's repertoire of amazing beers including - Belgian Pale Ale, Hasselhoffenweisse, Gose, and Ermah Read more

New arrivals at European Street

New arrivals at European Street Cafe! Pumpkin beers to help you forget it's still very hot and humid Read more


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

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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.

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in Blog, Events, Lagniappe Leave a comment

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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Pilsner Urquell – what’s your flavor? Smooth, Mliko or Crisp

“What’s that tap handle down there?”, I asked companion while we sat at the bar at European Street Cafe (2752 Park St. – 904.384.9999) in early September. “I don’t know – the gentleman next to me just asked me the same thing.”

I asked our bartender and he indicated it was for their new Pilsner Urquell beer. I looked at companion and asked, “What’s Pilsner Urquell?”. His response prompted me to slap his shoulder: “A pilsner of some type.” I told him he had a keen sense of the obvious.

Within a few days though, I had received an invitation to attend an event for this beer at this establishment from David Rigdon of Champion Brands / TeamHopHeads and European Street owner Andy Zarka. The event would be held Tuesday (Sept 10) and I was looking forward to trying this rather popular Czech pilsner-style beer.

Companion dropped me off a few minutes before it began – he was meeting our friend Preston at Rain Dogs for a second attempt at their Trivia Night.

As the Pilsner Urquell event got underway, I was pleased to see Ed Stansel and Roger Bull of “Amber Waves” fame from (Florida Times Union) in attendance. Also there was Steve Rushe ( , David Rigdon and Juan Diaz with Tenth and Blake.

Billy and Johnny were providing their usual superior customer service – even though being quite swamped with customers and their requests.

David Rigdon allowed me to pour one of the Pilsner Urquell variations – the “Smooth”. I could certainly tell how it got its name. Very tasty! This is the same beer poured by Roger Bull in Matt Pittman’s video:

Watch MATT ABOUT JAX: Matt Teams Up With Amber Waves

I also tried the variation which Ed Stansel was pouring called “Mliko” (milk). This one had a whipped cream consistency – sweet and really creamy.

Finally, I tried the variation being poured by Steve Rushe – the “Crisp” – and you guessed it – yes, it tasted quite crisp!

Not surprisingly, I was hungry! … Bartender Johnny Miller suggested the Ciabatta with Boursin cheese which was sooo good! … It had banana peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce and olive mix served on a warm ciabatta roll. Decadent!

My sincere thanks to David Rigdon and Andy Zarka for the invitation, to David Rigdon for allowing me to pour and to all the friends I saw there for their warm fellowship.

By the way, if you hear that the beautiful and unique ceramic Pilsner Urquell beer tap tower is reported missing from European Street, I had NOTHING to do with it. I promise. Really. I promise.

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Magic Hat Brewing taps into mysticism

Magic Hat Brewing Company (South Burlington, VT) recently sent me three of their amazing creations to try:

HUMDINGER SERIES – Burn Pile American Porter – 7.5% ABV & 35 IBUs

The Humdinger Series is an offering of the rarest of ales. Complex in nature, small in batch and big in character, Humdingers are brewed for discriminating palates and are available for a very limited time. Seek them out at purveyors of only the finest beverages and on tap at better beer bars.

The signal we seek to send with our Smoked Porter, Burnpile, is this: It’s delicious. Six malts, ranging in roast from dark to darker, are used in its brewing, offering an aroma of caramel and chocolate with a subtle, complimentary smokiness. Burnpile is brewed with the goal of gathering kindred spirits seeking warmth, flavor and a small-batch craft beer.

Malts: Pale, Caramel – 80L, Chocolate, Munich, Carafa, Smoked
Hops: Apollo Yeast English Ale
Original Gravity: 18.5° Plato

750 mL corked bottle, Draft

The smoky flavor was there but not overpowering in the least. In other words, it is NOT like drinking bacon. I loved the chocolate caramel influence with what I felt was a very faint raisin flavor note. This very dark brown brew with its 7.5% ABV is a most enjoyable and formidable American Porter!

deVEILed Amber Ale – 5.2% ABV & 37 IBUs

A thin veil rests between two worlds, shrouding one’s view from the other. Lives of the present and those long gone may cross the boundary if they wish, but they must first awaken to the possibility. Once eyes have opened, a harmonious convergence of life and death can be seen, the oneness deveiled, shifting into sight.

A rich and robust amber ale. Hiding just beyond its malty core is a crisp, clean, hoppy aura that will open your eyes to the other side.

Malts: 2-Row Pale, Victory, Crystal 40L, Caramel Munich, Caramel 120L, Chocolate
Hops : Magnum, Cascade Yeast English Ale
Original Gravity : 13.3° Plato

Variety Packs

This was a lot darker than I had expected, being an amber beer. It took a second sip to recognize some molasses taste with the overall caramel flavor. Delicious and surprisingly a rather sweet creation.

SÉANCE – Saison – 4.4% ABV & 27 IBUs

Some mysteries are more easily attainable through collected energies and certain assembled elements of seasons, dreams and that which is not at all what it seems. Hold a Séance and peer into an ethereal world of pleasures lying just on the other side of our psyche, floating on shifting winds, through blurred seasons and between waking and sleeping bends.

