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Otto's Pub and Brewery
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Active Beers: 48
Beer Ratings: 949
Beer Avg: 3.85
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
2235 N Atherton St
phone: (814) 867-OTTO
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$
Visited here on a Saturday night in late August. This brewpub/restaurant/college bar is located in collegetown and attracts a college-type crowd. It is dimly lit with plenty of TVs showing sports games. The beer list is small (and most of the regular items had run out when we were there, so we only ended up ordering a few items before resorting to the local cider) and none of the beers are particularly interesting or very tasty. The food is nothing special either. Based on earlier reviews, this seemed like it would be a cool place with good beer, but that was not the case. If you're in the area, feel free to stop by, but don't go out of your way for this place.
12-23-2010 22:53:22 |
More by LilBeerDoctor
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Stopped here on a recent trip back to PA. After reading some really solid reviews, I have to say I was a little let down by this place.
Atmosphere: When I pulled up, I saw hop vines growing up the sides of the building and became very excited. When inside, it definitely seemed cool enough, although it was very slow as it was very early in the afternoon in the summer in a college town, but I would imagine that during the school year, this place is probably slammed.
Quality: The beer I had was not nearly as good as I had hoped, but it was still OK. Hard to go on much more than that, but I feel that it would be average to above average overall.
Service: The waitstaff was kind of bitchy and didn't really come around much, despite the fact that the place was dead.
Selection: Most of the menu that was given to me was actually unavailable because they were out -- update your freaking menus if this is the case. No guest taps, so clearly they're pushing their product, which is a good idea, provided it's solid.
Food: Didn't order any as I had a late breakfast, so sorry, no ranking here.
Value: Like most places, you get what you pay for -- it wasn't bad, but based upon the service and lack of selection (even of their own product), I probably wouldn't go out of my way to make this a stop.
07-20-2010 03:59:12 |
More by bamadog
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Since Otto's moved the atmosphere has suffered a bit, it's less of a cozy little bar, but still has a really nice big one. Everything is concrete so that might contribute to it's feeling not as comfortable.
The quality of the beer is good, but I've found that the only beers that aren't just mediocre are the double d IPA and the Slab Cabin, everything else is just blah.
Other than the two aforementioned beers, there aren't many other options to be had, which is kinda disappointing since I don't care for the majority of them.
Since they've moved the food quality has gone up (they're doing an all organic/grass fed/etc thing) but also the price. While their food is decent, I don't really plan on buying any of it as I can't afford a $10 burger.
It's cool that there's a brewery in State College, but I'd much rather go to Zeno's for a beer on tap, as they have a much better selection of great beers. You can always get a bomber of Otto's at Zeno's to go anyway...
12-31-2010 16:31:36 |
More by mahargcornsilk
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
R.I.P. the Otto's my wife and I came to love so much over the years. They recently moved just up the road to the old Quaker Steak & Lube building, mainly because of their frequent parking issues (there rarely was any), and left behind the charm and quaintness of a smaller brewpub. To be fair, I'll note the following before I divuldge our issues with the new place: 1) We visited in the first week of their re-opening, and 2) We went on a Penn State homegame Saturday. If our issues with the place are worked out, I'll gladly revise my review later.
First, the new location. The parking situation is much better, but they moved to a much bigger building, and one that formerly housed a shitty chain restaurant. Now, that's what it feels like: a chain restaurant. They did keep their vintage beer collectibles and paraphanelia to hang on the walls, which is a nice touch, but otherwise it feels like you're walking into a Ruby Tuesday. They also added several big screen TVs, EVERYWHERE. There seriously isn't a room without them. I realize maybe my wife and I are in the minority here, but when we go out to dinner, we like to eat dinner and converse with each other and our friends, not watch TV. If you want to watch TV while you eat, go to Damon's... one of the things we enjoyed about the old Otto's (and many brewpubs in general) is the lack of TV. I understand if you want to have them in the bar, or maybe in one room, but is it too much to ask to have a dining area without them?
