BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

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BJ's Restaurant & BrewhouseBJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Very Good
33 Ratings
BJ's Restaurant & BrewhouseBJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1414 Polaris Pkwy
Columbus, Ohio, 43240-2040
United States

(614) 885-1800 | map

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Added by prototypic on 06-02-2007

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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of schoolboy
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

More of a restaurant than a brewery, yet it has good brew too. The food is why you go here - it is not a destination brewery. The Columbus one is pretty big, slightly loud, and busy. We went a couple times and now we have one two miles from home in Mentor, I like that one even better (it's not as big).

Recommended for the great food, not the brew, but the beer will not disappoint.

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Photo of Babalu614
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of WillWrkForBeer
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Good selection of BJs beers as well as guest beers on tap. Very large menu with a lot of choices.

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Photo of DavidGross
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Gregf51
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Eziel
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The stout smell s bad but taste good also like the red

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Photo of Pinioned
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Osulou92
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of l2oguel_emming
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of JeffONeal
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Lynn
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of kvnklingler
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

BJ's is one of the better chain breweries out there. My wife and I frequent the one in Polaris-Columbus, although now that we've been to some local bars we like their laid-back atmosphere better, as opposed to the chain feeling of BJ's.

However, BJ's delivers. Service is almost impeccably good, seating is ample and comfortable, food is more than nice (for a chain) and beers are generally excellent. Their Piranha IPA is up to par with your favorite hoppy IPA, their Jeremiah Red is a pleasant lighter version of an Arrogant Bastard-style strong ale and their Tatonka stout is an awesomely drinkable Imperial Stout.

They also have some guest taps, I'm a fan of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, almost always available there.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.75/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

A nice set up, nice sports bar with a big screen made of four tv's with two on the side, nice selection of sports. The service was good, it was great, but adequate and average. On tap were all of bj's beers plus a few guest beers, stone brewing and some ciders were present. The beer was good, nice looks and taste, true to the styles. Not a huge selection but enough to keep you interested. Nice big menu a couple of pages look with good food. Overal a very enjoyable expierence and a place i would for sure go back to.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.9/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've hit this place several times now with the wife. I'd say this one is more of a restaurant than a brew pub for sure, but still has pretty solid brew for the most part.

The atmosphere is mainly a trendy sports bar. A huge big screen that can be divided up into nine seperate tvs behind the bar and has tv's through out the place. A lot of red and black to go with the modern look. The bar is pretty huge with a lot of wood.

Service wise I think it all depends on the individual server. I've hardly ever sat with an empty glass and they seem to be on top of it for the most part.

Selection wise its nothing terrible. All of their beers are on tap which is usually right around ten. It appears that they have 8 or so year round brews with a couple seasonal. A handful of other brews on tap, which seem to never change that the other guys have already mentioned.

I think the food is pretty solid. A great deep dish pizza. Every thing I've ordered has been pretty solid.

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Photo of sdsurfer217
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I've been to many BJ's and this one keeps up with the standards of the others. Food is great and worth the trip up I71 alone. The beer is usually consistently good but not out of this world. Their Pale Ale is probably the best that BJ's produces. Beer knowledge of the staff is hit or miss. The bartenders know their stuff but some of the waitstaff seems clueless to beer.

I would recommend BJ's to anyone at almost any city. It's a good way to help expand your "domestic only" friends to better beer.

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Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

For a while when this place first opened my wife and I had the luxury of living less than 10 minutes away, and we would be here at least twice a week.

The restaurant is very large inside, dark, all hard wood floors (be careful, they tend to over-wax sometimes!). There are many flat screen TVs stationed around but they are unobtrusive except for the largest ones above the bar.

There is a self-seating bar area with standing tables and a row of booths in front of the actual bar. The rest is dedicated to dining.

My first misconception about BJ's was that they brewed all their beers at each location, but in fact most/all is brought in from another location. They have two tanks at the far corner but it is unclear if they are actually used for beer (I think at least one is for their home-made root beer, which is outstanding btw).

They have 6 or 7 full-time beers that are their own brand that you can get year-round. All are Belgian based in style and/or composition. I like/enjoy most of their beers, but all except the IPA are extremely sweet for my taste. My favorite is their Piranha Pale Ale, one of my favorite easy-drinking pale ales.

They used to have a very good rotating list of seasonals. When BJ's first opened it seemed that they offered two seasonals that changed every month. Lately they seem to have whittled these down to 2 or 3 for the year. I hear that some of the other western locations have better selections though. If you get a chance to try their Oatmeal Stout it won't disappoint. Another good one was their Maibock.

They have another 4-10 taps dedicated to outside beers, and they also offer a fairly impressive list of bottled Belgian beers as well.

