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Epcot Food and Wine festival has plenty to offer beer lovers

500-Epcot-Food-And-Wine-Festival-LogoWalt Disney World’s Epcot theme park has been hosting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for nearly 20 years. Now in its 19th year, the festival features 35 unique tasting experiences that will tempt taste buds and expand palates. But, regardless of the festival’s name, beer-lovers will have plenty to enjoy at this year’s festival.

This year the festival brings back several popular beer tasting experiences including the German beer garden themed Brewer’s Collection, Hops and Barley and the Craft Beers kiosk located near the entrance to the World Showcase. But, the most fun can be had simply walking World Showcase and sampling the wares at as many kiosks as you can.

In addition to the beers that are normally on tap around the World Showcase, a number of special beers are available as noted below. Traditional beer-centric countries like Germany, Belgium and the United States have expanded options and some even offer beer flights that allow guests to taste several beers without having to commit to a full pint.

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival runs from September 19 through November 10. The festival is included with admission to Epcot, but food and drink is sold on a per-taste basis.

To help you determine which stops you want to be sure to make, refer to the checklist below.

Africa

Food

  • Beef tenderloin tips berbere style with okra, jalepenos, tomato and pap
  • South African bobotie with turkery and mushrooms

Australia

Food

  • Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle and Rapini
  • Grilled Lamp Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
  • Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Driscoll’s Berries and Vanilla Custard);

Drink

  • Coopers Brewery, Original Pale Ale

Belgium

Food

  • Potato and Leek Waffle with beer-braised Beef
  • Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
  • Belgain Waffle with Berry Compote featuring Driscoll’s Berries and Whipped Cream

Drink

  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Belgian Beer Flight: Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde, Stella Artois Cidre

Brazil

Food

  • Mocequa de pescado: Regal Springs premium tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice
  • Crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro
  • Pao de queijo: Brazilian cheese bread
  • Cocada: Brazilian coconut candy

Drink

  • Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer

Brewer’s Collection

Drink

  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • BraufactuM Colonia
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • Schofferhofer Grapefruit
  • Altenmunster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Roog
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • BraufactuM Progusta IPA
  • Beer flight 1: Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Colonia, BraufactuM Palor and Schofferhofer Grapefruit
  • Beer flight 2: Altenmunster Oktoberfest, BraufactuM Roog, BraufactuM Darkon and BraufactuM Progusta IPA

Canada

Food

  • Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
  • “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

Drink

  • Moosehead Lager

China

Food

  • Beijing roasted duck in steamed bun with hoisin sauce
  • Mongolian beef in a steamed bun with chili mayo
  • Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
  • Chicken potstickers

Drink

  • Tsing Tao Beer

Craft Beers

Drink

  • Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale
  • Shiner Brewery, Wild Hare Pale Ale
  • Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze
  • Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale
  • Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils
  • Magic Hat Brewery, Dream Machine IPL
  • Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale
  • Beer Flight 1: Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale; Shiner Brewery, Wild Hare Pale Ale; Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze
  • Beer flight 2: Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale; Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils; Magic Hat Brewery, Dream Machine IPL; Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale

Desserts and Champagne

Food

  • Dessert Trio: Passion fruit coconut creamsicle, blueberry lime cheesecake roll and chocolate espresso opera cake
  • Guylian Belgian chocolate seashell truffles

Farm Fresh

Food

  • Nueske’s Pepper Bacon hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and picked jalepenos
  • Griddled “yard bird” with braised greens

Drink

  • Orlando Brewing Company, I-4 IPA
  • Ba Ba Black Lager, Uinta Brewing Company
  • Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery
  • Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale, Cigar City Brewery
  • Beer Flight: I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale

Fife & Drum

Food

  • Ghirardelli ice cream sundae

Drink

  • Mmmhops Pale Ale

France

Food

  • Tartelette aux escargots: Escargot tart with garlci, spinach, bacon and parmesan
  • Gratin de crozet de savoie: Wheat pasta gratin with mushrooms and Gruyere cheese; Boeuf Bourguignon (braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes)
  • Creme Brulee caramel fleur de sel: Sea Salt caramel creme brulee topped with caramelized sugar

Drink

  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664

Germany

Food

  • Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese)
  • Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll; Berliner: Yeast doughnut filled with apricto jam

