COVER STORY

Aardwolf Brewing Company

Renovated historic building provides hip backdrop to beer selection

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Officially open since March 22, Jacksonville’s newest microbrewery hugs the railroad tracks in the former City of South Jacksonville Utility Building in San Marco. Co-owned by locals Preben Olsen and Michael Payne, Aardwolf promises to be the flavor on every craft beer connoisseur’s lips by fall. “Beertender” Kevin Gray says the crowd is already as diverse as the flavors they serve on 12 taps.

“Literally all types come in — people who bring babies, dogs, a happy hour crowd,” he said.

The clean, rustic vibe Gray calls “urban revival” is so hip, even hipsters are jealous. Indirect lighting and exposed brick distinguish the historic 1920s building, an original Florida icehouse from the days before refrigerated railroad cars. A few tools salvaged from the plant or its subsequent incarnation, Moyer Marble & Tile Company, which moved from there years ago, are displayed on a backsplash that's truly a piece of American history — boards from The Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Once the facilities are completed, Aardwolf will be pouring 12 in-house brews. It currently serves a selection of high-hitting regional craft beers, including Aardwolf collaborations like Pinglewolf, co-created with Pinglehead where Payne was once a brewer. 

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