boto (78) Granby, Connecticut | October 22, 2006| Updated April 2, 2011
I liked this place a lot. There is a very relaxed atmosphere, even when busy. Nice stone floors in the dining area, with some more intimate areas upstairs. The food was quite good at lunch. Somewhat typical American fare, yet still had gourmet twists to some of the items. I didn’t have them, but the onion rings looked like they were one of their specialties. Bye the way, the beers were quite good also. I wasn’t quite sure why they served them in 14oz. glasses. At least they were up front about not calling them pints.
good beer, great food, great service, friendly knowledgeable wait staff, open for beers during set break at Liberty Hall, what else do you need. Bar is small, and it is loud when it’s busy, but you take the good with the bad. The food is much better than your typical brewpub, the chef must have studied french culinary arts. Get there on Monday nights early to claim a seat for the 1.75 pints.
This place is really a lot of fun and a must when passing through town. What a diverse crowd and I like the fact that there is no smoking although it always bugs me when everyone stands in front of the door and smokes and you have to walk through it, but such is life. The bar staff was quite knowledgeable and the service was quick, and the beers were pretty tasty. The only thing that bothered me was it was obnoxiously loud.
Great place in an unassuming city. Must be the college. Make sure you get the onion rings, and barring any special drafts, the oatmeal stout. Seemed to have about 6-8 usual taps. Nice area too, downtown Lawrence. Very nice area. Not far off the highway either.
The staff was knowledgeable; however we had a hard time finding our waitress at times. There was also the sauce we asked for and didn’t receive. However, the beers were quite good, making up for the less-than-stellar service. Taking away from the ambiance was the fact that it was very loud, to the point that my partner and I had a difficult time carrying on a conversation.
TAR (30) Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina | October 6, 2005
Located in the quaint downtown of Lawrence, Free State is more than just a brewpub. In fact, it’s home to some of the best food in the city. And that’s saying a lot, being that this is a diverse college town. The wonderul food ranges from hearty meat plates to all-veggie stuff. Tasty appetizers like Artichoke dip or hummus. Plus their meat is mostly, if not all, free-range organic. The beer selection is quite limited, but the seasonals are most always solid. Especially their lagers. Growlers are available to take home. FS is certainly a brewpub most would be proud to call their local watering hole.
I’m a little surprised by the high ratings here. The bar area is tiny, though not nearly as small as Barley John’s in New Brighton, MN. The extent of the seating in the bar area that is not actually at the bar consists of 4 chairs set up along a ledge to the right of the bar and 4 lower chairs around a small bar stool posing as a table. There was no service to either of these areas. All the rest of the seating in the place, which has two stories, is reserved for diners. We arived at around 4:15pm on a Saturday, and they would not give us a table in either of the "dining areas" and the bar itself was full. The outdoor patio was full of smokers. So, I was forced to write my notes on the bar stool, a tough task when you are sharing such a small surface with 3 beer glasses. Finally, for a place that has gained a world-wide reputation based upon 2 beers, to not have either of them year round is a disservice to the customer. The offerings that were available were solid, but not anything extraordinary. I was frankly underwhelmed but would still go back if in the area and I knew either the Owd Macs or the Old Backus were available.