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

The Early Bird Gets the Beer: Aardwolf Brewing (Jax) Hosts Unique Beerfest March 30

Sight seen at Aardwolf Brewing
March 7, 2019: Jacksonville will get a look -- and taste -- of beers not typically found in the local market when Aardwolf Brewing hosts its first beerfest on Saturday, March 30. The Early Bird Beer Fest takes its name from the brewery's popular seasonal "Early Bird Special" Floridian Breakfast Stout brewed with vanilla, cinnamon and Bold Bean Coffee. But why center a beerfest around it? Said Preben Olsen, Aardwolf Brewing Partner, "Early Bird Special was the first barrel-aged bottle release for us, so it has significant sentimental attachment." 

Other breweries have held beerfests around seasonal releases, and Aardwolf's staff had discussed "throwing a festival for years," added Preben. With the current management and staffing levels at the brewery, Aardwolf only recently felt comfortable enough executing "something of this scope." Planning began in November 2018. 


The beerfest is an invitational event, with around 36 breweries from along the East Coast expected. While the fest will also include out-of-towner Florida breweries, the mix of breweries itself is unique in that most of them simply do not have a presence in the local area market. Craft beer enthusiasts may recognize some of these names: Equilibrium (New York), Evil Genius (Pennsylvania), Finback (New York), Four Quarters (Vermont), Heist (North Carolina), Magnify (New Jersey), Resident Culture (North Carolina), Sand City (New York), Scofflaw (Georgia), Southern Grist (Tennessee), 3 Stars Brewing (DC). Local fest attendees may not be familiar with several of the Florida breweries (unless there have been roadtrips!), such as Intracoastal Brewing (Melbourne), Twisted Trunk Brewing (Palm Beach Gardens), and the relatively new Steamhorse Brewing (West Palm Beach; sister brewery to Twisted Trunk). A handful of Florida breweries from Tallahassee, Tampa and South Florida will also be on hand. 

"The main focus of this festival is bringing exciting and unique beers not regularly available" in the Jacksonville market, said Preben. "We have made a lot of friends working festivals up and the down the East Coast," he added. The larger picture is to have Early Bird Beer Fest become an annual event on the calendar, "doubling the size in 2020," with invites to all of the Jacksonville area breweries as well. 

Aardwolf selected a late March date for the fest as the Spring beerfest season will be winding down, weather should be temperate, and Fall beerfest season is still some months away. 

The Aardwolf tap room will be open during and after the fest. The namesake beer will be available on draft and in Crowlers to-go. Look for some special treatments, too. Bottles will be available around the Jax area. Barrel-aged versions have been split between Tennessee Whiskey and Rye Whiskey treatments for both bottles and draft. 

Beerfest General Admission runs from 1-4pm, on Saturday, March 30, at the Aardwolf parking lot. VIP entry begins at noon. The fest offers attendees unlimited beer samplings and a keepsake fest glass. VIP ticketholders also receive a tote bag with Aardwolf swag, and two bottles each of the barrel-aged Early Bird Special versions. Food trucks will be on site to satisfy munchies. Tickets to the fest are limited, to keep it "intimate." Tickets can be purchased here

"Florida has a vibrant and rapidly growing beer scene," said Preben. "We hope that this festival brings more attention to everything our great city has to offer, and helps inspire greater things to come."

Aardwolf Brewing is located at 1461 Hendricks Ave., in the San Marco area near downtown Jacksonville. 

If you're looking for a different type of beerfest and a few new beers, be an "early bird" to get the beer, before tickets are gone! Thanks to Preben Olsen for the interview! 

Cheers!

Til next time, 













Linda

Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

Escapades, Brews and Running Shoes
www.brewnymph.com

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