City Steam Brewery Café

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City Steam Brewery CaféCity Steam Brewery Café
Very Good
815 Ratings
City Steam Brewery CaféCity Steam Brewery Café

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

942 Main St
Hartford, Connecticut, 06103-1214
United States

(860) 525-1600 | map

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Ratings: 120 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of Duffman79
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of brewcifix
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Varkias41
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of jfcaa193
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of jbhollis1180
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Griffith
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of johnhkelm
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of swierczt
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Bootleg
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Let's face it...serious beer enthusiasts seek out brewpubs for great boutique/craft beers. City Steam Brewery Cafe is spectacular in this regard and is my #1 beer destination whenever I'm in the Hartford area. The food as one might expect by the name is pub fare. It exists to allow us to drink more of the wonderful beers. Many of the selections are quite tasty. I love the black-eyed pea soup! The staff is friendly and very engaging. Get to know them and they will bring a smile to your face visit after visit!

As an avid homebrewer for 25 years, I have known about their Brewmaster, Mr. Ron Page, for a very long time. I think of him as the Greg Noonan of Southern New England. His award winning beers were earning him accolades before going professional. In fact, he won top national honors as "American Homebrewer of the Year" five years in a row if I'm not mistaken back in the late '80's and early 90's. I have never met a brewer so passionate for the craft. Needless to say, the beers at City Steam need absolutely NO excuses and there's a style for every palette or mood.

If you love beer, truly great beer and have never been to City Steam Brewery Cafe, it absolutely has to make it to the top of your bucket list!!!!

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Photo of cheesepuffs
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

Atmosphere was nice and it is much larger inside than I expected. You walk in and you're surround by dark wood and the building has a classic feel inside. Beer itself was good and they have a selection of their own brews that covers most every category. Service was friendly and interactive, though I asked two employees if this place offers brewery tours of where the magic happens downstairs (because when you go there you're in the restaurant/bar the whole time) and neither employee really knew, which I thought was odd. Food wise I had boneless wings, and mac and cheese. Wings were not a good value as you do not get much for your money - only four chicken strips and I believe it was around 9 dollars... The mac and cheese was good and a much bigger portion at least.

Speaking overall, I felt like the food and drinks were not a good value for your money, but at least our bartender was attentive and personable so that makes a difference. Would I go there again? Sure, but only if I was already in the area, and only to grab a beer or two. I would not eat here again because there are better restaurants and bars to go to for a meal.

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Photo of Enriquehopnog
1.79/5  rDev -53.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 2.75 | selection: 2 | food: 2

This place is awful. The beer here seems like it was brewed out of someone's garage and they yeast wasn’t controlled at proper temperatures and is always infected. I honestly hate to say but I will say it....A bud light as uncomplicated as it is was better than any of these beers. The place was filthy. The tables and bar are never wiped down and in the late spring and summer months you will see tons of flies. This cannot be good around fermenters. This could also be the reason there beer has an awful after taste. I have tried quite a few of these beers because my friend is obsessed with City Steam. I feel he has no idea what quality is and I believe the crowd truly comes back because of the convenience of job location and the bar.

I highly recommend if you have a passion for quality beer to try another place. There are a number of brew pubs and breweries I can highly recommend. I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to City Steam as I will emphasize that all the beer tastes infected

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of buschbeer
3.86/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place was very close to my hotel and was recommended by the gentleman as I checked in. I got there on a Friday during happy hour. The place was very busy. I was glad to see fellow Wolverine fans here. I was in town for the Michigan vs. Connecticut football game. I sat in the bar area. The bar was full and only a couple of seats were open at tables. They had very large tables. There would be two or three people sitting at tables for 6-8. I was not a fan of this. My friend and I sat at a table designed for 6, and it was just the two of us.

We checked out the menu, and the happy hour prices were phenomenal. It was $2 off pints and $7 off one gallon beer towers. They even had certain appetizers that were only $3. I chose to have a sampler to get a feel for their beers. Most were average. A couple were good.

