B.O.B.'s Brewery

B.O.B.'s BreweryB.O.B.'s Brewery
B.O.B.'s BreweryB.O.B.'s Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

20 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States

(616) 356-2000 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 56 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PapaGoose03
PapaGoose03 from Michigan

3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

This was a visit to the brewery to have lunch and try their beers, but we discovered that the pub does not open until late afternoon. Fortunately we also discovered that the other restaurants in the building also serve BOB's beers, so we ended up at Bobarino's. This is a Big Old Building that has been re-purposed into an entertainment venue with restaurants and a comedy club in addition to the brewpub. The interior is cleaned-up industrial-grade wood beams, floors, and rafters. It's a cool place throughout the building.

There were 8 beers available so we ordered two 4-glass samplers ($7 each) with 4 oz. glasses. I've read a number of reviews of the beers here that made them seem marginal in quality, but I'll take exception and say that we enjoyed all of the beers that we sampled. None of them knocked our socks off, but every one was brewed to style with a little extra touch. The only minor issue that I had was that the stout was a bit more hoppy than most any other stout that I've experienced so that this one could have been classed as a roasty black IPA. Our scoring for the beers came up with a solid C+ grade overall, with all of the beers ranging from 3.25-3.75. The Crimson King Amber was the one that I felt was above the others in comparison to the style characteristics.

The Bobarino's food menu was quite diverse with pizza, deli sandwiches, salads and various dinner entrées. The meals that we had were very good, so that we scored them a little higher than the beers, but not by much. Really, the beers are a good reason to make a stop here, and the food is reason #2.

Oct 02, 2015
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Jackofallbrews from Minnesota

3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

At the recent NHC in Grand Rapids, three of us headed across the street to have lunch at The Bob. An acronym for Big Old Building, this is a large 1903 grocery warehouse turned into a strange collection of venues. A small brewery lurks in the basement, Bobarino's pizza place is upstairs, a comedy club, dueling pianos, a steak house, and more! The brewery was closed (they should have opened up for NHC!) so we went to Bobarino's instead. We shared a sampler of their beers and those were all across the board: a nasty diacetyl IPA, but Crimson King Amber and Spaceboy Stout were both decent. The food was also decent but not special.

Jul 10, 2014
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guityler83 from Wisconsin

3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4

Another stop in during NHC and just a few blocks away from the convention center, B.O.B.'s House of Brews is in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids on the second floor of a 5? story building.

The bar was mostly empty except for a few handful of folks at the bar so I pulled up a seat. The waitress, while cute, was one of those that feels obligated to call every person of the opposite sex, hun, babes, darlin', <fill in the blank> which got old quick but I ordered the IPA per her recommendation out of the 7 beers on tap from the brewery. Nothing really that out of the ordinary, pretty typical line-up. (IPA, stout, brown ale, amber, blonde ale, etc). The IPA was fresh and had a nice hop flavor to it but nothing ground breaking.The interior was kind of generic, pool table, beer signs, it reminded me of a college-y spot. The sandwhich I ordered however was very tasty, pork belly.

In all I'd say if you're in GR for a decent amount of time check it out, but if your time is limited, there are so many other great places in the area - Don't bother.

Jun 24, 2014
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scm3 from Michigan

3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Wasn't too impressed with this place. Seems more like a typical bar/night club trying to jump on the craft beer bandwagon. Their beer is decent/good, however not nearly as good as other breweries within walking distance. The majority of the patrons seemed more interested in Miller lite or Bud Light.

Mar 21, 2014
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ElizabethCraig from Indiana

3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

We hit B.O.B. post 11pm when food service was done and the party was in full swing.

Now, I'm going to confess: I'd had a very long night before I got there. A. Very. Long. Night.

But my palate I think was at least 50% intact.

The building is gorgeous! The service was very good and the patrons were all having a good time. The music was good, and loud - which is crucial for a club-bar like this. The peoplewatching was pretty interesting.

The beer I found average. I had something that I was told was a Rye but I could not find on their website.

It wasn't bad! But it wasn't exceptional!

I'll have to go again in the daytime so I can really sit and have a conversation with one of their beers. When I do, I will definitely revise this review.

Jul 08, 2011
Photo of jt31914
jt31914 from Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

A: The place has a pretty fun and exciting atmosphere if you go there on the weekends; good for a kind of classier college/tourist bar feel. Not my favorite place but overall quite fun.

Q: Decent quality, everything (ie food and beer) is decent but not great.

S: The service is my least favorite part of the place; the servers seem bored and disinterested, and they have little to no knowledge of beer.

S: Selection is okay, they have the bob brews and a couple others on tap as well as a decent food menu.

F: For a GR downtown place they are okay, but not nearly as good as some other places you could go to get a meal and a beer.

Overall an okay place, but the beer isn't that good and I'd rather just go to Hopcat.

Feb 08, 2010
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lackenhauser from Maryland

3.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Situated in a "big old building"-hence the name, in downtown GR the BOB is in the middle of the action by the Van Andel Arena and some other hip local bars. Atmosphere is kind of cool-there are 3 or 4 restaurants in the building and all are open to the hallways and extrerior spaces. Looks like it could get a bit stuffy and yuppified, though when I was there a city wide art show was going on and there was an infinite variety of people coming thru.

Service was ok at the bar-pleasant enough but basically just doing their jobs. A decent selection of 8 styles of beer. The Oktoberfest had a sort of "twang" going on I could not place. I also had the IPA which was good and we got a growler of Porter which we were told was more of a brown ale. It was good, needed a bit of roastedness for me though it was quite malty and good as well.

