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Water Street Brewery

Not Rated.
Water Street BreweryWater Street Brewery
BEER AVG
3.4/5
Based on:
16 Beers
145 Ratings
Place Score: 83
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1101 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202
United States
phone: (414) 272-1195

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: brakspear)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rowleypw
2.26/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of fbinla
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Turned up friday afternoon, the place was empty, weird old lady decorations, felt more like a more expensive restaurant than a brew pub. The food was great, cooked very well. I ordered a sampler of beer, received a pretty good selection for the $8 ab out 12 in all. However all the beers were blah, kind of watery, not much of a defined flavor, a few of the beers had diacetyl in that were not to style. The best beer was the pale ale which actually stood out from the rest of the beers that were hard to tell what they were. I wouldn't come back here again unless it was just for food.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

The ol' Water Street brewery, located on, yup, Water St.

If you know anything about Water St. in Milwaukee, you know this is the main drag for nightlife on the weekends. This place can be a very different experience depending on your timing. Of course, the beer is the same regardless.

Anyways, nestled between all kinds of other alcohol and food purveyors, is this brewery. Its on Water St., so parking is atrocious, and of course, meter maids hover 24/7. The quality of the beer is average. Nothing horrible, nothing special.

The selection is usually the standard stuff (pale, wheat, stout, lager, light), it seems to be a rare occasion when they have a seasonal or one off brew available. All the beers taste like they have the same yeast strain and even hops (although in different levels). The food goes beyond typical pub fare, but I haven't had anything any better than typical pub fare there either. Worth checking out, but I tend to prefer other brewing establishments when I'm in Milwaukee. But it is one of the better beer destinations on Water St. if your friends drag you that way on a Thu-Sat night. Go Marquette!

Photo of granger10
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

Been here twice now, once during midday in which it was quite crowded and once at night in which it was quite empty. Crowds seem to be here for the food first and foremost. I have yet to have tried it so I can't be of service in that regard. Beers here seems a bit watery and a touch sweet to style for the most part. Irish Stout was the best I had and the Pale was solid, maybe even good. The rest are about average with a couple being downright bad. A few diamonds are there however deep in the rough. Selection was decent, every basic style was covered but nothing that would wow a beer knerd. Service has been good actually with lots of enthusiasm. It's in a good area of town to go out so this might not be a bad spot for a meal and a sampler before checking out the district. Not really worth the venture solely for beer.

Photo of Knoxrb12
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Dexterityviking
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of SWChi
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of WoostaBia
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of DownDaHatch
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 4

First of all parking in Milwaukee is ridiculous, however I did not let this effect my rating. The look and vibe of this place is pretty cool with old beer cans and bottles lining the walls and backbar. It is quite a large place and is easily a "family-like" establishment. The food was generally pub-style with some upscale dishes/dinners. Their craft brew selection was less than I had imagined and while the Stout was good it did not WOW me. As for the service, that was the worst part of the visit. The staff payed little attention to the bar top and did little to engage in conversation or help with questions about getting around town. It could be that we are from Illinois. I had some similar experiences at a few other stops while others were more than gracious. I would generally say take a pass on this place unless you are visiting the other Irish pubbs in the area.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.06/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Visited in a recent trip to Milwaukee.

An interesting place in the water street bar area. The bar/restaurant is quite large and very rustic looking. The tap list was about 10 strong, most of which were fairly tame offerings with the exception of an IPA and a "black lager." I was in the mood for a stout or porter and was disappointed to not see either style represented despite about 10 taps being offered. I had the pale ale, which I found to be very average, if not below average. My friends ordered a munich lager and it was pretty good.

Prices were reasonable but considering how ridiculously cheap beer is on all of water street during happy hour, it was disappointing to see no happy hour special here.

Didn't have food. The service was friendly yet describing their pale as a "Sierra Nevada clone" was more than just a little bit misleading...

Not sure that I would return but worth checking out once.

Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Low key interior with a person feel and touch of personality. Not too loud, which was nice. Staff are friendly, but the restaurant is self serve... Not a great choice if you want a real sit down meal. Food is home style pub food with a bit of a twist. I missed the homemade pretzels, but my schnitzel sandwich was good. Garlic-parm fries were just fries dusted with some store bought shake. On the bright side my asian salad had fresh orang segments rather than canned. Beers are OK (a bit thin and mostly one dimensional), with limited selection (5 on tap) but they have great prices. Mediocre overall.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Atmosphere- We went on a Sunday afternoon and sat at a table by the bar. We didn't realize we entered from the side and not the front door where they were seating people. It is a nice clean space with lots of T-shirts of other brewpubs covering the walls and a great collection of old taps and bomber. The piped in music played everything from Van Halen to the theme from Shrek and Hanson but it was a good level so conversation wasn't difficult.

Quality- When the manager brought us these ratty old newspapers I thought he was trying to beg for money (typical for a Chicago street corner). It was actually the menu and the beer list. It seemed like the beer were turned down a little to cold and the air conditioning didn't help

Service-Our waiter happened to be the manager and he wasn't really happy that we seated ourselves so he spent more time flirting with the other wait staff. My friend asked if they had Sprecher, since he noticed non Water Street beer on the list, and the waiter went on and on about how Sprecher is their competition an why on earth would they sell their competitions beer.

Selection- They had a good mix of German American beers with nothing to unique.

Food-The food was good and it came with pub chips which were various roots (beets, potato, yucca?) fried. The chips alone were great. The food is typical of trendy brewpubs that serve oversized buns and big plates so they can charge you double the price. But it was warm and well plated. I had a vegetarian friend that ordered grilled cheese of the kid’s menu cause everything else is focused for carnivore. Interestingly it came with a big piece of corn beef stuck on the bottom of the sandwich. We got a good laugh about that one.

Value- This is the prices I would expect to pay in the Theater District. Reasonable for a big city which is usually a bit overpriced.

Photo of tedsox31
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Went here on a Friday afternoon before a Brewer's game while in the area. I rather enjoyed the layout of the place, it had some fermenting vessels that you could look at from the restaurant, along with some beer memorabilia along the wall.

Quality was fine, although not super impressive. There were about 8 beers on tap, I had the witbier and raspberry weiss. Both were to style if a bit over-spiced.

Service was good, our waiter was timely and asked about refills in a quick fashion. He also warmed up my food when I asked for it to be warmer.

Selection was decent. German-style influence to the menu. Food was not great. My sandwich came cold, although I am pretty sure that it was supposed to be served warm. Overall, this was ok for the price. I probably wouldn't return but it wasn't a bad stop by any measure.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I was pleased with my lunch experience at the Water Street Brewery. My food was pretty good, and the two beers I had were better than others I've had lately at other area brewpubs. A friend told me that Water Street had good food but beers inferior to other brewpubs, and I disagree. Reading the other reviews, I'm a bit confused about my experience, but here it is.

Ambience of the place was pretty cool - lots of brick like a lot of brewpubs, with a very impressive of old beer cans impressively displayed. The menu looked quite good. We had some great pretzels for appetizers, and my sandwhich was pretty good, served with some great home-made chips. Service was a college aged woman, and we didn't talk much about the beer, but she served us adequatelyl. The beers I had (the APA and the Irish Stout) I thought were good, and the highlight of my visit.

Photo of kmeves
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A good restaurant with decent beers. The bartenders have a good understanding of beers although the waitresses do not. The food is generally good with some German influence. Cool downtown location. Their beers aren't bad, but they just aren't anything to write home about. I'm sure the popularity of Water Street pushes this establishment into catering to the mainstream a bit, which isn't the worst thing in the world, it's just not what I'm looking for in a brewpub. For example, the last time I was there, they had just tapped an imperial stout, which I ordered, but there was so little flavor, I can't imagine why they would have labeled it an imperial stout. And, on a side note, when I ordered it, the waitress said, Oh, I haven't tried that yet, probably tastes like Guiness, hope you like that. (now, I know she was just a waitress and that it's hard to find waitresses with a high degree of beer knowledge, but it did push my service rating down, despite relatively timely serving).

