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Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery

Not Rated.
Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill & BreweryKelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery
Based on:
3 Beers
46 Hads
Place Score: 82
Reviews: 23
Visits: 31
Avg: 3.42
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

301 Whitehead Street
Key West, Florida, 33040
United States
phone: (305) 293-8484

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Visits: 31
Reviews by brewcrew76:
Photo of brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I stopped into Kelly's for happy hour (4-7pm I believe) several times on my trip to Key West back in Sept 05 (I know I am a little late getting my review up).

There is a large tree covered wooden deck with outdoor seating for the restaurant and a bar with indoor seating on 1 side and outdoor seating on the other. Being a block off busy Duval St, Kelly's seemed very peaceful and relaxing which was a perfect fit for a tropical humid day. The bar was filled with regular locals that were very friendly and easy to strike up a conversation with. It seems like everyone has a story about Key West or what brought them to move there and it was fun listening to all the locals.

There are only 4 Kelly's beers on tap. The Golden and Red were good while the other 2 (Hefe and I forget the other) were decent. Happy Hour had $1.50 goblets and $3.50 plates of wings (and cheap Margaritas and Mojito's) which were too good to pass up after some of the other expensive places in Key West. I think the regular price was 3.50-3.75 per goblet which was also reasonable. We tried both the crab cakes and the wings and both were very good.

The service was hit or miss. Doug, our bartender one day, was very good and makes an excellent Mojito that my wife had. He even invited us out for a drink with his friends when he got off work. The lady we had bartending on another day seemed very bothered to have to wait on us and wasn't friendly at all.

I really enjoyed Kelly's. It is a nice, peaceful place where you can sip a tasty craft brew while relaxing in the warm tropical breezes. As others mentioned, it truly is an oasis in a beer wasteland.

Note: My review is based off going to Kelly's several times for Happy Hour and comparing to the other places in Key West.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DucksFan16
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of PorterLambic
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2

A cool place with some short hours. Close at 10 pm? Is this Key West or the Midwest?
Staff is very friendly & they try to help but breadth of knowledge isn't their strong suit.
The vibe is prototypical Key West. I'll come back for the coolness but not the beer selection.

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Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of crbnfbr
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of shoretaxi
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kristyjo
1.68/5  rDev -50.9%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2 | service: 1.25 | selection: 1.25

We tried Kellys a few years ago and weren't thrilled with it but we tried it again last winter. The beer was barely tolerable, again, the flavor wasn't good at all, again and the bartender was barely polite. The location is great but the tables were dirty so we had to clean them ourselves. We won't try it again because it seems with all of the unfavorable review, it hasn't changed.

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Photo of 22Blue
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +46.2%

Photo of DuffDaddy
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of Corburk
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Immortale25
2.04/5  rDev -40.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5

Since it's the only "brewery" in Key West and I got a free sample coupon from the hotel I stayed at, I needed to check it out...and regret the waste of time. We went for happy hour since their "microbrews" are only $2 a pop. I use my coupon to get a sample of the Red ale...eh. So, since they only have three beers, I go down the line: I ask my father for a sip of his Southern Clipper Wheat Ale and it's even more lackluster than the Red. So I order the IPA...which doesn't even come close to a true IPA. Not only that, on the menu they call it a Golden Ale, but the bartender refers to it as an IPA. Yeah, IPAs can have a gold color but to call it a Golden on the menu is incredibly misleading to someone who knows beer. Guess it doesn't really matter since the beer advocacy in the Keys is extremely low anyway and, if someone ordered the Golden expecting a light-bodied ale with low bitterness, they wouldn't be far off. Also, there are no craft selections besides their homemade swill so we didn't even bother trying any food, paid our tab and walked down the street to The Porch. If you're in Key West and you want to try great Florida beer, go to Krawl and try whatever Due South they have on tap and then go to The Porch and try any Cigar City they have.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

This place has two attractions: the scenery/ atmosphere, and the food. Other than that, this place was a huge miss.

The whole bar is an open area with a courtyard out front for a rainforest feel if you enjoy that while dining; I do. I sat at the bar but the courtyard seemed like a very nice place to be.

