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Little Apple Brewing Company - Manhattan, KS
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NAVIGATION: Home > Beer Place Search > KS > Manhattan > Little Apple Brewing Company
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Type: BrewPub
Little Apple Brewing Company
Overall: Great    Score: 77.6 / 100
1110 Westloop
Manhattan, KS 66502
United States
(785) 539-5500
Listed Since: July 1996
Last Updated: January 2002
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18 Reviews / 2 Photos
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alternatives
(3 within 5 miles)
1) 12th Street Pub
(0 mile)

2) Old Chicago
(0 mile)

3) Tallgrass Brewing Company
(0 mile)

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Overall Average User Rating
Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great
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Individual User Reviews
Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great Great
OK, so here we have a brewpub in a strip mall in a small college town in the middle of Dicklestick Nowhere, an area not generally renowned as beer-chic. Couple that with the fair-to-middling reviews posted here and one comes in with low expectations. I figured this would be the kind of place that brews poseur beers just so they can say, "we brew our own beer and that makes really cool n' stuff." I walked out concluding that the low expectations were unjustified.

First, the beer quality. I concur with comments that they don't take a lot of risks with daring styles or super-bold creations. But let's take a realistic look at the business climate they operate in and keep in mind that these folks need to make money. Is Manhattan KS really ready for, say, a bourbon-barrel imperial brown or a 12% ABV thick-as-syrup barleywine? Granted, this is no excuse to make bland watery beer, and in my estimation Little Apple does not. I found that each beer had at least a basic degree of quality required of a hand-crafted beer, and many were even better.

I suppose regular locals are in a better position to comment on the ups-and-downs in consistency and quality control, but I can only comment on my own, one-time expereince. When I went in November 2006 I did not experience many of the quality problems mentioned in the previous and some other reviews. I found that each beer had at least the requisite level of quality of an honest, non-poseur brewpub. I did not find rampant diacetyl in my samples. I did detect some in the oatmeal stout, but in a complex stout a modest amount of diacetyl is permissible and can even add to the flavor complexity. My only quality complaints were that the oatmeal stout and the IPA were not adequately nitrogenated/carbonated, respectively, and that led to a disappointing mouthfeel in both cases. That's highly unfortunate because I found both of these beers to have an intense and exceptional flavor profile. The stout was intensely chocolately with coffee, vanilla, crunchy oatmeal and a hint of maple, and these attributes were well-layered. The Prairie Pale Ale with its big orange-citrus & bitter noble hop flavor and rich, upstanding malt backbone is one of the best-tasting British-style IPAs (as opposed to the American/Pacific Northwest-style) that I've ever had from an American brewery. I thought it good enough that I hauled a growler of it all the way back to Chicago with me. In all I gave the beer quality rating a “good” because of the flat palate of the stout and IPA, and because the complaints of the “play-it-safe” tap lineup are valid even if justified by the realities of the business climate. I wish I could there was a “Really Good” to pick from between “Good” and “Great” ratings, because I would have applied it to the beer quality here.

Next, ambiance. This is a strip mall, and a pretty small one at that. There's only so much you can do with a mini-strip-mall space. And they make the best of it. I rather enjoyed the Flint Hills-oriented cattle house/steakhouse décor and thought it was well-done, even if a touch corny. There was a bar room separated from the dining area with a chest-high wooden divider that then had etched glass from the top of the divider all the way to the ceiling held in place by brass-rail framing. I'd guess the bar was about 800sqft, and seemed like a decent place to put down a pint or two of suds.

Next, food. My wife's steak was very good, as one would expect from a steakhouse in the heart of cattle country. Our appetizer onion rings were bready, huge and delicious, and came with a zingy taco-dip-type sauce. Nice touch. My nacho platter had yummy spicy beef and an excellent zingy salsa. I'd definitely eat here again.

Service: I don't know if my waitress knew the first thing about the beer she was serving. And I don't really care since the supplied written descriptions were informative enough that I didn't need to ask her about them. She was quite friendly and personable, and as a dine-in waitress, she didn't miss a beat.

