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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 Bierguy5
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%

This was the highlight of my Cleveland trip. We arrived early to take the brewery tour, which is just around the corner from the pub. I believe they give the tour every hour on Saturdays, but check the website to make sure. We enjoyed the tour, our guide was very friendly, and knowledgeable. After, we had a beer, and later came back for dinner. They had all the regulars, plus Blackout Stout. Everything was the best quality, straight from the source. The Edmund Fitz. never tasted any better. It was pretty crowded both upstairs, and in the cellar pub. Our service was good, and the food was pretty good as well, maybe a bit pricey. Overall, if you come to Cleveland, you must go here. You must. A place like Great Lakes is exactly what American craft beer should be about.

Bierguy5, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of JackStraw22
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%

Went down to the brewpub just after Christmas. Located on the west side of town, near the West Side Market in "Ohio City". I took the brewery tour a couple years ago, but I don't remember much so I can't really comment on it. They weren't doing tours the day I went (a Friday) until 5:00pm.

The brewpub is in its own building, across the street from the brewery. It was crowded around lunch time, but we only had to wait 5 or 10 minutes for a table. We ate in the bar room, and I didn't get to see too much else of the place. The basement looked cool, though, cavelike almost.

Good standard pub food, reasonably priced. I had the brwatwurst and perogies, which went great with the Grand Cru that had just been tapped that afternoon. The portions were decent, though they served the food on huge plates that made for an odd look. It tasted great so that's all that matters. There were six or so of their own beers on tap. I don't think they served any other brands, though the bar was full service if you want something besides beer. Looked like they had a big wine list too. Most of the standard beers were there (Dort, pale ale, holy moses, Edmund) plus some others that aren't bottled (Loch Ness, Grand Cru, and one other I'm forgetting)

Definately worth a trip, I hope to go back next time I'm in town visiting the folks.

JackStraw22, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of becktone
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%

A very nice Brewery. First of all the tour was great. Since there was nobody who showed up for the previous tour, the tourguide gave us a private tour. He was very informative and sociable as well. The service inside the eatery/pub was also excellent. While eating I had everything I needed. The service saw to it that I laced for nothing. The food was also good. The portions served were fairly large and of course the beer was excellent. I would have liked to see some more of the seasonal or brewpub beers on tap, but other than that the selection of beer was good. In addition to the quality of food and beer the atomsphere of the place was just right. The pub, which is down stairs is very nice looking, brick walls and lots of wood. The rest of the eatery was set up like a higher end restaurant. If you're in the area this is a must on your list of places to visit.

becktone, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of DuqTroops
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%

I went to the Brewing Company with a group of guys to watch the Cavs game (Saturday evening). The upstairs was crowded and the wait time was around 1.25 hrs. We went downstairs to eat/drink and watch the game. It is like a cave and has a distinct personality to it. There are some beer steins in the back room. We had to be our own servers between our table and the bar, but the service was great. Food was good -- sausage sampler and soft pretzels a must. Beer was a little better than good. I drank a lot of the Great Lakes beer from the bottle at home, and never thought it was the greatest. At the brewing company and on draught is a whole other story - very good. I would recommend the IPA and the Dortmunder.

DuqTroops, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of malty
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Visited 10/30/05

I've been visiting GLBC every autumn for the last three years, it's about time I give them their props. Last visited 10/29/05.

The atmosphere is damn cool. Real wood (mahogany?) original bar from 1901. The bartender let me walk behind the bar (after closing) and showed me 2 bullet holes from way back when. Tin pressed ceiling tiles, real wood paneled walls (going half-way up) with real cool old fashioned looking wallpaper to even it all out. Dark & cozy with a beautiful frontage from Market Street. I could go on and on, definitely the real McCoy of an old style, old world pub. The dining area is very much the same style as the pub of which I'm speaking. The gift shop has this very old real wood compartmental refrigerator where each 24" x 24" door showcases it's own separate beer - very nice. The poster selection was very cool, one for each beer label. Shirts, glass pitchers, glasses galore, yada, yada, yada.

