Milwaukee Ale House

233 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI, 53202, United States
(414) 226-BEER
Latitude: 43.03284, Longitude: -87.90948


  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.45 | Atmosphere: 4.10 | Service: 4.30 | Food: 4.00
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 5 reviews.
Score from Google Reviews:
out of 5
View Google reviews
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zenhiker (3)
Sunday 20th of February 2011 12:45:35 PM
They have a very nice thing going on there. A large location, clearly trendy in the area (as evidenced by the tidy Thursday evening business), excellent ambiance, outdoor seating on the waterfront, good beers, and decent food. My only gripe was that the live band was too loud in the dining area for 7:30PM. It was the right volume for the bar area, but there is not enough of a sound barrier to keep the volume at a reasonable level in the dining area for conversations. After normal food serving hours - say, after 9:00PM - this would be fine, but before that time, I expect to be able to carry on a dinner conversation without shouting.

Their Downtown Lites is a nice, easy-drinking light beer; not a whole lot of character, but easy enough to quaff. The Pullchain Pail Ale (sic) is an excellent example of an American Pale Ale - no complaints. The shining star of the evening for me, however, was the Devil's Advocate... very nice spiced Belgian dubbel. Very strong, and rich in flavor, but a beer I could easily settle into for an evening.

The food was decent. Their pretzels were perfect - soft and warm on the inside, and slightly crispy on the outside. The cheese sauce for dipping was satisfactory - it could have used a bit of flavoring or texture outside of the standard ballpark style easy-cheese. My buffalo chicken sandwich was fine - the bun was nothing special, the wing sauce was tasty and the lettuce and tomato were fresh, but there was no blue cheese - seriously? My onion rings were average. My buddy got the salmon, which was served with rice and some freshly steamed squash/zucchini mix. It was a decent presentation, but far from the best salmon I've seen or tasted.

I love the fact that our server knew something about the history of the building they're located in - it used to be a saddlery in the old days. I'm also very keen on the depth of the stories behind their brews. Overall, a great operation that represents the sort of brewpub I want to own eventually. Overall, they receive an A-, just because their food could be a lot better and the music was too loud. Definitely a repeatable affair...
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 5 | Food: 3.5
Thursday 19th of November 2009 08:45:22 PM
We visited on a Wednesday night; they were setting up for the evening entertainment when we arrived. They have live music most nights. The place was big, with a nice open bar and seating area. We had the sampler beers which included a pale ale, amber ale, light ale, golden ale, session IPA, and an Irish oatmeal stout. All were good but none of them stood out to me. The service was very good. The only drawback for me was that smoking is allowed. That cut our stay short. Not sure about the parking, we walked from our downtown hotel. In warmer weather there is outdoor seating on the river side of the brewpub.
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 3 | Service: 3.25 | Food: N/A

wbfarr (43)
Sunday 24th of February 2008 07:44:37 PM
My annual cold weather pilgrimage to Milwaukee, and i start with the Ale House. I like it. Excellent food -- great split pea soup, great pot roast sandwich, great cole slaw. Very family-friendly at lunch. Great friendly service, and the servers know the beer well. I had the Sheepshead Stout, which i loved, and a pretty good Baltic porter. In an Imperial pint glass! It came in at 7.5%, so not a total killer, but wow. Lots of sweetness and alcohol. Anyway, the stout was full of roasted malts at firstsip, very creamy on the swallow, and a great food beer. The Baltic porter was full of dried dark fruit flavor (date, fig, prune) and sweetness. I love the lay-out of the place -- one wall is mostly glass, overlooking the river. Lots of brick and dark wood. Nice long bar. My server talked about other local brews, bad beer legislation, the Ale House's "Boston Tea Party" (they dumped beer into the river to protest new distribution legislation)... all this while she was serving other tables.

Friendly, warm, good beer and food.

Edit, Feb. 2011 -- I've been back a couple of times over the years, and everything I said before is confirmed. Most recently, I had a wonderful pot pie with a great amber ale, followed by a spiced ale.
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.25

beerinator (131)
Sunday 3rd of February 2008 11:12:41 PM
I've visited twice and honestly, I can't say that I have ever had a bad time here, but it hasn't been very exciting either.

The beers have been fairly good to mediocre. The food has been pretty good and the menu seems to be fairly interesting with occasional specials. The service I have received has been good (on the last trip I would say we had great service).

The beers have been pretty good for the most part, but I really haven't seen or heard of anything here that is a head turner. If you're simply in the mood for some beer and some food, you may luck out and find something that really turns you on.

There are outdoor seating areas overlooking the river and there is a large bar area with pool tables and high bar tables that appears to all be smoke friendly. We parked in a free (saturday) deck across the street.
Selection: 3.75 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 4.25 | Food: 4.25

gettimm (7)
Tuesday 18th of December 2007 05:55:42 PM
This is a decent place to visit if you love good beer. Every time I have had the cask conditioned ale it has been excellent. I have visited several times and have been happy with every visit. Go in the summer and enjoy a beer overlooking the river. The food although my second reason for visiting is very good. Great atmosphere in a nice location, parking is a pain but the short walk is worth it.
Selection: 4.5 | Atmosphere: 5 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.5

TBerglund (1)
Monday 22nd of October 2007 12:14:13 AM

This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

Truly Milwaukees best! My friend and I while visiting from Seattle, WA. felt felt right at home. The place had wonderful ambiance, while still being relaxed and comfortable. The place catered to a diverse clientele ranging in age and appearance. Live music was provided, yet did not intrude on ones ability to carry on a conversation. The food selection was decent, the prices reasonable, and a great beer selection to satisfy anyones taste. You can count on us returning and bringing a growler.
Selection: 3.5 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 3 | Food: 2.75
Saturday 20th of October 2007 11:49:59 AM

This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

This has got to be the place to be in Milwaukee. My beer cohort and I were duly impressed as out-of-town guests (Seattle, WA). The place was spacious, stylish, and highly conducive to conversation and good times. The clientèle was diverse in age and appearance, spread throughout a comfortable balance between restaurant and bar space. There was live music, but it wasn't too loud or invasive. The prices were reasonable, the food decent, and a good variety of quality beers were available to suit the needs of any respectable beer snob. Thank you, Wisconsin, we will be back.
Selection: 3.5 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 3.25 | Food: 2.5

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