The Malt House
Taps: 18 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 27 | Show All Ratings:
4.09/5 rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I just made it to The Malt House for the first time...I'm not sure what took me so long. The setting is an unpretentious, decades-old building, with a long line of barstools at the actual bar, several tables indoors, and a patio outside. It's very comfortable, but nothing to write home about. The beer selection is one of Madison's best, and taps are continually being changed. Kudos to the staff for keeping its Facebook page regularly updated with current offerings.
My first experience was a bit of a let down due to the inexplicable snappiness of the server when somebody in my party requested a sample. We were quite rudely told that three total samples for a group of four was pushing the limits of acceptability, despite the fact that we each had already purchased a beer (two of which were $7+) , the samples weren't for unreasonably expensive beers, and we were sitting at the bar. That said, I haven't heard anyone else say anything particularly negative about the service here, so perhaps this was an isolated incident. The selection alone is reason to return.
06-21-2010 15:59:17 | More by klikger
4.5/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I stopped here a few times over the Summer to grab a drink with my girlfriend. I had heard that this place was all about beer, which sounded right up my alley. There's no music, no television and no games. Awesome. (Well, I wouldn't background music so long as it's quiet) This is my kinda place.
We browsed through their bottle and tap selection which was pretty extensive and made our choices. Good pour, good serving temperature and both good beers. I don't visit bars very much simply because it's too expensive, but this place is one that's worth visiting for sure.
If you're coming to Madison and need a place to grab a drink, check this place out.
11-03-2009 00:19:11 | More by Ek0nomik
4.44/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
atmosphere was relaxed on both of my visits, one this past summer and one over the winter holidays last year, dimly lit, heavily wooden interior, plenty of seating inside with an outdoor patio available
selection has been pretty awesome in the past and from what I'm told rotates pretty frequently, nice tap list representing the midwest, some nationally distributed stuff, and Belgium with a fine array of bottles, any place with Belgian Red on tap is fine by me, beers served in appropriate glassware
service has been up to par with the beer, friendly and knowledgeable, and tolerant of drunken fools demanding food
no food, but they do have some fine potato chips
09-23-2009 22:13:46 | More by blackie
4.64/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
First things first...if you're coming from the west (E. Washington), you'll need to make a 3-point turn or turn left from the right lane whilst checking your blind spot to get into the parking lot. There is also a bike rack out front.
A-Very good atmosphere, dimly lit but you get some good sunlight through the windows sometimes. Tunes playing on the computer behind the bar, no TV, good conversation, diverse and interesting clientele.
Q&S-Top notch local and internat'l brews on tap and available in bottles. Always a quickly rotating batch of Belgians with a couple of regulars that seem to get re-ordered. I don't know how many of the bottles on the list are actually in-stock, but I've never had to find out because the tap selection is broad enough to keep me happy.
S-Probably the best bar service I've ever had in any establishment. They are quick to react, always get the right order, are very knowledgeable, polite, and pleasant.
V-Prices are comparable and probably slightly better than most other places of similar quality.
If you're in Madison, stop by here. It's just south off Hwy. 30, but a lot of people familiar w/the area don't even know it's here because it is rather new and unassuming.
09-05-2009 21:33:19 | More by BoitSansSoif
4.8/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here last night. Been here before and will continue to go back.
Always a nice selection of Belgian beers on tap (St. Bernardus Prior, Blanche du Bruxelles, Piraat to name a few.) and in bottle (many more).
I believe there are a total of 18 taps in the place, always with different stuff available. The previous time I went in, I had Sierra's Bigfoot and Stone's Old Guardian Barleywines. This time I tried some more local stuff: Tyranenas Chipotle Porter, Ale Asylum's Ballistic IPA.
Do yourself a favor and check the chalkboard on the wall for the most updated list of stuff on tap. They do provide you with a hand held menu, but the wall will be far more up to date, since when they run out a keg, they change whats on tap.
The hand held menu does tell you all of the beers that they have in bottle, which becomes quite helpful.
The atmosphere for this beer bar is wonderful. There are NO tvs. It's all about the beer and conversation. The bartenders usually know their stuff about the beers that are on tap, and they always have the right glass.
They do have a small but good selection of single malt scotch and bourbon and a few wines for those who's significant others don't drink beer (what?!).
They don't do food here, only bags of chips, but you can order out and have it brought in.
The prices have always been reasonable, even for the rare stuff you don't normally see in a bar. I definitely recommend this place to other BA's who are looking for that quiet place to go.
04-01-2009 16:30:06 | More by TPatuto
4.33/5 rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Pretty darn nice place but a pitiful selection of Brown ales. Sems to have a Belgian thing going on and being a Brown Ale guy I was really hoping for more then like 4.
I love the fact that there is no TV and no smoking and they really do know how to treat their beer.
I am very glad I moved away from Madison s this place would be my down fall.
I did have a number of brews I have never tried and the bartender really knew what she was doing and what she was pouring. Beer was the perfect temperature and I appreciated being able to taste before spending $4 on a pint.
02-13-2009 20:57:04 | More by Grinder
4.88/5 rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
this is my local (for the next few months). great tap list, everything is fairly priced but of course there are some serious heavy hitters so that doesn't mean it's cheap. really this is the best bar in town for belgians, and there are other places that have as much american stuff that they do, but the entire beer list is just really well put together here. if you have a car and are in madison, there's no excuse to miss this place, and not having a car isn't a good excuse either. the madison in half a day tour would hit ale asylum, malt house, maduro and the memorial union. there's no food here, but you're free to order in.
not the most beautiful part of madison. that doesn't mean it's a bad neighborhood, it's not, but it ain't all that pretty. but there are a couple other places near to visit, and as you get towards the atwood neighborhood it's more frou-frou. plus there's a porno shop kitty corner that always seems to be on the news for getting robbed. NO TVS, which is a plus, just don't expect to be able to catch a game here. for that, go to dexter's.
01-10-2009 21:48:32 | More by nchrist13
4.18/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Something Madison has been needing for quite sometime. The selection is pretty darn good with 18 taps with 6 being Belgians and a great bottle selection. The atmosphere is a little dull but could be due to how new the place is. Maybe the crashing door will be the start of the place. The chalk board is what every good beer bar does but is not placed very well in the old Union House proably because of the great bar that's been around for a while. If you or your friends are into liquor The Malt House has a pretty good slection but make sure to eat before you drink because The Malt House does not serve food.
12-30-2008 02:04:27 | More by groovy24
4.36/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I'm really starting to like this place. It doesn't look like somewhere you'd want to stop from the outside (And the porn shop across the way doesn't help with that vibe), but once you step inside it's all good. Good tap selection, good bottle selection. I had a Bell's Expedition Stout, can't say I've seen a bottle of there at any bar in Madison. Pretty empty when we stopped in, but I imagine they can get pretty busy. I really like the bar, it's a good place to sit and sip away the cold!
12-16-2008 23:37:18 | More by aggiearcher13
4.44/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I'm a big fan of the place. Good beers, good turnover in the selection (sometimes so quick that I miss beers I wanted to try!), not cheap but certainly reasonable prices for beers that may not be available on draught elsewhere in the area, and friendly bartenders. The absence of TV is a good thing.
The beer selection turns over often enough that I decided to blog the draught list at http://malthousefan.wordpress.com
(disclaimer: not an official website, no financial interest in the place, blahblahblah)
I don't promise to get every change posted or update it after every single time I visit, but I'll aim for updating it a few times a month, as feasible. Enjoy.
Now go have a beer!
11-26-2008 18:00:30 | More by nghab
The Malt House in Madison, WI
97 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.