Black Sheep at Intuition Ale Works Rooftop Biergarten

Intiuition Ale Works downtown location, with its huge taproom and biergarten, opened in September 2016, just in time for the official Jags season. Although its address is on Bay Street, the direct route to the rooftop bar is around the corner on A. Philip Randolph. An inconspicuous door leads to an echo-y stairwell that takes you to the second floor. The spacious, open-air bar awaits, with a view of the river on one side and the stadium on the other.

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The rooftop biergarten at Intuition Ale Work’s new downtown location is perfect for game day date nights.

 

The sun had just finished setting when we arrived, and the sky still had that post-sunset glow. It was a chilly night, so we ordered a couple of strong, dark brews to keep us toasty: Intuition’s malted barley King Street Stout and DuClaw Brewing’s indulgent peanut butter and chocolate beer, playfully named “Sweet Baby Jesus!” (because it’s that good).

Black Sheep Restaurant has a small kitchen at the brewery with a limited menu. We also ordered a plate of Black Sheep’s signature poutine and the “House Pickle Jar” to share. The warm plate of fries, cheese, and gravy was a perfect pairing with our hearty beer choices. The food and drink were excellent, the bartenders were fun and accommodating, and the urban, rooftop setting was perfect for a big game night with friends.

 

For more info visit intuitionaleworks.com

 

 

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The Cellar Upstairs at San Sebastian has a stellar waterfront view and wonderful live music most evenings.

The Cellar Upstairs: San Sebastian Winery, Wine and Jazz Bar

St. Augustine is always hopping, so it wasn’t surprising that the parking lot at the San Sebastian Winery was already full when we arrived. There was a crowd at the front door, and inside the mood was festive and friendly. The store and the wine tasting bar are all housed in one giant room on the first floor, and we poked around a bit before proceeding up to the roof.

We arrived just in time for a good sunset. A singer strummed his guitar and crooned pop tunes into the microphone as the tables filled with people. There was a good mix: families with small kids, groups of friends, tourists, young couples, and even a few dogs.

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The breezy, 65-degree weather was just cool enough to opt for heater-side seating. As we sat at the bar, looking out over the city, white flakes started to swirl above the guests’ heads. At first we weren’t sure what it was, but then confusion turned to delight when we all realized it was snow. From behind the bar, Bar Manager Kyle Tierney watched our responses with a satisfied grin. It turns out he turns on the artificial snow machine whenever the band plays a holiday tune. “Now if only I can control the rain!” he mused.

Kyle told us that the sangria is their best seller, so we ordered one glass of the red and one glass of the white. They were served in large goblets with colorful citrus and lots of ice, and they didn’t disappoint. The food menu offered sandwiches and appetizers, so we tried a couple of those too. We started with the brie plate, a festive platter of color: ruby port raspberry sauce drizzled over the warm brie, Granny Smith apple slices and toasted baguette. Next, we nibbled on the pretzels and beer cheese, four Bavarian style soft pretzels served with homemade spicy Dukes Brown Ale beer cheese and a side of mustard. The beer cheese was the perfect choice for a crisp, winter night: spicy, creamy, yeasty and just downright cozy.

 

For more info visit sansebastianwinery.com