WICKED BARLEY (JAX) TAPPING ALL-FLORIDA HOPS BEER 5/1; SEE HOMEPAGE STORY>>>>
HAD ANOTHER AWESOME TIME AT HOGTOWN 5K AND MY FIFTH HOGTOWN CRAFT BEERFEST! CHECK OUT THE 2017 RECAP ON THE HOMEPAGE!>>>>
BOTTLENOSE BREWING, JAX, TAP ROOM/KITCHEN IS OPEN AS OF 4/26; SEE HOMEPAGE STORY>>>>
BOLD CITY BREWERY DOWNTOWN JAX OPENED 4/21! SEE THE PREVIEW STORY WITH PHOTOS ON THE HOMEPAGE!>>>>
ATLANTIC BEACH BREWING OPENS MAY 6; SEE HOMEPAGE STORY: BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOS, INTERVIEWS>>>>
GREEN ROOM BREWING RETURN OF QUETZALCOATL, MAY 6; SEE TAP THIS PAGE>>>>
PUTT'N CRAWL AROUND JAX BEACH, MAY 6; WANT A COUPLE OF FREE TICKETS?>>>>
FIRST BEER BREWED WITH ALL-FLORIDA HOPS SERVED AT FIRST MAGNITUDE BREWING; SEE HOMEPAGE STORY>>>>
HYPERION BREWING JAX GRAND OPENING MAY 19; SEE HEADLINE STORY>>>>

CHECK OUT THE LISTINGS ON THE EVENTS PAGES: THERE COULD BE A FREE BEER IN IT FOR YA (SUCKING UP HELPS)>>>>SIGN UP FOR THE BREWNYMPH NEWSLETTER and FOLLOW BY EMAIL FOR NEW POSTS!!!!>>>>
GET SCROLLIN'>>>LOOKING FOR A BEERFEST OR FLORIDA BEER EVENT? LOOK AT THE ALL-NEW BEERSPHERE PAGE!>>>>
LOOKING FOR A TAPPING AROUND THE JAX AREA? FORGET FACEBOOK SHARES: CHECK THE "TAP THIS" PAGE>>>>
ORDER PEACE, LOVE, PINTS (tm) BEERGEAR NOW: USE CODE "HAPPYHOUR" FOR 20% OFF!!!>>
CONTACT ME FOR BEER PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS, TOURS, EVENTS! I'D LOVE TO WORK WITH YOU, YOUR BUSINESS OR YOUR GROUP!>>>>>

Friday, April 28, 2017

Hopping Into Science: Wicked Barley Brewing Brings All-Florida Hops Beer to Jax

On Monday, May 1, at 4pm, Wicked Barley Brewing Company taps its "Throat Ripper Pale Ale." Ok, you might ask, don't breweries tap new beers and pilot batches frequently? What makes this beer unique and worthy of a headline, though, is that it is tapping into scientific and historical significance in the craft beer industry, and particularly in the State of Florida. It will be the first time a beer brewed with 100% Florida-grown hops flows in the Jacksonville area. 

U.S. hops are predominantly grown in the Pacific Northwest due to that area's climate.  It had long been thought that hops would not survive, let alone thrive, in the harsher Florida environment. The Florida Hops Consortium, a research-based collaborative group of scientists, horticulturists, producers and brewers, is using scientific research in conjunction with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Research Center in Apopka to study the viability of growing a variety of hops in the Sunshine State, with an eye toward sustaining commercial production for the benefit of local craft brewers.  

Earlier in April, the first beer brewed exclusively with Florida-grown hops was released in Gainesville at First Magnitude Brewing Company. For a look at the beer, together with background about UF's Brian Pearson and the UF/IFAS hops research program, see prior story. More recently, several additional Florida breweries have brewed beers using different combinations of the 100% Florida grown hops. 


