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Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.Great Lakes Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

395 Ratings
Ratings: 395
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.07%
Active Beers: 96
Beer Ratings: 37,786
Beer Avg: 3.92
Taps: 10
Bottles: 0
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donzilake
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%

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

donzilake, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of tommyguz
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

tommyguz, May 08, 2013
Photo of dailyminefield
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%

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.

dailyminefield, May 03, 2013
Photo of AlphaKingKegger
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

AlphaKingKegger, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

dbrauneis, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of Browns149
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

Browns149, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of ckraft77
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%

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!

ckraft77, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of adams82
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%

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!

adams82, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of LJRat
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%

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

LJRat, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of Brubaker
2.8/5  rDev -35.9%

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.

Brubaker, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%

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

cratez, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of Stinger80OH
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

Stinger80OH, May 31, 2012
Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

buschbeer, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%

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!

Rhettroactive, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

trxxpaxxs, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of goblue3509
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

Stop in for a few drinks and a quick dinner. When you walk in the place is set up like an old time bar and restuarant. There is a lot of wood and warm lighting. The main restaurant is to the left and there is a bar directly in front of the enterance. We went to the pub downstairs which was dark warm and inviting. It looked like an 18th century pub with flat screens. There is a chalk board with the on tap selections. On tap was five of the glbc regulars and four brewpub exclusives. We ended up going with some of the exclusives and they were fantastic. After the first round we ordered a buffalo chicken pizza which was different than I expected yet very good. The staff was knowledgable and very helpful and attentive. The price was very resonable, in fact we were kinda shocked at how low our bill was. Overall this is a great place, if you are in cleveland this is a must visit.

goblue3509, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of MP72
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%

A- We ate in the bar area which was very nice ,, with a long Mahoghany bar and old world pub charm it has tons of atmosphere.

Q- The quality of the fresh brews and food was great along with a friendly staff and clean environment I would say quality is very high.

S- The service was excellant.

F- The food was also excellant.

V- A little on the higher side as far as the food in concered but it was all very good and we had no complaints. The beer however I thought was very faily priced and was of top quality and freshness. IPA was $5 and their german ale seasonal was only $4 which is fine in my opinion.

Overall this was my first time at the brewpub but I have been a longtime fan of the beer and their establishment did not disappoint. I would recomend this to any beer/pub lover while in Cleveland.

MP72, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of minterro
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%

A: the patio was great. It looked like someone spent a lot of time and effort making this place look special and that time was well spend. Everyone around seemed to be mostly locals kicking back and having a relaxing beer after work. Everyone was happy and chatty.

Q: Outrageous, is probably the best one word description of the quality of this brewing company. I have tried and rated many of the beer this company has to offer and besides grassroots (which I find semi gross) I don’t think I have given very many of their beer below an A-.

Sel: There is no good was of saying this… it sucked. For being maybe without a doubt the best brewing company in Ohio and only having 9 beers on tap is weak. And not only did they only have 9 beers on tap but, 5 of the 9 were year round beer and 2 of the nine were seasonals. All 7 of those you could find in bottles anyways in Ohio and in most good beer stores in the mid-west. Any other bone I have to pick with them is there abv selection. Why are there no beers above 7.5%? I mean that absurd.

Ser: The patio was pretty packed a service on the food was still great. I waited a while to get my second beer but again it was packed so no complaints.

F: The food was excellent. I ordered this grilled chicken sandwich marinated in Dortmunder Gold on a pretzel bun, and it was the bomb. In the previous day was have some anxiety problems for the first time in my life, and was eating basically anything. And this chicken sandwich was like the only thing I ate for like 2 days before and 2 days after, that how good it was. Anyways I also enjoyed how they have suggested beer pairing with their sandwiches.

