It was a minor victory to finally get to Castle Church Brewing Community, located just off Semoran Blvd., maybe a few minutes away from Orlando International Airport. It’s a little hard to believe that there is a religious institution there, especially with the gigantic golden temple almost across the street.
Inside, the first word that comes to mind is efficiency. Castle Church was the first business in the space, and they had a great time planning the layout to make everything practically perfect for them.
The most notable feature are the large, rust-colored, metal shipping containers around the floor. Two giant ones line the south wall, providing storage and a second floor for offices. One is in the center of the facility, providing a demarcation between brewing system and tap room, and holds the extensive tap list they offer.
Past that, there is a row of side rooms in the middle of the seating, splitting the rest of the tap room in two. One side has general benches, and the other side can be set up in rows for Sunday worship.
Behind the fence you’ll see their massive brewing system, gleaming and churning out a big selection of their beers to send to distribution. I spoke with co-owner and pastor Jared Witt, and you can hear that conversation on Episode 20 of the Florida Beer Podcast.
What I will say is that he and I both had pints of Katie’s Kolsch (Kolsch, 5.6% ABV, 21 IBU) while we talked. I’m a big fan of all things kolsch, and I definitely had to drink one named after Katharina Luther, the former nun, brewer, and wife of Martin Luther (Castle Church is Lutheran, after all).
It’s perfectly kolsch, with a bright straw color and a peppy effervescence that froths and swirls quite joyfully. The flavor is nicely citrus-forward, with an almost decadent, bready sweetness that is ever so delicious and soft.
While I don’t know if she brewed this exact recipe, I would be interested to see what she thinks of both the beer and this exciting brewery/church. The rest of Orlando has definitely shown how much they like them.
And possibly that giant temple across the way as well.
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