Craft Brew Review: Oblivion Taproom

IMG_1760I was fortunate last week to dodge some of the coldest, bitterest weather that Pennsylvania has seen in years by fleeing to Florida.  While the weather in Florida was unseasonably cool, sunny skies and highs edging towards 80 degrees is vastly preferable to the bitter wind chill of single digits back in PA.

Florida is a big state and I managed to end up visiting the middle of the state, midway between Tampa and Orlando.  While I previously reviewed Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour I was also fortunate to try another great craft beer location with a totally different vibe within three miles, Oblivion Taproom.

Oblivion isn’t your typical craft beer bar.  This place has an intentional edge.  Part biker bar, part pirate cove, part heavy metal palace this place is spectacle and event as well as place to grab a drink.

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It seems absurd to add discussion of their bathroom to an review but it really helps set the tone of the place.  The stalls were covered with blackboard paint with chalk available.  Rather than fighting the scourge of bathroom graffiti, the Oblivion Taproom decided to embrace it giving patrons the opportunity to share their drunken creativity, no matter how puerile, with the world.  This was accentuated by the Out of Order sign placed on the urinal with quite possibly the best “That’s what she said” joke I’ve witness in real life.

As I mentioned before the vibe was totally different from Redlight Redlight.  There was loud music, multiple televisions, the staff was sweet and knowledgable on their beers but they had an edge to them.  These wasn’t the sort of place you want to bring grandma after church.  Unless your grandma rocks.

They had a number of beers on tap.  Unlike Redlight Redlight which had a wide variety of beer with varied ABVs and style, from subtle to brutal.  Oblivion specialized in big beers.  The lowest ABV on tap was 7%ABV with several beers above the 10% ABV mark.  They had a few Schwarzbiers on tap which surprised me having recently read about the style myself.

What was truly impressive was the number of ciders they had available on tap and in bottle.  They boast an impressively huge list of domestic and import ciders.  Some more rare versions of popular brands like Ace and others I knew nothing about.  Which was such a surprise given the vibe of the place.

The advertise awesome looking events and fine food but I was there for the beer.  I ended up having two pints before moving on and indulged in quite possibly my favorite beer ever, the Duchesse de Bourgogne which I rarely, if ever, see on tap.  It was fresh and delicious and everything I want from a beer.

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My favorite touch was that the bar was littered with collections of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit cards left for patrons to try their hand at besting.  While I am a huge fan of the original trilogy some of the questions were really hard.  And being able to quiz each other while having a pint just adds to the enjoyment of drinking.

Again this was a great place to get a beer.  If you were looking for a place with an edgier vibe and a lot of energy.  A place to take a bunch of friends to enjoy a bunch of great beers this would be your stop.

It appears that Orlando has a few great places to have a pint.

Cheers!