The Malt House
Taps: 18 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 26 | Show All Ratings:
4.46/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | $
This is a sweet little beer bar on east Wash in Madison. They have a long wood bar w backless stools, and some tables and a bench. Tap beer was balanced between Belgians and Midwest beers. They were playing music when we were there, but it was low and not intrusive on conversation. They have an impressive collection of barware, and were able to put my Chimay in a Chimay glass. I really appreciate proper barware. Bartender did not seem particularly chatty, but that was not a problem. 18 taps, lots of bottled beers, and a great selection of scotch, whiskey, and some bourbon. Website is weak, check them on Facebook & Twitter.
The pizza delivery guy dropped off three pizzas for patrons while we were there, and I believe the bartender had some carryout food delivered also. Not sure if they had menus there, but prob so. Crowd was mixed w a few younger hipsters, and a lot of middle aged beer lovers.
12-20-2013 03:38:53 | More by Tiburon
4.44/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Atmosphere: This is a great place to chill and definitely knows what it wants to be: just a straight-forward public house. If the day is right one can just sit outside and chill watching the traffic on East Wash and enjoying a good day!
Quality: Can't no beat the quality of the beer and other malt beverages they have on the menu. I go there for the Belgium and Wisconsin taps.
Service: As far as I can tell, it is a one-man shop when I have been there. The service is prompt, friendly, and willing to talk if engaged.
Selection: One of my favorite selections in the midwest.
Food: Who need food.
Overall: you can spend 1-2 hours and have 3-4 quality beers for under $20...that is a good life!
04-17-2012 19:54:33 | More by SciFritz
4.74/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Hard to find a fault with this place. You walk in and find a old tavern/dive bar look, but I'm from this part of the country so that doesn't bother me. There are no TVs or games that make noise to distract you from the main attraction - a great beer and whiskey selection.
18 taps evenly split between Belgian and local beers. Service was friendly and efficient, not much more to ask for. All the beers were served in either logo glassware that matched your beer or the proper shape of glass for the style and the lone employee was serious about that telling one customer they'd have to wait for a certain beer because all of the proper glasses were being used.
There is no kitchen, but this place was awesome enough that when my wife asked about dinner, I thought about suggesting the bags of Doritos and Funions at the end of the bar. The bartender suggested a good Thai place nearby. This place is must-stop when visiting Madison.
04-15-2012 21:14:00 | More by slyke
5/5 rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
The Malt House is Madison's best bar, and the best in the Midwest from the many I have ventured to so far. The bar is nothing but alcohol and good company, with no TV's, no food, and no music playing in the background (unless there's a live low-key band playing in the corner on the odd weekend night).
The bar has FIVE fridges full of multiple beers of any style you could crave. The bar also has a respectable number of rotating taps that range between microbrew domestics (e.g., Satisfaction Jackson), regional delights (e.g., Bells Two Hearted) and tasty foreign beers (e.g., St. Abt 12).
They also have a full whiskey bar.
If you want to go to a classy bar with great selection, Malt House is your place.
11-06-2011 07:19:43 | More by jegross2
4.3/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Malt House was recommended to Emily and I by the friendly bartender at Brasserie V, Jon.
We are glad we made the stop. We have driven by the Malt House numerous times on our way out of Madison, as we travel on the 151 often. Never would have guessed that they would have such a great selection.
I had the Boon Kriek on tap and Emily the NG Cranbic, which I had never had before and thought was awesome! We ended up switching because she liked the Kriek better than the Cranbic, and vice versa.
The tap selection is extensive, and wide ranging. The bottle list is very nice, with a big profile of different styles and formats of beers. This will be a must stop for Emily and I in the future, and am glad to have had it recommended to us.
08-29-2011 16:38:22 | More by MarcatGSB
4.46/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Went here last night for the first time hoping to get some NG Bourbon Barrel Kriek. Too late for that unfortunately. Still enjoyed myself immensely.
Very long bar, screen door that slams, incredibly loudly, echoey space that was pretty loud without any music. While too noisy due to basic acoustics the whole vibe managed to be incredibly unpretentious, simple decor, lots of small tables, fairly well lit (for a bar), and a nice amount of outdoor seating. There was an Irish band last night that was kind of obnoxious, but apparently they also have live bluegrass music which sounds more enjoyable.
