Max's Taphouse

BA SCORE
98
world-class

177 Reviews
Max's TaphouseMax's Taphouse
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

737 S Broadway
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231-3407
United States

(888) 675-6297 | map
maxs.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
177
Ratings:
289
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
6.79%
 
 
Taps:
145
Bottles/Cans:
1,200
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 289
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I think it was (like) 2 years ago that Handsome Ed started with his "We should do a weekend in Baltimore" talk; a terribly good idea implemented never. It was always something with him, you know? "We're trying to move to Pennsylvania and buy a place" or "I have to work 83 days straight to finish this highway project". I might have considered it him just talking smack and let the whole thing go but I'd developed a want for crab smashing so I had to put it away in the back of my head and wait and wait and wait. Eventually they moved to PA and the highway project got done. He finally got a breather and I moved on it, no rest for the wicked (me, not him). Get your shoes on, Ed, we're going to Baltimore...

Easily parked and all metered up, we backtracked up and around the block to Max's. Taking up residency at the bar, we had some good attention this early Saturday afternoon. Seating 2 dozen and then some, this long straight wood bar with an "L" on the end runs the length of the whole place. A copper foot rail below and the bar top done up slat wood with beer labels and then varnished over, plus inlayed "chill discs", of which Phil says "They are an abomination".

72 unique tap selections spread over everywhere. 24 taps in a row on the middle of the bar, a 5 tower tap at each end, and then 2 rows of taps (9 atop 14 below) to both sides of center on the barback wall. Also, down on our end, I think I saw a single Delirium pink elephant tap, and there were definitely 2 hand pumps as well.

A center wide counter on the bar back holds booze 5 tiers high, and a pair of flatscreens above with a neon "prescriptions" sign there. To each side, rows of taps and 2 or 3 coolers with flatscreens and a row of TV's above. A cooler with vintage selections and a cigar display case at the end of the bar. Pressed tin ceiling with fans, well worn wood floors, brick walls and windows looking over Broadway, mounted lighting and sunken spots, pillars here and there, and an adjacent bar counter. A shelf above and behind you holds glassware, steins and old beer cans. The walls done up with brewery pub signs, mirrors, neons, metal signage, a blackboard on the far wall with bottle beer specials, and a giant 5' X 8' framed mirror on the back wall. Shirts, hats, kids bibs and wing sauces displayed here, and 10 tables in a slightly raised pen near the staircase leading to the upstairs cigar bar/lounge, with a bar holding 2 dozen taps.

Access to a rear room just past the looking glass. The "L" shaped bar seats a dozen, glassware and booze hanging upside down above, and shelved on the bar back. 2 dozen taps in a single row on the barback. English pubby bar with an airplane propeller mounted on its overhang and lined with coasters. An adjacent bar counter with space for a dozen below stucco walls, a blackboard listing the tap selections, a De Dolle Randy Oer Bier portrait, and Sam Smith prints. Lighting on the ceiling fans on the old pressed tin ceiling above. And out the back side to a rear rear room. 5 dart boards in a row on the far wall running its length. Faux bindings packing bookshelves below and on the opposite wall, a mounted Yak's head, a wooden Indian, a cigar display, animal skulls, and "Max's" barrel heads above.

A side room holds a single pool table and Phil's golf game (complete). A bar counter runs the far wall, a showcase on the opposite wall displays 8 years of Gales Prize Old Ale & JW Lees Harvest Ale vintages, and a nice collection of tap handles wrapping around the border above on 3 walls.

An absurd selection of taps, roughly half of them micros, local and Mid Atlantic/NorthEast regional (Brewer's Art, Heavy Seas, Wild Goose, DogFishHead, Southern Tier, Ommegang, Brooklyn, Blue Point, Southampton, Magic Hat, Smuttynose, Cape Ann, Harpoon, Sam Adams, Troegs, Victory, Weyerbacher) and beyond (Oskar Blues, Avery, Flying Dog, Great Divide, Rogue, Sierra Nevada). The remainder being imports, some interesting (Samichlaus, Liefman's Kriek, Peche Mortel, Hoblon Chouffe, Witkap Pater Single), and some of the usual import suspects, and even a handful of macros.

