markwise (209) North of Tampa, Florida | June 2, 2008| Updated February 22, 2016
The new place is not what it used to be. New owners and they are doing beer events, but it is not the geek-friendly place that Tony built it up to be.
OLD RATING: This place is unbelievable. It is a cozy little pub and the tap selection is the best I have ever seen: they balance high-quality/ high-gravity Belgians with local favorites and beers no one else has heard of. After a bit Tony came out to talk to us and we shot the beer breeze for a good while and it was amazing. I cannot say enough good things about this bar only complaint is that I am a vegetarian and there was not many options, but the hummus is great. This place is the Valhalla of the beer world: beats every other bar in Florida for quality beer and quality service.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. This used to be quite a joint. As a matter of fact we made it a point to stay at the nearby Courtyard during our visits so we could just walk over to the OTH. Beer selection used to be first rate...now it’s absolutely not worth a stop....seriously. Spend the gas money and go to Palm Harbor HOB, Dunedin HOB, 7venth Sun Brewing, Dunedin Brewing, or Cigar City Brewing. You’ll thank me later.
Oldsmar Tap House is located on State Street off Tampa Road. Street parking is plentiful down the whole block.
The interior opens to some booths and tables, and the L-shaped bar is on the right side. There is a chalk board behind the bar listing the available beers, with the taps right under it, plus a couple other draught stations elsewhere.
There are around 40 beers on tap, including several from the region from brewers like Brew Bus, Dunedin, Big Storm and Cigar City. Other craft brewers like Stone, Dogfish Head and Avery are represented too, as are a couple imports. Many bottles as well again from domestic craft breweries and imports.
Service on a slow weekday evening at the bar was good. The bartenders were attentive and conversational about beer. I learned this place has recently changed ownership, and had changed names from then back to Oldsmar Tap House. The folks running the place acknowledged getting the bar to a respectable level of craft beer representation.
Food is not served here but you can order in from several nearby restaurants.
Overall I am bummed I never made it here on previous trips to Orlando/Tampa as I had heard great things from when Tony ran it. However despite some shortcomings this place is worth checking out.
Be warned. This is no longer the place the owner Tony made great a few years back. Not nearly worth the visit unless you’re driving right by and thirsty.
This place needs to be split into two place ratings since it clearly sucks as compared to when Tony owned it.
Rating from when Tony ran things: 5 / 9 / 13 / 6 / 8 / 18. This is by far the best beer bar I’ve been to in FL (I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Redlight though). The owner Tony does a great job filling his tap list and bottle list with very unique offerings. At times he’ll have stuff on tap that no one else in the southeast will have. He’s pretty much open to trying just about any brew this area’s distributors can deliver (Eisbocks on tap – yes, Schlenkerla Helles on tap – yes, Barrel Aged Terrapin Rye Squared on tap – yes). So suggestions from beer geeks are well received. He has pretty much created this place with us geeks in mind.
OTH is located in a newer plaza on a side street. It’s fairly non-descript from the outside. Inside is on the smaller side with a large bar and many taps. The selection is broad and includes several less common things on tap. They had Hitachino Expresso Stout on while I was there. They are constantly rotating good stuff on tap. The crowd is a good mix of 20-somethings up to middle-aged and people who are new to craft beer to experienced veterans. Everyone was very friendly. The bartenders were quick to get you a refill and to chat as well. Tony (owner) is always taking time to talk shop with all the customers, even if you’re not a regular there. He even allows people to bring in bottles to taste if they share with everyone. He’s just an all-around nice guy. This place is truly a "can’t miss’ if you’re in the Tampa Bay area.
Update 3/05/13: Revisited this bar after about 5 years. While it may have the same name, it is not the same bar at all. It physically appears the same, but has new ownership. They have the same number of taps, but lots of filler including tons of BMC stuff. The vibe is completely different. I’m sad because this place was so awesome before. Cigar City wasn’t around last time I was here though...
This has become my home to indulge in some of the finest IPA’s around! Not to mention the staff and patrons are a great group of down to earth folks. They have great live music and I love Thursday Trivia night. I meet the new owners and they are truly great people who understand great service and hospitality!
3 years ago I would have given OTH a perfect 100% but now under new ownership twice in the last year a shadow of its former self. Once at the forefront of the Craft Beer scene now just another spot with a ok selection.