I made a stop down here during the 2008 Great Taste of the Midwest. Very cool place, literally 5 different settings (front bar, sports bar, upstairs restaurant, downstairs cellar like, and outside patio). There were about 10+ beers on tap. I tried the Wheat wine, IPA, and Pale Ale. Food was good and priced well. All in all a nice place I’ll be visiting again in the future when in Madison.
Big, rambling chain restaurant / brewpub in downtown Madison that was absolutely rammed during my party’s Saturday evening visit. Seemed to attract a crowd of beer casuals who were more interested in dining than drinking. House beers numbered about 10 and were generally subpar. I also opted for a burger and found it to be as underwhelming as the beer (pre-formed frozen patty, cheap ingredients etc.). On the bright side, staff worked efficiently and were quite kind. Prices, like the rest of Madison, were totally reasonable. Overall, only worth a visit if you’re looking for numbers. There’s better beer and food options in the immediate vicinity.
Stopped in for a late dinner on our way to line up for GTMW tickets. Place kind of feels like a college bar and is a huge spot. Lots of TVs and multiple bars. Service was solid overall. A good number of taps, a few casks and samplers are available. Food was pretty standard brewpub fare. Prices were good. Worth a stop if you are in the area.
Huge downtown brewpub. Expansive with two bars and at least two big rooms. Old school vibe but some tasteful touches. Bartender looked like he couldn’t be a day over 21 but he was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the beers. Prices for samples were solid. Overall quality of the beer was solid, drinkable and a little bit inventive. Can’t comment on the parking as I was on foot. Overall worth a stop.
7-04-2015 - Big and roomy bar, tables and booths, outside beer garden. The sever was friendly and attentive. They have a large food selection but did not order any. The beer flight is 4 to 10 samples. I selected four beer samples and they were hit and miss.
Large old building, a former hotel built in 1848 or thereabouts. At least three bars in various rooms on various levels, and lots of tables. Looked kid friendly. Large amount of beers on tap including a gravity firkin; all were OK, with no real stand outs. Flights of four or any amount up to all. Didn’t try the food, although they do offer a Sunday brunch. Street parking wasn’t a problem, but would obviously depend on timing. Worth a look.
(Visited 08/2014): Great Dane’s downtown location is in an old building on the corner of East Doty and Spring. Parking is available on the street and in parking garages in the surrounding area.
The interior opens to the bar area, with high top tables and a long bar running along the left side. The decor is pretty typical of a well-established pub. Behind the bar are interchangeable signs listing the beers on tap.
The beer selection consists of 17 house beers ranging from a couple Pilseners, Hefes, Pales and Lagers to a Stout, Porter, IPA, Scotch Ale and Quad. Samplers are available. The beers were average for the most part with a couple that are decent.
Service on a packed Friday evening at the bar was alright. Our samplers were delivered and we were checked on once and that was about it. Given how busy they were it was fine though.
We did not have any food on our visit.
All in all this is a pretty good brewpub to visit in Madison given the historical building and variety of brews. They would probably benefit from tightening the beer menu a little to focus on making fewer, higher quality brews.
A nice stop in downtown Madison, right near the Capitol building. No real street parking, but there is a garage right next to it. They have quite a few taps (~15), but the quality of beer was just ok. I tried a hoppy wheat (really just a wheat beer), old ale, and scotch ale - none really stood out. The food was good - I got both the chicken peanut stew and the New Mexico green chili, both were excellent. Overall, I’d recommend a stop if you’re in the area, but plan to stay for just 1 pint.
Stopped in here after my buddy’s rehearsal dinner and downed a few pints over some good conversation - at least as good as it could be in a huge, loud, crowded place. The building is cool, and the interior is nice enough but it’s so big and jammed with shiny lights and TVs and college kids. Man, I’m old. But there are a lot of nice touches, too. The staff is young and rude and messed up my check. The beers are good, better than I was told, and the prices are pretty good, too. There were at least 14 taps and another beer on cask when I was there, and a couple bombers for sale, too. I had no idea they bottled. I didn’t eat. I’d like to come back when it isn’t a Friday night, and I’m sure I’d like the place a little more. But it’s good nonetheless, and definitely worth a visit while in Madison.
A must stop if you are in Madison! Right off capitol square, the Great Dane will have something on draft for you. The food is always delicious, I recommend the Dane Burger if you’ve never been, and start with the spinach and artichoke dip. The Crop Circle wheat is always good, and the Stone of Scone scotch ale is one of the best.
Visited at opening on a Saturday. Nice atmosphere and excellent service. Parking was difficult. Did have a nice selection on tap. Looked at the menu but did not order. Prices seemed fair. Will visit again on my next trip.