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Guest Review: Beers Around the World, Part 1

Now’s a good time to grab a mug of your favorite brew as we welcome D.J. Jones with a review of beers found in Epcot’s World Showcase. D.J. is a lifelong Disney fan from Ocala, Florida. You can follow all of his adventures at The World of Deej. We raise our glass in a DFB toast to this first installment of Beers Around the World!

La Rossa at Via Napoli in World Showcase's Italy

Perhaps my favorite thing to do in all of Disney is to take a stroll in Epcot’s World Showcase while enjoying my favorite adult beverage. Most of the time this is beer, and over the years I’ve tried each of the many brews offered throughout the World Showcase.

In preparation for this post, my team of experts conducted painstaking research, so that you may know what beer is available in each of the 11 pavilions. It was a tough job, especially for my liver, but somebody had to do it.

Mexico

Our adventure begins in the Mexico pavilion, where the research team visited La Cava del Tequila.

While tequila is the main attraction at La Cava, they also feature many of Mexico’s well-known beers. Sol, Bohemia, Tecate, Dos Equis Light, and Dos Equis Amber are all on the menu by the bottle.

I enjoyed a Dos Equis Amber, which features a nice body of flavor, and was ice cold. In fact, it was the coldest beer I’d have all day.

The Dos Equis Light and Amber

Norway

Next up for the team was Norway, where the only beverage cart hosted the limited selection of Bud Light, and Norway’s own Carlsberg on draft. As a Manchester United fan, it went against my being to order a Carlsberg, the long time sponsors of rival Liverpool, but I managed to set aside this objection for the sake of research.

The Carlsberg was medium-bodied, cold, and refreshing, which was welcome since the Florida sun was beating down upon us.

Carlsberg draft in Norway

China

In Epcot’s world, China is adjacent to Norway on the map. There we found Budweiser and Yuengling on draft, as well as Tsing Tao by the bottle.

While Yuengling is one of my favorite beers, don’t let the Asian sounding name fool you; it’s brewed in Pennsylvania. So in keeping with the international theme of the day, we enjoyed a Tsing Tao, whose noticeably rice flavor gave a different, yet crisp taste.

Tsing Tao in China

Germany

Following our trip to China, we made our way back to Europe, to a country that some say is synonymous with beer: Germany.

There are two walk-up locations serving Germany’s finest: the Radeberger Pilsner and the Altenmunster Oktoberfest. I opted for the latter, and enjoyed its stout flavor, which was a big contrast to the Tsing Tao in China. It seems that the offerings change quite often, as I recently enjoyed a Spaten here, but found it missing from the menu.

The decorative beer cart in Germany

Italy

After enjoying a few minutes in the shops of Germany, we made the short trip over to Italy.

While better known for their wine, Moretti fills the role of Italian beer nicely. Light and crisp, the Moretti was very refreshing, but was a bit warm to be fully enjoyed. In talking with some fellow “Beer Around the World” enthusiasts, we learned that the Moretti La Rossa is also available in Italy’s new eatery Via Napoli.

The Moretti modeling in Italy

At this point, we found ourselves nearly halfway into our adventure. The combination of beer and the Florida sun meant that everyone on the research team was in need of one thing…a nap.

So stay tuned for part 2, as we travel from America to Canada, and complete our “Beers Around the World” adventure.

Until then…Cheers!

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26 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I can’t believe they have yuengling in China. That cracks me up. It always sounded more like a Native American name to me, but maybe that’s because I’m from the area and everything is around it!!!

  2. Alan says:

    All the beers that Deej mentioned are well worth trying if you haven’t done so already. I think it is a little disappointing that Norway serves Carlsberg. It is really a Danish beer although it is the fourth largest brewery in the world and owns several of the iconic Norway breweries. I wish they would serve draft beer from Ringnes, Hansa or Aas ( a really good small brewery. I wish my memory was a little clearer as I seem to recall Norway serving a different draft in the past.

