When the Spirits Move You
Pub crawls take revelers on a tour of local watering holes.
How about some sightseeing with your libations? Happening all over the Orlando area, these bar-hopping events and tavern tours add more to the mix than your typical night out at the pub.
Orlando Pub Crawl
Anywhere from 300 to 1,500 revelers join Orlando Pub Crawl’s themed events, of which there are about 13 annually. Armed with lanyards and often donning theme-appropriate duds, participants receive free cover and four free drinks with their $10-$15 ticket (Coors Light, Jägermeister shot or $3 Three Olive vodka drink) as they wander through the night’s multitude of pre-arranged stopping points. Owners and planners Dave Jordan and Cameron Parker estimate they’ve put on more than 100 crawls since they kicked off with just eight participants in 2004. Now the events, which start at 8 p.m. and typically end on downtown’s Wall Street at last call, have become must-do fetes for crowds of twenty- and thirty-something bar-goers who love the crawl’s camaraderie. “These events are great ice breakers,” Jordan says. “They are a great way to meet people.” orlandopubcrawl.com
Orlando Conductor Crawl
Scheduled on the second Friday of each month, this crawl takes participants on a round-trip SunRail jaunt with a boozy twist. So far, events have kicked off at Ceviche Bar and Restaurant on Church Street at 6 p.m. followed by a quick ride on the rails to either Downtown South or Winter Park, where the group splits off into smaller segments and heads out for dinner and/or drinks. The brainchild of friends Sarah Peerani, Jay Guerra and Kyle Shephard, this monthly event is steeped in a mission to encourage SunRail use. “We’re trying to connect people to SunRail who may not be using the commuter system,” Peerani says. The trio kicked off the Orlando Conductor Crawl in May 2014 with around 30 participants, but it has grown to more than 70 merrymakers, each donning a wristband to signify their participation. Cost to join is just the $3.75 round-trip SunRail ticket (you pick up your own bar and/or dinner tab) but Peerani and friends plan to start offering all-inclusive packages sometime this year. facebook.com/orlandoconductorcrawl
Mount Dora Tavern Tour
Much more than a pub crawl, this historical walking tour peels back the layers of Mount Dora’s surprising illustrious past when speakeasies and clandestine moonshine operations thrived in the quaint and unassuming town during Prohibition. Participants grab drinks at three different pubs during the 90-minute stroll as the pinstripe-suited guide, former president of the Mount Dora Historical Society Andrew Mullen, doles out a plethora of fascinating tales and ghost stories that include surprising speculation about the origin of Al Capone’s scar. These quarter-mile tours begin at the Lakeside Inn every second Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 and do not include drinks. mountdoratours.com
Part leisurely bike ride, part bar-hopper, this hilarious expedition through Sanford’s drinking scene happens via the Limo Cycle, a group-powered party bike that travels at about 5 mph. While private bookings for groups of 8 to 15 are available throughout the week, individuals can purchase tickets for pub crawls that begin Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 12:30 and 3 p.m. The $35 price translates into stops at three bars (drinks included) during the two-hour trip guided by a navigator/bartender who makes sure drinks are always full and the party tunes are playing. Limo Cycle also offers Daytona Beach pedal-powered pub crawls Thursday through Sunday. limocycle.com
Sanford Pub Invasion
Mo (Moire) Wisdom—pub crawl organizer and owner of Little Fish Huge Pond in Sanford—plans a different fete each month as a way of showcasing different bars in the Sanford area. “We make five to seven stops at pubs, craft beer bars and restaurants and everyone gets a $5 drink at each place,” she says. Recent themes include superheroes, Easter bonnet, walking dead and one with everyone donning bright blue Snuggies. Events typically are on the last Friday of every month and run 7 p.m. through last call. “People can go with the group or do the bars in their own order. And the events usually have about 70-100 people participating,” Wisdom says. Cost is $20 per person in advance or at any participating venue. sanfordpubinvasion.com