Craft Brew Bar StoryMonroe Street, A History


Garth’s Brew Bar is certainly not the first bar on Monroe Street in Madison, Wisconsin, but – surprisingly – it did take 16 years for the first one to pop up after Monroe Street was a public road designated by territorial legislature.

That first bar dates back to 1853 and you would ride horseback on Monroe Street (a dirt road then) to get there. However, once you arrived, it was so much more than a tavern.

It answered the calling as a place for people to stay as they traveled through Wisconsin, acting as an Inn. It was also a place to sell plough to farmers, which is how it got its name as the Plough Inn.

While the bar offered travelers a much-welcomed refreshment and relaxing libation, it also inspired others to open businesses in the area.

Since then, that dirt road has become a market place region as well as a place that shows up when you google expressions like “Best Beer Near Me” or “Best Beer Bars Near Me.”

While Garth’s Brew Bar won’t sell plough or have a room for you to crash in if you imbibe too much, we’re still working to be that community center you can’t resist stopping in for one or two.


If you’re interested in a deeper read on Monroe Street, look no further than the Isthmus.

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