One thing I have started to do on the Sunshine State Happy Hour is live beer tastings. It’s really neat to be able to taste beers for the first time, but also be able to talk about them with the brewers to learn a little bit about the background and the concept behind the beer.
I also get to find out about interesting products, so I was excited when Ivanhoe Park surprised me with information about their Boxcar variety pack. This contains three cans each of the three core beers that they originally opened with, and three cans of their Park Hopp’r Golden Pilsner (Pilsner, 5% ABV).
I’ve been very excited to try this for two reasons. One, I’ve noticed pilsners have made a comeback of almost vengeful proportions. Everybody has to have one nowadays, and the popularity is surging. Second, I loved the name, since the parks I had assumed it was referencing were the theme parks about 30 minutes away. At least that’s what I’m used to.
I was incorrect. What you have to realize about downtown Orlando is there are a lot of neighborhoods with ‘park’ in the name. Ivanhoe Park, obviously, but there’s the mini-Celebration-esque Baldwin Park by the Executive Airport, College Park is downtown and home to such great businesses as Orange Cycle, Audubon Park is close to Harry P Leu Gardens, the City of Winter Park isn’t too far away, and so on.
There’s a lot of Parks in Orlando, much more than just the rat and monkey dance that everybody thinks of when they hear Orlando. And it’s those parks that Park Hopp’r paypay homage to with a beer that is incredibly flavorful, yet light in body that it’s almost impossible to put down.
It’s got a wonderfully bready quality to it, with all the sweetness of honey butter (without any of those butter flavors that come with a skunked beer). Add that, along with a creamy mouthfeel and a beautifully orange gold color, and you get a beer that is amazingly great, nuanced, and refreshing.
And you get three of them in that Boxcar, although I would love the ability to purchase an entire box full of nothing but Park Hopp’r. I’m happy to know that this will be sticking around, it’s a beer that definitely deserves that longevity.
Drink Florida Craft,
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