Although Bold City Brewery hasn’t been brewing beer the longest, the name is pretty much synonymous with Jacksonville microbrewing. Co-owners and mother-son duo Brian and Susan Miller started the brewery in October 2008 on a fizz and a prayer. Five years later, some of their dozen-or-so products, including flagship brew Duke’s Brown Ale, can be found in bars throughout Northeast Florida and beyond, though not out of state (yet).
The taproom has a close, European vibe that is as casual as it comes. Some hipsters filter in, but Bold City is more of an everyman (and woman) spot than a trendsetter haven. If the taproom is crowded, as it often is, snag a drink and wander over to the warehouse side, where you might strike up a conversation with the Jolly Mon himself, who serves up burgers (bean or cow), brats, pulled pork and wings in between puffs of a cigar and sips from a beverage of his choosing.
“I always tell people he was sent to us,” said Kevin Miller, a younger brother who does customer relations for the family business. “He kind of adds to the ambiance of the place.”
After some saucy conversation and grub, maybe ask that cute stranger with the friendly boxer to play a round of giant Jenga. If you feel like a seasonal with a pinch of nostalgia, try Big John Miller’s Apricot Wheat, which was rolled out in June as a Father’s Day surprise for the family patriarch.