Willimantic Brewing Co.
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Active Beers: 72
Beer Ratings: 481
Beer Avg: 3.95
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 98 | Show All Ratings:
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Located not remotely near a damn thing, Willimantic Brewing Co. is the last out post (office) before civilization ends. We had to spend some time mulling around suspiciously in the parking lot before they opened, braving the elements on this warm, oft drizzley late April Sunday, but neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these BA's from the swift completion of a few appointed rounds...
Entering through the side doors of this old abandoned post office, you're at the foot of the main dining room, seating throughout and a bunch of fermenters and mashers displayed in a small glass room. The old PO boxes are still over there in the corner and they've got postal pieces here and there. Around the bend lies long narrow room with a 60 foot mahogany bar that seats roughly 20, and about a dozen tables lying adjacent running it's length. It's a nice room with mirrors behind the bar, large windows above and giant framed windows to the front of the room. High ceilings with fans a-spinnin', TV's, a wine rack that holds 9 dozen bottles, and tap handles lining a good part of the length of the bar up above. Some of them are great old handles of beers and breweries past, New England Holiday Ale & Oatmeal Stout, Elm City, Post Road, Oregon, etc.
There's a blackboard over the bar listing the current house taps, 8 beers of which a few were IPA varieties and a cask Golden Ale.
I sampled the Rail Mail Rye (an unfiltered rye beer), the Uninhibited IPA (a 4 hop IPA), the IDA (dark and pleasant), and the Pony Espresso Stout (an unfiltered stout made from Mt. Hood hops and decaf espresso). The stout was thinnish and not too stouty and I don't know why they made it decaf but they did.
Additionally, there were 30 guest taps, 20 of which were New England offerings, mostly from Connecticut (Hooker, Old Burnside, Cottrell) and Massachussetts (Farmington River, Buzzards Bay, Paper City, Sam, Harpoon) and the remainder were the likes of Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Victory, Corsendonk, Spaten, Delirium Tremons, Lindemans, Stella, Beamish. A small collection of shitty bottled macros, malternatives and NA's and the Victory Old Horizontal and the Wyndham Grim Reaper Barleywine. Most unusual.
We grabbed a light bite, I had the soup and a dessert, all good there. Service was pleasant and offered up samples of this and that of their house brews to help us along in our decision making processes.
If you've never read Eudora Welty's, "Why I live at the P.O.", let me save you the read... it was probably because they made great beer.
05-24-2004 04:39:34 | More by slander
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Great building, with alot of character. Large dining room, long bar, nice little outside eating area. All in all a super beer destination, with about 10 quality micros on tap, mixed in with several tap wasters, and about 10 of their own high quality brews also on tap and available for growler fills. When I visited they had several wheat beers and several IPA of their own makings available. Extensive pub grub plus menu. Dave the owner and brewer is a fine and gracious host. He's a disc golfer to boot! This is a very worthy spot, offering many fine beer options.
09-10-2005 18:31:01 | More by Billolick
3.89/5 rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I travelled and stayed far from home to see this brewpub, and did come away disapointed. No heavy abvs here in the summer, I was pleased to find three saisons on tap. Near a Best Western, a half hour from Hartford. A very decent and very generous guest tap selection.Roomy inside, with a small but nice patio outside. Good mix of people, ages, decorum. A few rooms filled with tables in this historical building. Parking lot. Near an unusual bridge with big frogs. Bartenderess was a little annoyed at the end of what looked like a hot fussy day,but did not bother me.
08-20-2010 19:24:46 | More by Sammy
4.45/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This was stop #250 on my quest to visit every quality brewery in North America.
We stopped in for lunch on a Saturday. Impressive building (an old post office) and they have hops running up the front of the building - probably 60 feet - which I later learning they do use for aroma in their beers.
They had three different IPA's on tap including an imperial IPA that was more barleywine to me. They also had an awesome selection of guest taps from local micros.
We sat at the bar and our server was very friendly and knew her stuff.
A worthwile stop for the great beers/selection and the architecture of an old post office.
07-30-2008 13:22:11 | More by Yetiman420
4.13/5 rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
En route to the wedding, Willibrew is only a slight detour (slight is a relative term). We visited on a Tuesday night, two days removed from the most recent snowfall. The area still hasn't recovered.
Atmosphere: We entered through the bar, a long, spacious wooden one that has televisions on both ends. At least 15 guest taps, by my estimate, joined the 7 tap and 1 cask in-house offerings. Winding our way around to the dining area, we were seating in a large, breweriana-adorned room.
Quality: Service, food and beers were all good. We were even seated at a hoity-toity table reserved for large parties (thank you, Lizzie).
Service: Sarah was friendly and helpful, visiting us regularly, even as the dining area got busier. I returned later that night for a nightcap and the bartender (didn't catch a name) was also prompt.
