4th Annual Coastal Art & Craft Beer Festival in New Smyrna Beach

Head out this Saturday, April 29 at the 4th Annual Coastal Art & Craft Beer Festival in New Smyrna Beach (New Smyrna Marina -200 Boatyard St, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169) The festival will feature 100+ craft beers, a free local art show, live music and more! The movie Read more

Bold City Downtown opening this Friday! (April 21)

The Bold New City of the South just got even BOLDER! Bold City Brewery opens their new second location in downtown Jacksonville TO THE PUBLIC THIS FRIDAY! (April 21) starting at 11 am to 11 pm! This exciting addition to Bold City is located at 109 E. Bay Street. Regular hours will Read more

Party of the Decades to benefit the Junior League of Jacksonville

Travel through time at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery on Friday, April 28 for the Party of the Decades to benefit the Junior League of Jacksonville. The event is a progressive party that starts in the Roaring ‘20s, moves into the Groovy ‘60s and finishes in the Rockin’ ‘80s. Dress the Read more

Tree Fest at Swamp Head Brewery - Sat. April 15

This Saturday (April 15) 12 pm -11 pm at Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, FL) when you drink you'll be planting 5 trees ... no, really! Tree Fest 2017 is a FREE family friendly event put on by Solar Impact and Swamp Head Brewery with games, live music with Jordan Read more

$3 Craft Drafts

We're all looking for a little happy during the week! $3 local drafts during Happy Hour (Mon - Fri, 4 - 7pm) at Hoptinger - Five Points and their Jax Beach location. If you're in 5 Points - Jax Hawkers 5 Points has $3 craft drafts and $3 app Read more

It's Baseball Season! Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Amazing Cuisine & Craft Beer! Yes ... Craft Beer!

“Before the Rangers, there were the Spurs.” Companion had been providing a timeline of the growth of his hometown (Arlington, Texas) including the addition of General Motors, Six Flags over Texas, the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Team and more recently, the Dallas Cowboys. His fondest childhood memories were associated with Read more

Celebrate National Beer Day - April 7

The end of Prohibition was anxiously anticipated by many in the US and President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law a bill which allowed people to brew and sell beer on April 7, 1933. This was regarded as one of the major first steps in getting rid of a heavy-handed Read more

Crooked Can Brewing Co. Celebrates American Craft Beer Week - May 15

Start prepping your liver for American Craft Beer Week! To all my Winter Garden and Central FL peeps, Crooked Can Brewing Company will be kicking off ACBW with an event on Monday, May 15 featuring 20+ breweries including a couple of Jacksonville's own local brews! Tickets are $35 and Read more

Hyperion Brewing Co. Grand Opening May 19

An advocate of human rights, James Freeman Clarke, once said, “I can do small things in a great way” – a very pithy statement from this 19th century theologian and outspoken liberal minister. It is obvious Alexandra "Alex" McKeown, Owner and co-founder of Hyperion Brewing Company is taking that thought Read more

Charity Pint Night for FFB & Free Live Music with FWTR

Come out to Bold City Brewery and support Foundation Fighting Blindness and enjoy free live music by Firewater Tent Revival Friday, April 14, 7 – 11 pm! For each pint purchased Bold City will donate $1 to the Jacksonville VisionWalk via MOMS for sight. There will be a Silent Auction Read more

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The Assault on Florida’s Microbreweries

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

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

Amen … Well said, President Hoover.

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

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

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

*Knock-Knock*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to a recent article in www.jacksonville.com:

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

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

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

“Clarify the law”??? … Honestly??? …

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

According to their website:

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

Visit their web page and read all the way to the bottom:
http://www.floridaindependentspiritsassociation.com/index.php/about-fisa

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

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

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

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

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

According to their website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an article by its President:

http://www.nbwa.org/news/insider-columns/maintaining-a-system-that-works-the-power-of-grassroots

The system mentioned is the Three-Tier System. For more basic info about the Three-Tier System, read a quick Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-tier_%28alcohol_distribution%29

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

Education again.

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

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

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

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/01/craft-beer-three-tier-system-pros-cons-distributor-retailer-debate.html

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

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

Read this article – http://adage.com/article/news/a-b-inbev-millercoors-losing-share-fix/244178/

The telling paragraph to me is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what can we do about this lawsuit thing?

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

Here is a link to the site:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-florida-s-craft-breweries

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

Also,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can see it now during a future commercial break:

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

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

See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – May 2014

Call your significant other NOW! … May is National Date Your Mate Month!cover05-14

Deciding exactly where to go may be a little daunting to you. The Greater Jacksonville area has a lot going on and plenty of places to take your mate during this month!

May 12-18 is American Craft Beer Week, a national celebration recognizing small and independent craft brewers and their contributions to communities. During that week, there are a couple of notable events:

The 6th Annual Jacksonville Craft & Import Beer Festival will be taking place on May 16 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. There will be over 350 beers from over 45 brewers available. Only 2500 tickets will be sold. For more info, visit http://www.beerfestjax.com

The Barley Bus is rolling again this year! … May 16 – $20 will include one craft beer at each of five (5) stops around the Greater Jacksonville area – and complimentary beer on the bus all along the way! Contact Regina at Silver Cow (904.279.6968) or visit www.silvercowjax.com or www.jaxbrewbitch.com for tickets and more information!

Jax Beer Week will be celebrated May 25-31 and every local brewery in the Greater Jacksonville area will be BREW_barley-buscelebrating with tastings, beer dinners and special tappings. The last day of Jax Beer Week is the Florida Brewer’s Guild Beer Fest which will be held in Hemming Plaza. For tickets and information, visit http://www.floridabrewersguild.org/

For more info on Jax Beer Week, visit https://www.facebook.com/JaxBeerWeek

May 2 & 3 is Trolley Weekend in the Riverside/5 Points/Avondale communities. This popular JTA service will carry you to and through each of these neighborhoods’ entertainment/brews and chews districts. You won’t need to be worried about finding parking or driving in between! A $4 ticket will cover you for the entire night and can be purchased at various establishments in those neighborhoods including Silver Cow, Intuition Ale Works, European Street Café on Park and Bold City Brewery. For more info, visit http://riversideavondalenighttrolley.com/

Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle St.) will be rockin’ for Sensory Saturday – May 3. Firewater Tent Revival will be performing at the brewery starting at 7pm. This date is significant since it is the anniversary of the 1901 fire which devastated Jacksonville. To honor the undaunted spirit of those involved in the rebirth of Jacksonville, Bold City Brewery will be tapping their extremely popular 1901 Red Ale the week before. It is brewed with a hefty amount of roasted barley to impart a nice roasted and smoky accent.

During American Craft Beer Week (May 12 – 18) Bold City Brewery will be celebrating with beer dinners, tastings and festivals. Stay tuned for details and visit their Events page at http://www.boldcitybrewery.com/

Green Room Brewing (228 3rd Street North – Jax Beach) will be releasing a limited amount of their popular Quetzalcoatl Mayan Red which has been aging in Tequila barrels for 6 months. They will also have bottles and draft of the non-barrel aged version for comparative drinking.

Brown Distributing has a number of events during May:
Brewer’s Pizza – Orange Park
Event: Barrel Aged beers and Kentucky Bourbon Stout Release
May 13 – 5pm to close

Engine15 Brewing Company – Jax Beach
Event: He’brew, the Chosen Beer Pint Night
May 14 – 4 to 7pm

Zeta – Jax Beach
Event: Pint Night
May 16 – 6 to 9pm

Engine 15 Brewing Company – Jax Beach
Event: New Brewery Party with $2 M-Shack Burgers
May 26 – 2 to 6pm

Grape and Grain Exchange – San Marco
Event: Cigar City Brewing beer, Sweet Grass Dairy cheese & Peterbrooke chocolate pairing
May 28

Brewer’s Pizza – Orange Park
Event: Florida Beer Taps (Payment/contact info: Steve 904.508.6083)
May 27 – 5pm to close

Silver Cow – Riverside
Event: Cigar City Tap Takeover – last stop on the King Street Pub Crawl
Contact Regina at 904.379.6968 or visit www.silvercowjax.com or www.jaxbrewbitch.com
May 27

Blind Fig – Riverside
Event: Beer Dinner featuring Engine 15 Brewing Company beer
May 26

Zeta – Jax Beach
Event: 18 FL local beers on draft
May 29 – 6 to 9pm

What are waiting for? Don’t wait! Don’t be late! Pick some dates to Date Your Mate!

Make this month very special for you and your significant other. Grab your calendar and make plans to experience what the “brews and chews” establishments in our community have planned for May.

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in EU Jacksonville Comments Off

See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – April 2014

Feel that? It’s the feeling of spring. Forget the fact we had some bone-chilling weather in late March–it’s time to downloadlook forward to springtime beers! This is an exciting season for craft beer lovers. It’s much like legendary Hall of Fame baseball player, Rogers Hornsby, said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring”.

Saisons, sours and lambics are traditionally featured during the spring and are the source for a lot of excitement. The anticipation of warmer months and these styles of beer is finally realized during April. For those of you unfamiliar with these styles of beer, I offer the following general descriptions:

Saisons – Saisons were brewed to have a dry flavor profile, and hops and spices are usually added for their bacteriostatic properties. What defines these beers as a style are an extremely high attenuation and a highly carbonated, fruity and/or spicy flavor profile due to the unique yeast strain.

