Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.Great Lakes Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Based on:
98 Beers
42,610 Ratings
Place Score: 97
Ratings: 464
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

2516 Market Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio, 44113
United States
phone: (216) 771-4404

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @glbc_cleveland

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 464 | Reviews: 229
Photo of Glanzman
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

My wife took me here for my birthday on January 27th, 2014 in what amounts to my first visit to a craft brewery,

The brewpub itself is quaint and cozy. Our server was very knowledgeable on not just GLBC's beers but in beer in general. He was quite friendly and we hit it off like two old friends discussing beer.

I ordered a Brewhouse Burger on a pretzel bun with fries. The burger was ok, nothing remarkable and my wife dinner (Pretzel Chicken) she liked but nothing outstanding.

But let's face it, I didn't come here to eat, I wanted to sample some beers not available in stores.

I had a Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout which was outstanding. I gave it a rating of 5 out of 5.

Also had Ohio City Farmhouse Saison which was good. And the third on I don't remember the name but was also a solid beer (I've never had a bad GLBC beer and I've had about 17 different varieties.

Overall a great place to try some new brews and munch on some food while at it.

Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
3.91/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Great City, friendly people, excellent beer, good food. What's not to like? The main bar is conducive to a quality drinking experience and the downstairs cellar is inviting. The outdoor patio on the street level is tree-lined & reminiscent of a European City. Go.

Photo of coldy
3.56/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I have been to the brewpub at least a dozen times. The beers are absolutely world class, and they usually have something special avalable. The atmosphere is a nice mix of old style bar, lots of wood, and some brewing equipment to add to the ambience.

The food has always been good, especially their pretzel appetizer with dips...phenomenal! Pretty much all you need to have with your beers.

The service has always been lackluster. Many times they are out of certain items, and the servers seem unapologetic and not very eager to offer suggestions. The service is not bad, but I expect good service when spending this kind of money. The place is by no means expensive, but it sure is not cheap.

Overall, this is a must visit for any beer fan that has the opportunity. The gift shop is a nice touch as well, and they usually have great deals on beer and glassware.

Photo of SpartyJoe
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

GLBC! So happy that I live near this place. I love their beers and the pub exclusives are always top-notch. They put out some experimental beers in their pub; there are generally 2-3 available at all times. They host some cool events throughout the year - movie nights, beer releases, beer school, etc. Service is good, food is above-average.

Photo of RyanCLE
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

This is a Cleveland landmark. Great atmosphere, an incredible ever-changing selection of world-class beers. Great Lakes is a perfect ambassador of the Cleveland beer culture, and their world-wide praise proves it. I have been here dozens of times, and it never gets old.

Want atmosphere? This building is well over a century old and has a history in the family that runs the brewery. The tour of their brewery (around the corner) is fantastic and recommended for anyone who has the time. Highly environmentally conscious and local-focused.

Every beer-loving Clevelander is proud to have this incredible brewery in our back yard -- the eclectic Ohio City district. This is a brewery with universal respect, and for good reason. From their flagship Dortmunder Gold, to their unmatchable Burning River Pale Ale, to their practically-impossible-to-find-outside-of-Cleveland Christmas Ale, to their unique one-offs, any beer you try is a guaranteed hit.

Photo of giocatore4
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is the cornerstone of the Cleveland beer world. Constantly rotating taps in the brewpub to keep things innovative and fresh. Great Lakes legitimately cares about Cleveland, beer, and even the environment. On weekends, free tours run every hour on the hour. Multiple special events on a weekly basis; even a clean air bus that shuttles patrons to and from Cleveland sporting events. The food is quite good and the beer is world class.

Photo of guityler83
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

A: The location was very cool, an old building with a really interesting bar, very old wood work. I would have liked to explore a bit more to see the brewing side of things and the other floors, but we were sat next to the original brewing equipment and a scale which was entertaining.

Q: Quality of everything was above average, proper glassware for the beers were given. No problems with ordering. solid.

