When Sean Cox did some consulting at Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill a few years back he didn’t realize how these few hours would change the course of his life. At the time the stay at home father of two was plenty busy, establishing Ambrosia Hop Yards, doing construction work and looking for opportunities that combined his passion for craft ale and his AS in business administration from Sierra College.
Months after his part-time gig at Jernigan’s, he learned Jernigan’s Tap House was up for sale. The sale was finalized in the summer of 2012, and now as he completes his first year as proprietor, he is impressed with the transformation of Seven Hills Business District and Jernigan’s — both are busy, friendly places frequented more by locals than tourists with that balance shifting each day as outsiders discover this friendly, culture-rich, Nevada City nook.
To celebrate, Cox will host an anniversary celebration from 5-10 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot with live bands, craft beer and food. Music will be provided by A Thousand Years at Sea and Rio Mojo.
Cox said he keeps it simple and stays true to his values, making Jernigan’s the type of place he would want to spend time at. Good thing, because owning a successful restaurant most often means inhabiting said restaurant.
“My goal for Jernigan’s has always been to create a sense of a core community... a friendly place to enjoy craft beer and good company. I had no idea that along the way I would make so many wonderful friends. The spirit of Jernigan’s keeps broadening,” he said.
Jernigan’s is not a big place and knows its niche is as an easy-going, family friendly neighborhood pub and sports bar.
Lots of folks enjoy beer, but few take the craft and sources of beer making as seriously as Cox. Ambrosia Hop Yards is still an active project, though his partners now hold the majority share of responsibilities and ownership.
“This is a key year for Ambrosia. We are looking for a strong harvest this fall in each of our hops varieties, especially Nugget, Sterling and Chinook,” he said.
At harvest, Ambrosia will evaluate yields and consider selling bulk hops to regional breweries and home brewers from its You Bet Road yards in September and October. Sean still finds time to occasionally do some consulting and is considering starting a review blog or column to share his growing knowledge and tasting experiences.
Jernigan’s reflects Cox’s love of Bay Area sports teams and is the place where San Francisco Giants and Niners fans gather for the All-American combo of big screens, brew and camaraderie. With big screen televisions over the bar and in each corner—not to mention the Giant’s score bell—sports are a big part of Jernigan’s atmosphere.
Jernigan’s is located at 123 Argall Way in Nevada City. For more information, call 530-265-6999 or visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jernigans-Tap-House-and-Grill/150220745048963.