Emmett's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Emmett's Brewing CompanyEmmett's Brewing Company
Based on:
14 Beers
107 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

5200 Main Street
Downers Grove, Illinois, 60515
United States
phone: (630) 434-8500

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: Todd

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 22
Reviews by karst:
Photo of karst
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Early October - beautiful fall day in Downer's Grove. Just across from nice parking lot. City was having their Octoberfest. Stopped in Emmett's (formerly Founder's Ale House) After a 5-10 minute wait we were served. Staff may have been split between the Pub and the downtown tent used for Octoberfest. Beer was well poured and slightly cold side. Nice selection of food good atmosphere. The few beers I tried their Pale Ale was well hopped and outstanding.

Eight brews were on tap.
Oatmeal Stout was only brew I would not reccomend.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Burgman08
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

Food is ok and its a nice place, but their beer is not very good

Photo of scalffd
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.75

Emmett's is a nice place with a few decent brews. The food is pretty good, but a bit pricey. The beers are above average and every once in a while they will have a brew that is really surprising. The place is definitely clean and professional and the atmosphere is decent. Stopping by for some brews on a Friday night is always a treat.

Photo of amalahow
3.84/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

I liked this place. A very clean, nice atmosphere. It almost feels like a "chain" but I don't think it is. The beer selection is similar to a place like Rock Bottom Brewery -- nothing will blow your mind, but they make a pleasant, clean, polished product.

Photo of ethanmc12
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Good atmosphere and great beer. I am looking forward to trying more of their stuff. The Victory Pale Ale was a solid beer. I especially want to try their some of their darker beers. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone in the south Chicago suburban area. The bar is fun and the dining room is a great place to have dinner and enjoy a brew or two.

Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Good atmosphere of historic downtown Downers Grove Illinois.
Staff is friendly and the same service staff, for the most part, meaning employees that are loyal. Beer tasting for Mug members is a plus that many of our friends take advantage of. Different rooms, one for meetings, make this a good place to a club to meet. Food better than average, and unique. Parking sometimes tricky. Known for their own yearly beers, I look forward to the seasonal ales , I even wish they had more. Food pair well with whats on tap.

Photo of weatherdog
4/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited here for lunch with my parents on 1/8/10 which was a Saturday afternoon.

The atmosphere seemed like typical simple pub. A long bar and tables on one side with a bunch of TVs on one side and a more sit down environment on the other side. The 15 barrel brewhouse was in the front corner behind glass.

We walked in and sat down in a bar table and were pretty promptly greeted by our server and given a drink and food menu. I ordered the IPA on nitro and my dad ordered the 1AM ale. For appetizers we got the pretzel sticks with cheese and a beer mustard sauce.

For the first round of beers I thought my IPA was pretty bland but I blame the nitro almost as much the beer. My dad really enjoyed his 1AM ale. The pretzel sticks were warm, soft and really tasty. My only complaint was that the mustard was ice cold. I would have preferred it warm.

My dad and I both ordered the Kobe burgers and my mom the spinach salad. Since it wasn't busy at all on a Saturday afternoon our food came rather quickly. Our burgers were excellent, really juicy, cooked perfectly. I had a spread of boursin cheese on mine which complimented the meat wonderfully. Mom mom said her salad was good as well. My second beer was the McCarthy Red which was decent but not outstanding. So what I've had of the beers were pretty average for brew-pub, some solid offerings but nothing wowing.

Pricewise is was about average for pub fare and for the taste value was good.

I saw some fliers on my way out about some homebrewers meetings and also pub trivia nights. I'm a sucker for anything trivia and homebrewing related so I see myself heading back here sometime soon.

Photo of tatt2ed
2.61/5  rDev -32.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2

stopped in to try the "wide variety" the website brags about , well after sitting at the empty bar the bartender practically crawled over. he throws a menu at us and walks a few steps down continuing his conversation with another coworker. i heard the service was laid back but never like this. after about 5 minutes thirsty he wanted to take our food order ? not thinking we were only there for beer. we were wondering if we were at mcdonalds or something. anyways they had 6 beers on the chaulk board but only 4 were available to drink. too much trouble to wipe off the selections they were out of. the victory pale ale was worth the wait tho.i would make it worth the trip alone. the oatmeal stout and brown was average and the light doesnt even seem worth a try. anyways when i was looking at the menu it seemed like the prices were a bit high for a place like that, good thing we were only there for the beer.

Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited on Saturday afternoon 2/14/2009.

This place is easy enough to find, right in downtown Downer's Grove. I was able to park right around the corner, but I could see parking being more of an issue at a busier time of the day/week.

Upon entering, the dining room was on the right and the bar room to the left. The bar itself was a very long expanse of stained wood with taps at the right and left ends. There were 6 fresh brewed beers on tap on my visit (a pale ale, stout, IPA, helles lager, red ale, an English pale ale, and a Belgian style tripel) as well as a few guest taps (Hoegaarten, Warsteiner, Spaaten Pils, etc).

The few beers I tried and the two I drank a pint of were very good. The food (chicken quesadilla and corn chowder) was excellent and very fairly priced. The Emmett's beers were just $5 which i thought was very fair but the Hoegaarten was $6.50 which I thought was a little steep...

All in all this place had a great feel, great fresh beer, and solid food choices all at reasonable prices. I will be back many times!

Photo of kdog630
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Friday night at 6:30 and the place was hopping. Beautiful dark wood bar and an array of taps. The bartender had her hands full, but we didn't have a problem getting our beers. She was always there when the glasses got near empty.

Ordered a couple of appetizers and really enjoyed them. The pretzel twists came with a horseradish butter or some such schmeer. Pretty good.

The beer was fresh and tasty.

Went to Emmett's in West Dundee, so I had high hopes for this place. I will definitely go back again.

Photo of davide169
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Stopped by here on a recent trip to Chicago. The bar area seems very expansive with a fairly long bar. The particular night we came (tues) there was a live band playing so it was pretty loud in the bar area. We sat in the dining area where it was much quieter.

The service was very good and prompt. Even coming back just as they were getting ready to close the kitchen to ask if the friends we were waiting for would want anything.

The beer selection is that of your typical brewpub with about 5-6 choices. All were fairly good.

We ordered a few appetizers which were all very good. Tuesday night is $2 burger nights which were a incredible value. I don't think they change their burger size at all for this. One of the better pub burgers I have had and the price can't be beat.

Overall it is a nice place and if I lived in the area I'm sure I would stop by every so often.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

very convienently located if you live in the western suburbs. also right next to the train station. atmoshphere is typical brewpub, large bar. their sampler is a paddle and a decent value. you will get to try all of their house beers with this. they had about 6 of their own beers to try. nothing stood out but there are some nice sessionable beers in the 5% area. they also have some guest taps and even bud light for the meatheads. service has been fine both times i have been. cigars are allowed in the bar area, at least later at night.

Photo of MagicLantern
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I recently discovered the Oswego Emmetts joined the Mug Club and was invited to a tasteing in DG. This is their flagship restaurant and it shows.

Dark woods make up the bar, a few televisions dot the corners of the bar. The brewery is right up front, it's small but it works. I was there for a mug club tasteing and got to walk through the room and hear the origins of Emmett's as well as beer. I only peeked in the dining area, but it seemed very nice.

When I showed up everyone was very helpful. The bartender was quick to offer me a drink and when he found out I was here for the tasting didn't charge me for my sodas while I waited for the event to occur. That was nice extra touch.

After the tasting I had a sampler with family as well as a meal. There are several beer snobs and chefs among us. The bartender knew his product, the family was pleased and the event was something worth talking about.

Concerning selection, a full range of Emmett's products was available while I was there in addition to beers that can only be purchased at that particular store. The brewery is built in a manner that allows the finished beer to be moved into storage containers that are attached right to the tap I'm told. So that's about as fresh as beer can get.

Photo of beveritt
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped by here for dinner and a beer. This place has a great location, right in Main Street in Downer's Grove. It is a nice break after being in the suburban sprawl of Lombard for a few days. the interior is nice, looks like they removed the plaster form the bricks and studs and covered everything in poly.

When you first enter, the bar is on the left and the restaurant is on the right. The bar is great, big and beautiful, with lots of dark wood, glass, and brass.

Beer selection is okay, maybe somewhat limited. When I visited, they had 5 of their beers available, two guesat beers on tap, and about 6 micros bottles.

