The concept which comes to mind in most current inhabitants of this planet involves an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute. Floating about in an era of negativity, you have to ask “To what have we allowed ourselves to devolve?”
Just a few short generations ago, the word “settlement” had a more popular and positive connotation, though – “a place, typically one that has hitherto been uninhabited, where people establish a community”. Pioneers working together to accomplish things for the greater good.
It was common to see early settlements located in the vicinity of a significant water source – a river, a lake, etc. Why? Those with “a keen sense of the obvious” will answer – “For drinking water?” But, why else?
Water served as a means of transport – of goods and people – so, the close proximity of a water source brought folks together socially – and allowed them to procure those things absolutely needed to survive back home – and to maybe share some fellowship, food and drink with other families with the common denominator of making a new life in a new region. A sense of community thus had its genesis with the “crossing of paths” of these early pioneers.
“If the Wright brothers hadn’t put their lives on the line, we would not be flying around the world these days. So we need pioneers.”
Alex, by the way, is an Austrian skydiver who became the first human to break the sound barrier OUTSIDE a vehicle when he jumped from a helium balloon for the Red Bull Stratos project.
Wicked Barley Brewing Company – Naughty Ales for Noble Souls – will have their Grand Opening on July 30!
Last night (Friday, July 22), Wicked Barley hosted a Media Night and companion and I were excited and honored to be invited.
Located at 4100 Baymeadows Road on Goodby’s Creek off the St. Johns River, it is very easy to get there and with its ample parking lot, easy to find a spot.
Granted, they are not a pioneer by geography – Veterans United Craft Brewery is a mere four miles away.
They are not a pioneer in the business of creating craft beer in Jacksonville, obviously.
They are not a pioneer in the business of creating meads and ciders in Jacksonville, obviously.
They ARE a pioneer, however, in combining a microbrewery, meadery, cider house, full-kitchen restaurant and multi-platform transit options – all under one roof!
The décor is modern, light and upscale “trading post on the river”. Very comfortable in its interior and exterior seating options, Wicked Barley will undoubtedly be a very popular destination for drinking and dining.
Their unique focus on providing access from the creek via boat or kayak bodes well for Wicked Barley’s future here in Jacksonville. The dock will handle between 10 and 20 boats, depending on size – and kayakers can pull right up onto the “beach” Wicked Barley has established in this pristine creek-bed atmosphere.
In speaking with Chef Brad (Sueflohn), we learned his plan is to be constantly updating the menu, providing an ever-changing array of unique “good-for the-soul” delicious items. Even the pretzels will be made from scratch!
In speaking with Patrick Pruitt, Phil Maple and Brett Baker of Wicked Barley, some tantalizing details were shared:
• By early September, they hope to have a combination of approximately 20 beers, meads and ciders available!
• Soon, using variants of a base brew creation, develop up to about 40 different adult beverages from which to choose!
• Wicked Barley hopes to host Beer Dinners in the rear portion of the brewery in the future!
• A canning line is on their radar screen – more to come!
• Wicked Barley will be scheduling Special Releases (bombers) in the future!
• There will be other amazing Events at/in the brewery!
We were fortunate to be able to bring Ed and Beth Stansel and Steve and Linda Campbell with us for the evening. Ed was able to ask questions and tour the brewing facility – which houses the equipment for all three creations: craft beer, meads and ciders.
Head Brewer Fred Thibodeaux was formerly Lead Brewer for Cigar City Brewing in Tampa – and turns out to be a Cajun – just like yours truly! Having Lafayette in common I hope will lead to some crab, shrimp and crawfish boils in the future!
There was a wonderful selection of food provided – cheese curds and spectacular sandwiches of broccoli pulled pork. We heard there was other food, as well – but we had not been able to get there any earlier.
We saw Joe Talentino from I Know Jax, the Brew Nymph Linda Johnson and Brett‘ s wife Shannon Baker who has been part of the Jacksonville Chapter of Girls Pint Out since its inception.
Patrick provided a tour of the exterior and dock areas and later, Brett gave companion and I a look at the brewery equipment and a behind-the-veil glimpse of the full-kitchen set up!
We enjoyed the fellowship of the evening and the beer from the guest taps we had selected. It was exciting to see the results of a long road of hard effort on the part of the folks at Wicked Barley in getting permitted, constructed and ready to sell their own creations! A hearty “Well done!” to all of those involved at Wicked Barley for stickin’ with it – and seeing your vision come to fruition!
My sincere appreciation to Patrick, Phil, Tobin, Brett and Fred for the invitation to the Media Night event and the amazing hospitality of all of the Wicked Barley family – and for staying late and answering my questions!
Jacksonvillians! … it is time for a great new adventure! Grab a non-craft-beer drinker or two and get in your car – or boat – or kayak – or even jump from a helium balloon at 127,852 feet above – and “git yer civilized butt” over to Wicked Barley Brewing Company!
Let’s show them the Greater Jacksonville craft beer community supports them, welcomes them to the family and appreciates their willingness to “risk it all” in establishing a new and unique type of venue for all of us to enjoy!