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Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.Great Lakes Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.93/5
Based on:
100 Beers
13,854 Reviews
Place Score: 95
Reviews: 223
Visits: 480
rAvg: 4.27
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

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 223 | Visits: 480
Photo of giocatore4
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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 (1,635 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
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.... (659 characters)

Photo of qcbrewer
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (1,166 characters)

Photo of XavierMuskies
4.4/5  rDev +3%
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! (346 characters)

Photo of Savage
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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. (274 characters)

Photo of mikepcarney
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (329 characters)

Photo of witster18
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (951 characters)

Photo of BeerShoup
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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 (451 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
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 (961 characters)

Photo of donzilake
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
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 (1,210 characters)

Photo of tommyguz
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of dailyminefield
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of AlphaKingKegger
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (295 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (1,468 characters)

Photo of Browns149
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of ckraft77
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
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! (278 characters)

Photo of adams82
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
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! (909 characters)

Photo of LJRat
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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 (783 characters)

Photo of Brubaker
2.8/5  rDev -34.4%
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. (853 characters)

Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

When I visited: May 2012.

What I had: The Wright Pils (draught), Commodore Perry IPA (draught), Holy Moses White Ale (draught), Grilled Bratwurst & Pierogies, Margherita Pub Pizza and white wine for the lady.

What I liked: Beautiful outdoor patio, delicious food, superb beer lineup that covers a wide range of styles, interesting one-offs, tried two GLB brews that I hadn’t sampled before, bartenders provided warm and timely service, cozy ambiance downstairs.

What I disliked: no guest taps or bottles, slow service on the patio, brewery attracts some "Bud Light" types due to central touristy location.

Would I go back? Yes.

Overall Rating: 84 (658 characters)

Photo of Stinger80OH
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

GLBC is the cornerstone of Cleveland's rapidly growing beer community and one of the first places where I started getting really interested in craft beer. Great Lakes has a typical, not too fancy pub and restaurant as well as their beer cellar (during evening hours) for patrons to visit. The atmosphere is what you would expect from a larger craft brewery...decent sized main bar with a steady crowd of people from lunchtime through evening and a handsome dining room that serves guests some tasty options from their kitchen. During the warmer months in CLE, GLBC's patio attracts large crowds especially during Indians home games and during happy hour. Great Lakes beer selection is generally around 8-10 handles. These always include favorites such as Dortmunder Gold, Eliot Ness, Commodore Perry, and Edmund Fitzgerald plus there is a frequent rotation of seasonally made batches to fill in the rest of the tap selection. My recommendation for those who have had GLBC beers in bottles is to try any of the selections you have never seen before, as everything they make are pretty darn good. Service is always excellent. From the moment you arrive on the patio or the front hostess stand, service is always polite and with a smile. The bartenders pay close attention to your glass and ensure that you are always content while under their roof. Food includes standard pub fare including fish and chips, baked pretzels and a sausage and cheese platter. During the local harvest months, GLBC prides itself on using as much locally sourced ingredients as possible and even has a partnership with a nearby farm in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. If you are visiting and are planning on attending a Cleveland Indians or Cavs game, be sure to check out their Fatty Wagon which runs on straight vegetable oil. Roundtrip fare is $1 per person. Overall, Great Lakes continues to produce some of the finest beers around and is a great place to come visit. (1,946 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I recently made my third visit to Great Lakes. The building has all kinds of history associated with it. As you enter, you are met with a dining area to the left with the gift shop beyond that. The upstairs bars and dining area are ahead of you. I have never dined nor drank upstairs. It is very clean and well lit. I had gone to the basement bar each time.

The basement is more dimly lit. The walls are cobblestone and it is a relatively small area. The bar was full on this occasion, so my date and I grabbed a small booth.

The server did not make us wait long before she attended to us. I was immediately disappointed when I found out that they ran out of Alberta Clipper earlier that day. They were also out of Rackhouse Ale and Tripel Dog Dare. I settled for a Abbey Ave. Dubbel. As with all Great Lakes selections, it was perfect for the style.

The menu isn't extensive but they have pizza and some nice comfort dishes. I settled on a open faced pot roast sandwich which was good but not great. My date chose the chicken pot pie and raved at how good it was.

Ovreall, I have had favorable experiences here. My only disappointment is that on the last two occasions there have been one selection of beer on tap that I cannot purchase in bottles. Don't get me wrong, I love Great Lakes beers. I just want to try some other offerings. I have either had poor timing or the beers are so good that the demand exceeds the supply. (1,433 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I've wanted to check out GL for some time, and what better excuse then the BA Blackout release?

The bar is simply awesome. You can feel the walls speaking to you, the history seeping out of the ornate woodwork. There's even a bullet hole in the wall from what they say is Elliot Ness' gun.

Quality is top notch. If you haven't had a Great Lakes beer, then you might not know what quality is. Every beer in their year-round line up is at or near the top in-style. And luckily, they were all on tap (and then some). Not a plethora of taps - I think eight or so?

No guest taps, just GL brews.

Service was good, and very good the following day. The female bartender who took care of us in the evening was a bit curt, but the gent the following afternoon was a gem. Apparently he's worked there for years, and it certainly shows.

I've heard the food is top shelf, but the only nibbles I had were at the ticketed BA Blackout release. And calling the snacks bland and half-assed is (believe it or not) a compliment.

Everything seemed to be priced accordingly, other then the gouging they put you through for growler fills. My buddy dropped $15 on a 64oz fill of their Moondog ESB. It's an ESB - and a mere four imperial pints worth. You can sit at the bar and order four pints for less then $15. Hmmm....

All in all, I'd say that Great Lakes is certainly worth hitting. Even if you're just driving through, stop in and check 'er out. I'm certainly glad I did! (1,459 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I took a drive down to Cleveland with a few other BAs for the release of this year's Barrel Aged Blackout Stout.

The Great Lakes Brew Pub is a nice little place with a great atmosphere. It has some old-timey charm to the place that I kinda liked. The beer selection was pretty standard (with a sampling of their regularly bottled beers) but there were also a few pub only exclusives on tap.

The menu was also fairly standard for a brew pub. I decided to go with the reuben, which a bit of a disappointment.

The service was great, and everyone in our group seemed pleased with the experience. Maybe I'll head back there next year when BA Blackout is released again. (667 characters)

Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
95 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.