Service was okay, prompt and effecient, but nothing exceptional. I didn't ask anything about the beer, so I can't comment on beer knowledge.

I had a selection of appetizers and a desert. All of the food was fresh, hot and good.

Overall, I was impressed with this place. It has everything, atmosphere, good food, and good beer. I wish I had found this place sooner, it is a nice break form the mall-sprawl and chains from just a few miles north.

Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Another helpful hint for those coming on public transportation – facing west from Chicago, turn left, not right, coming out of the METRA station! That mistake cost me several precious minutes of valuable drinking time. Don’t let this happen to you. Learn from my errors. I’m not ashamed to admit that I made them.

Once I got right and entered this establishment, I was immediately paddled. Ooh, I had been such a bad boy on this trip. I fully deserved a good paddle. Hey, you pervs, I’m talking about the “Sample Paddle”, which included Munich Light; 1 AM Ale; Victory Pale Ale (I may have had this one before, much closer to home); Centennial Amber Ale; Oatmeal Stout; Imperial Amber; Belgian Trippel; Maibock; and American Wheat. If you were thinking anything else, you need to get your mind out of the gutter. This is a family-oriented website with traditional values and I am an upright member of its community and a schoolteacher, to boot. Shame on you!

The entrance was on Main Street, once again, in the shadow of the town’s water tower. A short vestibule put me within striking distance of the snaking, angular bar that lay dead ahead. The back bar was long, wide, curvy, and made of medium-dark wood, which was very pleasant to look at. The brewhouse and fermenters were to the immediate left. To the left of the bar were a goodly number of high tables and chairs. Headed right from the entrance put me at the front of the restaurant area, with a secondary restaurant area in the northern part of the building, separated by a long wall with several glass doors. What did it for me? The vintage photography throughout, which depicted cellaring; coopering; wagon delivery; pub life; and beer in general.

Back to the beers: lots of sweet, malty ales and lagers. Where were the hops?!? It meant that Victory Pale Ale was my default choice.

A young man at the bar named Matt characterized my trip this way: “It’s brave. Very brave.”

Photo of JeffKrenner
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in for lunch on a monday afternoon(08/07).
The bar area was empty, but by the time we left the restaurant seemed fairly busy. Nice bar with high top tables and plenty of bar spaces. Everything was clean and beers available was on a nice big board for all to see. Service was good since we where the only ones that the bartender was serving. Victory Pale Ale is quite good while some of the others were so so. Food was very good. Had a buffalo burger on an english muffin with bleu cheese that was solid. Price seemed reasonable for what you got.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

It seems like the whole area is 2 hour parking but I took my chances right out front of the brewpub. Inside the bar is to the left and the restaurant is to the right. The giant stainless steel fermenters are in plain view from the bar and the sidewalk. They have a classic style Chicago bar with open rafters above and lots of big windows opposite of the bar's mirrors.

They had 10 taps of their own beers with 2 guest taps; Hogardeen and Lite. They had 5 of the regular beers, which are mostly pretty good and 5 seasonals. The Imp. Amber and was really impressed and I was shocked to see someone drinking a Westemalle in a chalice at another table. I didn't see any bottled beers advertised but some the glassware behind the bar had specific brands on it and the rest had Emmits logo. They have takehome beer in growlers (1.2 gal), keggys (3.3 gal) and 1/2 barrles (15.5 gal) which I thought was a nice option. I didn't have food at this Emmett's but the menu is pretty much the same as the others. They had printed signs that said cigar smoking was permitted after 9:00pm which I thought was intersting but I didn't stay that long to see if there were and big cigar fans that come to Emmits.

The place was pretty empty and the bartenders were over in a corner chatting but they were always right there when I needed another beer. This is a great place to hangout with non-BAs aswellas BAs.

Photo of beerinator
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by this place to meet some fellow BAs. We sat at a table near the bar for lunch on a Sunday in January. It was fairly quiet in there with a few guys sitting at the bar watching a game.

The beers were consistent and very cheap (6.50 pitchers). The food we had was solid pub grub. I enjoyed what I had and it seemed that everyone else in the group did too. There were 8 Emmett's beers to choose from.

Our service was good and quick. I definitely will head back here when I'm in the neighborhood. There's a Sam's that isn't too far away, and Emmett's is just a short stroll from the Metra.

