Review of :
69 Taps (and some of their beers)
374 Orleans Ave
69 Taps is an enjoyable bar in the University of Akron area of downtown Akron, Ohio. They are located on Orleans Avenue, just off the main thoroughfare, W. Exchange Street. I went here with a very good friend of mine on Monday night, and we had a great time. The bar was fairly busy earlier in the night, from about nine till midnight, and died down shortly afterward – not too bad for a Monday! The special for the month of May is $2.50 pints of Amber Bock, and they have daily specials as well – Mondays are $2.00 Mojitos or Bloody Marys. The barmaid was very nice, if not a little busy and a little tipsy, but she was willing to help us sample about eight of the 69 beers on tap (hence the name).
We tried the Hop Devil IPA (missing from the outdated list @ www.69taps.com) which was just what an IPA (India Pale Ale) should be – bitter and hoppy – I loved it but my friend couldn’t even finish his whole pint. Next up was the Pyramid Apricot Ale, a complete contrast to the IPA. The apricot ale was sweet and wheaty, to me more of a “thick” beer although it was light in color. I promised my friend to stay away from the IPAs, so we tried the Franziskaner Weiss next. Any “weiss” beer in usually Belgian or Bavarian in origin and some common examples are Blue Moon and Warsteiner. Weiss beers are brewed with the flavors of orange and coriander, making them sweeter than a regular white/wheat beer. The Franziskaner was sufficient, but it could have used more flavor or maybe an orange slice to help it along.
My friend and I were feeling fruity, so next on the taste adventure was Hoppin Frog Smashing Berry. This beer left much to be desired for both of us – it was way too sweet and left a Robitussin®-type aftertaste in our mouths. At this point I was frustrated and opted for a $2.00 Bloody Mary – my major mistake of the evening. I had assumed that the Bloody Mary would be made mostly from a mix, as generally happens when they’re on special anywhere, but I didn’t realize it would be ALL mix and VERY little (call) vodka. Considering the sad/old olive garnish, I’d recommend staying away from that special! While I choked down my Bloody Mary, my friend got himself a Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat, which pleased him. It’s hard to go wrong with any Sam Adams!
At this point the barmaid was, as I stated earlier, a little tipsy, so she was freely pouring us free samples of whatever struck our fancy. We sampled the Thirsty Dog Raspberry Alet (too sweet, awful aftertaste), and a “raisin” flavored beer (also missing from the list) which did not taste anything like raisins and actually made us gag a little. I finally settled on a pint of Landshark with Rose’s Lime added, a combination that to me rivals the generic Corona-Lime combination.
Overall the experience was fairly pleasant. 69 Taps is a great place to go to hang out with your friends because the seating area around the bar is wide open with several booths and tables, as well as a huge patio for smoking that actually has tables and chairs – something hard to find for us smokers in this day and age! They also have a separate room with pool tables and tall tables for sitting (this area leads to the restrooms). The staff is pleasant and young. On the whole, 4 out of 5 stars!