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A rendering of the exterior of Intuition Ale Works near the sports complex.
Jax Daily Record Friday, May 22, 201512:00 PM EST

Intuition Ale Works near sports complex could open in early 2016


Jacksonville’s stadium district is preparing to tap into Intuition Ale Works.

Auld & White Contractors LLC applied for a permit to renovate almost 20,000 square feet of the 929 E. Bay St. building into a craft brewery and taproom at a cost of $3.5 million.

Intuition founder Ben Davis said Thursday it looks like the business will be in operation and open for retail sales in early 2016.

Plans show work on two levels — 16,654 square feet for the brewery, kitchen, bar and storage on the first level and 3,199 square feet on a second level for a kitchen, bar and storage. That second level has been described as a roof-top tap room.

Plans show the remainder of the 37,000-square-foot center was adjacent space and not in the initial contract, although Intuition would occupy the majority of the building and anchor the main corner at East Bay Street and A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.

Design Cooperative LLC is the architect for the project.

The former and long-vacant Noland Building changed hands in March for $2.2 million. The 929 East Bay Street LLC company of Jacksonville bought it from a New York group. Intuition will lease it.

Davis founded Intuition Ale Works in 2010 at 720 King St. in Riverside. It produces about 7,000 barrels of beer a year. That building is about 14,000 square feet.

The larger brewery will boost production to a capacity of at least 25,000 barrels.

The brewery will anchor the corner of the busy corridor near the Veterans Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, near the edge of EverBank Field’s parking lot and near Metropolitan Park and the Shipyards property.

Davis said about $750,000 worth of custom-fabricated equipment is in storage awaiting installation.

The city also is reviewing site plans for exterior improvements for parking, landscaping, fencing and the sidewalk. Those plans show a bike locker system on an exterior wall.

The site said that in February 2012, the company became the first craft brewery in the state to can its beers. It also brews draught-only small batch specialties available in its Riverside tap room, where it has 20 taps, and at beer bars in Florida.

It is distributed throughout Florida. In Northeast Florida, Champion Brands handles the distribution. The site says cans of I-10 IPA, People’s Pale Ale, King Street Stout and Jon Boat Coastal Ale are available at many grocers, liquor stores and gas stations in the Jacksonville area.

When the project was approved in October by the Downtown Development Review Board of the Office of Economic Development, Davis said he expected to be serving his products brewed on-site before the 2015 NFL season begins.

“The project is bigger and more complex than initially thought,” he said. “I do not want to rush the pre-construction phase and then regret an oversight down the road.”

His lease on King Street expires in August 2016.

He intends to keep the taproom open there for a few months after the Bay Street operation opens, as well as continue production there after that.

The plan is to move the complete operation to Bay Street eventually, phasing out of King Street by the end of the lease.

Intuition will lease more than half of the Bay Street building. Davis hopes the other tenants will be complementary.

“That area needs a reason for people to come down there,” he said. “The more, the merrier.”

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