Beer (Almost) Here!

Brews rule, as our special issue will show. Plus the voting deadline for our Dining Awards fast approaches.


Since the end of last year, I’ve been looking at the local craft beer industry for our special (and massive) Beer Issue in March, so it bemuses me that within the past month there has been a sudden storm of news about beer.

NPR’s Marketplace calls the 200-year-old industry a “new” model for economic growth, quoting Derek Thompson, the senior editor at The Atlantic, saying, “The number of brewery establishments expanded by a factor of six. It sextupled. And the number of brewery workers grew by more than 100 percent. It more than doubled.” His magazine ran a story this month saying that employment in the small brewery field tripled in 10 years.

The Louisville Eccentric Observer (a name I adore) is talking about how difficult it is to hire competent people to work on microbreweries, while Strategy+Business points to the increased interest the Big Three brewers have in buying out these suddenly popular mini-rivals. And Forbes has noticed the growth in neighborhood brewers, to the tune of $67.8 billion.

This flurry of attention has all been in January. The time frame of a monthly magazine means you won’t be able to read my extensive roundup of brewers, breweries Orlando-centric and Central Florida-wide, and tap rooms for another few weeks, but it will be worth the wait, my suds-swilling friends. And it’s nice to see the rest of the news cycle is hopping (get it?) on the bandwagon.

And speaking of the talent in Orlando, we are fast approaching the February 1 deadline for entering your ballot for the 2018 Orlando Magazine Dining Awards. Vote for your favorite Italian trattoria, your best French boîte, a terrific tapaseria and super sushi-ya. sandwich sanctuary, hummus haven, neighborhood hotspot or upscale splendor–here’s your chance to reflect on our great dining scene and tell the world what you think. But hurry! Click here to vote.


* Congrats to Hunger Street Tacos on their first anniversary. The space is small, the results from the kitchen are enormous; look for my review in the February issue.

* Chef Wendy Lopez is conducting a “Discovery Dinner” at her Tapa Toro restaurant under the shadow of the Orlando Eye on February 1. The five-course, wine-paired adventure into hot and cold small plates and paella is in conjunction with the folks at Orlando Date Night; tix are at Eventbrite].

* Foodstock Orlando takes over Ace Café (home of 2017’s Orlando magazine Burger Battle—stay tuned for 2018 news!) on February 3 for an afternoon of food from B.B. King’s Blues Club, Lafayette's, Itta Benna, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar and more, with entertainment by  B.B. King's All Star Band.

Sitting down for a dine and draft anywhere new? Comments? Questions? Recommendations? Stay in touch with Joseph at You can access a comprehensive list of his print and online reviews here!


Categories: Savor Orlando