Quality is top notch. Fresh, consistent and flavorful - doesn't get any better.

Selection is good. Nosferatu, Christmas Ale and Cleveland Brown Ale were the pubs showcase beers that night along with their original 6 (check their website). I was bummed they didn't have their Pumpkin Ale on tap, it had been brewed but not available for another week. We were informed they just ran out of their Rackhouse Ale (aged in bourbon barrels) - bummer.

Food is off-the-hook. A sausage sampler platter to die for. Bread pudding was the best I've ever had. Fish & Chips were stellar. Edmund Fitzgerald Chocolate Chunk ice cream paired with a fresh pint of the same, heaven. Spectacular in every sense.

Good value, but maybe I'm biased because I drive 8 hrs. round trip just to belly-up, stay in an affordable hotel and take off back to Michigan the next morning. Worth every cent.

malty, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of budsboy
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%

Found the brewery easy-peasy, but the brew pub is actually a few doors down. Easy to find parking. The area was pretty busy on that Saturday afternoon (the West Side Market is nearby).

Both my wife and I give the food high praise. Really tasty stuff. Service was a bit slow (at least when you are as hungry as we were), but worth it.

I had a Nosferatu, she had a Holy Moses (she also sampled the Christmas Ale and Cleveland Brown Ale). After eating on the second story, we wondered down to the first-floor bar, shared a Rack House Stock Ale (at least that's what I remember it as, not listed on the Web site. Aged in a bourbon barrell and very much like a liqueur) and watched the Buckeyes pummel Minnesota.

Before leaving we took a look at the basement bar, which was even better, and we both wished we had gone down there sooner.

Great crowd, no eardrum-busting music, professional servers who know and appreciate their product.

budsboy, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%

Stopped in for a sandwich and beer after a Browns/Lions game. This was the first time I stopped here, despite previously living in the Cleveland area for several years.

The atmosphere was really nice, and other patrons seemed mostly upscale. It was comfortable and the service was pretty good. I sat upstairs for dining, and the waitress was pretty attentive.

The beer menu included the major offerings which you can find in any grocery store in the area (Dortmunder Gold, Holy Moses, Elliot Ness, Burning River, etc). Also, there were 2 "pub-only" brews. I chose one of those (a burning strong beer called Rackhouse), followed by a Dortmunder Gold to sooth my throat.

The food was good quality and reasonably priced.

Definitely a must-see while in the Cleveland area, I completely recommend it!

TurdFurgison, Oct 27, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
3.63/5  rDev -16.7%

I dug this place as soon as I laid eyes on it. The upstairs bar was rather small but it was very nice. The beer was all of their regular stuff plus some seasonals. The service could have been a little better, but it looks like she had a long day, so I won't hold it against her. The food was fantastic. The gourmet pizzas were exceedingly delightful. The downstairs bar was way cooler. Literally, it was an old storage area for the brewery. The dungeonesque atmosphere was very cozy, plus they have several large tvs, for games and such. Overall a very nice place.

quasimoto, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of bruachan
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

glbc is a cool place inside. the upstairs bar is gorgeous and the downstair pub is pretty damn nice. big screen tv over the taps shows games. the beer selection was not large, but what do you expect from a brewpub. i tried the holy moses, burning river and glockenspiel and was dissappointed by none

the chicken sandwich i had was tasty. the pesto mayo was a great asset (and i am personally almost afraid of mayonnaise)

i've just moved here and this was my first driving to great lakes, but parking seemed like it might occasionally be a pain in the ass

good prices, it seems: $25 for soup&sandwich and 3 brews. could be better, but not gonna complain

bruachan, Sep 04, 2005
Photo of olacub
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%

This is the standard. Vintage bar area as you walk in, with tables off to the left, adjacent to the brewing equipment. Beautiful basement seating (and additional bar) downstairs. Outdoor seating in front of the restaurant overlooking historic Market Street.

