Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oldsmar TapHouse

OK, so I know the last post was very critical of a few places in the Tampa Bay area and maybe even of your favorite watering hole. If your favorite place is like one of those places and you love it, good for you! Keep supporting them! I will do just the same at my favorite local place, which I have to finally fluff a little! Like anyone is actually reading these crazy posts anyways...

OK, so I know the last post was very critical of a few places in the Tampa Bay area and maybe even of your favorite watering hole. If your favorite place is like one of those places and you love it, good for you! Keep supporting them! I will do just the same at my favorite local place, which I have to finally fluff a little! Like anyone is actually reading these crazy posts anyways...

Open about 10 months the Oldsmar Taphouse lies in the town of it's namesake on a side street in an area that is just beginning to be developed. Not exactly the best location in the immediate area, but as I have mentioned in the past it isn't hurting things one bit. Here is a well thought out beer bar, I could literally say world class but then again I think I am a bit bias. When it opened it gained all of the buzz on the usual sites such as Beer Advocate and Ratebeer but has not lost it, with continuously good reviews and accolades from people in the beer circles in the west/central Florida area. Stone Brewing of San Diego held their kick off party their about a month ago when the launched distribution in the state of Florida which to all in the scene was quite a big deal.

What makes them so special? The beer is a huge start, of course! Tony, the owner is completely devoted to his mission and will compromise it for nothing. They have 35 taps and each one is well thought out and rotates often for a constant variety of some of the best beers available in the state. He also special orders quite a few things that are not widely available which brings OTH (as we affectionately refer to it as) to the next level. Beers are always served in the correct glassware, and all of the staff has a genuine interest in what they are doing and most of them know and/or are learning pretty well. Tony almost acts as a "beer sommelier" and can always offer up suggestions as well as an endless supply of samples to allow even the most discerning guests what they are after. Myself, I sample by the pint or whatever the standard pour is after all forming an opinion takes a bit and I like to savor that time whether I particularly like the beer or not. For others however this can make a huge difference.

The place itself is to me comfortable and everything I want in a local beer bar, charming and comfortable and lacking in the usual multitude of flat screen TVs with sports or whatever.. There is one but it is almost never on, and no one really asks to turn it on except for a big occasion and Tony aims to keep it that way which is very refreshing to me. In our conversations we have agreed that it just detracts from the overall experience and it really does. This is something I always notice, when TVs are on people just seem to zone out and fall into the glow. Without the boob tubes I always seem to converse with or meet someone, and this has been true in more places than I can remember in both beer bars and other bars wherever I have been. The Taphouse is just this sort of place, one where you always have someone to talk to and a quality selection from the cooler or the taps. Last night I was there and to my surprise I found newly on tap Ürige Stick, a very wonderful and perhaps classic example of that beer hailing directly from Düsseldorf which is the very birthplace of the Alt beer style. Also of notable mention was the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, multiple offerings from Stone Brewing, and a few other very special beers he has special ordered.

They have a website (www.oldsmartaphouse.com) which is updated pretty frequently but no matter what if you are in the area and think you have a love for beer.. I mean REAL beer check this place out. I will probably be sitting at the bar, or if not I probably have just been there!

Cheers!!

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