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New Jacksonville Craft Brewery Set For Summer Opening; Another Could Soon Follow

WG Pitts

A new craft brewery is set to open in Jacksonville’s Mandarin neighborhood this summer, and another one in Murray Hill is looking for a storefront.

The latest offerings will bring the number of Jacksonville breweries to 10. But even with so many choices, the town continues to be quite thirsty for local beer.

The Wicked Barley Brewing Co. should open soon on Baymeadows Road near San Jose Boulevard.

“It’s the first independently owned microbrewery/pub to really come into the Jacksonville area,” says Marc Wisdom, better known as the Jax Beer Guy blogger and Folio Weekly beer columnist. Wisdom says Wicked Barley will be the first restaurant to predominantly serve beers brewed on site from day one.

The brewery on Goodby’s Creek will join an increasingly crowded field of taps in Jacksonville, the Beaches and Orange Park:

  • Aardwolf Brewing Company
  • Green Room Brewing
  • Bold City Brewery
  • Intuition Ale Works
  • Veterans United Craft Brewery
  • Zeta Brewing Company
  • Engine 15 Brewing Co.
  • Pinglehead Brewing Company

Including St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach breweries, about a dozen have bubbled up in Northeast Florida as part of the nationwide craft-beer craze.

McKeown headshot
Credit Hyperion Brewing
Hyperion Brewing
Alexandra McKeown owns Hyperion Brewing. Now brewing at home, she says she hopes to get into a storefront as soon as possible.

And it’s about to get more crazy. Hyperion Brewing Company, the only one of the bunch solely owned by a woman, is looking for a place to serve its microbrews, small batches of interestingly flavored beers like pink peppercorn and ginger.

Hyperion owner Alexandra McKeown says she’s relying on free tastings to get feedback from her future customers.

The Jax Beer Guy says prospective entrepre-brewers shouldn’t be deterred by the competition.

“The craft beer industry’s not going away. It’s only getting bigger,” he says. “You look at the numbers, year after year, they’re growing at more than 2 percent per year.”

Just look at Tampa, he says. That metro area supports about 30 breweries.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP