Central Florida Ale Trail 2.0

Once again, we’re on the trail for ale.  The goal is #9, #14 and #2 on a sunday afternoon.  Man!  My husband is so glad that Adrienne got me drinking craft beers.  Amber, IPA, Imperial, growler, bomber, hoppy, malty – I can almost ‘talk’ the craft beer lingo.  🙂

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Seems like hitting 3 breweries in an afternoon is a good plan.  Any more than that and it all tastes the same, at least to me.   The Hourglass Brewery had options for food, so that was the driving goal for our first stop, heading towards Longwood.

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Actually, it’s not the brewery that has food, but the adjoining taco bar – Wako Taco. They’re in the same strip mall and the wall between the two establishments is open, making for easy ordering – smart from both sides.

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We got several types of tacos, some ‘naked’ and others fully loaded.  The pork was my favorite, but we also tried the carne asada.  The inside lighting turned the food and blue corn chips a funky color, but regardless, we still ate them.

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Well, there’s just a little problem for me………I don’t like the taste of cilantro.  So while the photo doesn’t show a lot of this herb, I taste it in everything, and I do mean everything, including the guacamole.  😦  Internet research says that “Most people perceive the herb as a tart, lemon/lime taste”.  Not me.  Approximately 10% of the population has a genetic olfactory-receptor that is sensitive to the chemical and I guess I got that receptor.  One bright spot, Eric picked up a few different types of salsa for our chips and there was a very tasty fruity (guava) salsa that I loved.  As you can see below, they have quite a few things going on, but no where do I see the 8 letter word – cilantro.

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Beer!  Okay, back to the reason for the journey. I got a brown ale that I really enjoyed.  Something minor that I really, really enjoyed……………the 5 oz pour.  This is perfect for me since I turned into the designated driver later in the afternoon – a baby beer.

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While the taps aren’t readable, I included the shot because of the droid.  Around the 240 seat taproom, nostalgic remembrances and geek culture abound.  I would guess that every time you stop by, you could find something you missed before.

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Their history………founded in 2012 in a small building behind a massage parlor, it was the dream of two friends.  Their aim was to make ‘world class’ beer, utilizing the best of local and exotic ingredients from across the globe.  they create a lot of unusual and ‘ancient’ beers.  Eric had a german beer that was common 300+ years ago.

 

Second stop was the Red Cypress Brewery in Winter Springs.

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Again, love a brewery that has a small pour – just saying.

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At this brewery, every decision is guided by ‘Is it going to make our beer better?’.  They are proud that the founding members and management comprise natives from Central Florida and UCF alumni – way cool.  They opened their doors in October of 2015 and pay homage to Florida oddities when branding their beer.  We had to explain to Adrienne what ‘Spook Hill’ was (besides one of their beers).  If you don’t know, google it.

They can their beers and continue to distribute across Florida and recently expanded to the Southeast states.

Eric tried an intriguing beer that all 3 of us agreed would be great as dessert.  Then we thought, why not!

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After our ale trail adventure, we headed to the Darden house for dinner, more on that at the bottom.  Our thought was to substitute the liquid in the brownie mix with the beer and create a syrup by concentrating the beer on a back burner.  What an incredible idea and………………absolutely delicious!  But I digress.  Back to the beer.

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Our third and last stop was Bowigens Beer Company in Casselberry, FL.  It’s a small brewery with a limited number of good beers.

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Bowigens began when two long time friends met while playing in bands around Orlando and eventually decided to stop traveling, break away from the music scene and dive into a new adventure – crafting beer!  Now I understand the graphics and items on the wall, kind of.

They had a huge wall labeled ‘What’s on Tap’.  It showcased what they currently had available and the other side (not shown) what will be released soon.

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Throughout the afternoon, Adrienne was able to add 3 growlers to her growing collection.  I’m being selective in my purchases, staying to the tasting glasses when I find a beer I really love.

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So that dessert pictured up at the top of the posting, it was accompanied by jalapeno-cheese grits, smothered green beans and Adrienne’s fried fish (trout) – caught a few weeks ago.

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While normally I’m all about the scavenger hunt, pacing ourselves to enjoy the breweries and having a (relaxed) plan is a lot of fun – who knew.  We’ll intersperse the ale trail visits between our other adventures.

 

Ginny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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