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Milwaukee Ale House

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BEER AVG
3.49/5
Based on:
20 Beers
363 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

233 North Water Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202
United States
phone: (414) 226-BEER

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: brakspear)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Klinesausage
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Yetiman420
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Stop #403 on my world brewery tour.

Research warned me that downtown Milwaukee was a challenge for visiting a high-quality craft brewery. Have to say I disagree with that finding based on my experience at the Milwaukee Ale House.

Sure, this place probably draws the masses which tends to turn off us beer dorks. Not much going on downtown the Friday night in early November that I visited. They had a 70's rock cover band that only played three songs (around 9) while I was there - maybe a sound check?

I had their seasonal flight plus the cream and hoppy beer. All the beers were very well done in terms of balance and mouthfeel. As a home chef, I'm embarrassed to admit my fondness for wings as bar food. The MAH has probably the best wings I've ever had. No bad too-long-in-the -freezer taste and a great sauce.

I would definitely recommend a stop here is you're in the area.

Photo of TheRealPour
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Offa
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Overall, we found this to be a great pub.

It is an old brick building with a large bar area and large open seating area, the kind that is sort of a converted industrial building. It therefore has a somewhat cavernous feel with high ceiling, but is done pretty well. There is nice seating by back windows and out back, with nice views on the Milwaukee River. It's in the Third Ward area, an interesting old industrial-shipping area that has been gentrified a bit and converted to mixed uses.

Quality of the beer overall is very good, ranging from a few that are great to some that are decent, a bit better than mediocre. Overall, the beer is not exciting but is very good and solid in quality.

Service was excellent, efficient and friendly.

The beer selection is very good with a nice range but not extensive in styles and lacking cask selections.

Food we had was all excellent. Salads were great, made with good ingredients and made well.

Photo of guityler83
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

The precurser the Milwaukee Brewing Company, the Ale House has been a spot I've frequented numerous times through out the years. When Its warm the deck in the back facing the river is a great place to grab a pint.

The beer is mostly MKE Brewing company, but occasionaly they firkins of one off beers that are always the highlight for me. Vanilla bean porter was my favorite hands down. Food is solid, but nothing to write home about, and I've always had good service.

Cheers

Photo of thebigredone
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

I've been here twice, and likely won't return. Neither the food or beer is really worth the trip. The only really enjoyable part of a visit here is the number of attractive women, either servers or other patrons, though the opportunity for sightings of attractive females is above average in most of the Third Ward area.

In terms of atmosphere, the place is large and loud, not the most condusive atmosphere for having a conversation. The outdoors riverside seating is pretty nice, but it often takes extra time to get seated at an avaialable table in this space.

The main reason for coming here, of course, is the beer. In that regard, the beer is decent, but not particularly worth seeking out. The beers often start out with bold flavors, but those flavors quickly dissipate and end up falling flat on the finish. I can't say I've had a beer here that is anything but average at best.

The food here is good. Not anything overly special, but good for "pub" food. I really enjoy the nachos and the calzones.

Overall, if you've tried everything else in Milwaukee, you might want to give this place a go just for fun. Otherwise, seek out one of the better beer establishments downtown such as Stubby's.

Photo of bashiba
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The atmosphere of this place was very solid, a huge place, they were setting up for a band that was playing later. We sat at the bar and all the local's were very friendly and pleasant.

The beers were all very good, everything our group tried was above above average.

The service was a bit slow as they were very busy, but they were all very helpful, quick to give us samples and try and answer questions.

The selection was pretty solid, there must have been close to 10 beers to chose from on tap plus a couple on Cask.

The food was very good, some nice little twists on classic recipes like the Blue Cheese Potato salad was great.

The pricing was all very fair and pretty much about what you expect for a downtown metro bar.

Photo of JohnWaynes44
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

I went here with some friends visiting from out of town. I was impressed the the size of the place and the layout of the seating in the bar/bandstand area. Lot's of nooks and crannies to see the band. It is a cool, old building with lots of character. Plenty of TV's for viewing the game and a pool table off to one side with big booths and bar stool seating near by. Having tried a few of there in house brewed beers before this visit, I was not surprised by the mediocre beer. The Louie's demise that I was served was flat with no head. Moving on to the IPA, It was better but still blah. I was disappointed to find they did not offer any guest beers. My only other complaint is that the backrooms are pretty far away and not easy to get to through the thick crowd of standing room only bar-goers crowding the route. Overall this is a good place to go for live entertainment. I was not wowed by there beer, but it did the trick for an evening of entertaining friends.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped in during the early afternoon on a weekday. Not a bust time and there were only a few souls around.

Even with only a few people around, we were seated as far away from the bar as possible. I guess that my extremely well behaved 4 year old would have bothered the two other customers somehow. It is hard to enjoy an "ale house" when seated so far from the ale.

The beer menu listed their current offerings and indicated a sampler and happy hour pricing. No pricing was indicated. We ordered the sampler and I ordered one of their current brews to take advantage of the happy hour pricing. The server brought me the beer I ordered then went on to explain to me that this beer wasn't part of the happy hour but they'd make an exception on part that it was their mistake. How charitable of them.

