Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2516 Market Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio, 44113
United States

(216) 771-4404 | map

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Reviews: 234 | Ratings: 527
Photo of claminat420
1.99/5  rDev -53.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 1

This place was a let down x10. they didn't even have wright bro's pilsner at all. i mean a pub exclusive... on our (gf and i)trip to cleveland to see primus i was geeked to stop there after we got situated at our hotel. i walked into the gift shop first to only notice they had 3 year around b.s. beers and one seasonal which you could find anywhere to go in 6 packs. the usual commadore perry, edmund, octoberfest, and burning river. so then we walked to the actual bar to notice they had pretty much the same thing. the only special beer if you wanna call it that was some dark smokey pale ale that sounded like crap. i looked around the bar area to notice pretty much 80% of the people were either drinking edmund or blackout stout (that being dark in color).so being pissed i figured i'd settle with the blackout stout which my beer stores in my local area still have alot of. well i asked how much for a growler for the stout and the dude told me $33. i mean bend me over and do me dry here. the scene of people in their looked really snoodish. very white collar. i felt like great lakes lost there ways with the harding working blue collar peeps who don't wanna spend 20 bucks on a burger and fries. what was really cool tho was one of the dudes working there told me about a store in the area that had a little micro selection. i asked a girl working there and she said "i don't drink this kind of stuff". like wow great lakes employ people who don't have a passionate for beers but for their face and rack. i glanced at a menu for food and the prices seemed high roller. and looking at the food people were eating no way seemed worth it. i ended up just getting a lake erie monster pint glass and a hippy bumper sticker. i just don't understand how they offer nothing special at all. like a treat for people who drove the way or whatever. great lakes stock plumited in my book.

PS- totally made it worth the lame let down tho was this old lady who was bitching how they had nothing special. i mean old like 70+. she said "i drove all this way to find beers i coulda bought back home". i wanted to just give her a high five.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.19/5  rDev -48.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2

I had great expectations regarding the Great Lakes brewpub in Cleveland. Their beers don't always do it for me, but they're nevertheless very interesting.

The brewpub is a failure, at least in my trip. Super crowded and huge, not a small taproom or cozy brewpub as I expected. Service was overwhelmed, place was filled to the brim.

Selection of beers was weak, weak. Did I say WEAK? Yeah. About six or seven beers on tap, all of them at around 5-6% ABV. Nothing on cask, nothing weird, no huge beers, no specials. Just their regular offerings, which I can get pretty much in any beer bar in Ohio. So why bother coming here?

Didn't try food. Beers were a bit pricey for Ohio. Left soon. Not impressed.

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Photo of brewohio1
2.43/5  rDev -43%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

15 years ago I loved their beers but they have really gone downhill. The beers are shells of their former selves. Especially Edmund fitzgerald and Christmas ale. Not sure if they have changed recipes or brewmasters. I got the strip steak and it came with POWDERED mash potatoes. Big letdown.

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Photo of Brubaker
2.8/5  rDev -34.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Visited July 2012: after 10 pm on a Saturday evening.

We were seated outside under a canopy and had a large party 12 people. The food portions were small and pricey 15$ for 2 brats and three small pirogi's.

We tried the beer sampler, which included 5 oz of each of the beers on tap (10). A very hoppy Summer selection. Would rather have a malty Winter selection so our timing was poor.

The area we sat in was near empty, and the service was moderate. Server was often hard to find for refills on soda's.
We were very excited to go here, having heard great things about the brewery. We had a good time, and enjoyed ourselves, but that was more the company we were with than the food or beer.

I can honestly say several of the beers tasted so similar as to not be able to really taste the difference, and mixing an IPA with honey, was NOT a good idea.

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Photo of brother_rebus
2.84/5  rDev -33.3%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

Cool physical building and cool decor. Terrible vibe. Kitschy tourist trap. Place smelled awful. Like rotted vegetable farts and okd seafood. Pretty raunch. Will never be back.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped by here this past week while visiting the in-laws.

A- This is a nice little place. Good old school feel to this place with a new school twist. We were sitting in the newer outside area.

Q- The beers were good and served in proper glassware. The food plates were alright for the most part. There was food specks on some of the plates and when one of us got coffee there were lipstick marks all over it.

