Milwaukee Ale House


Type: Brewery, Eatery

233 North Water Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202
United States

(414) 226-BEER | map

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Added by brakspear

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 85
Photo of bditty187
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I visited this place on a Friday night, Labor Day Weekend; I was with a party of twenty! We had no reservation and we didn’t arrive until after 7:30 pm. We had a 1-½ hour wait. No biggie, that gave me sometime to enjoy some of the house beers.

There is a rather large bar area, with a decent amount of open space for standing and walking. The bar is to the right as you walk in the door, it is long with a good number of stools. High tables scattered about. I sat by the glass wall with the exposed brewing equipment. There were many TVs, with a pre-season Packers game on, and a band was playing on the smallish stage. There was some pool tables in the bar area too. It was very busy. There is exposed brick and dark wood, somewhat rustic looking. Dim inside but no too smoky.

The bartender was great, she was quick to serve me and she poured a great pint. The only beef though is when I asked about the seasonal beer, she wouldn’t just tell me what it was, she would only compare it to another house beer (that I’ve never had). I tried twice and when see wouldn’t tell me the style or the NAME I gave up.

So after our wait we were seated in the dinning section, it adjoins the bar and isn’t really separated. At dinner our waitress was very quick, she never let a glass go dry. I was very impressed at how well one person handled twenty people. We sat in a little enclosed area, perfect for a group like this. The menu had good variety. I was hungry so I just ordered the cheeseburger. It was excellent. The steaks and fish were popular as well.

The outdoor seating looking promising as well.

I would definitely go back, there was about 7 beers on-tap, the typical styles but I liked the beer I tried. This is a solid brewpub, while nothing out of the ordinary it was a pleasant place. Worth a visit.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is another place without any secrets. The brewhouse sits in the window overlooking N. Water St. There are exposed heavy wood beams; exposed cream brick; a long, curving bar; an extensive restaurant area; a great view of the MIL River from both the patio out back, as well as the downstairs lounge. It is my kind of place. I only remain ambivalent about the black porcelain urinals. Very unusual. The Mug Club is the Greek letters Tau Kappa Delta, which stands for Tappa Kegga Dei, which I was told that no one had ever guessed before (I left a tip for that ego boost). The club's coat-of-arms is equally inspired, but I don't want to give away all of their secrets.

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Photo of inebrius
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

If anything, the Milwaukee Ale House will likely provide some form of entertainment if you choose to visit: from the terrace view of the Milwaukee River carrying floating garbage into Lake Michigan to a quality live jazz show on the main stage. Nicely designed, this place, plenty of warm wood and cream city brick—I don’t really know what cream city brick is but I feel obligated to mention it. Rather large with a curvy-long, inviting bar. IT IS your standard brewpub and restaurant.

I nearly went through their whole line-up of brews, again, the standard fare. The stout was quite good and session able, Juneau ale was nice, but got old quick, and it took a little effort to finish a pint of the Scottish ale. IT IS your standard brewpub line-up. They do offer a rotating cask beer though, and that’s usually a sign of business folks that probably drink their own beer.

The food was okay, again, unimpressive. My burger was thick and juicy, but unfortunately lacking any real flavor, which is generally a requirement for me to enjoy my food—call me kooky. Perhaps my mistake was not ordering the bacon topping. I guess I’ll never know. I’ll admit, I could have eaten those deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds all friggin’ night though. There’s just something about a cheese curd.

This joint really reminds me of my local brewpub Rochester Mills: big, trendy, and thoroughly mediocre food. But I keep going back for the fresh beer.

Next time I’m in the area I’ll probably spend my cash at the market and bring home some fine Wisconsin beer and cheese, unless, maybe, that jazz band is on again.

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Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

3rd ward, on the river. This is downtown. All brick from the outside. Brick from the inside too.
Big room with lots of painted murals. Wood adds a cozy feel. But foremost, this is spacious. There is room outback overlooking the debatably "scenic" Milwaukee River. Waterfront is always a plus, but drifting garbage and farshore Citgo stations are not as big a draw.
We were forced inside due to an oncoming weather system. The crowd was sparce and varied. Inside, there was not a whole lot to do. Some Golden Tee up front. And some darts too. Billiards, perhaps (though I don't recall them). But none of this mattered, however, once the superb jazz band began playing.
Sevice was attentive, attractive and prompt.
Beerwise, "session" seem to be the operative word. Year round there is an 80/- (Louie's Demise), a pil-esque ale (Solomon Juneau), a Brit/US Pale Ale (Pull Chain), an Oatmeal Stout (Sheepshead) and a light beer (City Lights Honey). They label their seasonal as the "session" ale. It was a hefeweizen on my visit, though it appears to change often. Two cask offerings.
As for food, I had the cheeseburger, and it was average. But the menu itself was fairly diverse.
All in all, It screams brewpub, and may appear as though you've been here before, or at least some sort of close replicant.
But the live jazz made all the difference. The spaciousness helps too.

