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Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

374 Ratings
Ratings: 374
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.09%
Active Beers: 86
Beer Ratings: 36,391
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
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brianlg
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%

Let me say I've been a huge fan of Great Lakes beer ever since I ventured into craft beers. They are probably my favorite brewery at this moment. I recently had the opportunity to take my girlfriend to their brew/bar and we had a blast! I sampled every beer on tap for $15. Every beer they make is of A or B standards. They know what their doing. The atmosphere is very nice, it seems very homey, to the point where the building looks like a house inside. Theres a large pub in the basement, a nice beer garden, a big bar, and a place to sit uptairs (which is where we sat). It was also very crowded, but the food came fast. The only negative things I can saw about it is that the gift shop needs improvement, and the growlers are expensive compared to other places ($20 for the growler, then $15 for refils). Otherwise, an awesome place!

brianlg, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of MDekker
4.58/5  rDev +5%

My three younger brothers and I drove up to Cleveland to visit on the occasion of a 30th birthday, and it was well worth it.

A: Located in a very cool old building, lots of old woodwork (including the bar), a unique straw-bale-walled bier garden, a stone basement, and also in an interesting nieghborhood with other attractions too. It got crowded fast, though - we were there as they opened and got a table right away but we were amazed at how fast it filled up.

Q: Anyone who knows Great Lakes knows that they make good beers, and a long list of their year-round, seasonal, and pub exclusive brews were available.

Service: the waitress was fine, but the free tour was exceptional. We ended up in a group of 6 people total, and the small group certainly helped that. We got up close to everything involved in the process (they don't brew on Saturdays, so that probably helped) and the tour guide was very informative and easy to talk to. We noticed that the group was much larger for the next tour - we took the first one available, at 1:00. I'm not a brewery tour veteran, but this was one of the greatest free things I've ever received.

Selection: see Q above.

F: What we had was good, not raging awesome. It seemed a bit on the expensive side, maybe - certainly more than what I'm used to in Grand Rapids.

MDekker, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Freshie
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%

Situated across the river from the main area of downtown Cleveland, and easily located off Carnegie Ave, across from the West Side Market.

This review will focus just on the brewpub facility itself, as I did not go on the tour of the brewery. I just had an hour or so to kill for lunch.

The building itself is old, and I do not know the history of it, but it is completely imaginable to envision a brewery being there for quite a long time.

Front bar area, with dining areas of to the sides. Downstairs seating and a smaller bar as well. Nice warm, old world feeling.
Decor comprises artifacts from the industrial age of brewing. Our table had a scale used for measuring barley and/or hops.

They had six tap selections that day. I ordered the Blacklout Stout, and Conway Irish Ale. The others included a Barleywine, and IPA, Lager, Porter, and an Amber Ale.

The Blackout was excellent, but I found the Irish ale lacking. My stout was served in a small tulip glass, which I found nice, but it was served too cold.

The food was standard pub grub, with slight gourmet twists. also, some decent vegetarian options.

Service was quick and attentive.

It was a nice comfortable stop that day. I would go back the next time I find myself in Cleveland. A "must" on any beer directed tour of Ohio.

Freshie, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of jslot38
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Family outing while in Ohio. We decided to go on a Saturday late afternoon for the full tour and then dinner after. Tour met downstairs in the pub. We put our name in ahead of time for dinner... we had a party of 9 and it was a 2.5 hour wait.

The tour was led by an old irish dude, who was really nice, funny, and knew his stuff. He lead a great tour and looked like he truly enjoyed what he was doing. Great Lakes is looking to expand, which is great news because they make some great beers. The tour lasted about 50 minutes and took us through all the parts of brewing. There was also a 25cent beer tasting - I had the Commodore Perry and loved it. The tour was informational, and contained some information that did confuse some of the non-beer-geeks in the room. Beyond that, it was great.

On the way back from the tour we hit up the small, but soon to expand, gift shop that had a broad range of posters, coasters, glasses, hats, stickers, etc... and of course, beers, cold and warm. Ended up with a 12 pack of the Perry, good stuff.

After that we had a few beers down stairs in the pub which wasn't too crowded while we waited for our table to open up. Unfortunately the only pub exclusive brew they had was the Barley Wine, which was o.k. The Edmund Fitzgerald porter was amazing (at dinner I ended up having the last one in the joint... I felt special).

Dinner was outstanding. Every item on the menu was under $20. Everyone at our table really enjoyed it and there were no complaints. We got the last two orders of pretzels which were the best pretzels I've ever had. My open faced beef sandwich was huge and awesome ($11). No one had room for desert, but they do have pints of Edmund Fitzgeral Ice Cream to go... should have got one. We ate in the beer garden which has a detractable roof.

