Max's Taphouse

Not Rated.
Max's TaphouseMax's Taphouse
BA SCORE
97
world-class

168 Reviews
Reviews: 168
Visits: 256
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 145
Bottles: 1,200
Cask: 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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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Visits: 256
Photo of dexterk1
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I would like to start by saying this is probably the best beer bar in Baltimore. The selection of beers on draft alone is very impressive. They also go through them quickly so there seems to be no worry about dirty lines do to over doing it with the number of taps. Service was very good. I sat at the bar only and did not try the food. Quality of the selection is also excellent! It is a place to come back to again and again if in the Baltimore area. (452 characters)

Photo of Gravitron
3.64/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2

If you're going for quality and quantity of the beer itself than you can't do any better in Baltimore than Max's. Fell's Point is a drinking destination in Baltimore and in Fell's Point Max's is the place that every beer tourist ends up at. Sure, they have 140 taps. That's impressive. Go there during the day or at night on a weekday and you'll have plenty of room to check everything out. Go there on a weekend night and you'll be competing with way too many people being way too loud and asking for Miller Lite and shots. The bartenders at the front bar are kings. They know what it's all about. If you can get a seat there than you're good. Food is marginal at best. Sorry. People don't go there for the food. The soft pretzels are pretty good but hey. Basically, this place is great for beer. If you want a great bar with cool people and a nice place to just hang out than keep it movin'. (893 characters)

Photo of fortheunheard
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

07/28/2013 - this was my second visit and it was even better then when I went last year. The bartenders were all extremely knowledgable and were providing top notch service. You can easily tell that they aren't just trying to sell you tons of beers to get a better tip. The food was excellent especially the Drunken Monkey wings. All of the beers that I had we're very fresh and poured into the proper glassware. I'm a big sour fan and they were able to provide a large variety of options between the draft and bottle lists. Overall I would recommend this bar to anyone who visits Baltimore and loves amazing beer. (614 characters)

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Love seeing their amazing east Coast Beer selection that I cant get in Cali. Lots of Mid Atlantic Selection with impressive Bottle list. Bartender was friendly and knowledgable. Crab Sliders are face melting (some of the best Pub food I have ever had). Clean bathrooms and free wifi were a plus. (295 characters)

Photo of mikeburd1128
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

I was in Baltimore over the weekend and had been looking forward to coming to Max's since I booked the trip a few months ago. Let's just say they leave alot to be desired. The girlfriend and I walked a few blocks in the pouring rain to get here on a Saturday night, and upon entering, easily would have walked right back out into that rain if it wasn't for their ridiculous beer list. You know that bar Swayze gets the job at in Roadhouse? Yeah. It's a bit like that. (and I'm talking pre throat ripping out)

I'm not one to bash a good dive - some of my favorite spots near home are dives. I'm also not one to bash a "diverse" crowd - I think it typically makes for a fun experience. But this place is just miserable. My girlfriend and I were tucked in what I thought was the quietest corner in the place, and we could barely have a conversation over people chanting "CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!" What conversation we did have usually involved me saying things like "I'd be so pissed off if I lived near here and this bar with this incredible beer list was tempting me but this crowd just kept me away."

TL:DR Food was very typical bar food. Beer was incredible. No table service. Have to go to the bar and fight for a spot like it was some college kegger. However, the bartenders were VERY attentive and I never waited too long. Should probably be avoided on a Friday or Saturday night. (1,385 characters)

Photo of jmaharaj
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

For beer, Max's is a 5, but it does suffer in some other areas. Of course none of those other areas matter if what you want is good beer. First the good: large, well thought out, beer selection with some hard to find offerings. Great service from interesting people. Really a mecca, it goes far beyond your normal beer-centric pub, odd beer. one-off beer; they get it. The bad: it looks like your average college bar and attracts such a crowd on weekends. 21 year olds drinking miller and screaming for shots. slightly better than average pub food.
Here is the bottom line: who cares about the bad? I don't. I can get great food and a calm old-man environment at a ton of places, but you wont get beer like they have at max's many other places. (744 characters)

Photo of JohnW58
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

This place is a beer lovers paradise, with a wide selection of beers on tap (82 on the menu when I was there 2 weeks ago). It's a nice atmosphere, but I suggest getting there in the early afternoon ahead of the crowds, as it's in a touristy area. Another suggestion is to order samples, rather than pints. The samples range in price from about $2.50 to $5.00. This gives an opportunity to try a variety of different beers, without spending a fortune on some beers you may not like. All in all this was an enjoyable experience. (526 characters)

Photo of writteninwax
4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I visit friends in Baltimore now and again and kept meaning to try Max's taphouse. Because its right in the middle of touristy part of the harbor and trendy Fells Point I really wasnt sure what it would be like, and there is a lot of competition in Baltimore for my beer drinking dollar (they dont just have neigborhood bars, they have them on almost every corner). All that said, my friend knows me well and said I must go.