Drink

  • Altenmunster Oktoberfest

Greece

Food

  • Vegetarian moussaka
  • Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey
  • Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce
  • Spanakopita

Hawaii

Food

  • Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
  • Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips;

Drink

  • Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale; Kona Brewing Company Castaway IPA

Hops and Barley

Food

  • Artisan cheese plate featuring Cabot Cloth wrapped cheddar, Purple Haze chevre goat cheese and Cave Man blue cheese
  • Baked lobster alfredo
  • Florida grass fed beed slider with pimento cheese
  • Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins and cream cheese icing

Drink

  • Samuel Adams Octoberfest
  • New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy
  • Beer flight: Samuel Adams Octoberfest; New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot; Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat; Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy

Intermissions Cafe

Food

  • Southwest chicken wrap; Vegan trio
  • Fruit and cheese plate; Side salad; Grapes
  • Tuna salad with pita
  • Asian chicken salad
  • Key lime tart
  • Brownie

Drink

  • Medall Light Beer
  • Einstok Icelandic White Ale
  • Angry Orchard Hard Cider – Crisp Apple

Ireland

Food

  • Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie
  • Kerrygold Cheese Selection: Reserve Cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout, Skellig
  • Warm Chocolate Pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard

Drink

  • Guinness Draught
  • Bunratty Meade Honey Wine

Italy

Food

  • Ravioli alla caprese: cheese ravioli, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil
  • Filetto di pollo, con funghi al marsala: chicken tenderloin, cremini mushrooms, marsala sauce and ciabatta bread
  • Cannoli al Cioccolato (Chocolate-Covered Cannoli filled with Ricotta, Chocolate, and Candied Fruit)

Drink

  • Moretti Lager Beer
  • Moretti La Rossa Beer

Japan

Food

  • Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna & Salmon with Kazan Volcano Sauce)
  • Teriyaki gyoza bun: steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables and sweet teriyaki sauce
  • Chirashizushi: Salmon, shrimp, crab and egg served over seaweed salad and ginger rice

Drink

  • Kirin Draft Beer

Mexico

Food

  • Shrimp Taco: fried shrimp, pickled habanero pepper and onions on a flour tortilla
  • Taco de Ribeye with Salsa de Chipotle; Sweet corn cheese cake

Drink

  • Dos Equis

Morocco

Food

  • Kefta Pocket (Ground Seasoned Beef in a Pita Pocket)
  • Spicy shrimp roll with cilantro and mint sauce
  • Baklava

Drink

  • Casa Beer

New Zealand

Food

  • Marinated Green Lip Mussels with Garlic butter and toasted bread crumbs
  • Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, baby arugula and black currant reduction
  • Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney

Patagonia

Food

  • Beef empanada
  • Grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree
  • Roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad and arugula chimichurri

Poland

Food

  • Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream
  • Sauerkraut pierogi with pork goulash

Drink

  • Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer

Puerto Rico

Food

  • Ensalada de carrucho: Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro
  • Carne guisada con arroz blanco: slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice
  • Friturias: Sorullitos (sweet polenta fries) and bolitas de queso (cheese fritter with mayo ketchup)
  • FlanCocho: vanilla caramel custard with chocolate coffee cake

Drink

  • Medalla light beer

Refreshment Port

Food

  • Croissant doughnut
  • Fried shrimp with Dole pineapple sweet and sour sauce
  • Fried chicken chunks with Dole pineapple sweet and sour sauce
  • Dole Fruit Squish’ems! Apple-Strawberr
  • Dole Whip soft-serve
  • Dole Whip soft-serve with creme de cacao white

Scotland

Food

  • Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties-Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoe
  • Fresh potato pancake with smoked Scottish salmon and herb sour cream
  • Seared sea scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon
  • Crannachan: traditional Scottish dessert trifle

Drink

  • Innis & Gunn Original

Singapore

Food

  • Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice
  • Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce

Drink

  • Tiger Beer

South Korea

Food

  • Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce
  • Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw

Terra

Food

  • Blackened Chick’n Breast, farro wheat and spicy gumbo sauce featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast
  • CraB’less CraB Cake with pepper slaw and Cajun remoulade featuring Gardein
  • Chocolate-blood orange cupcake with tofu icing;

Drink

  • Red Bridge Ale

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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Beer Festival

 

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Beer a star at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

FWbeer2010Every fall the folks at Disney World throw a huge food and wine festival that, over the past few years, has been adding more and more quality beers to its offerings. The list of brews to be served and the locations you can find them is now out. So, before you go, check out what you expect to find right here.

