JaxBrewBitchBy: Regina Heffington – The Jax Brew Bitch

July is another transition-month for many craft beer lovers. Each palate is different – and each palate will seek its own transition routine, given enough experience. Yeah, that means drinking enough beer to let your palate evolve in an unrestricted manner.

Usually, you’ll find even the most ardent stout drinker will gravitate to lighter styles in the hot summer months. Some have tip-toed through spring saisons to chill by the pool or beach with a cold Hefeweisen, Belgian Wit, lager or pilsner – saving their heavier stouts, porters and strong ales for dessert after an evening meal in an air-conditioned environment.

When you visit your favorite local craft beer purveyor, they will have some delicious suggestions for a lighter style with which to cool down.

There is a lot of beer news this month!

PeachBrett-150331-13SweetWater Brewing Company has announced the debut of a brand-spanking-new 750-ml, high-gravity cork and cage series that will feature a variety of beers including barrel-aged brews, sours and wild ales. SweetWater is kicking it off with a Belgian-style ale made with peaches and Brettanomyces called The Pit & The Pendulum.

The Pit & The Pendulum is a perfect balance of three distinct divergences — Belgian ale yeast, Brettanomyces (a strain of yeast known to impart complexity and sourness) and freshly puréed peaches – making for a tasty trifecta! While this brew can be devoured fresh, it will also age well in the cellar as the Brettanomyces continues ferment in the bottle further developing the flavor profile over time.

Each of the small-batch brews from the lineup will rotate in limited quantities annually and will be packaged in a 750-ml bottle with cork and cage finish. SweetWater welcomed the new 750-ml packaging line back in January and broke the seal with a test run on its 18th anniversary Belgian-style triple. The cork and cage line will soon find a new home as SweetWater plans break ground on another expansion project to house this special lineup project later this summer.

Silver Cow (1506 King Street – 904.379.6968) Beer Edification with rare tapping every Thursday. B Nektar’s There Will Be Blood Orange Mead on tap during the month of July.

The Annex (1508 King Street – 904.379.6968) is now open! Happy Hour every day, 4 – 8 pm! All 46 drafts are  just $3 & $4, $1 off all bottles and cans and $4 wines! Join them for dinner between 4 – 6:30 and choose any draft for just $2! Beer Bingo & Brewery Highlight every Tuesday with Nate! Bar Cash Prizes and Beer Swag plus $3 drafts all day!

Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle St  – 904.379.6551) will be kicking off the holiday weekend with a special CASK ale on Thursday (July 2)! On Friday (July 3) the Bold City Tap Room will open early at noon and close at their regular time of 11pm. That day, they will be tapping two very special barrel-aged beers: the Barrel Aged Super Secret Stout and the Barrel Aged Chinook IPA!

Engine 15 Brewing Company July 1st – Statewide Growler Toast to celebrate the new 64oz growlers allowed now in FL.  The Florida Brewers Guild is promoting for a 6:40pm toast between all the businesses filling growlers. Engine 15 will be selling their 64oz growler for $6 that day (normally $8) and a free pint of Engine 15 Beer while you wait for your fill!

July 2nd @ 6:30pm – Vertical Tasting of their Anniversary Barrel Aged Imperial Chupacabra, years 2013, 2014 & 2015.  Only 35 spots @ $35/ea.  Ticket go on sale at the bar June 18th.  Price also includes light appetizers and two Engine 15 pints. This is Engine 15 Brewing Company’s 5 Year Anniversary!

July 11th – Bottle release of their 2015 Anniversary Barrel Aged Imperial Chupacabra.  First 50 people can buy up to 4 bottles, next 50 can buy up to 2 bottles.  Sold in Engine 15’s Beach Brewpub Only.

highland_logoHighland Brewing Company Highland Brewing Company’s freshest new idea blends all natural ingredients into its flagship beers, creating complimentary flavors in small batches. The Kinsman Project delivers quality and rarity – perfect for this season’s slew of beer festivals and other special events.

Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson describes the series as, “All natural – whole or chopped spices; fresh, chopped, pureed, or dried fruit; oak spirals – and not in extract or concentrate form. Ingredients will be local where feasible and as fresh as possible. For example, we hand-cut the dried chipotle peppers and hand-cut and scraped the vanilla pods and beans that went into the Black Mocha Stout.”

A new Kinsman batch will be introduced about eight times per year. If you enjoyed Asheville Craft Beer Week, you may have gotten to try the first batch. Black Mocha Stout with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, dried chipotle peppers, whole cinnamon sticks and Nicaraguan Cocoa Nibs from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge Released in June: Saint Terese’s with blackberries and raspberries. Releasing in: July: Gaelic Ale with Citra hops and orange; August: Saint Terese’s with fresh pineapple, mango, and jalapeno; September: Black Mocha Stout with cherries and oak

Brew 5 Points (1024 Park St. – 904.374.5789)

July 9 – Two Brothers Brewery Tap Takeover

July 11 – One Year Anniversary!

July 16 – Cigar City Brewing Tap Takeover

Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, and Harvey’s stores) have really stepped up their focus on our craft beers.

Michael Merida, Beer Category Manager for Southeastern Grocers is bringing in a new local craft beer every single day and now offers over 1,000 craft SKUs across 8 states. They have all of the major players in local markets in Jacksonville, and currently reaching towards Savannah. Michael was quoted, “Essentially, if it’s brewed in the state, and is in packaging, we’re bringing it in!” He also said that they have put on several presentation meetings in a “Shark Tank” style format, where they give local brewers opportunities to present, sample and discuss their products. Their next meeting will be in July in the Tampa/St. Petersburg region –  and will continue on from there. Michael went on to say that their craft business is running up +26% for the year and doesn’t see that slowing down any time soon.

I treat our shelves in the stores like I am brewing the beer myself –  and taste everything – before I put it on the shelves.  I like to have the best quality products out there for our customers and welcome their feedback on what they’d like to see in the stores, as well. Every day, I look forward to seeing what presents itself out there…we want to be a part of the local communities, and support local businesses, and breweries.”

Whole Foods Market (10601 San Jose Blvd – 904.288.1100), America’s Healthiest Grocery Store will have a  5 Course Dinner for 40 guests featuring Oskar Blues Beer on July 23rd at 6:30 PM. Tickets are only $40 per person and may be reserved by visiting and clicking on the events tab.  For more information contact

JAX Ale Trail – June 4 marked six months since Visit Jacksonville kicked off the highly successful JAX Ale Trail and its Craft Beer Passport showcasing Jacksonville’s thriving craft beer industry to visitors from all over the nation and world. In the past six months, the trail has generated great publicity for Jacksonville as Florida’s premier craft beer destination with more than fourteen thousand passports distributed at the eight local breweries along the trail and over 400 completed and turned in by visitors from 25 different states and five different countries.

Swamp Head Brewery (3650 SW 42nd Ave – Gainesville – 352.505.3035) is staging a big 64oz Growler Release Party at Swamp Head on Wednesday (July 1) from 4 to 9pm! Full info here:

Dahlia’s Pour House (2695 Post Street – 904.738.7132) has scheduled some awesome events for you this month! Mead Tasting – July 7 – $25 for Six Mead Tastings. Any time after 4pm!

Dahlia’s Pour House 3 Year Anniversary – July 11 from noon-10pm. $4 Local Feature Breweries every hour!

If you like beer, you should already feel cooler! Make plans to beat the heat this month by visiting the incredible local craft beer establishments ion the greater Jacksonville area!


About Regina Heffington