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Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Place Score:
Big River Grille & Brewing WorksBig River Grille & Brewing Works

Type: Brewery, Eatery

2101 N. Epcot Resort Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 32830
United States

(407) 560-0253 | map

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 68
Reviews by Shaw:
Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

My girlfriend and I joined LuckySevens82, MrClean and futaboots here for the first Florida Area BA Gathering.

Big River has the distinction of being the only place in the Orlando area that brews its own beer. It's easy to find. It's on Disney World property, at Disney's BoardWalk. Tons of free parking. The place has the look of a brewpub: Brewing equipment visible behind windows, long bar, lots of seating. There is no smoking inside, a big plus. Though the chairs look (and feel) like they came off a Klingon attack cruiser. My fellow BAs tell me this is a chain owned by Gordon Biersch.

I got their sampler. They brew pretty mainstream beers. I'll save you the trouble of ordering the sampler. Get the ESB if they have it on cask. They also had it on tap -- cask was much, much better. Their Rocket Red Ale is also pretty good, as is their Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale.

And while our waitress had a habit of forgetting what we ordered, I am rating the service as good because the owner put the cask ESB on especially for us. Awesome!

I had their pork BBQ sandwich, which was very good, though pricey. My girlfriend had their meatloaf, which was expensive. The beer is reasonably priced, though be aware that they serve 16 oz. "pints" that look like Imperial Pint glasses but are actually smaller.

If you're looking for fresh beer while at Disney, check out Big River Grille.

 1,381 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of HeartofMiami
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Photo of morebeergood
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of midlifec
3.56/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of tcbl1007
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Only 5 beers on tap, but the three we had were excellent. Only had the beer cheddar soup, but it was EXCELLENT. Scott also did a great job behind the bar. Overall, a bit pricey, but still a very good experience.

 214 characters

Photo of greg4579
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of Jobin_24
4/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Retroman40
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
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 +13.2%

Photo of WckdVbz
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of johnwkraft
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of insearchofhops
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of antman27
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
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 -46.1%

Photo of VinsanityDiesel
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Sludgeman
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of MPSTARR
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Lare453
2.79/5  rDev -24.8%
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 -6.2%
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 -1.3%
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 +10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

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

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.

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.

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 +7.3%
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 -4.3%
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

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Big River Grille & Brewing Works in Lake Buena Vista, FL
85 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.