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Underground Bluz

Not Rated.
Underground BluzUnderground Bluz
BA SCORE
95
world-class

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.13%
Taps: 20
Bottles: 110
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

12261 University Blvd
Orlando, Florida, 32817
United States
phone: (407) 482-4141
// CLOSED //



Notes:
Hours: Monday-Friday: 4pm-2am
Saturday-Sunday: 6pm-2am

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jim102864:
Photo of jim102864
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

One of these places you only find if you do your research on BA but then again, I do every time I travel. Hidden away in yet another lifeless strip mall but right next door to the University of Central Florida, Bluz is a tiny beer bar but one that packs a good punch when it comes to quality beer. The place is no larger than a studio apartment but has the beer vibe that most enthusiasts seek; lots of tap handles, intimate, attracts others who know and want to talk beer. A handful of stools at the curvy bar with an equally curvy barmaid to serve you, a few tables and booths and a small stage for live entertainment make for a nice setting for a good beer experience. I'd say approximately 30 on tap including the likes of Nostradamus, which is a first for this writer, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, also somewhat of a rarity, Delirium Noel and a host of other high quality domestic micros and imports. The bottle menu is easily within range of the tap selection in quantity and quality. Schamiclaus 2006 vintage was to be had and served in proper glassware which was most enjoyable. Paul the bar manager was an affable fellow (the author of the review below me) who knows his beer. Hopefully, Bluz is an encouraging sign of things to come in Florida. In fact, given its proximity to a large University, theres no excuse for positive change in the beer drinking world for Orlando with places like Bluz in the area.

More User Reviews:
Photo of beersensei305
4/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Great place my name is on the wall- I had to drink over 100 beers. They have a large selection of Belgiums. About seven taps. The bartenders know thier beers. They offer beer mixutres, too. I enjoyed this place more when the bands didn't play every night and they weren't so loud... they need to just the sound. Its a too small of a beer to play music you can hear across the parking lot. UGB seems to focus more on the music than beers but thier logo is a big saxophone and they have a stage, so... They offer no food but you can bring some in- Lazy Moon is next door).

Photo of chickenflea
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

UB is my favorite local beer bar.

The interior is a little run down. But this is the only drawback.

The staff is knowledgeable, especially Paul, the manager. They are very responsive to customers.

The beer selection is good and always changing. There are always a nice group of people in there, so you don't have to drink alone.

Paul has been hosting monthly beer tastings. These are informative and fun. Appetizers are included in the $20 entry. We typically work our way through 12 beers.

UB is located across the street from University of Central Florida and close to Research park. This provides a nice mix of clients.

Paul has live music there most evenings on their very small corner stage. UB is a common stop for local and regional brewmasters. It's a fun place to go.

Photo of Hallbrauhaus
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Cheers to Paul. Paul was one of the most Beer knowledge Tap tenders I have met. I was there on a buisness trip. I always use BA to find to good spots near my location. Underground Bluz is a small place. The have a GREAT selection of USA craft beers. Since the draft beers rotate I want list all he had . But I will say Paul introduced me to the Best German style Wiess beer brewed in the US with Brooklyner Weisse. Great to talk beer with with you Paul. Catch you next time I am in Orlando. You can order food from local places in the srtip mall and they will bring it to ya.

Photo of clayrock81
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Went here on a Sunday and it was real laid back and chill - I would imagine that the place, since it is tiny, might be a hassle when live music plays and it gets crowded. That is my only complaint of an otherwise nice beer establishment.
It won't wow you with a huge selection, I think there were somewhere between 10-15 taps (I could be wrong) and probably 60-70 bottle selections overall. That being said, the QUALITY outweighs the quantity and there were some great brews there, including some Oktoberfest/Pumpkin Ales that I haven't been able to find in stores and some Jolly Pumpkin Ales they don't sell in VA.
The two bartenders really, and I mean REALLY, knew their stuff and were educating me a little.
It was great sippin' on some brew, shootin' the bull with guys who are interested and getting a bill that did not break the bank (in fact, for a beer bar their prices are spot-on compared to some other places that gorge your wallet).
I live in Orlando for two years and never made it here...I am so glad I did when returning.
Highly recommended.

Photo of nickfl
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

A - Tiny place, dive bar decor all the way. Obviously live music is as important as the beer. I was there in the early evening, but seeing as they are across the street from UCF and that everything seems designed to be as drunk-ass proof as possible I would imagine it gets pretty intense in here on a weekend night.

