1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.Great Lakes Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

359 Ratings
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.11%
Active Beers: 85
Beer Ratings: 36,132
Beer Avg: 3.91
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sarahspat
sarahspat

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev 0%

I made sure to stop here on a trip to the east coast because Great Lakes is one of my favorite breweries.

Overall, I was really pleased with my experience here. It is a little fancier/more upscale than I was expecting compared to other taprooms and bars I have been to ( although, I admit, I am not the most experienced person). This upscaled-ness is not a bad thing other than the increased prices... but the service matches the prices in this case. This brewery employs a very attentive and friendly wait staff. And they let me bring my dog into the outdoor eating area, which was really cool... and they kept bringing her bowls of water. The inside of the building is decorated with a kind of old-timey theme and looked great.

The one gripe I have is the unimpressive selection of beers on tap and the complete lack of pub exclusives. Every single beer they offered on tap that day is easily available (bottled) to me in Michigan. But I only had time for one pint anyway... and it was delicious! The food was good too, but definitely more pricey than I'm used to. Also, I kind of wanted to get some bottles, but the only bottled beer they had for sale were ones I can get in Michigan, too. Oh well. Great Lakes is a superb establishment and they make fantastic beers.

08-13-2008 21:43:00 | More by sarahspat
Photo of LittleTimmy
LittleTimmy

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

I've always admired Great Lakes beers, but strangely, I'd never actually visited the brewery on my trips to Cleveland. Finally popped in during a late June trip.

I stopped in for lunch on a Saturday, and the restaurant was packed, as was the surrounding neighborhood, with the West Side Market and a nice day bringing out the crowds. Still, I was seated right away in the bar area, and the service was fine. Enjoyed an Imperial Dortmunder, and ESB, and an IPA--all was excellent, which is exactly what I've come to expect from Great Lakes over the years. The meal was OK--brats and perogies--but the beer is the star here.

Although Great Lakes brews are widely available on tap in Cleveland (gotta love a town that supports its local beer), make an effort to visit the source. Combine it with a morning or afternoon at West Side Market and there aren't many better ways to enjoy a visit to Cleveland.

07-26-2008 14:39:53 | More by LittleTimmy
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev -9.2%

I was really looking forward to visiting The Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Having tasted several of their beers on tap in the Cleveland area I knew their beers to be of a high quality, though a few of them were not to my liking. Their Dortmunder Gold is one of my favorite beers.
So it was this in mind that I took my wife there on a last Friday night. The neighborhood is not the best. A lot of low income people in the surrounding area, pay parking for 5 dollars, the place has NO PARKING for the restaurant! It is nearly across the street from the West Side Market, a land mark and a destination for many in Cleveland. The building is a very old building, converted from a warehouse I believe with a lot of charm. The thing is, it is dark a dirty in there. I was dissapointed with that. The wooden tables and benches seemed dirty to me too. There is a dining area, an upstairs bar and a cavern like downstairs bar. All of this is great but again, it is dirty, damp and dark all throughout.
I was not impressed with the food. I had a pretzel chicken. We had some pretzels as appetizers with some strange dip sauce which just confused us. There were two types of mustard also given with the pretzels and each of them were better than the "special dip."
I did appreciate the sample rules. You can have any of their 10 beers for one dollar each in a ~6 oz. glass. I liked that policy. I got all 10 of them.
Maybe I had built up the Great Lakes Brewing Company up in my mind so much because their product (the beer!) is so good. But really it was less comfortable than I had hoped. Sorry.

Update 1 2 09: I had returned to GLBC with friends and due to its proximity to McNalty's Bier Markt and found that their food is excellent. Of particular note was a simply GREAT brocolli soup that I had one of those nights. I had the sausage and prierogi dish and it was excellent too. I am updgrading my food rating from 2.5 to 3.5.

06-20-2008 01:55:14 | More by adamette
Photo of HopDerek
HopDerek

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +0.2%

Stopped by on a Thursday evening on the way to Indiana. Ample parking at the pay lot located between Great Lakes Brewery and the merchandise store and brewpub. Plenty of seating outside for nice outdoors weather and nice tables downstairs in the basement of the pub, but our main purpose was to hit the bar, which is nice and old fashioned. A tap list proudly is displayed at the entrance showing not only the beers and their abv, but also a little description of them, laminated tap lists are also available at the fairly small bar as well as the neighboring tables.

Ten beers on tap during our visit, 6 of them being the staple beers with 4 seasonal offerings, including brewpub exclusives. The bartender was excellent, acknowledging our arrival at the bar and giving us a chance to look over the selection before asking us what we wanted. Beers were served in their proper glassware and even come in different sizes for those who want to try more things.

Didn't have a chance to try the food, but it looked very appealing, definitely will head back again. Only disappointment is that they aren't opened on Sundays when I normally would find myself heading through Cleveland makes it harder for me to get to visit more often.

04-30-2008 03:46:44 | More by HopDerek
Photo of csmiley
csmiley

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Stopped by Great Lakes on a weekend to take advantage of the brewery tour. The tour takes you across the street to where the brewery is located. The guide was friendly and was able to give a good history of Great Lakes and Cleveland brewing in general.

Stopped in the pub for dinner after the tour. The pub is divided into several different rooms with each room having its own atmosphere. There was no wait which was nice for a weekend evening. Food was good with a decent selection. The beer sampler is the way to go if you want to try everything. There were 10 beers on tap during my visit with a couple of them being pub-only selections.

A visit to the gift shop after dinner is recommemded. They sell the year round brews in bottles along with the occasional rarity. They also have shirts, glassware, posters, coasters, etc... If there is the chance of being back in the area, you should think about purchasing a jug or growler to bring back for refills.

