We have some exciting news for thirsty beer enthusiasts in Central Florida! Cask & Larder, Orlando's Southern inspired brewpub, will begin distributing its beers to a handful of local bars in the Winter Park area in the next few weeks. C&L plans to start off its distribution efforts on a very small scale and expand gradually from there.
On Friday, Orlando Beer Guide had an opportunity to do the following interview with Cask & Larder's Head Brewmaster Ron Raike. We talked about Cask & Larder, its beers, and future distribution in Orlando and beyond.
Orlando Beer Guide: So the last time we talked you weren't even open for business yet. What have the last nine months been like as Brewmaster for Cask & Larder?
Ron Raike: It's been a fun task to take on. As I always say, it's not a job it's more of a passion for me so it's not like work in here. It's something I really enjoy doing. I've been able to dial in a lot of things and figure out the system a little bit better as far as numbers and efficiencies go. And I think the beers are tasting better and better.
Orlando Beer Guide: I know a lot of locals were happy to hear your beers will soon be available outside the walls of your southern inspired brewpub. What exactly will your distribution consist of here in the very near future?
Ron Raike: We've partnered with Ryan Williams of Progressive Distributing and he's going to be doing our distribution in the Winter Park Area. We've got a lot of calls from places here locally and from around the state that would like to have our beer. But our goal is to mainly focus on the Winter Park area for right now.
We have always had a plan to have a functioning brewery. But first we had to get the restaurant rolling and taken care of. We had to make sure the food and beer worked and that the customers were happy. We're nine months old now so we're transitioning into the next phase which is distribution. But it's always been most important to make sure we had good beer for our customers first and then worry about getting it to other accounts after that.
We are focused on a small circle in Winter Park right now. I really feel strongly about maintaining the freshness. The smaller keg helps rotate the beer quickly so the beer will always be fresh. It's going to be very limited distribution intitially because I really want people to enjoy that fresh product.
A perfect parallel would be O'Dell Brewing out in Colorado. You can only find O'Dell's in that circle around Fort Collins. It's not a huge circle. But you know when you are in that O'Dell's freshness circle you are getting a really good product.
Orlando Beer Guide: Can you tell us a little bit about each of the beers you will be making readily available for distribution?
Ron Raike: First and foremost will be our Red Drum which is a West Coast Red Ale. It's hop forward and caramel sweet with a little dextrin character. Munich malts are used in it along with a variety of West Coast hops which give it a nice rounded citrus quality. It's dry hopped as well so you get a nice little punch to the face. It's right at 4.8% ABV so its easy drinking but its still full flavored and full bodied so you can have a couple of them without getting hurt.
Old Southern Wit is a traditional Belgian Witbier with spices and orange peel and sometimes different citrus peels and citrus zest depending on what's in season. The citrus complements the coriander and builds up a nice Florida citrusy note to the beer. I just have a big appreciation for this style of beer. For me the Wit just screams Florida. The citrus notes, the freshness, the lower alcohol, the refreshing character and lighter body just screams Florida orange juice and Florida citrus.
We will also be distributing our Broken Ladder which is an American Pale Ale. Broken Ladder is a code name for an attractive female according to the Urban Dictionary. I didn't think of that but Urban Dictionary did and I thought that was pretty funny. And we also have our Five Points IPA that we will be making available. [ Ron didn't bother to mention that both Broken Ladder and Five Points IPA won Gold Medals at the 2013 Best Florida Beer Championships in March ]
With such a small brewery it would be hard to concentrate on 4 or 5 beers for distribution. But with such a small distribution ring we can be sure people are getting the freshest beer possible.
Orlando Beer Guide: One last question. It's a tough one. If a beer geek comes in from lets say Vermont and you can only pour him one of your beers to let him know what you and Cask & Larder are all about... Which of your beers would you pour for him and why would that be?
Ron Raike: Yea. It's a tough question but an easy answer. Probably one you won't like though. I'd have to pour him one of each. Especially with the food because our beers pair up so well with the food and the food is so well thought out here. They all have a time and a place and it's all so subjective. I'd rather see what they like because maybe they aren't a Hophead or maybe they don't like corriander.
But I will say the ones I'm probably most proud of would have to be the Red Drum for the approachability and the flavor characterisics. And the Wit because it's such a great Florida beer and a lot of thought went into making the beer.
