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Brickhouse BBQ

Not Rated.
Brickhouse BBQBrickhouse BBQ
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

28 Ratings
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 14.04%
Taps: 40
Bottles: 12
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

408 W Gorham St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-2004
United States
phone: (608) 257-7675

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @brickhouse_bbq

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: AmberMan22 on 02-24-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DaPeculierDane:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

A very welcome addition to the Madison beer scene for this BBQ lover.

The Brickhouse boasts three stories of hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. When busy, it can get a bit loud but otherwise the atmosphere is sharp and enjoyable. Seating for large groups is ample. Large bars extend along the north side of each floor. Try to sit outside if possible. Their 3rd floor terrace overlooks the row of coastie apartment buildings on Gorham and the Riley's parking lot. It makes for great people watching as you get to see attractive co-eds running and drunk bums buying Steel Reserve all from one perch.

I've been very happy with the food thus far, especially the Beef Brisket. Portions are huge and prices are reasonable. You'll be paying about 8 bucks for a giant sandwich and fries and in the 12-18 range for most entrées. Traditional BBQ sides like corn bread, greens, spicy apples, and Mac n' Cheese are available too.

40 beers are featured on tap alongside 40 bourbons. Expect a generous assortment of local crafts from New Glarus, Ale Asylum, Central Waters, etc... several from New Belgium, and a Hodgepodge of well chosen brews from Belgium, Germany, Britain, and the rest of the US. Basic craft beers are a bargain at $3.50 a pint (beer prices have really gone up over that last year in Madison). One-offs and high end imports can run quite a bit more, but often they might be worth it. Recently the Brickhouse has feature beers from the New Belgiums Folie series, Bell's 9,000, Bourbon County, and Ten Fidy.

Service has been very, very slow on each occasion that I've been there, but I have only been in with large groups so that could explain it. Also, the Brickhouse is still fairly new so I'll give it some time to get the kinks worked out. If you're just going to sit at the bar or on the ground floor, this shouldn't be an issue for you. Also, the bartenders all seem to know their beer very well, however, each server I have had has been a 21 year-old college chick who thinks that beer comes in two colors - light (miller lite) and dark (Spotted Cow). The Brickhouse should hold tasting sessions and in services for their staff to get them acquainted with craft beer.

Despite some issues with staff, I still highly recommend the Brickhouse, especially for out-of-towners. While the Brickhouse doesn't have the selection or charm of the Old Fashioned, it also doesn't have the 60-90 minute wait for a table. One will be able to sample the best of what Wisconsin has to offer or to try a few rarities from further away at a reasonable price. I especially recommend this place if you are in town with a large group.

DaPeculierDane, May 05, 2010
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Dactrius, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of Vonerichs
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

It has a pretty sizable bar and a lot of table room. I didn't see it, but understand there's a couple levels to this place. About average atmosphere for a metropolitan bar. Ball game on, packed with hipsters, decent music playing in the backround.

The beer selection was solid. Lots of taps that included a lot of locals (central waters, shorts, new glarus,) one offs, and a user friendly selection.

There weren't a lot of people sitting at the bar so that makes the service easier, but the bartender was friendly, kept the drinks flowing, and was both talkative and knowledgable about both the beer and impressive bourbon selection.

Food was ok. Better than the average pub fare but calling it authentic bbq is a stretch. It sounds more appetizing on the menu than it really is. Good, not great.

The price was extremely reasonable, especially on the beer.

Vonerichs, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%

I've eaten here on many occasions and also have come out for tappings of special beers, eg BCBS, Black Note, etc.

Atmosphere wise, this is a very nice place. A bit of a trendy BBQ house, there is nothing cheap about the atmosphere. It's perfect for both a nice dinner out with the family or a date with a significant other. It can be a bit loud depending on how many people are there, but the acoustics are better than most for handling that many people.

Quality is very nice. As noted before, its got a trendy design, the surfaces are clean, relatively new and appropriate for the setting.

The servers are rather prompt though it can slow down during the busy parts of the night. Bartenders are great and always patrolling the bar to make sure your glass is full.. and friendly to boot. Easy to talk to them about beer and what they have in the back!