S: There was about an hour and a half wait on a Saturday evening (kind of expected it would be busy) so after putting our name on the list and awaiting a call we checked out the gift shop and bought a few things (a sweet English style pint glass and a tulip). With 30 mins left we grabbed our first beer at the bar, only a short wait and with my AHA membership they they bought my first pint! Finally after the beers were gone our table was ready. The waitress was friendly and helpful, but a tad slow (not her fault just a busy night) In all the service we received was above average.

S/F: The selection of beers was solid, I got a German Alt (the cellar dweller), a Cali Common (Gold Rush) and the Dortmunder Gold, while the lady had an Elliot Ness and a Nosferatu (all fresh as expected). The food selection was mixed with traditional pub fare (Burgers, sandwiches, pizza) but also had a few interesting entries that I'd go back for (ribs, fish fry, etc). I ended up going with an amazing Old Word Burger with their homemade BBQ sauce and haystack fries on top and a pretzel bun (Stellar, but hard to eat it was so large)

V: Counting the free beer I got with my AHA We didn't spend more than $50 which is an awesome deal

Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

My buddy and I stopped in for a beer or two and a bite to eat on a nice summer nite during a one day stop over. Nice out door seating area, large bars inside on the main floor and in a darker bar area down stairs. Had a few apps, which were neither great nor horrible. Enjoyed a few pints which were real tasty. Most memorable was the mango/jalapeno IPA(or some other fruit/chili concoction) which was real tasty.

I wasnt blown away but this place was a worthy and quite pleasant spot for beers and food in a neighborhood seemingly filled with quality BA craft beer type spots...

around the corner and down the block - "Nano" was also worth checking out....

Photo of qcbrewer
4.6/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've been here many, many times, and each time is an absolute complete joy. The fact that the location has so much history behind it (not just since the brewery opened), and the original bar from the prohibition era is still being used is awesome. I have yet to ever sit out side on the street or in their newer side patio mainly because I love the downstairs cellar so much - one of my favorite places in the US.

Up until recently when GLBC started distributing more unique styles, there was always anticipation of what pub exclusive beers would be on draft. Now, we all have the pleasure of getting most of these in bars or bottles, even down in NC. Their selection will always have their "fleet" of beers, plus some great seasonal offerings.

Food is good (it won't knock your socks off though) and is sourced primarily through local farms, and they give their spent grains to help feed local livestock as well. Great gift shop with everything GLBC one would need.

Seriously, this is one of my favorite breweries to visit in the country - probably top 3 - and I encourage everyone to visit this landmark brewery like at some point in their beer drinking career.

Photo of XavierMuskies
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Just this past weekend I got to experience Great Lakes Brewing Company first hand! The tour was amazing; very informative and world-class! The brewpub was also very nice, with some pub exclusive beers and quality food to go along with it. Great Lakes beer has been my favorite for awhile, but this just boosted it even more! Props to Great Lakes!

Photo of Savage
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Had lunch special, a fajita chicken with fries. Portions were large. I could not eat it all tried a few beers had the Edmund Fitzgerald porter. Really enjoyed the experience. I went twice while here in Cleveland. The a nice covered patio and tables out on the sidewalk also.

Photo of mikepcarney
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Been living up in Cleveland since '09. GLBC is a staple for going downtown. The beer selection is top notch. I have rarely had a beer I did not like. The bar is often crowded to a point you might not want to go in. If you are trying to sample the beers I would go on an off day. The bar is very knowledgeable of all of the beers.

Photo of witster18
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

great lakes advantage is that they already make some of the best beer in the world... imo they're probably right there with New Glarus and Stoudts as the best three east of the mississippi river.

can't go wrong with all this great fresh beer on tap. literally the worst offering is great.

The glockenspeil defies the abv and tastes amazing, as do the other seasonals.

The food wasn't over-priced, and the chipolte hot sauce with my chicken sandwich was fantastic. All my party(21 mantrippers) loved the place.

Indoor and outdoor seating... we sat in "the cellar",.. perfect for our event.

Really felt catered to considering how busy they were at 1pm on a saturday.

