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Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Not Rated.
Big River Grille & Brewing WorksBig River Grille & Brewing Works
BEER AVG
3.52/5
Based on:
15 Beers
117 Reviews
Place Score: 86
Reviews: 52
Visits: 64
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

2101 N. Epcot Resort Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 32830
United States
phone: (407) 560-0253

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Visits: 64
Reviews by RonfromJersey:
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was in Orlando, tagging along at my wife's business conference. Spouses were invited to the evening social events, but I had the day to myself. My two-year old was back in Jersey. These days are rare indeed. I had a plan, explore Epcot, breaking up the day with lunch at the local brewpub.

Big River is located on the Boardwalk at Disneyworld, and is accessible without being in one of the theme parks. Disney however seems intent on keeping the area a secret. I knew it was in walking distance of Epcot, but I had seen no signs on how to get there. At the second information location, someone was finally able to tell me the route. Go pass England (and go fast, lest you be tempted to buy a $12 plastic half-yard of Bass), down the alternate path to the right, exit the park, and either walk or take a short ferry ride. If you walk, go left when you reach the bridge.

The pub is nothing fancy, but I made myself at home at the bar. Overly large Irishmen really aren't made for 95 degree, 95 humidity, so before I fully hit the chair I asked for a large water and a pilsner. Both quickly disappeared, but not so fast that I didn't note that the pils was a nice example of the style. The Rocket Red Ale and Sweet Magnolia Brown were very good beers, far exceeding my expectations. The Tilt Pale Ale came across as more average, hurt by a slight taste of soapyness (possibly a line, rather than recipe flaw).

My pulled pork sandwich was very tasty and reasonably priced. Sandwiches are accompanied by chips and a large pickle. The menu seemed to be "pub plus". I was tempted by the Mahi Mahi sandwich.

Service at the bar was exceptional (but it was a slow afternoon). The barmaid kept an eye on the level of my beer, and kept the water full. I was slightly disillusioned when she said her favorite beer was Miller Light.

The brewmaster was working behind the glass, and he noticed me studying his actions. He popped out a couple times and we had short conversations as he prepared to transfer beer to the fermenting tanks. He seemed to appreciate having a beer geek in the place. As I was leaving, he had the barmaid include a second style glass with the one I had already purchased.

All in all, a very good experience. When next in Orlando, I will certainly return. (2,289 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of greg4579
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of Jobin_24
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Retroman40
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Stopped in on a Saturday afternoon during the holiday season at WDW with my wife and her dad. First the place is almost easy to miss if you don't know what you are looking for. It is located among the restaurants at Disney's Boardwalk Resort (you don't need a Theme Park ticket to visit). There is both outside and inside seating. The seating and the whole atmosphere was a little hectic (which was to be expected during the holiday rush); still, it was peaceful enough that we could speak to each other in normal voices. If you don't like kids avoid the place. Our server was excellent and either had a love for beer or was awfully well trained in faking it. We ordered a couple samplers (7 3.5 oz samples) and she was able to clearly explain each beer (almost too in depth for me but I listened carefully out of courtesy). The beers were all solid - nothing outstanding but certainly way above standard domestic BMC offerings. We had burgers and turkey sandwiches and they were both very good - no one walked out hungry. I was watching what others were being served and it all looked pretty good (the nachos that a family near us got looked like it could feed 3). Considering the total tab (including a 10 buck tip) for three lunches and two samplers plus an additional pint was 68 bucks the place is cheap by Disney standards.

Places like this serve as an excellent introduction to craft beer. Nothing extreme and the Southern Flyer Light Lager should satisfy even the most hard core BL fan.

My recommendation to anyone who may be visiting EPCOT would be to venture out the back gate to this place for lunch - it's only about a 5 minute walk and certainly far superior to any beer you'll get inside the park. (1,725 characters)

Photo of radtke22
4.2/5  rDev +12%

Photo of WckdVbz
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of johnwkraft
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of insearchofhops
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of antman27
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place had great beer selection of there own micro brew ...got a sampler and there was not one bad choice ...great description of each beer on the menus ...the food was also top notch Kobe burger was great and the nochos were hands down the best I ever ate ... If you are in Disney resorts check this place out for sure .. In boardwalk Disney resort .. (356 characters)

Photo of Kevincredible
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of VinsanityDiesel
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Sludgeman
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MPSTARR
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Lare453
2.79/5  rDev -25.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2 | food: 3

A kinda modern with a lot of brushed aluminum... Cool that you can see the brewing stuffs.

