A Brewery Visit to Escape Brewing Company in Trinity Florida

Took a drive to the west coast to enjoy the beach and some breweries. Bryan and I started out our afternoon at Marker 48 and were making our way down to Tampa from there. We were going to swing over to Tarpon Springs, but our beer buds over at Marker 48 said we had to swing by Escape Brewing, so we did as we are told!

It was a nice 40-minute drive south on the Suncoast Parkway. The brewery isn't too far down from the Parkway. There seems to be a lot of new growth in the area. I'm sure the locals are happy to have a brewery like this to visit.
Escape Brewing tap menu
Try a few and get a flight

We bellied up to the bar and took a look at the beer menu. Escape Brewing is a nano brewery with 3bbl system. They had a good variety of beers to pick from.

While I was waiting for my flight I took in the tasting room. The brewing has a warmth about it with the brick walls and the soft lighting. There is a lot of natural light coming in through the glass windows as well.
Escape Brewing Tasting Room
Nice to chill enjoy the beer

I had them pick out my beer flight. I got a saison, pale ale, brown ale & an IPA. Bryan went with their Russian Imperial Stout. My favorites were the saison & the stout. The saison was one of my favorite beers of the weekend. 
Beer Flight at Escape Brewing
Colors of the beer rainbow

Bryan and I enjoyed hanging out here. They had a nice playlist perfect for a relaxing on a Friday night. The beers are good and the service was engaging and friendly, they even told us about a new brewery that had just opened up down the road.

They don't have food, but there's a pizza place next door. Making it easy to enjoy some beer and bites and hang out.
Escape Brewing kegs
Blending in with the tasting room 

There are a few breweries in the area. You could make a day out of it and enjoy a beer "escape"!

City: Trinity
My favorite beer: Influence De La Floride saison
Guest taps or bottles:✔
Their beer sold in cans or bottles:✔
Crowlers: No
Food: No
Patio: Yes
Patio vs Bar: Either
Setting: Strip mall
Vibe: Local watering hole
Reviews from the web: Google 4.7 ~ Untappd 3.86
What I enjoy: Friendly service, good beers and a nice spot to sit back and enjoy a beer.
Local spots nearby to check out: Craft Street Kitchen, Perks Coffeehouse & Bakery & Brooker Creek Preserve

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A Brewery Visit to Marker 48 Brewing in Brooksville Florida

I've been to my share of breweries. With over a hundred visits under my belt in Florida alone. Every visit has been unique. I'm a person who likes to look at a whole package when I stop by a brewery. The beer is what brings me there, but what is going to keep me coming back? Sometimes the beer alone will keep me coming back. Other times I may think the beer is ok, but I love the atmosphere enough to keep drinking their beers. What's great is when a brewery that hits the beer trifecta; great beer and great service with a great atmosphere. That's what happened to my visit to Marker 48 Brewing.

Last fall my friend Gerard invited me to his birthday celebration at Marker 48 Brewing. The brewery was in its infancy, not even close to opening. It was to be a gathering of friends to see what was unfolding. I was unable to make the visit then. Ever since that invitation I've been itching to get to Marker 48. Now that the brewery is open and Gerard does tours on Saturday he sent another invite out to come visit.

Bryan and I made the drive west on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. It was a nice change of pace to not get on I-4. When we pulled into the brewery I was surprised at how big it was. The brewery use to be an old auto store and they did a great job with the transformation.
Marker 48 Brewing
Marker 48 Brewing

Sometimes when I walk in a brewery for the first time I feel like I'm on a House Hunter's episode. Walking into Marker 48,  I was sold without looking at the rest of the "house".

My first impression was it was nice to see two food truck options set up out front. You're likely to find a truck or two during your visit. The tasting room is bright and spacious. Marker 48 utilizes a lot of recycled wood. There are a half a dozen large community tables set up in the tasting room and about a dozen seats at the bar. If you prefer to enjoy your beers outside they have a large beer garden that is shaded.
Marker 48 Brewing tasting room
Tasting Room

Visually the tasting room is pretty sweet, but what about the beer? Our visit was during Great Amerian Beer Week, so they had taken over most of their taps with their own beer. I'm told normally you'd see a few more guest taps on the menu.

There are plenty of styles to choose from. I'm one who likes a nice variety so I was a happy lady. I never know what beer mood I'm in.
Marker 48 Brewing Tap Menu
Nice Draft List

My first visit was to get to learn a bit about the brewery. I was excited that we were going to meet the owners Tina and Maurice and hear the story behind Marker 48 Brewing. A couple of other beer friends were there as well.

We all gathered downstairs for some lunch in their cellar room. This is a very cool space. They did a wonderful job in utilizing the former mechanic stations. A great spot for parties and the like.
Marker 48 Brewing Barrel Room
Barrel Room

We chatted about the brewery and sampled the beers they had on tap. I enjoy insight on breweries it makes you understand them from a different perspective. It was neat to hear about how the brewery came about. There was a need in the community and Maurie & Tina filled it. This is a true neighborhood brewery. You will see young and old and everything in between. Beer geeks and furry friends too.

