1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Steve's Liquor

Not Rated.
Steve's LiquorSteve's Liquor
BA SCORE
95
world-class

61 Ratings
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 6.54%
[ Store ]

122 Junction Rd
Madison, Wisconsin, 53717-2687
United States
phone: (608) 833-5995

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @stevesjunction

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: cokes)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mkfuzzles
4/5  rDev -6.5%

mkfuzzles, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

MarcatGSB, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%

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.

jrallen34, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of wspscott
4.15/5  rDev -3%

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.

wspscott, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of botham
3.85/5  rDev -10%

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.

botham, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

Ek0nomik, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

A large group of us recently stopped in here for a bit of shopping before the Great Taste of the Midwest.

Quality- Good atmosphere here. Bright, clean, and well organized, despite there being numerous displays out on the floor. High quality selection and great service. All around excellent experience here.

Service- Service here was fantastic, courteous, and knowledgeable. Considering that I think our group literally bought half of their stock of WI beers off the floor, they literally fell over themselves here to help us out. There were several times that we needed them to check in the back for extra cases and such, and it was no problem whatsoever. My wife used one of their custom reusable bottle bags to bring some of beers up to the register, and they threw it in for free. Now that's the kind of service I'm looking for!

Selection- Tons of selections from all the Wisconsin breweries that I was looking for. New Glarus, Tyranena, Ale Asylum, Lake Louie, Central Waters, Furthermore, and Capital. I literally almost cried when I saw cases and cases of Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart out on the floor. Everything is kept in coolers and a lot of the selection was available as singles. Not all (there were some Tyranena and Central Water selections were only available in six-packs) were available as singles but there were definitely enough to mix & match a few quality sixers.

Totally worthwhile stop if you're in Madison. This completely met our WI beer purchasing expectations.

Kegatron, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -6.5%

This was another stop on my trip to Madison on the Great Taste of the Midwest 2009 weekend, on a long journey to purchase local beers.
Easy parking right in front of the store, good service, it has a relatively small, but carefully chosen selection, with decent pricing.
There are a few wines, but I did not check those.
It has all the expected locals, spanning mostly Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, with a few hidden gems from California. I actually found a few limited editions from Three Floyds and others breweries.
A decent selection of imports round it up, and some of the employees do know their beer, to some extent. Worth a stop, good if not great prices.

brdc, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of crossovert
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

Steve's is in I believe Middleton, I hit it on the way to an event downtown.

All the beer is in coolers on the wall adjacent to the doors. Everything is clean and it appears everything but the Hopslam is of optimal freshness (but this is August I totally know what I was getting with the Hopslam). It's a bit pricey in some regards, standard and reasonable in others. The have 2 coolers of 375, 500, and 750 ml bottles with a few rarer Belgians, some Germans, and a few other things. Had quite a few of the Wisconsin brews and also a few import 6 packs.

Overall a pretty standard above average beer store.

crossovert, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

This one keeps a good stock of all of the good local beers, though a few were missing while I was there. Most are kept in coolers, and there's a big walk in cooler with 12-packs and samplers. I was impressed by the quality of the beers available, and additionally with the selection, though there are larger selections around. The service is alright, no one really helped me out, and I think the people working while I was there were more of wine experts, but they were helpful in helping me just find certain things. What really impressed me were the prices. I mean, great prices, I would get discounts on certain things (discounts I didn't know about but showed up on my receipt), and the prices were already lower than the average store in the area. Even 3F beers cost less here than they do at the pub or in Chicago. A good store to go to for beer in the area.

taylorhamrick, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of Chaz
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Stopped in for a visit while in town to take the Capital tour.

The first thing I noticed was how thoughtfully laid-out and easily navigable the store is, as well as how spacious it seemed.

It hardly took a moment to find the beer, as there were floor stackers of Capital cans placed near the entry and a little further in at the checkstand (alongside a stacker of the new Horny Goat bottles). I almost became distracted by a cheese and deli section in the northwest corner of the store before seeing a the first cooler door in the cold box which was loaded with mainly import singles (Drie Fonteinen and Samuel Smiths among others). A little further along I came across two doors with Wisconsin micro and Midwest craft singles, unsurprisingly featuring a good deal of New Glarus (aside: when I checked out I quizzed the folks at the counter as to whether Iced Barleywine might be around, and they were able to suggest a retailer that might still have it. Further conversation revolved around the Berliner Weiss, convincing me that these folks were serious if not downright passionate about their beer!)

