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Willimantic Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.91/5
Based on:
79 Beers
585 Ratings
Place Score: 95
Ratings: 135
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
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 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

AKA - Main Street Café
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 135 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AGust82
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Keeper642
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of BxSTEW
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Maria10139
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Genuine
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't tell you the number of times that I have been to Willibrew over the past year.

Sure it's packed most of the time, that's because everyone there knows they make some great brews and awesome food. I have yet to be dissapointed by either their food or beer.

The atmosphere is really nice, quaint, a modern day pub. You enter and immediately feel welcomed.

The service is top notch, every waiter is very knowledgeable about their beers. They make sure that you're not left with an empty glass at any point during your time there.

Selection - Wide selection of mouth watering pub food that has a post office theme to it, very fun. I have yet to have a beer of theirs that is disappointing, I wish that they would bottle and sell some. They always have fresh beer on tap that they have brewed themselves, whether it be IPA's, Stouts, pales, etc..you name it. Their selection is always changing so it's awesome to see what they have that's new.

Food - their food matches their beer, delicious. They make sure that you're not going home hungry.

Value - Priced just right...I believe their beers are only a couple of bucks, food is priced normally, nothing too high...awesome place to go with your friends and enjoy an evening out!

Photo of jfcaa193
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of whisperjet
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I go to UCONN, about a 10 minute drive away, and can't believe I have waited this long to get out to Willibrew. Great looking venue from the outside; it's in the old post office and is very accessible.

There is a great feel about this place as soon as you walk in. Everyone seems to be in a good mood, its loud but not overwhelming. Just has a great energy.

Service was great. I didn't sit in the restaurant, I stayed at the bar but the bar staff was fast and reliable with great insight into their homebrews. Beer selection was really great. They have several homebrews on tap with a nice rotating selection of local crafts.

Food and beer all tasted great and were very reasonably priced. This is absolutely going to be a new favorite spot for me.

Photo of cooperrip
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of BeerMaverick
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I visited the Willimantic Brewing Co. because my girlfriend is from CT and she had heard amazing things and once I had researched it I found that it's an AHA member, so I knew it had to be good.

I was not dissapointed...I had 3 beers and they were fantastic. The Most Wanted IPA was most notable since employee were wearing the Most Wanted shirts. It was a very good and extremely hoppy IPA. I also had the S.W.A.K Stout and it was exceptional. Very good if you're in the mood for a sweeter stout. The Black Eye IPA was probably the best Black IPA I've ever had.

I had the Aeropostale Flatbread Pizza and it was great as well...really paired nicely with the IPAs. My girlfriend had the Gurlyville garlic walnut chicken and that was great as well.

Overall one of the best brewpubs I've ever been to.

Photo of spydo99
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Never been before and had high hopes based on BA reviews. I was NOT disappointed. Started with a sampler just to get an over-all feel. Spent the rest of the night with the Coffee Stout. Purchased a growler. Fair price but not great. Kicking myself for not getting a growler of the unfiltered ale. (Euromerica)

Recomend the Euromerica Unfilterd Ale and the Coffee Stout without any hesitation!

They had 40 beers on tap. 14 were Willi-Brews and the rest were guests.

Food was above average for brew bar food but you go for the beer, right?

On a side note, I went on a Friday evening before a concert and very glad I made reservations. I ate and drank in the main dining room, so I can not comment on the pub room.

Cheers.

Photo of JoeYarchak
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great selection, extremely knowledgeable staff, fantastic food. They have an incredible selection of their own, plus many other craft brews. Well worth a visit

Photo of francisweizen
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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!

Photo of sacfly
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of Starchild
4.7/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of hearmerawrrr
4.7/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I went to ECSU (which is a stone throw away) for four years and very rarely came here. This was before I was big into craft beer and it's a good thing because I would have spent all of my money on the beer and food. It's one of my favorite places. We try to go once a month because they have about 5-7 different beers that come out each month. They usually have over 10 of their own brews on tap, along with 30 guest brews (mostly new england) on tap. Food is excellent! Nachos are well worth the price, you get a pile of chips loaded with meat, cheese, and all your favorite toppings. Yes, it is $13 but it is very filling. Better make reservations because they are always busy for dinner time! Bar area tables are first come, first serve.

Photo of sarita
4.7/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went to Willibrew for the first time yesterday and it was a fantastic experience. There were 18 of us meeting up so we called ahead and were able to secure a smallish room w/ 4 tables in the back corner, which ended up being the perfect size for our little beer geek gathering. The place was easy to find and easy to find our way around. Lots of parking, tables outside for the nice weather, high ceilings inside, and a beautiful, long bar. It got noisy at times in the pub area, but nothing too crazy for a saturday night. Located in the old post office building, it's a huge rectangle with a lot of open space in the dining area and the brew room is behind glass doors so folks can see the fermatation tanks and what not. We were actually lucky enough to grab Jake, the assistant brewer, and get a quick tour of the brewing area. Even though he was out serving food at the bar, he took a quick break to show us around.. he was friendly with our group and able to answer our tons of questions.

