I've always been a beer consumer. I have never attempted to actually make the stuff I enjoy. Maybe I am lazy or I just enjoy the brew that is being made at our craft breweries. I am interested in the how, I love brewery tours and beer classes, but not sure I'd be that good of a brewmaster.

I've felt, however, that my lack of brewing might make our blog a bit one sided. Thankfully, I work with some really incredible folks who are just as beer crazy as I am. And they are brewers. So in the near future, you can expect more home brew based stories.

Alex Osiadacz, is a reporter on Good Morning Jacksonville. He brewed beer in college, but hasn't been brewing lately. He pulled his buckets and started brewing again this past week. He'll take us along on his brewing journey, but he also is from the Chicago area and has visited some of the big Midwest breweries. He also traveled to Germany.

Another face you'll recognize from TV is Meteorologist Lauren Rautenkranz. She and her husband Ryan are brewers. She is attracted to the science of brewing. Of course, someone with a Master's degree in Science is going to like that!

These are super cool folks that I feel lucky to work with, so if you see them around town, say hi to a fellow Hop Head!

Some news out of Baker County, Crooked Rooster Brewing will soon be serving their beers. But they will be holding some events before then. October 14 they will hold a Halloween Masquerade party to benefit Safe Haven of NE Florida. Tickets are $25 or $40 for a couple and include a BBQ dinner, Live Music, Costume Contest and there will be a 50/50 raffle. All this is to raise money to open an abused children's shelter in Baker County.

November 4 was supposed to be Crooked Rooster's Anniversary Party with their beer release. But unfortunately the beer release has been moved to New Years Eve. So mark that date! Also for you Homebrewers, the Winter Homebrew competition is November 18, you must have your entries to Crooked Rooster or Brew, Bottle and Tap in Orange Park by November 17.

It's been a while so here's a few brews that we've had.

  • Southern Swells Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie Cream Ale ABV 4.7 percent. This is the newest brew at Swells and is perfect for summertime drinking. I found it malty with slight vanilla notes. Refreshing in hot weather.
  • Southern Swells Bold Brewed Porter ABV 7.2 percent. I love this beer! Its aged with Bold Bean Coffee Roaster's Columbian Valle de Penderisco single origin coffee beans. It is rich, and very complex with almost citrus notes..almost.
  • Evil Twin Brewing Aun Mas Chili Jesus ABV 12 percent. This chili spiced Imperial Stout is boozy! My initial sip found slight heat from the chilies, but the time I finished, I KNEW it was a chili beer. If you are someone that likes the heat, this is a great sipping beer.
  • Mikkeller Windy Hill NE IPA ABV 7 percent. As you know I am not a huge IPA fan, I tend to like foreign style or as in this case, New England style IPA's. The hops provide flavor, not the bitterness that I don't like. Ed was not a fan. I would drink again.
  • Wicked Barley Ghost in the Oak barrel aged Doppelbock ABV 8.3 percent. This is nice caramel bock, with just a touch of that lovely yeasty funk (which I love). Drinks very easy for an 8.3, but another that I would sip on
  • Saugatuck Brewing Neapolitan Milk Stout ABV 6 percent I had very high hopes for this, since I expected the childhood memory of melted Neapolitan ice cream. I found the flavor to be stronger in Strawberry jam, than the vanilla or chocolate. If you want a strong jam flavor, then this will be good for you.

Have you been to our Facebook page? I post events daily and save the date notices. Breaking beer news and just funny beer stuff I find there. Share your thoughts, what beer you like and any other thoughts with us.

Until later, Cheers y'all