I was in awe. I had to sit down and catch my breath. I was probably drooling a little before she smacked me on the head and shook me loose from my trance. There were so many taps with great craft beer selections on probably 99 percent of them that I had a hard time choosing and just started to plan how we would return the next day. There were probably 2 or 3 times that in bottled beer selection that was equally of quality. I tried a few draft ales I hadn't ever seen or had and was not dissapointed. The bartenders were busy, but helpful and knew their stuff. The food around looked ok but I didn't take up any precious room in my gut with any of it. They have plenty of TVs to watch whatever sporting event you like, and it was packed on a satuday midday,

They have things like michelob ultra and of course National Bohemian as it is Maryland but its clearly a craft brew mecca. They also had information about various beer festivals they have to coincide with other events as they had just had an Italian Beerfest a few weeks ago (still had t-shirts available). I recommend this place to anyone really, but especially to my craft beer kind of friends. I will be back...and it won't be soon enough. (1,633 characters)

Photo of Rezknello
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Went for a beer outing to sample some uncommon beers and just to drink some great beers. Turns out Victory Brewing from PA was having a special that day and all of their current beers were on tap, so that was a decent surprise as Victory is a pretty good brewery I've experienced before. Other than that I jumped around the "On Tap" menu just to sample whatever seemed appealing. They had a great selection and the bartenders were friendly and helpful. It does get a little crowded, especially as the night-life picks up, as mentioned in previous review posts. Overall I enjoyed my visit to Max's and would definitely repeat and recommend to anyone considering. (661 characters)

Photo of Mantooth
3.48/5  rDev -21.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5

Ok, I just got home from a 4 day trip to DC and Baltimore - absolute blast, we did little more than hit every well reviewed bar in those areas. I was very excited to hit Max's but it was the biggest letdown of our beercation. The 140 taps were amazing, one of the best beer menus I've ever seen. One problem, we hit it on a Friday night and it was pretty much a massive frat party. At one point my girlfriend began screaming at the top of her lungs and she could barely be heard. So we had two great brews I'd never been able to get before, then left. We went back the next day, early afternoon, and this time were able to get a spot at the bar. My girlfriend asked the bartender if she could have a sample of a specific beer, he replied "We're in the business of selling beer, not giving it away." What a major turn off. Every other pub we went to not only provided samples but often did so without us even asking. Basically, this place has an amazing draft list, but don't expect anyone to engage you in an intelligent discussion about beer. The staff don't seem to give a damn and the place is too loud for conversations with patrons. Pales in comparison to Alewife. (1,169 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
4.63/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

The selection here is THE best in MD, with: 140 taps, 5 Cask Spots, and 1200+ bottles. A lot of these can be quite rare and not found outside of Max's.

Service here is top-notch and they know what they are serving. They are great at recommendations as well.

The atmosphere is quite rustic and the place is dominated by the bar, which spans the entire bar. There is an upstairs but I have never been, I think it is mainly for trivia night on Thursdays. It is pretty dark and gloomy, but everyone there is usually quite friendly. Parking can be hard to find but that is because it is in the heart of Fells Point.

I'm not sure of the food prices, but I have shared some with people there and it is delicious. (709 characters)

Photo of napetry
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great atmosphere and friendly people willing to talk beer and otherwise chat about the local brews and neighborhoods. Selection of draught and bottle beers is fantastic. Only 3 or 4 beers on the draught menu that were familiar to me. Bartenders extremely helpful and service oriented regardless of the fact they were extremely busy. Will definitely go back next time I visit Baltimore. (385 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I finally visited this well respected establishment today. I have no idea why it took me this long.

I stopped in on a Tuesday afternoon between lunch and dinner hours, so the place was almost void of patrons, which allowed my family and me to secure a nice nook in the back.

Service was extremely friendly and prompt. Service with a smile. The bartender let me try a few 1 oz. pours of beers that piqued my curiosity, and also checked in the back in attempt to locate a few of my special requests. I ended up drinking an Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Vin Blanc) 2011, which was outstanding. I was shocked to find this beer available, and even more surprised when it was listed at $15. I fully expected a massive price gouge, but was pleasantly surprised to see all of the beers on the bottle list more than reasonably priced, especially considering the location of the pub and competitor's prices being considerably higher.

