Dead Lizard Brewing Company – Orlando, FL

Beckie, Karl and I at Dead Lizard Brewing Company

About a month ago, I had the chance to tag along with my bestie to Florida.  She worked a bunch, I read a bunch and daydreamed about checking out the local beer scene.  After doing some research, I realized that Florida doesn’t have a ton of craft beer and Orlando is a city of chain restaurants.  That is why I was so excited to find Dead Lizard Brewing Company!  So bestie Beckie and I met up with college bestie Karl for a few beers and dinner.  While Dead Lizard doesn’t have their own food, they are totally cool with you ordering pizza and eating it there.

Dead Lizard Brewing Company is a local micro-brewery located near downtown Orlando. Their beers are big, bold and full of flavor, yet subtle and distinct. For three generations their family has been enjoying and sharing home-brewed craft beer with family and friends, and now they are sharing it with those downtown.

Aside from being completely ignored by the staff.  Here is what we tried:

  • Urban Iguana Double IPA
  • Chameleon Cream-Sic-Ale
  • Key Lime Chameleon Cream-Sic-Ale – This was my favorite of the bunch.  Definitely felt like a Florida classic with the hint of key lime.
  • Komodo “KoKo” Dragon Stout – Second favorite of the group – this beer had a strong coffee flavor that we all were digging.
  • Uncle Pudgy’s Two Fisted Porter
  • Lil’ Tiny Baby Skink Session IPA
  • Purple Skink IPA
  • Trippy Pippy’s Red Dread Ale – Red ales are always a great choice.
  • Anole Nut Brown Ale

Ever been to Dead Lizard Brewing Company?  What did you think of the beers?  What is your favorite brewery in Orlando, Florida?

Beer Review: Uinta Brewing Free Form IPA

Everyone loves coming home to a beer.  A few weeks ago, that happened to me.  I got home from work, walked up my steps and there sitting on my doorstep was a four-pack of Uinta Free Form beers.  I snapped a few photos, cracked open on, started reading the letter from Isaac Winter (Head Brewer at Uinta) and then texted my roommate, who’s gluten free.  Over the course of a few nights, I finished off the four-pack and can honestly say that I really want to visit the least beer’d state (Utah) and check out this brewery.  And for a gluten free beer, Free Form is pretty good.  Definitely a hot summer day, drinking beer.  Can’t wait to try the Blonde Ale next.

Here is what Unita has to say about the beer:

Salt Lake City – After an extensive research and development process that lasted nearly two years, Uinta Brewing Company has added two gluten-free offerings to its beer portfolio with Free Form IPA and Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale. Brewed to appeal to all beer drinkers, but produced with naturally gluten-free ingredients, Free Form can be enjoyed worry-free and sacrifice-free by all gluten-conscious consumers, not just those with specific dietary restrictions.

“We take pride in crafting high-quality beers in a variety of styles so that everyone can experience a Uinta, and Free Form is a natural extension of that,” said Steve Mills, CEO of Uinta Brewing Co. “Our brewing team set out to make gluten-free beer that didn’t compromise on taste, and we weren’t satisfied until both criteria were achieved.”

Brewed with millet and buckwheat, Uinta’s Free Form offerings are naturally gluten-free and have not been gluten-reduced by enzymes. Additionally, the brewery has implemented rigid testing procedures to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. Each batch of Free Form will be tested a minimum of two times prior to release: once by an external certified lab and once in house using Glutenox Detection, which can detect gluten as low as 5 parts per million (ppm). Free Form consistently measures below 10 ppm for gluten content, a level below that of current dietary labeling guidelines for gluten-free products.

 Uinta’s Free Form offerings showcase Uinta’s sense of adventure and commitment to carefully crafted beers for all consumers and occasions. Both brews will be available in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles through Uinta’s distribution territory by the end of spring 2017. 

About Free Form Beers

Free Form IPA Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale
Availability: Year-round Availability: Year-round
ABV: 4% • IBU: 63 • SRM: 5 ABV: 4% • IBU: 20 • SRM: 6
Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat, Coriander
Hops: Citra, Ella, Cascade Hops: Sterling, Opal
Description: Citra and Ella hops impart a bright and tropical essence to this exceptional tasting, sessionable India Pale Ale. Description: Hints of coriander and Belgian yeast character partner perfectly with Sterling and Opal hops in this sessionable Blonde Ale.


About Uinta Brewing Co.

Uinta Brewing Company began its journey in 1993 with a passion for craft beer and a yearning for the great outdoors that aligned perfectly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Named after the only major east-west running mountain range located in the continental U.S., Uinta’s path is consistently led by the values of sustainability, community involvement and innovation. The brewery’s wide selection of high-quality beers is currently enjoyed in 38 states and three export markets. For more information visit UintaBrewing.com.

Have you ever had Uinta Beer?  What was your favorite?  Been to the brewery?  Had a good gluten free beer before?  Leave a comment and share your experience!

Heads up, Uinta provided me the beer and the awesome letter from Isaac Winter, the Head Brewer.

Cheers to Belgian Beers date announced, tickets on sale

Advance MercPerk tickets on sale now for 11th annual
Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, taking place June 2 and 3
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 20, 2017 – The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, beer! Advance tickets are on sale now for Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, which features up to 70 Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain. The 11th annual event will take place June 2 and 3 at The North Warehouse at 723 N. Tillamook St. Hours are 1pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday.

Drink packages at the door costs $20 for a souvenir glass and eight drink tickets. Discount tickets are on sale now at MercPerks, with two tasting glasses and 16 drink tickets for $28 ($40 value), while supplies last. The event is for ages 21 and over.

