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Willimantic Brewing Co.
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Active Beers: 65
Beer Ratings: 451
Beer Avg: 3.95
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
967 Main St
phone: (860) 423-6777
AKA - Main Street Café
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 97 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I finally made it out to Eastern CT, an area of the state that I rarely went even when I lived there. But this is the type of place that you pray might open near you when you live in these less accessible parts of the state. I visited from Naugatuck and spent as much time driving, as I did at the pub, which also limits how much actual drinking could be done. So I started with a 12 oz of the Dyvil Hopyard IIPA. Amazing! Then the sampler set was a combination of house and guest beers, all generous sized and it is nice to be able to mix in guest beers (just none of the higher ABV beers). My other house favorite was the Six Shooter (Oyster) Stout.
As far as the place, the building is amazing. Great feel at the bar and I also walked through each room and the patio. Classic New England feel. The staff was knowledgeable and once the bartender found out that I was visiting from CA, the brewmaster/owner (?) David came by for a good chat.
There is good reason for the constant mentioning of Willibrew as a top bar and top brewery. A must visit for anybody in Eastern CT and worth the trip for anybody willing to limit their tasting or who may have a DD.
09-16-2010 22:03:06 |
More by opwog
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I travelled and stayed far from home to see this brewpub, and did come away disapointed. No heavy abvs here in the summer, I was pleased to find three saisons on tap. Near a Best Western, a half hour from Hartford. A very decent and very generous guest tap selection.Roomy inside, with a small but nice patio outside. Good mix of people, ages, decorum. A few rooms filled with tables in this historical building. Parking lot. Near an unusual bridge with big frogs. Bartenderess was a little annoyed at the end of what looked like a hot fussy day,but did not bother me.
08-20-2010 19:24:46 |
More by Sammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Finally paid my first visit to celebrate my birthday with the family. Great atmosphere in the converted post office; we sat in the dining room, but also checked out the bar which seemed to have great character. The beers were the star of the show. I started with the Saison Noir which was outstanding, then tried a sampler of 5 brews that were all delicious. The food was also top-notch. I had the mussels to start, and a very tasty ribeye for main course. The wife and kids also enjoyed their wings and nachos. The dessert tray was also first-rate, even though we barely had room for it after everything else!
My only wish is that this was closer to home; the beers at under $4 were a bargain, and it's been a while since I drank in a bar with this kind of character.
08-20-2010 03:11:21 |
More by medic25
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I was happy to get the chance to stop at Willimantic with friends on two occasions - once for drinks and the next day for lunch and a brew.
The brewpub is actually a renovated old post office which is a really unique concept - the brewhouse is where the registered malt cage once was I am assuming. the kitchen is downstairs and the bar area is where the mail sorting happened -they have wine bottles stored in the letter slots. The atmospher is casual and relaxed with a friendly locals vibe. The service is very good-quick, friendly, accurate and we met the brewer who gave us a few samples from a barrel that was aging a flanders red - excellent!
The food is well made and tasty - the menu has plenty of variety and some unique items like mandarin chicken wrap. I had the onion ale soup which was really cheesy and delicious w/ pumpernickle bread crust soakin the oniony broth. They have plenty of wing sauce levels too if you enjoy some heat.
I was pleased with the choices of house brews which included a bock, rye, Ipa, pale and wheat but they also have plenty of guest taps which make over 25 choices overall.
The quality and value are well above average -you can tell everyone works together to create a comfortable dining and drinking experience - I am really impressed with the quality level of beers across the board and the people couldn't be friendlier -top notch place to have a craft brew and eat!
03-16-2010 14:08:16 |
More by Slatetank
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I've lived in eastern CT for my whole life and only went to Willibrew recently, boy was that a mistake. They have a great beer selection, awesome in house brew and great food. The food is a bit pricey and the beer isn't cheap either, but the quality and selection make up for that. They usually have 8 house brews and a bunch of craft beer on tap. Great beer selection for this area, there aren't too many like it around here. Food is great too, but like I said its a little pricey. Bar side is divided by the brewery from the restaurant. Building is gorgeous, it was previously a federal postal office so it has that grand feel to it with vaulted ceilings and columns out front. Overall a great place for a beer after work with they guys or a nice dinner with the fam.
03-09-2010 22:28:28 |
More by HopHooligan
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
We go about once a week for beer and nachos in the bar. This place doesn't win awards and accolades without reason. It is a standout among brewpubs in Connecticut. Owner and Brewmaster Dave Wollner is always brewing something new of his own, as well as offering a large selection of guest microbrews on tap. A true beer lover, or should I say, lovers of TRUE BEER, will know and appreciate what Dave does. It is a destination for those both near and far, and we are fortunate to live within a 20-mile drive of it.
Food offerings range from soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, to entrees, and while it can go from average to very good (and has been improving), the real attraction is still the beer and rightfully so...it's what Dave excels at and is his true passion and reason for being put on this earth. Thank your respective gods for that fact. But if beer is not your thing, they do have full bar and wine a well.
You may dine in the dining room or the pub, but the pub is where it's at. Full menu is offered there, and the lively bustle and cast of colorful regulars provide an ever-changing venue for people-watching, eavesdropping, barging into conversations with complete strangers, or just seeing and being seen. Play NTN trivia as well if you are adept at multi-tasking, as doing all of the above, with a fork in one hand and a beer in the other, and being expected to prove your intelligence at the same time can prove to be somewhat of a challenge. Service is attentive for the most part, whether at a table or at the bar. The bar staff usually keeps a good eye on the status of the beverage in front of you and it's not often that you go dry.