The beer selection is great. They have at least 15-20 taps just in the downstairs bar alone, with some more upstairs. Mostly Wisconsin and midwest regional locals, but once in a while they'll have some awesome beer like BCBS, Black Note, aged Peruvian Morning, etc. that shows up on Facebook but isn't on the menu. So in a way you have to be in the know to be able to order some, and I would suggest to them that it be on the menu- but with the requisite "15% ABV, not for the faint of heart", etc. but then again, the clientele often is of the bourbon drinkers' variety, so how bad can it be?

Food is awesome. Really love the blackened catfish here. Sides are a bit small-ish, but not necessarily insufficient in size- portions overall are just about right for dinner. The sausage plate is very good too.

$$-$$$: can be a bit pricey, as it can all add up.. but some of the stuff on the beer menu is awesomely cheap, like $3 a pint cheap. I would expect to pay $15-20 a person for a beer and a meal.

Stevedore, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of MarcatGSB
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%

A very unassuming craft beer oasis, I will admit that. The only reason I even stopped in was because I was in Riley's for so long checking out there selection I had to use the restroom so I figured I'd grab a quick pint and do my business.

I was very pleased to find quite the selection of craft beers on tap (and an even more impressive selection of some really solid bourbon, including Pappy 15 and 23). The lay out is very interesting. There is a long bar on the main level with booths, and big windows that look out onto the street. There is another bar on the second level, which I've never seen open, but seems like it has similar selection as the first floor bar, if not the same.

There are two options of enjoying a beverage outdoors, which I really appreciate. There is a small patio in the back of the restaurant with no view at all, but hell you are outside. Then there is a very nice courtyard style deck on the 3rd floor that looks over the surrounding area of Madison, and directly onto Riley's...(making you more thirsty, of course).

It's got a good beer selection, no doubt. I wouldn't say it's a craft central location, as the bar tenders dont seem all that knowledgeable about the beers they have on tap, or the surrounding area's beer scene (neither of the employees had heard of Brasserie V, WHAT?)

It's a cool place, and they have some really nice tap beers every once in a while, so if you're at Rileys, pop in and grab a quick pour.

MarcatGSB, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of jegross2
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Brickhouse is the best bar on the UW Campus (it's a block south of State Street, on the corner of Gorham and Broom) if you are looking for quality brews and want to avoid the "noise" of college bars. Brickhouse is also a BBQ restaurant with a very diverse, succulent menu. The Mac and Cheese is to die for, and their BBQ sauces have a unique character to them compared to most "up north" BBQ joints (it's less thick-mapley than most other places I have been to).

Selection is where Brickhouse stands out. They have two taplines that house something like 30-40 beers that rotate throughout the season. About half the taps tend to be Wisconsin microbrews, but the other 10 are always interesting finds. From Breakfast Stout to Oak Aged Dragon's Milk to Double Trouble to Blackout Stout, there's always a delicious midwest beer on tap. Can't wait for Winter to kick in, when they get more stouts and a few RIS's on tap!

This is my go to place when I can't convince my friends to make the trek over to the Malt House (which is way off campus)

jegross2, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of crossovert
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

3rd stop with my friend on a Madison pub crawl of sorts. It is nice walking around to so many good bars.

This place is a multi-level place but we took a seat at the lower bar. They served a full menu at it but we had to wait to get are food, about 30 extra minutes, but the bartender warned us and we didn't care. I had duck legs which were pretty tasty. The tap menu was irregular because of Great Taste of the Midwest and some of the stuff on their temporary menu was gone but it was enough for me. I started with a Short's pilsener, then a small but expensive pour of barrel aged Nebraska Belgian IPA, and then a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier in it's proper glass which was the obvious highlight. I didn't even check the bottle list.

The service is really great, the bartenders were super attentive. The prices were a bit on the expensive side. It is a really worthy place in Madison.

crossovert, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of Srodri10
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%

To begin…I haven’t reviewed a place in a while but I felt compelled to review this place. I found out about this place from my fellow BAs….and I really wanted to like this place…I mean come one BBQ and a 40 tap system. Well let me tell you at least 5 of those taps consist of Blue Moon; Miller Light; Bud Light; Hoegarden; and Stella so really there was 35 taps….well 5 out of the 7 beers I ordered were actually on tap….so huge let down….so from my perspective that really reduces the supposed tap list for me….but over all you can find a good beer here but nothing work seeking out….

