Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Orlando Is Attracting Fans of Craft Beer

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Orlando Is Attracting Fans of Craft Beer

Article excerpt

Orlando, home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other tourist attractions, is getting a reputation for its growing craft beer scene.

Craft beer is usually not what comes to mind when thinking about Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios or another splashy theme park, yes, but not beer. Today, however, the landlocked city is getting a reputation for its growing craft beer scene. In the past few years, locals in the Orlando area have opened bars offering a wide selection of beers from small producers, and some are even opening spots that serve ales brewed in house.

The Florida Brewers Guild, a nonprofit association, said there are now 20 to 25 breweries and craft beer bars in the Orlando area compared with fewer than 10 five years ago.

The roots of the growing culture date from the opening of beer- centric bars like Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour (2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando; 407-893-9832; redlightredlightbeerparlour.com). This casual and large bar, housed in an industrial-looking space, was a novelty when it opened in 2005. It has a menu of 26 rotating drafts, as well as 300 bottles from small producers around the world. It also has more than 50 varieties of sour wild beers from countries including Switzerland, Italy and Belgium. Another spot spearheading the movement is Milk Bar (2424 East Robinson Street, Orlando; 407- 715-2138; themilkbarorlando.com), which is about a 10-minute drive away. A local restaurateur, Bret Ashman, opened the space, named after the milk factory across the street, because of his longtime passion for smaller niche brands. The menu at the three-year-old bar has 90 options, and there are two 42-inch televisions connected to Xbox and Sega gaming systems that customers are encouraged to use. "We're trying to be a user-friendly version of your best guy friend's house," Mr. Ashman said.

But the interest in beer has become even more specialized with establishments selling varieties crafted on site like the year-old Cask & Larder (565 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park; 321-280- 4200; caskandlarder. …

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