What can I say? The beer is consistently excellent - I had a pint of Burning River for starters, and finished up with two pints of Glockenspiel (a Weizen Bock, 8% abv), which was delicious. The food is the best I've had in over 100 brewpub visits around the country, and last night's Southwest Pizza was phenomenal - not to mention the great Artichoke Crock app, and the incredible homemade bread pudding for dessert.

Great Lakes is damn near perfect in every way.

olacub, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

As a Clevelander, I'm lucky enough to have one of the finest breweries in the world right at my doorstep. Located downtown in a landmark area called Ohio city, it's surronded by pre prohibition era buildings and creates a very cool ambiance.

I sipped an Eliot Ness at the same antique wooden bar the man himself often frequented. His bullet holes still adorn the bar above large mirrors. I decided to do some research and take the brewery tour, which begins at the bar in the cellar, the original brewhouse before they relocated across the street. I'd recommend this tour especially to anyone interested in homebrewing, or any fellow BA.

The patio outside was a nice place to sit and enjoy their sampler of the nine beers on tap. Of course I would like to see more of their thirty-three varieties on tap, but I'd rather sacrifice a larger variety of pastuerized seasonals for a smaller selection of fresh quality beer. Pretzels made from the brewery's spent barley grains are a nice touch to cleanse the palate between samples. The menu is expensive, but it is all organic and according to local newspapers, "very fine cuisine".

All Cleveland BA's should be proud of a local brewery so concerned with repect to the environment, the Bavarian purity law, and outstanding brew. Respect beer. Respect GLBC.

PBRstreetgang, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%

I ate in the restaurant on a beautiful July evening here in Northern Ohio. The decor is a compilation of breweriana from Great Lakes products (posters, signage, and other memorbilia) and other old breweries from around the area. The building itself is a historic, Victorian style place with wonderful woodwork abound.

I started off my meal with a glass of Nosferatu served in a goblet, and ordered an artichoke, olive, and roasted red pepper pizza for dinner, which was better than I even expected. The server was on point with timely fill ups of our beers and also very quick service with our food. After the meal I finished it all off with a pint of the York Street ESB.

The only slight let down I find from coming here is a lack of either a wider selection of beers or guest beers of some sort, but again you're not coming to GLBC for much besides their beer and their food. The whole street and area there is perfect, and wonderful in the summer time when diners are out drinking beers casually on the patio or sidewalk in front of the restaurant or the wine bar next door. I would recommend Great Lakes to anyone interested in trying a very professional brewpub with superb food and excellent service. It's a great place from top to bottom.

edmundfitzoil, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of klewis
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%

Located in downtown Cleveland, but tucked away off the main strip. Very scenic and historic location. The beer selection was a bit disapointing considering the number of brews in their output, however, the beer on draft at the location is better than anything you'll buy in the stores. They also have specialty brews on draft that are not released anywhere else. The food is a bit expensive, but is of very high quality. The restaurant is a little small, so you may have to wait, but it should be well worth it.

klewis, Jun 10, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%

After posting a message with the Great Lakes Forum, I was inundated with comments to hit GLBC when in Cleveland this past week. They were so right. Altough it was closed Monday for Memorial Day, I tried again Tuesday with some college friends I have not seen sinc emy wedding two years ago. Without question, the hostess seated us outside without even having us look inside or giving us an option. We did manage to make the rounds later on with a few trips to the bathroom.

Really enjoyed the beer/cheese soup, pizza and the sampler of all the brews on tap. Really enjoyed the Dortmunder Gold and Pale Ale. The 9% Barleywine Blackout '03 wasn't as impressive as I hoped. I wish i had better descriptions of the atmosphere and place inside, but you'll find a bunch of reviews with it.

For a rare but beautiful day in Cleveland, sitting outside and enjoying this fine place couldn't have gone better.

Backer2004, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of BuckSpin
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Made a "pilgrimage" to this spot while in Cleveland for a long weekend. The decor & atmosphere are incredible. A vintage/authentic Depression era mahogany bar, complete restored, adorns one whole wall of the brew pub. Many smaller booths, tables and areas are in seperate rooms and/or near the bar. The decor is very authentic, circa 1920's, in color and ambiance, with the standard decorations. A sidewalk patio with tables is available for those longing for the outdoors. The brewpub is right across the street from the brewery, so the beers are very fresh.

