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Max's Taphouse

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

226 Ratings
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
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

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tigerpaws
4.22/5  rDev -6%

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.

tigerpaws, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of filthyphil
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

Max's was the first real tap house that i had ever been in. And, i would have to say that it is still one of the best. The selection is incredible, they have sufficient beer options in all beer styles, they range from cheap domestics to the ridiculously expensive vintage bottles that i have to work 14 hours to pay for. Bottom line because of the excellent service, fantastic selection and descent food. Max's isn't just the best beer bar in the bar rich fells point area. BUt maybe all of baltimore!

filthyphil, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of Pencible
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

If you're in the Baltimore area, you've got to check out Max's. There's nothing too special about the atmosphere, and it can definitely get a little crowded on weekends. Food is good, but nothing too memorable. But their beer selection is absolutely fantastic, which truly makes Max's mark on the map.

They have well over 100 beers you can choose from, with over 20 of them on draft. If you venture upstairs to their lounge area, they have a beer cellar where you can buy aged beers (for a hefty price). But if you have $50 to spare, why not indulge yourself with a 20 year old Harvest Ale?

Pencible, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Fish113d
4/5  rDev -10.9%

My wife and I hit this place late in the evening over the weekend on a visit to Charm City. Walking in, I could tell that this was a prime spot, and the mass of people inside showed it's popularity. However, considering the mass of taps on the wall, on the bar, and behind the bar, I still saw many people drinking Coors Lite, Miller Lite, and mixed drinks, which I found "interesting" (not the word I want to use honestly). I ordered a triple belgian stout that I knew absolutely nothing about that was about 12% abv. My wife ordered a pumpkin ale from a small brewery out west that I can't remember the name of.

Because of the mass of patrons, service was a bit lower than hoped for, but I'm sure this place would be wonderful during the day when I can actually sit down and THINK about what I really want to order instead of ordering something just because the barkeep wants to get my drink to run to someone else quickly.

I'd definitely like to go back, but just not while all the Miller Lite drinkers (partiers) are all there. However, the ladies were definitely not a low point as the place was loaded with ready and waiting females.

Fish113d, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of danadeny
4.4/5  rDev -2%

This has to be the best beer bar in Baltimore based on the 166 tap selection alone. Add to that a huge bottle list, and then bartenders who are pretty well educated about beer and are not snobs about it is a winning formula. The atmosphere is a kick ass sports bar feel with a long bar, tables, pool and some video game action. TV's are everywhere so if you want to catch the game and some great beers this is the place to go. All of the beers I have had on draft and bottle have been in good shape. The service is good and knowledgeable. The bottle variety is good; I found some rare beers that were impossible to find when I lived in Boston. The food I had was typical bar food. I only sampled some appetizers, so I can't speak for the main menu. If you are in Baltimore, this is a must visit.

danadeny, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

A great East coast (and Baltimore/Maryland) beer institution.

Tons of taps, lots of Belgian offerings, deep roster of bottles, couldn't ask for more from a beer place. Draught beers rotate continuously. Tasters are available for a small price.

Nice location near the harbor in Fell's Point, slightly tricky parking in the area but you can almost park right in front at times if you time it right.

Nice 2nd story second bar upstairs I wish was open more. Dart room. The one legit knock on Max's is the vibe, it's real run down and oddly lit. But it's also inviting in a way, very casual and relaxed feel.

There are few better places in the Mid Atlantic if you're serious about craft beer. A must-stop during the Belgian Beer Fest every late winter/early spring.

USCTrojanBrian, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of sholland119
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

A killer bar in the Fells Point section of Baltimore.

The bar has a very good atmosphere, a bit of a sports bar vibe but still very welcoming.

Quality and selection in this place are beyond amazing! 50, 60, 70 tap? I could not count that high by the end of the night. Little or no crap in the tap list either. Local taps, national craft beers from across the country. The bottle list was similarly insane. Easily a couple of hundred bottles, again all high quality.

Bartenders are outgoing and knowledgeable. You don't need to be a regular to feel right at home.

Food was good.

Can't wait to go back.