The bar area had a restaurant feel to it. I noticed glass mugs hanging about, so I assume they had a mug club. The waitress was friendly and a little slow, but that was do to the large crowd. I had a couple of the $3 appetizers and the sampler. My friend and I were both very happy about how little we paid. We came back the next day, too.

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Photo of jefftuck47
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of KevinDanger23
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

I stopped in here last week while on vacation with the family. This brewpub sits in and old brick building just dripping with history in a downtown section of Hartford. Old dark wood and Victorian accents adorn the 2 floors of restaurant space amid the huge windows that look to the city. 12 or so homemade brews adorn the menu along with the standard course of pub grub. A Monday night was surprisingly active but the service was steady and attentive. I sampled several beers that ranged from mediocre to great but was pleasantly surprised by the quality overall. The food was decent and the pricing was on par with what I expected to pay. I'd revisit if in the area. again.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I hate driving in cities, even minor cities like Hartford. Parking is even worse. That's one of the reasons I love City Steam. Parking is close, cheap and easy.

As so as you walk in the bar is to the left and loaded with plenty of framed vintage advertising pieces. The bar has this clean industrial feel to the decor. The beers here are of great quality. It seems that they have about six house taps and four of them rotating.

The dining areas are creative and unique. Some dining tables are on stairway landings, some in cubby holes and other various cozy spots. The establishment seems to have done a lot with a little space.

The food is fantastic, get the chocolate cake, its huge. That slice could feed four.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.33/5  rDev -39%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5

Visited after checking out the Xmas lights downtown.

Supposedly the City Steam building is a former department store that represents the best example of Romanesque architecture in America. With the Xmas decorations and retro beer art everywhere it looks like a combination of Friday's or Appleby's and the toy store from Home Alone 2.

We came for an a beer at the bar but the bar was so crowded we elected for drinks and dessert at a table. We were ID'd once we entered the door and then again by the waitress who said she didn't trust anyone to check IDs for her. My girlfriend was not happy and the ensuing tension between her and the server carried out through the night. Once our server discovered we were only there for dessert and drinks she pretty much shut down and ignored us. It took 30 minutes and several requests to get a glass of water. The server wasn't familiar with the beer list and described it by listing the things that they didn't have. An extra .5 service points for a courteous and friendly bus boy that was the highlight of this place.

For a brewery cafe City Steam doesn't have a lot of beer. It's mainly a restaurant. They had an pale ale, amber ale, golden lager and saison on tap. Not that exciting. The beer itself wasn't anything special and a peanut butter ganache thing was off but my GFs chocolate martini was pretty good.

In retrospect I wish we had gone someplace else but I guess you never know until you try. Been there, done that.

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Photo of spydo99
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I don't go to Hartford as much as I used to. But when I do, City Steam is 1 of 4 stops I try to make. I would say when I am in Hartford, I stop in for at least a pint 9 out of 10 visits to the city.

The resteraunt is very "Unique" - I want to say 5 levels. Food is average - another place you go to drink and eating is an afterthought.

The comedy club is well worth the visit - you can catch a suprise act from time to time.

The beer all have names and have a regular rotation, colt, naughty nurse, etc. I try to go when I know they will have either the Jamaican Stout or the "Russian" Imperial Stout. Have not yet hat the PV Porter dedicated to the life and times of a former local PV O'Donnell. (Gonna miss the Fiddle)

They do a nice presentation on the "yard" of beer. Designed to serve the table.

All in all worth a visit for a pint or two.


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Photo of socon67
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here with some friends. The place is more restaurant than beer place, but has a decent vibe. The wait staff know enough about the beer made on premesis to answer questions, and they do have a good amount of selections. I tried the Naughty Nurse and their Belgian Double. Both were solidly good beers. The "guest beers" appear to be the generic stuff. Food was good and better than most brew pubs. Trying a few beers can get a little pricey, but nothing too outrageous. I'd come back on a weeknight to see if the crowd is different.

