The Old Fashioned
Taps: 52 / Bottles: 105
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
4.08/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$
I've been here a couple times now while visiting Madison and it is one of a few places I'd suggest if you only have time for 1 or 2 stops. There is definitely a very wide selection of beers. Has to be at least 50 different taps. They've expanded recently to increase that number. They do have some lame Hipster bait on tap but the abundant quality local craft on tap makes up for it.
This is also a good place to eat with more than your typical pub fried food fare. Service was a little slow and expect a crowd even on a week night.
05-10-2013 14:22:38 | More by leedorham
4.59/5 rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5 | $$
The Old Fashioned is a great bar with great Wisconsin beer on tap or in bottles. I have been there to eat and drink about 5 times and have had an enjoyable experience every time.
I drink Ale Asylum Madtown Brown and Grays Oatmeal Stout when there and both are served properly. They have clean tap lines which helps out the whole beer drinking experience immensely. They also have Wisconsin made Baumeister Rootbeer on tap as well to drink with your food.
The food is off the chart. Cheese curds and their monster burgers are a must have. They seem to source their food locally and that is always a good thing. I have only gotten burgers, but the menu is extensive and should be explored more.
The staff is friendly, but not the quickest with their service. Waited a bit a few ti,mes for my beer, but this happens.
01-21-2013 21:02:44 | More by Natural1
4.3/5 rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Man, that's a lot of beers to choose from. If you want to try something from Wisconsin, this is a good place to do it. If you want to try a lot of somethings from Wisconsin...well, you get the idea.
The place was pretty packed and hectic while I was there. I'm sure they're pouring in for the cheese curds as much as the beer. Nice decor. Clientele seemed a bit stuffier than some of the other places in Madison, but that could be because the capitol building is nearby? Regardless, I would stop back here any chance I had.
08-30-2012 17:53:54 | More by RblWthACoz
4/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Atmosphere: Large and classy looking bar with a fairly large dinning area that is separted into several large sections. Look like a laid back place.
Quality/Selection: Stopped in for lunch while beer shopping madison. The menu is focused on premium menu item like grass fed beef and lots of great wisconsin comfort food. Large beer selection on draft and in bottles. Nothing that really stuck out and grabbed my attention.
Service: Sat at the bar and was greated with a menu immediately. Little slow geting my bill, but thats my only complaint.
Food: Had a really tasty burger with wisconsin cheese curds as my side with the burger. It was decent food, but a little bit over priced.
Value: Just a little bit over what I think I should have paid for the meal. Nothing too rediculous though.
02-07-2012 16:47:52 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
2.85/5 rDev -30.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
I am not a fan of this place for two reasons:
1) Incredibly rude service. They have a book full of beers and a lot of taps, and both times that I have been here, the bar tender treated me condescendingly for not instantly knowing what beer I wanted to try. Also gave me the stink eye for asking for a taste of a specific beer and not liking it (and thus not ordering that one). The bar tender treated me like he was doing me a favor letting me drink at his joint, which was definitely not appreciated.
2) Poor quality for such a large selection. Almost all of the old fashion's beers are Wisconsin beers. There's some hidden gems like Titletown in the mix, but a lot of stuff like Point beers that have no place on a beer menu that boasts it selection of quality. Also, many of the IPA I have had there have been stale.
For what it's worth, however, the food is quite tasty, and they make a mean bloody mary. Ask for the beef-marinated pickled mushrooms!
11-12-2011 20:58:16 | More by jegross2
3.93/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I went here the other day and I would say that this place has a better beer list than most. To begin The atmosphere was just ok...kinda kitchy/college/loud...a psuedo beer crowd....The beer list has something like 50 beers on tap and they are all WI beers...pretty cool...So you have your New Glarus, Ale Aslyum, Lake Front, Tyranena, and a few other WI breweries I know nothing about....The food...was just ok...the cheese plate of the day was kinda of a dissappointment especially when everyone said how awesome the cheese was...The service was great...the bartender was super nice...and real passionate about beer...proper glassware was used as well...a total pet peeve of mine well averted...all in all I would rather drink here than eat here...so go drink here...cheers....
