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Otto's Pub and Brewery
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Active Beers: 48
Beer Ratings: 952
Beer Avg: 3.85
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
2235 N Atherton St
phone: (814) 867-OTTO
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 60 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
this place was something else, something out of the pennsylvania twilight zone. one of the oddest, freakiest experiences ever at a brewpub. why?
walked into the bar. craft brews between $2 and $3. all the seats at the bar were taken.. mostly by 10-12 year olds! the two adults at the bar were drinking soda and smoking cigarettes (for the kids' health and safety, i'm sure!).. an influx of college students put me back into the restaurant area to wait for my table.. which i did patiently. the food service area looks like a denny's gone bad.. very bright and family-oriented with empty grain sacks thumbtacked (with different color tacks) to the wall.. that's the extent of the decor here.
while observing all of this, i read an article posted on the wall.. goes through all the mumbo jumbo about how difficult it was to get this brewpub going in state college.. protests, legal problems.. and to think, they did a half-ass job on the design!!!
food was average.. i was happy with my appetizer but not my meal (the seared tuna app over thai cole slaw was the most inventive thing on the menu, and succeeded!). my g/f ordered a salad which was prepared without much love... her sangria was oddly sour for such a beverage.. guess penna wines don't hold up to cali!
the beer was above average in most cases, and the sampler was presented in a neat way. next time, ill come in for a drink or two and skip the food. or just hit zeno's.
05-05-2005 22:12:04 |
More by goodbyeohio
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
When Otto's first opened a couple years ago, I was so happy that there was FINALLY a brewpub in this town. In fact, I was shocked that there wasn't one already.
The mini-tank sign outside is a little hard to see, and there's nothing outside the stained wood exterior building that yells out to passers-by. I know people that have passed it by dozens of time without ever noticing that it was there. But this is alright, because the place has such a good reputation, and the best advertising comes from the praises of the people that have been there. Theres a light crowd throughout the lunchtime and early afternoon, late afternoon brings in the regulars, and there has been a good turnout in the evening every time Ive been there. So they appear to be doing well.
Light wood interior with colorful walls covered by all sorts of beer memorabilia give it a comfortable atmosphere. The staff is pleasant and knowledgeable (though there are a few ditsy college students that work there). Biggest complaint is that the place is loud. They really need to do something to dampen the noise, especially in the front sections. The bar is very beautiful, but not very big. Behind the bar are friendly bartenders, at least 8 beers (that are consistenly decent), their own root beer (which is nothing special) and Pennsylvania wine only (they only have a brewers license, so no liquor). The food is fabulous! I love chicken wings, and their mango habanero wings are the best in town. All of their food has been excellent, from the mesclun salad, with the excellent maple balsamic vinaigrette, catfish po boy, Mediterranean pizza, Sesame Tuna (sashimi-grade so I recommend trying it rare), Farfalle Puttanesca, Spicy Seafood Linguine,... I could go on and on. The point is they have what you want, be it unique cuisine or bar food. I've enjoyed this place and my wife and I go there more than any other restaurant in the area.
I feel I need to update this review. Service has been good at times and not so good others. Also the food hasn't always been the greatest. Sorry guys but I have to lower my ratings a bit... but the beer is still quite good. Still a killer selection of great brews from a smaller brewpub. That and the kick-ass wings still make it a frequent watering hole of mine.
8-31-06 Another update and more of the same. The beer keeps getting better and better, but the food tends to still be going downhill. For example, the last time we stopped in for a drink and a smaller meal, we got nachos and quesedillas that, I'm sorry to say this, were about Perkin's quality at best. Their wings are still the best in town, better than Quaker Steak I think.
01-26-2005 16:08:31 |
More by ski271
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
This is a beautiful place! It is very expansive, with three sections of tables. Lots of blonde wood gives a somewhat light feel to the place. There is a lot of vintage beer memorabilia around, including cans, bottles, pint glasses, and signage. I especially like the focus on now-defunct PA breweries. Even the samplers are served on old serving trays, overlaid with a laminated sheet with the Otto's logo. Speaking of which, the place is named for a cat and so, the logo of a grinning cat with arched back and raised hackles abounds. The logo is very reminiscent of George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" or Patrick McDonnell's "Mutts" 's Mooch. The food is very good and on this occasion, I had the Dijon salmon, which was fantastic. I noticed that the service was a little spotty for some, but not for me (possibly because I am who I am ;=)). There was also a band, which I am told is an every other Friday night phenomenon. Finally, there is an outdoor patio, where they are freely growing hops vines.
08-05-2004 22:36:42 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
Its great to finally have a microbrew in town, and this isnt a bad one to have. The beer brewed here is all rather tasty, but I have yet to try something that blows me away. From what I understand the brewer here was from Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, and I think he is doing a good job, but hopefully it will move that step up from "good" sometime soon. I have not had any problems with the service here, and it is a nice place to eat. I would recommend this as a brewery to have a few beers with some friends, yet I still spend much more time at Zenos than I do here. As for the food, everything I've had has been decent, but much of it seems to look like a much better idea on the menu that it does on your plate. For instance, I would not suggest the smoked salmon personal pizza. The mussels are quite good on the other hand, and alone are a good enough reason to support this brewery.
