Kelleys Island Brewery Restaurant & Bar


Awaiting 10 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

504 W. Lakeshore Dr.
Kelleys Island, Ohio, 43438
United States

(419) 746-2314 | map

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Ratings: 5 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by BeerBelcher:
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.89/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

I really enjoyed my visit to Kelleys Island, and I am glad it is equipped with a brewpub. It is across the street from what I believe is the only hotel on Kelleys, and my wife (who's visited Kelleys more than I) informed me that the brewpub makes a pretty good breakfast (she recommends the pancakes). It is also a nice place to hang out, with an outdoor bar, patio, and seating on the lawn. All that said, this is hardly a craft beer lovers nirvana. I stopped in, had one beer, enjoyed the place but didn't especially enjoy the beer, so my wife and I hopped back on the backs and headed elsewhere.

No one was inside when we visited. The outdoor bartendress described the two house-brewed beers they had as Belgian, and went on to compare the second of these (which I surmise was the Kelley's Gold) to GLBC Dortmunder Gold...which made sense later, but not with the "Belgian style" descriptor added. I got the former (the Island Devil), which wasn't all that great.

That said, this is your one craft beer option on Kelleys Island. And the ambience, like that of most of Kelleys Island, is nice - relaxing, sunny, pleasant. In the context of this site, not sure how that makes this place stack up to others reviewed. To summarize - a pleasant experience, but not a great beer experience.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Rickybutler
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5

Photo of raeman70
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Photo of lftwng4
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

So the wife and I spent a few days on Kelley's Island, and of course we hit the KI Brewery. We've been there every summer for a few years now, and have seen their beer go from good to bad and thankfully, back to good.
If you've never been, Kelley's Island is a small island in Lake Erie, not far from Cedar Point(Sandusky) and Put-In-Bay(South Bass Island). It's by far more restrained/family friendly than it's counterpart Put-In-Bay, which could be good or bad, depending on your need for jackassary.
Anyways, the KI Brewery sits on the south-west side of the island, with a great view of the lake and South Bass Island, several blocks from the other bars and restaurants. Maybe because of this, they never seem to get the crowds that the downtown establishments have, and there's a much more relaxed vibe. You can sit inside the place, lots of seating and windows, or sit outside on the lawn around one of a dozen or so tables with umbrellas. This is important 'cause it gets sunny and hot outside, so it's nice to have the shade. There's also a bar inside and outside, so that's an option. I think the place used to be an ice cream joint, so it's about the furthest thing from what I consider to be a "traditional" brewpub, with the brick walls, huge wooden bar structure, etc. They also have live music sometimes outside.
They serve all three meals, and their breakfast is particularly good. They've got a decent menu, and the food has always been good. Prices aren't bad, especially considering that when you're in that island environment, you're somewhat of a captive audience and it's not hard to spend 30% more just because of the limited options.
As stated earlier, their beer wasn't very good last year, and they only had a few offerings. To be fair, it was kind of early in the season, and I think they had a snafu that set them back a few weeks in their process.
This year, however, they seemed to have it all heading in the right direction. They offered an IPA, a Belgian Double, a Belgian Triple, an ESB(of sorts) and possibly a brown ale. I'm not much for Belgians, but both were good, and several people have raved about the Triple. I had a couple of the IPA's, and I seem to recall my wife really liking their Angler's Ale. I neglected to take notes, and I was kinda fuzzy both times we went(the island life will do that to ya) but the overall impression was favorable. Staff was knowledgeable and friendly, beer was good, atmosphere is relaxing.
It really is a different world on the islands, so maybe it's not quite fair to compare them to many other brewpubs, as the environment is apples and oranges. That said, KIB is a mandatory destination for anyone spending time on the islands in Lake Erie, and a short boat ride either from the mainland or PiB, and well worth the effort.

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Photo of cokes
2.96/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

This is about as odd as a brewpub gets. It's located on its own, away from the downtown area of Kelleys Island. Depending on the boat you take over (and assuming you didn't bring a car), you'd probaby need to rent a golfcart to reach it.
It overlooks the lake, in the middle of a residential area and looks like an ice cream stand on the outside.
Looks like an ice cream stand on the inside too. Except for the fact it has some brewing equipment. All white and sunny. Stopped by in the middle of the day, but this place doesn't look like it has much of a nightlife.

A friendly native was stationed behind the bar. I was the only person there, and he seemed a little shocked by my presence. Friendly guy, I learned that he was a pal of the brewmaster. He wasn't much of a beergeek, as evidenced by the fact he compared their Belgian-styled Island Devil to a smooth malt liquor. That beer wasn't quite ready yet, but he offered me a taste (and it was quite tasty even in its raw form), then gave me a well-scripted explaination of their other beers. I got a sampler platter (served on a wooden board cut to resemble the island), and retreated to the deck to watch the lake.

Only three beers being served, not counting the premature Island Devil, plus a Black and Tan mix of the Brown Ale and Pils. The Pils (Lily-Ti Lager) and English Pale (Anglers) Ale were average, but the Dawg Bizkit Brown was worth the trip.

I didn't try any food, but it didn't appear that they had much besides the quick-eat hotdog variety stuff. They also craft their own sodas.

This place is about as out of the way as they come, but it has its rewards. Even if they are small.

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Kelleys Island Brewery Restaurant & Bar in Kelleys Island, OH
3.34 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.
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