Story by: Judd Barczak
Tabula Rasa Brewing Company located on Corbett street in the middle of the Jacksonville Rail district, is one of the newest micro-breweries to grace the River City scene. With the company’s owners looking to bring a breath of new life to their little branch of Jacksonville.
This family owned company originally started off as a hobby for owner Randy Peterson, after his wife Jackie bought him a book focused on brewing in the early 90’s. After years of practice and the family sharing their brew with friends and family, their product seemed to gain traction. Through hard work and dedication the family has been able to bring this hobby a life of its own.
Randy and Ryan Peterson, a father and son duo and now co-owners of Tabula Rasa both still work day jobs in addition to their work at the brewery. Both of them have experience in construction management and refrigeration, which has helped them to start up their business. With Ryan mentioning how their experience in their day jobs has helped them with “everything from permits, to machine maintinence.” With their day jobs still taking precedence for the Petersons they have allocated Saturday mornings as their dedicated “brew day” where they start the process of their various brews before canning.
Yet another point that has made Tabula Rasa unique among other Jacksonville breweries is both their newly refurbished tapyard, and their focus on local artists. The tapyard is where patrons are encouraged to enjoy various brews outdoors, with plentiful seating and well groomed plants in order to improve the experience. While on the walls of the taproom Tabula Rasa various paintings from local artists are displayed on a rotating schedule, where patrons are not only able to enjoy the works of local artists, but are encouraged to purchase the works to support the artists displayed.
While another point brought up by the Peterson family is that even though they have had plenty of issues when starting the brewery, ranging from supply chain to location. However, when it comes to these issues, the family has mentioned that despite these difficulties there is “nowhere else that they would rather be,” and when asked if there is anything that patrons should know Jackie Peterson responded with “we just are excited for people to know that we’re here.”