Photo of LukeK
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of astronautjones
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Eman17
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of derkfromwi
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of italianstallion
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of bnuttz
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Water street brewery is the only micro brewery in the downtown water street district. A nice place to hit up when on the macro dominated water street. Usually a decent selection of styles are available here. However none have really ever caught me as excellent. The pale ale was by far the best I have come across. Unfortunately most of the brews here seem to be watered down, I really think of any other way to some them up. The food can be decent, but I have gotten some rotten dishes there as well. Prices are not too bad, but can be a little on the higher side. Once again I would say worth a place to hit up if you are on the water street area.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is macro-brew pub. It is very clean in downtown Milwaukee and has a cool nostalgic feel to it. Very family friendly.

The wait-staff were friendly, but were not beer geeks.

Menu was above average pub fare, most things were average, but a few were delicious. The french fries and grilled cheese were excellent!

The beer was pretty light and many of the beers listed on the menu were not available anymore.

Overall, if one is new to the craft/microbrew scene, this may be a great place to start.

Photo of Reneejane
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Well, I grew up in Milwaukee but left town shortly before becoming of age and never really went back to party until recently. We visited this place last night before going to an Admiral's game. So, the parking on an event day could be unmanagable, but we parked in a garage, and walked to the Bradley center after our meal.

The waitress was very knowlegeable (she had tasted all the beers so knew what she was talking about...). I liked that they had a good mix of German and English styles. Lately I've been really bummed at the over-prevalence of Weiss or Wheat beers and this place had a good mix. I tried the mead, the pale ale, amber, and the imperial stout. The mead was on the wine-y side but a very nice version of it. And, I'm happy to see this style on a menu. Wasn't too sweet and wasn't too yeasty. I liked it. I tried the Pale Ale it was solid, good, and hoppy. But, the Imperial Stout was heaven in a glass. Be careful with this one though, its got high ABV. But it was sinfully chocolately, ooohhh...

The Amber was weird, very weird. I think it may have been a lager, but I got a definite banana-ester flavor to it, and wasn't sure what to think of that, I was expecting something more typical amber ale.

I went for German food, and well, like usual, regretted that later in the night, but it was very good. My husband had a pasta dish and enjoyed it. There is quite a bit of variety with the menu.

Photo of botham
3.63/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

first of all, plan to spend a few minutes looking for a parking spot.

had lunch here yesterday, and was not impressed. Water Street Brewery does not live up to its reputation. the atmosphere struggles between the architypes of a 50's diner and a brewpub (the music is retro sounding, and the decor is 50's-esque). there are some great collections of old beer cans and bar-taps that require a minute to check out. interesting place to be in, and at a great location.

the beers are nothing special either. i sampled the munich lager and the octoberfest, and had a glass of the irish stout. all three of these brews seemed watered down and lacked character. i would have tried a few more if those turned out to be better.

the service was the good part of the excursion. prompt and friendly, and the food was great for a brewpub (the chef's creation was phenomenal!).

bottom line: check this place out for the food and the location, not for the beer.

Photo of adrock7309
3.63/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Recently stopped in for some fine Wisconsin cuisine and hand crafted brews.

In my honest opinion, the joint had a cool vibe in the bar but the dining rooms felt a bit outdated, even for an antique brew pub. I started off with an IPA which was a complete disappointment. It was nice to look at but had such a reserved hop aroma/flavor that I was surprised they considered it an IPA. The food was amazing – I had german sausages and Spaetzle. I finished off the meal with their RIS which was actually a treat to drink. Nice roastiness and subtly sweet. Probably wouldn’t go back.

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Water Street Brewery in Milwaukee, WI
83 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.