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Willimantic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

125 Ratings
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.58%
Active Beers: 85
Beer Ratings: 524
Beer Avg: 3.96
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

967 Main St
Willimantic, Connecticut, 06226-2330
United States
phone: (860) 423-6777

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @willibrew

Notes:
AKA - Main Street Café

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Longstaff
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%

Cool setting for a brewpub, feels like your stopping by to mail your tax returns or something, and they have good beer while you wait. Selection of about 7 house brews ranging from a light ale to barlywine, but the IPA(s) are the best of the lot. Our service was ok on a slow Friday afternoon with short down times with no beer in my glass. Got the cheese plate which was just normal everyday supermarket cubed cheese with some bottled fruit which came like 2 minutes before the sandwiches not giving us enough time to eat it as an appetizer after we had specifically asked for it as an appetizer. I had a average chicken sandwich with some horrible caramalized (read burnt) onions, my gf had a pretty decent and spicy buffalo chicken wrap. Food here is mediocre at best and the house beer is hit or miss. Barlywine was a thin, hot alcohol mess, the oatmeal stout was tasty but thin, but the Glacier IPA rocked. I was expecting more from my visit and ended up a little dissapointed.

Longstaff, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of sacfly
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%

I was in Stamford, CT for a friend’s birthday party. Willimantic is about a two hour drive from Stamford and we had already been in the car for eight hours. I had looked at BA for a nice place to go out on a Friday and at the advice of Venom decided to make the extra trip. Boy was I glad we did. After twisting and turning through back roads, passing a sign that read school bus stop/cow crossing, and thoughts that we had completely left civilization, we finally arrived at the converted stone post office that is the Main Street Café. The building itself is impressive and makes for great ambiance while dining and enjoying a pint.

We arrived at 9:56- 4 minutes before the kitchen closed. We were instantly seated and no one gave us a hard time about ordering food so close to the kitchen closing. The server was knowledgeable of the beers (and even a bit of the ingredients and brewing process). I had a burger and a bowl of crab chowder. Great chowder. An average burger, but toped with grilled portabella mushrooms and cheddar cheese. Very nice. My wife went for the NY strip. When it arrived, after a nice salad, all the driving seemed to melt away from her. It was cooked to perfection and a marvelous cut of meat. Everything we had was great, and the other meals we saw looked equally delicious. Price was affordable and much better than Stamford in price and taste.

But the real reason why we came was the beer. The beer list had a wide selection of house brews (complete with tapped dates and future releases) and a great regional selection and world brews on tap as well. A well priced sampler of five beers was available. Highlights of their brews included the Most Wanted IPA (the other house IPA’s listed were sold out) and AmBEERlicious (an amber ale made for a special brewing event). I also enjoyed a young barleywine, the 2005 Willi Whammer. All the others that I sampled were at the very least average to above average- which is much more than I can say for many brew pubs I have been to. I also loved the Thomas Hooker barleywine and Munich Lager- one of the best and most interesting lagers I have tasted to date. The Southern Tier IPA was also enjoyable in a lemonhead candy kind of way. My wife enjoyed the samplers as well and ended the evening with a Lindeman’s Framboise also on tap. I wish I could have gone back on Sunday. They have a movie theatre screen set up in the dining room and were going to show “The Bad News Bears”. Sounded fun.

Great ambiance, great food, a wide selection of great beers… What more could you want? If you are in the NE area you will not be disappointed with a stop at the Main Street Café. Well worth the two hour drive.

sacfly, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of erica
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%

