Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Bottlenose Brewing was opening on May 26.
Just a few years ago, Northeast Florida’s craft beer choices were limited. Since Bold City Brewing Company opened in 2008, though, the area’s come a long way. There are now 19 working microbreweries and one macrobrewery in the region. There are also eight breweries in various stages of completion, which means there could be 28 breweries within 30 miles of Downtown Jacksonville in the near future.
With so many new breweries open now or opening soon, I thought a brief report was in order.
Bold City Brewery, 109 E. Bay St., Downtown
The brewery that started it all in the River City is now open Downtown next to the still-under-construction Cowford Chophouse. With an exposed red brick wall, a three-barrel brewhouse, 11 taps and a unique bar, Bold City is making a bold statement.
Owner Brian Miller says his plan is to rotate brewers through the new location on a three-month cycle. The smaller system means brewers can tap into their creative juices and concoct beers that would be difficult or costly to produce at Bold City’s 20-barrel brewhouse in Riverside.
Southern Swells Brewing Company, 1312 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach
This brewery embraces beachiness, proving that laid-back doesn’t mean it’s unrefined. Co-owners Jay Varney and Cory Adams have crafted a welcoming and warm taproom. And, with 20 taps of both their own and select guest brews, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Old Coast Ales, 300 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine
Co-owners Jon Boisclair and Matt Hooker dreamed of opening a brewery for quite some time. I first heard of them several years ago when they launched a Kickstarter fundraiser. After a few setbacks–thanks, Hurricane Matthew–the friends have finally opened a laid-back taproom, ideal for mingling, offering 10 taps, nine beers and one locally produced kombucha.
Atlantic Beach Brewing Company, 725 Atlantic Blvd., Stes. 3 & 15, Atlantic Beach; Grand Opening May 6
General contractor Chuck Horn and twin brother Spencer followed their muse (Spencer relocated from Seattle) to open a brewery in Atlantic Beach. Beers will range from hoppy IPAs to tart Berliner Weiss.
Hyperion Brewing Company, 1740 N. Main St., Springfield; Grand Opening May 19
Main Street has long been a neglected brew zone. With next month’s opening of Hyperion Brewing Company in the Springfield National Historic District, that’s about to change. Alexandra McKeown and Troy Orton hope to be catalysts for bringing the district back to life. The brewery will operate on a unique concept: 15 constantly rotating taps without a core brand. This lets guests enjoy a new beer every time they visit.
Bottlenose Brewing, 9700 Deer Lake Ct., Ste. 1, Southside
From the ashes of Tinseltown’s abruptly closed World of Beer, Bottlenose will be the second opened by owner Mark Stillman, whose first foray into brewing is Jax Beach mainstay Green Room Brewing. With 50 taps, the taproom will serve both house-brewed beers and a collection of Florida beers, along with fare from the onsite kitchen.
Mark your calendar for Bottlenose’s grand opening, scheduled for Wednesday, April 26.