Mary McGinn has been working to promote local beer in Orlando for over a decade. After a seven-year career at Orlando's first brewery, Orlando Brewing, she became taproom manager and co-owner of the Nook on Robinson, a beer bar in the Milk District that specializes in Florida local beverages.
My love affair with local beer started by a muddy lake in Texas, where a friend and I swigged Shiner on a sweltering night and swatted mosquitos from sweaty arms. Later, my dalliance would develop into a serious relationship when I landed a gig at what was, at the time, Orlando's only brewery.
After a serious seven-year relationship with Orlando Brewing, I stepped into a new venture as taproom manager and co-owner of the Nook on Robinson, a quirky taproom in Orlando's Milk District. Our bar specializes in Florida beers, and needless to say, I've sipped a lot of local liquid.
Here's a few of my fave places in Central Florida to drink straight from the source:
Sideward Brewing Co.: Even if it weren't just a block away from my own business, I'd find myself at Sideward often. Killer beers (as well as cider and seltzer), dope food and vibes for days.
Broken Strings Brewing: A hidden gem in downtown Orlando that drops some of the most interesting stouts and sours in Central Florida. They've also got a vinyl record store in their taproom.
Bowigens Beer Co.: This one might be my spirit brewery. Not only is the liquid at this Casselberry brewery top-notch, but the team is so authentic and goofy and fun.
Tactical Brewing Co.: A veteran-owned brewery just steps away from Baldwin Park. There's always a diverse selection of delicious suds and plenty of dogs to pet on the patio.
Hourglass Brewing: This award-winning brewery has put out some wild beers over the years, but it always has something for everyone. Their OG spot is out in Longwood, but I frequent their taproom in the Hourglass District.
RockPit Brewing: Not only does this coal miner-themed brewery in SoDo serve excellent suds, they've also got Cecil's Texas Style BBQ available. I recommend the smoked brown butter wings paired with McCoy's Irish Red Ale.