07-26-2011 02:54:52 | More by Srodri10
4.45/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
So, the Old Fashioned has some of the very best cheese curds in Madison (I still prefer Dotty Dumplings Dowry curds). Their food is generally excellent; The Old Fashioned Burger (Bacon, cheese, egg on it) is very tasty, as is their pork sandwich on texas toast. Their beer selection is the best feature, though. They have over 150 Wisconsin beers in bottles and I believe 30 on tap at any given time. They also have a Beer Tour of Wisconsin thing where you have to drink 150 different beers on their list and they stamp it after you're done each night and keep it at the bar. Nice touch. I would go here more often but it's generally packed at lunch and dinner. Due to booths in the bar area it's very hard to gather a group of friends without a table and wait times can be a pain. However, it is worth it for the most part. Very high quality, but certain menu items can be a bit pricey. Also, their brunch is extremely good as well! Nothing beats putting your name in, walking the farmer's market on a weekend, and hurrying back to be seated when your pager goes off!
06-08-2011 21:35:08 | More by HopHeadHurls
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Tap selection has much improved, showcasing many local seasonals and specialty beers. Had O'So Hop Whoopin, Lakefront IBA, and Tyranena Scurvy here over the weekend. Can't fault them for being busy, their popularity is well deserved. Brunch in the 2nd bar area wsa relaxed and the food was great. Easily the most interesting tap list in Madison for local beer (around the square anyway). We've been here 6-8 times, and will keep coming back to the Old Fashioned indefinitely. If you don't like WI-brewed beer, you're in the wrong place...
First stop for us on the recent GTOM pre-ticket sale pub crawl. Arrived around 1:30-2pm as the lunch crowd began to dissipate.
Big windows in the front, double door waiting area. Lots of sunlight in the front during the day. Exposed brick walls with lots of kitschy 20th century americana decorating the walls. Nice wood tables and flooring, even the wood of the bar had a nice weathered texture to it. In the evening the lighting was low, from a row of paper lanterns high above the back bar, and a row of dim lamps directly above the bar itself.
Beer selection focused on WI micros, such as Central Waters, Lake Louie, Capital, etc. There were a couple bottles from Viking, Berserk Barleywine & Hot Chocolate. There was room for improvement, we didn't see anything especially limited such as Tyranena BGW series, or New Glarus Unplugged series. Taps were mostly local, with several great seasonals.
Food was great, had the burger for lunch, and pork shoulder for dinner. Evening crowd was decidedly more trendy, but the wait for a table wasn't too long. Afternoon visit was a little more enjoyable, sitting at the bar. The atmosphere was the standout, but the service and selection were also respectable.
05-02-2011 16:58:12 | More by emerge077
4.1/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
If you're visiting Wisconsin this is the one place to stop to get a good idea of what WI has to offer. The food is based on traditional WI fare and the beer list includes over 100 beers brewed in WI. As you might expect they specialize in different versions of the number 1 WI cocktail the old fashioned. You could, for example, stop in, sit down and start with an order of deep fried cheese curds or perhaps a selection of WI cheese. Then move on to something like a double brat or just a good old fashioned burger or maybe a great veggie sandwich. Of course whatever you eat would be accompanied by a great WI beer.
03-30-2011 03:52:21 | More by adman08
4.78/5 rDev +16.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is probably my favorite restaurant/bar in Madison. It's the only place I can say is essential to see every time I come to town.
It specializes in Wisconsin food and beer, and in fact other than liquor in the bar, that's about all they serve. They have about 25 different Wisconsin beers on tap and another 50-60 or so in bottle. This is just a breathtaking selection for a bar like this. They even get stuff that's out of season, and it always seems fresh.
The wait staff is very very knowledgable about each of the beers they serve and can make recommendations for or against something. The bartenders especially know a good pour.
The food is outstanding. Anything you get there will be superb. They also offer several types of cheese platters with four or five different styles that pair well with beer they serve on premises.
The only negative - not a fault of the bar - is the location. It's on Capitol Square, and depending on the time of day parking can be a pain. Plus the place is almost always packed, largely because it's on Capitol Square. It gets a diverse crowd that I always enjoy. And if you're there in the afternoon or evenings in the summer or fall, you'll always see the Brewers or Packers on the TV's.
Great, great place.
03-28-2011 22:19:10 | More by cwcolby74
The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.