We just got back to Florida and were excited to hear about Gainesville’s second brewery opening this weekend: First Magnitude Brewing. They are located in a typical industrial park location at 1220 SE Veitch Street, on a side street off South Main Street, just south of SE 10th Avenue and the Hawthorne bike trail. They’re just a mile down Main St. from the Citizens Co-Op, so we did some shopping and headed over right as they opened.
Inside the brewery building is a large open space with a few picnic tables, and a shiny stainless steel brew system against the back wall. We came in out of the scorching heat with our two kids in tow. We met co-found Christine Denny who welcomed us to their opening day and assured us their tasting room was family-friendly. The tasting room is on the right as you enter the brewery, and has several large picnic tables (comfortably seating 8 each), and plenty of room to stand around. Which is good, because by the time we’d grabbed a table and a couple of pints, the tables were all full and the line ran the length of the tasting room and threatened to go out the door.
One thing I noticed as I walked up to their bar, with 20 taps along the back wall, was how readable their tap handles were. So many tap handles have just a small badge, or dark/low-contrast text that’s barely readable. But these tap handles had bold, high-contrast lettering going the length of the tap handles that I could easily read. I’m looking forward to seeing one of those tap handles around town soon. Update: good photo of the tap handles.
We would have loved to sample all their beers (and the wonderful guest taps too!) but they were understandably not doing flights on their first day. So we picked three that looked good to us:
- Karst Belgian Pale: a delightful and delicate Belgian pale with great yeast character and a smooth sweetness. This was Wind’s favorite.
- Drift English Mild: a great example of a less common style — roasty without being bitter, malty without being heavy or oversweet. In many ways it reminds me of a Scottish ale that hasn’t been Americanized, an easy-drinking flavorful ale.
- River Rise Belgian Strong Dark: rich and malty, with a strong plum/raisin aspect. Earthy and a little spicy.
The tasting room is already very nice and comfortable, attractively decorated and has a lot more room than Swamp Head’s current tasting room (though I’m looking forward to their new brewery and tasting room they’re building right now). First Magnitude is also planning a beer garden which will be a welcome addition once the weather cools off later this Fall.