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Free State Brewing Co.
Active Beers: 44
Beer Ratings: 1,041
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
636 Massachusetts St
phone: (785) 843-4555
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Free State came recommended to me by Mr. J Walters, current DJ for KU's student run radio station, and being that his opinion comes highly respected I chose to check it out.
Outside, people are gathered together gleefully enjoying beers, chatting, and relaxing in a nice warm atmosphere. Inside there is a small bar to the far left and bar seating where people are grubbing on delicious dishes. The tanks are visible through windows in the bank and overall the place is real neat. Lots of action inside and out, it is located on the downtown stretch of Lawrence. THEY LET YOU DRINK OUTSIDE WITHOUT A FUSS!
The beer selection is just around average, however, the brews they do produce are tasty. Being that it is in Lawrence, KS their wheat beers tend to highlight the beer list.
Their ipa, copper ale, and stout all kept me going deep into the night. The food is real good. From appetizer to entree, you'll be glad you ordered something.
A must if you're in Lawrence.
09-12-2009 23:51:58 |
More by nickiversen
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've worked on and off here for a few years while going to school at KU. Basically everyone involved with this establishment, from the owner down to the bussers and dishwashers are genuinely good people, providing good product and service. Without this great resource I'm not sure I would have been introduced as well to the respectable world of nice beer.
The only negative is that this has become my standard of comparison not only for beer, but for restaurant service, which leaves me disappointed at many other places, but it has raised my standard of expectations.
highly recommended. stop by for a taste
08-12-2009 01:00:18 |
More by bunson
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Was working in Lawrence KS for 3 weeks. Found this place in only a day or 2. It is wonderful, the food is fabulous and very tasty. Each week the beers changed and each was at least good to fabolous. Loved all the beers, even there wheats' and I as a rule am not a fan of wheat beers.
The food is very good and very well priced. Service is also very good. Every time I went there was at least a 15 minute wait for a table but it was worth the wait every time. Love the place and have to say it is worth visiting and if your passing by Lawrence KS it is worth swinging by and having a bite and a pint.
08-02-2009 01:42:45 |
More by lush1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I've been a student at KU for four years, and I absolutely love this place. Really cool location inside for what used to be a train station (I think) has a great patio. Really relaxed and friendly place with some pretty decent food too. Their non-rotating stuff wheat state, ad astra, and oatmeal stout are all good beers copperhead and their barley wine are both exceptional. Their seasonals are really where this brewery shines though. The brewer here is really talented I can't wait tell they get their brewing location up and running so he can spend more time experimenting.
05-04-2009 19:09:36 |
More by bfields4
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Came here with a few friends who live in Wichita, and to meet up with Goliath to spread the Surly love.
On Massachussets Street, the main drag for the KU kids, pretty lively place, lots of people in and around the place. Pretty cool looking place, good bar, lots of room, and had a space in back where we sat. Then a jazz trio started playing, sweet stuff. I had the oatmeal stout a few times, tried some porter and a few tries of others. Pretty tasty beers, none really outstanding, but none are disappointments. Pretty decent selection too. We had a few apps... the artichoke dip was very tasty, and they had a salmon bruchetta that was also tasty. So, nothing really to rave about, but if I were going to KU, I'd be here constantly.
08-30-2008 23:07:08 |
More by objectivemonkey
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
My brother brought me to this place recently when I went down to Lawrence to help him move into his new place. When he was traveling back and forth between Omaha and Lawrence to interview with professors and to find a home, he said he would eat at Free State every time he went down to KS, and him and his wife had eaten there 2 out of the 3 nights they had lived in town before I got there. Needless to say, I was pretty hyped to try the place out myself, because the growlers evidently hadn't traveled well when he would bring them back.
Anyways, this brewery is in a really cool old building. I liked the woodwork, and the loft where we sat overlooks the whole restaurant and also allows a view out onto the street through the large glass windows. There is a huge sky light cut into the top of the building giving a nice atmospheric light. The place evidently does a pretty good business, because it's always packed.
There was a good selection of beers on the menu, but I ordered two or three that they were out of before settling with the Hop-Picker IPA. I was hoping to try the Helles Lager because it was 108 degrees with the heat index when I went down to visit. The IPA was good, but a little heavier than I wanted with the heat. The Wheat State Golden Ale was what I had next, and it was a little more agreeable with the heat. I would definitely like to come back when it's not so hot out so I can drink some of their heavier beers.