The staff seems to know their own beer very well, are very attentive and friendly. I wouldn't necessarily trust them on other beer though. Case in point:
I was on a kick trying a bunch of the Belgians they had bottled of. I ordered a Duvel and the server insisted on pouring it for me. At the time I was more of a beer novice, but even then I knew not to quickly pour a beer straight into the center of a glass at height unless you want a large head. Well Duvel turns out to be one of the worst beers to pour in such a manner. I was left with 10% beer and 90% head in a pint (I know now they should have given me different glassware as well). The bottle even says directly on it, "Pour unhurriedly!"

Needless to say my server apologized, let me keep the remaining Duvel in that bottle, and brought me a new one free of charge (which I poured myself). Like I said, good service, even if they aren't extremely knowledgeable.

The food is amazing for the type of restaurant that it is. Mostly American style fare, they have delicious salads and sandwiches, a two page list of appetizers, and some of the best pizzas you'll ever get in a chain restaurant. Deep-dish says it all.

Overall I really enjoy BJ's, though to be honest they were much more of a dinner destination for me when they first opened, the last couple years have seemed to show a decline in beer selection and quality of the drafts (the beers seem more flat nowadays).

TIP: call ahead or prepare to wait on Fridays and Saturdays. They've been known to have 3 hour wait times after work on Friday nights.

TIP: They offer half-gallon growlers for $11 flat which includes the glass growler. About as cheap as it gets for a growler.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I remember going here way back when I first started getting into beer. Places and beers from my early days of getting into beer I kept in mind with the intentions of revisiting them once I really had a grip on things. This is what prompted my latest visit, and this review.

This place is very similar to Gordon Biersh. Its a chain brewpub with a larger menu than most real brewpubs.

They have a series of year round beers that do a good job of covering the gamut. From a Klosch to an Imperial stout lots of styles are represented. They have a Hefeweizen and an Irish red that fall towards the middle. They also always have a seasonal beer, Ive seen a witbier and a pale ale IIRC.

The food here is very tasty. Nothing you havent seen other places before, but just really good stuff. I had the open faced meatloaf sandwich and my date had the Parmesan crusted chicken.

They have other beers from their own, both on tap and in bottles. I asked what the other offerings were but the waitress was really no help, I let it go and ordered their IPA. But I could see Arrogant Bastard and Lindeman's Frambois on tap and most of the common Belgian beers in bottles like Westmall, Rochefort 8, and a few more.

This is a good place, but if I am in Polaris I will be going to The Pub and stopping at From the Vine instead.

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Photo of Fezfreak
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

BJ's Brew House sits in a stand-alone building on the fringes of the Polaris Fashion Place Mall, a hulking blob of ticky-tack, a virtual Disneyland of corporate chains, a place for beautiful people who are programmed like automatons to consume, consume, consume. Much like "The Pub", a 26 tap British beer bar attached to the mall, BJ's Brew House is like a beacon of hope in an ocean of bland, sterile sameness.

My first visit was about eight months ago and I wasn't that impressed. So I gave them another try the day before yesterday. I had no food either time. The beer was about the same but I was more impressed with the service this time, and so I will return on the rare occasion that I'm near that man-made strip-mall hell.

The beer at BJ's tastes much like the picture I described for you above. It's not bad beer. It just has that corporate taste. Gordon-Biersch, which BJ's reminds me of, tastes better, most likely due to the beer being made on premises. It was explained to me that there are legal entanglements preventing BJ's from making beer in Ohio, so theirs is produced in Las Vegas.

I recall on my first visit having their Porter. This time I tried a German Lager and an Oktoberfest but I stuck with what was supposed to be an IPA. I would say it was refreshing and yet, nothing to get excited about. I get way more charm out of a small, on-premesis extract brewer using hop-pellets than I do chains like BJ's and Gordon-Beirsch.

But again, worth the trip if you are in the area. HINT - It's located near the southeast side of the Polaris Mall, close to the I-71 Interchange.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped at BJ's yesterday for lunch. I have eaten there several times. I think it is a nice place. The interior is nice but not over the top or swanky. They have a wide variety of beer but none of them really jump out at me. I settled on a growler of Jeremiah Red. The food has been excellent every time that I have been there. My girlfriend is not a BA but at least she likes eating at Brewpubs. The food is definitely better than the beer, but it is still better than a chain restaurant with Miller Lite on tap.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On the way out of town from the crazy weekend that was Rock on the Range '09, we hit a much needed brunch at BJ's in north Columbus to set us on our way back to Lexington.

Like most other buildings along Polaris Parkway, this BJ's looks like a typical big box that has landed in a sea of asphault. Though it is dressed up with pretty trees, pretty lighting, and pretty fake stone, you can forget about the suburban nightmare once inside and sampling all of the fine beers.

I settled in with the Nitwit (Witbier) that is their current seasonal which, along with the Hefeweizen, make the California Grilled Chicken Sanwich a great lunch. We also asked for the sampler before we took to the road.

