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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Not Rated.
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

150 Ratings
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.8%
Active Beers: 60
Beer Ratings: 730
Beer Avg: 3.65
Taps: 12
Bottles: 0
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

None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TX-Badger
5/5  rDev +18.2%

TX-Badger, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Offa
4.78/5  rDev +13%

We had an outstanding experience when visiting this place.

The atmosphere and place itself are excellent, in a great old building in the core of downtown near the capitol. Overall decor is old pub-type, i.e. old building with brick walls but traditional decor with lower ceilings, etc., rather than modern or redone industrial building, and nicely appointed. There is a nice bar area with a raised larger dining area somewhat separated from the bar area with nice booths and tables.

Beer quality we had was excellent.

Service was friendly and efficient, laid-back but never slow.

Selection was outstanding , with a great selection of German/Czech-style lager-types, alt, British ales, American, and more. They had several cask choices, a big plus.

Food was outstanding, far above the usual pub fare. Salads were huge, made with fresh, good-quality ingredients, and one was with excellent steak beautifully cooked rare-medium rare, tender and juicy. They were particularly impressive given the rather moderate price. Kids' choices includes happy-face fries, which are not only fun and unusual, but were cooked really perfectly.

Offa, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of warriorsoul
4.78/5  rDev +13%

Visited with fellow BA's kmpitz2, orbitalr0x and goodbyeohio this past Sunday...
Conveniently located right next to the parking garage is The Great Dane...walk in to a very attractive interior. Very clean and well lit with a large number of chairs around the bar.
A large side room with another sizeable bar and numerous pool tables. Nice flat screen TV's in all of the right places.
Very friendly staff, from the helpful hostess to the bartender wheeling free soup because he wouldn't recommend it personally.
Over a dozen offerings with a cask on constant rotation.
The IPA and Uber APA were both fresh and super tasty...the brewer seems to like his hops. I was sadly disappointed in the Scotch on cask, as it tasted more like grape juice...that's ok, it was not on the bill after our tender noticed it was not for me.
Imperial pints used for all of the beers we ordered...I like that.
Enjoyed the Cajun chicken sandwich and the cole slaw was outstanding.
The hostess was kind enough to help me find a shirt for my wife and daughter with at least one trip downstairs to find the sizes I needed.
This is a must stop if you find yourself in the area...I look forward to my next visit...hopefully sooner rather than later.

warriorsoul, May 04, 2006
Photo of willland
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

willland, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of bizzy54
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

bizzy54, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of KellyScottMad
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%

I love this place! There beers are very good, the atmosphere is awesome, and the food is great! Usually they have a good selection of specialty beers aside t=from their normal dozen or so. They have beers to match all different kinds of tastebuds. Stouts and porters, to pilsners and wheats. The place have been open for well over 10 years, and the beers have always been consistent. The food at every Great Dane taste the same, which is amazing. And you would think that it would be cheap bar food, but it is not. An actual full fledged menu to go with that great beer. Good times at the Great Dane - Downtown Madison.

KellyScottMad, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of rugger
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%

When I was in town I visited this place twice. The day my wife had all of her meetings I went here by myself for lunch. I got there right at 11:00 and was the first to sit down at the bar, and I ordered an IPA. I talked to the bartender for a while just shooting the bull and then I asked what he suggested for lunch and he suggested the meatloaf, which I ordered and it was very good. I was there for about two hours in which during the noon hour it got pretty full. I was glad that I got there when I did. I asked the bartender how consitent the beers were and he said very consistent, but he also knew that I was from way out of town.
The beers were awesome, I had the vintage, the IPA, and Black Earth Porter, which was/is one of the best porters I have had, however I think it is really a stout. Anyway if you are ever visiting I highly recommend this place.
It was so good that the next day I took my wife there for lunch as well. She liked it as well. Very good, A+ guys.

rugger, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

Madison is one lucky city to have such a wonderful brewpub. This place is very well thought out. Not sure where to start. Atmosphere is good, I can see this place getting pretty busy and wonder what it would be like then. Both my stops were for lunch which is a totally different crowd and feel then what I think the night crowd would probably be. The music being played within the walls is alternative mostly so it plays more for the college crowd I think more then anything.

