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The Grumpy Troll Restaurant and Brewery
Active Beers: 25
Beer Ratings: 177
Beer Avg: 3.72
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery ]
105 South Second St
phone: (608) 437-2739
(Place added by: cokes)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$$
My first trip to the Grumpy Troll had me in a hurry walking through the door so I could get my hand on a beer as soon as possible. The website boasts up to 12 beers on tap, barrel aged offerings, and cask ales.
Unfortunately, when I actually sat at the bar I asked about the barrel aged offering on the menu and was told it was gone. "OK, so what's on cask?" Nothing on cask either. The second disappointment. I had Maggie (IIPA) and Curly, both were decent but that's about it. The beer on tap just wasn't that great of a selection, your standard line of beers.
I liked the atmosphere. Small and comfortable with a decent wood bar at the front entrance and the restaurant toward the back. The tanks are visible through the glass in the dining room. Lots of locals in for lunch the day I stopped by which is always nice to see.
I sat at the bar to eat and the bartender wasn't all that helpful or fast. He was a nice enough guy but slow with the help and didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about. Again, he was friendly though.
The food was mediocre at best and was expensive for what you get. A disappointment when the prices are where they are. The food is on par with any local diner but the prices are above the quality.
Overall I was pretty disappointed with The Grumpy Troll. The food and beer I sampled were nothing more then decent. Maybe another trip would change my mind, beer wise, but I can't imagine myself making another trip out of the way to stop at The Grumpy Troll. 3.1
Stopped in to grab one beer and a growler. The cask was blown again according to the sign above. After sitting at the bar for 15 minutes without even seeing a bartender I decided it was time to go. This visit was to see if they turned the corner after my last disappointing trip through the brewpub. It was worse this time around. I won't be setting foot back into the Grumpy Troll.
05-25-2008 06:17:24 |
More by joe1510
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4
The Grumpy Troll is located in Mt. Horeb. As you drive to the brewpub, try to see all the Trolls around town.
We had a large group so they sat us outside. It is basically an alley. The service was very slow at first, but pretty good for everyone but one of our party. The beer selection was pretty good. At my visit they had 6 beers on tap and they were all significantly different styles. An Amber, a Wheat, a Rye Bock, and a lager were all pretty good. The Brown Cow was riddled with diacetyl and the Stout was so sour that I could not stomach either of them.
The lunchtime food was good and well done. I would visit again for several reasons. The town was quaint, the food was good, and the beer was average.
11-28-2003 17:39:05 |
More by GCBrewingCo
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$
I've visited the grumpy troll a few times over the years. I was very impressed with the quality and range of beers when brewmaster Mark Knoebl was brought in. I made my annual stop during the week of Thirsty Troll Fest last September and was astonished by how crumby all the beers tasted (thin, astringent, little hop character, probable infections). I asked friends who lived in Mount Horeb and they said it had been ongoing for a few months. Even though I was disappointed, I hoped it was due to a combination of employee turnover, vacations, a bad batch of sanitizer, & possibly new equipment.
Same great down home feel with a diverse group of patrons. It was very steady. The service was great as always. There were 10 Grumpy beers on Tap & one in their beer engine. I tried 6 beer and the pale soapy stuff from the engine. With the exception of Maggie (IIPA), none of the beers were even average. Everything lacked body and resembled beginner homebrew. Maggie was the best offering & it wasn't even close to it's former glory.
I was hoping to right my disappointment with a basket of fried cheese curds (always excellent). It was not meant to be. They cooked the curd right out.
I certainly don't plan giving up on the Grumpy Troll, but I can no longer recommend it to people as a good craft beer destination.
04-18-2011 17:49:47 |
More by WhiteRiverSuds
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
This was the first time BeerAdvocate let me down :(
I stopped in here after being in Madison (and checking out the new Ale Asylum building).
It was a dark, foggy night (no, but really, it was), and the place was easy to find. I really liked the physical building; two stories.
The entry confused me a bit. Apparently the restaurant is UPSTAIRS, while the bar is downstairs?
Anywho, we went up the STEEP stairs (Handicap elevator is on the right side of the building, I think).
It's a nice little diner-feel upstairs.
The wait staff looked about 14 years old...at the oldest.
I came in for the Spetznaz and the Wild Rice brews. I immediately asked for them. The waitress was just confused and said they don't have them. I was saddened, and asked what they did have. She pointed to the menu.
Yeah...they had the Wild Rice one....[sigh] I know it's petty, but it's the closest thing I have to a pet-peeve when the staff at a brewpub is TOTALLY IGNORANT about the bier, and doesn't seem to care.
Alas, Spetznaz was out...on tap. Apparently, they have bombers of it for $7...Instead of telling us this, we found out as we were leaving....(expect the review soon!)
