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Eli Cannon's Tap Room

Not Rated.
Eli Cannon's Tap RoomEli Cannon's Tap Room
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

78 Reviews
Reviews: 78
Visits: 123
Avg: 4.2
pDev: n/a
Taps: 36
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

695 Main St
Middletown, Connecticut, 06457-2732
United States
phone: (860) 347-3547 | map
www.elicannons.com

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 1:00am
Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:00am
Sunday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 78 | Visits: 123
Reviews by Durge:
Photo of Durge
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I finally stopped here for my first visit after hearing so much about this place for years. I just don't get to Middletown ever but i went out of my way to swing through for a beer. Cute entrance with the tapestry thing, and lots of stuff hanging everywhere which is a nice diversion, generally fun stuff. But my first impression was that the place seemed way small and crowded. Surprisingly at approximately 5 PM on a Thursday, the dining area, to the right of the "tap room" was fairly busy, and there were only a couple seat at the bar, and not good seats, so I grabbed a wall seat once I got the beer. Took me a while to locate a beer list which the bartender finally pointed out, and once I did I was just a little surprised by the preponderance of macros and common choices that took up space on their list. Granted their were some excellent choices included but I'd say it was a pretty even match between the good and the common (or not so good) and only a few really got my interest. I settled for the Smuttynose Imperial Stout which was really excellent and i saw they had Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence which was really the only other selection I saw that excited me. There didn't seem to be a high priority on hoppy brews as I've come to expect from true beer bars. So yes, there was some good beers here, some very good ones, but my impression of this being one of 2 or 3 Meccas in Connecticut has changed a bit. I didn't try the food, smelled pretty good. The bartender was not unfriendly but he wasn't Mr. Beer Guy anxious to share his outstanding selection of quality brews. He was just an order taker who seemed to prioritize speed and I will say I was waited on expeditiously. I just got the feeling that this is a popular little watering hole in the quirky town of Middletown. Probably works well for the college crowd in town, but it's not in the fraternity of real beer bars based upon my admittedly brief visit. Anyone can have fun drinking beer of reasonable quality when you are joined by a drinking partner or a group of friends. Being a traveler, I always find the true test is making an old guy like me feel comfortable and have fun, with the caveat that the beer on tap offers an experience to the discriminating beer enthusiast. This proved to be a bit disappointing. Perhaps I'll try one of the promotional nights but not sure I want to be tested by the cramped quarters. But i will try it again since so many people have commented on wonderful selection. I just don't get why they insist on so many non-beer lovers beers. Even the college kids will drink good beers if you can offer them for a decent price.

 2,636 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Multiman
2.81/5  rDev -33.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4.25 | food: 2

Photo of dipaslife4me
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of batch19
4.83/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Rifugium
4.16/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I stopped in here on the way back home from a Tree House trip. Nice atmosphere, with just enough dank and grit, but still a lot of flashy breweriana on the walls to keep your senses occupied. Kind of divey, I guess is what I'm trying to say, but it seems intentional. Service was fine. Taplist was actually pretty top-notch, with the likes of Sip of Sunshine, Fuzzy Baby Ducks, and Maine Lunch all on at the same time...in all fairness I think there was an event earlier in the day, but still, they delivered the goods as far as I'm concerned. The food didn't blow me away. I just got a bleu cheese burger or something, and it wasn't great, but not really bad either.

This is definitely a place I'd like to check out again.

 724 characters

Photo of RMoeNay
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Nutmegger
5/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of cducap
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of BranfordBound
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Reminds me of that scene from Super Troopers: "Hey Farva, what's that name of the restaurant you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?" Farva: "You mean Shenanigins?!"

Eccentrically clad, Eli Cannon's offered a solid line-up of about 30 taps of beer and encompassed just about everything you could get in CT. The night I went the tap list seemed very lengthy, but the selections were average. Nothing that drew my attention initially but finally found some decent ones to enjoy (Hop Nosh IPA and Sour Tiddy's from the local Stubborn Beauty brewery). Nothing like the oddities that pop on tap list at Prime 16 or Cask Republic. Tried a Mad Hatter IPA but had to send it back because it tasted ancient (no hops at all).

Food was plentiful and inexpensive, nothing overly ingenious about the menu items. Typical American pub grub. Crowd was very boisterous for Saturday night and the bar area was packed to the gills. The place seemed understaffed and the servers were rushed. Didn't seem super clean overall and I've seen better bathrooms inside of dive bars.

Go for the tap list (when it's a good night) but don't expect to overwhelmed with anything else.

 1,188 characters

Photo of JKV96
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of ale2thechief
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 1.5

Beer beer beer, the three reasons to go. Food is quite bad. Crowd is usually cool and not overrun by obnoxious snobs. Very crowded and you should be prepared to stand. So many tap lines they will always have something for everyone.

 231 characters

Photo of LeMayzing
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The place is very cool, a bit cramped, but the bathroom is a disaster.

70 characters

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of SenatorSpaceman
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of OldCrustacean79
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of grahuba
4.24/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of woodchipper
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.75

Been to Eli's many times over many years. Can't believe I have not written a review until now.
If there was equation that factored "best craft beer bar" and "closest to my house" they would win, even though I am 20 miles away.
Outside vibe is super cool in good weather with their expanded "beach" area, sand, cheap chairs, kids playing while the parents drink. Its really good people watching.
Inside, the bar is basically as if a dive bar had sex with a hip bar. Not the greatest or worst traits of either parent but a good result anyways. HOWEVER, I have always wondered if a sudden thunderstorm struck, where would the outside people go? There is not enough inside for the crowd I have sometimes seen outside.
Service can be good or poor depending on the crowd.
Food- I avoid it unless I am drunk or with people I dragged there under the white lie of "I know a fun place to ""eat""" - basic bar food, nothing bad but nothing a foodie would like.
Fun fact (for me) I always tell other locals who haven't been--- It's one of the very few bars I have been to that write on their draft list (chalk boards) the date the keg was tapped. That openness just makes me love them despite their few flaws.

 1,211 characters

Photo of xtonytx
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Bellemaretm
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Patbrown2
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of johnball216
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Anthony666
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of chamawaiian
5/5  rDev +19%

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Eli Cannon's Tap Room in Middletown, CT
93 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.