S- Our server was nice but took a little while in getting things for us. At times our beer glasses were empty and we had to wait to find her. She didn't seem to be that busy but overall our service was a little slow all around.

S- Nothing really special as far as beers went. Only 2 beers on the menu that I couldn't get outside of the pub. The actual menu as far as food goes was good with there being no problems with finding multiple things that we all wanted to eat.

F- The food was good but a little pricey. I had the pulled pork which was amazingly good. My wife though split a salad with my mother in-law as we had a couple of appetizers and when it came to us was not only enough to share but wan't enough to fill one person. The price of that salad? Eight bucks!!!

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.24/5  rDev -23.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Naturally I hit this place while I was in town on a semi-beercentric trip.

We didn't have any food, and our stay here was very short. We entered in the gift shop side. I browsed around here. I've been in the gift shop before when I went to buy my allotment of BA Blackout. It was expensive and over priced then and its expensive and overpriced now. Over $8 for a snifter, over $6 for a taster glass, over $1 for a coaster? $25 tee shirts? I mean c'mon, this ain't Disney Land.

I was told that I had a shot at Rackhouse, and honestly that was the only reason I came here. But alas, Rackhouse was gone. Just my luck.

The place is pretty nice, it seems to look very inspired by Cleveland's industrial history. The decor is distressed but up scale.

The staff seemed to not really care that we were there, wandering and gazing aimlessly. We stood right by the bar, in front of the hostess stand, for a few minutes with no one offering to help or even say hi.

We ate at a near by pub because rumors are that their food isnt worth the price.

I'll probably be back, certainly to buy some BA Blackout, but I wont rush here. I'll take my time at Fat Head's and Buckeye Beer Engine.

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Photo of Kolsch
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Stopped by on a Friday afternoon, right before happy hour started. Kinda crowded for 3pm but actually got less crowded after happy hour kicked in.

Atmosphere: cozy, dark and comfortable for the most part. Small bar upstairs with tables surrounding bar and larger bar downstairs which is kind of dungeon like. Pretty neat though.

Quality/Selection: Selection was pretty weak with only the Octoberfest & Stout as not part of the regular lineup. The Octoberfest was very tasty though but was disappointed as I was hoping they would have had some other pub only exclusives.

Food: ordered an appetizer of Mussels & Chicken Quesadilla. Had to send the Mussels back as they were beyond their shelf life. Did not get charged for this but they also did not acknowledge these were old. Also had a chicken quesadilla, which was not bad.

Overall: have been here many times and would stop back again but the last couple of times have been disappointed by lack of pub exclusive brews.

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Photo of Philfromakron
3.45/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Went and had dinner on a Friday night. Really busy, but I expected it to be and the wait really wasn't that bad. People were nice even though it was crowded.

The beer was good, as expected.

Service was fine, as much as could be expected from an extremely busy staff.

The selection was the only thing that was disappointing to me. I was hoping they would have a build your own six pack/by the bottle option so that I could take home a variety, but they had pretty much the same selection as the stores around here.

Food was reasonably good. Had a burger and it was tasty, but not spectacular.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.45/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Was here for dinner on a recent road trip with the girlfriend.

We stopped in, were brought to our table and immediately there was a distinct but very pungent smell of urine... whoa... not a good sign. The place was nice enough. It was a pretty large area but inconveniently separated into a bunch of different sections that didn't have any rhyme or reason to them. Lighting was also really poor. I understand the dimly light dive bar feel... but this was a bit overboard. I could barely see my hands in front of my face.

Quality of the beer was actually pretty good. Served in the right glassware at the right temperature with a coaster. Not much else to say here.

Service was solid. All parts of our dinner was delivered on time from ordering, to drinks, to the appetizer, main course, desert, and the check at the end. Given how busy it was, our waitress was very quick and friendly.

Selection was decent. They had a couple of guest taps if I recall correctly as well as 8-10 of their regular offerings. Above average due to the guest tap.

The food wasn't memorable but it was good. I got the flat iron steak as well as the sausage sampler. The sausage was really good and the different types of mustard and other condiments were a nice touch. The steak was done as I'd wanted and it was tender and juicy. Pretty good for the price.

