Milwaukee Ale House

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443 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Eatery

233 North Water Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202
United States

(414) 226-BEER | map

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Ratings: 85 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of DownDaHatch
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is a large establishment found in reasonable proximity to several other places to visit. Parking is difficult, but pay the $5 at the lot and you should be ok (cheap parking is a bonus). This place is very large and could be loud. There are two things that are remarkable about this place. First, severla people smokin bith cigarettes and cigars, smoke eaters and high cielings were great as to improve the quality of the air. Secondly, the bar area tables are very open and wide apart and not squashed as in many brew pubs. The weekend entertainment is also a nice touch. The beer selection is not great but the scotch/whiskey selection is very nice. I had th ePull Chain IPA which was very tasty and well balanced and reasonably priced. Simply had a few appetizers at the bar, they weren't remarkable but did the job.

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Photo of poland7
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

The location is god, right in downtown close to other great places. Also the atmosphere is really cool-seems like "that local bar" everyone goes to. Their beer selection is not extravagant, and the beer itself is not fabulous, but it is definitely worth checking out. The service is great and their beer is better than a lot of beer you will find in many of the local bars. i have to say however, that while i did like the atmosphere in is not to personable. because it has that local bar feel you may feel like an outsider at times.

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Photo of WJVII
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

This place was a typical pub, the bar had interesting local decor and a nice view of tv's for sports (badgers football was on). In the eating area there was nice seating with views of the river however, nowhere could you watch any of the game if you were catching a bite to eat. The food left quite a bit to be desired and the prices were not reasonable for the quality of food, but the beer was good (and isn't that really why you are there)? Decent joint, but nothing special nor anything making want to go back time and time again.

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Photo of tjkurz
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is on the Milwaukee River in an old cream city brick building. The deck overlooking the river is an awesome place to get some some and enjoy some beers. The beer and the selection of beer is great - along with the standards they usually have a couple seasonals. Solomon Juneau Hop is my favorite to chase a Bloody Mary - their Bloody Mary's are very good as well. I recommend the chicken nachos - the chicken is prepared in beer - they are the best chicken nachos I ever had. Pizza is also good.

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Photo of iceball585
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This place has a nice location right on the Milwaukee river so you can access it by land or by boat. Although it's also not just a place that you would stumble across because it's not near much else.

The inside is decorated like a typical micro brewpub but w/ a slight sports bar twist. It has many big screen TVs for watching a game. It also appears to have a mug club from all the numbered mugs hanging behind the bar. They also have a nice size patio that overlooks the Milwaukee River.

The staff is fairly educated on the beers that they have. They had about 7 or 8 different beers on tap so I got the sampler of 6. I would recommend the Solomon Juneau Ale or the Sheepshead Stout. The food was especially good as well. They have a big menu w/ moderately to high priced food selection.

Overall if you are in the Water Street area of downtown Milwaukee then give this place a try. The beer is pretty good but the food is even better.

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

Ale House is my go to restaurant when anyone's in town. A very open restaurant with a nice out back patio that overlooks the riverwalk in the summer. It can be a little loud inside during the heavy hours but it adds to overall feel of the brewpub. The bands they bring in regularly are usually worth sticking around for and sometimes warrant a trip just to enjoy the beer and the music.

Food is good and prices are reasonable for a brewpub. The in house beer selection isn't terribly diverse. The regular players are pretty average, they aren't bad but they aren't outstanding either. A solid seasonal rolls through every now and then so I usually spring for that or whatever they have as the cask conditioned ale (you'll have to ask for this). That said I wish they had a bit more diversity within their own brews.

Overall a good place to grab a solid burger and definite must stop during the summer for the bands and the riverwalk patio eating.

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Photo of timmlimestone
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Gotta tell you. The beers are not here on this space, and i am not far enough to add more beers. But I had the Entire Butte Porter and the McCabes irish Red tonight, and I am glad.

We ahd been to the Ale house several times, but since they opened the other brewery space they have exploded. They have great beers, not just passable beers. They have really good beers where they used to just have beers.

The Red is amazing. Malty not hoppy not too sharp, but very good all the same. Almost a Mick-Kraut Bastard version of the same.

The Porter was dark, deep and beautiful.

