Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Active Beers: 81
Beer Ratings: 34,881
Beer Avg: 3.92
Taps: 10 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Wow...I wish I had more time here.
Had and old tyme bar feel...lots of wood and I'm sure lots of history.
The wife and I stopped here for lunch on our trip to Chicago in July. I had the Double IPA and she had the IPA. There were 8 or so beers available. Both were fantastic. The food was good too...I had the Bratwurst & Pierogi.
We sat inside at a high top next to the bar...there is also outside seating available.
We stopped at the gift store next door before hitting the road and picked up a case of Burning River.
Will stop again on my next trip through Cleveland.
11-22-2006 16:49:31 | More by dlee
4.53/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
What can I say about this place? It is no secret that I love every beer I have ever had by Great Lakes. The thing that keeps me coming back to the brewery time and time again more than anything else is so that I can try the on-tap "pub exclusives." I was there recently and had some BA Blackout Stout. There are usually total of 8 beers available on tap, the 5 regulars that are always available, the seasonal, and 2 pub exclusives. Well sometimes there are only 7 available because they run out of one of the "pub exclusives." You can get 6 packs, seasonal 4 packs, and limited edition bombers (when available) to go from the gift shop as well as shirts, beer glasses and other cool swag. The atmosphere is certainly friendly. My friends and I like the basement pub area the best. Down there you can also see some of the huge vats the beers are brewed/fermented in. It has brick walls and that old feel to it. All the beers are of course of exceptional quality. I have only had a real meal there once before and the pub grub is pretty good too and not too pricey (I highly recommend the Brewer's Barley Pretzels and the Sausage Sampler). As of the time of this review this brewery is ranked #3 overall by this site and with good reason. The beer prices are quite reasonable but the food is a bit overpriced IMO. Of course there are happy hour specials too. One reason why I am proud to be a Clevelander. We have some of the best beer in the world right here in our own backyard. Make sure you stop off here for a visit if you are passing through Cleveland.
11-01-2006 01:51:34 | More by neenerzig
4.78/5 rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
You have to love this place. Great beer, nice atmosphere, and friendly people. This was my second trip to Cleveland as well as to Great Lakes. I lucked out big time and caught some BA Blackout on tap. Man that's some tasty stuff.
Place is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. Nice beer bar as you walk in (where I hung out), restaurant seating to the left, a beer garden to the side plus a completely outdoor patio (for the warmer months) in front. They have a pub with flat screens downstairs with all the same beers on tap there too.
I went both days I was in Cleveland and both times the bartenders were very friendly. Were very knowledgeable about beer and the company. Food was a little pricey for a brewery, but it wasn't your normal pub grub. Great food nevertheless.
If I lived in Cleveland I would have my own seat at the bar at this place. Good times.
10-30-2006 22:44:53 | More by Callenak
4.05/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I ate and drank in the bar. Lovely wood bar, with a really interesting wooden backbar. A few tables scattered about the bar. Quite packed relatively early on a Satuday afternoon. By about 12:30 people were waiting for tables. Very friendly mix of locals and not, and everyone seemed to be really into beer, which was very nice.
Standard Great Lakes offerings on tap, as well as three seasonals (Pumpkin, Holiday and Barrel-Aged Blackout on my visit). I had the Barrel-aged, and an Edmund Fitzgerald. Both were served surprisingly cold, and with pretty agressive carbonation. Surprised by that. Prices for the beer were very fair.
Food prices were definitely on the premium side, while the quality lagged some good bit behind. I had the chesse and beer soup, which was the highlight. Very nice flavors, not too heavy. Very well done. My veggie pizza ($11 for about an 8 or 9 inch pie) was okay. The veggies were a bit watery, and the crust kind of lifeless.
Service was outstanding. The bartender managed keep the packed bar and dining area in beer, without anyone having to wait, and still managed to fit in a nice chat about the beer, or the history of the building and brewery with several folks seemingly simultaneously. A real professional.
Overall a somewhat mixed experience for me. This was my first visit, and the brewery makes some of my favorite beers, so perhaps I had my expectations a bit high. I'll be back for sure though.
10-29-2006 17:06:24 | More by Realale
4.47/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Took my second trip here for the '06 release of BA Blackout and the Rackhouse Ale. As I work for a GLBC distributor in Dayton I received (thanks Lisa) a brewery tour, dinner with all beers sampled, tickets to the Jim Beam BA tasting and a hotel room at the Radisson downtown.
I must say GLBC has expanded immensly since my last venture here over 5 years ago. The brewery tour was great. They have a very nice state of the art brewery and were bottling this years Christmas Ale during the tour.
We ate dinner in the new patio area that recently opened this past summer. It was still very nice and warm out so the roof of the room was half opened and the enormous sliding doors to the front of the room. The bar area is also very cool. The bar was built in 1901 and it looks like it but makes the experience that much more real. The basement bar area I thought was the coolest, most accessible room for my tastes but it only opens during overly busy hours. The overall woodwork of these rooms is nothing short of spectacular.
The food at Great Lakes is also very "fancy" shall we say. It isn't just a bar food joint. They have what you could call culinary expert made meals. Very good but somewhat pricey especially the dinner menu. The one thing on the menu that totally blew my girlfriend and I away was the bread pudding. A must try if visiting the brewery.
Overall GLBC is hard to beat in terms of awe inspiring drunkeness. Or just good beer drinking. And I look forward to making many more trips here before my liver fails me.
