Rockhound Brewing Co. is a neighborhood brewery and pub close to Madison's isthmus and steps away from the Henry Vilas Zoo – a place for good beer, good food, and good company. We serve balanced ales and lagers made by hand in small batches right in the next room. We offer a handful of standard brews, a wide variety of seasonals and special brews, as well as collaborative and charity brews. Our menu showcases creative, comforting dishes made from scratch, designed to compliment our beer.
News + Reviews
Nate Warnke, Owner & Brewmaster
A Madison native and East High graduate, Nate began homebrewing over a decade ago. Eventually homebrewing grew into an all-consuming hobby, "I became a true homebrewer — that's when you have more homebrewing equipment than anything else in your home," and he decided to put his knowledge of brewing and his business degree to work. Nate lives in the Greenbush neighborhood with his wife and their two cats.
Jaimie Fairbanks, House Manager
Originally hailing from Oconomowoc, Jaimie has been in the hospitality industry for 20 plus years in many capacities, and gained much of her experience at the Concourse Hotel before joining Rockhound when it opened. She collects a vast array of random tidbits of knowledge, so she can often be found behind the bar on Trivia Tuesdays. If she's not drinking her favorite RBCo beer, Balanced Rock Rye, she might be sipping on another rye—whiskey. When she's not working, she's most likely snuggling her kitties, unwinding with a good book, or planning her next adventure with her long-time partner, Jeff.
Mike Lienau, Brewer
The first batch of beer Mike ever homebrewed was a Brown Ale kit from the Wine and Hop shop in college nearly 25 years ago, and that was the beginning of a love affair with brewing. He's completed the Madison College Craft Brewing Certificate Program and is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. He's been here since we fired up the brew kettle with the first official batches of RBCo beer. When he's not in the brewhouse or pouring with us at events and festivals, Mike is enjoying a Balanced Rock Rye or a Lost Ridge, and spending quality time with his wife and two kiddos.
Matthew Austin, Chef
News + Reviews
The best of the fest 2017
Isthmus | January 23, 2017
Also attending the festival for the first time as a brewer was Nate Warnke, who opened Rockhound Brewing in Madison less than a year ago. Warnke brought along one of his most limited beers, Glowing Embers, a pale ale made with smoked hops and aged in rum and brandy barrels. This was a unique treat with its subtle toffee and caramel sweetness and just a touch of roastedness and smoke. - See more at: http://isthmus.com/food-drink/beer/the-best-of-isthmus-beer-cheese-fest-2017/#sthash.yLdiflXM.dpufRead more
An easy drinking beer
Isthmus | September 7, 2016
Rockhound Brewery opened its doors last April but didn’t fire up its in-house brewery until a few weeks ago. It had been relying on Madison brewers like House of Brews and the Great Dane to make its beer during the start-up period. Now that things have settled into a routine in the front of the house, Rockhound owner and brewmaster Nate Warnke is finally getting to do what he wants, and that’s brewing. What he considers his first core beer, Sandstone blonde ale, just went on tap. - See more at: http://isthmus.com/food-drink/beer/sandstone-from-rockhound-brewery/#sthash.kG72ZjyA.dpufRead more
Isthmus | February 9, 2017
Last fall, Nate Warnke, owner and brewmaster at South Park Street’s Rockhound Brewing, was looking for a new chef. Staffing a kitchen in Madison these days is no easy task, so when Warnke’s friend Adam Haen, manager at the FEED Kitchens incubator, suggested hiring a food cart operator over the winter (while many carts are on hiatus), Warnke leapt at the chance. John Pickle, who operates the Pickle Jar barbecue and pie cart, became the kitchen manager at Rockhound. He in turn brought on Michael Sollinger, of the new Braisin’ Hussies cart, as a cook. - See more at: http://isthmus.com/food-drink/food-cart-chefs-rockhound-brewing/#sthash.zWbgOnZM.dpufRead more
Restaurant review: Park Street has rock-solid brewpub in Rockhound
Wisconsin State Journal | June 2, 2016
Madison couldn't ask for a better brewpub. Rockhound succeeds not only with its beers, but with its food...Read more
Rockhound Brewing head stays rock steady amid challenging times
Capital Times | April 11, 2016
For Nate Warnke, perseverance is in the blood. Fortunately. A home brewer for more than 10 years, the Madison native and East High graduate has had his patience tested several times on the way to his dream of opening his brew pub, Rockhound Brewing Company...Read more
Rockhound Brewing Co. About to Open but with Perspective
Wisconsin State Journal | April 1, 2016
Nate Warnke has received an unexpected lesson over the last eight months about patience, perseverance and perspective. That’s why a sidewalk issue that has delayed the opening of his Rockhound Brewing Co., 444 S. Park St., hasn’t elevated Warnke’s stress levels into the stratosphere...Read more
Isthmus | February 4, 2016
Construction is moving along at Madison’s newest brewpub. Rockhound Brewing is planning to open in early March at 444 S. Park Street. Owner Nate Warnke says his brewing equipment will be installed over the next couple of...Read more
Rockhound Brewpub scouts a Madison location
JSOnline | January 23, 2015
It's possible that Madison could gain another brewery this year. "My goal is a full-service brewpub, serving both ales and lagers," says Nate Warnke, a lifelong Madison resident and East High graduate, who hopes to be in business by late summer...Read more