Union Station Brewery

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Union Station BreweryUnion Station Brewery
Union Station BreweryUnion Station Brewery

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

36 Exchange Ter
Providence, Rhode Island, 02903-1798
United States

(401) 274-2739 | map

Owned by John Harvard's Brew House.

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View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 69
Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here last week During Homebrewcon.
Nestled inside a courtyard that make it seem somehow outside the city. 10 -15 tables outside and at least triple that inside. Service was quite good, the beer and food were decent and the price was inline with what I'd expect to pay in the city.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 5

It's in a neat building in downtown Providence. Exposed brick with plenty of seating. The quality of the food and beer average to a four. Service was friendly and attentive. The food menu was robust...but beer menu only had five offerings...a sixth was recently kicked and not yet replaced. I had the chicken pot pie and it was fantastic.

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Photo of BFrie
3.31/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3.25

This place can get very busy and noisy. As far as beer selection, it's not the greatest. The service was excellent and the food was above average. All in all, they didn't have any beer that I would go back for. Kind of a disappointment. I'm still searching for a great RI brewery which I have yet to find.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Nice place - clean and nicely decorated. Atmosphere was a little cold.

Neither the food nor the beer was very interesting or good.

Staff seemed somewhat disinterested.

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Photo of Andrew041180
2.85/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

A - Union Station Brewery appears to be a very comfortable place. It is situated in a area with other popular eateries and has some outdoor seating. The inside looked clean and well-decorated. We ate outside.

Q - I was disappointed with everything that we got. I started with a Wicked Pale ale that tasted of cardboard and little else. Then our group moved on to a large order of wings, which were cooked well, but absolutely slathered with BBQ sauce. Way too much imo. I got a chicken sandwich that was supposed to mimic a caprese salad. The bottom of the bun was soaked. The chicken was pretty good, but tiny. The tomato was not ripe. The second beer that I got, a Golden ale, was too heavy and just bad tasting. I didn't finish it.

S - Typical menu items for a brew pub.

F - See Quality.

V - My wife told me she didn't like the place and then I went off on my disappointments. Then she said it cost us $60. Very expensive for what you get in my opinion.

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Photo of francus
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

A nice location downtown. I imagine it is more fun on a summer night when you can sit outside.

The staff was friendly and helpful. I had questions about the brew I had and they were very nice to waste time answering all my questions. I even got the recipe for their bitter. It is for a 10bbl batch, of course, but that can be adjusted if I want to make it at home.

The food was good and the servings were large. The place was very clean and the atmosphere was a touch dark in all the right spots, not too much, not to little. When I was there they had five beers on tap, four of the regular ones and a cask conditioned one. I only tried the bitter which was very good and had a hint of chocolate malt on the finish.

I recommend checking this place out.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped into here on a trip to Rhode Island for lunch before going to the Bruins game. We went to Trinity the year before, and wanted something new. It's a really nice, upscale looking place with brick everywhere and lots of brewery stuff located all around (tanks, merch, etc). Sat at the bar, and the bartender was extremely nice, helpful, and a pleasure to talk to. They had seven beers on tap and one cask. I had the Simcoe IPA, and thought it was just ok...lacked some hop character. My friends had the cask Breakfast Stout and loved it. As for their other beers: a blonde, a pale, a dunkel, a wit, and a couple I forget. They were all solid, nothing outstanding. The food was excellent. I got the chef's special, a fried chicken sandwich, and loved it. The side Caesar salad was also a nice size and par for their course. My friends got the calamari and buffalo tenders and enjoyed them. I'd rank this place probably above Trinity based on the overall experience, but neither has really fantastic beer.

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Photo of rinypa
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Union Station is more or less my local. Despite the fact that it does mostly get visitors form the nearby hotels, it actually works as such. The mug club is a nice deal, it took me a year to get on the list but it's worth it.

For some reason the growlers here are very expensive (much more than Trinity) so I never get those, but I try to stop in for a beer whenever i can. the styles are constantly rotating and the current brewmaster is a strong all-around stylist. Keep in mind that every other person who walks up to the bar here asks for a Bud (again, the hotels close by) and has to be steered to their lighter styles. that said, there's enough to keep the snobby drinker (me) happy.

