Over the summer, I went to Gainesville and got the chance to visit First Magnitude Brewing. I knew this would be an excellent brewery to spotlight. Not only do I love their cute mermaid mascot, but First Magnitude also has a huge indoor and outdoor brewery space and of course, top-notch beer. The Gainesville beer scene has grown a lot in the past few years, but this is definitely a can’t miss brewery there.
We went on a relatively crowded Friday evening, but with so many tables, we didn’t have trouble finding one. They had actually just finished doing a weekly fun run that seemed similar to what our local brewery Intracoastal Brewing does on Wednesday’s. We were able to get a beer pretty quick, but ended up waiting about half an hour at the food truck.
Our friends we were visiting told us it would be worth the wait, and they were definitely right. The Cilantro’s Taco food truck was at the brewery and we were impressed with the delicious al pastor tacos they were serving up, as well as the homemade queso. First Magnitude has a different food truck there most nights, so if you see Cilantro’s, give it a try!
First Magnitude Beer Selection
The wait for food wasn’t too bad because we were all thoroughly enjoying our beer in line. I started with the 73 Pale Ale which was a flavorful pale ale similar to their core beer the 72 Pale Ale. The 73 was double dry hopped and very juicy, so it was right up my alley.
I found the 72 Pale Ale in Orlando a month ago and had to grab it! It is hard to compare the two, but 72 has a slightly hoppier taste and more floral than citrus aromas. The name 72 comes from it being the year round temperature of many first magnitude springs in Florida. This is fitting since the brewery is located near many of these springs, including Ginnie Springs which we visited the following day. Both of these beers are super refreshing and make a solid name for the brewery.
After dinner, I moved on to a flight so I could give some more beers a try. They came served in an old Florida license plate which I found pretty amusing. It was hard to choose which to get as they had so many intriguing choices. I ended up getting the following:
- Siggi’s Apricot Sour
- Hoppy Golden Sour
- Simcoe, Azzaca and Citra Double IPA
- Ursa IPA
My favorite of the four was unsurprisingly the Apricot Sour. It was a lighter beer with an average tartness and plenty of apricot flavors coming through. I had not had an apricot beer before and I really liked the unique fruit taste it lent to the beer.
The other three options were also great and proved that First Magnitude Brewing knows what it is doing with its Hops. Ursa is a core beer and I highly recommend getting it if you go. There is an intense earthy hops flavor to it that any IPA lover will enjoy!
The Hoppy Golden was an interesting mix of sour and hops that ended up working well. The sour flavor definitely wins out but the galaxy hops were noticeable as well. The Douple IPA was another solid choice and definitely utilized the hops well for this strong 8.7% ABV beer.
They only have four core beers, so there will be plenty of different options everyone you go! Right now I am wishing I could try the Saltwater Intrusion Tropical Tide Gose or the amusingly named Socially Awk-red.
First Magnitude Brewing in the Community
First Magnitude Brewing has built up a huge following since opening in 2012 and I can totally see why. Gainesville is a fun college town and a lot of the students seem grateful to have a now growing brewery scene there, which First Magnitude helped start. The name comes from the freshwater springs common to North Florida. The mermaid logo combines that aquatic aspect and the astrological aspect because the first magnitude star is the brightest star you can see.
If you are in Gainesville, put down the cheap pitchers of bud light and check out First Magnitude! They open at 4 PM on weekdays, 2 PM on weekends and are closed on Mondays. The beer is very affordable at $6 per pint and $12 per flight. You can get growler fills and cans of their core beers as well as some special releases.
I always love seeing breweries integrated into their communities and First Magnitude Brewing definitely does that. From yoga classes and weekly fun runs to art walks and even live, big screen showings of the UF games, it’s a community gathering spot for all kinds of residents. I wish I had had a similar spot to hang out in in my college days! Let me know if you’ve been to First Magnitude Brewing and what your favorite beer of theirs is! For more ideas for where to eat and drink in Gainesville, check out my restaurant guide.