Terra

This marketplace celebrates all that comes from the earth. Only products that come fropm the soil are sold here. Think vegetarian and vegan fair. Wash it down with Napa Smith Organic IPA

Belgium

Known for their outstanding beers, the Belgian Marketplace will feature several brews you may want to try as you munch a tasty waffle. Look for Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and Leffe Blonde or Brune.

Brazil

Exotic and exciting, look for seared scallops or crispy pork belly in this marketplace. The drink of choice for beer lovers here is Cervearias Kaiser Xingu Black Beer.

Brewer’s Collection

Located near the Germany Pavilion, this beir garten will feature tasty brews from one of Europe’s great beer nations. The list includes:

  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel 

China

A land of many flavors, China pairs their offerings with a traditional Chinese beer Tsing Tao.

Craft Beer Marketplace

A staple of the festival for several years now, the Craft Beer Marketplace features several interesting brews to quench the thirst of beer lovers attending the event including:

  • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
  • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
  • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing, Alchemy Ale
  • Red Hook, Audible Ale
  • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo Extra IPA 

Desserts & Champagne

This year event planners have added a great choice to the drink offerings with the desserts, Pyramid Weiss Cream Beer. Try this delightful beer with the chocolate orange cupcake for a real sweet treat.

Florida Local

The Sunshine State is home to several outstanding breweries, two of them are featured in this market place: Cigar City Brewing Company and Orlando Brewing Company. Try Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale from Cigar City and Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale from Orland Brewing.

France

Not really a country known for beer, France never-the-less produces a few gems. One of those, Kronenbourg Blanc, will be served at this year’s event along with escargot and crème brulee.

Germany

In addition to the nearby beir garten, the Germany Pavilion will feature Altenmunster Oktoberfest and BraufactuM Darkon to quaff along with brats on pretzel rolls.

Hawaii

The Aloha State is known for Kalua pork sliders and tuna poke, this year wash these great eats down with Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale or Pipeline Porter.

Hops & Barley

When you think of beer in the Northeastern United States, you cannot escape the siren song of Samuel Adams. In this marketplace munch tasty lobster rolls with Boston Lager, Octoberfest, or Cherry Wheat.

Ireland

Do we really have to tell which beer will be featured here? OK, just for the record; its Guinness.

Italy

Ravioli and cannoli can be found at the Italy Markeplace, along with Moretti beer.

Japan

Roll on into this marketplace for fresh sushi and Sapporo beer.

Mexico

The heavyweight brew in Mexico is Dos Equis, but there are rumors there may be more surprises. Keep an eye out for more information.

Morocco

Drink a cold Casa while watching the belly dancers. Just be careful the wife does not catch on to why you keep going back for more beer.

The Outpost

An African flair describes this area. Try a BGI Brewery St. George beer as you pound the jungle drums.

Poland

Kielbasa and pirogues are in store for you here, along with cold Okocim O.K. beer.

Scotland

Making its debut this year the Scottish Marketplace will offer seared salmon and Inis & Gunn Original Ale.

Singapore

Tiger beer goes great with lemongrass chicken curry, fortunately that is what is being served at this exotic marketplace.

In addition to the special beers brought in for this event, you can expect to find a full complement of the brews normally stocked at the various restaurants throughout the World Showplace. Just remember, the world cannot be conqured in a day. You may need a couple to try all the fantastic flavors the festival has to offer.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival runs from September 27 through November 11. A ticket to Epcot is required to participate in all tastings. Tastings are not included in the ticket price.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Beer Festival

 

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Epcot’s Japanese pavillion introduces Americans to frozen beer

The Japanese have a lot of quirky ideas when it comes to food. After all they are the folks who brought us raw fish rolled up in rice and seaweed, fermented soybeans that take on a slime called natto, and dried fish mixed with almonds known as natori. Good eating all. But, now the fine folks in the Pacific have brought to us here in the states one of their heretofore lesser known culinary concoctions: frozen beer.