As I was sorting through the singles I missed the empty six-pack cartons (folded in a clear lexan file holder mounted about 5' high along the cold box), but as I would be buying more than 1 or 2 sixes I simply walked into the cold box/"beer cave" and picked out an empty case with which to haul my beer - and keep it from rattling around in the trunk.

I saw a few imports as well as the Usual Suspects (Stone, DFH, Dale's) that we don't get in the Twin Cities market, but I was mainly here for Lake Louie and O'so.

Prices were as good if not better than I'd expected, and overall this was an excellent shopping experience.

Chaz, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.45/5  rDev +4%

Steve's is a truly great beer store in Madison. They carry tons of great Wisconsin beers, New Glarus, Capital, Furthermore, Ale Asylum, and more. Plenty of Stone, Founders and Dogfish Head. The vast majority of the beer is in the wall of coolers. Most of the breweries are available for singles with a few notable exceptions (like Tyranena, Founders and Central Waters). The service was great. I was searching for Old Ales and Barleywines for a tasting and they answered my questions very thoroughly. Plus, the care that they took to pack up all my beer was exceptional. I haven't consumed much of what I purchased so far but the quality seems great.

zeff80, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of LittleTimmy
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Another location has opened up at 6227 McKee Rd off Highway 151 (small strip mall downhill from the Super Target). Regardless of which location, Steve's is a must stop if you're visiting Madison and would like to pick up some good Wisconsin beer. I always stop on my way out of town to look over their great selection of Lake Louie, Central Waters, Ale Asylum, Lakefront, New Glarus...well, you know the roll call. They also have some micros from farther afield, like Stone and Lagunitas, another pair I can't get back home in Iowa City.

LittleTimmy, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of jenitivecase
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

Visited on a trip to Madison this weekend.

Pleasantly surprised to see an entire wall of coolers devoted to beer. Great selection of stuff that's not available in KS, so that was definitely a plus; that said, points get knocked down a little bit simply because Steve's fails to stock some of the good stuff that is available in KS. Overall, though, great selection.

Staff was knowledgeable and eager to help. When making my selections, the workers were able to offer intelligent commentary on various beers, demonstrating a high level of personal experience. They were also willing to break down six-packs to allow me to buy single bottles, which was greatly appreciated.

Ambiance was great - be sure to check out the selection of cheeses, and keep an eye out for in-store wine samples. Overall, a great experience - if I lived in Madison, this would definitely be my go-to store.

jenitivecase, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Beertracker
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

Steve's Liquor is located at the intersection of Junction Rd. & Mineral Point Rd. which is easily found from W. Beltline Hwy. I was staying at a nearby hotel and decided to stop by for some road beers on the way home from the Great Taste of the Midwest. Steve's has an outstanding selection of local/regional microbrews including, but not limited to Ale Asylum, Capital, Lakefront, Lake Louie, New Glarus, Sprecher, Tyranena, Viking, and they even had meads from White Winter and cider & perry from AEppelTreow. In addition, I found seasonal & specialties from other notable micro's including Bear Republic, Bell's, Goose Island, & Three Floyds. The import selection isn't bad, but it doesn't seem to be their main focus. The place is clean and easy to navigate, minus the occasional display located mid-isle. They have about 16-20 doors devoted to good beer with a walk-in cooler that customers can browse through for cases. Steve's is a definite stop for the beer thirsty traveler. Be certain to ask for Jan, The Baroness of Beer!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of Deuane
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

Stopped in during Great Taste to stock up on all of those wonderful WI beers that we simply do not get in PA.

The staff could not have been more helpful in my quest....Mike, the guy who checked me out and the dude with the Aussie accent. They were more than happy to look for things in the stockroom, like a case of Tyranena Scurvy and call other stores to try and secure me some NG Raspberry Tart.