The Wild Rice brew impressed me. I love rice in bier, and it was great. My brother enjoyed the Belgian-style they had made; very, very solid. My dad sat, broken-hearted, pretending his solid Schwarzbier was a Russian Imperial Stout.
I had asked to just have a taste of 2 or 3 biers at the beginning (trying to figure out which dark brew my dad would enjoy as a replacement), and the waitress gladly brought over little glasses with just a bit in them. That seemed really nice...until I realized I had been billed for them...as full 4 fl. oz. samples....[sigh]
I bumped the selection up a bit because the made a really nice mixed drink (warm, mulled cider) for my non-beer-drinking brother. But, in addition, they did have a pretty nice selection of styles (on bier alone, I'd say it was just shy of the "4" score).
We all decided on pizza. The pizza wasn't that great. It was okay, but nothing amazing. It was actually a bit expensive considering the size and price.
We ended up wishing we had: 1). eaten pizza at Ale Asylym OR 2). Gone to the Hubbard Avenue Diner (down the street from Capital) for dinner
I really cannot knock the bier. It was above average, and they had some great styles.
But, the service sucked, and the pizza was so-so at best.
With SO MUCH AWESOME FOOD and bier in the Madison vacinity, I don't know if I can ever justify the ride out, again.
If you've never gone, I'd say you should go.
I REALLY wanted to go when they had the smoked, sour, dunkelweizen a month or two ago....but, I missed that. So, if they have something that REALLY trips your trigger, I can DEFINITELY tell you it will be worth the drive to try it.
Just do yourself a favor if you're coming from Madison; stop at the Hubbard Avenue diner in Middleton for dinner, instead; Black Bean Burgers and Pie > All.
12-17-2012 07:42:30 |
More by TheSSG
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 2.75 | $$
I've visited this place quite frequently. During the evening hours, it is quite busy, extremely loud, and staff are pacing back and forth through out the place. The restaurant has tables with high chairs, low chairs, and there are some wooden booths. There is an upstairs that serves pizza but I've never tried it.
As for the food, it's mediocre. I enjoy the Salmon Summer Salad and their burgers but that is pretty much it. I've been disappointed with their other dishes (I cease to remember them). Unfortunately my wife had that experience of disappointment when she ordered fish fry. They served her two small fish fillets...almost the size of fish sticks. I'm not kidding. We expected more (we're in Wisconsin for crying out loud!) or at least all you can eat fish. My wife who is petite for an average women wished she had more fish...considering this it will probably not satisfy most people who order this.
Their beers are okay. Not amazing but not bad. They do have a wide selection to choose from which I appreciate. Their Harvest Moon - a wild rice ale - left the biggest impression on me among the rest of the beers. I did enjoy this and would order it again.
Overall - I'll probably stick with the pubs in Madison, WI. But if family and friends are over and we want to eat at a place close by, Grumpy Troll may be the choice.
07-17-2013 16:21:42 |
More by Benish
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped in after a trip to Madison. Very quaint pub in a very quaint town. Upon entering, there is an "L" shaped bar with a TV above it, some booth seating opposite the bar and a few tables away from the bar in a more quiet location. Service was prompt, but our server seemd a little impatient with us as we tried to decide which appetizers we wanted. The first beers were nice....nothing mind blowing, no seasonal offerings, but solid beer. The second beer I ordered came and was definately not what I had asked for. It was new to me, so I drank it, but was a little disappointed not to have what I ordered (I know I should have said something, but I didn't want to make a big deal). Our appetizers were pretty good. Overall this was a nice stop. I didn't leave with a growler, as growler would have been $11.00 for the bottle and fill. Not worth it for the quality of beer I would have had.
11-06-2005 00:40:29 |
More by kmpitz2
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Dropped by the Grumpy Troll for a weekday lunch yesterday. There was a mostly locals crowd, a couple at the bar and 5-6 full tables. There was an upstairs area that had a pizzeria sign with a big arrow, and 3 tables outside on a small shaded patio.
Atmosphere was ok, I was kind of expecting a more played up troll vibe, but it was a fairly clean and simple brewpub with modern furnishings. The walls were turquoise with some hanging Tiffany-style lamps. The light wood bar was fairly small with maybe 12 stools. Tables up front and in back, with a few booths along the side. On the wall in the booth were a couple historical street scenes of 19th century Mt. Horeb and a repro AB beer tray. Counted maybe 2-3 trolls in the place... for a place called Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb "Troll Capital of the World", I figured it would be wall to wall, you know, something like this: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/North_America/United_States/Northeast/New_York/New_York_City/photo21050.htm
So the beer was ok, had a "Ten Lords Leaping IPA" which was a winner in a homebrew challenge. Maggie IIPA pint was $4... which was a big serving for a 9% IIPA, but that was ok too, just a bit boozy. Cask ale was out, and has been for awhile. Amnesia was on the list, but also out. There was a decent assortment, but after 2 beers I was done.
