Keeping in the spirit of “you can never have too many craft breweries,” Atlantic Beach is finally getting its very own craft/micro brewery, fittingly named “Atlantic Beach Brewing Company.”
The newest brewery to open at the Beaches is having their grand opening event on Saturday, May 6, and unlike some other openings, ABBC will have their own beers ready to drink right from the get-go (see the full lineup at the bottom of this post).
We recently got a preview tour of the brewery and had the chance to ask co-owner Linda Horn and head brewer Rory Malloy a few questions ahead of their grand opening. Check out our full Q&A here and scroll down to the end to see their hours of operation.
Void: Start off by telling me a little about how you ended up living in Jacksonville. How did you get into the world of beer/brewing?
Linda: While living in Seattle, we toured many of the 350 breweries. We fell in love with the industry, the people and, especially, the beer. Seeing how large and thriving the Seattle craft beer market continues to be, we felt the Jacksonville market would be a great opportunity to take the leap. After being in the corporate world for 25 years, Spencer and I were looking for a change and a chance to get back to Florida. Through conversations with Spencer’s twin brother, Chuck, here in Jacksonville, we came up with the idea together. Chuck started home brewing as a hobby. Once he visited us in Seattle, the idea of becoming three partners fell into place and Atlantic Beach Brewing Company was born.
Rory: [We] had a rough start when my wife and I moved to Florida. It certainly wasn’t the place that we visited on vacation. However, traveling to the Jacksonville Beach area doing some research for the proposed brewery, we immediately felt at home, I remember my wife saying, “This is where I wanted to be!”
I have always had a love for great food and great beer, never went through the macro lager, cheap, chugging-beer phase. As a foodie, I was always experimenting with new ingredients and fun flavors, and I strongly believe the two go hand-in-hand (great beer and great food that is). My mother-in-law bought me a gift certificate for the local homebrew shop, (where I started working eventually) and I bought my first homebrew kit. [I] immediately proceeded to make some horrible beer, but it was the best beer that I had ever made. I was immediately hooked, and I eventually started making good beer and even moved into wine, cider and mead.
What made you decide to open the brewery in Atlantic Beach? What about the name, what was the reasoning behind that?
Linda: There were several things we took away from our experience in Seattle. The competive nature of the market dictated the need to differentiate yourself in the Seattle marketplace. The same holds true in Florida. We wanted to create an upscale experience in the taproom and create quality craft beer. Our location is a great place to open a brewery because it is the first microbrewery in the Atlantic Beach area. We are honored to become a part of the Atlantic Beach community, and therefore, the name was easy.
Rory: I had previously opened a brewery in a corporate craft beer bar — the same brewery where I had first met Spencer. We got to talking, and he told me of the planning with his wife and brother. As I had recently completed a startup and love brewing and the craft beer world, I had offered any help I could if they had ever decided to go for it. I had an overwhelming amount of assistance from small brewers to help me get started with that — I try to always “pay it forward.”
What would you say your goal is for you beer? Is there a particular style or anything you guys are going for?
Linda: We pride ourselves in using higher quality ingredients as we pursue our passion for craft. At the same time, our goal is to have easy-drinking, Florida style beers all the way to the heavier, Northwest style beers to please a wide variety of tastes.
Rory: Its quite hard to put me in a box (as most BJCP judges that cross my path will attest). I hate the status quo, I always question everything and why not? Or “watch me!” is often the answer (I just realized I didn’t even answer the question, or did I?).
What can people expect from the beer?
Linda: People can expect the unexpected. With Rory’s “out of the box” philosophy, we can guarantee there will be a beer in the house that will please every palate. When we hired Rory, we knew he would bring not just years of brewing experience, but a keen sense of the marketplace.
Rory: Familiar but different, something for everybody.
What’s the mission/motto behind the brewery? What about the ultimate goal? Why do it at all?
Linda: Our motto is “Aggressively Pursuing Craft.” We feel with the ever-changing craft beer industry, you never conquer the craft, but continue to pursue your goals. Our goal is to provide a comfortable and casual setting for casual drinkers and beer enthusiasts alike. We want to make people feel like family when they first walk through the door. We strive to provide high quality craft beer at the beach in a familiar environment that has you coming back for more.
Rory: Aggressively pursuing craft! It’s all about being happy, loving what you do and you will never work a day in your life.
Give me details about the grand opening event.
Linda: Our grand opening will be on Saturday, May 6 beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Atlantic Beach Mayor, Mitch Reeves, at noon. We will be open until midnight for our grand opening. There will be growler giveaways and live music by Ciaran Sontag.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Closed
Tuesday/Wed/Thursday — 4 p.m. to midnight
Friday/Saturday — Noon to Midnight
Sunday — Noon to 10 p.m.
Hop Farm is a hoppy, farmhouse ale.
4.9% ABV | 2.6 SRM |25 IBU
An all-day Session IPA with light, crisp and refreshing notes
4.4% ABV | 2.8 SRM | 33.8 IBU
Our Flagship IPA featuring an impressive, full-rounded taste packed with flavor and aroma.
6.4% ABV | 4.3 SRM | 65.6 IBU
BONFIRE BEACH BROWN ALE
Northern English Brown Ale with a sitting around the smoky bonfire kind of feeling. Comfortable, relaxing, reliable.
5.2% ABV | 34 SRM | 24.7 IBU
98th STREET IMPERIAL STOUT
A bold stout with all-English malts.
9.8% ABV | 46 SRM | 39 IBU
An American Red with smooth, malty sweetness with an equally big share of hops.
5% ABV | 14.7 SRM | 44 IBU
A light, grainy rye with malt flavor and a dry finish.
6.4% ABV | 12.5 SRM | 70.8 IBU
A Belgian Golden Strong Ale with a marriage of spicy, fruity and peppery flavors with a smooth warmth of alcohol.
9.6% ABV | 3.3 SRM | 12.8 IBU
ROXY’S RASPBERRY PORTER
An American-style porter with rich flavor and notes.
4.6% ABV | 29 SRM | 34 IBU