The Library

The LibraryThe Library

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

62 North Isle Royale Street
Houghton, Michigan, 49931
United States

(906) 487-5882 | map

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by nflmvp:
Photo of nflmvp
3.56/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This is the second time I've visited the Library and I only stayed long enough for one beer.

At first glance, it's a nice little place and they follow their theme pretty well. Books are scattered throughout the place, including on the tall bookcases that reach high into the second level of the main bar area. There's no second level bar, just very high ceilings with a couple of large bookcases.

The quality is OK but there's nothing inspiring on the menu. The porter I had was pretty much to style and drinkable.

Both times I've been there, I didn't feel like I was very important to the bartenders. Both times I visited, I tried to find a shirt to take home and both times I was told they didn't have any size large in the style I wanted and most of the rest of the selection had been picked bare as well.

When I purchased a growler, I questioned them about the fact that they were simply pouring straight from the tap, into the growler, without the aid of a rubber hose or beer gun. The response was that the boss had said it wasn't worth it. I hate to think that the minor expense of a couple of short pieces of rubber hose, isn't more important to insure that the beers they send home with their customers are still good when they get around to drinking them. This is a major concern for me since I can't think of anything that turns me off more. I did not bother picking up a growler this time around because the IPA I bought last time was flat and oxidized within three days.

 1,488 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Danielr26
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of tommy5
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of BcOneSeven
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of cmwilliq
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ChrisGuck
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of astronautjones
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Mxsluis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of rpenterics
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of atone315
3.56/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I have been here at least 10 times in the past 7 or 8 years. It is one of the spots me and my wife always stop at (usually for lunch) while visiting the area. The restaurant area is typical, with glass walls surrounding their brewing area allowing people to overlook their operation. The bar has about 15-20 bar stools, and another adjacent area with a half dozen tables and is the best place to sit during college football season.

Their beers are decent, nothing mind blowing....although I believe their ShaftHouse Irish Dry Stout is fantastic, everything else is average or slightly above average. It seems like they are always out of a few of their beers, so I have not been able to sample all of them. Their food (mainly sandwiches/soups/ salads) is pretty good, I have yet to eat something I did not like. My wife was raving about her Thai Ahi Tuna sandwich yesterday, I must was cooked perfectly.

My gripe about this place- the service. In general, the bartenders have an attitude. It's almost as if they could care less if you were there or not. They always seem to be out of a beer or 2 and it's almost like it's your fault when you order that beer. Not cool. Also, on one of my first visits I ordered a growler to go. Later that night, I popped it open for a football game. It was FLAT, horribly FLAT. Quite disappointing. While on my next visit, I noticed why....the bartender was filling a growler straight from the tap. Needless to say, I have never ordered a growler again.

Other than the service, I recommend this place to anyone in the area.

 1,571 characters

Photo of gmfessen
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Library - a staple of Houghton and for MTU students alike. I didn't go here nearly enough when I was a student but I make a point to go every time I'm back in town. The name is "The Library" and as such they have old books all over the place for decor, they've also got a nice collection of old beer cans and bottles nestled in the I-beams over head. They've always got quite a few beers on tap that they brew themselves, they also have a full bar if you want a mixed drink or a shot. The service I've had is always friendly and attentive and they seem to be pretty well informed on their beer and food. We happened to go in on a Tuesday recently and found that they actually have fresh Sushi rolls and Sashimi (only Tuesdays) so we had to try it. Some of the better sushi I've had and I was impressed to be able to find that quality all the way up in the upper reaches of the UP. They've also got great sandwiches, seafood and steaks. The pricing is a bit on the high side (which explains why I didn't go there much as a student) but is definitely worth a visit if for nothing else to try a pint of their IPA and soak in some atmosphere.

