Max's Taphouse

BA SCORE
98
world-class

299 Ratings
Max's TaphouseMax's Taphouse
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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
Ratings:
299
Reviews:
183
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
7%
 
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Ratings: 299 |  Reviews: 183
Photo of Mantooth
3.48/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5

Ok, I just got home from a 4 day trip to DC and Baltimore - absolute blast, we did little more than hit every well reviewed bar in those areas. I was very excited to hit Max's but it was the biggest letdown of our beercation. The 140 taps were amazing, one of the best beer menus I've ever seen. One problem, we hit it on a Friday night and it was pretty much a massive frat party. At one point my girlfriend began screaming at the top of her lungs and she could barely be heard. So we had two great brews I'd never been able to get before, then left. We went back the next day, early afternoon, and this time were able to get a spot at the bar. My girlfriend asked the bartender if she could have a sample of a specific beer, he replied "We're in the business of selling beer, not giving it away." What a major turn off. Every other pub we went to not only provided samples but often did so without us even asking. Basically, this place has an amazing draft list, but don't expect anyone to engage you in an intelligent discussion about beer. The staff don't seem to give a damn and the place is too loud for conversations with patrons. Pales in comparison to Alewife.

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Photo of gillagorilla
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

The selection here is THE best in MD, with: 140 taps, 5 Cask Spots, and 1200+ bottles. A lot of these can be quite rare and not found outside of Max's.

Service here is top-notch and they know what they are serving. They are great at recommendations as well.

The atmosphere is quite rustic and the place is dominated by the bar, which spans the entire bar. There is an upstairs but I have never been, I think it is mainly for trivia night on Thursdays. It is pretty dark and gloomy, but everyone there is usually quite friendly. Parking can be hard to find but that is because it is in the heart of Fells Point.

I'm not sure of the food prices, but I have shared some with people there and it is delicious.

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Photo of napetry
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great atmosphere and friendly people willing to talk beer and otherwise chat about the local brews and neighborhoods. Selection of draught and bottle beers is fantastic. Only 3 or 4 beers on the draught menu that were familiar to me. Bartenders extremely helpful and service oriented regardless of the fact they were extremely busy. Will definitely go back next time I visit Baltimore.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I finally visited this well respected establishment today. I have no idea why it took me this long.

I stopped in on a Tuesday afternoon between lunch and dinner hours, so the place was almost void of patrons, which allowed my family and me to secure a nice nook in the back.

Service was extremely friendly and prompt. Service with a smile. The bartender let me try a few 1 oz. pours of beers that piqued my curiosity, and also checked in the back in attempt to locate a few of my special requests. I ended up drinking an Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Vin Blanc) 2011, which was outstanding. I was shocked to find this beer available, and even more surprised when it was listed at $15. I fully expected a massive price gouge, but was pleasantly surprised to see all of the beers on the bottle list more than reasonably priced, especially considering the location of the pub and competitor's prices being considerably higher.

The food was tasty, but nothing exemplary, per se. The nachos with chili and mozzarella sticks were both well done.

Overall, this was a very enjoyabvle experience. I will definitely be back for more brews at Max's.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Definitely the best bar in bawlmore. They have the most taps, and they go through them quickly. So there is always something new to try and everything tastes fresh. I try to avoid going when I know it will be super busy, but the service has always been excellent. It's a bit dark inside and I would prefer if they had a larger bar area, but it's still a great place. I'm there for the beer, so the atmosphere is not that important to me. I have only had fries once, so I'm not going to comment on the food. I have not heard good things though since I don't think they have a true kitchen. I would plan on eating somewhere else.

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Photo of AleYes
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Was here twice in 2011, once during Baltimore Beer Week in October. This place is a beer-lover's Paradise! They have about 6 cask ales and 100 beers on tap, plus a countless number of bottles.

The food is about average bar food, but again, this place is about the BEER!

It has a used and abused look inside, which it is; it gets very busy on the weekend nights, with good reason.

The staff knows their beer and when it's not too busy willingly to talk about the styles and give samples so you can find a beer to meet your tastes.

Based on the vast beer selection and friendly staff, this is a bar every town wishes it had.

The only negative about the place is, it's in Baltimore and I'm in Richmond.