The Eliot ness, Edmund Fitz, and DOrtmunder are spectacular as usual. Gift shop is loaded with tons of great stuff, and their logo work is the best I've ever seen. Unfortunately they were sold out of "Lake Erie Monster" shirts in my size. I'll order online in a couple of weeks.

Photo of BeerShoup
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here for the 1st time. The brewpub was everything I expected. History, old woodwork, a bit of a surprise...a great bartender that was Irish. Pretty cool. The infamous bullet hole above the bar had a story. Food was outstanding. Beer was outstanding. Nice gift shop.

Ordered the:
Wings Confit in a Soy Ginger Sauce
Short Rib Pierogies with a Beef Ragu served with Micro Greens.

Washed this down with a sampler of all 10 beers on tap. Delicious

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Atmosphere: Awesome feel. They have quite a big outdoor patio, a nice in/outdoor part that has retractable roof, a cool wood/stone basement and then the normal bar area. music at just the right level.

Quality: as great lakes is one of my favorites breweries, all the beer they have is well made. they have a nice spread of styles and seem to be equally strong at making all sorts of styles

Service: service was good when i was there. no problems.

Selection: 10 beers on tap when I was there. I have now had 9 of those 10 and like all alot. that being said i wish they had more pub-exclusives to try out new beers and just to keep things interesting. but I could never go here and not have a good drink to get.

Food: the food was the only down side of my trip here. not the place to go eat. Out of my party of three and an appetizer we were let down by all food items ordered.

Overall: Great place to go, but i think if i go back i will eat some where else

Photo of donzilake
3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Great beers, good food , neat old atmosphere ( eliot ness bar in basement with bullet holes included ) service could be better. Black burgers are very good also fish bites are good to start with. Are servicer forgot half are order ( party of four people )
She tryed to make it up with a couple of free beers on the house. But who wants to sit there with half of your food order,eating while two people have to wait , for their order. Now the Beer - Dortmunder, Eliot ness, Edmund filzgerald what a way to start. Then there was there seasonals beers and Bar only tap beers , great beers , had a oak barrel blackout stout there (in house) outstanding Imperial stout . Had a growler filled up with Eliot Ness ( for a friend ). One other time we went to the tapping of the Keg there ( Christmas Ale being served for the first time of the year )
I think it was in November we had a large partry of people , around 12 beer people , who arrived early to settle in and grab a good table. The young college aged woman server was awful and rude. I hope she was just a temp. to handle the busy tapping of the Keg day they had in November. We have not seen Her,in any of are return trips to the Great Lakes Brewing Company

Photo of tommyguz
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Review from 07/21/12
(as posted from my blog)

We were fortunate enough to do a tour and eat at the brewpub.

The tour was pretty cool as they took you around the whole building. It was just like a lot of other beer tours. Good stuff.

The food at the brewpub was really awesome. They had 10 different beers to choose from with a couple that weren't offered in bottles. We sat outside and ate. It was a beautiful day, the atmosphere was fun and it was pretty crowded. We enjoy stopping here anytime we go to Cleveland.

Photo of dailyminefield
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The best brewpub I have ever been to, and I've been to a few dozen. The atmosphere is awesome. There is a throwback, rathskeller-type cellar adorned with a couple fermenting tanks and an old school wooden bar. The main taproom features a huge mahogany bar. There are two different dining areas on the main floor. I understand they have remodeled the upstairs into more dining space. They also feature a tree lined patio on the sidewalk. The building must be atleast 100 years old, very close to downtown Cleveland. They actually do all the brewing across the street, so it almost feels like a little beer campus. There is also a nice gift shop next to the brewpub. The food is above average for a brewery and the service was great.
I really don't know how you beat the atmosphere at Great Lakes.
Oh yeah, and the beer is world class to boot. All of their beers are solid.
If you find yourself anywhere near Cleveland, you must check it out.

