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Max's Taphouse

Not Rated.
Max's TaphouseMax's Taphouse
BA SCORE
99
world-class

239 Ratings
Ratings: 239
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: n/a
Taps: 145
Bottles: 1,200
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

737 S Broadway
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231-3407
United States
phone: (888) 675-6297

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @maxstaphouse

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Visited here on a recent trip to Baltimore.

Really enjoyed my evening at Max's.. About 50 or so beers on tap and an insane bottle collection. All of the usual suspects from the craft world and some regional gems. Good foreign beer collection. (England, Germany, Belgium etc)

The atmosphere is slightly above a dive bar. You can tell the place has been around for a while. Has a lot of character and loads of characters at the bar. Seems like there are many regulars at the bar. Really love the neighborhood and the location.

Service is friendly, yet a little rushed. The first beer that I was served is one that I did NOT order. The bartender was so busy talking he confused himself. Luckily it was one that my buddy wanted to drink. So I moved on and it did not go to waste.

This is a place to go for the beer and not the food. Typical pub fare and nothing special. We had some wings and also a couple of sandwiches. Average at best. Don't let this keep you away, just eat somewhere else first.

I will definitely go back on my next trip to Baltimore.

Knowledgably staff and good selection are the strengths...

Photo of drabmuh
4.16/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Went up to visit a friend in Baltimore and had to stop by this place. Bonus, we got to watch the UF game (12 - 0). Bonus. There were about 70 taps (impressive) and really no crap on tap. There were a couple of questionable beers on draft but overall a great selection.

The bar feels a little like a sports bar, which is fine. Lots of wood, lots of TVs, seating at the bar and at tables. Several rooms, a pool table, we sat for several minutes before I decided that we probably had to order at the bar. The bar tender asked me my name and then remembered it all night, I was impressed and she was attentive and filled my orders without any problems.

I ordered beers on draft and no bottles but after my second beer I asked for a bottle menu and this is where I got really impressed. Not only were there a lot of bottles (100s of bottles) there were really rare and really expensive beers. If I lived in Baltimore I would be there all the time wasting my paychecks.

No one in my party ordered food so I won't comment except to say that there was food there.

Overall, table service would be nice, maybe prices on the draft menu (there were prices on the bottle menu) but for a beer bar it was a good place with great selection. There was also a full bar, usually this annoys me but I didn't see anyone really ordering liquor.

Photo of bbeane
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Atmosphere- In a nice happening part of town. Walked in on a Saturday, mid to late afternoon... very busy. Loud, well lit and seemed to be a very upbeat establishment. Lots of TV's, neons, other beer signage. We were there for a pretty extended amount of time, and found that every person we talked to were super friendly... and many were very beer knowledgeable

Quality- Pretty nice. My only observation was that the bathroom smelled a bit like a porta-potty, though my girlfriend said the women's bathroom was fine

Service- This threw me off a bit... We got into the bar, found a table with a few dirty glasses on it, and sat and waited a bit... no waitress. Gotta pretty much get your own beers and order your food at the bar and a server will bring it to you when it's ready. Food seemed to come pretty quickly though dirty glasses seemed to pile up a bit along with the 2 dirty glasses that were there from before we got there

Selection- Beer selection was absolutely phenominal... draft and bottles

Food- Not a super huge selection, though I think anybody could find something they would like. Thought the food was a bit expensive, though it was all very tasty (chips and salsa... $5.50, ceasar/portabella mushroom wrap... $9.50, dozen wings... $9.50)

All in all, a very great experience and definately worth the visit... will go back.

CHEERS!!

Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

A tremendous beer classic in Baltimore's Fell's Point neighborhood. Enormous draft selection, very diverse, and nicely taken care of, with decent pub food, and atmosphere.

After many visits to Baltimore I was still very much looking forward to a chance to visit Max's, and three of us finally could make it on a weekday around lunch time.

