The brewmaster behind one of Jacksonville’s top craft breweries is bringing his expertise to Clay County, with plans to open a combination brewery and pizzeria.
Barley and Pie Brewing Co., a tenant of Sleiman Enterprises, will be located in Fleming Plaza. Founded by Philip Maple, the 6,000-square-foot eatery will seat 150 occupants inside and 40 more under a covered patio.
Maple, a Clay County resident, is the former brewmaster of Wicked Barley Brewing Co in Baymeadows, where he remains a silent partner. The Wisconsin native has called Florida home for most of his adult life, and his Italian ancestry inspired the focus of his new business.
The eatery will showcase 20 beers brewed on-site as well as a menu feature pizzas with “crazy” toppings.
“Growing up, one thing my dad always did was brew craft beer and made pizza dough,” Maple said. “I’ve had a burning desire to do pizza recipes for 20 years and look forward to offering a pie baked in a Neapolitan oven.”
Barley and Pie will offer an array of craft beers including multiple IPAs, sour ales, stouts and lagers.
Pizza toppings will include Buffalo chicken marinated with in-house sauce, cheese ravioli topped with asiago and vodka sauce and a bacon mac and cheese pie.
Maple started working with sour dough five years ago to achieve a product with less gluten, making it easier to digest and pairing well with beer, the brewer and baker said.
“We don’t use manufactured dough,” Maple said. “There are dozens of pizza bars out there, but none are offering sour dough.”
Barley and Pie Brewing Co will hire about 20 to 25 staff, Maple said.
Through an SBA-backed loan,121 Financial Credit Union provided Maple funding for the $1.3 million build-out of the location, which will include a $300,000 seven-barrel brewing system that Maple worked on with Bielman Brewery Services.
Work on the project — which is in the former V Pizza space at 1605 County Rd. 220 — should begin within the next two months.”It’s going to take about six to nine months to complete the build,” Maple told the Business Journal. “We hope to open January 2024 but will be happy with a St. Patrick’s Day grand opening.”
Once Barley and Pie is up and running, Maple is looking for success that rivals that seen by Wicked Barley, which sells the most beer in its taproom of any local craft brewery, according to state records.
Getting there might take some time, but Maple is already looking to the future.
“I have three silent partners, and told them to not expect dividends before year two,” said Maple. “I can’t quit my day job as an IT consultant yet, but when this business proves successful … we’re ready to expand to second and third locations.”