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Sugar Maple

Not Rated.
Sugar MapleSugar Maple
BA SCORE
98
world-class

77 Ratings
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: n/a
Taps: 60
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

441 E Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207-1756
United States
phone: (414) 481-2393

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thesugarmaple

Notes:
Place added by: guthrie on 05-04-2008

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by here after a wedding in Wisconsin and I have to say I was very impressed. This place sports a very respectable 60 taps, and among them you’re bound to find some excellent options. New Glarus, Three Floyds, Bell’s, Founders, and several local breweries were well-represented on the tap list. Nothing was extremely rare, but if you’re complaining about stuff like Raspberry Tart, New Glarus Unplugged beers, and limited local stuff on tap, you’ve probably become a bit too jaded. They offer flights of 4 six-ounce pours for $12, which is money if you’re a ticker.

The hipster bartender was a nice guy who gave great service and knew beer very well. No complaints there. The ambiance is really great. Lots of space with comfortable seating, nice decor, and a good outdoor area with picnic tables and a ping (not beer) pong table. Overall this is a bar Milwaukee should be proud of. Don’t miss it if you’re in town - you really have no excuse as it’s right next to I-94, I-43, and the airport.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bshaw22
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great beer selection. Lot of hipsterness going on. Not as good as Roman's or Burnhearts (IMHO), but close.

Photo of Steady_eddie1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

This place is great. It used to be Bay View State Bank.

Photo of robear
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Another unique Milwaukee craft beer bar. Sugar Maple feels more like a coffee house than a bar (which is great, IMO). So if you're looking for a dive bar feel, this isn't it. If you're looking for a comfortable place to chat with friends (or a friendly bartender) while you drink a few beers, this is the perfect place.

Atmosphere- think Seattle Coffee Shop meets low-key great-first-date bar. Clean, spacious, with a patio and a small area in back where bands play. Sometimes it's folk rock, sometimes it's free jazz.

Quality- no macros on tap. Plenty of big names on tap and some small, local names, too. Haven't had a cocktail here, but the whiskey selection is impressive.

Service- Knowledgeable and friendly. Prompt at keeping your glass full. Great with suggestions.

Selection- 40+ taps of craft beer. Been here many times and have never really been disappointed. I can remember maybe a single visit where nothing jumped out at me. The bartender suggested something that I wouldn't have chosen on my own and it was great.

Value- decent prices. Fair.

Photo of hansenm72
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

ANY 4 6oz taps for $13... that cannot be beat. If you want a place to try a ton of different beer without having to fork over a bunch of money this is the place to do it. The bartenders are always great, super attentive, and very knowledgeable. This place is a must if you're in the Milwaukee area ever.

Photo of sisterthelonious
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Good tap selection, bordering on great (when special kegs/casks come in especially). Staff is always friendly and willing to send tasters your way.

More of a coffee shop vibe than a bar vibe. Sometimes I appreciate that!

Ping pong out back when winter is over.

Photo of joe1510
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in again recently and had a much different experience. This Friday night was busy but we got seats at the bar. The taplist was outstanding. Black Husky, Alesmith IPA, some random sours (Sweet Mullet and O'so), and a handful of unique keg only beers. The bartender was attentive, knew his beer and was talkative, full of tips for the city. Prices were more than reasonable. Will stop in again soon.

Original Review 1/13/13
Original score 3.84

The Sugar Maple, I'm conflicted on this place. I want to like it, I really do. I hear nothing but good things and I hear them often.... With that said I can't seem to find much I really like about this place. The exterior makes it look like it's going to be a cool place. Walking in the decor and feel are just off. Strange paintings line the walls, strange for a bar, not a hotel lobby. The loopy bar itself seems out of place as does the weird, mismatched placement of uncomfortable furniture throughout.

The service has never been anything but good and the taplist is usually pretty solid but never anything to go out of my way to find. I will say that the beer seems to be expertly taken care of and the servers friendly. To me there's just seems to be a little something off about the Sugar Maple. I do usually end up at the bar at some point on my Milwaukee travels though so it must have something that draws me in. Must be the reasonable prices on some good drafts.

