Stop number two in my hometown brewery tour brought me Engine 15 Brewing Company in Jacksonville Beach. Named after a 1962 fire engine that sits in their parking lot, they have been crafting since the early 2010s and have expanded over the years to include a large production facility and tap room near downtown. They produce a solid core line-up of beers accompanied by an ever-changing list of seasonal and experimental brews. So pour yourself a beer, grab a seat, and read on as I recount my visit to another beach brewery.
- Beer – To say the tap list is extensive is not hyperbolic. Two television screens hover above the taps outlining the over twenty different options available. While a few of them are guests taps, the majority are Engine 15’s years round, seasonal, and limited release beers. The variety is extensive and includes many creative or unique brews. I thought the overall quality of the beer was very good, with excellent balance and nuance in all the beers I tried. Score: 4.5/5
- Brewery – My review focuses on their Jacksonville Beach taproom, not their downtown location. Enter the taproom and the first thing that draws your eye is the long bar that runs down the middle of the room, with monitors on the wall displaying all their available beers on tap. Heavy, dark wood dominates, giving the area a dark, cool feeling reminiscent of a pirate ship. Larger table seating can be found at the front and back of the room, with smaller tables in parallel to the bar. There is also a small seating area out front with some shade and protection from the Florida sun. They have a full menu of pub style food that was more elevated than the menu and décor led me to believe, with large portion sizes to boot. Prices are pretty reasonable even for the beaches, and pre-pandemic they were open from lunch until late. Score: 3.5/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – Most of this category is of course pre-pandemic, but I assume once this is over, they will return to normal operations. Their event list includes the usual things like game day watch parties (go Jags!), beer release parties, art nights, and plenty more. Oh, and tucked in the back are a bunch of arcade games you can play. My favorite has to be the 12 beers of Christmas, a series of themed beers released daily over the first 12 days of December with the reward (aside from great beer) being free beer the rest of December. Guess I know what I will be doing next time I’m in town visiting my parents around Christmas. Score: 4/5
- Location – In a small shopping center just off Beach Boulevard, blink and you will miss it as you go by. Just a short drive from the beach with all its attendant fun things to do, there are also plenty of other bars, breweries, and restaurants close by, with downtown Jacksonville not far either. There is plenty of onsite parking, including some bike racks, for whatever your manner of transport. Score: 3.5/5
- Customer Service – The service was fast and efficient, with all orders taken at the bar and food delivered to the table hot and fresh. The bartender was very helpful, offering a few beer selections that my dad my enjoy based on his taste preferences. The best customer service representative by far was the cat named Brisket who hangs out on the patio. 11/10, would pet again. Score: 3.5/5
Total Score: 19/25
Favorite Beer: The Empire Did Nothing Wrong – 9.7% Imperial Stout
Final Thoughts: Yet another beach brewery that I am sad it took me so long to visit despite growing up in Jacksonville. Engine 15 is a great combination of beer, food, and entertainment, with the allure of the beach nearby, that would make me a repeat customer if I still lived in town. Looking forward to visiting their downtown location next time I am home to visit family.