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St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
St. Francis Brewery & RestaurantSt. Francis Brewery & Restaurant
BA SCORE
85
very good

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.33%
Active Beers: 15
Beer Ratings: 106
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: 6
Bottles: 24
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

3825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave
St. Francis, Wisconsin, 53235
United States
phone: (414) 744-4448

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Winter on 04-07-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Yetiman420:
Photo of Yetiman420
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%

Stop #410 on my world brewery tour.

Visited on a Monday afternoon in early December on my way to the airport (which is very convenient).

Very nice place with the brewing area enclosed in glass all around - even on the outside where you can see it from the street.

I had a sampler of all the beers except the golden ale. All the beers were good except the tripel was not as attenuated as I would like and they had a second version of it on cranberries (for the holidays?) which had no noticeable cranberry flavor or aroma. The RIS was very nice and everything else was good.

The service at the very large bar was good but I was the only person there at the time. Someone did come in for a growler refill and he didn't rinse it out. When the customer (who knew the bartender) called him out on it, he said the alcohol in the beer would kill any germs.

Milwaukee is not the mecca for craft breweries that Madison is so lower your expectations a bit and you'll do just fine at St. Francis.

Yetiman420, Dec 10, 2013
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4/5  rDev +10.2%

hansenm72, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of guityler83
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Only a few minutes away from my hood, I've stopped in St. Francis Brewery on several occasions for dinner with the fam or just a pint after a hard days work.

A: The place is find for family gatherings or a night out with the spouse, but it's not really a place that is inviting to the average beer nerd. I get that its what they are going for, but would like to see a more diverse crowd.

Q: Beer is typically very fresh, though nothing that is very aromatic that needs to be.

S: The bartenders are quick on the refills when there is few people in the place, but when it gets busy they can get slower, which is understandable. Never had a problem with bad service or dirty glasses, etc. pretty standard.

S: There is core selection of beers that, for me, need some work, The IPA has good bitterness and malt flavor but needs more aroma. The amber is a bit plain tasting, but the kolsch is refreshing and nice. I typically go for the Seasonals or one offs, nothing has blown me away, but they have been getting better as the months go by.

F: Typical pub fare with some higher end options, burgers, sandwiches, stakes.

Overall, I'm glad to see they are progressing and not going with the mentality of 'people are coming, so why improve on it'. I would like to see their beers go more outside of the box, not everyone in the area is a 45 year old soccer mom that's afraid to try new things.

guityler83, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of Kelleyinwi
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%

The beer is excellent! The new food menu is exciting. The service can be hit or miss sometimes, but tell a manager and it's fixed. Great place to take friends or family. Brunch on Sunday should not be missed! There are fun events like Oktoberfest, specialty beer tappings, a mug club, and bands on many weekends. The beer is now bottled for purchasing in stores and is also on tap in many places in Wisconsin. Great for enjoying my favorite elsewhere.

Kelleyinwi, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of crossovert
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%

Stopped here on a Wednesday night. Not many patrons. It is a pretty good sized place with the brewing equipment in clear view.

I ordered a sampler of 8 beers. It was 8 bucks for the 8 3 oz samples. The beer was overall not bad for a brewpub. Some offerings were pretty decent, some mediocre, none really terrible.

What was kind of crappy was the bartender, he just seemed like a dunce.

The food came out fast as expected. The chicken was a bit dry but it was okay.

Overall a decent stop if you are just wallowing up and down Kinnikinac.

crossovert, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.6/5  rDev +26.7%

Stopped in on a late Sunday night. Only a few people in the place and received instant service. Considering the ratings on here, I was surprised with the quality of beer. It had much better mouth feel than many of the smaller breweries in the area, and the Weiss beer and Cow Tipper Stout were top notch for the styles. I thought the Maple Root Beer was also very creative. Tentatively I put the atmosphere at a 4, as I don't know what it is like when it is more busy, or what kind of vibe they are shooting for in a brewpub. As far a selection, they were somewhat standard issue for brewpubs (which I repeat were very good), with nothing bolder or challenging like a Bourbon Aged beer, or an over the top IPA. Obviously they weren't standard issue as many brewpubs though, which is why I give this place a very good score, and will visit again when in the area (hopefully for some food as well).

MilwaukeeCrusher, May 23, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%

A pretty cool looking place on the outside and in. The branding and visual aspects of the place were spot on. We went for lunch on a saturday afternoon, so it was fairly quiet and slow.
My problem was that despite being so slow, it literally took them at least 5 minutes, if not almost 10 minutes to serve us. There were only 3 other people seated at what was a very sizeable bar, so it was kinda hard NOT to notice us. I understand if the place is jam packed and you are short on help, but really? There could not have been more than 8-10 total people in the whole place.I was not very happy with that at all, but moving on.
Once we were helped, the beer was average. Was it bad? No. But it did hit the spot late that morning.
In this place's defense, the food was actually very good which sort of helped redeem them from the crappy service. A soft pretzel and cheese soup for dipping? Yes please.
Overall, if you are lucky to be helped, I really have nothing to complain about the beer, it really hit the spot with an excellent meal; the beer and food alone is worthy of a return trip, just work on the service next time.

sweemzander, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of dstc
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%

Nice, new building with a good look from the outside. Interior was nice as well, good bar area and plenty of seating, we took a booth in the restaurant area.

