Immy (110) Virginia Beach, | May 4, 2006| Updated June 7, 2008
It was tough for me to find, but well worth the trip. Beautiful old postal office, high ceilings, an overall historic feel. Good food, pleasant staff. They DO get pretty busy, but the staff does pretty well keeping your glass full. Excellent in-house beers, plus an array of guest taps that will not disappoint - when I visited, the guests included Allagash, Harpoon, Hooker and many others. I travel to CT on business quite a bit, and this will become a regular stop.
Update: I have visited too many times to count. This place is clearly #1 for me - great beer, great place, great food, great owner. There is, IMO, none better. Thank you, David Wollner!
This is my local bar. The beers are always well made, including an endless supply of IPAs. Knowledge of the waitstaff varies. Generally they arenít clueless, but arenít beer geeks either. The food is good enough that I would still eat here even if they werenít a brewpub, which is nice since there are few decent restaurants in the area. The best part is the building. The super high celings and stone architecture makes this a neat place to eat and drink.
This is a place where you can drink beer brewed on premise and other diverse selections. What a brew-pub should be. The outdoor patio open seasonally is great on a summer night and now the smokers can puff away outside.
Brewpubs are great because, most have great local beers, and great food to match. I have been to quite a few brewpubs and breweries. The Willimantic Brewing Company and Main Street Cafe of Willimantic, CT, may not be one of the most famous brewpubs in America, but in my experience it is a fantastic brewpub, one of my favorites in New England, if not the entire United States.
What makes Willimantic such a great place is they offer such quality and variety. Willimantic brewes a vast number of beer styles, and youíll always find six to eight taps of Willi brews on, but that will be flanked with 20-30 New England/East Coast/and beyond beers as well. See, Willimantic does a great thing, not only are they a brewpub, but they are a beer bar as well. Located in a 90 year old Post Office in downtown Willimantic, this place has it all. Its a great restaurant with a menu that goes from wings and burgers to the fanciest of entrees. There is a fully stocked bar, an impressive bottle beer selection, and a huge wine list as well.
Willimantic Brewing Company and Main Street Cafe does it all. I have come away pleased on each and every visit, and that is why they make my all time top 10 lists of brewpubs in the US. For more information about this fantastic CT brewpub/beer bar/restaurant visit their site at: www.willibrew.com
Some very good beers made here. Mail Order Raisin Old Ale great. Vanilla Stout was different but delightful. Food great with any of the many beers on tap. Bar friendly,even got to talk with brewer and enjoy free sample of what was still in the tank. Thanks Dave, Iíll be back!!
I frequent Willibrew fairly often during the winter, usually on Monday or Tuesday nights. Like others have said, they always have 1-3 inhouse IPAís that are excellent. Aggressive use of hops on most of their brews. I would avoid the S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss) Stout in the future - mediciney vanilla flavor muddled with a chunky dark roasted, almost charry base. It was their only inhouse beer I havenít appreciated. The wait staff is hit or miss on their beer knowledge; granted their menu is constantly changing, but I think they could improve. Food is great, Iíve enjoyed their wings, quesadillas, nachos, and ribs. Willibrew is well worth any beer aficionadoís visit.
During the weekday, itís usually pretty quiet. Things pick up closer to dinner time, but you can almost always find a stool at the bar. As you walk into to the pub side, you are greeted by a 60 foot mahogany bar, a couple TVs, and plenty of taps to keep you busy. Half the TVs run NTN Trivia, and the others run sports games. The opposite side of the building is a dining area. Highlighting this side of the restaraunt is the open view to the brewery. The beers on tap are fresh brewed right there, along with 20-30 guest taps. There is almost always a house beer on cask. Among guest taps, Iíve seen Brooklyn Abbey, Harpoon Smoked Porter, Troutbrook Imperial Porter, Troutbrook Old Marley, and lots of other rotating and obscure beers. Among house taps, theyíve always got an IPA on, and lots of other rotating styles, like their barleywine (often a couple vintages are on at a time), porters, stouts, and mostly American and British styles. The IPAs are usually the highlight, he creates incredibly creative IPAs, and lots of íem. Itíd be a huge mistake to visit this place and never sample a Willibrew IPA. Iíve never had an issue with service, whether Iím eating dinner at a table or sittiní at the bar. Food is an added bonus to the outstanding beer selection. All of Willibrewís steaks are pretty damned good, my favorite being the Mansfield flank steak, couples nicely with an IPA.
The place was surprisingly empty (well not empty, but considering the size of the building), so we fell at ease and aerated, but my guess is that Iíd love the atmosphere when itís crowded. Very high ceiling, very large rooms. Excellent feel to the place, beautiful from the outside. Food was very good. The beer range is excellent, they had 10 different beers, almost all of them very good, of course you must be aware that theyíre an IPA specialised brewpub before heading there, but for what they try to be, itís a success all the way + there are 20 mostly local brewerys guest taps. Loved the place.
Beautiful old post office building is especially attractive in the bar area though it leaves the restaurant section feeling perhaps slightly cavernous. Friendly staff though perhaps a bit more efficient than friendly. Many different styles availbale including multiple versions of some of their own and some guest taps. Food was enjoyable if not quite spectacular. Iíd be happy to have this as my local...
MartinT (521) Montreal, Quebec | March 30, 2005| Updated December 19, 2007
The huge rooms and gorgeous high ceilings of this old post office make for a very comfortable atmosphere. Food is pretty good, healthy portions (the Eastford Eggplant on fettucine is particularly good) and done with taste, not tons of batter. The beer selection is why youíre here though! They have many of their own taps (including 2 to 4 heavily unfiltered IPAs most of the time), and a decent selection of micros in case you want to try something else from the region. A very nice touch I thought! The barley wine and raisin old ale are both superb strong ales, and most of the IPAs Iíve had there are full of personality, never boring, and absolutely scrumptious. Most weeks, this can be one of the best brewpubs in northeastern America, but sometimes the house beer board gets relatively thin, so you should check out their website and plan your visit with one of their upcoming releases.
I was here a Thurday night during the summer. Was rather empty filled with many regulars. College wasnít in session, so I imagine that has something to do with it. Muzzlehatch hit the nail on the head with the varietal description of beers. The atmosphere is really cool. I like the whole look of the 100 year old building with high ceilings. Bartenders were pretty dumb. One guy told a customer that their IPAs taste like aspirin, while the other gave a guy a Stella Artois when he asked for a German Beer (note: they had a dort/helles on tap from a local NE brewery). The chips they put at the bar were stale, but hey...its free bar food...