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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Not Rated.
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
BEER AVG
3.71/5
Based on:
59 Beers
325 Reviews
Place Score: 94
Reviews: 109
Visits: 173
rAvg: 4.24
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

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Reviews: 109 | Visits: 173
Photo of Niniimaa
2.5/5  rDev -41%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Coming in to the downtown Great Dane, the indifference of the hostesses(3) was matched by the lack of a service person who showed about 5 minutes after seated.

The location of GD was good on the corner of the block with great wooden floors and expansive bar and seating (tables and booths). Was there when only about 25% full and was still deafeningly loud inside.

House beer selections did include a couple of cask conditioned which get points from me. However I found the cask conditioned English ale was lacking in both malt and hop flavours; would give ice tea a run for its money however. Also tried the award-winning Peck’s Pilsner which was far superior to the german pilsner (which had no flavour) but was still a re-branded High Life, lacking any apparent hops.

The menu significantly lacked cheese choices for a Wisconsin establishment. Avoid the pretzels that look correct but are similar to hotdog buns in the inside. The Brats&Mash brought GD up to an acceptable only; brats being on par to a good breakfast sausage, and the mash potatoes being actual potatoes (not whipped). Salads were large but flavourless; maybe seasonality an issue on freshness.

This is not a destination pub. Trying visiting if in Madison for a few weeks. (1,255 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
3/5  rDev -29.2%

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 Gatordaddy
3.09/5  rDev -27.1%
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 Tbone
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This is my first review of the Dane, even though I have gone their about 8 times over the past 10 years. I used to be impressed with the Dane. In fact, the wife and I took a weekend trip up to Madison in part because of my past respect for the Dane. However, I tried 8 of their 14 beers on tap and was not inspired to order a pint of any of them.
The first dissapointment was seeing that out of 14 beers, they had nothing bigger than a rather modest Scotch Ale. The suppossedly german hefeweizen was thin, overly citrusy and lacked much bannana-clove. If they would have called it a Wit I would have been more impressed. The Belgian pale was way over hopped for the style and lacked any notable belgian qualities. The Octoberfest was only average and lacking the big malt profile. The Speedbump IPA and Potters Run IPA were largely indistinguishable and more like a good pale than American IPAs. The Devils Lake Red Lager had a very pleasing creamy moutfeel but not much going on tastewise other than a more than expected hoppiness. The Cascade Porter was a good solid porter with notable hop qualities. The Stone of Scone scotch was also pretty good but not a wee-heavy by any means. Both the porter and scotch were worthy of full pints, but with Come-back-Inn and Maduro still before us, I was hoping to (and did) find beers more worthy.

The atmosphere and service were good, and I have enjoyed their food in the past. I will still hit the Dane when I'm in town and hopefully they will have something more interesting. But I won't consider them a destination worthy of a road trip as I have in the past. (1,611 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On our way to Darkness Day we stopped in Madison for a quick lunch. Smack in the middle of downtown Madison, a quaint little spot. The bar itself is the typical look of a brewpub, nothing special, however its huge so shouldn't have any trouble getting a table. The pub has 9 regulars which is really solid and 7 seasonal's available which is awesome. The regulars are way to light beer have with 2 pilsners and a couple lagers, you can tell they are catering to the college crowd. Our server was moderately helpful. Seemed to busy for his, took awhile to get him to even get us water. I asked him for a four beer sampler, his choices and he brought be a pretty solid lineup. The quality of the beers was a bit lacking, nothing really stood out as a great beer, so in that sense I was disappointed because it wasn't anymore than the typical beers you get at a local place.

Worth stopping at if your in Madison but not a destination. A great stepping stone pub for non-craft beer drinkers to put them down that path, perfect location in a big college town. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Deuane
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I never like it when I have been to some place once and have a negative experience and then review it. But this is my circumstance with the downtown location of Great Dane. Most things went well, beers (most) were good, food was good, place is nice, but our service in a nutshell sucked. Our waitress was VERY inattentive and quite short with us...she was just plain bad...should have caught her name but didnt.

Great Dane Brewing Company is located in an old corner hotel building, and has retained much of the historical charm on both the interior and exterior. It is just one block down from the capitol building, which sat up on the hill, well lit and rising above all other buildings.

