Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

123 E. Doty St.
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States

(608) 284-0000 | map

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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 180
Photo of cwcolby74
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Overall I liked this place. Cool atmosphere - it's big, and dark, there's a lot of seating, and it's usually full of customers, with a good mix of young and old, college kids and townies, etc.

The beer is just so-so for me. It's pretty good but there doesn't seem to be a lot of choices. On the other hand, they brew their own, so it's always fresh and presented well.

The bartender we had was really cool, very pretty and honestly pretty patient with us, as me and my buddy tend to engage in excessive beer snobbery and otherwise boorish behavior when we go out together.

This is a downtown bar with no parking to speak of nearby, so that's always a minus for me. Not the fault of the bar, of course. That's just part of it. But I dislike getting my drink on somewhere and then having to stumble 6 blocks to my car (no, I wasn't driving, my friend was).

Anyway, this place is sort of part of the legend and lore of Madison, so it's mandatory for anyone staying more than a night or two. I think you'll enjoy yourself.

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Photo of richkrull
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped in here with some friends before hitting up the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest. We got there right when they opened and sat at the bar. Very friendly bartender served us a couple of good beers. We had lunch as well which was very good. Food prices were decent but I was surprised that beers were $5. Not terrible, but kind of high for Wisconsin. Good beer though and a great building. They had 2 separate bars and a bunch of pool tables in addition to the dining area. It's a good spot if you're in the area.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped here on a Saturday night. Prime location in Madison, near the capital and not too far from State Street. A large facility that might have needed an extra bartender or two, as it was still relatively packed. The beers were solid, and the had a relatively extensive and broad list of beers. This is probably the prime brewpub "event" in Wisconsin, the blend of quality beer, nightlife, and good food. I ate an Indian entre' that I can't recall, but enjoyed it and it gets even more points for its boldness. Will I come back here? Absolutely. Also I find it to be a great place to take a significant other.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here during the night before my interview at Epic. Following my brief sojourn at the Brickhouse, I knew I had to sample the Dane (thanks for the rec, VDubb!). The place is part brewpub, part poolhall bar, with a Rathskeller below. Right on. As per usual I headed to the bar to grab some brews. they had a pretty good selection ranging from a couple pilsners to an Irish stout. The owner was there, and we shared a nice, brief conversation during which I extolled his brews. (Side note: He even asked me if I wanted to watch anything when he changed the channel of the TV near me. Nice.) Unfortunately, the cask-conditioned New Peculier was not available, having kicked shortly before my arrival (curse my timing this night!). I didn't try the food, so I can't comment on that. The music from the poolhall, though kinda loud, wasn't overly intrusive and consisted of some pretty sweet tunes. Overall, I would love to make this place my usual haunt if I get the job. A very strong brewpub, indeed.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On our way to Darkness Day we stopped in Madison for a quick lunch. Smack in the middle of downtown Madison, a quaint little spot. The bar itself is the typical look of a brewpub, nothing special, however its huge so shouldn't have any trouble getting a table. The pub has 9 regulars which is really solid and 7 seasonal's available which is awesome. The regulars are way to light beer have with 2 pilsners and a couple lagers, you can tell they are catering to the college crowd. Our server was moderately helpful. Seemed to busy for his, took awhile to get him to even get us water. I asked him for a four beer sampler, his choices and he brought be a pretty solid lineup. The quality of the beers was a bit lacking, nothing really stood out as a great beer, so in that sense I was disappointed because it wasn't anymore than the typical beers you get at a local place.

Worth stopping at if your in Madison but not a destination. A great stepping stone pub for non-craft beer drinkers to put them down that path, perfect location in a big college town.

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Photo of Czap
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I really don't have a lot to say about Great Dane. The menu is very extensive and the food is great. The service is fantastic. Their beer ranks from decent to good. Nothing bad, but nothing that will knock you off your feet. The place is huge. It seems every corner you turn leads to another dining area. My wife and I chose to dine in the outside patio. It is very beautiful and we enjoyed it (except when a bird pooped in my wife's hair...minor setback).

However, it feels like a chain to me. A very good chain that I would actually dine in at that, but a chain nonetheless. Chain brewpubs are fine, I have no problem with them. I like that it is out there trying to spread the good beer word to the masses. But Madison is loaded with great, hip beer bars with ecletic and interesting food menus.

