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First Coast

Drinking Beer While Buying Groceries Is Now A Bigger Thing In Neptune Beach

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Paul Joseph
/
Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wished you could have a cold brew while waiting at the meat counter or heading down the cereal aisle at the supermarket?

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Credit Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie's Neptune Beach supermarket is pictured.

If you shop at Winn-Dixie, now you can. The chain has launched its WD Taproom concept at its 1209 Atlantic Blvd. store.

The Jacksonville-based supermarket chain has local drafts on tap at its Neptune Beach store from Atlantic Beach Brewing Company, Bold City Brewery, Intuition Ale Works and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing for $2 per pint.

To-go growlers are also available along with 12 wine varieties. The WD Taproom is part of the Neptune Beach’s store remodeling.

A grand opening will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. with the first 50 customers receiving a free 34 oz. growler. Local craft brewers will also be on hand along with live music.

The taproom is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure the WD’s Taproom concept fits the needs of our customers at this store. We are excited for them to experience it and give us their feedback so we can consider expanding this concept to other stores and markets in the future,” said Shawn Sloan, Winn-Dixie Regional Vice President, North Florida Region in an email to WJCT News.

Winn-Dixie wasn't the first to bring the sip-and-shop concept to Neptune Beach. It follows in the footsteps of Lucky's Market at 580 Atlantic Blvd., where the experience includes cup holders attached to the shopping carts.  

Grocery store drinking is just the latest example of the craft beer popularity explosion along the First Coast. Here's just a partial list of breweries that have opened in Jacksonville over the last few years:

  • Aardwolf Brewing Company
  • Atlantic Beach Brewing Company
  • Bold City Brewery
  • Bottlenose Brewing
  • Engine 15 Brewing Co.
  • Fishweir Brewing
  • Green Room Brewing
  • Hyperion Brewing Company
  • Intuition Ale Works
  • Main and Sixth Brewing Company
  • Pinglehead Brewing Company
  • Reve Brewing
  • Ruby Beach Brewing Company
  • Southern Swells Brewing Company
  • Tabula Rasa Brewing
  • Veterans United Craft Brewery
  • Wicked Barley Brewing, Co.
  • Zeta Brewing Company

Jacksonville’s brewery scene has gotten so big there is now a dedicated Jax Brew Bus tour and Visit Jacksonville has launched a Jax Ale Trail pub crawl section on its website. But while small and micro-breweries have been surging, the news isn’t all good for beer makers. Jacksonville’s Budweiser canning and bottling plant ended tours and closed its gift shop late last year.

“Unfortunately, we have decided to discontinue our tour center operations. This will allow us to focus resources on additional community activities and programs. We are always focused on simplifying and streamlining our business, and focusing our resources to invest in growth,” Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman Samantha Roth told WJCT News in December.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.