1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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
97
world-class

415 Ratings
Ratings: 415
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.05%
Active Beers: 87
Beer Ratings: 38,554
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 415 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csmiley
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

csmiley, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of calhoon
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

calhoon, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of pwoods
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

pwoods, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

nrbw23, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev 0%

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.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -10%

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.

Sammy, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of bradley194
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%

My girlfriend and I are from Columbus, Ohio and we decided to make a day trip to Cleveland to visit the Great Lakes Brewpub. It was very much worth it. We had not really planned on eating there, but we decided to try the food. The food was really very very good. I had a garden pasta dish which I would highly recommend to anyone.

The service was impeccable. Our waitress was friendly, efficient, and very knowledgeable about all of the different beers that were offered. My girlfriend does not really like "big" tasting beers so she directed her towards beers that would maybe be more towards her palette.

As for the beer it was amazing. I tried the Oktoberfest, the Eliot Ness, The Commodore Perry, The Prohibition Pilsner, and the Dortmunder Gold. Samples were 25 cents and were extremely generous. All of the beer was totally exceptional.

Also we had some of the Edmund Fitzgerald ice cream. This was a great way to wrap up the meal.

In fact we left and went across the street for some coffee and then came back to have one more before we left for home. My girlfriend also had some of the other drinks and she said they were really very good as well.

All in all it was a great trip. We spent roughly 110 dollars on the whole day, but it was totally worth it. I would highly recommend going out of your way to go to The Great Lakes Brewery.

bradley194, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%

Well, I finally made it up to Great Lakes this past Saturday (9/1/07). Turns out their Oktoberfest was going on that day so they had a pretty decent crowd there. It's a very nice place, with bars and/or seating areas on 3 levels, along with an outdoor patio and an attached gift shop. My favorite was the downstairs bar, mostly because the temperature was noticably cooler down there, and also because it was less crowded. They had all the regular Great Lakes beers on tap, along with their current seasonals. However I was a bit disappointed because I thought they would have beers exclusive to their location, which they didn't. With that being said, the beer was excellent and the service was good. I didn't try any food or look at the menu so I can't rate that. But I definitely will make a point to stop in again in the future, it's worth the trip.

bluejacket74, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of Risser09
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%

Well, I finally found this place, seemingly in an old part of town. As I walk in there is a 20 foot bar and plenty of friendly hellos from the employees. Several people are at the bar but not an overwhelming amount. The bar is a nice wood with plenty of laquer and a nice ornamental overhang. Taps of all the seasonal/year round brews are clean and apparent. I sat down and was immediately taken care of. Steve obliged my request for the flight which was $10, but well worth it. The atmosphere was quaint with folk music playing at a medium level. Interestingly, the pub downstairs was awesome. It was closed when I was there but it was like a dungeon. Old brickwork like that of a prison. Cool metal grates that held the patrons back from brewing equipment and other parts of the building. I didn't take part in the food so I can't give an accurate score. I asked them what was on the menu and it seemed very appetizing. Certainly the place to be in Cleveland if you enjoy craft beer and an old fashioned pub atmosphere.

Risser09, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

I stopped in on my way home to MN. After the drive from Philly, it was nice to stretch my legs, get a bite to eat and enjoy a few beers.

The pub itself is quite remarkable. The bar area’s ceilings seem oddly high, surrounded by dark woods, but the dining area was exceptionally bright and attractive. The sun shone in through the floor to ceiling windows, kept at bay by the awnings outside. The patio outside was open and at near capacity on this hot august day. I stayed inside and ordered up a light soup and salad to compensate for my extraordinarily healthy road-trip diet of the day. A further look around reveled more aged woods in the floor, the booths and in the beautiful arched doorways. Further in the building were the brewing tanks sectioned off with glass. The down stairs is the real treat. Aside from a few TVs, the bar is the only thing that helped me shake off the castle dungeon feel. My favorite part was the stainless tanks locked up behind a cast iron gate as if it had done something terrible to upset the proprietor. Maybe someone tried to make Coors in it once…

My server rocked. She said she was new, but she was squared away on her surface beer knowledge, was really friendly and quick to boot. Good move on that hire.

