Der Rathskeller / The Memorial Union Terrace.
Taps: 22 / Bottles: 8
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
3.99/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
My favorite place to see live music in Madison in the summer. And it's always FREE!!! Stage is set up in front of the lake and they have good music all summer, and inside during the other season(it's Wisconsin). The Rathskeller(inside) is made to look like a German beer hall and has been there forever. The beer selection is pretty impressive for a public university union. Always has Edmund Fitzgerald, Capital Seasonal, Ale Asylum, New Glarus, Sprecher, and some various Wisco lagers. Usually only one of each brewery on tap, definitly not a beer bar on par with Malt House/brassV, but for live music and good beer you can't beat this place. Always one of my favorite places to go in Madison.
02-05-2009 01:54:13 | More by abents
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
I'm rating this place with great anticipation of spending some quality time here this spring after a rough winter. I've spent many hours here, just killing time or taking a pause at the start or end of a bike ride with visiting friends. The selection is decent, but I usually go with the Bell's, and the service is good. I confess I've also drunk my share of PBR here. The atmosphere, both inside and out, is excellent. You can't beat the view of the lake and all the passers-by on a hot day, and this is truly the place to be. Since the Union has everything from brats to fajitas to ice cream, there's something for everyone, but I usually stick to my pitcher.
03-30-2008 14:29:14 | More by BoitSansSoif
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Oh the memories. God how I loved this place. You can sit indoors in a unique faux-German den or just grab a beer from a window and sit on the "Terrace" on the shore of Lake Mendota (not recommended in winter, however, though I have done it). Beer drinking and good times have a long tradition in Madison, and who knows how far back this place goes? Good beers now that small breweries have come back to Wisconsin. In the summer you can buy some brats - the real Wisconsin experience.
If you are a reader of Beer Advocate you are damn near certain to love this place. One warning: the pub owners of Madison pressured the university to allow only registered students, faculty and staff to buy here. So make sure you meet up with someone with a registration card.
08-31-2006 03:29:24 | More by nohead02
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
atmosphere: a perfect 5...The most enjoyable place to drink a beer that I have ever been to. fantastic lakeside setting with tons of outdoor tables, live music, a boat launch and always a lot of activity in the summer. its an absolute must-experience in my opinion. UW students could not possibly understand how well they have it. I went to two universities; ncst's student union is just a piece of crap building in the middle of everything else...ND has a pretty nice old building which is a cool place to hang out but neither serve beer and neither are lakeside
quality: Good people, good beer, great setting...yeah its quality. -.5 points for paper cups, but hey nothings perfect
service: its pretty much self service...theres and outside bar with a few taps and an indoor one with about 20
selection: for what it is, the selection is more than adequate. This is not a beer bar, its a meeting place and a prime social spot. That being said, this is wisconsin, so of course it has great beer. Last time I was there I noted... Bells 2 hearted (which tasted immaculate), Bells Oberon, Capital Oktoberfest, Sprecher Amber, Great Lakes Burning River, a couple New Glarus, some german brews, and a few domestics
food: I've never eaten indoors at the Rathskeller but I had a dynamite brat outside one afternoon
value: pitchers are pretty cheap, 16oz draft for $4 works for me
08-26-2006 00:30:36 | More by dirtylou
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Memorial Union has undergone a bit of a facelift inside in the past few years. However the Rathskeller and the Terrace seem pretty much the same as always. The Rath is kinda dark and you have to be a Union member in order to get a pitcher. Many times someone will be a sport and assist you with that however.
The Terrace is an awesome place for a summer evening of lounging and when a concert is taking place it can be quite lively and at times difficult to find a place to sit.
I'm gonna put food at N/A although the cafeteria that took the place of the old one in the Rath was fantastic, especially for a Sunday Brunch. It was also extremely inexpensive. The drafts at the Rath and Terrace generally contain beers like Gray's and things like Optimator or Salvator.
An awesome place, how could one go wrong?
06-08-2006 18:11:49 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.29/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
it's hard to convey the terrace in words, but i'll do my best. there is a large patio outside with a couple levels (a higher level closer to where the beers are served, and a lower level which is right next to the largest lake in madison, lake mendota). they have tons of chairs and tables, and bands or open mic on the weekend. they serve beers. lots of beers. some pretty good beers, in fact. here is a tap list that i jotted down earlier this week.
great lakes brewing co burning river pale ale
newcastle brown ale
gray's oatmeal stout
gray's rathskeller amber
gray's hausmann pale
a couple leinies that i didn't write down
beer is reasonably priced ($9.75 a pitcher for the good beers, $6.50 if miller lite is more your thing). the staff doesn't know shit about beer, so don't bother asking them what's good. one caveat: you can only buy beer if you have a student ID or wisconsin union membership. but don't let that stop you. if you approached any student and asked them to buy you a pitcher i'm sure they'd be more than willing. once you got the pitcher you're all day (or just offer someone about to leave $1 for their pitcher, cuz they make you put down a $1 deposit for it that you will get back once you return it).
but the real reason you come here is for the atmosphere. it is a beautiful view right on the lake, and probably the best place to relax in madison when the weather permits (or do like a real wisconsinite and down beers on the terrace when it's below freezing). basically this is undoubted the best place to waste an afternoon drinking beer, then later that night go to the bars and brewpubs for the dankies that you so desperately need. if you are a prospective student at UW this can't be missed (tho if you're underage i would advise not to drink there during student orientation days, as they are more vigilant. otherwise underage drinking is pretty much ignored during the day, altho if you look young and are hanging around at night you will have a decent chance of being approached by union staff and they will jot down your student id number in their "naughty book," altho they most likely wont call the cops. sounds like i'm spreaking from experience, eh?).
11-05-2005 00:18:52 | More by nchrist13
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
The best place to drink beer in Madison, period.
One of the best places to drink beer in the state.
The Rathskeller is early 20th century, mock german fun with a great juke box and a a fabulous selection of taps.
The terrace is...well...a huge terrace, just outside the Rathskeller on Lake Mendota on the UW campus.
Someday I'll elaborate on this review but for now I'll leave it to a couple brief annecdotes that offer a good idea of what drinking at the terrace can be like:
Last year I watched the Violent Femmes for free from my chair on the water with a 22 oz cup of Leinie's creamy dark in my hand.
Two year ago I got wasted on Z-Optimator at a free Buzzcocks show and jumped in the lake with several lovely young ladies.
Three years ago I danced like a baffoon with a cheap pitcher of the Franz while Arrested Development played Marleys Redemption Song.
Six summers ago I drank from a 44 oz cup of Rolling Rock that cost me something like 4 bucks while listening to well, I cant remember what I was listening to, I was drinking 44 oz Rolling Rocks for 4 bucks, what can I say.
At any rate, the Terrace is the best place in Madison for beer and it just simply rocks.
11-02-2005 03:48:04 | More by DaPeculierDane
Der Rathskeller / The Memorial Union Terrace. in Madison, WI
92 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.