After the Heavyweight Open House I drove up to Willimantic for this nice brewpub. Nice and easy to find on (the) Main St., I like that. Not too many chances to make a wrong turn, I like that very much. This is in a huge old Post Office building, the atmosphere is OK, the pub part with some tables is separate from the restaurant part, which is a lot bigger. The place has an institution-like feel to it though, I guess because the ceilings are so high and there's no carpeting or anything, so the place echos like mad. It didn't feel all that inviting to me, but the people and beer and food inside this massive structure made up for it. We sat in the pub half, it's got a long bar with lots of tap handles lined up above it, different odd old posters and signs on the walls, including The Lord's Beer Prayer (i think thats what it was called). They had a super beer selection, 11 taps plus 1 cask of their own beer and lots of New England micros on tap as well. Nice if you want to get a real feel for New England beer I guess. Francis got a sampler and 2 glasses, some of which I had little sips of, and I just had a pint of the SWAK stout, as I had a long late night drive ahead of me and was already feeling sleepy. Great great stout though. I would say quality and selection are pretty much top-notch at this place, for the beer and food. For food we split their nachos, topped with veggie chili, which was a nice change of pace- oh my god were they freakin' huge!! A mountain! Tasty too. That was pretty much all I ate for the day, and we had tons left over to take home. Service was quite good and prompt, especially for a Saturday night. We had 3 different waiters during the 2 hours we were there, all of them were very nice. Too nice almost, it freaked me out a bit. Overall this was a nice place to visit, I wouldn't go out of my way to come here again, but I'm glad for the experience and I would recommend it to people passing by the area.

erica, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%

This place is awesome. Erica and I went here two weeks in a row, once on a Sunday afternoon and once on a Saturday night. Although the first visit was marred by me being a bit sick, the second visit more than made up for the first. The atmosphere here is great. As you may or may no know this place is located in the old post office building of Willimantic. Having a brewpub/restaurant in this big, ornate 1910 structure was just an awesome idea as the atmosphere is great with the long bar in the pub room, and the many nice tables in the restaurant section. Although the SUPER high celings are a bit distracting as noise carries very easily and there is almost a school cafeteria vibe going on. Never-the-less I like the atmosphere here. The selection and quality of brews is excellent. Between two trips there were 14 house-brewed beers on-tap as well as 20+ other New England micros with a good spread from all of the NE states (CT, NH, MA, ME, VT, no RI brews though ;-). The quality of all of the beers sampled was excellent. I got a 5 beer sampler (with 5 5 oz glasses of brew for $4.75) both times I was here, and several glasses as well. Between both visits I tried 8 brews. Of these 8 I would say that 2 we're good, but not great, 1 was very good, 1 was very strange, but awesome, and the other 4 were just amazingly well crafted and world-class. Some of the best beers that I have ever had, were had on-tap here. Service was very good both times with quick service, and polite manners. On the second visit I thought our waiters did an excellent job. The food here is 5 star quality as well. The biggest/best? nachos we have ever had were had here, and the ale-onion soup I had was one of the best i've had as well. All in all this is an awesome, cool-looking place with excellent service, selection, quality, and food. Although it is so out of the way for me I may never be back, I urge all beer and food lovers to at least make the pilgrimage out here once. This is probably the best brewpub in CT, and perhaps the best in all of New England. Oh, and say hi for the frog bridge for me too!

francisweizen, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of yankeeheel
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

We have a winner.

Went down to Ct on 2/12-2/13 to catch the UNC/UConn game. My brother-in-law lives in Dayville so I twisted his arm to take the short hop to Willimantic. Saturday night was packed. We opted for a seat at the bar and ate there vs standing for an hour for a table. I love the art deco of the old post office. It's an impressive space and they make good use of it. Tons of tables. The bar is long. Probably 25-30 seats. TV's at either end.

Beer wise the house brews were all well done. I can't really remember a brewpub where I really liked all the beers I had, until now. First, I opted for the Old Raisin ale on cask, which was the absolute best of the night. Then an India Dark ale, which was a great take on a hoppy brew, and finally the WhiliWhammer 04. Delightful. Tried my BIL's SWAK stout and liked that too. Food wise we opted for wings and ribs and both were excellent. My fries were cold, which sucked, but it was a busy night. The only downer was that the Hooker Imperial Porter had kicked. That beer eludes my every attempt to acquire it. Lots of other good non-Willi taps. Storm King, Allagash, Schlitz...I kid, don't hurt me. Probably 20 taps total.

