This Saturday, Beer Geeks from near and far will travel to Orlando's Redlight Red Light for Zwanze Day 2012. Our friends at Redlight sent us the following when we asked about this Saturday's globally recognized festivities.
"Redlight Redlight is honored to be one of only 34 bars worldwide to host Cantillon’s Zwanze Day on Saturday, December 1, an event so exciting that for lambic lovers it’s like Christmas, Easter, and the Super Bowl wrapped up together in one beautiful night. This year’s Zwanze ale is a lambic aged with rhubarb, but we will also be tapping a keg of Cantillon Fou’ Foune, which is a lambic aged with apricot, and if these godly nectars aren’t enough, we will be releasing the first ever bottles of Patte de Singe, a saison with tamarind, sage, and Cantillon yeast, brewed as a collaboration between St.Somewhere in Tarpon Springs and our very own Brent Hernandez. If of all that isn’t reason enough to join us on Saturday, we will be pouring glasses of select Cantillon features from the bottle and tapping some of Shelton Brothers’ finest imported winter and Christmas ales."
Long considered one of the finest producers of sour ale on the planet, Cantillon’s Zwanze Day only comes once a year, and unlike Christmas, it doesn’t happen everywhere, so purchase a ticket for a glass of either the Zwanze or Fou’ Foune in advance to make sure that you don’t miss out
on these very rare and highly sought after beers. Tickets are on sale at Redlight Redlight now and
will be available on Saturday if we don’t sell out before hand. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Zwanze day to Orlando’s amazing beer community and can’t wait to celebrate it with all of you."
Orlando Beer Guide friend Jj was lucky enough to visit the Cantillon brewery a few years back and was nice enough to share some of his pictures seen below. Thanks Jj!
When one hears the words “American Bar” your expectations of the same familiar scene will most likely follow; Tacky sports memorabilia, scantly clad waitresses, mediocre wings, and that popular vinyl banner of Peyton Manning waving his football like a goofy seductress.
That wasn’t the case this past Wednesday at Jake’s American Bar in the Lowes Royal Pacific Resort. In fact, it couldn’t have been farther. I knew we were going to be in for a treat the moment we stepped in. The atmosphere of Jakes is nothing like your run-of-the mill dive, rather something straight out of an Elvis movie, “Paradise, Hawaiian style” to be punctilious. Keeping in tradition to classic island themes with an aeronautic touch- Jake’s style really charms the heart. Which made the reason for our visit so fitting.
Jake’s along with Kona beers had a fantastic experience awaiting us. (And for those of you who have been living in a box since 1994) Kona is good beer. Really good beer. Originating on the Big Island of Hawaii, this father and son brewery has been rapidly making a name in the craft brew scene, and is now considered one of the most recognized hand crafted breweries in the nation.
The chef’s at Jake’s had prepared a fantastic four course dinner with each course specifically designed to pair with one of Kona’s delicious brews. “Beer has been around a long time, and with engagements like these, people will start to realize that beer will pair with food… perhaps better than wine” says Jake’s bar manager Andy Kuritz.
As a testament for what was to ensue; the chef’s brought us our first tasting of an appetizer of homemade pretzel breadsticks covered in pulled pork, Jalapeño cheddar cheese and a curtsey of mustard on top. A wonderfully simple finger food. I could have eaten 500 of these!
But alas, on to our main event.
The first course of the evening was Tuna Tartare, Baby Organic Greens, Salmon Caviar, Herb Tuile. Paired with Kona’s most popular beer Kona Longboard Larer. The Longboard Lager is a malt forward beer and is actually Kona’s most difficult beer to brew. The chef’s pairing of this beer couldn’t have been more superb. A perfect compliment to a delicious seafood dish. It was
as if the Tuna fish has evolved millions of years only to be enjoyed with a Longboard Lager.
The second course was the Balsamic Duck Confit, Garlic-Thyme Orzo, Roasted Watermelon Radish, Balsamic Fig-Jus. Paired beautifully with the Kona Big Wave American Ale. Talk about
an explosion of flavor. Though simple in presentation, it was very complex in taste. Duck usually has a gameness to it that cannot be thwarted, until now… Who knew the cure would be beer? Kona’s Big Wave is a hop friendly brew. Brewed with Citra-hops and Galaxy hops, this beer is perfect for accentuating the sweet and savory. The Fig-Jus sweetness alongside the Orzo and duck’s savor proved to be yet another perfect combination. This is when I realized that these masters of their craft had done their homework.