Sour Beers – Sour beer is a beer style characterized by an intentionally acidic, tart, sour taste. Unlike traditional brewing, which is done in a sterile environment to guard against the intrusion of wild yeast, sour beers are made by allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew.

Lambic Beers – Lambic is a type of beer brewed traditionally in Belgium. Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, lambic beer is produced by spontaneous fermentation. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive dry, vinous, and cidery flavory, usually with a sour aftertaste.

This month, spring into action–visit one of Jacksonville’s many craft beer purveyors, and start enjoying the warmer weather by ordering these delicious beer styles.

Other Brew News:

One Spark

The World’s Crowdfunding Festival (also known as One Spark) will be held in downtown Jacksonville April 9-13. DISH_intuition_OneSparkAltJacksonville’s Intuition Ale Works is the official beer for this event! According to their Press Release:

We’re excited to announce that Intuition Ale Works will be brewing two limited release beers just for One Spark 2014! Demand for the One Spark Kölsch was extremely high during One Spark 2013, so we’ve added a second brew for One Spark 2014! Demand was so high, in fact, that we ran out of the One Spark Kölsch on Day 4 of the festival. With two great brews and increased production this year, we made sure that isn’t likely to happen again!

The One Spark Kölsch is a smooth, German-style ale with mild hops and a crisp finish inspired by kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. If you tried it at One Spark 2013, you know that it is deliciously light and refreshing.

One Spark Alt is the new beer for One Spark 2014. It’s an amber malty brew that finishes with a nice, smooth taste. Alt was inspired by the Altbiers brewed in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Whether you prefer a hoppy or malty beer flavor, you’ll find what you’re looking for between these two flavorful brews. Both beers will be unveiled at a release party at Intuition Ale Works on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. You can RSVP or get more information about the One Spark Brews Release Party by visiting the Facebook invite.

“As a Jacksonville native and small business owner, I know that supporting our downtown core with events like these and contributing to the spirit of innovation will be vital to our city in years to come”, says Intuition Founder and Brewer Ben Davis about the inspiration behind the brews for One Spark 2014. You’ll find One Spark Kölsch and One Spark Alt on draft at the One Spark 2014 Food Village presented by San Marco Dining District, the One Spark Beer Village presented by Sea Best and beer kiosks around the festival April 9 – 13. Don’t miss out on trying both of these mouthwatering brews!

Jax Beer Week

The third annual Jax Beer Week takes place May 25 – 31 2014. It is an annual gathering of local breweries and better beer businesses to celebrate the growth of craft beer in Jacksonville. A number of events are planned throughout the week that focus on beer brewed right here in Jacksonville and by other craft brewers in Florida.

For more information follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JaxBeerWeek

Posted on by Jax Brew Bitch in EU Jacksonville Comments Off

See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – March 2014

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!” march2014cover

by REGINA HEFFINGTON, THE JAX BREW BITCH
published: March 4, 2014

This Irish toast is so fitting for the month of March, the de facto “party month” where almost everything is allowed, expected, and forgiven on and around St. Patrick’s Day.

“A keg of Guinness does not an Irish bar make” – that’s one of mine. It takes more than an Irish stout and a few pictures on a wall to really have true Irish bar ambiance. Everybody knows that, too.

This is the month for trying Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers ‘n Mash, Guinness Beef Stew, Corned Beef ‘n Cabbage and Fish ‘n Chips (best with Malt Vinegar sprinkled on top).

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I expect you all to get out and about and enjoy what the Greater Jacksonville area “brews and chews” establishments have to offer during the month of March. Wear green by the way – that will make you look Irish.

Culhane’s Irish Pub (967 Atlantic Blvd. Atlantic Beach, 249-9595)

Fionn’s MacCool’s Irish Restaurant & Pub (Jacksonville Landing, 374-1547)

Lynch’s Irish Pub (514 1st St. North, Jax Beach, 249-5181)

O’ Brothers Irish Pub (1521 Margaret St. 854-9300)

Fly’s Tie Irish Pub (177 East Sailfish Dr., Atlantic Beach, 246-4293)

Donovan’s Irish Pub (7440 US Highway 1 North, St. Augustine 829-0000)

in other news

Coming to Jacksonville March 1 will be the tasty creations of 5 Rabbits Brewery based in Bedford Park, IL. For more info on this exciting brewery, visit www.5rabbitbrewery.comDISH_saint_patrick_day_gree

Bold City Brewery

At the 6th Annual Flip Cup tournament at Bold City on March 15 there will be a total of 16 teams and 5 people per team. Sign up your team starting Thursday, February 27, for $25 a team.

There will be a Charity Pint Night for Police Unity Tour VIII Fri, March 28, 7 pm.

Sensory Saturdays at Bold City Brewery

March 1 – 77D’s performing in the brewery, 7 pm

March 8 – Bay Street Band performing in the brewery starting at 7 pm. Note: this is also Trolley Night!

Bold City Brewery Special Tappings

March 6 – The Bold City D Coffee Stout

March 15 – Bold City Irish Red (Flip Cup Tournament)

March 20 – Bold City Roxy s Finest Imperial Cream Ale

April 3 – Oktoberfest (kind of half-way to the real Oktoberfest!)

Brewer’s Pizza (14B Blanding Blvd., Orange Park , 276-5159) – Founders Brewing Company spotlight March 11. Back-Woods Bastard will be there!

European Street Café (992 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach, 249-3001) (2752 Park St. -384-9999) Pint Nights with Cigar City Brewing every Thursday from 6-8 pm during the month of March.

Engine 15 Brewing Company (1500 Beach Boulevard, Jax Beach, 249-2337) – Pint night Summit Brewing on the 19th of March from 4-7 pm.

Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street 683-7720) River Run After Party at the brewery on Saturday, March 15th. Intuition is awaiting permit approval to close down the street and have a killer block-party! They will be opening early at 10 am and will have two food trucks serving some impressive food, including brunch items such as a “Kegs and Eggs” kind of thing! Look for some breakfast-themed beers from the talented and creative brew staff! Intuition will also be tapping their popular Irish Red Ale that day.

They have partnered up with local chefs, food truck owners and artisans to bring you a series of tastings, book signing events and beer-pairing dinners that feature recipes from their recently released cookbook, “Cooking with Intuition!” Make sure to follow the cookbook on Facebook, www.facebook.com/IntuitionAle, to get updates on these events and more:

3/6 Book-signing with Taverna at San Marco Bookstore, 5:30pm

3/10 Beer dinner at The Blind Rabbit, 7pm

3/12 Beer dinner at Tapa That, 6pm

3/27 Craft Beer + Chef’s Bites at Cafe Nola at MOCA, 6pm

Regarding their Beer Collaborations, Intuition states: “Over the next two weeks we’ll be tapping a couple collaboration brews in the tap room – watch our FB page for details! Amsterdam Falafel is a collaboration with Engine 15 and is the first brew in a series we’re calling Partners in Crime. This Baltic porter comes in at 8.2% ABV and is a smooth, dark concoction brewed with a lager yeast. Mologna is an English IPA brewed in collaboration with Brother Keegan, a fellow local brewer. We brewed this one with Scottish malt and all English hops, and it’s around 6.75% ABV. Also, watch for Liver Kick, our black IPA, to be back on tap soon!”

Tickets are now on sale for the Slow Food First Coast Slow Down in the brewery on Friday, May 2nd at 6 pm. This is one of their most popular events and tickets are guaranteed to sell out so secure yours now by visiting: www.eventbrite.com/e/slow-food-f….

The Slow Down is their annual fundraiser for Slow Food First Coast and features over 20 local chefs, restaurants, farmers and artisans. Intuition will be closing down the street and turning the event into a block-party this year, so it’ll be bigger and better than ever!

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Another brewery is opening in Jacksonville! – Veterans United Craft Brewery will be open soon. The Brewery is owned by veterans sharing an enthusiastic desire for producing and enjoying quality craft beer. Their founder, Ron Gamble, is a former Naval Flight Officer and has been a brewer in the craft brewing industry since 2007 – and a passionate homebrewer since 1999! Ron’s vision is to take the same spirit, pride and dedication of his military service and infuse this energy into a company that creates great tasting and innovative craft beers. Veterans United Craft Brewery is committed to making a positive contribution to the Jacksonville community and beyond.

Mile Marker Brewing (3420 Agricultural Center Drive, St. Augustine, 217-4294) will be hosting a charitable event scheduled for March 28 with Pink Up the Pace. For more information, visit their website and Facebook: www.milemarkerbrewing.com and www.facebook.com/MileMarkerBrewi….

“It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!”

Read more here …

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – February 2014

“Go ahead–kiss me now before I eat these onions.” I was sitting close by a couple at one of our local restaurants as the wife said that to her 1621775_584056311684730_1980550577_nhusband, who then dutifully followed her direction. Smart man. Smart woman, too–kissing someone who has just finished off a meal with onions can be a little…well, you know.

Craft beer-loving couples don’t have to worry about all that stuff. You’ll never hear, “Kiss me now, before I drink this Double IPA” or “I can’t kiss you now–I just finished a Russian Imperial Stout”. Heavens no. Quite the contrary.

The lingering scent and flavor of handcrafted brew on your breath is actually a type of aphrodisiac for me … uh … I mean, for those involved in craft-beer-centric romantic relationships. Write that down.

