Saturday, August 4, 2012

Walt Disney World Mini BEER Tour

We just got back from a wonderful week long vacation at my happy place, Walt Disney World.  I had originally planned to blog about the running routes around the hotel and on the resort, but ... seeing as I am still injured, and really could not run during this vacation, I decided to focus on another activity: BEER!

It turns out that Walt Disney World has a wonderful selection of beers, but you have to look carefully.  Here,  my goal this week was to expand my palette and try a new beer every day.

(Disclaimer: I am not a beer expert, beer snob, professional taster, nor professional critic.  I simply enjoy beer in moderation and wanted to try new tastes!)

I will go through each one, however I am most excited about the Unibroue flight I had at Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot!! May be the best beers I've ever had!!

But onwards.

DAY 1: Samuel Adams Summer Ale

This first day we started with a not-so-exotic beer at a not-so-exotic restaurant: T-Rex at Downtown Disney ("theme" restaurant with limited beer choices)

But it was a perfect beer for this hot July summer day.

So this was one of the only draught choices at this restaurant. It arrived at the table already poured into this ice cold goblet. Appearance was an opaque medium amber, minimal cloudy orange with hint of reddish tint. Head and lacing almost gone by the time it got to the table. Smelled a touch of wheat and alcohol, can make out little lemon. Felt medium body and highly carbonated in mouth. I really enjoyed the flavors of fruit and orange without being too sweet, I could make out a hint of cinammon. Finish was also some fruitiness, but not overpowering.

Ok, enough with the "notes," at this point who am I kidding? I really liked this beer. Perfect crisp flavorful beer for a summer day. Very refreshing without being too sweet or light. Reminds me of Blue Moon, but the orange comes out a little more. Great summer day beer!

Day 2: Bohemia

This cloudy and drizzling day's beer comes to us all the way from Mexico, well, at least the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, specifically at La Hacienda de San Angel.

The beer? Bohemia.

The bottle's dark brown color, somewhat bottom fat shape, and royal foil labelling are reminiscent of a San Miguel...but the similarities don't end there.

Bohemia pours a translucent honey yellow with a decent pale foamy head. Smell a bit of lemon lime. although the actual lime wedge the place on the rim admittedly helps that out. Taste is smooth and light, with a short bitter finish, medium light mouthfeel. Lime taste definitely there, with bits of lemon, and wheat.

Overall another refreshing beer, a bit on the lighter side, and only a touch of bitterness at the finish. Reminds me of a mix of San Miguel and Corona. Enjoy!

Day 3: Anchor Steam

I'll have to be honest.  I cannot give a fair assessment of this beer, as I had it while at the wonderful California Grill, where I was engaged in some great conversation with friends, I unfortunately did not pay attention to any details about this beer.  I know I did not dislike it.  Out of fairness and respect, I will defer any more judgement of this beer for another time.  A great excuse to order it again.

Day 4: Orlando Brewery Organic Ales Flight:

This was a very pleasant sampling of a local brew.  On tap at the Wave in the Contemporary, there was the Blonde Ale, the Pale Ale, and the Brown Ale.  I do not remember striking details about each one, but they were pleasant and smooth overall.  The Blond Ale tasted exactly as it looks: light, mild hoppiness, with a light zest of wheat and lemon.  The Pale Ale was better for my palette, with hints of orange.  Now the Brown Ale was definitely more my style, and really had a stouty finish to it, with hints of chocolate and coffee which I like.  Overall nothing extraordinary, but these are worth another taste to be fair.

Day 5: Unibroue Flight:

Let's just come on out and say WOW!!!  These three beers of Unibroue (Ephemere' Apple, Blanche de Chambly, Trois Pistoles), in Walt Disney World only exclusively found at Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion) were light years ahead of any beer I tasted this trip, and may be overall the best beers I have every had.  At least the first impression of these three were wonderful.  As a contrast, the Orlando Brewery flight I had the day before was nice, but were not even close to these.

First, the Unibroue Ephemere (apple variety at this restaurant):  light, smooth, zesty, with a wonderful grapefruit finish, more citrusy than apple to me.  Did not taste overpoweringly sweet or weak.  Good carbonation made it taste like an Orangina but not like a full on soda.  Definitely a beer and not a cider.  Oh it was so good.  Not a "fruity drink" for sure, but so good.

The Unibroue Blanche de Chambly was interesting, with a smooth clove essence to it, almost like perfume, which I normally wouldn't like, but this was very drinkable with a very complex taste.  Not my favorite of the three but still an amazing beer.  Also good carbonation and could be a great everyday beer.

The Unibroue Trois Pistoles could be the best beer I've ever had.  Now, I am by no means a beer expert, and many others have had more experience trying many more different varieties.  But wow, this was great.  First of all, I like stout beer, the stronger, the deeper, the darker, the better for me.  This did not disappoint.  Dark in color, full bodied, tasted like a mix of semisweet chocolate syrup with coffee beans, the right amount of carbonation, and just the right smoothness to make it a drink that you can sip like a fine wine.  Think of a cold winter's eve, sitting by the fire, and having this as a perfect drink.  HAHA.  No really, this was great, and I wish this was available outside the restaurant!!

Day 6: Bedele

This beer has the unfortunate luck of following the best beers I have had so far.  But this Ethiopian beer, Bedele, was great.  It didn't hurt that I had it in what is probably my favorite Disney restaurant right now, Jiko.  Our wonderful server Michelle described this beer as having a "honey note."  Well, she was 100% right.  It was smooth without being too light.  And the honey was a definite flavor note without the sickly sweetness.  Maybe some maple syrup in there too.  Never had anything like it, and I think I will order it again.

Day 7: Birra Moretti La Rossa

I don't remember too much about this beer. I did not dislike it.  I had this with our final dinner for this particular vacation at Walt Disney World, specifically at Tutto Italia in the Italian Pavilion at Epcot.  Being from New Jersey, we often wonder why we eat here when we can get the best Italian food at home, but hey, it's Disney, and it's good!  The beer was fine, close to the "rocket red" varieties with more hoppiness to it, and a dry finish.  Not bad at all .... I'm still dreaming about the Unibroue!!

Day 8: Orange Blossom Pilsner

At the Top of the World Lounge, (a Disney Vacation Club members-only lounge at Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary), I had to try this local brew, which clearly states "made with Orange Blossom Honey."  Certainly pleasant, and I could taste the honey, but it wasn't as nice as the honey note in the Bedele beer.  Definitely less complex taste as well.  Just like beer mixed with a little honey.  Definitely drinkable, not overly sweet.  I can see myself ordering it again it I come across it.

(as an aside, I also tried the Bud Lite Lime ... but it really was not worth a picture nor a review, and not in the same league as the other beers I tried here).

Wow, that was fun.  I wanted this post to be about my running and training while on vacation, and running in the resorts, but well, I couldn't run.  So what's an injured runner to do on vacation?  Drink beer!  This was a small sampling of the wide assortment of beers found at Disney.  I am glad I did this and now want to try more.  The variety of textures, bodies, smells, and flavors are wonderful, and I am starting to appreciate the "complexity" of some of these brews.

Final word: Unibroue!!!!


  1. Bless your sir for your wonderful reviews. Im off to the world in a month and looking forward to some beer. Looks like your beer flight at le'cel was wonderful! - booking an ADR right now based upon your recommendation :-)

    1. Hi CurlyKale, did you get to try some beers at the World? Let us know how they were!

  2. Great! enjoy! note that Le Cellier has other Unibroue varieties apart from those included in the flight. I will have to go back to try them. please come back and let me know how you liked them.