St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant

St. Francis Brewery & RestaurantSt. Francis Brewery & Restaurant
147 Ratings
St. Francis Brewery & RestaurantSt. Francis Brewery & Restaurant

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

3825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave
St. Francis, Wisconsin, 53235
United States

(414) 744-4448 | map

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Added by Winter on 04-07-2009

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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of Z_Anderson_0406
3/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of TheCzarof85
3.55/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Junichi
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of tommy5
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

Photo of kingpin1010
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Photo of Akrueg7272
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Pukey2k2
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of bcm75
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

This place is pretty servicable. The food is decent, but not great. Mostly standard bar and pub fare - nachos, burgers, steaks, meatloaf, pot pie. The beers are unremarkable, but I will give them props for having a cask beer available most of the time. Atmosphere is friendly but nothing special. Have seen a few inoffensive bands play on Saturday nights. Plenty of parking in their lot. I don't know how late they are open, but it clears out by 9 on the weekend evenings that I have visited. I wouldn't seek it out, but if you're in the area it's worth a visit.

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Photo of atone315
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of JeffSK
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of Icarus70
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of hansenm72
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of guityler83
3.48/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Kelleyinwi
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

 451 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.6/5  rDev +29.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

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).

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Photo of sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of dstc
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of botham
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

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!

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Photo of curiamagna
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of blackearth
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2

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.

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St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant in St. Francis, WI
Brewery rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 147 ratings
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