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Willoughby Brewing

Not Rated.
Willoughby BrewingWilloughby Brewing
BA SCORE
87
very good

58 Ratings
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Active Beers: 37
Beer Ratings: 435
Beer Avg: 3.69
Taps: 8
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

4057 Erie Street
Willoughby, Ohio, 44094
United States
phone: (440) 975-0202

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Although this brewpub has an Erie Street address, the building is located off the street and is located behind the businesses that face Erie Street adjacent to a city parking lot.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mzwolinski:
Photo of mzwolinski
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%

This is a *big* place. There's a restaurant area to the left as you walk in, and a bar to the right. My friends and I showed up on a Friday night, and there was a live band with dancing. Not a terribly *good* live band, but...

Beer selection was pretty boring. A wheat, a pale, a light, and an oatmeal stout on tap. The oatmeal stout seemed the most interesting, but even it is was only about a 3.7 or so. Far outclassed by Great Lakes Brewing's Porter, from up the road.

More of a hangout spot than a beer spot -- but there are probably better places for both in town.

mzwolinski, Jun 07, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of LukeK
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%

LukeK, Sunday at 01:21 AM
Photo of Kuromaru
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Kuromaru, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of tommyguz
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

tommyguz, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Mothergoose03
4/5  rDev +4.2%

This was stop #10 for my wife and I on a 9-day East Coast pub crawl and a family visit. The brewery is located in a busy retail area of downtown Willoughby but is difficult to find because it is situated behind the stores that front the street and is not visible from a drive-by. We got lucky and noticed it at the end of the large city parking lot where we were turning around to take another look during a fourth pass along the street.

We had heard about the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Stout, so we planned our trip home on the last night of our pub crawl to have dinner and to see why all of the excitement about this beer. There were 9 beers on tap so we ordered a sampler flight of all of them to accompany our meal. They were served in small snifters, which made a pretty picture when they were all lined up on our table. It was tempting to start right away with the Peanut Butter Cup Stout, but we have a favored order to follow when evaluating beers. So its tasting came in the middle of the pack.

It was worth the wait, and the same could be said for most of the beers. They are all brewed very well to style, and even beyond style. We even liked the fruity Razz Wheat, and normally we don’t like fruity beers. Our scoring system gave an overall grade of a B+ to these beers, and we gave the Peanut Butter Cup Porter the obligatory A grade. (Yeah, it deserves it.)

The food was also very good, so kudos have to be given to the kitchen folks as well as the brewing group. This place would definitely receive a return visit from us when we’re back in the area again.

Mothergoose03, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of esktime
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

esktime, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Snap43nib
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Snap43nib, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of Barnsley
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Barnsley, May 21, 2014
Photo of wildcatboy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

wildcatboy, May 18, 2014
Photo of dailyminefield
4/5  rDev +4.2%

dailyminefield, May 07, 2014
Photo of hghops
2.31/5  rDev -39.8%

Somewhat disappointed on our last visit to the Willoughby Brewing Company. The food was decent, but once the orders were taken, the food took a while to appear, and then once it was served, our waitress disappeared. The food is a bit pricey for what you get. The presentation was good, but the Walleye sandwich at least was completely devoid of flavor.
I would suggest that a microbrewery that has a few good IPA's like this one should ALWAYS keep at least one on tap!
Mandatory valet parking was a bit hard to swallow, since the parking lot was only half full when we left. The parking attendants were a bit snobby when we refrained from using their services. The food here is decent, the beer average or better (when an IPA is on tap), the service just OK, but not worth paying for mandatory valet parking! The whole idea of this mandatory valet parking eluded to a bit of arrogance to say the least!
This was likely our last visit to the Willoughby Brewing Company. The food, service or beer are simply not good enough here to sacrifice my car to snobby, rude valets!

hghops, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Frobozz
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Frobozz, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of brewtus
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

brewtus, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of throwback
4/5  rDev +4.2%

throwback, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Cynic-ale, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of SpartyJoe
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

SpartyJoe, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +4.2%

PittBeerGirl, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of cestlavie
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%

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!

cestlavie, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

crashdavisinoh, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of jtennyson99
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jtennyson99, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of BeerBucks
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

BeerBucks, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of SlovenianMight
2.45/5  rDev -36.2%

If you want to get some descent food in a historic railroad building in downtown willoughby the the WBC is for you. Personally I've not had a bad meal there however the cost for me was a bit much. But overall I'd recommend the food.

Now the beers. If you'd like to wait 20 minutes for a beer on a Thursday-Saturday that won't blow your skirt up then this is the place for you. The willoughby wheat used to be a good beer to get a growler of but that beer left with the old brew master. Since then I can say I have not had one worth the wading through a sea of people.

SlovenianMight, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of Docrock
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%

Visited on way through Cleveland. Was a bit tricky to find since address lists it as Erie st and its actually behind all the store fronts. Once you go around to the public parking lot, its right in front of you. Was there a bit after lunch time and there was almost nobody inside, several groups outside.

Ordered the Peanut Butter Porter and was pleasantly surprised, especially after it warmed up. Why does everybody serve thee beers so cold???

Anyway, ordered a half sandwich and a salad and they were both very tasty. server was Randy and he was extremely helpful. Offered samples of whatever I wanted to try.

Got a growler to go and will definitely stop when going through. Felt prices were appropriate. Like I said,, place was a bit empty so can't speak to atmosphere when crowded.

Docrock, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of buschbeer
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%

Well I finally made it to Willoughby Brewing after four years of wanting to try Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. I went twice this weekend. I stopped Saturday before a Captains game. The bar is located in downtown Willoughby in a neighborhood with plenty of bars. The inside walls of the bar are brick and it has high ceilings. There is a dining area and a bar area. The brewing operation is visible behind glass directly behind the bar. They were brewing on Saturday.

They had eight in house beers on tap as well as three guest taps. I went straight for the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. It was delicious. It tasted like it belonged in Southern Tier's Black Water series. I had five other beers and all were of good quality. The bartender was extremely friendly and even pointed me to a great bottle shop that I hit on Sunday.

I ate there on Sunday and my friend had an appetizer on Saturday. He ordered the bbq bacon wrapped shrimp. Bacon=good. Shrimp=good. The bbq bacon shrimp was not impressive at all. It was $12 or $13 dollars for five tiny shrimp wrapped in bacon. I tried one, and I think that I could have taken a frozen shrimp and wrapped in with a piece of bacon and yielded an equal result. I had a spinach dip the next day which was good and being a Sunday it was half price.

On Saturday I asked if they gave brewery tours. The bartender asked the brewer. After completing his tasks the brewer took us behind the scenes. The brewer and assistant brewer were great guys. We got to sample an incomplete IPA and taste some malted barley. It is a small operation.

Overall, I absolutely loved this place. I would avoid the bbq bacon shrimp. There are plenty of other worthwhile appetizers and entrees and even pizza. The staff was friendly and helpful. It did get very crowded after eleven o'clock and loud. I would highly recommend this place.

buschbeer, May 27, 2013
Photo of MudDrinker
3.38/5  rDev -12%

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.

Selection -
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.

MudDrinker, Dec 29, 2012
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Willoughby Brewing in Willoughby, OH
87 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.