Events for Dry January dropouts; you say bacon, I say Bacán; maybe a downtown rooftop restaurant; and gruyère from anywhere.
Are you doing Dry January this year? You know, that’s where people who drink alcohol pledge not to drink alcohol for the first month of the year. How’s that going for you? Yeah, me too. Maybe next year.
So, you might be interested in a couple of beer-centric events coming up before the calendar hits February. (And by the way, if you’re going to choose a whole month not to drink, why wouldn’t you choose the month with the fewest days instead of one with the most?)
The fourth annual Otter Fest Craft Beer Celebration is Saturday, Ja. 22, at Wekiva Island. It features products from 16 craft brewers but oddly no otters. The event is from 2 to 5 p.m. and tickets – $30 general admission or $40 for VIP admission at 1 p.m. – are required to enter the beer area. Children, dogs and, apparently, otters are not allowed. According to the event’s website, something called a pretzel necklace will be for sale. I pray that isn’t a euphemism.
Then on the following Saturday, Jan. 29, Orlando Science Center will host Science on Tap at the Loch Haven Park facility. There will be 30 participating brewers sampling over 150 craft beers. For this one, general admission is $60, which gets you in at 5 p.m. VIP tickets are $90 abd gets you in at 3 p.m. for some serious afternoon drinking (you get two full draughts of the beer of your choice instead of just sample pours) plus discounts at the food trucks that will be on hand (no mention of edible jewelry). OSC members can get a $50 ticket and get in at 4 p.m. There’s also a $30 Designated Driver ticket in case you have a friend who’s still doing Dry January by then. You can suss out all those different ticket levels and purchase yours here.
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel has opened and with it its signature restaurant, Bacán. I know you want to pronounce that bacon, but its buh-CAHN. I’m thinking that’s how I’m going to start pronouncing bacon when I go to a diner. The menu, according to the website, is “(i)nfluenced by the many flavors of the Americas and centered around a dramatic open theater kitchen.” I love live kitchen dramas. Still to come at the hotel is a lobby-level sushi restaurant.
Hey, you know where would be a good place to put a restaurant? The rooftop of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, shown at top. Sources tell me that one is in the works. Talk about a dramatic kitchen! More to come.
And finally, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled last month that gruyère does not have to come from Gruyères, Switzerland. It can come from anywhere and apparently can look and taste like anything. According to an article in the New York Times, Zabar’s, the Upper West Side grocery and deli, recently received a testy letter from a lawyer for the association of cheese producers (not to be confused with a cheesy lawyer) because it was selling gruyère from Germany. This ruling is not without precedent. Parmesan not made in Parma or Reggio are common to find. So is feta that has never been to Greece.
And of course there’s the issue with champagne, which to be so labeled must come from the Champagne region of France, unless it was produced in the United States. That’s because when France got the rest of the world to agree to call their sparkling wines anything but champagne, in a 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the U.S. was still in Prohibition and said there was no reason for them to ratify the treaty.
I only bring this up to taunt those who are still doing Dry January, their own mini Prohibition. Cheers!