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Kelly's Brewpub

Place Score:

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew Store

3222 Central Avenue SE
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87106-1458
United States

(505) 262-2739 | map

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 34
Reviews by SeanChouffe:
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Kelly's has a good selection of beer with a cool little menu that gives a graphical representation of styles (color, characteristics, alcohol content, etc.). I have had a couple of decent brews (I think the Scotch Ale was pretty good), and I have had some very mediocre beers that were not very good representations of the style. The atmosphere is unique (former location of a car dealership). In the Summer time it is a great place to hang out outside on the patio and look at passers by. In the cooler months it is downright cold inside due to it's cavernous design. The food is like a bad day at Bennigan's: Bar food with no character and less flavor.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Lobina
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of ddncn
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Awesome outdoor patio at the converted auto shop compliments the excellent food options to enjoy while drinking any of the several great tasting options brewed in premises.

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Photo of Grantab369
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

It's a fun place with a wide selection organized by color. The food isn't impressive but it's good. Sweet potato fries on point

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Photo of Lavonnq
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of M_chav
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of taospowder
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Faunland
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of hophead505
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of kingjohnh
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of traxstar7
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of satellite85
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of macsyrinx
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of chrunck
3.35/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Bottom line: Decent tap lineup, mediocre brewed beer, typical bar food, and a nice atmosphere.

1. Taps: They have a wall full of taps behind the bar area, which is nice. Less nice is they don't have a list so you have to constantly ask the bartender to clarify (unless you're some kind of tap savant, I guess). I didn't even know they had taps until I'd been 4-5 times, because they only give you a list of the beers they brew and it's a big place so you're not always in eyeshot of the bar.

2. Brewed beer: When you sit down they give you a list of their brewed beer, arranged by color from lightest to darkest. Of the 18 or so on the list, I've probably tried 10 and haven't been impressed with any of them. I keep thinking I'll find a style they do well, but I've been disappointed each time.

3. Food: Typical bar fare. Burgers, fries, wings, sandwiches, etc. I think they have a salad or two if you want something lighter.

4. Atmosphere: This is why I've been back so many times. They have a large outdoor area that fills up quickly in the summer, in addition to their large inside seating area. Lots of long tables to accommodate groups (most of the times I've been there have been for work going-aways) so you can cram in a lot of people. Service is generally good except when they're super busy.

Overall it's not bad but I generally only go there when someone at work is leaving.

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Photo of wailingwench
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Cheers: They have the BEST ice cold water of any of the brewpubs in Abq. I don't know what they add to the water. In all honesty, I would pay for it. Plenty of house beer taps along with taps from other local NM and Colorado breweries. Great location on Central Avenue with a convenient bathroom (although the set up is confusing. I wandered into the "brewhouse" on the way to the bathroom). Patrons are extremely friendly in a good way (not the I am being nice to you so I can bum smokes off of you all night friendly). Bartenders are responsive, cheerful, and will serve you until you are laying on the floor. Great place to engage in random conversations with random people whom you will most likely never see again, or remember their names.

Jeers: The food for the most part is just OK. Nothing memorable or offensive. In fact, I can't remember what I ordered off of the menu. The only thing this place has going for it is location.. The bathroom configuration might explain the varying quality of their house beer perhaps patrons have been stumbling in and peeing in the fermentation tanks? Checkout system can be confusing especially if you are blind drunk. I always screw it up, which means that I leave a hefty tip to compensate for my idiotic nature.

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Photo of SteelieB
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We went here on a late Sunday afternoon before the UNM was in session, so it was not very busy. They have a large outdoor patio with umbrellas and fans to keep you cool.

The food we tried was good, but seemed a bit overpriced for the amount of food we received.

Kelly's has a large selection of many different styles of beer, once again a bit overpriced for beer made on premise ($4.25/pint) The general consensus from our group was that the light beers were good, but as mentioned in a previous post, the dark beers were overly fruity from fermentation. I think its time for them to get away from using english type yeast for their dark beers.