We ordered four beers from the selection of 15 (two of which were on cask and having cask is ALWAYS a BIG plus) along with dinner. C was highly interested in the IPA, which on the printed menu, stated that the style varies from time to time - sometimes an English IPA, sometimes an American IPA. So as instructed, C asked the server. She was terribly confused by the question and couldn't really help answer, so she just ordered it. We assumed something called Texas Speedbump IPA would probably be American, and it was. In fact, it was a very solid IPA - extremely hop forward with a strong citrus nose and powerful hop flavor.

The other beer C had was Black Watch Scottish Ale on cask, and this was a deep copper color with an incredibly smoky finish. The smoke flavor was too much for her, and she gave this one up to me.

C's trade was for his Black Earth Porter, which also had a smokiness to it - a sort of burnt malt quality, but found it to be more smooth and drinkable than the Scottish.

My other choice was the English Special Ale on cask, which disappointed quite a bit. It was a dull choice, and the beer delivered on that note. There was very little suggestion of hop flavor, which was balanced with the lack of malt body.

The menu looked good and although our waitress never filled us in on the specials, I feel we made good choices.

C had a nice salad with fresh mozzarella and asparagus and I had the Brats & Mashers, which were a pair of beer-and-onion-marinated bratwurst over Scotch Ale sauerkraut with smashed red potatoes and hot apple "sauce" (which was really super-cooked apple chunks with cinnamon...)

Great Dane is certainly a place we'd like to try again - maybe with a different waitress or at one of the other two locations we will have an improved experience. As I said, it wasn't awful, but the experience didn't give me the warm fuzzies! (2,566 characters)

Photo of wardough
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've visited the local Madison Great Dane on multiple occasions. Saturday night is definitely the night that is packed! Friday can also get very busy.

What I love about this place are the 3 different "bars" within this place. 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs. It's a great place to get a beer and some good food. Their burgers are very good. If you are visiting town, definitely try the cheese curds or the Nachos. The Nachos rock.

The quality and selection are near unsurpassable. The beer that is served is served in the proper glass.

The downside is the service. I've had horrible service. In the past 2 weeks, I've had more than a few beers that have not been filled (seems to be a current trend). I've sent them back. The waitresses are usually decent at knowing the beers, but their attitude is generally pretty horrible.

All in all, I still love this place, but try to go when it's not so busy. (904 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited the Great Dane while visiting Madison during the day with the family, and I was impressed by the selection of beers, the quality of the food on the menu, and the quality of the beers was also good.

The restaurant was very crowded, due in part to a Mary Kay convention in town (those ladies were sucking down some beers!). It took awhile for us to get seated, but in the meantime I was impressed by the dark-wood ambience of the place as I enjoyed a beer at the bar.

Eventually we were seated in a booth. Everyone ordered, and was quite happy with their food. There was a nice selection of pizza, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees on the menu. Everyone in my party (we met some friends at the Great Dane, so altogether there were 6 of us) was quite happy with their lunch. Service was not all that attentive, but was OK.

This is the best brewpub I've yet been to in Wisconsin (Onopa/Stonefly, Milwaukee Ale House, Rock Bottom are the others I've been to in WI). (987 characters)

Photo of Birchgrove77
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Second visit on 08/21/10, figured I should review this place for future reference.

Atmosphere: Stopped in on Saturday afternoon around 2 pm and was surprised how full the restaurant was. Beautiful woodwork, excellent lighting, and was able to carry a conversation without raising voice. Beer garden was open, but not crowded due to heat/humidity.

Quality: Beer was excellent. Started with and ESB, moved to the Belgian Pale, and finished with the Tri-Pepper Pilsner. Loved the Pils! Couldn't find anything off with the beer, the Belgian Pale seemed a little malty for a pale ale, but was highly drinkable. ESB was cask and was easily drinkable. Friend ordered the Hefe, but seemed more American Wheat then a Hefe.

Service: Server was attentive, but seemed distracted and acted as if we were a bother to something more important. Was knowledgeable about the peppers used in the pils, but overall was slightly disappointing.

Selection: Don't remember the exact number of beers on tap, but there were plenty to choose from. Plenty of styles to suit novice and beer geeks alike. Only one keg had kicked that we asked for.

