Dennis Brothers Liquors
Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 73 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by spoots:
5/5 rDev +5.7%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I decided to take another run at this review after attending a recent tasting at Dennis Brothers Liquors.
Even after another visit it was clear my first impression of DBL was accurate--that this is a very well-designed store that invites browsing, rewards a beer lover with a terrific selection, and has so many nice touches that the competitors must walk in and slap their foreheads and ask "why didn't we think of that?!"
Let's talk about selection. My fellow BA, Wanker Weasel, mentioned the wall of Rogues. It's pretty impressive, and if I heard the distributor who was helping with the tasting correctly, DBL has the best selection of these fine beers in the Midwest. Right on!
On the night I visited, I saw a ton of Belgians (and not just the usual choices), a boatload of Bells, Victorys, Surlys, and other fine domestic micros, and a lot of things I just don't see anywhere else. This store should be a frequent destination for MN BAs (and maybe beyond) just for the endless variety of great, fresh beers.
But then there's the Dennis Bros. themselves--a pair of hale fellows whose enthusiasm for beer seems authentic. Unlike the folks who run your local MGM or other horrid chain store, these guys really love craft beer. They're approachable (they actually seem to enjoy interacting with BAs--can you imagine?!) and they know their stuff. John has a long history in the hospitality industry (he grew up working in bars) and he really gets beer. Not as a store owner, mind you, but as a drinker. At the recent tasting, I watched John take a drink of beer, savor it, evaluate it, and toss back what appeared to be some mental shorthand about the beer that he will no doubt pull up next time somebody asks him about this year's Jewbilation...or Old Ruffian...or Maharaja...well, you get the idea. This is definitely a beer-friendly shop (although, to be fair, the wine stock is super, as is the single malt scotch and rare bourbon selection...wow).
Maybe the coolest thing I saw during my recent visit was--for lack of a better term--the sample rack. It's a four-foot shelf behind the register that holds maybe 30 or so bottles of various potables that John and Steve are delighted to offer to customers in the form of a sample. Want to discover why a 21 year-old scotch is better than a 10-year-old? Ask for a sample. Want to try that interesting Pecan Liqueur before buying? No problem. That, to me, elevates DL above all other liquor stores I have visited. That open, welcoming, "hey, let's give it a taste" attitude is so rare in Twin Cities stores that it makes this place stand out as a bright beacon to travelers to the SE metro.
Do yourself a favor and stop in.
11-13-2006 00:06:28 | More by spoots
More User Reviews:
4.78/5 rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited Dennis Brothers Liquors while in town for the day.
Walking in the beer sections is immediately in front of you. The store was very well kept, clean, organized, and inviting to a first time visitor. Plenty of high quality items on the shelf as well as full stock of year round gems. I can't fully speak for selection as I was not from the area but to me they had tons of great local products and plenty else.
The service was by far the most enjoyable part of visiting. I was greeted as I walked in and was allowed to browse around for myself for a while before I was approached by John and asked if I needed any help. I inquired about their local products maybe not known as well as Surly and I was given a full walk through on many of their different items. John was knowledgeable and very easy to talk to. I was even given access to some high demand products that I would usually expect to be reserved or saved for regulars. Conversation was laid back and relaxed, just like talking with another beer geek.
I really insist on this being the place to go for out of towners looking for the best Minnesota has to offer. I visited a couple other places but Dennis Bros by far was the most enjoyable with highest quality. I hope to return soon to give them more of my money!!
01-26-2014 01:55:19 | More by KFBR392
4.09/5 rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I'm not sure how this is most highly rated beer store in Minnesota, since I can think of four better ones off the top of my head, but it's certainly not a poor place at all. After stopping at Heritage, Casanova's, and Blue Max though, Dennis Bros pales in comparison.
First, let me say that my friend and I had a hell of a time getting there. It's out of the way of just about everything, and the roads surrounding the store were riddled with construction zones. But that didn't affect the experience of course.