Q - Music may be a priority here, but beer is up there too. The manager cleans the draught lines himself and notes on the board when it was done - now that is fucking service. We were there early and Paul, the manager, was serving us himself so obviously the staff was knowledgeable and friendly.

S - I didn't get much of a look at the bottle menu, but the draught lineup was nice. Definitely no crap on tap here. Everything seemed to be either a good session beer or something unusual and interesting, just the way the draught selection should be at a beer bar.

Overall a good experience, and definitely the best place I know of to have a beer in or near Orlando. I feel like I missed out on the real vibe of the place by not being there later, but at the same time I have a feeling it was a bit rowdier than I like my beer bars to be.

Photo of bmw0825
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Underground Bluez is my kind of place.. very friendly and knowledgable staff. all of which know good beer and are quick with sugustions if you ask for one... my only regret is that i live 3 hrs away.

I attended a beer tasting one weekend when i was visiting my friend for his birthday. Paul did great with it explaning the companys, brew style, and hop selection in the beers. there was about 30 people it was $15 for 12 4oz pours. with all the beers ranging fron 5.5%abv to 12%abv.

The Place usually has a $5 cover charge on the weekends. the 2 nights that we went they had bands playing, pretty good. I enjoyed sitting outside and watching all the "freshmen type" college kids pour into knights library(horrible college club), sipping on one of many fine craft brews they had on tap. about 15-20.

I would recomend this bar to any BA member in the orlando area. Its well worth the drive. I only wish they could open one here in Ft. Myers, i would be there every night...

Photo of cjgator3
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Underground Bluz is definitely a gem over in the UCF area where there is nothing more than bars going through kegs and kegs of Natty Light. Great beer selection, and there are many new offerings with the on-tap offerings changing frequently. The manager of the bar, Paul, is a great guy and you can tell beer is his passion and he is not just there to cash a paycheck. The prices are reasonable, the lines are cleaned frequently, the staff cares about the beer, and there is plenty of good beer. What more can you ask for? Awesome bar, wish I didn't live so far from Underground Bluz or I would be frequent the bar much more often. If you are in the area, go grab a few pints!

Photo of teletype1
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

my gf and i headed to underground bluz after a nice meal at the Cricketers Arms and some lovely hand-pumped english ales. the cover charge on a sunday for the guy strumming pop songs on the tiny stage was a little strange... he was an OK player but on a slow night it didn't add much.

paul the bartender was a fantastic guy, and it was a slow sunday night so we had a chance to rap about beer, homebrewing, working in bars, and all the great stuff that beer geeks do.

the bar seems like a great place, it had that divey, unkempt "underground" feeling but with dozens upon dozens of beers on hand. my gf had a St. Louis Framboise on tap, followed by some Czech pils whose name i can't remember... i sipped on a Paolo Santo Marron from DFH while chatting with Paul.

we'll definetly be going back there on a busier night - i really want to see what a live band on a friday in such a small place is like, the atmosphere probably gets 10x as awesome :)

Photo of nriech
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

From what I could tell, this was the best place in the Orlando area to get decent beer on tap. The place is a litle dark "hole in the wall" but isnt a rat trap. I think the max occupancy is 60. Theres a small corner for a band. The night we were there, 3 bands played and were decent.

Theres a few tables to sit at with a mix of benches and chairs. Theres also a little patio outside. Smoking is allowed.

I think there were probably 20 beers on tap, plenty more available by the bottle. The bartenders were knowledgeable on what was available. They were also pretty quick and friendly. Paul, the manager, showed up later and had a few samples for us(thanks Paul!) Would be a definate hangout if I lived in the area.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Boy am I glad that this place did not exist across campus when I was going to UCF; I never would have graduated.

Underground Bluz is part of the shopping plaza across from UCF, on the corner of University and Alafaya. Today, the plaza is chock full of cool, eclectic places to eat ethnic food like Indian, Japanese, Thai and Greek. The plaza also holds one of the coolest little beer bars I've been to in a long time.

It's a smallish place, but they get the most out of the space they have. Behind the tall wooden bar that seats about a dozen is a collection of some of the best beers that you can get in Central Florida. On my recent trip my wife and I put away some Bells Hopslam, Oberon, Dales Pale Ale and Lost Coast Scotch Ale on tap. All were delicious and fresh. They've got a nice selection of bottles, too.

