We try to stay positive with the things we write here at Orlando Beer Guide. But had to make an exception to our rule after we paid a visit to the old Hospitality Center and tasting room at Sea World Orlando the other day...
The free beer stopped flowing at Sea World Orlando's Hospitality Center on January 31, 2009. It was a long standing tradition at the Anheiser Busch Theme parks to provide free tastings of their beer. Busch Gardens in Tampa opened in 1959 and offered free brewery tours and samplings in the nearby brewery for 50 years. Sea World Orlando's Hospitality Center opened in 1992 and extended thirsty guests a similar courtesy by providing free "tastings" to patrons of their park.
We have fond memories of happy times we spent at Sea World Orlando's Hospitality Center so we were horrified when we stopped by recently for the first time since the beer went away! A very CiCi's like "All You Can Eat" Italian Pizza and Pasta Buffet has replaced the old Brewmasters Club. They have left behind some of the old beer equipment and decor as a grim reminder of what once was...
5/21/2012 02:02:41 am
Sea World opened in '73 I believe, not 1992.
Orlando Beer Guide
5/21/2012 09:18:59 am
You're right... The hospitality center did open in 1992 though a few years after Anheiser Busch bought the park. Sea World Orlando opened in 1973. Wow. Didn't realize it had been around that long!
5/21/2012 09:52:11 am
I remember when the new owners took over the parks and eliminated the beer samples. They said in a press release something along the lines of, "Oh, it's not that big of a part of the experience, and people won't miss it." I called bullshit on it then, and almost every time I'm in a beer line at one of the parks, someone of a certain age will mention it.
5/21/2012 12:59:37 pm
I saw this just a few minutes ago. This is such a shame. The last thing theme park tourists need is an AUCE anything - bleh! When I was an animal trainer for Sea World we would skip over for a break and enjoying "Shamu" size samples. Ah, memories.
11/22/2013 10:57:04 pm
Was planning on visiting in January but am not interested now if the free beer and Brewmasters is gone. They were the best part of the park. At least you got something for the high entrance fee!
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