While Jacksonville is still a big Anheuser-Busch town, the local craft-beer scene has doubled in the past few years with close to a dozen breweries now on tap. Master brewers in the River City produce an estimated 15,000 barrels of beer each year—that’s almost 5 million bottles of homemade brew.
The Jax Ale Trail was unveiled this year to highlight some the area’s craft breweries. Visitors can take the trail on their own or be picked up at their hotel for a guided tour. Beer fans can have a taste at an array of breweries from historic downtown St. Augustine to Jacksonville’s hip King Street.
“King Street has experienced an explosion in craft beer-centric bars, retail shops and restaurants in the past three years and is now the epicenter of craft beer culture in Jacksonville,” says Cari Sánchez-Potter, general manager for Intuition Ale Works. “The establishments all serve locally produced beers from Northeast Florida’s seven craft breweries and it’s been said that King Street has more beer taps than any other street in the state of Florida.”
The flavors on tap are as fun and diverse as the cities themselves, with plenty of local personality. Intuition Ale Works ages its Matanzas in tequila barrels with blood-orange puree. The Green Room on Jacksonville Beach produces varieties like the Mr. Sunshine Imperial Saison or the Undertow Barleywine. Down in St. Augustine, A1A Ale Works makes a citrusy Porpoise Point I.P.A. and a malty, chocolaty Bridge of Lions Brown Ale. Tours are offered at most locations with free sampling.
Jaguar fans can find several varieties at the stadium including Intuition Ale Works’ Jon Boat and People’s Pale Ale, Green Room and Bold City Brewery’s Dukes Draft, Killer Whale and Rhino Rye.