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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 SimplySinister
2.99/5  rDev -33.4%

Max's Taphouse in Fells Point is not exactly typical of the bar scene in and around Baltimore, MD.

At first glance, it appears to be a well thought out pub. However, once an individual gets to take a load off and analyize the place- well, I think its probably all downhill from there.

First off, the staff are not the nicest people on the planet; though on some nights you can find a polite bartender. Most of the beers are served in improper glassware, and at incorrect tempetures.

The atmosphere of the place is what really gets to me. For the most part, it just doesn't seem to fit with the motif; its loud, proud, and a little overdone.

All in all, I love Baltimore. However, if I'm going after a beer, I'd rather got to any of the smaller, low key joints just around the corner even if they don't all have craft beer.

SimplySinister, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of cichief
3.08/5  rDev -31.4%

Visited on a nice Saturday afternoon. The place wasn't too busy, I was able sit at the bar. There were only two bartenders behind the bar. I got my first beer in about ten minutes, I waited twenty minutes with an empty glass trying to get someone's attention. The bartenders seemed to enjoy putting on a show mixing drinks, butnot pouring beers. I finally flagged down one of the barmen asked for my tab. It was unfortunate, they had quite a beer list. The atmosphere wasn't all that great either, lots of spilt beer on the floor, cigarette smoke, and twenty something ooh-ing over the beer list.

cichief, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of SundeyPSU
3.2/5  rDev -28.7%

OK, if you want Selection, Selection, Selection.., then go here. They have an incredible selection of beer. The taps seem endless, and the bottles are too many to count. They have beers/ales at Max's that I have NEVER seen anywhere else, and some on tap that I have only experienced in bottle. The Rogue Chocolate Stout is great on tap. The food is crap, but will soak up the beer if that is all you are looking for. Their cigar bar on the 2nd floor is nice. They have a good selection of cigars, if that is what you are looking for. You can relax and smoke a cigar on the 2nd floor. Here is my complaint. I have lived in Baltimore for 8 yrs, and NEVER had good service at Max's. They act as if they are doing you a favor by waiting on you. If you have questions, forget about it. They act like asses, and act as if you are a Gomer for asking a question. Once I sat there for a couple hours with a friend and tipped a dollar every time I ordered a beer. Finally, me and my friend had just enough money for 2 more beers and no tip. We ordered anyway. When my friend jokingly said "keep the change", the one bartender showed the "tip" (about 20 cents) to the other bartender, and he got pissed off and threw it across the bar. I would think a dollar tip for every order would have been enough. When I tended bar in Dallas, I rarely got a dollar every time someone ordered. Maybe every other time. I don't think those two work there anymore, but that pretty much sums up the bartender's attitudes I have encountered at Max's. That said, I still go back when I crave a Old Speckled Hen or a Rogue Choc Stout.

SundeyPSU, Jul 14, 2005
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 n0rmann
3.34/5  rDev -25.6%

I was disappointed with Max's, but that may have been because of the crowd. The Yankees were in town the weekend I was in Baltimore, and the bar was overrun by obnoxious fans.

The bar was crowded, so loud that I had to shout to my friend, and it was nearly impossible to get the attention of our bartender. We waited so long to try to order a second beer, we decided to stop at just once.

And that was unfortunate. They had an impressive beer selection, both in bottles and on draught. Several Rogues, Dogfish Head, Chimay's and Victorys were available.

They also carry several of the local brewpubs beers at Max's.

There is also a second room where people can play darts.

If I went to Baltimore, I'd definitely give this place a second chance and maybe it would change my review.

n0rmann, Sep 27, 2006
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 Mantooth
3.48/5  rDev -22.5%

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.

Mantooth, May 28, 2013
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 Gravitron
3.64/5  rDev -18.9%

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'.

Gravitron, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of jhughes23
3.68/5  rDev -18%

Ok, First I will say that my review of this Beer Bar will be a bit tarnished and I will re-review upon a 2nd visit. I gave Selection 5.0 because I know that on any other day except for the day I visited and what would have been the following day if I stayed one more night, they have one of the Best selection of beers on the East coast, if not the United States....But,

On the Day I arrived with 7 other guys whom drove over an hour just to visit this one bar to drink it's array of Belgium rarities....they only had....7 BEERS ON TAP! When I asked the bartender is it like this all the time she said no, there is a Belgium Beer Festival in 2 days and we are running all of our lines dry so that all 102 of them will be tapped on Saturday for the Festival....

O.K., this was very upsetting to me, as I run restaurants myself and our motto is we are never out of anything if we have control over it. And the fact that the only reason people come to this place is for the crap load of beer they carry (because I know it's not the food and it can't be the service-since there is no table service), how can you go two days (and who knows what it was like the day before we came) without having available 90% of what you have to offer....

but it gets worse...

So I got over it, and did not want to get upset at the Bartender as I am in the business and I know this is not her doing, I 'm sure the owner/manager/distributors are the ones who made this decision. So being over it, I asked for the bottled beer list (which is very impressive) and looked over their 100+ Belgium's in Bottle, I order a St. Bernardus "something" from the bartender...she smiled shook her head and said...."I cannot sell ANY BELGIUM BEERS BOTTLE OR DRAFT UNTIL SATURDAY"!!! It was a WEDNESDAY!

