WHAT’S BREWING?

Jacksonville’s newest brewery coming to Baymeadows Road on the banks of Goodbys Creek

Originally Published by Roger Bull on jacksonville.com

Jacksonville’s newest brewery is planned for Baymeadows Road on the banks of Goodbys Creek. It’s going to be called Wicked Barley, and the plan is this: A 5,000-square foot brewery, a 2,000-square foot tasting room and restaurant, a deck over the creek and a dock.

The estimated price tag: $3 million.

It’s the work of three partners — Brett Baker, Tobin Turney and Phillip Maple. Last month, they paid $370,000 for 2.4 acres of vacant land at the southeast corner of the Baymeadows at Goodbys Creek.

The land did not require rezoning because a planned unit development for the property was approved in 2007. That allowed 28,000 square feet of office and retail, including a 250-seat restaurant and a boat ramp.

For Wicked Barley, that PUD had to be adjusted for the smaller facility. The City Council approved that last week.

Baker said the owners met with a Brierwood Neighborhood Association and among the things it agreed to was no loud music on the deck, an 8-foot stucco wall between the brewery and the neighborhood and a 25-foot buffer between it and Sunset Lane.

Lori Boyer, City Council member for that area, said she attended two Brierwood meetings and that from what she heard, neighbors were generally supportive. No one came to the committee or council meetings to object, she said.

“We worked to limit the outdoor music,” she said. “We were worried about the sound. Obviously there will be noise from people laughing and talking.”

Baker said they’re hoping to break ground in November and open next summer.

“We originally planned just a brewery,” Baker said. “Then we found that plot and our minds started wandering. The city recommended a kitchen if we put in a new building, so we decided on a restaurant, too.”

Bradley Sueflohn will run the restaurant. He’s a childhood friend of Maple’s who’s been working in Las Vegas kitchens and is eager to return home, Baker said. The menu hasn’t been decided, but he said that Sueflohn is talking about high-end gastropub fare, including homemade sausages.

Baker said none of them have any commercial brewing experience, but they’ve all been home-brewers. Maple, who has the most experience, will be the head brewer.

About 1½ years ago, they bought a one-barrel brewing system and have been working on recipes with that. Baker said they’ve bought a 15-barrel brewhouse with six 15-barrel fermenters.

They’ll continue to use the one-barrel system for pilot batches.

He said the tasting room will open with 20 taps, and they’re hoping to have 10 of their own beers.

The brewery has a contract with Brown Distributing and Baker said they’ll probably start with three beers, an India pale ale, a copper pale ale and a Belgian-style tripel.

Boyer said she’s been supportive of the project.

“One of the challenges is that Old Kings Road and Baymeadows have seen some decline and lost some of the better stores and restaurants they once had. We wanted a neighborhood feel and since it’s modest in scale, I think it can add some vibrancy to the neighborhood.”

Roger Bull: (904) 359-4296

January 15, 2014
Posted in: Press, Updates

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