American Craft Beers Week – Celebrate at Walt Disney World!

It’s American Craft Beer Week so we thought we’d take a  look at what Walt Disney World has to offer the craft beer lover.  While much of the property is covered in Bud Light and Yuengling, there are still some great American craft beers available to celebrate with.   Let’s take a look a look at a few of the places you can find them.

Located within what’s left of the Pleasure Island section of Downtown Disney, you’ll find Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, a great spot craft beer fans.  No reservations are needed need to sit at one of the inside bars and have a beer or two while enjoying entertainment provided by Irish dancers and musicians.  While their menu includes the expected Irish and English beers, it also includes the following American craft beers:  Abita Purple Haze / Terrapin Hopsecutioner / Bell’s Two Hearted IPA /  Stone Levitation / Rogue Dead Guy Ale / Arrogant Bastard Ale / Maduro Brown Ale / Jai Alai India Pale Ale.

Watching sports and drinking beer go together, like, well, they just go together.  Thankfully, the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort does not disappoint in its craft beer selection.  While the entire menu is too voluminous for us to list everything offered here, some of the highlights include:  Magic Hat Circus Boy / Magic Hat No. 9 / Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale / Terrapin Rye Pale Ale / Terrapin Hopsecutioner / Brooklyn Pennant Ale / Orlando Brewing Company Blonde Ale.

The Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort isn’t the “craftiest” of beer spots, but it does offer a few favorites scattered within its ample beer menu,  like Abita Turbo Dog, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and Anchor Steam.    This is also a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks and enjoy a beer in an environment a little more peaceful than what you’ll most likely find at the ESPN Club.

A great choice for those who are Abita beer fans is the River Roost, which serves up Abita Amber, Abita Purple Haze, and Abita Turbodog.  If you can’t decide on one, get all three in an Abita tasting flight.  Note that this place is pretty peaceful during the day but several nights a week it gets hopping with the music of Yehaa Bob Jackson, so time your visit accordingly based on preference.

Finally, if  you’re looking to have some craft beers poolside, the Cabana Bar and Beach Club over at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort is a great choice.  The folks at Beers and Ears recently posted an updated list of their offerings which include some rarer finds  such as Swamp Head Big Nose IPA, Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yellow Pils,  and Left Hand Polstar.  You can find the full list on Beers and Ears here.  (And if you haven’t downloaded their free Walt Disney World Beer List app for iPhone yet, you really should!)

As you can see, fortunately, Walt Disney World is not without its craft beers and those are just a few of the places you’ll find them.  Cheers!

Raglan Road Midsummer Feast

A new event has been announced for Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, a “Midsummer Feast”, to be held on June 20, 2012.  From the Raglan Road website:

Master Chef Kevin Dundon has created a tantalizing menu incorporating fresh seasonal flavors for a special Midsummer’s Night Feast which takes place on the 20thJune.  Midsummer is such a joyous and magical occasion long associated with ancient summer customs and traditions.  Enjoy a four course meal paired with flavorful craft beers creating the ultimate taste sensation.

Here’s a look at the menu Chef Dundon has put together:

For more information, please visit the Raglan Road events section here.  If you would like to book a reservation, you can call 407-938-0300 or log on to www.raglanroad.com.  

Raglan Road St. Patrick’s Day Festival

For those of you who are going to be in the Orlando area this weekend, you might want to check out the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at Raglan Road.  We mentioned the special luncheon with Chef Kevin Dundon previously, but here’s the whole line-up of what will be going on this weekend:

Thursday March 15th 

  • Exclusive luncheon with Chef Kevin Dundon at 1pm, call for reservations
  • Live music & dancing on the Tonsil Tickler Patio from 6pm
  • Creel performing on the main stage from 6pm

Friday March 16th 

  • Murphy’s Law & The Irish Rogues perform from 6pm on the Tonsil Tickler Patio
  • Creel with Special Guests on stage from 6pm, a show not to be missed!
  • Raglan Road Dancers will delight guests with a variety of shows & individual performances throughout the evening

Saturday March 17th, St Patrick’s Day!

” La Feile Padraig/Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! “

  • Doors open from 11.00am with live entertainment from 12pm
  • Creel and the Raglan Road Dancers performing throughout the day
  • Guest Musicians all the way from Ireland, Murphy’s Law & The Irish Rogues
  • ELEVATION, the worlds best U2 tribute band on stage at 10pm
  • Performances from the Watters School of Irish Dancing
  • Face-painting, stilt walkers, giveaways & great family fun

$10 cover charge on March 17th for guests 18 & over  /No reservations, all walk up guests are welcome

For more information, check out the Raglan Road website.

