Come for the Coasters – Stay for the Local Craft Beers
I tend to consider myself more of a wine kind of gal—beer gives me terrible college flashbacks—but with the fairly recent craft beer craze, I’ve gone back to my college ways and I occasionally indulge in a cold one.
So when my colleague Sarah told me there was a new snack cart located in Universal Studios Florida that serves four different local craft beers, I knew we had to go and check it out. We took a break from work one afternoon to brave the hot summer weather and taste test all the beers—go ahead you can be jealous.
Below are our (not so) expert opinions:
Miami Weiss Hefeweizen
Description: Traditional German-Style Hefeweizen brewed with wheat, barley and sweet orange peel. Hints of vanilla, banana and bubblegum esters.
Brewery: M.I.A. Beer Company (Miami, FL)
Alcohol by Volume: 6%
Review: If you’re unsure which of these four beers to try, definitely pick this one! Sarah and I both agreed that this was our favorite and likely the most appealing to a variety of people. It was crisp but creamy at the same time, and you could definitely taste a hint of banana (it wasn’t overwhelming though). This one is also perfect for anytime – day, night, winter, summer.
Orange Blossom Pilsner
Description: OBP, for short, is a honey beer made with real, local orange blossom honey. Not overly sweet, crisp and clean.
Brewery: Orange Blossom Brewing Company (Orlando, FL)
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%
Review: Going into this tasting, I was pretty certain that this would be my favorite. And don’t get me wrong, I really liked this one. It definitely had a crisp and refreshing taste. You could also taste a hint of orange and honey, but it wasn’t too much. If you like a safe and fruity-ish wheat beer then choose this one.
Jai Alai IPA
Description: American IPA with bold hop flavor and aroma. Intense bouquet of tangerine and candied orange peel.
Brewery: Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL)
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Review: If you like bitter and hoppy beers, this is definitely the one for you. The description states there should be citrus flavors in here, but it tasted more earthy to us. This one was more amber in color, while the first two were golden in color. If you like a sharp and hoppy beer, definitely go for this one.
Deep Roots Amber Ale
Description: Refreshing hybrid of German and American Styles. Aromas of crusty baked bread and balanced hop bitterness.
Brewery: Red Cypress Brewery (Winter Springs, FL)
Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
Review: This one really threw me for a loop! After reading the description and seeing the dark amber/brown color I thought I definitely wouldn’t like it. BUT, for me, this tied with Miami Weiss Hefeweizen for first place. It was smooth and creamy with a kick of sweetness – apparently that’s malt, but don’t let that word scare you like it did me. I still prefer the Miami Weiss ever so slightly because it’s more refreshing—and in the Florida heat you NEED refreshing. But in the cooler months, I’ll definitely be ordering Deep Roots. Sarah felt it was a little too rich for her summer-centric tastes, so your mileage may vary.
There you have it, I’ve tried our all four beers for you—you’re welcome! Next time you visit Universal Studios Florida, check out the snack cart located in the New York area right in front of Starbucks and try a local craft beer.
Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below!
Must be 21 years of age or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages at Universal Orlando Resort.