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Photo of mcdoug
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

The best thing about Max's is that it's BIG, both in terms of size and selection. The worse thing about Max's is that it's BIG... quite popular and can be very crowded to the point that you can feel awash in humanity and it can take a little longer than average to catch a barkeep. The best thing is that they have a whopping FIVE taps dedicated to cask ales! That alone earns them a 5-star selection rating. Alas, when we went yesterday they had only three of five cask ales available. Food was so-so at best-- wifey and I split an appetizer of crab pretzel and a main of fish and chips. Crab pretzel was swimming in the crabby cream stuff, which was of mediocre taste. The fish and chips featured good fries, though a fairly skimpy quantity. The fish were alright, though sort of flat and lacking in thickness. Definitely a better beer bar than a pub for eats.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in a few times during a conference. Didn't get a real warm reception from the staff. No one checks on tables and we waited a good while at the bar. The selection was very good, but it slanted towards a few breweries (a good, in depth selection from those breweries, but still...). Also there wasn't much for session beers. But still, this was a fantastic bar experience. Also got a little tour, which was fantastic, and learned a lot. I would say this is a bar to go by yourself and take the time to talk to your bartender, or bring a group that you want to spend time with. Or, apparently, go during an event.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here twice on a recent trip to Baltimore.

A - Both times I was in here were midday, so I didn't get much of a feel for the regular crowd. There were actually some families having lunch. In any case, it's fairly typical bar decor - perhaps a bit more American than somewhere like Hopleaf but in the same ballpark.

Q - You can tell the beers are well-cared for here. Draft lines seemed clean, cask beer tasted fresh, and bottles were either refrigerated or stored at cellar temperatures. If you order something obscure from the copious bottle selection plan ahead as they chill things down the old-fashioned way - in a bucket of ice. The Thumbsucker I shared with thorpe429 had clearly been cellared appropriately.

Sr - Service was attentive and friendly - I liked that the bartenders remembered me on my subsequent visit. The service was quick and very helpful in locating obscure bottles from the depths of the cellar.

Sl - Draft list was extensive, but I could have stood for a few more selections that aren't available at the store. Bottle list is fantastic, with some great pricing on obscure gems like BFM Grand Crus. I suspect it was even better before the craft beer explosion led to speculators raiding their reserves.

F - I ordered some crab sliders one day and a blackened tilapia sandwich on the other. Both were enjoyable and easy to finish, but not particularly mind-blowing. Food menu seems secondary in a place like this, but I appreciate that they've made the effort.

V - Compared to Chicago the pricing is quite reasonable. Some of the bottles were cheaper than they are at our bottle shops.

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Photo of MrGossett
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Really cool local Baltimore place. They have 120 beers on tap, including a few local brews. They have 5 rotating casks (my first time trying cask ale--delicious!).

The bartender was pretty friendly, and very helpful when I asked for a recommendation. I hadn't heard of Biere de Garde (one of the styles they had tapped from the cask) before, and he explained what it is, and where it came from.

I was sent here on a recommendation from a local beer enthusiast (he writes BeerInBaltimore.com), and it was a great choice.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The selection in this place is unrivaled. List of beers was at least 5 pages long in very small font. 1200 plus rotating beers and over 100 taps to choose from. The staff was very knowledgeable. They really know about craft brews and about beer news around the world.

Got there right at open (11:00) and the place really picked up around 12:30. Full bar. And it stayed full all day. Atmosphere was really alive and jumping with plenty of friendly people.

Tried some food. Typical bar style grub but it was enjoyable. Went great with the beer I had.

If you are ever in baltimore and are looking for a place to grab a beer. This is the place to do it, HANDS DOWN.

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Photo of steebo777
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My wife and I hit this up when visiting family in Baltimore. I was very excited to try this place out and it DEFINITELY delivered. The vibe is really cool on the inside as it is a big bar with a lot of TVs but still a great beer bar feel.

The selection was some of the best I have ever seen. A ton of Belgian brews as well as everything from around the country. I drank FW 15 on tap most of the night but there was so much more.

Food was delicious bar food and came quick.

You have to order everything at the bar, but it was always VERY quick. We chatted with various bartenders throughout the night, and after finding out we were from Michigan and had a fairly sizable tab, he offered us ANY bottle from the cooler for free. Top notch class all the way.

I will go back here as soon as I can, excellent place!

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Photo of moreyeel
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

There are not a lot of pubs I walk into that have a draft list that has more then 50% of beers I have not had (moved the scale this trip), and Max's has that kind of list. From expected to eclectic the beer list is an exploration in beers you have never heard of. Lots of Danish beers (port city?) that are rare in bars across the American beer scene.

Beer culture bleeds through the walls, from the old skool beer tags to the massive tap and bottle list.

Food is really good and reasonable.

You can try a taster (5oz) of any draft beer for half the pint price, not a great per OZ deal, but way fun if you want to knock beers off your new bucket list.

There are all kinds of specials and the bar service only staff is super knowledgeable.

Only negative, the sample glasses (1/3) have a cleaning chemical taste that a rinse would fix. The small volume of beer cannot overcome this character.

Great Beer, Check (BIG TIME)
Great Staff, Check
Gorgeous waitress that knows her beers, Hell Yeah!