Food: Excellent menu. Plenty of different types of sandwiches, entrees, and burgers. Ordered the Brewer's Grilled Cheese and enjoyed the sandwich immensely. Bacon was cooked well, and came with a good portion of fries. The falafel was actually really good and filling with a lot of character. If you're there for a late lunch pay the surcharge and split a burger.

Overall: The second visit reinforces that this is a great place to stop when in Madison for food, beer or both. Prices were quite reasonable, and the beers could be purchased in varying sizes if you wanted to try a number of different beers in your drinking session. Plenty of reasonable parking in the area. Only gripe I had was about the service and it might have just been a busy post-lunch day. (1,886 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

As has been mentioned numerous times previously, Great Dane is a brewpub conveniently located in downtown Madison. It sits on a corner and is actually fairly large on the inside. There is a bar area and a section with tables and booths.
The beer offerings tend to lean toward the English spectrum with about 8 or so standard year round offering and 4 or so season or rotating taps. Over the course of many visits of Madison, I've managed to have about a half a dozen beers from GD, but I've never been blown away by any of them. While they're almost always technically solid, they also tend to be cautious, "user friendly" beers. Enjoyable, but I'd rather get my kicks somewhere else.
The food at GD is much like the beer. Burgers and sandwiches dominate the menu, but there is a lot choice, including some vegetarian options as well as the option to choose locally sourced meats and cheeses. However, much like the beer, the food plays it safe: It's good, better than average even, but it's not great and I couldn't see coming here for the food alone.
Overall, a decent brewpub, but with The Old Fashioned and Cooper's Tavern within walking distance, I'd rather be somewhere else.

*Kid friendly. Child menu available. (1,223 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Nice location, very pretty building. The pink neon BREW PUB sign is pure class.

The layout is nice but the atmosphere is like just about every other newly modeled brewpub you come across in the midwest, made to cater to the FM-radio crowd of twentysomethings who have mediocre taste in everything but beer. Big sportsbar TVs, soulessly lacquered bars and tabletops, intolerable classic rokck getting blasted at all volumes, and bunch of drunken fratboys.

The staff were superfriendly, though. Quite competent to boot. The beer selection was *massive*, although they were nothing but house beers, no guest taps. The four beers I sampled ranged from Solidly Good to Top Notch.

As reasonably priced and delicious as was the beer, the food really wasn't nothing to write home about. Standard pub fare, cooked and served with little flare or panache. Granted, I don't expect very much out of a hamburger, but it just wasn't that great. I dunno--maybe the beef wasn't that high of a grade or something. Still, it wasn't bad. Just not great.

Wonderfully priced. Most beers come in full 20-oz imperial pints for only 3.50. Growlers were 13 including a 4 dolllar bottle fee. Might be a bit nicer in the afternoons, when it's not so packed. (1,237 characters)

Photo of Czap
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I really don't have a lot to say about Great Dane. The menu is very extensive and the food is great. The service is fantastic. Their beer ranks from decent to good. Nothing bad, but nothing that will knock you off your feet. The place is huge. It seems every corner you turn leads to another dining area. My wife and I chose to dine in the outside patio. It is very beautiful and we enjoyed it (except when a bird pooped in my wife's hair...minor setback).

However, it feels like a chain to me. A very good chain that I would actually dine in at that, but a chain nonetheless. Chain brewpubs are fine, I have no problem with them. I like that it is out there trying to spread the good beer word to the masses. But Madison is loaded with great, hip beer bars with ecletic and interesting food menus.

That being said, sometimes you are with a crowd that needs something a little more mainstream, and at those moments Great Dane is perfect. So I do like this place, just wouldn't be my first choice, or even my tenth, when in Madison. (1,033 characters)

Photo of Atron67
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A- there is a very relaxed atmosphere at the great dane which makes it very nice. at night it gets very busy though so i usually dont stick around.

Q- pretty solid all around for quality, the beers are all solid. the food is all solid.

S- the workers are usually very helpful and quick, etc.. nothing special but definitely good.

S- their selection is good, my favorite is the porter shake that they sell. delicious. good round base of year round beers. solid food.