But also some of the seasonal stuff that we put together that are "one offs" or "two offs" that you won't get in three weeks. You have to get those when you can because those fruits and vegetables or herbs and spices are available for that week only and that's when you are going to get the beer. Kind of like the peach beer we just did. We used some very flavorful local peaches from DeSoto County down near Sarasota and once it's gone its gone. A fruit beer might not be for
everyone but the way this one tastes and the balance of it made for a really good drinking beer!
So I'd have to tell the guy from Vermont to try them all. It's just so subjective that you can't assign someone a favorite.
Orlando Beer Guide: How did I know you were going to say that!
* There are currently only two breweries in the Orlando area that distribute their beers. Orlando Brewing and Lagniappe Brewing (Effinheimer Beer) in Cleremont. Cask & Larder will be only the third brewery in the Orlando area that distributes.
Our friends at Jake's American Bar will be joining in on the fun of next week's celebration of American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) in Orlando. On Friday night May 17th beer form Colorado's Left Hand Brewing will be paired with the culinary creations from Jake's award winning chefs in a very special event. This will be an evening that will surely delight beer geeks and foodies alike! Jake's is located at Loew's Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios. Parking will be validated for free and Valet Parking is $5.
You can call 407 503-3200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Menu For Left Hand Brewing Beer Dinner at Jake's
Frisee and Grilled Asparagus with Butter Poached Duck Egg Yolk and Candied Bacon
(Yes, Candied Bacon!) paired with Left Hand Stranger Pale Ale
Smoked Salmon with Lemon Arugula Risotto and Spring Peas paired with Left Hand Sawtooth American ESB
Mango Ginger Sorbet paired with Left Hand Good Juju Ginger Seasonal
Roasted Pork Chop in a Fennel Pan-Jus with Fiddlehead Greens, Housemade Cheddar and Blue Cheese Tater Tots paired with Left Hand Milk Stout (we are doing something special here by serving Left Hand Milk Stout along side of Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro for a side by side comparison).
Warm Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice Cream paired with Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA
*Call 407-503-3200 or email email@example.com For Reservations
There are more Orlando events planned in honor of this year's American Craft Beer Week than ever before. It's almost worth taking a week's vacation in order to fully enjoy all of the local festivities! Here is our list of recommended events for what has become known as "The Mother of all Beer Weeks". We will hopefully be adding a few more as the information comes available to us.... Cheers!
Orlando's American Craft Beer Week Events
Monday. May 13
* Beer Flight and Chocolate pairing at Orlando Brewing
* Sam Adams Tap Takeover at Frank n Steins Downtown
* Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Tasting at Redlight Redlight 2000-2009 (9 pours)
Tuesday. May 14
* Anisocoria organic single malt barley wine tasting at Orlando Brewing
* Pinglehead Brewery Spotlight at World of Beer UCF
* Cigar City Tasting with brewery rep Lucas at Redlight Redlight
* Bell's Brewing Spotlight @ World of Beer Altamonte Springs
* 12% Brewery Spotlight at Oblivion Taproom
Wednesday. May 15
* Mini Beer School at Orlando Brewing
* Lazy Magnolia Pint Night at World of Beer Altamonte Springs
Thursday May 16
* Dogfish Head Shark Attack at all area World of Beers
* Double Trouble cask night at Orlando Brewing (I-4 IPA and O Town Brown on cask)
* Anderson Valley Tap Takeover at Frank n Steins Downtown
* Cigar City Tap Takeover (8+ Drafts) at Sonoma Draft House
* Sam Adams Tap Takeover at Redlight Redlight
Friday May 17
*. Left Hand Beer Dinner at Jake's American Bar at Loew's Royal Pacific Resort Universal
* Beer Dinner with C&S Brisket Bus at Orlando Brewing
* 7venth Sun (Florida) Tap Takeover at Redlight Redlight
Saturday May 18
* 20th Annual Florida International Beer Festival at Heritage Square Downtown
* Brewmaster Release at Orlando Brewing Diablo Rojo (West Coast Red)
* American Craft Cans Night at Redlight Redlight
Weeklong Special Events
* Hourglass Brewery will release unique beers during the week and sponsor nightly events
* Rossi's Pizza (Orange Blossom Trail) will feature beers from the Southeast all Week!
* Gnarley Barley (South Orange) will spotlight Florida Breweries each night!
* The Rogue Pub (Curry Ford Rd) will feature a different style of beer each night!
Our friends at Orlando Brewing have put together an exciting week of events to celebrate American Craft Beer Week next week. The brewery made a significant change this past year by deciding to deviate from the German Purity Laws of 1516 with its new "Violator Series". The most recent "Violator" Release was Uncle Matt's Grapefruit Pale Ale last month. Saturday May 18th will be highlighted by the latest release from Orlando Brewing's Brewmaster Series... An Imperial Red Ale dubbed Diablo Rojo!