The third course was probably the most anticipated of the evening. Marinated Angus Beef, Scallop Potato, Asparagus-Parsnip Mousseline, Pipeline Porter Demi-Glace. Paired with Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale. After the chef’s explanation of how they poach their meat and the fact that the demi-glace was made from the Kona’s Pipeline Porter, I was jumping with impatience like a kid in a candy store. I got my candy…and then some. Anytime I think of beer and steak I think IPA or
amber. The beauty of Kona Fire Rock is that, it’s both. A perfectly blended balance of the two creates a wonderful drink. Drinking the beer along with a good steak makes you feel like your flowing down the Kilawea Caldera. (The Active Volcano in which Fire Rock is named after) right into the Pacific.
Our Final course was a delicious Dark Chocolate, Mocha Coffee Cream Pie, Graham Cracker Crust. Paired with Kona Pipeline Porter. Another perfect pairing. Normally I would prefer a
glass of milk over beer with any sort of dessert…however, when a brewery uses nine different malts and a half a pound a Kona coffee to brew their Porter, my preference could be easily outweighed. (And for those of you who have never had the pleasure of tasting Kona coffee on the Islands of Hawaii, It is easily the best on the planet). A simple and effective pairing of the two made the nights standings 4 for 4.
The chef’s unbelievable palate alongside an amazing brewery made this Beer Dinner pairing a Grand Slam. I had the privilege of sitting down at the end of the night with Kurt Uhde. (A marketing liaison for Kona.)“Florida is a hotbed for our beer” he says. “Florida isn’t too far off from Hawaii. great weather year round, great beaches, why not have great beer?
Florida is still a yellow beer state, but with places like Jake’s American Bar and breweries like
KONA that will all soon change.
I know we aren't a cooking and baking website but I had to share this anyway. We had all intentions of making Pumpkin Ale Muffins yesterday but we didn't have enough pumpkin ale left to spare for the recipe. So we substituted a bottle of Lazy Magnolia Pecan Nut Brown Ale instead. The finished product was incredibly moist and delicious so don't be freaked out by the 12 ounces of beer that is added. The donut tins we used are simply muffin tins that are shaped like donuts. These little devils are sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering. Cheers!
1 bottle Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine the beer, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add in sour cream, mix until all is used up.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, flour, pie spice, baking soda, and optional chopped pecans.
4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
5. Evenly spread the batter amongst muffin or donut pans.
6. Bake 25 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack. Cool completely before turning out of the tins.
7. (Optional) Frost with icing of your choice
Beer Dinner at Cafe Tu Tu Tango
By Teege Braune
Most of the Orlando residents I know avoid International Drive. Bumper to bumper traffic; mediocre, chain restaurants; and dead-eyed, potentially cannibalistic vacationers are among the various annoyances and dangers one may find in Orlando’s worst tourist trap outside of the Disney complex. If there is one reason to brave the fourteen and a half mile stretch of kitschy wasteland, it’s the tapas-style eatery Tu Tu Tango. Though their reasonably priced, small plate menu and solid craft beer selection are available every evening, their NFL inspired beer dinner Wednesday night sent my friend John and I down I-4, straight into the heart of darkness.
Now football, beer, and artery-clogging, American grub have a long history together. For those of us like John and me who aren’t exactly super fans, sports merely provide an excuse to eat food we might otherwise be forced to avoid. My girlfriend’s a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian, but I do enjoy the taste of a potential heart attack. So I guess the idea was that Tu Tu Tango’s managers all picked a beer that came from the same region of the country as their favorite NFL team, and then those beers were paired with gourmet dishes inspired by typical sports bar fare. Other than the jerseys worn by some of the servers, that seemed to be as far as the football theme was explored, but that didn’t bother John or me because we were more interested in craft beer and Chef Tiffany’s heart stopping creations.
While the parking lot was pretty packed, I found Tu Tu Tango much less crowded than I had in the past. I don’t know if it was the new design that does much to open up the interior of the restaurant without sacrificing the vibrant, artistic atmosphere, or they were just slow for a weekday night, but John and I were seated right away and our first round of beer was brought out immediately. We began our libations with Victory Headwaters Pale Ale, which was intended to be paired with the first course, but despite the fact that the hops were beginning to get a little tired as though the restaurant or perhaps the distributor had been sitting on the beer too long, John and I were feeling particularly thirsty and finished our glasses off before the food arrived. I’m glad we did because our server quickly brought us out another round. Fortunately, it tasted much fresher than the latter. With that little glitch out of the way, the rest of the night proved to be a great success.
Less formal than some other beer dinners I’ve attended, courses were delivered efficiently though ample time was provided for us to savor each dish. While it’s fun to hear from brewers and reps, this dinner wasn’t set up that way, so John and I amused ourselves gossiping like a couple of teenage girls about friends and acquaintances as food and drink was continually laid before us. Each course delighted us as much as the last, so we slowly filled our bellies and blood streams with a meal too good to be healthy and a hell of a deal at thirty dollars a person.
