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The Craft Breweries of Jacksonville

A look into Northeast Florida's popular craft brewing industry.

Published June 6, 2014 in Neighborhoods      18 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Bold City Brewery
2670 Rosselle St #7
Jacksonville, FL 32204

Phone:(904) 379-6551

The moment you step foot into Bold City, you become an honorary member of their extended family. If it’s your first time there, they will give you a free sample of every beer they have on tap, which ranges anywhere from three to nine unique brews. There’s a lot of misconception about beer, especially dark beers. At Bold City, they hope that their sampler might introduce someone to something they wouldn’t normally drink. Their most popular brew is Duke’s brown ale:

“I brew the beers that I like to drink. When I’m out by the pool I’m not going to grab a stout, I want something that I can enjoy… Dukes is number one. Some people come up and ask for the lightest thing we have, and I say they should try the brown ale. They get scared away saying, “That’s too dark.” But when they taste it, they end up liking it … Duke was my wife’s Valentines present to me. We started the brewery in 2008, and we got Duke in 2002. He got kidney disease, and we had a good brown ale recipe. There was also a new malt that had come out that I wanted to use. They said that you can only use a certain percent or you’re going to get too much tannin, but I said “I think we can push this over that.” And it came out great. It’s a mild brown ale. We didn’t want it to be too heavy, malty, or sweet. It’s something you can drink a lot of. It’s just a nice, mild brown ale.”

Brian and Susan Miller are a mother-and-son tag team that brought their dream of craft brewing in Jacksonville life. Both of them were stuck in the cycle of corporate America and were desperate to get out. Susan was an executive at Blue Cross and was planning her retirement.

“We were at the home and patio show, doing the home owner thing and trying to act like a grown up, and the owner of Just Brew It was there. He was selling kits to make beer. I got a kit, and the first time I had no idea what I was doing, but I fell in love with it. People would come over and say “Hey man, this is pretty good beer.” And I always thought to myself, you’re not going to tell me it’s horrible when you’re at my house, and you’re not going to say it’s crap when it’s free beer. I never really thought much of it. I thought, “Hey, I’m just brewing beer and people are having fun and they’re enjoying it.”

After four, almost five years of home brewing, Brian told his mother that he wanted to quit his job and open a brewery.

“I kind of had a thought and said “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Is this what I want to pass down to my kids?” where you’re eating Twinkies all day and you’re drinking coffee, and you’re pissed off because you have to be there. So I sent her an email and I said ‘Let’s get the hell out of this place. I think we should start a brewery.’”

Jacksonville wasn’t ready for the craft-brewing craze. Starting up the brewery was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. But once things began to fall into place, Bold City grew faster than they could keep up with. Their popularity spread and demand skyrocketed.  Brian asked himself, “How do we grow the company but not change who we are?” Instead of taking things one step at a time, Bold City was taking it three or four steps at once. It’s difficult, as a consumer, when the small family owned business you’ve supported for years suddenly grows into a corporate monster. In 2012, they deliberately sat still for a year, in order to catch up with their growth and plan for the future.

During some of the bigger charity events in Jacksonville, Bold City joins the ranks to help raise money for those in need. If there’s a live band playing, they will often split the cost with the event, if the band isn’t donating their time. Bold City also donates a dollar for everything they sell, from pints to growlers, during the event.

Bold City has plenty going on all the time. Keep up to date on their website or Twitter!

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June 06, 2014, 04:41:56 AM
Pub Crawl!


June 06, 2014, 06:47:24 AM
Great piece!

You may have an editing issue though. Pringle Head is showing up on both pages 6 and 7. It looks like it got copied onto the Mile Marker page.


June 06, 2014, 07:30:05 AM
Thanks for pointing that out. It appears it was accidently copied over during the editing process. I've asked for the original to reinsert as soon as possible.


June 06, 2014, 07:52:48 AM


June 06, 2014, 08:50:32 AM
Great article!  When out and in the mood for beer in the area I always order a local craft beer.  If at least one is not on the menu I inform management of my displeasure and ask why.  They never can provide a very good answer... and usually have a Bold City or Intuition available the next time I drop in.

Ask for local beer!


June 06, 2014, 04:19:45 PM
I don't always drink beer... but when I do it's brewed in Jacksonville. My wife thinks I'm the most interesting man in the world..


June 06, 2014, 04:23:13 PM
I was at Applebee's yesterday—don't ask why—and was pleasantly surprised to see they had a couple of Bold City beers on tap.


June 06, 2014, 04:46:19 PM
I've never heard of VuBrew but I'm excited to try them out! Looks like they're working on opening up soon.

How come the other brewers in jax weren't included? River City and 7 Bridges? Do they not qualify as Craft Brew? They brew on site.


June 06, 2014, 04:55:18 PM
^Looks like these were all the production breweries (the ones that can distribute their beer off-site). River City, 7 Bridges, and several others are brew pubs that can only sell their beer on premises.

Charles Hunter

June 06, 2014, 07:33:14 PM
Great article!  I try to order local when out and about.  Good idea, BridgeTroll, about commenting to the management if they don't have some local brews on tap.


June 06, 2014, 10:45:22 PM
Duke's Cold Nose Brown Ale is easily my favorite beer, and my first choice whenever I'm out. Try it, if you haven't!


June 06, 2014, 11:57:13 PM
Agreed, BCB is by far my favorite brewery, most everything they make is awesome.


June 07, 2014, 08:40:29 AM
After speaking with the owners over the Memorial Day weekend, I found it very interesting how they really never had an issue with the whole 3-tier system in State of Florida. They don't sell alot of cans out of their Riverside location, unlike another brewery, so the who sales issue out of the tap room would not have affected them.

BCB has built a great business model. If one was interested in creating a brewery, you should start there and ask questions. Smart people with a very good local product!


June 11, 2014, 02:04:18 PM
Anybody know about this? Randomly came across this...32224 is where UNF is.

Brewery In Planning - Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Type: Planning

Non-RedNeck Westsider

June 11, 2014, 04:15:17 PM
I also noticed a couple links on FB where Mile Marker is closing their taproom?

I haven't seen anywhere that gives the full story or if anyone knows for sure, but if you do, could you post it up.


June 11, 2014, 04:51:57 PM
I also noticed a couple links on FB where Mile Marker is closing their taproom?

Where's the beer guy when you need him? Here's his blog post:
Full article:

In short, no one knows more than what they posted on FB:
To all of our friends, supporters, customers and fellow beer lovers, our tap room is now closed. (Not opening today, Sunday). Please visit some of the other awesome bars and restaurants that carry Mile Marker beer and tell them we sent ya there! We’d love to know where you are drinking Mile Marker beer! Thank you to everyone, and especially to our regular customers, thank you! Try not to cry in your beer, ok?


June 11, 2014, 09:20:29 PM
Guess I'll never get that IOU for the pint glass they owe me.

Local Artist

July 12, 2014, 04:12:38 PM
Pringle Head

Now I want chips! lol
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