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Our favorite Orlando beer joints

These bars may not have the craft cachet but provide the perfect backdrop for just drinking a beer

Photo: , License: N/A

Burton's Bar

Photo: , License: N/A

The Hideaway Bar


Yes, we know: Redlight Redlight has a stellar craft-beer selection and a totally gorgeous new space in Audubon Park. Cask and Larder and Shipyard Pub both brew their own awesome, award-winning small-batch suds. Oblivion Tap Room is to craft beer what the Vegan Death Metal Chef is to vegan cuisine. But here's the thing: Sometimes, we don't want to think about whether it's 60-minute or 90-minute or whether we'll detect the fruity notes in our hoppy beverage. We just want a beer, and we want it to be cold, reasonably priced and served in a pleasant environment. We'll be covering plenty of craft-beer bars in this issue, but we wanted to take a moment to point out some of our favorite non-craft beer bars, too. Below are some of our favorite places to just drink beer. They may not have craft-beer cachet, but that's OK by us. Cheers.

Tom and Jerry's
1117 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-6519, tomandjerrys.info
Across from the giant Holler dealership in what's currently a massive construction zone is the unassuming, easygoing Tom and Jerry's, perhaps the most casual bar you'll find in Winter Park. On draft are the usual suspects – Bud, Miller, Yuengling, Stella – and when you order one during happy hour (which lasts five hours), the bartender sloshes it in front of you, gloriously frothing over your pint glass for a cool $1.50. Don't mind the mess, because the no-fuss attitude of T&J's is what notoriously draws local media personalities on the regular to let loose and get a little sloppy. While the couches, booths and bar stools are inviting, it's the porch area, where you can play darts and pool, that provides the most enticingly low-key aspect of the bar, especially just before sunset. – Ashley Belanger

The Lazy Gator Bar at Black Hammock
2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Road, Oviedo, 407-365-1244, theblackhammock.com
The lakeside environs of Black Hammock scream "Old Florida" loud and clear: With its moss-covered cypress trees, airboat tours and alligator exhibits, this bar is all about being at one with nature while having a good time. It's one of those laid-back (and hard-to-find, because it's in the middle-of-nowhere Oviedo) places with a "come as you are" vibe. You won't find many fancy kinds of beer here – more the likes of Bud, Miller and Michelob (go for the 20-ounce option). But it's the down-home attitude that makes the beer drinking at Black Hammock so enjoyable: Live blues and Southern rock bands play on weekends, pool tables and dart boards are available inside the bar, and it's got prime outdoor lakefront seating with spectacular sunset views over Lake Jesup – not to mention you're pretty much guaranteed an alligator sighting. Enjoy a cold one, but watch your fingers and toes! – Aimee Vitek

The Celt Irish Pub
25 S. Magnolia Ave., 407-481-2928, harpandcelt.com
You like wood? Like lots of it? How about some awesome beer? Well, the Celt bids you "céad míle fáilte" and it's the closest downtown Orlando gets to a genuine Irish pub experience. Pound a plate of Irish nachos, slide over a few pints of Guinness, and you won't want to be anywhere else for the rest of the evening – probably because your legs will stop working at some point. This traditional Celtic haven feels like home from the moment you walk through the door 'til you part ways and stumble on home. – Adam McCabe

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