by oliver dodd
Conveniently situated halfway between Bold City Brewery and Kickbacks Gastropub, the addition of Intuition Ale Works has established the area near the intersection of Rosselle Street and King Street as Jacksonville’s brewing district and created one amazing pub crawl.
The initial whisperings that Jacksonville was going to get its second microbrewery started over a year and a half ago. From their first blog posts in July 2009 to the tapping of the People’s Pale Ale on November 1 and then the grand opening of the tap room on November 20, local beer aficionados have been waiting impatiently for their chance to put the eagerly anticipated and much hyped Intuition Ale Works to the test. And now that the wait is finally over, much to the delight of all, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, giving us a solid two for two on local microbrewery excellence.
Conveniently situated halfway between Bold City Brewery and Kickbacks Gastropub, the addition of Intuition Ale Works has established the area near the intersection of Rosselle Street and King Street as Jacksonville’s brewing district and created one amazing pub crawl. The IAW compound consists of a small tap room and an immense brewing area that has a lot room for expansion and, given the latest reports of beer shortages, it looks like they’re going to need it.
If there’s one thing Jacksonville’s microbreweries do better than many others, particularly those in Florida, it’s the tap rooms / bar areas. Bare brick walls, concrete floors, muted lights and unstained wood tables and bar make the tap room a cozy and welcoming place to enjoy a few beers. The brewing area also serves as overflow area for larger events and is the place to get growler fills.
But onto the most important factor: the beer. Just as when Bold City initially opened, there were only four varieties of beer being made: People’s Pale Ale, King Street Stout, Imperial Red Ale and Willow Branch Wheat. With the recent addition of the I-10 IPA, they’re up to five and are working to rapidly expand the selection. The beers themselves betray the nascency of the business; mature in flavor and body, they’re more akin to what you’d expect from a well-established craft brewery.
The People’s Pale Ale is one of the best pale ale’s I’ve had the pleasure of consuming. It’s characterized by a full body with a fragrant, citrusy hoppiness that isn’t at all overbearing and rivals well-known brands such as Sierra Nevada. The I-10 IPA is also a shining example of that particular style. The India Pale Ale is a favorite among beer connoisseurs and every self-respecting craft brewery makes their own attempt but they can be hit-or-miss. Though an almost overwhelming hop character is the signature of the style, some brands are a little too extreme in this measure. Others sweeten the mixture too much in order to mask some of the bitter notes or then often elevated alcohol content. The I-10 IPA is hoppy enough to please the fanatics but balanced enough that most people can appreciate a pint.
The wheat, a favorite style of mine, is also pretty stellar yet, like the exemplary Fritz’s Hefeweizen at Bold City, deviates a bit from the typical wheat beer. The King Street Stout is quite a hefty beast. Most stouts hover around the 3-5% ABV mark. I’d have to speculate that this one is more like 7-10% ABV. With its pitch black color, thick mouthfeel, and sweet flavor, this is a beer that should be carefully enjoyed as is or with a dessert.
The wait is finally over and the hype was well warranted. Intuition has arrived to contribute to a rapidly expanding local beer scene, making Jacksonville the craft brew capitol of Florida and giving all of us around town something to be proud of.
Intuition Ale Works
by oliver dodd