Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens partners with Bold City Brewery

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is excited to announce a partnership with Bold City Brewery and the launch of an exciting new brew: Avant Gardener.  After Hurricane Irma, Kevin Miller with Bold City Brewery approached Museum staff to see if there was anything they could do to help.  From this conversation Avant Gardener was born.  The brewers and staff got to work to come up with a concept for the beer that would highlight something specific about the Cummer Gardens.  The Cummer Oak was, of course, the first thing to come to mind, soon followed by the abundance of roses throughout the gardens.

From this, brewer Alex Johnson came up with a flavor concept and unique recipe created especially for the Cummer Gardens.  “I am honored to be able to work with the Cummer Museum on such an exciting project,” states Johnson. “I went to the Museum a lot as a kid. It is such a great part of the community, and I love that we get to be part of the reconstruction process.”  In addition to the great work being done at Bold City Brewery, local artist Jim Draper has donated the use of his artwork to be used alongside the new brew. Draper’s image is a serigraph print of a rose found in the Cummer Gardens.

The new brew is a Belgian wheat with hints of rose petal, rose hips, and oak chips.  The cherished Cummer Oak, one of the oldest trees in Jacksonville, makes a guest appearance in this recipe.  It is described as floral, savory, and cloudy, but not hoppy.

Help the Cummer Museum celebrate the launch of this one-of-a-kind beer at the Bold City Tap Room, located at 109 E. Bay Street in Downtown Jacksonville, where the beer will be on tap beginning February 7, 2018.  Avant Gardener will only be available for a limited time, so get it while you can.  A portion of the beer sales will go directly to the Garden Reconstruction Fund at the Museum, which makes this beer a bona fide act of benevolence.  So, do a good deed and drink some beer!
Garden Damage from Hurricane Irma
The historic Cummer Gardens were severely impacted by Hurricane Irma and will be closed to the public until the reconstruction effort can be complete.  The lower tier of all three formal garden spaces, which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, remained submerged for more than 24 hours, resulting in the uprooting of plants, detached railing along the river, broken lighting, pervasive salinization of the soil, large amounts of debris, and significant impact to much of the physical infrastructure, including drainage, electric, fencing, and the well that services the landscape.

Museum leadership is
working with professionals from many sectors to properly assess the situation and create a strategy and timeline to reconstruct the gardens.  Additionally, staff is working with colleagues at other historic gardens to ensure that best practices are utilized throughout the reconstruction effort.  Members of the community may
donate directly to the Garden Reconstruction Fund.

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