Intuition Ale Works, the Jacksonville, Florida based brewery, is expanding. They have filed a request with the Downtown Development Review Board to move downtown. This has been in the works for awhile, as evidenced by this video from 2012.
I can attest from personal experience that the current location (720 King Street) is small. The location mentioned in the video (The Shipyards) is a nice strip of vacant land on the river (and the site of the Jaxtoberfest brew fest), but that’s not where they’re going. Instead, they’re moving across the street to 929 East Bay Street: near the football arena, baseball grounds and Veteran’s Memorial Arena. That’s okay with me, because when I get tired about halfway through the baseball game, I know where this girl’s going. Yes, I’ll be kicking back at the rooftop beer garden.
Intuition’s new location will only be about 3.7 miles from its current residence. However, that will bring it closer to me, and that’s what matters. It won’t be walking distance, but maybe if I hold my nose up in the right direction, I’ll catch a whiff of brewing beer, much like how the rich Maxwell House aroma drifts down to us sometimes.
Ooh…beer and coffee…intermingling…mixing together…I like it already. I just need chocolate.
The owner of the brewery, Ben Davis, is quoted in the Florida Times article as saying it’s not so much about the extra square footage (though there will be more); instead the benefit is in the higher ceilings. He’ll be able to bring in more equipment. He also mentions that he’ll probably close the taproom on King St. (Man, they won’t be part of the King Street Beer District anymore…) but keep brewing there—at least until the lease runs out in two years.
The City Council seems keen on Intuition coming closer to the water. I hope they’re willing to work to make this happen.
Beer Name: I-10 West Coast IPA
Brewery: Intuition Website
Hops: Columbus, Summit, Cascade, and Centennial
Malts: American 2-Row, Red Wheat Malt, Cara-Pils and Crystal malt
Availability: North (wider distribution) and Central Florida (limited)/
Glassware: I used a big old honkin’ mug
Appearance: Burnt Orange
Taste: A good blend between malts and hops. Not too bitter, but not tepid, either.
Rate Beer 92 Overall Cookbook
In this episode, we run down some headlines and are then joined by Joshua Willett. Joshua is the Head Brewer at Wonderland Brewing in Bloomfield, CO. We talk about the breweries early days (that they are still in), and we talk about some of their future releases. In fact, their first lacto sour is coming out on August, 30th. If that isn’t a reason to fly to Colorado…I don’t know one.
I used to live near the World of Beer location in Jacksonville, Fl. Going for the first time was a bittersweet experience. I’d spent hours in that corner space sipping mochas, sitting on a fluffy purple chair, and looking out the window. That was back when it was a Starbucks. I get oddly sentimental about where I spend dozens of hours of my time (and more than a dozen dollars of my money). I still haven’t gotten over the two Starbucks downtown closing.
The blow softened, though, when I found out it was a World of Beer. Starbucks never served beer. I made sure to go on a week night, early in the evening, so as to avoid the drunk crazy yuppies. There were still yuppies, but they were just hitting on buzzed, and they were behaving.
We went on a trivia night, which meant we were there for close to four hours. My butt hurt after sitting so long in a hard chair. I had a nice time, though. The server was kind, and fairly attentive (even after we were there so long). She’s not in danger of becoming anyone’s go to expert on beer, though. My other half, Clint, asked for a black and tan with Newcastle and Guinness, but they didn’t have Newcastle. She couldn’t recommend a good replacement. I can’t remember what she brought instead, but it wasn’t even the same style as Newcastle.
Our friend, who isn’t originally from the U.S., expected more international choices from a place called “World of Beer.” She was disappointed.
I had some fantastic beer, so I was happy. I’d never had Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. They had it on tap, and it was the smoothest, creamiest beer I’d ever had. Even the head was tight.
I also had a Cigar City Homemade Apple Pie. I love cider, but I generally don’t like mead. This combination tasted like honey apples. It also tipped me over the tipsy cliff. Just for experiment’s sake, I mixed some with the chocolate stout. Oh my goodness. Mixing them was fantastic. It was like adding chocolate syrup to apple pie.
The food was good, too. I had a flat bread, which was quite good, and only eight bucks.
The restaurant was full, but it wasn’t too loud. I have a hard time hearing, but I didn’t have to shout too much, or endlessly mouth “What? What did you say?”
I’m not sure that my experience would be as favorable on a weekend night, but that’s why I do online podcasts on the weekend. No crowds, and the bathroom’s usually free.
