Brewery Visit – Redlight Redlight @redlightx2

Sounds like a kid’s game, doesn’t it?

Redlight Redlight is a popular and influential craft beer emporium in Orlando, maybe 5 or so minutes from Downtown. going is a pilgrimage for Central Florida beer drinkers, as Redlight takes pride in an absolutely killer lineup of bottles and regularly rotating taps. 

Redlight Redlight also has a fairly interesting Citizen Program. Whereas other beer bars treat beers as tally marks and give you a shirt once you’ve gotten to some absurd number, Redlight makes you rate and write comments on each beer you’ve tried. Once you fill up three $10 passports of beer reviews, you are quizzed on what you’ve learned. Only then will patrons be allowed into the hallowed halls of citizenry. 

Started by Brent Hernandez in 2005, Redlight Redlight originally resided in nearby Winter Park, located in a building with a colorful history as a bordello (hence the name). That nod to the original building’s sordid past stayed with them through two more moves: Once to Bennett Rd. in Orlando in 2008, and finally to its current location on Corinne Drive in a buildign that still proudly displays its heritage as a facility for Carrier Heating and Air Conditioning.

It was that location that gave Mr. Hernandez his greatest achievement; a small pilot brewing system located directly above the bar. Here is where he is able to crank out small, experimental batches of truly unique brews. On my visit, I decided I had to hang out with Eugene (Sour Porter, 6.5% ABV, 22 IBU).

Eugene was interesting. It’s a style I’ve never seen before and a style I really feel should be more popular owing to 1) The recent popularity in sour beers and 2) How well Florida water is suited to brewing darker beers.

And when more come out, I can only hope more of them are like Eugene, becaue it really was excellent. Based on an 18th century recipe, what you get with the beer is a big initial blast of fruity flavors from what I can only assume is some interesting yeast whose name has a lot of S’s and O’s. Think of the tartness and fruitiness of a Lemonhead, but nowhere near as sweet.

Once that arrives, then you get a light, easily drinkable malt backbone that contains some good notes of plum and raisin. The sourness never overpowers and never dissipates, while the malt is there to provide a solid base that matches harmoniously with the yeast. It’s just very, very good. 

There’s plenty of space inside the cavernous building, something that I can assume comes in handy on a busy Friday or Saturday night. But with the selection Mr. Hernandez and his team have assembled, anyone coming in will definitely be able to find something. 

Unless you’re looking for an AC unit. Or a prostitute. 

Drink Florida Craft, 

Dave

@floridabeerblog

floridabeerblog@gmail.com  

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