The food, as I mentioned, was minimal for the day. For a Cesar salad, I expect more than just a squeeze of dressing out of a bottle on top of some greens. At least shake it up a bit so I can rationalize $6.00 of lettuce and croutons. Disappointing. The beer cheese soup made up for things, thankfully.

Eight beers were on for the day to include a Grand Cru which I tried along with the Dortmunder Lager. Both were tasty, especially the lager on this hot day.

I really liked this place. Their beers are stunningly consistently above average and you’re hard pressed to find a nicer atmosphere. I’ve had great experiences every time I’ve stopped by.

DarkerTheBetter, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -8.7%

This place is not located in the greatest neighborhood but given the presence of the brewpub, an upscale coffee shop and Bier Markt literally right around the corner, you can see business is trying to breath some life into the area. The bar itself is located seperate from the brewery which is accross the street. Nice outdoor patio which was packed the day after my visit as I parked and walked by on my way to a second visit to Bier Markt. Somewhat smaller than I expected, but I did not visit the beer celler below which has an additional bar. Lots of dark wood with an intricately carved arched mahagony wood bar back and black and white photos on the wall represent the 30's prohibition era. Small bullet holes in the bar back are attributed to Elliot Ness himself. Ceilings fans were on, but the place was rather close for this humidish day last week. They had all of their standard offerings on tap that I've read about; Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Elliott Ness Vienna, Commodore Perry IPA and according to their website a brew only available at the pub, Lorelei Dunkel Weizen (a dark German Wheat beer) which I enjoyed, among others. I also tried the Burning River Pale Ale, a very hoppy brew for the style but enjoyable nonetheless. The bartender was a 20 something gent who provided friendly service and displayed a good sense of humor. I will visit again next time I'm in Cleveland.

jim102864, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%

I made a point of stopping here during my current
Ohio trip. Stupid cell phone GPS got me running in circles in the worse parts of Cleveland but a restart from a different point 2 miles south got me there.

I visited at 2 PM on a Wednesday to avoid the crowds. This place is very wood intensive with extra levels both up and down from the main room. We decided to sit in the bar area. The lower level is VERY interesting, if it wasn't for the modern lights and the plasma screen TV it could be a 12th century tavern complete with wood and brick construction.

We all ordered the standard round of tasters, and they were quite generous. Large 4 Oz taster glasses and eight beers total. The food was quite affordable by big city standards, the wood fired pizza was first class and the lettuce wedge I had was very tasty and fresh. There is nothing to complain about the food here.

Service was a little iffy but understandable for visiting after the lunch rush and everyone trying to get their lunch that work the lunch shift.

Growler prices for the standard growlers are $15.50 and $52.50 for the extra fancy German style growlers.

Over all this was a quite pleasant establishment
I will visit again.

Zorro, May 17, 2007
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%

Stopped here for dinner on a brewery road trip ending with Dark Lord Day.

Took a while to get a seat at the bar, I stood around with my pint of Burning River like a goober for a good 30 minutes before a seat opened up at the bar. Which really pissed me off considering the people filling it were yuppies drinking wine. But I digress.

I ordered up an Engine 20 and a burger, both were awesome, if not the best. The Engine 20 was a very unique APA, and the burger had that great charbroiled taste which I just can't get enough of.

Service was good considering how packed the place was, and this was an overall good experience. There is a store located in the same building (different entrance) that sells swag and six packs. I wanted to pick up a few but all the prices had been slashed leading me to believe they might have been sitting for a while.

Overall, If I'm ever in the Cleveland area again, I won't think twice about stopping here. Loved it.

leftmindedrighty, May 01, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%

I went here on the first summer like sunny day and it was packed at the outside tables and inside was the same. The have a nice bar area and dining room upstairs with a dark cave like bar downstairs. I found a small spot at the bar upstairs.

The bar is great old wood in the Chicago style with mirrors behind the bar. There were vintage beer posters all around and a nice list of current beers on the wall. The also had some T-shirts and stuff to sell on the way out.

I ordered several on-tap only beers and liked all of the so I ordered the Fish and chips special to go with a few more beers. A local couple sat down next to me and we chatted about beers for a while.

