Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits
Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
3.84/5 rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in here on a quest for NG Cranbic.
Very compact neighborhood store, majority of beer is in coolers to the left. Good selection, not necessarily comprehensive for the area but still good. Down the street from Cafe Hollander.
What troubled me was the open cases of beer right in the windows. Even with an awning, at the right time of day light can strike the beer and skunk it. This included fancy DFH and other 750s. Coolers held mostly sixers and singles. The beer guy was quick to point out the Cranbic in the coolers. Further in there were some good craft beers to be had, like Unearthly, Heavy Handed, Theobroma, and a few others. Handpicked imports like Mikkeller, Haandbryggeriet, St. Bernardus Xmas, Jolly Pumpkin ES Bam, and more Shelton stuff. Noticed Dark Horse in the cooler, and a few FFF beers not available elsewhere (2009 Alpha Klaus!!) Is it on par with Discount and Three Cellars? No, it's not. A nice neighborhood store, but not a destination.
Checkout was quick and friendly. Would return if in the area again...
11-28-2009 07:54:18 | More by emerge077
4.44/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Finally got over here last night. My friends have all raved about this place for years and I simply never found the time to get here. I'm sad it took so long.
The place has and old grocery/pharmacy feel to it. Squeeze your way to the back and feast your eyes on the beer selection. Packed all into a small area they are doing what they can with space provided. Loads of imports and American craft on warm shelves. A small cooler with singles and a walk in cooler for sixers.
The beer guy Mike is a class act. Super friendly and filled with knowledge. I had never met Mike until this meeting. Well my friends had mentioned him many times and all they said was true. Super cool cat.
This place is really out of the way for me but might be worth a stop every now and then. If only to chat with mike about beer. Check this place out if you are in the area.
04-07-2012 19:33:17 | More by beerwolf77
4.58/5 rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
A-Very small and quaint. Little crowded but they do well with the space they have. nice part of town. Clean outside
Q-All the good stuff. Even some behemoth still on the shelves
S-very helpful and courteous. Helped find beers that I missed and answered all my questions. Gave recommendations on when others beers were expected to be out
S-Good selection but limited by the size of the store. Decent size walk in color with a lot of stuff that isnt on the shelves
V-Was very happy with what I walked out spending...
08-23-2011 03:38:04 | More by brew3crew
4.04/5 rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Downer is in the top tier of Milwaukee beer shops. On the North or East side of town, they can't really be beat for selection or price. Selection is somewhere between a Baliestreri's Sendik's and Ray's.
Staff is good with beer knowledge, and willing to chat about beer for as long as you want.
Fresh Black Husky is routinely in stock, which is always a plus.
11-06-2013 20:22:43 | More by sisterthelonious
4.35/5 rDev -1.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Let me start off by saying that as soon as I decided to move to Milwaukee I had friends clamoring about this place. Once I moved over to that part of the city I said what the heck and went for it but not before passing it once or twice. The place is a nice little shop tucked into similar looking shops, again why I missed it a few times. When I walked up I had concerns about some beer being placed right in the window but realized it is their seasonal beer that sells quickly. As you walk in you think this place is a little small but when you take a look, they pack as much as they can into that small space. Like others have said, they have beers that they have cellared and decide to pull out everyone once in a while. Their selection of bombers and singles are pretty good. Beers that have been gone for quite some time. The beer guy is knowledgeable and will chat with you for as long as you want. Best selection in Milwaukee? No, but is it worth while, you bet. You are going to find something that will peak your interest or that you had thought sold out some time ago.
09-25-2010 18:13:38 | More by Wisconsinality
4.05/5 rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Good shop on the East Side. The opposite of Otto's. I buy beer once a week- I usually stop in here once a month or so.
Atmosphere- lots of bottles crammed in a small space. Decent design and cozy feel. If you're browsing during a delivery, you're going to be in the way.
Quality- Craft beer from all major breweries that distribute to Milwaukee.
Service- If Mike is there he can answer any and all beer questions. The other staff varies in their knowledge, but will always be happy to refer to you to Mike.
Selection- All your basic bases and most of your specialty bases are covered. They were one of the first shops to carry Black Husky. They do a good job expanding the lineups of the breweries they carry. I haven't had a ton of luck here with rarities- not sure if they don't get many of them or if they have a different way of selling them that I don't know about.
Food- the DO carry Indulgence Chocolate bars. So your wife won't be TOO mad.
Value- gotten some decent deals here, but they don't run specials on beer very often. Most bottles/packs are in line price-wise.
05-24-2014 21:14:21 | More by robear
4.88/5 rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
Visited 4/25 on vacation.
Outstanding beer advocacy. Great shop, great selection, huge walk-in cold room, knowledgeable, friendly and passionate staff. This was a much more pleasurable experience than Discount, and even if the selection was not as epic, it was certainly well-curated.
Having a staff that can engage you, determine your preferences and make suggestions based on their tasting experience really sets apart the great from the good, and ALL THREE staff members were chiming in to help out.
Prices were also amazing. South Shore Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout for $5? Was that a mistake? I saw it at another shop for twice that.
I'm really glad that they had a Groupon the day I went home on vacation, otherwise I would have missed this gem. I had a $20 Groupon and ended up walking out with 3 world-class bombers and a beer for sipping that evening.
Definitely worth a visit when you're in town.
05-11-2011 17:07:28 | More by myspoonistoobig
4.5/5 rDev +2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This little shop has lots of character. Limited by space, the beer selection is of excellent quality. Local and US micros are featured and supported by some obscure local Milwaukee adjuncts. Staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Area is a village-like strip in a great old neighborhood on Milwaukee's upper east side. I was surprised how many great beers they had in the cooler. Lots of excellent warm bombers as well. Best part had to be the price. Everything was $1-$2 cheaper than my local store in Indiana. The guy who helped me kept insisted on letting me know how fresh each beer was that we discussed. So freshness is evidently a big goal of this shop. Highly recommend.
12-04-2010 18:12:33 | More by JohnWaynes44
Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits in Milwaukee, WI
95 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.