The Florida-Grown Hops used
in Wicked Barley's Pale Ale
(photo provided by Wicked Barley)
Wicked Barley's Co-Founder and Brewmaster Philip Maple wanted to bring the "Florida-Grown Hops" phenomenon to Jacksonville and reached out to the Consortium. As some hops become more difficult and less cost-effective for brewers to obtain, Philip looks at Florida-grown hops as a "potential gamechanger," and adds that it's "amazing" to think that good hops can be produced here. 

The Wicked Barley brewers brewed up a small batch using only three hops grown through the Consortium: Neomexicanus, Columbus and Chinook. This marked the first time that Wicked Barley has used whole-cone hops, as distinguished from the typical hop "pellets." Philip explains that the hops were added "via a massive whirlpool addition," and were not used as bittering hops. The end result is a 7% ABV beer with 35 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). 

Wicked Barley is donating all proceeds from the sales of the "Throat Ripper Pale Ale" to the Florida Hops Consortium to help continue the research efforts. Don't let that name throw you, however. It's a reference to a movie, says Philip, and it's not any reflection on the IBU of the beer or the flavor. He offered the following brewer's notes in describing the beer: residual sweetness, some ABV punch, surprisingly citrus nose; overall, citrusy with a malt backbone.  

If you're in the Jax area and want to be part of Florida hops history (or just need an educational excuse to drink beer), you'll want to check out the beer fairly early, as it's a small pilot batch that likely will be history (of a different sort) rather quickly on May 1. 


Kottbusser (Say What?)
(photo by Linda Johnson)
In other Wicked Barley news, the brewery releases its Eradicator Double IPA in cans on Saturday, April 29. The beer is the product of a new, tweaked recipe, resulting in a smoother and more balanced brew, says Philip. And, if you've ever (or never) heard of a German Kottbusser, you'll find this "forgotten" style on tap as of April 28. The German Wheat Beer (7.3 ABV) is made with flaked oats, molasses, Orange Blossom Honey, and Kolsch yeast, for a malty, sweet, wheat beer. This writer gives it a thumbs-up. 

Wicked Barley Brewing Company is located at 4100 Baymeadows Rd., Jacksonville, on the banks of Goodby's Creek, and offers a dining room, bar, outdoor covered deck, beer garden, and boat dock. In March 2017, the brewery garnered several awards at the Best Florida Beer Championships, including the "Best Brewpub" honor. (There are several articles about Wicked Barley on this site.) The brewery is open daily: Monday-Thursday 4-10pm; Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm; Sunday 11am-9pm. 


Science and beer: yeah, it's a thing!  I'm looking forward to the tapping of Wicked Barley's new Pale Ale on Monday! Cheers to Florida Hops!

Thanks for reading .... 

Cheers!

Til next time,






Linda  






Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®


© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Beers in a Pod: 6th Annual Hogtown Craft Beer Fest

What had 113 breweries, 5 homebrew clubs/shops, around 368 beers, ciders and meads, and 10 pods all in one place? Answer: the Sixth Annual Hogtown Craft Brewers Festival, presented by the Hogtown Brewers in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, April 22!

Craft beer enthusiasts descended upon Gainesville's Tioga Town Center for the 1pm start of the annual beerfest that features breweries from all across Florida, in addition to regional, national and international breweries. Weather was perfect for beer sampling, with a mix of sun and clouds. What more could you ask for?

Hogtown 5k Beer Run, Presented by Swamp Head Brewery

For some, though, it was an entire day of festivities, as things heated up at 9am at the Haile Plantation Village Center with the Hogtown 5k presented by Gainesville's Swamp Head Brewery.







The 5k is an annual fundraiser for Climb for Cancer Foundation. Yes, there was Swamp Head beer, and pizza, at the end of the run, in case anyone needed extra motivation. This year, the 5k included a separate .5K Root Beer Run for the kids. A record number of 501 runners entered the run this year. The 5k course winds through the trails of the Haile Plantation, a picturesque golf course community. Once again, members of the Gators Marching Band were on hand to get the crowd fired up ahead of time.


