Jacksonville was in the running for the title of Beer City USA not too long ago but their beer scene is going to get even better in the coming months.

 Some of the additions to the food & beer landscape in Jax include:

Ever wish you could get a private tour of the breweries in the area?  Bayshore Limo offers Tampa Brew Tours as a signature package providing a luxurious, customizable, and safe way to enjoy the great breweries that surround Tampa.  

You might remember Jason, aka @ZauderWithaZee, from his guest post about the mack House awhile ago. He recently paid a visit to Laser Wolf and had this to say....

If you love craft beer but happen to be a jerk, than I’m sorry, madam and/or sir, but The Laser Wolf in Fort Lauderdale is not the place for you. The bar prides itself on their “No Jerks, Yes Beer” motto, and I can’t say I’ve ever met a jerk there but I have said ‘yes’ to the many fine beers they serve.

Laser Wolfs has 12 taps and often has hard-to-find beers like Big Lushious and Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company, Terrapin Beer Company’s Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, and Rugbrod from The Bruery. Florida breweries are well-represented, as I’ve noticed Father Francisco, a Belgian golden ale from Wynwood Brewing Company and Due South Brewing’s Cafe Ole Espresso Porter on tap.

Jacksonville’s Beer Scene Offers Plenty of Tasty Options

When your city has tons of award winning craft brews you want to make sure everyone, especially those visiting from out of town, gets a chance to enjoy all of them, that’s why on this December 4, Visit Jacksonville and Jacksonville’s craft breweries are unveiling the new Jax Ale Trail and the Jax Ale Trail Brewery Passport!

Alewife to open fall 2014

Alewife, a new craft beer establishment featuring retail craft beer sales, a tasting bar, and craft beer focused classes, is set to open this fall in Riverside’s Five Points. Owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket have signed a lease to move into 1035 Park Street, the former site of Riverside Liquors.

We recently took the Brew Bus I-95 Brews Cruise which features Funky Buddha Brewing, Wynwood Brewing Co. and the Mack House Nano-Brewery.

The Brew Bus South Florida is offering guided tours to many of South Florida's creaft breweries. The company originally started with the Tampa Brew Bus and recently expanded into South Florida. They are offering differnt trips so as to be able to cover an assortmant of breweries so checkout their website to learn about their other trips.

I had asked The Boozman about his favorite watering holes and somehow, I convinced him to do a guest review on a few in St Augustine.  Here's what he had to say...

Since The Boozeman lives in Jacksonville you would expect me to gush over great places in my home city such as Intuition Ale Works, Bold City Brewery, and Green Room Brewing.  These places are all awesome and Jacksonville has even more good choices than ever for great micro brewery fun.  Instead today I will target tourist town St Augustine Florida, the historic district to be exact.

We recently were invited by 5 Napkin Grill on Miami Beach to check out the new food and drinks on their menu. They are located right in the heart of the Lincoln Road Mall. Besides the indoor dining room and bar area, they have a large outdoor dining area right along the sidewalk which makes for great people watching.

General Manager Carlos Oliva and Yana Bushoy were great hosts and made us feel very welcome. Yana gave us a quick history of the restaurant, explaining how it is actually one of six 5 Napkin Grill location along the east coast. The others are located primarily in New York City and one is in Boston.

Jacksonville's Newest Craft Beer Joint

When I heard that the Silver Cow was opening up in Jacksonville, I asked my buddy Brian (or as he's known online, @beerapostle), if he was interested in doing a guest review since we both know the owner and it's in his neck of the woods. Fortunately Brian accepted and here is what he had to say....

There has been a lot of buzz about Darwin's on 4th in Sarasota. I had been in the prior occupant of the building (Mad Crow) a few times but was only able to make a quick stop at Darwin's shortly after they opened. And now they are opening a brewery in Bradenton.

I reached out and Michael Lunn agreed to do a guest review of Darwin's on 4th. Hopefully he'll be interested in doing others about some of the other great places in his area.

Here's Michael's review...

I was fortunate to be in the Ormond Beach area when Tomoka Brewery scheduled their grand opening. It was great seeing Peter & Jen’s dream come true.

Knowing that they were going to release their collaboration with Swamp Head at 4pm, I made certain that I was there early. Since they are still working their way through the Federal licensing process, this was going to be the only Tomoka beer on tap for a few months and I didn’t want to miss out.

I recently stopped by to check out Gigi’s Music Café in Sunrise. I had heard that the food was pretty good and wanted to see for myself.

I knew basically where they were but it still took a little bit of work to find them. They are in the shopping center just south of 44th on the west side of Pine Island, tucked away in the northeast corner of the center.

Gigi's Music Cafe serves up soul food with a side of musicThe place is owned by Gigi Brown but she’s brought several members of her family in to help serve up family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. It’s all cooked from scratch. It was nice to see that all of the dressing and sauces are made in-house too.

Their signature dish is chicken & waffles but the wings really stand out too. Unable to decide between sweet potato or buttermilk waffles, I had both. I sampled a couple of the different flavors of wings and they were all really good but the “Gigi’s Wings” really stood out. They were a little sweet but had a little bit of spice to balance them out.

When I saw the desserts, I was really skeptical about the sweet potato brownies but Gigi convinced me to give them a try. They were amazing. You’d never know that they were made with potatoes. She said that her sister is the baker in the family and is always coming up with something unique to feature.

Being a beer guy, I obviously scoped out what they had to offer. The selection was what I would consider a regular macro-list but at least they have Yuengling and Sam Adams. In addition to a decent wine selection, they serve up an assortment of wine-based cocktails. While I did not give them a try, someone sitting near me had one and not only did she seem to like it, she had to ask if there really was wine in it.

They run a Happy Hour from 5-7 nightly and have some form of entertainment Weds. – Saturday nights, be it open mic night, karaoke or someone performing. They said that on the first Friday of every month, they put on a variety show that varies from month to month but the acts run the gamut from a magician to pop performers to burlesque.

Overall, the food was delicious and the staff made me feel at home. Gigi's Music Cafe serves up soul food with a side of music.

Like Arnold said, “I’ll be back.”