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Vintage Brewing

Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades

Vintage Brewing

Postby badgerbeerman » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:06 pm

I sure would like to "like" the one-year old Vintage, especially since the brewmaster has apparently come a long way in the past year, and he has developed quite a fan base. However, I have tried three times to enjoy the pub, and three times I have come away disappointed (I do not live in Madison). I first ventured there a month after Vintage opened. The beers were mediocre. Then I tried again in mid-summer, only to discover a couple of beers unavailable (and nothing approaching a hoppy beer); on top of this, the bartenders were less than enthusiastic. I vowed not to return...but, I have read good things in the Isthmus (and on MBR) about some excellent brews being made, so last week, I tried again. Once more, a couple of beers were unavailable, and once more the bartenders were inattentive, and when finally persuaded to come my way, were bordering on arrogant. I don't get it. The place was rather busy, but I have no reason to return. Three strikes is an out for me. Does anyone have an reasonable explanation for my lousy experiences?
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby Igor » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:30 pm

I don't drink beer much anymore, but I can say that I have been disappointed in the Vintage. The food was good on earlier visits - seemed a buck or two too expensive, but so does everywhere else these days - no biggie. We did not share your issues with the bartenders - they were attentive the nights we were there, and gave a generous pour on mixed drinks.

But they really seem to be very uptight about their feng shui or something. When we have been there, it was in the 8:30-10:30 timeframe. They were doing good business, but by no means were full. We were there for drinks, but were told that if we sat in a booth (which were half full and 5 feet from the bar) that we had to buy appetizers. However, we were welcome to sit at the bar (full) in the easy chairs near the fireplace (comfy, but impracticial for that evening) or the tiny tables thoughtfully jammed back by the pool table, with no waiter/waitress service. The booths or the 3/4 empty dining area were verboten.

I totally understand giving priority to your dinner crowd. But given the time (9 PM) and half-empty tables, that hardly mattered. This happened on two separate occasions to our group. I won't say "I won't be back" as I'm sure I will attend a birthday party or some sort of function there. But there are lots of bars in the area that are happy with the profit on 4 rounds in two and a half hours, and I think we will choose to patornize them.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby wallrock » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:35 pm

Igor wrote:We were there for drinks, but were told that if we sat in a booth (which were half full and 5 feet from the bar) that we had to buy appetizers.

I haven't run into this before. The last few times I've been to the Vintage my group has sat in the booths without ordering appetizers. Granted, this has usually been after a basketball or hockey game so probably closer to 10. I believe the last time the staff was in the process of clearing the silverware and condiments from the tables when we sat down, so there must be a cut-off time where the table service stops. It does seem odd that they'd have a problem with a group that's ordering a few rounds.

I definitely have noticed that on any given night there are a few beers on the list that have run out and have been replaced with something new. This is a good thing though - I'm happy knowing the taps are fresh and constantly rotating. For my part I haven't had anything from the Vintage that I didn't enjoy, and a few of their brews (like Better Off Red & Derby Girl) are new favorites of mine. My only complaint with the place is to do with the hit-or-miss nature of the shuttle to the Kohl Center.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby I_Am_Before_Names » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:25 pm

Been there once. The food was so god-awful bad that I took one bite, paid my bill, and left. I won't be back.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby kimm » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:24 pm

Agree completely with the OP. I really want to like them given the convenient after work location for me, love of beer and their decent menu. But I'm not able to get excited about this place. The beers have been very, very average every time I've gone. Money is tight, bars are plenty, therefore I have to get excited to spend my dollars. Nothing west of the Capitol is exciting me now (and guess where I live). We've been drinking more at home lately, getting our favorite Bells, Ale Asylum, Central Waters, etc.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby gargantua » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:51 pm

Kimm, suggest you check out Jac's, Brasserie V, and Mason Lounge, although the latter does not serve food. Great beer list though, and all 3 are west of the Capitol.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby kimm » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:58 am

Thanks, gargantuan. I've been to Jac's and Brasserie. Unfortunately neither me or the husband are fans of Belgains, so the list shrinks considerably. But, still a decent spot to hang when you can find an empty seat. Staff are always friendly at Brasserie.

I just read about Mason's on here...looking forward to trying it! Not an ideal location for happy hour driving and parking, unfortunately, but still going to check it out.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby jman111 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:08 am

kimm wrote:I just read about Mason's on here...looking forward to trying it! Not an ideal location for happy hour driving and parking, unfortunately, but still going to check it out.

There is (or, at least, was) a rear parking lot. Just south of the bar, take a right into the alley. On-street parking is tough at happy hour time.
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Re: Vintage Brewing

Postby supaunknown » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:35 am

Ah, Zappa.

"Yes, it's WET T-shirt time again here at the Brasserie ... Home of THE TITS!"
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