Gastrofest loves local beer. Whether or not you like beer, we feel it is worth understanding the importance of local craft breweries to our community and local economy.
In just six years, Jacksonville has seen six craft breweries open and flourish. Several of which have expanded or opened new locations.
These breweries are not only bringing jobs and cash flow to our economy, but many of them are doing much more. Most of the local breweries are heavily involved in community, culture and local charities. Bold City recently hosted “Drink Some Ale, Save Some Tail,” where $1 of every beer sold went towards First Coast No More Homeless Pets. Engine 15 has been giving since their first location opened in 2009. Every quarter they pair a beer and local charity and in that time, all of the proceeds from the chosen beer go towards the featured charitable organization. Many breweries have space in and around their brewing facilities and use them to host events from art shows to concerts. Newcomer Aardwolf Brewing Company has already hosted many events, including “Love is All You Need: A Pop Up Art Event” in February.
Speaking of culture, with the rise of local and finely crafted beer, comes an increase in the appreciation of beer and food pairings. Throughout the city, small beer and food tasting events have been popping up. In January, Intuition Ale Works published Cooking with Intuition which features not only locally developed recipes using beer, but talks about the art of pairing food and beer. In the book, Intuition teams up with renowned chefs from a wide spectrum of restaurants to provide a serious snapshot of Jacksonville’s culinary scene. Cooking With Intuition is already considered an important piece of Jacksonville culture. And get this; ALL proceeds from the book go towards Second Harvest Food Bank.
Visit Intuition’s web site regularly to keep up to date on the proposals, legislation, to find templates for letters to send to your representatives and other “calls to action.” Remember, this is about more than beer. This is about our community. This is about where Jacksonville can go. The superior beer is a nice bonus.