  3. Adam says:

    Wow, wish I was a bigger drinker after seeing these (and closer to the parks too!). The Chinese rice beer sounds interesting, I’ll have to try it next time.

    Is the taste at all similar to a Japanese rice saki?

  4. @Kelly…I got a laugh out of that too!

    @Alan…You learn something every day. All these years I believed Carlsberg to be from Norway. Then again, perhaps that belief came from seeing it in the Norway pavilion:)

    @Adam…Not a big sake drinker myself, but the rice flavor in the TsingTao was very distinct.

  5. NT3 says:

    Well as a fellow beer (and “beer around the world”) lover, I’m digging this column.

    The Yuengling thing is too funny. I never gave it a second thought because I’m from PA and around Yuenging is just “lager” and it’s EVERYWHERE! But now thinking about it in this context is hilarious.

    Also, you forgot to mention The Outpost…where you can also get Yuengling, Bud Light, Safari Amber (the only place outside of Animal Kingdom?), and for some odd but welcome reason, LandShark.

  6. John Grigas says:

    Germany recently switched out its beer sponsorship, and the D23 Magazine did a feature story on the new beer of Germany – Radeberger.

    I was disappointed to see Spaten go (mostly because I would pick up a 6-pack of Optimator at home when I wanted that “Epcot fix”), but I enjoyed the Ocktoberfest when we were there in April.

    Love the walk through! Can’t wait to see how long you hung out at the Rose & Crown!

  7. Tilly says:

    Love your reviews – and the pictures!! Sampling the beers around the world is one of my favorite things to do as I stroll around Epcot. One note for the person mentioning Carlsberg in Norway – they used to serve Ringnes on tap there and it was one of my favorites. When they switched to Carlsberg, I was told it was because Norway was no longer allowing them to export the beer to WS. I do miss the Ringnes though. Looking forward to part 2 of the adventure!

  8. Brian says:

    Tsingtao Beer from China is made from water, malted barley, hops, and a small proportion of the less-expensive rice as an adjunct. In this regard, it has a recipe very similar to Budweiser which has used up to 30% rice as an adjunct for over 100 years. It doesn’t taste anything like a Japanese sake.

    I, too, wish that Disney would only serve beers authentic to their home countries. I think Disney is missing out on a lot of business by serving American macrobrews instead of the appropriate imports.

  9. Josh says:

    Great posting! I just returned from a trip to the world where we spent at least a portion of all 4 days in Epcot as we usually do, and i must say, the removal of Spaten from Germany was very disappointing. It’s always one of the highlights of my frequent trips to Disney. However, regardless of that fact, there is not one place in any park that serves colder beer then in Germany. It’s a must have for any beer lover. Also, it’s been my habit to always opt for the darkest color beer on tap there, as it always seems colder and more full bodied. Once again,great blog topic!

  10. Christa says:

    Mmmm…Beer. My favorite subject! The Radeberger Pilsner in Germany is tasty, btw.

  11. Adam says:

    @Brian….I agree with many of the complaints about authenticity at some of the food and drink areas in the world showcase, and not using actual imports is just another cost-saving and the people from certain areas might not even notice (I know for Chinese beer, I might not have).

    I think there has been some improvement recently in the uniqueness of certain fare, but I think that Disney will always offer the homogenized substitutes for people who want to feel adventurous but really aren’t at heart.

  12. Yes, the loss of Spaten was a bummer. But the Radeberger was definitely a good substitute!

    @NT3…Good tip on The Outpost!

  13. Mark D. says:

    I am on the edge waiting for part 2.

    I only had the oportunity to sample 1 beer in Epcot on my most recent trip, but really enjoyed the Ocktoberfest in Germany.

  14. JoAnn says:

    Can’t wait for part 2. I had to laugh about Yuengling too.

  15. Pudge the Fish says:

    Hooray for Yuengling even though it really doesnt belong in China. Being a proud Pennsylvanian, I love Yuengling and it still amazes me when I see it throughout WDW.