Séance is a dark, complexly concocted Saison, rich with earthy hues and flavors. A mild tartness begins the journey, and an underlying hop bitterness sweeps the senses through a newly opened door of the mind, where you will soon find subtle hints of ripe fruit, bringing you to a place few dare to roam.

Malts: 2-Row Pale, White Wheat, Victory, Carafa, Flaked Oats, Crystal 80L, Cherry Wood Smoke
Hops: Goldings, Hallertaur Yeast Saison II
Original Gravity: 12.5° Plato

6-Packs, 12-Packs, Variety Packs, Draft

My lord, I loved this one! … a dark brown Saison with just enough bitterness to satisfy my palate. The word “tart” comes to mind, as well. Overall, I sensed a slight coffee flavor with a touch of chocolate.

You can currently find these three magical brews at ABC Liquors, Total Wine & More and Broudy’s Liquors.

This Oktoberfest and Halloween season promises to be outstanding in the eyes and on the palates of craft beer lovers here in Jacksonville. Be sure and take advantage of all the exciting beer events and releases available this month. Prost!


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Bold City Brewery’s Big John Miller

Big John Miller

Big John Miller

He’s faster than a Silver Bullet.
He stares down locomotives with a single glare on Rosselle Street.
He makes tall buildings cower so that he can simply step over them.
He makes wearing chains cool.
He taught John Travolta “The Walk” to be a “Woman’s Man”
The Most Interesting Man in the World considers him a personal mentor.

Yes, we are talking about Big John Miller, patriarch of the Bold City Brewery Miller Family.

Having an advanced ear for music, Big John handles bookings for the exceptional talent appearing at the Brewery on Sensory Saturdays and special events.

On a personal basis, he is the consummate role model for his kids – the shining example of the perfect husband – and a man companion and I feel honored to call a friend.

As you probably know, he is the namesake of the Bold City Brewery Big John’s Apricot Wheat Ale his son and Bold City co-owner Brian brewed especially for him and tapped back on Father’s Day of this year. This popular brew is still available at Bold City – so do the Hustle into the taproom and get a pint while you still can – it’s a Summer Seasonal – but you know we’re in for a few more months of warm weather.

Recently, Big John took over the tap handle duty at Blue Fish Restaurant where several of the Bold City creations were featured, including Big John’s Apricot Wheat Ale. He certainly made a big impression with his beer-slingin’ skills and his signature attire of black, chains and straw hat!

Big John’s Apricot Wheat
Summer Seasonal
Easy drinkin’ wheat ale made and named for the Patriarch of the Miller family, Big John. We add a bit of apricot to the mix and this makes a brew that’s perfect for those hot summer days! … 4.5% ABV

Just this past week, Bold City Brewery added the following brews to their canning line to join the Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale (descriptions per website):

Killer Whale Cream Ale
If you are tied to lagers, give this ale a shot. The brew process we use allows for a light, crisp and refreshing ale with no bitter aftertaste. Come by the Brewery sometime and ask Mom the story behind the name, KILLER WHALE!!!!

Mad Manatee IPA
A wonderful balance of hops and malt, this IPA is loaded with four hop varieties. You can expect a slight sweetness with toasted notes, a wonderful floral aroma and crisp citrus finish. It’s as bitter as a MAD MANATEE!

This increase in the canning inventory and upcoming major expansion means we’ll all being seeing Bold City beer in more locations in the very near future! … check out their beer locator (“Find Our Beer”) on their website to confirm the closest establishment for you!

On a personal note for me, I am honored that I have been invited by the Bold City family to assist in the brewing of the Pumpkin Ale which will be available this Fall!

Please do yourself a favor and swing on by Bold City Brewery and introduce yourself to Big John Miller if you have not had the opportunity of meeting him – in so many ways – he’s indeed THE MAN!

Big John’s Walk – Cannin’ A Line – by the Bee C’s
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m my Susan’s man – no time to talk.
Music loud and friendships warm, I’ve been kickin’ butt
Since I was born.
And now it’s all right. It’s OK.
Vernon wants to cook the other way.

We’re certain you surely understand
The Rhino Rye’s put an end to “bland”.
Whether you’re a Miller brother or whether you’re their mother,
We’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.

Feelin’ great news breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
And we’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line!

Well now, if you get low – come get a pint,
Want an 1901? … give it a try.
Got the hops of heaven in our brews.
If you’re a drinkin’ man – you just can’t lose.
Gotta go? … all right. It’s OK.
You’ll live to drink another day.

Come on by to hear the band
And stay tuned to hear what we’ve got planned
Whether you’re a Miller brother or whether you’re their mother,
We’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.

Feelin’ great news breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
And we’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line!

Taps blowin’ cold air
Will Frazier help me
These folks want the Manatee.

Duke’s blowin’ cold air
Kazzie please help me, yeah
I’ll keep servin’ the line.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m my Susan’s man – no time to talk.
Music loud and friendships warm, I’ve been kickin’ butt
Since I was born.
And now it’s all right. It’s OK.
Vernon’s cookin’ sumpin’ great either way.

We’re certain you surely understand
All our brews are made by hand
Whether you’re a Miller brother or whether you’re their mother,
We’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.

Feelin’ great news breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
And we’re cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line, cannin’ a line.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, cannin’ a line!

We’re goin’ somewhere
Everybody’s helped yeah
Everybody – thank you all!