I usually don't eat here; for bar food it it is decent but like all bar food it's heavy and greasy. I would rather save room for the beer. The waitstaff is competent but stting at the bar staring at the copper tanks surrounded by dark wood and brick is more fun.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located in downtown Providence amidst a few other restaurants, Union Station is a good destitation for some decent food and tasty brews if you are in the area.

I had the five beer sampler, which featured a blonde, IPA, amber, dunkel, and stout. They were all pretty good, none spectacular, but all tasty. We took home a growler of the blonde, for a very nicely priced 9 bucks.

The food menu was a little sparse, and there was surprisingly no kids menu, not even chicken fingers! The pizza was good for them though. My burger was pretty tasty and my wife enjoyed a salad. It was a good menu I guess.

The service was ok. Was saturday night at 6, and they all seemed a little stressed - the place was busy, but not crowded. Everything came out at a reasonable time.

Overall - good place to hang out and enjoy some tasty brews.

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Photo of BogleHill
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Located in the basement of an old train station - hence the name, Union Station. This was Rhode Island's first brewpub, established in 1993, and still going strong. I have been going here for about 15 years, and have seen improvement over the years with the quality of its brews, although the selection is unpredictable and spotty. The place tends to attract mostly tourists, but I never let that bother me. I love the dark den-like feel of the place. The menu is usually sparse, but I do recommend the calimari.

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Photo of sccala
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere is ingriquing and inviting. Tall exposed ceilings, brick walls, dark woods. Makes you feel like you are in a basement pub instead of downtown of a capital city. The place is fairly big...bigger than you would think when looking at the front door. Because of it's size, the service isn't the greatest. The staff seems to be mostly concerned with just going through the motions rather than caring that YOU care or not. Not suprising though, as most restaurants are like this. I have to remind myself that this is a brewpub, not a beer bar, hence there will only be a limited number of beers to choose from at any given time. ( I mean, how many beers can a place be brewing and serving at the same time??!!) Food is decent, as are the prices you pay. Overall, this is nothing to go out of your way for. If you want a brewpub in the area, the Trinity is head and shoulders above Union Station and is a 4 minute walk away.

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Photo of morebeergood
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

Was in Prov. for dinner with my parents at The Capital Grille, and since this brewpub is right next door, this was stop number two of two on our mini pub crawl. Cool looking. Has a subterranean feeling, dark, brick, cement, and exposed ceilings. There were six beers on tap, plus one cask. I ordered the barleywine and my wife had the cask vanilla bean porter. My beer was just OK, but my wife did not like the cask beer. It tasted "infected" and not right. Our bartender was talking to a waitress about this very beer, and called a manager over. He asked her if she thought it tasted bad, and she took a sip, shook her head, and walked away. Now, my wife is two feet away and watched this whole encounter. The bartender looks back at my wife, with a bad beer in front of her, and walks away. Whatever. I drank mine since it was such a tiny pour, and she ditched 2/3rds of hers. No loss, beers were overall not good and we're mostly likely never going back here again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.14/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited a couple of times on late Sunday afternoons during this past summer and finally getting around to writing the review. It's larger inside than you would think when you look at it from outside, comfortable bar area that isn't too cramped and a lot of dining area. It's a nice and relaxed atmosphere, which I usually don't find in that particular section of Providence. Service was prompt and very friendly, plus they seemed fairly knowledgeable about the beer. They have about 5 or 6 taps and one beer on cask. The selections were pretty diverse both times I went there and from one visit to the next, which were about six weeks or so apart, all but one of the taps had a different beer on. I did not try the food either time I was there, but plan on editing the review once I do. The price was quite reasonable especially considering their location and the number of places around them that are "high-end". I'm not thrilled about having to pay to park when I go there but that's how everything is in that part of Providence unless you get lucky. Overall, it's a nice place to hang out and try some new beers.

