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FLORIDA AND LOCAL JAX, JAX BEACH, ST. AUGUSTINE, interviews, events, travel

Riverside Craft Beer Fest, Jax: From Hazy to Dark to Clear

New beer release from a fest first-timer:
Blume Bier Lager from Bog Brewing, St. Augustine
(all photos: Linda Johnson)

February 26, 2019: That headline could be a weather forecast (and, actually, that's how the day went), but in the end, the 6th Annual Riverside Craft Beer Fest presented by Riverside Rotary in Jacksonville was all about the beer forecast ... and charity! 

The Riverside Craft Beer Fest took place on Saturday, February 23, once again at the Riverside Arts Market under the Fuller-Warren Bridge. Skies were hazy and overcast while crews set up for the late afternoon event, with a 3pm start for the VIP entry. Behind the scenes, tents and tables went up, ice buckets were filled, beer delivered, jockey boxes prepped, and brewery swag was displayed before the clock ticked to 3pm.


Colorful brewery tents lined up in rows and set-up before the fest

Happy and eager volunteers checked in and received their new bright orange event shirts. 


Anyone thirsty? Almost time for a beer! 


Legacy Ale Works, Jacksonville: Mixing Old and New to Create a New Legacy

Congrats to Legacy Ale Works!
Exterior and tap room entry (photo: Linda Johnson)
February 13, 2019: It's been a day that Matt and Liz Jacobs have dreamed about for quite some time. The husband-and-wife team are co-owners of Legacy Ale Works, the newest craft brewery to open in Jacksonville, Florida. After appearing at beer samplings and beerfests since summer of 2017 and a lengthy search for a place to call home, the brewery and tap room opens to the public with a Grand Opening on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at 4pm. 

Legacy Ale Works first came onto the Jacksonville beer scene with a beer sampling in July 2017 at local craft shop Beer:30 San Marco after having first appeared earlier at Hogtown Craft Beer Fest in Gainesville. The couple intended to open a family-friendly brewery with a range of beer styles. After an initial property selection in the Mandarin area didn't materialize, they continued their search. On March 1, they announced their plans to build the neighborhood brewery in the Bartram Park area. Following zoning and permitting approvals which ran through Fall of 2018, construction began, and the countdown to Opening Day was on. 

Previewing The Players 2019

The new trophy at The PLAYERS 2019
(photo: Linda Johnson)
(see UPDATE below, during The PLAYERS)

February 12, 2019: With a month to go before the "best field in golf" tees it up at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, The PLAYERS Championship hosted a Charity Challenge on the 17th Hole and a media day which included looks at the course, a new fan-experience layout, a new sandwich, and a new trophy. Welcome to The PLAYERS 2019!

Move to March

First of all, mark those calendars, because the 2019 Tournament takes place March 12-17. Yes, that's March. Long-time fans will remember that the tournament was previously held in March until its rescheduling to May in 2007 ("Moving to May"). In 2017, the PGA Tour announced the move back to March in 2019.

About a month ago, Tournament Executive Director Jared Rice outlined noticeable changes to the tournament grounds during a luncheon with the St. Johns County and Jax Chambers of Commerce. 


Jared Rice explaining the move to March and redesigns for The PLAYERS 2019
at Joint Chamber luncheon in January  (photo: Linda Johnson)
The move to March will allow The PLAYERS to "kick off" the Tour's major championship season and a chance to "own" the sports calendar during the summer months. The tournament occurs the week before NCAA March Madness, and while the community had rallied around a Championship Sunday on Mother's Day, many wanted to be home with families. The revised Tour schedule allows its majors to conclude before the fall football season starts. For those watching on TV, the telecast will also feature new modern, energetic theme music recorded in December. With a campaign heralding "Our Gold Standard," the Tour's flagship event will once again "give back to charity in our hometown." Having generated over $100 million for local charities since 1977, and over $50 million in Northeast Florida over the last eight years, "imagine what we can do over the next eight years," Rice exclaimed. 

A Look Around the Course

With the date change, TPC Sawgrass agronomy staff overseeded the course by planting cooler weather grass on top of warmer weather grass. The result? The course is in spectacular condition, with emerald green, lush grass throughout. 


The 18th Green (photo: Linda Johnson)

17th Hole from the Tee (photo: Linda Johnson)
A walk up 18: always an amazing view! And, I actually visited from Chicago and played the course
during construction of that fantastic clubhouse years ago! (photo: Linda Johnson)