There’s a lot of pigs in the Orlando area. I know tourists go for mice and ducks and whales and giant apes, but the locals are raving over the pigs.
When I say Orlando, it’s more like Winter Park. And when I say pigs, it’s more the Ravenous Pig, a BBQ concept crated by Winter Park-raised, Culinary Institute of America-trained, James Beard nominated husband and wife team Julie and James Petrakis.
Along with Brewmaster Larry Foor, the team produces BBQ and beers for their three locations: the aforementioned Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder at Orlando International, and the Polite Pig at Downtown Disney, where I went to try their beers for the first time.
The Polite Pig is right by the entrance to the Lime Garage in this Winchester House-esque dining and shopping emporium, and features the smoked meats and solid beers Ravenous Pig is known for.
They have a rather heady selection of beers on tap, but also feature a pre-set flight of core beers. And if there’s nothing I don’t love more, it’s a flight:
Lone Palm (Golden Ale, 4.9% ABV, 18 IBU) golden has a great crystal clear gold color, paired with a strong honey and malt aroma that leaps from the glass. There’s also a really fantastic sweetness to the beer, a little bit Honey Nut Cheerio with just a touch of earthy hops that disappears delightfully into the ether.
Five Points IPA (IPA, 7.2% ABV, 57 IBU) is a little bit darker in color from the golden ale and immediately hits you with a classic Citrus-forward hop aroma. It’s got strong dank notes of juicy alpha acids coming from a heady mix of Centennial, Columbus, Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Warrior hops. Even with all of this, it’s still not overtly aggressive or brutal, and keeps a good amount of drinkability.
Red Drum Amber (5.6% ABV, 33 IBU) has an interesting aroma, almost chocolate-esque, in its first notes, combined with an absolutely beautiful copper hue. There’s a really interesting combination going on in the flavor, too, as floral forward hops meet a moderately caramel malt bill, harmoniously blending the two.
Working Man Porter (Porter, 6.7% ABV, 31 IBU) is beautifully dark, with a nice creamy head that sticks around with some gorgeously delicate lacing. Being a Baltic Porter, it aggressively assaults the nose with strong notes of chicory and coffee. The malt on the flavor is bold and intense, with strong notes of pumpernickel swimming in the roast.
I was happy to finally get to try some of their beers, but I am looking forward to visiting the brewery in Winter Park in person. I’ll get there someday.
I just have to follow the pigs.
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