Here are the details on next week's events taken from the Orlando Brewing Press Release....
Monday, May 13th: Beer Flight & Chocolate Pairing
Receive a taster flight of four 5oz. Orlando Brewing beers paired with handcrafted chocolates
from Chocolate Provocateur. Pairing begins @ 7pm. $10 to participate. Please
RSVP (407) 872-1117
Tuesday, May 14th: Anisocoria Tasting
Brewed in 2007, Anisocoria is the world's first certified organic single malt barley wine,
has an 18% ABV, and is limited in supply! Participate in a group tasting of
Anisocoria led by Brewery President, John Cheek. Tasters will receive a unique drinking experience and a limited edition stemmed tulip Anisocoria glass. Tasting starts
at 7PM and it cost $10 to participate.
Wednesday, May 15th: Mini Beer School
Instructed by Brewery President, John Cheek, Mini Beer School students will glean knowledge of four very different beers, learning about ingredients, flavors, aromas, and the brewing process while they taste. The tasting will be followed by a private tour of the brewery with John. Mini
Beer School begins at 7PM and will be $20 to participate. Please RSVP (407) 872-1117
Thursday, May 16th: Double Trouble Cask Night
We will be tapping not one, but two casks on this day. Beginning at 3PM our I-4 IPA and
O-Town Brown Ale will be available cask-conditioned. Our I-4 will come
unfiltered (UIF), primed with wort and aged with orange wood, while our O-Town
Brown will also be UIF and primed, it will come conditioned with Uncle Matt's
Organic blueberries. These beers are limited edition liquid joy, so make sure
to get your pint(s) while supplies last!
Friday, May 17th: Beer Dinner with C&S Brisket Bus
Beer and food pairing with our favorite food truck, C&S Brisket Bus. Pricing and menu to be determined... stay tuned for more info.
Saturday, May 18th: BrewMaster Piece Release
Come out and try our BrewMaster's latest creation...Diablo Rojo! A balanced, full bodied -
yet hoppy - west coast style Red Ale. The bitterness is derived from a schedule
that doubles our usual hopping rates. It is met with a nice malt backbone that
is complimented with a citrusy aroma from our aggressive dry-hopping.
Sunday, May 19th: BrewCrafter’s Meeting & Paws for Cause
Whether you’re a veteran homebrewer or have never brewed a batch
(but always wanted to) we’d like to invite you to join our favorite homebrewer’s
club for their monthly meeting. Located on Orlando Brewing’s premise, this
BrewCrafter’s meeting involves a community tasting, so please bring a tasting
glass and some of your own homebrew, if you’ve got it. Meeting begins at 4pm;
tasting glasses are available for purchase in the taproom.
Cause for Paws
Make a donation to Cause for Paws, an organization that provides
animal care to those with terminal illnesses, and receive Hoppy Hour prices all
day. Bring your pup by when you stop in for your brew -- we are a dog friendly
brewery and Sunday is our Dog Day!
There have been a slew of new beer bars who have opened their doors in recent years here in Orlando. We haven't quite seen anything like the new Player 1 Video Game Bar though that is set to open in Lake Buena Vista!
We spoke with one of the owners (Jeff) this evening who told us " Player 1 celebrates the history of video games". The new bar is set to feature about 30 classic arcade games, classic and modern gaming consoles, and a variety of video game tournaments. So the child of the 80's can sit and enjoy a competitive game of Astroids while the young buck competes in a Halo tournament... All of this while having acess to an extensive and respectable selection of craft beers!
We also learned that the owners are true fans of really great beer. Player 1 will feature 32 taps of craft beer. 32 taps!!! We can't say that we have every heard of a concept like this before and are looking forward to checking this out. Player 1 Video Game Bar doesn't have an official opening date yet but plan to be open sometime this month! It is located at 8562 Palm Parkway in Lake Buena Vista near Kitty O' Sheas. They plan to allow all ages early in the day but will be 21 and up after 6:00pm.
It's that time again! American Craft Beer week is set for May 13th-19th. Orlando Beer Guide is excited to let you know about all the cool beer related happenings that will be taking place in Orlando as part of this very special week. We will be posting a list of events very soon so stay tuned.... You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of an exciting event that should get mentioned.
Orlando Beer Blog
Our goal is to provide you with the latest on where to enjoy craft beer in Orlando.