United States > Wisconsin > Madison
imthebest (23) , | July 26, 2012
92 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 19/20
Great laid back atmosphere, nothing pretentious about this place, just a tidy bar with great beer. Free live music at least once a week. Always among the first to have new Wisconsin brewed beers on tap. The selection is broad but somewhat shallow. Iím afraid the number of taps is just too small for the grand ambition of covering Belgian, Wisconsin and US craft beer under one roof. The Belgian taps in particular seem to rotate amongst the same dozen or so classics. The bottle list is similarly thorough, but nothing super rare. These are pretty quibbling criticisms though, quality is quite high and thereís always something exciting to drink. Servers are top notch.
esjaygee (236) Oak Creek, Wisconsin | May 20, 2012
68 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 14/20
I drive by this place twice on each trip to Madison but had never stopped in before. 18 taps were filled with plenty of decent choices and a nice bottle list was there as well. There was outdoor seating, though I donít know if that was only for Madison Beer Week. Service was ok, not the friendliest on this visit but Iím always willing to give some place another chance. Iím sure if I lived in Madison it would be in my rotation, though not to catch the game as there were no TVs.
JoeinEscazķ (268) San Jose, Costa Rica | May 10, 2012
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 15/20
Seems to be a dive taken over by a pretty serious beer aficionado. In fact it has become a true pub. No TVs! We came on the night before Great Taste and it was packed yet still not a ton of trouble to order a beer. At the time we were attracted to selections from Cantillon, Dupont and Glazen Toren, but I remember being impressed by the other bottles available. A nice patio outside as well. Discounts for Trappist ales on Tuesdays and 750ml bottles on Saturdays.
jlruthven (5) Madison, Wisconsin | March 3, 2012
76 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 17/20
Still making my way around Madison, and stopped in here for a nightcap. Really hole-in-the-wall look to the place, you can easily pass it on the road. Intimate, low-lit interior, very rustic, definitely a tavern feel. Only a few taps, but very good stuff; mostly Belgian, with a few American microbrews. Bottle selection is more impressive, with Struise Pannepot, Three Floyds and Westmalle some highlights. Service is so-so. Stop in.
madcitymac59 (1) Madison, | January 20, 2012
90 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 18/20
Iím one of the lucky ones- I live only 4 blocks away from the Malt House!
Madtown1 (2) Wisconsin | November 10, 2011
82 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 17/20
The Malt House, sitting at the corner of East Washington and Milwaukee, beer has been served at this location, more or less, since 1858. The decor is simple and plain; orange walls, occassional beer-related poster, and yellowed 50s-era lighting. The bar does have an amazing, authentic, late-1800s backbar. Although there are no TVs, pool tables, or dart boards there is plenty of beer,liquor and good conversation. Seating is somewhat haphazard, first come first serve. Itís nice that during warmer months they now have outdoor seating as that alleviates some of the seating issues when it gets busy. There are no televisions or other distractions, although they did have a WORT DJ playing some decent tunes.
All beer is served in the appropriate type of glass. Thereís also a full bottle cooler in the back if youíre looking for something else. I would suggest getting on their Facebook page or mailing list for tap announcements.
The bartenders are very knowledgeable about the beer, but could sometimes have more information on a particular beer - for example they may not know ABV or OG numbers.
And while thereís no kitchen available, they allow you to order in a pizza or carry in food as long as you clean up after yourself. Probably the best beer bar in Madison as far as taps go, but with a tavern atmosphere. Itís a bit hard to find (thankfully) as I can envision even more nightly capacity issues if this place becomes too popular.
BVery (324) Burnsville, Minnesota | September 3, 2011
74 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 15/20
Visited here for the first time on Sept. 3, 2011. Kind of a dingy bar feel, and the service was just so-so (I sat at a table for 10-15 minutes with no service, then went to the bar where the bartender screwed up my first ordered beer). However, 18 taps and 200 bottles, and suddenly I could care less about trivial stuff like atmosphere and service. They even have 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon! Proper glassware is used. No flights, which is disappointing given that they have a good number of taps.
FriarHop (4) Long Beach, New York | May 10, 2011
88 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 18/20
Went for the recent Bellís tasting. Nice experience for a first time. Thank god I have relatives that live in Madison!
klikger (1) Madison, Wisconsin | June 21, 2010
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 16/20
Just made it to The Malt House for the first time...Iím not sure what took me so long. The setting is an unpretentious, decades-old building, with a long line of barstools at the actual bar, several tables indoors, and a patio outside. Itís very comfortable, but nothing to write home about. The beer selection is one of Madisonís best, and taps are continually being changed. Kudos to the staff for keeping its Facebook page regularly updated with current offerings.
My first experience was a bit of a let down due to the inexplicable snappiness of the server when somebody in my party requested a sample. We were quite rudely told that three total samples for a group of four was pushing the limits of acceptability, despite the fact that we each had already purchased a beer (two of which were $7+) , the samples werenít for unreasonably expensive beers, and we were sitting at the bar. That said, I havenít heard anyone else say anything particularly negative about the service here, so perhaps this was an isolated incident. The selection alone is reason to return.
JohnWI (1) Madison, Wisconsin | August 3, 2009
98 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 20/20
This is a great place. Reminds me of an old rural English pub. Quaint, good beer selection, no TV, and great conversation.
The owner is a past president of the local homebrewers guild. He sure knows his stuff. Clearly, the best selection of microbeers in the city. Also, a great selection of whiskey (that is made from malt also).
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