The place is huge, an area bar with a large spread with 6 pool tables, an area for darts, and a leather seating lounge is impressive. And thats just one area. There's the main bar area in the center entrance which is average in size with bar seating, a few tables, and a wall section divided by tall booth seating. And to the right of that is a main dining area with room for many. The bar is itself, when seated, is very cool. Spacey from front to back. Nicely varnished dark wood in a browned mahogany tone. Taps with dog heads on them, and in the other bar area where the billiard tables are, the taps there have the various billiard balls on them. Nice touch. I could go on and on in some detail, but it could take awhile as this place has it all. Including some damn good beer.

Something like 15 beers always ready for the imbibing. They have 5 or 6 rotational offerings; seasonals and the like. And a brigade of standards including a Scotch ale, 2 pils (1 German styled), a Hefe, a Red, a Pale, a Porter, and a couple others. The names for escape me at the time as I didn't right them all down during my visits. Many, many, freshly made brews can be had here thats for sure. I got myself some growlers of course. But had a few pints during each visit and everything I has was damn solid. My favorite was the Mallard ale, named for the minor league baseball team in Madison. It was a perfectly tasty treat for the heat. I wanted to get to the Scotch and the porter but it just didn't seem fitting. I stayed with more of the standards and lighter beers this trip. The servers let me try a sample of em, and they were promising; so next time those will make the bill.

And speaking of servers, their service here was solid, very knowledgable of the beers they were serving and more then happy to let have a quick sample of something if you weren't sure what you wanted. The food came quickly too. Not long after ordering the food was at the bar.

Food was good. A good menu, lots of choices, solid grub for sure, sandwiches hot or cold, salads, and some entrees in about 8 to 10 other choices including soups. However, the portions of a few items that the group shared should've been bigger for the price. Which is the only downfall for the place. Prices. Food on the menu is a little high, especailly for what ya get. Burgers hovered around $7.50 and up and they weren't much of a burger for that price. Plus, the beer is $4.00 a pint, not what I'm used to with $2.50, $3.50, depending where and when (Great Waters and Town Hall), perhaps they run special prices on beer here and just missed em due to the whole lunch time thing? Other then that, no complaints.

One very nice brewpub! I'll be coming back.

tavernjef, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of Rennpferd
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

My Girlfriend and I made a trip out to Madison and this was the only planned dinning and drinking destination.

They had a nice selection of beer. In my opinion you will find a beer on tap that you will enjoy. I mixed it up and enjoyed three beers and a good portion of my Girlfriends.

The food was good, but I felt a little over priced for being simple bar cuisine. That could have just been Madison pricing however. I am not to familiar with the city and the dining costs. However in Milwaukee or Racine I would not have payed that price for the food.

I really really enjoyed the fact that the Great Dane is smoke free. A few smokers were running their mouths about it. But I really enjoyed not eating or drinking in a gray haze of smelly smoke.

It seemed like the wait staff was a little under-manned. The service was good and my pint was never empty. However you could tell that the staff was really being pushed to the limits. If my Girlfriend and I would have been in a little bit of a hurry and not planning on just chilling and tasting beer; waiting for our meal would have been an issue.

Over-all I highly recommend the Great Dane. If you are going to be in Madison the Dane is by far the best bar in the city.

Rennpferd, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

This was my last stop in my beer tour of Madison. A quick walk from Maduro, and I was sitting in a truly awesome brew pub. This place has a very nice English feel to it.

Four firkins sitting behind the bar, but only one was pouring that night. They also had three hand pumps. I ordered up a sampler of their beers, and for the first time ever, I actually had to limit how many of their house beers I ordered. They had 15 different beers on tap, so I chose 10 that appealed to me the most. All were quality beers. Old Glory APA, Esmerald, Ned's Red, New Peculior, Trip-pepper pils, Black Earth, etc.

I ordered up the house nachos, and man oh man were they good. They were served with home made salsa that was just out of this world. I can safely say they were the best nachos I have ever had. This place seemed like a very popular local hang out, and it's easy to see why.

Overall, God I loved this place. I'm pretty sure I could kill and entire afternoon and night here. If I lived next door to this place, I don't think I would ever leave. And I'll count down the days until I get to come back here.

The only negative thing I can say about the Dane is that the bathroom is downstairs. As I've said many times before, alcohol and steps don't mix. But at least it gets you up and walking I guess.

leftmindedrighty, Jun 24, 2008
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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown) in Madison, WI
94 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.