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Jax Beer: The Drink of Friendship

What do Jacksonville, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Denver all have in common? At one point in their histories, they have all been the home of some of the most popular beers to be produced on United States soil.

Published August 3, 2007 in History      34 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




The History of Jax Beer

1913 - Productionof Jax Beer, atthe Jax Brewing Company begins.

The Prohibition Era

1918 - The name is changed to Jax Ice & Cold Storage Company.

1919 -Instead of beer, the company produces ice and "near beer".

After Prohibition

1933 - Prohibition ends and the name changes back to Jax Brewing Company.

Late 1930s - Jax Brewing Company grows to become of the largest industrial employers in Jacksonville. Jax Beer becomes one of the most popular drinks in the Southeast. Other products produced by the brewery include Jax Ale and Stout.

1956 - The company closes it's doors after selling theJax Beer copyrightto New Orleans basedJackson Brewing Company.

1974 - The New Orleans company closes its doors and the rights to Jax Beer are taken over by Pearl Brewing Company of San Antonio.

Today

The New Orleans brewery has been converted intoa museum,shops and restaurants, while the Jacksonville facility remains abandoned. In Texas, the Pearl Brewing Company continues to produce this well-like southern beverage.

Despite our decades long habit of demolishing history, the Jax Brewing Company's old manufacturing plant still stands. The oldbrewery is locatedat 1701 West 16th Street in Durkeeville.

An old Jax Beer advertisement.

Many people equate the story of Jax Beer with the old Jackson Brewery in New Orleans. However, the true Jax was produced and bottled in Northwest Jacksonville from 1914 to 1956. In 1956, the rights to the drink was sold to the famed brewery in New Orleans.

A new Jax brew

Jax Beer may be gone, but there's a new kid on the block. Jimmy Buffet, under the name of Margaritaville Brewing Company produces a new drink in Jacksonville called Land Shark Lager. It's available at a number of retail outlets, as well as Buffet's Orlando, Key West, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas Margaritaville locations.








34 Comments

downtownparks

August 03, 2007, 08:21:00 AM
The building is currently (and coincidentally) being used by Jack's Recycling, who recycle computer pieces and parts.

When they first moved over there from Springfield one of the guys told me it was the old Budweiser plant (they were close at least), and they took me on a tour of the inside of the place. Really neat place. Lots of spooky turns and hidey holes, it just meanders on for what seems like miles. There are many of the original features inside that are still intact including the coolers.

Worth a tour if anyone is up for it.

Jason

August 03, 2007, 08:34:41 AM
Didn't know Buffet was the creater of the LandShark line.  I love the stuff and feel even better about sticking with a local company.

thelakelander

August 03, 2007, 08:51:34 AM
I'd be up for a tour of the old plant. 

Btw, LandShark is produced at the Budweiser plant off of I-95.

Jason

August 03, 2007, 09:57:18 AM
So then would the Margaritaville Brewing Company be a child company to Anhueiser Busch?  I was thinking they are separate entities.

thelakelander

August 03, 2007, 10:07:32 AM
yes.

http://retail.seekingalpha.com/article/37607

thelakelander

August 05, 2007, 11:39:39 PM
Here are a few pics of the old brewery, I snapped this weekend.







big ben

August 06, 2007, 09:17:06 AM
it is most definitely made by anheuser-busch and developed by anheuser-busch.  jimmy buffet probably told them he wanted an "island lager" (corona-style, but with island in the name) and they worked everything out ,then he might've given it his approval.  the recipe for the beer itself was modified from another anheuser-busch beer that was very highly rated by people who tried it, but for some reason never caught on (michelob golden draft). 

they also spent quite a bit of extra money in engineering because of the new bottle being 1/2" taller and having thicker glass.  i'd go into the details, but it's boring.  i think it's a pretty good beer, but it seems like it varies from bar to bar.  i assume that's because of the clear glass and different bars storing it differently and for different lengths of time (should be stored in the dark).

by the way, jimmy buffet went on a tour last week of the brewery here.  he's very short.

jbm32206

August 06, 2007, 10:08:46 AM
The building is currently (and coincidentally) being used by Jack's Recycling, who recycle computer pieces and parts.

When they first moved over there from Springfield one of the guys told me it was the old Budweiser plant (they were close at least), and they took me on a tour of the inside of the place. Really neat place. Lots of spooky turns and hidey holes, it just meanders on for what seems like miles. There are many of the original features inside that are still intact including the coolers.

Worth a tour if anyone is up for it.

How would one get to take a tour or is it a matter of just going there and asking for one? It sounds like an interesting place to visit.

downtownparks

August 06, 2007, 01:27:09 PM
I just showed up, and got to talking to one of the guys who runs the dock.

big ben

August 06, 2007, 08:19:35 PM
i hope i didn't confuse anyone.  i meant to say that jimmy buffet toured the anheuser-busch brewery and not the stuck in a tube tour.  he got to go into the control rooms because he's special.

drdabdul

February 07, 2009, 02:45:32 PM
Hello,

I have an unopened bottle of Jax Ale from the Jax Brewing Co. On the bottom it has:

3 symbol 53
   75
Duraglas
GX-2330

I wonder if this was bottled in 1953?