That being said, sometimes you are with a crowd that needs something a little more mainstream, and at those moments Great Dane is perfect. So I do like this place, just wouldn't be my first choice, or even my tenth, when in Madison.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Was brought here by some locals while be toured around the capital prior to a job interview the next day. The fact that we went to a brew pub was a dangerous choice for me. Though I did manage to behave myself I must admit I rather enjoyed this place. It had the nice feel of an old brick brew house. Hell we got to watch them make beer while we ate, which as far as the brew pubs I've gone to, I've almost never seen that. The quality of the place in general was outstanding, it was the middle of the week and the place was packed. The service was pretty good, the waitress knew enough about beer to be able to assist some in the party with the choices, but as far as overall beer knowledge she didn't tell me anything about the beers that I couldn't have guessed from the style. No knock on her, but sometimes you like to know the insight. The selection was as far as I was paying attention just their brews, but they seemed to have at least 10 or more on tap which is pretty damn good for a brew pub. I ate a rather unhealthy bratwurst burger (c'mon, I'm almost never in Wisconsin) that was absolutely amazing, I don't know how the others' food was but it was pretty damn good to me. They even had a vegan menu...surprising for Wisconsin I know. I would definitely stop here again if i was in the area.

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Photo of Birchgrove77
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Second visit on 08/21/10, figured I should review this place for future reference.

Atmosphere: Stopped in on Saturday afternoon around 2 pm and was surprised how full the restaurant was. Beautiful woodwork, excellent lighting, and was able to carry a conversation without raising voice. Beer garden was open, but not crowded due to heat/humidity.

Quality: Beer was excellent. Started with and ESB, moved to the Belgian Pale, and finished with the Tri-Pepper Pilsner. Loved the Pils! Couldn't find anything off with the beer, the Belgian Pale seemed a little malty for a pale ale, but was highly drinkable. ESB was cask and was easily drinkable. Friend ordered the Hefe, but seemed more American Wheat then a Hefe.

Service: Server was attentive, but seemed distracted and acted as if we were a bother to something more important. Was knowledgeable about the peppers used in the pils, but overall was slightly disappointing.

Selection: Don't remember the exact number of beers on tap, but there were plenty to choose from. Plenty of styles to suit novice and beer geeks alike. Only one keg had kicked that we asked for.

Food: Excellent menu. Plenty of different types of sandwiches, entrees, and burgers. Ordered the Brewer's Grilled Cheese and enjoyed the sandwich immensely. Bacon was cooked well, and came with a good portion of fries. The falafel was actually really good and filling with a lot of character. If you're there for a late lunch pay the surcharge and split a burger.

Overall: The second visit reinforces that this is a great place to stop when in Madison for food, beer or both. Prices were quite reasonable, and the beers could be purchased in varying sizes if you wanted to try a number of different beers in your drinking session. Plenty of reasonable parking in the area. Only gripe I had was about the service and it might have just been a busy post-lunch day.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

On my insistence, we went here on my first night out in Madison. The nice gal on my airplane suggested it, but I was planning on going anyway.

Awesome vibe in this place. Big bar. Exposed brick, chandeliers, etc. Nice pool room, which took up most of my time. It was pretty crowded for a college town bar on a Tuesday night during Spring Break, so I can only imagine how packed it must get sometimes.

The beer was really damn good. I had a stout, a hefe, and a barleywine. All three were excellent. There were about a dozen choices on tap. My bartender was friendly and knew his beer. I didn't try any food -- too busy with beer and pool.

Excellent brewpub overall. Lucky Madisonians.

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Photo of stoops
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in last Saturday, for some lunch and to try some of their beers.

My brother and I both ordered a 6 taster glass flight. My choices were on the lighter side, while my brother tried the darker brews. We both were very happy with our selections. The taster flight is also a great way to find the right beer.

We both ordered a burger and I can say they were great. I can't wait to go back and try another.

Was planning on taking home a growler of their IPA but the one I wanted was out. Darn.

Service was ok, not sure if our waitress went on break, but she kind of disappeared after we finished our flights and burgers. It took a little long to get our check.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This looks like a regular bar in the area, and has a decent pool room attached, and now has a garden outside and downstairs to sit at. There are plenty of places to sit, it's not too loud and plenty of different bars to grab a beer at in here. It's a nice place to be for a beer. The beers I had were good, one was a bit better than average, but the others were pretty good. Most any of the beers were worth trying, though some were created to appeal to a wider audience, but plenty that is interesting. The service was good, friendly, quick, helpful, a bit descriptive. I was happy with it. The selection was pretty big, there were maybe 12 beers on tap, and a few on beer engine - one a cask, and another cask sitting above the bar. There was plenty to choose from here. I didn't try the food, but it looked like normal midwestern pub fare. And we came at happy hour, where 3 beers (full pints) and 3-4 mixed drinks added up to $21. Pretty cheap if you ask me. This is definitely a place worth visiting downtown.

