Taps: 31 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Roman's Pub was originally my first and only choice for a beer bar in MKE. I'm glad I learned about The Sugar Maple and went there first, though! My wife and I liked it better than Roman's.
But Roman's is very good too. 30 taps, with 3 Belgians and 4 Germans among them and the British Fuller's ESB on the beer engine. Selection was very good but not as great as I expected it to be, considering the amount of kudos this place gets.
I felt teased by the "upcoming" brews listed on the menu: Burton Baton, Founders CBS, Avery Samael, North Coast Old Stock '07, Goose Island Bourbon '09... when I asked the very nice bartender (whom I believe was Roman himself) he said those rare brews would not be tapped for months. Why list them already then?
Love the ambience, blue-collar atmosphere, very nice, no hipsters here. Great garden too.
No food, though (too bad). I tried Tyranena HopWhore and Hinterland Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale, both local Wisconsin brews.
Prices were higher than Sugar Maple ($7-$7.50, as opposed to $5-$6), and no happy hour was available that I know of.
I would definitely come back if I were a local, but I favor Sugar Maple.
10-04-2010 00:01:14 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.58/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I'm happy to have finally made it out to Romans' after hearing about it constantly. This place was worth the drive for me. I made my way down to the south side and found the place on a Monday night. I met my cousin there for some Pumking on tap.
Once inside this small house that's easy to miss, you find yourself basically inside a living room. The bar is to the left and covered in massive tap arrays. To the right are benches for drinkers to sit in groups. I saw, through the window behind the bar, the outside lounge which looked nice as well as the back room with more seating available.
It was nice to meet Mike finally who is quite a blast to talk to. Fantastic service! Got a fresh beer in a squeaky clean glass. For a Bell's tulip full of Pumking, $7.50 seemed a little steep considering a 22 oz bottle costs less, but I wasn't about to complain about it considering the great conversation that came with it. That and it's the south (ish) side. It's to be expected.
As for the selection, there was plenty of great beer to be had there. Taps all over the place and bottles behind the bar. I went in knowing exactly what I wanted so I only took a light gander at the selection, but it was something worth coming back for time and time again.
Thanks Mike! Hopefully I'll see you again soon!
09-19-2010 22:14:07 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.51/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Amazing taps. We just left Roman's, and it was easily the best tap selection in Milwaukee (missed Sugar Maple this time around).
Friday night, there was a good crowd, fairly mixed age wise. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the awesome tap selection. I had an '08 vintage Expedition and Third Coast on tap as a nightcap...pretty sweet! Plenty more goodies, too many to choose from, Imperial Brown Goose, Torpedo, Duchesse, and a bunch i'm forgetting. Atmosphere seemed like a standard WI bar at first, yet it was stocked well with beer and cigar aficionados. The stucco walls were covered with an impressive collection of tin beer signs and breweriana. Mike was behind the bar, who was a friendly regular guy. A few booths were opposite the bar, with a few more in back. The only drawback was the smoke, but it was less smoky in the back.
Our experience was as genuine as it gets, and worth seeking out for sure. I regret not stopping at Roman's before, but I always showed up before 5pm when they open. Next time it will be an evening-only affair...
Addendum: Roman's has a "no large groups" policy that reflects the fact they are a tiny place with minimal staff on hand, this ensures equal service for everyone. To get upset and vent here after bringing in a dozen of your friends, take into consideration the circumstances, and lose the entitled attitude. Respect is a two way street.
11-28-2009 06:00:39 | More by emerge077
4.44/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
We were looking to kill time before a Cubs-Brewers game, and while a bit out of the way, it was nice to finally get out to this place.
Romans' Pub is pretty much just an old house on a street full of old houses. There isn't a whole lot else around - a sleepy barber shop, a catholic high school, a divey diner.
As we waited the opening, we were greated by Milwaukee Mike as he brought us into his very divey craft beer/cigar bar. The smoke wasnt an issue as there was only one other person around who was smoking and the doors and windows were open.