Here is some craft beer news and events for Jacksonville to help get you in the mood this February:

Two Brothers Brewing Company (Warrenville, Illinois) is expanding their entire line of beers for statewide distribution in Florida via Cavalier Distributing. The Two Brothers Brewery is owned by brothers Jim and Jason Ebel who developed a passion for flavorful specialty beers while living in Europe. After returning to the states, they had trouble finding craft beers in Chicago, so they opened Two Brothers Brewing Company in 1996. The brewery resides in a 40,000-square-foot facility 30 miles west of Chicago. Ask for them by name anywhere craft beer is sold.

New Belgium Brewing is releasing two new creations: Snapshot Wheat Beer, an unfiltered wheat beer full of refreshment and a flash of tart at the finish, and, Spring Blonde Belgian Style Ale. A seasonal offering brewed with pale and Munich malts, this golden ale pours bright copper and holds a strong, white head aloft. A nose of lemon peel, pepper, and fresh baked bread entices a sipping. Spring Blonde drinks malty, sweet and wonderful.

Engine 15 Brewing Company (1500 Beach Boulevard – Jax Beach)

Thursday, Feb 13 – FREE manicure night (+ $9 bottomless glass) for the ladies featuring the specialists from Atlantic Nail Spa from 5 to 7 pm. All other Thursdays will be randal and cask nights. Engine 15 will also be one of the sponsors of the Bella Luna event at MOSH on February 8. www.themosh.org/bella_luna.html

Intuition Ale Works (720 King Street) – February 25 at 8 pm – Trivia Night with Trivia Night Live – the first place team wins a $50 taproom gift card!

Dahlia’s Pour House (2695 Post Street) – Feb 28, 4-10 pm — Mead Tasting! Enjoy eight meads on tap with light snacks. $35 per person or $60 per couple until Valentines Day!

Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle Street) – Feb 8 – Sensory Saturday featuring Patrick Evan and The Coalition and tapping a Bold City Signature BREW_Dahlias-Mead-TastingSeries Saison. Feb 14 tapping the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cask Ale using Dukes Brown Ale, and Feb 20, tapping the Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Chinook IPA.

Silver Cow (1506 King Street) – Happy Hour every Tuesday through Sunday from 4-7 pm. $1 off all craft beer and house wines.

The air this month is going to be filled with Cupid’s arrows throughout the Greater Jacksonville area “Brews and Chews” scene, so there is a good chance you’ll be struck with one as you share a tasty craft beer at one of Jacksonville’s many establishments. Yes, of course – it’s okay to go ahead and kiss – smooch away! But don’t be surprised if you hear me yell, “Hey, you two! Go get a taproom!”

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – January 2014

You should be excited! With the number 7 being the Biblical “perfect” number and the luckiest number in the casino game Craps, the dawning of 2014 should have you anxiously anticipating every morning! Why? Sum up the numbers in the year 2014; the total is seven. It’s the most
perfect and luckiest year of this decade. There will not be another one until 2023, so take advantage of this year every month. Well, I know that may be a stretch – but look what our local “brews and chews” establishments have in store for us already in this “Lucky 7” year:

Whole Foods will have a craft beer dinner in January featuring the beer from the Sierra
Nevada Brewing Company. The date has not been set, but for details on this upcoming event, be sure to check my website www.jaxbrewbitch.com.

Bold City Brewery will have its first Sensory Saturday of 2014 on January 4, featuring the talented musical group, the Snacks Blues Band.

Intuition Ale Works has a new cookbook, “Cooking with Intuition,” available for purchase in their taproom. Look for one of my family’s cherished recipes inside!

ABC liquors on San Jose and Sunbeam in Mandarin will be offering 12 taps of local breweries’ favorite creations and limited release selections from all over the globe. They will also be filling growlers at this location. Other locations coming soon.

Silver Cow, my little establishment at 1506 King Street offering craft beer, fine wine and nosh will be open in January. All permits are in place and final preparations are being made for a soft
opening around the first of the year.

Be on the lookout beginning January 3, 2014 for an opportunity to “Get Jolly on the Trolley”
– a JTA sponsored Trolley will run on Friday and Saturday evenings during the first weekend of the months of January, February and March. This is a trial run, so let’s all get out and ride the Trolley during those weekends to show JTA it will be worthwhile to make it a regular route!

The Trolley will run from 6 pm to 2 am using a “Figure 8” route around 5 Points, Avondale and Riverside, including a stop at Bold City Brewery! The cost is $1.50 for a single ride or $4 for a day pass. For realtime bus location data look at trolley.jaxmob.com.

See? I told you 2014 was this decade’s Lucky 7 year! Start it out right – make it one of your
New Year’s Resolutions to get out and enjoy what our great community has to offer!

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – December 2013

Did you feel that? Did you see it? That thing flying past you is 2013. This year has brought some new players into the Greater Jacksonville “chews and brews” scene, including a new local microbrewery, products of other microbreweries around the country not available before and some new establishments making a commitment to offer craft beer. The good news is the year has some good things left in it!

This winter, IBUs start accumulating like snow in Colorado with New Belgium Brewery’s new Accumulation White IPA, their winter seasonal. Brewing a white IPA was not only a way to salute the white beauty falling from the sky, but a direct revolt to the longstanding tradition of brewing dark beers for winter. At least that’s what the rebellious brewer Grady Hull likes to claim as he shovels in plenty of new hop varietals and a bit of wheat for a smooth mouthfeel. Stack up a few cases of Accumulation White IPA to keep your long nights glowing blizzard white.

SweetWater Brewing Company has a couple of seasonals for us! Festive Ale – Just in time for the holidays is this strong, cheerfully spiced seasonal ale with big, complex flavors to keep you warm and toasted all season long. Brewed only one day per year, this high octane 8.6% ABV brew has a sleigh load of Centennial and Golding hops and is capped with a dose of cinnamon and mace. Festive Ale is shipping to Jacksonville through the end of the year and is available in 6 packs, 22oz bombers and draft.

Whiplash – What happens when a 500-year-old Belgian style ale gets rear-ended by a truckload of pompous American hops? It equals one heck of an ambulance chaser of a beer. This is an American style Belgian IPA, with a subtle phenolic flavor in combination with citrusy/piney hops, well balanced at 6.2% and 55 IBUs, with a tart, dry finish. Whiplash is a white IPA and a brand new seasonal for us, it will be available the second week of November through the end of February in 6 packs, draft and our Tackle Box.

All the beers mentioned above can be found and purchased at Beer:30, Grassroots Natural Market, Total Wine & More and ABC Liquors.

Bold City Brewery will have a Toys for Tots drop off this season! From now until December 14th bring a new, unwrapped toy and get a free pint of beer. Also visit Bold City for their Tacky Sweater Party to benefit the American Lung Association’s 2014 Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, December 14 at 7-10 pm.

Engine 15 Brewing Company will be offering a Christmas gift package with a bottle of their Anniversary Barrel-Aged Chupacabra, Engine 15 Xmas Quad, 2 E15 tulip glasses and a bottle opener in a very cool Engine 15 truck box for $55. Dec 1-12 E15 will also be doing 12 Beers of Christmas. Drink all 12 and get a free E15 beer for the rest of the month!

Intuition Ale Works is busy putting the final touches on the Intuition cookbook called Cooking with Intuition. (I’m in there for Silver Cow!) There will be a big launch party, where you can pick up your cookbook at the brewery on Thursday, December 12th.

2013 has certainly flown by, and rumor has it 2014 has already begun to stretch its wings. Don’t let this year slip by you without grabbing some holiday beer-cheer! Happy Holidays!

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – November 2013

Christmas stuff, already? Really? I don’t know about you, but I miss having separate seasons in the stores. When I was growing up, it was Halloween–-then Thanksgiving–-then Christmas. Not Hallowivingmas.

Now that we’ve put away the ghoulish costumes, our focus can be on all things “Novemberish.” Some of our local establishments have taken an aggressive approach in providing useful information for your travels out and about in our local craft beer community during November.

Aardwolf Pub & Brewery now has seven beers on tap and a rotating pilot batch every Wednesday. New 4 oz. sample glasses ($2) and growlers are in full effect.

November 20 from 5:30-7:30 pm Aardwolf hosts a BioFlorida Mixer to benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital. $20 per person. Catering by Smoke It Up BBQ.

Bold City Brewery recently tapped their Winter Seasonal, the Super Secret Stout which is an American sweet/dry/milk stout hybrid. A large amount of roasted and chocolate flavors should be expected with a nice sweetness to balance out the finish. 7.5% ABV

November 2 from 7-11 pm Bold City’s Charity Pint Night will benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness through the Jacksonville VisionWalk. On this Saturday, Bold City will donate $1 for each pint purchased to Jason and Adriann Keve’s VisionWalk team, Bold Vision. An added bonus, the local band the Firewater Tent Revival will perform at the brewery. Come drink great beer, hear great music and support a great charity! For more on VisionWalk team Bold Vision, visit www.fightblindness.org/goto/bold….

November 13 at 6 pm Bold City Brewery Craft Beer Dinner at Gas Full Service Restaurant. For reservations call 217-0326.

Engine 15 Brewing Company will be offering a Christmas gift package with a bottle of their Anniversary Barrel-Aged Chupacabra, Engine 15 Xmas Quad, 2 E15 tulip glasses and a bottle opener in a very cool Engine 15 truck box for $55. They start taking pre-orders in November.

