Craft Brewing Update (4/24/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (4/24/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed last week’s update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Harris Meadery Launch Party:

Harris MeaderyOrange Park, FL: Harris Meadery will be holding their business launch party at the Jax Beer Society’s first event on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Brewer’s Pizza (14-B Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL). Fresh from Harris Meadery’s recent wins at the Green Lion Festival and Gastrofest 2015, John Harris will be on hand serving tastings of his award winning Key Lime Pie mead and new Cherry Raspberry Currant mead to Jax Beer Society members. John will be discussing his meads as well as his future plans for the first meadery in the Jacksonville area.

portuguese dark lord3 Floyds Brewing Emergency Alert:

Munster, IN: EMERGENCY! Drop what you’re doing and get over to 3 Floyds Brewing today at the kiosk. Today only, 2014 Portuguese Brandy BA Dark Lord is on sale. 1 bottle per person limit. GO!!! GO NOW!!!! GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!

Le Roar GrrrzBullfrog Brewing Announces Le Roar Grrrz beers sale:

Williamsport, PA: Bullfrog brewing is releasing 5 new beers on May 9th: Le Roar Grrrz Kriek, Le Roar Grrrz Berry, Le Roar Grrrz Apricot, Le Roar Grrrz Aardbei Strawberry and Crime of Passion Barrel Aged Sour. All 750 ml bottles. $30 for the Grrrz variants, $25 for the Crime of Passion.

avery twenty twoAvery announces Twenty-Two:

Boulder, CO: Avery Brewing Company has announced the imminent release of it’s 22nd anniversary beer, Avery Twenty Two. This beer is a Brett fermented wild ale and will be available in 22 oz. bombers this June, 2015. No specific word on an exact release date or a bottle price/limit yet.

alesmith brewingAlesmith Brewing’s Hall of Fame series going strong:

San Diego, CA: Alesmith brewing is releasing the next beer in it’s Hall of Fame series, Tony Gwynn Imperial .394 San Diego pale ale. This is a nod to Tony Gwynn, the Padres baseball Hall of Famer with a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each bottle going to support the Gwynn foundation. This beer is a 6.8% straight up pale ale and will be available in large format bottles. We’re not sure what exact size yet but certain to be above 12 ounce (it looks like 750 ml. but don’t hold us to that).

On Our Radar:

  • 3 Floyds: Dark Lord Day is tomorrow. Everybody stock up on the diabetes because it’s great.
  • Avery Brewing: Avery’s raspberry sour hits distribution starting now. Look for it.
  • Lawson’s: Sip o’ Sunshine and Triple Sunshine are currently shelf turding up in New England. These IPA’s > Yours.
  • Great Raft: Just released Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy Baltic Porter.
  • Oxbow Brewing: Oxbow is offering up it’s Crossfade, a funky bottle conditioned hoppy blond saison.
  • Bells Brewing: Next in it’s Solar System series, Bells Saturn, has hit. Rumor is this one is actually good.
Key Lime Pie Mead Wins Judges Choice at Gastrofest 2015

Key Lime Pie Mead Wins Judges Choice at Gastrofest 2015

Harris Meadery Wins!

 gastrofest 2015Jacksonville, FL: On Saturday, March 21st 2015, Harris Meadery brought five gallons of it’s famous Key Lime Pie sparkling mead for sampling at Hemming Plaza Park in Jacksonville, Florida for the GastroFest 2015 brewing competition. Two tasting sessions were offered to the general public between 2:45 pm and 3:45 pm and again at 6:45 pm to 7:45 pm. Over three hundred thirsty event goers lined up on a beautiful warm spring day to sample the works of the best up-and-coming brewers in the north Florida area. In the early serving event, the public was allowed to vote for their favorite beverage out of thirteen different local beers, ciders and meads. Winners of the GastroFest 2015 People’s Choice award went to Eric & Ed Washington for their Muddy Waters Brown Ale with an honorable mention going to Mike & Noel Williams of Three Beauties Brewing for their American Apple Pie hard cider.

The Gastrofest 2015 Judges Choice Award:

green lion festivalLocal professional brewers and celebrity beer judges in the region were invited to evaluate and score the afternoon’s Judges Choice competition hosted by The Beer Apostle Brian Little. The Guest judges on hand were Kevin Burns (Beer:30), Steve Halford (Pinglehead Brewing), Carolyn Graham (Brown Distribution), Glen Weiger (Green Lion Festival), Preben Olsen (Aardwolf Brewing), James Moriarty (Veterans United), and Marc Wisdom (beer blogger). After each ale, cider and mead was tasted and scrutinized by the panel of Judges, Harris Meadery’s Key Lime Pie Mead came out on top with an honorable mention to Eric Lesage for his Imperial Stout. The grand prize included a beautiful medal and a fresh small batch whiskey barrel from Florida’s own Palm Ridge Reserve. I’m looking forward to brewing something magnificent to ferment in the barrel, and then using it again to age something wonderful for tasting in the fall.

