McNeill's Brewery

Not Rated.
McNeill's BreweryMcNeill's Brewery
BEER AVG
3.65/5
Based on:
31 Beers
910 Reviews
Place Score: 86
Reviews: 48
Visits: 67
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

90 Elliot St
Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301-3269
United States
phone: (802) 254-2553

view map and get directionsMap @hereforthebeer

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Visits: 67
Reviews by Flashy:
Photo of Flashy
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

McNeill's smells of sh*t?! I am willing to grant you that the place is more appealing when they aren't tearing down half the block, ripping up all of the sidewalks and building a five story parking garage behind it; but smell's of sh*t?! Give the place a break. It looks like they are lucky the building is still standing. But smells like sh*t?!
I wonder if a road crew had just hit a sewer main down the block before your visit or someone can't tell the difference between the smell of spent grain and...sh*t.
McNeill's is the only 1st Rate brewpub in New England that I've been to (though I know there are others). The beer is exceptional and the stew isn't bad. And Vermont is infested by those flies at certain times of the year. It's like avoiding Yellow Jackets in Germany.
Though the crowd tends to be a bit hippie we love this place and it's kid friendly. The gin mill next door has the worlds best two dollar hamburgers. Love the German beerhall style seating where your sitting next to whoever and NO TV (except on Election Day and apparently when the Red Sox are in the Playoffs). And Far333, I love those prints and have never seen a concert photo there (though the t-shirts could be nicer).
Word of warning. McNeill's beers do not seem to travel well. I've had it in other bars and it's not the same.
Stopped in 12/22/2012: Place looks great, lines are clean, patrons interesting and employees nice enough. (1,425 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of broadway848
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of bcgeiman
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Photo of slasich
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Photo of jmdrpi
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

beers were all good, they had a wide selection.

the place is a bit of a dive - but they had a real dartboard and some board games to occupy yourself while drinking. (166 characters)

Photo of SABERG
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Dicers
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Photo of 31Sam13
4.75/5  rDev +25%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

I really have an affinity for the place. It is in a cool, nondescript location, is filled , generally, with mellow people who want to enjoy some good beer. The place has been under the management of a new guy who is doing a great job with the food and hiring good people. A true diamond in the rough... (302 characters)

Photo of kettleandcask
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of BGsWo22
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of spicyvelveetas
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of whitenads
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of KingCobra686
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Mcneils beer offerings are awesome, but unfortunately their beers greatly outshine their brewery location. Their brewery is essentially a run down dive bar that only sells mcneills beer. They are not able to sell bottles on the premise, so i was forced to go to a package store down the street to stock up on bombers of mcneills. Prices are decent and the staff was very friendly, so it was worth the stop there, but overall the operation was very lackluster compared to most other vt breweries. (497 characters)

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Huey702
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of SharonNelson
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of chippo33
1.25/5  rDev -67.1%

Photo of BierBliss
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of coombski
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of YeastInception
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kvnklingler
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

I've been here a couple of times. I wanted to give it more than one shot to see if one experience was just an anomaly. It's on a side street in Brattleboro, but right next to public parking, which is clutch. You walk in and are directly facing the bar, with open seating/tables to your left. Long bar, with a ton of seating. Current beers are listed on a chalkboard behind the bar...they will hand you a beer list with every beer they make on it, but that's more of a guide, don't try to order from it. Done that each visit, and always asked for something not currently on tap. 3 casks available, along with the 6-9 taps. Seems like there is always a cider available, too. The food is limited and basic, but tasty...bar pizza, wraps, etc. Every time I've been there it's been a single bartender on staff, so if someone orders food, they have to go back to make it, so hopefully your beer isn't approaching empty when they take off. Also, each bartender I have dealt with has had the same initial approach: 1) hand you beer list, 2) immediately ask you what kind of beer you drink. Also, both times, the bartender has not been enthused by my answer of "I drink any style." Really no time allowed to develop your own interest in a particular brew, rather they attempt to push you through their offerings. Oh well...the beer is good, the prices are great, and the bar itself is comfortable. Great atmosphere and great music...decent place to hit up if you are in the area. (1,469 characters)

Photo of huuvola
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

October 2009 review (see below for update):
I was a bit apprehensive about visiting McNeill's after reading a few earlier (negative) reviews on BA, but my fears were quickly allayed after taking a seat at the bar. This is a great little brewpub, resplendent in rustic Vermont charm. Yes, the building needs some love (the bathrooms, in particular, are showing their age), but the staff is friendly and the beer is very good.

Don't come here looking for a shiny, flashy new brewpub, come for the beer, and don't shy away from talking to your neighbor. We ended up, by chance, talking with owner/brewer Ray McNeill, a personable and friendly guy. He's a bit of a character, but has a lot of local knowledge (and beer knowledge... and bicycle geekery). He told us a bit about the bar and gave us some solid recommendations for dinner in Brattleboro.

We enjoyed the McNeill's Champ Ale (pale ale), Ruby Ale, Dead Horse IPA, Kolsch, and "My New Invention" (hoppy IPA, brewed w/organic ingredients). All were very solid beers. The only downer of the visit was that they weren't serving any cask beers (despite a beautiful array of cask engines at the bar). The bartender told us that they haven't had cask running for six months or more (not sure why that is). Despite the lack of cask, we left satisfied, and happy to have visited this Brattleboro institution.
===
August 2012 review:
I visited McNeill's again over the weekend and continue to enjoy this beautifully unique brewpub. It's even better now. Highlights from our 2012 visit:
--The place has been thoroughly cleaned and significantly fixed up since our previous visit. Fresh paint (inside and out), redone bathrooms, and spruced up decor. Looks great!
--Beer selection was stellar. Three beers on cask(!) and I think about 8 other beers on draft. Something for everyone.
--Service was prompt, friendly, and informative.
--Food: We had the cheese plate, which was basic but delicious (2-year aged Cheddar, from the local cheesemaker).
--Atmosphere: Just a classic Vermont experience. We ended up talking with one of the artists who has some artwork hanging on the brewpub walls. Friendly local fellow who is doing his utmost to "Keep Vermont Weird," as the bumper stickers say. Another memorable visit, and we'll be back. (2,281 characters)

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McNeill's Brewery in Brattleboro, VT
86 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.