We’re goin’ somewhere
Everybody – thank you all!
We’re cannin’ a line!

We’re goin’ somewhere
Everybody’s helped yeah
Everybody – thank you all!

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

You can view more photos at:

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Intuition Trivia Night

What do Craig T. Nelson, the Golden Gate Bridge and A Horse with No Name all have in common? … I’ll wait for your

Team Miley Cyrus Twerking Team

Team Miley Cyrus Twerking Team

answers … I mean, at least until this fine song gets through playing:

Ok, for all you “Einsteins” out there, these were three of the answers which propelled the “Miley Cryus Twerking Team” to resounding victory in the Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street – 904.683.7720) virginal evening of Trivia Thursday! … WooHoo!

Yes … I said the “Miley Cyrus Twerking Team” … why? … what’s wrong with THAT name? … heck, I thought it was INSPIRED when our good friend Preston McCready suggested it right before this initial Trivia night at Intuition was kicked off. Craft beer savvy Preston just moved to Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago from Daytona Beach and I already want to be on HIS trivia team – every time.

I KNOW we were “cashing in” on that poor little girl’s infamy – but her outrageous behavior was the FIRST time anyone did something provocative on a stage … well … uh … maybe not:

Oh, yeah … the BEER! … companion decided to close out his Summer Mug Club selection with a double round of (description per Intuition’s website):

Intuition Ale Works DragonGlass
A black Saison brewed with Belgian Pilsner Malt, roasted and malted wheat, chocolate rye malt, Belgian candy sugar and German and Czech hops for a clean hop finish. An unconventional and delightful twist to the classic Saison style!

To stimulate my recollection of useless knowledge, I selected the following two Intuition creations:

Intuition Ale Works Liver Kick
A delicious Imperial Black IPA dry-hopped with Centennial and Nugget hops. This brew has a strong hop aroma and front-end bite, but leaves behind a smooth, chocolate finish.

Intuition Ale Works King Street Stout
Imperial stout brewed with two-row malted barley and a variety of roasted and caramel malts.

Joining companion, Preston and myself on our team was Charlie from the Deland area – we’re trying to get her convinced to relocate to Jacksonville – this evening helped! … a little into the rounds of Trivia Greg Steele assisted in our answers along with Shaun Newman and his friend Gary. We’ve all decided to make an effort to be back at Intuition for their next Trivia Thursday – a determined, knowledgeable and loyal trivia –NAILING team. Competitors beware.

Renee was handling the Trivia presentation and did a magnificent job! … well done, Renee!

Robin Rutenburg and Riley were providing their usual superior customer service to all those gathered in the taproom that evening. I only saw them twinge twice when Renee would mention our team’s name – this of course being known in the medical community as the “Twerking Twinge” – a common symptom with those suffering from an Achy Breaky Heart.

My thanks to Renee for great trivia, Robin and Riley for making everyone feel welcome and to the entire staff at Intuition Ale Works for providing delicious beer and the perfect ambiance for this competitive stop on this evening’s Jax Brew Bitch Prowl.

Be sure and stay tuned for the next Trivia night at Intuition Ale Works! … the Miley Cyrus Twerking Team will welcome you with open arms and gyrating be-hinds. We’ll even help you select a team name, if you wish.

Yeah, I know … WE chose a rather insensitive name for our winning team – but I think we’ll keep it. – it is apropos in so many ways. Actually, I have faith that little twerkin’ Miley will mature sooner than later – her future has not been written – and everyone deserves a second chance. Besides, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Enjoy:

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Goose Island Vintage Release party at Casa Marina

Companion says there are times I leave him speechless. In the past, this has occurred a number of occasions when I have spoken of my life during the “pre-Companion days” where I had immersed myself into the “brews, booze, chews and tunes” scene of New Orleans – particularly the era I spent living right on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter – over 20 years ago now.

Vieux Carre - Pre Katrina

Vieux Carre – Pre Katrina

At that time, the French Quarter was anchored in tradition with long-term residents holding title on much of the real estate in that area. That has certainly changed since the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

Bourbon Street then was certainly Bourbon Street of the period postcards – with “blues, booze and broads” and with a flavor available for all different tastes – upscale, cheap, loud, subtle, etc. – vastly different than what it has become post-Katrina. Companion refers to Bourbon Street now as “The Screamin’ Gyno Exam” – a gauntlet of T&A, over-priced booze and loud aggressive hawkers seeking to entice men and women alike to come in for a $3 wheelbarrow of beer, $4 blood-transfusing jet-fuel-based cocktail or to cast a lustful glance upon “the newest dancer on Bourbon Street – just turned 18, mister – you gotta see her – two drink minimum!”.

Back in my day, it was truly more subtle – if “classier” could be applied to Bourbon Street at all, those were “the days”. As a result of being involved at the level I had achieved at a number of upscale establishments of all types, I was fortunate enough to meet “famous” musicians, performers, sports figures and politicians. All made their way through Bourbon Street at one time or another looking for something to satisfy a wide variety of tastes and passions.

The first time I noticed I had left companion speechless was right after we decided to become each other’s soul-mates 20 years ago – after a long 2-week romance. He had been telling me a childhood story of getting to see his baseball hero, Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees who was making an appearance in his hometown.

