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The Brewhouse in Historic SoNo

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BA SCORE
85
very good

15 Ratings
Ratings: 15
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 21.85%
Taps: 16
Bottles: 52
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

13 Marshall St
Norwalk, Connecticut, 06854-2300
United States
phone: (203) 853-9110

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @sonobrewhouse

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Thrasher)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Boilermaker88:
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%

While back in Norwalk for a family reunion, some of my relatives took me up on the notion of stopping in at the Brewhouse for a late dinner and, in my case, the chance to hae a pint or two.
The Brewhouse sits in what looks like a rather recently renewed downtown area of South Norwalk just around the corner from the Maritime Aquarium. The exterior has the look of an old government building and the inside is all dark wood. The bar area is off to the left of the dining area. There's an upper area for dining, too. A wide assortment of national flags and beer memorabilia decorate the walls and the main dining room is dominated by a large copper lauter tun.
The beers on tap included New England Atlantic Amber, DFH 60 Minute IPA, and Reissdorf Kolsch, which replaced the keg of Hooker Irish Red that kicked earlier that evening. They only had 6-8 taps but the bottle list was what stood out. Good stuff like La Fin du Monde, Maudite, La Chouffe, Aventinus, Duvel, Orval, Tripel Karmeliet, Sinebrychoff porter, and Le Coq imperial stout were some of the notables on the bottle list.
The service was quite good, especially considering a group of nine rolled up less than a half hour before the place was to close. The wait staff did a good job taking care of our group. The food was a pretty standard brewpub menu covering a wide range of meals and appetizers. The prices for the food was a bit pricey but the price per pint was what I'd consider the industry standard.
All in all, The Brewhouse was a good place to stop since it catered to everyone from the non-drinker to the "regular" beer drinker to the enthusiast. A good stop if you're in the area.

Boilermaker88, Apr 20, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of tobelerone
3.25/5  rDev -9%

tobelerone, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of BrewIAm
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%

The Brewhouse? Hardly. They DON’T brew anything and the beer selection is just average, if that. I stopped by hoping to sample their beers after having lunch at the Ginger Man. What a disappointment! For me this is just a SoNo restaurant, with nothing that warrants much comment on a site like Beeradvocate.com

I didn’t have any food or look at the lunch menu.

The place was quite busy compared to the Ginger Man that I’d just walked from (I thought this was interesting). The clientele seemed to have a fair amount of families and kids. The place is dripping in brew-décor, but looks a bit worn; feels like it could use some freshening up.

The only bright spot for me was a friendly, knowledgeable bartender.

BrewIAm, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Jesstyr
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%

The Brewhouse used to be my go to spot before Ginger Man came to town. Over the couple years it just got worse and worse. This place has tremendous potential, but has blown it.

Atmosphere is for families, just happens to be the former home of a brewery. Quality of the food is average at best, but really lacks because of the huge size of the family-style menu. Service is just average - honestly completely average. Not good, not bad.

Beer selection has potential, but is just average for a beer place, but better than your local olive garden. I would expect more.

The food is where its hurting. The burgers are good, but the rest lacks quality and really is hindered by the massive menu. The bisque used to be great, not its gross.

All in all, they need to take some tips from Ginger Man and they would be formidable. They could cater to both families and those wanting to grab a good beer. For now a missed opportunity.

Jesstyr, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%

Back in the day when they brewed Atlantic Amber and the other NE Brewing Co beers and had a German influenced menu, this was a great place.

These days - they have a really nice beer menu for the area, US and Int'l - and they rotate seasonals in regularly. Recently added a Captain Lawrence Brown and Sierra Celebration to their tap menus.

The food here is pretty good bar food - stick to the basics and you'll be happy. The beer burger is tasty and I like the Reuben as well. Get too adventerous and you might be disappointed.

Weekend afternoons you get a lot of kid traffic from the nearby aquarium - which is a good thing if you have kids, but might be annoying if you don't.

I usually walk away from this place pretty happy with the food and the brew.

KTCamm, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of BlueMeanie
1.1/5  rDev -69.2%

Avoid this place if at all possible.

The name they give to this restaurant gives you the impression that they make their own beer... they do not.

Lets start with the beer list. It is split between national craft brews and macro pisswaters. The beers are listed by country of origin, not by style making it hard to find a beer to pair with the meal. When I asked the waiter about a couple of the beers, I got a blank look and and an I don't know. If you don't know what you are serving, find out and get back to me.

Food: We ordered onion rings as an appetizer. They came as one greasy entangled mess of thinly sliced onions. They were fried at too cold of a temperature resulting in a soggy, greasy texture that quickly became cold. They were served with a bizzare orange horseradish sauce that was quickly pushed to the side and replaced with ketchup.