Here are the beers that to took in and how I would rate each:

BJ's Brewhouse Blonde (Kolsch) 3.7
Harvest Hefeweizen 4.2
Piranha Pale Ale 4.0
BJ's Jeremiah Red 4.0
BJ's P.M. Porter (on nitro-tap) 3.8
Tatonka Stout 3.9
Nutty Brewnette 4.0
Nit Wit (Witbier) 3.5

Yea, all of the beers are well above average to good despite the notion to degrade franchise beers. BJ's is obviously separating themselves from the Rock Bottom's and Gordon Biersch's of the world by offering crafted beers with more flavor, power, gravity, hops, and alcohol than other corporate brewers do by watering their pseudo-craft beers in order to appease the masses. The prices for the beers and the food are quite reasonable. They also had a few guest-taps from Stone and Bell's.

The interior is quite ecclectic, but all new. Like other BJ's, the building is clad in some English-ish woodworking, post-modern lighting, garage doors, rustic slate flooring, stylish furnishings, industrial fans... it's kind of a mish-mash of styles that work together in a contemporary and clean manner. It kinda reminded me of Damon's-meets-Cosi-meets-Rock Bottom.

The waitress was also very attentive despite the lunch crowd rush. She seemed a bit surprised and excited that we were so interested in the beers at 11:30am on Monday.

Don't worry about parking; as with most big-boxes they have ten times as much parking as what they need. But traffic along Polaris Parkway is a real bitch most hours of the day.

This BJ's doesn't actually brew the beer that they serve, so it's more like a taproom. After an email to the resaurant, they indicated that the beers that they serve are actually brewed at the Reno, Nevada BJ's Brewery. But the experience here was a pleasant one but Columbus has such great authentic brewpubs downtown that I wouldn't venture out to Polaris just for the BJ's experience. It's just a bit too franchis-ey for me.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I recently moved to Columbus, and it has impressed me as being the chain-restaurant capital of the universe. This isn't a priori a bad thing, but a chain brewpub prompts for me association with Gordon Biersch, which isn't a good thing. Still, I had high hopes for this place as I stopped in with Flyer for a beer.

IMO, brewpubs are polarized; either they are rather upscale, or complete dives. And, I've found, that the more upscale the brewpub, generally the less interesting and more pedestrian their beer. I think that's because an affluent consumer tends to THINK they like craft beer; whether they really do or not is a different matter. With this hypothesis in mind, I was both dismayed and pleased by how nice the decor of BJs was. Still, it did not portend well for the beer quality.

They had a pretty wide selection of beer; I even saw they medaled at GABF...although this was in 1996 (and the bar was risen considerably since then). The place was busy; service at the bar was glacial and fairly vacuous. I had one beer - a "Belgian Wheat Grand Cru," which appeared to be a misunderstanding of Belgian styles; it tasted as though someone tried to make Blue Moon "big." Weird, not that great, and combined with the relatively lousy service, Flyer and I were motivated to move on to the Rusty Bucket on Polaris.

While I'm kind of panning this place, I should mention that I'm planning on returning on Friday. The food looked good, and despite my experience, BJs is more desirable than other area dining choices my wife will try to foist on me, such as Cheesecake Factory (ugh...I hate that place).

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Photo of Bagman007
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I went here with a fairly large party on a Friday night. Took about an hour to an hour and a half to get a seat. Felt pretty squashed in our waiting area and it took forever to get a beer at the bar while we waited. Atmosphere was a little stuffy, but they did have televisions around the restaurant which I thought was a plus. The beer wasn't great. Our waiter was a little slow. They had a pretty good selection of food, something for everyone. I had a New York Strip which was alright. Pretty average. Price wise it's kind of up there, but not overly expensive. I would probably not go back. Nobody in our party was too impressed with it. The food was just average for the price and their house beer wasn't great, though they had other options. I ended up getting a Sierra Nevada because I didn't really like their house beer.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Popular located in the middle of mall hell north of Columbus. I had to kill some time on the north side so I decided to go shopping. While turning into the mall parking lot I found a brew pub instead. Thank goodness.

BJ's was nearly packed during happy hour on a Tuesday and it's a big place. I grabbed a cilantro pizza (half off during happy hour) and a sampler of their beers. 7 6 oz pilsner glasses were presented and I was surprised by a few of them particularly the hefe, which I really enjoyed. The Wit, which had just become the seasonal that day, was actually very good as well.

Service was friendly, prompt, and well trained. I could tell that my bartenders weren't really beer people but they all knew BJ's products well and could answer my questions. I found out that Ohio law prohibits BJ's from brewing on premise, likely a franchise limitation in it's brew pub license I would guess, so BJ's ships in barrels every few days. According to the bartender there are 71 BJ's operating in the US. This surprised me since I had never even heard of them.

Overall, I was pleased with BJ's since all of their beers were at least ok and some were very good, a rarity in a large chain brewpub like this. The pizza was a great snack too so I would have no qualms about visiting another BJ's in the future.

BJ's also had some great guest taps including Sierra Nevada IPA and Arrogant Bastard.

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BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse in Columbus, OH
Place rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 33 ratings