Beer selection is excellent, glassware is varied and appropriately used, bartenders know how to pour. Tried a number of Belgians I was unfamiliar with, and there was a good selection of Wisconsin brews on tap. Other parts of the US seemed underrepresented on the taps but plenty of stuff in bottles and a wide variety of styles.
Service would have been better if there had been more bartenders working, the two people behind the bar were running around constantly and I had to wait quite a while for service for my first couple of brews. Pricing was pretty reasonable, though there were plenty of rarer bottles on the menu that were way out of my price range.
This is definitely one of Madison's best beer bars, and its refreshing to see a place like this away from the downtown area. Wish it was closer to my place, but with summer coming I'm more likely to walk/bike a distance to get a drink, will definitely be a repeat customer.
05-03-2011 11:59:53 | More by johnkale
4.53/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
This might be the best place in Madison to have beers simply because of their selection. Sure, they have no food, no TV's, no jukebox, no bar games but I'm not sure any other place offers quite as many high quality beers. Since they have no food they keep a folder of menus from places in the neighborhood and they'll let you order food to be delivered to the bar. The place has tons of character. The actual bar itself is from the civil war era and the place was established back in the civil war days. It was called the Union House and was a place where union soldiers could go for drinks when they were in town training at Camp Randall. They have a very nice outdoor patio for the warmer days as well.
03-31-2011 00:35:21 | More by adman08
4.14/5 rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
Stopped in here for a quick drink on a Saturday evening...
Place itself is pretty small, a few tables and a long bar that runs the length of the building with maybe 20 stools. Three separate tap towers of 6 taps each, one emphasizing Wisconsin locals, one Belgians, one misc. but pretty much leaned to Great Lakes craft...a pretty extensive bottle list as well as various whiskeys and scotch...
Dark and quiet. No tvs and music on low volume. Great place to pull up a stool and have a nice conversation, or to just hear the voices in your head. Patio out front with a good amount of seating. Nice big parking lot too...Only ordered one beer and was on my way, but I will definitely come back...
09-26-2010 01:45:10 | More by hawks10
4.3/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Transcribed from extensive notes dated F, 07 Aug 2009.
A post on this site mentioned that either the 4 or 5 bus lines would get me here and I was tiring of downtown so ... And there it was, at the corner of Washington and Milwaukee!
An outdoor patio/picnic area was in front of the building, along MKE. The entry was nearer to WAS and opened onto an angular entryway with the inverted "L"-shaped dark wood bar to the immediate left. Behind the bar, running from left to right, were a four-door cooler followed by an extensive carved wood and mirror back bar welcoming us to the Union House (est. 1858), followed by shelf after shelf of glassware. A pew-like bench sat in front of the windows along MKE, fronted by round tables and blonde-wood chairs that looked like they belonged in an old-time classroom. Another pew-like ench and more tables and chairs sat under a large painting/ photograph (?) of early railroading, followed by a second entryway. My server was busy, but personable. Well done!
Beer: A very Belgian and Belgian-style bent, especially in the cooler. Wisco and Michigan also had a strong presence in the cooler. I am turning more and more away from bottles and concentrating on CANs and drafts. Three Belgian polished-aluminum draft towers, each with a built-in glass rinser, sat atop the bar for a total of eighteen rotating drafts. I began with a New Glarus WI Belgian Red followed by a Tyranena Scurvy.
06-25-2010 23:15:40 | More by woodychandler
4.09/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I just made it to The Malt House for the first time...I'm not sure what took me so long. The setting is an unpretentious, decades-old building, with a long line of barstools at the actual bar, several tables indoors, and a patio outside. It's very comfortable, but nothing to write home about. The beer selection is one of Madison's best, and taps are continually being changed. Kudos to the staff for keeping its Facebook page regularly updated with current offerings.
My first experience was a bit of a let down due to the inexplicable snappiness of the server when somebody in my party requested a sample. We were quite rudely told that three total samples for a group of four was pushing the limits of acceptability, despite the fact that we each had already purchased a beer (two of which were $7+) , the samples weren't for unreasonably expensive beers, and we were sitting at the bar. That said, I haven't heard anyone else say anything particularly negative about the service here, so perhaps this was an isolated incident. The selection alone is reason to return.
06-21-2010 15:59:17 | More by klikger
The Malt House in Madison, WI
97 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.