The place was unsurprisingly very quiet, with almost a single bartender taken care of the whole main space peppered by a few patrons. His service was good and pleasing. We were entertained by the draft list that he promptly offered, and requested little help after that.

The selection was very impressive and diverse, including three brews on cask. 70+ beers on tap as per the print-out list of the day. All the things we tried around the table felt rather fresh and stimulating with some highlights. For me, and without a doubt... I'm still in awe remembering the cask Lagunitas Lucky 13. The bottle selection looking at what was held behind the bar, and some other locations with vintage old ales, and barleywines seemed also rather enticing, full of classics, and very diverse.

The food was adequate pub fare, but nothing memorable, it did the trick to support the session nicely and without much pretense. Likewise, it felt like a large beer pub, good to spend some time with friends around quality brews. All in all, an absolute must if one is into craft beer and setting foot in Baltimore. I'll be back...

Photo of InspectorBob
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went to Baltimore for a conference and I said to my buddy, we must go to Max's Taphouse. Let me tell you, after hearing so much about this place, it lived up to all the hype. I never saw so much beer in one place. DFH 120 on tap, are you kidding me! They had to have close to 200 bottles of brew in the refrigerators behind the bar, maybe 40-50 taps? We arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon, so we had the place much to ourselves, and we started drinking. Allagash,Duvel Red,Green on tap, Stone 13 Anny on tap, Ruination, I could go on and on. Had a big plate of mussels which were awesome. Five hours later we left, totally beered out. Good thing we took a cab.. I'm kicking myself in the ass for leaving the tap and bottle list on the bar when we left, so I can't remember everything the two of us drank. All I can say, if you go to Baltimore, this is a must stop if you love beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.94/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I made my first trip to Max's (and Baltimore) this past week (10/16/09). I have to say that their beer selection is just incredible (both on tap and bottles)! I didn't have any problems finding quite a few brews I wanted to try. Any place that has Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA on tap is fine with me! All the beer I had was served in its proper glassware, too. Prices seemed fair. The service at Max's was also really good. It wasn't crowded when I got there, but by the time I left they had quite a crowd in there and the bartenders still did a great job when it was time to place my order for another beer. They were all knowledgable about beer and were cool to talk to. I didn't have any food there so I can't say how that was. The people there were all pretty nice, and I met some cool BA's there too. All in all I thought it was a great place to hang out and have some excellent brews, I recommend Max's to anyone who either lives in the area or was visiting from out of town like me. I'll definitely be going to Max's again on my next trip to Baltimore!

Photo of Zeisloft
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I visit Max's quite a bit, for the reason of drinking beer. On the weekends it can get crowded, which may lead to a wait for your beer, but the beer is worth it. The ever changing selection allows for your choice, or just ask the bartender to grab you one of any certain style. Most of the bartenders know what is going on and can help you though the beer. The food is ok, very edible, but it is bar food. They have no waitresses, so that can get old, but it also makes it so you aren't dodging or bumping into them. The best time to come is in the afternoon, grab a stool and enjoy the brew. With tables outside, it makes a beautiful afternoon even better.

Photo of qchic
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Just another glowing review for Max's...

I visit semi-regularly for the stellar lineup of draft beers and enjoy taking in the view of all the bottled offerings behind the bar downstairs and upstairs in the lounge. Can't imagine ever being disappointed with the selection, and beers are always served in appropriate glassware. The experienced bartenders know what they're doing and aim to please as long as you don't come in acting like an arse. Weekend nights are full of light beer drinkers, so I suggest visiting on tamer weeknights to relax and appreciate this place. Some might complain about the lack of table service, but I'm pretty self reliant, so def not a problem for me. Cool fests throughout the year are becoming increasingly popular, and cool opportunities to sample the various offerings that Casey wrangles (don't know how he does it!). I prefer to eat elsewhere but the short menu could provides ok bar food in a pinch. A landmark in the craft beer world that one should visit when in Baltimore.