Great Lakes isn't an outrageously cheap place but it wasn't by any means expensive either. Worth a visit if you're in the area as its a nice little alcove with a bunch of other brewpubs and bars also. Just hope they get that stench issue resolved.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Drove from Columbus to visit some inlaws, and am glad we made the effort.
Walked in from the brick lined streets to a small waiting area. Wood floor and bar with classic pub features. Steps to the right lead upstairs to a large well lit dining area. It was well apparent they didn't like me bringing my 9 month old son. He's very well behaved so they lost points on service. I loved the basement.
The selection of food couldv'e been larger. No biggy, I'm not that picky.
I had the Fish & Chips and learned I like catfish. Good but I've been spoiled by "The Old Bag of Nails" here in Worthington.
All in all I'm going to stick to the beer but the restaurant needs a little assistance.

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Photo of coldy
3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I have been to the brewpub at least a dozen times. The beers are absolutely world class, and they usually have something special avalable. The atmosphere is a nice mix of old style bar, lots of wood, and some brewing equipment to add to the ambience.

The food has always been good, especially their pretzel appetizer with dips...phenomenal! Pretty much all you need to have with your beers.

The service has always been lackluster. Many times they are out of certain items, and the servers seem unapologetic and not very eager to offer suggestions. The service is not bad, but I expect good service when spending this kind of money. The place is by no means expensive, but it sure is not cheap.

Overall, this is a must visit for any beer fan that has the opportunity. The gift shop is a nice touch as well, and they usually have great deals on beer and glassware.

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Photo of Buggies
3.58/5  rDev -16%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Made it there on a Friday. The place was jumpin. The beer was really good, as I am a fan of the brewery. My food was good (fish and chips), nothing really awesome... just good tasting fish and chips. Although I was a little disappointed it only came with one piece of fish. The waitress was awesome. She kept the glasses full and everyone was happy.

Now, they were crowded. But my only real gripe is that the hostesses were crap. Three hostesses. The nice hostess was friendly but mostly clueless. Our hostess was mean and a mega bitch. She was unkind and not real welcoming. We had 9 people in our party that night. We did not all arrive at the same time (just me and the wife initially). Even though the table was ready and set for us, they would not let us take our seats until the entire party showed up.

Fine I guess, but some of our party was running a little late. We had to stand there for an hour before they would let us have our table. If it wasn't for the good food, beer, and awesome waitress, I would of had a miserable experience.

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Photo of gumper2
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went to visit freinds that relocated in Cleveland for a night out we visited this establishment for dinner.With reservation already made the wait at the door was only 15 minutes which was fine with me as I was able to walk around a check the place out. The gound floor had a very nice bar with a chalkboard listing the beer offerings. The rustic bar looked to be well used by past patrons. The down stairs bar was much smaller but had character to it and surrounded by filled tables of guests. Our name was called and upstairs we went into a rather plain seating area but comfortable area with a room of happy people. The table had a beerlist available with a story behind each bber. I ordered up a Thomas Jeffe-Weizen Wheat Ale 4.6abv this beer was indeed a good wheat. The meal was ordered a grilled flat iron steak along with another beer this time a Edmond Fitzgererald Porter 5.8abv again a good beer. The meal was a long time coming but was fine nothing special. for desert I ordered a Blackout Stout IPA 9.0abv this was indeed the highlight of the meal . The taste was like drinking a fine congac which needed to be sipped. Overall a very good night with a stop over in the gift shop this is quite the place.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Got there at the end of lunch on Thursday. Walked past the outdoor seating with many professional about to leave. Decided to sit at the bar. Nice old bar, old wood and dimly lit. The dining room is a bit brighter and connected to the gift shop. Downstairs to the bathrooms and a party room. Service was a bit slow, but the bartender was restocking after lunch and I was Ok with that. As for the beer selection, nothing but the standards, Blackout was on and their Octoberfest, but just the standard 5. She told me that they were between batches, which I understand, even though that sucked. Food is great there, had a cheese and meat plate, really fresh and tasty. All in all, good,, I just wish I could have got something a bit out of the ordinary.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I dug this place as soon as I laid eyes on it. The upstairs bar was rather small but it was very nice. The beer was all of their regular stuff plus some seasonals. The service could have been a little better, but it looks like she had a long day, so I won't hold it against her. The food was fantastic. The gourmet pizzas were exceedingly delightful. The downstairs bar was way cooler. Literally, it was an old storage area for the brewery. The dungeonesque atmosphere was very cozy, plus they have several large tvs, for games and such. Overall a very nice place.

