Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Orlando's Real Magic: Beer!

On a recent trip to Orlando for a wedding, I found myself wondering what kind of beer can be found outside the Magic Kingdom. After a few wrong turns and a pit stop at a Chic-fil-a, I was in beer nirvana.

Knightly Spirits on South Orange Blossom Trail is definitely a theme park for beer fans. There are a few locations, but the aforementioned location is the beer Mecca. I haven’t seen a selection of bombers (pictured left) this big in any store, anywhere. Local labels for sale are Cigar City and Saint Anywhere.  There is also a good selection of Dogfish Head, Smutty Nose, Heavy Seas, to name a few.

Bottles from around the world included a couple different Polish porters, a Norwegian Sahti and a healthy dose of Belgium offerings.  Their 12 oz selection is equally superb. I picked up Bell’s Batch 10,000 ale.

When driving there, if you do not have a Florida Sun Pass, make sure to avoid the toll roads.

The person who answered my questions at Knightly Spirits recommended Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour to me, but I was unable to go.

After my visit to Knightly Spirits, I was thirsty, so on a recommendation from a colleague, I went to Orlando Brewing to sample their offerings in their taproom. Driving up to the brewery, I was skeptical I was in the right place at first, as it was in a pretty industrial area.

The taproom was large and welcoming. I ordered the 8 beer sampler plus one extra so I could try the stout. Since I am not a beer reviewer, I will leave the reviews for others. I really liked the dry porter and English pale ale. This is a great place to sample many different kinds of beers at one time. You can compare a pale ale, red ale, brown ale, and European Pilsner all at once.

They offer free tours at 6pm most evenings, but check with them to verify.


  1. Big C liquors is another gem here in Orlando. It's on the east side of town off of University and Goldenrod (7600 University Blvd). Plus you can't forget about Total Wine on Colonial (2712 East Colonial Drive). Between these 3 places, you should have no trouble finding a great beer here in Orlando that's suitable for your pallet.

  2. Great, I will check out Big C my next trip down. We have a couple Total Wines in the D.C area that usually can't go wrong.
    Of course my first order of business will be to go back to 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park, I loved that place!


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