On this week’s WMFE-FM segment, I chat with 90.7’s Nicole Creston about the growing number of places that offer a wide array of craft beers, many on tap. You can hear the segments at 5:45 Friday afternoons and again Saturday mornings at 9:35. Or you can listen to past podcasts right here. Here are some of the things we talk about.
Craft beers, usually defined as from a brewer who works in small batches. The trend recently has been to offer forty or more beers on tap.
The selection can be intimidating, so many of these places will offer tomes of their beers on tap — similar to a wine list — with tasting notes. The best will give guidance on how hoppy a brew is or whether the overall flavor is heavy or light.
If you want to try something new, I suggest you sit at the bar because you have a better chance of the bartender knowing the characteristics of the individual beers. If you have a favorite beer, tell the bartender what it is and he or she may be able to steer you to something new that has similar characteristics. And don’t be shy about asking of a taste of something before you commit to a pint. And if you are keen on trying a variety of beers in one visit, ask if the place offers flights, or smaller glasses than full pints or even half pints. You’ll find that many of the craft beers have higher alcohol content than what you may be used to and might sneak up on you.
Also, ask how often the lines are cleaned, and you may even inquire as to when a particular beer being offered was tapped — you don’t want to buy a beer that’s been sitting around a long time.
Some places to try:
Taps, in Winter Park Village, also serves a nice nice array of food.
Sonoma Draught House, new place in Eola District. (not yet reviewed)
Oblivion Taproom, winner of our best burger readers’ award.
Frank n’ Steins, downtown Orlando, serving hot dogs and beer.