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Photo of akokandy
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A- Huge place with 3 bars and areas. Sports bar area, neighborhood pub downstairs, and nice restaurant spot. Definitely something for everyone. You can see the tanks on both floors.

Q- All their beer were really good. Had the scotch ale, the Irish stout, and a cask old ale called New Peculier. All of them were great, but the scotch ale was transparent, which kind of threw me off.

S- I sat at the bar in the restaurant area. I was served by two different bartenders, but both of them were fast and knowledgeable. My food came quick, too. Free tasters of whatever you want to try.

S- They must have had around a dozen beers on tap. Of those, I think seven or eight are on tap there all the time, and the rest are rotating. They always have a cask offering.

F- My food was good. I had the Chipotle Meatloaf Grinder. Even though we don't call Sub Sandwiches "grinders" in the midwest, this sandwich was pretty damn good. Not as filling as I had hoped. It ran about 9.50.

V- Most of the beers were 5.00, and the bocks were 5.50. The food was kind of expensive, though. $8.50 and up. A lot of variety, but most of the good things on the menu were $13+. It doesn't sound that bad, but for Wisconsin, this place is pretty pricey.

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Photo of zeff80
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Ventured into the Great Dane for lunch on 12/30. I love the atmosphere. Beautiful bar in the main room. Behind that is the pool hall and another great bar. Downstairs the atmosphere is even better, a U-shaped bar with exposed brick and stone walls. The service was good. I talked to the bartenders in the pool hall half, and they were great. I asked if they'd fill a foreign growler and they said they would because "a glass container is a glass container." The selection is pretty large, 8 or so regular beers and 4 or 5 seasonals. The beers that I had were quite good. The Barrister's Brown was on cask and delicious. The Texas Speedbump IPA was even better. The food was great, too. Fried cheese curds for an appetizer and a Baja Burger were both amazing. This is a really great place to visit. A must see in Madison.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.25/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I'm reviewing the downtown Dane.

This is my and my wifes favorite place to go for a good meal and beer for any taste that day. We like it so much we had our rehearsal dinner downstairs at the downtown location.

The food is always tasty, but a few of there dishes do get expensive, but the ingredients are great too. I have about 3 favorite dishes there that I will just crave sometimes.

The beer is very good as well! I love that there are always 10+beers on tap. I can go in there with no idea of what I want and then something hits me and they more than likely have it on tap. And every once and while a gem pops up too. I was in there like 2 years ago and on a random Wednesday I was lucky enough to try there '05 Barleywine!

I'd stop in if you have a free hour or two on your way through town!

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Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I visited this place on 11/28/2008.

My wife and I went to Madison on an overnight beer trip to Madison and decided to try this for dinner on Friday night.

The atmosphere is way cool, as this place is located in an old bank building with lots of exposed brick, wood, and some great tilework and chandeliers. Being an old re-used building, there are lots of different rooms and spaces in this bar. Upon entering you have the choice of going left into the main bar room, right into a large dining room or down the stairs to the rathskellar where there is another bar, the breweries serving tanks, and the restrooms.

As I mentioned we visited on a Friday night, but were still seated within 10 minutes or so. The service throughout the evening was decently good but not great. No major complaints though.

The food was pretty solid and fairly priced. I got the fish and chips (excellent) and my wife got the Thai pizza (ok but nothing to brag on). I will say, the portions were huge though!

The beer selection was outstanding. They had 15 or so beers on tap (all brewed in-house). Between the wife and I, we tried five different beers over the course of a couple hours and three were good and two were exceptional.

I will surely be going back to Madison soon and I will surely visit the Great Dane again (and again).

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Photo of wardough
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've visited the local Madison Great Dane on multiple occasions. Saturday night is definitely the night that is packed! Friday can also get very busy.

What I love about this place are the 3 different "bars" within this place. 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs. It's a great place to get a beer and some good food. Their burgers are very good. If you are visiting town, definitely try the cheese curds or the Nachos. The Nachos rock.

The quality and selection are near unsurpassable. The beer that is served is served in the proper glass.

The downside is the service. I've had horrible service. In the past 2 weeks, I've had more than a few beers that have not been filled (seems to be a current trend). I've sent them back. The waitresses are usually decent at knowing the beers, but their attitude is generally pretty horrible.

All in all, I still love this place, but try to go when it's not so busy.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been here twice during my visit to Madison, both at low volume times of the day. I hear from my friend that this place gets to be PACKED on the weekends. I am not so much a fan of the sardine feeling, so I am happy to go during the afternoon on a weekday.

