Buckeye Beer Engine
Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
While trapped in Akron under very depressing circumstances I saw a program on local PBS about the Beer Engine and was intrigued. I had to go through Cleveland on the way out of town so I made the short detour off of HWY 90 to visit. From the outside the place looked more like an abandoned pizza hut than a brewery but the patio filled with smiling patrons hoisting pints assured me that I had found my destination.
Inside we were greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable bartender who quickly sat us and took a drink order. Service was excellent throughout our experience. Although the small interior didn't stand out as particularly interesting, we greatly enjoyed the large patio out front.
The draft list consisted of some 25 tapped beers and 2 casks. Three house brews started out the menu and were followed by a well chosen, wide variety of local and national crafts, and several imports including a few Belgian and German gems. The bottle list really stood out. I would count it in the top 5 bottle lists I've seen in America. It only contained 100-150 beers but they were very well chosen and geared toward my tastes - lost of geuze, lambics, farm house ales, and funky stuff. Still, if you want a great IPA, Buckeye's bottle list probably contains 9 of the 10 best available in Ohio. The same goes for any other style one might prefer. The list was clearly chosen by people that love to drink great beer and are as geeky about it as any hardcore Beer Advocate. All bottles are available to go at very reasonable prices.
The food menu consisted of a number of salads and appetizers, several interesting sandwiches, and tons of burger options. Buckeye is clearly a burger joint. Though I found the burger patties themselves to be a touch on the bland side (in need of some serious seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, anything...), the toppings were fantastic. My burger, the Tuscan, came with well caramelized onions, rep peppers, and rosemary goat cheese on a toasted bun. I really enjoyed it as well as the pub chips and complementary fried pickle that accompanied it. The Caesar salad I started with was just average. The appetizers I saw served at other tables all looked amazing.
I will return to the Beer Engine on all of my future trips to the Cleveland area and highly recommend it. As much as I love visiting GLBC, I have to say that the waits are just out of control there and I am happy to find a quieter spot with even better beer at reasonable prices.
Also worth noting is the sample system. All tap beers are available in sample sizes for between $1 and $2.50, or something like that. It mirrors the system that I was very impressed with at the BOP that shares some connection to the Beer Engine.
04-07-2010 21:29:28 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.4/5 rDev +1.6%
Did some searching before a trip to Cleveland and this place seemed like it had the best tap selection and good food as well.
Much better than I could have imagined. A fantastic draft selection, the burger I had (Cajun) was great and service was spot-on for a busy place. They've got an impressive number of bottles to sample or take home and I ended up with a great haul of beer I can't get in MO. If this were in my hometown, I'd frequent it often.
The worst part about the place is that I may not ever get back to that area again...quite a shame because there were a number of other items on the menu that I would have loved to sample...
03-05-2010 04:17:02 | More by rwdkosak
4.72/5 rDev +9%
Today was my first visit to the Buckeye Beer Engine. After enjoying their beers which I bought at local retailers; I thoght Id give this place a try. Let me tell you I'm glad that I did.
The atmosphere is inviting. More like a neighborhood bar than a high end beer pub. They have a horseshoe bar with tables along the walls, and an dining area off to the side. The back wall behind the bar has around 30 taps and a price list for what they have on tap.
The quality and selection were both outstanding. The day I went they had 27 beers on tap, two being cask conditioned. Besides having their own beers on tap they had selections from Bells, Bear Republic, Brew Dog, Dark Horse, Dogfish Head, Grimbergen, Ithaca, Lagunitas, Left Hand, North Coast, Ommegang, and others I cant remember. Besides a great selection of draft beers they also had around 200 different bottled beers from around the world. Only two were macros, Pabst and Schlitz.
The service and food were also very good. I would go just for the burgers.
As for the value, I had a glass of beer, a plate of sliders with fries and breaded pickle, a couple samples, and took home a 64 oz growler for under $30 with tip.
I highly recommend this place.
Ive been back several times and all I can say is this place is dedicated to beer. They have beer dinners, beer breakfasts, Ive had vintage/aged beers there, not to mention 420 Hop Fest is coming up. This really is a great place.
02-15-2010 21:21:06 | More by sitarist
4.22/5 rDev -2.5%
I lived in Lakewood until I was 18, and my family still lives in town, so I get back a few times a year. For most of my life, the BBE location was a normal-looking restaurant. When I discovered that the Beer Engine had moved into the location, I was pleased... when I saw their beer list I flipped! The Beer Engine is another great example of the rise of the craft beer and brewing scene in Cleveland - a bar that focuses on getting great drafts from all over the country and keeping things interesting.
The biggest draw to the Beer Engine, of course, is the beer! A great selection of their own beer, rotating drafts from around the country, and a fantastic bottle list, and all at fair prices. They routinely have fairly rare or interesting releases that other bars would never bother getting. The food is really solid and routinely great, and they have a good variety of food for vegetarians. If you want to have a food experience, go for the Fatty Melt - a half-pound patty in between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.
The Beer Engine isn't the most attractive place in the world, but it has nice sturdy wood tables and a nice big wooden bar to sit at. It's kinda rowdy at certain hours but I've been there plenty of times and it's really laid back. The bartenders are really nice and the majority of the servers are younger women who seem to like what they do and usually know their stuff.
The Beer Engine is a great asset to any beer lover in the area. I go there nearly every time I'm back in town.