HV

sholland119, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of lessthanhadley
5/5  rDev +11.4%

This is my first review but decided I should give it a go after being asked to by my bartender. Truly one of the better beer bars I have ever been to, this coming from a guy from Philly. The selection is great, and the staff was one of the more knowledgeable I have ever seen. We discussed different styles of brews, particular beers, and was even recommended nearby diner locations for my girlfriend and myself. The one we chose being phenomenal. I cannot say enough good things about my experiences with the staff.

lessthanhadley, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of countmeoutt
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%

Stopped by here on a trip to an O's game with my wife and friends this past weekend. It has a great atmosphere and is just plain cool. They have a large assortment of tap handles on the wall for decoration..I'm assuming most are past beers they have carried. To the left there are some tables and it looks like there is an upstairs though i didn't make it up there.It wasn't too crowded when I arrived and we found a bar seat easily. Definitely the largest and most obscure tap selection I've seen in the Baltimore area. For instant they had Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale,Rogue Imperial Porter and a host of others that I rarely or never see on tap. They also have a lot of bottles.. hundreds I'm sure, I'm not too positive because I never saw a beer list. The only thing I was less than pleased about was the bartender giving me a Stone IPA and a Franziskaner when I asked for a Green Flash West Coast IPA and a Southern Tier Heavy Weizen..but I'm not one to complain and it was kinda loud in there so he could have just misunderstood me.

After the Stone i finally got my Green Flash and my wife ordered up a Heavy Seas Loose Cannon. I really, really liked this place as I've been meaning to get here for years and I'll be coming back every time I drive down to Maryland.

countmeoutt, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of Burt
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

Max's Taphouse was awesome. Was lucky enough to catch the Red Sox playing this week and Max's had there 2nd Annual American Craft Beer Fest.

A. Nice wooden bar that had old labels of beer bottles that were polyurethaned in, bunch of tables to sit and eat, lots of coolers with full view of beers from all over, too many to list. Couple of nice TV's, typical hard liquor set. Pool table, Golden Tee 08 were together, in that area they had old tap heads that went around the room, way to many to list. A dart room, that had 25 drafts that was not in use. Also had a room/cigar shop that you could bring in a beer and have a smoke. Late eighties to nineties rock playing in the background.

Q. All the beer was fresh and served in the right glassware.

S. Bartenders were knowledgeable and eager to serve.

S. Not sure if they carry all these great draft selections year round but we had stuff that is almost impossible the get here in RI. Some that drafts that come to mind were Dogfish Head's 120, WWS, Fort, Red and White, Pala Santo Marron, Rouges Double Dead Guy, Victory V12 (on the way down we stopped at Victory Brewery and they did not have the V12 on tap), Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, too many to list.

F. Did not have anything to eat while we were there but I did see some of the plates and they looked good.

V. Prices were good

I would like to see the selection is after the beer fest, but I was spoiled rotten with what they had.

Burt, May 16, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4.58/5  rDev +2%

This is a great, great beer bar in the downtown fell's point neighberhood in Baltimore city, MD. Atmosphere is cool, this place is BIG with a LONG light wooden bar stretching accross the perimeter and a games/billiards room in the back. Quality is very high, as was service with the bartender being very knowledgable and friendly. Of note, is the fact that as of 12/07 you can still smoke inside, great for me as a smoker, not so great for some other BA's I am sure. Selection is one of the best that I have ever seen at an east coast beer bar, especially the bottled list which had a tone of rare northern european beers as well as a great mix of rarities from the east coast and mid west. I had a samicalus helles bottle, and two hopdevils on draft on my last visist. A great place to go in Baltimore.

francisweizen, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of sinistrsam
3.55/5  rDev -20.9%

I had lunch and a few beers with my girlfriend on a Saturday afternoon. We beat the rush, but by the time we left it was pretty crowded.
Max's sits in a prime location and is an excellent physical space; cool bar with huge glass-fronted coolers which allow you to see almost everything they have, and they have a lot.
Unfortuntaely, it took me 15 minutes (literally) of standing at the bar to eevn see a menu, and I was one of a dozen people in the place; the one bartender was talking to a patron casually at the one end of the bar, while the other bartender was slowly cleaning glassware. Althogh I know both of them saw me, I finally had to wedge myself between 2 people at one end of the bar to get the guys attention. My next big problem was that they didn't have an inventory list of the beers in the coolers; I was told it was due to a belgian fest they ahd a few weeks back, but the problem began when it got crowded and you had to lean between 2 people and stare at the coolers to find something you want. NO garuntees you could even see some of the stuff they had, and if it was behind another bottle, you're SOL.
The food was good and the beers I did get were fine, but the service really disapointed me. I would definitely go back, and see for sure if this was how thigns usually are, or if this was a fluke.

