The Civil Life Brewing Company

The Civil Life Brewing CompanyThe Civil Life Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

3714 Holt Ave
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63116-2614
United States | map

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Added by DCon on 09-17-2011

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 59
Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Cool place with plenty of seating spread out over a couple of levels and a patio. Cash only but they have an ATM on site. No table service. I had a $20 bill and I got a $10 and five $1 coins in change. WTF who does that? All pints seem to be $5 and all are European low ABV style beer. I liked most of them but the dunkleweizen was a huge miss. Really enjoyed the black lager. They have a kitchen which is just a nook at the end of the bar. The cook was wearing a chef jacket so they are really proud of what they are serving. I just had BBQ so I did not try any food but plenty of other people were eating there. I left with a couple of those dollar coins in my pocket. Guess I get to be an ass to the server in the next bar.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

such a cool brewery! definitely a different vibe in here than in most of the cookie cutter american taprooms these days. its just a small tasting room area, with angled wooden ceilings, cool austrian/bavarian/english old features, picnic tables, its like stepping back in time. they have a neat gaming area with dart boards, with the brewery in the back, lots of capacity here. they also have a great patio space in front of the building, but its charming inside, and we chose to chill there, great atmosphere right when you walk in! a very impressive tap list, a huge range of drafts mostly across traditional european styles, at least ten or more beers pouring, including a cask offering. the brown ale and the dunkel were our favorites, but the ruby mild from the engine was also fantastic. they seem to have a real solid handle on these english and german styles. they had some food in here, but it didnt look like anything more than belly filler stuff to keep the buzz at bay a little longer, we did not indulge. the beers here were awesome, the service was friendly, and we had an awesome time in a great room there, wonderful place to hang out and sip on some session beers. i will most certainly be back when i am next in town. nothing quite like this anywhere around.

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Photo of IpeeA
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I cannot imagine a better vibe for a brew pub, because that's EXACTLY what it is. Modeled after traditional English pubs, this place is designed to be social. Many board games, picnic tables, sweet patio, dog-friendly, a library, darts, hook and loop game, walk-up window, growler-friendly, stand-up tables... if you come here and aren't social then you are probably antisocial. Not to mention it is all this deceptively built into a warehouse! Oh yeah, no computers, they keep your tab with a chalk tally on the bar in front of you! Bad ass!
Quality is as good as it gets. It's clean and there's not a bad beer in the house. All home-made, all excellent.
Service is walk-up only. Sometimes annoying, but it is run smoothly at this joint.
Selection only loses points for lack of today's preferred, in-your-face type of styles. They focus on traditional English stes with some exceptions. All their beers are excellent and well-made.
Food is good, but limited. No kitchen, just a sandwich station with soup and a few other offerings.
Awesome place. A hidden jem in the exploding StL craft beer scene!

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Been living in St. Louis for almost 3 years now and finally made it to Civil Life, and man, I wish I had visited earlier. It's not much to look at from the outside, being just a plain warehouse-looking building, and it is in a South City neighborhood that has seen some brighter days, but once you get inside, you forget about all of that. Inside, the space is a cross between an English pub and modern American craft brewery in a warehouse. Lots of wood with a linear bar on one side and some bench style seating on the other. There is a beer garden outside with some picnic tables as well. Inside has a few games for you to play while you are there.

As far as beer and food go, all of the beers are $5 for 20oz or $2.50 for 10oz. They specialize in mostly English, some German, and a few American versions of English beers. Everything is very sessionable and well crafted. The food menu is limited, but pretty good. The pretzels are about standard for a brew pub. We didn't get any of the sandwiches, but a few of the sounded and looked pretty good. The service is all at the bar, but very attentive and nice.

Overall, I love this place. It isn't fancy, there isn't any pretense, and there are all sorts of people coming and going. This is the St. Louis area brewery for you if you enjoy a nice sessionable pint in a relaxing environment that won't break your wallet.

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Photo of Suds
3.54/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped into this place for lunch with my family on a beautiful, sunny, spring day. Easy to find, with both on-street and off-street parking, the inside is engaging, covered with wood, and with a long bar. There's an upstairs with a small library and games, and the brewing equipment is in the back. Outside there is a nice beer garden with plenty of seating. The beer was mostly British and American style ales with a Belgian Dubble as well. No lagers, and some of the more roasted beers had a homebrew quality. The food is mostly sandwiches, but they were all well prepared and tasty. A serious downside is that they don't take credit: it is a cash only establishment. Bring some dollars, though, since this is absolutely worth a visit.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.05/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great craft beer with an emphasis on malty pub styles. Brewery ambiance is relaxed and cozy with plenty of nooks upstairs perfect for reading, board games, or socializing with friends. Board games and bar games available at brewery. Small menu of tasty sandwiches and appetizers available.CASH ONLY! ATM available on-site. Large outdoor seating area.