01-07-2010 19:27:28 | More by Telix
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
The food was very good with very ample portions. My first choice of beers was unavailable but they had everything else. Very good selection and even bought some beer to go. Everything was reasonably priced. The service was good and the staff were very knowledgeable about the beer and the Cleveland beer scene. Very much a bar atmosphere but was no problem taking my four year old daughter and didn't get any odd looks or anything. Highly recommend this place to anyone in the area. My family really enjoyed this and I hope to return on my next visit.
11-06-2009 00:40:14 | More by littleg
4.55/5 rDev +5.1%
When I first visited the Beer Engine in Lakewood, I was upset by two things. One, because I arrived late to a 10 am tapping of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Canadian Breakfast Stout and had missed my opportunity to try the highly acclaimed CBS... which is probably my own fault, but I'll never admit to that.
And B (ha!), because on that particular morning they were serving breakfast 'til 2pm and I was not able to try their deliciously-sounding burger of the month that I had been dying to try ever since I heard of it. How can peanut butter and beef NOT entice you?!
However, after the handful of times I have revisited the Beer Engine during Cleveland Beer Week, I have been blown away by how excellent their food is their vast selection of craft beer. Along with having about 30 awesome beers on tap at a time, usually including 1 or so on cask as well as a few of their own Buckeye Brewing Co. beers, they have a multiple page list on every table describing the beers they have in back that are offered to go as well.
The vibe is great, tons of brewery memorabilia, bottles and posters as well as a few flat screen TV's. An awesome place to hang out and definitely one of the better brewpubs in the great city of Cleveland.
11-03-2009 17:17:55 | More by TheViolator666
3.74/5 rDev -13.6%
Checked this place out on a recent trip to Cleveland for the BA Blackout Stout release. Not bad, but probably wouldn't be a place I'd frequent.
Atmosphere: It wasn't awful, but kind of reminiscent of a college-type kind of bar, something that I'm just not really interested in frequenting a whole lot. A little loud and there were some folks getting pretty hammered on hard liquor next to us that insisted on spinning trays on their fingers.
Quality/Selection: Pretty nice overall with a really solid variety on tap. This would be what would keep me coming back if anything would. They've also got cask brews available as well, so for me, that's pretty interesting as there's not really a ton around me here in the greater Cincinnati area. They've also got beer to go and a pretty well-stocked cooler, so even if I didn't look to hang out here, it would likely be a place I could swing by for some decent beers to stock my fridge with.
Service: Hard to judge this especially accurately because I've only been there once, but they weren't especially busy and we seemed to be largely ignored because of the table full of people getting hammered next to us (mentioned above). I'd like to think that all tables would get some form of service though.
10-21-2009 04:07:16 | More by bamadog
4.33/5 rDev 0%
Stopped by after a Indians game. Before walking into this place you knew that you were stepping into an amazing beer bar. Rogue, Oberon, Delirium umbrellas were open in the front patio. Walking into the bar the signs were up from all the beer goodness, a nice 15 seat bar with tables throughout. The draft selection was on a board behind the bar, beers ranging from Buckeye Brewing to Founders to New Holland, also 2 cask ales. I had the Jolly Pumpkin Cask and about 8 different samples ranging from Buckeye Brewing to special edtion Rogue. The sevice was spot on, we were treated pretty good. I know other reviewers slammed the service but I thought it was pretty good. Overall the atmosphere to the beer to the service this place is excellent.
07-06-2009 02:51:36 | More by gunnerman
4.3/5 rDev -0.7%
Stopped in here for a couple of pints after dinner at Great Lakes. What a great spot!
A nice local pub feel, nicely dark, with about a 25 seat half-octagonal bar and tables all around. Close to 30 taps, with a couple of casks, all displayed on a lucite board behind the bar. Nice emphasis on Buckeye Brewing beers, which we can't get in PA, and otherwise nicely diverse. The bottle list was quite extensive but unnecessary on this visit given the great tap selections on our visit.
Service was warm, welcoming and friendly. I look forward to my next visit.
05-04-2009 19:13:04 | More by sholland119
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
Finally stopped by the Beer Engine on a visit to Cleveland and encountering an hour plus wait at GLBC. BBE is located just a few miles from Cleveland in on Madison which is not too far from I-90. They have a small private lot and there is metered street parking right out front and in the surrounding blocks.
The Beer Engine is pretty small inside, and has a cozy feel. The bar is toward the center and runs in a semi-circle, with high table seating all around. There is also a small nook to the left with more traditional table seating. Great collection of bottles, steins and breweriana throughout the brewpub. There is a marker board behind the bar showing what is on tap and what price tier the beer is, and a printout is on each table with the same info.
Beer samples come in groups of 4 and run from $1.25-$2.75 each. There are around 25 taps with beer from Buckeye, Bell's, Brooklyn, Southern Tier, etc, as well as 2 cask beers. They also have around 100 bottles. There was a "Christmas In Belgium" event going on during our visit which was evidenced by the large number of holiday-themed Belgian beers both on tap and in bottles.
Service was good on a busy Friday evening. Our server was quick with everything and somewhat knowledgeable about the beers.
Our food was really good. Two pages of the menu are devoted to burgers but I went with pulled pork and was not disappointed. My wife got the Hippie Burger and loved it.
Overall I highly recommend a stop here, and not only if the wait at GLBC is too long. This is an ideal spot with great atmosphere, house beers, guest taps and food. I will definitely be putting in many visits to this place on future visits to Cleveland.
12-15-2008 22:50:32 | More by Dogbrick
Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, OH
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.