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Max's Taphouse

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class

174 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
98
Reviews:
174
Ratings:
276
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
7.01%
 
 
Taps:
145
Bottles/Cans:
1,200
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
Max's TaphouseMax's Taphouse
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

737 S Broadway
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231-3407
United States

(888) 675-6297 | map
www.maxs.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 276
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I think it was (like) 2 years ago that Handsome Ed started with his "We should do a weekend in Baltimore" talk; a terribly good idea implemented never. It was always something with him, you know? "We're trying to move to Pennsylvania and buy a place" or "I have to work 83 days straight to finish this highway project". I might have considered it him just talking smack and let the whole thing go but I'd developed a want for crab smashing so I had to put it away in the back of my head and wait and wait and wait. Eventually they moved to PA and the highway project got done. He finally got a breather and I moved on it, no rest for the wicked (me, not him). Get your shoes on, Ed, we're going to Baltimore...

Easily parked and all metered up, we backtracked up and around the block to Max's. Taking up residency at the bar, we had some good attention this early Saturday afternoon. Seating 2 dozen and then some, this long straight wood bar with an "L" on the end runs the length of the whole place. A copper foot rail below and the bar top done up slat wood with beer labels and then varnished over, plus inlayed "chill discs", of which Phil says "They are an abomination".

72 unique tap selections spread over everywhere. 24 taps in a row on the middle of the bar, a 5 tower tap at each end, and then 2 rows of taps (9 atop 14 below) to both sides of center on the barback wall. Also, down on our end, I think I saw a single Delirium pink elephant tap, and there were definitely 2 hand pumps as well.

A center wide counter on the bar back holds booze 5 tiers high, and a pair of flatscreens above with a neon "prescriptions" sign there. To each side, rows of taps and 2 or 3 coolers with flatscreens and a row of TV's above. A cooler with vintage selections and a cigar display case at the end of the bar. Pressed tin ceiling with fans, well worn wood floors, brick walls and windows looking over Broadway, mounted lighting and sunken spots, pillars here and there, and an adjacent bar counter. A shelf above and behind you holds glassware, steins and old beer cans. The walls done up with brewery pub signs, mirrors, neons, metal signage, a blackboard on the far wall with bottle beer specials, and a giant 5' X 8' framed mirror on the back wall. Shirts, hats, kids bibs and wing sauces displayed here, and 10 tables in a slightly raised pen near the staircase leading to the upstairs cigar bar/lounge, with a bar holding 2 dozen taps.

Access to a rear room just past the looking glass. The "L" shaped bar seats a dozen, glassware and booze hanging upside down above, and shelved on the bar back. 2 dozen taps in a single row on the barback. English pubby bar with an airplane propeller mounted on its overhang and lined with coasters. An adjacent bar counter with space for a dozen below stucco walls, a blackboard listing the tap selections, a De Dolle Randy Oer Bier portrait, and Sam Smith prints. Lighting on the ceiling fans on the old pressed tin ceiling above. And out the back side to a rear rear room. 5 dart boards in a row on the far wall running its length. Faux bindings packing bookshelves below and on the opposite wall, a mounted Yak's head, a wooden Indian, a cigar display, animal skulls, and "Max's" barrel heads above.

A side room holds a single pool table and Phil's golf game (complete). A bar counter runs the far wall, a showcase on the opposite wall displays 8 years of Gales Prize Old Ale & JW Lees Harvest Ale vintages, and a nice collection of tap handles wrapping around the border above on 3 walls.

An absurd selection of taps, roughly half of them micros, local and Mid Atlantic/NorthEast regional (Brewer's Art, Heavy Seas, Wild Goose, DogFishHead, Southern Tier, Ommegang, Brooklyn, Blue Point, Southampton, Magic Hat, Smuttynose, Cape Ann, Harpoon, Sam Adams, Troegs, Victory, Weyerbacher) and beyond (Oskar Blues, Avery, Flying Dog, Great Divide, Rogue, Sierra Nevada). The remainder being imports, some interesting (Samichlaus, Liefman's Kriek, Peche Mortel, Hoblon Chouffe, Witkap Pater Single), and some of the usual import suspects, and even a handful of macros.

And an equally ridiculous bottled collection. The list holds 200 and change, roughly 1/3 of them US micro, another 1/3 Belgian and German, and the rest English, various beers of the world, maltos, meads and Champagne Bieres. Also another 40 big bottles (mostly Belgian and US), and 2 dozen special reserve selections, primarily vintage JW Lees, Gales, A. Les Coq, Thomas Hardy, Fullers, Sinebrychoff, etc.

They let us try a little of this and that, service was attentive, beers were clean and fresh. Simply outstanding. I believe it was EyeDrinkAleOutOfASmallRefidgeratorInTheBackOfMyCar who said "Yeah, I think Max's is the best beer bar in the North East, definitely one of my top 5 in America". Second time he's been right about something in a month's time.