You really need to attend one of their quarterly beer dinners. Here is where the chefs can step out of the drudgery of standard menu constraints and create dishes that make the guest beer offerings really pop. These are pure magic--you just need to go. The food will rival any of the best restaurants anywhere, as the chefs put quite a bit extra effort and creativity into the menus.
Now, put on your coat and go!
02-26-2010 17:36:25 |
More by mummy178
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
A diamond in the rough! Really! Willimantic is not the nicest city in the world but "WilliBrew" is definitely doing all it can to change that.
You'll notice as you drive up that it's a staggering, huge, old converted Post Office. You'll also notice that as you pull into the parking lot that there's usually not enough parking.
When you step inside they usually carry all the good "beeriodicals" - Yankee Brew News, Ale Street News, and even BA mag if you're lucky!
As you turn the corner there's the looong hallway style bar (and you'll also notice to the left the restaurant part as you come in the door) with tables to sit at as well. The long, dark wood old school bar is part of what makes the atmosphere almost perfect.
I suggest taking a seat at the bar as you'll get your beers quicker and can also order food. They have many, many taps (and I believe a few cask lines and nitro drafts) that are always offering up fine brews. If you're from out of town, I would try as many of their house offerings as possible - they're great.
Any of the food I've ever gotten has been delicious. I recommend the beer bread for starters (it comes with a creamy cinnamon butter), the hot buffalo/honey bbq wings, and any of their burgers for the entree.
You will not be disappointed with your experience here as they have a very friendly staff and knowledgeable bartenders.
02-01-2010 17:08:01 |
More by hoppymcgee
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I've been going here since My college days since it was right down the hill. It is absolutely my favorite place to go in Connecticut. David knows how to brew some fantastic beers. His IPA's are that good and his Willi Whammers are amazing. It always has the best selection of beer in Eastern CT as well. I counted 40 taps and always quality beer. I had some IST and some CL Porter last week. The food is pretty damn good as well. They have great theme nights and electronic trivia for entertainment as well.
02-01-2010 05:55:46 |
More by irishct15
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
This may be the best brew pub I've been to. It's a gem that somehow does very well in Willimantic. The beers are constantly rotating, there seems to be something new every week or so. They always have one or two IPA's, and they do a good job at them. I've seen them offer some unusual or rare styles, like shwarzbier, sours, and spiced beers. They also have the standard ambers, pale ales, and golden ales that a brewpub should offer, and they are quite good. I had their 2005 barleywine, and it may have been the best barleywine I've ever had.
Not only do they brew a good variety of styles, but they carry a great guest tap list. They seem to have all the limited run beers from local breweries, and they have almost every style. This place would score great as a beer bar just based on their guest list.
The food is okay, I haven't eaten much except pub food here, but the people I've come with have never been really impressed with anything. The wings are great and so is the beer bread.
I really like the atmosphere here. It doesn't feel like a brewpub or even a beer bar, but just a good bar. Trivia screens, Stein Day Sunday (bring your own stein and they fill it for a pint price), and a really cool old post office building are some highlights.
01-15-2010 00:26:27 |
More by jeffthecheff
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was my first visit though it was long awaited. Too bad it's just enough off the beaten path out in Willimantic, CT to not visit regularly for us non-locals. The place is a big old building (former post office, hence all the artistic references to mail and stamps, etc.), pretty easy to find right on the main street Route 32/66 in the middle of downtown. There is a good sized parking lot but stopping in around the dinner hour the place was pretty mobbed and I had to poke around the nearby streets for a space. Once inside the place it was loud and crowded. There are two main areas, a dining section that was very busy at the time, and then a good sized bar room with a long and attractive bar. Despite the obvious commotion I was able to find a stool readily and was attended to quickly. Generally a friendly crew which seemed to know many of the clients on a first name basis. Good banter and open conversation in general. I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of the guest taps. There were probably 20 or more covering an admirable variety of styles and reputable micro brewers, mostly domestic stuff. I could easily have amused myself for hours with the guest taps but on my first visit I wanted to try a couple of the house brews. I had an Anytown American Special Bitter which was hoppier than I expected so I was happier than expected. I also had a real treat with their Imperial Black Knight Wonder Whammer Barleywine. Never had anything like it before as noted in my review and quite a fun experience. I spoke briefly with Dave who was behind the bar and apparently is the Brewmaster here, or at least one of the brewers. He offered some beer chat and seemed glad that somebody was adventurous enough to appreciate the barleywine as I did. They had a good ten or more house brews available and they seem to bring out a rotation of new offerings once or twice a week. A nice mix of stuff with plenty of hoppy styles for the likes of me. They also had a cask saison available this night. As I said, the guest beer choices were great and I was especially impressed to see that most were local folks like Cottrell, Old Burnside, Farmington River, Hooker, New England, Magic Hat, Allagash, Berkshire, Blue Point (Rastafari Rye!) and many others along with the bigger national names like Rogue, Sierra Nevada & Dogfish. There was also a fair bottled selection, but I would never get to that! Speaking with Mike from Columbia, CT at the bar, he comes here regularly, says his wife enjoys the wine selection and he is obviously tres content with the brewskis. Apparently the food is not the highlight here, but you could have fooled me judging by the crowd there on a Wednesday night. They sell a good amount of souvenir items including quite a few tee shirts. I walked out with a growler of their Ey-PA which I hope to crack tomorrow night. I can't wait to go back. If only this place was 50 miles further west, like in Watertown, CT!! Make the effort to drive the extra 15-20 minutes off the highway (84) to check this awesome establishment out. Consider a hotel for the night!
08-06-2009 19:00:44 |
More by Durge
Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic, CT
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