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Photo of Ave
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

On the south side of downtown, along the banks of the Alleghany & Milwaukee Rivers, sits the Milwaukee Ale house. A spacious place with a long curving bar, few bar-dart machines, pool tables, small band area, & tables fill the most of the front half of the space. The back half is sit-down dining. The dining area has a nice view of the river behind it, even if there is nothing more than a truck yard on the other bank. We went on the day after Christmas for lunch, & it was only maybe ¼ full. The fire code sign on the door said it had a 400 person capacity, but you could easily put 600+ in the place if you had to.

The service was adequate, but not nothing spectacular.

The food was good, but not great, a good variety of standard brew house fare. Steaks, burgers, fish Fridays, nachos. I had a veggie sandwich on that was very nice, relatively fresh squash, yummy cheese. Don’t know what they did to them but the fries were firkin great! Had a artichoke spinach dip appetizer that was good. Again nothing to rave about, but nothing to bitch about either.

The beer selection was not huge, but being a brew on premises joint, you can only have so many at once I guess. They had 6 year round offerings, 2 seasonal, & 1 cask. See my review of the Cask Honey Wheat Bock. I was floored by it, gave it a 4.9. & that was the only beer I could bring my self to order once I had tried it. So I don’t have a great handle on all their brews. I did try my wife’s Sheepshead stout which seemed to be a solid all around stout. But going just off the Cask Honey Wheat Bock, this place can make some damn fine beer.

All in all, when I’m in the area again I may try out another venue just to try some new stuff, but I will at some point certainly be back in the Ale house again.

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Photo of Winter
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Arguably the city’s best brewpub. Established in 1997 the Milwaukee Ale House is located in downtown’s Historic Third Ward and right on the Milwaukee River. The renovated building that is now home to the Ale House once served as an old saddlery facility. From the street you can see the brewing vats through the large glass windows. The interior consists of Cream City brick, exposed timbers and wooden floors. Various paintings, vintage beer posters and photographs adorn the walls.

The brewpub’s main floor is essentially split into two areas. The main bar is up front, with tall table seating and a stage for live musical acts. Separating the main bar area from the restaurant seating inside is and open brick archway. You can also choose to dine outside on the deck overlooking the Milwaukee River and the newly extended Riverwalk deck below. Downstairs, the Ale Houses 2nd bar, Hop Side Down, serves those frequenting the outdoor lower deck.

The Milwaukee Ale House has five handcrafted beers on tap and each of which are named after a local lore pertaining to the city or the owners’. Louie’s Demise, Sheepshead Stout, Solomon Juneau Ale and the Pull Chain Pail Ale are all excellent. It’s also worth trying whatever the current Session Ale is at the time. In addition, a cask-conditioned ale is often usually available. You might consider grabbing a growler on your way out. The Ale House also does a good job of featuring several local city micros on tap.

The menu ranges from various pub sandwiches and burgers to dinner entrées featuring some of the Ale House’s own beers. The food has always been tasty and seems to compliment a lot of their brews. Service is friendly and accommodating, especially considering that the place can get pretty busy on weekends and warm summer evenings when the outdoor deck is open.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of brakspear
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A great addition to Milwaukee's Third-Ward warehouse district since 1997. Located on Water Street, about four blocks or so south of Wisconsin Ave., it is worth the trip if you are visiting downtown Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Ale House anchors the southern end of Milwaukee's Water Street brewpub lineup, with Stout Brothers Public House and the Water Street Brewery further north about 8-10 blocks.

Cream City brick walls and exposed timbers and polished wood are the dominant decor, with a long bar ready to serve the tastiest ales in Milwaukee. I think the large wooden barrel behind the bar that holds all the beer taps might be a refuge from the Stevens Point Brewery's purging of its old wooden fermenters in the mid 1990s.

The brewpub's ales are always tasty, and there is generally a few guest beers as well from other local breweries or brew-pubs. They also have "cask conditioned" ales served from beer engines occasionally.

The restaurant is towards the back of the building serving standard assorted sandwiches, pizzas, salads, etc. Nothing special, but pretty good. The back of the restaurant also fronts the lower Milwaukee River so you can watch an occasional tugboat or canoe ply its murky depths.

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Milwaukee Ale House in Milwaukee, WI
3.46 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
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