Photo of bound4er
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Sugar Maple is a great place to drink great beer - especially with a group of people. The bar is big and there are lots of tables across from the bar. The decor may not be to everyones liking but the place is clean. The bartenders were friendly and knowledgable as you would expect. I had an Alesmith IPA, Central Waters Coffee Stout and Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA on my visit - all fresh tasting. If you're in the Bayview area this should be on the top of your list for a visit.

Photo of StevenSpringer
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Great place! Came here for a birthday party a couple of years back, and have returned a bunch of times since. There is a large craft beer selection and staff is passionate about beer. They even have a hidden room in the back where bands play every so often. I would highly recommend visiting this place if you are in Milwaukee. The only thing I would change would be to see a lager selection of barrel aged beers.

Photo of shivtim
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

While visiting a friend in Milwaukee, we made sure to swing by Sugar Maple to have a couple of drinks. It's in kind of a mixed hipstery neighborhood, but the clientelle ranged from 20 somethings to some gentlemen in their 50s. The space is nice - big open room with a very long curving bar and some random couch/table seating areas. They have a ping pong table outside too. We happened to visit when there was a random sausage fextival on the street outside. And yes, it was literally called "sausage fest." Nice bit of local color.

We grabbed a spot at the bar and were welcomed by the friendly bartender. Selection was very solid. Lots of choices, and especially a lot of American micros on draft. Bartender offered up some suggestions on local and regional beers to try. They also have sampler sizes if you don't want to commit to the whole pint. Everything I tried seemed fresh. This is a definite place to stop when in Milwaukee.

Photo of midworken
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Atmosphere - Walked in around 9pm to grab a couple of drinks with my brother while I was visiting. The crowd was pretty light - was expecting that at this time of the night. Very relaxed and intimate atmosphere - couches with dim lighting made up the majority of the seating.

Quality - very good. Had some great beers on tap.

Service - Not so bad - we were standing by the bar for some time to order our drinks, while the bar hop just stood there and watched everybody. He could have been a bit more helpful or atleast ensured us that service was coming.

Selection - 60 different beers on tap... never seen it before! Was really great to have that amount of selection, however, the first beer I ordered was listed as a triple. It definitely was too hoppy for a triple and thank-goodness the brewery rep was actually there and said it was an IPA. After that, we went over to the rep and tried out some of the small-batch brews that he was handing out some tastings of. After that point, we drank for free!

Photo of bashiba
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

We Really enjoyed our visit to Sugar Maple. It had a great selection of beers with 60 Tap Handles and 2 Casks. They were almost all American Craft beers with several being some more obscure Wisconsin beers.

The Bartender was a bit slow as he was the only one working, but when he had time to chat he seemed very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful.

For Food they only have 2 soups, they were both good, but it didn't sit real well with me.

Prices were very acceptable for the quality of beers they had.

Photo of DersOne
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Overall an excellent craft beer bar, and one of my favorite Milwaukee spots to go on a night out.

Atmosphere: this place is right up my alley. It's a bit dark, typically with indie rock playing, and a an "older" crowd (i.e. 30's and up). The bar has a collection of eclectic local artwork that suits the vibe well, and an extremely large bar that takes a note from the plethora of local bowling lanes. Many tables are available outside of the bar, and the seating is comfortable.

There is also a small music venue at the rear of the bar that showcases local artists and comedians, and ping-pong tables on an outside patio during the summer.

In all, it seems like the owner really cares about the neighborhood based on the bar's styling, which is refreshing.

Quality: technically well done on most levels. The bar area is usually extremely clean, as are the bathrooms. Beer is poured in an appropriate serving glass to the style of beer selected, and to the proper amount for the style and strength of beer.

Service: a bit slow at times, but the bartenders are friendly and generally knowledgeable about what's on tap and can make recommendations if you tell them the style you're after that evening. I've yet to have a bad experience here.

