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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Not Rated.
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
Based on:
60 Beers
820 Hads
Place Score: 94
Reviews: 110
Visits: 174
Avg: 4.21
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

123 E. Doty St.
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States
phone: (608) 284-0000

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @greatdanepub

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 110 | Visits: 174
Reviews by rarevos:
Photo of rarevos
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Had the pleasure of stopping in here on a recent trip to Madison, and it was well worth the half-hour wait to get a table.

Started the night off with a cask ale, a rarity any place in my travels. Had the Extra Pale Ale on cask while we waited for a table, which was surprisingly good. While I sipped, I took in the interior. Wood paneling everywhere, reminiscent of some English pubs I saw during my UK trip earlier this year. High ceilings. Loud, expected for a Friday night. Good beer selection, all in-house. Noted that the special board had a beer labeled "our lightest offering!", presumably to take the choice out of the equation for a Corona-only drinker who wanders in off the street. That's beside the point. The point: good beer selection. Ten or so taps of regular offerings (try the Porter!) and a Specials board with seasonal or irregular beers. I noted a lot of folks drinking the honey pilsner and a wheat something-or-other with a slice of orange in it. It was 94 degrees outside.

Inside seating seemed a bit loud, and we were unfortunately within earshot of a mid-30s frat guy who apparently never discovered it's not appropriate to refer to attractive women as "pussy" when they walk in the door. It's big city, and it takes all kinds, I guess, but thankfully it took just a few more minutes to be shown to our table out back, and we left him to his shots of bottom-shelf whiskey that he was doing by himself. Cheers, buddy.

Spacious seating out back, very private, and significantly quieter than the indoor seating. Menu was expansive, and had a nice combination of "typical pub fare," "typical Wisconsin fare," and "something for the vegetarians and foodsnobs." I'd go back for the food, for sure.

Beer was very good. No 11% abv Java stout brewed on All Soul's Day with rainwater and 11 kinds of hops and served in a unique pewter glass to be destroyed immediately upon consumption, but there were plenty of nicely balanced session ales. The ESB was very good, and the IPA was also (though I don't know what "Texas Speed Bump" refers to). Their cream soda was excellent, and red. Seriously. It's red. The other plus was that the beer was served at proper temperature. But the verdict here is that it was very tasty, very solid brewpub beer. Great choice of sessionables.

They do sampler flights of various sizes, and pints were in the $4 to $4.50 range. Four of us had dinner and beers for around 65 bucks, which was well worth it. I'm already looking forward to going back.

 2,514 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Abbbp
4.38/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Come here to party after a Badgers game during the fall and I guarantee you have stumbled into one fine establishment- I guess hang for the beer, but the food, service, and vibe of this place is a dime, not to be missed!

 220 characters

Photo of aubzachsyd
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of mwaltz99
4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of 03fatboy
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

place was packed lots of young kids great beers thought!!

57 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
3.79/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of Gatordaddy
3.09/5  rDev -26.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

We visited 14 breweries/brewpubs/taprooms during a recent Midwest trip, and all four of us thought this was by far the worst. Actually, it was the only one that wasn't good. None of the Great Dane beers was exceptional, and one was terrible. I expected much more from such a renowned place. Quite a letdown.

 307 characters

Photo of JDoHo
4.04/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of djhowell
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of guityler83
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

After seeing Duncan Trussell at the Majestic Theatre me and two friends stopped into Great Dane for some food and a few pints. Not my first time being at this location and I'm sure it won't be my last. The place was busy with people but we were able to get seated right away since it was well past the dinner crowd time frame.

The place has a traditional brew pub look and feel, hardwood bar, beer and brewing items on the wall with a view of the brewing system through a glass wall. There were 8 beers from Great Dane on draft and a few guest beers. Mostly german and english centric (pilsners, hefe, ESB) but with a few unique offerings available and two casks.

The waitress grabbed our drink order fairly quickly but didn't have much information cretique on the beers available - I inquired about the Oat Ale that was on cask and she gave a generic "its good" response. Despite that I ordered it anyway. It was creamy pale ale with english and american hops - very clean.

Food came in good sized portions, maybe slightly bigger then I prefer, but no complaints. Fish was breaded and had a nice crispiness. The next beer I opted for was the German Pils. Clean, crisp with a nice hoppy bite. maybe not as dry as I prefer but I think that would be the Czech that I'm comparing it too.

Overall, the food and beer came quickly with good quality. Nice atmosphere with out being overly crowded or loud. Recommended if you're in the area!

 1,440 characters

Photo of elkinbrown
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.89/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Came here (not this one, but the Great Dane Hilldale) for Bockfest 2015. It was a blast 15 bocks and all you can eat pretzel bar. Wings were great.

147 characters

Photo of redleg411
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of CraigTravor
4.04/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of twb0392
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Outdoor beer garden is really nice; beer is hit and miss.

57 characters

Photo of italianstallion
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Soneast
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of TheBungyo
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Great food, decent service, atrocious beer! I absolutely adored the burger I had. It was perfectly cooked and certainly tasted as if it were cooked over an open flame. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

But the beer, oh man, Freddy Kruger couldn't inspire worse nightmares. I ordered the bitter on cask and while it was served at the proper cask temp and all ... it was obviously infected. Next up was the mild ale and boom full of diacetyl. A little butter is OK in some English styles, but this was swimming in movie theater sludge. At that point, I decided to quit while I was only slightly behind.

I've been waiting about ten years to get back to Madison so I could try the offerings at The Great Dane and this was a massive let down.

 747 characters

Photo of Jason
2/5  rDev -52.5%

Photo of OBD
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of NJB145
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of yemenmocha
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev -5%

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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown) in Madison, WI
94 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.