One thing you might not expect to find in Orlando is a mining themed brewery, but turns out there is one! RockPit Brewing opened up a little over a year ago in the SoDo District and has made a name for themselves as a mining styled hangout. Surprisingly it really works, and the immersive theming makes its feel like you have left Florida!
This is all in a good way though, as it is mainly executed with industrial decor and symbols of hops wearing hard hats. As with the theme, RockPit Brewing goes out of their way to make excellent beer too. Their tap list is large with all sorts of styles and of course you can get a flight to try a bunch. Between the fun events, unique theme, tasty beer and even the home brew store, there are so many reasons why you should visit RockPit Brewing in Orlando!
Location and Atmosphere
You can find RockPit Brewing not too far from Downtown Orlando near Lake Holden. It’s a bit tucked away from the main road and there’s not a lot of parking so sometimes you have to go down the street. Once you see the line of cars and the welcoming blue building, you know you are there!
There is some seating and often a food truck outside. On a nice day, they will have the big garage door open for an indoor/outdoor experience. Inside, is where you really see the mining theme, complete with a wooden balcony and hanging lights. This isn’t just to be cute by the way, they really know their stuff! If you go on the website, all the beer names include some fun fact about mining. I love the pick axes and the hop logo, but my favorite touch is the copper bar. If you are lucky enough to get a seat here, you will see the list of beers, but there are also tap lists around the brewery as well.
RockPit Brewing Tap List
I was very impressed by the tap list at RockPit Brewing, especially for such a young brewery. Their motto is “We have something for everyone” and I definitely found that to hold through. While Andrew and I love IPA’s and sours, our friends with us are more into darker and sweeter beers. They were just as happy as we were with the selection!
The beers you will always find on tap include the H.L.’s Pale Ale, the Miner’s Light, the Cackler IPA and the Blackstrap Con Leche Stout. I tried all of these except the Miner’s Light and they were solid beers true to the style and all smooth enough for easy drinking. I did find both the IPA and the Stout to have their own slight spin. The Cackler IPA has four different types of hops that give off a lot of citrusy yet crisp notes, and the stout is coffee milk flavored.
The rest of the tap list varies seasonally. We came in February and in March so I tried some of the winter and spring beers, including Valentine’s flavored ones! Both the Cheery Detonator Doppelbock and the Be My Sourtine Berliner are in that category. They tasted better than anything you can find in the candy aisle!
The RockPit Brewing tap list is now starting to showcase their summer beers with some intriguing flavors. I especially want to try the new Pineapple Planks Berliner aged with Spanish Cedar that sounds like the perfect beer to drink while grilling. They also have some tropical IPA’s and a refreshing pilsner on the menu. I love when breweries try out new beers each season, and this is one of them! However, you can still find the core beers year-round if you prefer.
We visited here for the first time on Leap Day before going to a Solar Bears game. Apparently, there was some sort of podcasting meetup going in so the place was packed! I was hesitant to get a flight with nowhere to sit but we managed to find a table at the last minute. Thanks to the flights, I got to try many of the beers!
I wouldn’t be surprised if I tried more than half of the menu. Thanks to two flights, I tried all my top picks, as well as stole a few sips from my friend’s beers. Thinking about sharing beers in a crowded brewery sounds almost archaic now after almost two months of dealing with the coronavirus. I definitely wish I could go back to such an innocent time like this one!
Anyways, my favorites were the Haka Savage New England IPA and the Mango Berliner Weiss. The New England IPA was very hazy with some dank hop flavors, but not too heavy. RockPit Brewing has their own Savage line of IPA’s and now they have a Yankee Savage on tap that sounds equally delicious. The Mango Berliner was so juicy and just slightly tart so that I could drink it all day. Also, the Be My Sourtine was one of the most amazing floral beers I have had. It had both hibiscus and rose flavors along with a fruity taste!
My friends all loved the Cherry Detonator Dopplebock which tasted like a chocolate covered cherry. I found this deceptively sweet, as you could not tell it was almost 12% ABV from the taste! Of the ten or so beers I tasted, I did not find a single one I disliked and would drink them all again. We loved it so much, that right before the quarantine started, we stopped by RockPit Brewing and picked up some crowlers and growlers to go. Now I can’t wait to get my hands or some more of their beer after this!
Rockpit Brewing Food Menu
For those who like a snack with their beer, RockPit Brewing has you covered. There was a lovely assortment of snacks for $10 and under. You might be able to get away with some of these as a whole meal, but it is mainly a bar menu.
For a simple snack, there is popcorn, pretzel bites, chips and salsa and loaded tots. However, for more of a meal, you can get smoked wings, sliders or tacos. Each has their own distinct flavors like the smoked butter wings or the chicken salad sliders. There is even side dishes as well with everything from jalapeno mashed potatoes to black eyed peas!
If you come on Wednesday, there’s a Wing Wednesday special. You get $3 off your tab if you order at least eight wings and a beer! Other specials include happy hour from 4 PM to 7 PM Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During this, you get a pint of a core beer for $4 or $1 off a rotating tap. For those who are not into beer, RockPit Brewing also offers wine, ciders, hard seltzer and soft drinks.
Events and More
Under normal circumstance, this brewery is busy with people seven days a week. They have quite the fan group and even offer a mug club for loyal members. Locals also love the weekly Wednesday game night and Thursday trivia. They give out plenty of gift cards to winners and add themes to make it interesting!
This brewery hosts special events all the time as well. Last year they had some very fun sounding beer and cupcake pairings, and even a beer and cheese pairing! There’s always a chef there to explain more about the flavors and expand your palate. I am still not exactly sure what was going on with the podcasting event when I was there, but this seems like a brewery where every day is a celebration. If you join their email list, you even get a free flight on your birthday!
Know Before You Go: Rockpit Brewing Company
Some breweries take themselves too seriously, but RockPit Brewing screamed FUN to me. Their beer was unpretentious and tasty and the tap room was casual and unique. On both visits, the bartenders were super friendly, even on our second visit with the uncertainty of the coronavirus looming. If you are in Orlando, this is definitely a brewery you want to stop at. Here’s everything to know for your visit.
- The taproom is currently open every day from 12 PM to 8 PM. Happy Hour is 4-7 PM Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Seating is available inside and outside, although the patio is not covered. Dogs are allowed
- Beers are offered in a variety of pour sizes, including crowlers and growlers. Pints range from $5 to $7.50 and flights are only $10 for four 5 ounce pours.
- You can purchase wine, hard seltzer, cider and soft drinks in addition to beer.
- There is a variety of food to order, made by the restaurant next door, Cecil’s BBQ
- Parking is free, but it can be a challenge to find. Check out the corner of Illiana St and Joseph St if the brewery lot is full.
- Every Saturday, there is a brew loop that takes you between here and four other local breweries from 2 PM to 8 PM. This is a great way to try a bunch of breweries in the area and not worry about driving!
- There is a home brewing store inside as well, selling everything you need to make your own beer!
Have you been to this brewery or any other mining themed breweries before? This is the first one I have heard of! If you want to find out more great places to get beer in the area, check out my Best Orlando Brewery Guide or my Top 20 Florida Breweries list.