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Photo of langcpa
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited both the Trinity and the Union Station breweries in RI on the same weekend. Union Station appeared to be more upscale with a good menu. The place was clean and the selection of beers on tap was good. I had a College Hill Porter that was above average as far as porters go. I would go back to this place, close to the water park, and close to downtown motels. Waiters and waitresses were very friendly, Being a collector of Polo shirts etc of the various breweries I have been in across the US, they had a nice selection of glasses, shirts etc.
I would recommend this Brewery for anyone visiting Providence.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.45/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

i've often directed people here instead of Trinity because in my experience USB has superior food and no less consistent beer quality. well, last night's food was still good but the beer was awfully disappointing.

this place should be great, not just good. it has a cool underground feel with lots of exposed beams/brick. i've always found the service attentive and friendly. the menu is a step up from regular pub food, although the burgers are great too.

it's just that the beer doesn't hold up. they usually have five or six offerings, and i started off with the Octoberfest. it was not terrible but lacked that strong malt profile i was hoping for. next i finished my date's IPA, and immediately understood why she didn't like it. there was a mystifying funky Brett aftertaste; so much so that i double- and triple-checked the beer list to make sure it wasn't supposed to be a Belgian IPA. in one final hail-mary we asked for a sample of the College Hill Porter (cask). nope, that wasn't good enough to warrant a whole glass.

i'm not willing to write off the whole place just because of one bad night. but they didn't give me much incentive to hurry back.

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Photo of gfreed
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 2

Ate dinner here after attending Waterfire. Average food, average or below-average beer. Yet another brewpub that serves beer in pint glasses and without a head! Is there anything more disappointing than a headless hefeweizen in a shaker pint? And at this brewery, the hefe tastes soapy. Also tried their amber: a bit too fruity for my taste, with a sticky, yicky aftertaste. And the blond was thin, pale, tasteless and rather cloudy. Let's not even talk about the 32oz option, either. Skip this place; get a hotdog from a street vendor and a bottle from a local liquor store instead.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This is a John Harvard's that is in a slight disguise.

Pretty standard brewpub with no major characteristics were mentioning.

Service was decent, our waiter was okay but not much of a beer salesman.

I had a glass of their Imperial Vanilla Porter that was on cask. It was decent, not overly flavorful for the style but at least they had a beer engine.

Food was okay, I had a salad that was filling but not memorable.

Overall, this is a convenient place to grab some food and drink when in the West side of Providence. If its not your thing, Ri-Ra is pretty much next door.

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Photo of sheikyerbouti
2.08/5  rDev -40.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 2

I've tried this place every year since it opened ages ago. It is part of the john harvard chain, but it should be ashamed of that fact. At least JH puts out decent beers and has excellent food. This place has shitty beer and sub par food. Beers are not up to the JH caliber and the food is definitely not.

Don't waste your time here, you are better off stopping at the wild colonial for a decent beer. I always try the local beer, but in RI, it is downright pitiful. And yes, I was a native for over 30 years.

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Photo of GJ40
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've visited Union Station pretty regularly for years and I find it consistently very good; not outstanding but very good.

The atmosphere is fantastic. The brick and huge granite blocks make it pretty rustic. They certainly don't build like that anymore.

The beer selection varies. I was just there last week and the beer list was great. The Golden Spike (an American Pale Ale) is back but I didn't think it was as good as it used to be. It also included a cask IPA (very light for an IPA but good), a dopplebock (again light for the style but good), a brown ale (very good) and a couple of others I didn't get to.

The food is very good at Union Station. They have a varied menu including the usual pub favorites (like burgers and pizzas) and some surprises like great salads and good seafood.

I think Union Station is one of the better beer / food spots in Providence.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Well, straightaway, I did not understand the ambiance. The entire place was below street level, but it was like they were trying to be a clean, well-lighted place for beer. It should have been a Stygian nightmare, instead. As I descended the steps from the street, lugging my suitcase, I had a moment of personal thankfulness that I was still physically capable of so doing.

Outdoors, they had a patio area with seating available by checking in with the maitre d'.

