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Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon

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BEER AVG
3.94/5
Based on:
195 Beers
11,769 Hads
Place Score: 94
Reviews: 73
Visits: 218
Avg: 4.27
pDev: n/a
Taps: 34
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

24581 Lorain Rd.
North Olmsted, Ohio, 44070
United States
phone: (440) 801-1001 | map
www.fatheadscleveland.com

Notes:  Master Beer Listing
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-13-2009

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Visits: 218
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
3.8/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

So, Fat Heads is in a "killer location" according to its owners - a "once in a lifetime" place they just couldn't pass up. The problem is it's 10 minutes past the airport, making it a huge drive for any East Sider. But I'll move past that and get to what it does offer.

Atmosphere is good - you get to see some tanks and the nice sized bar when you enter. Always crowded, we had to wait 30 minutes for a table at 2:30 on a Saturday, but the novelty will wear off soon I bet and there will be some safe times to hit this place.

I asked the bartender if they had anything running from the firkin (this was a Saturday and they tap them on Friday) and she looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. So, I waited for the table to get a beer since she seemed absolutely clueless.

Here's where things went from promising to pretty crappy. We were seated and waited more than 15 minutes until our waitress came to the table. She knew very little about the beer, but we got the sampler.

The beer was average at best, but probably a little worse than I expected. The #1 saison tasted like a kit from Northern Brewer (not that there's anything wrong with that, when your buddy makes it in his garage). The Chocolate Monkey stout was thin (porter perhaps?), and the IPA was barely hoppy enough to taste. Not my thing, but I see what they're going for: mediocre beers but awesome food. They also had a slightly better than average selection of guest taps, but they really haven't moved many of them since their opening. Basically, you're looking at 3 ales, 3 wheats, a few Belgian selections, and 3 dark beers (porter/stouts).

And the food was awesome. We got a fried pierogie appetizer and it was great. I got the wings and they were phenominal. Also, the girlfriend's burger was awesome.

So, here's the deal. This is not a beer mecca. The house beer is average at best. But the food is worth going for.

UPDATE: The last year has been very kind to this place. I'm happy to report that the beer has gotten MUCH better, there are now "slow" times, the new bartenders know their stuff, and the food is still kick-ass. Raising the quality to 4 from 2.5. Service from waitstaff is still average, though, especially a choice few who have no business serving in a brewery.

 2,272 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of RayOhioFelton
5/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is world class and a must visit! Use the app No Wait to avoid the long wait once you arrive!

103 characters

Photo of rjd722
4.61/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Awesome beers, great sandwiches, and solid service. Had the Hop JuJu and Imperial Red, both pretty exceptional. Big variety of their own beers and guest beers on draft.

 168 characters

Photo of mynie
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The brewery is located in an industrial park in North Olsmtead, about 15 minutes from downtown Cleveland. We were set to begin the last leg of a long, Boston-to-Iowa roadtrip. It was a grey and sharp day after an unusually warm late December, and we were hungover from the previous day's hockey game in Buffalo. Plus, you know, regular ol' holiday melancholy--Charlie Brown existentialist stuff, the routinization of a time period that once felt so magical, the sinking feeling that I'm somehow wasting life by not having children of my own, dread at having to see how far my parents have aged since last Christmas...

I've wanted to visit Great Lakes for over a decade but I've never before passed through Cleveland with any time to spare. They were closed on Sundays, though, so we just sat out front for a few minutes and weighed our options. I was sad, childishly, as if some kind of dream had been squashed. But then I remembered that a vague, weak desire does not constitute a dream, even if it is more than ten years old. It was time to be an adult. To move on.

We drove the extra little ways to North Olmstead, to Fat Head, a brewery I liked when they distributed to Indiana the last year or so that I lived there. Their highest rated beers were always hard to find, so I figured hey, this might yield something nice.

And yes, it did.