The fish and chips were not the best but with enough malt vinegar they went down. They also make bread that some of the spent grain in it and that is pretty tasty. The kept the pretzel bowls stocked at the bar and the bartenders were always close by even though it was really full. They had a print out of all the environmental sound things they do at the brewery and it is pretty amazing that they have a big brewery and not just a brewpub right down town. A must stop when in Cleveland.

rhoadsrage, May 01, 2007
Photo of dherling
4.25/5  rDev -3%

The brew pub had three main areas, the upstairs bar and dining area, a downstairs auxilary pub, and a gift store in the shop next door. We ate int he main dining area which had a lot of nice dark wood and was a generally comfortable place to be. No complaints about the service. Fromt he hostess to our waitress, everyone was nice, and the service was quick and knowledgable. There were about nine or ten different beers to choose from, and we sampled all of them. The rockefeller Bock and the Burning River Pale Ale stood out as two favorites, while I can't say I cared for the Eliot Ness Amber. The food was good and tasty. One could get just about anything they wanted from a typical bar menu. Apps, pizza, salad, burgers, sandwiches, pasta. Wasn't amazing, but was still pretty good. I had gotten the pierogis and bratwurst, which came out as one very small brat and four pierogies. Portion size aside, it was tasty. Overall was a good place to stop, but I doubt I'd go out of my way to go back.

dherling, May 01, 2007
Photo of StoutHearted
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

It took a while to find the place- the tasting room in the brewery served as a red herring - but the wait was well worth it. It has the warm-wood cozy feel to it on the ground level, where you'll find a bar and restaurant, but downstairs is where it's at its coziest. With stone walls, arches, and a room closed off by an iron fence, it's like enjoying beer in a cellar. (Which, to me, is a good thing.) There's TV and food down there, so you're not entirely closed off from civilization. The kitchen was open late, a definite plus for hungry travelers, and offered pub grub. We got fries and fried fish bites, all of which were very tasty. They also offered pretzels at the bar.
The bartender was very nice, although it did take her a while to check us out. She seemed to be knowledgable about the beer and we didn't have to wait long to order. We started with the sampler, which consisted of seven beers, if memory serves me right. A unique offering was the Grassroots, a lemony brew that would be perfect in the summer outdoors. I was hoping for more stouts and porters, but only one was offered, and I ended up ordering a pint of it. The selection at the time wasn't the greatest - there's a bunch of highly-rated beers listed on this site I would have loved to have tried but weren't there - but it was a decent offering. I would love to go back and try different beers. Pricing is not too shabby- Was able to provide food and beer for 3 people for little over 30 bucks. Cleveland rocks!

StoutHearted, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%

I've been a long time fan of such fantastic Great Lakes creations as Edmond Fitzgerald Porter and Conways Irish Ale, but I did not meet my true love until I visited the Brew Pub. An amazing beer called Alberta Clipper, only offered at the Brew Pub, capped off my trip to Cleveland. It is worth the trip alone. The atmosphere of this place is surprisingly low key and very pleasant. Obviously the quality and freshness of the beer is outstanding due to the fact that it is brewed only a few hundred feet away. The service is prompt and genuine. They Brew Pub offers a large selection of their greatest beers, including seasonal brews that are only offered on site. The food is excellent (I suggest the sausage sampler), but can be a bit pricey, nothing outrageous though. I strongly suggest checking this place out; you will certainly not be disappointed.

letsgopens, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of Briarbush
5/5  rDev +14.2%

There's nothing bad I can say about the Great Lakes Brewpub. The atmosphere was great. We arrived just before the lunch rush and took our seats at the bar. The tiger mahogany bar is one of the oldest in Cleveland and bears bullet holes fabled to have come from Eliot Ness himself. Great Lakes had on tap the six varieties that are bottled year round plus the pub exclusives Wolfhound Stout, and Rockefeller Bock. All beer is served in the appropriate glassware and the service the bartender gave us was superb. He was friendly and very knowledgeable. My girlfriend and I split a Tuscan wood fired pizza and it was delicious. Like the beer all the food is all natural, no chemicals or preservatives and you could taste the difference in the food as well as the beer. The pricing on the beer is typical to what you would pay at a regular bar, the pub exclusives being slightly more expensive. The food is a bit pricey (12.00$ for the pizza) however; as always you get what you pay for. I was very happy with beer, service, and food and will be making more trips for sure.

