A couple of months ago, we got a question from a young woman trying to plan the perfect weekend for her beer-loving boyfriend. We were happy to oblige, putting together an entire weekend of events and stops for her and her brew-happy man.
We’ve heard that beer drinking is catching on (insert “well duh” font here), so we thought other folks might like to see our suggestions for a fun weekend for “hops”-ing around St. Augustine. As much as our city loves history, it seems that it loves its beer as well!
Mile Marker Brewing. This is outside of town (about a 10 minute drive),
but totally worth it (and if you’re staying at our bed and breakfast, you have reserved parking in the historic district, so it’s stress-free to take a ride in the car.) Mile Marker Brewing is the only commercial St. Augustine brewery, and they’ve recently opened a tap room. You can try the beer right out of the barrel, which is a good way to zap it to your wine-snob friends.
This is the beer we use for our weddings–everyone likes the
taste, but they also like the brown glass jugs that the beer comes
in…you could buy a couple to take home. Enjoy their amber ale, red ale, nut brown, ale, IPA, and the newest brew, Coconut Porter–brewed with nine malts and real coconut (they say the oil from the coconut makes it smoother than most porters). They also give tours, if you call them and arrange it first (which means it will probably be very intimate–perfect for a romantic day of beer tasting). To set up a tour, call them at 904.217.4294. www.milemarkerbrewing.com. 3420 Agricultural Center Drive. Closed Mondays.
Lunch at JP Henley’s. I’ve already written about my love of the JP Henley sandwich menu, but they also have the most taps in town (70 at last count). They are about a block from the inn. Our friend Big Guy is a bit of a beer snob (sorry, big dude, but you know it’s true) and this was his favorite stop on his last trip here. If you want some couple time, check out the back room of the bar (usually empty unless there’s a good game on the multiple screens). 10 Marine Street. 904.829.3337. www.jphenleys.com.
A1A for a late day sampler. This is a brewpub, and only 2 blocks from our inn. They have a great beer sampler–they present a paper menu with circles on it, then put the
samples on the circles from dark to light. If you’re not a beer lover, this is a good way to try some new varieties and figure out what you like most. They also have good food (try the stand-up seafood tacos), and their outside porch is right across from the bridge of lions so it’s a beautiful view–and especially nice at sunset. 1 King Street. 904.829.2977. www.a1aaleworks.com.
Irish Guys are Smiling. For a town that was occupied by both the English and the Spanish (but never the Irish), St. Augustine has a lot of Irish bars. There is Meehan’s, which is on the water and has the best french fries in town (www.meehansirishpub.com), Ann O’Malley’s, which is right off of St. George Street (www.annomalleys.com) and the Irish Public House on Spanish Street (www.barleyrepublicph.com).
They are fairly close together (everything is pretty close in St.
Augustine); I could walk from one to the other to the other in less than
10 minutes. Of course, that doesn’t leave time for stopping at each, and you’re going to want to do that. While you’re there, you might want to consider the following special attributes of each:
Meehan’s. Right on the Matanzas, with views of the Bridge of Lions and the fort (depending on which side of the table you’re sitting on). And did we mention their french fries? 20 Avenida Menendez. 904.810.1923.
Ann O’Malley’s. Always rocking–no matter what time we drive by. A great local music scene, and always a fun crowd. 23 Orange Street. 904.825.4040.
Irish Public House. The newest kid in town, these folks know beer–they’ve got 70 taps as of this writing. Good food, with classics like shepherd’s pie and bangers & mash always on the menu. 48 Spanish Street. 904.547.2023.
Breaking Bread. With all the beer you’ve been drinking, you might want to give your stomach a little break with some bread. I like the Ancient Olive on King Street.
They have about 35 kinds of olive oil and 35 kinds of balsamic vinegar,
and you can go there and do a tasting and get a little mini lesson on how
both are made. 47 King Street.904.827.1899. www.theancientolive.com
As you’re scheduling your stay in St. Augustine, don’t forget that our bed and breakfast offers a two-hour happy hour every night…complete with a selection of beers. It’s a great way to “cap” off a day of exploring the ancient city!