I’m still mowing my yard, taking my kids to the pool, spending time at the park, and my air conditioner is going full blast. Natural thinking is: “summer is here”. Well, not so for breweries. It seems that every year pumpkin beers are coming out earlier and earlier. With Southern Tier having some of their Pumpking on the shelves early July, and as far as I know, that’s when they are just planting pumpkins to harvest in the fall. I know pumpkin beers are not everyone’s favorite, but there’s no argument that there is a lot of love from most craft beer and non-craft beer drinkers. IPA’s are no doubt the big seller when comes to craft beer, but if there’s one style that will rival IPA at least for a month or two it will be the spicy flavored seasonal pumpkin brews.
The increasing number of pumpkin beers released every year is astonishing. Some very good, and some…not so much. Those beauties come in a wide range of alcohol content. Terrapin Imperial Pumpkin Pie Porter will have a whopping 9.2%. Not for the faint of heart. I said I would not buy pumpkin beers till September that my beer budget was going for my regulars and the seasonals I’m used to buying in July/August. So far so good, but It is painful to realize that I leave the store with a risk of not getting some of the good ones before they are gone. If you are one of those people that don’t care for the style you wouldn’t understand, but if you love pumpkin like me, I’m sure you can see yourself in my shoes. You probably have a few of them sitting in your fridge already.
Is craft beer winning my money using fear? Are they a product of their own fear of not hit the market soon enough and not selling as expected? The fact is that I was surprised with the amount of shelf space it is taking right now, and September still a few weeks away.
In any case, I will list some of 25 pumpkin beers coming out this year (new and regulars), so you can suffer or rejoice when you see them out. Happy Halloween, I mean Happy Thanksgiving, I mean Happy Pumpkin Beer Month… Hey if they can have pumpkins out now why can’t I wish you all a great fall holiday?
Here it goes, Pumpkin or nothing: This is not a complete list of this year Pumpkin Beers since some breweries are still announcing their fall beers.
Lagers suck ass. Or at least that has been my default reaction for many craft beer years. When it comes to craft beer I’m an Ale guy. From your big bold in-your-face American Imperial IPA to your deep, rich, dark fruit Belgian and Trappist Ales.
In my older, non-craft beer days I drank my fair share of Lagers. Besides your American Macro Lagers there were some good ones found overseas: Grolsch and Harp chief among them. But my favorite beer for a long time was Bass Ale.
Since my migration to craft beers my initial forays into Craft Beer Lagers were met with reactions from mild boredom to outright disgust. From what’s the point? to DRAINPOUR! And then 2014 rolled around and I was determined to expand my craft beer experience and search for the two styles that interested me the least: Brown Ales (my rare Ale dislike) and Lagers. And I have to say, after spending the first part of 2014 exploring the Lager world I’ve discovered some pretty fantastic beers.
Let me start with what I now consider the best Lager on the planet: Weihenstephaner Original, a Munich Helles Lager.
As I wrote when I tasted this for the first time: “This is a Munich Helles Lager and probably the best of it’s style in the world my opinion. Just an absolutely fantastic beer. Crisp with a nice light floral and fruit taste.”
While I had expected to find some nice Lagers I never expected to discover one I would love. And this is one of two that I have come to love.
With a quick check in Untappd here’s my breakdown of Lagers. And the list is way longer than I ever expected it would be. I don’t think of myself as drinking a Lager often but that’s due to just not thinking of certain styles as actually being in the Lager family.
American Amber / Red Lager – 1 Berliner Weisse – 2 Baltic Porter – 2 Black Lager – 2 Czech Pilsner – 2 Dopplebock – 3 Dunkelweizen – 2 Euro Lager – 2 German Pilsner – 3 Golden Lager – 2 Hefeweizen – 14 Helles Lager – 3 India Pale Lager – 1 Kristallweizen – 2 Kölsch – 3 Oktoberfest/Märzen – 2 Pale Lager – 2 Pilsner – 2 Vienna Lager – 1 Weizwenbock – 1
I tend to break Lagers down into these 3 main groups: European Lagers
And here are my personal highlights of each:
Weiihenstephaner Original (see pic and description above)
Kiwi Rising – Jack’s Abby To me this is the Great American Lager. Jack’s Abby took everything I love about a big West Coast tropical IPA and made a Lager version. In fact, when it comes to American Lagers no one is doing it better or more innovative than Jack’s Abby. All they brew is Lager beer. In every style and variation you can imagine. From big hoppy beers to smoked dark lagers to Marzens and everything in between. Hunt their beers down and enjoy. You will not be disappointed.
Anchor California Lager This beer impressed me. I am not a fan of their Steam beer and had low expectations going into this one. To my surprise and delight this was delicious. Light and crisp and refreshing.
Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Aventinus. This is a world class beer. It takes the big bold malty sweetness of the Bock and smooths it out with wheat. This is not a beer to skip over.
Weihenstephaner Dunkel While I love their Hefeweissbier, I’m sightly more partial to the Dunkel or dark version. Another world class beer. In fact, I have yet to have a beer from Weihenstephaner in any style that I don’t consider world class.