The main entrees were served before we could even get though 1/3 of the onion strings, not that we felt like eating more. The fish in my fish and chips were dry and tasteless. I would not be surprised if it came from frozen in a box. My wife's portabello mushroom sandwich was just nasty. The portabello mushroom was fried to a rubbery texture and topped with a poor quality, greasy cheese. The pretzel roll had little to no resemblance to a real pretzel. As a baker, I know the difference. The pasta salad served with her sandwich has too heavily sauced and poorly seasoned.

I cannot in good faith recommend this restaurant to anyone on this site.

BlueMeanie, May 24, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%

A business trip in Norwalk necessitated this trip to the Brewhouse.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is rather large, with wide open seating on the first floor, a decent-sized bar and copper brew kettles peppered around. The bar has a nice feel, with multiple taps (10-15), a nice bottle selection and wide array of liquors.

Quality: The restrooms are in the basement, so navigation can take some time. Beyond that, the place was immaculate. Service was good as well.

Service: The bartender gave my colleague and I ample face time, discussing the history of the brewery (New England Brewing used to brew there) and Trappist ales. Drinks and subsequent refills were prompt.

Selection: As I mentioned, 15 or so taps. Several were BMC or their EURO equivalents. They did have Old Speckled Hen, NEBC's Atlantic Amber, DFH 60 Minute IPA and Celebrator. Lots of bottles, including three Trappists (Chimay, Rochefort and Orval), are available as well.

Food: We stuck with appetizers (and the free happy hour offerings). All were decent from a pub grub perspective.

akorsak, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of mltobin
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%

As stated below, there is no longer an actual brewery here. Instead, it is a restaurant with a decent beer selection, both on tap and for bottle.
They still have some of those copper tanks which is nice, parking is fairly easy, but I think it is lame that they have a parking guard make sure no one parks in there lot and walks elsewhere in South Norwalk.
The service is decent, it some like they always have new waitresses who are not exactly on point.
The selection highlights the New England region well: Magic Hat,Sam, and other smaller brewers are present on tap.
Bottle selection is pretty good, happy to see La Fin du Monde, Southampton, Allagash, some of my favorites.
Good place, set slightly back from S. Main Street.
If they got rid of the parking nazi, it would be a more welcoming place.

mltobin, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of sraimondi
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%

I've worked in Norwalk for about 10 years and this was the first time I hit this place. Met some biz associates for lunch on 4/28. The atmosphere in this joint is exceptional. Multi-tiered, with long bar on left of entry way and some bar tables in the lounge area. Really airy and spacious, but not sterile as they have dressed the place up with lots of stuff on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Reminds me a of a smaller scale City Steam in Hartford, CT.

Although our server had only been working there for a week, she was very couteous and prompt; and when she didn't know something, a more senior staffer came over to talk with us.

While they no longer make their own beer here, they have a nice selection of drafts & bottles. Many are the usual macros and micros, but some nice twists: 20 oz. Lowenbrau, Reichdorf Kolsch (I have not seen this one on draught in CT in the recent past) & some Magic Hat stuff, all on draught. Bottles included Sinebrychoff Porter & Abita Turbo Dog. I had a couple of Kolsch and one Tirbo Dog--good stuff!

We had some appys: Tempura Shrimp and Buffalo Calimari. Both were good, but the Shrimp's breading was a little to much for my taste. I had a very good piece of grilled salmon, perfectly cooked. My colleagues had philly cheese steak and they liked it alot.

Pricing was fair.

As this place is only about 10-15 minutes from my office, I will definitely hit it often for lunch. I recommend it for sure to other BAs who might be in the area.

sraimondi, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of medic25
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%

Made my second visit yesterday to the Brewhouse, and again I was impressed. Set in an old brewery, the decor pays tribute to the buildings former role. The spacious, brick-walled space is wide open with a variety of beer-themed decorations. The food was a nice selection of typical American fare. I went with a party of eight or so, and everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. My lobster roll was served on a delicious toasted roll, with big, flavorful chunks of lobster.
The beer selection was also quite good, with a nice variety of draft and bottled beers. Drafts included DFH 60 minute IPA (my first choice of the night), Magic Hat, and an Aylinger Hefe Weisse. Also a nice selection of bottled beers; I was especially impressed that the Duvel was served in the appropriate glassware. If you are looking for a good spot in SoNo for a nice meal and a beer, definitely check out the Brewhouse.

medic25, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%

Well I have been here many times but this was my first visit since joining BA. The place is covered with breweriana on the walls, ranging from beer trays, to pictures, to posters. Some cool historical info on CT breweries as well. The set up upon walking in is a short bar to the left and a ton of tables and booths for dining to the right. Huge copper fermenter in the center of the room reminds all of the history of this very building.
The tap selection is good with a nice mix of local and regional beers. Probably about 18 taps. Highlight tonite would be Celebrator Doppelbock. Bottle selection is one of the better in the state and definitely teh best I know of in Fairfield County. I do think the prices are a little high but again the location has a lot to do with that. The food is good, I had a buffalo chicken pizza tonite with my pint of Brookly Brown and enjoyed both. THis is a great place to stop in and grab a bite to eat and a beer if you are in the area. Very easy access from I-95.
Check it out!