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Photo of ILBeerCop
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Civil Life is a must stop when you come to STL. Their American Brown Ale is one of the best around and the ESB is a strong second. Bring cash because they don't accept debit/credit cards...I know someone is asking what the heck but stopping and hitting an ATM before is a small price to pay for a good selection of solid beers. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of redbird
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Beautifully done on the inside, with everything wooden. Big communal tables, but also some private booths upstairs. There are tons of games, 2 dart boards, and a bull horn ring game. Outside are more communal tables and a handful of 4 top tables.

Civil Life beers are just consistently solid. American Brown, English Pale Ale, ESB, are some of the highlights. All their beers are in the 4-6% range, allowing you to have several. Beers are sold in half pints or full pints and growler prices are the cost of 2 pints, I believe. Food is also quite good with a handful of made to order deli sandwiches and appetizers (companion pretzels with chive cream cheese are great).

Saturdays are great family days. At least half a dozen parents with their kids there.

Everything is cash only. Bring cash or use the onsite ATM.

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Photo of bogiestl
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Okay - I'm biased - this place is in my neighborhood. And I only found it because one of the brewdudes from Schlafly's suggested it... they didn't have a sign for the first year they were open!

I think that everything they sell is brewed in-house, and they do a pretty darn fine job at it. I really like their ESB, and tend to take a growler home. Food is kind of limited - sammiches, chips, etc... The help are _into_ beer, and know what they're selling. This ain't a Bud Light kinda joint. A few too many hipsters for patrons, but hey, can't have everything.

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Photo of JaxonK
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This place is truly a diamond-in-the-rough. Great selection of beers (from Weiss- to Bitter to Stout) with a choice of pints or half-pints. I love the beer and the food is very good. There is usually a good crowd and every so often a string-band will be playing just outside the bar area.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Located in the Tower Grove South neighborhood this brewery fills a void for a place to sit at long tables drink solid beer and hang out with friends.

First brewery visited on visit home to see my parents. My wife and I loved the atmosphere and commented how this is how we would have our brewery set up. There are long tables inside to drink and play board games. There is also an upstairs with a library.

The beers were solid and drinkable. We had the Brown Ale, Black Ale, Best Bitter, and American Pale?. We enjoyed them-there weren't "extreme" but very drinkable.

Didn't have the food-we chatted with one of the owners-nice chap.

We will be back.

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Photo of DCon
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

I added this on BeerAdvocate over 2 months ago after attending one of Civil Life's "Soft-Openings". I didn't think it was fair to fully review this place from a stand point of it not being opened yet. I just visited here this past weekend and now can do so. Both times I came here, I passed the "warehouse" looking brewery that includes Civil Life within. Also, both times, Jake (the owner) was present and we had a great chat about his image on the place and their brews. Fantastic!

Walking past their outside seating, I'm excited for it to be summer time so that I can sit in one of the many tables and enjoy their beer. They have multiple windows for service for drinking outside. Walking in their front doors, your met with their beer tanks in a "baseball fence" and gate. To the right, you are then can either approach the bar or walk upstairs to more seating. Everything about the place resembles an Irish Pub style of style (seating, floors, plain walls, taps, etc.). Very cool! No televisions were here both times. Who needs them when you have good beer available and good people to converse with?

While talking with the owner off and on both nights, very friendly and so were the bartenders! If all brewpubs/beer bars could be this way, we would see an even greater increase of attendance to these types of venues. Everything here was also clean, fresh, and had the "new" type of feel to it. It will be broken in as time comes.

Very straightforward place. You either can order an 8oz or 16oz brew. The ones I remember available, ENGLISH BEST, ENGLISH BITTER, AMERICAN BROWN, and GERMAN WHEAT. Wish they had a few more available and/or other craft beers offered at their place (guest taps?).

The only tip I suggest is to bring cash with you. There is an ATM on hand but who wants service fees for this? Great environment and if your around the area, worth checking out!

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Very nice looking warehouse turned into an awesome looking brewery with a cozy little tasting room and a nice beer garden.

Visited on a Saturday night to try the brews and walked into a crowded and lively place. Very exciting to see a new brewery start this way. They had 5 beers on tap and I tried the Rye Pale which was delicious. The tasting room is small and cozy and rectangular shape. Its located in a corner of the brewery and it has a nice little alcove above it and a nice beer garden with many picninc tables.

The barkeeps were attentive and moving quickly they were also patient when I ordered a beer not knowing it was cash only.

The Rye Pale was delicious with lower ABVs. It seems that these guys are going after the drinkable beer style. More sessionable brews than other.

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The Civil Life Brewing Company in Saint Louis, MO
3.8 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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