If you are like thousands and thousands of people on the First Coast, you are in the middle of the yearly TPC craze. Many people flock here to enjoy 4 days of championship golf or to spot Tiger, as evident by the throngs following him.

All over the course, Refreshment stands and this year, beer carts, offer Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Goose Island IPA.  PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
All over the course, Refreshment stands and this year, beer carts, offer Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Goose Island IPA.  PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
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Previously, the TPC was a beer desert. Well if you like craft beer at least. The offerings were Michelob Ultra and Budweiser. It's probably why my usual alcoholic drink at TPC is a Bloody Mary or some other specialty cocktail.

But this year, it is different, Hoptinger Bier Garden and Sausage House, which has 3 locations on the First Coast, has opened a Bier Garden at TPC.

The Hoptinger Bier Garden has seating in the shade of the trees behind 16 Green. PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
The Hoptinger Bier Garden has seating in the shade of the trees behind 16 Green. PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
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Located directly behind the 16 Green, it offers tables and shade and 10 taps. Granted, many (OK all) of those taps are imposter craft beers, partially or fully owned by big beer companies, (I.E. In-Bev/Budweiser). Which is not surprising since Michelob Light/Budweiser In-Bev is a major Golf sponsor.

The Bier Garden is located directly behind the 16 green, under many shade trees   PHOTO:Stephanie Danley
The Bier Garden is located directly behind the 16 green, under many shade trees   PHOTO:Stephanie Danley
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That being said, at least there is a choice in which In-Bev beer you drink! The selection includes Elysian Brewing's Dayglow IPA, Blue Point Toasted Lager and 10 Barrel Brewing Cucumber Crush. Goose Island IPA is available on tap in the Bier Garden, but in cans all over the course. Stella Artois is also available course wide. Their Cidre is available on tap in the Bier Garden.

Hoptinger's Bier Garden offers 10 beers on draft    PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
Hoptinger's Bier Garden offers 10 beers on draft    PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
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Prices are much higher than you would find outside the course, but honestly that is the case with all beverages. Expect to pay 10 to 12 dollars per beer in the the bier garden. By comparison, Michelob Ultra is 8 dollars a bottle.

Hoptinger also has a 'hot dog' cart in the bier garden, selling Bratwursts and Hot Dogs   PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
Hoptinger also has a 'hot dog' cart in the bier garden, selling Bratwursts and Hot Dogs   PHOTO: Stephanie Danley
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I was truly disappointed that no local beers were offered. With the sheer number of craft breweries on the First Coast, I would have loved to have seen Bold City's Mad Manatee or Intuition's Jon Boat. But having a Kolsch (from a Houston brewery now owned by In-Bev) available instead of the usual offerings is a step in the right direction. Perhaps sometime in the future we will see local at The Players.

You might consider doing what we did. We stuck to water on the course and swung by Really Good Beer Stop in Jacksonville Beach on the way home. They are giving the first pint free when you show that day's ticket. Atlantic Beach Brewing is also offering a 5 ounce pour of any beer when you show your ticket.

Cheers y'all and

FORE!