The Great Mr. Reggie Jackson

The Great Mr. Reggie Jackson

After hearing HIS story, I told him MY New York Yankee story of getting to meet and speak with “Mr. October”, Reggie Jackson. Of course, it was a large group he was with but as the “person on the front line” for the establishment, I had Mr. Jackson’s attention as I explained food, drink and entertainment options along with security provisions of the house as I escorted him and his entourage to the section reserved for them. Once seated and as I was going to make my departure, I shook hands with him and said, “It was an honor to meet you, Mr. Jackson – I just LOVED your candy bar when I was growing up.”

Companion still shakes his head at that. Here I was with a man who hit 563 home runs – some of them “tape measure” (per companion) – a star destined to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame within a year – and all I could muster was a compliment about a candy bar whose wrapper included his image. Yep, you know me – I like me a candy bar, every now and then.

The Reggie Bar

The Reggie Bar

Last night (August 21), we had been invited to an event featuring an All-Star lineup of creations by Goose Island Brewery at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach. Scott Russell of North Florida Sales had provided an invitation to me which allowed both me and companion to attend. Thank you, Scott!

We did our best to get there by 6:00 pm when it was scheduled to start but traffic delayed us until about 6:15.

Casa Marina - Jacksonville Beach

Casa Marina – Jacksonville Beach

Companion dropped me off since I was in heels and when he had parked and started making his way back to Casa Marina, I was pleased to see he was walking with Mark and Kathy Corbin. It was great seeing these two – just back from an enviable beer trip to California!

Following on their heels were Ed and Beth Stansel! … any event for which these two attend benefits by their presence – what a wonderful couple! … as you probably are aware, he and Roger Bull (who was there with his beautiful wife, as well!) write the craft beer column, Amber Waves for Florida Times Union, ( Ed is also an accomplished and revered home brewer, having “beaucoup bling” at home in the form of awards from last year’s NE Florida Beer Cup!

As we entered, we were given a stemmed glass and neat key ring/opener by Mike Festo of North Florida Sales who also informed us the regular line of Goose Island beer would be available in the bar and that the special brews being featured that evening would be situated at four tables in the outside courtyard. These tables would also hold the cheese and food selected to compliment or pair with that particular special beer creation.

Marc Wisdom, the Jax Beer Guy, his lovely Kristi and daughter Taylor, Jax Beer Princess were already enjoying the beer and food combos as we made our way through the courtyard. We noticed Kickbacks Gastropub owner Steve Flores with his parents, so we joined them standing at a high-top table.

Others we were fortunate to see and speak to included Warren Fryefield and Justin Mann of Beer:30, Kevin and Kazzie of Bold City Brewery, Keegan Malone of Grassroots Natural Market, Nora Crawford , Eric Luman and wife Vanessa of Green Room Brewing and Sean Bielman and girlfriend Jody of Engine 15 Brewing Company. I also noticed Billy from North Florida Sales scootin’ around with his professional camera, snapping pics of those in attendance.

Bob Kenney, VP of Sales for Goose Island Brewery was kind enough to spend some time with discussing their facility and future plans. I told him that I would be traveling with companion up to the Chicago area in the next few months and he graciously offered to meet with me when we do.

Bacon wrapped scallops paired with Goose Island's Sofie

Bacon-wrapped scallops paired with Goose Island’s Sofie

The food was spectacular – muscles, stilton cheese, bacon-wrapped scallops, chocolate mousse torts were just a few of the delicious food pairings available that night!

Well, we never made it back into the inside bar for the regular line of awesome Goose Island beer – we were busy floating back and forth between the four tables where each attendee could sample as much of the following beer (descriptions per brewery’s website) as they wanted:

Goose Island's Vintage Series

Goose Island’s Vintage Series

Goose Island Brewery Sofie Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale
Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale. A subtle, spicy white pepper note, a hint of citrus from the orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish make Sofie an intriguing choice for Champagne drinkers and beer drinkers who are fond of Belgian Saisons. Note: 6.5% ABV & 20 IBUs

Goose Island Brewery Sofie Belgian Style Pale Ale
Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying – Matilda is an intriguing choice for beer and wine lovers alike. Dry and quenching, it’s the perfect accompaniment at the dining table or for casually socializing at the bar. Note: 7.0% ABV & 26 IBUs

Goose Island Brewery Pepe Nero Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale
With an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue, Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. His roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish that is ideal for pairing with grilled meats and roasted vegetables. Note: 6.4% & 30 IBUs

Goose Island Brewery Pere Jacques Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. At the dining table it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port. Note: 8.7% ABV & 26 IBUs

There was also scheduled tasting times for some Vintage reserve offerings from Goose Island Brewery:

Goose Island Brewery Lolita Belgian Style Pale Ale (7:30 pm)
Lolita is a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise. Note: 9.0% ABV & 32 IBUs

Goose Island Brewery Night Stalker Imperial Stout (8:00 pm)
A heavily-hopped imperial stout, Night Stalker is a heavyweight of a beer. It delivers a formidable punch of hops and rich roasted malt notes to the nose in a silky body that’s as dark as night. Note: 11.7% ABV & 60 IBUs

Goose Island Brewery Bourbon County Coffee Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout (8:30 pm)
Everyday Goose Island smells the wonderful coffee roasting next to our brewery at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee from our friends next door each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. Note: 14.3% ABV & 60 IBUs

We soon found it more comfortable to plop ourselves down at the outside tables set up near the gate to the adjacent beach. Once I would notice my plate and/or my glass being empty, I would wander back through the courtyard to refill one or both.

