A few weeks ago, in a dark corner of an unnamed drinking establishment, representatives from several breweries and distributors plotted their next move. The cabal spoke excitedly as they planned, downing cold craft brews and tossing out ideas. When discussions were over, plans were laid and glasses were empty, the faction had decided on their next course of action: the Sons of CANarchy Pub Crawl.
Pub crawls are time-honored social activities, ranging from structured to strictly free-form tours of taverns, bars and pubs within a specific geographic area. Pub crawls can be as small as a group of friends deciding to bar-hop one evening or as large as New York City’s annual SantaCon, with thousands of revelers dressed as jolly ol’ St. Nick carousing the bars and streets of Manhattan.
“Pub crawls are for people who like to do things in groups,” said Suzanne Dixon, manager of St. Augustine City Walks, a company that conducts several themed pub crawls. “They are very much a social thing.”
The company’s Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour and Paranormal Investigation takes fearless crawlers to four haunted pubs in St. Augustine as the guide regales them with tales of terror and hauntings while they quaff cold brews. And who doesn’t love chilling stories from the often-barbaric early days of our country along with a frosty beverage?
“It’s for people who like spirits with their spirits,” Dixon quipped.
According to Scott Cowart, Florida sales representative for Oskar Blues Brewery, Sons of CANarchy has been kicked around for quite some time.
“We wanted to do something that brought a focus on cans,” Cowart said. “We are still in a daily fight regarding cans versus bottles. We’re still trying to show people that good beer comes in cans. And with breweries like Cigar City, Intuition, Terrapin and Bell’s joining us, hopefully we can dispel some of the myths.”
Next week’s pub crawl begins at Beer:30 on King Street in Riverside and continues to Five Points for four more stops at Alewife, BREW Five Points, Root Down and Rain Dogs. Each stop features a different brewery, but beers from all breweries will be available at all stops. Crawlers have the opportunity to meet brewery representatives and score schwag, like coozies and stickers.
Some area pub crawls to try:
Sons of CANarchy Pub Crawl
6-11 p.m. Thursday, March 24. First stop is at Beer:30 Riverside; Alewife Craft Beer Bottle Shop & Tasting Room 7 p.m.; Brew Five Points 8 p.m., Root Down Jax 9 p.m.; Rain Dogs 10 p.m. Costumes, wizard sticks encouraged. Details at facebook.com/events/983098128412331/
Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour & Paranormal Investigation
7-9:30 p.m. Thursdays & Fridays; 7, 8 & 8:30 p.m. Saturdays. Departs from Al’s Pizza, St. George St., St. Augustine. Details at staugcitywalks.com
The Jax Ale Trail
More a self-guided tour of several craft breweries in Jacksonville than an actual pub crawl. Get a bunch of beer buddies together and go. Details at visitjacksonville.com/jax-ale-trail.