04-27-2008 18:17:24 | More by csmiley
Photo of calhoon
calhoon

Iowa

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

The brewery is just a few blocks from the Ohio City railway station, which is just one stop from Tower City. If you are coming in from the airport to downtown it is convenient to stop at Great Lakes with an empty suitcase to fill up with Great Lakes bottles for the flight home. They have their 22 oz. Imperial IPA for sale at the brewery (and perhaps only at the brewery right now) and it is also on tap along with Rockefeller Bock and one of the stouts as the seasonals. I went back on Tuesday evening and joined the baseball fans to eat and drink before getting a ride to the game on the brewery's Fattywagon--a van fueled by the restaurant's cooking fats instead of gasoline. The beer was excellent, the food good, and the service was better than adequate, particularly given the boisterous crowd.

I sat at the bar and the bartender/server answered all questions while he struggled with the nitro tap on one of the stouts; I did not try the Imperial IPA, but it seems to be highly respected by two of the regulars that I met at the bar. It was a great evening and the kind of experience I look for when I make a quick visit to a new city.

04-17-2008 21:11:39 | More by calhoon
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +6.4%

The highlight of my Cleveland trip. What a great place. I started out grabbing an Ed Fitz while waiting for the tour to begin. Had a great guide, Terry. Extremely knowledgeable and kept things interesting and made plenty of jokes. The tour was great and learned a few cool things about the brewery. After the tour, we went to dine. about 15minute minute wait. Just enough time to get a Wolfhound Stout and write a review. The bar is very spacious and beautiful(Black Cherry?). The place was pretty slammed and our waitress had to deal with a very large group that insisted on a split bill. Once they were gone, she was very good. I got my food exactly how I wanted it and they even cooked my burger rare like I asked and everything was quite good. The menu is great and pretty diverse. Also had suggested beer parings. The biggest draw back was that they only had 3 pub exclusives on tap and the bartender said that's about normal. GLBC is one of my favorite breweries so having their normal line, a seasonal, and 3 pub exclusives isn't a terrible thing.. but I really would have liked to see 4, 5, maybe 6... and they certainly have enough pub exclusives to do that. Oh well, I'll just have to visit again :) Above all else, I'd have to say that the pub itself is very beautiful and impressive in itself. It spans 2 stories with an additional pub in the basement. Everything is beautiful wood and very classy. I could tell things could get pretty rawdy at times but I think that can be a good thing. If you're in town, stop here... you won't be disappointed.

04-07-2008 02:46:43 | More by pwoods
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%

I made it here this past December before a Browns game.

I loved everything about this place. A great atomsphere with great decorations every where. Kind of warm, dark and cozy. Really easy to sit back and relax.

Service was excellent. Our waitress was kind and knowledge about the different types/styles of beer.

Selection was outstanding. I had the sampler of beers which was nine beers at the time. Each beer was in a 5 oz glass and was right around 8 bucks. A normal pint was 4.

The food was price fair and was a tremendous surprise. Great taste and flavour. Also large portions I had the rack of ribs and well I couldn't eat it all.

Overall a great place. I'm looking forward to going back.

03-02-2008 22:36:03 | More by nrbw23
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

I went here to watch Monday Night Football in December '07 while on business in the Cleveland area.

The entrance into the bar area is softly lit, giving off a warm comfortable atmosphere right away. I sat in the bar area; not that big, a few TVs, lots of polished red wood (cherry?). Peeking into the restaurant area, I get a glimpse of some stately-looking high back black leather booths, very classy.

I wasn't sure what to expect on a Monday Night Football night, but the place wasn't busy as they don't pander to that. A basic meal of fish & chips hits the spot, washed down with a Rock's Rye.

I order the sgnature dessert, bread pudding, and an Edmund Fitz to go with. In the meantime, I stroll down the stairwell to check the rest of the place out. Halfway down the steps is a door to the bier garden. Feels toasty and looks awfully cozy with a roaring fire in the stone hearthed fireplace. 'See a hostess about sitting in here' so says the sign on the door.

I venture to the bottom of the steps to find a little bar area with lots of concrete, wrought iron and wood. Makes me feel like I'm in a private little basement, I'd be right at home in here! Restrooms are down here, too.

Back to my table, the place in getting a bit full now, not for the game though. The bread pudding and porter arrive, along with a shot of the Rackhouse Ale. The server and I spoke about it briefly and she wanted me to taste it. The bread pudding is phenomenal by itself and with either brew. Whew, time for a water and then a serving of the Rackhouse, I can't resist. Mmmm...

My neighbor back in Cincy loves a good bourbon, I think he'll dig this. I get a growler of it to go. With the fancy growler and tip, it's close to 50 bucks. Money well spent. The neighbor and I drank over half of it the following week, its the best 'weird beer' I ever had him try, so he says.

An outstanding experience, I hope I get the chance to visit again.

02-16-2008 21:26:09 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.94/5  rDev -9.4%

One of the most frequently rated places in the world. Good hours, during the week. The downtown location gets mixed reviews as a desireable tourist location. I was disapointed in that only the regulars were available, not a single seasonal available or on the horizon, despitw what was on the website. The regular lineup is great on tap. People are happy to work here, it has atmosphere, and is an above average bar asthetically pleasing. Gift shop nearby. Parking $5.00, no way around it. Cleveland is a large city geographically, so do not expect to hit all the pubs in one afternoon and the night.

01-16-2008 05:46:51 | More by Sammy
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
96 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.