David
 

BCInvestor

August 13, 2010, 11:13:11 AM
August 13, 2010 News on this Brewery:  A company founded in a garage in 2001 in Ponte Vedra has now grown into a publicly traded company called Liquor Group (Ticker Symbol is LIQR).  This company just took over the JAX Brewery (7 acres / 235,000 SF.) and is reviving the property as we speak! 

stephendare

August 13, 2010, 11:14:53 AM
August 13, 2010 News on this Brewery:  A company founded in a garage in 2001 in Ponte Vedra has now grown into a publicly traded company called Liquor Group (Ticker Symbol is LIQR).  This company just took over the JAX Brewery (7 acres / 235,000 SF.) and is reviving the property as we speak! 

?

Sounds like good news!  More background please.

Where are all these things and what is the story of the company?

What will they be brewing?  I think we listed this a while ago, but it was just a brief.

stephendare

August 13, 2010, 11:44:08 AM



Where are these in relation to each other?

Intuition Ale Works

August 13, 2010, 12:16:28 PM
August 13, 2010 News on this Brewery:  A company founded in a garage in 2001 in Ponte Vedra has now grown into a publicly traded company called Liquor Group (Ticker Symbol is LIQR).  This company just took over the JAX Brewery (7 acres / 235,000 SF.) and is reviving the property as we speak! 

They are going to have a tough time using the name "Jax" for beer. There are 2 parties that say they have the trademark. The company that owns Pabst, Schlitz, etc. (which just changed hands)and some women in Virginia.


I looked into using the name and I think Brian from Bold City did also and it would have been to costly to attempt to use.

Best of luck to them. Jacksonville needs as many local Breweries as we can muster.

Ben

billy

August 13, 2010, 01:31:55 PM
Have they closed?
Low asking SF price, as I recall.

Maybe someone should revive Seabo Wine....

billy

August 13, 2010, 01:33:22 PM
Would Jacks Beer be a copyright infringement?
What if your name were Jack?

Brian Siebenschuh

January 23, 2011, 10:00:01 PM
I believe Liquor Group is strictly a distributor of, well, liquor.  They are based out of Jacksonville.  If they're purchasing the space, my guess would be it's planned for warehousing and distribution only, not for brewing or producing anything.

billy

January 24, 2011, 09:07:39 AM
I'm glad the building is being maintained and used.

thelakelander

February 04, 2011, 02:52:54 PM
There is an article about the Liquor Group in today's TU.

Quote
To accommodate its growth, Liquor Group last fall moved its Florida operations into a 235,000-square-foot warehouse on Jacksonville’s Westside, which is 10 times larger than its previous facility.

“Our intention is to turn this into the alcohol hub of North Florida,” Eiras said.

http://jacksonville.com/business/2011-02-04/story/jacksonville-based-liquor-group-bucks-system-and-gets-edge

ruckoo

October 28, 2011, 06:57:20 PM
i just found a can of beer call RHEIN KING. on the bottom of the can it reads, brewed & packed by Jax Ice & Cold Storage, Jacksonville, Fl . does anybody have any information on this can?

stephendare

October 28, 2011, 07:20:26 PM
Trade names for the brewery at 1429/1701 West 16th Street at Barnett, Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville Brewing Company (original address Myrtle Ave. and 16th Street) 1913-1920
Brewing operations shut down by National Prohibition in 1920
Readdressed to 1429/1701 West 16th Street at Barnett circa 1920
Issued permit L-?? allowing the production of non-alcoholic beverages during Prohibition 1920
Renamed Jax Ice and Cold Storage Co. in 1933
Issued U-Permit number FL-U-500 allowing the operation of a brewery in 1933
Jax Ice and Cold Storage in 1933-1940
Jax Brewing Company in 1940-1956
Closed in 1956


Products:
Ostner's Lager Beer  1935 - 1940
Ostner's Sparkling Ale  1935 - 1940
Ostner's Stout  1935 - 1940
Hi Jax Beer  1940 - 1943
Jax Export Beer  1940 - 1943
Mecca Pale Beer  1940 - 1943
Jax Ale  1940 - 1956
Jax Bock  1940 - 1956
Jax Beer  1940 - 1956
Royal Palm Beer  1940 - 1956
Fine's Sparkling Ale  1947 - 1950
Peninsula Ale  1947 - 1952
Rhein King Beer  1949 - 1952

thelakelander

October 28, 2011, 07:24:04 PM
Here's a link to the info Stephen listed: http://www.taverntrove.com/brewery.php?BreweryId=758

stephendare

October 28, 2011, 07:25:38 PM
http://therustybunch.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12651&start=60#p114712