The food was delicious. I had some curry chicken that was outstanding.

The beer was pretty awful. There were only three selections, all house beers, and all very average. They had a pale ale, a wheat, and an amber. How original. The beers lacked any flavor and had no spark or anything in them to make me want more of them.

The service was very slow. The food took about 45 minutes to arrive and the bartenders had empty glasses all over the bar.

Unless you go for the food and scenery, go other places for beer and service.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.42/5  rDev -29.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 4

The atmosphere is a uppity version of Key West, lots of outdoor seating, small bar, however quite proper. A small bar under a overhang that is overlooking the outside dinging. The quality of the beer was, well, kind of touristy, and not fantastic, but not really that bad. A more of focus on their extensive wine list (wait, we are in a beer place?), and Miller Lite is on special right now!! Service was slow, the waiter spilled a beer and didn't even clean it up, no, it's ok, I will take care of it, oh yea, thanks for the apology. As for the food, all was good, split some apps, everything was really nice, but it could have come out at the same time, I guess the server thought we were coursing our apps. Had two of the three beers, would have had a third, but he brought the check instead of asking. So, all in all, been there, done that, food was good, but pricey, and I will not go back.

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Photo of adkirkish
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Being the only brewery in the keys, I had to pay a visit to Kelly's and here was my experience: Kelly's is a microbrewery with 3 small batch fermenters. The usual beers on tap are the Havana Red Ale, Key West Golden Ale, and the Southern Clipper Wheat. I had all three and I ended up getting a pint on the Havana Red Ale.

I love the outdoor patio. There are huge trees that grow up through the interior structure that form a jungle canopy overhead. It's relaxing, lowkey, and off the beaten path of the hustle and bustle of duval street, but within close proximity to the main drag.

The service is nothing short of spectacular (Erica - You are awesome btw ;). Server poured me enough samples to make sure I had a proper tasting and was knowledgeable about the beers / brewery.

The food is great as well with local catch, steaks, and other normal pub fair. Everything is higher priced in the keys so nothing over the top here.

The only issue I see is just the minimal tap list. But for being so remote, I'm not that hard pressed to demand someting more. I'm just happy that there's a brewery at the end of the road offering up local craft beer. This is one stop you shouldn't pass up in Cayo Hueso.

 1,205 characters

Photo of david18
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I went to Kelly's because it was the only micro brewery on Key West. A very beautiful bar/restaurant with a nice setting. Seating in a restaurant, a bar, and outside porch and a further outside yard. The help was very nice but didn't seem to know too much about the beer itself.

i had the Red, the Golden (which is an IPA) and the Wheat. All were ok. I think the Red is the best for the style but the IPA was my favorite and a very decent IPA (I've had a lot worse). Nice building/pretty house.

I did not try the food but the menu seemed like most of the others on Key West. Lots of fish including the signature Key West Conch Fritters.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 2.5

I was down in the Keys with The Chauffeur1 contemplating the idea of order in Key West. Actually, I was contemplating beer and Kelly's beckoned, plus Greg said that he only had two requests for the trip - Key West and Nawlins. Being an accommodating sort... Ha! Like I needed an excuse. My contemplation was an allusion to one of the most famous poems by Wallace Sevens, who routinely came down to visit. It also represented an opportunity to continue to follow the footsteps of Papa Hemingway who routinely came to Key West. A real literary moment was in the llate 1920s/early 1930s when the two got into a one-punch fist fight on the beach over Hem's advances on Stevens' wife and Stevens laid the tough guy out on the beach and walked away shaking his head.

