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City Steam Brewery Café

Not Rated.
City Steam Brewery CaféCity Steam Brewery Café
Based on:
26 Beers
626 Ratings
Place Score: 86
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

942 Main St
Hartford, Connecticut, 06103-1214
United States
phone: (860) 525-1600

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 67
Reviews by Durge:
Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here with my wife one weekday afternoon and had a late lunch while the place was nearly deserted. This is an old restaurant that dates well back into the 1900's and it has retained much of it's old wood character in it's latest incarnation. It's very large with dining and drinking areas spread out throughout three floors from what I can tell. We just had our lunch in the main barroom area which offers a number of dining tables and fair bar stool area along with 4-5 televisions monitoring sports and news alike. It's fairly dark and decorated very nicely for the lover of all things breweriana along with other drinking related articles, mostly dated, antiquey things. I don't feel I can fairly judge the waitress considering she had very few people to look after at the time but she was very attentive and friendly. We had no waiting issues, our sandwiches (turkey club & buffalo chicken wrap) were very good, served promptly, as was my beer. I tried the IPA & Farmhouse Ale, both were good, particularly the IPA, but not off the charts. They had plenty of selection including cider and root beer on tap so from my first visit I will be happy to sample further brews there in the future. Prices were very reasonable, $4.75 for each brew, sandwiches were closer to $10 each. Again, we were there during an off hour but our waitress did not seem greatly beer smart, she tried, she knew a little, but she couldn't add much to what the lists had to say and one of the lists I got at my table was out of date which did waste some time as I fought through the confusion with the taps I was looking at. Just looking at the menus and other notices evident in the place, I got the feeling that beer wasn't quite so prominent here as you normally expect from a brewhouse. On the food menu it looked like wine had equal billing with the beer, which may be a smart thing for them business-wise but it isn't what I like to see when visiting a place that makes their own beer, especially in a state with very few such choices. Again, I enjoyed our off-hours visit and would recommend the place based upon it. It's easy to find, write on Main Street in the thick of downtown Hartford, very close to I-84 & I-91 access. I will have to check it out when things are a little more busy there.

More User Reviews:
Photo of betterthanyourbeer
2.64/5  rDev -30.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2.25 | food: 2

Should this really even be called a brewery...they've had the same stale tasteless beers on tap for 10 years. Food is all fried and tastes the same. i think they have taken pride in the fact that since inception....they have NEVER had a good IPA.
ok to try, but regular visits are not happening.

Photo of Gottatryemall
4.18/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Great food good beer, Always a good timec

Photo of rorjets
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Went over after a UCONN basketball game at the XL Center. Just a couple of blocks away, so very easy to get to if you are at an event at the XL Center. The place was buzzing with UCONN fans, but not full to capacity. We opted to sit in the bar, and have our beer and meal there. At least 4 big screen TVs allowed us the chance to catch up on the NFL action (it was a Sunday game and we were out by 3 pm). The Bartender was super attentive despite the influx of fans coming from the game. She had our first beers in front of us within minutes of our arrival. I had the Export Lager, followed by an IPA, my buddy tried the DIPA called Innocence.. I have had all the beers that City Steam bottles, so it was great to have a bunch of other choices on tap. We ordered and had our meals in front of us in no time. The burger I had was perfectly cooked, and my buddy was equally pleased with his selection, which was a BLT wrap. Basic pub food but delivered quickly and it was very tasty. Prices were average, beers are fairly priced. I had been to City Steam way back in 2005, and had been impressed with it then, so I was very happy to see it still doing well. Downtown Hartford is not an easy place to have a Brewpub business because it empties out on the weekends, and there is little parking to be had other than at parking lots. I wish I lived a bit closer, as they have a great Billiards Hall in the back room, but I can only visit on the rare occasions I get to Hartford. Overall, a really enjoyable place for a beer and a meal!

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Not a bad place to have a drink in Hartfood. I went here after a wedding, so I didn't have any food,

Beers are pretty typical of a small city microbrew.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of JKV96
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Wyatt_Sasser
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jjboesen
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Located in downtown within the confines of a beautiful Romanesque building that was once a department store, City Steam Brewery Café is the only brewpub in Hartford. The venue sprawls through several floors and includes a patio and a pool room; this review is based on two recent visits to the main floor bar area. The bar is rather large, seating around 50 people with room among a scattering of high tops in which thirsty Hartford office workers can mingle and discuss insurance, no doubt. (Hartford is America's insurance capital.)

The beer selection is decent and runs the gamut of styles; my choices: Acapulco Gold, a session IPA; Blonde on Blonde, an American Pale Ale; Sneak Peek, an amber lager; Pugnacious Porter, an oatmeal stout and the favorite being something called Naughty Nurse, which appears to be an English bitter. Extensive food menu that includes all-day omelets and some attentive servers makes this a popular place to imbibe. They offer a Mon-Fri Happy Hour, when beers are $2.00 off.

All in all, an enjoyable place to quaff fresh beer when in the Nutmeg State.

Photo of LutherBrau
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of BigRizz62
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Tkissell
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of chippo33
1.5/5  rDev -60.5%

Photo of Bjorn2bWild
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Suds
3.99/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

During a recent family excursion to Hartford, we visited this brewpub. Located in a beautiful old building, right in the center of town, this is a very inviting brewpub. The architecture, design, decoration, and general feel of the place is amazing. Beer memorabilia and great ambiance are everywhere. The beer selection was deep and varied. I had the Amber, the IPA, and the Stout. All were excellent. The service was professional and light-hearted, and would be worthy of a higher rating other than being a little slow. Food was mostly traditional, although upscale, tavern food. Well made but not really creative. All in all, this is a great brewpub and absolutely worth a visit.

Photo of canawler
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Casterbridge
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Sellen
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Rifugium
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

I was in Hartford to see a show actually, at Webster Theater, so not finding many local options, I picked this, the only brewpub in the city, which was only a couple miles away. It was a pretty interesting place, with a somewhat vintage Americana / pre-Prohibition theme going on. The crowd was pretty bustling, but the staff seemed on the ball at all times.

For whatever reason, I didn't go with my usual sampler flight option, and just chose a couple quick drinks instead. The beer was all pretty basic stuff, with options ranging from wheat beers to simple pale ales. The could've been a Belgian ale and/or a porter on too, I don't really remember.

The menu was fairly extensive, with options ranging from general pub grub, to salads and sandwiches, to pricier entrees. Good stuff, no complaints here. Prices on food and beer were pretty much middle of the road, again, with some of the higher-end food selections getting more expensive.

Beggars can't be choosers in Hartford, it seems. This was not a bad place, considering there didn't seem to be many (or any) other options in town, at least none that I know of.

Photo of BeerMeSteve
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of tubeman
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of NJBeer265
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

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City Steam Brewery Café in Hartford, CT
86 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.