Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 50 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by sprucetip:
4.15/5 rDev -3.3%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I live in Anchorage, Alaska, but grew up in Iowa. On a current visit home I explored Steve's with my dad and brother. In a general comparison, this store blows away anything in the Quad-City area [Daventport & Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island, Moline, & East Moline, IL (yes that's 5)]. But we have better in Anchorage. It's a good shop. The Belgian selections was solid in quality but not particularly extensive. The same is true for English and Germans. There was a very extensive selection of Wisconsin and other midwest beers, and a respectable selection of micro's from western states, most but not all of which I was already familiar with. Surely you can find something agreeable here with which to wet you whistle. Single selection wasn't huge, but Jan willingly broke up 6 packs to let us increase our selection, as I will describe later.
The highlight of the visit, by a long shot, was getting service from Jan (manager? owner?). Would it be inappropriate to say "serviced by Jan?" She had a fun personality, maybe she'll chuckle? She was pretty stoked when she saw our first few selections, and lead us on the rest of our mission. She seemed to be excited to talk beer with aspiring beer geeks, and was more than forthcoming with her opinions and descriptions of the various brews we inquired about. She was more than willing to break up 6 packs, saying "it just takes a minutes for me to put it into the computer" as a single. She clearly wanted us to have a good experience, and we did. When I asked about brews to take back to Alaska for the beer geeks there, she first suggested some western beers that we have access to already, Lagunitas, Rogue, and Great Divide. I was looking for things we don't get. She suggested some that I was already on top of, New Glarus Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart, and some from Lake Louie, Sprecher, and Bell's. She was very high on Bell's, especially their Cherry Stout. Ultimately, we didn't really like the Cherry Stout, but I don't mean to be dissing on Jan's suggestion. She had some good advice, strongly encouraging us to drink some of the better Belgian's at warmer temps, something we know to do but my brother resists sometimes. The Ommegang Chocolate Indulgance was almost disappointing at first, though very smooth and balanced and not particularly sweet. I liked it better as it warmed. The Sprecher wheat was not as much like a German wheat as I had hoped. In general, my bias toward big, bold, often hopped up western beers has been validated by sampling midwest beers. But I digress.
At one point I told Jan I had recently enjoyed St. Bernardus Grotten Brown for the first time, and it was from a tap in Anchorage. She wobbled and swooned like a teenage girl with a crush, gushed about how fabulous the beer, and held on to a cooler for balance. This is a woman who enjoys beer! She also gave us an impromptu intro to French Farmhouse beer, and stated that she is on a bit of a mission to educate folks about it and carve out a niche supplying it.
Though her prices were a touch higher, the 10% discount for buying 6 or more specialty beers largely mitigated that fact.
11-17-2007 18:28:16 | More by sprucetip
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Well, there hasn't been a review of Steve's for almost a year now, so I'm happy to give it some fresh props.
Emily and I made our way out to Steve's in hopes for some off the wall stuff (actually, I was thinking they may have some Blushing Monk left, but no luck). They had a really nice selection of singles both in 12 oz. and larger format bottles. The cooler is stocked with all sorts of beer, with a great selection of all these fine Wisconsin beers that aren't available anywhere else.
I ended up scoring a couple bottles of Pannepot 2010, and some Lagunitas Sumpin Wild, which I was surprised to see still on the shelves, I thought this went quickly. A great lil store, well worth the effort to make it out from downtown.
08-29-2011 16:41:11 | More by MarcatGSB
3.8/5 rDev -11.4%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Passing through Madison onto Darkness and we had to stop at one of the highest rated beer stores along the way. Its a decent place, worth stopping by if you are close but not a destination place at all. The quality of the beers is average, not a ton of super high quality beers or internationals but most of the better local brands. The selection is heavily biased toward local offerings Central Waters, NG, etc. They have several of each which is great for someone driving though to get locals you can't get out of state. As an added bonus they offer tons of single's of most of the local beers, so for the ticker like me its decent. The prices are super cheap as well so that's welcome as well.
Stop by for cheap locals but don't go out of your way.
10-25-2010 02:13:19 | More by jrallen34
4.15/5 rDev -3.3%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped in here before the Great Taste of the Midwest, this past summer, looking for beers I can't get at home. They have a great selection of national and local beers in a long wall of coolers.
When the person at the front found out I was there for beer and had questions, the beer guy was called to help me out. He quickly suggested a bunch of local beers (Ale Asylum, Lake Louie, Tyranena...) and Zoetzurr Flemish Ale which they had just got in.
Long story short, this is a place that is worth checking out if you are looking for some local brews. I will definitely stop in the next time I am in Madison.
01-10-2010 01:53:42 | More by wspscott
3.85/5 rDev -10.3%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Steve's Liquor is small compared to other liquor stores, but the beer selection is quite nice.
atmosphere is standard for a liquor store, with the beer all in coolers on the back wall. the majority is in six-packs, with a focus on wisconsin breweries, along with most available in single bottles. mixed six-packs are 10% off, which is a plus.
quality and service were good; no complaints. clean conditions and minimal dusty bottles, with friendly service that seems to be interested in beer.
selection is good. full lines of Tyranena, Capitol, Lake Louie, Ale Asylum, New Glarus, and other Wisconsin breweries. for imports, there are some, but nowhere near a comprehensive selection of any one type or brewery.
overall, this is a solid stop for beer in Madison, with fresh bottles and a stock that seems to turn over on at least a moderately constant basis.
09-20-2009 15:10:08 | More by botham
4.2/5 rDev -2.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I've been going to Steve's for the last few months for most of my beer needs (unless I'm doing a trade or home brewing). The service here is good, they don't pester you and let you pick out what you want.
When Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere IPA was released I asked if they would be getting it. I asked an employee as I was checking out, and she said she'd call me back to let me know if she could get it or not. I never heard back. Not that it's a big deal, but when you take down someones name and number I'd expect some sort of feedback.
They have a nice selection of 12oz bottles, and a cooler dedicated to bomber bottles with some 750's as well. The price is reasonable with most items. You can get Ale Asylum cheaper at Woodman's I think, but Steve's is about average in price.
08-29-2009 03:42:51 | More by Ek0nomik
Steve's Liquor in Madison, WI
95 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.