Anywhoo, it's worth the trip if anywhere within the confines of Ct.

yankeeheel, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of Starchild
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Checked this place out on my way to Mass. I sat at the long bar instead on the main dining room. I had their BLT which was perfect (crisp lettuce, great beacon, and nicely toasted bread). I also enjoyed 3 beers with the BLT and the brews were so good I couldn't get them fast enough. Finally, it sinks in that Ct. needs growlers. Still, one of the best detours for beer that I've ever made and better then Town Hall. While the resturant showcased the basic brewing equipment, the beer was fantastic! I loved the V.E.G. IPA. I need to go back.

Starchild, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of cooperrip
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%

Ahh Willibrew, god I love this place.I come here about two or three times a month.It's located in the old post office on Main St. They always have about 8 or so of their house brews on tap along with about 20 guest brews.The food is always good and the service is fantastic.The owner/brewer David Wollner is a genius, I never had a beer I didn't like in this place.His IPA's and Barleywines are top notch.He even helps out with the waitstaff from time to time and is never too busy to talk with a fellow beer lover.I long for the day the growler is passed in CT so others outside the area can have the priviledge of tasting his beautiful creations.

cooperrip, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%

This visit was a New Year's Eve gift to myself. The wife went shopping with friends, and I organized a solo beer run through a bunch of CT stores en route to Willimantic Brewing Co., and enjoyed a lunch there. Oh, and a couple of brews. :-)

Big old bunker-style former post office building on Rte 66 in Willimantic, hard to miss if you know what you're looking for. Parking can sometimes be a problem, but it's worth the aggravation.

Building more or less divided in half between the dining room and bar, with the bar side a little bit skinnier. Nice bar running most of the length of the long inner wall, with tables against the outer wall, and a little gather of a few more tables at the front end which opens up into the dining room. Bar seats faces the plethora of taps, both in-house and guests, with a nice step for the feet to rest upon.

Chalkboard above the bar noted current in-house offerings, and table-stander also listed these, along with date of recent tappenings. It also had the long list of guest taps, although I am not sure why you would need to visit these with Willimantic's wide range of offerings. Highlights for me were two different IPAs, and then the Festive Ale (Double IPA) on cask, and being new year's eve, the WIlli Whammer barleywine 2003-05 sampler was available.

Had a light lunch of the teriyaki chicken tenders and a side of brewer's bread with beer butter, all excellent. I will be adding the bread side to all my visits from now on, worked well as a palate cleanser.

A must visit in the Central CT area, and when Sully gets growlers working in CT, there'll be even more reason to visit. Check it out, and you'll having a great time.

ppoitras, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Went out to lunch here a few days ago and I have to say that I was more than impressed. This place is housed in an old post office, and it looks huge from both the outside and the inside. They have a huge wrap around bar with a number of tables in the bar area, not to mention a large dining room. Currently, they had about eight of their own beers on tap; the two I tried were mighty tasty (a porter and a hopped up IPA) I may add. They also have one of their beers on cask at all times. In addition to their own line of brews, they also have about 12 to 15 local micros to choose from. The service was prompt and the staff seemed to be fairly knowledgable. The lunch menu seemed to cater to vegetarians, which scored some points with my girlfriend. I tried one of their thin crust house pizzas with sausage and mushrooms and it was great! They seem to be unveiling a new brew almost every week according to their calendar along with some upcoming beer dinners and a Halloween costume party. I was somewhat surprised with the experience due to the Willimantic area itself. After how positive our first visit was, we'll definitely be back.

NEhophead, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of bewley
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%

Went here on a Sunday around 5:30 and the place was moderately busy. We sat at the bar and the service was quite personable and attentive. Tried eight of their offerings on tap (eleven total) and were impressed with most of them. The "Glacier IPA," "Bavarian Cocoa Wheat" and "Rail Mail Rye" stood out. The IPA's, as noted before this, are their strong point. They also had many other micros on tap (nice touch) including Budweiser (no pretensions here). They seemed to be running about 30-40 taps at the time. The bottled selection is limited.

The food is good--better than most brewpubs I've tried. The nachos are piled high and the wings are nice and hot for those IPAs.

The place is out of the way (and this is an understatement), but definitely worth a visit. Only an hour from Providence via route 6.

bewley, Jul 26, 2004
Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic, CT
95 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.