November 11 from 5-10 pm Engine 15 releases its JamMin Jasmine Saison in a festival-style event benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The cost is $20 in advance. To register and to find out more information about this important event, please visit www.mdaevent.org/thejamminmoveme….

Dec 1-12 E15 will also be doing 12 Beers of Christmas. Drink all 12 and get a free E15 beer for the rest of the month.

Intuition Ale Works has a busy November as they celebrate their three-year anniversary!

From November 13th onward the King Street Farmers Market will be moving to the courtyard at Intuition. Wednesdays, 4-7 pm.

Nov 20th-Dec 17th Intuition offers Beer Passports. They will be serving up 7-ounce pours. Every time you drink a brew, get your passport stamped to keep track of your beers. If you try all twenty beers by Saturday the 17th you’ll get a voucher for a gallon growler and a fill of your favorite brew. PLUS, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win $100 tap room dollars.

On Nov 21st at Dig Foods, Intuition will do a vegan beer dinner as part of their anniversary week festivities.

Nov 23rd Intuition has pulled a special event permit to close down the street. There will be lots of food trucks and at least 20 special-release beers for the official celebration of their anniversary.

Pinglehead Brewing Company has announced their Punk! is now available in Pinglehead’s official taproom, Brewer’s Pizza. This year’s malty masterpiece of pumpkiny gourdness weighs in at 10.4% ABV and was made with spices provided locally from our friend’s at All Spiced Up in San Marco. Black hOP’s India Black Ale and LANDSLIDE are also back on tap.

Goose Island Beer Company is unveiling four Belgian-style wild ales from its diverse and creative portfolio. The Chicago-based beer company will debut two completely new, barrel-aged farmhouse ales called Gillian and Halia, and release the 2013 vintage of the much sought after sour ales, Lolita and Juliet. Be looking for these brews at Grassroots, Beer 30, Broudy’s and ABC Liquor .

Wow! That’s enough info to stuff a candy-coated turkey to put under the tree! Merry Christmas! NO! I mean, Happy Thanksgiving! … trick or treat, y’all …

Read more of Eu Jacksonville’s November issue at:
http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_11-13.pdf

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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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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – October 2013

What’s Brewing – Celebrations & Pumpkin Beers
Lederhosen and Dirndl. No, that’s not a new law firm you see in advertisements on local TV. Savvy beer lovers know these are traditional Bavarian leather breeches for men and the corollary dress for ladies. As you frequent our community’s “brews and chews” establishments in October, you may see fellow patrons have donned these outfits to celebrate Oktoberfest- Jacksonville-style! Here are some of the upcoming events where you may glimpse these, assuming you don’t arrive in your own.

October 5 Engine 15 Brewing Company Oktoberfest Celebration 2-5 pm. E15 will be crowning a King and Queen for Oktoberfest and have a live Oompah band and other festivities.

October 5 Bold City Brewery Head over to the brewery for Sensory Saturday. Taproom opens at 1 pm, and Sweet Scarlett will be performing at 7 pm. Delicious grub from Jolly Mon Catering and free brewery tours from 2-5 pm. Bold City is open on Sunday’s for Game Day Growler Fills from 10 am-12 pm.

October 5 At the Jacksonville Beach location European Street Cafe brings you Oktoberfest 2013 for a Saturday of continental-style fun with entertainment provided by oompah band the Hungry Five and a visit from the Monster German Weiner. For more information visit europeanstreet.com.

October 6 Intuition Ale Works Oktoberfest at Memorial Park Intuition Ale’s third annual Oktoberfest celebration is on Sunday. Check out www.intuitionaleworks.com for details.

October 11 & 12 Jaxtoberfest Over the course of the weekend enjoy Jaxtoberfest in style. General admission on both days is $8. There are additional tickets to purchase for the games and contests to be held during the event. Be a Saturday VIP for $40. You will receive admission into Jaxtoberfest, access to the VIP area in front of the stage and the four VIP tents with exclusive Oktoberfest beer and food as well as access to private restrooms. The VIP option helps to pay for itself with a 22-ounce mug to fill up for same price as a 16-ounce mug. For more information on tickets, visit jaxtoberfest.com/buy-tickets.

October 12 Mile Marker Brewing Hoist up those pint glasses everyone! Mile Marker Brewing will be celebrating their two-year anniversary on Saturday. For more information visit www.milemarkerbrewing.com.

October 19 Bold City Brewery 5-Year Anniversary Celebration Bold City Brewery will be celebrating their 5-year anniversary starting at 1 pm. $2 pints all day, delicious food from Jolly Mon Catering, live bands including the typically incarcerated Bold City Bandits who are out this one day for good behavior.

October 19 European Street Cafe brings you Oktoberfest 2013 for a Saturday of continental-style fun at their Riverside location. For more information visit europeanstreet.com.

October 19 Runtoberfest 5K Race Register for the Runtoberfest 5K Race presented by Audi Jacksonville to benefit Challenged Athletes Foundation. The race will take place on Saturday at 6:30 pm starting at European Street Cafe on Park Street. Registration is $25. For more information and registration visit www.prsracetiming.com/1019—run

October 26 Monkey’s Uncle in Mandarin presents the Inaugural Beer Olympics benefiting your Jacksonville Rollergirls and featuring some of your favorite bar games. Teams of five can sign up to compete. There will be tons of free beer, raffles and prizes. The top three teams will go home with some awesome swag. Sign your team up today!

October 30 Gas Full Service Restaurant in St. Augustine will be having a 6-course craft beer dinner featuring Bold City Brewery. The Gas staff will be in costume and encourage others to come dressed.

October 8, 15, 22 & 29 Intuition Cookbook and Taste Test Tuesdays The crew at Intuition Ale Works has been busy at work on the Intuition cookbook, to be released in December. Pre-sales will begin in October, but while you wait for a hard copy, join IAW every Tuesday for Taste Test Tuesdays. They’ll have samples of a few recipes that will be featured in the cookbook, so you can try them out and share your thoughts.

Pumpkin Beer
This time of year also brings out the following Pumpkin Beers from the Greater Jacksonville area breweries and pubs:

Aardwolf Brewing brewed a pilot batch of ERMAHGOURD Pumpkin Ale.

Bold City Brewery brewed their Pumpkin Ale, which is mildly spiced with a blend of pumpkin and seasonal flavors and will be tapped on October 10 at Bold City’s tap room.

Engine 15 Brewing Company Their seasonal beer The Pumpmaster is a spiced yam beer and will be released on Halloween night.

Green Room Brewing Double Pumpkin Jax-O-Lantern will go on tap Thursday, October 10. Jax-O-Lantern is a sweet, brown ale made with 50 pounds of pumpkin in the mash, along with nutmeg, candied ginger, cinnamon, allspice and clove.

Intuition Ale Works Punk Monk Dubbel is a seasonal, Belgian-style, dubbel pumpkin beer. IAW added 80 pounds of pumpkin to the mash and another 20 pounds to the kettle and used a specially formulated pumpkin pie spice blend to add hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and then aged it on vanilla beans for 10 days. This brew will be tapped later in October.

Kickbacks Gastropub Ask for the “rimmed glass” when you order the phenomenal Southern Tier Brewing Pumking Pumpkin Ale.

Pinglehead Brewing Company Their highly anticipated “pumpkin barleywine” will be brewed with local spices from All Spiced Up in San Marco and available in early October.

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. For a more expansive look at the season’s happenings and newly unveiled beers check out the online version of this article at www.eujacksonville.com

German Tunes
The One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band is a favorite local German band and always very busy, especially this time of year. Here is their early October schedule:
October 4th (7-10pm) at German Schnitzel Haus
October 5th (2-5 pm) at Engine 15
October 5th (6:30-9:30 pm) at Holy Spirit Catholic Church
October 12th (7-10pm) German Schnitzel Haus

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – September 2013


It Takes a Village …

A book by Hillary Rodham Clinton which focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and advocates a society which meets all of a child’s needs. Some dispute the concept and favor stronger and more effective parenting.

However, this concept can certainly be applied to the Greater Jacksonville area craft beer “village”. Any new microbrew making its debut in our community’s “brews and chews” scene MUST be adopted, loved and cared for if it is going to “make it” for any significant length of time.

Recently, our local craft beer family has been formally introduced to two breweries making their way into the distribution stream to several Jacksonville beer purveyors.

One is New Belgium Brewing. At food/beer paring events staged to present their offerings to the beer lovers in Jacksonville, distributor Champion Brands/TeamHopheads provided “ample samples” of (see descriptions on breweries’ websites):

New Belgium Fat Tire Note: 5.2% ABV & 18.5 IBUs

New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale Note: 6.5% ABV & 70 IBUs

New Belgium Shift Pale Lager
New Belgium employee-owners work in shifts to brew to life world-class beers. Those efforts are rewarded daily with a shared end-of-shift beer. We’re passing that welcomed occasion onto beer drinkers in this Shift Pale Lager. Think American pale ale meets American lager. It’s easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory. So, clock out and crack open a Nelson Sauvin-hopped Shift Pale Lager to reward your work. Or play. Or, if you’re like us, combine the two and surround yourself with drinking buddies. Note: 5.0% & 29 IBUs

New Belgium Trippel Belgian Style Ale
Our Trippel Belgian Style Ale (pronounced triple) opens with a bold blast of hops that slowly gives way to the fruity esters implied by our Belgian yeast strain. In the Belgian tradition of brewing singles, doubles and triples, Trippel is the strongest with the longest fermentation. Remarkably smooth and complex, our bottle-conditioned Trippel is spiced with a trace of coriander. Note: 7.8% & 25 IBUs

Another brewery making a significant expansion into our area is Goose Island Brewery. In 2011, Goose Island announced they were selling to Anheuser-Busch and many die-hard microbrewery supporters raised their eyebrows and wondered if Goose Island creations would become the mass-produced, bland or tasteless concoctions they believe are hallmarks of “Corporate Beer America”.