Photo of thain709
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I wasn't even trying to find this place in Baltimore...but I saw all the tap handles hanging in the window and I was intrigued. What a place. I loved how they used the tap handles for decorations.

Speaking of tap handles...there were about 70+ working handles...plus 3 casks I believe. The selection is unbelievable in both the tap list and bottle list. The bottles line almost the entire back wall.

I was able to try Heavy Seas Big DIPA (they also had it on cask). It was very fresh and served to me promptly. The service was very good for how busy it was. The bar was full...tables all but full...and people standing around.

There's not much else to say that already hasn't been mentioned. The bottom line is...visit Max's when in Baltimore (I know I'll be back!)

*UPDATE: Well, I returned. This time we were able to try some food. The wings (ten in an order) were a nice size, not too saucy, and had a nice crunch to them. The cheesesteak quesadilla was big enough for two people to share (there could have been a little more cheese though!). Everything came out together and it didn't take more than 15 minutes.

Photo of alleykatking
4.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped off here while I was in Baltimore. Nice looking hole in the wall bar on the outside with a massive suprise on the inside. Behind the bar it's just loaded with beer beer and more beer. More handles than I have fingers many times over. Bartenders were very nice and prompt. I drank some Wild Devil on tap and Hop Wallop out of a cask. This place was a nice treat. Wish I could have spent more time here but I had to run. Friendly enviroment and I can tell this is the place to be on the weekends. My next stop out this way will surely bring back to here again and again. Would recommend to anyone from out of town that wants to find a place for good beer.

Photo of morebeergood
4.14/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Second stop on our Baltimore pub crawl. After a great crab dinner near Litte Italy, we made our way over to Fell's Point. This was where I wanted to start the evening. Very comfortable feeling inside. Looks like a great beer bar, but also has a laid back dive-bar vibe to it. Loved sitting at the bar and having all the beers displayed in front of you in the coolers. We were served as soon as we sat down, and checked on regularly. Bartender even took the time to explain to us Northerners who "Natty Boh" was. Nice. Selection was crazy. Tons of beers on tap and in bottles. I found an Allagash beer that I haven't even seen on tap in New England. The smoked Burnham Road was served in a fat goblet glass. Very tasty. I can see why this bar is a must-see if visiting Baltimore.

Photo of beertravel
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This was our first visit to Max's. It was a hot and humid day and our walk from the Harbor really worked up a thirst. Upon arriving we were blown away by the selection. I would not find most of these beers in SNJ! We enjoyed several new beers to my list and had a very filling lunch. The food was quite good and lots of it. We could not eat it all and took the rest with us. The bartender was very attentive and ran up and down the bar stopping and talking to each group. We'll have to return again when we can stay over and enjoy more of their selections! Looks like a Fall road trip to me!

Photo of jgasparine
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I have lived in Baltimore for 12 years now, and it took me a few years before I discovered the Tuesday Beer Social at Max's... absolutely brilliant!

The selection is unparalleled here, and I have NEVER said to myself "when's the last time they cleaned the draught lines?". Everything tastes fresh, it's always served in a clean and appropriate glass, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable.

The crowd is more beer-centric on a weeknight... you'll see more people drinking Miller-Lite on a weekend...

The food is good- gets the job done. Pricing is fair - I mean, you get what you pay for. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone visit Max's if they're in Baltimore- ask for Casey (the Cellarman).

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Went to Max's this weekend as part of a bar crawl. Probably the 4th time I have been there. Atmosphere is good & the overall space is interesting & much bigger than it appears. It gets crowded at times & I am glad B-more is now smoke free. Outstanding beer selection and quality. I have been to events at Max's (Belgian beer fest) & the beer is just as good on a random day. Service is good especially since they are busy. I have never eaten there since John Stevens is around the corner. Prices are reasonable considering the quality of the brew.

Highly recommended.