Everyone was talking about what a wonderful setting the historic Casa Marina Hotel was for the event! … and my hats off to Scott Russell and North Florida Sales for how well it went. A magnificent evening by all accounts!

My heartfelt appreciation to Scott Russell and the crew of North Florida Sales for the invitation and for putting together such a wonderful event, to management and staff of Casa Marina Hotel for providing unique venue, food and ambiance and to Bob Kenney and all the folks at Goose Island Brewery for “knocking it out of the park” with all the beer they provided for the event.

The fine Krewe of North Florida Sales

The fine Krewe of North Florida Sales

Finally, my sincerest “thank you” to Mr. Reggie Jackson for being so gracious in not embarrassing me two decades ago.

I am looking forward to seeing what some of our talented chefs in the Greater Jacksonville area come up in terms of menu items prepared with some the Goose Island brews! … I know! … how about a candy bar or two? … Yep, you know me – I like me a candy bar, every now and then.

View more photos at:

Goose Island Brewery

Casa Marina Hotel

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Jax GPO tap into their Intuition

(Adapted from Walt Whitman’s “There Was a Child Went Forth”)

Touring Intuition Ale Works

Touring Intuition Ale Works

“There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object she look’d upon, that object she became;
And that object became part of her for the day, or a certain part of
the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red
clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,

And the Third-month lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the
mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-

Our gracious host, Robin Rutenberg

Our gracious host, Robin Rutenberg

And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there–and the
beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads–all became part
of her.

The horizon’s edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh
and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now
goes, and will always go forth every day.”

This poem’s perspective of how a child looks at life is strikingly similar to how the ever-increasing collection of women who enjoy craft beer currently beholds the industry. We have our eyes open wide, reaching to touch, reveling in the taste, seeking new horizons.

The call went out – and it was answered – loudly.

Last night (Aug 15), the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out gathered at Intuition Ale Works (720

Fellow Jax GPO beauties enjoying the IAW tasting

Fellow Jax GPO beauties enjoying the IAW tasting

King Street – 904.683.7720) for a “Tasting and Tour” Event which the folks at Intuition had earlier offered our Chapter. WOW! … the turn-out exceeded any of my expectations!

The best headcount I could put together had about 43 women and miscellaneous dedicated men serving as “designated drivers”. Companion refers to this service as “Driving Miss Crazy” and I did my best last night to make that description so very accurate!

Robin Rutenberg provided a most thorough tour of Intuition’s brew plant and detailed description of their process. Being able to experience first-hand the heat pervading the area where the magic is worked only made us all appreciate what the dedicated and talented brewing staff at Intuition go through each day they lay their hands on hops and malt.

Due to the large number of women gathered in solidarity, it had been decided in lieu of providing a flight of brews for each attendee, each lady received a sample glass and growlers of the following beer were used to distribute the delicious Intuition creations:

The ladies of Jacksonville Girls Pint Out

The ladies of Jacksonville Girls Pint Out

Belgian Hoppy Blonde
A refreshing hoppy Belgian with a funky, bright character.

Riverside Red
Aggressively hopped, high gravity amber ale. Brewed with two-row malted barley, caramel malt, and chocolate malt and hopped with Columbus and Nugget.

A black Saison brewed with Belgian Pilsner Malt, roasted and malted wheat, chocolate rye malt, Belgian candy sugar and German and Czech hops for a clean hop finish. An unconventional and delightful twist to the classic Saison style!

The Liver Kick
A delicious Imperial Black IPA dry-hopped with Centennial and Nugget hops. This brew has a strong hop aroma and front-end bite, but leaves behind a smooth, chocolate finish.

Would YOU like to become a part of Girls’ Pint Out here in the Greater Jacksonville area? … it’s easy! … just show up! … There is NO membership fee or monthly dues. Just come prepared to pay for whatever you order!

Intuition Ale Works

Intuition Ale Works

Contact me at for more information and to get on the mailing list of upcoming events! You can also follow out Chapter at:

To learn more how Girls Pint Out started visit,

My sincere appreciation to Robin, Riley Ben, Cari and the entire staff at Intuition Ale Works for opening your establishment – and your heart – to the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out.

It is said that Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying:
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

With Heather Bailey. Blogger for Outside The Den.

With Heather Bailey. Blogger for Outside The Den.

In my opinion, this speaks well of the craft beer society which is beginning to embrace its newest child with love and respect – the growing and dedicated group of women who realize this world of craft beer is indeed their oyster.

Women, please consider yourself invited – and we all hope you join us – and rest assured each one of you will be welcomed, with raised pint glasses, into our fold.

View more photos at:

Intuition Ale Works

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Gas Full Service Restaurant – still standing after Jax Girls’ Pint Out visit

Dwight D. Eisenhower once commented:
“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

The wild Jax GPO krewe

The wild Jax GPO krewe

I am sure when Lindy Loose, co-owner of Gas Full Service Restaurant (9 Anastasia Boulevard – St. Augustine – 904.217.0326) awoke Saturday (August 10), her plans did not include taking care of the food and craft beer requests of two dozen folks, mostly energized women of the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out arriving all at the same time – with about 10 minutes notice!

