Jax’s Newest Microbrewery: Veterans United Craft Brewery

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Finally! Jacksonville’s newest microbrewery, Veterans United Craft Brewery, will officially open its taproom today. Expect to enjoy live music and food trucks during the grand opening at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday. The festivities continue on Saturday from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. Musicians performing on site are Shawn Lightfoot and Arvid Smith. Driftwood BBQ and Dirty Birds Wings on the Fly food trucks will be situated in the parking lot.

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For now the brewery has three beers on tap: Raging Blonde Ale, HopBanshee IPA and Scout Dog 44 Amber Ale. In the next few weeks expect to see espresso oatmeal stout and rye wheat ale on tap. With Champion Brands as the distributor you will find HopBanshee and Raging Blonde at several local bars and restaurants.

Ron Gamble, Founder & Brewmaster, giving us a tour of the brewery.
Ron Gamble, Founder & Brewmaster, giving us a tour of the brewery.

Veterans United Craft Brewery was founded and owned by veterans who have the same passion of producing and enjoying quality craft beer. Ron Gamble, founder and brewmaster, is a former Naval Flight Officer. Gamble has been a homebrewer since 1999 and began in the craft brewing industry in 2007.

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The brewery and taproom is located on the Southside in between Baymeadows Road and Southside Blvd. at 8999 Western Way #104 in Jacksonville, FL. You’ll find it at the end of the road where business offices and warehouses are. This road also parallels I-95 if that is any help.

www.vubrew.com

More photos below:

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

 

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

Veterans United Craft Brewery

 

Selfie with the Jax Brew Bitch
Selfie with the Jax Brew Bitch
Media Day
Media Day

To the naysayers | #IceBucketChallenge #StrikeOutALS

ALS? What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Amyotrophic comes from the Greek language:

A – Negative

Myo – Muscle

Trophic – Nourishment

No muscle nourishment.

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The motor neurons die off, which causes the lost of voluntary movement. According to the official ALS website it, “is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.”

I’ve always heard of Lou Gehrig’s disease, but never knew it was actually ALS. I did a bit of research before I was nominated to do the #IceBucketChallenge. I didn’t want to be one of those people who dump a bucket of water and ice over my head just because everyone was doing. I was never one to jump on a bandwagon.

Then I looked at this from a PR point of view, this was genius! What better way to get attention and spread awareness about ALS than to do something that could potentially go viral? Keyword, “viral.” The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was sparked by a patient name Pete Frates. Frates, 29, is a former Boston College baseball star. His inspiration caught on with athletes in the Boston area and well, the rest is history. He lost his voice as a result of ALS, but because of the popular #IceBucketChallenge all over social media, thousands and thousands are speaking for him and other patients like him.

So here are some facts for the naysayers:

Did you know in 2013 ALS raised $64 million? That is just 12 months.

From July 29th, 2014 thru August 19th, 2014 ALS has SO FAR raised $22.9 million! During this time frame in 2013 they only raised $1.9 million. Thank you, #IceBucketChallenge.

Yes, the money is huge, but the point is more people are aware of ALS. How many people knew about ALS before this phenomenon?

Before you say that this is very ridiculous then please look at the facts to understand and look at it from this point of view.

Before you dump your head with ice water please do your research on ALS. Donate anything from $1-$100 or even more if you can.

Learn more on ALS and how to donate here.

12 Hour Vacation

I’m a bit of a workaholic. I feel if I’m not doing anything I will go insane and the Earth will stop spinning, the sky will fall, and the sun will crash. I don’t think I paid attention in Earth Space Science class…this is unlikely to happen.

I need a true vacation, but I can just keep dreaming. Recently I took a drive through Georgia and touched a little bit of South Carolina. I wasn’t super impressed, but I got away for just a liiiiittle bit. I wasn’t planning on hanging out at the beach, but I just happened to have my swim wear in my car. I’ve kept it in my car for several months just in case of impromptu trips. I also brought my new GoPro Hero3+ (Silver Edition) and I was so glad I did.

I took that baby and dunked it in the water for the first time with my fingers and toes crossed that it was completely sealed. Check it out:

Kemmy & GoPro

DCIM100GOPRO

Kemmy & GoPro

Kemmy & GoPro

Kemmy & GoPro

I bought a souvenir during my “vacation.”
Dammit Doll
Ladies and gentlemen, the Dammit Doll.
The what doll?
Dammit Doll. It reads, “Whenever things don’t go so well, and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little dammit doll, that you can’t do without. Just grasp it firmly by the legs and find a place to slam it. And as you whack the stuffing out yell ‘DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!’”

