ALMOST ALL OF THE RESEARCH FOR THIS COLUMN WAS PROVIDED BY OUR FRIENDS AT THE ORANGE COUNTY REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER.
The Orlando brewery was established in 1936 and also built an ice plant from which it sold ice to the public and for use on-site. The brewery also had a tasting room called the “Good Cheer Tavern” that proved to be very popular with Orlando residents.
The brewery was located at 1171 N. Orange Avenue [GMap] where the Workscapes building now stands, on the Ivanhoe Village side of Lake Ivanhoe and allegedly made it’s beers using water from nearby Lake Highland, which was at one point the drinking water source for all of Orlando.
The brewery, at one point, was known as one of the largest in the South and brewed several types of beer including Bock Steinerbru Ale, Bock Signal Draft Beer, and Atlantic Ale – all under the slogans “Atlantic Ale and Beer – Full of Good Cheer” and “The Beer of the South.”
At one point, the facility was bottling 4,500 cases of beer a day and 1,500 barrels of draft beer a week and employed over 100 people at the plant, 13 of which were master brewers. The main offices of the brewery were in Atlanta but they also had branches in Charlotte and N.C., Norfolk, Va.
Brewmaster Beatty was quoted by the Orlando Evening Star saying “… We have a barroom upstairs where the employees gather after working hours […] although they are not forbidden to drink while on duty.” That practice, though fun on paper, may have contributed to a number of accidents on the property though. A Douglas Bracken, 33, was loading an Atlantic Co. truck and lost his balance while jumping from the vehicle to a loading platform. While landing, Bracken clutched to a 200-pound beer drum for support causing it to fall and crush him. He had only been working at the brewery for three weeks and had moved to Orlando with his wife and three children from Ashburn, Georgia.
Atlantic Co. sold to New York businessman Joe Rigenback’s Marlin Brewing Corp. in 1954 for $250,000, which included the property, buildings, equipment, and inventory. Marlin sold to Baltimore-based National Brewing Company just two years later and the Orlando brewery was closed in 1961.
The Workscapes building is currently available for lease on LoopNet.