JK (413) St. Louis Park, Minnesota | August 17, 2017
Visited the night before Great Taste and it was still busy at 9 PM. A large bottle selection, all priced very reasonably, such as Belgian Red for about $12. Lots of other random Wisconsin bottles, and 25 or so taps. Solid and surprisingly inexpensive food. Large place, two connected buildings, with a German beer hall ambiance.
Smallish place, long bar, wood, exposed brick, old tymey music playing. Comfortable. Good customer service. Burger is excellent. So is the old fashioned... When in Rome, right? Large beer list. Nothing rare but it’s 100% Wisconsin beers with lots of seasonals and less common beers. Prices reasonable across the board. Overall worthy of it’s high rating.
It was a bit crowded so wait was long as it was beer week. They have many local beer of Wisconsin breweries. Food was tasty.
GT (672) San Diego, California | November 30, 2015
Bar Area: 4/5-Stars
Restaurant Table Seating: 2-Stars
Came in here for dinner on a recommendation from friends. There was a wait, so we went to the bar to kill some time. This place was packed and lively.
The bartender was wildly knowledgeable about the beers on tap, which were exclusively from Wisconsin. A big plus in my book. They go so far as to map out the breweries with their location in the state within the beer menu. Good variety of styles. We were able to sample just about as much as you wanted be a free splash or a tasting flight. Tasting flight was nicely arranged on a custom wooden paddle in the shape of Wisconsin with numbers for ease of identification.
Once we were seated, I took a look at the menu and was pretty shocked to not find much that looked appetizing. It seemed to be a lot of heavier junk food. I decided to go with a burger variety. Appetizer of fried cheese curds was quite good and generously portioned. But our service at the table was quite poor with hardly any check-ins or water refills. The HVAC system overhead was dripping water onto my wife, so we mentioned it to the server. She seemed to cursively acknowledge this with a "thanks for pointing it out" instead of a "wow, that’s disgusting, let me find you another table immediately."
For a place with over 100 patrons at a time, I found the single-use toilet bathroom design to be ridiculous.
I was a bit underwhelmed, so was encouraged to try their signature Old-Fashioned cocktail. Much too sweet for me.
Much more of a drinking bar than the brewpubs we visited early in the evening. Large place, especially now that they have expanded to the building next door - large bars in each room, surrounded by tables. Nice crowd and buzz on a Wednesday evening. Huge beer list, samplers available. Helpful, knowledgeable staff. The only (minor) complaint I can think of (other than the parking challenges, par for the course downtown) was that the beer list was difficult to see by someone like me with very old eyes - low light, and light beige letters just didn’t stand out. It’s early in my exploration of Madison, but at the moment I think this would be my hangout if I lived here.
A great local beer bar that has a bit of a college vibe but is still worth the stop. Two large rooms each with a bar and additional seating throughout. Service was good but not particularly beer focused. 50 taps and samplers available with 4 for $5 dollars which is just outstanding. Food was solid bar fare and prices were great. A pretty awesome spot.
A go to destination on the square in Madison, The Old Fashioned is the definition of a "Wisconsin local". With 50 beers on draft there is no shortage of options to choose from. If you can’t find it here then you probably should not be drinking craft beer.
The place does tend to get crowded in the evenings, especially on the weekends, as it is a popular place to eat as well as drink. If you come be sure to try the fish fry - a local Wisconsin tradition that you will wish was more widely available. It also does a great job of absorbing all the beers you are bound to order.
Parking, as with all places near downtown, can be tricky. However I recommend just doing a crawl from one end of State Street to here (or perhaps just down to the Great Dane) to get your money’s worth. With a number of other bars serving excellent products you will be sure to walk away pleased with your experience.
Stopped by this place at the high suggestion of Nuplastikk. Damn, it was awesome. Two different bar areas. Kind of darker, woody and moody. I liked the atmosphere. Bartender was reasonably cool with us. Selection was great. Huge list of local beers. Flight were very reasonably priced. Food wasn’t priced so bad either, for a down town restaurant. Awesome place overall. I was very happy here, and I felt it was all worth the price I paid.