Want one?
www.dammitdolls.com

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Until next time! Excuse me while I go have a Beyonce moment.

My heart: Jaxon Ellis and Niiko Eli

I love my babies, now although I don’t have the human kind I still show them special attention. Jaxon is the newest edition to the family. He is a tiny little one, but he really is growing in front of my eyes. It is so wonderful that my kitten and my dog Niiko are getting along like best friends. Here are some adorable photos to brighten up your day.

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My yummy in my tummy: Diet? What diet? Beer & pizza it is!

I’ve taken so many photos of food at local restaurants in the past couple of months, but if you’ve noticed I have not blogged about them quite yet. I’m beginning to do a food blog for IKnowJax.com soon, however my busy schedule kept pushing it back. I want to talk about all the restaurants I’ve been to, but today I am going to talk a little bit about my recent visit to Brewer’s Pizza in Orange Park.

If anybody knows me then they know that going to Orange Park is like going out of town for me. Well I’ll go “out of town” for some good pizza and beer. I’m not usually a pizza person, but something about their signature pizza called the Florida Smacker gets my heart (not literally). The Florida Smacker is their trademark 8″ deep dish pizza. This delight has a fluffy crust with golden crunchy sides…juuuuust the way I like it. Brewer’s is the only true brewpub in Orange Park with the awesome Pinglehead Brewing Company on site. With my pizza I had a Pinglehead Black hOPs and with my Black hOPs I had a glass of half Angry Orchard and half Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout. AMAZING!

By the way…try the Snicker’s Cinabread for dessert.

Angry Orchard & Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
Angry Orchard & Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
Florida Smacker
Florida Smacker

Brewer’s Pizza
14B Blanding Blvd
Orange Park, FL 32073

Jaxsons Night Market! #Ilovejax

I was so excited when I first heard about Jaxsons Night Market back in April, but I was too busy to make it to the first one. This past Thursday I decided after a hard day at work that I would relax, have a taco and a beer, and just enjoy the night. The weather was perfect!
Jaxsons Night Market

Jaxsons Night Market
Jaxsons Night Market happens once a month on the third Thursday of the month. As far as I know they will set up at the corner of Main and Laura St. across from The Barnett building. The market features local craft and artisan entrepreneurs. You can also pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers to take home for dinner! Since we have a lot of foodies here in Jacksonville there were also food trucks set up at the market along with Intuition Ale Works Craft Beer Garden.

I can’t forget to mention the fashion apparel trucks! I’ve never seen anything like this before, but I have to admit this is pretty cool.

My first stop was La Fashion Coach. Adorable, adorable, adorable! So many cute dresses with my name written all over it, however I had to hold off on buying clothes (punishing myself for spending too much on clothes lately). If you are a Betsey Johnson fan like me then you’ll be happy to find several Betsey tags hanging in the mix. Other than clothes you can pick up some jewelry as well, do you not have a statement necklace yet?

Marion and Susanne. Susanne is the owner of this mobile boutique.
Marion and Susanne. Susanne is the owner of this mobile boutique.
Just a sneak at some of their items.
Just a sneak at some of their items.
Outside of the truck. It's a whole other world inside!
Outside of the truck. It’s a whole other world inside!

Like La Fashion Coach on Facebook and find out where you can catch this mobile boutique!

Just next to La Fashion Coach is Belle of the Boulevard. You can’t miss this pretty pink truck, at least I can’t because I love pink. This is my type of fashion, I can’t help but fall in love with everything in sight. Here you can find the cutest outfits and sweet accessories to pair with.

Jaxsons Night Market

Jaxsons Night Market

Like Belle of the Boulevard on Facebook!

Then I walked on over to Wolf & Cub where I met a lady name Emily who made some amazing pieces. Here I found some beautiful wire wrapped sea glass jewelry. I found a lot of stuff I wanted, but yet again I’ve banned myself from shopping for a month or so. *sigh* Anyways look how cool these are!
Jaxsons Night Market

Jaxsons Night Market
She also had a rack of beautiful vintage clothing and a cute pair of boots too. I am definitely picking up something from here next time.
Jaxsons Night Market

Learn more about Wolf & Cub on Facebook!

Next stop was Sunisha Designs. You guys, aren’t these bags adorbs?! I know!!! I couldn’t get over how cute these are. The best thing I found out about Sunisha Designs is that you can be the designer! I’m thinking about maybe getting something in Gator colors. Yeah? They even had these cute reusable wine gift bags…that I thought were water bottle covers. *face palm* After some research I found out you can find some Sunisha Designs at HAVEN in Jacksonville Beach, Pampered & Polished Spa in Arlington, Southside Cellars in the Southside area and Cottage by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach along with a home studio.