sinistrsam, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of gus
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

Attended the Belgium Beer Fest. Lets say i will be attending next years fest also. The bar was packed on the saterday of the fest, the beer was excellent. I tried as many as possible, and all were great. The food was pretty good and went along with beer, alot of cheeses and an excellent ham sandwich. Atmosphere of the bare was excellent i met so many other people who just wanted to drink good beer and hang out. I would like to come back on a regular weekend and i am sure with out the same amount of people the place would still be an excellent beer bar. The service for the fest was pretty good considering the total number of people. And the prices for the beers that were consumded was not bad. I would reccommend Max's for anyone visiting Baltimore.

gus, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.4/5  rDev -2%

Max's Belgian Beer Festival, what a great time to belly up to the bar. My observations are based on the goings-on during the festival and may not be indicative of a normal day at Max's.

Atmosphere: A crowd of 20-25 people greeted my wife and I at 10:45 on Friday morning. All beer geeks jazzed up for some awesome Belgians. The bar itself was long and wooden, immeasurable tap handles dotted it and the wall behind the bar. Great place. And did I mention that it is smoke-free?

Quality: The 4 hours spent at the bar were met with nothing less than great service, good food, and great beer.

Service: The bartenders were quite attentive (they had to be, the place was jampacked at 3PM when we left), fast to refill either samplers or full chalices. They get kudos for having to tend to so many of us.

Selection: 100 taps! That is not a type, 100 taps adorned the bar and wall. All Belgian, some of which I've never seen or heard of before. Coolers full of bottles were present, stocked with a nice array of Belgian and American offerings. The big winners of the day were Ommegang's Saison de Gewurz and Les 3 Fourquet's La Fourquette.

Food: Belgian-inspired offerings abounded. We went through a cheese plate, jambon and chicken sandwiches and lots of frites. Delicious.

We spent a nice chunk of change but the experience was well worth it.

akorsak, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of SusurusIgnoramus
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

I was here for the Belgian Fest last weekend so I realize that my experience there may not be typical of other days. The bar was already crowded when we arrived at about 12:30. We snaked our way back trying to find a place to sit, and settled on a few bars stools in a corner by the women's bathroom. This turned out to be a good call, because it wasn't as crowded as it was closer to the bar, and we could see whether the line to order was long or not.

The selection of Belgians was phenomenal. I regret only that my consititution was stronger so I could have tried more. I didn't get a great feel of the atmosphere because of the crowds, but I enjoyed the many beer-related sayings on the walls (eg. "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria") and the extensive collection of tap handles.

I wouldn't go there regularly only because of the hour and a half plus drive, but I would like to go back at least once in the near future to see what their regular selection is.

I would definitely recomend this place to Baltimorians though.

SusurusIgnoramus, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +2%

How is it that I have been to Max's several times now and have failed to review it yet? I think it must be the abundance of phenomenal beer makes self control difficult and therefore I have a recovery period after each visit by which point it is no longer top of mind. What a GREAT establishment. Most recently I visited during Max's 4th annual Belgian Beer Fest. OK so maybe they don't always have 73 Belgian Beers on tap but it is ALWAYS a fantastic selection. The new dart room and the expansion upstairs makes the place even more spacious but there has always been plenty of people at every time I have been there. The food is decent for pub and the service is knowledgeable. A must see when in Baltimore. Hope this is Helpful. Cheers!

Phatz, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of helmet
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

Hit this place on a bar crawl and never came out. What a selection of beers. Bartenders were very helpful and knowledgeable with the beers on tap and what was in bottles. Started out with the low abvs up to the high octane ones. Had to get off the bar stool and walk around the place. Never made it upstairs though, my second trip I will. Never felt it was crowed, since the downstairs seem to go on for ever. Had to get some food in me and the food was good as well. Server was topnotch, beer glass was never empty for more than 5 mins. Can not wait to go back down to Charm City again and visit Max's.

helmet, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Asher1982
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%

The first time I was here was for the Belgian Beer Festival in 2007. It was probably the greatest time I have ever had sitting in a barstool for 7 hours, if not the only time. I returned again several months later to find that their beer selection, both on tap and bottled, was still insane and full of a lot of the awesome Belgians I had tried previously, but with plenty of other micros and imports to satisfy my taste for something new.  The atmosphere in this place is very chill mixed with a little bit of crazy.  I don't know if it's because of the sixty-some tap handles and the hundred-some bottles that makes me think the place is awesome, or if it's because of the people on both sides of the bar that makes me think it's awesome.  All I know is that I always look forward to taking a trip to Baltimore. All the bartenders I have encountered here have a great knowledge of beer and will take time to help you make a selection that you will be more than happy with. But, I have to say that Jamie is my boy. He took care of me and my friends both times I was there. I can't wait to kick it with him again at the 2008 Belgian Beer Festival.