I don't think any of us had a beer that we did not like. Most of us stuck to the house brews. My personal fave was the india dark ale, but i really enjoyed the rye and the alt bier as well. They had a decent selection of their own brews on tap, and an impressive selection of guest brews and bottles. My only complaint would be that they did not have an updated tap list so our waitress had to constantly remind everybody about the 5 or 6 beers that they were out of and the other 4 that were not listed but were on tap. We ended up writing it all down on a napkin that we passed around the room when folks were about to order another beer.

The food selection was varied and reasonably priced. Good pub food. The sliders were yummy and the rare tuna steak i ordered was fresh and barely cooked, which is perfect and exactly what I asked for. Other folks ordered a bunch of different apps and meals and everything looked good.. I didn't hear anyone complaining.

Our waitress was awesome, especially since she had a few other tables out in the dining area to worry about besides our huge group. She did a great job keeping up with us, and she was friendly and knowledgeable to boot.

I love that they fill growlers.. I made sure to get a fill of the ida to bring home and will be enjoying that today!

It's about an hour drive from my house but well worth it. I'll definitely be going back.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Although the prices are a little high you more than get your money's worth. Excellent atmosphere and quality with small brewing sets put on display in the dining area as well as the bar. The service was superb, all of the staff was attentive and friendly. The selections for their beers was great and we were very happy with our waiter's suggestions. The food was very well made and even had a great selection for my vegetarian friend I brought. Could not recommend this place more.

Photo of irishct15
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been going here since My college days since it was right down the hill. It is absolutely my favorite place to go in Connecticut. David knows how to brew some fantastic beers. His IPA's are that good and his Willi Whammers are amazing. It always has the best selection of beer in Eastern CT as well. I counted 40 taps and always quality beer. I had some IST and some CL Porter last week. The food is pretty damn good as well. They have great theme nights and electronic trivia for entertainment as well.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Pulling up, I must say that an old Post office makes for a substantial first impression, though at the same time, on this rainy night, it doesn't exactly convey "homey".

I enter from the side street directly into the middle of a looonnngg bar. Grab a seat down the right end. There's also one line of tables running parallel to the bar. No smoking, wish I had that at home. I notice about twenty guest taps, including some highly appealing, can't get at home ones, but that's not why I'm here.

There's still a lot of post office left in the place, from twenty foot ceiling to old PO boxes serving as a wine rack.

Food wise, I start off with a nce basic green salad. the good news, no onions, the bad news, no croutons. Accompanied by soft, warm bread. My ribs are simply outstanding.

Service at the bar, from three different bartenders in the courseof my visit, is outstanding.

The need more beer menus. I find one chalk board over the center of the bar, unreadable by those not in the middle. If there are hand helds, no one offered one.

Beer wise, skip over any possible samplers and go right for pints. The Double IPA tasted like Dreadnaught, though with a lighter kick, very good. A cask golden was just ok. Topped off my night with a good porter, roasty, with a nice hop bite at the end. Grabbed a growler of IPA to go.

Bit of a ride alone from Mystic on a rainy evening, and a tougher ride back in the darkness, but very well worth the trip. Just might have to go back next year. If you are in Connecticut, you owe yourself a visit.

Photo of bjohnson
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Made the hour drive to Willimantic for lunch with my cousin on the advice from a number of BA's. I was not dissapointed.

First off, the building is amazing. A large, very old historic post office that had been converted into a restaurant and then later a brewpub. All dark wood with extra high ceilings. The pub area was once the public post office area and the dining room in back was originally the post office work station. From the dining room you can see the fermentation tanks and "brew room". We sat in the pub area and had a wonderful lunch.

The waitress was very helpful and nice. She was quite enthusiastic about her favorite style of beer and favorite item on the menu. What caught me was that she brought waters to us without asking--that to me is a big thing and shows that either the waitress cares or the owners care. Burgers for both of us with appetizers of beer onion soup (which was utterly fantastic and very flavorful). Prices on the menu were consistent with other brewpubs I've been and the quality was right up at the top.

On to the beer. I started with the Rye, which was smooth and delicious and finished with the porter. My cousin had the sampler and followed that up with an IPA. On tap included: Golden Ale, Porter, IPA, Rye, Red Ale, Harvest Ale, and one other one I can't think of off the top of my head. Obviously the house brews change very often as they had two styles coming up in the next week. Also, today was a brew day as the whole joint smelled of boiling wort---a doppelbock was being concocted. We decided to take home two growlers of Push the Enevelope IPA.

