Ale Asylum

Ale AsylumAle Asylum
Ale AsylumAle Asylum
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

2002 Pankratz St.
Madison, Wisconsin, 53704
United States

(608) 663-3926 | map
aleasylum.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
3.91
Beers:
47
Reviews:
1,372
Ratings:
5,486
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.13
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
217
pDev:
9.2%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 217 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SD-Alefan
SD-Alefan from South Dakota

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ale Asylum's taproom is in their large production brewery building and it is a very big taproom. It's the usual industrial look with high ceilings and exposed pipes but it's surprisingly warm and inviting thanks to the paint scheme, floor tile and use of wood.
Quality is excellent. I did not notice any flaws in the beers I sampled and they ranged from good to outstanding. The standout was a barrel aged Barleywine.
Service was quite good, friendly and helpful.
Plenty to choose from with 15 of their beers on tap. Also love that they have half pours available.
Food was the usual pub fare although well done.
Worth the visit.

Oct 03, 2018
Photo of GrumpyGas
GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Nice large building with a sweet, roasty, cereal aroma enticing you, beckoning you, to enter.

Seating area surrounds the central bar/kitchen, with the only view of the kitchen being the pass line. Bar seats 20 and high tops on the left for about 60. The other side of the kitchen looks more restaurant like, if only because you can't see the bar, has a bench/ booth at the kitchen wall for 20 or so and several 4tops and booths for another 40.

Music playing, several TV's for Packers and Badgers.

12 beers on tap are solid. 4 IPA options, a hoppy amber, the dunkel was gorgeous, a pilsner, lager from an experimental committee, and a wee heavy.

Food is great. The turkey on sourdough with a spicy/smokey (not hot) Chipotle mayo was perfect with the beers.

Service is more than adequate, experienced and friendly. The staff was sharing batches of fries experimenting with dry rubs, fun and delicious.

Overall, I like this place and will be back.

May 25, 2018
Photo of Oconomowocian
Oconomowocian from Wisconsin

4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Cool place, very modern kinda crappy location though. By the airport. Usually hopping for lunches and dinners but I like that it is kid friendly. I'm a big fan of a couple of their beers (Bedlam!) They do a pretty solid job overall and I like the food too. Probably the coolest brewery in Madtown proper.

May 11, 2018
Photo of Redrover
Redrover from Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

My wife & I stopped by for dinner and beers during a recent foray into Madison.

This is a pretty impressive spot. They did a nice job fitting an inviting bar into the production brewery.

The bar/restaurant space is large. As you enter you will see the long bar straight ahead. The barroom has lots of tables including some ones for large groups. There is also another room that was hosting a large group while we were there. The rooms are airy with some neat use of pallets for decoration. It had a nice conversational buzz during happy hour.

The service was decent and friendly. We sat at the bar and had two different tenders that kept up with beer and food orders.

They had about 20 house beers on tap including regulars, and specials. Specials that I recall included a session APA, two barrel aged stouts (Russian and Belgian styles), double IPAs, etc. We liked everything that we had.

The food was decent with the highlight being a really good beer cheese sausage soup.

I will be making a return visit as it is an easy stop on our way out of town.

Nov 03, 2017
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ale Asylum is quickly and easily accessible from I-90/94. The atmosphere is warm, and pleasing. There are a lot of windows letting in light that balances out the more darkly colored interior. I saw no televisions in the bar area which is also nice. All put together Ale Asylum is the kind of place where you end up talking beer with the people next to you.

The beer on my trip were both nice. The hefe was well enough made with enough banana and clove to satisfy my tastes. The Baltic Porter collaboration beer they made with the Wisconsin Brewers Guild was absolutely amazing. It was one of the best I've tasted. I only had time for two beers, but could happily have spent the rest of the day getting to know the other twenty or so of their beers they had on tap.

The food was good. The burger I ordered was cooked properly, and the toppings were well chosen. I would eat there again.

Overall, Ale Asylum is a place I will visit again in the future.

Jul 26, 2017
Photo of Billolick
Billolick from New York

4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Large modern kinda place, tasty food options....multiple tap for all your beer need, some comfortable large/communal tables as well as pleasant out door seating available...good place to go with a group....friendly and professional service, got our group drinks and fed in a very enjoyable manner...well worth a visit if you are in the Madison area.

Jul 14, 2016
Photo of Kurmaraja
Kurmaraja from California

3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Struck me as Surly light. A nice big facility but it there's no real sense of character. They have quite a few beers on tap but they become a bit samey. Few stand out as superlative. Definitely a solid place to visit if in Madison but not a destination.