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Photo of gixxerman
3.58/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Popped in for a late lunch. It was about 2:00 and parking was available right outside the door on the street. You can't miss the place, the brewing equipment is prominently displayed behind giant ground to ceiling glass windows.

The place was pretty empty, besides the 3 or 4 people shooting pool, and 2 others at the bar.

I ordered up a Sheepshead Stout, it was good, a bit thinner than I am used to, but quite drinkable. I tried the macaroni bites for an appetizer, they were very good and quite cheesey. They were running a special on 'gumbo pot pie', so I gave that a shot. It was good, but I think next time I would order gumbo without the crust.

I also ordered up a Devil's Advocate to accompany my lunch. At 7.0% it was very drinkable and smooth.

At 2.50 each the beers were a bargain. They have bands here, and I am sure this place is quite lively later in the evenings. I would stop back here again for the beer and food.

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

The morning on September 16, 2007 I ran in Al's Run which is a 5-mile race through downtown Milwaukee. After the race 3 friends and myself thought long and hard about where to throw back a few beers. So we hiked from the Summer-fest grounds over to the Milwaukee Ale House. What a treat. The service from a very friendly bartender and a few waitresses made the experience that much better. The beer was good and so was the food. The brewpub borders the Milwaukee River so we sat outside in the warm fall sun for a short time and watched as boats passed. All in all a good time was had by all.

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Photo of botham
4.08/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

a fine little establishment in a beautiful part of town: right in the third ward, which is where my office is, so i get here every now and then.

the atmosphere is great. right on the river, and big, so there is plenty of room for live music and a small brew area right off the street. outdoor dining and drinking are also available when weather permits.

service is always good. bartenders are talkative and friendly, and all know their way around a good brew.

the selection is not as good as other places, but the brews themselves are great! they only had 6 on tap last night though . . .

the food is not bad. nothing too special, but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of ryantupy
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I went here back in May for the Twins-Brewers series. I found this place to be instantly cozy. We went around 11am and still found two red necks drinking at the bar! We sat out on the patio that over looks the river. Our waiter was kind of slow and defiantly possesed no beer knowledge. It was however very busy in his section. The menu had your typical menu items. Nothing really special or unique here. I found the food to be equally as average as the menu. The place was cool and worth checking out for lunch but nothing special here.

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Photo of Flyer
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

This is a really enjoyable place to pay a visit. A large, welcoming space in a renovated warehouse, part Cheers bar, part brewpub, part trendy restaurant on the riverwalk. One thing I like about it is its appeal to all ages -- the trendy 20-somethings I work with like it as much as the laid back middle-aged crowd. The live music likewise appeals to all ages. The beer they brew is only average to somewhat above, although I always enjoy the Louie’s Demise, a drinkable Scotch Ale. There’s a sense of authenticity to this place, highlighted by the "family history" they work into the stories of their beers. Truly, you’d have to stretch to call it a craft beer bar, but the vibe here is so content, I love the place. The food is solid-to-good, and the deck on the river is really nice. Also -- when the place is jammed, there’s a small, little-known basement bar (also with a view of the river) that can feel like a refuge.

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Photo of Sjixxxy
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Stopped in for lunch on a very nice Saturday afternoon. Inside area was pretty empty, while the outside seating was pretty much full of people eating & drinking & enjoying the good weather overlooking the river, Atmosphere was enjoyable.

The beers that I sampled were good, with an average sized selection to choose from for options. I didn't think any of the styles that I tried were weak, and would probably go back again to try them again.

Food however was a different story. No one in my group rated it better then mediocre, and the pulled pork sandwich I had was not good at all. It came out lukewarm, and had some big chunks of bone it in. It was not very enjoyable trying to get down.

Would go back again to try the brews, but I'll make sure I eat elsewhere before doing so.

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Photo of logansboat15
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

A local favorite brewpub in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Ale House has the most laid-back atmosphere of all the area haunts, with the possible exception of Lakefront Brewery's Friday Fish Fry. Elegant yet inpretentious, the Cream City brick construction Ale House has a nice selection of house beers. Louie's Demise is their flagship beer, with Pull Chain Pale Ale my #1 choice. During warmer months, the outdoor decks overlooking the Milwaukee River is one of the best places to drink and dine in town. Tour boats, coal barges and freight trains entertain the transport enthusiast. On weekends this establishment is on the three-brewery pub tour of the Brew City Queen, a pontoon river tour boat.

