Willimantic Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.9/5
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

967 Main St
Willimantic, Connecticut, 06226-2330
United States

(860) 423-6777 | map
www.willibrew.com

Notes:
AKA - Main Street Café

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
88
Reviews:
281
Ratings:
637
PLACE STATS
Score:
95
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
154
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
6.29%
 
 
Taps:
0
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 154
Photo of pittvkyle7
3.23/5  rDev -24.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 1.5 | food: 4

A bunch of us have been wanting to go here for a long time and finally we made the trip to willimantic.

Of course like everyone says the building is very impressive and a nice place to eat and drink with friends.

I got a bad first impression of their selection because eveything we ordered was out. I'm serrious too, our waitress actually said "sorry but basically everything on the beer menu is out except for the barleywines and the fall seasonal" So this did not get us off to a good start considering some of us drove over an hour to get there to drink their beer.

I ended up having the 2009 unfiltered IPA and the 07 Barleywine. The IPA was VERY unfiltered and did not look tasty really, my friend thought it was apple cider. And being a homebrewer it looked like they shook up the fermenter on purpose to stir up that much sediment. I mean my homebrew is unfiltered but I have never seen anything like this. The 07 barleywine was very good though.

My friends got food and it all looked extremely tasty. I wish I orderd some!

I want to go back because I hate to give this place bad marks but I have to be honest. I was really expecting a lot more from a place that most people say is the best brew pup in CT. I hope the next time I go they actually have some of their beers on tap.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.4/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

My wife and I stopped here at the culmination of two days following the Connecticut Wine Trail... ending up with beer for me. We actually got here at a good time, about 4 pm. The main dining room was closed, but there were regular tables on the bar side and we got to see the famous bar I'd read about.

Beer selection was pretty interesting, but it seemed like it was weighted more toward saisons. I know it was summertime, July 2nd, but SOMETHING dark would have been appreciated.

I liked the beers I tried, including one made with flowers. Very different and interesting, it reminded me of Fraoch.

Food was very good, but not outstanding. Selection is more varied than standard bar fare, and there are flatbreads, sandwiches, and ribs. You won't find that wanting. The food choices pair well with the beers. I'd come off of a couple of days with excellent food, so maybe I was expecting more than I should.

Value was reasonable. Beer flight was a good price. Most items were OK. A full rack of ribs was a bit much, but it was a honeymoon trip (long delayed). Regardless, if I am in the area again I will stop there when new beers come up.

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Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
3.41/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

I was there a while ago...maybe within a year or two, but I do not remember it being as good as everyone else is posting. The atmosphere is their best attribute, and they have quality beer. I could see being a regular if I lived in the area, but I was not excessively impressed being an outsider.

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Photo of N8TheGreat
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

The Willimantic Brewing Company is in my home town, (Willimantic is actually part of the town of Windham, even though Willimantic is much larger and more populated than the rest of Windham) so I have had many experiences with the company, some good, others not so good. I must say that the Beers are great for the most part. It is a nice feeling to be able to enjoy a cask conditioned IPA only 5 minutes down the road. My main complaint comes from the quality of the food. I have tried several of their offerings, my most recent being a Salmon burger, and every time I feel as if it were money better spent elsewhere. Don't get me wrong the quality of their beer and the barroom itself are excellent, I just feel for the price the dining experience is not all that it could be. I guess I would give the Willi Brewing Co. an enthusiastic thumbs up, but the Main Street Cafe a thumbs down. That said there is nothing stopping me from picking up a Growler or stopping in for a pint, I just avoid the food.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on 10/26/07. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed with a pretty mixed crowd. The quality score that I gave was low for one reason and one reason only. The first three beers that I drank were all different and they were each served in the same glass. I’m not against water conservation by running the dishwasher less, but you should at least ask me whether or not I mind drinking a different beer from the same glass. The selection was very, very good. In addition to the beers brewed on the premises, which encompassed a pretty good array of styles, there was a large number of taps containing a bunch of other good selections that would qualify this place as a good beer bar. The service was prompt and friendly; however I was dismayed from seeing the bartenders consistently holding the glasses so that two tap nozzles were actually dipped in the beer. Since the taps are placed too close together, this caused the beer that was being poured to get all over the nozzle of the tap next to it. Overall it’s a good place to go to get some well-made beer, whether it’s made there or not.

