Orlando Beer Festival returns with seltzer, spirits and brews galore

click to enlarge Orlando Beer Festival, Nov 12 - photo courtesy Orlando Beer Festival
photo courtesy Orlando Beer Festival
Orlando Beer Festival, Nov 12

For suds, buds, and all the sips under the sun, Orlando Beer Festival will pour once again at Festival Park at 2PM on Saturday, November 12. That’s noon if you’re VIP, and 1PM if you’re GA+, because for many of us, three hours of all-you-can-drink beer just isn’t nearly enough.

After taking an obligatory COVID year, the City Beautiful came back thirstier than ever in 2021—and in record numbers—for Orlando’s largest sudsy shindig. This year, we’ve assembled a bevy of beers and other boozy beverages to float another fest in the heart of the Milk District. Fifty breweries (plus distilleries, wineries, and hard seltzer and canned cocktail companies) will be pouring 200 different beverages for all-day sampling. And there’s so much more that makes this Central Florida’s premier fall festival, even if beer isn’t your poison.

Come early to grab lunch at the Tasty Takeover Food Truck Zone. GA and GA+ will be admitted into this zone an hour prior to their official festival entry time, giving plenty of time to enjoy Hot Asian Buns, Supreme Wings, The Knot, EastSide Barbecue and more without cutting into festival time. And rock out at the Hard Rock Main Stage with live music from the Tom O’Keef Trio, Wilted Chilis, and DJ ET.

Once again, Orlando Beer Festival is going to be as doggo-friendly as ever, complete with the Pups Pub Dog Zone for all the very good boys and girls, including the return of the Swift Paws Lure Course. For us two-legged folks, there’s the Game Zone—giant beer pong, inflatable Twister, carnival games, and, well, you get the picture.

Worried you’ll miss college football? Don’t! You can grab a seat on the comfy couch in the Advance Air Conditioning Chill Zone and take in games all day on the Jumbotron. If shopping is more your speed, check out the marketplace, featuring a schoolbus “boutique” full of clothing from Canyon Couture, Goldies Little Shop, Tiny Bois, and a dozen other local artists and vendors.

If you’re a VIP, the super stylish, slim-fitting black limited edition OFB ’22 T-shirt will await you in the Publix VIP Zone. (For everyone else, stop by the Cryos tent for your chance to score one.) Also, don’t miss the Firefly 360 Cam and other wall-worthy Instagrammable moments from Walls of Pho Hoa, Milk District, Van Cam, and 321 Flower Walls. Your friends, fans, and followers will be green with #OBF22 #FOMO.

Amid all this fun stuff to do, don’t forget the sampling! In addition to all the beer, there will be more than a dozen other beverages, including hard seltzers, ciders, hard lemonade, wine, spirits, and ready-to-drink cocktails. As is OBF tradition, VIPs will also be sipping on a special cocktail from Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

But don’t let all these “and more”s fool you. Orlando Beer Festival is Central Florida’s largest beer tasting event, with more local, regional, and national breweries in one location than any other time of year. In 2022, the trend of creative flavor infusions continues with brews like Salty Llama Brewing’s Coconut Vanilla Brown Ale, Dead Lizard’s Key Lime Cream Sic-Ale, Big Storm’s Bromosa Tangerine, and Motorworks’ Pulp Fiction Grapefruit IPA. If fruit-flavored brews are not your thing, there will be plenty of well-crafted, more traditional ales and IPAs from the likes of Tampa Brewing Company, Wicked Weed, Crooked Can, and Ivanhoe Brewing. From piney pale ales and refreshingly hazy IPAs to malty lagers and crisp craft pilsners, you’re sure to discover some palate-pleasers, quite likely from a brewery you’ve never experienced until now.

Not only does the festival serve as discovery grounds for new brews, it also provides an annual gathering point for friends around the region who appreciate beer and local breweries. “There is a community of local beer enthusiasts who stay connected via social media because they live in different parts of town and don’t cross paths too often,” says Broken Strings Brewery owner and head brewer Charles Frizzell. “Orlando Beer Festival gives those people a chance to meet up, see each other, compare notes, and just enjoy the company of those who share their passion for beer and local breweries.” Frizzell has been part of the planning of Orlando Beer Festival since its inception in 2015, and continues to partner with Orlando Beer Festival each year, brewing the official beer of the festival. This year, Frizzell and Broken Strings Brewery have turned out a refreshing sour ale called Orange Soda Sour (think Orange Crush in a beer!), which will be poured exclusively in the VIP section at the festival and at OBF promotions leading up the event.

“We want to get more breweries involved, especially the ones that have opened since COVID,” Frizzell says. “The brewer community needs to make sure we’re out front so people realize there’s a lot of great craft breweries to visit while you’re in Orlando—getting the word out to the people who are visiting here, who live here and are moving here.” We think Orlando Beer Festival is a great way to do this!

And don’t forget to vote! Yes, the general election will be over by the time Orlando Beer Festival happens, but there are coveted OBF prizes to be won by brewers. So grab your coin at the Orlando Weekly tent and toss it in the fishbowl of the booth that should take home some cash and bragging rights.

For more info and to purchase your Orlando Beer Festival tickets and adorable sampling cup, visit Orlando Beer Festival's website..

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