Sanford is one of the oldest and most historic cities in the greater Orlando area. Recently, it has become home to a few breweries and beer joints, and their popularity is growing!
Sanford, situated on beautiful Lake Monroe, is full of old buildings and boats. Stray away from the waterfront and you’ll find yourself bar hopping among the quaint, European bars (such as Hollerbach’s Willow Tree) all the way through the dive bars; and all the breweries are just a stone’s throw away!
Just 20 minutes north of Orlando, Wops Hops Brewing, Sanford Brewing Company, Celery City Craft, and the latest Deviant Wolfe Brewing and Inner Compass Brewing Company all call Sanford their home.
I started my night out at Celery City Craft, a unique craft beer bar with celery tap handles (celery was one of Sanford’s most successful crops that put it on the map in the olden days) that lean over to pour some of the tastiest local and foreign brews.
The night we were there also happened to be a “Steal the Glass” night, where you take a glass home if you purchase a beer from the featured brewery on tap.
I tried an Elvis Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich Brown Ale by Tomoka Brewing Co. and it was quite nice. Light mouthfeel and just subtle hints of peanut butter balance out the banana-tasting brown ale.
Across the street is the newly-opened Inner Compass Brewing, one of the newest breweries in the neighborhood. They have a few of their own beers on tap right now, with several guest taps. I’m keeping my eye’s peeled for when their menu changes, I would love to pay another visit!
I tried their “Meh?” Milk Stout (which, honestly, the name fits). A deep, dark colored stout that is contrasted by a light body and light flavor. Wasn’t bad, just “meh.” I also loved their bar, built with the very bricks that stood in the way of their dream–and they knocked them down to build something greater.
Finally, it was time for a night cap.
Tuffy’s, a brand new cidery and bottle shop, just recently opened their doors as well.
This new bottle-shop-turned-redneck-riviera is owned by the lovely people who built Central 28, a brewery in Debary (about 20 minutes north of Sanford). I am a pretty big fan of their easy-drinking beers, and now, the shop!
Upon walking in, you are welcomed by a full bar (yes, liquor!) and plenty of high tops to sit. The deeper you go inside, the better it gets!
There is a room full of comfortable, reclining chairs and tables, foosball, Pac Man, and TVs to watch any ball game you want.
Through this room, you walk out onto a patio that turns into this exceptionally distinctive backyard that is similar to your Uncle Joe’s. There’s a food truck, a cozy air stream with a place to sit inside, an old (small) pontoon boat that is complete with seats, as well as ritzy redneck decor. It’s EPIC!
Plus, tons of traditional games, like cornhole (bean bag toss for you weirdos that don’t know what cornhole is) Jenga, and bocce ball.
Tuffy’s is truly a gem of a place, I was ready to come back for another visit before I even left! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this establishment. The fact that it is a bottle shop (lacking in inventory at the moment, but that will change) and also a great hang out spot for friends to have immeasurable amounts of fun makes it that much more attractive. Plus, there are other types of alcohol for your gluten-free comrades, and, second most importantly (first is beer)–FOOD!
Sanford has become the new destination for beer in northern Central Florida. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, I highly recommend you stop by!