The Looking Glass

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The Looking GlassThe Looking Glass
4 Ratings
The Looking GlassThe Looking Glass

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

18 North Main St.
Janesville, Wisconsin, 53545
United States

(608) 755-9828 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-30-2009

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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 3
Photo of hoosier222002
4/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of Lemke10
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I stopped in for a co-workers Birthday party on 7/9/2011. This is probably the best place in the Janesville/Beloit area for great craft tap beer. It might not be the most "fun bar" in town but definetly a beer advocate's dream! I got Ale Aslyum's Bedlem and an interesting immperial stout that I didn't catch the name of. It wasn't too busy at the time so I was able to chat with the bartender a bit and he was nice enough to give me a sample taste of the immperial stout to see if I wanted a full glass. He even offered me a sample of Squatter's IPA and said how well it had been selling for them. Can't say I've ever been anywhere where I've ordered 2 good craft beer and got two samples on the house. Great workers and beer. A must try if you are in the area!

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Photo of toastck
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

For a blue collar town such as Janesville this is an excellent bar when it comes to selection.
Typical Wisconsin like downtown bar with the tin ceiling, wood floors and brown walls. Service is very good, with friendly bar tenders, like Sara, and an owner (Matt) that will talk to you and is always willing to try new things.
Nine to ten of the 12 taps are usually various craft beer selections, with the others being Guinness and Miller Lite. The best part of the selection is that they change a lot. There are a couple that appear more than others (Rogue Dead Guy Ale and Bell's Two Hearted Ale), mainly because they are popular. Recent selections included Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron and 60 Minute IPA, Bear Republic Red Rocket and Racer 5, New Glarus Unplugged Apple Ale, Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale, New Holland Poet Oatmeal Stout, various Abita's, Lake Louie Tommy Porter, Milwaukee Ale House Devil's Advocate Belgian Ale, Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch Ale and much more. Keep in mind Janesville is a total macro beer town, so that were some really great choices.

The reason for many of the changes is because of a beer club that meets every last Thursday and gets to sample many selections from one of the different local beer distributors. Members then vote for two selections which then will be on tap in a few weeks once a tap opens up. Beer members also get a mug with their name on it and a $1 off any tap, anytime. Membership was a one time fee of $75, however that may be different now. Not sure.
Bottle selection is pretty small but they too vary often and is generally a decent selection.
Cost of a pint is usually $4, which by comparing to larger cities like Madison and Milwaukee is a pretty good deal.
The food is typical Wisconsin fare, which is priced reasonable and pretty good too. Daily food and drink specials.
The place is smoke free and there is a beer patio which I find very comfortable in the warmer months. However, smoking is allowed outside (Due to Wisconsin smoking law).
When in Janesville or in Beloit, The Looking Glass and O'Riley & Conways Irish Pub (just a few blocks away) are by far the two best bars in the area when it comes to beer selection.

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Photo of emerge077
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

This was your typical small town pub, situated in quaint downtown Janesville. Selection was pretty dull, limited to mass appeal taps and few craft bottles (if at all). Highlights were Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown (which blew before I could get a pint), NG Cabin Fever (but no New Glarus bottles, not even Spotted Cow), Pyramid Haywire Hefe, and a couple other mediocre beers. Taps were roughly 50/50 craft to macro. For a BA, there wasn't much interesting beer here.

Service was really good, the brunette bartender was really sharp and on top of things. She gave us samples and opinions of the beers.

Food was decent, pretty much what you'd expect, the curveball being the rueben burger special which was really good. Most everything else was the usual fried pub grub.

Atmosphere was typical, old wood floors, ornate back bar, macro banners obscuring most of it. An old High Life sign was the redeeming piece of breweriana in the place. A moose and buck were mounted high on the wall, above the video poker machines.

Sundays are $1 cans of Hamms, Old Milwaukee, etc.

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The Looking Glass in Janesville, WI
Place rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 4 ratings