Free State Brewing Co.

Free State Brewing Co.Free State Brewing Co.
Free State Brewing Co.Free State Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

636 Massachusetts St
Lawrence, Kansas, 66044-2236
United States

(785) 843-4555 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings by marc77:
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Reviewed by marc77 from California

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
The beer at Free State is consistently good, with some of their seasonals being superlative. It's got a bit more of a restaurant - type atmosphere than a local brewpub, but if the brew is good, one can't complain. It can get a bit crowded at times. The food is easily well - above average for a brewpub, being well beyond greasy brewpub fare (though they have that too) Some dishes are delicious. The service is prompt, courteous and gets the job done. I highly recommend this place.
Apr 08, 2002
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.25 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

May 12, 2022
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Reviewed by Luckydog91 from Texas

4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
Unique local brewery with a real sense of place. Barleywine was excellent and they seem to do better with the darker and heavier beers. IPA I had was only okay. Food was above average and where I was seated on the indoor beer garden area, service was excellent. Seems like a nice local hangout.
Apr 17, 2021
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Large brewery with lots of seating located off of the main strip in downtown Lawrence. Exterior is reminiscent of an Irish pub, with ornate woodwork and large windows. Inside, the woodwork continues, illuminated by natural light from the front windows and lots of lighting otherwise. This space feels organic, not curated for Instagram posts or some new-age interior design - it's comfortable. Seating is available all over, between several rooms. Space is well kept and clean, as is the glassware. Service is good, working well to pair beers with meals. Selection spans their own brewed beers, which tend to be a little bit more old-school in their styles. Styles lean much more towards the sessionable and social beers rather than heavy. Food is good as well. Kid friendly. Fun space to visit on Massachusetts street either before a concert, during a visit to the college campus, or simply a mid-day stroll up and down Mass street.
Dec 09, 2019
Rated: 4.1 by Manthon from Pennsylvania

Apr 21, 2019
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Reviewed by stercomm from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75
Neat little place in downtown Lawrence, KS. Stopped in around 2PM for a late lunch, sat in the upstairs area which overlooks the first floor bar. A very laid back atmosphere, good service, food selection was good. I had a Free State Golden Kolsch which hit the spot. light and refreshing. Was traveling through, looked and felt like a fun place to chill and have a few brews.
Jan 12, 2019
Rated: 1.06 by wbe7447 from Kansas

Jun 23, 2018
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Reviewed by The_Epopt from Texas

3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5
Nice pub vibe, mix of regulars with people showing up before the game at KU. Had a hard time getting the bartender to give me my first beer but finally got it. Seems like a good local hangout.
May 20, 2018
Rated: 3.23 by J_Arbizzle from Kansas

Nov 19, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by mojohawk21 from Missouri

Feb 12, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by locoformavs from Colorado

Dec 28, 2016
Rated: 3.45 by TRIKLZ from Kansas

Dec 04, 2016
Rated: 4.48 by fredmugs from Indiana

Sep 16, 2016
Rated: 4.23 by SmellsofMahagony from Texas

Jul 19, 2016
Rated: 4.16 by AGoodStout from Kansas

Jul 10, 2016
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Reviewed by JISurfer from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75
Service and Selection were the highlights here. Had the Cloud Hopper Imperial IPA, a great IIPA. The waitress was very good at her job, kept water glasses full, checking back every so often. Food was ok, nothing to get crazy about, then again, I just had a grilled chicken sandwich. They have a ton of different styles on tap. Hard not to find something you like.
May 30, 2016
Rated: 3.73 by GrenPa1016 from Massachusetts

May 21, 2016
Rated: 3.9 by ThurstonHowell3 from Kentucky

Feb 01, 2016
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Reviewed by KSBlacksnake from Kansas

4.74/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
A must try if you are in the KC/Lawrence area. Quality beer, great food all in an awesome college town atmosphere. They love their hops so will always have 3 -4 hoppy beers on tap along with their wheat, oatmeal stout and always great Ad Astra which is listed as an Altbier.
Jan 11, 2016
Rated: 4.75 by jrb378 from Pennsylvania

Dec 27, 2015
Rated: 4.14 by barleywin from Missouri

Oct 10, 2015
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Reviewed by DelMontiac from Oklahoma

4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
I was in Lawrence for a devilish rock show on 10/05/2015. The location is perfectly set up for visiting lovers of good brew and good music with Free State, Liberty Hall, and the Eldridge Hotel each within a few footsteps of the others. Not to mention, it's a beautiful downtown area right off the KU campus. Well done, Lawrence.

