Orlando may not be top of mind when you think of cities with a bustling craft beer scene, but the growth over the past five years is undeniable. The City Beautiful is brewing up more local beer than ever before with breweries that focus on showcasing local talent on tap while offering beers from around the state. Better still are the thirst-quenching taprooms with food for a fuller experience.
A La Cart
While this hot spot in Orlando’s Milk District is not a brewery, it focuses on having beers from all over Florida and other regions on their 15 rotating taps. What makes this spot unique is that it has four to five dedicated food trucks on-site at all times, so you don’t have to look elsewhere for delicious local eats. You can hang out in the open-air bar, or under an umbrella on the lawn. The bar also regularly hosts beer dinners with craft beer from all over the Sunshine State that are then paired with a five-course menu. It’s the perfect blend for a foodie and beer lover adventure.
Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge
Heading North in Sanford, you have your pick of local craft beer spots, but Tuffy’s is known for brewing local cider. While other local brews are on tap along with a small but mighty cocktail list, it is one of the few local places that focuses solely on making its own craft cider. While no food is available here, you will still want to stay awhile as there is a game room with a wall of flat screens and comfy chairs, and group games like darts and table shuffleboard. The back patio is spacious and offers fun and quirky seating areas, including inside an open vintage trailer and a reconstructed pontoon boat. A unique spot perfect for a day of “Sanfording.”
Clermont Brewing Company
Not all the action is happening in Orlando. If you drive out to the west side, you’ll find great brewery options in Clermont, including its own brewing company. It may feel more like a restaurant than a brewery because it is. You get the best of both worlds here complete with tv’s for the game of the day, and a large back patio make this a neighborhood favorite.
Sideward is one of the newer breweries in town, also located in the growing Milk District. The three owners, Mandy, Austin and Garrett, combined their expertise to open not just the brewery but an in-house kitchen as well. During each visit, you can sober yourself up with their house made shareable items. On the weekend, add this spot into your brunch rotation. With a killer breakfast burrito, sandwiches and even Nitro coffee on tap, you get a full experience here.
Crooked Can Brewing
Winter Garden’s downtown scene has never been more bustling thanks to the Plant Street Market and its popular craft brewery, Crooked Can. With over a dozen locally made brews from IPAs to hefeweizen, you are sure to find a drink you love. With an expansive patio, weekend entertainment and the rest of the market steps away with several food vendors, this is a full dining out experience. If you want to get closer to the action, you can sign up for a brewery tour and watch the hoppy magic.