But the business-planning strategy of Lindy and husband/co-owner Ben served them extremely well that day!

I was uncertain of the total number of people who would make the trek from Mile Marker over to Gas Full Service when I called Lindy on the way. Earlier, I had called her with an estimate of 5 or so – but by the time companion had us boot-scootin’ across town, that figure had grown close to 25 – and here we were literally minutes away.

We were delayed by the drawbridge of the Bridge of Lions, so by the time we entered, almost everyone else was there and had made their initial selections of available craft beer.

The awesome & vivacious Lindy Loose

The awesome & vivacious Lindy Loose

Lindy and the rest of the staff did a magnificent job of taking all the orders and serving the delicious craft beer and amazing food selections. The kitchen staff stretched themselves physically and mentally to deliver outstanding culinary creations to all of us who had descended upon them all at once.

Eisenhower also once said:
“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

On behalf of the Jacksonville Chapter of Girl’s Pint Out, I want to express to Lindy, Ben and the rest of their dedicated staff that I know what a challenge our invasion of your establishment presented – and you’re masterful handling of the situation and personable service is why THIS pencil will continue to write the praises of Gas Full Service Restaurant. My heartfelt appreciation to you for stepping up on a moment’s notice and making us so very happy we came.

The legendary Jalapeno Popper Burger

The legendary Jalapeno Popper Burger

You can view more photos from Gas Full Service Restaurant on Facebook at:

Gas Full Service Restaurant

Girls’ Pint Out – Jacksonville Chapter

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Jacksonville Girls’ Pint Out invade the Oldest City

Mission accomplished. The Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out stormed the walls of St. Augustine on Saturday (Aug 10) and claimed it as our own!

Jacksonville Girls Pint Out

Jacksonville Girls Pint Out

Mile Marker Brewery (3420 Agricultural Center Drive – St. Augustine – 904.217.4294) was our initial rendezvous point and it was quite exciting to see all the women who turned out for this, our first road trip!

Hosting our event was Linda Johnson, member of our Chapter and an investor in the Mile Marker Brewery. Linda did a magnificent job of welcoming all attendees, including those to the group. The Mile Marker staff provided excellent customer service not only to us but also to the other patrons visiting the establishment, as well. The raffle drawing for pint glasses and a quart growler was a big hit – thank you Mile Marker!

Owner and brewer Vance Joy took time out of his busy (and hot) day of brewing to give our entire group a thorough tour and explanation of Mile Marker’s brew plant and process.

Touring Mile Marker Brewing - St. Augustine, FL

Touring Mile Marker Brewing – St. Augustine, FL

Of course, the beer was delicious and the fellowship was energized and genuine. It was great to see Kelsey and Chase back in the Jacksonville area – Chase returning from deployment overseas just recently and Kelsey from California where she had been waiting impatiently for him. Welcome back, you two! … we missed you while you were away – and thank you both again for your service and sacrifice to our country!

On behalf of all the women, I wish to express our appreciation to the staff, management and owners of Mile Marker Brewing for allowing our boisterous group to invade, for making us feel so welcome and for providing the perfect atmosphere the first stop of the first road trip of the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out!

You can check out more photos from Mile Marker Brewing on Facebook at:

Mile Marker Brewing (3420 Agricultural Center Drive – St. Augustine – 904.217.4294)

Girls’ Pint Out – Jacksonville Chapter

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World Of Beer Jacksonville Southside gets a standing ovation

Giant “Movie MegaPlexes” weren’t around when I was growing up. Companion said “theater chains” like Regal, AMC, Muvico and such didn’t exist when he was little, either – the only option for “going to the movies” was visiting the town’s “downtown theater”. I love it when he tells me his childhood stories because they usually give me lots of material – for kiddin’ him. When talk turns to films, I like to tease companion by asking him if they were still making silent movies when he was a child – he “silently” replies with a disdainful look in my direction.

In MY youth, every week or two brought excitement as I waited with great anticipation to see what new movie was going to be presented at our local Cinema. The marquee was used at that time to display the newest upcoming feature – well, actually the little posters hung inside the theater also contained the same information – but they were so bland in comparison to seeing it in BIG LETTERS as Momma and I drove by on our way here and there.

Of course, you and I both started our own “movie review” systems (sans websites) once we were old enough to go to the

The Lovely Claire

The Lovely Claire

movies by ourselves. In our minds, that new cinematic feature had certainly be worth the hard-earned dollar ($1 for matinees) we were shelling out to be entertained. The “reality” had better match the “anticipation”, doggone it.

Going to the movies was MUCH more than getting yourself deposited at the theater, paying admission and sitting down for the duration of the production projected onto the large screen in front of you.

It was buttery popcorn, sugary sodas, fruity and chocolate candies – and seeing your friends – and sitting next to them – sharing the snacks, school gossip and the humor, sadness, action, anxiety or romance on the big screen being conveyed by the popular actors of that time … and it ALL had to be there – good movie, good friends, fresh popcorn and properly carbonated sodas to make that experience truly magnificent.

I don’t know about you but I still get excited when I learn of a new “Brews and Chews” establishment that is going to open in the Greater Jacksonville area. And of course, my old parameter (“reality” had better match the “anticipation”) still comes into play. My anticipation grows as opening day approaches.