So, in the end, while taking this journey I discovered a few things. The Lager is a beer that comes in a wide variety of styles. Anyone growing up on the American Macro Lager would have no idea that the Lager was so storied and diverse. And while the Ale is still my go to realm of the craft beer world I no longer frown and sigh with resignation when it comes time to explore the world of Lagers. I’ve found a couple of beers that hold their own with anything else out there. And I still have my few drain pours. That’s the one thing I’ve found most interesting about my Lager Craft Beer Adventure. The few Lager drainpours that made me hesitant to take this journey remain drainpours for me. Which actually makes me feel better about the whole thing. At first I thought I just didn’t have an appreciation for a Lager. Instead I just got unlucky and started out with those couple of Lagers tat do indeed suck ass. Thankfully, it was just a few.
LAGER – Light/Amber/Dark – Friday Night Hangout (Ep. 156)
Craft Beer Nation BJCP Reviiew
This playlist covers many of the various Lager categories from the viewpoint of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)
Know where I’m from? South Carolina. Know what I like? Beer. Know what I love? South Carolina beer, specifically, beer from South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The Lowcountry region of South Carolina pretty much includes: Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties. Additionally, Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties are also included. Typically when people think about beer from these areas, the names that come to mind are Westbrook, Holy City and Palmetto. However, there is a new, underrated kid on the block and they are making some FANTASTIC beer.
Say hello to River Dog Brewing. River Dog currently calls Ridgeland, SC in Jasper County home and they almost straddle the border of Beaufort and Jasper counties. Their motto is “Exceptional craft beer brewed in South Carolina” and boy do they live up to that. Everytime I go home, a visit to River Dog is almost automatic. My car self drives itself there and who am I to stop it? I mean, I like great beer and my car knows how to get me there so I just go with it. Founded in 2013 by Josh and Gabby Ferrell, the brewery has been taking the low country by storm. They now distribute in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama and will be canning their delicious nectar by the end of the year. Brewing operations are headed up by Dan Baker, formerly of Deschutes and Sweetwater. From their website:
As you can see, their brewing has some respectable chops. On a recent visit I had the opportunity to taste a few of their offerings. Some of the beers currently on tap: The May – River Dog’s session beer that is single hopped with Amarillo hops at 5.2%, Doovalacky Double IPA – A DIPA bittered with Nelson Sauvin, finished with Pacifica Jade and Motueka, and dry hopped with Wakatu. The yeast used is an Australian strain making this beer truly a beer from down under, and my favorite AlteRED State – A beautiful, red/amber beer with a huge tropical nose and palate. Hopped with Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado and Centennial hops. See the link above for the other brews on tap, because they are all true to style and deliver exactly what you are expecting.
Brewing with a 15 BBL mashtun and five 30 BBL fermenters, you can imagine that a good amount of brewing is always going on. In addition to brewing, River Dog has a barrel room that is worthy of copious amounts of jealously. I mean, do you know anyone else who has a Belgian Quad with raisins in Pappy Van Winkle barrels? Or a Kriek with cherries in Maker’s Mark barrels? Perhaps barrels with an Oud Bruin? Maybe a Kolsch with peaches in barrels? I’m not saying, I’m just saying. If you want to drink some great beer from a brewery filled with cool ass people (looking at you Mike and Jessica), a brewmaster who won’t hesitate to speak with you, a great owner in Josh and you want to be able to say you knew them before they blew up, like me, then get to River Dog Brewing!!! You’re welcome!
The pace of which craft breweries are releasing their beers is crazy. The push from the market for innovation and the desire of craft beer drinkers to try something new all the time allied with the social media interaction and beer database apps like Untappd has turned the craft beer production into a fast pace release world. Every time I look on one of my social media accounts, where I share info of what I drink with fellow beer lovers, I see more and more often people posts of badges and high marks drinking achievements like “1000 Unique Beers on Untappd”. Is this Good or Bad for the craft beer world? I don’t really know the answer, but sometimes I get overwhelmed when I get to my bottle shop to get something I was waiting for, and I find myself staring at the cooler trying to decide what to take home. With not-so-big of a budget, and so many beers to choose from, it’s getting difficult.
I did an experiment these last 2 weeks. I went to my bottle shop every other day and I found a new beer every time. Crazy right? It used to get a new shipment 2 to 3 times each week, but recently it has been getting new beers in as many as 5 times a week! When I questioned the owner about all this, he looked at me and said: “I don’t know how to keep up with all those seasonal beers, man. It is what it is”. His struggle is that if he doesn’t get everything his distributor is selling he might not be at the head of the line when high demand releases like Bourbon County Stout come out. At the same time he needs to sell all those beers to keep his business afloat. He loves to have so many beers to offer to his customers (about 140 unique beers) but he is aware the margin of profit per bottle have to be high to keep such inventory on the shelves, and he has the best prices in the area, to keep folks coming through the door.
