Gray's Tied House
Active Beers: 20
Beer Ratings: 25
Beer Avg: 2.95
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 8 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
3.08/5 rDev -3.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
Stop #2 on the Madison weekend beer binge extravaganza™.
As others have said, on the outside this is a hulking behemoth of a brewpub, an imposing faux ski lodge that's matchy-matchy with other buildings nearby, bordering on the edge of an upscale suburban subdivision.
Inside there's an open sort of lobby, maitre d' stand, and a nice breweriana display front and center of old Gray's Brewing Co. ephemera that was probably the most interesting thing about the place. Old portrait serving trays, branded bottles, crates and brewing utensils were showcased in a museum-like vitrine display case.
To the right was a bar, with an aquarium set into the wall by some tables, and a square island bar in the center. Off the back was an outdoor patio. Flatscreen tv's around the bar, piped-in pop music playing. The friendly bartender served us right away, as we were the only ones at the bar. A few others filtered in for lunch, noticed a couple drinking house pints. Dining room crowd seemed to be more families taking the kids out for lunch, so it's family friendly in that regard.
Beer selection was painfully mediocre, even the craftier stuff was uninteresting. The Bourbon Barrel Stout was the best of the 10 we tried, though there was little bourbon character to it. Others were astringent and low on flavor. The Busted Knuckle Irish ale was an ok session beer, but not something i'd really seek out. There's a reason I always pass over Gray's beers in the store, they are struggling to stay relevant to the craft beer scene, opting instead opting for bland mass appeal.
05-02-2011 14:06:42 | More by emerge077
3.29/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited 10/9/2010 after New Glarus on the way to Madison. Sampled 10 beers.
Large place with lots of open tables when I got there. I saw a lof of minivans with kids getting getting out all dressed up. I was told that it was homecoming at the local high school. A couple of cute soccer moms were present though. It also turned out that this was the annviersary of the brewpub.
I sat at the bar and ordered a flight. There were two bartenders helping me out. Both were nice and attentive but neither knew much about the beer. Actually I was the only one at the bar drinking the house beer, not a good sign. Oh well.
The beer itself was pretty much all bad. All the basic styles were represented (pale, light, red, and porter) along with some slightly more unusual styles (sour, fruit beer).
Didnt try the food, I didnt want to risk it being as bad as the beer.
Nice place, reasonable prices, but as far as a beer destination there is a reason no one has reviewed any of the beers.
11-11-2010 20:13:18 | More by t0rin0
3.4/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $
Stopped in here on my way home from New Glarus.
The place is located in an upscale strip mall on the edge of a upper class subdivision. This seemed rather odd to me.
Upon entering you notice the expansive size of the place. Lots of wood and stone. Pretty much an upscale Applebees feel. There were about 2 other people in the place which I didn't think much of it since it was a Wednesday afternoon. The bartendress was very friendly if not knowledgable. We ordered a couple beers and chatted with her for the duration of our visit. Nothing special about the beer or the place. The outside area was huge which could be a draw.
They had around nine taps available however two of them were out at the time. Our bartender told us that Grays simply can't keep up with the demand. Apparently Grays is popular somwhere in Wisconsin. Who knew?
07-29-2010 22:15:22 | More by beerwolf77
3.4/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in at Gray's on our way into town for the Quivey's Grove Beerfest weekend.
Sampled the Wit and the Rathskellar -- chilled pints? C'mon.
The Wit was a decent rendition, the Rathskellar Amber was only so-so. First pours were a little diacetyl. Still, it was fresh beer and no one offered me a Miller Lite!
Good bar food appetizers -- can't go wrong with fried cheese curds.
I liked the look and layout of the place -- verging on sports bar, but still hanging on to a good, old-fashioned tavern look. I can imagine it gets crowded on Friday nights and Sunday afternoon.
10-07-2008 12:02:20 | More by steveh
2.55/5 rDev -19.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3 | $$$
Selection: 8 draft beers: Oatmeal Stout, BB RIS, Honey, Light, Irish, Pale Lager, I.P.A, and one other...Rathskeller, I believe. Three bottles: ML, Fauerbach beer, and one of their other contract brews. Currently, these beers are brewed in Janesville.
Quality: Grays. All their beers are above average but none of them, even the RIS, are exciting.
Atmosphere: Ominous, tacky. The modern timber frame structure is a monster containing multiple private rooms, a medium sized bar area, a fantastic outside patio complete with a gas fire pit, and a dining room adjacent to a wood fired pizza oven. Large flat panels are inlaid into walls at clever locations making the TVs omnipresent yet avoidable. Otherwise this place is a $5 million disaster. Almost everything about the tied house screams overpriced and gaudy that will be outdated and passé by early 2007. It seems built for the yuppies from Epic corporation that are taking over Verona and Madisons sprawling west side. I envision inexperienced drinkers getting hammered on shots and cheap wine at this place after work. Some BAs will inevitably like this soulless and chainlike joint but as for me, Ill be happy to keep drinking in dive bars like Delilahs or elegantly rehabbed shi-shi joints like Maduro.
Service: Friendly but young, slow, and inexperienced with zero knowledge about beer. Im giving them the benefit of the doubt that this will improve after a few months.
Food: Mediocre. The menu is broad and diverse offering steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, and wood fired pizzas. Prices range from about $9 for a pizza or burger to the mid twenties for a steak. I was under impressed.
Overall: This place seems catered toward two groups: hungry families craving large portions of overpriced and underwhelming food, and yuppies craving a miller lite and 5 overpriced jager bombs. Note that beer drinker was not included in either of those two. Perhaps with time, and once they get the on premises brewing up and running we will see some reason to frequent this place. Until then, Ill be sticking to the Dane.
11-19-2006 17:03:43 | More by DaPeculierDane
Gray's Tied House in Verona, WI
- out of 100 based on 8 ratings.