We were greeted by a friendly couple when we walked in, who asked us if we were looking for anything in particular. We weren't, and they went back to watching the Food Network (at high volume). I've been reading reviews about this place and I'm disappointed that I didn't engage with the employees more, since they sound amazing, but oh well.
Things were reasonably priced, but the selection really wasn't very good. The best thing I saw was a wide selection of Epic bombers and Boulevard's Smokestack Series (including Rye-on-Rye). Otherwise, they had only a smattering of upper Midwest breweries, the best probably being four packs of Double Crooked Tree. We ended up looking at the whiskey selection a lot more, which was pretty good.
Not worth he journey, IMO, but that's not to say it's a bad store. There are just better ones in the Twin Cities.
05-25-2013 20:34:00 | More by JamesShoemaker
5/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This place is amazing. The brother that own it are unbelievably helpful and nice. One of them is like a beer encyclopedia and does not carry a beer that he does not know EVERYTHING about! The other one knows everything about their great wine selection. They do more than just learn what makes up the beer, they learn about the brewery and people that brew it.
They have a lot of Minnesota craft beers, Midwestern craft beers, and American craft beers. They have a ton of great beer from all around the world as well, from Japanese reserve beers to Belgian limited release beers, if a new and exciting beer comes on the market these guys will get it!
A few times now they did not carry something specific that I was looking for and brought some in on their next order for me. Class acts.
I have turned a group of friends onto this place and now they will not go anywhere else.
12-30-2012 17:50:48 | More by NilocRellim
4.3/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I live in Nebraska and was visiting family nearby. After reading several reviews and seeing this place listed as World-Class I made sure that I paid them a visit.
They make the most of the room they have. I've been to far bigger bottle shops, but it is clear they utilize shelf space well. Don't expect them 12oz and 22oz bottles of the same beer! The night I visited they have a representative from Summit Brewing giving free tastings. That had been well received as when I got there they had already sold out of a couple summit varieties.
The staff were very kind and let me pile my beer near the register while i shopped. I took my time browsing the selection and they answered questions as I had them, but never made me feel rushed. Because I was flying home I had brought boxes with me that would need to hold all of my purchased beer. They were fine with me making sure everything fit before I bought it.
After checkout one of the guys even carried one of the boxes of beer to my car for me.
Overall, a very good bottle shop, but not what I had in mind for World Class.
09-27-2012 19:15:16 | More by TomClem
4.8/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I live in New Jersey and was visiting family in Minnesota so to come across a place that lived up to all the reviews is very satisfying. Visited on Monday, August the 27th.
The Brothers clearly know their stuff. Was able to pick up some 2007 Orval which is a nice treat. Also picked up good local brew in Olvalde and learned much more about the story behind the brewery. I'm a Fantome nut and was great to see Strange Ghost on the shelf. While not totally rare it isn't exactly that easy to find the Ghost either. Really enjoyed my time in the store and the conversation.
A few comments about the store: a) size enough to hold good quality but not too large to be overwhelming during your shopping; b) nice selection for wine/liquor; and c) a case with roughly 10-15 varieties of cigars adds a touch often overlooked in a craft store.
Overall, one of the best stores I've visited around the country.
08-31-2012 17:47:09 | More by JosephThompson
5/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I first read about Dennis Brothers around a year and a half ago while looking for good liquor stores in my area. Since then Dennis Brothers has become my store of choice, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The owners John and Steve are very knowledgeable, very approachable, and are always happy to chat about good beers and when they will be expecting something new to arrive. All of the employees there are friendly, and more than willing to help you find something. I personally love their selection (which is probably my favorite part next to their incredible customer service); I always find something new that I have never found/been able to try before. I will continue to give them my business, and find myself consistently going out of my way to support them as no other stores I have been to in the area have been so friendly and knowledgeable.
03-18-2012 22:17:21 | More by wrigh418
Dennis Brothers Liquors in Cottage Grove, MN
100 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.