My wife had their wheat and I had the seasonal which was called Harvest Strong and came in a brandy snifter. Wheat was nice and very drinkable. The Strong was good too, decent booze and a nice sipper.

Service was awesome. Walked in at noon on a saturday (New Years Day) and they were doing brunch, did not expect that and was hoping to order off the menu. Waiter could see we were hesitant but gave us a menu and said he could get us anything. We needed some vegetarian options and he produced two veggie burgers that were not even on the regular menu. Very accommodating I must say.

Overall the food was good, the beer was good and I would go there again when in the area.

dstc, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of botham
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

St, Francis Brewpub is a decent stop in South Milwaukee, but it seems like it needs some time to establish itself. these guys opened in April 2009 into a newly constructed building. the tap list is still pretty young (and small), and the beers themselves, though good, are nothing to get excited about.

the atmosphere is faux-old-belgian monastery meets a wooden lodge meets a newly built strip mall. fake stone cladding and wooden panels are used throughout, and the back of the bar is much too spacious. there is a bar area, two dining rooms (one called the Saint Francis Hall, possibly used for events and tour tastings), and some outdoor seating on the South side of the building. the brewing equipment is in a sun-washed glass clad room at the Southeast corner, behind one end of the bar.

quality and service are good. nothing to complain about, although the conditions were dead on a Saturday afternoon (only one other group was present in the whole place).

selection seemed to be developing, but was still pretty shallow. only six taps including a hefe, a kolsch, a red, a brown and a stout. home brewed root beer was also on tap. the seasonal was the kolsch, and the barkeep said they had a mai-bock on that blew a month or two ago. this BA had the kolsch and the stout; the kolsch was quite good, while the stout was a bit underdone.

food was good. a step up from normal bar food, but again: nothing to get excited about.

bottom line: these guys need time to develop. many aspects are in the right place, they just need to build a more healthy tap list and keep doing what they are doing. the location might be a bit out of the way, but right down the street is Sugar Maple, so there is always a backup plan. cheers!

botham, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of curiamagna
3.45/5  rDev -5%

I had been wanting to try out this place since I first saw the decorative fermenter (before the place opened). There isn't a lot of local craft beer choice between downtown Milwaukee and Libertyville, IL.

Everything looks new, of course, because it is. I'm not sure their layout is the most efficient use of space. There is a huge, long, curved bar with a lot of unnecessary space behind it. If they made the bar smaller and closer to the wall, they could probably have fit a bunch more seats. OTOH, the parking lot was completely full on a Friday night, so I'm not sure that adding more seats would be a good idea.

As others have mentioned, the bar staff was problematic. They were not knowledgeable about the beer. The bartender who served me said she had never tried the first beer I ordered and couldn't tell me anything about it. Brewmasters, please train your staff! There were also far more employees on duty than necessary for a bar/restaurant of that size. As a result, there were often groups of waiters and bartenders hanging out behind the bar, just talking.

That said, they have a decent selection of their own beers on tap, evenly divided between lagers and ales. I tried three of the ales: Mariner Nut Brown, South Shore Stout (a "dry irish oatmeal stout") and Archbishop Amber (really a very light and under-hopped pale ale). The Mariner nut brown was somewhere between good and great as a session beer. The other two were disappointing. I noticed that none of the beers I tried had any significant aroma. Tip to the brewmaster - dry hop!

As it was a Friday and the place is in Wisconsin, they had a fish fry. That's always a bonus, and it was very good. It was some of the best fried cod I have had in the midwest. They also serve it broiled, but that defeats the purpose.

I will be going back, probably numerous times. While there is room for improvement, it's a good start.

curiamagna, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
3.05/5  rDev -16%

This is a decent place. The locals here are being kind of hard on it but it's new so give it a chance. I've gone twice now and it's ok.

The beer is average. it wasn't horrible but nothing you would seek out. They have 5 beers that are made in house and a rootbeer as well. I sampled 4 of the five since they were out of the mariner nut brown both times I went. Hopefully they can play with teir recipes a bit and fine tune the beer to become something of star for them.

The food was better then average. My group all agreed the food was good. We got a bunch of different entrees and appitizers and shared so we could get a good sample.

The service was a bit lackluster but, I'm not going to hold it against them. The staff all seems young and needs to get some experiance to up their speed and quality.

The place itself is beautiful very rustic looking with a large bar and large wooden table and chairs.