Happy Hour! One for the Road

This week’s Happy Hour drink is one we tried during the “Twelve Drinks of Christmas.”   It was quite delicious. The “One for the Road” is from Raglan Road.

Bartender Kate gave me the following recipe for a home version:

Fill a hurricane glass with ice then add:

1.5 oz Ciroc Vodka

1.5 oz of Midori

Top with equal parts pineapple and orange juice and stir.

___

Please, try this at home!

Beers of the World – Abita Andygator

It’s Fat Tuesday! Perfect day for a beer that hails from Louisiana.  It’s not quite New Orleans, but it’s close enough.

Today’s  Beer of the World is our second beer we’ve featured from the Abita Brewing Company out of Abita Springs, Louisiana, and it’s called Andygator.  You can find this beer at the Raglan Road Restaurant and Pub.

From the Abita website:

Andygator, a creature of the swamp, is a unique high-gravity brew made with pale malt, German lager yeast, and German Perle hops. Unlike other high-gravity brews, Andygator is fermented to a dry finish with a slightly sweet flavor and subtle fruit aroma.  Reaching an alcohol strength of 8% by volume, it is a Helles Dopplebock.

You might find it goes well with fried foods.  It pairs well with just about anything made with crawfish.  Some like it with a robust sandwich! Andygator also is a good aperitif and easily pairs with gorgonzola and creamy blue cheeses.  Because of the high alcohol content, be cautious—sip it for the most enjoyment.

Andygator definitely has “bite” with an ABV of 8.0%.  The folks at Beer Advocate have not reviewed this one yet, but 287 readers have and give it an aggregate score of 79, qualifying it for an “Average” rating.    This isn’t my favorite Abita, but it’s an o.k. beer.  I definitely prefer it over “Purple Haze.”

Have you tried the “Andygator” before?  What did you think?

Beers of the World – Lindemans Framboise

Today’s Beer of the World comes from Browerij Lindemans (Lindemans Brewery) in Vlezenbeek, Belgium.  It is their Framboise,  and it is served at Raglan Road.

The website for Browerij Lindemans is pretty basic.  A primer on lambic beers can be found here, and they offer serving advice for their beers, such as temp, type of glass, suggested pairings, etc.  This is what they have to say about their Framboise:

Long before hops were common in most beers, various fruits and vegetables were used to season beers. The acidity of Lambic beers blends perfectly with raspberries.

The ABV of this beer is low at 2.50%.   The folks at Beer Advocate and their readers gave it scores of 81 and 89 respectively, and a rating of “good.”     From the comments on BA and the suggestion on the Raglan Road menu, this looks to be a good after dinner/dessert beer.  That’s not the type of beer I’d normally choose, but after reading up on it I’m a little intrigued and think I’ll give it a try in conjunction with the Dunbrody Kiss the next time we dine at Raglan Road as suggested.

Curious to hear from anyone whose tried it, and what you think.

Spotlight – Raglan Road

Raglan Road sits right on the corner as you enter what used to be known as Pleasure Island (well the area is still known as that but it’s nothing like the Pleasure Island of old) from either the parking lot or crossing over from Downtown Disney.   It’s more of a Raglan Road complex, consisting of the pub and restaurant, the “quick-service” location known as “Cooke’s of Dublin”, and two outdoor bars, the “Tonsil Tickler Bar” and “The Hole in the Wall.”

The area adjacent to the “Hole in the Wall” also serves as outdoor seating for Cooke’s of Dublin so it can get pretty busy there, but we’ve usually managed to get a table when we’ve wanted one.   It’s a nice little spot to sit and people watch, and they have a happy hour as well.

Inside the restaurant, there are also a couple of bars.  This is the main bar, which sits in about the center of the restaurant and features some nice woodwork and some beautifully tiled pillars.

One of the best things about Raglan Road is their extensive beer menu.  Here’s the link to their full menu, but below is a list of the craft beers available.  As you can see, there’s a pretty good variety:

Guinness Black Lager
Perfect combination of Lager Hops and Roasted Barley.

Abita Purple Haze
American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added for a fruity sweet aroma and taste.

Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale
This cloudy orange seasonal ale is full of pumpkin flavor.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Deep amber colored, full bodied, classic pale ale straight from Chico, California.