Briarbush, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of ezraider218
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%

By virtue of luck, I worked almost next door to this amazing brewery for the entire summer. I had a pint almost every day before returning to my University and have been back many times since. The atmosphere is cozy, the service great and the beer excellent. I have yet to have a beer at Great Lakes that i didn't enjoy. Great Lakes is a bit pricier than the brewpubs I frequent back home in Vermont, particularly the food. While the food is good, the steak and salmon are both worth a try, I do not feel the prices are completely justified. For the most part me and my friends come here just to drink and socialize, and are never disappointed. The bartenders in particularly are friendly and knowledgeable and do not mind spending more than a couple minutes discussing their beers and history. A must visit if you find yourself in Cleveland. Also, I attended a formal party here which was very nicely done. I definitely recommend it as a venue if you and your family/friends are looking for something different.

ezraider218, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%

My wife and I visited Cleveland this weekend and had the pleasure of going to Great Lakes Brewery. Set in the historic section of Cleveland, Ohio the brewery has alot to offer. From fantasic brews, very good food, great atmosphere and service to a very informative beer tour.

When we arrived there was a two hour wait, but refusing to be discourage by the wait. We notice that this was a heaven for two hop head in search of hop thrill. We began by going downstairs to the basement pub an ordering their exclusive brew Woodtooth Porter. WOW, is all I have to say. The tour guide showed up shortly and took across the street to the brewery. The tour was 40-45 minutes which ended with two of your choice beer tasting. My wife enjoyed their Holy Moses and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter while I stepped out the box and had a black and tan (Edmund Fitzgerald Porter with Burning River Pale Ale, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and Dortmunder Gold. After the tour, our venture lead us to the gift shop. Here of course we got some goodies and several 4 packs of 2007 Blackout Stout. Our table was ready when we came back and our second experience was about to start. The atmosphere and service made our dinner pleasant. She had the Pesto Salmon pizza which was a first for her and never again (not that it was bad, she just didn't care for fish on a pizza.). I gorged on the Pretzel Chicken which I found very tasty. Throughout dinner we were pounding Blackout Stouts, Holy Moses and everything else in sight.
Overall, Great Lakes rocks and I highly recommend going. Make sure when and if you go, to give yourself enough time to take in what Great Lakes has to offer. And of course, to drink plenty of their wonderful and fresh beers. Enjoy

GimpyCane, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%

I stopped in here with a work colleague while on a business trip to Cleveland. I had been anticipating visiting the place ever since my trip was scheduled. The experience was everything I hoped it would be.

The bar room walls are lined with wood and a wonderful grand old wooden bar. The lighting is dim, but not too dim. The place was filling up at about 7pm when we arrived and getting fuller by the minute. The room was filled with the sound of friendly conversation.

The food was good, but the beer was better. All varieties I tasted were of the most excellent quality.

The staff was friendly and helpful, but they were a bit understaffed for the crowd that was coming in, which understandably slowed the service a bit. However, it was not too slow. I suppose when you're wanting another pint of their delicious beer, it can seem like an eternity.

I highly recommend the place for anyone stopping in Cleveland. If I were more local, this would be routine watering hole for me.

Update on 6/21/08:
Stopped here with my wife on a recent trip. It was every bit as good as I remember and perhaps even better. I've updated the scores as well to reflect these opinions.

scoobybrew, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of UDbeernut
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%

Located in the historic Ohio City neighbothood of Cleveland, Great Lakes Brewery offers a nice brewpub expirence. Located of Lorain Ave near East 25th street, there is easy access from I-71 and I-90 and located just minutes from downtown Cleveland.

The bar offers all of Great Lakes outstanding beers by the Pint or pitcher. Food is good with a flair for the gourmet which makes it slightly more pricey than standard brewpubs.

The restuarant/bar is always packed during the weekend making it rather difficult to get a seat at the bar.

UDbeernut, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of slander
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%

Margo kept the show running on schedule and then some. She fielded all our questions and made notes for the ones she couldn't deal and still got us done shortly after lunch. I didn't want to linger there any longer than I had to (you may recall Pittsburgh being one of the places I lived during my 3 month turned 5 month Western Pennsylvania work stint back in '03), but I needed to hit the 'puter for a bit; return 23 emails, fix broken this's, do a few quick callbacks about the that's, and book a hotel tonight for I don't know where, somewhere, wherever I'm going to wind up, a major undeclared at this time. Really, with the work piece done now, I had to make some decisions about just where I was going, and whether I wanted to do stupid travel or stoooopid travel...

