When Orlando Brewing opened its doors in downtown Orlando in August of 2001, there were only about 600 craft brewers in the entire United States (Brewers Association) and none in Central Florida. Orlando Brewing owners had no idea the craft beer craze was about to hit, but they did know one thing: they wanted to make “the best darn beer you’ve ever tasted.”
“When we started, we simply wanted to make the kind of beer we wanted to drink — fresh,” said John Cheek, partner and president of Orlando Brewing. “We wanted to re-introduce the old-world styles that had been lost over time in the U.S.”
The partners also decided they would use only organic ingredients. This means no insecticides, genetically engineered food, genetically modified organisms, or irradiation used to grow any of their ingredients. Their draft beer also remains fresh and unpasteurized. Orlando Brewing was the first to be declared by the Florida Department of Agriculture as “Fresh from Florida,” and in 2006 the USDA certified it as an organic brewery — the only one east of Colorado.
This hometown brewery is a true Florida original with beers that reflect its local roots like I-4 IPA, O-Town Brown and Orlando Weiss. Add in longtime favorites like Blonde Ale, Papa Midnight and Hopgasmic and you’ll find more than 30 organic Orlando Brewing beers that are always available at its downtown Orlando taproom. However, far more than memorable names and colorful labels, the clean, fresh and masterfully balanced taste of its beer has endeared Orlando Brewing to discerning locals and adventurous visitors for more than a decade.
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