You’re not one of those people who merely chug cans of beer and calls it a day. You like to savor your beer like a fine wine. In fact, you’d go to almost any length to find a tasty brew. Sound like you? Then Jacksonville, Florida is the place the check out. Here are some of the best breweries in Jacksonville. The best part? You can enjoy them without breaking the bank!
Grab Your Passport
No, not the one that allows you to travel internationally. I’m talking about the Jax Ale Trail Passport. This passport not only shows you where all the local breweries are, but also gives you bragging rights about all cool places you’ve been.
You even get a chance to win some prizes. If you get stamps from four different Jacksonville breweries, you win a free beer koozie. Go to eight breweries and grab yourself a free Jax Ale Trail shirt. All you need to do is visit the Jacksonville visitors’ center in the downtown area and they’ll mail your swag to you.
When in Doubt, Visit Budweiser
It may not be your idea of a craft beer haven, but Jacksonville has one of five Budweiser breweries in the country that has tours. Those looking for a frugal adventure can go on the self-guided tour.
This way, you can see how their beer is brewed, learn about Budweiser's history, and get a free sample.
Those who want more can pay for a guided tour. This way, you can get more up-close and personal with the brewing technology. And for the beer elitists out there, you can go on the brew-master tour, in which you get to see places like the primary fermentation and lager cellar. You get to sample beer right before it’s bottled and take home a few other gifts.
Established Breweries in Jacksonville, FL
These are the places to check out if you want to get a stamp on your passport.
- Green Room Brewing: This is Jax Beach’s first microbrewery.
- Aardwolf Brewing Company: Located near downtown in the San Marco neighborhood, Aardwolf renovated an icehouse to become the Jacksonville institution that it is today. Visit on a Wednesday, when the brewery releases a new batch of test beer.
- Engine 15 Brewing Co.: Located near Jacksonville Beach, Engine 15 has both in-house and international beers. It also has an on-site restaurant.
- Bold City Brewery: Located in the Riverside neighborhood, you can check out the cool historic buildings and drop by for a beer. If it’s your first time going there, you can try all of their classic beers for free.
- Intuition Ale Works: Intuition only makes small-batch beers. You can find it downtown in the Sports Complex.
- Pinglehead Brewing Company: Pinglehead is located in the Orange Park area and prides itself on having “beer with attitude.” You can even purchase tap handles here.
- Veterans United Craft Brewery: Started and owned by veterans who love a good craft beer. Established in 2014, it’s located in the Baymeadows area, just off the interstate.
- Zeta Brewing Company: Another brewery in Jax Beach.
Newer Jacksonville Breweries
The local craft beer scene is growing, and more Jacksonville breweries have popped up. Here are some of the latest ones:
- Hyperion Brewing Company: Hyperion features new brews and often brings back classics that its regulars love.
- Bottlenose Brewing: This brewery in the Southside features more than 50 taps of Florida beers. They also have a restaurant with TV screens where you can check out the latest in sports.
- Atlantic Beach Brewing Company: A family-owned brewery worth checking out.
- Southern Swells Brewing Company: Spanning 7,500-plus square feet, Southern Swells is Jacksonville Beach’s largest taproom. It focuses on India Pale Ales and has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a beer by the beach. If you want to host a special event, this large brewery can accommodate lots of guests.
- Wicked Barley Brewing Company: This brewery has a lot of meads and ciders — at least 20 at any given time. There’s even a selection of different beers from craft breweries across Florida. They also have a farm-to-table restaurant you can check out.
Get on the Bus for a Jacksonville Brewery Tour
If you’re serious about knocking back a few, you probably don’t want to drive. The Jax Brew Bus is a great option. You meet your bus at Bottlenose Brewing and go on a five-hour tour to visit a few Jacksonville breweries. There’s also a tour guide who will show you the history of the breweries and brew masters, as well as advice on how to brew your own beer at home. On top of that, you’ll get to sample anywhere from 10 to 15 beers.
While the local craft beer scene may still be relatively new, there are more than enough Jacksonville breweries to get your feet wet. If you’re looking to visit a few, then the bus tour may be a good option, as you’ll get to visit about three breweries. For more die-hard beer fans, there are at least 12 breweries to try out!