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Active Beers: 32
Beer Ratings: 234
Beer Avg: 3.71
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery ]
4057 Erie Street
phone: (440) 975-0202
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vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
Atmosphere - it's a pretty cute place. It's got trains all over the place, because this used to be the Willoughby Train Station. Half of the place is a devoted restaurant, including an enclosed porch. There's also an open air porch, both porches share a two-way fireplace. Typical Willoughby (which means old pictures of town) and pub (stencils of beers of by-gone eras) decor, with a few individualized accents. Huge booths at the expense of walking space.
They play really awful techno remixes of rap and R&B late at night. There's a dance floor and its devoid of life every time I've ever been there. They play it in the restaurant side, too, and about half as loud - so you can't really get away from it.
Quality - Most of that 3.5 rating is tied up in the food. They have really very good food. The beer, on the other hand, is pretty lackluster. The sole exception being the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. Which is mostly coffee. It's not well balanced, but with a name like that I hope you're not expecting balance. Everything else is a pretty solid 3.0. That's always depressing when you're in a place that has Brewing in the name.
Service - The host/hostesses I dealt with on both days (and a day prior) I feel were not that great. Some seemed either burnt out or disinterested. I came in once (prior to having a reservation) on a fairly unbusy night, was told it would be a two hour wait (which is about what it is at Melt on a Friday night to put that in the ridiculous context it rightly deserves). There was no offer to check out the bar or anything like that. That being said, they may leave tables open in the dining room for last minute reservations through their online system - which is probably a tough feature to cater around.
As I said, didn't go to the bar so I can't really say anything about bartenders.
The waiters/waitresses appear to be pretty on top of things. They're all very nice and open to questions. The food comes out fast, surprisingly fast in fact. I went two days in a row - once during dinner and another time during lunch, we had both in about 10-15 minutes.
This place is a restaurant (attempting to be a bit more upscale than it is) first and a brewery second. So that's what you'll get.
THE FOOD: Nothing here is vegan-friendly, just an FYI. Vegetarians can find plenty to eat, though. Nothing on the menu is specifically gluten-free, but they have things like Beer Cheese soup that probably qualifies. Theres a good selection of salads, meat entrees, appetizers, pizzas, and sandwiches.
THE BEER: If you're going to WBC as a restaurant, you will likely only be drinking WBC beer. They only keep about 3 or 4 other local beers on tap, and they also have Oskar Blues in cans. That's it. I guess if you're going to WBC, you're planning on getting WBC beer which isn't store sold or bottled. Still, it would be nice to have some more options.
Food - I can only speak to the vegetarian stuff I've had here. The pizzas are all pretty good, and for the size/taste are the best value items on the menu (comparable to a medium). You'll probably take half home and they range between 11-15 dollars a pizza.
I had the butternut squash soup and a portabello sandwich, both of which were absolutely delicious and well put together. No notably strong negatives to food.
Value - For what you get, its pretty expensive overall. You can easily blow about 20 bucks on a sandwich and a beer. Good sandwich, okay beer. This place has a pretty strong identity crisis. I feel like if they dropped the brewing moniker they would make a pretty good straight-off restaurant or club if they tried.
As it is, they straddle all of those categories, so it doesn't come out strong in any one field.
12-29-2012 19:43:13 |
More by MudDrinker
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Got there around Lunch time so the atmosphere wasn't really booming, There were a few people scattered around the place but that was it. I sat down at the bar and the bartender informed me of some issues they were having with their beers so they only had a few to choose from. After driving 6 hours just for a pint of the Peanut Butter Coffee Porter I was very thankful that was one still available. I believe that they only had about 4 beers to choose from that day. It was 2 porters, a Quad and a Kolsch style that were there at the time. The service was actually awesome, I didn't catch the bartenders name but he was a really good dude. I got good vibes from him and he gave me a round on the house since he knew I was from out of town. The food I ordered was very good, it really hit the stop after being on the road for so long. The value wasn't too bad, I actually ended up getting a Home Brewers discount too which was really awesome! I would definitely hit up Willoughby again in the future. I enjoyed it there a lot! Definitely check it out!
10-03-2012 02:25:41 |
More by Knapp85
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4 | $$$
I normally would be very lenient when reviewing a brewery. And this is usually because I am visiting the brewery for the first time and don't know if its just an "off" night or not.
