Brew House Cincinnati

1047 E. McMillan St

Dive Score: 88 (What’s This?)

There’s something about nostalgia that really satisfies me as a drinker. Brew House, over in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, is one of those places that really checks that box.  Brew House Cincinnati is the type of place I feel like I’d have found myself walking into as a kid with my Grandpa.  We’d be fresh off of him taking me to get my hair cut, and we’d stop to grab lunch on the way back home.  I’d expect everyone there to look up, smile, and say ‘Hi’ as we walked in to find our table… they would know us by name, like any good neighborhood joint.

Of course… none of that is a real experience for me, but it’s how this bar makes me feel.  The place was established in 1978 (as they proudly display on the wooden sign that hangs above the bar). I also don’t imagine that a lot has changed in that time.

Keeping Things Real

My take on Brew House is pretty simple.  That’s the way the place is, though.  Not that simple is a bad thing.  I’d argue in fact that it’s really difficult to keep a place feeling simple, while also staying good over the years as bigger, fancier places open up in the city around you.  Ownership of Brewhouse changed back in the early-mid 2010s from a couple that was the original owners, and it’s easy to come into something like this place and want to put your “mark” on it.

We’ve seen this happen to plenty of places over the years that we’ve fallen in love with.  People don’t understand the magic of a place and lose touch with it all.  That didn’t happen with Brew House.

They still serve up tasty burgers, cold beer, and fried bar food for a reasonable price. It’s all in an atmosphere that makes you feel like you belong there. And I do feel that. I feel like I belong at the bar in Brew House.

What To Expect

When you walk in the door at Brew House, you’ll find two choices.  You can grab a seat at one of the tables or booths along one side of the restaurant.  It’s very “diner-like” if that’s a proper descriptor.  A large row of booths covers the length of the space, and a few tables with chairs fill the middle space.

The other side of the room is dedicated to a big bar that boasts a copper top and a lot of rustic wood. This is usually where you’ll find me, bellied up to the bar.

I love this about Brew House. It opens the experience up to you, no matter what type of atmosphere you’re craving.  I might usually spend my time sitting at the bar, but wouldn’t feel out of place with my wife and kids tucked into a booth scarfing down a few bacon cheeseburgers, either.

Plan Your Visit!

This is where you have to make a choice (unless you go ahead and mark a couple of trips on your calendar). Are you looking for a quiet time over lunch or dinner with your small group of friends or family? Maybe you want a night at the bar chatting away with a group of new friends. Either way, go put your shoes on right now… and get there.

Places that feel the way Brew House does are fewer and farther in between – and definitely worth your hard-earned drinking money when you find them!

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