I will visit again as it was kid friendly and there was a Fro-Yo shop across the street to keep the kids entertained, not so much for the quality of the beer.

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Photo of ncfrey
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I've been here probably 3 times since I turned 21, and I've always been pretty satisfied. The food has been good each time, and to me seems very reasonably priced. Unfortunately, though, it's more their food than their beer that has kept me coming back. I suspect that they have inadequate control over fermentation temperature, because all of their dark beers that I've tried (porter, oatmeal stout, even Scottish ale) have had much more prevalent fruity yeast esters than I felt they should. My preferences generally tend toward dark beers, but at Kelly's I'll usually go for something pale. Their Belgian pale is pretty solid, and I can't recall having tried their hefeweizen, but it's definitely next on my list. If you can tolerate the excessive fruitiness, they do have a pretty broad list of brews available, I think around 12 house beers. It should be noted that, while the food prices are pretty great, the beer prices are more standard, $4.25 a pint I think. I think Kelly's is definitely worth hitting up at least a couple times, to sample the menu and beer selection. I think of it more as a place to meet friends than a place to bring a date, but maybe that's just me (and the fact that every time I've been there a dominant topic of conversation has been how fine some of the waitresses/hostesses are).

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Kelly's is right ok Central, the original Route 66. When I read it was a converted gas station, I was expecting a small, old fashioned joint. Not so. It is rather big with a sprawling outdoor patio. This place could easily accommodate over 100 people.

House beer selection was quite large, something like 19 offerings. Unfortunately all four that I sampled were pretty average at best. I think the dubbel was probably the best tasting one I had, although it was not overly dubbel-esque. The do have a nice selection of guest taps, so the variety is quite good.

I had the green chile stew and it was pretty tasty. The menu selection was fairly large and I saw a few other things I would like to try. Reasonably priced, especially for being in a pseudo-touristy area. Seems to be a popular place when the weather is nice and the patio is bumpin (It was raining the night I went). I sat at the bar so I cant comment much on the wait staff, but the bartender was nice and fairly knowledgeable. I'd go back again for the food and atmosphere, but I wouldnt expect much from the house beers.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Just as I was beginning to despair that no place would ever replace the now-defunct Route 66 Brewpub in St. Louis, MO, I hit upon Kelly's! This was an actual former Texaco gas station on the original U. S. Route 66, now redesignated as Central Avenue. The building has historical status and the convex exterior shape of the building screamed "former gas station". Out front was a huge garden/patio area with umbrellas and patio seating. I made like Moses and parted the Patio Sea in order to head inside to the bar. The garage doors opened on either side of the m.d.s. with cardboard cutouts of pompadoured men and cheesecake women flanking the entryways. The bow-clamp shaped wood bar was over on the left side and had a huge array of taps. Also on the left side of the space were English darts to the left of the bar as well as a bunch of monitors with a pool table and two more English dart boards along the front wall. On the restaurant (right) side, the walls were utterly festooned with vintage advertising and clip art from the 1950's. I really dug the old phone booth as I headed aft to the lavatories and the brewery. Their beer menu also invited patrons to find a style that they particularly enjoyed and then to arrange to come in and brew a batch for themselves. At that point, I was openly weeping.

Beer: Nineteen (19) (!) house-brewed beers were on tap during my visit, ranging in color (boo!) from a blonde to an Imperial Stout. I had a very hoppy IPA and their Apricot Ale before I went off to a nearby movie theatre.

