Thursday, June 20, 2024

Brewery Review - Ten10 Brewing Company


The busy looking bar at Ten10 Brewing
A brewery or the local water hole?

As I thought about spending more time drinking in Orlando, honestly websites were pretty sketch on what the best breweries were, what they specialized in, and where were the best places to visit. With friends suggesting Ten 10 Brewing Company, even though I have been reading about breweries for a year…I knew nothing. I wondered what was in store with this mystery brew.

The outside was a fairly beige bland building displaying just a few, not super large signs alerting visitors that Ten10 was inside. It fits into the surrounding block, with some street-side parking, and a matching building that felt like I was in a more established Orlando neighborhood. The busy interior made me feel like I just walked into an older local joint, even older than its 2015 establishment. If I didn’t know this was a brewery, I may have defaulted to assuming it was a neighborhood bar. And I will continue to say local, local, local…this felt so much like a joint where folks who lived nearby could walk over, sit down, and order a drink using the well liquor. And with me seeing a sign for Marlot, well maybe there were mixed drinks to order. There were wine and non-alcoholic options. Seriously, if you have a Marlot sign there MUST BE Marlot available, right?

I went for two drinks. First, was the stout that my guide wanted, “Santa’s White Christmas”, a Golden Stout with a 7% ABV and a 0 ABV. I love big stouts and porters, I do not generally enjoy white stouts, with my old local giving my most consistent experience. This one was sweet and pleasant, though I would not say stout. Maybe the golden color confused my pallet. It was solid, maybe my favorite of the three white stouts I have drunk. Maybe by this time next year, that number will be up to four!

A pint of Santa's White Christmas
Santa's White Christmas

For a second drink, I grabbed “East West IPA”, an American IPA, with a 7% ABV (hey a theme), and 65 IBU. Allow me to say this dark straw-colored liquid does 100% of what it must do. East West is the flagship IPA that every brewery needs. It’s a standard hop-flavored bite, that is a standard IPA. I’d argue that it’s Cigar City’s “Jai Lai”, Surly’s “Furious”, or Founder’s “All Day IPA”. Every brewery needs one. When they fail to produce one, I worry about the production side of the house. But here it is, a beer that tells me this is a solid brewing staff who understand the assignment. And regardless of what my drinking companions believe, many people like IPAs and it’s because of flagships like “East West”. 

A pint of yellowish East West IPA
East West IPA

There are food options, gourmet hot dogs and sandwiches. I was told that the spent grain pretzel was wonderful, and it would have been a great addition to go with “East West”. Everyone loves, or should love, a really big soft warm pretzel.

Who Drinks Here? Did I mention that Ten10 feels super local? I don’t think you will find a unicorn beer on these taps. And it’s definitely not a must-visit for tourists who love craft beer. Instead, I think if you want to feel like you are escaping the tourist traps of Central Florida, Ten10 Brewing Company will offer you a local feel and the beer that scratches a craft niche. My visit was on a mixed night of friends and bad news, and the local feel pre-gamed me for a solid night. I can see myself visiting again, especially to get a pretzel!

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