Photo of ChiSox05
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The place is split into two sections, one with about a 20 seat bar and the other the dining room. The bar has about 4 tv's, one high def on the back wall, brewing equipment is at the front in the front window of the establishment. The dining room has its own smaller backroom that could be used for gatherings. Dimly lit but not dark lighting, sort of rustic, beer related black and white photos on the wall.
There are between 6 and 10 house brewed beers on tap. Also, a few other bottles, Olde Foghorn and Lindemann's last time. Currently, there is a seasonal IPA and before that they had a robust dopplebock. Also, a pale ale, light, amber, and a couple other offerings are standard. The worst I've ran into was still average and the hopped up beers are real good.
On the menu there's about 30 offerings, half bar stuff and half entrees. The ingredients and overall quality of the food is high. Damn good. Growlers, mini kegs and kegs are available. Walking out after dinner with a growler full of seasonal IPA, recommended.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I made my first trip to Emmett's for a small BA gathering. It's located in downtown Downers Grove in a big building off of Main Street, that was formerly occupied by Founder's Hill. Upon entering there's a large dining room and bar area that's all done in dark wood with nice dim lightining. All of the brewing equipment is visible behind glass from both inside and outside the front of the brewpub. I really like the cozy, laidback atmosphere...it made me feel really comfortable to be there. There were a few tv's throughout, with one big screen on the wall.

When we were there, they had about 8 or so beers on tap. My favorites were the Centennial, which was a nice hoppy IPA, the oatmeal stout and the Victory Pale Ale. They had a brand new barleywine that both me and my fiance liked quite a bit as well. All the beers were good and with the variety they had there is sure to be something for everyone. Our server was very nice and quick to bring us new pitchers (which happened to be 6.50 a piece as it was Sunday!! and how can you go wrong at that price!!) In my opinion this is a great local place to go for a brew.

I ended up having the cheese fries appetizer, which turned out to be a huge plate of waffle cut cheese fries, for $7.00 I believe. I basically made a meal out of it and it was quite tasty. All of the food everyone else ordered looked equally appetizing. When all is said and done...Emmett's is a nice place to stop by for both good beers and some good food as well. A nice little brewpub in D.G. that I hope to see doing more good things in the future. I'll be making it my goal to get back here again before to long! If you're in the area check it out.

Photo of Redrover
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went for dinner & beers on a Friday night. The new owners have done a nice job of refurbishing the interior of the building. The dinning room is to the right as you enter. Lots of tables, it is decorated in brown, creams & red. There are some fantastic old photos on the wall. Great to see all that brewing/bar history. They also have separate banquet rooms on the first floor. I did not go upstairs, but I guess they have even more room there.

The bar area is very nice. I would guess the bar itself seats about 25 and with all the tables, you can easily seat another 75 or so. I liked the layout and appreciated all the large screens. Would be a good place to catch a game.

The food is very good if a bit on the expensive side. However, the portions are large, so I would say it’s a decent value for the money. I had the fish & chips and a very nice grilled portabella appetizer.

I thought the beers were well done and at $3.75 per pint, priced very fairly. I had a couple of the Centennial Ambers and sampled their dobblebock & a very nice APA. They offered 7 house beers and a very well chosen guest tap offerings (Westmalle Dubbel, Ayinger Dunkel, Lindemans Kriek. Old Fog Horn, & Hoegaarden.

Added bonus, there is a nice Irish bar across the street ( The Ballydoyle) and downtown Downers Grove is a pretty bustling place. Well worth a stop!

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped in before heading down to C-U for the week. I only experienced the bar portion of the establishment. There was nothing that really stood out in the place. Pretty standard restaurant that had a brewery inserted in for good measure. The food on the menu was pretty ecclectic. A few pizzas and other worked-over pub fare that is given a flare of new cuisine to it. I had the grilled chicken and arugula (sp) pizza and some of the cheese fry appetizer. Both very good. There were a handfull of brews on tap. Not too many. They had a triple that was above average. There were a few TV's aroundt the place that let us watch the NFL draft, but hte sound was down so there was less distraction. Overall, I really liked this place. The speed was right for me. Our wait staff was very attentive to us, so we were never without beer or food. Worth checking out.

Emmett's Brewing Company in Downers Grove, IL
88 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.