What football themed night would be complete without wings, even if they’re legs? Our first dish was chicken wings, smoked, citrus seared, and marinated in an excellent soy-mirin barbecue sauce. They paired nicely with the aforementioned Headwaters Pale Ale, the refreshing, subdued hoppiness of which complimented but did not overpower the mild but tasty wings that were actually legs.
Though slightly phallic in appearance, the combination of succulent sausage, caramelized onions and peppers, and light flaky phylo made for a delightful second course. The intense bitter hoppiness of Highland’s Kashmir IPA was a perfect pairing to the spicy house-made sausage and smoked grain mustard.
John and I both agreed that this was our favorite course of the night. Slices of apple and melt-in-your-mouth hunks of pulled pork stewed together was an unexpected but fantastic combination. I even ate my entire sourdough bread bowl as it had soaked up the delicious broth. While Shipyard’s Old Thumper has never been my favorite beer, its mild maltiness proved refreshing enough to wash down a dish that didn’t require any help in enhancing its flavor.
Each slider was an unique experience all its own. The sloppy joe was a satisfying if familiar version of the American classic. The mint yogurt sauce and Chinese steamed bun of the Chicken Tikka brought the light but flavorful sandwich to life. I saved the totally decadent pork belly for last,
wisely guessing that it would be the most exciting of the three. Long a fan of that fattiest of cuts, slapping the pork belly on a pretzel bun was a wonderful choice and a new experience for me. The sandwiches were probably too diverse to pick a single beer to pair with each, but when in doubt, it is hard to fail with Cigar City Brewing. Located in Tampa Bay, CCB is hands down the most exciting brewery in Florida and in the running for one of the best breweries in the nation. Their lightly roasty Maduro Brown Ale goes with just about anything, so why not serve it with three tasty, little sandwiches.
Dessert, as is often the case at these things, did not blow me away. While I’ll never complain about a tiny ice cream cone, the dry graham cracker was not balanced properly with the chocolate and marshmallow. Nevertheless, it satisfied my sweet tooth after an otherwise fantastic meal and paired well with the equally sweet and rich Oskar Blues Old Chub, America’s standard example of the traditional Scottish style.
Both the manager Troy and Tu Tu Tango’s head chef Tiffany were nice enough to come by our table to say hello and chat about beer and food with us for a few minutes. Already experiencing that warm feeling that comes from drinking excellent craft beer, John and I were too full to stay out late and continue imbibing as we had originally planned, so we made our way back to our
respective houses in the part of Orlando we think of as “real” and“tolerable.” All facetiousness aside, it was fun to step outside of familiar territory and play the tourist if only for the evening. If it means eating as well as John and I did on Wednesday night, we might start doing it more often.
I had a dream a while back that Church Street Station was filled with nothing but really cool beer bars and the old place was once again a cool spot to be. Maybe Eternal Tap is the first step toward making Church Street a bustling hive of coolness once again. I was invited to stop by and check out the space the other day by owners Jeremy and Amanda Roberts and was very impressed by what I saw!
I was really floored by the size of this place. There are also some very cool things that Eternal Tap has to offer that will help them carve a niche into the expanding Orlando Craft Beer scene. First, they serve food. ET prides itself on having a menu that is simple, delicious and fresh. Hand tossed pizzas, huge salads topped with sliced deli meat and fresh baked cookies for dessert!
Eternal Tap will also have a full liquor bar with an emphasis placed on high quality small batch liquors as well as local craft liquors. As far as we know, this is the only place in town that will have 45 craft beers on tap, liquor, and food. ET's beer selection will feature as many beers from the local Florida Craft Beer Scene as possible! Eternal tap will also have 2 separate bars.
I wasn't aware that there are actually basements in the fine city of Orlando but there is definitely one here! This is what really makes Eternal tap unique. Downstairs will be home to a Speakeasy themed bar that will have a some specialty liquors and more limited released craft beers. Not sure if there is a secret knock or a password to get in. If there is, we'll try to find out that information and pass it on to you as soon as possible!
I was most excited about this Speakeasy Bar downstairs. It was previously used as a wine cellar and Jeremy felt like it was a massive waste of space so he decided to turn it into another bar. I have never seen a bar like this in Orlando and I'm looking forward to having a beer down there!
Eternal Tap has not announced an official opening date yet but it is expected to be very soon! It is located in Church Street Station pretty much directly across the street from what used to be Bliss right near the railroad tracks. ET will be open for lunch daily with buy one get one personal pizzas. Happy Hour will be from 3:00-8:00pm daily!
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