The food was tasty, but nothing exemplary, per se. The nachos with chili and mozzarella sticks were both well done.

Overall, this was a very enjoyabvle experience. I will definitely be back for more brews at Max's. (1,151 characters)

Photo of mendvicdog
4.94/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Definitely the best bar in bawlmore. They have the most taps, and they go through them quickly. So there is always something new to try and everything tastes fresh. I try to avoid going when I know it will be super busy, but the service has always been excellent. It's a bit dark inside and I would prefer if they had a larger bar area, but it's still a great place. I'm there for the beer, so the atmosphere is not that important to me. I have only had fries once, so I'm not going to comment on the food. I have not heard good things though since I don't think they have a true kitchen. I would plan on eating somewhere else. (627 characters)

Photo of AleYes
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Was here twice in 2011, once during Baltimore Beer Week in October. This place is a beer-lover's Paradise! They have about 6 cask ales and 100 beers on tap, plus a countless number of bottles.

The food is about average bar food, but again, this place is about the BEER!

It has a used and abused look inside, which it is; it gets very busy on the weekend nights, with good reason.

The staff knows their beer and when it's not too busy willingly to talk about the styles and give samples so you can find a beer to meet your tastes.

Based on the vast beer selection and friendly staff, this is a bar every town wishes it had.

The only negative about the place is, it's in Baltimore and I'm in Richmond. (704 characters)

Photo of mcdoug
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

The best thing about Max's is that it's BIG, both in terms of size and selection. The worse thing about Max's is that it's BIG... quite popular and can be very crowded to the point that you can feel awash in humanity and it can take a little longer than average to catch a barkeep. The best thing is that they have a whopping FIVE taps dedicated to cask ales! That alone earns them a 5-star selection rating. Alas, when we went yesterday they had only three of five cask ales available. Food was so-so at best-- wifey and I split an appetizer of crab pretzel and a main of fish and chips. Crab pretzel was swimming in the crabby cream stuff, which was of mediocre taste. The fish and chips featured good fries, though a fairly skimpy quantity. The fish were alright, though sort of flat and lacking in thickness. Definitely a better beer bar than a pub for eats. (862 characters)

Photo of mdwalsh
4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in a few times during a conference. Didn't get a real warm reception from the staff. No one checks on tables and we waited a good while at the bar. The selection was very good, but it slanted towards a few breweries (a good, in depth selection from those breweries, but still...). Also there wasn't much for session beers. But still, this was a fantastic bar experience. Also got a little tour, which was fantastic, and learned a lot. I would say this is a bar to go by yourself and take the time to talk to your bartender, or bring a group that you want to spend time with. Or, apparently, go during an event. (618 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here twice on a recent trip to Baltimore.

A - Both times I was in here were midday, so I didn't get much of a feel for the regular crowd. There were actually some families having lunch. In any case, it's fairly typical bar decor - perhaps a bit more American than somewhere like Hopleaf but in the same ballpark.

Q - You can tell the beers are well-cared for here. Draft lines seemed clean, cask beer tasted fresh, and bottles were either refrigerated or stored at cellar temperatures. If you order something obscure from the copious bottle selection plan ahead as they chill things down the old-fashioned way - in a bucket of ice. The Thumbsucker I shared with thorpe429 had clearly been cellared appropriately.

Sr - Service was attentive and friendly - I liked that the bartenders remembered me on my subsequent visit. The service was quick and very helpful in locating obscure bottles from the depths of the cellar.

Sl - Draft list was extensive, but I could have stood for a few more selections that aren't available at the store. Bottle list is fantastic, with some great pricing on obscure gems like BFM Grand Crus. I suspect it was even better before the craft beer explosion led to speculators raiding their reserves.

F - I ordered some crab sliders one day and a blackened tilapia sandwich on the other. Both were enjoyable and easy to finish, but not particularly mind-blowing. Food menu seems secondary in a place like this, but I appreciate that they've made the effort.

V - Compared to Chicago the pricing is quite reasonable. Some of the bottles were cheaper than they are at our bottle shops. (1,624 characters)

Photo of MrGossett
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Really cool local Baltimore place. They have 120 beers on tap, including a few local brews. They have 5 rotating casks (my first time trying cask ale--delicious!).

The bartender was pretty friendly, and very helpful when I asked for a recommendation. I hadn't heard of Biere de Garde (one of the styles they had tapped from the cask) before, and he explained what it is, and where it came from.