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The lovely ladies of Sunisha Designs
The lovely ladies of Sunisha Designs

I decided to take a little break from the “oohs and ahhs” of the beautiful fashion that were treats to my eyes and grabbed a can of Intuition Ale Works‘ Jon Boat. This is probably my favorite from Intuition next to the I-10.
Jaxsons Night Market

I look to my left and I see the Bangin Bus (originally a plumbing truck). Taco Lu now has a truck! What?
Aahh..the Bang Bang Shrimp and Mexican Corn. That hit the spot juuuust right.
Jaxsons Night Market

Jaxsons Night Market

*nom nom*

As I was sitting at the table munching away I was admiring my surroundings. My gosh how beautiful the night was and I sat with some nice folks as well. It’s cool getting to know strangers that you may never see again. Well as I was admiring my surroundings and such I looked up to see these abandoned buildings and the cracked walls and windows. To me it is a beautiful sight, to others its horrible and dangerous. That’s probably the difference between an artist and a regular person? No offense, but artists find the beauty in the unordinary. I picked up my camera and snapped this photo right here, I think this will look good in the hallway.

Jaxsons Night Market

I moved on to admire other vendors, but something else caught my eye. A vendor called Rethreaded. I’ve heard of the name before and briefly heard about them as well. I finally got to see them in person and my gosh I am so happy that I came across them. Rethreaded is an amazing organization helping women coming out of the sex trade from around the world. These beautiful items in front of me were created by those women. The items sold allows them to hire new employees and those employees are hired into a paid 4-month holistic training program that includes sewing, art, and life skills. These items were created using donated t-shirts. They had these really super cute scarves made out of stretched strips of shirts, I didn’t actually take a picture of it, but you can purchase them on their website.
Jaxsons Night Market

Jaxsons Night Market

I couldn’t resist, I know I wasn’t supposed to buy anything, however this is for a good cause and plus I love big fluffy flowers.
Jaxsons Night Market

Support and shop Rethreaded!

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT JAXSONS NIGHT MARKET!

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Me me ME in the FLOWER FIELD!

I don’t have a big head so I don’t go around saying I’m the best photographer ever or even the best self-photographer ever. It’s a little tough and I do this for fun. I’ve been trying to find this flower field for the past several years and one day in March this year I just happened to find it outside of Gainesville. At the time no flowers were in bloom yet, but I was so sure that it was right field. I heard flowers only blooms once a year for a few weeks around Mother’s Day. Last month I decided to make my fluffy white tutu and flower crowns with no idea if the flowers are really in bloom yet. When I got there it was like heaven on Earth. Flowers here, flowers there…flowers EVERYWHERE!!!

It was so hot especially in the white thick tutu!

One of my favorite shots, but I messed up the lighting so I tried to save it.
One of my favorite shots, but I messed up the lighting so I tried to save it.

Kemary Chan

Kemary Chan

Kemary Chan

Kemary Chan

Kemary Chan

BBRRoudy’s Craft Beer Cellar


I was probably supposed to do this blog months and months ago since I took these photos. I’ve been super busy that I haven’t gotten around to blogging. I’m trying to learn to put time aside for this.

If you’ve been following my blog since the end of last year then you may know about my interest in craft beer. I’ve learned more and more about it the past several months like I said I would. One of my favorite places to pick up a large variety of craft beer in Jacksonville is Total Wine & Spirits on Town Center Parkway. It’s like craft beer heaven in there.

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

However today I’ll be talking about Broudy’s Fine Wine and Spirits, the one located in the Cobblestone Shopping Plaza off S.R. 213 in St. Augustine, Florida in particular.
Last year they debut the Craft Beer Cellar, which can be found in the back of the store. You can’t miss it; there is a sign at the top of the entrance.

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

The cellar is kept around 45 to 55 degrees. Inside you’ll find over 250 different craft and import beers to choose from. They are all divided by the different styles of beer that are paired with the specific glass that particular beer should be served in. There are over 12 different types of gluten-free/gluten-removed beers in the cellar as well.

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

I spent some time in there taking some photos. Yes, it was a little chilly, but I like the cold.



Take a look around:



Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar

Broudy's Wine & Spirits Craft Beer Cellar


Broudy’s Fine Wine and Spirits
516 W. Geoffrey St.
St. Augustine, FL 32086
904.417.2090