The menu is also smaller than it was. Perhaps they're on a limited menu while they grow accustomed to their new kitchen, though I didn't see anything to that effect on it. They added wood-fired pizzas, but they're not really hard to come by in restaurants these days, so nothing special there. They also expanded the bar with a liquor license, which I personally don't care for in a brewpub. I understand offering wine or sodas for those who aren't beer drinkers, but I don't like the idea of ordering something called a Screaming Orgasm in a brewpub... just a personal preference I guess, I feel a brewpub should just focus on their own brew. Then again I'm no business man; maybe it's smarter to offer the full bar.
Service wasn't bad, but that's changed from the old place as well - it's a bigger restaurant, so it takes longer for them to get around to you. Nothing bad, just typical for a larger restaurant.
The beers are still top-notch, some of the best in the State College area. I'd still recommend the place to any beer fanatic, and if you never got to experience the old Otto's, you might not bat an eye. I'm not a person who's neccessarily averse to change or expansion, but in this case I'm definitely disappointed, at least initially. I miss the more intimate feel and experience of the old place, and now feel like I'm going into just another chain, nowhere special. I live 30 mins away, and always made it appoint to visit at least every other week, but that will change for the time being. I will give it another chance after some time has passed, and see if I'm just being too quick to judge. I truly hope I am - Otto's has been too good for too long for me to write it off anytime soon.
Oh yeah... bring back the Apple Tripel, damn it!
11-12-2010 01:32:51 |
More by anthonylalota
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 | 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 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
State College is in a valley and the drive to it from the North presents some postcard picture prettiness. The town is laid back, it is essentially home to Penn State and 46,000 students. The pub, for the most part, is laid back. A large patio for the summer, and spacious indoors. A dark bar area with 8 seats and no-one moving to allow my chair in, patrons collapsing on their pints. Available bottles being sold at reasonable prices, I picked up 4 types including two of the DIPA. Service was friendly, but slow. I am sure if there was a party of four there would have been dedication, but hey I'm just a lone beer geek. Very pleasant. The beer was above average particularly the hefe. The stout, though nitro, was also particularly good.
06-27-2008 13:27:59 |
More by Sammy
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
I frequent here quite a bit as I live in the area. I occasionally get some of their food.
I enjoy the atmosphere there as it is a little bit older then where people my age (my kin) typically like to frequent. I enjoy the more relaxed less dancey feel of the place.
They have a nice layout with two separate bars (where the one operates on busy days). The service there is really quite good. They are typically quite quick to greet you and ask if you would like a drink ( I typically go to the bar, but on occasion am seated - they are good there as well). The food selection is sorta standard fro a brewpub in my eye. Pizza, sandwiches, salads and a few meals. the pizza is good, but other then that I don't have much to comment on (I typically go in for just beer or beer and a very light appetizer (which are good by the way)). The prices are a little high, but again gauging from the atmosphere they are more geared toward the middle aged family./ single man with a little more disposable income then someone like me. The beer however is very reasonably priced. Overall a nice place to sit, drink and think.
01-08-2012 02:38:54 |
More by Darkmagus82
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
What an odd experience we had here. We walked in at 11:30 pm on a SATURDAY night and the place was dead. Completely empty. One other table left while we were there maybe two and when we walked out there was on table that appeared to me to be staff but my friends were less certain. This was on a summer Saturday so maybe the are more busy during the school year. But the whole city was not like that. We went to Zeno's next and there was hundreds of people crammed in. Nonetheless, the beer was Very good and served in the proper glassware. The menu we got was bean dip and beef jerky. ??? huh? guess the kitchen was closed. I would like to go back and get the full experience during the day and see if the place feels so "closed down" feel then.
Hope this is helpful.
07-26-2006 07:02:40 |
More by Phatz
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
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Otto's Pub and Brewery in State College, PA
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