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Visited a few weekends ago. I was in Baltimore for the weekend and had to visit this place on both Friday and Saturday nights. What a great selection and very eclectic. They had a good variety on their 80 tap head and too many bottles to even make a decision. Service was good both nights. Didn't try the food. If I recall, the prices weren't all that bad either.
The second night my buddy won a Leine's boat and case of beer which was just the icing on the cake.
I will definitely visit again next time in Baltimore.

Photo of pjt34122
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

We hit this place every year in and around May. The selection is unbelievable, 80 on tap and over 800 in bottles. They have a menu for tap beer and a separate for bottle beer. The first time I have ever sampled Rouge's Double Dead Guy, was in this place, and I can safely say that it may be the finest ale I have ever drank. I can say that I have never had a bad beer in this place. Happy hour kicks ass, $6 for 32 oz beers on tap, with the exception of stouts, which come in a chalice. This is a good place to start a day of beer drinking and to end a good day. I can't remember eating food here, but that isn't to say that it isn't good. Far too many beers to try, to even think about food. I would recommend this place to anyone, even my worst enemy.

Photo of mltobin
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Max`s Taphouse on S. Broadway in Baltimore is most certainly the best beer bar in the city. I recall about 30 beers on tap. In addition, they have a wide variety in bottles, say another 40-50. Their tap selection included offerings from Southern Tier, Cantillon, Corsedonk, Fullers, McChouffe, etc. The bottle selection is similar variety of american craft beer, belgians, and other great selections from abroad. Their prices are fair and the crowds can swell on the weekend evenings. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable in their offerings. Would go back to gain in a heartbeat when I make it to Baltimore again.

Photo of Spacegrass
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Ah, Max's. If you want the largest selection of beer in the area this is it. You will always find something new at Max's. The staff is usually very good despite the massive crowds that can appear at times. I will never stop going to Max's but I definitely suggest going during non-peak hours. It can get very crowded and full of people who are just out to get f-ed up on cheap beer and be loud. I'd rather drink a few high alcohol beers and go to a Slayer concert if I wanted a real drunken loud experience. A word of advice if it's packed: order a beer downstairs then go upstairs. It's usually less crowded, but the bar up there doesn't have much selection.

Regardless, you can't pass up Max's. The tap selection is unbeatable and they often get many rare beers. It's great to have to spend 5 minutes staring at a beer menu, just to take it all in before ordering.

The food is good here too. I've had a number of things to eat but the nachos are always a sure-fire bet -- and I'm not usually a nachos guy. Just make sure you have a friend or two to split them with.

Well worth the visit.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Max's is great. It rotates about 60+ taps and often has special events such as "Belgina Beer Fest" and "American Beer Fest", which means lots of great shit including casks.

The beer is always served in appropriate glassware and is usually a good pour. The staff works like crazy to get everyone their drink fast.

For a bar in Baltimore, Max's is very big, but the fact that it's always full during peak hours is a bit of a turn off (especially the fucks that go to a beer bar and order Miller Light).

However, the music is always WAAAY too loud. Conversations are nearly impossible.

Photo of iNHaze
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great bar that manages to cater to the regular 'goin' out and drinkin at happy hour' crowd and the craft beer lover alike. Max's really pulls in the feel of baltimore, with a lot of wood and paneling and low lighting. Very turn of the century.

Every beer I've ever had here has been served properly and in excellent condition. Service is almost always fast, and they all seem to know what they're talking about when it comes to beer.

The selection is incredible - 80 rotating drafts and a ridiculously huge selection of bottles, and often they'll even have some awesome cask beers too.

As far as food, I've only ever tried the nachos, which were on the high side of good, but everything I've seen other people get smells and looks delicious. Definitely not the cheapest bar in baltimore, but I imagine the costs of keeping so much quality stock can be rather high, so I feel like it's justified, and in no way ridiculous.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Recenty got to the chance to go here while in Baltimore on business. It was quite crowded both at the bar and throughout but the service at the bar was prompt. Beer list was extensive, but there seemed to be too few of them around for the crowd. One side of letter sized paper offered the beer names and countries - but no other information about the beers was provided.