Last week, a wonderful food/beer paring event was put together by Goose Island distributor, North Florida Sales at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach. There, Goose Island introduced some special creations which were in addition to what they consider their “usual line-up” of beer – descriptions per their website:

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

Goose Island Brewery Lolita Belgian Style Pale Ale
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
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
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

Founders Brewing also just made it to Florida! Brewers Pizza, Kickbacks Gastropub and World of Beer all celebrated Founders recent arrival with special release parties. The following is a list of Founders Brewing Company’s creations currently available in our area:

Founders Centennial IPA
Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head’s floral bouquet. Relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry hopping. This one’s sweet, yet balanced. Malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns too bitter. Note: 7.2% ABV & 65 IBUs

Founders All Day IPA
The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures. Note: 4.7% ABV & 42 IBUs

Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale
A testament to Cascade hops in a bottle, this medium-bodied pale ale has a refreshing citrus flavor and a distinctive floral hop aroma due to the aggressive addition of hops during fermentation. You’ll notice a slight malty sweetness with a balanced hop finish. Perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere. Note: 5.4% ABV & 35 IBUs

Founders Dirty Bastard
So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads. Note: 8.5% ABV & 50 IBUs

Founders Red Rye PA
Serious hop bitterness, along with an unyielding grapefruit bouquet from the Amarillo dry hop, balances the malty richness of four varieties of imported Belgian caramel malts. Pours a spectacular crimson with a creamy tan head. A generous addition of rye malt accentuates a spicy, crisp finish. Note: 6.6% ABV & 70 IBUs

Founders Porter
Pours silky black with a creamy tan head. The nose is sweet with strong chocolate and caramel malt presence. No absence of hops gives Founders’ robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect. Cozy like velvet. It’s a lover, not a fighter. Note: 6.5% ABV & 45 IBUs

Founders Mango Magnifico
Mango Magnifico con Calor [Magnificent Mango with Heat] is a never-before-released, high-gravity fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of Michigan-grown habaneros. Each 750mL bottle of this 10% ABV ale is intended to be shared. Not a traditional fruit beer, the delicate tropical fruit in Mango Magnifico is punctuated by a hint of heat, increasing the overall depth of flavor and adding another level of complexity. A refreshing drink for the warm summer months.

All of the Founders Brewing Company beers mentioned above can be found at Beer:30, Grassroots Natural Market, Broudy’s Liquors, Total Wine & More and ABC Liquors and on tap and bottles at your local bar and restaurants.

The reactions I noted from the crowds at both breweries’ events indicate the Jacksonville “village’ of craft beer lovers stands ready to help nurture the development into maturity of these two breweries into our local brews culture.

Those of us who are already immersed into the craft beer community should remember what Carl Jung said:

“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.”

Let us do our part to support ($) the efforts of our local distributors and the multitude of establishments (and their staff) which will be offering these new and exciting choices of beer in the future.

New Belgium Brewing
http://www.newbelgium.com/home.aspx
https://www.facebook.com/newbelgium

Goose Island Brewery
http://www.gooseisland.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gooseislandbeer

Founders Brewing Co.
http://foundersbrewing.com/
https://www.facebook.com/foundersbrewing

LOCAL BREWING NEWS:

Aardwolf Brewing (1461 Hendricks Avenue – Jacksonville in San Marco) – look for a mid-September “re-Grand Opening” where at least four of their own microbrews will be featured. This is the long-awaited and much anticipated debut of Aardwolf’s creations being available on a regular basis!

Bold City Brewery has canned their Killer Whale Cream Ale and Mad Manatee IPA and it will be hitting the shelves in September. Visit their website at boldcitybrewery.com for updates and access their Beer Finder feature.

Engine 15 Brewing Co – Every Thursday, Engine 15 Brewing Co. taps a new and unique special pilot batch for Tap 42. This batch is limited and will run out very quickly. Engine 15 Brewing Co. will also partake in a benefit for the Child Cancer Fund on September 21 at Burrito Gallery. Right around the corner, Engine15 will be rolling out the Oompahs’ and kicking off their Oktoberfest celebration on October 5.

Green Room Brewing – Every Thursday, Green Room Brewing taps a new brew!

Intuition Ale Works will be celebrate Oktoberfest this year at Memorial Park on October 6. For tickets visit intuitionaleworks.com

Pinglehead Brewing / Brewers Pizza – Tuesday, September 3, 5 pm is Tuesday Infuse Day. Every first Tuesday of the month, Brewer’s Pizza will infuse Pinglehead Beer with some new flavors through a Dogfish Head Randall 3.0. With this device Brewer’s can infuse any beer straight from the tap through Cookies, Candy, Hops, Wood Chips … Almost anything you can dream up!

Hop Art: Craft Beer Through the Eyes of Local Artists. Sunday, September 8, 5 – 9 pm at Aardwolf Brewing Co. To benefit Friends of Clay County Animals, Inc. while enjoying great food, music, art and of course craft beer. This is a free event but please make a donation at: http://hopart.eventbrite.com/

Read EU Jacksonville September 2013 issue at:
http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_09-13.pdf

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – August 2013

A doctor, a lawyer and an engineer walk into a bar on Ladies Night…Years ago, this leadin to a joke would have created a mental image of three men entering a honky-tonk in search of something to drink and, well, ladies. Though feminist progress has been made over the past few decades, some modern thinkers still need a figurative slap in the face to wake up to the realization that all three of the professionals above could easily be women.

This same stodgy thinking has been rampant in the craft beer industry in the past. Believe me, it wasn’t that long ago that the microbrewery business was largely considered “Men Only.” However, changes are afoot in the community of craft beer lovers, and that foot is wearing a four-inch heel.

Girls’ Pint Out is a national, all-female organization which was created by Magen Peters to promote solidarity between

First Florida GPO meeting at Cork & Keg - April, 2012

First Florida GPO meeting at Cork & Keg – April, 2012

beer drinkers of the fairer sex. Through monthly events, field trips, meet-ups, and drives, Girls’ Pint Out seeks to promote a sophisticated level of beer appreciation among women and to bolster the craft beer industry in general.

Magen Peters was kind enough to allow me to establish a Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out on June 29. Attendance at get-togethers has been increasing, and interest in this organization has really exploded.

Plans are being made for a field trip to St. Augustine on August 10, where the group will be invading the Mile Marker Brewery and other destinations to be determined.

Jacksonville Magazine has also invited the Chapter to attend the Northeast Florida Beer Cup, which they are sponsoring at TPC Sawgrass on September 26. The girls will be promoting the organization and serving homebrews created by some of the Chapter’s experienced lady brewers.

Ladies, grab your friends, have your significant others serve as your loyal and trustworthy designated drivers, and

www.jaxgirlspintout.com

www.jaxgirlspintout.com

come on out to the next meeting of the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out! There are no membership fees or monthly dues. If you are interested in attending one of the gatherings, just come prepared to pay for the beer and food you order. It’s that simple.

By the way, there are already some lady lawyers and doctors in the group–so, if you are a lady engineer, your first pint of beer will be on me! No joking!

For further information on the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls’ Pint Out, please visit www.jaxgirlspintout.com or follow us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlsPintOutJacksonville?ref=hl You can also email me at regina@girlspintout.com

See more of “What’s Brewing” in your area at:
EU Jacksonville August 2013 issue

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – July 2013

“Water Baby” is a term I have used to describe myself from youth based upon my love for the ocean. Lacking gills, of course, means I must also have an affinity for land – and my favorite “land” is the beach.EU Jacksonville July 2013

Every summer brought excitement for me – not just because I was out of school – but also because I knew my mother would be taking me to a Gulf Coast beach somewhere. In my adolescence, my swimsuit was selected by Momma using “durability” as a prerequisite. As I grew older and was able to choose my own beach attire, I used other parameters – all focused upon “being focused upon.” As a result, my vacation wardrobe got lighter in weight with each approaching summer.

I have found my preferences for beer also turn to the lighter side as the warmer months make their appearance. In the colder, winter months, I tend to select Stouts, Porters and Dark Ales. I now find myself opting for Hefeweizens, Pale Ales and Lambics in warmer temperatures.

My growing appreciation for craft beer has proven to be an exciting substitute for lying prostrate on the beach, getting way too much sun and accidentally swallowing copious amounts of seawater. In truth, it’s really aggravating dealing with the sand stuck to all our belongings and mysteriously deposited in my swimsuit, regardless of its size.

Make this summer the summer you become a “Beer Baby” and cool off at the establishments listed on a regular basis! You can rest assured you won’t be dropping sand out of your shorts when you get home.

See more of “What’s Brewing” in your area at:
EU Jacksonville July 2013 issue

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville – June 2013

EU Jacksonville’s June 2013 issue is now on stands – pickup your free copy and follow EU Jacksonville on Facebook, for the latest happenings around Jax!