Ingenious inventors at the Japanese beer behemoth Kirin have come up with a way to freeze beer foam and dispense it on top of a glass of beer. The foam is frozen to 23 degrees and is dispensed like soft serve ice cream. When the frozen foam is placed on top of unfrozen beer it acts like an insulator and keeps the beer below it colder longer – up to 30 minutes longer.

But, if you want to get a pint of this new and interesting way to serve beer, you will have to journey to Walt Disney World’s Epcot. The Japanese pavilion of the World Showcase there is the only place in North America where the alcoholic treat is available. In Japan the treat is available in over 650 locations and has become wildly popular. Honolulu, Hawaii also has a few of the machines used to make the frozen foam.

In a press release, Bob Miller, dining operations for Mitsukoshi USA says, “The guests were apprehensive, but very curious. But once they try it, they often come back for another and bring their friends – it definitely makes the beer colder and keeps it colder longer, which is a good think in the Florida sunshine.”

In Epcot, the frozen beer sells for $8 and is available at Kabuki Cafe and Tokyo Dining.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Beer, Beer News, Beer Styles

 

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‘Drinking Around the World’ a popular activity at Epcot

English: Epcot Spaceship Earth Walt Disney Wor...

English: Epcot Spaceship Earth Walt Disney World Orlando 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tourists stream into central Florida during the summer to visit the many attractions built in and around the Orlando area. Undeterred by the pounding heat, they queue up for attractions at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. But, not all are seeking the newest thrill ride or attraction; some are seeking relief from the relentless heat and humidity by quenching their thirst with cold beverages from around the world. And there is no better place to accomplish this feat than Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

In Walt Disney’s original vision for Epcot, the park would be a model of synchronistic living. It would showcase how people could live, work, and play in the same community using eco-friendly means. But, after his death, the park took on a much different look. It became more of a showcase of innovations and of world cultures than a community.

It is the World Showcase half of Epcot that provides the venue for the popular activity known as “Drinking Around the World.” The idea is to have an alcoholic drink, in this case beer, in each of the 11 countries surrounding the World Showcase lagoon at Epcot. Considering that each beer will cost anywhere from $6 to $10, this could be an expensive undertaking. But to those who take up the mission, it can also provide a number of insights into the beer that people drink around the world. Because 11 alcoholic drinks over the span of six to eight hours can have quite an impact on your sobriety, it is suggested that you have a designated driver for the end of the evening.

Traveling counter-clockwise around the World Showcase lagoon, you will encounter Canada first, followed the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico. Each country is represented by an area designed and built to imitate the architecture of its host and are populated by cast members from that country as well.

Canada

Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Canada with over 46% of the adult beverage market. Canada’s oldest independent brewery is Moosehead, located in Saint John, New Brunswick. The brewery was founded in 1867 by Susannah Oland and is still operated by the Oland family, now in the sixth generation of ownership under Derek Oland. Moosehead is also one of the brews you can try in the Canada pavilion at Epcot.

Moosehead is a lager style brew that presents a sweet, grain aroma and crisp, moderately malty taste. It is a refreshing and balanced brew perfect for quenching the thirst of vacationing guests as well as taking the edge of the Florida heat. Canada also serves Molson and Labatt Blue, and occasionally Unibroue products like La Fin du Monde and Maudite.

United Kingdom

England is well known for its love of beer in all its glory. Pubs are a way of life for many Brits and a pint or two and the end of the day is a ritual many would not think of foregoing. Epcot provides guests with an authentic pub experience at the Rose & Crown pub complete with traditional pub foods and beers. Behind the bar a British lad or lass will cheerily and properly draw you a Guinness, Boddington’s, Bass, Harp, or Stella lager. Or, if you are in the mood for something a little different, you can get a Strongbow hard cider. Whatever your choice, be sure to raise your pint high before your first sip and give your barkeep a hearty, “Cheers!”

France

The French have mastered the art of fine dining and elegance. In Epcot you can choose from two award-winning French restaurants and a patisserie. But, the French have never really been known for their beers which is a shame because they have several interesting brews that should definitely be tried. At Epcot there is only one beer available to sample, but it is one of those worth a try.

