Taps: 31 / Bottles: 100
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
3.75/5 rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Wow, I've never written a review of Von Trier? Their patio is the place I broke the news I was going to be a daddy!
Anyways, in the epicenter of the popular Milwaukee eastside, I think like the corner of North Avenue and Oakland if I recall correctly. Brick facade. Two levels. Tons of belgians. Tables inside, tables outside on the patio.
Prices are a little up there, service was nothing beyond average. Depending on the night, can be cool, ravaged by hipsters, or UWM type bro's wondering who they got in there. And of course, always packed on a weekend. I really like the patio area, they have lots of good german type wheat beers as well that were very nice in the summertime. Probably the best glassware availability of anyplace in Wisconsin.
Paulener, Weishephensteinerwhatever, Spaten, Sprecher etc. . . my understanding is that the new ownership has upped the game in American craft beers that are not from Wisconsin. Good deal.
When I was on the very last bar review committee ever at Marquette Law School, one of my 2 choices that year was to have law review at Von Trier. Was a good choice. Got laid that night as I recall.
06-14-2012 20:37:55 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
When I first moved to Milwaukee five years ago, Von Trier was a regular weekend destination. It tended to draw a more diverse crowd than a lot of the East Side bars, which cater predominantly to the college and twenty-something groups. In those years before the change of ownership, Von Trier was a dark, smokey, and sometimes unprofessionally (however amiably) tended bar. The beer selection was always something that brought me back--not outrageous by any means, but enough variety to keep you busy.
Ever since the new owners took the helm, Von Trier has really become a beer destination in this city. They have introduced a number of new domestic craft offerings from around the country (I was delighted to see Old Rasputin and Founders Centennial on the tap list), as well as bolstering an already impressive list of German and Belgian beers. They have also restored what was already one of the best pub patios in town, along with giving the interior a facelift (without diminishing the great Old World vibe it has always had). Apart from the beer selection and atmosphere, I have found the staff to be helpful, professional, and friendly. And though Von Trier does not have a kitchen, they do have the old school popcorn machine up and running, which is a welcome touch. While the prices are a bit higher than you'll find at many other bars in the area, the service and quality--on the whole--are also better. This is a bar that you really should seek out if you're in the area.
07-24-2011 19:11:36 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
4.28/5 rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Wow! Hadn't been in here in a solid 10 years. Damn am I glad I stopped in. The smoke is gone and beer selection has gone totally beer geek. Taps ranging from Wisconsin favorites to Old Rasputin, Founders Centenial, Monks Cafe and many others.
We were there for the special New Belgium tapping so most of my focus was on that.
Still awesome authentic German decor. Great murals and steins adorn the walls. Stained glass and huge over sized wood tables and chairs.
The servers were fast and generous with the pours.
The prices were a touch high but not jaw dropping. I will be putting this place in my regular eastside rotation for now on.
05-11-2011 00:30:57 | More by beerwolf77
4.5/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Von Trier has been renovated in recent years (after a change of ownership), which has benefited that atmosphere tremendously. I am more interested in visiting the place now that it is cleaner and brighter, although the "old German cave" had its appeal as well.
This is a beautiful old German-style bar complete with elaborate wood design, stained glass and an impressive array of steins. There is a back room with extra seating that doubles as a rent-able party room featuring colorful German artwork and carvings, and a very nice brick-walled patio area with large wooden tables and grated "windows" (it gives the appearance of castle walls). The main bar is comfortable and features 2 dozen taps, most of which are craft or import beers. As you can imagine there is a strong German beer presence and I have often gone there to get my liters of Spaten Optimator or Paulaner Salvator (I haven't found the Salvator beer elsewhere in the city, so that alone is a good reason to stop by). The beers rotate regularly so visit often for seasonals, especially those from Deutschland.
The bartenders are knowledgeable and easy to talk to on a slow night, and the regulars are as well. Popcorn and pretzel sticks are given freely as the perfect salty balance to a malty beer, although no other food is served.
Come for the draught beer, stay for the cocktails and hot drinks- Von Trier is well known for it's hot drink menu that is available year-round, so if you have been looking for a place that will make a good Tom and Jerry, look no further.
Von Trier is another Milwaukee classic that should be on the short list of bars for anyone coming through town.
06-17-2010 15:39:28 | More by Beerfayce
4.86/5 rDev +18.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Opened in 1979, Von Trier has been the best bar on the face of the earth. A dark interior is lit by candles & stained glass windows with a few small lights by the bar. As your eyes become accustomed, you begin to see the murals on the walls & ceiling, you notice the old world bric-a-brac on the walls & high shelves, you hear the rat-pack jazz on the stereo. You realize there's no TV. Although you just stepped off a busy street in a now developing hospital corridor of Milwaukee, you feel transported to a small town pub somewhere in Bavaria.
Over the years, Von Trier has featured a massive bound beer menu, heavy on Belgium and Germany, more recently, hard times have seen most of those beers vanish and upturned plastic cups occasionally cover more than a single tap. The free popcorn machine in the corner was removed a while ago.