What’s next:

green lionWith such positive feedback and high demand from the general public wanting to purchase our products, we are currently investigating taking our meadery to the next level and opening our own brick and mortar (and web) meadery and tasting room. If you enjoyed our meads and wish to speak with us about bringing our products to market as a profitable venture, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using our feedback form on the main Jaxbrew front page. We think we’re making an amazing, locally sourced Florida product and we can’t wait to introduce it as a regional beverage available for purchase.

gastrofestIn the meantime, several new batches of Key Lime Pie mead are already in the works. After winning both of the largest home brewing festivals in Jacksonville’s recent history, we’ve decided to retire the Key Lime Pie mead from competitions where we’ve already won. Do not worry, there are many other events being planned for the Spring, Summer and Fall season for 2015 and we will be unveiling wonderful new meads and honey wines for future events. We will also be entering our Key Lime Pie mead in larger competitions in support of our local brewer’s guild CASK (the Cowford Ale Sharing Klub) and nationally as time and brewing capacity permit.

So, keep a close watch here on our website and on our social media links for more about Harris Meads!

 The Winning Moment:


Harris Meads at Gastrofest Jacksonville

Harris Meads at Gastrofest Jacksonville

Gastrofest Jacksonville is a Foodie Paradise!

gastronomy floridaWe are happy to inform everyone that Harris Meadery will be presenting our Key Lime Pie mead at Jacksonville’s Gastrofest event on Saturday, March 21st in Hemming Plaza Park. Gastrofest will be open from 11:00 am through 10:00 pm. We will be entering our Key Lime Pie into both the public tasting competition and the judges competition during Gastrofest which is hosted by Brian Little of The Beer Apostle. If you would like to try our award winning Key Lime Pie mead for free, please come and see us at the Special Events tent between 2:45 pm and 3:45 pm. This version of our Key Lime Pie mead will be carbonated and presented in the exact same manner as the Green Lion Festival. If you like our mead, please vote for us!

What is there to see and do at Gastrofest Jacksonville?

Per their website, “Gastrofest (seeks) to foster a thriving local food scene in Jacksonville and put the region on the map as a culinary destination. We celebrate Jacksonville’s culinary scene with tastes, talks, films and workshops all day. Buy Taste Tickets or Star Passes to try the restaurants and food trucks throughout the day. Taste Tickets are $1 each and most Tastes are 3 Tickets or less. Four Star Passes get you all the tastes in the park, and Five Star gets you all the Tastes, plus alcohol, a GastroFest Bag and souvenir cup from Friends of Hemming. We’ve also got Kid’s & Education Zone during the day (11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) and a great schedule of free expert speakers and films at the MOCA through the end of fest, workshops at Down the Rabbit Hole, a Homebrew Contest and much, much more.”

What Vendors and/or Sponsors will be at Gastrofest Jacksonville?

There will be a plethora of food, drink and craft vendors at the event. In addition to all of the fine dining available to sample, the main stage will host eight musicians and bands sponsored by D’Land Productions. There will be breakout sessions, speakers, films at the MOCA and a Kid’s Zone just for youngsters.

Current Gastrofest Vendors:

  • Engine 15 Brewing
  • Intuition Ale Works
  • Veterans United Craft Brewery
  • Corner Taco
  • Dig Foods
  • Down To Earth Farm
  • Fresh Jax
  • Trader Hill Farms
  • Bistro AIX
  • Blue Bamboo
  • Brewer’s Pizza
  • Chef’s Garden Catering & Events Planning
  • Culhane’s Irish Pub
  • Flying Iguana
  • Mezza Restaurant & Bar
  • Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails
  • North Beach Fish Camp
  • Orsay
  • Ovinte
  • Tapa That
  • Taverna
  • The Cafe at The Cummer
  • The Candy Apple Cafe & Cocktails
  • The Metro Diner
  • Tres Leches Eatery

How can I get to Hemming Park?

Hemming Park is located at the center of Hemming Plaza at 117 West Duval Street in Jacksonville, Florida. The main plaza itself will be closed off due to the event, but there will be limited metered parking on the streets surrounding Hemming Plaza. The Skyway might be a great alternative transportation source. Please contact the JTA regarding Skyway operations and running times.


Craft Brewing Update (03/19/2015)

Craft Brewing Update (03/19/2015)

Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Here’s the latest bi-weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:

Jacksonville, FL hosts GastroFest 2015:

Harris Meadery will be offering a free tasting of our Key Lime Pie mead during this event from 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm, and then again from 6:45 pm until 7:45 pm at the Special Events Tent.

gastronomy floridaOn Saturday, March 21st, 2015, GastroJax will be hosting it’s first annual GastroFest festival in Hemming Plaza Park in downtown Jacksonville Florida. GastroFest is a celebration of regional gastronomy, craft and film. Beginning at 1:00 pm through 9:00 pm, area residents can taste their way around the many cuisines offered around the city. There will be craft beers, wines and mixed drinks being presented by Jacksonville’s top brewers and bartenders. Films will be presented at MOCA adjacent to Hemming Plaza throughout the day and over ten bands/musicians will take the center stage throughout the event. Admission is free with tasting tickets for sale for $1.00 each. Unlimited VIP food passes are available for $45.00 and unlimited VIP food & adult beverage passes are available for $85.00.