Quote
Re: your most wanted can
by HiJax on February 27th, 2010, 10:27 pm

All I need is a Rhein King from Jax Ice and Cold Storage to complete my Jacksonville collection.

stephendare

October 28, 2011, 07:32:04 PM

thelakelander

October 28, 2011, 07:38:59 PM
Most of the buildings in that image, still stand today.  That would be a pretty cool building to explore.

ronchamblin

October 28, 2011, 08:51:16 PM
I distinctly remember drinking Jax Beer as a teenager.  I remember when it disappeared from the shelves.  I turned 14 in April of 1956, so I must have caught the last several months of its production.  For me, at that age, all beer tasted good.  I remember that Jax was cheaper than Schlitze and others.  As little rascals, we would buy beer from two little "Jew Stores" as we called them.  One was on Edgewood Ave, on the west side of the road, about three blocks north of Post.  The other was in an area called Sweetwater, being on the  southwest corner of Wilson and Firestone Road.

This was before any of the 7-Elevens.  These little stores were similar, but smaller than what we called general country stores in those days.  By size, I mean only 15 feet wide and about 30 feet deep.  The people looked to be from the Middle East, and I suspect that the families running those two stores were related.  We would ride our bikes to these stores, and they would sell us a sixpack.  As we turned 16, we would of course, drive our autos to these wonderful suppliers of our much desired beer.  That was the early rock years..... Elvis, the Everly Brothers .... 

The cans then were steel, not aluminum, and we would open them with the churchkey, a large hole on one side, a small hole for air on the other.  The pull tab began to appear in the mid-sixties if my memory is correct.  I recall that the first pull tab cans were steel, and were tricky, causing the occasional finger cut.         

Ocklawaha

October 28, 2011, 09:48:25 PM
Ron, as one who would go barefoot to a wedding, I remember those stupid early pop tops. The youngsters here probably don't know but those pop tops pulled all the way off after being contorted into some wicked shape. Barefoot crackers beware! Some of these nasty little things were the rocket sauce version of the storied Misericordia.

Being a few years behind you I remember Sweetwater too... Wow memories. Seem's like my horse crazy sister had some horses out there... Um 'Silver Spurs...?' I don't remember but it was quite a club. This is also near the place where I rescued a starving quarter horse, credit due, the guy gave it away and it was in bad shape. Within a day or two it discovered the sound of the feed pail meant FOOD! That old boy would charge out of the back pasture faster then Sea Biscuit. Don-D would not stop until he was inside a stall in an old barn that had a door that was way to low. One day my crazy nephew decided to ride to the back of the pasture at feeding time..."I can handle any horse!" Yeah, I warned him!  Suddenly they came flying out of a pine thicket. My nephew got peeled off that damned horse just like one of those pop tops. He wasn't seriously injured and we laugh about that to this day.

I would love to see one of the new microbreweries pick up the name and logo of the old Jax Beer. The rights probably belong to Pabst Brewing. Pabst bought Pearl, Pearl bought Jackson, Jackson bought Jax Beer. Sure would be cool to bring it home.

OCKLAWAHA

ronchamblin

October 28, 2011, 10:28:51 PM
Right Ock.  You jogged my memory on those early pull tabs. They were steel, thicker than the current aluminum, and you would pull them back toward you, sort of wrapping them around your finger.  The occasional finger cut would come as you encountered the occasional tab that had not been groove weakened enough during can manufacture. 

I encountered my first pull tabs as we were flying out of Midway Island during the early sixties.  By the way, while on crew rest on Oahu for two weeks of every month, we would buy on the base a case of beer for $2.70.  That's about 11 cents a beer.  But of course, the minimum wage then was around $1.00 / hour.  And I think the beer might have been what they called 3.2 beer.     

avs

October 29, 2011, 12:05:47 PM
We have a Jax Beer, the drink of friendship metal sign in our backyard and always wondered the history of the beer.  I will try to take a pic and post it, it is orange and blue

Ocklawaha

October 29, 2011, 06:53:11 PM
Here's the collection of Jax Commercials.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/36WXE5rW0dA?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/36WXE5rW0dA?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/VkcdU4gxU38?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/VkcdU4gxU38?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/SrYPKdwfQ6M?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/SrYPKdwfQ6M?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

ben says

October 29, 2011, 07:33:21 PM
Amazing stuff

JAX BEER

November 07, 2011, 11:34:55 PM
Hello Ocklawaha
Glad to see you enjoy my post of these jax beer commercials on you tube, I have several others from this collection but only posted these three for reasons. They are from the Jackson Brewery NOLA collection. You can visit my FB site and enjoy the world of Jax beer.
Thanks again,
Jax Beer
Preserving the history of Jax beer for future generations.

BridgeTroll

November 08, 2011, 07:26:40 AM
For nostalgic viewing pleasure only...  :)





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