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Intuition Ale Works: New Downtown Jax Brewery & Tap Room Pretty Easy on the Eyes

Whoa .... 
The "new" Intuition Ale Works at 929 E. Bay St., Jacksonville

OK, I admit that might not be the most professional way to start an article about one of the most anticipated brewery events in Jacksonville (if not the state). It's been in planning for a few years, and it's been under construction for the past few months. If you follow the local craft beer scene, you're aware of the "big" move. In late August, INTUITION ALE WORKS formally announced September 6 as the day it will open the doors of its new downtown Jacksonville brewery, tap room and rooftop beer garden at 929 E. Bay Street to the public. 





Yesterday, September 4, Intuition invited its Mug Club Members to the new venue for an afternoon preview, followed by a "soft" opening event in the evening for invited guests, friends and family. Reading between the lines in the written invitation, Tap Room Manager Riley Leuthold could hardly contain his excitement for the long-awaited day, as he extended the welcome for the first day of service in the new tap room. An event not to be missed!

If you've driven by the new facility during the construction, you've already noticed the two grain silos at the rear. Serious stuff. And, here's what you haven't seen yet ....  Walk in the front door -- and after your jaw drops to the floor in awe and appreciation for what they've done here -- you might utter an emphatic word or two (you can fill in those blanks). The place is nothing short of beautiful and amazing, and like I said .... Whoa.  So, here we go:

View on entry from Bay St.

The decor is a mix of a trendy loft and industrial. There's a large wraparound bar just beyond the merchandise kiosk on the right side as you enter from Bay Street. Lots of tables and chairs and standing room -- the place is big, with space to move around. 



Just to your left, more tables and chairs with a large TV.

I think this could be a local favorite for Jaguars games:
DUUUVALLLLL! Nice local touch there inspired by the Jaguars fan base.

And, I haven't really mentioned the bar yet (you guys ARE looking forward to the beer, right?).  The downstairs bar (yes, you read that right ... the "downstairs" bar) has twenty taps. 



For the soft opening, the bar featured the "usual" Intuition Ale Works suspects that the community has come to know and love: Jon Boat Golden Ale, Peoples Pale Ale, I-10 IPA, Easy on the Eyes Session IPA, King Street Stout, Riverside Red, First Coast Kolsch and Dark Star Milk Stout. Additional offerings included Abracadabra Sour Saison, SMASH IPA (Single Malt/Single Hop), Underdark (2015), and Peach Tres Brujas Tripel (aged in Wine barrels with Brett and peaches). 

First Coast Kolsch: one of my favorites!
Refreshing lighter ale: crisp, bready, hint of spicy hops
Dark Star Milk Stout: Roasty, chocolate, sweet.
I can't believe I hadn't had this original one before!
 
Turn to the other side of the facility, and, behind a glass partition, you'll see where the new brewhouse resides. The brand, spankin' new 30-barrel automated brewhouse is comprised of all new equipment. It may not stay this shiny and pristine once brewing operations begin in a few weeks, but cleanliness is always paramount in a brewery, and I think the crew is up to the task! For now, the brewing continues to take place on the 10-barrel Riverside brewhouse. Once brewing at the new location goes into full mode, the crew will still brew at the original brewhouse as well. I think Intuition may take over the entire Eastern Seaboard with all that capacity!  

The wall tells the story of what's inside ...
Shiny things ....
...will make lots of beer!
But, hey, we're not done yet on this tour. In about a month or so, the tap room will also feature a working kitchen from the highly-regarded Black Sheep Restaurant. That's right: you'll be able to complement all that great beer with culinary creations without having to leave.  No word on the menu yet, but stay tuned!


More shiny new things......
And, stay with me here, because it's up to the rooftop we go. Yeah, that's right: upstairs, rooftop, beer garden..... In case you're wondering, yes, there's an elevator.  The first thing you'll notice when you get there is the view of the adjacent Sports Complex, with EverBank Field looming in the background. 


The upstairs space has another 20-tap wraparound bar, along with ample tables and chairs and a perimeter ledge with seating.  A canopy shelters the bar, and an oversized industrial fan cools things down (hang onto your stuff, though). There's also an overhead view of the brewhouse below. Take a look:

Intuition may have caused a revolution here...


Bar with a view through the oversized windows... Look down...


Another 20-tap bar upstairs!

And, last but not least, you guessed it:  there's another Black Sheep kitchen in place upstairs, too!

The upstairs beer garden was quite the popular place yesterday:


The "old" Intuition tap room in Riverside was a favorite of many in the Jacksonville area and beyond, and there were a number of social media posts lamenting the Riverside tap room's last day on August 27. Of course, that was a reason to party in its own right!


The scene in Riverside during the afternoon of Aug. 27

Excitement for the new home, with Riley

Intuition Ale Works will open the doors of its new place to the public at 1pm on September 6, and a new chapter will begin. Its hours will be 1pm-10pm Monday through Friday, and 11am-10pm on weekends. No rest for these guys, as they go to a full seven-days-a-week schedule. The tap room holds 750 patrons, and the brewery hired a number of extra hands to serve the beer and handle other functions. The new facility will definitely be a "destination" for locals and tourists alike. For a little more background info on the brewery, take a look at my earlier summary about the downtown Jax breweries here



Be prepared to be amazed as you walk into the new Intuition Ale Works.  It's pretty easy on the eyes, but .... Whoa ....

Pretty exciting stuff for Intuition Ale Works, the Jacksonville craft beer community, and the Florida beer community.  One last thing, Intuition will be hosting its annual Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, September 17, which is also the official kickoff of Jax Beer Week.... for a preview summary of Jax Beer Week, check out the "Making Headlines" page of this website. Oompah!

See you out and about at a brewery, beerfest or beer event!  Til next time,

Cheers!


Linda 








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