Sunday, November 8, 2009

Willimantic Brewing Company - Willimantic, CT

Last night we paid a visit to Willimantic Brewing Company/Main Street Café for a little birthday celebration. Located in a former post office on Main Street, they provide a unique venue for enjoying pub grub and of course, BEER.

The building itself is an architectural beauty. Traces of the former post office still remain; from the detailed woodwork to the old customer counter now serving as the bar. It’s worth taking a moment to take a tour the space and appreciate the historical significance of an era gone by.

Thirsty yet? They have one of the finest selections around, from their own handcrafted beer to a “guest” list of over 20 microbrews. Beer lovers, unite! We stuck with Willimantic Brewing selections and were not disappointed. I’ll list them out in order of preference:

Junk Mail IPA – India Pale Ale – hands down the crowd favorite
Three Cents – Pale Ale
Certified Gold – Golden Ale (this one would be perfect on a warm summer day)
Postmark Porter – one of the more complex beers I have ever tried; my personal favorite

If you pay them a visit, try a sampler. It’s the best way (at any brew pub!) to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into creating quality beer.

If you’re going to be drinking beer, you will definitely need to eat. I’ve been eating at Main Street Café since they opened and I will say that their food has been consistently good over the years. For starters, I recommend the nachos. The nachos will make your eyes pop when you see the huge mound of chips smothered with cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes and scallions. A meal in itself and a perfect way to build a thirst for…MORE BEER. Air Mail Wings are also worth ordering, in varying degrees of spiciness.

The entrée menu offers a wide selection, guaranteed to please any palate. DO NOT ignore the multigrain bread that is placed before you. Served warm with sweet (maple?) butter, it’s extremely addictive. I think overall, my favorite menu items are the build your own burgers. Similar to a steak and Cabernet, burgers and beer are the perfect match. I’ll take mine with smoked bacon and cheese, please. You’ll notice the post office theme throughout the menu (you can test your zip code prowess).

Willimantic Brewing is one of the finest brew pubs in the state, well worth the drive down Rt. 6. If you are a beer lover, it might become your new home. For the rest of you, a fun place to hang with friends, watch a UCONN game or have lunch with family in a cool setting.