Kronenbourg 1664 is a pale lager that clock in at 5.9% ABV. The brewery was founded in 1664 by Geronimus Hatt in Strasbourg as the Hatt Brewery. The name comes from the area, Cronenbourg, where the brewery relocated in 1850 and the year the original brewery was founded. As with most lagers, the brew has a sweet, grainy aroma punctuated with grassy hops. The taste is mildly bitter with sweet corn and grain notes. The brew is highly drinkable with a light mouthfeel.

Morocco

It is somewhat puzzling that there is a Moroccan beer available since Islam, which strictly forbids any form of alcohol,  is the majority religion in Morocco. But never-the-less Casablanca beer is readily available at stores until 8:00 p.m. in the evening. Casablanca lager, brewed in its namesake city,  is a generic, inoffensive brew that is rather unremarkable in both aroma and flavor. The aroma has hints of grain and herbs, while the flavor is sweet from the grains, but thin and somewhat watery.

Japan

Those who patronize Japanese restaurants will be familiar with most of the beer choices in the Japanese pavilion of Epcot. Kirin Ichiban and Ashai are the two predominant brews available. But, if you are looking for something a little different, go in to the Japanese department store and work your way all the way to the back where there is a saki tasting bar. Along with the saki, they occasionally have Ginga Kogen beer.

Ginga Kogen started as a project in 1998 to economically develop Sawauchi village in Iwate prefecture, by Isao Nakamura who established Higashinihonhouse Co., Ltd. The beer is an unfiltered, German-style heffeweizen, with an abundance of fruit on the nose and the rich banana flavors you  would expect from the style. At $10 per bottle though, it is an expensive indulgence. Still, you may want to give it a try for the novelty.

United States

The beer choices here are limited you could choose a mass-produced macro lager or Sam Adams. Occasionally you will find seasonal offerings from Sam Adams here as well.

Italy

Like the French, Italians are not really known for their beer. The only choices available in this pavilion are Birra Moretti and Peroni. Both are inoffensive lagers, but nothing special. Still, to accomplish your mission of drinking beers around the world, grab a Peroni and enjoy the crisp and slightly bitter flavor before heading on.

Germany

When conversation turns to beer, Germany is almost always part of the discussion. With a history steeped in beer-making the Germans have become undisputed masters of the craft. And, at the Germany pavilion you can sample several examples of German craftsmanship as you peruse a shop filled with steins, das boots, and all manner of German drinking vessels.

The German pavilion changes their beers out rather often but there are several staples that are generally available. On a recent visit, Radeberger Pilsner was being served. With an ABV of only 4.8% this pilsner is an excellent thirst quencher as well as a good choice for tis stage of your “Drinking Around the World” expedition. It is a classic example of the pilsner style and is slightly bitter with a crisp, clean finish.

Other brews that are often available at the pavilion include Warsteiner, Spaten Oktoberfest, and Altenmunster Oktoberfest.

China

There is only one Chinese beer choice in China and it is Tsingtao. This is an adjunct lager similar to American lagers, but not as flavorful. It is drinkable, but not really all that noteworthy.

Norway

Copenhagen, Denmark is home to the Carlsberg Group makers of Carlsberg lager. Carlsberg was founded by J. C. Jacobsen and his first brew was finished on November 1847. While not technically a Norwegian beer, the brewery has been owned by Norwegian conglomerate Orkla ASA since January 2001.

As is the case with many European pale lagers, Carlsberg has a slightly skunked smell and flavor, but is otherwise a pleasant enough lager.

Mexico

Cerviceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma has the distinction of brewing many of Mexico’s most popular brews. Tacate, Dos Equis, Sol, and Bohemia are all brewed there. They are also all lagers with Bohemia being the best of the group. Bohemia is a Mexican pilsner with a nice bouquet, slightly bitter and crisp finish. It is, like most pilsners, a great beer to drink very cold on a very hot day.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Beer, Imports

 

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Epcot German Beers a Big Hit

This past weekend I helped celebrate the birthday of one of my most dear friends at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. This annual event has been going on for 16 years and has just gotten bigger and better each year. But, don’t let the name fool you, wine is not the only adult beverage featured at the festival; there is also a significant amount of beer from around the world available.