I entered Free State at around 5 pm after a stroll downtown. The place was already in full swing at the smallish bar which was full with people standing around it chatting with glasses of various shapes and sizes in hand. The fermentation tanks and all the workings are behind a glass partition next to the bar - typical kind of thing. There are tables outside for the smokers. Don't dig having to walk through the smoke at the front door, but also pretty typical for a downtown sidewalk venue. There is seating on two levels, upstairs giving you either a nice view of the patrons, bar and brewing below or a view out the large windows to the street. Not a large establishment, but very nice and airy.

I was seated up stairs immediately by a friendly hostess and a young waitress took my beer order for an Oktoberfest as I looked over the menu. Very impressive menu. I love a good reuben sandwich, so I kept with the Oktoberfest theme. The beer was fantastic. I also tried their Lovejoy IPA which was nice too. Sandwich was grilled a bit too crispy according to the roof of my mouth later on, but still good. The real star on my plate, however was the potato salad. Best potato salad every...stuff of dreams. I'm not kidding.

After 3 beers, the reuben, potato salad, pickles, and two of their Belgian style short tulip glasses, I only spent about $27. Not bad at all! So for the money, it's five stars in that category. I mean, I've spent that much on 4-5 beers in other brewpubs.

I will definitely go back to the Free State pub. I've been drinking their fantastic beers for years and they're even better in person. Even if you're in the Kansas City area, they're only about 30 miles away. Go check 'em out!
Oct 07, 2015
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Reviewed by professorpint from New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Stopped by Free State on a Thursday and liked it so much that I came back the next day. Friendly bartenders and regulars create a positive vibe of camaraderie that is very welcoming. Had the limited release Yakimaniac IPA and was very impressed. The food is above average pub grub with some creative vegetarian options. Picked up a 4 pack of the Cloud Hopper Imperial IPA which is excellent. Honestly wasn't expecting much from a brewery in Kansas but Free State crushed it, and Lawrence was actually a cool town with a kick-ass record store and multiple book stores.
Aug 14, 2015
Rated: 4.42 by SCW from New York

Jul 27, 2015
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Reviewed by lovegarden from Kansas

4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
Free State is one of the best breweries in Kansas. Located in Lawrence, Kansas, they offer only their own brew, and they usually have a wide variety. You can also get their beer at stores around the region. My two favorites are their Old Backus Barleywine and Oatmeal Stout.

Free State has excellent food, and I have never had a bad meal at this establishment. I recommend their fish and chips or their Sonoma Shrimp Fettuccine.

The atmosphere is great, but it can get crowded. Check out their website and use their text ahead seating.
Jul 21, 2015
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Reviewed by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
Downtown brewpub on the northeast side of town, about a block from the river. Multiple rooms on two floors with a variety of seating options. A dozen beers on tap, I especially enjoyed the Mosaic IPA. Friendly, efficient, servers. Food was very nice.
Jul 14, 2015
Rated: 4.03 by johnyb from Florida

Jun 21, 2015
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Rated by Wendt from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
My "home brewery" and very much a favorite. The Oatmeal Stout is excellent as is the John Brown and the Copperhead.
Apr 02, 2015
Rated: 3.54 by AndyEdgar from Illinois

Mar 26, 2015
Rated: 4.39 by Ryan_Klink from Kansas

Mar 10, 2015
Rated: 4.36 by aratcliffe from Kansas

Feb 23, 2015
Rated: 4.64 by rxthree from Ohio

Feb 21, 2015
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Reviewed by rwhitmore from Kansas

4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4
Our hometown brew pub is always welcoming, warm and fun. The staff is almost universally great, we go there at least once a week, and we can count bad experiences on one hand.

They only serve their brews, there's usually a range of styles to choose from. Servers are generally beer-knowledgeable, and many are very good at discussing the beers in depth.

The food is uniformly very good, and some dishes are always great. My only real beef is the inconsistency of the Pastrami Reuben. I LOVE a good Reuben, and when they do it right, it's wonderful. However, it's sometimes under grilled, and doesn't have that great crispy exterior I want in my Reuben.

If you're in the Kansas City area, take the 30 minute drive to Lawrence and put the Free State Brewing Co. at the top of your list. You'll like it a lot.
Jan 11, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by bigotecircus from Colorado

Nov 19, 2014
Rated: 4 by Hohnbaum from Kansas

Nov 18, 2014
Rated: 4.4 by Thirstygoat from Illinois

Oct 24, 2014
Rated: 4 by KZane from Kansas

Oct 23, 2014
Rated: 5 by pjbfromkc from Kansas

Oct 14, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Hellpop65 from Kansas

Sep 22, 2014
Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence, KS
Brewery rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 2505 ratings