We paid a visit to The Hourglass Brewery when we were recently in Orlando. They are actually about 15 minutes down I-4 from downtown O-town in Longwood,  the 'burbs of Orlando.

While they don't offer food, they're located in a strip mall along with a wing joint and a taco shop. Not only do they let you bring in outside food, there is actually an interior door between the tasting room and the taco shop. Side note: the tacos are damn good - we actually went back for seconds.

Owners Lance Butterfield and Brett Mason were on-hand as well as GM Keith Rose and they were great about hanging out and chatting about the brewery with us. They're a 10 bbl production brewery but are growing as they were expecting some 20 barrel fermenters the following afternoon. They also have designated for a canning line that will be added in the not-too-distant-future. They told us that the plan is to put it right along the window that separates the brewing area from the tasting room so that visitors can watch the magic happen while they're enjoying their beers. Currently they have some barrels off to the side of the brewing area but Lance explained that they are setting up a room dedicated to wild ales. Can't wait to see what comes out of there!

Besides brewing good tasting beer, these guys like to have fun too. Both the tasting room and brewery are full of figurines, pictures and other movie / pop-culture items & references - some more subtle than others.

There is a good sized stage inside the tasting room and some of the regulars were telling us that Hourglass has become the go-to spot for listening to live music as there is often something going on. Check out the Hourglass website for a listing of some of the bands they have scheduled. We were there on a Tuesday and they had a great Mariachi band, the Castillo Kids. Someone said that they are normally there twice a month, on taco Tuesdays.

Now for the real reason you're reading this. The beer.

We had the opportunity to sample several of their beers. The selection was really good and covered everything from a blonde ale to their bourbon barrel pumpkin ale and every style in between. Their Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout was a home run. It was really creamy from the lactose sugar and had amazingly rich chocolate flavors plus a perhaps hint of salt. I thought it was my favorite until someone opened up a bottle of their most recent special release, Cloudberry Farmhouse Ale. #HolyCrap it was good! It's worthy of a separate post of it's own!

Next time you're in central Florida, make a point of checking them out!

You can find them online at www.thehourglassbrewery.com.

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