Food was nothing special, the steak wrap was light on the steak, especially for $10+. "Black bean burger" was a messy pile of loose black beans on a bun, not a patty. Unfortunately there was a mixup with our bill and were charged for 2 extra entrees, then the itemized receipt mysteriously couldn't be found. After a long while it all got fixed in the end (after a week with double charges pending on my account). Bottled beers to-go were available in the cooler, but currently nothing limited: Spetznaz, Scotch Ale, & Curly, if I recall correctly.
07-28-2009 15:55:33 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
My wife and I recently took a beer themed road trip to Madison to meet some friends and this was our first stop. Before we get into the review there are a few things to consider.
1. It was the end of craft beer week
2. We arrived at the same time as a busload w/ reservations
3. The pizzeria was closed for a home brew comp.
That being said, the 15 min. wait was actually 45 min., needless to say it was very busy. We did talk with a local who said it's almost never like that. When we finally were seated, our table was right in front of the floor to celling windows looking in on the brew house. Charming really. Our server was very nice but did get a few beer orders wrong, which is why I marked them down on service. The food selection was pretty standard pub fare but delicious. Great cheese curds (it is WI.). My Ruben was pilled high with corn beef, and paired well w/ the wee heavy. The beer cheese soup was decadent, and our friend had a fantastic veggie wrap that was as big as her head! All the brews were very good, the Spetznaz stout, with plenty of roast to go around, and the Hoppa Loppa IPA, with its wonderful floral/citrus aroma, were my favorites. The bill was extremely reasonable, about a $100 for 9 beers, appetizer, 4 meals and tip. I would certainly make this trip again.
06-08-2013 13:13:31 |
More by jreindl
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I stopped here with a friend and his 9 year old daughter on a Friday, around 1:30, after going to Blue Mound State Park, and Cave of the Mound. We were seated right away, but it took about 10 minutes for our waitress to take our order. Our cheese curds came out quickly with our drinks, and they were delicious, served with a delicious honey mustard sauce, instead of the usual boring ranch. Our sandwiches came out quick enough, we still had a few curds left, and mine was fantastic. I had the french dip, with au jus (obviously) and some tasty french fries. My friend had the fish fry, with some sort of potato chips with cheese on them that were baked. These chips were not good, not good at all. They tasted burnt, but he said the fish was good. We both also enjoyed the Sassion beer with our meals. It was a above average beer, especially coming from a brewpub.
In the meantime, I remembered that the Grumpy Troll has started bottling their beers. I inquired as to what they offered in bottles, and they only had 3 at the time, a basic lager, 1 I can't remember, and the award winning Amnesia Baltic Porter. We asked for a sample, which cost us each a dollar, and thought it was really good, so I ordered a bottle to take home. She brought it out, reminded me I couldn't drink it in the restaurant, and brought our check. About this time my buddy is finishing his meal, and he realizes he didn't get his coleslaw, or his bread and butter. He mentions it to our waitress, and she apologizes, and says she'll take it off of the bill. We were satisfied with that, but then they brought us another bottle of Amnesia, on the house. We were more than happy to forgive.
So I guess it comes down to the fact that this is a small town establishment. They have young people working there that might forget the occasional side. But they treat you right if they make a mistake. Good customer service goes a long way, and in a year when I make it back down to Mount Horeb, I doubt I'll remember not getting a roll, but I will remember getting a bottle of Amnesia Baltic Porter on the house.
08-16-2008 05:39:13 |
More by dancinwillie
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Met some friends at the Grumpy Troll on the way from New Glarus to Madison for the pre-Great Taste parties. Nice atmosphere and very accommodating waitress. I've been trying to get here for a while--read about it quite often and has a pretty good reputation. However, the beers didn't really live up to my expectations, which were evidently too high. All of the beers are good and perfectly well done, but nothing really blew me away as something I'd order over and over again. The Imperial Stout was good, and Curly, and amber smoked ale, was also unique and well done. The Norwegian Wit was probably my favorite of the stop as a nice twist on the style. Food was also good--odd--an opened face black bean burger which was spicy black beans over a bun--not exactly a burger but it was good. Not a bad stop and enjoyed the beer, food and friends--but I wouldn't drive out of my way again from the freeway to get there. If in Mount Horeb, I would be perfectly happy to stop again.
08-12-2009 23:02:04 |
More by FightingEntropy
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The Grumpy Troll Restaurant and Brewery in Mount Horeb, WI
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