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Romans' Pub

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Romans' PubRomans' Pub
BA SCORE
4.52/5
World-Class
58 Ratings
Romans' PubRomans' Pub
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

3475 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207-3169
United States

(414) 481-3396 | map
romanspub.com

Notes:
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Added by Dogbrick

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
58
pDev:
11.95%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

 1,159 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.51/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 1,214 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This was my week for meeting owners! Mike Romans had the stick (the bar) when I stopped in and he immediately asked me about my shutterbug status. He was concerned that perhaps I was part of a neighborhood watch group that felt that his business was a nuisance, or some equally bizarre thing. Do I look like a narc?!? Once I explained myself, he visibly relaxed and invited me to poke around to my heart’s content.

This place is the first floor of Romans’ home, and while I have been in those types of places in PA, some of them were utter dives. Not here! The place was kept up immaculately with the back room the result of a renovation and on a buttonhook left was a biergarten/wood patio with wrought iron tables and chairs with umbrellas attached to the patio for cover. There were three wooden booths along the right wall, upon entering, with the washrooms just past the booths. The wood bar started just left of the door and featured three ceramic tap towers, as well as special taps for Trumer Pils and Delirium Tremens. The back bar was all wood with shelves and drawers, especially for the various glassware, all of which Romans kept on hand. To the right of the back bar was a two-sided cooler with mostly pedestrian beer and pop, but also Grimbergen, Gouden Carolus, and Chimay Blanche et Bleu.

The draft beer selection was fantastic! There was NO crap on tap, plus Romans really knew his stuff. Bell’s was really well represented, as well as New Holland, Goose Island, Great Lakes, and Lagunitas. Others included Two Brothers and Founder’s. Lovely, just lovely.

I would be entirely remiss if I did not mention Mike Romans in greater detail. He was a barrel-chested fellow who I have no doubt would have given me the old heave-ho if I had been a creepy peepy as he first believed. By the same token, he had a great sense of humor and he was telling me about his longevity as a bar owner. At that point (August 2006), he had been in business for twenty-eight (28) years with ten (10) of those as a quality beer bar. He gave me a great quote, imparting, “My marriage and my business were both in the toilet, so I had an epiphany and saved the important one.” Ho ho. My feelings about the place and about Mike were that there were lots of places that try, but just do not get it. Mike got it. My kind of place.

 2,335 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Does anyone know about this place? They should... talk about an oasis.

This place seems out of PLACE. I think this bar is technically in Saint Francis, which is basically the south side of Milwaukee. Good luck finding a microbrew down there... unless, of course, you're at Roman's Pub.

The owner is often there tending bar. He's your archetypical Milwaukeean South Sider - brash, burly and likes to swear a lot. But he stocks his bar with a very impressive selection of microbrews.

He carries a little bit of everything. Last time I was there he had at least 12 different taps. He had rare Belgian Style beers on tap, German specialties, and some domestic micros as well. There also was a decent selection bottles.

Great place to go if you live on the South Side and are looking for a good brew.

 807 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Comfortable bar with outside patio seating. Great tap selection and "cellar". Sports and news on the multiple big screens, but this is not a sports bar. Owner Mike will point out that he runs a full service bar that features craft beer. Great guy to talk beer with too.

 269 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Roman's.

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

 1,545 characters

Photo of mynie
4.39/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Wonderful place. It's the bottom of a guy's house, in a neighborhood that's about 3/4ths residential. If that sounds appealing to you, keep reading.

The owner was tending bar and he had the air about him of a guy who just does not give a fuck. The music that was playing was from an I-Pod, and even if I didn't like about half of it it was still as unpretentious as you can get. The decor was clean and the only smoke was from a cigar, heavy but pleasant.

Tap selection was astounding, including several one off and hard to find brews.

My only complaint is that the beers were a tad pricey, for the area.

 609 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedG
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Talk about quality and quantity. Roughly 30 taps and hardly a bad or even average one amongst them. Great, detailed list with a decent description of each beer. I sampled Hercules, Allagash Bourbon Tripel, and Black Tullip. Other options included Affligem blonde, young’s double chocolate, a couple bells, founders, great divide, some weird Germans, and several more. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, on the spot when I needed new beer, offered samples when I had questions, the whole works. The owner was there too talking up all the beers he was excited about and how he takes pride in clean lines and fresh beer. Bottle selection was small but really bad ass. It included all the Chimays, Westmalle, Achel Blonde, a couple fruit lambics, and a half dozen other Belgians of some renown. Most of the domestic bottles were just AB or Miller products. The atmosphere is just average. Roman’s pretty much looks like every other neighborhood bar in Milwaukee. It does have a decent sized patio, which earns it a small bonus in my book. All in all a wonderful place, the best (strictly for beer) that I’ve been to in Milwaukee.

 1,133 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.88/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in this place after the Palm tavern on a Wednesday night. The bar was full but the rest of the small place was empty. Unlike the Palm this one has a bright sports bar vibe but with some old school Milwaukee traits thrown in.

The bartender is a friendly guy. Also drinks on the job which I respect. The music is sort of loud and sort of crappy. The vie in this place could be better.

The beer list though is amazing. There was a Fullers "hand pull" which I had and it was good. Also a nice variety of craft on tap, nothing extremely out of the ordinary, just a solid list. The prices were reasonable.

Overall a great stop on this road with many.

 655 characters

Photo of Eman17
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of bowzer4birdie
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of atone315
4.34/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

My opinion of this place has changed (for the better) over the years. My first experience with Mike (Roman) really clouded my view of what is a pretty sweet beer bar. One of the best in Milwaukee, in fact. Always 6-10 solid choices on tap and a few more sprinkled in, there is something for everyone. Unless you drink BMC, get the [email protected]*& outta here if you want that. Mike can be a "beer nazi" but if you know your stuff, you are all good. If you have never been, make plans to get here.