 1,142 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Wow too cool. My old stomping grounds...for about 4 years with a brewpub. The atmosphere and food here was always great and now they have their own beer. Gotta love it. I tried a sampler and a couple of pints (to be reviewed) with a great lunch. Houghton is a great small college town and the Library is within a few blocks downtown that also has the Douglas Saloon (aka "the doghouse" or dog for short) , the ambassador, the downtowner or "DT" and now right around the corner from the library across from the dog the keweenau brewery. If you are ever in Houghton the Library is a required stop for some good brew and a great meal.

 643 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The best beers brewed in the Western UP, even better than the nearby KBC. Nice samplers. Affordable growlers available as well. If you're a student, you can get 20% off your bill.

Unfortunately the people serving you can be pretty unamicable. The brewer has never been receptive. And the service can get painfully slow.

But the beers, oh the beers. The Shafthouse Dry Stout is the best dry stout I could imagine. And the Old Library Barleywine is a top quality medal winner. Go around Christmas to get the best stuff.

 523 characters

Photo of tallar
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A good brewpub. The food is generally excellent, especially the seafood, and the beer is pretty good. They offer a number of other brews, including stuff from Bell's and Founder's, in addition to the ones they brew there, seven regulars on tap last time I visited and some seasonal selections. In general, the bar as a whole is pretty well stocked.

The waitstaff is generally friendly and the bartenders are knowledgeable about the beers they brew there. They do a decent job, but they won't good out of their way for you either. Overall, a decent place to eat and drink, but for the area it's kind of pricey, especially if you're a student.

 644 characters

Photo of sopor
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Right off Michigan Technological Universities campus, I'm sure many students enjoy long nights studying at The Library!

The Library is in a neat old building in downtown Houghton that overlooks the Portage River/channel that seperates Houghton and Hancock. Open brick walls in the interior with lots of books and librabry shelves. Stained glass windows at second flor level in the bar area on the south wall. The building burned in '95 and the owner, who was also one fo the fireman fighting the blaze was dowe rebuilding in '97.

Friendly place, as nearly any place in teh UP of MI is, but it is a little larger and perhaps less friendly than other places in the area. Very clean and well outfitted, but not formal by any means. There is a large dining room and small seating area right behind a good sized bar with two tap towers. I was in mid-afternoon and there were two 8-10 year old boys next to me drinking 1919 Draft Rootbeer and eating chicken tenders while their father enjoyed a brew.

All the beer that I tried was good, if not excellent. There was a recurring theme in the light ales of having buterscotch flavor (diacetyl I think it is) which I don't like asm much, but good none the less. The brewery was awarded 2 bronze and one silver medal at the 2005 Michigan Brewing Cup for their IPA, Barleywine and one other. I don't remember which beers got which medal.

They serve Dirty Bastard and Oberon along with their brews.

Bartenders were knowledgable on all but the finest details of the beer (specific ingredients and exact abv).

I didn't have a chance to eat here, but I asked a few people who were leaving what they thought of their meals, and everybody was impressed. The menu loked to have a good variety of food inlcuding lake superiof fish.

I'm more likely to come here for dinner and beer, than just to sit at the bar, but I definitely will return!

 1,891 characters

Photo of Brian700
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I love to go and eat at this establishment when ever I am in the area. The atmosphere is great. It has very high ceilings by the bar, (30+ ft. if I had to guess). The entire place covered with books, hence the name "The Library." It doesn't look cluttered or anything but rather very relaxing; someplace you could sit and enjoy one of there many handcrafted brews or one of there single malt scotches. I was impressed with the Scotch selection.
The service is always pretty good. They don't overwhelm you by stopping by to check on you every two minutes but they never leave you flagging them down. I like that about an establishment. The selection is terrific as far as booth food and drink are concerned. They always have a great selection of beer including some of my favorites being the Oatmeal Stout, Dry Stout, Guru IPA, and Pale Ale. The food variety is also excellent whether it be surf, turf, pasta, or soup. I have dined at the Library multiple times and have tried their Burgers, Halibut, Grouper, & Shrimp Alfredo. I always leave there saying that I just had the best meal I've had in a long time. Check it out if you are ever in the area.

 1,154 characters

The Library in Houghton, MI
3.56 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
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