Q the beer is well crafted but lacks flavor and variety...

S this is the highlight of the place, bartenders are very nice.

S same thing every time... Nothing new or exciting in the past five years.

F eh... Mostly fired, comfort food. Nothing too fancy

V very expensive, but its disney so it's expected. (399 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I took the family to Walt Disney World for a mid -February vacation, and we visited this brewpub for a quick lunch soon after we checked int a nearby resort. I had actually visited this brewpub several years ago (1999, I think) with my wife, before we had children. Nothing had changed. Modern decor, malt aroma, moderately limited seating. The location on the boardwalk is nice, and it is a great place to people watch. The beer is typical ales, oohing adventurous. They were well made, and there was nothing wrong with them. I particularly liked the winter rotation, a brown ale. The service was fast, and, typical of Disney, very friendly. The food was somewhat better than most pub fare. I had an excellent mushroom Swiss burger. The prices are higher than. Necessary, but in line with a vacation resort/theme park. Worth a visit if you are in the area. (857 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Snuck out of the Boardwalk resort one night last week to have a few beers at Big River. I'd been here last years ago (at least 7, if not more).

Atmosphere: Tuesday night, not too crowded. Entering through the now white awning, the bar is straight on. To the right, a small seating area and brewing equipment. To the left, more seating. Behind the bar, additional tanks. The bar area has a second, long table that passes for a second bar. Tap handles and alcohol behind the bar.

Quality: The restaurant was slowing down. So despite a few fratboy shenanigans all was quiet. That gave me the opportunity to talk with the bartender. Plus there. Six beers on tap and a full menu. Also, very busy at regular meal hours.

Service: The bartender was friendly but not overly talkative. He did, however, make some recommendations for me.

Selection: Six beers on tap. A stray firkin and handpump sat unused as well. The regular lineup included a pale ale, red, and pils with a seasonal hefe and IPA. I liked the pale and and red best and, after the sampler went with a full pint of pale ale. Several were good.

Food: A full menu is available but I didn't eat.

Pricey like everything else in an around Disney. Despite the Boardwalk being a mecca for outdoor drinking, Big River's license doesn't allow for carry-out to to go sales. Too bad there. (1,339 characters)

Photo of GeneralZod
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

ATMOSPHERE
Found this place during our vacation to Disney World. It was a nice suprise to find a brewery in the resort. It is the typical brewery & grill. It has a nice full bar and a nice display of the beer tanks. It was a fun busy night with a lot of drunk people having a great time.

QUALITY
The beers were not watered down. Every make was a nice full-bodied beer. No short cuts.

SERVICE
Our waiter was very helpful and taking his time to explain the beer and even pointed out what order you should drink to maximize taste.

SELECTION
They had at least 8 beers on tap which were suprisingly almost all very good. The beer sample consist of the light lager, pilsner, pale ale, red ale, double IPA, brown ale and a stout.

FOOD
The food was good. My favorite was the Beer Cheese Soup.
YES! It is made with one of their ales. Overall the entrees and apps were pretty good compared to most breweries.

It is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area. (960 characters)

Photo of Rymar9
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Visited this place with some family on our first night in Disney a couple weeks ago. Located on the boardwalk, we sat outside. Pretty nice atmosphere, people strolling by an even fireworks going off as we ate..well it is Disney after all. Waitress was nice and helpful. As far as beer goes, they brew their own and have about 5 or 6 different ones on tap at all times. I had the pale ale and the rocket red amber ale. Neither are anything to write home about but both are decent brews an I'm glad I got to try them. I would say the rocket red ale was a little better. As far as the food goes, I had the BBQ bacon cheeseburger, and I have to say that it was fantastic! I was pleasantly surprised. That burger was definitely the highlight. If you're looking for a place to eat and drink some decent craft beer in Disney then this is a pretty good place..give it a try. (866 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This was the very last beer stop on our Disney vacation. If you ask most Disney employees where the Boardwalk is, no one seems to know. After taking the monorail to Epcot on an epic quest to find this place, we were re-routed back to the Magic Kingdom only to be told we need to take the monorail to the transportation stop and grab a bus. Five intel-gathering employee interviews later, we found the Boardwalk after about two hours or so...