A few of my favorite beers from my visit were the  Molisicious Coffee Imperial Brown Ale (8% ABV), Meet the Heat Saison (6% ABV) & Spring Release DIPA (9% ABV). What I liked is they were all different styles of beer. I always enjoy a good coffee beer. The smell alone is worth ordering. The Saison is complex, yet balanced. There is a nice raspberry taste with just a kick of heat from the cayenne. Spring Release was aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels that were sunk under water in a local spring. How cool is that? This is a smooth sweet double IPA. There are notes of Bourbon, but not over boozy which is exactly how I like it.
Marker 48 Brewing Spring Release DIPA
Spring Release DIPA

Marker 48 Brewing is more than a brewery, it's a place to gather with friends and enjoy some good beer. You can feel like you're part of the local community. Being part of a community also means giving back. There is a different local charity that they work with each month for Tap For A Cause. Marker 48 has a monthly event for the cause where they have a beer specially made for that month's recipient. They donate the proceeds that that charity.

If the brewery is a bit of a drive stop by on the weekend and make a day out of it. It's a great time to chill at the brewery all day. Plus Sundays you can take one of Gerad's informative tours. It's a fun way to learn about the brewing process and hear insights about the Marker48 Brewing. They have some great food trucks on hand as well.
food trucks at Marker 48 Brewing
Great bites to go with your beer

This is my ideal type of brewery. Great beer, great atmosphere, and great service. I wish Marker 48 were my local brewery. 

City: Brooksville
My Favorite Beer: Meet the Heat Saison
Guest Taps or Bottles: Yes
Their Beer Sold in Cans or Bottles: ✔
Crowlers: ✔
Food: No, but food trucks at times.
Patio: ✔
Bar vs Patio: Both are equally nice.
Kids: ✔
Dogs: ✔
Tours: ✔
Visits: 3
Setting: Stand alone building
Vibe: Local watering hole.
Reviews from the web: Google 4.9 ~ Untappd 3.83
What I enjoy: I enjoyed everything. The beer is delicious, the atmosphere is cool and the service is friendly. One of my favorite Florida breweries.
Local Spots Nearby to Check Out: BarbieCueHillsborough River State Park, & Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Craft Beer in Downtown Orlando

There are plenty of places to drink in downtown Orlando. Not all are created equal when it comes to craft beer. I've got a few go-to places when I'm looking to enjoy a good beer in downtown O'town.
Lake Eola Park fountain with swans
There's some craft beer to be found beyond the Fountain

Broken Cauldron
The closest brewery downtown in Broken Cauldron. It's a straight shot up Church Street. Not even a mile from The Amway Center, a half mile to Camping World Stadium and a couple of blocks from Orlando City Stadium.
entrance to Broken Cauldron Brewery
A two in one brewery

Broken Cauldron is two breweries combined into one. Broken Strings brews some tasty IPA's. I'm happy when I see White Room IPA on the menu👍Black Cauldron makes a tasty Rukus Red Ale. They also have a Blood Purple Saison⚽

This brewery is a family friendly brewery. It'a great spot to enjoy some Orlando beer before or after an event. It's a great brewery to chill with friends and watch the game on TV.
Frank & Steins is a happening place for Happy Hour. A lot of downtown workers chill here after the end of their work day. The craft beer selection here is impressive; they have a nice menu laid out categorizing their beers. They have hundreds of beers to choose from including over three dozen on tap. If you happen to come during their Happy Hour during the week, from 3 pm-7 pm you'll get half off selected drafts and you'll find a couple of food specials as well.
Frank & Steins Eatery & Pub
Frank & Steins Eatery & Pub 

Frank & Steins has a nice food menu with their focus being on the "Franks". I love sauerkraut so The German is my go too hot dog when I'm eating here. If franks aren't your thing you will find plenty of appetizers, sandwiches, salads & more to choose from.

Frank & Steins will have events from time to time. The bar is pretty big with a lot of seating, making for a good place for groups. I enjoy that they have some cool beer events, but the place gets really loud & crowded during them. I've been later at night and the vibe is much more chill. 

Frank & Steins is a great place to belly up to the bar to watch the game. It's also a fun place to stop by with friends. There are a bunch of board games you can play at your table or you can have some fun with Skee-ball.  

I love the vibe going on at The Woods. It's an out of the way watering hole in downtown and on my visits the bar has had a nice chill to it. 

There is a "woodsy" feel about the place with tree designs throughout the bar. It's dark and I like that. There are some tables overlooking Orange Ave or you can really be secluded in the back. Not many people sit back there. I prefer to sit at the bar where I can engage with the friendly servers.

I come here for the beer, but The Woods is more about cocktails. There are about a dozen beers on draft and they have a decent bottle selection priced nicely. 

They have some cool events, but they need to do a better job on social media getting the word out. Follow their Instagram to find out about some of the things happening at the bar.

