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.
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.
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:
- * 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)
- BIG TEN: Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Stone (3-8pm)
- * BRASSERIE V: Duvel Green and Ommegang Rouge
Updated as of the beers of 3 August 2009
Click name of beer for information from brewery website. Click “BA” for beeradvocate.com reviews.
Belgians ($6 except as otherwise noted)
- Lindemans Framboise BA
- St. Bernardus Tripel BA
- Atomium Grand Cru BA
- Blanche de Bruxelles BA
- Chimay Tripel BA $7
- Duchesse De Bourgogne BA
Wisconsin Beers ($4 except as otherwise noted)
- Ale Asylum Big Slick Stout BA
- Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge BA
- Central Waters Shine On Organic Red BA
- Furthermore Oscura BA
- Lake Louie Kiss the Lips IPA BA $4.50
- [no sixth WI tap]
Publican’s Choice (pricing varies)
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.
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!
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.
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