Active Beers: 33
Beer Ratings: 361
Beer Avg: 3.71
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 39 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by MudDrinker:
3.38/5 rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
Atmosphere - it's a pretty cute place. It's got trains all over the place, because this used to be the Willoughby Train Station. Half of the place is a devoted restaurant, including an enclosed porch. There's also an open air porch, both porches share a two-way fireplace. Typical Willoughby (which means old pictures of town) and pub (stencils of beers of by-gone eras) decor, with a few individualized accents. Huge booths at the expense of walking space.
They play really awful techno remixes of rap and R&B late at night. There's a dance floor and its devoid of life every time I've ever been there. They play it in the restaurant side, too, and about half as loud - so you can't really get away from it.
Quality - Most of that 3.5 rating is tied up in the food. They have really very good food. The beer, on the other hand, is pretty lackluster. The sole exception being the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. Which is mostly coffee. It's not well balanced, but with a name like that I hope you're not expecting balance. Everything else is a pretty solid 3.0. That's always depressing when you're in a place that has Brewing in the name.
Service - The host/hostesses I dealt with on both days (and a day prior) I feel were not that great. Some seemed either burnt out or disinterested. I came in once (prior to having a reservation) on a fairly unbusy night, was told it would be a two hour wait (which is about what it is at Melt on a Friday night to put that in the ridiculous context it rightly deserves). There was no offer to check out the bar or anything like that. That being said, they may leave tables open in the dining room for last minute reservations through their online system - which is probably a tough feature to cater around.
As I said, didn't go to the bar so I can't really say anything about bartenders.
The waiters/waitresses appear to be pretty on top of things. They're all very nice and open to questions. The food comes out fast, surprisingly fast in fact. I went two days in a row - once during dinner and another time during lunch, we had both in about 10-15 minutes.
This place is a restaurant (attempting to be a bit more upscale than it is) first and a brewery second. So that's what you'll get.
THE FOOD: Nothing here is vegan-friendly, just an FYI. Vegetarians can find plenty to eat, though. Nothing on the menu is specifically gluten-free, but they have things like soup that probably qualifies. Theres a good selection of salads, meat entrees, appetizers, pizzas, and sandwiches.
THE BEER: If you're going to WBC as a restaurant, you will likely only be drinking WBC beer. They only keep about 3 or 4 other local beers on tap, and they also have Oskar Blues in cans. That's it. I guess if you're going to WBC, you're planning on getting WBC beer which isn't store sold or bottled. Still, it would be nice to have some more options.
Food - I can only speak to the vegetarian stuff I've had here. The pizzas are all pretty good, and for the size/taste are the best value items on the menu (comparable to a medium). You'll probably take half home and they range between 11-15 dollars a pizza.
I had the butternut squash soup and a portabello sandwich, both of which were absolutely delicious and well put together. No notably strong negatives to food.
Value - For what you get, its pretty expensive overall. You can easily blow about 20 bucks on a sandwich and a beer. Good sandwich, okay beer. This place has a pretty strong identity crisis. I feel like if they dropped the brewing moniker they would make a pretty good straight-off restaurant or club if they tried.
As it is, they straddle all of those categories, so it doesn't come out strong in any one field.
12-29-2012 19:43:13 | More by MudDrinker
More User Reviews:
3.4/5 rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $
Was super excited to check out Willoughby, for the mere fact that some of my peers and I thoroughly enjoyed Cosmic IPA and Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter at SAVOR in NYC this Summer. When we realized that we would be traveling past Willoughby back from our road trip to Chicago for Goose Island Black Friday releases, we were ecstatic to grab some flights to try other beers, and come home with growlers of the Cosmic and PBCC.
When we arrived on Saturday night, 12/1, we were seated at the bar and shown a chalkboard of what was on tap. The place was absolutely jumping, with more people there for the food (and parties- apparently everyone has their party here, there must have been 4 or 5 going on) than the beers. Much to our dismay, Cosmic IPA was listed, but when we ordered our flights, it was left off- we inquired about it (as we were specifically there to buy growlers).. we were told that they were out of it. In fact, our biggest issue with the situation was not that they were OOS, but that we had called ahead, and were basically laughed at when we told them how far we had travelled to get some of their beer. Very unprofessional; and while one bartender offered us a pint of our choosing on the house because she felt bad, when we received our tab prior to leaving, we were charged for everything- food, growlers of PBCC, Flights, everything. So it was an empty offer, and while we didn't bring it up, it seemed to further our thoughts that beer was not a priority at this "brewpub".
All in all, we are still big fans of WBC's beer, specifically the Cosmic IPA, PBCC Porter, their Kolsch (really nice) and the Winter beer, Wenceslas. Unfortunately, it seems as if you can only get their beer at this brewpub, and I'd be hard pressed to find myself yearning to go back. I know they are in the process of working on a production facility, and hopefully this allows me to get their beer without driving 9 hours and have a shitty restaurant/brewpub experience.
Message to WIlloughby- you are a Brewing Company first! Take care of the people who love your great beers... otherwise you will lose them, and end up ONLY being a restaurant/party hall!
12-04-2013 19:02:23 | More by cestlavie
Willoughby Brewing in Willoughby, OH
88 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.