 4,881 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Resuin
4.01/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Spoda1983
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of ZEB89
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of FSUlaw-and-brew
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Went to Max's 4 nights in a row when I was visting.
The vibe was great, looks similar to a college style bar, but you know its a serious beer bar
quality was on par with some of the best bars I've ever been to, 102 taps plus hundred and hundreds of beers in the bottle, that you can take with. When I was there they had one bottle of Madagascar left. Service was also awesome, they never let a glass of water or beer get close to empty, and the last night I came, three bartenders said hello, shook my hand, all remembered my name, and one started a tab for me immediately, with first and last name. Awesome place, if I could come back to Maryland just for Max's I would.

 672 characters

Photo of Fpscheler
5/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Tomkob11
4.51/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Lettsgo3
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great place with great beers. Their rare and obscure menu is awesome when it comes around. Highly recommend checking this place out! If I lived closer I would definitely be a regular.

 183 characters

Photo of Hitchcock
4.64/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.64/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Budlum
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of cheggly
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of MikeTucker
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of JamLand
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.25

Fairly typical bar vibe, in a chill part of Baltimore, near the water.

Service was decent, but nothing special.

Selection was very good, they had Lunch on tap while we were there.

Food was below average. I wouldn't eat here unless you had to.

Overall, good spot. One of, if not the most famous craft beer bar in Baltimore. However, their prices reflect they know this. It was expensive even compared to the rest of Maryland and DC. I would still recommend stopping by if you have a chance. More than likely they'll have something you're going to want to try.

 562 characters

Photo of elkinbrown
3.81/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of mothman
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of JerryP
3.18/5  rDev -28.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

OK, service lacked personality for such a highly rated place. Lots of choices but the beers on tap just didn't suit my tastes. No waitstaff so you have to order throught the bartender. Not a problem for us since it wasn't busy but tough if it were busier

 257 characters

Photo of Barracudas
4/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of BeanWolf
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 1.25

Best beer bar in Baltimore by miles, second best in the whole metro area after ChurchKey. All 100+ taps are available as 4oz samples, love this, and the 800+ bottles are available to go.. many at reasonable prices (maybe 10% over retail?). I landed a few small whales/walruses here. The tap list is loaded with unusal and hard to find offerings. My only complaint is the food is absolute dog food, the only edible thing on the menu is the guacamole (actually it is excellent) but for 10 bucks you get a tiny portion. But, who cares....drink 2 flights, walk to Taqueria Sinola eat 3 tacos, back to Max's for another flight, go to Pitango for a macchiato, go for a walk and grab dinner to sober up.

 697 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Thank goodness for the complimentary Charm City Circulator! It doesn't look far from the Inner Harbor on a map, but after walking around Baltimore all day, any way to cut out walking was a bonus. We were dropped off a few blocks west, walking eastwards, and we pop upon a neighborhood with a Bohemian flavor. Lots of bars around, and easy to identify at the corner was Max's Taphouse. A quick ID check at the door soon led me to a haven of different beer.

Max's Taphouse feels like it belongs in this neighborhood. Lots of people inside this relatively large taphouse, a long bar with a high number of taps and bottles scattered throughout. Paper beer menus were scattered around the place, and eventually I found one. The draft menu lists the beer name, style, and alcohol percentage (but no price!). You have to really push yourself between patrons at the bar to grab a drink, but luckily finding a bartender is easy to come.

Too many different containers of beer to account for, well over 100 taps (albeit over different 70 tap beers per their beer menu), plus 4 casks! In my experience, only Brussels' Delirium Cafe can beat Max's in terms of numbers. But despite the high numbers, there are many interesting and high quality options to be found. Not only the options, but different pieces of glassware utilized, proper temperature, and untainted taplines show that Max's cares for their beers. As for names, I stumbled upon beers from D'Achouffe, Against the Grain, DuClaw, Amargar, Allagash, Green Bench, Laughing Dog, Mikkeller, Union, Stillwater, Thornbridge, and a lot more.

For options galore, Max's Taphouse is an absolute must see! I would have loved to stay for more than two beers, but I wasn't going to bore my non-beer drinking brother who was with me.

 1,774 characters

Photo of hjspencer94
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of JArt
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.73/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

In Baltimore, it's Maxs... Then everywhere else. Without a doubt the largest craft beer selection. As others have said, the food is okay. But if you're looking for the largest selection of beer around, Maxs is your place.

 221 characters

Photo of Big_V
4.95/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

V- cool atmosphere. Pub style where you kinda seat yourself.
Q- this is a MUST to visit for beer advocates like myself.
S- excellent service, our bartender knew his stuff and some great recommendations for us. He gave us 2 free bombers upon leaving.
S- over 100 tap selections and great bottles, many not able to get without trading. I was able to get Jester King and Grimm.
F- typical bar food but it was unique and excellent. Suggest the drunken wings marinaded in Guiness stout. The wifey had the mussels which were excellent.

 530 characters

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Visited on our 19th wedding anniversary. Great, great selection!

64 characters

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Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
98 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.