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Photo of bwd110
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Stopped by the brew pub for lunch en route to Dark Lord Day 2010.

Great Lakes is situated in a nice Cleveland neighborhood on a cobblestone street. Thought we only had those in Philly! Thought the gift shop was the entrance to the bar area... Wrong. The gift shop was huge! Wish I could say the same for the bar. Very cramped and seemed quite full with I'd guess only 50 or so people in it at lunch time on a Friday.

We opted to get a table, the hostess showed us to a back dining area that looked like it was an expansion. Anyway, it was big and bright (floor to ceiling glass on the front wall) and had lots of tables.

Beer selection: All the standard fare, plus one or two pub only selections. Everything was extremely tasty. Fresh Edmund Fitz was awesome. The beer of the day was their pub only Rye of The Tiger DIPA. Hoppy citrus goodness.

Food was mediocre at best. Shared a decent sausage platter with my buddy and mussels. The mussels were putrid. We ate one or two and abandoned the rest. I had the lunch special of a chicken fajita wrap which was good, but bland. My buddy had a burger which he said was tasty.

Cool old building, explored a very neat basement area, but opened the bathroom door to someone violently puking. Not a pleasant site, but what are you gonna do....

Sat at the bar for an after lunch beer. Very good bartender on duty. Chatty and courteous and quick with a beer. Good atmosphere, but a little small and cramped. Their mirrors do give off a nice allusion of a big bar, alas it is only 1/4 the size of the gift shop.

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Photo of donzilake
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Great beers, good food , neat old atmosphere ( eliot ness bar in basement with bullet holes included ) service could be better. Black burgers are very good also fish bites are good to start with. Are servicer forgot half are order ( party of four people )
She tryed to make it up with a couple of free beers on the house. But who wants to sit there with half of your food order,eating while two people have to wait , for their order. Now the Beer - Dortmunder, Eliot ness, Edmund filzgerald what a way to start. Then there was there seasonals beers and Bar only tap beers , great beers , had a oak barrel blackout stout there (in house) outstanding Imperial stout . Had a growler filled up with Eliot Ness ( for a friend ). One other time we went to the tapping of the Keg there ( Christmas Ale being served for the first time of the year )
I think it was in November we had a large partry of people , around 12 beer people , who arrived early to settle in and grab a good table. The young college aged woman server was awful and rude. I hope she was just a temp. to handle the busy tapping of the Keg day they had in November. We have not seen Her,in any of are return trips to the Great Lakes Brewing Company

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Photo of jquanmusic
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I've been drinking Great lakes for years, and always enjoyed their brews. Unfortunately, when I visited the brewery they basically had everything I can already buy in the store. Sure the freshness of the Commodore Perry was greatly appreciated, but I generally go to a brewery to try the brew house specials. The only specials they had were Black Ice (very good) and a Pils (not so hot, but honestly Pils generally aren't my bag). That wouldn't have bugged me to much, but to top it off they had zero guest taps... or bottles for that matter. I didn't try the food, but have always heard good things. They had a nice Gift shop, but whatever. The place was dead. Although it was a Monday at 4:00. So take that for what it's worth. The upstairs Bar was honestly a little nice for my likings, but I'm weird and prefer dumps, or the unusual. The down stairs bar looked very nice (closed while I was there though). It kind of reminded me of a cave. I really wish it was open. I know this review may seem a little negative, but I would return (although I've been to far better). I'm just a cynical Diego. Oh yeah and the service was slow (kind of sad since there was one other person in the bar)

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Photo of Sabtos
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

Despite its age, or maybe because of it, this is still a destination in the craft beer world--one of the originals on the continent. Even though the crowd is almost always unbearable at first, I've found it's usually worth it. It's a unique and jovial atmosphere, with a really nostalgic, old school bar downstairs and a relatively open-plan restaurant upstairs.