Overall it's all we've got on the southside of Milwaukee in terms of breweries so I'm willing to give it time. I think with a little work this could be a great place.

beerwolf77, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of blackearth
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%

Very nice looking place decorated with wood and stone for an 'old time' feel. Nice long bar with a view of either sports on TV or the brewing room. There's also a separate room for parties and an outdoor patio.

The quality of the beer is okay, but nothing special. $5 for a "normal" tasting beer from a brewpub doesn't seem worth the money. The value for the food is worse. I ordered the catfish strips which tasted good, but $6.50 for 5 fishstick-sized pieces isn't worth it.

I've been here twice now and I'm running low on reasons to come back. They need to come up with some exciting beers, not just the standard pilsner, hefe, brown, amber, stout line up.

blackearth, May 15, 2009
Photo of Pauly2X
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%

Me and the wife went here for lunch late on a friday afternoon. It was still busy from the noon hour rush, but people were finishing up so we got seated within 5 minutes or so. The atmoshpere was very warm without being to dark, lots of wood and even more stone added a touch of elegance as well.

To start we got the sampler. All the beers were good, especially the Kolsch which I thought was pretty spot on. As already mentioned it is kind of a typical brew pub lineup. I would really like to see the brewmaster be able to flex his creative muscle and offer up some bold and or interesting beers. Looking at the monastic logo of the place it would be cool to even see some abbey style beers.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the bar staff was sub par. We waited at the bar to pass the time before we were seated and didn't even get acknowledged by the bartenders. Our server (Corey) made up for this once we got to our table. You could tell that she was new to the whole beer scene, but I feel as though if I had asked a question to which she didn't know the ansewer that she cared enough that she would of gotten the ansewer. Very helpful and she unfortunately had to apologize for the bartenders lack of speed in getting my sampler tray. It was also kind of cute how excited she got as I represented her first growler sale.

I felt the food was great. The menu selection has not only the brewpub staples but some interesting twists on classics as well. I had a shaved ham and swiss served hot on a delicous pretzel roll and well seasoned fries. My wife had the Bacon wrapped meatloaf which really set itself appart from the boring old stuff most of our mothers used to make. It was served along side a california mixed of veggies and garlic mashed potatoes.

Overall a great experience. I will be back, especially considering that I only live about a mile away.

Pauly2X, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of MrSpackler
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%

Like previous review, the poor bartender staff was what tainted this experience. I was there just for the beer so can not comment about anything associated with the food. I met up some family members there and when we tried to get a beer, it was nearly impossible. Not due to it being crowed, but because the bartenders were not eager to serve the patrons. I guess reading a little into the business plan at this establishment, it was to have the wait staff and bartenders primarily with low paid 20 somethings that are completely oblivious to what craft beer is... Which is a shame because the beer is good. IMO the bartenders should have comments about each beer that will describe what characters make the beer.
The amber to me was the best. I'm normally not a amber type of guy, but this amber was unique to the standard that it had a very earthy taste to it. I did sample all of the beers including the weiss, kolsch, nut brown, and a little treat by the hands of the brewmaster himself. The stout was not available due to some carbonizing issues. While I was drooling over all the nice new shinny stainless the brewmaster Alan Bunde was nice enough to take time to explain what he had going on in the brew room. He then brought out some stout which I thought was good as is without the carbonization. Most all the pints were $5 which is very reasonable. The atmosphere is very nice and warm feeling. I would hope in the future that the beer line up would have something a bit more unique rather than the cookie cutter brew pub line up. Something like a brewmasters monthly ????. Maybe something for us hopheads!

MrSpackler, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of Rennpferd
2.65/5  rDev -27%

It is fairly nice. There is a lot of wood, and wood lamanent. It was very clean. Most of the crowd was baby boomer aged and drinking domestic imports. Quite a shame considering that it is a brew pub with their own beer on tap.

I was unimpressed with the bar staff. They were completely disrespectful. We were completely ignored by the bar staff. My wife and I waited for over 20 minutes to be served; we had to wait until we sat a table to get a drink. When a local newspaper writer and his guests sat down at the bar next to us, the bartender walked right past us and immediately took their order. Furthermore, I had ordered a Hefeweizen and specifically said to not put a lemon in it. The bartender stuck one in my beer anyways.

The table and kitchen staff was great. Our drink order was taken immediately. Our food order was taken quickly after that. Our appetizer and drinks arrived within 10 minutes of being seated.

It's a shame that the bartenders suck. They are affecting the rest of the staff's tips. When I pay bar prices for beer I expect it to be served correctly. I would have stiffed the waitress if I had not recognized her from the neighborhood.

The food was good, but typical for the area. The beer selection was typical as well. The benefit of this establishment is that they serve their own beer. The prices were reasonable considering their competition. I felt that they were priced competitively against the other local pubs.

Rennpferd, Apr 09, 2009
St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant in St. Francis, WI
85 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.