Below you can find just a sample of all the great beers being released, or that are coming out soon, just to get you guys going. Run to your bottle shop and stare at that cooler like I do every single time. Like a dog watching a chicken on a rotisserie, or a cat looking at a fish bowl. Hypnotized by all that beauty. Good thing at my bottle shop I can have a pint while walking around the shop.In any case, it is a wonderful thing to see that the creativeness and skills of the brewers have no limits. It makes me feel so good to watch the art of craft brewing aiming high and not set in old ways. It is always evolving and, as far as I am concerned, it has evolved to better and better beers everyday. You know I love to have a reason to raise a pint. Let’s drink to that.Cheers all!!!
If you are like me you probably try to read and watch as much stuff as possible about the craft beer world. If you do, you’ll probably remember
Sam Calagione (founder and owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery) 2010 Brew Masters on The Discovery Channel. It was cancelled with no explanation to its viewers and Sam abstained from any comments, but In March 2011, Anthony Bourdain (TV Star Culinary Chef), who shares a production company with Brew Masters, wrote on his Twitter that Brew Masters was cancelled due to pressure by a large beer company who threatened to pull advertising. (You can watch old episodes of Brew Masters at Netflix.com)
But, craft beer advocates have come a long way since 2010, and with a consistent growth on social media, it has urged a new Channel owned by NBCUniversal and Hearst Corporation, Esquire Network (which is focused on travel, food and fashion segment) to jump start a new project in 2013. A show called Brew Dogs is hosted by the Founders/Owners of Brew Dog Brewing Co. in Scotland. They travel the US trying to convert what they call the “Craft Beer Virgins” into drinking craft beer. The owners/stars James Watt and Martin Dickie do crazy, one of a kind brewings, with some of the stars brewers from around the US. Their success has landed them a second season that is currently airing.
Now, The History Channel has decided to start their own craft brewery style show and tonight (tuesday, July 29th) @ 10pm EST is the series premiere of “Dark Horse Nation”.
Different from Brew Dogs, The Dark Horse Nation will be a more familiar format used by The History Channel. Watching the Sneak Peak of the Show you can get a vibe of Duck Dynasty and American Chopper where they will follow the daily happenings of the brewery and Founder/Owner of Dark Horse, Aaron Morse. His real friends and crew bring their passion to life while managing their Michigan base business on more of a “reality show” format.
I’m very excited to see another Craft beer show on a main-stream channel in prime-time. Hopefully the show will be as good as Brew Masters and Brew Dogs. I’m Keeping my fingers crossed since I’m skeptical about reality shows. Best of luck to the Dark Horse folks. We are all happy to see them hitting the small screen.
History Channel Show Description: In small town Marshall, Michigan, there is a group of life-long friends living out their version of the American dream. Led by rebel entrepreneur and fearless visionary, Aaron Morse, Dark Horse is a thriving business set amongst a rural paradise. Morse and his team have been making a name for themselves since 1997, when Dark Horse started bottling their unique line of craft beers. Now distributed in 12 states, the Dark Horse crew is determined to turn their business into a household name. Its die-hard fan base even has its own nickname: Dark Horse Nation. However, DARK HORSE NATION is not only about crafting great beer, it’s a way of life. Their recipe for success is as much about experimentation and trouble-shooting as it is self-taught skill and determination. Every week, there’s some new project, from creating outlandish inventions to building additions to their ever-growing compound. Around there, everything is done by hand, the old-fashioned way, or as they like to put it, “The Dark Horse Way.” source: History Channel
Last month I went to the Folio Weekly Beer Festival, featuring regional beer choices and food trucks. I should have gotten the all-you-can-drink pass because each pour was only 4 ounces. I spent time in a few long lines, and then gravitated to the shorter ones.
I liked the two I had from Green Room Brewing Company: Diamond and Pablo Beach Pale Ale. I had an Aardwolf that I really liked, but I unfortunately can’t remember the name or type. For the first time ever, I had a Founders I *didn’t* like (All Day IPA). I’ve loved every other Founders I’ve had, though. This one was a bit rough—a bit too harsh.
I liked the Big Storm Brewing I had (Arcus IPA). I had a Unibrou I liked (Ephemere Pomme). It was light and fruity. The Big Nose IPA was a solid choice from Swamp Head Brewing Company. I was quite happy with the Southern Tier selection, “Live.”
The food was really good; I love me some food trucks. I had a carnita and a sausage dog with Duke’s Brown Ale sauce, onions and peppers.
Of course, this being Florida, it had to storm for 20 minutes. That thinned out the crowd, though, which meant I could go back for more beer with little time waiting.