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City Steam Brewery Café

Not Rated.
City Steam Brewery CaféCity Steam Brewery Café
BEER AVG
3.77/5
Based on:
29 Beers
692 Hads
Place Score: 87
Reviews: 69
Visits: 103
Avg: 3.84
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 | map
www.citysteambrewerycafe.com

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Visits: 103
Reviews by MrDanno96:
Photo of MrDanno96
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I visited twice this past weekend while in Hartford for some a fraternity leadership conference. On Friday night I went with one friend for a late dinner and had a poor experience. The food was fair at best - both the wings and pizza we got were uninspired. Worse still was that all four of the beers we got between the two of us weren't that great - they all had a really funky aftertaste to them (we got the Black Silk Stout, Carpenters IPA, and Naughty Nurse). Oddly enough, each brew at the same funky after taste, causing me to wonder if perhaps it was coming from their beer lines. Our waitress was also a bit on the slow side, though she also seemed to be serving just about every seated table (which I thought was silly because I saw at least two other servers doing almost nothing while she was serving about 8 tables). To make a longer story short, the first trip was disappointing.

The following evening I visited again, this time with a larger group (10ish) of people. This time around was much better. This visit was much more social and as a result we were ordering mostly pitchers of the amber ale and light lager. Neither of these brews had a funk aftertaste to them - the amber was decent and the light lager was a nice drinking light beer. In regard to the atmosphere, this place is giant: two floors of dining space, a fair sized bar area (which proudly displays brewing equipment) and a comedy club in the basement. There's also a small pool hall in the back of the main floor which me and my buddies took full advantage of.

Overall, I liked City Steam a lot as a social hang out spot. My Friday experience leads me to question their quality control just a bit and I'm not sure if I would go here just for dinner and a beer. Definitely check this place out the next time you're in Hartford, but don't set your expectations for the beer and food too high. They also closed at 1:15 AM on Saturday night. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with Connecticut laws I'm unfamiliar with but it seemed way too early to be closing on a Saturday. They would have easily made $100+ more on just my group of friends alone if they hadn't closed down so early.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of WanderingFool
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited City Steam with some friends on a recent trip to Hartford. The building they are in is turn of the century with high ceilings and dark wood paneling. The bar area is very big with the brewhouse just behind the serving area. They have many styles of beer on tap and the couple I tried were tasty. Same with the food, lots of variety and good quality. The fried pickles were great. There's lots of TVs in the bar to catch the game. My friends were part of the mug club and I would definitely join if I lived closer. Overall City Steam is a great casual brewpub with a relaxing atmosphere and descent food & beer.

 620 characters

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of psweendogg
3.61/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Photo of gemery554
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of BranfordBound
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Went here back in January of 2015, place was really busy, but the staff kept it together. The beers the have are mostly their own, which are pretty mediocre verging on good. With a few tweaks I think they can make really good beer, but I digress. Food was pretty good but a bit above what I would like to pay for it. All in all, worth a trip for the beginner craft drinker, but a pass for the experienced.

 405 characters

Photo of CTJman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of LXIXME
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of The_Librarian
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

Was in the area to get Chinese food and walked in on a whim. The place was really slow so we had the pick of where to sit. Lots of seating and clean eating areas. They were out of two of the beers that I wanted so I opted for a nurse (possibly their best known). Staff was friendly and attentive. It seemed like more of a sit and eat place than a drink and hang out. Lots of guys in suits eating lunch. I would like to go back on a Friday or Saturday night to see what the place is really like. Food was really good for a brewery.

 530 characters

Photo of betterthanyourbeer
2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of Gottatryemall
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Great food good beer, Always a good timec

41 characters

Photo of rorjets
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

 1,538 characters

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 154 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of JKV96
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Wyatt_Sasser
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jjboesen
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

 1,089 characters

Photo of LutherBrau
4.3/5  rDev +12%

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of BigRizz62
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Tkissell
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of chippo33
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

Photo of Bjorn2bWild
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Suds
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 682 characters

Photo of canawler
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

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City Steam Brewery Café in Hartford, CT
87 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.