This year’s featured yeast strain is Imperial Yeast B45 Gnome, a yeast that creates crystal clear Belgian ales in a short amount of time. Gnome produces peach and apricot esters with a Belgian phenolic character that can be manipulated through temperature. It pairs well with hops, while also complementing malt and caramel characters.
To ensure the diversity of the yeast strain, as well as show off the creativity of Oregon craft brewers, the color and strength of each brewery’s beer is determined by a dart throw. More than 80 breweries took part in this year’s dart throw, held on Jan. 16 at The Evergreen, the private event space at the Loyal Legion. Depending on where the dart landed on the board, a brewer was directed to brew a Belgian-style beer that will be either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the baseline. Four breweries hit a bullseye, meaning they get to choose their color and strength.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
The festival is seeking volunteers, who receive a glass, 8 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC servers permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up, visit  https://www.events-connect.com/ctbb/volunteer.
Cheers to Belgian Beers is produced by the Oregon Brewers Guild and sponsored by Boelter, Imperial Yeast and the Portland Mercury. Follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #ctbb17.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild comprises 159 brewing companies, 118 associate/supplier members and more than 3,950 enthusiast members known as S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
Social Media: @OregonCraftBeer – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Hashtag: #ctbb17

First Magnitude Brewing Company – Gainesville, FL

First Magnitude Brewing Company

This is the brewery I’ve been waiting MONTHS to check out.  First Magnitude Brewing Company!  Ever since Karl sent me a photo of it’s mermaid logo.  I knew I had to check it out.  I mean, mermaids and craft beer, what could be better?  On top of that, I realized it’s a major supporter of the environment and the local community.

Fun Fact – The name ‘First Magnitude’ represents the heart of what makes this part of Florida naturally great. Thanks to its unique geologic characteristics, North Central Florida has the highest density of freshwater springs in the world. First magnitude springs are the most powerful – over 100 cubic feet of water per second boils up from their limestone openings to form cool, clear pools that feed our rivers and lakes. Look up in the sky – the brightest star you can see with your naked eye is called a first magnitude star. Their mermaid logo brings together the stellar and the aquatic.

Liquid Sunshine!

Here is what we tried:

  • BATCH 200 Double Red IPA – This came as a recommendation from the guy pouring our beers.  It’s a decent IPA.  (Again – not a fan, but the boys loved it.)
  • Dark Age – Belgian Stout – You know, this goes great with the Dark Queen.  Delicious.
  • Wacahoota Wit – Belgian Wit – Classic wit.
  • Flandsome Gentleman – Flanders Red Ale – Karl and his friend, Jonathan, both loved this beer.  After our samplers, they each got a pint of this.
  • Hoppy Golden Sour – I’ve learned this week that Karl loves sour beers, so this was for him.  I honestly hated it, full on, weird face shuddering, sour.
  • Karst Belgian Pale Ale w/ Rosemary, Thyme, & Sage – This was a CLOSE second to Bee’s Knees Honey Saison.  First Magnitude has a year-round Karst without herbs that I got to try at dinner the night before.  Let me tell you, herbs make such a difference.  AMAZING!
  • Dark Queen – Jackie’s Belgian Dark Strong Ale – Hogtown Brewers Collaboration – You know me, I love a dark beer, even in sunny Florida, this was a great beer.
  • Bee’s Knees Honey Saison – This was my favorite beer (Karst was a solid second).  After our samplers, I got another pint of this while we explored the rest of the brewery.

Have you ever been to Gainesville, Florida?  Or First Magnitude Brewing Company?

Nature Coast Brewing Company – Crystal River, FL

Nature Coast Brewing Company – Crystal River, FL

Natures Coast Brewing Company – where beer and manatees meet.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a wonderful, wonderful week in Florida.  I literally went EVERYWHERE – Orlando, Naples, Gainesville, AND Crystal River.  With my amazing college buddy / tour guide / outdoor adventurer, Karl.  For those of you who don’t know, Crystal River is THE ONLY PLACE in Florida, where you can legally swim with manatees.  So this mermaid had to give it a try.  Yes, I did bring my mermaid tail.  Yes, we did see manatees.  No, we did not swim WITH the manatees, because we hung out with a mama and a calf so they needed their space, but it was still AWESOME!

After hanging out in beautiful water all day, lucky for Karl, I found the ONLY brewery in Crystal River – Nature Coast Brewing Company.  Located in the heart of Crystal River (let’s be honest – there is only like one traffic light) in an Irish pub called “Burke’s of Ireland.”  This one barrel system hosts a handful of small, hand crafted batches of beers.  One of my favorite things about the pub was the walls were covered with beer taps from around the world.  I’m happy to report back that I was able to find a few Oregon breweries taps all the way in Florida.  We made friends with the brewer’s brother and he let us try all four beers on tap.

Here is what we tried:

  • Citrus Ave IPA.  This was a classic IPA that Karl got.  Again, not a huge IPA fan personally, but after being in the sunshine all day it was refreshing.
  • Pastel De Calabaza Del Diablo.  This was my favorite of the four beers with tried.  A spiced beer with a little bit of sour that definitely stood out from the crowd.
  • Dr. Porter’s Ales What Cures You!  This beer is named after the original owner of the building, The Pharmacy and Medical office that was established in 1920 by Dr. Porter Hudson.
  • My Heart is On Fire.  This was a spicy hot beer that reminded me a lot of Burnside Brewing’s Sweet Heat.  Only the heat stuck with you a lot longer!

Another thing I loved about this brewery is they have a “Bucket List.”  This was an ongoing theme of Karl’s during the week.  Due to the nature of their brewing system, after each beer is brewed and fermented, they take 31 gallons and separate them into six different secondary fermenters.  With each bucket fermenter, they add a finishing flavor making each batch outlandishly unique.

Ever swam with manatees in Florida?  Ever been to Nature Coast Brewing Company?