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Kelly's Brewpub

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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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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 35
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 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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Photo of HardTarget
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A nice place to hang out for an evening. It's an old gas station they have turned into a brew pub, so points there.

Service was adequate, out waitress got distracted by the table of guys next to us and hung out with them a while making us wait.

There is a lot of selection in terms of styles, so many they couldn't really do a sample, there had to be about 15+ styles going. I took a peak at the brewing area, and they seem to be running small batches, maybe 15 gallon runs. I still worry about freshness with so many things running, but didn't note any problems on the beers I tasted.

Food I had was pretty good. I needed some green chile and their chile fries were tasty even if they caused my doctor some heartburn.

Beers were bland I'm sorry to say. They all seemed aimed toward the masses. I'd recommend to the brewers to take some risks.

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Photo of walshclimb
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Kelly's is a great place to sit on the patio and have a drink. Their selection is huge, ranging from the light Blonde through the very dark Imperial Stout. The beers are not great, but they are consistent and the taps seem clean (based on no funny flavors in lighter beers). The beers would probably benefit from more aging and from all-grain brewing. As it stands they are a mix of partial mash and extract recipes. You can also brew your own beer using their equipment with help from their master brewer, which is awesome. My service rating is based on a combination of their waitstaff, barstaff and brew master. Service from waitstaff can be a little slow and forgetful, especially when they are busy; at the bar it is very good, and while brewing the brewmaster is great! Food is average bar fare.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

En route to the National Homebrewers Convention in Denver, my cousin and I decided we would stop by Kelly's for an afternoon beer. It's a converted service station and garage right across from UNM, and this place rocks. I used to be a sales rep in Austin around the campus, and I found I missed the University atmosphere while I was at the bar.

The bartender was friendly and enthusiastic. We had a tuna salad sandwich for an early dinner (we were stopping in Santa Fe for the night), and a couple of brews to stretch our legs.

There were an impressive array of beers on tap--20 brewed on premise and perhaps another dozen national brands. The beer was very good, and the service was great! It almost makes me want to move to Albuquerque.

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

In a converted garage in Albuquerque. I stopped in here thanks to the beer fly. This place is located right near the UNM and has plenty of college kids about. They brew their own beers and have a fairly typical bar menu. The great part about this was that i was enjoying a beer in 70 degree weather watching the sun set against the mountains. Picture perfect setting. They brew a lot of different styles. I only had two, the dunkel and the IPA. The beers were decent enough, both a little unbalanced. i am not sure how long they have been there but it seems as if the beer has a lot of potential. Just going through some growing pains. Service was slow. I had the ostrich burger which was pretty good. What i liked was they have the option for a salad instead of fries and it wasnt iceburg lettuce. The bill came to $16 bucks with tax and tip.

If you are in the area give it a shot

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Photo of maundythirsty
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is a must-stop place when I'm in town.

An excellent, if perpetually crowded, patio. Plenty of room inside if the weather's bad, but when is the weather bad in Albuquerque? Cool spot in a former auto dealership or service station. Lots of TVs. Whoever chooses the music does it fairly well.

The waitstaff is clearly selected for their looks, and they know little or nothing about the beer. At least a dozen on tap, with a descriptive menu. I've been happy (if not necessarily knocked out) by everything I've had. The bigger, the better. My favorites are the altbier, the dubbel, the Scottish ale.

Menu is pretty straightforward American fare, with the green chilli stuff you get in New Mexico. Nachos are big. The buffalo burger and turkey enchiladas are nice.

It's worth one or two stops to make the rounds of the beer menu.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This large, lively brewpub is located in an old garage and car showroom right on Central, Albuquerque's main drag. On a warm night you can eat a fresca and enjoy a nice view of the Sandia Mountains. Its not uncommon to get a little live music by locals at a very reasonable volume. The place is smoke-free in compliance with New Mexican law.

You can sometimes run into a wait here, and I pitty the waitstaff having to cover such a large floor. These factors have led me to rate service a little lower though the folks here have always been nice. One of the cool things about Kelly's is they have a huge selection on beers brewed on-site, but that also means that often your server will not be able to tell you much about a specific beer.

The food menu is pretty large but not exactly exotic, though you can get buffalo. Mostly its burgers and the like. They have decent bratwurst. The sweet-potatoe fries are awesome. Then theres the beers, ah the beers. Kelly's brews over 20 beers on site! Trying to decide which one to get can be as fun as actually drinking it. Of course, this does also have its problems. As you might expect, all 20+ can't be winners. I've never gotten a "bad" one though, and its usually reasonably fresh. This one of my favorite spots in 'Burque and if you're visiting and can only hit one brewpub this should be it.

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

First off I want to say that this is my kind of place-funky, laid back, and a large selection of top notch beers.

Located in the University of New Mexico bar scene area. As others have written-this is an old Service Station complete with Texaco like sign out front.

There is a large patio that you need to walk through to get to the bar/brewery. Walking in there is dinning to the right and a bar area to the left with a nice large bar and plenty of tables for groups of students.

The beer list is 12 beers or so-plus some choices not on the main menu. I was there for a while and I was able to have ½ pints of the following beers”

IPA (6.3%ABV)
Scottish Ale (7.0%)
Black Bitter (4.5%)
Robust Porter (6.3%)
Oatmeal Stout (5.6%)

Of the five beers I tasted the best, and my favorite, was the Robust Porter-nice malty, slightly roasted flavor-with minimum hop character.

I coupled the Oatmeal Stout with a slice of chocolate cake-excellent combination.

The service from the bar keep was excellent-friendly and efficient.

The cake was excellent and I wish I could have tried a regular dinner menu item.

Total for all of the above? $20. Very reasonable-and I missed the happy hour.

On my recent business trip this was one of my favorites-I would say that if lived in the Duke City-I would be a regular

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Photo of loren01
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

What a cool place this is!! An old service station turned into a brewery, pretty cool! I visited this place on summer vacation down in Albuquerque. People that I had talked to raved about their beers. They turned out to be right on cause they have some damn good beers here. Must have been 10-12 of their own brews if not more. I tried the Belgian Dubbel and IPA and both were outstanding. Service was very good also. I had the french dip sandwich which was so so. I would highly recommend this place if you are ever in Albuquerque.

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went into Kelly's a couple hours before the Superbowl. Had a bunch of TVs going and they had a wide range of ages of patrons. The old gas station motiff was nice. The selection of beers was astounding. The bartender knew her beers and was quite friendly. As a vegitartian, it is often hard to find food at a bar, but they had several tasty things for me to choose from. They have a place where you can go and make beer for future consumption. For a college bar this place had some style and great beers.

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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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Kelly's Brewpub in Albuquerque, NM
3.41 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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