Asher1982, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +2%

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.

slander, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of counterpart9
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Hey, if you want choices, hit up Max's. The bar is in a great area- fells point and inside the bar is clean and well taken care of. They give excellent service with bartender's that have excellent knowledge on most beers they offer. They provided water without asking, and the bartender Jamie was great. It's plenty big and everywhere you look there are beer handles waiting to be used. I haven't explored their food menu much yet, but plan to in the near future. Their prices are what you woud expect to pay for some very hard to find beer's. While there I picked up a Pannepot and a 2005 Thomas Hardy to go for under 15 bucks. A good time to be had by all.

counterpart9, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of sketchcornwell
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%

This place is great. A layed back atmosphere with a realy cool looking bar and tap area. Very large and pletty of room for seating. The beer selection here is fantastic. A bunch of great belgians on tap and an even greater selection of bottle beers. The service was outsatnding as well. All three of the bartenders know everything we wanted to know about beer. The were very helpful in selectiong some to try both there and to go. I didn't try the food but the menu looked good. Reasonable prices for what you are able to get. To go beer was sold for closer to liquor store prices then at the sticker price for the bar.
They also have a celler of some rare aged beers.
I will deffinitly be going back here next time I am in Baltimre.

sketchcornwell, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of Rootdog316
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

A great place to go, probably one of the best in the Baltimore/Fells Point area to find mass amounts of craft brews. The service was tremendous...not only was the bartender gorgeous, but she really know her stuff. In fact, all of the bartenders there had a great amount of knowledge on all the beers. It was a great experience, and the next time I am in the area I plan on stopping by again. Below are some of the beers they have available.

Chimay White, Brewers Art Resurrection, Lindeman's Frambois, Franziskaner Dunkel Weisse, Dupont Foret, Winters Bourbon Cask Ale, Victory Storm King, Theakston Old Peculier, Saison De Pipaix 2004, Redstone Sunshine Nectar, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Marsedous 8, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Grimbergen Tripel, Corsendonk Abbey Pale, Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2003, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, Aventinus Weizenbock.

Rootdog316, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of binkman
3.45/5  rDev -23.2%

$20 for two beers and a burger. Not a great value. The place was too loud for my taste. The beer selection is the best in Baltimore but that isn't saying much. It's meant to seem like a very yuppy bar with lots of taps but everyone there was drinking a domestic that they could have picked up in a bottle at a 7-11. Selection was okay, service was fine, but the atmosphere was annoying. They also seemed to be out of about half their imports on tap at 7pm on a Saturday night. It didn't seem that they were selling that fast, but simply that no-one was ordering so they weren't bothering to replace them.

binkman, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of shertz
3.28/5  rDev -26.9%

Arrived here on a trip to Baltimore with other BA's. The place wan't busy but the bartender's acted like they were and were not real pleasant. So I gave the service a 2.0. The selection is great, better than I have here in Lancaster, Pa. The place was smokey and kind of sports-bar type. Not my kind of beer establishment. I'd rather have Brewer's Art type atmosphere. Overall, if I want to try a certain beer I would go here. However, if I want some good beer and conversation, I'd go elsewhere.
Cheers, Scott

shertz, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev -2%

I have been coming to Max's for about 10 years and had the chance to stop in for a few beers when the LBC recently hosted a pub crawl to Baltimore. I find the atmosphere to be good but depending on the day/time of day can be a tad obnoxious. It can ge super-crowded and the ability to choose several areas to relax in is a plus.

I have always considered the selection and quality at Max's to be top-notch. You can get many bottles and drafts that other places just don't carry, like Pannepot. I enjoyed the food almost every time I have been there which is basically bar food or a notch above. I find the service to be very good considering the location draws a unique blend of patrons. They usually know what to suggest or at least give you friendly service. I find the experience at Max's to be overall above average and reasonably priced.

Slatetank, Oct 02, 2007
Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
99 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.