Florida Guide > Other Parks
Seaworld - Brewmaster Club
Each time my wife and I visit Florida we always spend at least a day in Sea World, and without fail include at least one visit to the Anheuser Busch Hospitality Centre for a complimentary libation (or two! ). Until this year however, we have never managed to book a visit to the Brewmaster Club, which is run in the same building. This was initially due to lack of knowledge, but then due to the limited capacity bookings being fully subscribed by the time we arrived at the hospitality centre; this being the only ‘behind the scenes’ activity which, until recently, could be booked at Guest Services at the front of the park.
This year we made it! It was a quiet-ish Friday and even though we did stop off at Blue Horizons first, we still made it to the Hospitality Centre by 11. 30 and were fortunate enough to be allocated places for the next sampling at 12. 30.
I have to admit that I was unsure of the format that the Brewmaster Club would take. Thinking that it may have been a ‘theatre’ type setting, with a slide show of ‘how beer is made’, followed by a sample, I was delighted when we were taken into the Club and parties of six were shown to one of several small horseshoe shaped ‘bars’. Set out on the counter top were four glasses for each participant and a small dish containing an unusual variety of ‘nibbles’. Our hostess introduced herself and explained how the presentation and tasting would work. She would talk us through four ranges of beers, telling us about the brewing techniques used and the taste to look out for and, it transpired, some of her own experiences when drinking! This lady loved her beer!
Each range (sweet, light, medium and full bodied beers) would consisting of three or four different beers and we would each be able to sample just one from each range – but of course if your partner chose a different beer than you there was nothing to stop you tasting theirs as well as your own! She would also give us a small food samples to enable us to taste the beer ‘before’ and ‘after’.
The first selection consisted of two varieties of Tilt, a new high-energy drink, and ‘Mojito’ (brewed under the Bacardi label but without any rum in it) – this selection was paired with strawberry! We then moved on to Bud Light, Michelob Amber and Bud Select, paired with smoked gouda or a milder cheese. At this point one of our party was seen closely examining a bottle of Michelob and our hostess asked if he was checking the ‘born on’ date. In fact he was checking to see if he had been working on that day, as he was a lab technician at the Jacksonville brewery where Michelob is brewed! We were then given the information that not only does the label on Bud, Michelob, etc contain the ‘born on date’ but is also coded with details of which brewery, which production line within the brewery and even which quarter of an hour within the day that the bottle was produced.
After Michelob Light, Sand Shark and regular Budweiser paired with pepperjack cheese, our final sampling was chosen from Pumpkin Spice Ale (one which I had already sampled at the front desk! ), Wild Hop Lager, Michelob Lager and Stone Mill Pale Ale. The final food pairing was to the delight of all (especially the ladies) – chocolate!
I must say that having previously been a ‘beer and crisps’ man I was quite amazed at how foods can enhance out different flavours within the beer. This was an extremely enjoyable half an hour and I would thoroughly recommend a visit if you are at all inclined to the odd beer or lager! For those of you with younger children Anheuser Bush thoughtfully provide a small play area where they are entertained while mum and dad are enjoying tasting and learning about beer.
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