Faux Craft: Safari Amber Ale

If you are seeking out beer at Walt Disney World get ready for a strange experience.  In some instances you might be overwhelmed with choices.  The standard beer menu is pretty extensive and there are some nice selections that are unexpected.  However, outside of bars that offer the standard beer menu the selection can vary wildly.

If you are in Magic Kingdom you will be out of luck searching for suds unless you have a reservation at Be Our Guest, the restaurant in the new Fantasyland that always has long lines or full reservation books.  It has a minimalist selection of beer, but after eight hours of Mickey fun even a PBR would have been welcome.

Epcot deserves its own analysis as each area of the world showcase offers regionally specific beers and the festivals can bring the selections to even more corners of the globe.

Animal Kingdom is an interesting beast.  Several of the bars and restaurants offer beers from Africa and Asia, in keeping with the themes of the park.  Granted, none of these was particularly special in any way but it was kind of an escapist fantasy to drink a Tusker at the Dawa Bar and imagine that I was an expat in Africa.

The one beer that I sought out was Safari Amber Ale:

Safari Amber Ale

It is never stated anywhere, but commenters across the Internet assume that the beer is brewed for Disney by AB-InBev.  It’s rumored to be offered to other outlets as a “house beer” and may also be offered at other Disney locations under other names.

The example that was poured during my dinner at Boma was entirely forgettable.  It was not particularly carbonated, which may be a function of the bar that it was poured from rather than inherent to the recipe.  It was slightly sweet and kind of chewy.  This seems like a silly adjective for beer.  What does it mean to be “chewy?”  When you drink a beer sometimes that malt is so front and center, without any balance, that it literally seems like you are drinking liquefied bread.

Furthermore, the sweetness and heavy malty profile had almost no discernible bitterness to act as a counterweight.  I am no “hop head” but if you are going to go sweet with an ale it better be balanced.  Otherwise it starts trending toward mead.

If you get a chance to enjoy a beer at Walt Disney World stick to brewers who you know are producing excellent suds.  There are many bottles of beer on the standard menu that will be more satisfying than this mediocre example of amber ale.

My thanks go out to the good folks at Beers and Ears.  If you travel down to Walt Disney World the app from Beers and Ears will be a lifesaver when you are trying to avoid the horror that is a beer selection of Bud Light and something equally boring.

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