Albert and Alberta from UF were also on the scene to welcome runners, families, and even the four-legged types. Then the countdown began, and the runners were off!


 
Just like last year: Gator Tail

About halfway through the run, the water station loomed large, and thoughts may have been turning to that Swamp Head beer just a short 1.5 miles away (or, was that just me?). 


Yeah, I had been training for this 5k for a while, as documented on social media, but my time didn't reflect it. More work to do! (Less beer? um, probably not)


Back at the finish line, the Swamp Head tent was one popular place. The 5k winners, who seem almost superhuman, were announced. It was another great year at the Hogtown 5k! 


Cheers to 5k and beer!
Thanks to Swamp Head Brewery!

And, all the 5k Sponsors!


Hogtown Craft Beer Festival

Just under two hours later, and after a change of clothes, it was time for the Hogtown Craft Beer Fest! This time marked my fifth year in a row attending the Fest, so five out of six ain't bad! Check out the 2016 recap story. As expected, tickets to the fest sold out earlier in the week, and if you snoozed on those, well, you were out of luck, because tickets are not available on fest day. So, read on, and don't let those tickets get away from you in 2018!

Even before the Fest started, information was available via the new Hogtown Fest app, which provided a summary of the breweries, beers, timed tappings, fest map and more. Enter the fest, pick up your glass and the fest Passport, and you were good to go! Between the app and the printed passport, you had everything right there in your hand ...except one of the many beers (the first of which didn't take too long to find)!



And, yes, these Hogtown Brewers do love their signs


Unique to this fest is the arrangement of breweries in "pods," generally according to geographical area, and that map really is handy! The organizers do a great job with the open set-up, which covers plenty of space and allows attendees to move around freely without rubbing shoulders with everyone else who wants to get a beer (of course, if you're into that, especially after a few samples, ok by me).  



And, away we go!

Not surprisingly, the "Gator Country" Pod was busy all afternoon! Local breweries Swamp Head, First Magnitude, Alligator and Blackadder were all present, along with up-n-coming Cypress & Grove, among others in this group. 

I caught up with John Denny and crew of First Magnitude Brewing, while I sipped on a Molé Drift English Mild Ale, a special treatment of the core Drift, with cacao, cinnamon and subtle hints of chipotle. I had stopped at First Magnitude for some Friday night pre-gaming the night before, and noted how much I loved the Black IPA. I'm no stranger to First Magnitude (you can find more stories about them on this site). 

After taking a typical group photo, we opted for something a bit
more active for this one. Maybe we were talking about that Black IPA
Meanwhile, over at the Swamp Head tent, one of the featured beers was the Eternal Blonde Ale, brewed with 100% Florida Spring Water. The brewery featured a roll-out of the beer in cans on Tuesday, April 25. This is another good go-to beer: crisp and lighter. I never made it to the first timed tapping of Swamp Head's Chocolate Truffle Udderly Calm Milk Stout, but looking at the line, I'd say that those who tasted it got a mouthful of goodness. 


Maybe that's part of the reason why the Enchanted Forest bordered Pod 3.


With all of the breweries at this fest, it's impossible to visit each one -- especially with all the talking that seems to happen (or is that just me?). I managed to see some familiar faces and meet some brewery reps for the first time.

A couple of Space Coast breweries are always on my list -- not only because they're fun guys, but because the beers are solid. 

Intracoastal Brewing (Melbourne) poured a tasty Black Walnut Amber Lager that had the aroma/flavor of, well, you guessed it-- Walnuts.  The Coffee Brown Ale was brewed with local roasted coffee beans and was a very pleasant, smooth coffee beer. Usually, you'll find co-owners John, Kyle and Donald at a fest, along with several of the Intra crew, but Kyle decided to get married the night before (the wedding was held at the brewery!). Somehow Donald made it. I guess we'll give John and Kyle a pass this time around. 