Selection: in general the selection is great, although they don't typically have some of the small batch or seasonal brews that would make the selection "excellent". With 60 beers on tap, you are sure to find something appealing to all tastes, and I do like that they have two nitro pulls at most times, even firkins depending on the time of year.

Food: they only serve soup, but this is some mean soup! I've had the curry chicken and white chili before, and both were delicious, served in a portion that was just right, with a few slices of tasty bread on the side.

Value: prices are extremely reasonable and on par with what I would expect "bar prices" to be compared to a liquor store.

Photo of siknessinwi
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Easily the best beer bar in Milwaukee, and one of the best in the country.

60 drafts(plus 2 beer engines), all American craft beer. No Bud, No Miller, no bs. Drafts focus on Midwest breweries (Three Floyds, Founders, Bells, New Glarus, etc.) but have offerings from some of the best across the country. The menu is constantly changing and always offers a varied selection of great beers.

They recently expanded their bottle selection (mostly bombers/750s) including Arctic Panzer Wolf and Fin du Monde, amongst others.

They also offer a very large liquor selection(200+ bottles), specializing in bourbon(50-60).

All things were reasonably priced, and served in the appropriate glassware.

Staff was very friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable. Service can get slow, but they always do their best to keep up with a very large bar and seating area.

The music and atmosphere is as varied and interesting as the beer selection. This place is a must for any beer fan and is worth any distance you have to travel.

Photo of EnJeiBee
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is one of the best craft beer bars in Milwaukee! The selection is great and the prices aren't off the charts.

As others have noted, the lighting is a little low, but it's not a problem. My only complaint is that a lot of the seating isn't very comfortable. Many of the chairs are more like patio furniture with padding than indoor lounge seats. Other than that the atmosphere is great!

I'm also a big fan of the location. It's not in the heart of downtown where it's impossible to find parking. There are a decent amount of restaurants and bars in the surrounding area. All in all, it's a great spot to stop for an unusual brew or for an entire evening.

Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Incredible selection and a sizeable area with a large bar and several tables. For a late weekday, a lot of drinkers still ample room. Tons of bottles and taps I never tried. Low though not impossible lighting. Reasonable prices in a city that does not overcharge. Everything served at appropriate temperatures and glassware. A tad harder than other places to get service, which is still much better than most cities. Ample parking places. Had way too much beer. Highly recommended, even if you drive for hours.

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here for after dinner beers with ratatat and S on 22 Jul 2011, about 10 pm.

After carding the late 20s couple in front of us, the bouncer didn't even look our way as we entered, we must be getting old.

Bar was maybe a third full when we arrived. Plenty of seating, we went to the recycled church pew by the front. Fairly dark inside and quiet. Lots of artwork on the walls that appeared to be original.

Advertised 60 beers on tap; it seemed like there were that many on the menu. Lots of WI locals, Tyranena, New Glarus, Lakefront, as well as others from around the region. I had the Nebraska Hop God as I had never seen it before, quite tasty. They had flights as well, four 6 oz. pours for $12.

Oddly, the only food they had (we went looking for some kind of bar snacks) was a curry soup. So bring your own snacks if you are hungry for something else.

Photo of Gtreid
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I go to Milwaukee at least 3 times a year and probably spend a month of my year there, and I had never been to sugar maple until last week.

We went on a Tuesday night, probably not the best time to go for socializing, but atleast I got to try some good beer. The place was rather dark, but kinda had that laid back lounge feel. The bartenders were nice and knowledgable and ready to serve.

The beer selection was great. We didn't spend much time there, but I wish I could've bellied up to that bar all night. Lots of Wisconsin locals and the selection really fit the season. Lots of ipa's, pale ales, and Belgians.

They serve soup, which I found a bit odd. I didn't have any but my brother in law said it was good. All in all I thought this place was very cool, and it's a place I will definately visit again.

Photo of gorby10826
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Wow. A definite find. Very much worth trying if you want to stop by and have a few off the 60 tap lines they have running. This seems to be the largest I have personally seen around Milwaukee. A little abandoned memorial day weekend but was still great. It was clean, had spotless glasses, and the guy was pretty knowledgable.