I was sent here on a recommendation from a local beer enthusiast (he writes BeerInBaltimore.com), and it was a great choice. (521 characters)

Photo of stckhndlr
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The selection in this place is unrivaled. List of beers was at least 5 pages long in very small font. 1200 plus rotating beers and over 100 taps to choose from. The staff was very knowledgeable. They really know about craft brews and about beer news around the world.

Got there right at open (11:00) and the place really picked up around 12:30. Full bar. And it stayed full all day. Atmosphere was really alive and jumping with plenty of friendly people.

Tried some food. Typical bar style grub but it was enjoyable. Went great with the beer I had.

If you are ever in baltimore and are looking for a place to grab a beer. This is the place to do it, HANDS DOWN. (666 characters)

Photo of steebo777
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My wife and I hit this up when visiting family in Baltimore. I was very excited to try this place out and it DEFINITELY delivered. The vibe is really cool on the inside as it is a big bar with a lot of TVs but still a great beer bar feel.

The selection was some of the best I have ever seen. A ton of Belgian brews as well as everything from around the country. I drank FW 15 on tap most of the night but there was so much more.

Food was delicious bar food and came quick.

You have to order everything at the bar, but it was always VERY quick. We chatted with various bartenders throughout the night, and after finding out we were from Michigan and had a fairly sizable tab, he offered us ANY bottle from the cooler for free. Top notch class all the way.

I will go back here as soon as I can, excellent place! (813 characters)

Photo of moreyeel
4.72/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

There are not a lot of pubs I walk into that have a draft list that has more then 50% of beers I have not had (moved the scale this trip), and Max's has that kind of list. From expected to eclectic the beer list is an exploration in beers you have never heard of. Lots of Danish beers (port city?) that are rare in bars across the American beer scene.

Beer culture bleeds through the walls, from the old skool beer tags to the massive tap and bottle list.

Food is really good and reasonable.

You can try a taster (5oz) of any draft beer for half the pint price, not a great per OZ deal, but way fun if you want to knock beers off your new bucket list.

There are all kinds of specials and the bar service only staff is super knowledgeable.

Only negative, the sample glasses (1/3) have a cleaning chemical taste that a rinse would fix. The small volume of beer cannot overcome this character.

Great Beer, Check (BIG TIME)
Great Staff, Check
Gorgeous waitress that knows her beers, Hell Yeah!

If you are in Baltimore and miss this place, you are just stooopid. (1,067 characters)

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Me and my buddy went to Max's on a Tuesday afternoon, and had a blast! The selction is ridiculous (they had 102 beers on tap when we were there)! They have tons of rare & one off beers that you won't find anywhere else. I had Stillwater/ brewers art Red wine barrel Debutante & Duclaw Retribution! Delicious! The service was outstanding, our bartender Bob was a really nice guy. I bought a vintage Mikkeller Black Tie to go afterwards and he gave me a complimentary beer snifter glass! We will be going back every tuesday we can possibly make! (543 characters)

Photo of coldriver
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited on day 4 of our June 2011 Northeast pub crawl. For lunch time it was already well-populated - you get the feeling that this place gets wall to wall later on.

Huge tap selection (as well as bottles) including many local brews I've not seen elsewhere. Great updated menu was a plus and our server was knowledgeable and attentive. Sat next to an older gentleman who's lifetime goal is to sample 10,000 beers (he's up to 8,800) and he was going wild with the selection. Great vibe - lots of friendly laid back types enjoying great beer. (542 characters)

Photo of nickthetick
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This place is usually what you would expect from a fells point bar any night of the week. I have been there on fridays when there is no room to move and my most recent trip was a wednesday and there was a perfect patron to seat ratio. The servers are knowledgeable and as attentive as can be give the overload of people on certain days. The selection is unbeatable for anyone in a 100 mile radius at least. 70 taps (I think) and at least 150 bottles if you can not find something to tickle your fancy then you are un-please-able. The food is typical bar food and is nothing to crazy but good overall. Their prices seem about right, standard for most bars.

Overall this place is pretty awesome. The selection is unbeatable, bartenders are pretty awesome, and their events and specials are great!!! I'll be making a trip, most likely once a week down there and I'm a 20 minute car and 20 min metro ride away.

Edit: My numbers were terrible guess-ta-ments. From the website "With 140 rotating drafts, 5 Hand-Pumped Cask Ales, and a world-spanning collection of approximately 1200 bottled beers in stock" (1,103 characters)

Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
97 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.