Back to the present. Kelly's was a massive complex that sat at the corner of Whitehead and Caroline Streets. The long patio entry was on Whitehead with the m.d.s. about ¼ of the way aft on right. The long, angular aluminum-topped bar was to the left and further aft, down a flight of stairs, was an outdoor patio area. The bar was pop-riveted to emulate an early airplane wing. Lavs were on right, past m.d.s., followed by the kitchen. The whole place was aviation themed with ceiling fans that looked like old prop turbines/motors. The front of the bar was corrugated aluminum with aluminum chairs. The patio area was enclosed by dense foliage, including palm trees and twisted ficus and banyan trees. Other than being the only b/p in the Keys, their other claims to fame were being the birthplace of Pan Am Airlines and being owned by Kelly McGillis of "Top Gun" fame. A second floor was accessible by stairs behind the m.d.s., leading to a set of bookshelves, a secondary bar, a private seating area, and a deck for overflow seating.

Beers: Havana Red Ale; Key West Golden Ale; and Southern Clipper Wheat. They were decent and beat most of what I had seen for sale in local stores.

Mom Test: Yeah. Why not? It's a tourist destination among other things.

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Photo of aaronh
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Located in the building where Pan-American airlines was founded, this "southernmost" brewpub was a nice find. On Whitehead street just a block off of Duval. Nice plane motif - one of the locals said it's owned by actress Kelly McGillis of Top Gun movie fame. Beer selection was average, but the $2 pints at happy hour are a nice bargain for decent beer in Key West. The outdoor seating area is very tropical, and the bar area is relaxing. Mostly football on the TV's since it was a Sunday afternoon. The IPA was a nice British-style. Would visit again if in Key West.

 567 characters

Photo of spointon
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Visited while on vacation last week.

Kelly's is a really cool indoor-outdoor place with its own line of beers brewed on premises. The vibe of thie place is all Key West, and I especially liked the airplane motif (The bar is located in the old Pan Am airline office building). The bar itself was made of riveted metal and looked like an aircraft fuselage. Cool.

The beers were so-so. Not great, but very drinkable nonetheless. The selection wasn't much though. Just three house brewed beers (an ok wheat, an ok IPA that was more like a pale ale, and a red/amber ale that was really unique). The bottle selection was all macros.

The food was also decent (we had conch fritters).

The service was pleasant and attentive. The bartender was happy to chat with us tourists and give us the scoop on Kelly McGillis the former owner and namesake.

All in all an ok bar in a place where craft beer is not celebrated much.

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Photo of HardcoreKeith
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

Cool place, very nice building. Service was not so good. We sat at a table about 5 feet from the bar for about 10 minutes before the bartender informed us, "There's no table service." No, "What can I get you? Here you go, I'll have to give it to you at the bar though," or, "Hi, I'm afraid I'll have to serve you up here at the bar," or anything. That's all. There's no table service. Well, I tell you what, there's hardly any service at all. Anyway, I went up to the bar and inquired about their microbrews. There were only three, and they were, as described to me by the bartender, in entirety, "A wheat, a red, and an IPA." I ordered two of each for my party.

They were ok. Very mild, muted, and subdued. The IPA seemed like maybe 30 IBU. American hops, but English style, I suppose. It was nice to have a fresh microbrew, but that's about the full extent of what I can say about the beers.

They have other light macros available in bottles. Being Key West though, the focus and precedence is on mixed frozen drinks, so expect that if you go here.

Positives: Their microbrews were only $2 for a goblet of what I estimate to be 8 to 10 ounces. I paid $12 for the round, which was friggin' amazing for Key West. It seemed like there were other good happy hour deals on mixed drinks available based on the chalkboard.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2

Nice historic building. Both indoor, and outdoor seating. Lots of palm treas line the outdoor area. Pretty comfortable all over.

When we stopped in, the had only 2 beers available, a wheat and a red. Neither were impressive. Both seemed dumbed down for the masses.

Service was good, they were quick to get our beers, and seemed friendly at the bar.

I can't comment on food, but for happy hour, they have wings that are only $4, and I hear they are some of the best on the island. Beers at happy hour were $2.

Overall, I was very disappointed. I was really looking forward to a brewpub, especially since I was tired of all of the usual suspects in Key West. Neither beer was a welcome relief. Maybe the food is good, and I may revisit when I go back, but still disappointed.