V- decent prices, its not expensive, nor cheap. (517 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On our way home from vacation we stopped at the GDB in downtown Madison for lunch. The place is in a neat older building with alot of character. The atmosphere inside during lunch was good...I could only imagine during happy hour when everyone comes in to tie one on after work. The quality of food and beer were awesome. The service was good, but a bit bored....maybe because it was during the lunch time. The selection of food and beer was also great. The taste of the food was really good....we had the thai chicken and webster street salad. With three kids meals and drinks, a six sampler, two adult lunch entres came to $50....I thought was pretty good. (658 characters)

Photo of Reneejane
3.9/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Best damn pretzels in the Western Hemisphere. I've been trying everywhere I go, as I am a pretzel fiend, and these are the closest I've ever found in the United States that resemble the fine German Pretzels!!! You Must Try The Pretzels.

On from that though: the beers are pretty average tasting, but the ones that stood out for me are Barrister's Brown and Stone of Scone Scotch Ale. Those two are imo the best they have.

The foods are very diverse, really you've gotta try the pretzels, again, best pretzels in the western hemisphere.

The best time to go would be lunch on a lazy Friday at 11:30AM in summer or late spring and sit outside in the gorgeous beer garten. The blooming trees overhead and the walls surround you for a wonderful meal.

Also, if you've got kids, the cream soda is quite wonderful! (821 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I love coming to madison, and this place is the reason why! I have eaten here many times and tried all the beers that they have to offer. I finally got around to reviewing it.

Atmosphere: Nice little spot in downtown madison. Cool bar that also features a alot of things to do with great food and eaqualy great beer.

Quality: Better than average. The beers here are brewed in house and this place allways smells like homebrew. Gotta love that!

Service: Service was a bit slower than usual. We were at the restaurant for about an hour and a half eating lunch. It should have taken about an hour at the most.

Selection: Many offersing on the menu and there is a beer here for about everyone.

Food: Everything that I have ordered here has been great eating. Soups are great, salads are fresh, meat is always cooked to order, sandwich are fantastic.

Value: for 2 people to eat lunch it was under 40 dollars with the tip included. We ate both ate a main course with the GF drinking a rootbeer(thats brewed by Great Dane and is really awesome rootbeer). I had a pint of the porter with lunch. We both had a dessert. I had to be rolled out the door I was soo full! Lots of food, and I thought that they left something off the bill on accident, but they did not. If you have never been to this place you must go! (1,310 characters)

Photo of Sconnie
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

This is a great place to drink beer. The beers they have year round are all good, and they always surprise with their rotating beers. Good food as well, their artichoke dip and the beer bread with honey butter are particularly good finger food to have while drinking. Great atmosphere, always good people around. Whenever a friend comes into town or someone has a birthday or just about any other reason to go out, I often steer the group toward the Great Dane.
The only thing I don't like is their cask beer selection. I appreciate their attempt to replicate the British pub style, but the 3 cask beers i've tried there have all been sub par; the cask brown ale was the ONLY beer i've ever ordered at the Dane that I truly did not like. I've had cask ale's in England and I enjoy the style, so i'm not just some guy who doesn't like his beer warm and flat, but I just feel the Dane doesn't replicate them as well.
(Edit: I had there cask ESB the other day, and it was quite good. So maybe they've figured out the cask ales, or maybe I just randomly chose a couple that they didn't do well.)
That being said, this is a good brew pub and they always have tons of stellar beer. (1,175 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is a decent-sized place on the corner of a few streets near the center of Madison.

Me and my friend sat at a bar type place near the front door. They were offering a glut of beers so we ordered a sampler. Some of the beers (Prageur lager) were pretty good. Others were simple brewpub fare.

We didn't eat so can't comment on that, but the service, especially the bartenders was extremely good despite the place being totally packed to the brims.

Overall it is a solid and worthy stop on a Madison downtown pub crawl. (529 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Recently stopped here during the GTOM pre-ticket sale pub crawl.

There are 2 separate bars, this time I was at the one "downstairs" in the area with the pool tables. Service was good at the bar, they had several house beers available on cask. I tried a mild IPA "Texas Speedbump" (guessing Amarillo, rhymes with armadillo?) and a cask bitter. Neither were especially exciting, but served at proper temp in an imperial pint. The far & away winner was the Black Earth Porter.