Oh yeah, the beer. Simply put, the worst beers GLBC makes are only very good. Of course I had the sampler, and for $8.50 I was set up with nine 5 or 6oz samples..everything they had on tap. Many of the flagbearer brews are house standards with seasonal offerings and brew pub only offerings to try from. I sat down in what I thought was the best seat in the house (right in front of the tap handles) and proceeded to have one of the best lunches I have had anywhere for awhile.

The 9 beers were excellent, fresh and very enjoyable. My personal favorite (Edmund Fitzgerald) was awesome being so fresh. The Blackout Stout (seasonal) was equally as good. An ESB was a pub only offering.

The food is very good. Per reviews from BeerFly, I had the Walleye Chips...very good. The Stilton Cheddar Soup, while a bit lean on the portion, was very tasty. They both paired well with a pint of Eliot Ness. For dessert I had to get the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream made with Edmund Fitz porter. I talked my barkeep Steve into a freebie cordial of Edmund Fitz that I used to baptise each spoonful of ice cream in/with....awesome!

One side note - my barkeep (Steve) was from England. I mistakenly took his accent for New England, and found out it was Old England! To my immediate left at the bar was Pete, a older regular who was from Ireland and still has the Celtic tongue to prove it. Between the two of them I had a blast talking and BS'n on a variety of subjects. Pete was finishing his 2nd pint of Blackout Stout....perhaps I glimpse into my future!

There is a retail store adjacent to the brew pub that offers cases, 4 and 6 packs, even growlers, along with the traditional items. I picked up a fresh 6 of Edmund Fitz. To get to the retail shop you went down & under/thru the refurbished cellar. You could feel the history of the place. They say Eliot Ness hung out there, and I believe it.

In short, if you are a serious BA and you are in Cleveland you have to go here. Definitley a "can't miss" for this part of the country, and I highly recommend it.

BuckSpin, May 28, 2005
Photo of mattcrill
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%

Wow! What a great day and a long awaited trip to GLBC. A little hard to find if you're not from around here but tucked away in old Victorian buildings, the atmosphere immediately engages your senses.

Parking was a bit of a trick but the pay lot was a convienent and had big pictures of all the bottled beers on a brick wall in the back of the lot. Pretty cool.

All wood floors, huge wood bar, and a fully functional brewery in the brewpub make for a pretty fantastic experience. 9 beers on tap including three pub exclusives make it difficult to choose. I'm a huge fan of GL beers but to have them all lined up on tap is pretty tough to beat for even the most discriminating tastes.

The food was pretty good. I had the dortmunder chicken sandwich and my wife had a burger. Nothing memorable but they had recommended pairings for all their food.

Our waitress was sharp, attentive, and very knowledgable about all the beers. She pointed us in the right direction for the tour and was two steps ahead of us through the whole meal.

The tour really made the day for me. Terry gives you a nice history of the brewery, educates you on the ways the brewery helps minimize waste, use local products, and recycle their ingredients, and gives you a nice intro to all aspects of brewing. I'd strongly recommend doing the tour. It's well worth the trip.

The gift shop is small but nice. Plenty of cool glasses, shirts, and posters to lighten or wallet.

If you live anywhere in Ohio, you should take a day and make the trip. Even if you don't live in Ohio, you should plan to go here. It's a great brewery with great beers and it is a visionary company. Great place to foster beer advocacy!

mattcrill, May 22, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

The last time I was at GLBC, it was years before I even got into craft beer. As such I have been anxiously awaiting a return visit for quite some time now. The brewpub is located right over the bridge from downtown. Parking isn't too hard to find even on a busy Saturday night, between the pay lots and street parking.

Inside, the "Beer Cellar" is downstairs and is the ideal place to kill time while you are waiting for a table for dinner. Lots of brick, flat screen TVs, and all of the available beers. You can eat appetizers down there too (the pretzels seem to be the most popular). The ground floor and upstairs are devoted to dining. Great collection of breweriana adorns the walls, and the atmosphere is cozy.