The Great Dane is expansive, with three separate rooms and a patio or beer garden. One room seems strictly for dining, one is a mix of bar / dining, and the third is the game room / bar / lounge. They have four pool tables? I think that's true...and they have a shuffleboard table. Let's just say that there is lots to do here.

And lots to drink! They have a good selection for a microbrewery; something for everyone it seems. For the frat boys and girls who like to wash down their burgers with something more alcoholic than water, they have their signature "lite" beer. For the beer nerd who wants something with character, they have the wheatwine. Well, at least right now they do. The porter is a staple of their regular selection though, and it is very robust; more so than the stout! So if you go there hoping for big and bold, and it turns out that the wheatwine is gone, take the porter.

They also like to experiment. Ned's Red was an amazing approximation of a Belgian Red that did not use wild yeast. They got the texture right, and the smell was incredible. They brewed it with loads of sour cherries and oak chips to impart a similar flavor, but without much "funk". A good beer to break someone into the funky beers.

I ordered the nachos, and they were very good! The service was good and friendly. The price was just as friendly too.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited on Friday August 1, 6pm. Arrived to a wait outside, but our big table of 8 was somehow ready. Very nice old brick building in downtown Madison. The main bar area was just inside the front door, with another bar and huge room off to the left. We sat in the right-side room, which had several tables.

I got the 6 beer sampler. 2 different pilsner, porter, ipa, wheat wine and cask scotch. The porter and wheat wine were very good while the ipa was non-carbonated and flat. And I'm sure it wasn't a cask offering either...strange. Wheat wine was so good that I ordered a tulip of it. Brother in-law got the sour cherry which was very good. Overall, there were 15 or so different styles of beer, nice!

Service was very good. Both the beer and food came fast, and the place was packed. We got the pretzels and cheese curds as an appetizer, both really good. 4 of us got the Friday fish fry, which was just ok. Pretty greasy and bready.

Walked around a little, and saw pool tables and dart boards in the big room on the left. Went out back and saw one of the cooler patios in recent memory. Wedged in between 2 buildings, pretty brick and tons of tree shade.

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Photo of frazbri
4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My first visit to the Great Dane was Friday before the Great Taste. We started off in the dining area for a little snack and a pint. It was a comfortable, casual place for a meal.

After our first round and a bite, we moved to the pool hall section. I really liked the vibe. It's the type of place you can gather with friends, play pool or shuffle board, converse and drink a few good beers.

There also is a downstairs bar and patio out back which I didn't really explore.

I was really impressed with the service in the pool hall. There were two servers working the room and both were attentive and friendly.

The beer list went about 12 deep. I started with the scotch ale. It had a nice peat-smoked flavor that really gave it some depth. The hefe was a solid bavarian style wheat as well. There were selections availble from across the beer spectrum.

I liked it. It would be a good choice for a meal or hanging out.

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Photo of MDekker
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I had a quick dinner here while at a conference. The place had a thorough beer selection, with a decent number of lagers, all well described on the newspaper-like menu I was given. I had a pint of Peck's Pilsner, which I enjoyed, although it wasn't spectacular. The burger I had was great. I might stop there once more before I go. The service was good, and although I didn't see the whole place, it was interesting, with mentions of the history of the building on the menu. Being in downtown Madison is a plus, too, and it's given me a great one-day impression.

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Photo of Ig0r
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I actually just found this place walking around in the evening with a group of people, the "BREW PUB" neon sign on the corner of the building was hard to miss and would be difficult to pass-up.

The feel inside is well-worn dark wood all around. There are a few pool tables and a shuffleboard table (which I was very surprised to see). There were over a dozen custom brews on tap when I was there. I had a pils, a hefeweizen, an amber, and even a taste of their wheatwine. Overall the beers were not too remarkable but not bad in any way. The wheatwine was pretty unique, though.

It was pretty busy the evenings when I was there, so the service was not quick but the bartenders didn't leave anyone waiting around.

For the beer and the atmosphere, I would go back if I had the chance. Also, compared to most other similar places I've been, the prices here were great!

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This was my last stop in my beer tour of Madison. A quick walk from Maduro, and I was sitting in a truly awesome brew pub. This place has a very nice English feel to it.

Four firkins sitting behind the bar, but only one was pouring that night. They also had three hand pumps. I ordered up a sampler of their beers, and for the first time ever, I actually had to limit how many of their house beers I ordered. They had 15 different beers on tap, so I chose 10 that appealed to me the most. All were quality beers. Old Glory APA, Esmerald, Ned's Red, New Peculior, Trip-pepper pils, Black Earth, etc.