The beers were okay. Nothing really stood out and there were a few that were simply uninspired. The couple we liked were good and I would happily visit again when in Milwaukee.

The food was basic bar fare and we ordered the pretzel which was basic. The mustard was strong (right out of the can) and the cheese sauce was okay.

This may not sound like the most positive review, but we would visit again and hope for better. Worth a visit.

Photo of crossovert
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped here today.

It was kind of dead on a Sunday mid-afternoon.

The taplist was pretty good and first of I ordered the Maker's Demise cask. It was pretty good. Then I went on to order a sampler which h was 6 beers for 8$ or 7 for 9$. I got a gamut of light to dark styles, most were impressive with only 1 or 2 being just decent. The Bock was very good.

The bartender, the curly haired older guy with moustache, was excellent.

The food was okay, all I ordered were pretzels, standard fare. Beware the Mustard they serve it with will clear your sinus.

When I left I got a growler of the bock for 12$ which I thought was reasonable and the bartender gave me some free cups. 10$ refills.

Overall it is a nice stop in Milwaukee on Water/1st/kinnikinac.

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

I stopped here with my brother on a Saturday night. Place was pretty full, but managed to get a table. Tried a flight of their beers and they were solid, but not earth moving. I thought it would be nice to see some higher end beers here or some beers with some bold flavors... the place seemed too safe with their choices. The food looked good, but I didn't have any... probably would consider it next time. In the city of Milwaukee with its rich beer history this is one of the handful that might be worth checking out. I will probably come back for the food but hope the brewers try something more daring.

Photo of t0rin0
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited 10/10/2010 on a quick trip through Wisconsin. 12 taps plus bottles to go.

Came in on a Sunday evening and ordered a flight of samples. Kind of quiet with a few patrons hanging out.

The beers were all drinkable at least even if a few weren't quite to style. Didn't try the food so I can't comment on that.

The service was very nice and helpful for the most part even if it was a bit slow. The bartender was nice enough to mix a 6 pack for me with the 3 available bottled beers (IPA, Milk Stout, and Pale Ale).

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I wanted to try at least one brewpub/brewery in Milwaukee and, based on reviews, chose Milwaukee Ale House.

This is a sprawling restaurant in a beautiful old building in MKE's Third Ward. It´s got a chain feeling to it.

Nice beautiful seating outside by the river! Service is nothing great, just fine, she didn´t really know a lot about beers.

Food is OK, lots of sandwiches and the typical stuff. Fairly priced, some lunch deals. Great onion rings.

The beer? Alright but not great. I had the Hoptoberfest, Porter (on cask) and Monkey Paw, which the waitress described as a "strong red ale" but BA labels as a DIPA. They were all average to good. A tad watery.

Would I come back? Maybe. But more for the river view than the beer.

Photo of dstc
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Beautiful location in historic Third Ward. Sat outside overlooking the river and listened to the loud and very poor choice of music from the boat docked opposite. Luckily the waiter eventually told them to turn it down. They almost listened.

Food was all decent, no complaints there. Beer choice was a bit depressing. I noticed when we walked in the board said they had a Belgian Saison on task. Yippee! But they were out. Ordered the Belgian Wit. Out of that too and out of yet another. Guess you can't even get the 6 beer sampler since there were not six left to choose from. Did get two different brews that were very good, just not what I wanted. On the way out I ordered a six pack to go of one of the beers that was out, they said they had it in bottles. Paid for it and waited longer than I did to get my food to get this beer to go.

All in all I guess I left with a bit of a sour taste of an experience but I did enjoy the food and beer I had and would try again and hope for a better selection.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Located in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward. A mix of industrial storage and now artsy lofts. And some trendy small plate dining/nightclub places. It really all built around the Ale House and the Milwaukee river. Parking can be difficult, just like anywhere in Milwaukee.

Quality of beers is quite nice. Nothing trendy big beer aged in 19th century whiskey stuff, just great session ales. Pull Chain Pale and Louie's Demise are my faves. Service is standard, server's won't hesitate to help you.

Food is quite nice for an alehouse, definitely try the onion rings. Can't say I've ever had anything bad.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.83/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

If you come to Milwaukee you should check out the Ale house. No, they don't have the crazy big beers but they have some very solid offerings. They also have some special beers that they will break out every so often. I like the atmosphere of the place and it is along the river so its nice to sit outside during the summer time. The food there is also pretty dang good too. They offer up some different items and their portion sizes are better than average. There are some TV's and a few pool tables which makes it a good place to catch a game or hang out with some friends. Overall a pretty good place with some solid beer offerings and some really good food. The service is good and its in a good location.

Photo of jjboesen
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Conveniently located amid the Historic Third Ward District and easily accessible downtown via the Riverwalk, the Milwaukee Ale House is a mandatory stop for any Beer Advocate - at least it has been during my many trips to Irishfest (also nearby). It's riverside location also makes it a prime target for the tourist-laden Brews Cruises that ply the murky Milwaukee River.

It is a large establishment with a sizeable bar area, a smattering of high tops and tables towards the river side; of course, Milwaukee Ale House offers a waterfront patio, a prime location. Of course, for me, the bar is good enough.