Aug 19, 2015
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs from Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Pretty decent brewery vibe with nice outdoor seating.

Service was ho-hum to start. We sat at dining tables, not the bar, and it took forever to get a first drink and eventually place our order. After that, service was decent.

Selection of both food and beer are ok, with about 8 taps at the time of various styles.

Price was average brewery prices.

Jun 26, 2015
Photo of djhowell
djhowell from Wisconsin

3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Newer building that is spotlessly clean, but a bit boring atmosphere-wise. The service is a hit or miss; I've had the best luck at the bar. There are typically a dozen beer offerings but only a couple ever really change. Their flatbread pizza is pretty good and sized well for two people to split.

Apr 30, 2015
Photo of atone315
atone315 from Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Visited on 2/28/15 as part of the Hop Head Beer Tour. Building was huge, atmosphere felt a tad "corporate". Will definitely stop here again but wouldn't make it the main focus of my trip.

Mar 01, 2015
Photo of RobinLee
RobinLee from Wisconsin

4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Nice tour, place is pretty big but we still got to see and hear about all of it. They have all their bottled beers, as well as a couple tap-only, so pretty solid selection. Food was great, came out in timely fashion. If I have a complaint, it is a bit dark in the back, but that's a small personal issue (I don't have the best eyesight to begin with).

Feb 26, 2015
Photo of Austin32
Austin32 from Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.25

They built a brand new location, full of style, atmosphere and great beer.....unfortunately the handful of times I have been there the service has been below average and the food barely passes low end bar food. Again, very cool building, great drinking atmosphere and great beer... but eat somewhere else.

Feb 13, 2015
Photo of Akrueg7272
Akrueg7272 from Wisconsin

3.49/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Brewery tour is well worth it. Gives you a good idea of how big they are and how big they could get.

Food is also worth it. Menu is small but eclectic (I would recommend the Jerk pizza).

Beer is awesome. I would make the drive for Happy Ending (oh how I wish they could bottle and sell it).

If you are in the Madison area take the time to stop by.

May 07, 2014
Photo of SAEmick
SAEmick from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The food menu isn't the largest, but still a great selection (pulled pork is great0. the year-round beers on tap are very good and the seasonal/ specialty beers are ones I look forward to trying.

Look forward to stopping by every time we pass through Madison. (~2hrs from where I live).

Glad that Bedlam is finally a year-round beer and even happier that they now distribute to IL.

Feb 28, 2014
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Fairly large brewery with a dark/evil vibe. Plenty of seating on a large patio. I've greatly enjoyed all their beers over the years and they don't disappoint on tap at the source. Nice selection of beers that aren't bottled. Did not try the food.

Jan 24, 2014
Photo of gwash411
gwash411 from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

Ale has quickly become my go to beer of choice after visiting on my birthday Jan 2nd.

The beer is smooth and very good.

The service is always meh..nothing special, nothing bad.

Their big beer board with all the offerings either lit up or not is impressive.

$10 a growler refill of this beer is a fantastic price point, imo

You HAVE TO VISIT Ale asylum when you come to Madison, it's right up the street from the Airport so no excuses!

Jan 20, 2014
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Went with friends in Madison and other members of the Fairmont crew.

Cool industrial feel, nice open space, very new, shiny, and clean.

Great selection of beers on tap though 1/3 were out at the time of our visit. Tried 10 or so beers.

Tour was among the best I have been on and for five clams you get a beer for the tour. Given by the owner, this is a must.

My favorite place in Madison. Can't wait to go back.

Sep 19, 2013
Photo of RamboDog
RamboDog from Florida

4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is a pretty cool place. Industrial atmosphere with high ceilings and lots of metal. Good rock and roll music playing, friendly staff and a few people with dogs chilling outside on the patio. I only got to spend about 45 minutes here, but overall I was impressed. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't have any Large size tshirts available when I was there, but that really doesn't have anything to do with beer or atmosphere, it just means they sell lots of tshirts! Definitely recommend stopping in if you're in the Madison area.

Sep 12, 2013
Photo of tyleeis
tyleeis from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Overall a decent visit. Met up with some buddies put on the deck and ordered some pitchers than our own separate pints. The only downside was they were out of a few of their menu beers....I thought was odd being it was on a Wed but I suppose they brew when they can. I'd def recommend.

Sep 07, 2013
Photo of lovethebelgians
lovethebelgians from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Ale Asylum makes some of my favorite beers and they do belgians really well. Have not been able to go on their tour yet. The old pub was much better for beer geeks as the atmosphere was really mellow and perfect for somebody who likes to just drink a beer and relax, the new place is overcrowded even know it is huge.