If you have never been to Epcot, let me give you a brief overview. The original concept of the park was for it to be a self-sustaining community in which people worked, lived, and played. However, after the death of Walt Disney, the plans changed to a more theme-park approach. The park is broken into two main areas; Future World, which contains pavilions dedicated to Space, Energy, The Seas, The Land, Imagination, and Test Track. The second section of the park is the World Showcase with pavilions themed to specific countries like Mexico, China, Norway, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, England, and Canada. It is in the World Showcase that the Food & Wine Festival is held. During this festival, other countries are represented through food and drink as well as the permanent countries.

I met my friends at 11:00 near the giant geodesic ball called Spaceship Earth in the Future World section of the park. We checked the festival guide and made our strategy for the day, deciding to attack the World Showcase starting on the Mexican side of the lagoon. The Mexican pavilion was serving Dos Equis beers, nothing spectacular, so we moved on. It was early enough in the day that the throngs of crowds had not arrived yet and we were able to stroll in a leisurely fashion from country to country. A stop was made in China for some Salt and Pepper Shrimp on Sichuan Noodles and Pork Pot Stickers. China was serving Tsing Tau beer, but I passed knowing that ahead lay the Germany pavilion and it’s Bier Garten.

We stopped at Germany and decided it was time for a few beers. The Bier Garten was sponsored by the Radeberger Gruppe, a German beer company whose goal is to maintain the traditions of German beer-making by allowing breweries to remain autonomous in their regions. This is in stark contrast to many beer conglomerates who outsource brews to the least expensive producers or opt to change traditions by using cheap ingredients. Radeberger Gruppe sees itself as a guardian of authentic German beer culture and holds the traditions of the past in the highest of esteem.

Eight beers were on offer and I first opted for the three-beer flight of Sion Kolsch, Hovels, Braufactum Roog.

As any true Kolsch should be, Sion is brewed in Cologne and because of that it is legally protected to be able to use the term Kolsch. Sion uses pale barley and wheat malts to produce a very pleasant and interesting flavor. The nose presents sweet malts and subtle hops while the texture is crisp with a pleasant fruity flavor that gives way to biscuit malts and a slight hop finish.

Braufactum Roog is a Smoked Wheat Ale that combines the flavors of a wheat ale with the smokiness of malts that have been roasted over beechwood. Not quite as smoky as a rauchbier, but the smokiness is readily apparent in its aroma. The brew pours a deep reddish-brown and rewards the taster with a smoky, almost meaty flavor with juniper and orange zest, as well as hints of banana.

Hovels is a unique beer that defies categorization. It is a top-fermented beer brewed at Hovels Hausbrauerei in Dortmund, Germany from a recipe developed in 1893. This beer pours amber red with strong citrus aromas and caramel malts. The flavor is reminiscent of caramel, bread, and dark raisins with a semi-dry finish.

After the sampler I also wanted to try the Schofferhofer Weizen a relatively new beer first produced in 1978. This tasty brew has won many awards and is often referred as the champagne among wheat beers. As a true German Hefeweizen Schofferhofer pours pale and hazy with a sweet floral aroma. The flavor is what you would expect from a hefeweizen and is rich in yeast, clove and slight lemon zest.

Finally, after hitting a few more food stands, we returned to Germany to try the Braufactum Indra, a German IPA made with wheat as well as barley malts while still adhering to the German Purity Law of 1516. This excellent brew is dark orange in color and greets you with pleasing aromas of banana and cloves as well as earthy notes. The flavor is honey, blood orange, and herbs with the bitterness typical of an IPA.

Other beers that were available at the festival were more typical of the countries they were served in. The Belgian tent was serving Stella Artois, Hoegarten, and Leffe. The Moroccan pavilion had Casa. And Italy had Moretti. England was serving the usual Guinness, Bodingtons, Bass, and Harp while Canada was serving Moosehead. There was also a Craft Beer tent serving a selection of beer like Abita Purple Haze and Blue Moon.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival concludes for this year next weekend, so if you want to drink around the world, I suggest you head to Orlando this weekend.

Until next time,

Long Live the Brewers!

Cheers!

Marc Wisdom

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Beer, Beer Styles

 

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