The Malt House

BA SCORE
98
world-class

64 Ratings
The Malt HouseThe Malt House
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

2609 E Washington Ave
Madison, Wisconsin, 53704-5025
United States

(608) 204-6258 | map
malthousetavern.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by DaPeculierDane on 06-29-2008

PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
64
Reviews:
28
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
3.35%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
150
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of tourdot
3.88/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of Duff27
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of klikger
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I just made it to The Malt House for the first time...I'm not sure what took me so long. The setting is an unpretentious, decades-old building, with a long line of barstools at the actual bar, several tables indoors, and a patio outside. It's very comfortable, but nothing to write home about. The beer selection is one of Madison's best, and taps are continually being changed. Kudos to the staff for keeping its Facebook page regularly updated with current offerings.

My first experience was a bit of a let down due to the inexplicable snappiness of the server when somebody in my party requested a sample. We were quite rudely told that three total samples for a group of four was pushing the limits of acceptability, despite the fact that we each had already purchased a beer (two of which were $7+) , the samples weren't for unreasonably expensive beers, and we were sitting at the bar. That said, I haven't heard anyone else say anything particularly negative about the service here, so perhaps this was an isolated incident. The selection alone is reason to return.

 1,074 characters

Photo of hawks10
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here for a quick drink on a Saturday evening...

Place itself is pretty small, a few tables and a long bar that runs the length of the building with maybe 20 stools. Three separate tap towers of 6 taps each, one emphasizing Wisconsin locals, one Belgians, one misc. but pretty much leaned to Great Lakes craft...a pretty extensive bottle list as well as various whiskeys and scotch...

Dark and quiet. No tvs and music on low volume. Great place to pull up a stool and have a nice conversation, or to just hear the voices in your head. Patio out front with a good amount of seating. Nice big parking lot too...Only ordered one beer and was on my way, but I will definitely come back...

 696 characters

Photo of groovy24
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Something Madison has been needing for quite sometime. The selection is pretty darn good with 18 taps with 6 being Belgians and a great bottle selection. The atmosphere is a little dull but could be due to how new the place is. Maybe the crashing door will be the start of the place. The chalk board is what every good beer bar does but is not placed very well in the old Union House proably because of the great bar that's been around for a while. If you or your friends are into liquor The Malt House has a pretty good slection but make sure to eat before you drink because The Malt House does not serve food.

 611 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

located at east washington and milwaukee street - not too far from the capitol square and just a few minutes from my lady-friend's house. It's not a beautiful area of the city, and is an odd choice for this type of bar in my opinion

atmosphere: a little awkward to arrive at with u-turns and obscure parking lots to deal with. the interior comes with an aroma of aged urine which i guess is what happens when you have a really old bar like this. there is some belgian beer swag on the inside but otherwise nothing really special to set it apart

quality: tons of great beer - thats for sure. my girlfriends st bernardus wit had some dust on it but it still tasted great. no crap beer on tap and minimal in the bottle. In my opinion, madison lacks on bars like this with huge bottle lists - nicely done

service: i think there is some overlap with this joint and the old wonders pub, based on eavesdropping. service was fine, but the place was pretty slow

selection: pretty strong. There were 14 taps i think - 7 belgians and 7 wisconsin beers. The wisconsin beers were a little weird to me (tyranena brown, ng naked, furthermore proper, and some others that didnt excite). the belgians were fairly standard (chimay tripel, duchess, and some others). While standard, its still a pretty nice stash. The bottle list is small print and double sided and really hits home on a lot of good stuff (stone ruination, stone oaked arrogant, all of the st bernardus rotation, goose island premiums, and TONS of other goodies). best bottle selection in town probably

food: i dont think there is any

value: some things seemed really fair (bells TCOA and sparkling ale for 4$) while other belgians were a bit steep. overall, it was pretty fair but 6$ for a bottle of ruination and 7$ for a st bernardus wit was pushing it

overall - a place to keep an eye on and a strong addition to the scene

 1,881 characters

Photo of blairb366
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I have visited the Malt House several times since it's opening earlier this summer. It is in the building that used to house the Union House Tavern (the sign is still up at this time). The selection of beers on tap is good, with 6 belgians and 9 micros, most from the area, on tap. There is also a cooler with a good variety of micros and imports. The atmosphere is similar to a local pub, with the emphasis on good beer and conversation. There are no televisions and little food available at this time. The bar and back bar were recently redone and look great. The church pew seating by the window is a nice touch too. Parking is a little tough, but enter from Milwaukee St and there are plenty of spots most nights. All in all a great addition to the beer scene on the east side of Madison.

