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Elm City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Elm City Brewing Co.Elm City Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
87
very good

38 Ratings
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Active Beers: 19
Beer Ratings: 80
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: 9
Bottles: 0
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 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by eLMsITYbUM:
Photo of eLMsITYbUM
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

I am finally reviewing my local haunt, after all it is part of my bA name. Well here goes.

The service is friendly and warm. They have a lot of knowledge. The brewer is on site most times and you can see the brewing process through an attractive glass window while you eat. Bill is always happy to answer any questions you have about his brew.

The beer selection is solid. We can always find something to drink - even with discerning friends. The food is good. I especially like the buffalo chicken sandwich and steak fries. The menu consists of a great variety of foods including pub grub and traditional entrees. Their desserts are great, too.

It is a family friendly atmosphere and provides family games while you wait. These are varied from Connect Four to the Trivial Pursuit series found at every table.

Overall, I recommend Elm City Brewing Co. highly.

eLMsITYbUM, Sep 24, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of jbfarris
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

jbfarris, Wednesday at 11:47 PM
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4/5  rDev +3.9%

ScotNH, Jun 29, 2014
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4/5  rDev +3.9%

Snap43nib, Jun 25, 2014
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4/5  rDev +3.9%

Mikeypnh, Jun 10, 2014
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4/5  rDev +3.9%

Svendozen, May 12, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

BierBliss, Apr 04, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

coombski, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of bakerbill
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

bakerbill, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.9%

InspectorBob, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of cphughes
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

cphughes, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of torimattschriver
4/5  rDev +3.9%

torimattschriver, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of huuvola
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%

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.

huuvola, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

GarthDanielson, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

FrankLloydMike, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

johnnnniee, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

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!

arizcards, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of Samichlaus
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%

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!

Samichlaus, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
3.58/5  rDev -7%

We go to Elm City about quarterly. We love the location, the old mill is awesome. The atmosphere is nice with booths in the dining room, a good size bar with a few high tops, another dining area just off of the bar and our favorite an outside patio in warm weather. The food is typical pub fare and is good. The service is always good, all of our severs have been friendly.

The beers are good and constantly changing, though nothing has ever stood out as outstanding. We try to get out for happy hour Sunday - Thursday 4pm to 6pm, for $2 pints and $.35 wings. Tim is a fan of the honey mustard wings, I am into the standard hot. Overall, this place is solid. Nothing super note worthy, but consistently a good experience.

ImHereForTheBeer, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of meday
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

Elm City is one of two restaurants that we go to in Keene mainly because of Bill's excellent brews, and their fish burgers.

Bill makes wonderful crafted beers. Before I started brewing my own, I would get a growler each weekend. All his beers are session and very drinkable.

The food can get pricey; I stick to the burgers and sandwiches. Save room for more beer. There is a happy hour from 4-6, which is well worth it.

Bill and the staff are wonderful. It is definitely worth a trip if you are in the area or are driving through.

meday, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of cnahil
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

I get to the Elm City Brewing Company exactly twice a year as I cart my daughter to and from camp each summer. It is my loss that I don't make the drive from the South Shore/MA more often. The brewpub displys a nice hand in delivering a beer list of engaging styles that range from old stand-bys (LunchPale Ale, Oatmeal Stout) to choices further afield such as Schwarzbeir and a great Rye ale. I've yet to be disappointed and a variety of growlers always make the trip home with me.

The beer is very good, but the food is excellent. I've found it's the rare beer bar/brew pub that really does both sides of the equation well. Their pub-smoked salmon is a must-try. Atmosphere is casual/restored mill funky. Highly recommended.

cnahil, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of jongullotti
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Finally stopped in for the first time yesterday at 3:00pm. A little hard to find in the big old mill building but I was glad I found it. It was mostly empty, but I was there in between meals on a Wednesday.

Nice bright atmosphere with what looked like plenty of seating inside and a large patio outside for the warmer months. Very clean and well kept. A couple of boards showed the tap list AND what was going to be on in the near future - nice touch, makes me want to go back.

On tap was a good variety of styles including an Irish Stout, Kolsch, a couple of fruit beers, strong ale, scotch ale, and a couple of others. Also a nice full liquor and wine stock behind the bar.

Knowledgeable bartender offered me samples before I even ordered - good start. As I was trying to decide the brewer, Bill Dunn, came out and joined in the decision making process. I wish that would happen every time I go to a brewpub.

I started with the stout. Delicious! Beautifully creamy, well rounded, roasty black stout. I couldn't dream up a more well made stout. This guy can brew. Before I get too wordy, everything I tried was great. All the beers exhibited excellent balance that was true to style in each case.

I could have stayed all day and night but I had to leave. Bill offered me a quick personal tour and I took a growler of strong ale to go.

Come here and drink the beer. Great experience, I'll be back.

jongullotti, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of iceball585
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%

My friends and I recently did a trip to the Vermont/New Hampshire/Massachusetts area and this place came highly recommended from one of my friends. I have to say that over all I was fairly impressed.

First, this place at first appears to be just another bar and grill, but I would say that it is much more than that. The food is very good and fairly big portions of everything. Both the soups and the actual meals were very tasty (I recommend the shrimp bisque soup). The workers were also very nice and fairly knowledgable about the menu and beers they had to offer.

The beer selection was very delightful, mainly because they offer a wide selection of brews for you to enjoy. They had about 10-12 brews to choice from which included everything from a light vienna to a stout. They only offer their beers on tap which I appreciate because some brew pubs also offer bottles and taps of mass produced domestic beers in hopes to attract other people of the non-beer loving community. This place offers growlers to go at a fairly reasonable price. They also have a mug club for the locals who frequent the bar often.

The prices of beer wasn't too bad but the prices of the food was a bit more expensive (typical for an upper end brew pub). Over all I would recommend this place to anyone who happens to be in the area and is looking for a nice place to grab a beer and a meal.

iceball585, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of Brad007
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%

Stopped by this place yesterday while at Pumpkinfest. Selection seemed to be ok, though they had a coffee stout that while it was listed on the beer list, was somehow not on tap. A bit of a disappointment and because they were out of Pumpkin beer and Stout, I could not get a growler of either.

Still, the atmosphere was nice. The place is a bit more crowded than I thought but then again, it was incredibly busy yesterday. Props to the bartenders for hanging in there, despite the insane amount of orders. The taste of the IPA I had made it worth waiting for the growler to be filled.

Didn't eat the food there and I thought the beers on tap were a good start for any brewpub. Nothing wrong with a beer list that has two kolschs, a fruit wheat, stout, IPA, Pale Ale and a Pumpkin beer.

Not too bad of a place and I want to go back someday when it's not that busy so I can really enjoy the place.

Brad007, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of fourohstudent
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%

Well, There were eight on tap, and I hoped to find at least one beer that I found enjoyable. All of their beers were middle of the road and had the same character, whether it was a pale ale alt or whatever else. It's cool to have as many brewpubs as possible, but if you're really into your beer, you may come a way feeling abit unsatisfied. That being said if you're just looking for a drinkable beer afterwork or play, check it out. It's easy to find, right off of the main drag in Keene. Hope they become a little more adventurous.

fourohstudent, Sep 25, 2007
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Elm City Brewing Co. in Keene, NH
87 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.