Cosmetically, the place is a bit lacking - bathrooms are condemn-worthy and the place is showing its age (and character). The beer board seemed to be a big checkered white board and had about 32 taps. There are a few flat screen tv's that were a nice touch. The place probably doesnt fit more than 40 comfortably.
On to the beer...holy crap what a selection. Unquestionably the best tap selection i have seen in Wisconsin. I had 2 beers - Goose Island Imperial Brown Goose (fantastic!) and Goose Island Night Stalker. My compadre went with a 3F Dreadnaught and North Coast Old Stock Ale. There were a ton of other appealing choices as well - Goose Island Demolition (as well as 312, kolsch, IPA), Sierra Nevada Harvest and Tripel (they make a tripel?), Flying Dog Gonzo Porter, NG Imperial Saison, Tyranena BW in the Rye, and the list goes on and on.
Milwaukee Mike seems to have a gathering of regulars, as he well deserves. This place is a diamond in the rough that is Milwaukee
09-22-2009 16:05:54 | More by dirtylou
4.5/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Went here on a lovely Saturday night kind-of expecting this place to be crowded from all the positive reviews I had read on BA and other Milwaukee sites, but it wasn't.There was a mostly 30+ crowd almost filling the mainroom in the pub area, but the bar seating and the beer garden were mostly unoccupied. There were a few folks smoking inside but the ventilation system was working splendidly, I know this since none of our party are smokers and they don't like smokey places yet nobody had any complaints. In fact, we all had a good time. It was personally nice to find out that my GF's siblings (low to mid twenties) also don't care for the pretentious nightclub scene with obnoxious idiots and music that can only be shouted over. Selection here is awesome, I got a '04 vintage SN Bigfoot barleywine that was worth every penny and then some when I got to watch my GF and her sister each make a priceless face when they had a sip. Some of the selections are overpriced though and it would make it easier to choose if they had it labeled on the board. Service was good, but I seemed to be spending alot of time waiting for the barkeep as she was working solo and only has two hands but plenty of people requesting her attention. I hope to come back to this place soon.
08-06-2009 05:42:47 | More by ThickestHead
4.58/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I was in Milwaukee for the weekend, and had Friday night free from obligations so I wanted to find a decent, mellow beer bar to try selections I cannot find on tap in MN. Wanting to avoid the Water/Brady/Summerfest scene, I found this place on Beerfly, and was rewarded for my search.
Romans is located in the South side of town, several miles away from the downtown scene, in a regular working-class neighborhood. The tavern itself is actually a converted home, the street level converted into a bar. Not a large bar, with tables to the side and two smaller rooms in back as well as a lovely porch to the side behind the bar. This tavern looks like many other working-class neighborhood taverns at first glance, until you notice the beer selection.
The beer selection is outstanding, including 30 taps. Every one, to my memory, was devoted to an American, German, or Belgian craft beer. I cannot obtain FFF in MN, so I was delighted to find several selections from that brewery here. Romans has a handy beer menu, it looks like it is updated every couple days, or whenever a tap runs out. The menu also lists several "beers in waiting" for when a line opens up, which I thought was a nice touch. I am not a cigar aficionado, but they also sell what appears to be a high-end selection of cigars on the premises as well.
The clientele is a nice mix of locals and other beer geeks that made the trip to the neighborhood because this place is a beer destination. Unpretentious is a great adjective for the scene here, unlike many other taverns with top-notch beer selections. The other patrons were having pleasant conversations about beer or the Brewer game on the large flat-screens behind the bar.
The owner that has been mentioned on several other reviews was not present as far as I could see. Instead a lovely lady was tending the bar. She was friendly and knew her beer as well as any beer geek I have ever met. She chatted up my wife & me about her beer vacation she had taken recently to Belgium.
Prices were more expensive than what you would expect for that neighborhood, but in line with other great beer bars in the Midwest that I have visited. Basically, you are getting what you pay for.
Overall, I love this place and wish I had one in my neighborhood. Highly recommended for any BA looking to get away from the crowds of the downtown Water St/Brady St area of Milwaukee.