Service is surprisingly prompt for how crazy it can get in there, with a good amount of knowledge on both the food and beer. I've been with a party of 15-20 folks and food came out all at once and rather swiftly despite ordering so many different dishes.

The draft list isn't all that big for the number of brews they produce, but it's all still that classic sleeper quality that many people overlook today in search of the next hazy IPA or big, flavor-added stout. They are even working to add to their lineup as of late, with a little more freedom given to the brewers to keep things fresh (and keep the brewers happy).

Food is classic Cleveland, all freshly made, and tasty at that. Pierogies and kraut won me over, some of the most scrumptious in the city, but there are plenty of other good dishes. Don't expect hip or trendy brewpub food, but it's actually not all that far off either.

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Photo of francus
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Great service and great beers. And the bar has lots of atmosphere. You can spend a lot of time here relaxing. For an all around place, this is my favorite in Cleveland.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.75/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Located in downtown Cleveland. My wife and I made a trip up here from Willoughby on a Saturday afternoon to check the place out, and the place was jumping. There was some sort of street fair taking place out side, complete with craft-booths and belly dancers, and the outside seating was pretty packed.

It actually took us a bit of doing to find the place -- we initially confused the brewpub, which is on Market, with the brewery itself, which is only a block or so over.

Once inside the correct building, we found a spacious, tastefully decorated restaurant. The crowd was mixed -- some younger folks, but mostly families. The food menu was alright. Mostly standard pub-fare, but with enough interesting variations to keep it interesting. I had a blue cheese bacon burger, which was quite tasty.

The beer selection was decent, but only one "non-standard" beer was on tap while I was there. I had a glass of the Anniversary Belgian ale, and paid $10 for both the beer and a very attractive commemorative glass. The beer itself was decent, but I was especially impressed by their Porter and their Dortmunder Gold. The waitstaff didn't seem to know a whole lot of beer, but my experience was limited to just 1 waiter, so who knows.

Family-friendly with a good atmosphere in a location with lots else to do. Recommended!

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Photo of ndolover
3.75/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

GLBC is located dowtown across the river in a historic old brick building. They have upgraded the place to be as "green" as possible.

The beer is great! You can also get a few beers that are not available anywhere else.

I was there during St. Patty's day, so I am willing to give them another try. However, the service was below average. My server was checking her face book page will running my tab. I also noted she made 2 other mistake with other patrons. I also noted that other servers were more interested in chatting amoung themsleves then taking care of customers.

Overall, this is THE place to hit if you are a craft beer lover in dowtown Cleveland. Just be prepared for spotty service.

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Photo of John
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Many of us have had the Great Lakes beers. But I would also recommend a visit to the brewpub. The place has got some character, being in an old city building (not sure what it was converted from). Aside from the great beers the food is also good. We sat outdoors in the courtyard...nice atmosphere. Did not go directly to the bar and the table service was not that good. Overall though this place is worthwhile. I definitely go back. If your bringing beer home, take along a cooler as the beer is only sold cold.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

We ate there on a slow Sunday afternoon.

The place is very cool looking, Old wood bar with an outdoor patio and a very cool cellar bar. The atmosphere was hard to judge since there weren't too many people there. Those we saw seemed pretty cool.

Service was spotty. Despite making professions of my beer geekness and trying to engage the bartender in conversation, she seemed more interested in talking to other staff and folding napkins. To her defense, it seems many restaurant employees do this when business is slow.
I was beginning to get a complex from being ignored, but the bartender pulled out a good save. After the napkins were folded, she began asking me about my vacation that was just ending and about the four other breweries I had been to that week. She made me feel a little better and turned out to be very nice and helpful in my purchase of glassware. (By the way, of all the breweries I'd been to: Pearl Street in Buffalo, Martha's Exchange in Nashua, NH, Wachussett Brewery in Westminster, MA and Northampton Brewing Co in Northampton, MA, Great Lakes had the best prices on glassware.

The quality of all Great Lakes brews I've had has been great. The two I tried that day, Owen's Olympic Pilsener and the Elliot Ness, were fine. Strong flavored and smooth.

The beer selection is pretty good. About 10 choices in a variety of styles.

The food was a little high priced and not too much variety, but it was pretty good.

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Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, OH
3.96 out of 5 based on 48,140 ratings.
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