Other than online, where would you go to see the World’s Longest Beard? … one of Napoleon’s Napkins? … how about a collagenous matrix of whale blubber thought originally to be a giant octopus?
Any guesses? (By the way, the blob of whale blubber was found in November, 1896 on Anastasia Island and known as “The St. Augustine Monster”) … okay, you lightweights … the answer is: The Smithsonian Institution (Museum).
For this blog post, I decided I would now list ALL the items the Smithsonian contains …
You knew better, didn’t you? … anybody would … far too many items to consider. Ask anyone what they think the Smithsonian has inside and 8 out of 10 people will say “EVERYTHING”. It is certainly famous for having rare, unique and often the most bizarre things.
Here in Jacksonville, we are fortunate enough to have the “Smithsonian of Craft Beer”, Kickbacks Gastropub (910 King Street – 904.388.9551). You know I’m right – what owner Steve Flores established just a few years ago has become the de facto “Beer Central” of Northeast Florida.
Long-time followers of my blog are aware of the many times Kickbacks has been a stop on Jax Brew Bitch Prowls. It was during these many enjoyable visits that I realized that what Kickbacks offers is often “Museum Beers” – those beers as unique as one of Napoleon’s napkins.
The Kickbacks’ “Beer Bible” has been long known to be magical – even mystical. Thinking back a couple of years ago, companion and I experienced what we still refer to as the “Beerapalooza” night with two young gentlemen, Erich and Carlton, in from Minneapolis on business. We had met them at Intuition Ale Works near “last call” and Erich had informed us he was a beer conneiseur. Companion suggested they follow us to Kickbacks, which they did. I instantly went up to Jimmie behind the bar and requested the aforementioned “Beer Bible”. Once I handed it to Erich and he started perusing it, companion said Erich looked like an adolescent boy looking at his first Playboy magazine. Steve Flores acknowledges the “Beer Bible” is a little out of date but once construction is complete, he will start on an update. In the interim, simply ask your server – they will find out if they happen to have your selection.
Companion and I were in the mood for Kickbacks Gastropub’s delicious and decadent Blue Cheese Stuffed Cheeseburgers recently, so we stopped by there for dinner. Steve Flores was gracious enough to drop by the table and endured some our questions about the expansion. He excused himself and retrieved his iPad and proceeded to show us a preliminary food menu once Goozlepipes and Guttyworks opens. Holy Sweet Mother of Gastronomical Adventures! … here’s just a small sampling of what you can expect:
Rumbledethumps, Stoemp, Bubble and Squeek, Quack $13.79
Duck and pork belly confit, folded in mashed potatoes with a parsnip, carrot and pea fondant topped with parsnip chips and fresh herbs.
Krispy Creme Ground Bacon Burger $9.99
1/2 pound ground bacon burger served on a Krispy Creme donut bun with creole remoulade, topped with bacon slices, pickled green tomato and pepper jack cheese.
Boba Cacio e Pepe $9.99
Tapioca balls with a Pecorino and parmesan butter sauce, topped with fresh cracked pepper, a poached egg and sliced truffles.
Southern Tier Pumking Milkshake
Vanilla ice cream, Southern Tier Pumking and pumpkin seed oil, topped with white chocolate mousse and rimmed with graham cracker dust, cinnamon and brown sugar. Subject to availability, you may request that we use Pumking’s darker and mysterious alter ego, Warlock.
Okay … I’m hungry again, darn it …
Steve was also so kind in giving us a tour of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks mid-construction. Amazing – with each area so unique – and exciting. Every area we entered was like entering another hallway or room in the Smithsonian.
One aspect of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks will be the opportunity to annually “lease” a personal “beer locker” – yes, that’s right – I envision a rush to get one of these much like the historic Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. The price? … I’m not saying now – BUT, I can tell you that Steve plans on developing a “benefit package” where, if you take advantage of it, you’ll be in essence getting your money back each year. Count me in, Steve!!! … (everybody back off, I want to be near the front of the line!)
Oh, yeah! … we had some beer with our burgers that evening:
Bear Republic Brewing Company Café Racer 15™ Double IPA
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone… Note: 9.75% ABV & 100+ IBUs
New Belgium Brewing Lips of Faith Coconut Curry Hefeweizen
Coconut Curry Hefeweizen has been pouring down the history of American Home Brewing for many years, from the legendary Charlie Papazian to the 2010 National Homebrewer, Remi Bonnart. The latter helped New Belgium brew this hazy, straw-colored gem to life. The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug. Note: 8% ABV & 14 IBUs
So, I trust I have established the basis that Kickbacks Gastropub and it’s soon to be born “monster sibling”, Goozlepipes and Guttyworks have and will have many “rare and unique” beer and food selections available – “rare and unique” like the items within the Smithsonian Museum as noted in my fourth paragraph.
I had to think quite awhile to determine the remaining adjective “bizarre” from that fourth paragraph … but then I realized it is right in front of my face every time I visit Kickbacks Gastropub. Well, not ACTUALLY in front of my face. It’s near the corner of the bar … the first person who e-mails (email@example.com) me the correct answer receives a free pint, compliments of the Jax Brew Bitch … and who knows? … maybe a tour of “the innards” of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks, compliments of resident “beer docent”, Steve Flores.
My heartfelt appreciation to Steve Flores for the extended detailed tour of Goozlepipes and Guttyworks, the kitchen staff for the awesome food and to the entire staff of Kickbacks Gastropub for making this visit even more interesting than the World’s Longest Beard … ??? … what’s wrong? … what???
Hey, relax! … jeez oh pete! … I COULD have said, “whale blubber”.