Thursday, June 6, 2024

Brewery Review - Tactical Brewing Company



A busy bar at Tactical Brewing


This is not a drill!

Tactical Brewing Company keeps popping up on my list of too-visit Central Florida craft breweries. As a lover of Imperial Stouts, they seem to be one of the few breweries that always have an Imperial on tap. And those beers generally seem to be rated fairly well. It is an Orlando-based brewery that seems to brew good beers and have something I want.

Tactical Brewing Company is located in a target-rich area for beer hunters. The building feels like you are entering an up-and-coming shopping and dining district full of activity and new buildings. It feels modern, open, and welcoming. It is not a barracks. The brewery itself has a modern feel, full of light, though a little cramped when full and loud. The founders are veterans, passionate about their beer and creating “Strategically Chaotic Beer” which could explain why an Imperial always seems to be on tap as it’s not a style for everyone! The tap room also has military embellishments and decorations in an understated manner that would welcome all beer nerds including the hipster kids. It is a nice balance of representing the brewery and its values, but not a spot only painted in greens or red, white, and blue. The bathroom, yes I mentioned the bathroom, was super clean and strategically chaotic in its decorations which made me laugh.

A pint of the Way We Rust
The Way We Rust


But, how is the beer? This was not my first stop! Being someone who advocates always drinking responsibly, I ordered just “The Way That We Rust”, a 12.5% ABV Imperial Stout with vanilla, cocoa nibs, and pecans. The battle plan was executed well, giving me a lot of sweet and nutty flavor. It was more than enough for me to say, yes, I will return to have more of their Imperials. It is nice to have an option in Orlando that is consistent with this style. My drinking companion, who does not enjoy Imperials, found “The Way That We Rust” to be sweet enough that she enjoyed it. For her enjoyment, she grabbed “Mo Muggles Mo Problems”, a Butter beer-inspired sour with a crushable 5% ABV. It may not have been my favorite boozy butter beer with some sourness coming through. But it may not be fair to compare it to a seltzer-style butterbeer, where the style adds nothing to the flavor making the brewing technique easier to camouflage. 

A full pint of golden Haze Cult
Haze Cult: Ahhhroma

Second Sips: I returned on a Saturday to chase down an Imperial Target. I grabbed the “Seeker in the Dark” an 11% ABV collaboration with Cerebral Brewing in Denver. I know I go around hyping bourbon barrel beers, but rum-enhanced imperials can be really sweet fun. This stout was aged on rum-soaked amburana and had flavors of toasted coconut, cinnamon, clove, and star anise. If you don’t like black licorice, well you’re wrong, but everything about matched my order of battle. I found it really sweet, and enjoyable, but since I had recently had a Bourbon County Stout Biscotti variant, I didn’t bring a bottle home. I also grabbed a “Haze Cult: Ahhhroma” an IPA with only one hop, Ahhhroma, which was solid and drinkable but not my favorite hazy.

I may not be ready to say that Tactical Brewing is my favorite craft brewery in Orlando…yet. But it has all the markers of a potential favorite that I can include in my drinking plans with it serving as an outpost where you can recon for other beer operations!

Who Drinks Here?: If you are in Orlando and want to add a beer search to your vacation, Tactical Brewing Company is a good base to launch your attack from. It is near other locations where you can continue your campaign, making it a good waypoint. The menu has a lot to offer at almost any time, including for Imperial fans like me. And the vibe is welcoming. Or if you just want to sample what the Orlando beer scene has to offer, Tactical is a good target.

I may not be ready to say that Tactical Brewing is my favorite craft brewery in Orlando…yet. But it has all the markers of a potential favorite that I can include in my drinking plans with it serving as an outpost where you can recon for other beer operations!

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