Lets talk service…most of the time I could care less about service if your product can back up what you are providing…and I’ll be honest….the product didn’t deliver all that much in comparison to some of the worst service EVER….and I ordered a good amount of food for one person….which is a good seg-way into the food…the ribs….solid….cooked well and with some good sauces…Ive had way worse….the sides….not so much…..I also ordered a salad but the serve brought my appetizers out with my main course….really dude? You want my BBQ to get cold while I eat my salad….come one….

Over all I believe this place probably is hit or miss…the day I go there was a definite miss….so head with caution….

Side note the beer store next door “wines of the world” was a pretty nice beer store down town…go check it out if you are in the area and need beer….

Srodri10, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of anell213
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Atmosphere: Nothing overly special, but they do have multiple levels and a rooftop seating area for when the weather is nice. Trendy.

Quality/Selection: Beer quality is excellent. Large tap list that is filled with quality brews. Will always find several New Glarus, Central Waters, Furthermore, and other WI brews on tap, but they also have other high-quality Midwest/National offerings as well. For example, they've had Stone SSR, FFF Dreadnaught, and Founder's Nemesis on tap, to name a few.

Service: Food service is sometimes slow, but always friendly. Bar service is very good...the bartenders seem knowledgeable about the beers and are always willing to let you sample some.

Food: Above average, but nothing spectacular. Don't come here expecting authentic southern BBQ, but you will get solid meal.

Value: Great value. Beer is fairly priced...can get a pint of NG Moon Man for $3.50 I think, while I've paid $5 for a spotted cow at other places in Madison. Can easily get full off of food for $8-9.

anell213, May 05, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Made a stop here the last time I was in WI to do an IP trade. Atmosphere is kind of a new age urban trendy decor with a long bar and huge window at the end of the bar that looks out onto the street, great for people watching.

Service was a little slow as I was on of maybe fifteen people there and it took nearly ten minutes for someone to ask me for my drink or offer me a menu.

Selection is better then average with tone of WI, and midwest locals on tap. New Glarus, Furthermore, Central Waters to name a few.

Food was better then average bar food but nothing to rave about.

Overall this was a good experience and I would go back again.

UMNbeerhunter, May 04, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%

Stopped in here the night before my interview at Epic. I left the hotel a little on the late side, making it into the Brickhouse a short while before closing. As such, I was one of only a handful o' folks there, and the only one sitting at the bar. The bartender was very helpful, genial, and patient in dealing with my order (several taps had kicked that night before I got there). The tap selection was very nice, with a large number of Wisconsin brews making up the plurality. New Glarus's Enigma was the highlight, primarily 'cause I never thought I'd see it on tap. The music playing in the background wasn't my style, but at least it wasn't very loud. The couple screens (at this time showing the Packers/Vikings game) were muted (huge surprise, I know). Because of the late hour, I didn't try any of the food, but it smelled good as it passed by me on its way to one of the tables near the window. Overall, good times here, and if I get the job, I'll be back many times.

TMoney2591, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of Florida9
3.95/5  rDev -1%

I've got mixed feelings about Brickhouse BBQ. On the one hand, Brickhouse offers up 40 taps of beer, only about 5 of which are macro crap, and five of which are stellar offerings. On the other hand, Brickhouse's food is not BBQ. Not even close. I've never considered myself a Southerner, but if this what passes as BBQ up here in Wisconsin, then Wisconsinites are sorrily misinformed.

On the positive side, the beer list is rather impressive. Five offerings from NG, including an Unplugged, Ale Asylum, Capital, Stone, Oskar Blues, and, during my visit, several Bell's beers, including Batch 9000. Oddly, I believe they only have about a dozen bottles, all of them more or less crap.

Service was lackluster. I think my waitress might have suffered a head injury earlier in life as she was rather slow and incoherent. I didn't bother even attempting to ask her anything anything about beer.

As for the food, let me just say it wasn't overly impressive. The term "BBQ" is simply misleading: the chicken is roasted in a oven and the greens are barely sauteed. The pulled pork - I don't even know what they did here. And everything is served with three different ramekins of their oddly herbaceous BBQ sauces. However, the food isn't necessarily bad...it's just not good either.

Another complaint would be the restroom. This place is three floors tall. The bathroom on each floor is a little one-seater. With 40 taps and a long list of bourbon, Brickhouse is essentially a bar, but for whatever reason, someone decided to limit the bathroom to one person at a time. I can only say that this was a very bad decision.