I've been to The Woods Orlando a couple of times. My first time was during a Michigan Beer Night when they had Bell's Hopslam and Founder's KBS on draft. These are two of my favorite beers, so it didn't take much to entice me.
Bells Beer at The Woods Orlando
Bells Beer at The Woods Orlando 

If you stop by on a Wednesday you get a slice of bacon to go with your drink. Beer & Bacon pairings!🍺&🐷 

In a sea of average beer bars downtown, The Woods is a nice place to escape to enjoy a drink.

Tap & Grind
I love the aloha feel about Tap & Grind. It's a hidden craft beer gem where you can chill & enjoy a beer with friends. 

This is one of the most intimate bars in Orlando. That's what I enjoy about it. A lot of the time I just want to enjoy a good beer and just be. I don't want to deal with crowds. The bar may be small, but they are big on the beers.
craft beer at Tap n Grind in orlando
All American beers on tap🍻

You'll find sixteen American craft beers on tap along with a more to choose from the bottle list. There may not be hundreds of beers, but Tap & Grind is more about quality over quantity. 

The bar is dark on the inside. The lighting is low, the music is chill and the television has some extreme sports playing in the background. I enjoy that much more than watching a game. Along with seating at the bar, you will find a few tables inside. If the weather is nice I like to take my beer outside and enjoy it on the patio.

Tap & Grind has some cool events from time to time. You might not find out about them until the day of. I wish they shared more on social media, but for now, I'll be happy enjoy Tap & Grind when I can.

It seemed like it took forever for the World of Beer to open in downtown Orlando. Once it did the crowds have never stopped. This is a prime location with a large outdoor patio overlooking Lake Eola.

I've been to a handful of World of Beers and this is my favorite setup. I love the downtown location, but I also enjoy the spacious seating inside. I'm not the only one who enjoys a drink or two at this downtown Orlando bar, every time I stop by the place is packed. 
They have hundreds of beers to choose from. Check out their website for a cool interactive menu to help you decide on your brew. This World of Beer also has a nice sized Tavern Menu along with a "Beerunch".

World of Beer has a lot of events going on at each bar. I can't hit them all, so I try and see what ones are enticing at the downtown location. I like the variety of the events the have as well. They range from tap takeovers to beer dinners and charity events.
World of Beer Downtown Orlando | www.aladycrafter.com
Beer Flight

If you're in town visiting or a local who enjoys craft beer you have a handful of good options. Make an afternoon out of it and enjoy a craft beer crawl on foot or rent a Juice bike for the day. 

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

A Brewery Visit to Orchid Island Brewing Company in Vero Beach

Whenever I go anywhere I search to see if there are any breweries to visit. My parents winter in Vero Beach and I know a visit to them includes a visit to Orchid Island Brewery.

Space is very nice. There is a lot of outdoor seating and a number of tables inside. The bar is the core of the tavern.

They have on avereage about 8 of their beers on tap. They have about a dozen guest beers too.
For our first visit our server explained each beer to us. Orchid Island uses local citrus in their beers. Let me tell you, having fresh ingredients makes these beers delicious. I thought every beer was very good. Grapefruit Sculpin is one of my favorite IPA's, but I've got to say The Star Ruby Double IPA (8.2 % ABV) is even better. The Lemon Drop IPA had the perfect amount of lemon in this IPA. The 5% ABV makes for a refreshing beer to enjoy all day. Spectrum was a triple IPA that included all of the citrus fruits used in their beers. Jungle Trail Midnight Ale is a Black Ale (9.3 % ABV) that uses white grapefruit. Citron was a funky citrusy farmhouse ale (8% ABV).

While we were sitting at the bar, we were chatting with the beer server and the chef. We had found out the cook use to work at one of the breweries we would frequent in Philadelphia. I wish we hadn't eaten beforehand as the food sounded delicious.

I saw that they had a Chocolate Stout Cake on the menu and I was tempted, but the chef said we had to try the Bread Pudding. He gave us a generous sample and oh my! I'm making sure I save room to eat on my next visit. He likes to use the beers as much as he can in his dishes.

I was a happy lady with the beers and the dessert. A nice bonus was the Appalachian/Bluegrass music playing in the background. The speaker system sounded great and you could enjoy the music on the patio as well. They have live music on the weekends, so I look forward to checking that out.

Orchid Island Brewing Company is just a block from the beach. It's more my style over the usual beach bars. The bonus is the great tasting Florida beer you get to enjoy.

My Favorite Beer: Star Ruby IPA
Guest taps or bottles: ✔
Their beers sold in cans or bottles: No
Crowlers: No
Food: ✔
Patio: ✔
Bar vs patio: Either
Kids: ✔
Dogs: ✔
Tours: No
Visits: 5+
Setting: Plaza
Vibe: Taproom/Tavern
Reviews from the web: 4.6 Google - 3.92 Untappd
What I enjoy: Delicious beers that use local citrus. The food utilizes their beer in dishes. Across the street from the ocean.
Local spots nearby to check cut: McKee Botanical Garden, Kilted Mermaid & Riverside Theater

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.