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Kelly's Brewpub

Your Rating: None
62 Ratings

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

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

(505) 262-2739 | map

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by Mitchster:
Photo of Mitchster
4.4/5  rDev +17%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of Radome
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

I have traveled to Albuquerque for business off and on for many years and I have visited Kelly's several times since the early 2000s, but I haven't ever reviewed the brewpub before. The brewpub has been here in Nob Hill since long before there was a beer scene in the city and it is good to see them still going strong. Their line of beers tends to stick to the basics and not get too adventuresome, sort of old-school like their history would lead you to believe. However, on my most recent visit they had several new styles that were not previously reviewed on BA, so maybe they are starting to branch out a bit. The beers I've had were all well-made and -maintained. In general they always produce solid, middle-of-the-road examples of their style, but nothing overly exciting.

The location in an art deco former auto dealership/gas station on historic Route 66 is amazing, especially on pleasant high desert evenings on their outdoor patio. Their staff has always been friendly and attentive. On my last visit I asked for an impromptu tour of the brewery, which they were happy to give my group, while also telling us about the building's history. The food was also fresh and yummy on that visit.

With Albuquerque's modern-day thriving beer scene it might be easy to overlook this old stalwart, but do yourself a favor and go check them out some evening when the air is warm and the sunset is spectacular. The beer may not be spectacular compared to some in the city, but the overall experience is still near the top of my list.

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Photo of phizill
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Photo of Edie
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

Photo of LXIXME
3.91/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Lobina
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of ddncn
4.66/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

 172 characters

Photo of Grantab369
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
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

127 characters

Photo of Lavonnq
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of M_chav
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of taospowder
3.12/5  rDev -17%

Photo of Faunland
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of hophead505
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of kingjohnh
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of traxstar7
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of satellite85
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of macsyrinx
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of chrunck
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

 1,393 characters

Photo of wailingwench
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 -8.2%
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 +1.1%
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).

 1,316 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 1,086 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
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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Kelly's Brewpub in Albuquerque, NM
Brewery rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 62 ratings
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