sulldaddy, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of beernbbq
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%

Although they don't brew anymore, the draft and bottle selection is the best in the area, and they are featuring the reborn New England Brewing beers. The food is solid if boring, but at the bar they have a Happy Hour wing special and the wings are definitely above average. What brings me here though is the beer selection. Personally I like to etiher start out or finish up an evening out here as the beer list accomodates in both ways. I loved when they served the Mrs. Aventinus in the Aventinus glassware, and I have been sold ever since.

beernbbq, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev +16%

I really would have liked to have seen this place in it's day.
A shell of it's fromer self, to be sure, although it does look like they might get another chance to shine. The site of the old New England Brewing Company in Norwalk, they are now just a bar and restaurant. The restaurant is a big open room with 2 outstanding brewing kettles in the middle of the room. These things are huge. It looks like the restaurant was built around them. There's a second floor with a pretty decently sized additional dining area. The walls are decorated with serving trays from old breweries and there are some beautiful photos of old time breweries as well as an ancient bottling machine.
They're pouring beer. Roughly 18 taps, serving the recently reborn New England Atlantic Amber, and some nice regional micros and some imports. Victory, Dogfish Head, Sam, Magic Hat and Harpoon are represented here. The imports are the usual Guinness, Old Speckled Hen, Hoegaarden, Stella, Bass, Lowenbrau, etc. but it's still always a pleasure to find the Leffe Blonde on tap.
And the bottles, yes, the bottles. Roughly 42 bottles. American micros Anchor, Sierra, Brooklyn, Long Trail, Allegash, Casco Bay, and some nice imports Old Engine Oil, a handful of Unibroues, La Chouffe, Aventinus, Paulaner, Duvel, Sam Smith, and the A Le Coq Imperial Stout. Most unusual.
Service was good as we sat and chewed the fat with the bartender for a while about the state of New England (Brewing company, that is) on this dreary rainy Saturday. Apparently they're brewing again, thus far only the one beer being made in Woodbridge but there's talk there like they could be bringing back the Gold Coast Ale next. I myself would very much like to see the Oatmeal Stout and the Holiday Ale, but we'll take what we can get. You don't need to bottle it. Just keg it and tell me where you're pouring.

slander, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%

A mere shadow of its former self, but the selection of draught and bottled beers is pretty deep, and imagine my surprise to see the New England Brewing Atlantic Amber tap handle. Hopefully they'll bring back more of their flavors. Service was decent - they were quick to notice when you're in need of a beer, but I was troubled to see that they don't give you a glass with a bottled beer unless you ask, and they have some good stuff in bottles. They should know and act better. The food we tried was great. Both beer and food were perhaps just a bit pricey, but hey, it's Fairfield County. Decor was pretty much the same as when it was a brewpub, but as VENOM mentions below, sad to see that the windows into the old brewing room are boarded up. In any case, it was great to see New England Brewing Atlantic Amber return to its former home.

far333, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of Thrasher
3.49/5  rDev -2.2%

This is the old site of New England Brewing Co. The brewery is since defunct (and rumors are it may be revived elsewhere in the state), but the "pub" portion of "brewpub" is alive and well. A vast old brick building in the maritime section of South Norwalk (that's Sono to you), the restaurant takes up about half of the building. Parking out front is very welcome. Inside, all the old brewing equipment is still on display, along with written signs and descriptions of all the old beers! Sadly you can't get them anymore. Lots of cool breweriana around, especially the serving trays in the back right and the stuff down by the bathrooms. Copper brewing kettles and other equipment will actually make you a little sad for the death of NEBC. Now the joint is a regular restaurant and live music venue. Although the bar is handsome and sturdy, you have to be sitting at a table in the middle of the room to see the band. Also when I was there the band blew a fuse and their power went out! (Not sure if that was the band's fault or the venue.) About 14 draft beers with some nice picks (I drank Cisco Whale Tail and Dogfish Head Shelter) but nothing that unusual. A bigger selection of bottles. Menu looked inviting. This is nothing to write home about but if you're in the area (and the Aquarium is right around the corner), or there's a band that you want to see, it's worth a stop to check out the brewing equipment and grab a beer. On a Friday night the place was far from packed and the crowd was pretty tame. Still, Sono has one of the more vibrant nightlife scenes in Fairfield County, and this place is probably your best bet for beer if you're in that part of town.

Thrasher, Mar 29, 2003
The Brewhouse in Historic SoNo in Norwalk, CT
85 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.