I ordered up the house nachos, and man oh man were they good. They were served with home made salsa that was just out of this world. I can safely say they were the best nachos I have ever had. This place seemed like a very popular local hang out, and it's easy to see why.

Overall, God I loved this place. I'm pretty sure I could kill and entire afternoon and night here. If I lived next door to this place, I don't think I would ever leave. And I'll count down the days until I get to come back here.

The only negative thing I can say about the Dane is that the bathroom is downstairs. As I've said many times before, alcohol and steps don't mix. But at least it gets you up and walking I guess.

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Recently stopped here during the GTOM pre-ticket sale pub crawl.

There are 2 separate bars, this time I was at the one "downstairs" in the area with the pool tables. Service was good at the bar, they had several house beers available on cask. I tried a mild IPA "Texas Speedbump" (guessing Amarillo, rhymes with armadillo?) and a cask bitter. Neither were especially exciting, but served at proper temp in an imperial pint. The far & away winner was the Black Earth Porter.

Atmosphere was ok, i've been several times before, and it's usually crowded. There seemed to be a wedding or prom party there at the same time. Suits and children around. It was a big enough place that we all stayed out of each others way. I'll go back to eat here again, and to get more porter...

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Photo of mynie
3.83/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Nice location, very pretty building. The pink neon BREW PUB sign is pure class.

The layout is nice but the atmosphere is like just about every other newly modeled brewpub you come across in the midwest, made to cater to the FM-radio crowd of twentysomethings who have mediocre taste in everything but beer. Big sportsbar TVs, soulessly lacquered bars and tabletops, intolerable classic rokck getting blasted at all volumes, and bunch of drunken fratboys.

The staff were superfriendly, though. Quite competent to boot. The beer selection was *massive*, although they were nothing but house beers, no guest taps. The four beers I sampled ranged from Solidly Good to Top Notch.

As reasonably priced and delicious as was the beer, the food really wasn't nothing to write home about. Standard pub fare, cooked and served with little flare or panache. Granted, I don't expect very much out of a hamburger, but it just wasn't that great. I dunno--maybe the beef wasn't that high of a grade or something. Still, it wasn't bad. Just not great.

Wonderfully priced. Most beers come in full 20-oz imperial pints for only 3.50. Growlers were 13 including a 4 dolllar bottle fee. Might be a bit nicer in the afternoons, when it's not so packed.

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Photo of Deuane
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I never like it when I have been to some place once and have a negative experience and then review it. But this is my circumstance with the downtown location of Great Dane. Most things went well, beers (most) were good, food was good, place is nice, but our service in a nutshell sucked. Our waitress was VERY inattentive and quite short with us...she was just plain bad...should have caught her name but didnt.

Great Dane Brewing Company is located in an old corner hotel building, and has retained much of the historical charm on both the interior and exterior. It is just one block down from the capitol building, which sat up on the hill, well lit and rising above all other buildings.

We ordered four beers from the selection of 15 (two of which were on cask and having cask is ALWAYS a BIG plus) along with dinner. C was highly interested in the IPA, which on the printed menu, stated that the style varies from time to time - sometimes an English IPA, sometimes an American IPA. So as instructed, C asked the server. She was terribly confused by the question and couldn't really help answer, so she just ordered it. We assumed something called Texas Speedbump IPA would probably be American, and it was. In fact, it was a very solid IPA - extremely hop forward with a strong citrus nose and powerful hop flavor.

The other beer C had was Black Watch Scottish Ale on cask, and this was a deep copper color with an incredibly smoky finish. The smoke flavor was too much for her, and she gave this one up to me.

C's trade was for his Black Earth Porter, which also had a smokiness to it - a sort of burnt malt quality, but found it to be more smooth and drinkable than the Scottish.

My other choice was the English Special Ale on cask, which disappointed quite a bit. It was a dull choice, and the beer delivered on that note. There was very little suggestion of hop flavor, which was balanced with the lack of malt body.

The menu looked good and although our waitress never filled us in on the specials, I feel we made good choices.

C had a nice salad with fresh mozzarella and asparagus and I had the Brats & Mashers, which were a pair of beer-and-onion-marinated bratwurst over Scotch Ale sauerkraut with smashed red potatoes and hot apple "sauce" (which was really super-cooked apple chunks with cinnamon...)

Great Dane is certainly a place we'd like to try again - maybe with a different waitress or at one of the other two locations we will have an improved experience. As I said, it wasn't awful, but the experience didn't give me the warm fuzzies!

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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown) in Madison, WI
3.69 out of 5 based on 927 ratings.
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