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 itís 100% Wisconsin beers with lots of seasonals and less common beers. Prices reasonable across the board. Overall worthy of itís 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, thatís 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 didnít stand out. Itís 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 canít 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 moneyís 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 wasnít 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.
bartlebier (152) Belchium im Biersgau, Germany | March 18, 2014| Updated August 11, 2014
09/2013. Standout beer bar during our 3-week Midwest visit. Sat at the bar, still had a very relaxed atmosphere on a late afternoon but judging by all servers but the barman an early evening onstorm was imminent...Had exceptional service from the barman who enthusiastically and expertly walked/ran us through the unknown magnitudes on the WI-only 50+ tap list, sample by sample in exchange for a fresh Westvl12 - finally losing us. Keeping up with Midwest barmen at the top of their game who are trying to prove a point about the quality of WI beers can be quite a challenge and so I lost half of my notes. Agreed that serving shakers and little sampling shot glasses are not ideal to bring out the best in all beer styles - but that seems unavoidable given the enormity of the tap range and speediness of the service. - Food wise: I think no one non-native to WI needs to have cheese curd variations twice, but they will definitely make you delve into that below 6%ABV selection by the pint. Still quite a few tap pints to be had under $4 which we learned to appreciate as very good value after shelling out quite a bit more in comparable bars during the previous 2 weeks.