To do so, I had to walk through the vestibule with its brick archway, past the m.d.s., where I spied the long, polished wood bar straight back with the brewhouse beyond it. The back bar was fashioned from a combination of brickwork and glass windows. The bar area was surrounded by an expansive restaurant area which consisted of a mix of high tables and chairs, standard restaurant tables and chairs, and some booths. It was not a terribly large space, but a number of well-placed mirrors made it seem bigger than it actually was. There was lots of vintage Narragansett breweriana on display throughout.

I had an unobtrusive server who took the time to introduce me to his manager, a Lancaster County native (from Quarryville), who was studying Hospitality Science at a nearby school.

Lunch consisted of a great chicken pot pie plus a cup of lobster bisque.

Beers: I was underwhelmed by the Pawtucket Patriot Pilsner; I loved the Golden Spike APA on cask; the Irish Stout was nice and smoky; and the Sandy Bottom IPA was out. Three whole beers?!? Eh. I know where I'm headed on my next visit and it begins with Trinity.

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Photo of laughatdanger11
2.5/5  rDev -29%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 1.5

I'm sorry to be like this, but this a lame excuse for a brewery. I did not order any food, so I cannot comment on that. There were about 7 beer selections. I was initially interested in all of them, so I decided to give the sampler a try. I recall the platter had a red ale, an IPA, a barleywine, a scotch ale, a light lager, and something else which I can't recall (to no surprise). Each of these beers were incredibly watery. No body what so ever. Minimal hop presence, even in their "IPA." The beers were just tasteless and flat. Each beer seemed equally as disappointing as the previous. For some reason the brewers are afraid to make a beer with some balls, character, or any distinction at all. I cannot stress how much these beers were lacking. I didn't finish any of the beers except for the barleywine, and that was just so I could get my money's worth of alcohol content. Skip this place if your planning on coming here for a tasty beer outing. Or better yet, try it out and report back here and lament on your decision.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I know I'm not suppose to do it but I remember this pretty clearly.
I went to Union Station two years ago and have not returned. The atomostphere is nice. TV's inside, chairs and tables outside. The waiter was nice and check in on us from time to time. The selection was decent on the food. Many types of beers to choose from too. I might of had a bad beer, but the october fest that i ordered was watery and had not much flavor. I decided to get another beer and that too wasn't that great but was better. I have not returned, but might of been luck of the draw.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I've visited Union Station a few times, so this review is a culmination of my visits. First and foremost, the beer is lacking. I've done the sampler on each occasion, and have not been impressed. My most recent excursion yielded a flat and tasteless experience across all styles. The food was decent, but nothing special. In fact, my chicken pot pie was lukewarm. Service was good and very attentive. Prices were reasonable for downtown Providence, but I thought the food was somewhat lacking. Personally, I have no plans to ever go back. For the brewpub experience, I recommend Trinity.

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Photo of shamrock7
3.73/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I’ve been here a couple of times and enjoyed the atmosphere and the feel of the place. There is a big dining space with a big brick wall that adds character to the surroundings. There is also a nice big bar area for sipping your choice of brew. If you’re a first time customer let them know and you’ll get some samples to try out so you can see what you like. I have to say I really didn’t find one specific beer that I would sit down and drink more than 1-2 of. Both times I’ve been there I’ve ended up ordering the sampler, which is decently priced, and order just one of the pints – a red ale that was just okay. As far as the food and service goes…I have no complaints. Both were good.

Overall a decent place, they just need to improve on the beer quality.

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Photo of rickcampie
4/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

dont live to far from pub, food is good, nice and roomy interior, knowledgable bar staff, staff dosnt mind giving samples. not a bad selection of brew, the selection changes with the seasons. growlers are also available for take home. also they have a cool mug club that includes reserved seating your own 22oz mug thats stays at the pub for you and discounted appitizers, all for a yearly flat rate. i recomend stopping buy if your in the area, well worth the stop, especially on waterfire nights...

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Union Station Brewery in Providence, RI
Brewery rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 141 ratings