The Milwauke Ale House features a decent menu ranging from a light order of chips and salsa to excellent fish dinners and burgers and fries. I always take out of town visitors here, and they leave favorably impressed. Milwaukee Ale House's new bottling facility is almost ready to go into production, as it awaits licensing from the City of Milwaukee. When in the area, stop in and enjoy a brew and listen to some fine local bands on the weekend.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is a nice place to hang out on a weekend or after work, has a good feel inside, is right on the river, and has a lot of events/music at it. Beer can be pretty good, and pub grub is decent (although I should caveat by saying my wife thinks the food's terrible).

I've visited the Ale House a number of times, mostly for lunch or for an after-work happy hour (I grabbed a burger there last night). This is a large brewpub, and is very active in the local community: they sponsored a race I ran in last year, have a lot of live music, and I saw the brewers once at a charity beer dinner I attended.

During my visit yesterday (a weeknight), they featured a number of special beers brewed for St. Patty's day, our service was good, and my $6.99 burger with chips was OK (home-made chips were disappointing). Pints were $5.

Ambience of this place is pretty cool, with a bar, stage, and tall tables up front and tables along big windows overlooking the river in back. Food is OK, but nothing to write home about. Beer ranges from OK to pretty good.

Probably the best brewpub in Milwaukee, but I've been to far better elsewhere.

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Photo of granger10
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

In a nice area of downtown. Very nice looking on the inside. Indoor and outdoor dining which is nice. Two floors, tons of seating. Nice big bar. A few non-Milwaukee Ale House offerings for beer. They had six offerings. I got the sampler and it was a solid array of the standard styles. Good beers really but no style that would excite the beer nerd. I guess they have bands play, I could see that getting really loud. Food looked good but I was saving room in my tummy for beer. Menu like the beer offerings, was standard and not too exotic. If it's solid though, why complain. I'll make sure to get some grub next time. Hopefully with the new brewery being built, they'll experiment a bit more. Eitherways, the best of the 3 brewpubs beerwise in downtown Milwaukee.

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Photo of shivtim
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This place looks nice, but it's something we've all seen before. Think dark wood and a stage... not particularly unique. It does have a nice long curvy bar at least. There was a mediocre band playing that was just loud enough so that you couldn't carry a conversation in the bar area. I'm not sure why they had a band at 7:30 on a Wednesday. Food was pretty good and unique. Six beers on tap, at $5 a pint. Service was not bad, pretty no-nonsense. Overall a nice place, just needs some personality. I get that feeling that most people don't come here for the beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Milwaukee is great in that places that look upscale from the outside are often, when you enter them, much cheaper and friendlier than you'd expect. This is one such place.

At first, I thought that the atmosphere was a little too bar-ry for me. Good amount of smoke, mediocre 70s rock playing. But some of the TV's showed CNN, instead of ESPN, and the clientele was far from a Sports Bar crowd. They were mostly professionals in their early to late 30s, mostly just looking to kick back after a day's work.

Service was great. Bartenders knew about the beers and they knew how to POUR the beers, too. Excellent heads. I ordered a growler with my last round, and the kid behind the bar put it on ice for me until I was ready to leave. Class.

Where this place really excels, though, is in the beer selection. I had three beers, and all of them were big winners, free from any traces of butter or underbrewed chemicals. The APA was perfectly balanced, the Solomon Juneau was crisp, refrehsing and wonderfully unique, and the cask milk stout was fantastic.

Happy hour runs from 4-8 on weekdays, and so pints were only 2.50, and growlers were only ten bucks! I didn't check out the food menu, though. And the selection of beers was pretty run of the mill, even if they seem to nail each style and even if they have a cask.

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I've visited the Ale House on several occasions and everytime I have had exceptional service and solid beers. The brew kettles are on full display from the Water Street entrance and also visible once inside. The bartenders are very knowledgeable about the beers and if you visit during the day, you'll probably run into the head brewer. The waitstaff and servers are friendly enough, if it's really busy, you can expect a wait for food, but not on refills! They have six beers available, 5 regulars and a seasonal. On my most recent visit, I took advantage of the warm weather and sat out on the patio overlooking the river. Great atmosphere here! There's also a bar downstairs (Hop-Side-Down) that serves the full menu and is a great escape on a Friday or Saturday night when the band can make the upstairs a little packed and the bands can really drown out your thoughts.