Big hair! Big shoulders! Big bushy eyebrows! No, I’m not describing the model of the latest romance novel cover. I’m talking about the popular fashion styles of the 80s. In keeping with what I absorbed in that decade as I sat mesmerized in front of my state-of-the-art, boxy television set watching MTV, I adopted the popular trends at that time.

I brushed, teased and sprayed my hair into several orders of magnitude of radii around my head, pumped up the shoulders of my blouses, jackets and coats with chunks of preformed padding and did my best to encourage my eyebrows to mimic those of Brooke Shields. I HAD to, of course: I had a social standing I needed to maintain. There was NO way I was going to be considered “unconsidered.” By golly, I had a statement to make, and it was certainly going to be made in lockstep with the popular caste of fellow students–but with a little different touch (here and there) which was allowed by the ruling social class of my school.

Gag me with a spoon! There is NO way I would go through all that hassle now. I don’t have to, of course. I have a social standing I need to maintain. Styles change, and we grow and morph with them. The same holds true in the beer industry, and we craft beer lovers are living through an exciting trend at this very moment.

Currently, the trend of microbreweries around the country is to produce a new product using some “off-the-wall,” “out-of-left-field,” “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?” ingredients and treatments that will inspire the legion of dedicated craft beer aficionados to make their weekly pilgrimage to the taprooms.

However, sailing the tradewinds of this national movement toward exotic beer recipes comes with a price. The microbrewing process on a commercial level requires at least one powerboat of a beer on which the microbrewery relies to pay the bills and hopefully provides enough financial resources to experiment with crazy additives and treatments on smaller batches. These are sometimes heralded as “one-off brews” if their “Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog” manipulations of the beer resulted in something palatable–or as “test batches” if after tasting, the brewer would have rather eaten the whole frog, toes and all.

Boatloads of water, costly buckets and shovels of ingredients and gobs of precious never-to-berecovered time go into batching any beer at a brewery. As a result, trend-following brewers around the country are weighing the investment of their tangible and intangible goods, assets and resources against the anticipated payback. Making it more difficult in the background is the axiom, “If there is a cost for doing it, there is definitely a cost for NOT doing it.”

In and around Jacksonville, the microbreweries we are blessed to have in our community are answering the call of sophisticated craft beer hounds by making the commitment of their treasured resources to produce and offer some special releases for the enjoyment of and continued funding by their patrons.

Intuition Ale Works The Ladies of Intuition created The Eleanor, a Belgian Blonde Ale infused with 90% black and 10% oolong tea. A dollar from each pint goes to support Girls Rock Jacksonville. I’ll be doing a special, treated cask in the next couple of weeks for “One-Off Wednesday’s.” One night only!

Pinglehead Brewery For easy-drinking summer days, they have created the crystal-clear bodied Marley’s IPA.

Bold City Brewery Already a huge hit is the limited release of a Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Cream Ale named Roxy’s Finest.

Engine 15 Brewing Every Thursday is “Tap 42” where a unique and limited “pilot batch” is tapped and offered for sale – it goes quickly, so be there this Thursday and get there early!

Green Room Brewing A special release to mark their second anniversary on June 15 is a Second Edition of the Secret Spot, an Imperial Stout aged six months in Jamaican rum barrels.

Aardwolf Brewing Look for some upcoming collaborations with other breweries and their own line of brews coming soon as they have recently obtained the necessary permits.

Mile Marker Brewing Can you say coconut and pecan? Check out their popular Palm Beach Coconut Porter and the Pecan de Leon Nut Brown Ale.

Head out to one of our local microbreweries to sample the latest trend in craft beer creations! I’ll be doing just that as soon as I slap on some blue eye-shadow and don my fingerless gloves and legwarmers…HEY! Haven’t you heard? That style is making a comeback!

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EU Jacksonville’s May 2013 issue is now on stands – pickup your free copy and follow EU Jacksonville on Facebook, for the latest happenings around Jax and find out how you can win tickets to special events! EU Jacksonville will have tickets to THE HANGOVER III, so follow for more details.
EU Jax May 2013

Aardwolf Brewery
Caterpillars. For me, that word brings back memories of elementary school, as my fellow classmates and I would make our daily inspection of the dry aquarium holding everything needed by the little creatures to confirm what our teacher said would happen in their development into adulthood.

The appearance of another chrysalis inside the aquarium brought preadolescent cheers – we were really pulling for each little caterpillar. They had a motivated audience providing encouragement for successful growth into an adult member of the species.

No better adaptation of this concept of metamorphosis applies to one of Jacksonville’s businesses: Aardwolf Brewery, which opened Friday, March 22 at 1461 Hendricks Avenue in San Marco. I have been pestering owners Preben Olsen and Michael Payne with questions about the status of their brewery for over a year. I realized permitting would be the biggest issue, and I am of the opinion that anyone wishing to invest time and money in a brewery must have the patience of Job and infinite perseverance.

In mid-April, Aardwolf had endured the permitting process enough to obtain their federal license, allowing them to sell their own handcrafted brews – and were then patiently waiting for the State of Florida to grant their blessing to do the same. During this waiting period, they can sell beer from other breweries (guest taps) as well as collaboration concoctions resulting from work with other local microbreweries.

But I have been pulling for them – as have many in the Greater Jacksonville Brews & Chews community – and they ALL showed up one special Friday night. The staff at Aardwolf Brewery that evening was slammed – a huge turnout on this, their opening night – and their motivated team did a remarkable job in maintaining order and doing their best to satisfy all customers. Any delays experienced that night were overlooked – this was, after all, the evening the newest Jacksonville “Brewery Butterfly” emerged from its chrysalis.

In subsequent discussions, Preben Olsen mentioned that Aardwolf Brewery expects the license from the State of Florida by the end of June, and once it is received, they will offer four of their own creations. Preben also confirms Aardwolf is currently in discussions with two other local microbreweries regarding future collaboration beers – a popular option for craft beer lovers here in Jacksonville.

Our newest butterfly is stretching its wings for the first time – and it is indeed beautiful to behold. We, as Jacksonvillians, have now been blessed with another outstanding brewery to add to all the others we are privileged to have – Bold City Brewery, Intuition Ale Works, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Pinglehead Brewing Company, Green Room Brewing and Mile Marker Brewing.

In the coming months, I will be excited to watch the development of Aardwolf Brewery and to witness the significant focus the team will have on their customers. We expect great things from Michael Payne and Preben Olsen, whom we craft beer lovers sincerely thank for sticking to it–for having that determined perseverance and faith to complete the beautiful metamorphosis which is Aardwolf Brewing. I’m confident it will be a consistent and enjoyable stop on future Jax Brew Bitch Prowls.

Aardwolf Brewery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 11 pm. Food trucks will be onsite on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well.

http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_05-13.pdf

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville …

One Spark Lights Up Downtown April 17-21

It takes just One Spark to ignite the creative bonfire that’s to come … EU Jacksonville’s latest issue is now on stands highlighting this special event which will take place April 17 – 21. Check out yours truly contribution and yes, there will be great beer!
http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_04-13.pdf

Have you taken the time to peruse the One Spark website? It has categories of Music, Art, Tech, Robotics, Education and Invention. I believe that pretty well covers the gamut of creativity — and my thoughts have recently hovered around historical figures who have impacted the world with their creative and inventive minds.

Within the last 50 years, it is easy to identify milestone
achievements which “changed the world”:
*The landing of men on the moon
*The blooming of the internet
*The retail success of smartphones (whether you like it or not)
*Rock and Roll (whether you “dig it” or not)

All of these did not happen in an instant. There were creations, inventions, thoughts, ideas and processes which preceded each of the milestone achievements. Although these other creations and inventions may not be considered milestone, they certainly were a “stepping stone” or “building block” of the milestone achievements.

It follows that we embrace the successful efforts of creators and inventors – and that in a city as large as Jacksonville a number of these creators and inventors exist. As Jacksonvillians, we are blessed not just because we have these creative and inventive folks in our midst–we are also blessed to have an organization seeking to highlight, promote and motivate these people, that organization being One Spark. It may very well be that some of these One Spark contenders will one day “change the world” – or at least provide that “stepping stone” or “building block” needed for someone else to hailed for their milestone achievement.

We have a brewery in town which has a remarkable history of supporting creative people and organizations–and by “supporting” I mean expending their time and resources to do so. Intuition Ale Works is known for their efforts in buttressing the creations and inventions which go to assist in the development of sustainable (green) initiatives, inclusion of women-owned and managed businesses, and the inclusion of lifestyle diversities. Intuition provides a forum for the various artists, musicians and culinary experts to display, provide and present their creations.

So, it was not surprising that Intuition Ale Works has stepped up once again – this time in support of One Spark – by reserving a special brew made just for One Spark. The One Spark brew is going to be a Kolsch-style beer, and Intuition will be distributing it to select locations in the urban core. As an added treat and focus on One Spark, the Kolsch will also be served out of their beautiful taproom the week of the festival, April 17 – 21, 2013. Be sure to take the time during the festival to drop by Intuition Ale Works and show your support of them and those involved in any aspect of One Spark.

One Spark Brew Growlers are for sale for $10 and can be filled at Intuition Ale Works. Purchase your growler online at the link listed below and pick up at One Spark’s headquarters, located at 303 N. Laura Street (inside the Jacksonville Main Library). http://one-spark.myshopify.com/products/one-spark-beer-growler

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See “What’s Brewing” in EU Jacksonville …

EU Jacksonville’s 2013 Festival Guide is now out on stands. Pick up your free copy and see what’s brewing!