Big glass doors on the coolers behind the bar made it easy to see bottled selections, and you could make out drafts by the tap handles. Did not stay long, but enough to have two beers which came promptly. Basic pint glasses were used for both of my beers, but I saw others with correct glassware for Belgians, Hefes, etc...

Prices were reasonable (compared to what I'm use to they were actually inexpensive). The atmosphere was a good mix of older college aged mixed with those a few years removed. All in all it was a good stop with a healthy selection, prompt service, and fair prices.

Photo of kb199
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I recently moved just up the street from Max's, and have been spending quite a bit of time there. The list is, quite frankly, amazing. They've had Maharajah on tap for two weeks now, and, needless to say, I've been drinking a lot. The thing that sets Max's apart from other top notch beer bars are the waitstaff. The bartenders actually make an effort to learn your name and preferred styles, and, if you then return on a weekend (when its PACKED), they will jump you over the legions of frat boys that inhabit the tavern on weekends. Its like coming over to a friend's house and cracking open a brew or two, except that your friend has one of the most tremendous cellars ever. It doesn't hurt that their wings are good too.

Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Max's is a pretty good place to drop in and have a beer or four. And, the fact they generally have over 100 beers on tap, plus another 200 or so in bottles will make you ponder your decision long and hard. The beers are always in good shape, and served in a generally appropriate glass. The service is very good when the bar is less busy, but when packed it can be a bit tough to get to the bar and get a beer. A second option is the bar in the backroom, but then you've cut your selections down to about 12 on tap and 30 or so bottles. But to have a seat, and get served it's worth the cut as the beers there are generally very good. As already noted the volume of selection alone puts them in a different category than most beer bars. Then, they add to that by taking steps to get uncommon beers. Their festivals such as their Belgian Beer Fest really step up the range, and give you things like 5 Cantillon's to choose from on tap? They also usually have 1 or 2 beers on cask which is a find in itself. They have a basic pub style menu, and everything on it is fine. Hey, they sell beer, and the food is there to eat while your drinking so a reasonable burger at a reasonable price is fine. I do find that there pints are a little over what I pay at other venues for the same type of beers, but I do drop in and pay the premium to get the selection. If you're visiting Baltimore this is one place I would seek out you won't be disappointed, and you might be delighted at what you find on tap.

Photo of joe1510
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Of all the planned beer related stops on my recent trip back East Max's was the one I most looked forward too. A long bar runs from the door to the back of the bar with a lot of room throughout and a scattering of tables. I really enjoyed the roomy feel and look of the place. I met up with fellow BA Dyan and as I walked in he handed me their bottle and tap list menus, my eyes opened a little wider as I looked over all the goodies. Everything I sampled, and there was quite a lot that night, was in top notch shape.

The bottle list had some gems including a few Heavyweight brews. Two casks were pouring during my visit, Nugget Nectar and Sykes Old Ale, both of which were very good, the Nugget Nectar being the better of the two. The tap list had some rarities on there and was quite long. A couple Brooklyn tap only brews, Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier, and some other gems. The bartenders and beer guy, Casey, were all accommodating and knowledgeable. Both bottle and tap list were very impressive and the bar had a very laid back, relaxing vibe. I can't wait to make my way back.

Photo of tigerpaws
4.22/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

My wife and I enjoyed Max's very much on our visit. The atmosphere is nothing special or fancy, it's just a good beer bar.

We enjoyed the interaction with the bartender and he knew his stuff. The beer selection was one of the best I've seen I had a hard time deciding what to try. (I tried to many lol)

The food is typical bar fare, nothing fancy but was good. We had the wings which were very good and on the bartenders recommendation the BBQ pork nachos...wow.

I'll be going back when I visit Baltimore later this year.

Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
99 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.