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Photo of MoonTan
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited this quaint brewpub and restaurant on a trip thru CT. Housed in an old post office with high ceilings and nice woodwork, it was worth the trip just to look at the building.
They had about 7 house beers on tap and an impressive list of guest beers including many New England craft beers. Judging from the extensive line of tap handles, guests come and go often.
The house beers were tasty, the best being an IPA that was well balanced and not overpowering. The barrel aged barley wine blend was not to my tastes, but I am sure it has a following. The one cask beer was a little light on carbonation while retaining a nice malty character.
I enjoyed the spicy veggie chile with the sampler of beer and our bartender was very friendly and attentive despite the 60 foot bar and customers scattered down its full length.
The headbrewer was present and spoke briefly with us, I got the impression he would have engaged in longer conversion had we not been eating.
Overall a nice friendly atmosphere with good beer and good food.

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Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is one of the most interesting brewpub locations I have ever been to. This old post office building has been transformed into a brewpub in a way that retains a lot of the character of the old building. I sat at the bar and it was fairly crowded on a Sunday afternoon. They had six of their own beers on tap plus quite a few guest beers. I tried a 5 beer sampler and then a pint to sample them all and while the beer was kind of hit or miss there was a nice chocolate porter and a pretty decent DIPA in the mix. I had a very good burger and the menu offered quite a few other options for anyone who might want something a little more upscale. As a bonus, they had their own kombucha on tap and while it isn't actually a beer, it is really worth trying. This was definitely worth the visit, and I would definitely come back if I am ever in the area again.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Finally made a trip out to the middle of no where to visit this place. If I had only known about it or been interested in good beer when I used to party up a UCONN about 6 years ago. Any who, it's located on Main St. Across from ECSU. Huge building, used to be an old post office. Huge restaurant area. huge bar area. It was really packed tonight and the service was ridiculously slow. Great beer selection, about 10 different house brews and at least a dozen guest brews from CT and other parts of New England. Food was pretty good, but the beer is worth the stop if in the area. Good atmosphere, friendly crowd.

Cheers!

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Photo of HopHooligan
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've lived in eastern CT for my whole life and only went to Willibrew recently, boy was that a mistake. They have a great beer selection, awesome in house brew and great food. The food is a bit pricey and the beer isn't cheap either, but the quality and selection make up for that. They usually have 8 house brews and a bunch of craft beer on tap. Great beer selection for this area, there aren't too many like it around here. Food is great too, but like I said its a little pricey. Bar side is divided by the brewery from the restaurant. Building is gorgeous, it was previously a federal postal office so it has that grand feel to it with vaulted ceilings and columns out front. Overall a great place for a beer after work with they guys or a nice dinner with the fam.

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Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I travelled and stayed far from home to see this brewpub, and did come away disapointed. No heavy abvs here in the summer, I was pleased to find three saisons on tap. Near a Best Western, a half hour from Hartford. A very decent and very generous guest tap selection.Roomy inside, with a small but nice patio outside. Good mix of people, ages, decorum. A few rooms filled with tables in this historical building. Parking lot. Near an unusual bridge with big frogs. Bartenderess was a little annoyed at the end of what looked like a hot fussy day,but did not bother me.

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Photo of rousee
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by this place on my way home over Memorial Day weekend '08. The mapquest directions off their website are perfect and its real easy to find. Its about 20 miles due north on rte 32-off of I-395--so it really wasnt too far out of the way at all.

The building that it is located in-is an old post office or government building and while it is nice architecturally, I felt it was situated too close to the main street. When I first walked in, I noticed the lovely smell of malt but there really wasnt anything real nice about the interior--just kind of average looking. Not dirty looking but not especially clean either. We opted to sit outside in the front yard because the weather was beautiful. The only problem is its pretty noisy out there with Harley Davidsons cruising by and an occasional siren from a firetruck or police car.

