One of the things I have wanted to do since moving to Jacksonville 6 years ago was go on a local brewery tour. Jacksonville is known for it’s breweries. We have about 8 breweries here locally but one stands out as a personal favorite.
Veterans United Brewery is located in a warehouse on the south side of town. Ron Gamble and a group of military veterans opened it in 2013 to share their love of craft beers with the community. And for $5 you can take a brewery tour which includes a sample souvenir glass, 3 pours of any of their beers and guided tour.
It all started with a bucket. This bucket to be exact! Gamble’s wife gifted him with an at-home brewing kit that inspired him to get more training in becoming the brewmaster that he is today. He quit his day job and started training at the Siebel Institute where he learned the in’s and out’s brewing beer.
At the start of our tour, our guide passed around samples of hops and different grains that go into making their beers. We smelled these samples some of which were more potent then others. Here’s dad enjoying the Columbus hops, by far the most potent sample!
Our guide described how their beers are created in their facility and how each process is done with careful consideration to the type of beer they are creating. There was a lot of great information regarding the brewing process…so much so that I couldn’t quite remember it!
This brewery may be a small location but their business and their beers are growing at a rapid rate. The warehouse that Veterans United Brewery is located in has plenty of room to grow which is exactly what they want to do.
Our guide showed us where they can the beers to be sold in local stores. They are currently only sold in North Florida but are beginning to branch out to Central Florida and beyond. Being able to see my favorite beer, the Ragging Blonde, being canned at the brewery made me smile. The logo for the beer is a play on Rosie the Riveter.
We were given 3 beer samples in our souvenir glasses. They were pretty hearty pours! I opted for my favorite, Ragging Blonde, a golden blonde ale with a little hop flavor. This is the first Veterans United beer I had and it’s become a favorite of mine. My second choice was the Buzzin’ Bee, a rye wheat ale made with Florida honey. This beer is light, enjoyable and is a favorite of Judd’s.
After our tour we enjoyed one more sample each and made a toast to a successful afternoon together as a family.
The family that brews together, stays together!
I highly recommend checking out Veterans United Brewery if you find yourself in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area. The staff is friendly and incredibly knowledgeable of all the beers on tap and will gladly give you their suggestions on which to try.
You can find out more information on their website here.