With Intra's Brewmaster Donald. Another round of great beers!

Just one tent to the right were Jimmy and Jonathan from Hell 'n Blazes Brewing (Melbourne). Because HnB just opened last June, this was the first time the brewery attended Hogtown (see prior stories on this site). The Strawberry Lager was a crisp not-too-sweet delight, and the Hamilton Chocolate Porter was a bit of cocoa heaven. 

And, the HnB guys are always good sports!
No, I didn't kick that keg. Cool truck, by the way.
The Jax area had the whole cadre of breweries in attendance in Pod 6. The Wicked Barley crew had a steady line at their first Hogtown fest. And, of course, I had to stop at the Bold City Brewery tent to visit with Regina and Whit (even though I interrupted their lunch). 

Roxy's Imperial at Bold City Brewery
New to the Jax craft beer landscape is Legacy Ale Works, owned by Matt and Liz Jacobs. They're looking for a spot to house their proposed 5-barrel system and tap room in the Mandarin area of Jax, so stay tuned for more. They poured two beers, Red Run Red IPA and Hive Five Honey Pale Ale, while also handing out feedback cards looking for comments about their beers. The Honey Pale Ale was a refreshing take on the pale ale, with the addition of the honey for some extra body and a hint of sweetness. The Red IPA took on hoppy citrus notes along with the caramel of a red. I'm looking forward to the progress of their new venture. Awesome meeting them!

 
Somewhere along the way, hunger sets in. Food trucks lined one end of the fest in Foodie Row. Like last year, a large covered beer garden area with plenty of tables and seats provided a great spot to sit for a while, eat, or listen to a few tunes. High-top tables were scattered around fest grounds, offering a place to put that beer and keep your hands free. Several charging stations also were provided. Another cool thing offered by the fest was water -- free bottled water in little wading pools. 

No matter which way you turned, there was a pod of beer! And, more opportunities to meet new breweries. I met the guys from Four Stacks Brewing (Apollo Beach) for the first time, and enjoyed the Lou Dog Blonde Ale, named after the band Sublime's dog. Great chatting with them, and another brewery on the list to visit!


Another Tampa-area brewery expanding its distribution footprint is 81 Bay Brewing. I have seen them at a couple of earlier fests. This time, I had heard a lot of positive comments about the Ramble On Raspberry Ale, and, indeed, the beer was a fruity treat, while not being overly sweet. 

You might recognize those 81 Bay handheld fans, too
Last year, I met the guys behind A Little Madness Brewing (Pensacola), a brewery-in-planning. It was cool to catch up with them again, and they're looking towards an opening date later this year. The Emilia 777 ESB (at 7.77 ABV) was well-balanced and easy to drink. Another one to follow. 

 
By this time, it was somewhere after 4pm, with under an hour left in the Fest. It seemed appropriate that as things started to wind down, I would end up at Bury Me Brewing (Fort Myers). Yeah, with a name like that, you can only imagine the props and the beer names:  Catacombs, From my Cold Dead Hands, and Soulless. I savored the sinfully good Brocken Bock Doppelbock, true to the malty, toasty style with caramel notes. This is another one for the brewery visit list.



Check out the tap handles on the brewery vehicle - what do you call that, a tap hearse? And, with props like that, what would you do, especially near the end of a beerfest?


You can caption it, but it was kind of a heavenly experience (on the Highway to Hell, most likely, though). 

Shout out to the Hogtown Brewers for a job well done! It's also good to know that the fest benefited several charities: Alachua Conservation Trust, Rebuilding Together, Lubee Bat Conservancy, and United Way of North Central Florida. 

It was another awesome time at my fifth Hogtown Craft Beer Fest. By the time next year's Fest rolls around, there will likely be a number of new Florida breweries added to the pods. When the calendar turns to 2018, just remember that when it's April, it's time for Hogtown. Trust me on this, don't let those tickets pass you by for the Seventh Annual Fest! 