Fat Head's tap room was *exactly* the sort of place we needed to visit on this particular road trip. It wasn't uplifting or ostentatious. They had not gone all out on holiday decoration (there were some nice lights and trees and whatfor, but nothing a couple of people couldn't have put up in an hour or two). It was neither intimate nor bustling. The waitress was friendly but she did not sit down at our table or fake flirt so as to garner more tips.

It was, in short, a place that did not give a fuck. In the best possible way. It's the genuine version of the sort of chill that those Jimmy Buffet chain restaurants attempt to evoke, the sort of place you go when you want reality to become more tolerable but don't want any sort of hallucinogenic return to childhood.

The tap selection was about 20 deep and everything was super good. The food was solid pub fare. But the atmosphere was what really sold the place.

 2,288 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The size of the bar is pretty amazing. They have an expansive beer selection, including some local brews--some of which could even be considered rivalries--plus there's always something in a firkin. Their food combos are simple but are large, and they offer some unique takes on NE Ohio dishes. The problem with this place, and too many other breweries lately, is they want to cater to everyone and allow families--the worst part being small children, and lots of them. A bar or brewery is no place for rugrats, especially when it often consists of half the place. Sure it may seem great for business but they'd be doing good with an age limit as well. When a restaurant is this large and there's a line out the door on a weekday in the middle of winter, kick out the kids. Adults need their own place to chill.

 812 characters

Photo of BeerMeDrD
2.48/5  rDev -41.9%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of BDeibs
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of orangesol
4.1/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of DSWeller
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of a_beckman25
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Visited the Middleburg Heights location. Pretty cool setup with the tanks being about 20 feet from your tables. Good luck finding the place. Its actually in a giant warehouse with only a small sign to show you its the right drive.

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Photo of speedvagen
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Didn't try the food, but seriously, the selection, quality was amazing, possibly the best I've experienced! Tried an experimental dipa that was the best I've had, seriously, and I've tried A LOT.... Will definitely stop in whenever I'm nearby.....

 249 characters

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Quijanoisaac
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Good bad but it is always extremely busy. There has been times the beer selection outside of their own beer can be a little underwelming.

138 characters

Photo of brbrocc
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Gregf51
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of abkaroll
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

What a massive production facility. Lots of overly hoppy beers on tap. New girl didn't know much about the beer, but the food was quite tasty. When in Cleveland it's a fun stop.... If you like hops

 201 characters

Photo of zimm421
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of helpingphriendlybook
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of JohnnyFu
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of bltgrpg
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Fat Heads is an enjoyable place to visit. The walls are covered in interesting "Fat Head" beer tops, their list of current beers on tap are updated daily on their chalkboard. The food is definitely good, just usually too much! That's why we sit at the bar to enjoy a couple of beers with wings.

 296 characters

Photo of DrMindbender
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Fat Head’s in North Olmstead, OH, is the brewpub associated with the brewery. The place is large and whenever I’ve been there has been nearly full. The food has always been excellent with large portions at reasonable prices. While TVs are about, they are not as omnipresent as in many other bars or sports bars. Still, when busy, it can be nearly impossible to hear conversations across the table. Outside tables are also available for both smokers and non-smokers. The wait staff allows adequate time to peruse the food and beer menus and don’t ignore you after you receive your meal. They are also knowledgeable about the beer offerings.
Yes, the beer offerings! The beer menu is updated daily and mine had 18 of Fat Head’s brews, a cask conditioned Heavy Seas, and 19 other beers ranging from Blue Moon to Duchess de Bourgogne and St. Bernardus. About half of these are other Ohio beers. Growler refills are possible and samples may be purchased. Cans are not available but may be purchased at a stop-and-rob about a mile down Lorain.
My GPS always tells me to turn left (coming from I80) when I get to Loraine but Fat Head’s is on the right – just a minor glitch in location – doesn’t matter because Fat Head’s is at the intersection and easily seen.

 1,283 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of johnyb
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

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Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted, OH
94 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.