I opted to try a sampler which is your choice of 5 of their beers on-tap. They have a very extensive selection of guest beers too-almost all of which are craft which is real nice to see. The beers I tried were a flavored (pomegranite) hefe, the gold lager , an IPA, a rye and a cream ale. All of the beers were true to style, fresh and clean tasting. The cream ale and the rye may have been 2 of the best examples of these respective styles that I have tried. Big kudos to the brewer and I liked that they didnt have much of a sameyness to them which many brewpub offerings often do.

We had eaten a big breakfast earlier, so we werent too hungry but we did have the mussels and some onion rings as a light lunch and they were both good. The service was good and the guy was pretty friendly. I didnt really test him on how much he knew about beer because that type thing is just not very important to me. Prices were reasonable and I would definitely go back.

One other thing that needs mentioning is apprently, Connecticut is the only New England state remaining that wont sell alcohol to go on a Sunday. Would have loved to purchase some growlers to try at home but they couldnt sell them to me on a Sunday.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Cool setting for a brewpub, feels like your stopping by to mail your tax returns or something, and they have good beer while you wait. Selection of about 7 house brews ranging from a light ale to barlywine, but the IPA(s) are the best of the lot. Our service was ok on a slow Friday afternoon with short down times with no beer in my glass. Got the cheese plate which was just normal everyday supermarket cubed cheese with some bottled fruit which came like 2 minutes before the sandwiches not giving us enough time to eat it as an appetizer after we had specifically asked for it as an appetizer. I had a average chicken sandwich with some horrible caramalized (read burnt) onions, my gf had a pretty decent and spicy buffalo chicken wrap. Food here is mediocre at best and the house beer is hit or miss. Barlywine was a thin, hot alcohol mess, the oatmeal stout was tasty but thin, but the Glacier IPA rocked. I was expecting more from my visit and ended up a little dissapointed.

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Photo of SABERG
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We ate lunch in the pub section on a Saturday, at noon it was filling up, by 2 it was packed.
The house brewed offerings were very good, had a Nugget IPA, and a Marzen. Both had good clarity. and body
each was well presented. Our server was exceptionally helpful and was super attentive.
The menu is pretty large, with solid offerings, I had a salad, nicely dressed and presented, wife had a Tuna
wrap that was excellent.
The pub side of the building is simply incredible, high ceilings and lots of woodwork.
An excellent time was had by all, worth the trip.
The pricing is appropriate for the quality.
Cheers

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Photo of buschbeer
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I decided to swing by Willimantic for lunch on the way to Foxwoods Casino. My buddy and I drove up, and it looked like a bank. It is a concrete building with large pillars out front. We walked in to the pub side and bellied up to the bar. It had high ceilings and a lot of woodwork.

I ordered a flight of in-house beers. They were all average to above average. I had a sandwich that was basically a reuben sandwich with coleslaw in place of sour kraut. I enjoyed it very much.

I struck up a conversation with a gentleman that happened to be from Michigan and had a nice talk about Michigan beer. I offered some suggestions for Ohio beers, as well. He actually wrote down some notes. He was a good guy from a great state. The bartender was very courteous and showed ample cleavage.

I eventually found out that the building used to be a post office. There are still P.O. boxes visible in the dining area. The dining area also houses the brewing equipment.

It is a good place to stop to eat and enjoy some beer. If you do not want their beer, they have several guest taps. It's definitely worth a look.

 1,107 characters

Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A- Very Busy at night which is good a little crowded but no time on waiting for a seat.

Q- A old former Post Office or Bank but the place is hella big. Which amaze me from being from PA.

S- The service was very good for even being busy. The staff was very knowledgeable about the menu and beer selection.

S- I t was all there beers didn't see a guest list. But there brews were very good.

F- Order their burgers which were very tasty and the fries too.

V- Price was very reasonable which the way I like it. Would visit again.

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here with a very good friend not exspecting much from a so called "brewing co." in Willimantic but was very pleasantly surprised.

Had an Allagsh White and after purusing the selection of beers on tap i was really impressed with this place. Had never heard of it but it is really a great little hang out, the setting is quite enjoyable, being in an old post office with ultra high ceilings.

