Popular Amelia Island Microbrewery To Open New Taproom In Yulee

The latest Amelia Island business to head west within Nassau County is Mocama Beer Co. Their new tasting room expected to open this summer at Wildlight.

Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.

— Steve’s Marketplace —

Like a moth to a light, like a seagull to a beach, Amelia Island businesses are being drawn to the wide open spaces around the Wildlight community in Yulee. 

The latest local business to expand westward is Mocama Beer Co. – and in a big way. The popular microbrewery is opening a taproom in the booming Wildlight community, an offspring of Rayonier. 

“From the beginning, Wildlight was created to encourage community connections through a vibrant mix of neighborhoods, walkable trails, and dining and retail options,” said Wildlight Vice President Wes Hinton in a prepared statement. “We’re excited to offer residents a social hub that embodies the authentic Nassau County spirit with the addition of Mocama’s thoughtfully designed concept.” 

In 2020, Mocama opened its microbrewing headquarters on Gum and South Eighth streets in Fernandina Beach. The building was originally a car dealership, Lasserre Motor Co., and maintains those roots with large, sloping storefront windows.  

Mocama’s vats are located behind a spacious and comfortable tasting area, where bands regularly play and business/social meetings are held. Mocama also features its own coffee, and will reportedly continue these offerings at the Wildlight location. 

Other Amelia Island businesses that have expanded westward are Tasty’s Fresh Burgers, Fancy Sushi and The Decantery. Inevitably, more will follow. 

Hospitals are becoming a hot item in the Wildlight area. The UF Health facility there has been operating for several years, while Baptist Hospital will be breaking ground on its new location next door. And almost next door, along I-95, HCA is supposed to build a grand, flagship hospital. 

Rayonier is expanding its reach also. The real estate development company is looking at property around Camden County, according to sources. And several Rayonier developments have been announced for the west side of Nassau County. 

At the trendy 2,000-square-foot tasting room at Wildlight, Mocama will serve its own craft beers as well as others. In addition, there will be expanded collection of wines from different regions. It is expected to open this summer. 

Mocama is one of five microbreweries in Nassau County. There are about 36 of the desirable destinations around Northeast Florida. 

Mocama distributes its beers to 200 retailers across the region. The brewery made a landmark decision two years ago to ramp up production from 6,000 barrels a year to 30,000 barrels. 

All in all, Mocama has been an outstanding addition to Nassau County. It all aligns with what the founders envisioned. And that vision now reaches to Yulee. 

“We hope to create a welcoming space for friends to gather and drink great beer,” said Dan McCranie, Mocama’s operations manager, about the new location. “Our vision perfectly aligns with the goals of Wildlight, and our new partnership allows us to serve even more residents as we expand our Northeast Florida presence.” 


Steve Nicklas is a financial adviser with a national brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns also regularly appear in weekly newspapers in Northeast Florida and in Southeast Georgia, and on his website at www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon. He has also done financial reports for area radio stations and for National Public Radio in Jacksonville. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 904-753-0236.