Cleveland, was here once before, Fall tour '91, drove through the night while Spanky slept arriving in Cleveland at sunrise, things look a bit better this time around. Easy maneuvering to find the brewery itself and parked in the big lot there. It cost me $3 to park. In NYC, it would have cost me $37 and there'd be a sign out front reading "Event rates in effect" so it would cost me $42 (Oh, and the event is "charge you $5 more for the fuck of it Wednesday"). I did a Davo and walked all the way around the brewery looking for a way to get in (read his review, he did it too). I was following the signs that said "tasting room"; it seemed reasonable enough. I was then pointed to the corner, make a right, make a left it's on your left, in a separate building. First you pass the shwag shop (T shirts, posters, glassware), and then you're looking in on a side dining room holding a dozen or so tables and booths, with some of the original brewing equipment to the rear. The booths hug the large front windows that look out over some tastefully strung holiday lit trees out on Market Ave, festive, solemn, and kind of sad this evening. Past there and in through the main entrance, you find a 12 seat straight wood bar to the rear, fronting a large old wood bar back unit with sunken arches holding tiered booze, ancient wallpaper, and well worn slat wood floorings. The aforementioned side room to the left and an outdoor garden to the right. It houses a dozen or so tables and has an arched retractable canvas roof for indoor/outdoor capabilities. Midway up the far wall, there's a sizable fireplace and the whole front of the room is made up of large sliding glass doors for views of the street and a breeze. Banquet and party rooms upstairs, and a beer cellar down below (I know when you look at me, you think, "He's beer cellar material"). The beer cellar has an angled 12 seat wood bar on one corner, with a cupboardlike bar back, 8 taps on a single tower in the center, tiered booze to one side and stacked glassware to the other and below on shelving. A large plasma screen mounted above, one behind you, and another one in the corner. A single mounted tap lives on a piece off the end of the bar. A dozen booths and small tables, in the corner, 3 or 4 in an elevated area over there, 1 in the other raised space, the rest riddled about. Some wood plank walls but mostly brick and stone slab (I am positive that fierce velociraptors run freely here late at night), candles on the bar, strung spruce entangled in colored Xmas lighting, wreaths, mounted box lanterns and small framed b/w pictures of old brewery wagons.

The beer cellar has a limited food menu, all of 6 items. I opted for 2 of them. The soup de jour was a tomato basil bisque. I was all "Tomato soup!" like Violet was in Wonka before she turned violet. It was excellent. The brewmaster's pretzels (a pair) were covered with a fine grain salt, and were accompanied by 2 mustards, a blob of cheese, scallions and radishes. Okay, sustenance, check, beer...

9 taps, 1 was kicked. I decided to do things a little differently here and order the sampler. The Holy Moses White Ale, great chamomile flavor, backed by coriander, most unusual; the Eliot Ness Amber Lager, nice maltiness & crisp hoppiness; the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, roasty, chocolate, coffee flavors, excellent as usual; the Dortmunder Gold, nice lager, crisp, good hoppiness; the Burning River IPA, good hoppiness, not overboard; the Christmas Ale, nice cinnamon spiciness, rang at 7.5%, a solid holiday beer; Loch Erie Scotch Ale, 8%, absurdly malty and then alcohol, just okay; and Big Black Smoked Porter, similar to the Fitzgerald but you get the subtle smokiness here. I liked the Holy Moses White Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter & Christmas Ale the best.

Beers were fresh, service served them and everything. Good stop (not even remotely) along the way, but I need to start moving south to somewhere or other.

slander, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%

I did not try the food at GBLC, but I didn't go for the food--it's all about the beer and the beer is wonderful. They offer a wide array of styles that are all of high quality.

We sat in the basement pub. We ordered the tasting flight and the bartenders were very helpful--offering to carry the tray filled with glasses over to our table even though the place was packed--in addition to knowing their stuff. The Rackhouse Ale and Eye of the Tiger Rye were among the seasonal selections.

Unfortunatley we missed the brewery tour on this day, yet walked over and took a closer look at the main brewing area across the street--which smelled like craft-brew heaven.

GLBC is top notch.

Osiris9588, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of dlee
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

dlee, Nov 22, 2006
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
97 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.