The Great Orlando Beer Festival

Man, I love beer. I can’t drink a lot of it in one sitting, but beer is what I choose to drink at a bar, and the bars I choose to drink at tend to have good beer. If they don’t, well, then I guess I’m drinking water.

So, imagine my excitement when I found out that on this Saturday, the first annual Great Orlando Beer Festival will be happening from 2 pm until 7 pm downtown in the lot for the Club at Firestone. At $25 a ticket for advance tickets, it’s not cheap, but there will be unlimited beer samples. UNLIMITED! Okay, really the limit is what you can intake which, in my case, might be around the $25 mark. Judging by the list of breweries participating at the event, it’ll be money well-spent. Flying Dog Brewery, for example, puts out excellent beer I’m well-acquainted with from bringing it over to friends’ houses. Our very own Orlando Brewing will also be involved, as well as Red Hook, Lagunitas, Otter Creek Brewing, Rogue and more. Food will be available for purchase, as well as a live band, but really, it’s all about the beer.

Sadly, I’ve asked around and it looks like a handful of my best beer-lovin’ friends will be working. If you’re lucky enough not to fall into that category, it’s $35 to enter the day of the event and $25 if you buy early, so if you think you’d like to attend, get your tickets Friday and save yourself ten bucks. If you’re the designated driver, you get in for $10, and can get free non-alcoholic beverages. You can buy the tickets online, or you can visit one of three locations where they will be selling tickets for the festival:

  • Redlight Redlight – 535 W. New England Avenue, Winter Park (near Park Avenue)
  • Underground Bluz – 12261 University Boulevard, Orlando (near UCF)
  • Orlando Brewing – 1301 Atlanta Avenue, Orlando (near AMTRAK station)

If you’re seriously broke, but still want a piece of the action, you may still be able to volunteer to work at the festival. Some free schwag, like a t-shirt, may be your reward. If you happen to be pouring a beer for me, I don’t like that much head on mine, thanks.

For directions to this wonderful brouhaha (or… brewhaha?!), you can click here for a Mapquest map and some written directions, or simply GoogleMap “42 West Concord Street, Orlando 32801,” which can give you a good idea of the what and the where. Also, the website says you can park in the Courthouse parking lot, but there’s also parking on the street along Orange Avenue and along some of its side streets. The metered parking is waived during the weekends, unless there’s been a change in policy, so you should be good to go.

Otter Creek BrewingThe event is meant to be “a celebration of craft beers,” which is a fantastic way to get people introduced to microbreweries across this great country, as well as a handful of popular tasty beers that people enjoy, such as Guinness and Blue Moon. A portion of the proceeds are earmarked to help out our local Habitat for Humanity, which goes to show: drinking good beer leads to good things.

You can ruminate on what drinking bad beer will get you on your own.

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