We had some happy hour food specials-sliders, fries and mini pizza. Pretty standard. Beers were only $2 then too. Our bill for happy hour was very resonable. Did not see the regular menu.

Nice place and different sort of atmosphere. Beers were pretty pedestian though good. Worth a stop if you are nearby, though I would hit Founders first!

Oct 13, 2009
Photo of Roeters
Roeters from Michigan

3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Stopped into the brewery for the first time last night, and was greatly surprised. The brewery is in the Basement of the building, other wise there are like three different eateries and three clubs inside of this massive old building.

The brewery is rather small and is nicely decorated.

Most of their beers are very light, but I have a feeling that their selection is like that because customers that come in.

Everything that I tried was good, which was IPA, Hopsun, Amber

The food was good, but not as good as some of the other places around town.

Prices were good, I talked to the brewmaster for about an hour and was talked into joining the mug club which almost paid for its self that first night.

I will be back to enjoy the wonders of beer!

Sep 04, 2008
Photo of Yetiman420
Yetiman420 from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

During a terrible snow and cold freeze of early February 2007, I did a white-knuckler western Michigan loop consisting of the top-rated brewpubs in Western Michigan. The trip began in the southwest corner at the Livery in Benton Harbor, up to New Holland in Holland, over to The Hideout, Founders, and BOB in Grand Rapids. Individual reviews are below and my rankings from a total experience are New Holland, The Hideout, The Livery, Founders, and BOB.

My perspective is based on visits to almost 200 brewpubs across North America. I’m an avid homebrewer and craft-beer drinker but no means an expert on the contest judging of beers. I know good beer when I taste it.

Comments about the building are in line with my experience. I stayed across the street at the Courtyard (which is also within a nice walk to Founders). Since Founders didn't serve food, I decided I would stop here for a beer and dinner. They have a couple of bar restaurants within the building and they all serve the brewed beer. I ate at the steakhouse, wanted the IPA but it was not available and settled for the pale. It was passable and worth their effort. Nothing exceptional. The steakhouse food was very good and I speak from the experience of a lot of business dinners. This is a great place to take a group - you can drink decent micro's and there will be somehing to appeal to everyone in your crowd.

Feb 08, 2007
Photo of nortmand
nortmand from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is a huge building near the heart of downtown Grand Rapids that houses several different types of restaurants that all serve the house beers.
Atmosphere is pretty classy, alot of people obviously coming here more for the food and kitsch than the beer. A bit too uppity for me, but anyone can blend in.

I tried a sampler and all the beers were decent. Nothing stood out or had me singing its praises, but the beers were drinkable and inoffensive.

Service was ok, again kind of suited for the richer crowd. It seemed if you were ordering beer at the bar, they didn't have time for you, although they poured me a flat porter and kingly took it back.

Several different colors of beer on tap, although not a huge range of flavor.

Food was decent, we ate at the kabob place, which was pretty good, but very expensive. Overall a neat concept, but its apparent that you can't run several high scale restaurants and still make really good beer.

Nov 22, 2006
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SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

BOB is mostly an upper class yuppie type hangout. It seems there are lots of lawyers and pharmaceutical sales people that frequent the place. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but most of the people think they are better than most people. The only redeeming quality of this place is that they have a very nice pool hall/room located on one of the upper floors. There are about 8 full size pool tables and leather couches and a large fireplace in the center of the room. Other than the pool room, just a yuppie hangout with less than average service and pricey food and drinks.

Aug 18, 2005
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jimbotrost from Michigan

3.74/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I visited this establishment on 7/17/2005. It was a Sunday, the place was relatively quiet, but that is the best time for me. The Big Old Building B.O.B is just that, a big old building. It has been redone to include a variety of venues, a comedy club, a staek house, a pizza place, a dance bar, an island seafood place, all stretched over 3 floors. The place is cool although it is very trendy. They were pouring 7 of their beers, some contract, some brewed there, and also Kalamazoo products and some macros. It is a very cool place and would return.

Jul 19, 2005
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granger10 from Wisconsin

2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The Big Old Building has about 4 different areas to find something to enjoy. There's like 2 restaurants, a comedy club up top, a lounge in the middle, and a dance club on the main floor. So there's something for everybody. This place is a bit pricey and more of a 30 yo yuppie type of place, but I don't mind it too much. There's a good amount of style selections of the beer but its all BOB beer which is mostly dumbed down for the masses. The food was so-so that I had, but i didnt go to the expensive area. Service wasn't too good as far as the beer knowledge was concerned. I asked for the Holidaze beer that I saw on the tap handle and she said there was no such thing. Then she came back later and apologized and said she wasn't 21 so she didnt know that stuff, but that shouldnt really matter. Anyways, a good place for everyone just a little pricey.

Nov 28, 2004
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beernbbq from Connecticut

4/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located across the street from the Marriott Courtyard Downtown and Van Arundel arena, great place to go for the weary traveler and Beer Advocate. I sat at the bar and enjoyed their nicely hopped IPA and the American Amber Ale. I sampled their Spring Bock, a strong and malty brew. Didn't eat dinner, but had an excellent seared Ahi appetizer wtih a nice wasabi dressing on the side (no ginger but good marinated cucumbers), and some peel and eat shrimp which were boring but what I was in the mood for. The bartender was a nice young guy who I didn't spend much time talking with, but he was managing things nicely for all the patrons and waitstaff. The BOB itself is a great old building with numerous styles of restaurant inside (Steakhouse, Fishouse, etc.) and a Rathskellar. One I will do again next time in G.R.

Apr 28, 2003
B.O.B.'s Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 63 ratings