Photo of AlphaKingKegger
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

this place is cool and the people are super friendly. Haven't really tried the food here, but the beers are great. Wish I lived closer to sample some of the pub only beers. parking blows, but you're in a busy part of downtown Cleveland. Be sure to check out the basement area when you are there.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

There are several areas at the brewpub location in the Ohio City section of Cleveland and I did not explore all of the areas - in includes a downstairs bar, a main dining area, and a gift shop (I stayed within the main dining area). The vibe is very much what I would expect at a brewpub including the visibility to the tanks and the heavy amounts of wood for decor. It was a Monday night, so the place was very laid back but that was exactly what my table of folks were looking for.

Beers were served at the proper temperature in mostly proper glassware, they were good pours with nice heads and served promptly.

Service was friendly and attentive without being overbearing or lurking at your table - every time we needed something, we looked up and the server was there but I do not recall her ever just showing up or being pushy in any way.

There are 10 beers on tap and they represented a number of different styles (maybe the only duplicate style was there were two different porters available). Seems like they had something on the menu that would appeal to most anyone.

The food was good for pub food and I really enjoyed my selection - burger on the pretzel roll with some very good fries. Nothing super exotic in the food but solid and tasty.

The prices were reasonable and I went to Great Lakes knowing that the beers would be good quality so I was satisfied. Also, coming from the NYC area it seems like prices are always a little cheaper than at home.

Photo of Browns149
4.6/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This brewery makes some of the FINEST beers in the world. They have won multiple GLOBAL awards for their beers. The Christmas Ale is the best Christmas beer I have EVER had. It is a Cleveland tradition to get a 6 pack the day it is released. And now they have Christmas in July were you can go to the brewery and get Christmas Ale on tap in July.

Photo of ckraft77
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Very reasonable prices. Great amount of selection with seasonal beers included.
Amazing tasting food. Huge portions and space for larger groups.
Good tour with history included. Friendly staff. Great for a date, family fun and a day out with a group of friends. Would go again!

Photo of adams82
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Finally visited GLBC! It was *packed* on the particular night of our visit, and there was an exceptional wait, but it was worth it!

The interior was reminiscent of a local joint which made it feel "homey" and the experience was everything that I had hoped for. We sampled fresh pours of Nosferatu, Dortmunder Gold, Edmund Fitz and others that escape me and had an excellent meal to boot. I've been dying to try their beers from a fresh tap, and they did not disappoint.

Service was a little slow, but given the fact that we waited almost 90 minutes to get in and the place was at (over) capacity, it was acceptable. I would prefer to visit on an off peak time/day, but I will not mark down the service as our server was 1) attentive 2) accurate and 3) efficient despite the throng of people that visited this night.

I don't know when my next trip to Cleveland will be, but I'll defiantly stop back at GLBC!

Photo of LJRat
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Great Lakes Brew Pub is a nice little place with a great atmosphere The staff was knowledgeable and very helpful and attentive. The price was very reasonable All in all, I'd say that Great Lakes is certainly worth hitting. I'm certainly glad I did!
Old historic building near the Market so you could make this a half day's visit The market across the street is a great place to check out for all your fresh food needs-meat, cheeses, breads, fish and produce. For such a large, multi-level building, the bar is rather small. The beer selection is mostly what they offer in bottles with the exception of maybe one or two. Quality of the beer was actually pretty good, Served in the right glassware at the right temperature. The gift shop was nice and things were reasonably priced

Photo of Brubaker
2.8/5  rDev -36.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Visited July 2012: after 10 pm on a Saturday evening.

We were seated outside under a canopy and had a large party 12 people. The food portions were small and pricey 15$ for 2 brats and three small pirogi's.

We tried the beer sampler, which included 5 oz of each of the beers on tap (10). A very hoppy Summer selection. Would rather have a malty Winter selection so our timing was poor.

The area we sat in was near empty, and the service was moderate. Server was often hard to find for refills on soda's.
We were very excited to go here, having heard great things about the brewery. We had a good time, and enjoyed ourselves, but that was more the company we were with than the food or beer.

I can honestly say several of the beers tasted so similar as to not be able to really taste the difference, and mixing an IPA with honey, was NOT a good idea.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
97 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.