V: I really unsure because I wasn’t the one paying but it seemed on pair with most breweries as far as prices of food and beer go.
When I was first getting into drinking good beer this was my favorite brewery, and even though I have to say Founders (which when I find some time I defiantly need to visit) has now one me over there will always be a special place in my beer heart for this brewing company.

minterro, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%

My boyfriend took me here as a birthday surprise last month! I've been wanting to try their brewpub for awhile-but hadn't made the trip out to Cleveland yet.

The place is located in a pretty crowded area of Cleveland just across the Burning River from some of the home of the indians.

The brewery is just across the street from the brewpub and offers a really good free tour. The gift shop is on the corner of the street between the two and offers all the Great Lakes classics and seasonals in addition to The Wright Pils-brewery only bottling.

Atmosphere-There was quite a long wait to get a seat inside or outside-so we opted to go to the pub in the basement-which was an excellent choice and had no wait. So when you go here- SIT IN THE BASEMENT PUB. The pub area is somewhat dark and industrial-but really reminiscent of a late 1800s/early 1900s pub in an industrial region. Really dark wood everywhere with slightly off-white walls. Small and cozy. The upstairs is more of a typical restaurant atmosphere.

The Beer- This is only my second experience at a prewpub affiliated with a big craft brewery with a large distribution radius (the other being Victory in Downingtown). The tap list is their typical year-round offerings (Dortmunder, Edmund Fitz, Elliot Ness, Burning River, Commadore Perry). The current seasonal (at the time O-fest), the Wright Pils (brewery only), and two prewpub only tap offerings (at the time cellar dwellar which is a Kolsch, and BA BLACKOUT STOUT!!). So I was clearly stoked to have the BA Blackout stout on-tap. In conclusion-they have a nice mix of their regular offerings and brewery/brewpub only exclusives.

Food and Service- Our service was timely and the server was able to answer my only question-regarding the cellar dwellar. The food menu was a mix of pub fare and some unique items made with local ingredients-which is always nice to see.

Overall- This is one of the more impressive brewpubs that I have been to. I will be revisiting here again.

PittBeerGirl, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of Yetiman420
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%

I'm finally getting around to a review of GLBC after my third visit over a roughly seven year time span.

The most recent visit was on a very busy Saturday early afternoon when lots of stuff was going on in the surrounding area - charity walk and a street fair directly in front of the brewpub. We had to wait 30 minutes for a table for six and the service was a bit off which I'm not factoring in to my overall experience.

Great, old historic building near the Market so you could make this a half day's visit. 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. They had a "cellar" Czech pilsner and a smoked ported on the menu. Neither of them had an official logo or artwork so I assumed they were not part of the regular lineup. Both were excellent.

The food has a local, organic, and sustainable emphasis on it. Many of their sources are listed on the back of the menu and I suspect come from the market next door. We all enjoyed our meals and beer and I would continue to return to GLBC when in the Cleveland area.

Yetiman420, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of Buggies
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%

Made it there on a Friday. The place was jumpin. The beer was really good, as I am a fan of the brewery. My food was good (fish and chips), nothing really awesome... just good tasting fish and chips. Although I was a little disappointed it only came with one piece of fish. The waitress was awesome. She kept the glasses full and everyone was happy.

Now, they were crowded. But my only real gripe is that the hostesses were crap. Three hostesses. The nice hostess was friendly but mostly clueless. Our hostess was mean and a mega bitch. She was unkind and not real welcoming. We had 9 people in our party that night. We did not all arrive at the same time (just me and the wife initially). Even though the table was ready and set for us, they would not let us take our seats until the entire party showed up.

Fine I guess, but some of our party was running a little late. We had to stand there for an hour before they would let us have our table. If it wasn't for the good food, beer, and awesome waitress, I would of had a miserable experience.

Buggies, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%

Was here for dinner on a recent road trip with the girlfriend.

We stopped in, were brought to our table and immediately there was a distinct but very pungent smell of urine... whoa... not a good sign. The place was nice enough. It was a pretty large area but inconveniently separated into a bunch of different sections that didn't have any rhyme or reason to them. Lighting was also really poor. I understand the dimly light dive bar feel... but this was a bit overboard. I could barely see my hands in front of my face.