So here's the deal, we basically picked the worst possible day to come to Max's...my problem is how many other people went to Max's that day or weekend for the first time and were as disappointed as I was. And how many of them will never go back because of their disappointment. Who knows, I'm sure I will go back to try them again, but I can only put it like this, The Next time you go to McDonald's, imagine you walk in, stand in line for 5 minutes get to the register order your burgers and the cashier say, "I'm sorry, we don't have any hamburgers today or tomorrow, just chicken, because we are having a big hamburger festival on Saturday"!!!!

jhughes23, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%

Max's on Broadway is a cool little bar in Fell's Point (possibly the coolest area in all of Maryland) which has a huge multi-tap setup that turns over quickly and remains fresh... although tends to be a little mainstream (for seasoned beer drinkers) at times. If you're a late night person, Max's sometimes has GREAT bands. If you're a cigar person, this is also a place for you although one of my problems is that it can get a bit smoky (and I usually try to get in between lunch and dinner!) There's a little food window kitchen which is very cool when you've had one too many and decide that a greasy burger might hit the spot. It is, however, very college oriented - so if that's a problem for you stop in during lunchtime. Even on weekends it's fairly relaxed.

NeroFiddled, Aug 02, 2002
Photo of MarvinSnyder
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

MarvinSnyder, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of mikeburd1128
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

mikeburd1128, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Caesar024
3.85/5  rDev -14.3%

Been to Baltimore several times and a trip to Max's is pretty much always on the list (a couple pegs down from a visit to Brewer's Art). The place is in the heart of the Fell's Point bar district, so plenty of the party crowd comes in whether they're after the good beer or not. Max's has them covered, too because the place is enormous with what looks like about a hundred taps with lots of craft and imports, but plenty of BMC mixed in. Lots of TV screens everywhere with news and sports and sports news on to draw your attention away from the neon and conversation with your neighbors. It would have been nice to get away from that scene, but the upstairs was closed off the last two times I was there.

But the beer, again. There's a lot of great beers on tap, and I finally got to see a bottle list last week and am truly impressed by their Belgian selection and prices. Cask beer is available, but the Lagunitas New Dogtown I received was far too cold and in a huge plastic tumbler.

Service for drinks at the bar is quick, efficient, and most the bartenders really know their stuff. One even recognized the out of town brewery shirt I was wearing and chatted me up about it for a second. Unfortunately it was too busy to really talk to the bartenders about beer at all.

As far as table service, I don't think there is any because we cleared our own glass and had to order food at the bar. And the food is (unfortunately) merely alright: fried foods, burgers, and chicken sandwiches.

Caesar024, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Runofthemiller
3.87/5  rDev -13.8%

Great place, however The fat bald bartender is the worst bartender I've ever encountered. Rude Disgusting. Fire him and this place is awesome.

Great beer selection. Fun crowd. Great location. Avoid the bald bartender with glasses. He is rude and obnoxious and gives this place a bad name.

Runofthemiller, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of shivtim
3.89/5  rDev -13.4%

A great stop in Baltimore.
It's a dark space, kind of dive-bar-ish, lots of beer crap on the wall. Nice long bar.

The beer selection is huge and has quite a large variety. My one complaint is the huge lack of local beers. There were only 3 Maryland beers on the list, plus one from DC. There appeared to be some sort of Sierra Nevada tap takeover. I'm sure the list changes a lot, but the current list was a bit disappointing for an out of towner.

Service was OK. The bartender seemed disinterested, and gave the wrong beers to each person. He kept checking his cell phone.

shivtim, Aug 13, 2014
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 alysmith4
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Went to this bar for a beer festival, so it's hard to give it a normal review of beer, service, selection, etc. But I can say that it was a great space, and a ton of fun to enjoy some unique brews in. And from what I can tell, they are dedicated to good, quality beer, so I imagine that any time you go, you won't be disappointed. The festival was a blast, and I'd like to go again. They had a huge selection, and all the proper glassware to serve the beers in. A standout for me was this strawberry ale, delicious!

alysmith4, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of briang01
4/5  rDev -10.9%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of snowghetto
4/5  rDev -10.9%

snowghetto, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev -10.9%

yemenmocha, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of tjthresh
4.01/5  rDev -10.7%

Love Max's on Broadway

The atmosphere and service leave a bit to be desired. From what I observed, it was just one room with a bar, some tables, and a pool table, packed with people, and playing loud ass music. The only employees that I saw were bartenders and security. So everytime my crew needed a beer you had to go to the bar and wait to be noticed. I guess it wasn't too bad, just annoying for the prices we paid.

Not the selection and quality were top shelf. I didn't stray from the Racer 5, but I had a buddy drinking Rodenbach draws. Another was drinking a stout that slips my mind right now.

Basicly, if you are looking for great beer, this is a great place. Just be sure to bring plenty of cash.

tjthresh, May 03, 2005
Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%

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.

claytri, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of needMIbeerinMD
4.07/5  rDev -9.4%

A low key bar in Fells that has one of the best selections in the city. Getting a beer can be a bit of a task at times depending on the business level. I personally recommend walking or taking a cab if your visiting from out of town as parking can be challenging.

needMIbeerinMD, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of cdmastro
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%

We visited on a Thursday night at about 7:30. The bar was full, and a majority of the tables were occupied with a young (20/30s) crowd. A steady stream of the same filtered in as we lingered over our beers & food.

There were 65 beers on tap. Due to the season, the list was heavy with wheats & IPAs. I had a Victory Hop Devil (very good), Hook & Ladder Ald (a poor choice made because it was local to MD), and a Flying Dog Gonzo (very good porter). My wife had a Shiner Bock (the only suggestion when she asked for a malty, brown ale) and a Rogue Chocolate Stout (very good with chocolate, coffee, and cola flavors). We each had a chicken wrap (one Caeser, one Thai) that were tasty.

Despite the number of taps, the crowd didn't seem like 'beer folk'.

cdmastro, Aug 05, 2007
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Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
99 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.