Walt Disney World

Sunny Forecast for Florida Craft Beer

For years, Florida had the reputation of being a craft beer desert. Today, however, the Sunshine State is the one of the nation’s fastest-growing states for craft brewing.

Florida’s brewery count has leapt from 25 a decade ago to more than 180 today. There’s also quality as well as quantity. Cigar City Brewing Company’s Hunaphu Imperial Stout and Funky Buddha Brewing’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter are among the nation’s most sought-after beers. National craft breweries, too, have taken notice of Florida’s craft beer boom. Some of them are skipping states to establish distribution networks in Florida.

Beer is starting to take its place along theme parks, beaches, and baseball spring training as a tourist attraction. Walt Disney World serves Florida craft beers at its parks and hotels. Cigar City’s Hunaphu release party draws thousands, and visitors who fly home from Tampa can enjoy fresh beer at Cigar City’s on-airport brewery.

The Friday Mash (Land of 10,000 Lakes Edition)

On this day in 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state. Its name comes from a Native American word meaning “sky-tinted water.” Small wonder, then, that Hamm’s Brewery advertised its beer as “from the land of sky-blue waters”–a lyric taken from a century-old song written by Charles Wakefield Cadman.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Ocean City, New Jersey, which voted down BYOB beer and wine in restaurants. The town, which has been dry for more than a century, calls itself “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

Japan’s Suntory Liquors is producing Rolling Hop beer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Rolling Stones. The hops used to make this 4% ABV brew are infused with citrus.

Yes, you can find craft beer in the Magic Kingdom. Since 1997, a brewery has operated at Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel. It’s owned by the Big River Brewing Company.

In case you missed it, here is the list of winners at the 2012 World Beer Cup. They were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.

Man’s best friend, indeed. Bes, a Labrador retriever, has been named Australia’s Most Talented Pet. Her talent? She can open the fridge, and fetch her owner a can of beer.

Ashley Rouston, The Beer Wench, introduces us to ten women in craft brewing who deserve to be celebrated.

Finally, in Debary, Florida, a bear has wandered the streets near the marina, chugging beers found on back porches and popping in at a local tiki bar. Maybe the bear wanted to be in a Hamm’s Beer commercial.

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