    I’m also a huge fan of the Food and Wine just for the added selection of beer alone. They need to rename it as a food and beverage fest. There are always multiple stops at the Sam Adams booth, especially before and after the Eat to the Beat concerts.

    I discovered a local ice cream shop this weekend that makes an incredible Guinness ice cream. Sounds weird but awesome. Disney needs to find a home for that at EPCOT!

  16. vanessa says:

    As somewhat of a beer snob if you ever go to real Mexico you have got to go to the local oxxo and get a beer called indio. No mexican beer compares to it. It goes down smooth and it’s a little dark. I really wish disney had awesome beers like chang and dogfish head.

  17. @Vanessa…as a Dogfish Head lover myself, you’d be happy to know it’s available at ESPN Club on the Boardwalk:)

    @Pudge…Much of my Food and Wine experience tends to revolve around the “Festival Beer.”

  18. Galloping Gourmand says:

    My German Beer Story. I was at the Flower and Garden Festival with my 60 year old mother who is quite the beer drinking. It was about 1pm and pretty hot that day, so we stopped in Germany to split a beer. We got the large – about the size of a full stien it seemed – of Beck’s Dark to split. As she go the beer I went to the restroom. 15 minutes later I returned and the beer was gone. I asked the obvious question and got the obvious answer. She ordered, drank the whole pint, threw out the cup, and found me at the door to the men’s room in less than 15 minutes.

    We proceed to speed walk through the World Showcase while Mom kept saying, “Can’t stop walking gotta keep moving.” Occasionally I piped in with “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

    At 3 we were back at French Quarter and she was asleep on the bed. Around 7 she woke up – no hangover and ready for our day in World Showcase. “But mom,” I said, “It’s 7 at night.”

    “No, she replied, “we were there yesterday and saw most of Future World and had that beer… oh my god. I can’t remember how I got back.”

    I tortured her with a tale of security picking her off the table and driving us back here, and banning her from the park. I’m a good son I love my mom. :)

  19. Rose says:

    My son got the Carlsburg and it was warm. We just figured that was the way they drank it in Norway. He is usually not picky and drinks beers that I think are to warm but this was so bad he dumped it and moved on to the next country. If we had known we would have brought it back! Thanks for the review. I forwarded it to my son so he can prepare for his Sept trip! We both look forward to part 2.

  20. Vicki says:

    Blasphemy! No Spaten in the German pavilion?! : )

    We should arrive in Disney in about 34 hours and looked SO forward to a Spaten at first opportunity. Bummer…

  21. Nate says:

    I’m a big fan of the Beers Around the World tour. However true professional alcoholics like myself will tell you the trip should be done in one rotation. No napping. :D

    Great Post!

  22. Pudge the Fish says:

    I think AJ posted this link a long while ago in a weekend update:

    http://www.hoperatives.com/?page_id=4601

    It’s a great resourse to beers of WDW although I do not know how up to date it is.

  23. @Galloping…That’s a great story, and I’m sure gives plenty of laughs today!

    @Nate…The price of getting old…I need a nap:)

  24. vanessa says:

    WOD!! Thanks for letting me know that they have Dogfish Head over at the E.S.P.N. CLUB <3 The boyfriend is doing seasonal in July so I'm really excited to try La Rossa. It looks beautiful in color.

  25. Gerard Walen says:

    Dogfish Head 60 Minute is also available at Tambu Lounge in Polynesian and Outer Rim in Contemporary.

    Be sure to check out Big River Grille and Brewing Works on Boardwalk. Even if you’ve been there before, they have a new head brewer who is really doing great stuff with the “Brewer Specials.”

    The stand at the U.S. Pavilion usually has a Sam Adams special on tap, sometimes one that’s not available anywhere else in Florida. But it changes often.

  26. chris says:

    I’ve done beer around the world a couple of times. Not easy for the unprepared soul. Great way to spend time exploring the shops and also looking for the elusive hidden mickeys. Also grab a passport and. Keep track of what drink was purchased.

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