You know those giant ads next to bus stations and benches on the sidewalk? They work! Driving around after a long day at Disney we really wanted to A. Watch the Heat Game and B. Have some good brews. But since we were in “BORlando” we thought, hmm not sure where there are any craft brews in “chain-restaurant” central. Next thing I know I see a “Sea Dog Brewing Co. – Next Right” and just like that we found ourselves at Sea Dog Brewing Company Orlando.
It was paradise. With Shipyard and Sea Dog beers brewing in the back room we felt an instant sense of relaxation. The place was great. The food menu offered beer pairing suggestions – a big change from the chain restaurants in the area.
Malcom started with a Sea Dog Windjammer Blond Ale, an extremely refreshing, perfect summer beer.
I, Laureen, love the hops so naturally I started with the award-winning Shipyard Export Ale. It really hit you with a nice sweetness of fruity flavor, then finished with a medium hoppy finish. It was really a great beer for those who like hops, but don’t like the bitterness.
The Sea Dog Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale was a little sweeter than maybe we would have liked, but it also had a caramel and maple kick. It was also extremely malty. Literally this is a beer I would soak bread pudding in, or pour over ice cream.
Next we tried the Sea Dog Pale Ale. This is a non-award-winning beer, and we could sort of see why. It’s stated as being brewed with 4 different hops yet the hops were understated and mild. The consistency was super smooth but looking for a hoppy edge, I wasn’t loving the smoothness. If you are a newbie craft beer drinker, this may be a good choice for you as it’s a mellow mix between light non-complex and hoppy complex beer. The interesting part was the color was amber, yet the ending flavor was slightly nutty and stout-like.
Next it was the Shipyard Monkeyfist. By this point we had a few beers but still our accurate review was “Hoppy as F@$K!” Really great hops and herbal bitterness.
Lastly, we had the famed Sea Dog Bluepaw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale. Always a pleaser for the ladies and they even plopped two big, ripe blueberries into my brew. The flavors of blueberry are perfect, not too sweet, and blend into the wheat perfectly. Always an enjoyable beer. The flavor reminded me of TRIX cereal as well…
Onto the food:
What we liked about this menu was that it had things on it that are hard to find in Orlando or Florida as a whole. I felt right at home in New Jersey with this New-England focused menu including fried clams, lobster rolls and steamed mussels. What a nice break from the usual fare offered around these parts! We had an awesome appy of Tempura Portabella Mushrooms. They were flash-fried perfectly, not greasy at all, and the tempura was flaky and delicious. The red pepper & onion marmalade with vinegar and cilantro on the side was tasty and unique. I’d consider making this marmalade for all kinds of things, like a burger topper, with a cheeseplate or mixed in a slaw.
Next we each ordered a fish and chips. We were ravenously hungry so when the plate arrived with only two pieces of fish, we sorta had doubts about the portion sizes. However, the fish was so excellent and flaky, battered in their beer, that we were full and satiated in the end. We’d still recommend adding a third piece for the price $13.99, as we did have an appy also to fill us up. The fries were also just okay and the cole slaw needed major refining – more vinegar and spices. As the sides were MEH, it seemed a steep $13.99 for two smaller pieces of fish.
All in all, we enjoyed our meals and beers at Sea Dog Brewing Company Orlando and will definitely be “regulars” anytime we are in the Disney area!