Iím not sure how I overlooked rating this place after a couple visits but it deserves a visit if you want the experience of a dive bar with the selection of someone who cares about more than the bottom line.
It is tough to judge the normal selection as most visits have been during Great Taste takeovers. However if those are anything to go by you wonít find too much PBR, Miller Lights, and Bud here relative to the local drafts from Ale Asylum, New Glarus, Lake Louie, and beyond.
Food consists of the typical bar fare - greasy but perfect for soaking up alcohol. Friday night fish fry gets the job done though isnít the best in the area. Sevice might be spotty; I wuld have to go on a less busy day to compare it against times when there is a line out the door.
Parking might be the only downside. Be prepared to hunt but you will be well rewarded with a Madison gem that fits right in with the local neighborhood.
Nice place in Madison. Easy to find. Great selection of beers. Very well rounded from local to Belgium. Nice service and nice prices. Will stop by again for sure.
t0rin0 (1529) Do Not Resuscitate, California | August 28, 2013| Updated August 30, 2013
Visited August 9, 2013.
Walked here from Dexterís on GTMW eve. This place wasnít even on my radar but while walking someone mentioned that there is a place nearby that we should check out. Glad I did. Even though the place was relatively empty and the tap lineup wasnít great they had a half a dozen taps from a place called Title Town Brewing. They didnít want to do a flight but since there were 4 of us we just ordered a glass of each. The server was nice but didnít interact with us much. We didnít actually spend a whole lot of time here. Might stop back in next year to see which brewery theyíre featuring, otherwise itís a bit out of the way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (625) Plymouth, Minnesota | September 3, 2011| Updated March 24, 2015
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.
Update - revisited in March 2015. I actually love this vibe now.