Greetings, beer geeks!

•12 November 2008 • 2 Comments

Welcome! This is NOT the official Web site of The Malt House, a craft beer bar located at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street in Madison, Wisconsin.  I don’t even think there is an official Malt House Web site.  I am just a satisfied customer and craft beer enthusiast seeking to promote good beer, and will attempt to maintain a reasonably current draught list of the 18 regional, national, and Belgian/other international beers being served.  But selection can change at almost any moment, so feel free to submit updates.

Malt House outdoor seating opens

•5 August 2009 • Leave a Comment


Readers in Madison are probably well aware of the trouble Bill Rogers had when trying to get outdoor seating approved. But if this is new to you, the abridged version of the story is that the parking lot is not exactly up to code. (When it rains, one Malt House patron refers to the parking lot as “Lake Rogers.”) Bill does not own the property and the landlord–who was going to develop the vast empty lot across the street before the economy went bust–probably hasn’t made parking lot maintenance a high priority.

But the city and Rogers arrived at a compromise. Rogers doesn’t have to regrade and repave the lot and make other improvements (which would be a substantial capital expense for someone who doesn’t even own the property), but will have the pavement patched enough to satisfy the city, in return for approval of the conditional use for an outdoor seating area.

The ornamental fencing and picnic tables were added over the weekend and the area opened for use on Monday. The long picnic table seating should encourage a sociable atmosphere as people make new friends over their common passion for great beer.

In the photo below, you can see Rogers holding the sign that he no longer needs to post at the door.




Great Taste Friday night at the Malt House and elsewhere

•4 August 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Malt House will host one of the many pre-Great Taste parties on Friday, featuring Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin of Dexter, Michigan. The Malt House will be a shuttle stop (indicated by “*”) among many of the other parties, as listed below. Shuttles run 7pm-1am, leaving from Brasserie V on the hour:

East Side

  • * MALT HOUSE: Jolly Pumpkin
  • * DEXTER’S PUB: Great Lakes (4:30 start) Dark Horse (8:30 start)
  • * ALCHEMY CAFE: Two Brothers (featuring Flemish Red and Outlaw IPA)
  • * GLASS NICKEL: Surly and Founders


  • * LOCAL TAVERN: New Holland (starting at 4pm)
  • MADURO (shuttle stop is Local Tavern, same block): Bell’s (starting at 4pm, private party at 2pm)
  • ARGUS (shuttle stop is Local Tavern, same block): Great Lakes (starting at 8pm, after finishing at Dexter’s)
  • SARDINE: Goose Island (5-7pm)

West Side

  • BIG TEN: Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Stone (3-8pm)
  • * BRASSERIE V: Duvel Green and Ommegang Rouge

On Tap (early August)

•4 August 2009 • Leave a Comment

Updated as of the beers of 3 August 2009

Click name of beer for information from brewery website. Click “BA” for reviews.

Belgians ($6 except as otherwise noted)

ChimayBlanche de Bruxelles

Wisconsin Beers ($4 except as otherwise noted)

Big SlickShine OnOscura

Publican’s Choice (pricing varies)


Belgian Tasting Thursday

•17 June 2009 • Leave a Comment

Try a selection of beers from small Belgian breweries on 18-June when the Malt House hosts a rep from Twelve Percent Imports. 4-6pm.

Celebrating great beer!

•11 June 2009 • Leave a Comment

Bill Rogers and many of his closest beery friends celebrated the first anniversary of the Malt House Tuesday night.

For the naysayers who continue to write off craft beer as a minor niche, I have to point out that what struck me as I walked into the place Tuesday (but really just about any night I stop in) is that the faces in the crowd aren’t all the usual familiar beer geeks I know, but people of a wide range of ages, occupations, backgrounds, tastes, and on and on.

Whether they already know great beer or are just learning, Bill’s success with the Malt House can be seen not only in that he selects wonderful beers, but also that he and his bartenders have made it a friendly place where people want to stop in and enjoy good beer and conversation. It has often been said of Wisconsin that the tavern is an extension of the living room at home, and we can certainly see that at the Malt House.

Congratulations, Bill, on a successful first year, with many more to come!

bill and group

jamie and bill



Great Lakes Grassroots

•25 May 2009 • Leave a Comment

One of my favourite new beers is Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Grassroots Ale, a saison. Although many saisons have a fairly high alcohol content, some up around 8%, Phil Markowski’s book on farmhouse ales notes that, historically, saisons were very refreshing low-alcohol beers. Although Grassroots is a bit “above average” in alcohol at a bit over 6%, it is a very “drinkable” and refreshing brew with tart lemony notes and a reasonably complex herbal character. Try one while it’s still on tap at the Malt House.

Beer reviews for the pretentious

•28 April 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ever wonder how Beer Advocate members come up with some of the more absurd and pompous reviews they submit to the popular beer reviewing site? I’ve discovered their secret, as revealed by an Oregon beer-blogger. 🙂

Here’s an example of one of the generated reviews:
Pours a vivid mahogany with a thin head. Minimal lacing. Delicate hoppy scent, with just a hint of biscuit malt and grapefruit. Intense herbal taste, laced with a touch of strawberry and baking soda. Mouth-filling mouthfeel and long finish. Score: 4.01/5.

Give it a try, and Now go have a beer

Black and Tan

•29 March 2009 • Leave a Comment

Although Saint-Patrick’s Day had been almost two weeks earlier, I saw a customer on Friday order a couple of Black and Tans. Jaquie appeared a bit flustered about not having a nitro-pour stout on tap, but quickly went to the bottle cooler for a widget can Guinness and a bottle of Harp. She prepared the two B/Ts and the customer was happy.

One can’t help but think, however, how much better it might have been if done fresher and more locally. With Lakefront Snake Chaser Irish Stout still on tap at the time and Fauerbach Export, the stout and lager combination could have been all-Wisconsin, and still fairly traditional.

The thought of a Black and Tan for those of more extreme palates came to mind when I saw another customer order a Stone Ruination IPA (not a lager, but “tan” nonetheless) and a Bell’s Double Cream Stout (separately, not poured together). Mmmm, beer.

As it turned out, my personal selection of beers for the evening—which I ordered before any prompting by the B/T customer—could have been another “alternative” B/T combination. Ale Asylum Ballistic IPA followed by a Tyranena Benji’s Chipotle Imperial Porter. (I, too, drank these separately.)

Be(er) creative!

The Audacity of Hops

•27 January 2009 • Leave a Comment

I spotted this homebrew label last night. What’s your first (“inaugural”) homebrew for 2009 going to be called? Creative replies welcome!

From President-Elect to an Elected President

•24 January 2009 • Leave a Comment

Obama in brewpub