04-08-2004 17:43:40 |
More by Erix
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
This brewpub is located in a new building on the main street leading into State College. It's not downtown in the business district near campus. The brewing equipment is prominently displayed in the windows of the front of the building. The interior consists of a bar area and a light, airy restaurant section that is quite nice.
There were nine beers on tap during my visit with one being on cask. I can vouch for the IPA and the Belgian Tripel as being well done and very tasty. If the other styles live up to the quality of the two we tried Otto's beers are exemplary. Only had some soup for lunch and both were very good. The service was fast, efficient and friendly. This is a great stop when in the area, but not unique enough for a road trip.
10-24-2003 17:21:26 |
More by QXSTER1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5
I have sat in the place for a grand total 35 minutes with people, who are very nice, but I choose not to be around, not including the 2 times sitting in the place waiting to fill my growler. Nice place to sit, relax, and enjoy some beer. Homely atmosphere, nice style. I think they do a good job of blending locals and university, students and staff. I have sampled their Honey Wiess Tripple, which packs a punch,and was as good as magic hat's braggot, and their dubble, which was, in my opinion, confused - one second rasin esters, the next - bananna. Not good, but the effort was there. And of course their Apricot wheat, which is very very good. Go if you get the chance, enjoy yourself
09-12-2003 02:46:48 |
More by PSUDREW
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Two other BAs and I recently attended the State College Beer Expo (7/26/03). During beer fest, we sampled Otto's Double-D IPA and we all were pleasantly surprised with super hoppy aroma and flavor of this drinkable brew. During last year's brew fest, I spoke with former Bullfrog brewer Charlie Schnabel, who is the brewer at Otto's, about the likely opening date of new brewpub, brew line-up and other details. As a PSU grad and lover of quality, craft brews, I was hopeful that this endeavor would be a success for him and the folks in "Happy Valley."
I know any new start-up operation has a "few bumps" and problems that need to be addressed and resolved. Fortunately for Otto's, they have successfully addressed their start-up problems (some poor brews and service) and I am happy to report that my friends and I had a very enjoyable and memorable evening of drinking and dining. It's a clean and modern establishment. A modest size bar area with a large, multiple-level dining area. We initially sat at the bar area to wait for a table to become available. Only their brews and PA wines were available for consumption. Quite a diverse selection of 10 brews were available, including a delicious Helles, an apricot wheat, a Belgian wit, wieznbock, dry stout and a porter on the hand pump. After waiting the 15 to 20 minutes we were told the wait would be, we lucked-out and got a corner, front table which provided a great view of the brewing operations. The menue contained a desent selection of pub grub at reasonable prices. Pretty generous portions of well-prepared food as well. The three of us split a normal serving of Caeser Salad for one. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive.
If you find yourself in Happy Valley area, I would highly recommend you give Otto's a try.
07-28-2003 13:44:08 |
More by rotsaruch
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
This is a new establishment from the former owner of the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport. The guys knows what he is doing. The place inside is very welcoming and friendly. There are artifacts from Pennsylvania breweries past all over the place, which makes it almost feel like your own personal den. The rooms are spacious. We decided to sit at the bar. The bartender was a wealth of information concerning the establishment as well as all the beer festivals they were to be involved in this summer.
I did sample all their beers (had 10 on tap and 1 cask) and they were all well done. The owner/master brewer even came out and chatted for a while when I started asking questions that the bartender didnt have an answer for. He is a great guy and personable as well. Even let me sample some of the upcoming beers he was working on. Id definitely suggest hitting this place if you are in the area. Although it is the only brewery pub in the area, it is worth the drive!
04-22-2003 14:20:20 |
More by DrunkenPanther
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
I've lived in State College since 1998, and was very happy to finally have a brewpub in town - we've been waiting for quite some time. I first went in October 2002 a couple weeks after opening and have been back several times since then. It's not a really large place, so weekend nights require you to get there early or expect a 30+ minute wait. It is worth it - the limited menu is very good, and the prices are average to slightly below average for the area. The beers are, in general, above average. The IPA and Black Mo Stout are real winners, though I was disappointed in the Duffinator (doppelbock).
Service is always good. Food is above average. Parking sucks (if you go on Friday nights, park at Tire Town next door). If you own a growler (or you can buy one there), the cost of a half gallon is $8. If you go during the day, they are happy to give tours during their free time.
01-10-2003 21:15:30 |
More by ChicoraBoy
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
Meal Date: Saturday, November 16th, 2002
As soon as I heard about this place, I rushed up to State College to try this highly reccomended establishment.
The decor is modern and coffee-shop like. Tables were spacious and the seats were comfortable.
We were promptly seated upon arriving. The waiter was helpful and thoughtful. We had probably the best nachos I've ever had. Homemade guacamole was outstanding.
Cheese Ale soup was rich and cheesy. Definately homemade. Entree consisted of catfish po boy, rich reminded me of my trip to Louisiana a few years back.
Beer was fresh, and they had a good selection of homemade brews. The price was a little steep, and that might keep the place from being a regular place to hang out. Otherwise a definately must try place to dine and try good beer in State College.
11-18-2002 07:24:27 |
More by psugrad98
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Otto's Pub and Brewery in State College, PA
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