Terrapin Hopesecutioner
Hear ye, Hear ye…. All hop heads shall herewith rejoice! Terrapin hath recruited ye old HOPSECUTIONER to execute the exact hop profile for the killer IPA.

Bell’s Two Hearted IPA
India Pale Ale well suited for Hemingway – esque trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. American malts and enormous hop additions give this beer a crisp finish and incredible floral hop aroma.

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
One serious stout!!! A bold, premium, full bodied cratf beer from Guinness.

Samuel Adams Imperial Stout
Boston’s take on the stout brewed by 18th century English brewers for the Russian Imperial Court of Catherine II. The special malted barley in this intense and massive brew delivers rich flavors like dark chocolate, coffee and anise.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Chocolate malt and real dark chocolate are combined with Young’s award winning rich, full flavored dark beer to craft a satisfying indulgent, but never overly sweet experience.

Stone Levitation
This Californian deep amber ale style has rich & roasty malt flavors, a big hoppy character, citrus overtones (courtesy of the hops and their special brewer’s yeast) and modest alcohol.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Dead Guy is a a German – style Maibock from Newport, Oregan. Made with Rogue’s proprietary “Pac Man” ale yeast. It is deep honey in color with a malty aroma, rich hearty flavor.

Arrogant Bastard Ale
Just like the name implies their motto is “This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth”. Arrogant? No, just straight to the point.

Lindeman’s Framboise
A lambic fruit style brew with a delicate palate of raspberries. This one is definately for the sweet tooth and pairs well with our Chocolate desserts such as the Dunbrody Kiss.

Abita Andygator
A strong Helles Dopplebock with a dry slightly sweet taste that is very easy to drink.

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale
English style Brown – Ale which features flaked oats in its malt, from Cigar City Brewery in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Jai Alai India Pale Ale
Strong full bodied, American style IPA from Cigar City Brewery in Tampa  Bay Florida.

The Bruery Saison Rue
Unfiltered, bottle – conditioned, Belgan/French – style farmhouse ale.

One favorite of mine off the list is the the Jai Alai, and a few friends really enjoy the Arrogant Bastard.  (Which is one of my most favorite beer names ever.)

Along with the great variety of beer, they also have an excellent selection of Irish and Scotch whiskey, wine, and also several signature drinks:

Bailey’s Shake
Frozen mix of ice Cream, Bailey’s, Coffee Liquor

One For The Road
A blend of Ciroc Vodka & Midori Melon with the juice of oranges & pineapples.

Very Berry Blueberry Martini
Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka, Chambord, Triple Sec & cranberry juice.

White Chocolate Martini
Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Bailey’s, Godiva White Chocolate.

Celtic Martini
A blend of Irish Mist, Don Q Limon Rum, Pineapple and a squeeze of citrus & sprite.

Iced Irish
Irelands answer to Starbucks with alcohol added of course. Baileys Caramel Irish Cream, Butterscotch Schnapps, Bushmills & coffee topped off with fresh cream.

Jay’Gail Sangria
A refreshing blend of Magners Cider, Peach Schnapps and Fruit Liqueurs & squeezes.

Aran Island Tea
Sweet Tea Vodka, Rangpur Gin, Myers Platinum Rum, Sour and a splash of Sprite.

My favorite of the ones I have tried so far has been the One for the Road.  It was really delicious.

I have also tried the Very Berry Blueberry Martini and the Celtic Martini, and found both to be a bit unusual in taste, but enjoyable.

While we’re here to talk about the drinks, it’s worth a mention that I’ve yet to have a bad meal at Raglan Road.  The fish and chips are good, and two other favorites have been the Paddy’s Pork and Kevin’s Heavenly Ham.   If you’re a bread pudding fan, I hear that their Bread and Butter Pudding is fantastic.

If you’re looking for food with your cocktails, or entertainment as provided in the evening with an Irish band and Irish dancers, you’ll want to keep the following operating hours in mind:

Lunch Served 11:00am to 3:00pm.
Dinner Served 3:00pm to 11:00pm.
Bar Menu Served 11.00pm till late.
Live Entertainment starts at 6:30pm to midnight, 6 nights a week.

Note that Tables in Wonderland is accepted at the restaurant, inside bars, as well as the Tonsil Tickler Bar all day.  It is also accepted at the Hole in the Wall bar, but not during Happy Hour.

Finally, if you’d like to see more pictures from Raglan Road, see our photo gallery here.  Please note that the Hole in the Wall bar has a separate gallery here.