All in all, this was one of the best beer experiences I've had so far. If you are in the Cleveland area, it is a must. Top notch.

jslot38, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of indiapaleale
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%

I was staying in Akron for a few nights for work and couldn't resist the temptation to drive up to Cleveland and check out GLBC.

Great Lakes Brewing Company has a brewery and production facility and across the street they have a restaurant/bar/retail store. The brewery wasn't giving tours so I just grabbed some lunch a few beers at the brewpub.

Beer selection had all of the beers they brew plus one extra that I hadn't seen which was the Glockenspiel Weizenbock. The special house beer changes so be sure to see what it will be by going to their website.

The front bar area is old looking and relatively small. Their is more room downstairs that is for sure. I just sat at the bar since I was by myself. The bartender was really friendly and most of the bar was filled with people reading or just being quiet and keeping to themselves. It was a very chilled atmosphere.

The food was excellent. They make their own soft pretzels (always a plus) and the chicken sandwich was very good. Most of the food is local and GLBC does a lot for sustainability which is quite admirable.

I grabbed a few things from the gift shop which sells posters for the beers (I got an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter poster) as well as hats and shirts and glasses as well as some other cool stuff.

Great place for both food and beer and well worth the trip from anywhere close by.

indiapaleale, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Finally! I was able to hit GLBC while in Cleveland for a CME conference. It was kinda a hassle to find coming from across town, and I wasn't quite sure where to park. The brewery itself is right next to the brewpub. It was late at night, so I just went to the brewpub. They had the typical Commodore, Fitz, Eliot, Burning River on tap, as well as a few specials which I tried...Pumpkin ale, Hale Ale ( a wickedly delicious beer, which if I remember right was brewed with Lemon balm, basil, coriander and chamomile?), and an bourbon barrel aged strong ale/barleywine, which was served in a shot glass. 4-5oz samples were $1.50. I had the sausage and cheese sampler which was very good (the barley bread was delicious), but the sausage was really spicy! Heartburn city! I took a Chicken Pot Pie home with me, but it really wasn't a pie...more like chicken stew with a little bit of crust. Very rich, tasty, but also a small portion. The atmosphere here is pretty cool and caters to any conceivable crowd at any given time. Upstairs, you have a bar/pub area, a seperate sit down dining area, and a conference room. Downstairs you have an Irish pub (when I was there, there was a traditional Irish band playing), and upstairs, they have a special banquet room/hall for reserve events. The service was good, the food was good. The beer was excellent as always (Mmmm...Ed Fitz on tap is delectable), and the menu selection was good as well. I would go here again, especially if someone else was driving! Peace!

Mitchster, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of Bagman007
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%

Went on the Friday after Thanksgiving at night. Was somewhat difficult to find a parking spot. When we got in it was busy, but we surprisingly did not have to wait long for a table. We were seated in the beer garden by the time we finished our beers. They had their full selection of beers in the sampler. They also had beer available that is not sold in stores. The drinks were reasonably priced, but the food was a little expensive and not very good at all. Overall I enjoyed the experience and would definitely go back there again.

Bagman007, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of sliverX
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%

Was in Cleveland for a concert decided to stop in GLBC. While looking for parking saw like 5 people caring cases of christmas ale began to wonder just how popular the place was. Walk into a very crowded house but was seated immediately. Walking to our table noticed a sign saying that Christmas ale was being officially released at 11:30 that morning hence the reason for cases and possibly the crowd. Since it seemed like a big deal I went with the Christmas ale. As for the food I went with the "old world burger" and my associate went with the "brats and pirogies" both were excellent. The crowd was a mix of mid-twenties late thirties types and quite loud but not that annoying, but if I hear any more about how great Ohio St. football is... Very nice location as well patio outside was full even with it being Nov. 1. Unfortunately by the time we were done eating they had run out of bottles of Christmas ale for sale in the shop...

sliverX, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of kels
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

I've been to Great Lakes Brewing Company on two occasions now, and I will continue making the trek north as often as possible.

First of all you've got to talk about the beer. I love GLBC beers in the bottle, and I've been even more impressed with them on tap. Who knew they could be even that much better? They've got a really impressive number of selections on tap - all of their traditional favorites that can be found in bottles pretty much throughout the state, as well as up to 5 brewpub-only offerings. On my last trip a couple weeks ago they had Nosferatu, Imperial Dortmunder, The Stein Bock, Barrel Select Pils, and Oktoberfest. I checked the website today, and I found that it's already been updated with new options. It's definitely hard to decide! The beers are pretty reasonably priced, too. A sampler of everything on tap that day goes for $20.