Atmosphere was ok, i've been several times before, and it's usually crowded. There seemed to be a wedding or prom party there at the same time. Suits and children around. It was a big enough place that we all stayed out of each others way. I'll go back to eat here again, and to get more porter... (775 characters)

Photo of HopHeadHurls
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

The Dane certainly has some great food; I've gotten a pork shoulder with mango salso, a Mac & Cheese Pizza, their Mac & Cheese (best dish that I've had there) and the lagered sausage platter (only decent). My fiancee has raved about their meatloaf and has gotten a few other things that escape my mind right now. The beers are pretty solid, nothing spectacular. I like the Crop Circle Wheat (standard hefe, decent), the Texas Speedbump IPA (pretty good), but am not a big fan of the Potter's Run IPA (I wouldn't recommend it; may have been the one time, but it was very flat). I also would steer clear of the Tri-Pepper Pilsner unless you like the taste of a higher quality Miller Lite brewed with peppers soaking in it. The service has always been stellar in my experience, though they do get quite busy. The cheese curds are pretty good, but not as good as some other options (Dotty's or Old Fashioned). (905 characters)

Photo of guityler83
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
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 RustyDiamond
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited on Friday August 1, 6pm. Arrived to a wait outside, but our big table of 8 was somehow ready. Very nice old brick building in downtown Madison. The main bar area was just inside the front door, with another bar and huge room off to the left. We sat in the right-side room, which had several tables.

I got the 6 beer sampler. 2 different pilsner, porter, ipa, wheat wine and cask scotch. The porter and wheat wine were very good while the ipa was non-carbonated and flat. And I'm sure it wasn't a cask offering either...strange. Wheat wine was so good that I ordered a tulip of it. Brother in-law got the sour cherry which was very good. Overall, there were 15 or so different styles of beer, nice!

Service was very good. Both the beer and food came fast, and the place was packed. We got the pretzels and cheese curds as an appetizer, both really good. 4 of us got the Friday fish fry, which was just ok. Pretty greasy and bready.

Walked around a little, and saw pool tables and dart boards in the big room on the left. Went out back and saw one of the cooler patios in recent memory. Wedged in between 2 buildings, pretty brick and tons of tree shade. (1,163 characters)

Photo of frazbri
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My first visit to the Great Dane was Friday before the Great Taste. We started off in the dining area for a little snack and a pint. It was a comfortable, casual place for a meal.

After our first round and a bite, we moved to the pool hall section. I really liked the vibe. It's the type of place you can gather with friends, play pool or shuffle board, converse and drink a few good beers.

There also is a downstairs bar and patio out back which I didn't really explore.

I was really impressed with the service in the pool hall. There were two servers working the room and both were attentive and friendly.

The beer list went about 12 deep. I started with the scotch ale. It had a nice peat-smoked flavor that really gave it some depth. The hefe was a solid bavarian style wheat as well. There were selections availble from across the beer spectrum.

I liked it. It would be a good choice for a meal or hanging out. (920 characters)

Photo of kdog630
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Hit this place every time we get to Madison. Stopped here twice while in Madison for the Ironman. (Not competing, of course.) Had dinner in their beer garden. Average pub fare. Good hot wings. Habanero sauce is only for the very brave.

Enjoyed their APA and Mrs. Kdog had the cream ale. She thought it complemented her meal well. Server was moderately attentive, but the place was really starting to pick up. We arrived around 7:30 and by 8:00 it was humming throughout.

Went back the next night (Sunday) after my friend finished and there wasn't too much going on. Went to the basement bar that was like going in a cave. The bartender said it had been a horse paddock back at the turn of the 20th century. He was very knowledgeable about the beers on tap, made a few recommendations and gave me a few tastes of their selection. Had the Texas IPA out of their beer engine. A pretty good choice. (896 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
4.03/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

On arecent trip to Madison with some friends we stopped in a for a few pints and some dinner at the Great Dane. It was a very good choice. I've been there before and I must admit it seems to get better each time. The atmosphere walking in was inviting and active. It has very attractive furniture, lighting and decorative signage. For the price the beer and food are without a doubt of the finest quality I've experienced in Madison. The two hostesses were not the most engaging as I requested a table but the waitress made up for their lack in social awareness. The selection on the beer menu made for a tough choise. The food menu wasn't any easier. They have a wide array of beer and food to choose from. I indulged in two pints of the Oktoppelbock and even I liked it so much I brought a growler home. (I tapped into that last night with WJVII and we finished it off in no time at all.) For dinner at the GD I had a cheeseburger with fries. It was a fantastic burger. I'll certainly be back. (995 characters)

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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown) in Madison, WI
94 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.