If you are in Baltimore and miss this place, you are just stooopid.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Me and my buddy went to Max's on a Tuesday afternoon, and had a blast! The selction is ridiculous (they had 102 beers on tap when we were there)! They have tons of rare & one off beers that you won't find anywhere else. I had Stillwater/ brewers art Red wine barrel Debutante & Duclaw Retribution! Delicious! The service was outstanding, our bartender Bob was a really nice guy. I bought a vintage Mikkeller Black Tie to go afterwards and he gave me a complimentary beer snifter glass! We will be going back every tuesday we can possibly make!

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Photo of coldriver
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited on day 4 of our June 2011 Northeast pub crawl. For lunch time it was already well-populated - you get the feeling that this place gets wall to wall later on.

Huge tap selection (as well as bottles) including many local brews I've not seen elsewhere. Great updated menu was a plus and our server was knowledgeable and attentive. Sat next to an older gentleman who's lifetime goal is to sample 10,000 beers (he's up to 8,800) and he was going wild with the selection. Great vibe - lots of friendly laid back types enjoying great beer.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This place is usually what you would expect from a fells point bar any night of the week. I have been there on fridays when there is no room to move and my most recent trip was a wednesday and there was a perfect patron to seat ratio. The servers are knowledgeable and as attentive as can be give the overload of people on certain days. The selection is unbeatable for anyone in a 100 mile radius at least. 70 taps (I think) and at least 150 bottles if you can not find something to tickle your fancy then you are un-please-able. The food is typical bar food and is nothing to crazy but good overall. Their prices seem about right, standard for most bars.

Overall this place is pretty awesome. The selection is unbeatable, bartenders are pretty awesome, and their events and specials are great!!! I'll be making a trip, most likely once a week down there and I'm a 20 minute car and 20 min metro ride away.

Edit: My numbers were terrible guess-ta-ments. From the website "With 140 rotating drafts, 5 Hand-Pumped Cask Ales, and a world-spanning collection of approximately 1200 bottled beers in stock"

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Photo of clayrock81
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

First off I never give 5s b/c, well, that's a whole new ball o' wax about philosophy and stuff. BUT, if I were ever to I might as well to this place b/c the # of bottles and taps alone are outstanding but the variety is second to none in any beer bar I've ever been to. Not only did they have Italian drafts and bottles I'll never find elsewhere (there was an Italian beerfest) but just the # of diamonds in the rough (odd beers you have to work for to find) is amazing. To top it off it also has one perk that I have to look for - they sell Bud Light, which is only thing my wife drinks so she was happy. I like sports and there are TVs everywhere showing that so I have no problem w/ myself and fellow beer geeks rubbing elbows w/ sports fans. Top it off w/ the fact that the place was supercrowded (standing room only) yet the bartenders never left me hanging and it's in a nice neighborhood in Balty (Fell's Point) and you have proof that this is one of the best beer bars in the country and a must see if you are in the area.

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Photo of ssimpson89
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Fell's Point has a great old time neighborhood feel to it and Max's adds to it.

Cool atmosphere with a mix of young and old, locals and I even played pool with some sailors form Europe. Very relaxing and low key with awesome beer. Who could ask for anything more.

One of the best selections I've seen in a good beer bar. One of those lists that takes 10 minutes to peruse. You have to order a pint of something you know to drink while you decide what you are going to have.

This is a must stop if you are in Baltimore, you won't regret it.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A short walk up Broadway from the water taxi landing in Fells Point. 102 taps which includes 5 casks and hundreds of bottles what's not to like about this place? Taps are for the most part quality stuff, Mikkeller, Cantillon, Bruery, Green Flash, JP, DFH....Heavy on the imports. Only a few of the taps are wasted on things like Blue Moon, How are they able to turn over 102 taps of mostly quality beers? EDIT: Slow moving beers are placed on House Discount. Check the chalkboard in back of the bar for the discount beers. Thanks to johnmichaelsen for the tip.

Enjoyed a Heavy Seas Plank 1 on cask which was excellent and a Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast which was excellent as well. For food we had a Blackened Tilapia sandwich and a Kobe burger both were excellent. They also have a Elk burger and
Wild Boar burger which both sounded interesting. It wasn't super crowded when we were there on a early Friday evening, but it was very loud, mostly people talking as the music was not overly loud. You do have to go to the bar to get food or beer, there is no waitstaff.

This place is worth going out of your way for if you are in Baltimore, make the trip to Fells Point.

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Photo of asabreed
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is one of the musts in Baltimore. As my friend told me, however: "Be prepared to spend a lot of money." This is certainly true, but it's one of those times -- as long as you don't drink so much that you don't remember what you're having -- that he's right. That said, of course you can go and have two or three and leave, but there's just so much to try.

