Jacksonville has quickly gained a reputation as one of the South’s hot spots for craft breweries, with locals and out-of-towners alike flocking to experience the city’s burgeoning beer scene.
Among the ways to visit Jacksonville’s in-town and beachside brewhouses, the self-guided Jax Ale Trail and the leave-the-driving-to-us Jax Brew Bus are particularly popular. But if you decide to freestyle your tour, be sure to check out these five breweries for the perfect sampling of the city’s brewing chops:
Bold City Brewery, 2670-7 Rosselle St
One of the original craft breweries in Jacksonville, Bold City Brewery offers a convivial atmosphere for trying its beers. In nice weather, the garage doors go up for an indoor-outdoor vibe, and you can play board games while throwing back a few. Styles include the 1901 Red Ale, which takes its name from the historic great fire of Jacksonville; Mad Manatee IPA, which is packed with four hop varieties; and Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, which is named after the owner’s late dog and has hints of chocolate and caramel.
Intuition Ale Works, 929 E Bay St
Located in the heart of Jacksonville’s Entertainment District, Intuition Ale Works is another craft brewer that helped establish the city’s bona fides as a beer destination. Specializing in small-batch ales, the brewery claims to be the first craft brewery in Florida to sell their flagship People’s Pale Ale and other beers in cans. At the tap room, you can a sample a rotating selection of draft-only, small batch specialties. There’s no food served on site, but you’re welcome to bring your own or order in from a nearby restaurant.
Aardwolf Brewing Company, 1461 Hendricks Ave
Housed in a renovated 1930s ice house in Jacksonville’s historic San Marco area, Aardwolf specializes in unique flavor combinations such as Gose (a tart ale flavored with coriander and sea salt) and Ermah-Gourd (an imperial milk porter with hints of pumpkin spice and coffee). Aardwolf, which uses only premium malted grains, mostly from England and Germany, releases new pilot beers every Wednesday.
Green Room Brewing, 228 3rd St N
Considered the first microbrewery in Jacksonville Beach, Green Room Brewing takes its name from a surfer’s perfect spot in a wave. Located steps from the water, Green Room brings the beach inside with walls lined with local artists’ ocean-inspired works. The brewhouse’s 16 taps feature a mix of seven popular choices, including hearty IPAs, stouts, pale ales and seasonal flavors such as the IP Eh? (aged with maple syrup); Honey Blonde (brewed with orange blossom honey) and Scurvy (a lime and oatmeal-infused IPA).
Engine 15 Brewing Co., 1500 Beach Blvd #217 and 633 Myrtle Ave N
Engine 15, also located in Jacksonville Beach with a second location downtown, features 50 tap lines with a rotating selection of original brews. The old-school pub atmosphere, complete with retro leather seating and arcade games, offers a relaxed backdrop for sipping beers like the Route 90 Rye Pale Ale, an amber colored rye; Old Battle Axe IPA, with hints of pineapple and citrus; and the Nut Sack Double Brown Ale, brewed with English malt. Don’t miss the Imperial Chupacabra, a Russian imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels, released each July for the microbrewery’s anniversary.