Ruby Beach Brewing Relocating to Downtown Jacksonville
- May 20, 2020
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Ruby Beach Brewing is expanding and moving to a new location in downtown Jacksonville.
The local brewery is remodeling the vacant, historic building at 228 E. Forsyth St. and is scheduled to move into the space this summer. The buildout will occur in phases, allowing Ruby Beach to start brewing beer at the new location in May, but the taproom will not open to the public until July.
There will be no interruption in production, even though there will be about a two-month break between the closing of their current Jacksonville Beach location and the grand opening downtown.
“We’ve planned ahead to make this a seamless transition,” said Mark Vandeloo, owner and president of Ruby Beach Brewing. “We’re ramping up production now in anticipation of the move, so our distributor and customers won’t notice a gap in the availability of our beer around the city while we prepare our new taproom to welcome guests.”
Growing and focusing on the craft of brewing
The new location signals a strategic shift as Ruby Beach focuses more on its popular craft beer, especially as distribution demand has grown. The 2,500 sq. ft. first floor will allow the brewery to increase production and serve a greater variety of beer.
“The size and footprint of this new space will give our brewery a proper, long-term home. We can now double our tank capacities, with room to add additional fermenters in the future,” said Vandeloo. “We’ll also be able to offer more small-batch beers, and we plan to begin a barrel aging program in the basement. Plus, by forgoing a kitchen space, we’ll be able to start canning, making it easier for everyone to pick up Ruby Beach beers at local stores in the future.”
While Ruby Beach Brewing will not serve food at its new location, it will be a regular spot for food trucks.
Building a community-focused taproom and beyond
The new bar area will evoke a fresh take on the classic taproom vibe with hardwood finishes, ample natural light, open ceilings and exposed brick. It will also feature the current Ruby Beach bar that was crafted from reclaimed wood from the Jacksonville Beach pier, bringing a splash of the brewery’s coastal roots to its new downtown home.
“We’re creating a communal atmosphere, complete with high-top tables and comfortable seating to bring people together around conversation and good beer,” Vandeloo said. “It’s not going to feel like a restaurant. It’s really a gathering place.”
That atmosphere will continue onto an outdoor patio space, which will have its own dedicated bar with beers on tap. The building’s second floor will feature a 2,500 sq. ft. event space, which will be available to rent for private parties and corporate gatherings.
“This second story space is a natural extension of our mission to be a community-oriented fixture downtown,” said Vandeloo. “Our vision is to host pop-up markets, yoga classes, art showings and more when the space isn’t rented out for private events. We’ll be able to provide beer and wine upstairs and can refer customers to our network of local food caterers, if desired.”
A vibrant addition to the downtown renaissance
Despite the change in location, Ruby Beach Brewing is paying homage to its legacy and keeping its name.
“Everyone who lives in Jacksonville has a relationship with the Atlantic Ocean — it’s part of our city’s history and heritage. Just because we won’t be located off A1A, doesn’t mean we’ve lost that identity,” Vandeloo said. “We’re making the move so we can better serve everyone on the First Coast, including our friends at the beach. By establishing ourselves in the city’s burgeoning downtown, Ruby Beach Brewing is proud to call all of Jacksonville home.”
The building on Forsyth is owned by Petra, a local real estate brokerage that has been driving commercial revitalization in Jacksonville’s urban core and surrounding historic neighborhoods.
“We’re really excited to be a part of the new growth that’s happening downtown. I can see the change and feel the energy every time I’m there,” said Vandeloo. “With the amount of support
from city leaders and the community, there’s no question that downtown is going to be reinvigorated and thrive like never before. We’re all in on the city’s vision for downtown Jacksonville, and Ruby Beach Brewing is excited to be a part of it.”
About Ruby Beach Brewing
Ruby Beach Brewing is a specialty craft brewery that has served Jacksonville and the beaches for the past five years with a 24-tap rotating lineup of premium, unique microbrews for the discerning beer connoisseur. Ruby Beach Brewing leads the way in craft beer trends by using 100% juice purees, sourcing local ingredients and milling its own grain in house. Learn more at rubybeachbrewing.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and T witter.
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