The atmosphere -- and granted we were there on a Friday night -- was a little chaotic. It's expected, I suppose, but I still am not a huge fan of going to places where it's tough to get up to the bar, though people are usually pretty friendly and will let you through. Ideally, it's best to meet someone there fairly early in the evening, someone who already has a seat at the bar, and have them order drinks for the crew, or one or two, depending on your party.

I have to give a huge credit to the bartenders; despite the claustrophobia, the service is usually very good. And not only that, but in all of the chaos, they make sure to have proper and heavy glassware, which enhances the experience, especially when you're paying a decent amount for good beers.

The list was pretty nuts, in my opinion. A lot of things I hadn't heard of. Specialty brews, and almost every brewery I could think of was represented at least somehow, even if they only had one style or one particular brew from a brewery. I say the prices are fairly expensive, but again, if you're looking for those hard-to-find brews, this is your place. And they have enough to keep the folks who aren't beer nerds or connoisseurs happy.

Glad I got to experience this place. I'd definitely go back if I'm in Baltimore again. But remember, to make it a better experience, bring your wallet, and don't go during the peak hours.

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Photo of Scottw86
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

This is a great place. The beer list is impressive and the prices are decent. The bar is very long with lots of seating and the bartenders are great. The beer list is constantly changing so there is always something new there every time. Max’s will usually have a good amount of people all day long on the weekend during the summer, and the atmosphere is really good too.

They also have a large bottle collection that you can browse, but bottles are pretty expensive. Stick to the tap list and you'll have plenty of great choices including some rare Belgians.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Wow, this is one of the best beer bars I've been to. I've been twice, both in the afternoon, before any crowds descended.

The restaurant is set in historic Fell's Point, right off the square, giving it a wonderful ambience, much like inner harbor Annapolis and other classic old seaside urban settings. Enjoy your beer at one of the tall metal tables fronting the plaza.

Walking in you'll notice in a crossbeam a wonderful quote, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." The main bar extends down about eleven big-screen TV lengths, fronting batteries of spigots and six double-doored fridges. Several rooms lead off the main bar--upstairs by the wooden indian, the game room off the side, and a hook to the main room in the back

Decor: dark wood floor, brick walls, floral patterned ceiling tile; paraphernalia scattered around the various rooms; draft handles for window crenellations.

Now the beer. When I went there were 102 beers on draft. Not a dog in the bunch. The Maryland beers are set in bold, in case you wish to go local. All prices were very reasonable. I had an astonishing set of beers, for about $5 each, including Heavy Seas Plank I. The food I had on my first visit was ok, but the mediocrity is not difficult to forget once you get into the hops of the place.

Make Max's a part of your beer journey in Balto.

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Jumped into Max's for lunch and a few beers, and it far exceeded my expectations. Walking in at lunch, this place can be pretty intimidating - like seeing a dark room with the lights on for the first time. That said, this is a true bar, and I like it.

Greeted by the bartender immediately, and he was more than happy to chat and recommend both food and drink. Served my friend a Blue Point Toasted lager (blah) and I had the Stillwater/Max's and The Bruery Cuir. Both good beers, and great examples of the depth of selection at Max's. The tap list had both depth and diversity - very nice.

Food is definitely bar-style, lots of chili and burgers and the like. Well prepared, but this is no gastropub. Beer prices arent listed on the menu, but they are pretty reasonable.

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Photo of pattermj
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Visiting Baltimore for a few days and was luckily in a hotel near this bar. First visit was after getting in from the airport and I was able to quickly order a meal and a few beers (it was a sunday). I was impressed with the tap selection and even more impressed by the bottles. I have visited it the last 2 days and each day they update their tap selection (sometimes increase sometimes decrease but both times something new) and was able to get beers I had no chance of getting in Texas. Bought 5 beers/meads from them as well which I was allowed to carry out to take home with me (spent 100 bucks but worth it). Price wise the beers are what I would expect from the selection and venue. The one meal I had was acceptable. The service was excellent (the bartender(maid) remembered me each night by first name I was rather impressed). And again the beer selection is great. I would definitely recommend visiting this place.

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Photo of patreely12
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I finally went to Max's this past weekend, and I was not let down by their beer selection. If you are in the Baltimore area and looking for a bar with a great beer selection, Max's is the place. They have taps on top of taps, literally. I was pretty impressed.

The service is pub style - we were a little confused when we walked in and didn't know if a waiter would be around or not. I didn't know what to expect from the food whether it was going to be typical bar/drunk food or a little more upscaled than that, it was the former. It's not bad food though, I guess I was just expecting a little better quality.

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Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD
4.43 out of 5 based on 299 ratings.
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