Now for everything else:

Atmosphere - I feel completely home at GLBC. The original bar when you first walk in has such a great lived-in feel. There are a good number of seats and booths right at the bar, and there's plenty of space to read the huge menus and grab a bartender. Even cooler - they claim that the holes in the old wood bar are bullet holes from a gunfight Elliot Ness had with Cleveland gangsters. Off the bar on the ground floor and up the stairs you can find the dining rooms, which give you an option for a quieter dining and drinking experience, too. On our first trip, we ate upstairs which gave us more time and space to sit back and enjoy the time we spent. The rathskeller in the basement is a great place to hang out while waiting for a table. It's a classic dark stone cellar-like place complete with its own full-service bar and tables. On a nice day there's outdoor dining in the very cool West Side Market area of Ohio City, a part of downtown Cleveland. It's urban, but not center-of-the-skyscrapers urban. More of an eclectic neighborhood with a lot of locals and people who really care about the place. Strangers were talking to me about my beer at the bar and offering to share theirs that I hadn't tried - everybody was so friendly and just seemed happy to be there. The location is really easy to get to as well. From downtown it's a 5 minute, $1.25 ride on the red line or an $8 cab ride.

Tour - The tour of the brewery, which is right next to the brewpub, is free and very convenient. The tour guide was completely fantastic. He was so funny and engaging, and it was clear that he was not only passionate about GLBC but also very knowledgeable about their entire process and company. It was great to see the process from start to finish, especially seeing how GLBC strives to be a leader in the Green industry movement.

Service - The service at GLBC is fantastic. They get really busy in there, especially in the evenings, but they do a great job of being attentive. Our server was very knowledgeable about the beers and was able to make food recommendations that worked out great. They're really good at making you feel like one of the regulars, and they take care of all of their customers - from arranging cabs to giving out free tees at their anniversary celebration.

Food - It's a wonderful experience to have great beer along with great food. I really enjoy the variety and quality of the menu items at GLBC. The fish and chips is my go-to, but they've got tons of great dishes, from appetizers to sandwiches to entrees. They are a little pricey, but you definitely get more than what you pay for - enormous portions of food you'd expect to find in an fine restaurant, plus fantastic beer. What more could you want?

I honestly cannot think of any ways Great Lakes Brewing Company could improve their operation. They really are a part of their community while being completely warm and welcoming to guests from everywhere. The beer is consistently worth the trip, and I could quite possibly spend the entirety of any of my trips to Cleveland there. I know if I was a local, I'd be a regular.

kels, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of beveritt
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%

Stopped by the Great Lakes Brewery for lunch while visiting Cleveland a few days ago. Overall, I was very impressed and pleased.

The brewery and restaurant are located on a little side street, away from the noise and traffic. At the head of this street, there is a pay parking lot. We had no trouble at all finding a spot and it was only $2 to park. I originally wanted to eat in the beer cave, but it was closed so we settled for the patio. The restaurant is located in an older building which manages to retain much of its original charm. The interior has lots of different rooms and hallways, so it is pretty neat.

The service was friendly and attentive. The food seems to be typical pub fare, with a few nicer selections in dinner portions. I have a burger. It was cooked as I asked and pretty big. My only complaint about the food would be the inordinate amount of time it took to arrive. We waited nearly 45 minutes after ordering!

At the bar, most of the usual suspects from Great Lakes are available on tap. They also have a few pub exclusives you should be sure to check out. I had a 20h Anniversary beer with lunch and took home another tap exclusive in a growler. They have two kinds of growlers, the fancy German ones with metal handles and your standard half gallon growler. I had heard how expensive it was to get growlers filled here, but if you go with the cheaper container, it is not too bad. I think mine was $21.50. One complaint about the growlers, they didn't fill it like I would have expected a well respected brewery to. No tubing. They simply opened the tap and set the growler underneath. They dumped off some of the head and then used a glass to get some more beer and top it off. Despite this harsh treatment, my growler beer was fairly carbonated when I had it a day later.

There is also a gift shop attached to the restaurant. Some shirts, posters, glasses, and 4 and 6 packs are available here. Neat, but nothing special. The kid behind the counter looked as if I was disturbing his time alone to stare out the window when I came in.

beveritt, Sep 05, 2008
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
97 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.