Who doesn’t look forward to spring? Shaking the effects of historically chilly months from your limbs, you are ready to get out and enjoy the weather–take in a festival or two–and maybe dance and sing, if you are so inclined or talented.

Heck,even the animal kingdom has“springing heifers”–signifying that time right before a female cow births her first calf. The owners of these heifers excitedly anticipate this time, most often in the spring, all giddy with finding out whether their herd has been increased by another bull or heifer.

This season, there are many opportunities to get out and enjoy what the Greater Jacksonville area has to offer in great food, beer and activities. Consider the following your “Farmers’ Almanac” of venues from which you can choose your harvest of fun and excitement

http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_03-13.pdf

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Pickup your copy of EU Jacksonville and see “What’s Brewing”

EU Jacksonville’s latest issue is now out. See “What’s Brewing”, check out San Marco’s newest dining delight and this season’s Performing Arts.

http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_02-13.pdf

http://eujacksonville.com/

Og, Father-of-the-Year in 60013 BC, acquired his paternal award based upon several parameters. One of the most important had to do with dining. Og would sing, beat on hollow logs and play bone flutes while his wife and progeny sat about the family fire and ate their meal of a roasted member of some now-extinct species. This loud and creative performance would be used to ward off hungry predators and competitors, allowing his family to complete their feeding with enjoyment.

Future Ogs in subsequent millennia outsourced these duties to others who, though outside the family, were much more talented at producing pleasant sounds during the course of a fine dinner. Some enterprising Mesolithic log-thumper put a couple of grunts together, which we now understand to be the word “music”. Many believe this period also saw the establishment of communal dining – the act of grouping together with other cave-dwelling clans to discuss the weather and the unkempt cave entrance of the family who chose not to attend.

Music being played during a meal continued rhythmically along through history, entering a Neolithic phase, characterized by the mass-unionizing of these knuckle-dragging, Hominid dinner accoutrements, from whence came the practice of compensating the performer in addition to the obligatory share of the communal dinner.

So, it efficiently follows that the early bone-flutists evolved into the entertainers we regularly see at bars and restaurants in Jacksonville. Take my word for it.

These artists do a great job of providing a comfortable ambiance, heightened gastronomical and “imbibical” experiences and effective protection from marauding bands of saber tooth tigers. (I haven’t seen any, have you?)

Here are few modern day og-bookings for you to enjoy:
Kickbacks Gastropub – Live music on Thursdays
910 King Street – 388-9551

Intuition Ale Works – Tuesday is Tunesday in the Taproom
720 King Street – 683-7720

The Salty Fig – Live music on Tuesdays
901 King Street – 337-0146

Tapa That – Live music on Saturdays
820 Lomax Street – 376-9911

Green Room Brewing – Live music Fridays and Saturdays
228 3rd Street North – Jax Beach – 201-9283

Engine 15 Brewing Company – Live music on Thursday nights
1500 Beach Boulevard – Jax Beach – 249-2337

Bold City Brewing Company – Big John Miller is working on new bookings for 2013. Stay tuned!
2670 Rosselle St – 379-6551

Cliff’s Bar & Grill – Music nightly
3033 Monument Road – 645-5162

Bold Bean Coffee Roasters – Open daily. See schedule for live music and open mic night.
869 Stockton Street Suite 1-2 – 855-1181

Underbelly – Open nightly. Sundays and Mondays for concerts only.
113 East Bay Street – 353-6067

Sahara Cafe & Bar – Belly Dancers on the weekend
10771 Beach Boulevard – 338-9049

The Casbah Cafe – Belly Dancers on Fridays and Saturdays, Jazz on Sundays, live music nightly
3628 St. Johns Avenue – 981-9966

Ginger’s Place – 304 3rd Street South – Jacksonville Beach – 249-8711

Casa Marina Hotel Penthouse – Live music every Wednesday and Sunday
691 North 1st Street Jacksonville Beach– 270-0025

Island Girl – Live Music Wednesday through Saturday
7800 Gate Parkway – 854-6060
820 Highway A1A North – Ponte Vedra – 834-2492

Three Layers Cafe – A Coffeehouse – check their website and Facebook for the schedule for “Verbal
Essence” spoken word and live entertainment
1602 Walnut Street – 355-9791

Burro Bar – Live music most Fridays and several other evenings during the week
100 East Adams Street – 353-4686

Culhane’s Irish Pub – check out their website and Facebook for live music schedule
967 Atlantic Boulevard – Atlantic Beach – 249-9595

Hamburger Mary’s – check out their website and Facebook for show times and other entertainment
3333 Beach Blvd – 551-2048

Northstar Sub Station – “The Pizza Bar” – Open Mic Comedy on Wednesdays; Mad Cowford Improv
Comedy on Fridays and Saturdays.
119 East Bay Street – 860-5451

Yesterdays Social Club – Thursdays open mic night. See schedule for shows
3638 Park Street – 387-0502

1904 Music Hall – Open during scheduled concerts. See schedule
19 North Ocean Street

Don’t be a Neanderthal…get out and enjoy what the Jacksonville Brews and Chews community has to offer in the way of live entertainment during your dinner and drinks hunting excursions! And please be sure to continue what your Neolithic forefathers began, and tip your entertainer along with those who serve you.

And oh, by the way, there’s no need to bring your own fire – Og’s great-great grandfather, IgNite, franchised that a million years ago.

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Pickup a copy of EU Jacksonville & see “What’s Brewing”

EU Jacksonville’s January issue is now out! Artsonville – 2013 Visual Arts Guide.

Featuring the Bold City Bandits from Bold City Brewery, Robin Rütenberg of Four Families from Intuition Ale Works, Michael Payne from Aardwolf Brewery Billy the Brewer from Green Room Brewing, Dallas from Engine 15 Brewing Company and the George and Bobby of F.L.A. Productions LLC from Kickbacks Gastropub!

http://www.eujacksonville.com/eu_01-13.pdf

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EU Jacksonville’s Holiday Edition

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to pick up a copy of EU Jacksonville’s latest issue for craft beer gift ideas and upcoming holiday events! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

http://www.eujacksonville.com/story2.php?storyid=2809

CHEERS to holiday brews

by THE JAX BREW-BITCH published: December 4, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres summed it all up when she said, “Nothing says holidays like a cheese log” …and the holidays, they are upon us! Her tongue-in-cheek comment mirrors what many Americans have come to regard as the Thanksgiving-to-New-Year’s segment of our calendar– maybe with good and ample reason.

So, how do YOU look at the holiday season? With an undefined sense of foreboding? With increasing emotional pressure? With disappointment, acknowledging all those forgotten resolutions from nearly a year ago? Buying gifts is the one single holiday activity which causes more aggravation than any other. Beginning with THIS holiday season, consider taking a different approach to your shopping.

Remember this:
THE GIFT OF BEER IS THE GIFT OF CHEER!

It is THE slam-dunk gift for beer lovers, of course. But how about those who are unfamiliar with craft beer? They will enjoy it, as well, if for nothing else than the experience of trying something new. The holidays are a great time to try things for the first time! The following is a collection of holiday seasonal beers, activities and gift ideas from establishments within the Greater Jacksonville area.

Now, get out your calendar and pad of paper–prepare to take notes. I’ll give you a couple of minutes to find something to write with…(*tapping fingers on desktop*)…(*humming “100 Bottles of Beer on the Tree”*) … You back and ready to write? … You sure? … I can talk a dog off a meat-wagon, you know … Let’s go!

Wondering about what type of beer to buy?

Pumpkin-flavored Beers
Due to the arrival of Fall and the passing of Halloween, there is a plethora of pumpkin-flavored and pumpkin-influenced beers already on the shelves. Some of the brands can have an understated pumpkin-influence–like a “roasty” taste of the pumpkin itself–straight from the patch. Others can have that “this tastes just like a sweet pumpkin pie” in-your-face wallop of flavor.

For instance, Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale has that garden-fresh natural influence of pumpkin without any noticeable spice. On the other end of the spectrum is Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking – especially when you order it on draft at Kickbacks Gastropub, where they rim your glass with honey, graham crackers, brown sugar and cinnamon – Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie in a glass!

Winter and Christmas Holiday Seasonal Beers

Ho-Ho-Ho! I love the taste of ‘O’ Tannenbaum’ in the morning! You can find some yuletide beers which do seem like you are drinking a Christmas tree, if you look for them. However, many Winter Seasonal releases were developed for you to curl up on a comfy couch with a blanket and sip during the cooler months–without the taste of pine or spices.

For those of you unfamiliar with craft beer, it is distinguished from those beers you see advertised on television–especially during the Super Bowl. Not that there is anything wrong with a Bud Lite or Miller Lite – but those are “everyday” beers, or as I have heard others refer to them, “Lawnmower beers” or “McDonald’s beers.” Craft beer normally has a higher alcohol content by volume, and since they are creations by highly inspired brewmasters, are unique in flavor and mouthfeel. Consider the following list of flavors which have all found their way into certain craft beer formulations: Chocolate, Coffee, Anise, Lavender, Honey, Strawberry, Cherry, Wine, Blueberry, Oatmeal, Bacon – yes, bacon!, Oyster, Peanut Butter, Habanero pepper, Jalapeno pepper, Datil pepper, Pumpkin and Watermelon.