 792 characters

Photo of Todd
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of BeerDazed
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Gotti311
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of crobinso
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of twb0392
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of OnWisconsin
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Unphased
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Transcribed from extensive notes dated F, 07 Aug 2009.

A post on this site mentioned that either the 4 or 5 bus lines would get me here and I was tiring of downtown so ... And there it was, at the corner of Washington and Milwaukee!

An outdoor patio/picnic area was in front of the building, along MKE. The entry was nearer to WAS and opened onto an angular entryway with the inverted "L"-shaped dark wood bar to the immediate left. Behind the bar, running from left to right, were a four-door cooler followed by an extensive carved wood and mirror back bar welcoming us to the Union House (est. 1858), followed by shelf after shelf of glassware. A pew-like bench sat in front of the windows along MKE, fronted by round tables and blonde-wood chairs that looked like they belonged in an old-time classroom. Another pew-like ench and more tables and chairs sat under a large painting/ photograph (?) of early railroading, followed by a second entryway. My server was busy, but personable. Well done!

Beer: A very Belgian and Belgian-style bent, especially in the cooler. Wisco and Michigan also had a strong presence in the cooler. I am turning more and more away from bottles and concentrating on CANs and drafts. Three Belgian polished-aluminum draft towers, each with a built-in glass rinser, sat atop the bar for a total of eighteen rotating drafts. I began with a New Glarus WI Belgian Red followed by a Tyranena Scurvy.

 1,427 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The Malt House was recommended to Emily and I by the friendly bartender at Brasserie V, Jon.

We are glad we made the stop. We have driven by the Malt House numerous times on our way out of Madison, as we travel on the 151 often. Never would have guessed that they would have such a great selection.

I had the Boon Kriek on tap and Emily the NG Cranbic, which I had never had before and thought was awesome! We ended up switching because she liked the Kriek better than the Cranbic, and vice versa.

The tap selection is extensive, and wide ranging. The bottle list is very nice, with a big profile of different styles and formats of beers. This will be a must stop for Emily and I in the future, and am glad to have had it recommended to us.

 746 characters

Photo of milwaukeeclassic
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've been to the places a couple of times since it opened. I rather like it. No televisions and a really nice old bar. The selection is good as well with beers I haven't seen in Madison, like the De Dolle Bos Keun in bottles and the Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise on tap. The bottles are stored in a fridge at the proper drinking temperatures as well, which is a nice touch. A good addition to the Madison beer scene.

The exterior is a bit worn down and the parking lot is pretty jacked up. Also it is a little difficult to figure out where to pull in from east washington street. Overall, a very pleasant place to have a drink.

 627 characters

Photo of djhowell
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Bruce5
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 1

Photo of tyleeis
4.31/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

They have one of the largest/best varieties of beer in town. They always keep a rare selection you wouldn't normally see. It can be a little crowded inside but they have a nice patio to use if the weathers nice. Some of the beer I a bit pricey but you get what you pay for.

 273 characters

Photo of Grinder
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Pretty darn nice place but a pitiful selection of Brown ales. Sems to have a Belgian thing going on and being a Brown Ale guy I was really hoping for more then like 4.

I love the fact that there is no TV and no smoking and they really do know how to treat their beer.

I am very glad I moved away from Madison s this place would be my down fall.

I did have a number of brews I have never tried and the bartender really knew what she was doing and what she was pouring. Beer was the perfect temperature and I appreciated being able to taste before spending $4 on a pint.

 573 characters

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The Malt House in Madison, WI
4.48 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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