These days my Facebook news feed is dominated with brewery openings. Long lines wrap around city blocks for special bottle releases. Breweries are standing room only on weekends. Not so long ago, I could count the number of local beers on the shelf at my local Whole Foods. Good luck doing that now. Needless to say, it’s a boom economy for Florida breweries. Now numbering in the 200s, it’s easy to forget about the pioneers in the state. One such brewery, Orlando Brewing, happens to be where I call home and are celebrating their 11th anniversary this month.
Certified as an organic brewery in 2006, they are the only USDA certified organic brewery south of Vermont and east of Colorado. Specializing in organic ales and lagers brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516 (the Reinheitsgebot). Located in Downtown South on Atlanta Avenue, Orlando Brewing has been serving up classics like their popular I4 IPA and O-Town Brown Ale to locals and tourists alike for over a decade.
I visited last week for Beer:30 (the 30th of each month) to enjoy a few pours. As is the norm, the tasting room was busy, but still plenty of room and no lines at the bar. With more than 20 beers available, I opted for a glass of Ripus Tidus, a hoppy, citrus-forward IPA. I also tried a personal favorite, the seasonal Uncle Matt’s Grapefruit Pale Ale (available in bottle, but I recommend drinking fresh from the source). Other favorites include the Hopgasmic West Coast IPA and the Papa Midnight Imperial Stout.
Next time you visit Orlando, skip the mouse, and head to Orlando Brewing.
Little Known Fact: Orlando Brewing’s beers became the first to be declared ‘Fresh from Florida’.