Where to Park?

Parking around Hemming Plaza Park will be difficult. JTA will be operating it’s Skyway tram during the event which has multiple stops around downtown. This would be an excellent option to park at one of the several Skyway parking lots (such as the one at the Prime Osborne Convention Center) and just ride the Skyway trams to the Hemming Plaza station. GastroFest is also offering a $5.00 discount on it’s VIP tickets for riding the Skyway. Present your Skyway receipt to the information booth when picking up your tickets. You can learn more about GastroFest Jacksonville by clicking here.

Dark Lord Day 2015 Special Release Newsflash:

dark lord variantsDark Matter coffee company has let the cat out of the bag regarding at least one of the special treatments of Dark Lord variants that will be available during Dark Lord Day 2015. One variant will be a Remy Martin Cognac & Dark Matter Coffee Barrel Aged Dark Lord. Three Floyds Brewing will offer special scratch offs during the event and the lucky few winners will win the opportunity to purchase some of the variant bottles. There will be much more to come from Three Floyds about other variants potentially available to scratch off (and possibly golden ticket) winners. Stay tuned.

The Rare Barrel Releasing Ensorcelled:

EnsorcelledThe Rare Barrel is releasing the next beer in it’s Ambassadors of Sour series called Ensorcelled. This is a Barrel Aged Dark Sour beer infused with fresh Raspberries. It seems like everyone is getting in on the Raspberry bandwagon (Lushious, Blushing Monk… we’re looking at you). A four bottle pre-sale will happen to it’s Ambassador members on March 24th at 9:00 am PST. Prices are $30 each for a 750 ml. bottle. Sales will open to the general public shortly thereafter.

 Jester King Releasing  Montmorency vs Balaton:

Montmorency vs BalatonOn Friday, March 20th, 2015, Jester King will be releasing it’s dueling cherry wild fermented fruit ale. Made with copious amounts of Montmorency and Balaton cherries sourced from Michigan, this beer has been aged in American oak barrels and fed to the single celled bugs living on the wildflowers around the Jester King brewery. This beer is limited to three thousand 500ml. bottles and will retail at the brewery for $16.00 a pop (1 bottle limit). These are the same varieties of sour/sweet cherries that are found in several types of cherry meads. With the wild yeasts, I would expect this beer to be just as funky as the other Jester King offerings.

Ninkasi Brewing to release Space Yeast Beer:

Ninkasi Brewing of Eugene, Oregon is set to release it’s first Space Yeast beer. Ground Control is an Outer Space Imperial Stout made with Ninkasi’s proprietary Rockets yeast. Rockets yeast was launched into space on an SL9 rocket on October 23rd, 2014 from the Spaceport America, NM site and recovered at the White Sands missile range. Aged on Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, this rich thick stout should prove to be out of this world. Ninkasi Ground Control space beer will be available at Ninkasi Brewing on April 13, 2015 in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.

Plant City Strawberries make excellent Mead

Plant City Strawberries make excellent Mead

Plant City Strawberry festivalPlant City Strawberry Mead anyone?

It’s that time of year. The first big Florida strawberry crop of the season is celebrated each year just outside of Tampa, FL at the Plant City Strawberry Festival. This is our first year making the trek down to Plant City to hand pick strawberries for our fresh Strawberry Shortcake mead. The festival itself happens at the fairgrounds just off of I-4 in Plant City, FL and runs this year from February 28th, 2015 to March 8th, 2015. This year, we have selected over ten pounds of giant, fresh sweet locally sourced strawberries for our next batch. Just like our famous Key Lime Pie mead, our Strawberry shortcake mead is full of bright fresh fruit. The aroma and flavor are reminiscent of the best Strawberry Shortcake just like Grandma used to make.

Interested in sampling our Strawberry Mead?

This batch of Strawberry Shortcake mead should be finished by early summer. We will post updates on which competitions we will be submitting our Strawberry Shortcake mead to so that you can enjoy a taste. As always, we are home mazers (at this point, contact us for business opportunities) and always give away our meads at no cost. As we produce small batches, supplies are generally very limited, so please arrive early if you’d like a free taste.

What ingredients do you use?

All of our meads are made with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. We strongly believe in supporting local apiaries for honey and local farms for fresh fruits and spices. As far as what goes into our Strawberry Shortcake mead, we can tell you with all seriousness that it’s made with local Plant City Strawberries, honey and water. Our spices and the way we use them are our trade secret.

When can I try some Strawberry Shortcake mead?

Soon, my grasshopper. Soon. Our target date for sampling this mead will be in May or June, 2015. Please subscribe to our feeds, social media links on the left hand side and here at the website closer to that time frame for more tasting information.