I had a blast again at Hogtown! I always have a great time visiting Gainesville. I love how conservation-minded the community is, and the local breweries really step up for the environment, among other causes. I'm looking forward to another trip during the summer. 

That's a wrap on this beerfest, but be sure to check out the events  pages on brewnymph.com for upcoming beerfests and special beer events across Florida, along with daily tappings and such around the Jax/North Florida area!

Thanks for reading, and see you around a beer Somewhere in Florida!

Cheers!  Til next time, 




Linda 





Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

(all photos by Linda Johnson)


© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bottlenose Brewing Dives Into Jax Craft Beer Scene

Bottlenose Brewing is set to dive into the Jacksonville craft beer scene when it opens on Wedenesday, April 26, at 11am. 




Although its own house beers are still a few months away from taking the dip in the brew kettle, for now, the craft beer crowd will find a one-of-a-kind selection of craft brews waiting to be poured from a wall of 50 taps, featuring all-Florida guest beers. The tap list includes a range of styles, from lighter lagers and ales to pale ales and IPAs to porters and stouts, Belgian styles, Imperial Stouts, and everything in between. 



Housed in the former World of Beer location in the Tinseltown entertainment district of Jacksonville's Southside area, the brewery and large tap room/dining room features the familiar brick walls and wooden tables. Seating is also available outside on the sizeable covered front porch. Rollaway bay doors allow inside/outside views and breezes. 





At the helm of Bottlenose Brewing is owner Mark Stillman, who everyone will recognize as the co-owner of Green Room Brewing in Jax Beach. General Manager Joey Guertin is a former Green Room employee. At a soft opening last night, both were busy working various areas of the new bar and eatery. Stillman found a few minutes to talk to the crowd, and explained that while most of the new brewhouse equipment has been ordered, he was quickly able to snap up several tanks that became available.



The music stage in the right corner of the former bar has been removed to make way for the three-barrel brewhouse. When it's all said and done, the in-house brewing system will include three 3-barrel fermenters, two 10-barrel fermenters (already in place), two 10-barrel brite tanks, and one 3-barrel brite tank. In fact, the writing's on the wall:



The brewery also has a full kitchen, which will serve up foods like Brewcheese Chips (homemade potato chips with homemade beer blue cheese sauce); Griddle Mac (mac n cheese with even more cheese); Cornbread Belgium Waffle; Double Fried Fries; Chicken N Chips (buttermilk fried chicken bites, with homemade pickle fries); Salads; Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches; Burgers; Chicken & Waffles; and Hot Chicken (fried chicken breast). Add-Ons to menu items include chuck patties, roast beef, griddle mac patty, homemade pickles, and various cheeses. Try a Brownie Waffle for dessert. 



The tender chicken bites in the Chicken N Chips plate are lightly breaded, with savory complementary seasonings. The housemade Brewcheese Chips are flavorful and perfect to accompany one of the many beers on the menu board. 

And, speaking of that menu board, the beers on tap appear on a digital list, powered by everyone's favorite beer app, Untappd




The tap room offers a number of TVs throughout, making it a destination for sports-watching. 



In addition to the 50 taps of draft beer, the bar also offers a wide selection of beers in bottles and cans from Florida, regional and national breweries. 


Of course, anticipation and excitement will build as Bottlenose Brewing takes delivery of its brewing equipment and makes its way closer to heating things up with its first brew in the upcoming months. 

In the meantime, take a dive into one of the many beers at Bottlenose Brewing.

Bottlenose Brewing is located at 9700 Deer Lake Ct., #1, Jacksonville, in the Tinseltown/Southside area. 


I had a great time visiting Bottlenose Brewing last night!  The Grand Opening of the tap room/dining room and bar is Wednesday, April 26 at 11am, and the bar will be open until midnight. 

Congratulations to Mark and the entire Bottlenose Brewing crew on getting those doors open!

Cheers!

