There has been a lot of talk about the highly anticipated arrival of Sweetwater Brewing's beers here in Orlando over the last several months. So I was pumped to be invited out to Oblivion Taproom this week to talk with Sweetwater's Minister of Propaganda and Head of Marketing Steve Farace. He was nice enough to buy me a couple of beers and share a few laughs as we talked about Sweetwater Brewing, its beers, and Orlando.
Orlando Beer Guide: So just out of curiosity, how did Sweetwater get its name?
Sweetwater Steve: The brewery actually got its name from Sweetwater Creek State Park which is off the next exit west past the brewery in Atlanta. Some guys had told Freddy when he was building the brewery that he could go kayaking down Sweetwater Creek. So he went out there to go check it out because he was kicking around some obvious names. You know, "Georgia This" or "Peachtree Something". After he went out there he decided on Sweetwater and it's just been a great thing.
Orlando Beer Guide: Very cool! It was recently announced that Sweetwater has decided to go with City Beverages here in Orlando as its distributor. I can imagine that a lot of time and thought goes into making a decision like that. Can you tell us a little bit about your decision to go with City Bev?
Sweetwater Steve: A lot of thought and a lot of research. We spent a lot of time going out and talking to people here in Orlando. For us, the relationships that the distributor has with the retailers is what is most important when choosing a distributor. We felt that City was the best fit for us based on the conversations we had with folks here locally and by getting out there and seeing what was going on for ourselves.
Orlando Beer Guide: The word is that you will be releasing your 420, IPA, and Blue here in Orlando. You guys make a lot of other really good beer as well. Will we be getting any of your seasonal or small batch releases here locally?
Sweetwater Steve: Yea. out of the gate its going to be 420 draft and IPA and Blue in bottles in your package stores, grocery stores, and specialty craft beer stores. Next we'll bring the IPA draft down in maybe 60 or 90 days. Then will start bringing down some of that variety stuff. We'll bring down some seasonals and our Tackle Box variety 12 pack and the Tackle box includes seasonals.
Now that we have our bigger brewhouse we will be able to offer more of our seasonal and specialty beers from our Dank Tank series to more markets than we have in the past. For us, its not about how many new towns can we open. Its about being able to get more of our beer to the towns that we are in.
Orlando Beer Guide: So I know you guys are down here this week to help kickoff and celebrate Sweetwater's arrival in Orlando. What do you think of our town?
Sweetwater Steve: I think that Orlando has a ton more depth than people realize. I haven't spent much time here before but we got to ride around the past couple days and see some of the neighborhoods and local bars like Belle Isle Yacht Pub and Oblivion Taproom. There are definitely a lot of cool neighborhoods and a craft beer community here that probably a lot of people don't realize if they just come here and go to Disney World and leave.
Orlando Beer Guide: Thanks for the 420's Steve. Give us a shout next time you are in Orlando!
Orlando Beer Blog
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