UGB did a good job at making a slot in a non-descript strip mall feel worn in and cozy. It really had the feel of an old city bar. Entertainment's provided by live music at night.

My wife and I really enjoyed chatting with the staff and customers and will definitely return the next time we're in the area. The only drawback I could find was that smoking is allowed. Two dudes behind us had a couple of fat cigars burning all afternoon that rather cut into the enjoyment of my Dales Pale Ale. I would have given the atmosphere a 5 if not for that.

But Underground Bluz is well worth a stop if you're on the East side of Orlando.

Burp!

Photo of AgingWarrior
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I read about Underground Bluz on BA and thought it sounded like a great place to drink a few good beers. I was a bit concerned about being "the old guy at the club" as the bar is right across the street from the University of Central Florida. I beer mailed Paulthebeerguru and asked him about the crowd. He assured me that I'd be fine at his establishment.

I first visited on a Friday night at around 8:30pm. The bar is on the smaller side, what I'd call cozy. The bar seats approximately a dozen patrons and there is 4 or 5 tables and a small area outside the front door. There are three or four nice televisions that are tuned to hockey or ESPN, so if you like sports, you're in luck. If you like hockey you're really in luck. It seemed that several of the patrons and the staff were knowledgeable and passionate fans.

I stepped up to the bar and ordered a Lumpy Gravy from Lagunitas. The bartender (it turned out to be Paul) informed me that Lumpy Gravy came in a 22oz bottle and it was $8.00. I appreciated the information, affirmed my order and Paul quickly poured the beer for me. Later on I enjoyed a Bells' Special Double Cream Stout and a Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale, both at Paul's suggestion. I enjoyed the drink and the conversation at the bar.

I visited Underground Bluz again the next night for a beer tasting event. There were approximately 20 patrons involved in the tasting. Paul provided background information on the type of beer, the brewery and in some cases the type of hops used in the beers we were tasting. Sausages, pretzels and cheeses were also provided to snack on between tastings. I had a great time at the tasting, met some fellow beer geeks and sampled some pretty good beers.

My most recent visit was yesterday after work. Paul had mentioned to me that they would be tapping a keg of Flying Dogs Gonzo Imperial Porter and I wanted to get a taste. I arrived a little after 5:00pm on Friday and quickly found a spot at the bar. I was impressed that two of Underground Bluz employees recognized me from last week and gave me a friendly greeting. The Gonzo Imperial Porter rocked!

I really like Underground Bluz! It's the kind of place that I want to go to for the beer and the atmosphere. The best aspects of the bar are service and selection. The staff here is friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. These guys love beer and it shows. If you're in Orlando you really need to visit.

Photo of osi
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

If you are in the area (UCF area) you should definitely check this place out. With a selection of over 100 beers and many on tap, it offers much to choose from. They even have most of the proper glassware to accompany most beers.

If you are ever feeling a bit indecisive you could always let the bartender spin the beer wheel for you and get a nice random one.

The only downfall I see is that it can get a little smoky, but in this case there is an area out front with tables to get fresh air and enjoy fresh beer.

There are good economy deals such as $2 PBR cans and $3 Yuengling draughts.

For hard to find beer at reasonable prices, this is place to swing by.

Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Underground Bluz is the best bar experience I've ever had. Not only were a number of quality, hard to find (in Florida) beers available, for a reasonable price (such as Lumpy Gravy which I was lucky to experience on draught), there were also specials such as $2 tall cans of PBR for the budget minded, a cozy atmosphere, and an excellent, sociable, friendly bar manager named Paul, who's interested and excited about bringing the best beer to his establishment and pleasing his customers. Thumbs up on all counts.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This bar has been my home away from home over the past few years. I originally started drinking there about four years ago when they were just a staff of three people. The atmosphere is cozy, and has a "hole in the wall" feel inside. I do agree that the bar's biggest downfall is it's small size. The bar does offer the "tapped out" club, which is a club of the people that have consumed 100 different beers. Upon finishing this, you get 10% off your tab for life, a t-shirt, and your name on a plaque.

