Taproom Talk: Zeta Brewing in Jacksonville, Florida
Taproom Talk is a new series where I sit down with a brewer or brewery owner and discuss the local food and beer scene. The goal of the series is to help readers properly plan a beer vacation, highlighting the best of craft beer and food, through the eyes of a local expert. As I have visited each brewery highlighted, TWG side notes are tossed in throughout the post.
The inaugural edition features Zeta Brewing, a brewpub in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Check out what Head Brewer Chris Prevatt has to say about the Jacksonville food and beer scene. Chris’s culinary background lends a unique perspective on Jacksonville.
What got you started brewing?
My love for craft beer and passion for cooking got me started brewing as a hobby. Ten years later that hobby turned into a new career path for me, which eventually led to Zeta Brewing Co.
Stylistically, how would you describe Zeta Brewing beer?
American style ales and lagers with bright flavors and several barrel aged offerings a year.
What is Zeta Brewing most popular beer?
Our most popular beer is our American Garage IPA, which is an east coast style IPA with copious amounts Cascade and Centennial hops which bring strong tropical fruit characteristics.
What beer do you produce that your wish more people would try?
I wish more people were open to farmhouse styles. I keep at least one French or Belgian style farmhouse on at all times. The bright, crisp, and bubbly characteristics make it the perfect day beach beer.
TWG comment – He’s not kidding about the farmhouse styles. Do try these.
What sets Zeta Brewing apart from other breweries in Jacksonville?
On top of our in house beers, we have several guest taps pouring beer from other local breweries. We also have a full liquor bar and full service kitchen.
What excites you about the Jacksonville beer scene?
The Jacksonville beer scene is new and growing at a rapid rate. We have a fantastic brewers community and have formed the Jax Beer Society, which has representation from each Jacksonville brewery and local distributor who work together to plan Jax Beer Week and other monthly events.
What’s on tap for the future of Zeta Brewing?
Our plan for this year is to grow distribution throughout our market and increase our brands recognition.
What’s an awesome local beer festival that is worth traveling to Jacksonville for?
The “Mash In” is put together by the Jax Beer Society and not only has representation from each local brewery but also from national and regional craft breweries. The one day event is the kick off for Jax Beer Week and takes place this year on September 24.
What restaurant would you recommend to out of town visitors that only the locals know about?
Zeta Brewing Co offers brunch, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.
Each city seems to have a unique food, what is Jacksonville’s?
Jacksonville is best known for fresh seafood and Mayport shrimp caught from our local waters by local fishermen.
What beer bar would you recommend for exploring the regional beer scene?
Kickbacks in Riverside is a beer lovers heaven.
What’s your favorite local food and beer pairing?
A Blackened Mahi Nacho with an American Garage IPA both from Zeta Brewing.
TWG Comment – Don’t overlook the Zeta Burger, either. A half pound of Angus topped with pimento cheese, garlic mayonnaise, bacon onion jam, and arugula, all served on a brioche bun. Pair it with the Ruby Beach American Wheat. It’s one of the few wheat’s I recommend. The raspberry adds a pleasant tartness.
Where can craft beer fans buy your beer both locally and beyond?
Zeta Brewing can be found in top beer bars here in Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Beaches, and St. Augustine.
YOUR TURN!!! What food and craft beer travel tip for Jacksonville, Florida would you add to this list?
The first two photos in this post are courtesy of Adjective and Co.