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Photo of rbowser
3.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

Let's start by saying, this is the only brewpub in a town that has a lot going for it, but great beer is not currently a focus in Key West.
On the positive, this brewpub is in a beautiful historic building (the old PanAm headquarters) and it has a gorgeous outdoor seating area with palm trees. The service was solid and the bartender was friendly and prompt. They had three beers on tap, a Cascade forward IPA that was decent, a red ale, and a wheat beer. I only tried the IPA, which was decent, but really nothing competitive with an decent brewpub elsewhere. They also have all the regular macros (Miller Lite, Bud) etc. available by the bottle.
This is a nice option in Key West, just a block off of Duval, which makes a big difference as it is not so crazy. This really is more of a restaurant with some beers on tap that they make but do not expect much of a brewing focus.
If you really want to hit someplace that features beer in Key West then Finnegan's Wake beer bar in the Seaport area is the spot.
This restaurant, is relaxing, beautiful, and has some decent food, with a couple of hand crafted beers that while not great are decent. In Key West, this make Kelly's a beer oasis.

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Photo of dstc
3.25/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Nice old building in Key West off Duval (the main drag) so it's nice and quiet. They have three beers they brew and I tried them all but I'll get back to that. Unfortunately it was our servers first day so service was REAL slow. When we arrived for lunch an hour after opening we were one of the only customers there and the only ones in the room we were seated in. Our waiter took a while to get to us even though the place was mostly empty but he was very pleasant and friendly. Being his first day I didn't bother asking about the beer and just ordered the wheat. The food was very good although the crab cakes seems to be overcooked. The wheat beer arrived in a pint glass with no head and as I drank, no lacing. It was the typical cloudy wheat beer color with a faint bitter aftertaste and overall a very nice wheat beer, I enjoyed it. I got the Havana Red next (after seeing it sitting on the bar all lonely for way too long, service was starting to get real slow). This beer was my favorite. Again no head or lace but real nice color and a wonderful smokey/burnt/roasted malt taste to it that I loved. The third beer I order was the Golden Ale and I ordered it when I still had half a Red left because I knew it would take a while and we were already there a long time waiting for food. Did not like the ale at all. Wish I had finished with the Red. The ale was a dark golden color with a little head and lace and very bitter taste. I actually left half a glass on the table when we left and I never do that. Overall, atmosphere was good, beer was very good (mostly), food was very good and service lousy. The waiter was not the only reason. After he took our order the kitchen took forever to make a couple quesadillas and crabcakes and they were not at all busy. We waited forever for food. I do recommend this place while visiting Key West but plan on spending some time.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Showed up at Kelly's with my whole family in tow just before overtime in the Bear game last weekend while in the Keys for a few days. It's a pleasant outdoor place in an unassuming location (I walked right by it twice without even knowing it was there) with nice shaded tables but the place was deserted except for the few guys watching the end of the game on the tiny screen at the bar.

Was a little disappointed to hear only three beers were available; the weisse, the red, and the golden. I sampled the former two and both were decent. The red wasn't awesome but was surpisingly robust and flavorful. Weisse was refreshing and on target with the traditional style. I also can give a thumbs up to the pulled pork sandwich and the fam mostly enjoyed their food as well.

Service was a little slack, both at the bar and at the table. I like laid back but this place was almost comatose at times. I found it kind of dull but could see trying it again under different circumstances. Key West has so many places; some are good and some are crap but it always depends on the crowd and the night as well.

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Photo of mcowgill
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Having just returned from Key West I figured I should review one of the few places with good beer in the area. Overall I was pleased with Kelly's. The happy hour prices were ridiculously good. $1.50 for beers and $3.50 for a big plate of wings. I tried their Golden (IPA) and the Belgian Double which were quite good. I thought the service was not good at all however. I personally feel that I shouldn't have to sit at the bar and not have either of the 2 bartenders on duty even look up at me for a good 5 minutes. I almost walked out. A simple, "Be right with you" would have sufficed. It wasn't THAT busy. After finally ordering and finishing my first beer, I needed to flag one of the bartenders down for a second even though they were literally standing a few feet away from me and never once looked over. Overall good beers and wings at reasonable prices, bad bartending.

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Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery in Key West, FL
82 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.