What defines a “craft beer bar” exactly?
In my opinion, it is any bar that carries and promotes craft beer, in addition to possibly still having a fully stocked bar with spirits and wines. They may also have beers from microbreweries on tap. Basically, this bar should have everything but the fermenters, mash tuns, and the other equipment that would make it a brewery.
To have something named as a craft beer bar, it needs to predominantly focus on craft beer. I don’t classify just any old bar with a few craft beer options as a “craft beer bar.”
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how you define a craft beer bar, so leave me some comments down below.
Without further ado, here’s my next segment in my own personal guide to craft beer in Orlando!
I’m still working on a full guide to Orlando beer in sections on my blog, and the guide to North Orlando breweries is up. You can read that article here.
I’ve decided to add this in its own category, since we do have several options here in town. I’ll tell you a little bit about each bottle shop & bar, where to find them, and my own personal favorite things about each spot.
First, I want to dive in to one of my absolute favorite places: GB’s Bottle Shop & Tasting Bar.
GB’s has one of the best and largest selections of unique craft beer in Orlando. They consistently carry different brews on tap from all over the nation & world. They are small, but mighty.
You have the option of stopping in to take home cans and bottles or you can drink them at the bar and share with friends… if you want to share, that is. GB’s Bottle Shop holds events for beer releases often, and sometimes they have great connections to other popular breweries that are extremely hard to get down here.
This spot is the perfect place to take your craft beer loving friends who are from out of town or to spoil yourself with a care package catered to your tastebuds!
Next, I would recommend Thirsty Topher, the next door neighbor to GB’s. They often have a different selection of beers on tap. Thirsty Topher is also more of a bar than a bottle shop. The atmosphere here is relaxed and fresh, with greenery hanging from the walls and the warm glow of candles burning on the glossy, wooden tables. It’s a very cozy place! Plus, the bartenders are always helpful!
Another Orlando craft beer gem I would also recommend is Whippoorwill Beer House.
Whippoorwill Beer House is the embodiment of Florida in a craft beer bar. From the painting of the love bug on the wall, to the cute coffee niche, it screams Orlando–not the tourist trap. Just simply Orlando. In addition to having a solid beer menu to drink from, while you are contemplating on what bottled (or canned) gems to take home, this place has a great selection of wines to look over. They also have an all-olive-green bathroom and one bathroom entirely pink, literally from the floor to the ceiling.
In addition to these bottle shops, Half Barrel Beer Project is another craft beer bar you should add to your list. This one is conveniently located to theme parks, just minutes away from Seaworld and Universal Studios. This is another small bottle shop where you can purchase drinks to take home; or stay a while, have a pint, and check to see if they are brewing anything in their small batch system! Half Barrel is by no means a brewery, but they do experiment with beer and create some amazing small batch brews that you can occasionally find at a local beer festival.
Aardvark Beverages, another bottle shop, is located in the Conway area of Orlando. They have some indoor and outdoor seating as well, so you can opt to try beer now or later. I personally have not visited this location just yet, but my husband and I have purchased beers from them that we drank at home.
Finally, there’s Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Cidery. This bar is one of my most recommended places to visit in North Orlando.
First of all, they brew cider on-site. They have a decent craft beer menu with a few guest taps that rotate, plus, a full bar with wine and liquor. They have been open for a little over a year, and they’re still expanding on their bottle shop stock. It’s been a work in progress, and it’s well worth the wait.
When you initially walk in to Tuffy’s, you’ll see a fully stocked bar with liquor and wine. The next room has recliners, TVs, and a few classic arcade games and foosball. The next area, which is the most attractive and welcoming, is the back patio! Here you’ll find a permanent spot for Da Kine Poke food truck, a bocce ball court, cornhole boards, an old airstream trailer, part of an old pontoon boat, and beautiful string lights that glow at night and tie it all together.
Suffering Bastard is a tiki bar that recently opened up within Tuffy’s. I haven’t yet been there, but I have seen the photos on their Instagram and it looks incredible. I can’t wait to venture over there!
Update, Oct. 2020: I have been to Suffering Bastard within Tuffy’s! They are mainly a bar full of craft cocktails mostly consisting of rum. It is great, the services is fantastic, and the drinks are so much fun to watch being made.
Overall, Orlando has a good handful of craft beer bars if you’re looking for something other than a brewery. These places deserve recognition for keeping craft beer here interesting and fresh! If you are ever visiting, be sure to add one of these places to your list.
As always, let me know if you’d ever like any recommendations for craft beer here in Orlando! I’m happy to help and I love being a part of this community and being able to share all of what Central Florida has to offer!
Edit: I have totally forgotten about three other great craft beer bars in Orlando! Celery City Craft, which is in Sanford/North Orlando, has a large selection of craft beers on tap with a gorgeous patio to hang out at all night long. I’ve also written about this place before. Another craft beer bar, Roque Pub, has an immense variety of beers on tap. They tend to hold a lot of events for beer releases as well. Finally, there is also the Barley & Vine Biergarten. I haven’t been here just yet, but I have heard amazing things about this bar as well.