Besides the house brews, Willbrew has many other guest taps with local favorites and some from other places. A great place, but unfortunately not too convenient to the bigger cities as it's an hour from New Haven and Providence, and farther from Boston. Great for CT BA's though. If I lived closer I'd have numerous growlers in my fridge.

Photo of jaxon53
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Some how this was my first trip there and being so close seems impossible. What a great place to kick back with friends and enjoy some great beer and food. Great selection of house brews ( i think there were eight) , and countless guest brews. Great beer . I give the food an A in taste and selection. There is something on the menu for everyone. The service was prompt , but not shoved down your throat, and the waitress ( I wish I could remember her name) was very knowledgeable and helpful with the beer selection. Was a very enjoyable experience, and I will definately return soon. Just get there early!

Photo of mummy178
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We go about once a week for beer and nachos in the bar. This place doesn't win awards and accolades without reason. It is a standout among brewpubs in Connecticut. Owner and Brewmaster Dave Wollner is always brewing something new of his own, as well as offering a large selection of guest microbrews on tap. A true beer lover, or should I say, lovers of TRUE BEER, will know and appreciate what Dave does. It is a destination for those both near and far, and we are fortunate to live within a 20-mile drive of it.

Food offerings range from soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, to entrees, and while it can go from average to very good (and has been improving), the real attraction is still the beer and rightfully so...it's what Dave excels at and is his true passion and reason for being put on this earth. Thank your respective gods for that fact. But if beer is not your thing, they do have full bar and wine a well.

You may dine in the dining room or the pub, but the pub is where it's at. Full menu is offered there, and the lively bustle and cast of colorful regulars provide an ever-changing venue for people-watching, eavesdropping, barging into conversations with complete strangers, or just seeing and being seen. Play NTN trivia as well if you are adept at multi-tasking, as doing all of the above, with a fork in one hand and a beer in the other, and being expected to prove your intelligence at the same time can prove to be somewhat of a challenge. Service is attentive for the most part, whether at a table or at the bar. The bar staff usually keeps a good eye on the status of the beverage in front of you and it's not often that you go dry.

You really need to attend one of their quarterly beer dinners. Here is where the chefs can step out of the drudgery of standard menu constraints and create dishes that make the guest beer offerings really pop. These are pure magic--you just need to go. The food will rival any of the best restaurants anywhere, as the chefs put quite a bit extra effort and creativity into the menus.

Now, put on your coat and go!

Photo of IEatFaces
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have never been dissapointed when I have gone to eat or drink at Willi Brew. Their beer list is always extensive and includes some of the best from all over the place. Not to mention the Willi Brews themselves are all great, I have not had one that I did not like. Their food is also killer. You cannot beat a dining experience at Willi Brew, great atmosphere which is relaxed, a great value in that you are not let down when the food gets to the table, and the beer selection is great. I look for any reason to go to the Willi Brew.

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Oh, wow! The girlfriend loved this place and has already requested a return trip. After an unsuccessful day at the blackjack tables I convinced her to swing by there for dinner. We had snacked all day and just split a couple of appetizers. They were very good and very large portions--especially for appetizers.

When we got there we parked behind this old white stone (marble?) looking building. Had a turn-of-the-century government building look to it. If you drop it down in the middle of D.C. it would blend in perfectly. We walked in the side entrance that leads into the bar and never realized there was a dining area until after we were done and looking for the bathroom. Dining area looked huge. The bar itself was incredibly long. Lots f tables around to provide a bit of a pub feeling. High celing with crown molding carved out of stone. My favorite part was the old, refinished door I came in. 10 feet tall stained oak turning door. Almost cavernous in and of itself.

Great beer selection. Seemed they had 9 or so beers of their own, but then they had a lot of guest beers from around the region both on tap and in bottle. But after trying their beer I will never drink anything they import from outside those walls.

The service was realy good too. It seeme dlike we had 3 waitresses but we never felt like they were intruding. And they always seemed to know what I wanted before I asked.

Photo of greybeerd
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Another oasis (see My Place Restaurant in Newtown) in a beer -parched part of the state, this time in the eastern hinterland. Dave Wollner, head brewer, and his wife Cyndi, run a quality operation with an obvious commitment to good beer, good food and customer satisfaction. Dave brews a great selection of ales, usually 6 to 9 on tap at one time, along with a cask version of one of the current offerings. Agree with VENOM, he is an IPA master with several rotating recipes. His alt bier is also outstanding (and also currently on cask). Also, an additional dozen or so taps for a wide variety of guest brews, ranging from local and regional micros to quality imports. If you can't find something here to please your palate, well there's a shot-and-a-beer joint next door. You must've got lost.
A comfortable place popular with locals and beer geeks alike, good music, NTN trivia, good food and friendly and knowledgeable service, this is one of the best brewpubs you'll find anywhere.
Definitely worth the trip.

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Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic, CT
95 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.