It’s almost time for one of our favorite events of the Fall season — the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!
The weekend food festival is celebrating its sixth year, and once again in 2015, it will be held over Halloween Weekend. If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for Friday October 30 and Saturday October 31.
Food and Beverage Seminars allow you to go in depth as you learn about a wine, beer, spirits, or even pasta. For more information, check out our reviews of the Modern Mixology Seminar and the From Base to Bubbles Seminar, two of the educational events that we’ve attended through the years.
The Causeway Grand Tasting invites guests to enjoy appetizer portions of dishes prepared by each of the restaurants located within the Swan and Dolphin. In addition to the restaurant tents, there are beer, wine, and sake tents located throughout the promenade.
We’ll be attending a preview of this year’s event in time to give you a glimpse of what you can expect in 2015! In the meantime, let’s take a look back at The Beer Garden from 2014.
The Causeway lends itself to a beer garden experience naturally, since the event takes place outdoors on the walkway that connects the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
The Beer Garden is located on Crescent Terrace, an area off to one side of the causeway. As you approach the Beer Garden, staff greet you to get you checked in, and provide you with your souvenir beer glass. Note that the Beer Garden requires extra admission.
Tables and bars with different beers to enjoy are scattered about the secluded area. Seating at picnic tables is available throughout as well, with many of the tables located on the elevated terrace.
The terrace, strung with lights and surrounded by trees, is a very nice location as night falls.
Expect to share the picnic-style tables with a few strangers though, since seating is limited.
The Swan and Dolphin are committed to supporting craft and local breweries. The Beer Garden was full of local options, like selections from Florida Beer Company, but they also offered seasonal and other diverse flavors.
There was something for everyone here.
Shipyard Brewing Company, a craft brewery out of Portland, Maine, was a sponsor for the event. As you could see earlier, their name figures prominently on the souvenir glasses.
The Swan and Dolphin actually created their own beer just for the event. Phins and Feathers (get it?) offered the seasonal Sweet and Mallow, which echoed the flavors of Sweet Potato Pie!
As I wandered around the area, I found Fruit Beers, like Liefmans Fruitesse, a red berry beer from Belgium.
Remember, I said diverse! Next, I checked out 80-Acre Beer from Boulevard Brewing Company in Missouri. The American Pale Wheat Ale offers a nice balance between hoppier IPAs and more refreshing wheat beers.
From Fruit and Craft — to Belgium. Delirium Beer was next on our list of interesting finds.
The Blond Belgian Ale is popular world-wide.
Next, I turned the corner back to craft beer, and found Thunderstruck Coffee Porter.
Brewed just up the road by Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, North Carolina, the full-bodied Porter takes its complex flavors from the addition of local, fair-trade coffee. There is a LOT going on here.
There were many, many, MANY other options available.
And as my beer knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year, I’m looking forward to exploring all of the beers available at the 2015 event to show you even more variety!
But now, let’s take a quick tour of the food available to accompany all of that beer goodness.
In addition to the multitude of different beers on offer, there was also plenty of food to enjoy. These dishes were exclusive to the Beer Garden, so only those with the upgraded ticket could enjoy the items.
The incredible thing about the dishes is that they, like all of the other foods available for the Causeway Tasting, are freshly prepared from scratch.
The menu leaned heavily German (natch) — which was perfect. Not only were the foods just right to match all the beer on hand, but it also happened to be a really chilly weekend. So the rich, slightly heavy food was a perfect fare for the Fall weather!
The Made to Order Soft Pretzels were super popular.
You could get them salted or salt free. (Salt all the way here, please. 🙂 )
There were also plenty of Mustard options for adding to your Pretzels or Bratwurst. Speaking of…
Pretzel Rolls stood at the ready for Bratwurst.
Topped with Braised Red Cabbage, these looked and smelled amazing.
But that wasn’t all. There was also freshly fried Wiener Schnitzel, served with a side of Warm German Potato Salad.
We were just completely blown away by the fact that everything was prepared fresh, to order, on the spot.
And with so many incredible beers to try and foods to enjoy, you could make an entire evening of The Beer Garden alone.
I can only assume that the Beer Garden, with its hearty food and diverse beer selection, is a beer lover’s dream. And I am looking very forward to seeing what they have in store for us this upcoming weekend!
It’s not too late to get in on the fun for this year’s Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic! Just head to their website to check out more information about tickets for the Causeway, The Beer Garden, all of the fun and informative food and beverage seminars, and even packages for staying over!
Are you headed to the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic this year? Let us know in the comments below!