And an equally ridiculous bottled collection. The list holds 200 and change, roughly 1/3 of them US micro, another 1/3 Belgian and German, and the rest English, various beers of the world, maltos, meads and Champagne Bieres. Also another 40 big bottles (mostly Belgian and US), and 2 dozen special reserve selections, primarily vintage JW Lees, Gales, A. Les Coq, Thomas Hardy, Fullers, Sinebrychoff, etc.

They let us try a little of this and that, service was attentive, beers were clean and fresh. Simply outstanding. I believe it was EyeDrinkAleOutOfASmallRefidgeratorInTheBackOfMyCar who said "Yeah, I think Max's is the best beer bar in the North East, definitely one of my top 5 in America". Second time he's been right about something in a month's time.

 4,881 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of StoutLover14
3.61/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of BubbleBobble
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of Hop-Dawwg
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5

Awesome beer selection. Come here when it's slow, otherwise you'll wait an hour for a beer.

91 characters

Photo of Kubishark
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Was there during the early afternoon on a weekday. Had the entire place to ourselves besides for one other couple seated down the bar. The bartender was very nice and gave good recommendations. I really really really like that they do smaller pours on all the beers. Helps when you're feeling full or need to drive later but still want to try something new. Wonderful selection of beers, with lots of German stuff. Food is average.

 431 characters

Photo of mynie
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

In the trendy Fell's Point neighborhood. Parking is difficult. But like almost everywhere else in Baltimore, it's easily accessible overall.

Old facade. Pretty-looking, but unexceptional for the area. The building is bricky and cavernous, with a decent amount of beer schwag and regular bar decor. Nothing too great about it.

The beer is great, though. One of the five or so best tap lists I've ever seen. The selection is gigantic and well-curated, although it does tend toward whatever styles are trending within beer geek communities. When I last visited I think there was maybe one solitary pilsener available? So they don't got a beer for every mood, necessarily, but they do get in a ton of rares and one-offs, frequent tap takeovers, a stellar rotation of Belgians, and a dedicated Rodenbach tap.

The vibe is usually quiet, like a beer bar. NFL Sundays are loud and packed, but the crowd is convivial and more or less respectful. They also have great specials on gigantic pours during games.

The food is standard pub fare. There's better dining options surrounding the place. But nothing touches the beer.

So, overall, I don't know if I'd say Max's is *quite* in the "World Class" category, like with Mekong, Map Room, or Falling Rock. The vibe is just a bit too plain for me. But it's still an excellent beer destination.

 1,358 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of cjgiant
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of jophish17
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mig100
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of eluvah
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Photo of johnnnniee
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

The place was packed with beer geeks on a Thursday night, of course there was a convention of us in town. Old wooden bar spanning most of the right wall of the place. Tables to the left and in back. Huge tap list and I hear the bottle list is even better, but I never got past the taps. bomb! and parabola on tap and a hundred of their friends. I had a chicken sandwich that was messy but tasty. Service was pretty good for how busy it was. It is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for I guess. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

 526 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Resuin
4.01/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Spoda1983
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of ZEB89
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of FSUlaw-and-brew
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Went to Max's 4 nights in a row when I was visting.
The vibe was great, looks similar to a college style bar, but you know its a serious beer bar
quality was on par with some of the best bars I've ever been to, 102 taps plus hundred and hundreds of beers in the bottle, that you can take with. When I was there they had one bottle of Madagascar left. Service was also awesome, they never let a glass of water or beer get close to empty, and the last night I came, three bartenders said hello, shook my hand, all remembered my name, and one started a tab for me immediately, with first and last name. Awesome place, if I could come back to Maryland just for Max's I would.

 672 characters

Photo of Fpscheler
5/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Tomkob11
4.51/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Lettsgo3
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great place with great beers. Their rare and obscure menu is awesome when it comes around. Highly recommend checking this place out! If I lived closer I would definitely be a regular.

 183 characters

Photo of Hitchcock
4.64/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.64/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Budlum
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of cheggly
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
4.42 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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