 484 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great place. Not an overwhelming amount of taps, but very well thought out and had a great variety. The price for the taps was just right, and I enjoyed the place greatly. Definitely a mid-west style bar, with a few TV's, small maybe 8-12 seat bar, with booths on the side. Seems like a great local bar, and the owner is there most of the time, so can learn your name and taste profile. When driving by, be sure to keep your eyes open as you near, because from the outside it resembles a residence. Worth the hunt, you wont be disappointed.

 540 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.25/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

Roman's is an unpretentious south Milwaukee bar with a surprise inside...Roman’s has the best selection of high-end/specialty beers on-draft in the Milwaukee area. Mike Roman consistently rotates a stock of fine craft and import beers through his 25+ tap lines. While a friend of mine described Mike as a "21st century Archie Bunker," he pays attention to the details such as correct serving temperature and proper glassware which results in a great beer drinking experience. Visitors to this site should give it at least a try whenever near the Milwaukee area.

 562 characters

Photo of botham
3.91/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

 1,025 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

 1,300 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

We were visiting friends in Wisconsin and based on the beerlfy reviews of the Milwaukee area we decided to try Roman's Pub. We were staying in the main section of town but the google map directions got us right to the front door. Easy to locate if you are not staying in the immediate area.

The quintesential neighborhood bar. An old house that was renovated in to a tavern and an owner who is a purveyor of quality beer, spirits and atmosphere, with a friendly staff and friendly locals.

What would have been the living room is the main bar area. A few wooden booths and a great old wooden bar. The back room has a dining room table in it and a small humidor. There is a ton of swag on the walls. Plenty of mirrors, signs and banners. Some signs are very old and from breweries that do not exist anymore. The old place really rubs off on a person in a positive manner and this is certainly the place for a quiet pint or three. The back yard has some tables and chairs for those who crave the fresh air.

For a Saturday night there were only about ten other customers in the place. We chatted with a few of them, the owner Mike and the bartender. Quality people, easy to talk to and all of them made us feel welcome. We talked with Mike and the bartender about beer for some time. Mike's enthusiasm for beer shines through. Just another reason to check this place out. The bartender happily poured us small tasters of the beers we do not get in California. What a treat.

The selection is excellent. Mike tries to keep it fresh and interesting. For me, getting to try Great Lakes, Founder's, Bell's, New Holland, Summit and if I was not driving, I wished I could have tried a few others. They also had Goose Island, Rogue and Capital when I was there. A fine selection of beers from the local area, the west coast, the east coast, Belgium, England and a few other countries.

Roman's Pub is definately worth the visit. I highly recommend this place. We had a wonderful time and the people we met made us want to venture back some day.

Highly recommended.

Note: I got the impression they are closed on Sundays unless the Packers are playing.

 2,161 characters

Photo of Alpar
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of coldriver
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on the afternoon of June 27th. With Milwaukee's Summerfest going on the rather small place was almost empty. That was okay, because we got the owner's (Mike Roman) nearly full attention as he patiently explained the local beer selections to us out-of-staters. Must say he was spot on with his recommendations! Mike obviously takes his beer very seriously, with a fantastic tap selection and impressive glassware. He's somewhat of a dichomoty because he's not what you'd expect such a meticulous craft beer bar owner to look like (pardon the profiling here) - in fact he looks more like someone you'd expect to see hanging out with your dad in a bowling alley after a hard day driving a steamroller. Don't mean that in a bad way, he's a friendly dude who loves great beer and sharing his love for beer with his customers which makes him the best kind of bartender in my book. He does not serve food.

 906 characters

Photo of PuckLSHS
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This bar is the best in Wisconsin, hands down. The selection of beers is better than some of the places I can go to in Southern California and the people are a hell of a lot nicer at times.

Upon walking in, I was greeted immediately by the owner of the bar. He was happy to help us out with the selection and finding the right beer for what we were looking for. I happened to be there at the right time and he had the Dogfish 120 IPA on tap....amazing. When it came to selection, I was blown away. He had the best beer and the right glasses, so the experience was top-notch.

The bar has a definite following among people with great taste in beers. Much different than the other corner bars in Wisconsin. The guys that come in here really know their stuff.

This place is the main reason for visiting Wisconsin. Trust me on that one.

 842 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Went back here yesterday and luckily the owner, Mike, was bartending. Not only did we get rare treats such as Sierra Nevada Juniper Black Ale, but we got to enjoy a good measure of Milwaukee humor - dry, biting, and loads of fun. They have a nice beer garden that complments the coziness of the pub itself. Mike is the quintessential beer pub owner: knows his beers inside and out, the intricacies of the biz, how to be a first rate bartender and to tie it all together. A real fun place to go to. Already looking forward to a return.

 534 characters

Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Flyer
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The best beer bar in Milwaukee and one of the top two in Wisconsin (Madison's Maduro being the other). This is beer fanaticism at its best. Rotating selection of approximately 25 taps that ranges from the best of American craft beer to semi-obscure imports. Tap lines are always clean and proper glassware is a must. Despite all this, the atmosphere is as down-to-earth as at any corner pub. The only nit is that the place doesn't have the humongous selection of beers that some places do because Mike Romans only serves great beer on draft -- no craft beer in bottles. But if that purist mentality limits my selection just a little, more power to him. Mike will also gladly chat about the local beer scene with you -- with refreshingly uncensored opinions.

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Romans' Pub in Milwaukee, WI
Place rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 58 ratings
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