When on holiday, it can often be pleasant to kick back and relax with a nice pint of local beer. With nearly 70 breweries peppering its coastline and permeating central Orlando, Florida is something of a hops hotspot, boasting a wide variety of characteristic brews and experimental flavours. Although the average holiday is not nearly enough time to sample all the delights on offer, there are a selection of breweries that regularly attract high volumes of visitors for their weird and wonderful offerings – here are our personal favourites!
Funky Buddha Brewery
Founded in Boca Raton in 2010, Funky Buddha Brewery is big on flavour, but we’re not just talking your usual, run-of-the-mill ale. Although they offer more traditional taste sensations with pints of hop-gun IPA (notes of grapefruit, honey and malt) and Floridian hefeweizen (banana, citrus and cloves), it is it’s Willy Wonka-worthy creations that really draw the most attention.
Does it get more American than a pint of maple-bacon coffee porter? Perhaps not.
How about a glass of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup brown ale? Or maybe you’d prefer some blueberry cobbler ale, flavoured with real vanilla beans? Whether you’re a staunch beer fan in need of a new adventure, or simply a big kid, it’s well worth taking home a few bottles from Funky Buddha’s madcap collection.
Miami Brewing Company
The official craft beer of the Florida Panthers ice hockey team, the Miami Brewing Company offers tours of its business seven days a week, indulging even the most ardent of ale aficionados. Named for one of Florida’s most famous creatures, its flagship brew is Gator Tail ale, a velvety-brown affair with roasted notes of coffee and chocolate. However, it’s the Big Rod coconut ale that is the perfect partner to the Florida sunshine: coconut and caramel mingling with hints of vanilla and toasted bread.
If beer is not your thing, the brewing company has a winery next door, which offers a weekend tasting tour for just $7 per person.
Due South Brewery
Situated in Boynton Beach in Southern Florida, Due South Brewery is famous in the area for its three-day Oktoberfest celebration, calling in food trucks and polka bands to complement its diverse array of ales. Top picks include the caramel cream ale, which took head brewer Mike Halker 100 tries to perfect, or the Mariana Trench imperial stout, possessing a flavour so dark it is only brewed once a year. Dedicating real diligence and time to a highly refined menu, Due South is a must-visit for those for whom brewing is an art form. Just be sure to book public transport for the way home – with strengths of up to 9.8%, these ales are best enjoyed when somebody else is driving.
For a full breakdown of all Florida breweries, a map is available at http://beerinflorida.com/florida-brewery-map-list/.