Til next time,



 Linda









Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

(all photos by Linda Johnson)


© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Growing Bigger and Smaller: Bold City Brewery Opens in Downtown Jax April 21

Jacksonville's Bold City Brewery is getting bigger by going smaller. On Friday, April 21 at 11am, the city's first craft production brewery opens its second location: a new brewery and tap room in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, at 109 E. Bay St.

In late 2015, the brewery officially announced plans to build the second location, but according to co-founder Brian Miller, Bold City Brewery had been looking at the downtown area since the Spring of that year. When the space next to the now under-construction Cowford Chop House became available, the brewery found its new spot. 

Anyone familiar with Bold City Brewery's Riverside warehouse location has seen the 20-barrel brewhouse, which features two towering 120-barrel tanks off of the brewery bar in a sprawling space. (See prior story for background info tour.) The brewery pumps out its beloved and highly popular signature beers Killer Whale Cream Ale, Duke's Cold Nose Brown Ale, and Mad Manatee IPA for delivery all around Jax (and across Florida) in kegs and cans, in addition to brewing seasonal beers, such as Vernon's Pils. 

In contrast, the new location is home to a three-barrel brewhouse that will brew up small and experimental batches. The space also houses three 3-barrel fermenters and one 7-barrel brite tank, with space for additional fermenters.





Brewers will begin brewing the first batches of beer on the new equipment this week, says Brian, starting with a "SMaSH" beer, or "Single Malt and Single Hop" beer for the SMaSH Beer Festival in Longwood on May 13. Following that will be a Double IPA and a Passionfruit Pale Ale. So, get ready, Jacksonville, because you're going to start seeing even more new brews coming from Bold City Brewery. 




Of course, you'll be able to enjoy your favorite Bold City beers at the new tap room. The bar offers 11 taps of house core and premium beers, served in pints or snifters. As of this writing, the tap list looks like this: Killer Whale Cream Ale, Duke's Brown Ale, Mad Manatee IPA, 1901 Red Ale, Vernon's Pils, Pumpkin Ale, Barrel-Aged Roxy's Imperial Cream Ale, Abby's Belgian, Rum-Aged Duke's, Imperial Super Secret Stout, and Duke's on Nitro. That's a tap list sure to please any palate!

In addition, the bar offers several varieties of wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Apothic Red; sodas and water. The tap room vibe is a blend of loft and industrial,with a couple of cozy sofas at the front, and tables and chairs along a brick wall, with the bar in the center. There's a TV overlooking the bar, and, check out the old Florida Times-Union newspaper boxes lined up underneath.











Let's say you'd like to take some of the Bold City beer back with you (let's just say). Growler fills are available (bring in your growler). The bar also offers the popular Crowler® can to-go option (32 oz. cans). If you want more than one Crowler, you can even get a three-pack in a convenient carry holder. Of course, this writer brought back a can of Mad Manatee IPA, expertly filled!






Congrats to Bold City Brewery on bringing more beer to Downtown Jax! This is one big, happy family ready to provide Jax with another enjoyable craft beer experience:


And, oh yeah, they even have a cool brewery car:



Bold City Brewery Downtown is located at 109 E. Bay St. and will be open every day at 11am. Hours are 11am-8pm Monday through Thursday, and 11am-11pm Friday-Saturday (subject to change). The location is a walk around the block to/from the Florida Theatre, and a short walk to nearby bars, restaurants and hotels. 

Be sure to check out the newest addition to the Jacksonville craft beer scene! Thanks to the Bold City crew for the hospitality. And, yeah, I think I'll be around. 

What a great pre-opening visit to the new place! It will be an exciting spot to hang around and have a local beer or two. 

You can find info about the SMaSH Beer Festival -- and all sorts of other beerfests and beer events around Jax and around the state -- right here on brewnymph.com in the two events pages. Give 'em a look, because they're updated daily. 

Cheers!

Til next time,



Linda





Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

(all photos by Linda Johnson)


©2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC