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B5QB Roundtable: best game day bars in Madison

Where to drink on home football Saturdays? Well, we have thoughts!

Fauerbach Brewery Tavern Photo by Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society/Getty Images

We at Wisconsin take tailgating just as seriously, if not more so, than the actual game come Saturday morning. The staff here at B5Q has decades of experience, combined of course, drinking beers before, during and after Badgers games so what better way to get the season started than to ask them their thoughts on various tailgating questions!

What are the top-three bars on game day?

Bob: Number one is my living room, number two is my dad’s living room and number three is my friend Jim’s (a B5Q reader) basement. We are running a tight budget at the Wiedenhoeft homestead; good beer is $1.25-$2 a bottle and Miller Lite is $0.60 per can at home.

Elle King Celebrates With Fans And Games At The Miller Lite Beer Hall, Created By MAC Presents, At Governors Ball Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for MAC Presents

Matt: I usually stick to the Monroe and Regent street areas for games. Since the renovation I like Lucky’s 1313. It has plenty of space, and when it’s nice weather they open up the garage doors. Buckingham’s is always a good. The outdoor tailgate at Pizza Extreme is an under the radar quick stop on nice weather days that my friends and family like.

Rock: The Library - Convenient, good food, silos of domestics and a couple taps of the good beers. It is small, but perfect for gathering with friends before a main tailgate.

Jordan’s Big 10 Pub - As hard as it is to pick one large outdoor bar, I like Jordan’s for the best combo of outdoor spacing, televisions with other games on, and ability to get a drink.

City Bar - I’m sick of telling people the food’s excellent and not being believed. Bartenders will actually select the channel of a better game, not just surf around through the channel listing. Beverage-wise, the beer’s cold, and they infuse their own strawberry vodka. Sometimes you need that strawberry vodka.

Tyler: I’d agree with Jordan’s Big 10 Pub, as well as Lucky’s. Hotel Red actually has some pretty good drinks too but it is insanely crowded on Saturdays. I graduated three years ago, so I am still in that awkward phase of being too old for the house parties, but people still wanting to go. Just get a beer in my hand as quickly as possible and I’ll be fine.

Drew: So, Rock and I have been drinking together before football games since 2003 so we may have a number of the same answers. I too love going to The Library before, and after, games. We have a tailgate at the parking ramp by the stadium, but sometimes not everyone is ready and you still need a place to sit and grab a beer. That place is always The Library.

The fact that we (our group of friends) have never been banned from returning speaks to the magnanimity of the owners (who are friends of mine) and also to there being a long offseason for them to forget about us.

The City Bar is my former place of employment and I will always stop there for a drink or four on game day. It’s usually not crazy busy until late night (when I’m already asleep because I’m old) so I’m able to see some old friends and enjoy an excellent burger and beer on tap.

My third choice is Silver Dollar. About as far away from the stadium as possible, starting there with a Miller Lite and shuffleboard as you then make your way down State Street is the best. It’s busier than you’d think early on Saturday, but you can always find a spot to sit down.