It had a really laid by atmosphere. Definitely no elegant at all. Seems like an underdone modern pool hall without the tables.

Most importantly the selection was very well picked with pretty much all American Craft beer. from throughout the country. Some pretty hard stuff to come by as well.

If you plan on one stop, this is it.

Photo of drumminbrewer
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Beautiful place. One of my favorite places in Milwaukee (where I was from originally).

Tall ceilings, well lit but the light is kept soft. Couches, really comfortable chairs and a massive bar. Even on busy nights it isn't hard to get a drink because the bar is so huge there's plenty of places to stand.

The bartenders are ALWAYS nice. Even if they're busy they'll give you a quick smile and make sure you're taken care of.

Fantastic draft list. Specializing in locals (central waters, new glarus, tyranena) but I often see Southern Tier, Bells, Goose and many others. You can tell this place takes care of their draft lines...I've NEVER had a bad beer there. More often than not I have a beer there that I didn't enjoy as much the first time I had it!

They always have soup and fresh bread. Nothing fancy, just something substantial to get in your stomach for a night of drinking. By the way, you'll never pay more than $7 a glass for a draft there (and that's only if you're ordering Bourbon County Coffee or something). A real value for how pretty and relaxing the place is.

Highly recommended.

Photo of sweemzander
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A jam packed place on a friday night! Luckily we were able to grab a seat at the bar and ordered a round or two.
A solid tap selection of local, imported, and distributed beers from around the world that I hear gets rotated quite often so I am sure it pays to check in at least once a week to see what they got.
Overall, a sweet place to hangout, though was rather uncomfortable even at the bar since it was so busy. The small chairs and low tables on the other side of the room did not look too comfortable either. However, the tap selection was pretty good; took me a bit to decide what to have.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The selection at the Sugar Maple is second to none, and the best part about it is, how affordable the taps are. Where else can you get an 8 oz pour of World Wide Stout for under ten dollars? Well under ten dollars. Also had some great beers from Bells, including the Batch 10000 for under 8 dollars, Founders Backwoods Bastard for around the same price. Over 40 taps, and a great bottle selection as well. And if you're fix'n for a glass of whiskey, they have a phenomenal selection of our distilled friends as well!

Photo of crossovert
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

It is a supremely dark lit place next to Cafe Centraal.

I like the atmosphere, it would be better if the mood lighting let you see the color of your beer a bit more, but there was no tv, plenty of lounging space and just a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. This is the kind of atmosphere a beer bar should have, it should be solely focused on enjoying the beer, and socializing, not staring at a screen. They had music quietly on, it was mostly 60s.

The quality of the taps is one of the best in Wisconsin. 50ish craft beer taps all from North America. There were some rarities and some good staples. The problem I had was they were way too cold, I ordered 2 ipas and had to let them sit an hour each before they finally cooled down. For this i have to dock quality.

The bartentder was good, he seemed to like IPAs, though you would think he would know to serve them a bit warmer.

The prices were reasonable to cheap, lots of 4$ pints.

Photo of duffcalifornia
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

If you're looking for craft beer on tap in Milwaukee, this is where you want to go. They've got 60 craft beers on tap with a decent mix of local, regional, and national choices. The prices are fairly reasonable considering what you're getting, ranging from $5-7 per beer, all poured into correct glassware. The staff is very knowledgable but it was hard to talk to them as it's generally at least decently busy. They do seem to serve soup(s?) but I did not have any. Plenty of seating with a few couches, and a patio in warmer weather. Highly recommended.

Photo of drpdaddy
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Dropped by with some friends for a drink before a concert. The atmosphere was nice, comfy couches to sit, was a little dark which made it hard to carry on a conversation. I really didn't get a chance to speak with the staff because it was pretty crowded. I was impressed with the number of taps and the prices were all around 4-6 for healthy pours into appropriate glassware. My only real complaint was although they had 4-5 DIPAs on the beer menu but not one RIS(I am sure this isn't always the case). Overall a great place.

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Sugar Maple in Milwaukee, WI
98 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.