But of course the beer is the attraction here. Even though I have had all of the beers except for Wolfhound Stout (which was served a little too cold in my opinion), there is that intangible benefit to drinking them on-site out of GLBC glasses. The Eliot Ness and Conway's Irish were both good too. Any visitor will immediately recognize the quality in the beers they brew.

The service here is great. The bartenders and wait staff are efficient and really know the beer. Our waiter knew my wife was drinking an Eliot Ness that she brought with her from the Beer Cellar. Big deal, right? Well to me the Eliot Ness looks a heck of a lot like Conway's. Maybe a lucky guess, but we were impressed nonetheless.

The nicest surprise of the evening was definitely the food. The walleye bites were good, and so was my bratwurst. As for my wife's plate, sweet-potato ravioli: Absolutely out of this world. Becoming vegetarian would be a snap with dishes like this. It is a must try! The food is pricey but worthwhile, and they do have some cheaper options for the budget-minded, like the pub burger. The menu details where the ingredients come from (nearly all were local/regional) and there is a beer recommendation for each dish.

All in all this place is the first place any beer lover should stop on a trip to Cleveland. Between the beer, food, brewery tour and gift shop next door you are in for a treat.

Dogbrick, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%

Came on a friday night, took the 8 o clock tour. The tour guide was knowledgeable, funny, and helpful. During the tour he passed around samples of grain and hops to be smelled and examined. At the end, he demonstrated proper serving temperatures by serving a bottle of Dortmunder ice cold and then slightly chilled. Definite difference there, and it was cool to get some beer on the tour.

From there, I sat down to dinner at the brewpub. There I got my first long-awaited taste of Blackout Stout as I decided on my entree. The food selections were diverse and interesting, and there was a beer recommendation for each dish. The bread they served with dinner was made partially from the spent grains that are mashed for the beer (I think I remembered the tour guide saying that). At any rate, the bread had a wort taste to it, a real treat for you homebrewers out there (I was thrilled at least). The server was very attentive and friendly, and answered our questions about the food and the pub itself. The food was excellent, way better than I expected for a brewpub. The Edmund Fitzgerald ice cream was also very good. Not only was the food good, but the prices were reasonable.

After dinner we stopped by the historic bar in the front of the restaraunt for another round (or two). The waitress was very friendly and was happy to show me where the bullet holes were that supposedly came from Eliot Ness. She also did a great job of filling a growler of Blackout for me.

We also stopped by the giftshop for some bottled beer and some glassware. They had some cool stuff there, and the lady behind the counter was very friendly.

This was one of the main reasons for our Cleveland trip, and I was not disappointed in the least. I am already planning more trips around GLBC's other seasonal beers. Definitely a great place to check out if you are anywhere near the area.

BeerFink, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of wailingwench
4.9/5  rDev +12.4%

Cheers: I don't even know where to start. Busy Fri night, somewhat diverse crowd in age range. Dead Sat night due to the snow. Interesting comparison, to see how a place operates at capacity vs. basically empty. The staff didn't miss a beat. People in Cleveland actually make room for you to place your order, a rarity here in Buffalo. Chatted with lots of patrons who seemed suprised that we came from Buffalo to visit the brewery, but mostly happy that someone actually takes a vacation to Cleveland. 2 levels to drink: the somewhat trendy, tastefully appointed dark wooden bar area (I didn't even take the time to locate the bullet holes, that how much I was enjoying the beer) or the basement with exposed brick and beams. Both were interesting and full of interesting people. Sell beer to go. All of Great Lakes beers are amazing. Use appropriate glassware. Porter ice cream is out of this world, and I really don't like ice cream. Clam Chowder and Walleye Bites suggested. Totally worth the 4 hour drive.