The food was the real star at this place, however. The appetizers were among the best I've ever had. The artichoke dip with homemade beer bread was excellent, and the beer battered onion rings were hands down the best I've ever had, even beating out my own recipe which I am quite partial to. My sandwich was excellent, and there was a number of other things I wanted to try on the menu, but I opted out for something lighter.
The service was good, but I didn't bother to give the guy a beer quiz. I'm just not that kind of asshole, and usually I can figure these things out on my own (the menu did a good job of describing the beers, BTW).
I will definitely go to this place every time I visit my brother in the future. This is a must stop if you're ever in the area.
08-17-2008 19:58:22 |
More by MABZ
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was there last weekend after being there on St. Patrick's Day last year, and the energy and quality has stayed great.
It has always been busy when I've been there, but that hasn't tapered off the level of service. It helps that they're adequately staffed. In the loft alone, where I've eaten both times, they had three servers.
Food has always been great. I loved their Irish lamb stew and colcannon potatoes on Paddy's Day, and the achiote chicken sandwich this weekend was a fine pairing with their Copperhead Pale Ale.
My only small complaint might be that they only have 5 or 6 beer options on a given day, but they do regularly update their website with current options, so my guess is with their high activity they're turning over taps fast too.
I enjoyed their 1854 Helles lager a lot, and their Black Jack Baltic Porter my be my most favorite beer in the tri-state area.
07-23-2008 05:50:59 |
More by damuraus
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in for lunch today, it was a good way to break up apartment shopping.
The place was pretty busy for a Tuesday around 1pm. Lots of people, talking, movement. It was a pretty happening place.
The beers and food were all up to snuff, no real quality issues.
Service was great. We had some guy with a beard, but he was always on the ball filling up waters, asking if we needed more beers, etc. Plus he actually knew a few things about beer. I'm always amazed when I go to a beer bar or brewpub and the wait staff has no clue about any of the beer. Not that I really need the help or advice, but it is still nice to see.
Selection of food was fairly large. Beer selection was more limited, but for a brewpub they do a good job. They had probably 6 of their beers or so on tap.
The food was fine. It was getting hot and I wasn't that hungry, so I just ordered the cheese and fruit plate. It was clean, fresh, cold, and hard to mess up. My girlfriend got some sort of avacado and tomato wrap. She really enjoyed it and I think we'll probably be back quite a bit once we move.
Hard to beat is the growlers. Although I didn't buy one today, the cost of a growler is only $3 and it only costs $7 and change to fill it. $10 Growlers? Yes please.
05-28-2008 04:25:58 |
More by Goliath
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is by far my favorite place to visit in Lawrence. I visited there twice this past week. It's a great place to eat, drink, and be merry.
A: The crowd is very diverse. Old, young, straight, gay, college kids, hippies, conservatives. The building is just beautiful. It has an open air dining area that is great to be in. It's not a quiet place, but a great place to have fun with friends and get a great meal.
Q: The quality of everything at Free State is unsurpassed. The food, beer, and service are awesome. They do not cut corners.
S: Very attentive, nice, and informed. I've never had a service issue at Free State.
S: The selection of beers is great. Today, they had the John Brown Ale, Free State Wheat, the barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Ad Astra, and Copperhead Pale Ale. The selection of food is awesome. From pastas to burgers, it's a great selection.
V: For $3.25 a beer, who can beat that. The food price is more than reasonable.
I will go out of my way to eat lunch and dinner there. Highly recommended.
04-20-2008 21:43:32 |
More by wardough
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Free State is my favorite place in all of Lawrence. It's first and foremost a great brewery but it's also a really good restaurant. Free State's staple beers are all top notch and offer something for everyone. And every month they offer a variety of seasonals, so every week or two there's something new on tap--a clever trick to keep you coming back! Every Monday they offer three or so of their beers on tap for $1.75. In addition, periodically they release cask conditioned ales as well as vintage ales (I was lucky enough to try a '99 vintage of their barley wine last summer).
Their food menu is ever-changing and it, too, offers something for everyone. The quality is well above average and the prices are reasonable, though when you add in the beers to the bill, it can be an expensive meal.
My only complaint with Free State is that they have a small dedicated bar area and it becomes crowded quickly, especially on Monday nights. I wish they could expand this, but I don't see how that would be possible.
They offer brewery tours once a month and when I went, there were only three or four other people, so it was nice and small. The tour was informative and fun to go through all the stages of brewing. And at the end they treated us all to a free beer of our choice.
Free State will begin bottling their beers this fall which is great news!
04-05-2008 19:00:47 |
More by JEdmund
Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence, KS
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