For food I only had a salad so I'm not sure but my friend assured me that the food was quite good. Recommended to anyone venturing to Uconn, or just happening to be in this neck of the woods.

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Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

After much procrastination, I finally made the trip out to WilliBrew. It is located right along Main Street in Willimantic, which had more traffic in the middle of the day on a work day than I would have expected.
The setting is a former post office, with a very tall ceiling and a good amount space in general. You can sit at the long bar right at the main entrance or one of their many tables. Their beer sampler of 5 pours is a very good option. Nugget IPA & Salacious Saison were a couple of the favorites that I tried. Food was pretty good, especially the garlic fries. And the staff does a nice job of keeping up with the busy crowd w/ a positive attitude. For those who live closer to WBC, consider yourself fortunate.

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Photo of albern
4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

There isn't that much in Willimantic so this place definitely fills a void. There are unfortunately too many empty storefronts and check cashing type places. There are a few restaurants on main street. WBC and bar are located in an old bank building with lots of period design and sufficient parking. The beers that they brew on the premises are not all that great, but they do have "visiting" beers that should fill the void. I had a salad and sandwich and I wasn't disappointed. When I'm in Willimantic on business, I will stop in here again and try some of their other specialty beers, and hopefully I'll find something I like.

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Photo of ribeer11
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This was my second trip to this place...2 years apart unfortunately...I wish it was abit closer to me cause I would go there all the time...The beers I have had were great....(last trip I had a postal porter and IPA squared)...they had a good probably about 10 of their own beers..plus more on the coming soon list..and a pretty good selection of other on tap and in bottles..The building...an old post office...makes for a great roomy bar....the food was great...but are waiter was VERY SLOW....and it wasn't busy....highly recommended brew pub

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stop two on our way up to Boston. It's lunchtime and the place is fairly crowded. S.W.A.T. Stout (sealed with a kiss) was the standout hit at our table. One of the coolest bars/bar area in a brewpub I've ever seen. Rivaled in length only by the old bar in Victory's brewpub. Food was very tasty. I had the soup of the day. It was a Rhode Island style clam chowder that is broth based rather than cream. Some people argue that this is soup and not chowder, whatever, it was delicious. Service was speedy and attentive. If you are passing through CT on 84, do make a point to detour over to Willimantic.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We stopped off in Willimantic back in February to check out this brewpub on the way back from a Boston visit for the EBF. Pretty cool atmosphere here, as the brewpub is in what used to be the town's post office and the theme reflects that. Lots of postal and beer themed memorabilia are all over the place. It's all a little cluttered but there is lots to look at and it generally gives off a fairly cozy ambience. The postal theme even carries over to the menu with some of the beers and many of the food items being named after zip codes or towns that are in the surrounding area. The brewhouse is prominently featured to the right as you walk into the dining area and did I mention the giant movie screen hanging from the ceiling? It appears that they have movie nights available during dining as well. They also have Stein Sundays, where you can bring in your own stein and have it filled. It's always cool when a brewpub goes the extra mile with fun things like that.

They also have a rather classic (and long) looking bar along the back portion of the building, from which they were dispensing 5 house beers and a huge 26 guest taps! For the house beers, they didn't have the large number of IPAs on that I understand they usually do but with the hop shortage going on, it's totally understandable. As a matter of fact, it looked like they were being released in more of the staggered pattern now. Luckily, I was able to enjoy a pint of their "Pushing the Envelope" DIPA, which did just that, loaded with hops, malt, and alcohol. I also really enjoyed their Valentine's themed S.W.A.K. Stout, which was rich with tasty vanilla notes.