Jeers: Left a raging snowstorm in Buffalo only to find ourselves in a raging snowstrom in Cleveland, apparently a freak occurrance down there. Severe lack of bathroom signage led to a moment of panic. Beer was so good we couldn't make it to the tour.

wailingwench, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of QXSTER1
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

This is definitely not a yuppie fern bar, but an atmospheric, old time Cleveland saloon that also serves up some of the best craft brew in the East. There aren't many modern embellishments to impress the national chain crowd, just a cool bar, where it is said the walls still have bullet holes from Eliot Ness, and some high backed, unpadded wooden booths in the restaurant section. The prominent draught list features regulars like Burning River and Edmund Fitzgerald, seasonals such as the Christmas Ale, along with pub only exclusives which was a smooth creamy malty Scotch Ale when I was there.
Service was prompt and efficient, not "Your server will be Tiffany this evening" but what can I get you to drink style. The food was well done with the soups and Walleye Bites standing out. The fish came in bite size portions with an outstanding mustard based tartar sauce and the English Stilton house soup was superb.
The beers were of course uniformly good and served at the correct temperature.
Just up and across the street is one of the oldest indoor markets in the country. The West Side Market is well worth a look for those interested in an old fashioned market with vendors selling goat, lamb, suckling pigs, ethnic sausages, ducks, geese, spices, coffees, all manner of baked goods, and fish. Along side is a produce market with vendors hawking fruits and vegetables at dirt cheap prices, try to find a pineapple for a buck. Throw in the tremendous Cleveland Museum of Art and you have one great day trip.

QXSTER1, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of frazbri
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%

I visited GLBC Sunday after a Browns game. We went downstairs first. The basement feature a couple plasma TV's, a bar, and 8 or 10 tables. The menu downstairs, is limited to a couple sandwiches and appetizers. It's not roomy, featured no table service, and the lone bartender seemed a little ovewhelmed with the crowded room.

The main floor restaurant was a little more relaxed. The menu is not overly large, but does contain variety. I started with a bowl of Stilton-Cheddar Ale soup, and had free range porcini stuffed chicken as my entre. Both courses were delicious. Great Lakes also has a very nice beer garden for those better weather days.

And now for the important part, the beer. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Dortmunder Gold, Elliot Ness, Locktender, and Anniversary were available. I had two beers not in there bottled Line-up: Cleveland Brown Ale, and Octoberfest. Both beers lived up to Great Lake's bottled line-up.

Stopped Sat. (5/20/06) before taking thier "fatty wagon" shuttle to an Indians game. It was very busy, but worth the wait. As of May 1, closed Sundays, except for special events.

Saturday (8/26/06) sat in the newly renovated beer garden. This is gonna be a great year round addition for GLBC. Lake Erie Monster & Octoberfest worth a stop at the pub.

frazbri, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%

Oooh yeah. It is things like this that make me ever so glad to have found BeerAdvocate. In getting ready for my trip to Cleveland, I bothered folks in the Great Lakes forum and the two Beerfly guides for Cleveland. All of them, plus every person I spoke to in Cleveland, told me to get to Great Lakes. I was not disappointed.

It's in Market Square. I went straight in from the 'burbs and went straight out, so I can't tell you what it is near. It was not overly difficult to find and there was off-street parking within a few hundred feet of the front door.

The first thing you notice is the wonderful smell of the brewing beer billowing out of the brewery near the parking lot. The chewy goodness was making me very hungry before I even saw the parking lot. Inside, the areas are perfectly segmented for just about everyone. Want TVs with football and close tables--go to the basement. Quiet bar with conversation--there's one right near the front door. Tables with a cool view of tanks--they got it downstairs. A quiet old timey looking restaurant where they serve great food? Just go upstairs.

The beer quality of the Great Lakes brews is just stellar. They had about 8 on tap in the first floor bar (I just poked my head into the cellar bar). They had the XMas, the Cleveland Brown, an Anniversary Triple, and about five regulars. I had the burning river and Dortmunder through a trade, so I had the porter and Eliot ness. Both were just awesome. The only thing that disappointed me in CLE was that both Buckeye and Great Lakes were both out of Nesferatu. Excellent advertising, it has me wanting some, so I will be scoping for a few through the site.