Over the years, I have gone from patron, to bartender, and now I am the bar manager since early Novemeber 2006. I did score this bar, but i know that we are not perfect and most of the problems come are due to our lack of space. (I was trying to get another cooler in the bar to add another 40-50 brews, but the bar is too small to fit another cooler. The staff has to ice down beers, because we have no walk-in. we also have to get ice from another business because we don't have the space for one in our back room. The atmosphere is good, but the service/selection is better. The staff is friendly, honest, and knowledgable which is amazing compared to other bars that I have been to. They know their beers very well and can help you with your selection.

In my opinion, the best time to come in is during happy hour or on sundays, because the bar is slower, and I generally have a couple of homebrewers, other beer bar managers, or just people who love and understand beer, so the conversation is great. These were the days and time that I would come in, when I was a regular.

Over the past two years, I have probably changed 85% of the beers, bringing in breweries such as Lagunitas, Dogfishhead, North Coast, Bison, Oskar Blues, Clipper City, Bell's, Terrapin, etc. I have just made changes to our draught lineup. (Guinness, Stella, Smithwick's, Yuengling, Monk in the Trunk (Jupiter Brewing Co), Old Thumper, Lagunitas Censored Copper Ale, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Weiss, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Newcastle, Hoegaarden, Acme Pale Ale, St. Louis Framboise, Sea Dog Blue Paw, Chouffe Houblon IPA Triple) I have also made a new menu for the bar that is organized by style, and lists the country/state of origin, alcohol content, etc. I am also planning on changing the menu and some draughts every season, so things will be different in March. So if you haven't been into UGB in awhile, then come back and check it out again.

p.s. Get a Subscription to Beer Advocate the Magazine. I just got one in the mail and I read it during my Friday happy hour....great discussions.

Photo of ScottUCF84
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This place is awesome. Has the hole in the wall vibe, but within seconds of entering you realize this place is about quality beer. Whenever I go here I feel like I'm somewhere else, another country or something just because it is not like anything else around here. I believe they have 100+ beers, and like 15 on tap or something like that. I love being able to try something new everytime. The music is usually pretty good, anything from jazz to blues to mellowed out rock, usually nothing to loud or crazy. I mean it gets loud, but the mood doesn't.

Photo of futaboots
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I lived about 5 minutes from UGB for about 4 years, so I've gotten to know the establishment pretty well. I never got on the "try every beer in the joint" program, mostly because my visits are infrequent at best, and since I started drinking good beer I've tried most everything they have on my own anyway. Anyways, you can sign up and get your own list of the beers they sell, which they'll keep behind the bar. Try a new beer, check it off the list, check off every beer and you get a prize or something. I know they've introduced scores of curious college students to better beer this way, which I think is pretty cool.

This place isn't very big, and can get pretty crowded. On weekends and even some weekdays you might feel so squeezed in that moving to a bigger less cramped bar seems like a tempting option (an option I've given into a couple times). But UGB is the best bar in it's part of town for good beer, and thus I think explains part of it's popularity.

One thing that always annoyed me was that they always have live music. Every night, or nearly every night. Not open mike poetry, not stand up comedy, not trivia, not anything NOT music. Live music every night, with the volume cranked up to eleven, and unfortunately 4 out of 5 times it just plain sucks. Occassionaly they have a good band come in, or some good musicians just jamming on stage, but most of the time it sucks. There's more than a good chance that it'll just be some white boy playing covers of Dave Mathews Band or Sublime, which isn't a knock against those bands, but why would I want to listen to some guy playing boring note for note covers of popular songs that I've been hearing for the last 10 years?

Still a good bar, good beer, good place to go and have a drink or two if you get there before the band starts playing.

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.4/5  rDev -22.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

A very small place indeed.
There are only about 5 or 6 booths and maybe 10 stools or so at the bar. The atmosphere is cool though, loads of classic jazz posters and pictures of musicians on the wall. It's dark, it's smoky and overall a pretty decent dive bar.
The night I went there was a horrible blues band playing that was WAY too loud for the size of this place. It sucks not being able to think or talk over lousy music, but the beer was good and fairly inexpensive, so it was okay.
Loads of taps (everything from Bud to DFH's 90 minute IPA...they even had a frambois on tap which I thought was interesting). And a small case of bottles on the back wall.
Overall, a pretty decent place to go if you live anywhere near UCF, the crowd is college, but other than that definitely worth checking out.

Underground Bluz in Orlando, FL
95 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.