06-29-2009 17:31:47 | More by kbaker91
4.3/5 rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A world class beer bar in an old Milwaukee neighborhood. Romans' specializes in draught beer with ~30 different taps all specialty beer, all fresh, all served in proper glassware, at the proper temperature, with great care. There's a nice mix of American Crafts, Belgians, and other quality imports. Also (although I don't smoke) there's a nice selection of cigars. Another nice thing is that the website is kept up-to-date so you always know what's available. Very cool little beer bar. Awesome beer selection although the owner/bartender can be your best friend or a total jerk. Too bad.
01-16-2009 15:22:38 | More by kmeves
4.1/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Roman's if widely known if you are a beer conisoure. But it's a place for all people who just like good beer. I had heard great things about this place and I was not disappointed.
Upon entering this bar it reminded me of a college bar, and as most reviewers have stated it's a typical south side of Milwaukee type bar, which isn't a bad thing. I would say thou that you go to romans for the beer not the atmosphere. They do have 3 big screen tv's above the bar for watching sporting events or whatever else is on.
Quality is where this place stands out. While they don't have a crazy selection what they do have is always top notch, and as the owner says he's got an ever changing array of beer. This place prides itself on having gems cellularing in the basement and he has never disappointed this reviewer.
Service was good, again as most people have said, don't go into this bar and ask for specials, or any "swill" beer, as if they do carry it you probably will get ridiculed for ordering it. This place is operated by beer conisoures period. So with while you may not have heard of some of the beers there, if you explain what style or even type of beer you like they are more than willing to tell you what you should try.
Selection in this place is ever changing, and is always good, while I may not have liked some of the beer that they were serving in the grand scale it was still exceptional beer.
** For value I gave it a bit pricey and here is why. I personally think this bar is right on tap with what they charge, Personally if your into micro brews than you know what your going to pay up front at a place like this, but most people (especially in Milwaukee) are used to the paying for Miller Lite, and the stuff that you get down on Milwaukee's Water St. DON'T LET THAT DISCOURGE YOU!! Trust me this is one place that you want to stop into and have a few.
10-28-2008 10:18:23 | More by vkrazzy
3.91/5 rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Roman's Pub might be a bit overrated on Beeradvocate. The selection for taps is second to none in Milwaukee (and probably in southern Wisconsin), but the atmosphere and quality do not do the selection justice.
the atmosphere is decent. there is smoking, so one will smell like a cigarette upon leaving, and the decor and layout just seem like a second rate facility.
quality is good. the proper glassware is used, along with clean-ish conditions. again, the smoking ruined it for this BA, because it discounts the quality of the brews themselves.
service is good. the owner is knowledgeable, but is quick to slam any of the Milwaukee breweries for being 'boring' or 'inconsistent.
the selection is masterful. many hard to find brews on tap, and a wonderful variety. enough said.
overall, Roman's is a solid stop for hard to find brews, but do not expect to smell nice upon leaving, and do not expect anything less than an over-opinionated bartender. all things considered, Roman's is definitely worth a stop for all BAs.
05-26-2008 19:35:21 | More by botham
4.6/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Walking in, this is a fairly typical southside bar. When you glance to the left and take a solid look at the bar you realize that this place is not typical at all.
30 beers on tap (with no BMC in sight) in such a small section of the bar can be a little overwhellming at first. No need to worry because Mike (owner) and his staff are very knowledgeable about the beer selection, and the craft beer scene as a whole. Just don't ask the stupid question, "Whats good?" because he'll just give you a dirty look and say that, "Its all good". To help decipher the tap handles, he has menues on hand to help make sense of it all. If that still doesn't help he's pretty good about steering you in the right direction of something you'll like. If you default and ask for something from BMC he will inform you that he, "only carries ballwash in bottles".
True the attmoshpere may seem bland to some but lack of x-mas lights and whatever free promo crap that barowners get from the brewery adds alot of understated class. In the summertime the deck/biergarten is a very nice touch as well.
Timely service, correct glasses, reasonable prices, whats not to like? In my opinion simply the best craft beer selection in the city. Arguably (albeit barely) the best beer bar in the city!
02-01-2008 22:05:37 | More by Pauly2X
Romans' Pub in Milwaukee, WI
99 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.