Atmosphere: Located on a touristy strip along a large wooded deck, with the fairly modern interior decor, especially in the bar area. We arrived on a weekday night and got a table right away. The tables are well spaced and the atmosphere itself is cozy.

Quality: Most of the beer was average, except for the Soleil IPA, which was a diamond in the rough for sure. The food was very good.

Service: We ordered a beer sampler platter first and it came out right away. While we were enjoying this, we ordered an appetizer. Literally, the appetizer came out about two minutes from the time we order it. I kid you not! We were both stunned! The waiter then proceeded to take our order and I confronted him about how fast the appetizer just came out and that we were wanting to take our time, relax, and enjoy some beers first. From that point on, he didn't give us the time of day. Literally, he slammed the next beer I ordered down on the table in front of me. After a while, he came back to our table to finally take our order. At this point, I think he realized that his behavior was rude at best, so he tried to his best to make up for it. However, to our minds, the damage had already been done.

Selection: Most of the standard beer styles were represented, however, it would have been nice to see at least one dark beer. Perhaps a porter? The food was basically upscale bar fare.

Food: ...and that upscale bar fare was killer! The meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes I got was great and my wife's burger was fantastic. No complaints here.

Value: I thought the value for the food was pretty good considering the high quality, however, the pints were around $7 a pop which I though was kind of steep.

Now that we know how to find this place, we'll come here again. That being said, our Disney vacation would have still been complete without it. (2,290 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

A: Family and I were staying at the Boardwalk so it was a nice surprise to find a brewery just moments away. Stopped in on a Tuesday evening and sat at the bar with one or two others. No beer geeks around and it was rettu turisty of course

Q: I had the Pils and IPA. Both were average to subpar. I actually did not finish my Pils.

S: Very nice, prompt

S: About 7 options here. Pretty standard and safe. Hefs to the Select IPA

F: No try

The place was charging about $7 for poor pints of beer. It is what it is. (514 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Visited Big River in February 2011. Long lines as expected in everything Disney. We sat at an outside table which really was nice as it is right on the boardwalk. The server was excellent and very attentive. They have about 6 in house local brewed beers. I picked the Sweet Magnolia brown which was nice. The wife and I both got burgers which were very good. They are served with chips. It's a good size portion. The menu is not huge but they probably have enough of a selection to make most people happy.

The atmosphere here is really a nice selling point. If you can sit outside and enjoy the views its well worth it. We talked to some other folks sitting near us and they enjoyed the food and drinks as well. It's worth a stop on your Disney trip. (752 characters)

Photo of swassbac
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Had a 3 meeting at the Boardwalk hotel and was happy to see the only recommended beer place at Disney was right outside the hotel. They had an IPA as one of their brewers selection and I thought it was OK if uninspired. The food was average with my meatloaf being the best choice out of what our group ordered.

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the ESPNZone had Dogfish 60-minute bottles (in addition to the BMC standards and Sierra Nevada PA). For dinner tonight we went to the Ragland Irish Bar in Downtown Disney and again I was surprised (especially after reading the dismal reviews of Disney beer) to find Bells 2 Hearted, Terrapin Hopsecutioner, Several Dogfishhead varierties and a few local Orlando Brews (an IPA and a Blonde).

I'd definately recommend Big River if you are close but if you are towards Downtown Disney, Ragland is a better bet for selection and the food is much better. (914 characters)

Photo of MikeRa
4.83/5  rDev +28.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I went to the Big River Grille & Brewing Works at the Boardwalk Resort and Villas, at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL in November 2010. This location has a nice athosphere, where you can either eat inside, or out on the Boardwalk. I was able to get a table right away.

I had 2 great beers while here, the Rocket Red Ale, and the Oatmeal Stout (which is the new entry to the Brewer's Select list here), and had to eat there a bowl of the Beer Cheese Soup, and the Blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich, and I can tell you, they both were excellent, as well as the two beers.

The next time I return to Walt Disney World, I will visit this place again. (650 characters)

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Big River Grille & Brewing Works in Lake Buena Vista, FL
86 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.