10-11-2006 21:43:00 | More by mcallister
4.45/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This years hajj to Great Lakes coincided with their Oktoberfest. Walked in around 9 on a Saturday night and were told that the wait for a table would be 2.5 to 3 hours. We decided to pass on dinner and just have a drink in the basement pub. That drink turned into a liter stein and then another and by the time we left, we were really wishing that we had put our names down on the list. Still, a great time was had by all.
Great Lakes is one of my favorite brew pubs for a number a reasons but selection and the quality of it is number one.
GLs standard line of beers are always available and fantastic but the brew pub really shines because of all the specialty beers. This trip let me sample Oktoberfest and Monster. Both were great. In the past Ive been equally pleased with other pub only releases.
The atmosphere is top notch too. The building has been well rehabbed using almost entirely antique materials. The place has a ton of character. The outdoor patio is just great too.
In the past the food was always great but I havent had it in so long, I dont feel comfortable reviewing it.
Wonderful staff. Knowledgeable, highly motivated, and friendly.
Very reasonable prices. I bought a Liter stein filled, for $18 bucks, a good deal IMO.
09-19-2006 00:02:38 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.63/5 rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was at Great Lakes for their Oktoberfest party. I walked in with 10 people and a 2 hour wait for a table. The hostess was accommodating and luckily 8 seats opened at the bar so we just camped out there.
The place was packed and a nice German band was playing out on the patio. I would have liked to have been there when it wasn't so crowded but it was still a great time. The bartenders were excellent and stopped to answer every question I had even though they were extremely busy.
You can tell this is definitely an old building (1898 if I remember correctly). I heard some interesting stories on the tour about Great Lakes and all the buildings on the block and I am sure I would have heard more from the bartenders if we had time to chat.
I made it just in time for the 8 o'clock tour (last of the day) and was lucky enough to be the only on that showed up. It was great getting what basically was a private tour of the brewery. I really enjoyed the samples of Edmund and Christmas from the fermentors. Overall a very nice tour with a ton of brewing info and Great Lakes historical info packed into an hour. The tour is highly recommended.
The selection contained GL's mainstays (Elliot Ness, Burning River, Dortmunder, Edmund & Holy Moses) along with Nosferatu, Lake Erie Monster & Oktoberfest. I would have preferred a few more seasonals/specials on tap but I still had my hands full with the Nosferatu and Monster.
The food seemed slightly pricey for bar food but I think they had a few more upscale (as far as bar food goes) items on the menu so it might have been in line with what you get. I had the burger and it was delicious. The beer was cheap enough to balance out the food and make GL very reasonable. The growlers were exspensive though as others have mentioned in reviews.
Overall, Great Lakes was one of the best brewpubs I have been to and is a must visit for anyone on the area. I even met Luke the brewer and he invited us to a tailgate party for the Badger game the next day. Don't forget to stop at the gift shop (you kind of have to search for it as I didn't think it was the easiest to find).
09-08-2006 20:22:23 | More by brewcrew76
4.18/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Spacious patio, definately not trying to cram people into this place. They have a rotating selection of 8 or 9 beers on tap - mostly rich ales and one flagship lager.
Prices aren't cheap for food or beer, but everything speaks of quality. From the glassware to the beer, the furnishings, food preparation and ingredients. Albeit uninventive fare, it was extremely tasty (I had the vegan version of their burger..yum!).
Employees (from managers to busers) seem quite beer-knowledgeable and friendly. However, I was treated like i was four years old waiting for my daddy to come by the waitress. Tant pis, qu'est-ce qu'on va faire?
09-08-2006 03:54:44 | More by geographie
4.38/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My borther and I went to Cleveland to watch the Tigers play the Indians. Before the game we stopped in for some dinner and a couple beers. The beers that were offered were some of the usuals Burning River, Elliot Ness, Dortmunder Gold, and Edmund Fitzgerald plus Nosferatu, Lake Erie Monster, and an Octoberfest. The Monster was a DIPA at about 9%.
We started off with some of their homemade pretzels made from the spent grain of the brewing process. The pretzels came with 3 sauces yellow mustard, brown mustard and a garlic cheese spread. For an entree I had the 76 Hour Pork with Fava Beans, Fingerling Potatoes, and Strawberries. The pork melted in my mouth and the Octoberfest was a nice compliment to it. We did not have dessert.
One of the cool things about Great Lakes is the shuttle service to and from the games. Juat ask your server for a ticket on the Fatty Wagon and they will drop you off across the street from Jacobs Field. Whenever I am in Cleveland, I always make sure to hit Great Lakes.
08-27-2006 14:10:36 | More by brotherfraz2
4.43/5 rDev +1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Overall the atmosphere isn't overly eccentric, but makes up for it by offering various spaces for dining and drinking. On the warmer Cleveland days you can sit out front in a cozy little tree covered patio, or step to the side and enjoy beer and fare under the newly constructed, retractably covered patio. Inside they offer a range of atmospheres from the traditional pub bar covered in dark stained wood to the laid back feel of the cellar.
I've never had any complaints about the service. The menu is very good and what impresses me is the boldness of ingredients and combinations such as the cheeses, fruits, and veggies that get paired up with main attraction on the dish. I believe that is essential for a brewery's menu who's goal is complexity and character to mirror those same qualities found in their beer.
The beer selection is obviously fantastic and go often to catch their pub only drafts that in my experiences where the most aggressive, experimental, and complex brews i've tasted. To name a few; Rackhouse, Grassroots Ale, Market Street Wheat.
08-19-2006 19:08:25 | More by cabsandking
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
96 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.