Overall I was much more impressed with this place than I thought I'd be. If (God forbid) I were sentenced to live in the cultural purgatory that is Manhattan, I'd spend a lot of time at this place and I'd be proud to call it my local brewpub.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from The Enemy The Enemy, Chicago, IL
(01/15/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Lousy Good Good Good So So
LABC keeps the typical selection (PA, Brown, Red, Wheat, Stout) of American brew pubs on tap. However, the quality of the standard fare is mediocre at best. I moved to Manhattan in July 05 and have not had a decent pint of beer there yet. Considerable diacetyl dominates the flavor of all beers, indicating a poorly attenuated house yeast or an infection somewhere in their brewing system post-boil. Judging from the cleanliness of the brew house, I suspect the latter. This is the first brew pub I've been where I've sent a pint back to the bar. Other beer-lovers I've spoken to in the area tend to agree. Notwithstanding, the seasonals are above average and much appreciated. The atmosphere is laid back and the Flint Hills cattle influence is evident in the decor and ambiance, and the food is pretty darn good. I would give this brew pub a 3/10 for beer and a 4/10 overall. After all, beer should be the focus of a 'Brewing Company'.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from L. B. McNew L. B. McNew, Manhattan, KS
(01/07/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good Good Good Good
I was presently suprised with The Little Apple. I thought that the Red and the Pale were both worth while. The wheat was smooth but not my style. I've made it a point to stop by each time I've been in town.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Dustin Dustin, Bend, OR
(10/29/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good N/A Lousy So So
I had two pale ales: "Prairie Pale Ale", and "American Pale Ale", side by side, and I could not tell them apart. They were both OK. I could not get food, because the kitchen was closed; but a different customer got food. My waitress, Leslie, was short with me and very condescending.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Michael Nowatney Michael Nowatney, Plano, TX
(09/07/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I was so impressed with Little Apple after we moved here last summer (2005). It was fantastic through Christmas. The seasonals were really good, the selection was good, the service was sometimes good, but you looked past it for the beer. The steaks are yum and the German sausage w/ the potato salad is fantastic. Then, at the beginning of 2006, braving the ridiculous amounts of smoke and the slow dwindle of seasonals were changing our perception of the place. The final clincher was the staff. The bartenders' lack of personalities is not such a big deal, but the fact that these guys have no desire to enjoy a brew much better than some mainstream pisswater, nor do they have any understanding of the beers which they serve, is enough to close that book for us. Little Apple, you had alot of talent...but what happened to those nicely crafted seasonals? Where is the passion that a beertender in a micro-brew bar should possess? If these guys cant have a personality, then at least get some good looking women behind the bar for better scenery! (and this review is coming from a woman!)

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Polly Polly, manhattan, KS
(05/25/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good N/A Good Good

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Geo.  Miller Geo. Miller, Plymouth, CT
(11/16/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
The last review must have went to the wrong place. This place is great. All the beers were true to style. The food was great. Try the barley wine and the stout. We tried them all. Keep up the good work.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Gary T Gary T, Plattsburg, MO
(01/03/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Lousy Good Good Good So So
I can't believe the overall rating of this joint is anywhere near Free State in Lawrence. Little Apple has decent food, but no idea how to brew beer. Everything tastes as if they have a sanitation problem. I can only figure that the other positive reviews on this website are due to the fact that Kansas is not blessed with more than one good establishment -- and it's not this one.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Manhattan, KS
(11/11/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great Great
Had the pale ale. The Chinook hop taste was a bit much but there was plenty of eTOH in the beer. Also had the Rileys Red which is a great example of a Scottish 80 shilling stle beer. Ate the Greek salad which was excellent. My only complaint was the bartenders complete lack of beer knowledge but he was outstanding otherwise.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from aleman aleman, Jamestown, ND
(09/11/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good N/A Good Good
I got there right at closing. I just had a sample rack. All of the beers were good. The Black Angus Stout is VERY different. I did not care for it, but seems to be very popular. Their menu look good.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Ed Weller Ed Weller, Holland, MI
(08/06/2003)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Extremely knowledgeable staff from top to bottom, and fantastic beers to boot. The Stout is not to be missed.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from David David, Eugene, OR
(03/19/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good Awesome! Great
Okay-- Although I'm a grad student in Manhattan, I'm not biased; this place makes some good beers! The XX Angus stout is absolutely one of my favor-ites, and the pale ale has a wonderful body. The beers (other than the stout) could use a bit more hop bouquet.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Marc Rehfuss Marc Rehfuss, Manhattan, KS
(04/26/2000)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
I did not have a single bad sip or bite in my three visits to this great Brewbub and restaurant. Prompt and friendly service, along with a waitstaff that is actually educated about the beers and the brewing process. Great atmosphere, Great Steaks and Great Beer. My favorites: Prairie Pale Ale, Black Angus Stout.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Thomas Duckworth Thomas Duckworth, Clarksburg, WV
(09/08/1999)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! N/A Awesome! Awesome!
It has a great atmosphere and the look and feel of a well established Brew Pub. As a fellow coaster collector,I must highly compliment the decor.The Bartender and the Brewmaster were very personable and come highly recommended

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Paul Johnson Paul Johnson, Tulsa, OK
(06/16/1999)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Awesome! Great Great
Prairie pale ale is very fruity, fresh homebrew hop flavor; Chocolate Lab porter is also wonderful. Food, esp steaks and artichoke dip are out of this world.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Scott Scott, Manhattan, KS
(04/30/1999)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Awesome! Great Awesome!
Both the Black Angus Stout and the Wildcat Wheat are incredible. They also serve the best steaks in Manhattan, along with an excellent selection single malt scotch, small batch bourbons, and so forth.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from R. D. Johnson R. D. Johnson, Manhattan, KS
(01/07/1999)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great
It's been a couple of years, but: Great little Brewpub with some medal-winning brews. It was the "Black Squirrel Stout" when I was there. Great, revolving menu. Nice atmosphere. The only game in town if you're in Manhattan . . .

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Matt Berg Matt Berg, Pepperell, MA
(07/30/1998)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Great Great
Only had the Stout & Porters but they were very good. I recommend the Black Angus Stout and Chocolate Lab Porter to all the Beer Lovers in Kansas.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Brent Lantas Brent Lantas, Georgia, VT
(07/06/1998)





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