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Photo of Sammy
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

A nice bar downtown. You can find parkig fairly close. Busy,but a small city crowd with a little fiendliness. it was pre-Tom Petty concert. A working guy's place, the several tables and the generous sized bar were all taken. The beer was nothing too special, the macros were the guest beers. Heavier drinking bar, cocktails and the like. Service was good considering the activity. Worth a stop if and only if you are in the downtown core. A restaurant more than a beer bar, and not somewhere I need to revisit.

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Photo of number1bum
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here for dinner with a colleague while in town on business. This place was huge - couldn't believe how big it was, with a large downstairs and a lot of seating upstairs as well, plus some private dining areas upstairs. Tons of seating, which made it curious that on a Tuesday night we were told it would be a half hour wait. We actually waited about 5 minutes and passed a number of empty tables on the way to our table upstairs. Maybe they were short on servers or something; who knows. The decor and what not was very nice; lots of wood, very cozy.

They had maybe 8 beers on tap or something like that, plus a wasted guest tap with Michelob Amber Bock on. I tried their IPA and pilsener, and they also had a Belgian IPA, summer stout, light lager, etc. The IPA was solid but the pils sucked; way too sweet, sort of buttery and honey-like. Not good. Selection wasn't overwhelmingly good but seemed solid enough and looks like it turns over a bit.

Food was tasty - we shard some asian wings, vegetable dumplings and a basil and mozzarella pizza and it was all good. Service was a bit dicey. In addition to the stated 30 minute wait, our server was also working a large party and was not as attentive to us as he probably should have been. I think he realized that, however, and was apologetic for it. All in all this was a cool place to visit and I would visit again when I'm back in downtown Hartford for an evening.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This brewpub was a nice little surprise on a recent overnight trip to Hartford for a Pearl Jam concert. It was attached to the hotel I was staying at to make it very convenient too.

The place was packed given that I was there on a Saturday afternoon along with a lot of other out-of-towners who were there for the show that night. We couldn't get a table to try the food but managed to squeeze out way to the bar to get a couple of pints each. I tried their IPA and their Summer Stout. The Summer Stout was a very nice American Stout and IPA was a weak example of the style IMO. Others I was with tried the porter, pilsener and others and had mixed reviews.

The service was great considering how packed the place was.

This was a neat little brewpub. I would definitely go back here if my travels ever bring me back to Hartford.

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Photo of gfbeer
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Had a great experience the other day at City Steam in Hartford, CT before the Jack Johnson concert. Beers were fresh and tasted great and the food was delicious. Had the IPA, which had a great floral smell and hop bite. Summer Stout was also good. The food was also good. Half the party got the buffalo chicken wrap and the other half got burgers. Everyone enjoyed the food and the beer. The place was busy and had a good vibe. Overall, we had a very positive experience and we would definitely go back!!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was in Hartford for a hot minute - just stopped here for a pint with friends - thought I would give a quick beerfly

Atmosphere was pretty dead while we were there around lunch on a weekday. There were a couple others there, but pretty quiet w/ a small bar area and all the beers displayed that were on tap. They have some cool art deco posters and nice beer ads/comics in the bathroom.

Quality - everything was served fresh and in the appropriate glassware I couldn't really complain as we were treated well

The service was simple basic and up to standard, without really going out of the way- pleasant and friendly.

The Selection is good I was pleased to find a Biere de Garde on and the Pale - Acapulco Gold was as hoppy as some IPA's -with a nice west coast taste. They had a schwarzbier and an unfiltered IPA on as well as a brown ale, wheat and light lager, but not over the top selection was -just a nice variety of solid brews

I would have ordered some food if we hadn't already had lunch at Willimantic, I can't comment on this, but menu looked good

The value is decent, picked up some glassware and had a pint for a quick stop, I would probably return if in Hartford again.

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City Steam Brewery Café in Hartford, CT
Brewery rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 815 ratings