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crafts ORLANDO'S ULTIMATE PUB CRAWL IS NOW ON TIER 2 AT THE ARTS CENTER, WITH BEER, WINE, SPIRITS AND SNACKS.

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BY randy noles

raft brewers like to think of their products as artistic achievements. So when the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts decided to transform Tier 2, the second-floor lobby, into a showcase for the foamy creations of the best Florida-based brewmasters — as well as locally produced wines, craft cocktails, handcrafted espresso drinks and delectable baked goods — there was a certain amount of symmetry involved. Welcome to Crafts on 2, perhaps Orlando’s ultimate pub crawl, where guests of shows at the arts center can enjoy offerings from four artisanal breweries, a local winery, a coffee bar and several gourmet bakeries as well as craft cocktails that feature top-of-the-line specialty spirits.

The Craft Beer Bar boasts four taps and four renowned brewers working side by side: Orlando Brewing, Ten10 Brewing Company, Crooked Can Brewing Company and Big Storm Brewing Company. Likely, they’ll all have plenty of customers. Craft beer, which has swallowed an ever-growing share of the beer market for the past decade or so, has become particularly popular in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas and Florida, notes the Boulder, Coloradobased trade association representing small and independent craft breweries. “An important focus will remain on quality, as small and independent brewers continue to lead the local, full-flavored beer 18

artsLife | WINTER 2016

movement,” says Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association. “There are still a lot of opportunities and areas for additional growth.” Among those opportunities are affiliations with organizations such as the arts center, through which local and regional brewers can reach consumers who might not otherwise be exposed to their specialty brands. “We open 90 minutes before our shows, so people have time to come in and enjoy a drink and a snack before curtain,” notes Jeff Wojciechowicz, the arts center’s director of food and beverage. He says that Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen, which has been located on the Tier 2 since the arts


artsLife Winter 2016