The summer sun will likely have you reaching for a refreshing, ice-cold beer, but don’t just settle for what’s on supermarket shelves. Local breweries offer unique selections, making them ideal spots for brew crawls – whether you’re sticking to Orlando breweries for the day or planning a route across the state for a weekend-long adventure.
1. A tasty Central Florida stop is Orlando Brewing, located southwest of downtown Orlando. Take a free tour of the facility Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m. (first come, first served) then head to the bar for an organic beer, like the Orlando Weiss, a lagered wheat beer with citrus-like aromas and hints of vanilla.
2. Next, visit Cape Canaveral for a taste of Florida Beer Company’s 28 styles of ales, lagers and ciders. The tasting room always has 12 to 14 selections available at any given time. At 4 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a guided tour of the brewery comes complete with a flight of four beers and a souvenir glass.
3. Boynton Beach is home to Due South Brewing Co., where you can sip on beers like the Caramel Cream Ale, with caramel notes in dark crystal malts and a vanilla finish, or the Category 3 IPA, a special blend of American hops that maintains a balance between malty and bitter. You can also take a tour every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
4. Unconventional beers and eccentric brewing techniques have made Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery one of southern Florida’s largest breweries. Schedule a tour and enjoy flagship selections like Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, along with newer brews, in a commemorative Funky Buddha Brewery glass.
5. Live the island life at the first microbrewery in the Upper Keys. Florida Keys Brewing Company produces fun, festive beers, including local favorites like Flakeys, a light Belgian wit bier with orange zest, coriander, and local Key limes, as well as Run Aground, a medium-bodied brown ale with oatmeal to add a silky texture.
6. After two years of research and planning, Fort Myers Brewing Company opened its doors with modest aspirations. The tasting room has since grown into quite the local hangout with nearly 20 flagship and seasonal beers as well as small-batch specialties served every day but Monday.
7. Cigar City Brewing in Tampa has become a major attraction for those who appreciate and seek out excellent beer. The company highlights those strengths on its labels and in its recipes. Tour the facilities or sip a glass of the company’s well-known beers, like Jai Alai or Maduro, as a professional rolls you a cigar.
8. Back to Orlando, Dead Lizard Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in an industrial area near Southwest Orlando. While you can enjoy a glass of its Komodo “Koko” Dragon Stout, Anole Bourbon Nut Brown Ale, Key Lime Chameleon Cream-Sic-Ale or Uncle Pudgy’s Two Fisted Porter, why not have a flight and try them all?