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Milwaukee Ale House

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BA SCORE
88
very good

72 Ratings
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.02%
Active Beers: 23
Beer Ratings: 334
Beer Avg: 3.51
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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: 72 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryantupy
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%

I went here back in May for the Twins-Brewers series. I found this place to be instantly cozy. We went around 11am and still found two red necks drinking at the bar! We sat out on the patio that over looks the river. Our waiter was kind of slow and defiantly possesed no beer knowledge. It was however very busy in his section. The menu had your typical menu items. Nothing really special or unique here. I found the food to be equally as average as the menu. The place was cool and worth checking out for lunch but nothing special here.

ryantupy, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of Sjixxxy
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%

Stopped in for lunch on a very nice Saturday afternoon. Inside area was pretty empty, while the outside seating was pretty much full of people eating & drinking & enjoying the good weather overlooking the river, Atmosphere was enjoyable.

The beers that I sampled were good, with an average sized selection to choose from for options. I didn't think any of the styles that I tried were weak, and would probably go back again to try them again.

Food however was a different story. No one in my group rated it better then mediocre, and the pulled pork sandwich I had was not good at all. It came out lukewarm, and had some big chunks of bone it in. It was not very enjoyable trying to get down.

Would go back again to try the brews, but I'll make sure I eat elsewhere before doing so.

Sjixxxy, May 20, 2007
Photo of WJVII
3.18/5  rDev -18%

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.

WJVII, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of Flyer
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%

This is a really enjoyable place to pay a visit. A large, welcoming space in a renovated warehouse, part Cheers bar, part brewpub, part trendy restaurant on the riverwalk. One thing I like about it is its appeal to all ages -- the trendy 20-somethings I work with like it as much as the laid back middle-aged crowd. The live music likewise appeals to all ages. The beer they brew is only average to somewhat above, although I always enjoy the Louie’s Demise, a drinkable Scotch Ale. There’s a sense of authenticity to this place, highlighted by the "family history" they work into the stories of their beers. Truly, you’d have to stretch to call it a craft beer bar, but the vibe here is so content, I love the place. The food is solid-to-good, and the deck on the river is really nice. Also -- when the place is jammed, there’s a small, little-known basement bar (also with a view of the river) that can feel like a refuge.

Flyer, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of JohnWaynes44
3.26/5  rDev -16%

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.

JohnWaynes44, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of thebigredone
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%

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.

thebigredone, May 27, 2012
Photo of Dexterityviking
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Dexterityviking, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of chicagoish
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

chicagoish, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of Akrueg7272
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Akrueg7272, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

This is a nice place to hang out on a weekend or after work, has a good feel inside, is right on the river, and has a lot of events/music at it. Beer can be pretty good, and pub grub is decent (although I should caveat by saying my wife thinks the food's terrible).

I've visited the Ale House a number of times, mostly for lunch or for an after-work happy hour (I grabbed a burger there last night). This is a large brewpub, and is very active in the local community: they sponsored a race I ran in last year, have a lot of live music, and I saw the brewers once at a charity beer dinner I attended.

During my visit yesterday (a weeknight), they featured a number of special beers brewed for St. Patty's day, our service was good, and my $6.99 burger with chips was OK (home-made chips were disappointing). Pints were $5.

Ambience of this place is pretty cool, with a bar, stage, and tall tables up front and tables along big windows overlooking the river in back. Food is OK, but nothing to write home about. Beer ranges from OK to pretty good.

Probably the best brewpub in Milwaukee, but I've been to far better elsewhere.

BeerBelcher, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of Alpar
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Alpar, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of shivtim
3.53/5  rDev -9%

This place looks nice, but it's something we've all seen before. Think dark wood and a stage... not particularly unique. It does have a nice long curvy bar at least. There was a mediocre band playing that was just loud enough so that you couldn't carry a conversation in the bar area. I'm not sure why they had a band at 7:30 on a Wednesday. Food was pretty good and unique. Six beers on tap, at $5 a pint. Service was not bad, pretty no-nonsense. Overall a nice place, just needs some personality. I get that feeling that most people don't come here for the beer.

shivtim, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev -9%

This place was interesting. On water street in the old third ward part of Milwaukee the atmosphere of this neighberhood is pretty cool, but this place was kind of lacking! The dark wood, cookie-cutter brewpub atmosphere that I am so bored of greets me (yet again!). The quality of the beers was also just cookie-cutter lame, with no real beer standouts in the bunch. I ordered a pale ale and it was pretty lame as well. Selection was OK, 5 or 6 house brewed beers on tap and 1 or 2 macros as well, wtf?! Food was awesome though and super cheap as well. I had some sort of crazy fajitas. This place is totally worth it just for the food and the value! Maybe they even have a good brew on tap once in a while as well. If not, just go with a glass of water (always good!)

francisweizen, Jul 07, 2005
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

DoubleSimcoe, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of gixxerman
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%

Popped in for a late lunch. It was about 2:00 and parking was available right outside the door on the street. You can't miss the place, the brewing equipment is prominently displayed behind giant ground to ceiling glass windows.

The place was pretty empty, besides the 3 or 4 people shooting pool, and 2 others at the bar.

I ordered up a Sheepshead Stout, it was good, a bit thinner than I am used to, but quite drinkable. I tried the macaroni bites for an appetizer, they were very good and quite cheesey. They were running a special on 'gumbo pot pie', so I gave that a shot. It was good, but I think next time I would order gumbo without the crust.

I also ordered up a Devil's Advocate to accompany my lunch. At 7.0% it was very drinkable and smooth.