They also have a pretty large and varied menu here with salads, sandwiches, and appetizers being reasonably priced and most entrees being more expensive, in the $15-20 range. Beers were generally pretty reasonable, being in the $4-5 range. Service was a little all over the place. Our waitress had not only us but a couple of other large tables to deal with and seemed to get a little scatterbrained at times, especially when it came time to get the check. We did get great service though from the seating hostess, who went out of her way to hook us up with some merch that we wanted to buy, so we'll call it a wash. We still loved the beers and overall atmosphere here though and still had a great time. I'm really glad that we stopped, as we had heard a lot of great things about it. Although its out-of-the-way location makes it hard to call it a destination spot, this is still a must hit if your in Eastern CT.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I was glad to see a brewpub listed on this site that was right down the road from me at school. First I was impressed with how original this place was by not only being ina renovated post office, but also with having a mail-themed....everything!!! The service was awesome, the food was affordable and delicious, the specials were inviting, it was easy to find, and, oh ya, the beers were awesome. Imagine your favorite beers, and then twist 'em up a bit - this is the Main Street Cafe. I ordered a sampler which came with five different 4 oz servings of their brews. If you are ever in the farmlands of Connecticut, near UConn, go here. You should regret it if you don't.

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Photo of SUjunkie
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Without a doubt the best brewery I have been to in CT. The location is in an old post office. Huge ceilings. 60 foot bar. The largest square foot brewery that I have been to.
We went on a Sunday afternoon and took advantage of their special on bring a Stein and get a full glass at the pint price. I had the Octoberfest, Harvest and Rye. Wife had the VEG IPA and the Huskies IPA. All were very good quality beers. They also had the following on tap -
PS Pale Bock
Certified Gold
Hopyard IPA
Belgian Black
Summerfest

For a brewery they had a lot of "outside" taps. More than most breweries and some quality beer from Dogfish, Long Trail, etc.
We also had burgers, wings and nachos which were all tasty and at a great price. The bartenders were very friendly as well.

Will be back soon for sure.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited for dinner on Sunday on the way home from EBF weekend. The place was easy to find on the main drag of Willimantic, just after all the fast food options, in a huge hulk of a building which used to be the post office. Everything looks better with Marble Columns! Parking lot next door and the entrance in the back were nice and we were acknowledged and seated quickly. The bar area was fairly large, with lots of tables in addition to a nice long bar.

Lots of great beers on tap, though they were out of a few of their staple beers and seem to have been feeling the effects of the hops shortage, as there was only 1 IPA on tap, a double. A nice selection of guest taps too. The beers were really good, the Rail Mail Rye being one of the best of the style I've ever had, and the SWAK Stout and Pushing the Envelope DIPA were solid. Being in an old post office, the whole theme of the place is pretty much mail related, from the beer names to certain food items, very cool and unique.

Speaking of food, they have a good variety, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks and other meats, and pastas. The place was very family friendly, offering up kids meals and having plenty of children around for dinnertime.

Our service was a little lacking, as our waitress was in charge of our table of 6, another table of 6, a table of 8, and a party taking up a separate room, so we weren't helped as much as we would have liked, but because of the situation, it's understandable. Other staff tried to help us out with our merchandise purchases when we showed interest to our waitress, so she was aware of our neglect and tried to alleviate the situation.

I really enjoyed the place, good food, great beers, and a list showing what was coming up soon, making us anxious to return. The place is definitely not on the main route though, unless you're planning on going to Willimantic, but it is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of OldSock
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped off on my way home from New York, I'd been meaning to come for ages.

Atmosphere – Big tall ceiling, but pretty standard decor. Its big for a brewpub and it has a separate bar area. I like the old building with something new in it feel, much like Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh.

Quality – Lots of fresh beer brewed on premises, can't get any higher quality than that. I had a sampler so I can't speak to glassware, but the temperature of each beer was good.

Service – The waiters all seemed very nice, but not particularly talkative. The service was almost too fast, I got my soup before I tried all of the beers and my main course before I finished the soup, better fast than slow I guess.

Selection – When I went the selection was a bit low, as much as I like IPAs having three on tap is a bit much, it would be nice to have more variety. That being said, they were great IPAs and they were different from one another. The Roadenzok was interesting as well, always nice to have something with a bit of funk.

Food – I had a good sandwich and a cup of soup, pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Choices were pretty standard maybe a bit upscale, pub fare with some interesting entrees.

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Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic, CT
3.9 out of 5 based on 637 ratings.
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