Selection: This is where Willibrew comes through. In addition to its 8 offerings, the guest line-up includes locals and heavy hitters. I stayed with the in-house line and slowly worked my way through 7 of the 8 in some form or another. Even took a growler of Rail Mail Rye home with me.
Food: Food was also good, the menu punctuated with zip codes for each offering, a nod to the postal origins of the building. My Bulk Mail burrito was good (lighten up on the beans and add more chicken, please). Finger food for shorties is available too.
12-29-2010 03:13:00 | More by akorsak
4.78/5 rDev +11.2%
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!
03-13-2005 18:29:21 | More by francisweizen
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by yesterday (11MAR10) for lunch. Still a super place. About 6-7 house biers, and closer to 20 guest taps. The Buffalo Chicken Wrap was real nice, and the service is still quite good.
Wish it were closer to home... Same scores, and Prosit!!
*** *** ***
31MAR02 - Willimantic is a very interesting place....situated in an old Post Office building that was abandoned in 1967. They had 5 of their own biers on tap...and it was a good range...golden ale...IPA...stout... Their Veg IPA was top-notch! Also had 15 or so guest biers...mostly local micros, but also Victory Storm King and Golden Monkey! The woman behind the bar was very attentive and helpful. Had appetizers to chow, and they were pretty good. Will definitely stop by again if I'm in the area! Zum Wohl!!!
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
03-31-2002 11:32:08 | More by Bierman9
3.9/5 rDev -9.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped by this place on my way home over Memorial Day weekend '08. The mapquest directions off their website are perfect and its real easy to find. Its about 20 miles due north on rte 32-off of I-395--so it really wasnt too far out of the way at all.
The building that it is located in-is an old post office or government building and while it is nice architecturally, I felt it was situated too close to the main street. When I first walked in, I noticed the lovely smell of malt but there really wasnt anything real nice about the interior--just kind of average looking. Not dirty looking but not especially clean either. We opted to sit outside in the front yard because the weather was beautiful. The only problem is its pretty noisy out there with Harley Davidsons cruising by and an occasional siren from a firetruck or police car.
I opted to try a sampler which is your choice of 5 of their beers on-tap. They have a very extensive selection of guest beers too-almost all of which are craft which is real nice to see. The beers I tried were a flavored (pomegranite) hefe, the gold lager , an IPA, a rye and a cream ale. All of the beers were true to style, fresh and clean tasting. The cream ale and the rye may have been 2 of the best examples of these respective styles that I have tried. Big kudos to the brewer and I liked that they didnt have much of a sameyness to them which many brewpub offerings often do.
We had eaten a big breakfast earlier, so we werent too hungry but we did have the mussels and some onion rings as a light lunch and they were both good. The service was good and the guy was pretty friendly. I didnt really test him on how much he knew about beer because that type thing is just not very important to me. Prices were reasonable and I would definitely go back.
One other thing that needs mentioning is apprently, Connecticut is the only New England state remaining that wont sell alcohol to go on a Sunday. Would have loved to purchase some growlers to try at home but they couldnt sell them to me on a Sunday.
05-29-2008 16:59:34 | More by rousee
4.22/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
What more can be said. I have been here a handful of times now over the years and every visit has been very pleasant.
The building is simply fantastic and must been seen to be appreciated.
Service has always been solid and cheerful with the servers actually knowing something about the beer they serve! The food falls into this line too...solid and tasty. Last time I had a delicious Rhode Island style clam chowder that I loved so much that when I came home I made my own version.
As fas as the beers....usually solid to fantastic. Plenty of house brewed tap choices along with occasional guests and usually a cask selection or two.
A totally solid establishment and it is with little wonder that they are ranked in the top 50 places to have a beer in the USA. If you are anywhere even close to WilliBrew do yourself a favor and GO!
07-17-2009 12:04:42 | More by Deuane
4.25/5 rDev -1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
*** Growlers filled until 9PM ***
Set in a former UnitednStates Post Office and it shows. This is their motif from their logo to their beer names. Ominous concrete building that will instantly strike you with the urge to order stamps with your first beer. Several guest taps hanging on the wall establish this brewpub as world class. House beers are impressive as well. Grab a seat at the bar or one of their tables and grab some beers. I had the Rye Ale which is a bright rye and cascade. Wow! An IPA and a double IPA that is Unfiltered. Nice! Hot hot (oy vey!) chicken tenders were HOT! yes!
Friendly folks and one of the brewmasters chatted it up with us. Even the standard "Gold" was sturdy. Quality brewpub through and through.
Last call: Yes, you could bring Mother here. Thanks Jimmy B for I would've never found it alone!
12-20-2006 03:32:49 | More by blitheringidiot
Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic, CT
95 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.