We are blessed with having several microbreweries located right here in the Greater Jacksonville area! Most microbreweries offer what they call growlers, jugs or jars of either quart or gallon sizes. No half-gallon growlers are allowed in Florida though, oddly enough. Growlers are unique in that you can refill them. So, once you buy it full the first time, refilling it from then on is often half the cost you paid the first time. In essence, you are buying the glass growler on your first visit.

Consider a growler as a gift – keep in mind the “life” of the beer is limited in growlers, so unless the one you are buying for plans to have a group over, it might be better to consider a couple of quart growlers filled with different beer styles for your special someone.

Riverside Arts Market to Extend Shopping Hours

Riverside Arts Market is excited to announce HOLIDAZZLE! – a festive new holiday event and shopping opportunity for the entire family. On Saturday, December 8th, RAM is extending its hours until 9 pm to provide an all-new nighttime experience for its visitors. Winter brews, wine and holiday cocktails (think eggnog and peppermint schnapps!) will be available for the grown-ups with hot chocolate and other treats for the kids. Shoppers may take advantage of gift-wrapping stations, with proceeds supporting RAM and select non-profit community partners. We suspect that Santa might pay us a visit as well! As always, a variety of dining options, live entertainment and street performers will complete the festive experience visitors will find at North Florida’s largest open air market. Admission and parking are always free.

BEER: 30 (1271 King St, 388-0033)
Arrived Nov 16 – check to see if they have any left!
Black Xantus, Bison Gingerbread, Blue Point Winter, Southern Tier 2xmas, Southern Tier , rampus, Anchor Christmas, Lagunitas Brown Sugga, Lost Coast WinterBraun, Sierra Nevada , Celebration, Pere Noel, Woodchucks Winter, Shiner Cheer.www.beer30jax.com, www.facebook.com/Beer30jax

BOLD CITY BREWERY (2670 Rosselle St, 379-6551)
Christmas gift ideas abound! Bold City swag is a great idea! They have an online store, and items can also be purchased in the tap room along with gift certificates. Take a look at the shirts and caps available from this, Jacksonville’s first microbrewery. Bold City Brewing’s selection of tasty creations would be a popular addition to the dinner table for Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, holiday parties, etc. Bold City Brewing is also releasing for the holidays a Bourbon Barrel-aged 1901 Red Ale. The Imperial Cream Ale and the Spice Pumpkin Ale will be on tap, too. On December 5th, Bold City has scheduled a “Pint Night” at JP Henley’s in St. Augustine, from 7 to 9 pm. Pumpkin Spice Ale, 1901 Red Ale, Dukes Cold Nose Brown Ale and a special cask will be featured that evening in America’s Oldest City.

www.boldcitybrewery.com/index.ph…, www.facebook.com/pages/Bold-City…

ENGINE 15 BREWING COMPANY (1500 Beach Blvd, Jax Beach, 249-2337)
The talented team over at Engine 15 Brewing will be tapping the “12 Beers of Christmas” beginning December 13:
Day 1 (Dec 13th) – Pear Kolsch – Kolsch Style Ale with pears
Day 2 – Pecan Chocolate Caramel Alt
Day 3 – General Von Cliest’s German Alt – Classic German Altbier
Day 4 – Black IPA – Ramming Speed
Day 5 – Golden Strong Ale – Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Day 6 – Goose Egg Cream Ale
Day 7 – Belgian Witbier – Belgian White Ale
Day 8 – Milk Stout
Day 9 – 9% Oatmeal Cookie Imperial Stout – Oatmeal, Brown Sugar, cinnamon and ginger
Day 10 – Imperial IPA – American Imperial IPA
Day 11 – Smokejumper – Smoked Porter
Day 12 (Dec 24th) – Christmas Quad – Belgian Quadruple with Brown Sugar and Dried Plums

WooHoo! Taste the Season! You can make this an early Christmas present for your friend or loved one by taking them by Engine 15 each day to enjoy their holiday creations! While you are there, look over their tempting food menu, as well.

www.engine15.com. www.facebook.com/pages/Engine-15…

INTUITION ALE WORKS (720 King St, 683-7720)
Intuition Ale Works sells gift cards out of their tap room, as well as through their online store: http://intuitionale.myshopify.co…. They also have a lot of fun merchandise for sale in their tap room right now, including t-shirts, caps, growler bags, glassware and more. The amazing folks at Intuition Ale Works think six-packs or growlers always make a great gift. If you opt for the growler, you purchase the glass growler and a gift card for the amount of a fill, so the recipient can redeem the fill at their convenience.

www.intuitionaleworks.com, www.facebook.com/IntuitionAle

GREEN ROOM BREWING (228 3rd St N, Jax Beach – 201-9283)
Soon, the “Christmas-tree flavored” Holla Ray, made with Nugget Hops and Pennsylvania Spruce tips will be tapped. I was fortunate enough to be invited to help in the brewing of this festive brew a couple of weeks ago with Scott Russell and Ray Carr from North Florida Sales. Join the creative team at Green Room Brewing for one last party before the world ends on December 21! They will be tapping their newest beer: Quetzalcoatl, the Flying Serpent. Brewed with a massive amount of malt this Imperial Mayan Red utilized Cassava Root in the mash, Poblano and Serrano peppers in the boil, and was conditioned on Chocolate and Vanilla. Firewater Tent Revival will be rocking out all night! 2 Food Trucks out back! – Bottle sales while they last! For gifts this season, Green Room suggests their Hoodies ($40), Green Room gift certificates, and growlers filled with your favorite Green Room Brewing beer! Join Green Room Brewing every Saturday at 2 pm for our weekly Bottle & Homebrew Sharing meeting. Bring a bottle (or can) of your favorite craft beer and join us! For more information on the Bottle Sharing meeting, visit www.jaxbrewbitch.com or email regina@jaxbrewbitch.com www.greenroombrewing.com, www.facebook.com/greenroombrewin…

DAHLIA’S POUR HOUSE (2695 Post St, 738-7132)
Always a good place to stop for a beer, Dahlia’s has 85 taps available. This season, Dahlia’s is offering the following specials: Happy Hour ($4 anything) 4 pm-2 am Christmas and $10 off Gift Certificates for $100 or more. www.dahliaspourhouse.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Dahlias-P…

BIRDIES: JAX (1044 Park St, 356-4444)
Birdies is a neighborhood bar, and even though they have bands or parties, there is never a door charge or cover! In lieu of seasonal beers, Birdies offers hot toddies during the holidays which are whiskey or spiced rum served with hot cider. In support of our local breweries, they also carry both Intuition and Bold City beers on tap. Birdies is currently planning a Christmas party as well as a New Years Eve party with decorations and drink specials. Check with them for details! Birdies also offers some wonderful gift ideas: gift cards, Birdies shirts, Birdies underwear and Birdies cooler bags so you can keep your beers cold during your picnic in the park, all made from recycled materials. www.facebook.com/birdies

TOTAL WINE & MORE (4413 Town Center Pkwy, 998-1740)
Total Wine will receive a large amount of Westvleteren 12, the king of rare beers. These will be on sale Dec 12. First come, first serve, one six pack per customer. The gift packs are $84.99 a six-pack, including two glasses and are the perfect gift for that special beer lover. www.totalwine.com, www.facebook.com/TotalWineAndMor…

EUROPEAN STREET CAFE (various locations)
This is a great place to eat and share a beer or two with your friends and loved ones. European Street will offer a $5 signature wooden token with every $25 gift certificate purchase throughout the holidays starting November 23. Their “Beer Around the World” gift box is always a superior unique combination, and you can make your OWN “Beer Around the World” or “Mix a Six” in San Marco and at the Jax Beach locations. Right now, at the San Marco location, they have mini kegs of Bell’s Two Hearted, sour beer boxed sets and will continue to offer special limited-edition seasonal beers while supplies last. europeanstreet.com www.facebook.com/estreetcafe

BREWER’S PIZZA / PINGLEHEAD BREWING COMPANY (14B Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, 276-5159)
Ambitious Monk is new on tap! 10.3% of pure Belgian goodness. Join Brewer’s Pizza every Sunday at 2 pm for weekly Bottle & Homebrew Sharing meeting. Bring a bottle (or can) of your favorite craft beer and join us. The game will be on, cold drafts, fine bottle selection and the best pizza in Jax! For more information on the Bottle Sharing meeting, visit www.jaxbrewbitch.com or email regina@jaxbrewbitch.com For that special gift, their talented staff recommends gifting growlers and other Pinglehead Merchandise (t-shirts, hats, glassware, stickers) if a plain old gift card won’t cut it. www.brewerspizza.com/home, www.facebook.com/BrewersPizza

Whew! What a lot to digest–literally and “literaturally”–but you can see there is a LOT you can do this holiday season! Remember to get your gifts early, and most importantly, be sure and relax, take some time for yourself and reflect on the blessings of friends and family. My wish is that each of you will enjoy the next few weeks to the fullest and that you, your friends and loved ones will all have an exciting, memorable and most blessed holiday season!

I also hope to see you out all and about soon during my self-indulgent Jax Brew Bitch Prowls and I would be honored if you would stop to say hello or introduce yourself if you happen to see me. By the way, if you are uncertain it’s me, I’ll be the one cheerfully totin’ around the cheese log. Happy Holidays!

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