Quality of the beer was actually pretty good. Served in the right glassware at the right temperature with a coaster. Not much else to say here.

Service was solid. All parts of our dinner was delivered on time from ordering, to drinks, to the appetizer, main course, desert, and the check at the end. Given how busy it was, our waitress was very quick and friendly.

Selection was decent. They had a couple of guest taps if I recall correctly as well as 8-10 of their regular offerings. Above average due to the guest tap.

The food wasn't memorable but it was good. I got the flat iron steak as well as the sausage sampler. The sausage was really good and the different types of mustard and other condiments were a nice touch. The steak was done as I'd wanted and it was tender and juicy. Pretty good for the price.

Great Lakes isn't an outrageously cheap place but it wasn't by any means expensive either. Worth a visit if you're in the area as its a nice little alcove with a bunch of other brewpubs and bars also. Just hope they get that stench issue resolved.

SpeedwayJim, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of sdsurfer217
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%

Stopped here on an anniversary weekend up in Cleveland. We enjoyed the free tour and the tastings during the tour. Our tour guide seemed like a little out of it, but was very knowledgeable. We enjoyed dinner after our tour.

Upon arrival there was disconnect between the patio hostess and the pub hostess. Both seemed very clueless and overwhelmed. We waited for 30mins before being seated, even though we had "called ahead". Enjoyed a beer from the bar.

Waitress was great, knowledgeable about the beer and food, humor-able and friendly. Helped us make a decision and offered samples. I settled with a "Rye of the Tiger IPA" and wife had a Holy Moses, both tasty, although, they only had 1 beer on tap that they don't bottle and distribute. Food was delicious, but entree's were over priced for what they were, 11ish bucks for a burger is pricey, but it's all local/ohio food.

I'd go again if in the area for whatever special beer is tap.

sdsurfer217, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%

I was just here a couple weeks ago and it is one of the top places to go in Cleveland.

A- The atmosphere is great, nice to sit outside or in the garden room on a nice summer day, but the beer cellar has a lot of character too.

Q- The beer is exceptional, having an Edmund Fitzgerald here three summers ago is what got me into beer. The Commodore Perry IPA and Elliott Ness Vienna Lager are great year-round beers, but they also have some great seasonals and rotate some brewery exclusives that are great too. Ohio City Oatmeal Stout is a great brewery exclusive.

Service- The wait staff is very friendly and know their beer. They also offer brewery tours with plenty of samples. It is a great tour and the tour guide has a great sense of humor and is very knowledgeable

Selection- The selection is good, all their year-round beers, seasonal offerings and some brewery exclusives. No guest taps, but when I am at Great Lakes I want to drink their beer so that's not a big deal to me.

F- The food is pretty good, lots of standard pub food, but also some more gourmet style food. I usually stick with the fish and chips or a burger, but they are well-made

Hoptometrist, May 03, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%

What a cool building! A historic building nestled into a cool little block in an otherwise sorta dumpy part of Cleveland, be sure to ask your server about the history of the building. They'll tell you that there's a bullet hole created by Eliot Ness the legendary prohibition agent and inspiration for one of GLBC's great beers. Furthermore, the efforts made by GLBC towards sustainability are very impressive. Nice focus on local food on the menu, I tried the Local Plate appetizer, a selection of local meats, cheeses, and veggies. The burger was an average brew-pub burger. Had a pint of Edmund Fitz that was brilliant as always and a selection of samplers (I tried every beer they had that wasn't one of their flagship bottled beers, but didn't really care for them, which is disappointing, considering how great their main beers are). So good food, great beer (stick to the proven classics of their main line of beers), and an awesome location combine to make this one of my favorites!

greenmonstah, Apr 25, 2011
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
97 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.