The taproom is actually pretty impressive. It looks like something youíd see in any downtown bar and club district: spacious with a high ceiling; dark with cool mood lighting; plenty of tables; a fairly large bar; some dartboards; and of course a selection of OBC merch. Iíve been to many breweries over the years and most taprooms tend to be rather sterile and corporate, so itís nice to see a relaxed vibe for a change. I could see this being a nice watering hole for those that work in the vicinity, or a place to chill on a Friday or Saturday night away from the downtown crowd. They do have live music and other typical bar events pretty regularly, which isnít something you see at most brewery taprooms.
As for the brewery itself, itís rather small and cramped despite being only a 15 BBL system. The equipment definitely has a worn look, but I appreciate how the small scale makes it seem more ďfine touchĒ than massive production breweries that range in size from 50-100 BBLs. Several of the beers they brew are bottled on site, though I-4 IPA and Right on Red bottles are contracted out to Florida Beer Company over in Cape Canaveral. Orlando Brewing seems more interested in making kegged beer rather than bottled beer, and considering that they donít pasteurize, thatís not a bad approach.
Organic Blonde Ale: Usually, I find generic blonde ales to beÖ wellÖ generic. This one wasnít especially great, though it did have a nice authentic malt taste. Much better than the bottle I reviewed last month. 3/5
Organic Pale Ale: Not sure what this was supposed to be. Had a flavor akin to tea, but wasnít all that hoppy. More like an amber ale. 2.75/5
Right on Red!: This is another beer I reviewed out of the bottle Ė which is a completely different style than the draught version. OBC calls this version an Irish Red, but really didnít seem to conform to that style very well. Rather dry and bitter and otherwise bland. The bottle is a standard American amber ale and is quite sweet (but again, only an okay beer). 2/5
O-Town Brown: Take an English brown ale and water it down and youíve got this. Very boring and not nearly sweet enough. 2.5/5
Eminent Domain Scottish Ale: Some sweetness, and a faint trace of smoke; otherwise unremarkable. 2.5/5Orlando Brewing Company 035
Olde Pelican: Supposedly an English-style pale ale. No diacteyl, so itís probably not fermented with Ringwood yeast, but thereís not much to taste here anyway. 2.25/5
I-4 IPA: This was actually my third time trying this beer. I first reviewed an old bottle of it back in February. I was able to get a very fresh bottle a few weeks ago, so I gave it a re-review and it was pretty solid, but still far from amazing. The tap version drinks more like a pale ale as itís not bitter or hoppy enough for what I want and expect in an American IPA. 3/5
Blackwater Dry Porter: Much like the Blonde Ale, this was better on tap than the bottle. Of all the beers we tried, this seemed most ďto specĒ for the style. But at the same time, it was quite mild and seemed to have a minty finish. My girlfriend noticed this as well. 3.25/5
As you can probably tell, we werenít too impressed with the quality of Orlando Brewingís beers. My average score was about 2.81, which is not very good (anything less than 3.5 is pretty forgettable). I canít say this came as a surprise, though. Having talked to friends, professional brewers, and other Orlando craft beer enthusiasts, I heard no praise for the brewery and plenty of disparaging remarks.
I would actually recommend OBC to acolytes and non-beer drinkers looking for something they can handle. These beers are pretty mild and light-bodied which makes them incredibly drinker-friendly for those without a refined palate.
Lot of potential but all of the beers are pretty safe. Nothing really jumps out as something Iíd order a second pint of.
All very well executed beers, donít misunderstand me. No flaws but also no real depth of flavors that get me excited to order more.
In a bit of a warehouse like area this very open and good size tap room is a little old and comfortable. Lots of regulars we were immediately made to feel welcome. Service was nice and personable with a modest amount of beer knowledge. Selection was large but largely average, some horrible. No food but you can order in. Prices were very good for samples. A decent place for ticks but you arenít going to find anything interesting.
This is located in an industrial area just outside of downtown. The interior is very open and dimly lit, sporting a pirate, oceanic and Orlando historical theme. The beers are good and the only food options were snack items.
Ambiance is very interesting, reminded me of a VFW of sorts. Bartender was very friendly, and introduced us to the awe BIF program they have. Se;ection was good as far as number, but most of the beer was subpar. Beers were fairly cheap at least too.
This place is nestled in a weird place to have a bar. The service was much better this time, but there was almost no one there. Good happy hour prices, I had a La Chouffe golden and a Miami Weiss for $7. Warehouse in an industrial area of Orlando and their beers can get a bit iffy. Still not a bad place to pick up a few new rates and try a few new somethings. Prices are reasonable and the selection expands every time I go by.