Brickhouse BBQ would do well to just drop the BBQ from their name and continue serving up a fine selection of great beers.

Florida9, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

A gem of Madison for getting your drink on.

Three stories of BBQ madness topped on the third story by an emense line up of midwest(mostly WI and MI) taps, close to 40! Well represented were New Glarus, Capital, Bells, New Holland, Tyranena, Central Waters, Shorts, 3F, just to name a few. Didn't even need to look at the bottle list. I opted to enjoy a many CW Peruvian Morning on-tap. The third floor also has a huge walk out patio overlooking the main drag out front and the capital building just a few blocks east. Very cool and airy like at an outdoor stadium.

Overall very clean and well mannered, lots of space, lots of tables, lots of choices to sit. BBQ and other foody mentionables include fish, burgers, other sandwiches and mixed dinners along with lots of appetizers. All very well priced. After all, this is a college town and not many local can afford what what be the norm in a bigger city for the same food fair.

Service on the third was a bit hit and miss for the most part. Seemed understaffed for the amount of people that were present, and for an event they knew about beforehand? So points off for that. On the main floor, same thing seemed to be going on. Actually got bumbed into by a greif grimmaced waitress who burned thru my skull with her eyes just because she was walking behind me and i stopped for a second to determine whether or not to head upstairs...felt as if she would've killed me I think if it weren't for her hands full of trays of food and beers. However, bartenders were nice enough, just busy and perhaps overwhelmed some by the amount of beer being constantly consumed.

So beyond that, I found this place to be rockin' awesome and could spend a whole lot of time there, and will for future visits. Hopefully sooner then later. Just work on that staffing.

tavernjef, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Visited twice over the weekend for the Great Taste pre-party, hosted by thebeerspot.com, featuring Short's and Central Waters.

I've never been in a BBQ place this freaking huge. 3 stories with a loft/balcony on the 3rd floor, and a sweet rooftop patio with a view of the capital. I think there were 40 taps at each bar (x3). Atmosphere was a little sterile and modern, but it was clean. Having the patio kicked up the atmosphere score. Super high vaulted ceilings on the 3rd floor, and with a sizeable crowd it got pretty loud.

Awesome tap selection for the party. Enjoyed an Exodus and Peruvian Morning from CW, and a Short's Key Lime Pie (exclusive to the Great Taste pre-party). Nice, well rounded tap selection overall.

Service at the bar and tables was pretty slow. 15-20 min. to get a beer at the bar, so I ordered 4 at a time... There were 2 bartenders for 60-70 patrons. Second visit post-Great Taste, it was slow and they were breaking down the bar early (at 9 or 10pm), and couldn't be bothered to serve the few patrons still sitting at the bar. It was pretty dead for a saturday night, but at the very least take care of those who are there. We left for a different place after that.

Food wise I tried the ribs and duck legs. Ribs were pretty good, the duck legs were a bit skimpy and overdone. Sides at our table looked to be standard hearty fare. 2012 edit: Friends have had recent bad experiences eating here, so I just avoid it now. Not worth getting sick for GTMW...

Might try again, it's a good new addition, but not my favorite place in town.

emerge077, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of katan
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%

Went here on a recent business trip. Next door to Riley's Wines of the World.

A - The lower level is nice, mostly a bar at the entrance. Small amount of seating in the back. Restaurant first, bar second. Lots of brick, as per the name.

Q - Food and beer were excellent. Superb BBQ, and a wide variety of local and national craft beer.

S - Very helpful - quick. Never was without a beer.

Se - Beer selection was good - Louie, Ale Asylum, Stone, Glarus - all good. Annoyed on the BBQ selection: see food.

F- The chef was tweaking his brisket recipe, so you could not order it from the menu except as a sandwich. Honestly, brisket was why I was there. I wanted a BBQ plate with brisket and pulled pork. She would only let me have brisket if I ordered it as a sandwich. Petulant reaction was to bitch that I can have it as a sandwich, but not in my bbq plate. Aww hell whatever - I'll get over it.

Good place to go. Best BBQ? Naaah. Good BBQ? Heck yeah. The Mad-Town beer scene does a good job of backing it up.

katan, May 08, 2010
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Brickhouse BBQ in Madison, WI
90 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.