Originally Published by Jacksonville Business Journal
After facing some roadblocks, Wicked Barley is setting its sights on June for a grand opening.
Phil Maple, partner in the Southside brewery, said brewery equipment will start to go in later in May. In the meantime, the brewery has sketched out its menu, as well as some details on its draft list.
The menu, which Maple describes as “elevated gastropub fare,” will be mostly comfort food with an emphasis on fresh and in-house made items, including burgers ground in-house and pizza dough being made from scratch.
Wicked Barley seizes on the growing gastropub trend – there are about 1,650 in all – and, while beer will be a major part of the business model, Maple said the food is just as important.
“We’re a restaurant just as much as we are a brewery,” Maple said.
Maple said the brewery hasn’t gotten its licensing yet, something Maple says has been a long process, so it’s possible Wicked Barley will have just guest taps when it opens.
It has big plans for its brewing operation, from producing ciders and meads with a “bunch of variation,” as well as a heavy focus on Belgian beer, sours and IPAs.
He said, when it comes to ciders, Wicked Barley is trying to do something that’s not too sweet and not too dry.
“It won’t be completely void of flavor where it’s just dry and 8 percent. It won’t be Angry Orchard, where you’re drinking a glass of sugar,” Maple said.
He said there are more exciting announcements on the horizon for the brewery, especially as it gets closer to opening.
Maple said he expects for locals to come out to support Wicked Barley, especially those who live and work in the Southside and Mandarin areas.
“The fact that we’re a locally-owned location – we’re not a franchise – people will come,” Maple said.