Southern Swells Brewing First Bottle Release, Sunday, October 1

Linda Johnson is a BUZZ Contributing Writer (beer!) and founder of the beer and travel website,, covering all things Florida beer from news to events. She is the first female Level 2 Certified Cicerone® in the Jax area, one of six in the metro area, and the only Level 2-certified independent beer writer in the state.

On Sunday, October 1, Southern Swells Brewing Co. hosts its first bottle release, with the “Awkward Morning” New England-Style Triple IPA. Bombers of the beer will be on sale for $20 each, with a two-bottle limit. The supply is limited, with approximately 200 bottles available.  The beer will also be available on draft in the tap room. Southern Swells will open its tap room at 10 am on Sunday to accommodate early-birds who want to share beers with others while they wait for the release at noon.

The brewery has gained a reputation for its “New England-Style” IPAs, which are generally golden and hazy or thick in appearance, with the hop-forward aroma associated with IPAs, but without the strong characteristic IPA bitterness.

Corey Adams, co-owner of Southern Swells, explains why he and co-owner/brewer Jay Varney have embraced the New England style: “As brewers, … it is enjoyable to create these beers that have such citrus forward tastes and pungent noses without the bitterness typically associated with an American IPA.” He adds that Southern Swells “has been incredibly fortunate that our beers have been so well received, particularly the ones within this NE IPA style, so needless to say, the plan is to keep brewing them and experimenting with different hops and hop combinations.”

Although the brewery’s New England IPAs have been popular, the brewers hadn’t yet brewed many high-gravity beers, so they decided to do both in this new release, Corey says.  As for the name “Awkward Morning,” the beer “hides the alcohol pretty well,” and it’s one that “could sneak up on you” and lead to some “awkward mornings.”

Southern Swells Brewing also recently tapped its “Revenge on Irma” New England Style Pale Ale (5.8 ABV, 29 IBU) in response to rescue efforts for those affected by Hurricane Irma. For every pint sold, the brewery is donating $1 to the First Coast Relief Fund.

Southern Swells Brewing is located at 1312 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach.


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

(excerpted from

(cover photo by Linda Johnson)