Mom: Maybe, but mine might launch into her own memories of driving Route 66 and I do not relish such an idea.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place was only a few minutes away from our hotel and was kinda near the downtown area. Pretty easy to get too, but the parking was pretty limited to side streets. Nice open veranda, and the inside was very large with high ceilings. We decided to sit at the bar. Our waitress was very friendly, as was the gentleman from Ohio who sat next to us. The tap selection was huge, having probably 25 taps of their own brews and maybe 5 more of some staples. I absolutely loved their Scottish ale...probably one of the best I've ever had. Huge malt body, perfect carbonation, well balanced sweetness finished off with a smoky peatiness. Loved it. The Belgian Pale was sour and quite off. The Apricot Pale Ale was pretty refreshing and tasted well brewed. The Imperial stout was thin bodied for the style and wasn't imperial by any stretch of the imagination, although it was tasty(It was 8.0% ABV). The hefe-weizen was pretty good, but poured out like as cloudy as glue. We sent it back...way too yeasty. We had the green chile cheese fries which were OK, but not as exceptional as the bartender would have us believe. The wings were very good, but a little hot for my taste coupled with the fries. Service was very good, but the prices were a little goofy. I paid $2.75 for each "1/2 pint", but these pours were 6oz, at tops. Kinda a rip-off. They don't have a sampler tray, but they will provide limited free samples, which equates to a champagne glass with a 1/2 ounce sip of beer. Even at happy hour, the beer was $3.75 a pint, which is regular price at every other brewpub I've been to. We had 5 "1/2 pints", 2 pints, an order of wings (about 8-9), and fries and it came to $31 before tip, which is pretty ridiculous, IMO. As I was going to the restrooms, I got a look at the brewery. They had some bins of malt nearby, so with the approval of a staff member, I grabbed and handful of crystal 40 to chew on. Mmmm. Still, the beer was great, and I would go here at happy hour to have a few pints.

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Photo of tcbl1007
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We stopped by Kelly's while in Albuquerque for the USBC Championships, and we were so impressed that we had to go back before we left. I'm not going to get into too specific details on particular beers and food, but I think my general remarks will be more than sufficient.

First, the beer. The selection was absolutely outstanding, and of the 6 beers my wife and I had between the two of us, all were fantastic. They had every type of beer to please any type of beer drinker, or any beer mood you may be in. My wife went for the lighter beers, and both were great. Nice and crisp and refreshing, and a real nice mouth feel for being lighter beers. I went for the darker/heavier beers - scotch ale, porter, etc. Every one that I had was superb. They all had great taste and mouth feel, and were among the better brewpub beers that I've ever had.

The food was pretty much traditional pub grub (although it was a pretty large menu of pub grub!), and it was also fantastic. From the ostrich burger, to the hamburger, to the appetizers - everything was delicious.

And the service was second to none. The first night we were there we had Rachael wait on us on the patio, and she was very nice and very efficient. She was a pleasure to have wait on us. The second night we had Molly wait on us inside the brewpub. As was Rachael, Molly was super nice and did an outstanding job from start to finish. I hope you'll be fortunate enough to get one of these nice young ladies to wait on you.

Oh, and one more thing - the patio is dog friendly! We are dog lovers, so we were very impressed that people were allowed to bring their pooches with them on the patio. What a great touch that was!

Overall, this place was one of the most exceptional brewpubs/restaurants that we've been to, and it would be a shame if you missed it if you're in the Albuquerque area.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was in Albuquerque for the women's NCAA tournament and we stopped in for dinner and a few pints. Figured we'd stop in and give it a try because it looked in our price range, and had microbrews.

The atmosphere was that of a local small brewpub and was very cool. Very college atmosphere, we were seated outside and that was fine by us. The inside was very cool, and they were brewing while there. Pretty cool little place.

The beers here weren't top notch, but still very good, and better than anything offered here in Laramie. I sampled the Imperial Stout, IPA and the Hefeweizen. All were drinkable and tasty. I could easily drink a lot of their beer.

Service was pretty sub-par, the waitress was a little backed up, but at the same time, we felt ignored, especially when she lost two of the guys beer orders multiple times. It was a bit frustrating.

A good variety of beers on the menu. Pretty much covered all the bases everything from blondes to imperial stouts, even a belgian dubbel. Pretty good choices.

The food here was really delicious for brewpub fare. We had apetizers and burgers, and all were excellent. There were some odd things like ostrich, but for the most part pretty standard. But very good nonetheless. I'd recommend this place to anyone, and will make an effort to go there again! Plus the idea of brewing your own beer with their equipment is pretty cool. I'd definitely look into that if I lived down there.

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Kelly's Brewpub in Albuquerque, NM
89 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.