There are several year round beers and a few seasonals, the former includes their Juneau Ale, Louie's Demise Ale, Pull Chain IPA and a stout, a creamy and delicious elixir whose name escapes me. But it was tasty.

In addition, the thirsty BA can indulge in an eclectic menu filled with a variety of filling entrees, soup and sandwiches. (For lunch, I enjoyed a tender roast beef on baguette with a hearty dollop of potato salad on the side; all of it being delish.) The bartender was efficient and knowledgeable as to the aforementioned beers. None of this, "It's the closest thing we have to Budweiser" here. Always an inviting touch.

In a city dominated by Miller Brewing, and haunted by the lonely ghosts of Blatz and Schlitz, the Milwaukee Ale House serves as a haven to anyone in search of quality beer. I recommend it during any trip to Cream City.

Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Good selection of very fine house brewed beers in a good atmosphere and with great outdoor seating on the river. A must for any beer advocate passing through Milwaukee.

I made two trips to this place during my week in Miwaukee, once for lunch and once for dinner. I tried their Belgian golden ale, which was excellent, their IPA, which was good, and their porter, which was excellent.

Lunch was great, dinner was good. Service was very good both times.

Very large dining room and bar area with a couple pool tables.

Photo of blackearth
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been to the Milwaukee Ale House numerous times in the past 10 years. I just recently had their sampler, and I can say that overall they brew some great tasting beers, but nothing earth-shattering. You can easily find a stlye to fit your taste or mood. My favorites include Pull Chain Pail Ale, Louise's Demise, and Sheepshead Stout. AHA members get half priced pints with the pub discount which is a great deal. The food here has typically been very good as well and resonably priced. Only a couple downsides to this place, the first being that free parking is hard to come by, although there is a parking garage nearby. Second complaint I have is that while I don't mind live music, it's always way too lound in this place when a band plays. You can sometimes find a corner in the back to escape the noise if you're lucky. If it's summer however, you can sit on the patio that overlooks the Milwaukee River and the Riverwalk.

Photo of birchstick
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited this while in town for some concerts at Alpine Valley with some buddies. This was located in a cool little historic neighborhood in what seemed to be a renovated warehouse or store. As soon as I walked in I knew I was in a microbrewery. There is a nice, long bar with a really cool area for the taps.

We pulled up to a long table within in view of numerous tvs. We really wanted to catch the Brazil / Italy soccer game, so we put on a request. Our waitress, a bus boy, and the bartender all made sure that the game was set on a tv that we could see from our seats.

The food was really good. I ordered a mandarin chicken sandwich, which was delicious. After looking at the numerous offerings they had, I ordered a Pressings 78 ale to drink with it. The brew wasn't the most impressive I have ever had, but that's okay. I tried some of the others that my buddies ordered, all of which were decent.

Overall, I am glad we stopped in and I would recommend this place to anyone visiting Milwaukee.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

More like a sports bar than a beer bar - not like that's necessarily bad. High tops in the front with dining area in the back. Oh, and inconveniently located restrooms in a shared hallway.

Food and decor were nice. Had a big bar area dominating one wall...as it should.

Service was good in the bar area. Not necessarliy fast; you know if waitstaff is trying to be helpful, it take some time. Our waitress was helpful on the food and, most importantly, knowledgeable about the beer.

Selection was good in that had a wide range in their own beers, but much more limited outside of that.

I thought the food was very good and price was reasonable. I'm a pretty simple guy though.

Photo of DownDaHatch
3.83/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is a large establishment found in reasonable proximity to several other places to visit. Parking is difficult, but pay the $5 at the lot and you should be ok (cheap parking is a bonus). This place is very large and could be loud. There are two things that are remarkable about this place. First, severla people smokin bith cigarettes and cigars, smoke eaters and high cielings were great as to improve the quality of the air. Secondly, the bar area tables are very open and wide apart and not squashed as in many brew pubs. The weekend entertainment is also a nice touch. The beer selection is not great but the scotch/whiskey selection is very nice. I had th ePull Chain IPA which was very tasty and well balanced and reasonably priced. Simply had a few appetizers at the bar, they weren't remarkable but did the job.

Photo of poland7
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

The location is god, right in downtown close to other great places. Also the atmosphere is really cool-seems like "that local bar" everyone goes to. Their beer selection is not extravagant, and the beer itself is not fabulous, but it is definitely worth checking out. The service is great and their beer is better than a lot of beer you will find in many of the local bars. i have to say however, that while i did like the atmosphere in is not to personable. because it has that local bar feel you may feel like an outsider at times.

Photo of WJVII
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

This place was a typical pub, the bar had interesting local decor and a nice view of tv's for sports (badgers football was on). In the eating area there was nice seating with views of the river however, nowhere could you watch any of the game if you were catching a bite to eat. The food left quite a bit to be desired and the prices were not reasonable for the quality of food, but the beer was good (and isn't that really why you are there)? Decent joint, but nothing special nor anything making want to go back time and time again.

Milwaukee Ale House in Milwaukee, WI
87 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.