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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jax to St. Augustine, 10-19-2013: A Day of Beer Fests

A Five-Year Anniversary and an Oktoberfest: Could've Used A Helicopter in NE Fla

Five Years for Bold City Brewery in Jax
What better reason to head over to Bold City Brewery than for its Five-Year Anniversary Party? Unbelievably, I had not visited this brewery before.  That was evident when I got a bit turned around and ended up further west.  When I passed European Street Market (which had an Oktoberfest of its own going on, with a German band and really cool hat giveaways), I figured it was time to bring out Google Maps.  A short while later, I made it to the brewery warehouse building, situated along some railroad tracks. Doesn't matter what it looks like, it's what they do that's important.  And, that's making beer. I like a number of the Bold City Brewery beers, but my favorite is Killer Whale Cream Ale. And, look who's looking over the whole place!







Ah, Killer Whale, so glad to see ya! He sure looks happy, doesn't he? Well, and why not?  It was early afternoon, and the place was buzzin.  The brewery has a large open area which serves as a tap room, as well as a separate air-conditioned section.  For the Anniversary, Bold City offered $2 pints, and a souvenir anniversary glass that looked like a can.  Nice! They also had two bourbon barrel-aged beers: Mad Manatee IPA and Duke's Cold Nose Brown Ale.  Since some of us Twitter-bloggers had a discussion about bourbon-barrel aged beers, it was my responsibility to try one -- in the name of research!  So, I had the Duke's, which I generally think is a solid brown ale.  Now, I'm not a bourbon drinker, so that explains where I'm going with this. I expected to beer to be "smooth," and I was surprised that I liked it (Hey Mikey, she likes it!), but probably not so much that I'd get it again. But, that's just me. I thought that the bourbon really changed the flavor of this beer, such that, had I not known what it was, I wouldn't have known it was a Duke's brown ale. So, all in all, the bourbon thing isn't really my thing, but I can see why people like it. Of course, the Killer Whale Cream Ale was good as always, actually even better coming straight from the source.  It's one of my favorite go-to's.


And, look at that glass!  Add another one to the collection!


On one side of the warehouse, numerous pallets of cans were stacked and awaiting their calling. Outside, food vendors and tables were set up, and they even had those "luxury" portable restrooms that appear at golf events - classy! 

Congrats, Bold City, well done, and good luck in your next five years! I would've liked to have stayed longer, but I had to get to St. Augustine, so it was back to I-95.....

Guten Tag! It's Folio Weekly's Oktoberfest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
I had been looking forward to this one for a long time. The fest featured multiple beers from the usual local suspects (Mile Marker Brewing, A1A Ale Works, Seven Bridges, Ragtime, Engine 15 Brewing, Bold City Brewery, for example) in addition to other Florida breweries and others that distribute locally.  The entry ticket got you a plastic souvenir tasting cup, and all the pours you could handle from 6-10pm (5pm for VIP ticket holders; hey, that extra hour makes a difference!).  Food vendors had the eats ready. 



The mezzanine housed a number of vendor tents lined up next to each other, so all you had to do was go down the line. Additional beer vendors and the food vendors were located on the sides. Below, the venue's pit area hosted additional beer vendors.  So, to get to and from each level, you had to negotiate the amphitheatre's stairs, or take the side ramps. The event featured two local bands: 32 oz to Freedom and Papercutt. Once the music really revved up, especially by popular Papercutt, the crowd at the mezzanine level thinned out a bit, and it was shoulder-to-shoulder in the standing-room only pit.  Really, if you think about it, staying on the mezzanine was the thing to do, because you could get to the beer easier at that time!
Papercutt (Hair Nation Glam) on the stage.
Wild, loud and oh so much fun.
Guns N Roses, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Poison & More
Always love a little "You Shook Me All Night Long"

Mezzanine was busy at this time, earlier in the evening.

I sampled some favorite beers, along with some new ones (double IPA, pale ales).  That cup (above) had more beer in it when I started that picture (think it was a couple of takes).  I have no idea what's in there. 

So, St. Augustine hosted a beer party, and it was a blast! Put this one on your calendars for next year.  Auf Wiedersehen, Sweethearts!

The next beer fest?  Not sure yet, but there are a bunch comin' up, Florida!