I have lived through two different ownerships and brew masters at the Willoughby brewing company and have seen little to no change in quality.
I have yet to have a beer that really "wows" me from this brewery. The best beer I've had here was recently with the Oatmeal Stout. But either the beer is too extreme: The Trendy "we have more hops than you do" beer. Or just plain doesn't taste like beer: Lets add a ton of Peanut Butter and Coffee in a beer.
What I would really like to see is just a good staple beer. The closest thing I've had to a staple was the Willoughby Wheat. But that was the previous owner.
Everything else about this brewery is great. The food is good. The service is good. There are fun events: Comedy tours, live sports broadcast ect. All they need is better beer...
02-18-2012 02:05:16 |
More by lastb33rcall
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Let me tell you about Willoughby's, and why I fell in love at first sip.
Siege06nd and I stopped in on our way out of town on Tuesday January 17th, immediately following the BA Blackout release. To say that our trip to that point was frustrating would be kind. Here's a taste:
- Fat Heads: No Head Hunter IPA. Really?
- Brew Kettle: Some of the worst customer service I've seen in ages.
- Great Lakes: Spending $30 on an event where you serve Ritz crackers and pre-sliced cheese? Seriously?
Batting a meager .250 (if you'd even call it that), we stumble in to Willoughby's, and perk up immediately. This place is gorgeous! It's tucked back behind the buildings on the main drag, so it's easy to miss. But once inside, this is really a site to behold. Tidy and clean, big booths, walls of glass encasing the brew area. A beautiful, big ass bar with big ass stools for big asses like mine sit right in front of the bright tanks, so you can watch them brew as you quaff.
Literally every single person we spoke to or dealt with was friendly and more then helpful. Smiles from ear to ear.
We got a taster tray and found not one, but all of the beers they brew to be at the very least drinkable and most to be insanely tasty. Their Razz Wheat and Peanut Butter Cup Porter were the standouts.
After a few, the brewmaster Tom came over and kicked it with us. From the way he initially behaved, you'd think him a waiter, as he was grinning and more then eager to fetch us a couple glasses of water. Once we all got to chatting, we found he has big plans for the future of Willoughby's, and even game us a sample of an upcoming IPA. After we ate, Tom took us on a personal tour of the brew space and the back area, and schooled my muchacho on the intricacies of the brewing process. And when all was said and done, Tom even handed us a couple copies of the current Beer Advocate magazine and brand spankin' new keychain bottle openers from Willoughby's. Heck, John was so grateful he went into his personal stash of craft goodness in his trunk and gave Tom a mixed sixer as a thank you.
The food was very good. My salad had a few too many tortilla chips layering the top, making it hard to see the actual contents of my Southwestern Salad. And John's fish sandwich was massive.
The only knock was the cost of growler fills: $15 if I'm not mistaken.
Willoughby's is an absolute must-stop destination. I will not hesitate to recommend this spot, or stop back in if I'm in the area. Highly, highly recommended - two BIG thumbs up.
Thanks again, Tom!
01-25-2012 22:19:38 |
More by Rhettroactive
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
The Willoughby Brewing Co will always be a great memory....and hopefully a place I can visit again. The atmosphere is amazing....huge dining area and kick ass bar area....there seems to be a constant buzz going on....and I love the overhead model train. The quality of the food and beer was amazing! Bring your appetite and designated driver...you'll want to stay for a long time. Our server was so patient and attentative it made the experience great. We had 20+ in our party and she and her support KICKED ASS! The food menu and beer selection was great...I had buffalo chicken egg roles...F'ing great! I don't care what it cost....our experience was great and therefore it got a reasonable rating! when near this place...visit it!!!
01-22-2012 03:16:12 |
More by WoodBrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Stopped in on a recent road trip...
Atmosphere: The brewery is in a renovated rail car repair warehouse. A large and open floor plan with plenty of seating, including booths, tables, high tops. A large bar with a glass wall providing an excellent view of the fermenting tanks. Lots of nice touches on the walls and floors, including a model train running on a track suspended from the ceiling. A really well put together place, they spared no expense.
Quality: Top notch. They had 7 or 8 beers on tap, most of which were their main line-up. I have to say that it is some of that ounce for ounce, this is one of the most impressive year-round lineups I have experienced. A porter, peanut butter porter, imperial stout, pale ale, raspberry wheat, IPA, and blonde ale are all finely crafted. Raspberry Wheat, IPA, and Peanut Butter Cup Porter are definitely standouts. These brews are obviously created with a lot of love and high quality ingredients.
