It’s no secret that Disney World has been expanding its alcohol selection rather aggressively over the past decade. I, for one, applaud this decision. You’d be surprised how much more fun It’s A Small World is after a few cold ones. If wine and cocktails are your thing, rest easy; Disney World has an abundance of great options for you. For this list, I want to focus specifically on craft beer and where to find a unique variety for your next trip.
Tucked neatly into the Grand Avenue section of the park, the BaseLine Tap House is a total home run in its execution. Industrial Los Angeles decor, giant soft pretzels, and a fully loaded draft beer menu all work together to make this the ultimate craft beer oasis. In keeping with the theme, all of the beers that they offer here hail from California. Can’t decide what to drink? They offer tasting flights allowing you to try four small samples of any beer on the list. As a bonus, their spacious outdoor seating area is situated directly in front of the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge, making it the perfect spot for people watching while you sit back and enjoy a cold one.
Must Try: Red Seal Ale (North Coast Brewing). This beautifully balanced red ale has just the right amount of malt to hop ratio giving it a sweet little kick at the beginning before finishing off with a mild bitterness. It pairs surprisingly well with their salty soft pretzels.
2. Oga’s Cantina - Disney’s Hollywood Studios
It happened. We got a Star Wars bar right inside Galaxy’s Edge. We all had high expectations. The Imagineers didn’t disappoint. The next-level theming, staff commitment to character, and creative menu all hit the mark. This might not seem like the most obvious spot to go to as a beer lover, but I promise you’ll be pleased by their selection here. They feature four exclusive contract brews from Sierra Nevada, Blue Point Brewing, New Belgium, and Ballast Point. These unique brews expertly stick to the theme with such names as White Wampa Ale, Gamorrean Ale, Gold Squadron Lager, and Bad Motivator IPA. They are all completely different from one another offering a rather impressive variety of flavor profiles for you to enjoy.
Must Try: Bad Motivator IPA (Sierra Nevada). This tropical IPA is absolutely loaded with flavor. They use galaxy and comet hops to keep with the Star Wars theme giving this beer a juicy/fruity undertone to balance out the bitterness. The ABV clocks in at a generous 8%, but you'd hardly know it. It’s incredibly smooth.
Careful! This little gem is easy to miss. This unassuming little watering hole is tucked away near the entrance of Expedition Everest. They don’t have much in the food or seating departments, but their draft beer selection is where they excel. Their unique offerings fit nicely within the park's theme featuring such beauties as Tampa Bay Old Elephant Foot IPA, Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen, and even a Disney World exclusive brew: Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale. You can find a few seating areas around the bar to rest your feet or you can take your beer to go as you walk to your next attraction. This is a perfect spot to grab a fresh pint after your most recent encounter with the disco yeti.
Must Try: Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale (Concrete Beach Brewery). Notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom all work together to give this deep amber ale a distinctly Christmas Dinner vibe. It’s beautifully decadent without ever feeling overwhelming.
This is easily one of the best additions to any Disney World hotel. Their well-stocked bar, exceptional food menu, and comfortable open-air seating make this a must for your next trip. The draft beer menu may seem a bit limited, but what they lack in quantity they absolutely make up for in quality. On draft, you’ll find hits such as Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Elysian Space Dust IPA, and Elysian Dragonstooth Stout (this bold stout is a hearty treat for those chillier nights in the winter). They also offer a nice range of 16-ounce cans such as Cigar City Jai Alai IPA, Goose Island IPA, and Concrete Beach Havana Lager. As a bonus, you can grab a seat facing Bay Lake and enjoy the classic Electrical Water Pageant while you sip on some quality beers. Oh, yeah… they also have a bison cheeseburger. I can’t find words in the English language that describe how delicious it is. Get it.
Must Try: Space Dust IPA (Elysian Brewing Company). This might actually be my favorite beer mentioned on this entire list. The bold hops are exceptionally well-balanced with slight tropical notes making this 8.2% bad boy an absolute triumph of an IPA. The fact that they have it on draft just makes it that much better.
This is the jackpot. 90 taps. This isn’t a little beer detour. This is a spot to come and spend an hour or two. They have pre-made tasting flights allowing you to sample a small pour of four beers while sticking to a general theme such as The Wonderful World of Wheat, All Hopped Up, and Fruit Flight. The real treat here is the “build your own” flight option. You can select any four beers to sample from the incredibly large menu. The food is on point, the seating is comfortable, and the price is fair for the quality.
My Pick: Ok, I admit I didn’t try all 90 beers. I didn’t want to have my stomach pumped halfway through my vacation. Of the ones I did try, my favorite was the Left Hand Milk Stout (Left Hand Brewery). It’s creamy, smooth, and hearty.
Honorable Mention: Pongu Pongu - Disney’s Animal Kingdom
This little snack stand is situated right outside the Satu’li Canteen inside Pandora - The World of Avatar. They feature two exclusive contract brews from Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. The Hawke’s Grog Ale is a surprisingly refreshing green wheat beer. Yes, it’s actually green! This certainly wins most photogenic beer in my book. It’s my go-to for those scorching hot Florida afternoons. Their other offering, Mo’ara High Country Ale, is a rather bold American Amber Ale better suited for some of those chillier days at the park. Both are winners in my book. Make sure you give these a try while you're waiting for your Flight of Passage FastPass time.