Enormous place by pub standards. Used to be a post-office. Many beer have post-office related names (Dead Letter, Pushing the Envelop, etc.). A few big rooms. I don’t how many people it can sit total but we’re probably talking in the neighbourhood of 200. Despite its size the place doesn’t feel like a Brewpub-Mart. The rooms have a warm feeling and the décor is cosy. Beer selection is 10 of their own beers (including one cask) and about 15 so-so taps of other micros. From their 10 beers only two were of the crowd-pleaser genre. All 8 others were tasty beers. This place is the IPA paradise. There was 4 or 5 of them in service and they each had their own personality. The non-IPAs were mostly not as impressive but still very good. Friendly service. Food was above average but still typical brewpub almost-fast-food.
Hazmatt (9) Virginia | June 14, 2006| Updated March 25, 2007
I grew up in Willimantic but have been in this place only once. It’s an old post office and has a very nice themed atmosphere, friendly staff and excellent selection of both food and beverage. Good beer brewed on site. Kid friendly too.
Cletus (233) Connecticut | May 14, 2006| Updated February 8, 2009
My wife surprised my for my birthday by taking me to this awesome place last night. The beers from Willimantic were awesome and most of the better regional beers were also being hosted on tap. The atmosphere is what you’d expect from this part of CT. The food was above average and the service was excellent. The only complaint here is that two of the beers listed as on tap and available were unavailable while there: Sea Dog Blueberry, their Cask. I liked how they have a small gameroom complete with Simpsons pinballby Stern. Great place. I’ll definitely be back.
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 aren’t clueless, but aren’t beer geeks either. The food is good enough that I would still eat here even if they weren’t 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 you’ll 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, I’ll 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 IPA’s 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 haven’t 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, I’ve enjoyed their wings, quesadillas, nachos, and ribs. Willibrew is well worth any beer aficionado’s visit.
During the weekday, it’s 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, I’ve seen Brooklyn Abbey, Harpoon Smoked Porter, Troutbrook Imperial Porter, Troutbrook Old Marley, and lots of other rotating and obscure beers. Among house taps, they’ve 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 ’em. It’d be a huge mistake to visit this place and never sample a Willibrew IPA. I’ve never had an issue with service, whether I’m eating dinner at a table or sittin’ at the bar. Food is an added bonus to the outstanding beer selection. All of Willibrew’s 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 I’d love the atmosphere when it’s 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 they’re an IPA specialised brewpub before heading there, but for what they try to be, it’s a success all the way + there are 20 mostly local brewerys guest taps. Loved the place.