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The Memorial Union Terrace / Rathskeller
Taps: 22 / Bottles: 8
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
800 Langdon St.
phone: (608) 265-3000
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $
Sat on the terrace today to unwind post-GTMW '11. Had a pitcher of Gray's Rathskeller Amber, and watched the sailboats go by. The Rathskeller didn't open up until 3pm on Sunday, but there were a few decent craft options outside (House Amber/Oberon/SNPA). Didn't need a student ID outside to buy beer, though one friend was a WI Union member. Not sure about inside, as they were closed when we were there, but you could wander through the space.
Inside the list was: Hopalicious, Madtown Nutbrown, Oberon, Two Hearted, Capital Wheat, Franziskaner, Optimator, Stella, Alpha King, and Gumballhead.
The interior mimics an old German bierhalle, while serving as a functional cafeteria type space. Weathered dark walls with murals, wide arches and wooden beams, scattered with heavy wooden tables, scratched deep with decades-old graffito.
In warm weather, the terrace can't be beat. Patio tables, lake view, lots of people, students, families, older folks... everybody.
08-15-2011 03:13:06 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Second time here on 8 Jul 2011, late afternoon. Very nice weather on the patio, probably room for 400 people outside. Split a couple of pitchers of Bells (Two Hearted and Oberon) with ratatat. Mostly all micros on tap, Bells, Capitol, New Glarus, Ale Asylum. There is a Rathskeller specially brewed for them. Good atmosphere. Band took forever to set up. Saw a dude with an A&M shirt but realized he wasn't from Texas when I saw him sweating in the shade when it was 82 degrees out. Ratatat reminds everyone you must have a membership card to buy beer here.
07-08-2011 22:47:36 |
More by htomsirveaux
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Atmosphere: Sitting outside on the lake enjoying a pitcher (or several) or beer...what could be better? Live music all the time in the summer. Not to mention all of the "scenery"...
Quality/Selection: Pretty good selection for a college union. You'll always find a couple Ale Asylum, New Glarus, Capital on tap, along with some imports. They also always have Bell's Two Hearted and Oberon (in Summer).
Service: Just fair. When busy, you'll wait in line a while to grab a pitcher. The workers are college kids, so, while friendly, they don't mostly have much beer knowledge if you don't know what you want.
Value: Reasonable. I'll take a pitcher of Oberon for $12 when most of the time a pint will run you around $5.
05-05-2011 17:04:16 |
More by anell213
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $
This is my go-to place whenever I visit Madison. During summer, it's one of my ultimate pleasures to sit on the Terrace behind the Union building and split a pitcher (or two) with my buddy. The lake is right in front of you, they have live music on weekends, and I'm not gonna lie, there's no shortage of UW cuties hanging out and walking by.
The Rathskeller is inside the Union, and as a person who went to college at a university with a dry campus, I almost can't believe UW has something like this. It's a full-fledged beer bar with about a dozen different beers on tap. Good beers, not crappy ones. And the prices are pretty awesome for what you're getting.
There's a cafeteria connected to the seating area for the Rathskeller, so there's food nearby, but I didn't try any.
I look forward to coming to this place every year.
03-26-2011 17:32:41 |
More by cwcolby74
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Transcribed from notes dated Su, 09 Aug 2009.
The Rathskeller was very reminiscent of Pitt's Cathedral of Learning with the vaulted medieval arches and all of the German slogans in Olde English typeface on the walls. Lots of wood everywhere - tables, chairs, picnic benches. Wow! There were eighteen taps, many rotating, most with the same Midwestern/Great Lakes focus that I had noted at other places around town. I think that the draw here was the atmosphere and view over selection. Speaking of the view, I headed outside to contemplate Lake Mendota at sunset. A day prior, I had been gazing at Lake Monona. Ah, to be a sailor again ...
06-28-2010 01:24:48 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The terrace is the spot to be whenever it's a nice day out. Can be relaxing in the afternoons, or buzzing at night when bands come to play.
The Rathskellar is incredible too. Looks great, feels authentic... I love it.
As for beer, there are always a number of good Wisconsin micros(Capitol, Ale Asylum, Leinies, among others), and a couple of staple macros too (PBR, Miller). Generally a few german beers on tap as well, for authenticity, and this selection really makes the place feel homely. Plenty of German heritage around here (myself included), and it really is, simply put, enjoyable.
04-13-2010 17:43:29 |
More by AmberMan22
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
There's no better place in Madison to have a beer w/ friends on a sunny spring/summer/fall day. The Terrace is a Madison tradition - it has the best waterfront location in the city, features free concerts for most of the year (inside Der Rathskellar, as well) trademark multi-colored tables and chairs (made in nearby Oregon, WI), and a solid selection of beer.
I haven't been there in a few months, but they generally have a few New Glarus and Capital beers on tap, as well as Hopalicious, several Germans, Two-Hearted Ale, Oberon, and the normal swill. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff (Lake Louie or Ale Asylum's Ambergeddon?).
04-05-2010 20:21:51 |
More by klikger
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $
two visits to the terrace, each time leaving both fully satisfied and completely jealous that there's nothing that even approaches this in my locale, once just to chill and once for a pretty rowdy Deerhunter-No Age-Dan Deacon round-robin type deal
the terrace is a sprawling split-level patio overlooking the sizable but generally placid Lake Mendota, dotted with sailboats and the opposite shore distant on the horizon, it makes for a gorgeous place to relax and enjoy either one or a dozen pitchers, and is prime people-watching territory in the warmer season, the Rathskeller seems pretty chill - musty, the kind of place that's seen some things, but I've only passed through either to pick up a beer at the bar or on my way to the restroom, the only catch is the necessity of a student ID buy beer - but this shouldn't be a dealbreaker
selection is pretty standard for the area - enough locals to keep anyone reasonably happy, Two-Hearted is a favorite and is supposedly pretty consistently on, other selections have included Goose Island IPA and Lakefront IPA, I've seen service in both paper or plastic cups and plastic pitchers, but that's to be expected given the serving arrangement and concrete footing
08-27-2009 02:39:31 |
More by blackie
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $
This is a very peculiar place. It is the student's union, but it has the best location in town. Right on the water, with a lake view, and partial capitol view depending where you are. A nice stage, in this particular night a blues band, multiple setas, most outside, some inside.
Small but decent selection, very good prices. I did not try the food, so cannot comment. Overall, a great vibe, great view, decent beer despite the small selection.
It is limited by the fact you need student ID to buy beer, so unfortunately it is not for everyone.
08-11-2009 01:48:34 |
More by brdc
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is awesome. Easily the best union I've ever been too. The beer selection is damn good and pretty cheap, it usually consists of sconnie micros.
There's two parts of the Union; the Terrace and the Rathskeller.
The terrace is a beautiful spot behind the union right on Lake Mendota. The colorful seats and tables add a nice touch to the Terrace. Live music is played frequently, for free, and on a sunny day I can't think of a better way to enjoy a good beer.
http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/ct/2005%20C&T%20Website/ipcm.wisc.edu/workshop2005/images/Union_Terrace_Balcony%20View.JPG *copy paste for picture*
The Rathskeller is the German inspired bar in the Union. The dimly light establishment is covered from wall to wall in colorful animated characters. Music is also played here, also for free, and it is the next best thing on a rainy/snowy day when the terrace isn't opened.
Overall this place is awesome and my favorite place in Madison to grab a beer. The only bad thing about the Memorial Union is it closes relatively early.
03-22-2009 04:27:52 |
More by DarbyOGill
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The Memorial Union Terrace / Rathskeller in Madison, WI