So, I was giddy when I learned that World of Beer was coming to Jacksonville (9700 Deer Lake Court, Unit No. 1, Jacksonville, Florida 32246) – the original news release indicated a total of three (possibly) to be scattered about our community. Realizing there would be one initially and that the other two were possible depending on support ($) by the Jacksonville craft beer “family”, I was quite happy knowing there would be at least one.

Tapping Engine 15's Firkin of Imperial Simcoe

Tapping Engine 15′s Firkin of Imperial Simcoe

As July approached, I learned there would be a ticketed event to celebrate the opening on Sunday (July 6) beginning at 8:00 pm. The folks at Bold City Brewery blessed me with a ticket (good for two) to this Grand Opening celebration.

WOW – “Packed”, “Loud” and “Exciting” are terms to describe this, our first visit to the first Jacksonville World of Beer. Following that Grand Opening celebration and throughout the month of July, we went back several times. “Packed”, “Loud” and “Exciting” are STILL terms I use to describe the establishment, so be sure you’re ready for this type of energized atmosphere.

This Jacksonville World of Beer is rather unique because it has a kitchen with an impressive menu of available selections. Be sure and try the Golden Ale Battered Shrimp and their Crispy Chicken & Belgian Waffles!

Golden Ale Battered Shrimp

Golden Ale Battered Shrimp

As in other World of Beer locations, you can purchase a Loyalty Card which tracks the number of unique beer selections you buy and adds points to your account toward receiving awards. You will be happy to know that you will find some local craft beer on tap in addition to a myriad of others not regularly found in our area.

The live music was impressive though almost too loud for the folks we have been with during each visit. However, the talent on display and selections which were played added to the almost overwhelming energy of the place.

In summary, all of our experiences at World of Beer thus far have been outstanding – and they were made so not only because of the wide variety of craft beer available – and not only because of the tasty menu items – and not only because of the wonderful fellowship shared with other craft beer lovers – but also because of the friendly AND ENGAGING staff who served us during our time there – Sam, Kelly, Claire, Jessica, Mattie, Taylor and those other staff members who passed by to retrieve empty plates and glasses with a smile.

Sam, Kelly, Claire and Mattie were proactive in not only making sure we had everything we needed – but also provided

The Brewhaha!

The Brewhaha!

information on the latest taps and suggestions for our next selections. Jessica endured the heat and provided impeccable service as we sat in the “Beeranda”, the covered open-air section with a patio feel to it. The fact these folks were so ENGAGED with ALL the customers is what will continue to make returning to World of Beer every bit as exciting as our initial visits.

A rousing Jax Brew Bitch standing ovation for the staff and management of World of Beer in Jacksonville for making these initial visits truly memorable and enjoyable productions – from service to food – from music to beer – all of which combined to vie with the most exciting movie I ever saw sitting mesmerized in Cajun Country eating my buttery, salty popcorn at my local cozy theater.

To quote The Terminator … “I’ll be back!”

World Of Beer Jacksonville Southside
World Of Beer Jacksonville Southside on Facebook

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Jax Brew Bitch goes Outside The Den

I was recently given the opportunity of being a guest blogger for Outside The Den! Please check out this wonderfully entertaining and informative blog that Heather and Alex write. Even if you’ve been a long time Jacksonville resident, you may STILL learn something new and special about where we live!

My heartfelt appreciation to them both for allowing me to prepare a guest blog entry and I hope you enjoy.


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The Eleanor One-Off Tasting at Intuition Ale Works

He’s around Jacksonville. I see him many times when I’m out and about on my Prowls – but I have to earnestly LOOK for him – he just doesn’t “pop-up” at the drop of a hat. But he’s there.

I’m speaking of Philip Dormer Stanhope. You know Phil? … seen him lately? … well, certainly not in the familiar way we see fellow craft beer lovers at our favorite beer purveyor here in the Greater Jacksonville area.

Philip Dormer Stanhope

Philip Dormer Stanhope

You see, Mr. Stanhope was the 4th Earl of Chesterfield and I believe he purchased his first Mug Club membership when he was about 12 years old … in the year 1706. Yeah, he’s a ghost – but prior to him shufflin’ off his mortal coil, Philip Stanhope – also known as Lord Chesterfield penned a thoughty statement:

“Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give luster, and many more people see than weigh.”

Amen, brother! … Give me results … that’s for me … and what we’re seeing in Jacksonville are significant accomplishments in the craft beer “Brews and Chews” community. Anniversaries of microbreweries, births of others, and a yielding of stature away from traditional brands of mass-produced beer to artistically created craft brews on the menus around town.

Women are playing a notable part in the growth of the number of folks proudly making up the craft beer culture all across the country. There’s no group in town whose luster of accomplishments shines any brighter than The Ladies of Intuition (Intuition Ale Works).

Last year, The Ladies created their first beer known as The Siren – which is described on Intuition Ale Works website:

“Brewed by The Ladies of Intuition, this sassy schwartzbier/black lager has hints of Ancho, Guajillo and Chipotle Peppers that compliment its roasty malt character.”

The results were amazing, The Siren becoming quite popular with Intuition customers.