Service: Top notch again. Our bartender was attentive, happy to answer questions, and very knowledgeable. The real treat was having the head brewer, Tom, come over and chat with us. He was happy to talk about his beers and his experience at the brewery. He also swung by a few minutes later with a sneak preview of an IPA he is working on. As if that wasn't enough, he offered us a private tour of the facilities and gave me a tutorial on the brewing process. Just a great guy all around. This is what it's all about.
Selection: Plenty of options on tap, about 7 or 8. Most were straightforward styles but they covered all the bases. Anyone with a Peanut Butter Cup Porter commands a high score here.
Food: The two dishes we had were great. Huge portions and high-quality. I had a grouper sandwich that was about the biggest thing I've ever seen. Thought there was no way I could eat it all, until I did. My buddy got a salad that was equally huge and delicious. Most of the menu looked like straightforward pub fare, though I think that changes at dinner time as they roll out some more extravagant dinner entrees. But portions and palate were fantastic.
Value: Here is the only nit. Food was a little pricey for NE Ohio. And growler fills ran fairly high too. But for the quality, I felt it was mostly justified.
01-20-2012 03:10:22 |
More by siege06nd
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
It has been about two years since coming here because the beer quality tanked but I was told under the new (current) management it was better.
A: The place is pretty nice on the inside, old brick/steel interiored buidling converted well for the bar/resteraunt. More upscale than local bar.
Q: The beers were decent, had the Raspberry Wheat, Xmas Ale, Pale, and IPA. Overall the quality of them were good especially with the hoppier beers.
S: They had 8 taps which consisted of Blonde, Pale, IPA, Razz Wheat, PB Coffee Porter, Chocolate Stout, Xmas Ale, and Amber. A good variety for the winter months.
S: The service was average, attentive but slow, especially on a not so busy night.
The prices of the beers/flights were average, the food was a little pricier than most places. The food was above average, had the Magma Burger which was cooked well, just pricey.
Overall, things have stepped up since I was last here.
12-20-2011 01:04:57 |
More by merc7186
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
this place is a 5 minute commute, so why havent I been here before???
Inside first of all is very aesthetically appealing. and considering the season, decked out in tasteful holiday apparel. very classy looking joint and very spacious.
I came knowing what beer I wanted, the peanut butter cup porter (awesome).
Also came in on the right time on a Saturday, 5:30 and no wait in line, went directly to a table and ordered. Service was quick and friendly.
Food was spectacular IMO, had their Magma melt and was awesome, not a great pair with my beer but that was my own damn fault.
Overall, very great place, its only labeled $$$ because im still a kid so I dont have very deep pockets. Definately check this place out if your in town
12-18-2011 06:40:19 |
More by Innocentexile
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The wife and I were in Willoughby for the weekend and stopped by the brewery on Friday night. We had tried a few of their beers at a festival before, and were excited to try their Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter again.
The brewery itself is quite large, much bigger than I expected. The place was packed, and we had about a 40 minute wait for a table, so we hung out by the bar and tried a few beers.
We got the full sampler which was quite a deal at $8. Everything was good for the style, but the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter is amazing.
We ordered one of their pizzas which was really good and a butternut squash and chicken pasta which was so/so.
Overall a cool place, but it was a little too packed for my liking on a Friday night. I would definately stop back for a pizza and a porter.
11-06-2011 23:13:42 |
More by greg4579
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $
I visited Willoughby Brewing in September (2011) while in town to see some friends. I was impressed by the ambience, the selection of beers, the quality of the beers, and the food. The place is classic and beautiful on the inside, very inviting. I had the full sampler and every single beer was right on the money. Can't remember the last time I went to a brewpub and was this impressed. Then our bill came and I was even more impressed: I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was. We had the sampler, two pints and a pizza and the bill was about $20! (it was Sunday -happy hour all day). Considering I paid $7.50 for a pint of a seasonal beer this week, that's a heck of a value.
I'm not a big fan of northeastern Ohio, but I look forward to visiting Willoughby Brewing Co. again soon. I highly recommend this place.
09-23-2011 19:50:57 |
More by Buymeabeer
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Willoughby Brewing in Willoughby, OH