I've tried all the beers here, and I'm partial to the Pull Chain Pale, which is a very hoppy American Pale, and that's what I had on this recent visit. The Sheepshead Stout is good, but a little too smooth for my tastes.

I had the Ale House Burger on this trip and it was cooked just as I asked, with large portions and a decent price. I've also had the Blackened Chicken Sandwich, very tasty.

I would highly recommend this as the first stop on a tour of many of the great brewpubs and breweries in Milwaukee!

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Photo of joedon
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Very attractive old building, remodelded into a modern brew-pub. Nice, outdoor patio overlooking the river for diners, too.

Excellent quality beer and service; at least in the quiet afternoo, before happy hour rush time, when I was there.

Six taps available with on-premises brews. Only regular taps, no cask-conditioned or "seasonals" to try. No off-property beer available. Lots of spirits and wine list also for sale.

Did not try the food; what I saw, looked good, though.

Decent prices, even pre-happy-hour. Would defenitely come back.

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

I visited the Milwaukee Ale House on a business trip. It is in a large building on the river in the 3rd Ward area of Milwaukee. There is a bar area with high tables and a separate dining area behind that with an open area over looking the river. The food was typical brew pub fare, pizza, burgers, pastas, and sandwiches. The waitress I has knew about the beer and was very friendly. When choosing sides I highly recommend the blue cheese potato salad. I tried three of the beers, the Maker's Demise, Bloody Third IPA, and the stout. The stout was the best of them. Overall it had a nice atmosphere and the wait staff was excellent.

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Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is a large brewpub on the Milwaukee River in the Third Ward. The selection of beer was adequate with seven diverse offerings--ranging from Light to Stout. I felt the brew offerings were very good.

The atmosphere is typical for this genre: high exposed ceiling, both bench and chair seatings, ample TV's in the area. The menu offers good pub food. I was impressed with the volume of choices, all traditional.

The service was exceptional. Not only was it Wisconsin-friendly, it was prompt and continuously attentive.

While I'm not in Milwaukee very often, I will likely make this a regular stop.

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Photo of beerinator
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped here for lunch, before the weekend brewery river tour. The service was quick and helpful. They have a nice upstairs and downstairs bar, with two great decks overlooking the river. On a nice day, this could be a great spot to hang out.

The beers were pretty good. Nothing extraordinary, but they were clean and drinkable. There were quite a few people who were drinking bottled macro brew, even though the Ale House brews it's own lighter styles. I don't like this situation, but I guess they know better than me what is needed there.

The food was served quickly and I think everyone was pleased with what they ordered. Everything was priced similarly to other brewpubs I've visited.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

This place was interesting. On water street in the old third ward part of Milwaukee the atmosphere of this neighberhood is pretty cool, but this place was kind of lacking! The dark wood, cookie-cutter brewpub atmosphere that I am so bored of greets me (yet again!). The quality of the beers was also just cookie-cutter lame, with no real beer standouts in the bunch. I ordered a pale ale and it was pretty lame as well. Selection was OK, 5 or 6 house brewed beers on tap and 1 or 2 macros as well, wtf?! Food was awesome though and super cheap as well. I had some sort of crazy fajitas. This place is totally worth it just for the food and the value! Maybe they even have a good brew on tap once in a while as well. If not, just go with a glass of water (always good!)

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Photo of brewQ
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited on a Sunday afternoon. Nice and quiet- but like other times I'd been over past two years the place feels cold at times. Maybe better with a band.

Bar help was very attentive. Served sample trays and insights to my buddy and me. As others have noted the beers are good but not exceptional. Louie's Demise and Sheepshead Stout were best of the six we tried.

We had wings and quesadilla- better than average.

Now they have beer bottled at Gray's in Janesville but soon will start their own brew and package facility near the brewpub.

All things considered- when at Summerfest grounds this place is a definite stop!

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Milwaukee Ale House in Milwaukee, WI
Brewery rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 443 ratings