This year, I was honored to become involved with the brewing of The Ladies’ second batch, along with other women who

The Ladies of Intuition

The Ladies of Intuition

were fellow Mug Club members. After some deliberation, The Ladies named the beer, The Eleanor – described on the website:

“A Belgian blonde ale brewed with 90% Black Tea and 10% Oolong tea. A crisp and refreshing summer ale, perfect for a day in the Florida sun!”

Photos from the day of brewing at Intuition Ale Works.

Tea in your beer? … YOU BET! … the Ladies of Intuition did it again with this very tasty and commercially viable creation. But they weren’t done with brightening their luster – they decided to invite several women to try their hand at preparing cask treatments of The Eleanor which when ready, would be tapped and sold on One-Off-Wednesdays there at Intuition Ale Works.

Cask treatments involved adding special ingredients to a permeable bag and securing this “bag of goodies” inside a Cornelius keg of The Eleanor for a week, thereby infusing the beer with some interesting additives.

Bitch's Brew

Bitch’s Brew

I was again honored to be invited to prepare one of these special casks and after some discussion with The Ladies, settled upon grapefruit zest and basil as my extra ingredients. All of my “work” during the enjoyable time I was adding the zest and basil was accomplished under the watchful eye of Jessie, brewer at Intuition.

You can view photos on facebook here.

Companion and I enjoyed each of these special infusions on the Wednesdays we visited the brewery … and were disappointed when we had to miss one. However, The Ladies had another wonderful inspiration which “caught me up” on those I missed – a get-together where all the special cask-treated recipes would be once again created – this time infused in gallon growlers.

The get-together, billed as The Eleanor One-Off Tasting was held on Tuesday, June 25 and featured the following infusions:

Ladies Beer Infusions

Ladies Beer Infusions

• Hannah’s blackberry and mint
• Lindsay’s lemon zest, chamomile and lavender
• Cari’s rose hips and grains of paradise
• Robin and Staci’s apricot and elderflower
• mine with grapefruit zest and basil
• Lindsay Crawford’s strawberries and pink peppercorn
• Mary Shope’s mango and cilantro
• Jen Steiner’s mango and blueberries
• Danielle’s grapefruit and green tea
• Jamie’s mango, orange, lemon and honey
• Katie Sula’s peaches and hibiscus peach red tea
• Dianne Hill’s fresh ginger and lemon zest
• Linda Johnson’s blueberries, raspberries and vanilla
• Carmen’s fresh rosemary
• Jen Maher’s cinnamon, molasses and cranberry apple tea
• Laurie’s mango, nutmeg and chili powder
• Cali’s fresh mint and plums

I had such a wonderful woman-full evening that night! … those I got to meet and speak with included soon-to-be married Haley, Ruby, Jenny and Jamie. I was also able to spend a little time with Linda Johnson, one of the owners of Mile Marker Brewing in St. Augustine and she alluded to some big things coming for Mile Marker … stay tuned!

Wonderful ladies gathered at IAW

Wonderful ladies gathered at IAW

What an amazing collection of delicious beer and the talented women behind the recipes – all in one place! … My sincere appreciation to The Ladies of Intuition Ale Works for the opportunity of being involved and to all the women in attendance for their amazing creations and warm fellowship.

Lord Chesterfield was there, by the way, as I emerged from the taproom to head home and he high-fived me and wanted me

Making new friends at IAW

Making new friends at IAW

to express to The Ladies of Intuition and all the women gathered there that evening that the bright luster of their accomplishments was what drew him to Intuition Ale Works that night and that he was pleased that women are making such a significant mark in the craft beer industry from both production and consumption perspectives.

He also wanted me to remember (and to share with all) that while still alive, he also said,

“Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well”

As he faded from view, Mr. Philip Dormer Stanhope ended with:

“So, please tell the women to keep up the good work – I look forward to marveling at their future achievements. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the glow of their luster – all around town.”

View photos from The Eleanor Infusion on facebook.

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Cigar City Brewing introduces the El Catador Club

As if you needed another reason to make regular beer pilgrimages to the Tampa area.

In the category of “… and with a Cherry on Top …”, Cigar City Brewing has announced their soon-to-be-established El Catador Club!

El Catador Club is a special members-only club that guarantees you barrel-aged bottled releases as well as advanced access to purchase other special bottles.

Some of the particulars about the benefits of becoming a member:

• Membership guarantees you to one bottle of 5 barrel-aged beers to be released periodically over the course of your membership;
• This membership does NOT have a set time period; membership concludes 30 days after the release of the 5th and final bottle. You will have first of refusal for the second installment of El Catador Club;
• None of the beers are determined yet, but ONE will be a barrel-aged variant of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout!;
• Depending on the yield from each batch, there is potential for purchasing additional bottles for each member. This will only be determined when that beer is ready to be released to the club;
• You will have advance notice of other beer releases and the chance to purchase these bottles before non-club members;
• Other perks include an El Catador Club t-shirt, a membership card, 10% off all purchases in the tasting room, potential for advanced access to ticketed events and possibly members-only special beers on tap or available in growlers in the tasting room.

Bottles will need to be picked up in Cigar City’s Tasting room but they WILL allow trustees to pick up for others.

More details to follow – so, please stay tuned here or on Cigar City’s facebook and/or Twitter feeds!

Let’s see … I-95 … to I-4 … to I-275 …

Cigar City Brewing

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