The Old Fashioned
Taps: 52 / Bottles: 105
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.75/5 rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by for lunch after the last outdoor Farmer's Market on 11/06/2010.
A: Very nice ambiance. Nice wood bar, with that Northwoods feel, had that cozy feel to it. Dining area had retro/vintage school banners on display. Nice woodfire aroma hit my nose when I first walked in.
S: Waiter was very nice, welcoming and frequently checked back. Kept taking away the beer menu, and he appeared to have to many tables. Maybe shorthanded, unexpected lunch rush? Beers were slow to come out, and the food order took quite a bit longer than expected. Will give the benefit of the doubt and say shorthanded.
S: Love the local food/beer vibe. Food selection was focused on locally sourced ingredients, but carried a wide selection of food. Beer selection was local Wisconsin and very craft focused. Would have liked to see a larger stout selection, but was very happy with my Furthermore Fallen Apple, Three Feet Deep, Sand Creek Cranberry, and Ale Asylum Nut Brown. Out of CW Bourbon Barrel Stout, but I believe that is an early spring seasonal.
F: Very good. Cheese curds were great with Tiger Bleu sauce. Grilled cheese was super cheap and better than I expected. Friend ordered the Veggie sandwich and very much enjoyed this. The Scandanavian Sunday chicken dinner sounded interesting and I loved that you could get bar snacks.
V: I thought the Old Fashioned was super reasonable, bordering on cheap. Would have rated it a lower dollar value, but I didn't really dive into the dinner menu. Can't wait to get back there for lunch or dinner.
11-09-2010 23:52:01 | More by Birchgrove77
3.8/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by on a Monday night.
A: nice, older atmosphere with some older advertising
Q: burgers with buy 1/get one, very good burger, best I've had in awhile
S: good, waitress and waiter were attentive and socialable
S: from food good, from beer just average, nothing unusual or out of the ordinary, a good deal of Wisconsin beers but nothing really unique, I had a Lake Louie Tommy's Porter that was very good
F: well made and good for food
V: good value for buy 1/get one for Monday night burgers
10-21-2010 02:41:42 | More by wisrarebeer
4.2/5 rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've stopped here a few times lately. With the latest visit, this past Saturday night. I've been trying to complete my beer passport, 150 beers from their inventory. It's a marathon alright.
They focus almost exclusively on Wisconsin beers and some are great, others not so much. But having that much choice is what makes this place. It can get crowded on a weekend night, but you can usually find a place to sit at a table, booth or bar.
My brother and his friends like to sample their bar snacks, like turkey gizzards and ham hocks. Which they tell me are great for $1, but i've abstained so far. The local beef jerkey for $1 is good though.
03-12-2010 02:15:02 | More by stoops
4/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Old Fashioned is a solid stop in downtown Madison for a few rounds, with a very well crafted beer list that focuses on Wisconsin breweries and has a great variety.
atmosphere is good. the place is narrow and long with a side seating area upon entering and a long bar along the left wall. the place was quite busy on a Saturday afternoon, with tin ceilings and old wooden seating and bar.
service and selection were great. the service was decent, without much knowledge about beer, but friendly and prompt. the beer list is excellent. much thought has gone into choosing the beers, with about thirty in all on tap, all from Wisconsin brewers, with a great variety of both breweries and styles. this BA had a steam beer from Titletown in Green Bay and a Tyranena Oktoberfest. both were nice and fresh.
quality is good. all brews are served in tumblers, which is a bit annoying, but the glassware was clean and the beers were fresh.
food was great. the pulled pork shoulder sandwich was excellent, and the fries were pretty good as well.
overall, for anyone on Capitol Square in Madison, this should be a stop on the list. a couple blocks from Great Dane and possibly the deepest tap list in Madison, this is a great beer bar. cheers!
09-20-2009 15:00:50 | More by botham
3.33/5 rDev -19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4 | $$
I tried a number of places in this Madison trip, and this was the biggest disappointment. It does look like an old bar/restaurant, the food is quite good (comfort food), with a good service (courteous although they do not know beer), but unfortunately, the beer selection, despite being relatively large and quite varied, with multiple taps and multiple bottles of multiple breweries, the overall quality of the beers offered is limited.
Every single brewery has only one or two offerings, not necessarily their best ones, and well over half of the menu is filled with average/slightly above average beers. Wisconsin has a lot of better beers to offer than you would guess based on their selection.
08-11-2009 01:52:09 | More by brdc
4/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is just a regular restaurant/bar type place with a little bit of outdoor seating. The 'all-Wisconsin' thing is kind of cool, except the country music. I'm from a place where country music more or less comes from, and I kind of though it was strange to hear so much of it in WI (I heard it elsewhere too). The beer and food are all pretty high quality. Decent pours, which is good, all local, and of course in WI, local means a few of the larger boys, but plenty of good craft. The service was pretty good, helpful waitress, punctual, friendly. The selection was pretty nice, a few little seasonal things from around, some standard type stuff, and plenty of interesting stuff to pick. The food, I thought was really good. The burger was good, the bratwurst I had was good - good food. If this is Wisconsin food, then I don't see how anyone keeps from getting too fat here. And the prices were all right about where I would expect. I good place to visit, and right in the middle of downtown. An interesting spot for dinner and a beer.
06-24-2009 02:02:01 | More by taylorhamrick
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
First off, this place only has food and beverage from Wisconsin. I'm a big fan of local eating and they've got nearly every damn beer from Wisconsin so that's a 5 on selection. The service for lunch is weird in that you order at the bar and then sit at a table where they deliver your food.
The food incidentally is great. Standard bar/beer food done well. Again, everything local. When I was here in the summer I had the best goddamn BLT in the world with heirloom tomato and locally smoked bacon.
They have 29 beers on tap and a shitload in the bottle. If you can't find something you like here leave the state.
Overall a great place to eat and drink.
05-15-2009 16:59:26 | More by drseamus
4.2/5 rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
Went here for a few local beers based on other comments, on a Friday night around 11pm. Was here for a marriage the next day for my oldest niece.
Very crowded, room a the back of the bar. Friendly place, big wood bar long enough for 30 or more stools, with big tables for large groups. The back bar extends to the ceiling with room for lots of glass and liquor. Very old looking. Didn't notice any food, but wasn't seeking any.
Bar tenders very busy but got right to me.
12 beers on draft and a deep bottle list. Lots of great WI beers and good selection of others. All tap selections available as pitchers, the New Glarus Oktoberfest was a great deal at $2.50 for a pint, $9 for a pitcher on promotion. Most taps very reasonable around $3-$4. The unusual ones were usually in a bottle, but I stuck with the taps, as expected choices include Lake Louie, Ale Asylum, Tyrania, etc.
Just a great solid beer bar, can't go wrong, plenty of folks drinking hard stuff too, crowd is 20 somethings, but not a problem if you're older. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back".
09-15-2008 20:18:10 | More by robbyc1
The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI
92 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.