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Taps: 10 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Alchemy - inhabits the building formerly known as Wonders Pub.
When i first visited Alchemy a while back, shortly after it opened, there were some nice taps and lunch was pretty decent. Boy has this place come a long way since - i now stop through here weekly, and i'll tell you why
Alchemy really seems to be the new Weary on the near-east side. The vibe is great, the food is outstanding, and the beer is even better.
the old wooden interior and small elevated bar are full of character - the room hosts live music on the weekend and is quite cozy any night of the week.
i dont believe there is any bottled beer but the taps rotate quickly and feature things you might not see elsewhere. in the past few weeks i've enjoyed stone double bastard, stone arrogant bastard, smuttynose barleywine, dfh world wide stout, avery czar, and new holland dragons milk (wonderful on tap). Out of the 10 taps on hand, the least attractive on my most recent visit was new holland kolsch, which isnt a bad standby. There is no domestic schwill anywhere in sight. I also noted 3F alpha king, capital winter skal, and various other local/regionals. I get the impression that if you go to this place every week or two, you will consistently be surprised. This is precisely what you want in a neighborhood beer joint.
The menu, much like the Weary's, is small but impressive. There are a number of nice appetizers (veggies, hummus etc) and some great salads - the maize salad is full of garbanzo beans and a nice dressing. The portabella sandwich with leeks is also nice and the beer brined chicken breast with a spicy corn/garbanzo bean salad was quite good. The fish fry looked fantastic but i was trying to limit my caloric intake.
The near-east side of Madison literally went from a beer wasteland to the most fertile part of town with Alchemy, the Malt House, Dexter's, and Ale Asylum taking over.
Alchemy rocks, go check it out.
01-11-2009 18:25:37 | More by dirtylou
4.4/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I live 2 blocks away and, until recently, had not discovered Alchemy. Now I am kicking myself for not getting there sooner. The food my fiancee and I have had there has been amazing (Tarragon Ham and the Bison burger with bacon and onions for me and a BLT and fish tacos for her). Also, if they have their handbreaded wings as a special GET them; you won't regret it. The beer selection is great, with about 10 nice craft beers on tap. I am sad they took out Gumballhead between my first and second visit, but they made up for it with Bedlam! from Ale Asylum, and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale. The service is the only complain in that it's somewhat slow. Also, IMPORTANT - THEY ONLY ACCEPT CASH OR CHECK. However, they do have an ATM in the place, so it alleviates this issue somewhat. The prices are pretty normal, $4.25-4.75 for a nice pint of craft beer and typically 8 bucks for a sandwich. My fiancee loves the sweet potato fries as well. There are some entrees that are 13-15 bucks but if you want to eat cheaper here and get good food, you definitely can.
Also, Sunday night we went in and took part in a very fun, yet difficult, trivia night. Tons of fun - would totally recommend this to anyone!
06-08-2011 21:22:38 | More by HopHeadHurls
4.38/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Been to Alchemy numerous times.. Finally a review. One of the better combos of food and beer in Madison.. As stated by others they have 8-10 taps which aren't amazing but don't include any Miller, Coors, or Bud.. Thank goodness! Almost always have a TG on tap from my experience and the main reason to go is the food anyways.. A nightly special that is always worth getting but plenty of other sandwiches and entrees that will pair well with any of the tap list brews.. A couple of tables outdoors make it a nice place on a pleasant evening.. Servers are very competent and have always been prompt in my experience.. It is cash or check only but they do have an ATM and it has a $1 service charge so not a huge deal.. If you are from the area or just visiting Alchemy is definitely a place worth checking out!
07-14-2014 01:52:08 | More by BarrelAgedG
4.38/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
first stop right off the plane on my latest Madison adventure
the place was pretty dead at 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon - it was packed at the Two Brothers GT pre-party, but memories of that night aren't exactly clear, walked to the bar inside and ordered a Great Lakes Independence while my compadre went with a Founders Cerise (cute), cool old-school wooden interior would make a fine place to hole up for a couple hours in the winter months, but summertime it is...
after taking our seats on the sidewalk patio it was only a short wait for my stuffed grilled cheese to arrive, loved the sandwich and the wedge fries were on point, the subsequent Friday night fish-fry was quite easily the best I've had
the selection was all quality but there really weren't any "wow" beers - though I'm told it's typically better, the Independence was better than expected - not to say that I don't expect quality from Great Lakes, but red ales are often pretty tame
the bartendress was very friendly and kept making the trip outside to check on us
good start to the trip and definitely worth repeat visits
08-21-2009 22:38:17 | More by blackie
4.05/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
This was my second visit to Alchemy, the first time being the Surly/TBS pre-party for Great Taste of the Midwest last year.
I really like the feel of the place, a laid back airy cafe kind of vibe with low key music playing in the afternoon. The bar is elevated, towards the back left end of the room. Tables in the front windows, and another elevated seating area in the back. Wood floors and railings, plenty of sunlight in the day, local art on the walls, and a small patio area out front too.
Taps were largely local, a few exclusives like Capital Hop Bock and Bells 3rd Coast Old Ale (keg had just blown though), New Holland Existential, and local standbys like Ale Asylum Hopalicious. They had maybe 20-25 bottles of various stuff listed on the menu, nothing too wild but a decent variety. Also some creative mixed drinks, one used Rogue Spruce gin.
Didn't try the food, but our table ordered a few appetizers and they were a cut above typical bar food. There seemed to be a good amount of organic stuff on the menu. Alchemy is a great neighborhood place and i'd return anytime when visiting Madison.
05-04-2009 14:57:28 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Stopped in here for a few during my recent trip to mad town.
Seating for diners on the right and an elevated stage like bar on the left. I took a seat at the bar. First thing I noticed was how wobbly my stool was it felt like it fall apart at any second. Once I figured out it was how all their stools are I rolled with it.
About ten taps to choose from which isn't a huge number but all were solid choices. I ordered a beer and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was happy hour. Score one for me. The bartender was very friendly and promt. He did manage to fill all my pints so full I had to do the no hand slurp with every glass. I appreciate that it's 16oz of beer but come on man. I like to enjoy the head too.
Overall a nice chill place to grab a beer in Madison.
10-10-2010 19:17:50 | More by beerwolf77
Alchemy in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.