Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Brewpub review: Ten10 Brewing (Orlando, FL)

Where I live is a bit of wasteland when it comes to culinary culture, so it’s nice to journey up to Orlando once in a while and check out the best beer and food locations. Ten 10 Brewing in the Mills 50 area of had been on my list of “Must-Try” breweries for quite a while. I’ve heard nothing but good things, so I finally got to stop by on Sunday and check it out. While it wasn’t mind-blowingly amazing, it was definitely one of the better craft beer destinations I’ve been to in Central Florida thus far.

Ten10 Brewing 001

The atmosphere is very modern. Everything looks brand spankin’ new, which is nice because it has a clean, sleek look. There’s an L-shaped bar (~18 seats) in the center of the facility with the brewhouse to the right and a dining room (~25-30 seats) to the left. There are only a couple of TVs on one end of the bar, but no pool tables or darts or other typical bar games probably due to the lack of space. That’s fine though, because while the taproom may be small, it never feels cramped.
Ten10 Brewing 004
Ten10 Brewing 003
As for the beer, the menu is rather extensive – about 15 brews on tap with one guest tap. Pints are $6, half pints are $3, or you can get a flight of four 5oz pours for $8. The prices for full and half pours are quite reasonable, as some brewery taprooms charge upwards of $10 for a full pour of their heaviest beer. That flight price is a bit steep, though. If you wanted to sample the entire menu you’d have to spend $32! I like taprooms that will give you more samples in smaller sizes (i.e. six 3oz pours or five 4oz pours). My friend Maggie and I decided to sample half the menu, so we ordered a flight of four before we ate and then ordered another flight when we were done. I have to say I was quite satisfied with the quality across the board. Some brews were totally to-spec for their styles, while others were somewhat experimental but didn’t go overboard. Here’s the rundown:

Ten10 Brewing 015Havakow (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs): A classic, by-the-book milk stout. Sweet with a lovely chocolate finish but not cloying at all. Great dessert brew. RATING: 4.25/5.

Ivanhoe’s Mango IPA (7% ABV, 60 IBUs): I’m really over the whole fruit-infused IPA trend, but this one was actually pretty good. The mango seemed totally authentic in both the aroma and flavor; there was a juicy quality to the brew, though it was still plenty hoppy. I love it when microbreweries pull off a recipe like this. RATING: 4/5.

Ten10 Brewing 014Black Bombers In the Night (5% ABV, 15 IBUs): You don’t see too many small breweries making black lagers (a.k.a. Schwarzbier). This one was pretty good; mild on the first half but finished with a nice roasted malt flavor. RATING: 3.5/5.

White Ryno (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs): A Belgian witbier with coriander and citrus flavors. It didn’t say on the menu, but it seemed to have lemon, lime and orange peels. Body was rather thin considering the ABV. Not bad, but could’ve been better. RATING: 3.5/5.

Ten10 Brewing 013Chronically Mismanaged (6% ABV, 40 IBUs): My favorite beer of the flight. A hoppy red ale made with espresso. The dank resiny hops matched with the bitterness and coffee flavor perfectly. This is a versatile brew: a pint would pair great with savory food or with dessert. RATING: 4.25/5.

East West IPA (7% ABV, 60 IBUs): A classic East Coast-style IPA (which seem to be a rarity these days). Huge pine and resin notes, a little green tea from the Centennial hops and a sweet caramel finish. RATING: 4/5.

Ten10 Brewing 012Cosmic Corsair (6.6% ABV, 60 IBUs): Described as a Belgian pale ale dry hopped with Galaxy and Cascade hops. I could smell and taste the Belgian esters which were nice, but I thought the use of American hops actually clashed with the base brew. Not that it was bad, and I definitely appreciate the originality. RATING: 3.25/5.

Dinky Line Project (4.5% ABV, 13 IBUs): A great sessionable saison. Plenty of banana aroma and flavor along with a honey or mead-like taste on the finish. I’d recommend getting a growler of this for summertime refreshment at home. RATING: 4/5.

The food menu is a bit on the simple side: sandwiches, personal pizzas, and a few starters. There’s nothing in the way of gourmet entrees, burgers, salads, or desserts. That’s okay, because everything is moderately-priced; pretty much everything on the menu is $8 and the most expensive item is only $9! My friend Maggie and I headed here for dinner, so we got a soft pretzel ($4) with beer cheese ($2) to start. The pretzel is made with beer grain and it definitely has a genuine bready flavor. The beer cheese was nice; mild but very creamy. I ordered the Cheezy Buffalo Chicken Melt ($8) which is essentially pulled chicken with buffalo sauce. It wasn’t quite as spicy as I was hoping. I will say it was plenty flavorful and enjoyable, though. I liked the roll, too. Maggie opted for the “D.H.W.V” (don’t ask me what that stands for). It was kind of like a Cuban, but with roast beef and chicken. She liked it. Both of our sandwiches came with tortilla chips and salsa. The chips were good, but we dipped them in the leftover beer cheese since the salsa seemed like a very mild supermarket brand.
All in all I would have to say Ten 10 Brewing was a satisfying experience, and I can see why it gets the good reviews that it does. I would definitely like to come back and try the rest of the beer menu since what I had was so good I’d like to see what their other styles are like. I also liked that it was so economical – dinner for two was only $38. The same experience at other places tends to be closer to $50.

Ten10 Brewing 008

One piece of advice if you go to Ten 10: bring a sweatshirt or a jacket – the air conditioning blows very hard and it’s very cold. It’s like a server room in here!