Aug 27, 2013
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Ale Asylum is an interesting Oasis sort of an island or Asylum all by itself. The building is much bigger and more modern than I anticipated. The building looks similar to may poured concrete warehouses. Inside however the decor was much softer and conducive to a brewery. Part of the dinning room overlooked the bottling line which was neat. The quality of beer and food provided was outstanding. The selection thou slipped a notch becuase there was not a "kids" menu...if I didn't have kids this would not be an issue....however....since there wasn't one and my kids can be assholes....it sucked the life out of my visit...for any one from the Asylum reading this...PLEASE ADD CHEESE PIZZA TO THE MENU AT A MINIMUM. The service was great....very kind and attentive. Overall the prices were fine....being from Chicago I thought they were reasonable. Recommendation....leave the kids and spouse at home! This will allow for maximum enjoyment.

Aug 13, 2013
Photo of jreindl
jreindl from Wisconsin

3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

My wife and I visited on a Sunday and took the tour. We had a pint before the tour started, the Bartender was a bit cold, but it was just after open I guess. If you're not familiar with their beers, solid all around brewery. Their pales/IPA's are very good and I very much enjoyed the Big Slick stout. The tour was excellent, and got to spend a while chatting with the owner. Their brew house is state of the art and custom designed and the whole brewery is designed around efficiency. They moved up a notch in my book after this. The building has a nice modern art feel out front with lots of stainless steel, big windows and a sort of rocker d├ęcor. We met some fiends from Madison after the tour and had a bite to eat. Service was better in the restaurant. Food was excellent, I love my pulled pork, and my friend got a plate of nachos that could have feed the whole table. Took a growler of their scotch ale home and the total bill was under $60 for four with drinks. Not bad. I recommend a stop if you are in the neighborhood, especially if it's Sunday.

Jul 28, 2013
Photo of kendrahayes
kendrahayes from Iowa

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited the "old" Ale Asylum and had a great time. The premade pizza was actually really good, and the bartender was awesome! I can't get Ale Asylum in my area and I am a big fan of a couple of their brews. I will check out the "new" Ale Asylum next time I am in Madtown. Cheers!

Mar 19, 2013
Photo of Florida9
Florida9 from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The new location can be described in one word: new. Extremely new, so new that everything is clean and fresh, from the parking lot to the tables, everything is just sparkling at this point. It leaves an impression and is a far cry from the cramped, dimly lit, brewpub that they used to be.
There is a long bar area up front along with a pool table (which, despite my observation that everything is new, appears to be the same table as the old location). Tables are seated to the side and rear of the facility, with windows looking into the bottling line. The color scheme is very modern, though some accent pieces, like under-lighted lava rocks, do add some (devilish) warmth to an otherwise cold-feeling atmosphere.
And while some things have changed, the beers are the same they have always been, though they've added a rotating "experimental" tap. For the most part, Ale Asylum brews up some pretty good, though (aside from the experimental tap) the selection is limited to exactly what you can find in bottles or on draft all over town.
Service is still good. No change from the old place, though the new location does have a bit more of a corporate restaurant feel to it than the old place did. Never-the-less, service is still competent and knowledgeable.
Along with the brewery, the menu has also expanded quite a bit, though I've got to say it's still a fairly limited menu. But along with the surprisingly good pre-made pizzas, they've added some sandwiches and salads to the menu. Nothing overly creative and seemingly geared more to lunch eats, this is not gourmet fair, tough what they do offer is well prepared and, in the end, its pretty good food for a fairly reasonable price.
Overall, I like the place. I'd come back again even though I admit the the old facility had a bit of underground charm that I'm going to miss.

Nov 26, 2012
Photo of csiewert
csiewert from Oregon

4.09/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Visited this past month during a conference and I'm glad I did. Never made it to the old place, but this new place is pretty freaking sweet. Granted, there was basically no brewery yet and they were still doing some construction in the main bar/restaurant area, but the potential is off the charts. Very clean (even though there was construction) and great ambiance, with a good selection of their fine beers. Granted, I think the list was a little limited because the expansion was taking away from brewing time, but the selection was pretty impressive with a wide range of styles. No flights available at the time, but they said that was because they didn't have the glassware/holders yet... and I gave them the benefit of the doubt since they were just installing and filling up the merch area while we were there. Service was so-so, but I think they were fairly new/busy with all the stuff going on. Didn't try the food, so I can't speak to that. Overall, looking forward to my next trip to Madison to check the finished place out.

Oct 24, 2012
Ale Asylum in Madison, WI
Brewery rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 5486 ratings