At 2.50 each the beers were a bargain. They have bands here, and I am sure this place is quite lively later in the evenings. I would stop back here again for the beer and food.

gixxerman, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of blindtiger24
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%

Huge space with lots of seating options at the bar or at tables/booths. Cool artwork on the walls, live music, and overall a fun place to meet friends for a drink and a bite.

A few nit picky things. 1) Our server was either drunk or just too goofy. The slurring of his words and attempts at humor were distracting from the overall experience. 2) 2 out of 3 beers were served in cold frosted glasses and were weren't drinking light beers (stout and belgian double). Fortunately my cask aged IPA was served at room temp.

In the end, there were some good beers once they warmed up (stout and belgian double). My IPA was disappointing. However, the food was excellent all around. I had the chicken sandwich, and my friends had the fish fry.

I need to give this place a second chance, as I would hope our server is atypical (or maybe having a down night). Maybe grabbing a seat at the bar would put me in contact with a knowledgeable and less obnoxious bartender.

blindtiger24, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

MilwaukeeCrusher, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

3rd ward, on the river. This is downtown. All brick from the outside. Brick from the inside too.
Big room with lots of painted murals. Wood adds a cozy feel. But foremost, this is spacious. There is room outback overlooking the debatably "scenic" Milwaukee River. Waterfront is always a plus, but drifting garbage and farshore Citgo stations are not as big a draw.
We were forced inside due to an oncoming weather system. The crowd was sparce and varied. Inside, there was not a whole lot to do. Some Golden Tee up front. And some darts too. Billiards, perhaps (though I don't recall them). But none of this mattered, however, once the superb jazz band began playing.
Sevice was attentive, attractive and prompt.
Beerwise, "session" seem to be the operative word. Year round there is an 80/- (Louie's Demise), a pil-esque ale (Solomon Juneau), a Brit/US Pale Ale (Pull Chain), an Oatmeal Stout (Sheepshead) and a light beer (City Lights Honey). They label their seasonal as the "session" ale. It was a hefeweizen on my visit, though it appears to change often. Two cask offerings.
As for food, I had the cheeseburger, and it was average. But the menu itself was fairly diverse.
All in all, It screams brewpub, and may appear as though you've been here before, or at least some sort of close replicant.
But the live jazz made all the difference. The spaciousness helps too.

cokes, May 13, 2004
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

ForWhatAlesYou, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of inebrius
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

If anything, the Milwaukee Ale House will likely provide some form of entertainment if you choose to visit: from the terrace view of the Milwaukee River carrying floating garbage into Lake Michigan to a quality live jazz show on the main stage. Nicely designed, this place, plenty of warm wood and cream city brick—I don’t really know what cream city brick is but I feel obligated to mention it. Rather large with a curvy-long, inviting bar. IT IS your standard brewpub and restaurant.

I nearly went through their whole line-up of brews, again, the standard fare. The stout was quite good and session able, Juneau ale was nice, but got old quick, and it took a little effort to finish a pint of the Scottish ale. IT IS your standard brewpub line-up. They do offer a rotating cask beer though, and that’s usually a sign of business folks that probably drink their own beer.

The food was okay, again, unimpressive. My burger was thick and juicy, but unfortunately lacking any real flavor, which is generally a requirement for me to enjoy my food—call me kooky. Perhaps my mistake was not ordering the bacon topping. I guess I’ll never know. I’ll admit, I could have eaten those deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds all friggin’ night though. There’s just something about a cheese curd.

This joint really reminds me of my local brewpub Rochester Mills: big, trendy, and thoroughly mediocre food. But I keep going back for the fresh beer.

Next time I’m in the area I’ll probably spend my cash at the market and bring home some fine Wisconsin beer and cheese, unless, maybe, that jazz band is on again.

inebrius, May 30, 2004
Photo of MNBEN
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

Didn't actually go to the ale house actually went to hopside down which is below the ale house but has the same beers and kitchen as the ale house without the hour wait for a table. (plus the down stairs is smoke free which I like) Beer selection is there own beers so it is small but unique, the food was fantastic would highly recomend it to a non-beer person just for the food. I only had the louise demise and that was pretty good accompanying my meal. the food was just a tad pricey as far as brewpubs go. I am sure I will make it back this way the next time I am in milwaukee

MNBEN, May 03, 2005
Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

I've visited the Ale House on several occasions and everytime I have had exceptional service and solid beers. The brew kettles are on full display from the Water Street entrance and also visible once inside. The bartenders are very knowledgeable about the beers and if you visit during the day, you'll probably run into the head brewer. The waitstaff and servers are friendly enough, if it's really busy, you can expect a wait for food, but not on refills! They have six beers available, 5 regulars and a seasonal. On my most recent visit, I took advantage of the warm weather and sat out on the patio overlooking the river. Great atmosphere here! There's also a bar downstairs (Hop-Side-Down) that serves the full menu and is a great escape on a Friday or Saturday night when the band can make the upstairs a little packed and the bands can really drown out your thoughts.

I've tried all the beers here, and I'm partial to the Pull Chain Pale, which is a very hoppy American Pale, and that's what I had on this recent visit. The Sheepshead Stout is good, but a little too smooth for my tastes.

I had the Ale House Burger on this trip and it was cooked just as I asked, with large portions and a decent price. I've also had the Blackened Chicken Sandwich, very tasty.

I would highly recommend this as the first stop on a tour of many of the great brewpubs and breweries in Milwaukee!

MeLikeBeer, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of Dactrius
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Dactrius, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of TheRealPour
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

TheRealPour, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of astronautjones
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

astronautjones, Jul 04, 2014
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Milwaukee Ale House in Milwaukee, WI
88 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.