For years the bartender/owner guided you through his beer list or discussed which of several offered hot cocktails would best removed the Wisconsin winter chill. Nothing flashy, not the place to be seen, but constant and classic. I first walked in as a college student only a couple years after it opened. My description of the place would have been the same then, 20 years ago.
The end of October, '09 saw the end of Von Trier. In foreclosure, with no buyer in sight, the doors were locked and a Sheriff's sale considered.
It is now being reported that the owners of Hooligan's (a neighboring pub - also with a long history but catering more to the post-collegiate sports-bar crowd) have bought the building and plan to re-open Von Trier with a focus on returning it to it's glory days as a beer and cocktail bar extraordinaire. They say they plan to clean & paint a little, tidy up, and revamp the menu (no food) to offer an extensive selection of German/Belgian and U.S. craft beer as well as a return to it's earlier reputation as a place for fine hand-crafted cocktails.
These new owners will have their eye on the bottom line. Everyone who appreciates a good beer, carefully poured or a fine cocktail mixed with real ingredients and all served in a warm environment friendly to conversation, owes it to themselves to make a special trip this winter to Von Trier.
Here's hoping what's been can be again.
11-05-2009 23:02:43 | More by biker30x
4.2/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Walked in here when bar hopping down on North also. Quickly became one of my favorite taverns.
Really good atmosphere, like others have said, it makes you feel like you are in Germany.
Quality is good, bar is really nice.
Service is pretty good, very friendly bartenders, and good knowledge of beer etc.
Selection is very good, lots of taps and bottles all priced well.
Food - well didn't try the food but they give you free pretzels in the German fashion. I will take pretzels over popcorn any day.
Me and my buddy found this to be one of our favorite bars to go to get a nice tall glass of several kinds of weissbier.
01-01-2009 18:21:06 | More by cvaypai
3.7/5 rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I stopped in at Von Trier last night while bar hopping on North Ave. It is a small bar with a great atmosphere to it. It is dimly lit and cozy. I enjoyed the model town that is lit up and above the bar running along the wall. Numerous stained glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The bar is finished in hard wood and there are other collections of items on the walls. From steins to delivery truck models. A limited, yet decent beer list was available. The staff was friendly and the service was quick. From what I could tell there was no food available.
10-28-2007 21:40:58 | More by Rennpferd
3.19/5 rDev -22%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | $$
It had to be the ambiance at this place, because despite twenty-three taps and thirty-three bottles, I was underwhelmed. There was plenty to look at in there, starting with the copper cappuccino machine off to the right as I transited the long vestibule. The long, curving, wood-topped bar was directly ahead of the entryway. There was a mural above the back bar, as well as another one on the ceiling. The back bar had an extensive collection of glassware, both available to the server as well as being in front of the mural. To the right of the doorway were a number of tables and chairs, followed by the Mens washroom. The surrounding overhead featured vintage steins, mugs, glasses, and the occasional antlers. Down a passageway to the extreme right, past the Womens washroom, was a wedge-shaped biergarten. It was all very evocative of Germany, bringing us full circle to its ambiance.
01-05-2007 09:49:42 | More by woodychandler
4.29/5 rDev +4.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
The one thing I absolutely love about Von Trier is the atmosphere. It makes me feel like I'm in Bavaria. Very German . . . large German beer steins, stag horns, and other knickknacks line the walls. There are also Germanic murals on the ceiling and behind the bar.
When I go to VT there's usually a mixed crowd and everyone is pretty laid back. One can easily have a nice conversation here without the intrusion of overly loud music.
The beer selection is pretty respectable with a nice selection of European imports . . . mainly German. There are also several offerings from Lakefront Brewery. Most of the time there's free popcorn which is a nice touch.
Prices tend to be pretty average for import. A tall glass of Paulaner will cost about $5.
The primary reason I keep on coming back to VT is by far the atmosphere. I can buy the same beer pretty much anywhere but I cannot get the same atmosphere. Recommended for a laid back evening with friends.
11-03-2005 03:12:45 | More by ClearDog
3.5/5 rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Okay- It's been a decade since I drank here.
The feel is good, brick building old and comfortable well worn.
Not very pretentious on this busy summer Saturday night.
All kinds of people and ages, all kinds of dress.
We sat in the outdoor bier garden on benches- a strolling 3 piece "oompah band" with accordian roamed the area and you could see the flow of people on the streets. Very nice touch.
Our waiter was always available.
Our table had DT, Spaten Optimator, Hoegaarden Wit and some other fine choices from a strong menu of tap and bottle choices.
We didn't hang out long but the price for our brews was reasonable.
Then we moved on to the 2.00 micro pints at the Landmark !
A good Milwaukee intersection to stop at.
07-31-2005 23:34:57 | More by brewQ
Von Trier in Milwaukee, WI
91 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.