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Elm City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Elm City Brewing Co.Elm City Brewing Co.
Based on:
23 Beers
47 Reviews
Place Score: 88
Reviews: 29
Visits: 46
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: n/a
Taps: 9
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

222 West St
Keene, New Hampshire, 03431-2455
United States
phone: (603) 355-3335

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Reviews: 29 | Visits: 46
Reviews by GarthDanielson:
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Drove out to Keene for the day and swung by for lunch. Very decent place nestled in this little college town. You walk into an old mill building that has been converted into a mall, and the brewery holds down one of the front corners of the building. Sitting in the front room, there are 3 walls of windows which was great on a sunny day. You can easily view the brewing equipment while you are there. The taps appear to be rotating regularly, and they even go as far as to tell you what is currently brewing so you can plan a future trip appropriately. Beers were very decent, and there was a good variety of styles. The slogan there is "No crap on tap," and they stick to that. Beer is available to go in growlers, and we took home some of their Chocolate Stout. The food was very decent, but a little pricey. Good desserts. Our waitress was the only really down point in our day. She knew little to nothing about the beer, nor did she bother to go find out answers to the few questions we had. We basically got an "I have no idea" followed by an uncomfortable laugh and a quick exit. Alas, maybe she was new. Who knows? It certainly wasn't detracting enough to keep us away, as we would definitely stop by when in the area again. (1,232 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of chefdave37
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I picked up a growler and didn't have any food. The menu look like a pub menu. The was some nice outside seating. The bartnder was friendly and knowledgable. Next time I am in Keene I plan to try the food and more of their rotating beers. (238 characters)

Photo of JR86
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of 31Sam13
4/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of jco3
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mr-jj
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Very busy place - wait staff seemed to be stretched a bit thin. They have a large menu and the food we ordered was good. Beer selection was not very big but covered many styles. Location is cool and people were friendly. (223 characters)

Photo of Flashy
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jbfarris
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of ScotNH
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Snap43nib
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Svendozen
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BierBliss
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of bakerbill
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cphughes
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of torimattschriver
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of huuvola
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 1

I'll preface my comments by saying that I was expecting more from this place after reading other Beer Advocate reviews. My experience was very average -- nothing terrible, but certainly not anything special.

Atmosphere: Location isn't bad, for what it is (the exterior of a converted mill that is now a shopping mall). Outdoor seating is nice, with a large "sun room" that also has large windows and outdoor views (with large, screened windows that were open when we visited).

Quality: Beers were brewed to style, but not a lot of imagination in the flavors or brewing styles.

Service: Friendly, but she didn't check in very often. Probably would've been better to sit at the bar.

Selection: They had 6 beers on tap, but not a lot of variety (two fruit-flavored beers? really? Is this 1996?): Peachy Keene Kolsch; Raspberry Wheat; Hefeweizen; Oatmeal Stout; No Name (IPAish); and another lighter ale that I can't recall.

Food: Very, very average, bordering on poor. My burger was cooked as ordered, but it was unmemorable, french fries were straight out of a freezer package, and apparently no one told them that ripe tomatoes are plentiful in late August -- not the mealy, pale pink slices I got.

Prices: Reasonable! $4 pints, with happy hour specials priced at $2.50(!) a pint.

Overall, our visit here was like stepping back into a time machine to the late 1990s, when your average brewpub wasn't very adventurous in its beer offerings and there wasn't much focus on food.

If you're in the area and just want to have a few beers, it's likely better than other beer options in the area, but don't make a special trip or set your expectations too high. (1,665 characters)

Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I've been going to nearby Brattleboro and the Pioneer Valley for beer and relaxation for several years now, and I've been meaning to check out Elm City for too long. This past weekend, I finally stopped in for a sampler and pint with a friend who recently moved to the Brattleboro area.

Elm City anchors an old mill on the edge of downtown Keene that has been transformed into a mostly empty mall. It wasn't open despite the balmy winter, but there's a very welcoming patio as you enter that must be great in the summer. Inside, the main dining room is bright and airy--like my local haunt, the CBC, it's an addition to the mill with high windows and beams (wood at Elm City). The bar is up a few steps and open to the dining room through old windows that were once exterior. The place is very bright, with lots of wood and brick, and the brewhouse prominent at the end of the dining room. Overall, I really loved the space, though the decor and signage looks like it hasn't been changed since the place opened in 1994. That's not the end of the world, of course, but it does feel a bit dated.

We ordered a sampler of four beers--the No Name IPA, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Kolsch and the Hoppy New Beer--the last of which we think was probably actually the 420 Smoked beer from the adjacent tap, given its lack of hoppiness and presence of smokiness. I liked the kolsch and oatmeal pale ale, but my friend was less sold, though he didn't mind finishing the samples. The kolsch seemed like a great summer beer. We both really enjoyed the IPA, and following the sampler, we each ordered a pint. There were probably 8-10 beers on-tap with a wide range of styles. The beers we sampled were fresh, crisp and clean--not mind-blowing, but very solid.

The bar area is a bit cramped, and the bar, itself, is oddly winding, so that I ended up with my back to my neighbor. It would have been a good setup for a back rub. But it also meant we faced a couple who we ended up talking to a bit about the area and beer. It's hard to beat a good midday beer in a sunny bar with an unexpected, rich conversation. I'm looking forward to visiting again--hopefully in the summer--and trying the food, which looked very good. (2,198 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been here a couple of times, but decided to review after stopping here on the way home from vacation. Located a few blocks off of the main drag behind a mill building turned mall this can be a bit tricky to find. We stopped in today for a late lunch and were quickly seated at one of the empty tables outside. I think the few times I've been here we've always eaten outside. There are maybe a dozen tables outside and probably 3 times that inside as well as seating at the bar in the back. The food is typical pub grub and the beer is average. There were 7 beers on tap today including a roggenbier which I have been dying to tick. Today our waitress was a bit on the un-attentive side as I sat for much to long with an empty glass. The table next to us saw their waitress 3 times as much as we saw ours so I will chock that up to a bad day. Decent brewpub overall and fairly reasonable prices. (899 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Da Boss and i stopped here after hiking Mt. Monadnock earlier today.

Atmosphere was good, we sat outside on a lovely June day with the temps in the low 80's. Never did see much off the inside. Plenty of seating outside under a canopy of trees.

Quality of the beers were pretty good. I had an oatmeal stout and pale ale. Da Boss had a pint of the Brown.

Service was very good. The young lady was pretty busy but managed to be timely with checking in on us.

Selection of beers was good. I think there were were around 7-8 Elm City Beers plus 3 or so non Elm City beers in bottles.

Food was good. I had the Shells and Cheese with Sausage and Da Boss had a Philly. Both were solid.

Overall prices were reasonable for food and drink. Brews were $4.00 for non happy hour. Nice place with fresh beer, very nice after a day of hiking! (832 characters)

Photo of Samichlaus
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On a whim my girlfriend and I drove up to New Hampshire to hike Mt Monatnock. Before we left I figured I would to check BA to see if there just happened to be any brewpubs nearby :) and I found this place just 15min away from there. I was ecstatic. Sure enough, just like the reviews before me, this place was great. The staff was friendly an knowledgeable. The beer was terrific. I had No Name IPA, Wingnut, Chocolate Milk Stout, and a 2007 vintage SN Big Foot Barleywine!!! AWESOME!!! The food was great. Big menu with mostly pub fare, but it goes a little further than that with salmon and steaks that looked delicious. I had the BBQ bacon Burger and my girl had the philly cheesesteak. Took some growlers home and will return soon! (735 characters)

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Elm City Brewing Co. in Keene, NH
88 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.