Our waitress had a great grasp of the beers. She had us pair the hearty porter with the kick a$$ cheese soup and barley pretzels. The Eliot Ness perfectly complimented the brats and perogies.

When you are in Cleveland, make the trip.

Dithyramb, Oct 14, 2004
Photo of diamonddave
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%

Started with the tour of the brewery, which was very entertaining and informative. The guide was knowledgable and had no problem fielding questions re: the brewery and the Great Lakes beers. This might have been because I was one of only four people on the 2 PM Saturday tour. Perhaps the later tours have a higher attendance. A lot of fun, and even my girlfriend (who's not exactly the hugest beer fan) enjoyed it.

The restaurant has the old-building-in-Cleveland thing going on; elaborate woodwork and a cozy, comfortable environment that makes you sad for how beautiful a city Cleveland once was, long before any of us were born. There's a smaller bar in the basement that seems a bit grimier, like a regular Clevo bar.

The beer selection is- surprise- all Great Lakes. No complaints here. They have the standard GLBC brews plus some pub specials. When I was there, the specials were the Anniversary Ale and Glockenspiel. Most of the beers are $4/glass or $4.50/pint. They have happy hour Mon.-Fri.

I was warned beforehand that the menu was a bit pricy. I'll have to ask the person who told me that where they're gonna find a cheaper place in downtown Cleveland that doesn't have a drive-thru. Apps and sandwiches are $6-10, entrees $10-20. I had the Dortmunder Chicken Sandwich, which was tender, juicy and goddamn tasty. My gal got potato soup with bread made from cracked grain from the brewery and ice cream made with the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. It was all great.

If you're ever unlucky enough to have to spend time in the Festering Anus of the Midwest (also known as Cleveland), make it a point to check this place out.

diamonddave, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%

We ate there on a slow Sunday afternoon.

The place is very cool looking, Old wood bar with an outdoor patio and a very cool cellar bar. The atmosphere was hard to judge since there weren't too many people there. Those we saw seemed pretty cool.

Service was spotty. Despite making professions of my beer geekness and trying to engage the bartender in conversation, she seemed more interested in talking to other staff and folding napkins. To her defense, it seems many restaurant employees do this when business is slow.
I was beginning to get a complex from being ignored, but the bartender pulled out a good save. After the napkins were folded, she began asking me about my vacation that was just ending and about the four other breweries I had been to that week. She made me feel a little better and turned out to be very nice and helpful in my purchase of glassware. (By the way, of all the breweries I'd been to: Pearl Street in Buffalo, Martha's Exchange in Nashua, NH, Wachussett Brewery in Westminster, MA and Northampton Brewing Co in Northampton, MA, Great Lakes had the best prices on glassware.

The quality of all Great Lakes brews I've had has been great. The two I tried that day, Owen's Olympic Pilsener and the Elliot Ness, were fine. Strong flavored and smooth.

The beer selection is pretty good. About 10 choices in a variety of styles.

The food was a little high priced and not too much variety, but it was pretty good.

masterbruewer, Aug 23, 2004
Photo of Wildman
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%

Okay, most of the times when I go to Cleveland, it is fairly late at night to attend a concert. So it seems I rarely have time to stop by Great Lakes. Well, since I was going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I decided I could drag my friend to Great Lakes finally.

Well, The interior is mostly wood and seems to be a fairly old bar. The bar area where we sat is totally closed off from the other main seating area, which I liked. Not a particullary big bar. The choices were the standard for that time of year with one house beer, Ohio City Oatmeal Stout. I apparently had just missed the Anniversay Ale on tap. The service was good and the bartender was informative. The food was the more upscale that some brewpubs lately seem to be aiming for. Unfortunately this means the meals are more pricey and there are less sandwich options. But that seems to be the trend even in Columbus at Columbus Brewing and Barleys. The downstairs wasn't open, so I really couldn't check out the atmosphere of that area. The store that sells things is next door and the brewery is behind it. Definately worth a visit when in Cleveland.

Wildman, Jul 26, 2004
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
97 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.