I was focusing on WI brews, they carry a vast array of labels from the majority of the states bottling micros, so what the total selection (non-Wisconsin beers) is like I am unsure...but it seemed solid enough and I doubt one would go wanting too much.

Everything was well stored and the place screamed clean and orderly.

I will certianly make this place a must stop the next time I am in town.

Deuane, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of pweis909
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%

As a resident of a small town located far from a major metro center, I don't see the selection of brews that are available in many of the big cities. Therefore, when I accompanied my wife on a trip to Madison, I was thrilled to find that our hotel was less than a quarter mile from Steve's.

This place has the best selection of beer I have found in Wisconsin. I've only seen better at a spot in St. Paul and in San Francisco. (I know, I should get around more.)The beer cooler has a very good selection of Belgian and German beers, Wisconsin micros, Dogfishhead, and several California classics, such as Lagunitas, Stone, Bear Rupublic and more. If that doesn't sound like much, consider the source. In my part of Wisconsin, Dogfishhead and those Cali beers are almost completely absent, as are all of the Germans and most of the Belgians. Most of the beer is for sale as singles, also virtually unheard of in my part of the state.

The prices are also pretty darn reasonable, with most Wisconsin singles ranging from $1.5-2.5 and most other US micros ranging from $3-5. As I wasn't prepared to take back a big stash of beer, I only picked up a 750 of Rodenbach, which seemed like a good deal for me at $6. I compared some of the prices on the Trappists (Rochefort, Westmalle, Chimay and Orval) that are distributed in my neck of the woods, and they were about the same, give or take a quarter.

pweis909, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

This was my first stop when I blew into Madison. New Glarus beer was just calling to me.

I found the place real easily, which always helps. I proceeded to grab a shopping cart, as I wasn't naive enough to think I was just picking up a few six packs.

Coolers upon coolers of awesome beer can be found here. I stocked up on New Glarus, Central Waters, Capital Brewing, and other local favorites.

Great selection, and the guy working the counter was most helpful and really knew his beer.

Awesome store. Next time I'm in Madison, I'll be back for sure.

leftmindedrighty, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.64/5  rDev -15%

RE - reviewed as Jan has left and now the selection is just fair. It still has what it had before it just hasn't grown with the times.
---
OLD REVIEW
This place rocks! Jan was off the day I was there, but it did not matter. Karen and Mike were incredibly helpful. The selection was awesome. So many beers that are not available in IL and certainly not Georgia. Lots of super small Wisconsin breweries. New Glarus, Tyranena, Capital, Central Waters, Furthermore, Sprecher, Cross Plains, Lake Louie, Lakefront, among others. Mix a six was also very nice!

Location on Madison's Westside, conveniently located off Highway 14 and just a 2 hour drive from Chicago's Northern Suburbs.

ATLbeerDog, May 01, 2008
Photo of Homerbag
4.15/5  rDev -3%

This is a place that reaaly respects beer and knows the product. I stopped in here on a day trip. All the beer is in coolers, that are walk in as well. I have never seem that in a place that sells taht much craft beer. A good amount of rare Europian beers. One thing that impressed me is that they cellar beers here as well, then sell then at some reasonable prices. I meet Jan who was extremely pleasant and knew what she was talking about, and knew what I was talking about.

A great place that treats people very good. Stop in if you are close or not so close and you will enjoy spending money on good beers.

Homerbag, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

Jan "the beer baroness" is awesome. I'm always a bit skeptical whenever I am told that someone knows a lot about beer but she certainly exceeded expectations and was great to talk to.

This is the only place I've ever been where all the beer is in coolers which is nice. They have about 20 cooler doors all along one side of the shop. Their belgian selection lacks a bit, but that could be an importing problem. Their craft selection is very impressive and I ended up spending $100 while i was there.

I'm definitely glad I saw it in passing and stopped in.

drseamus, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of Atron67
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Q- steves is my favorite place because it always has a great selection.

S- the service is awesome, Jan the beer barronness loves talking about beer and always brings up the spectacular flavors of this or that beer.

S- probably the best selection around. good all around

V- value.. so i always feel like steve's is a bit expensive, however its not that much more expensive, however i never really mind either though because it is a local place and they do a great job of keeping up on selection and i feel they deserve it.

Atron67, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of sprucetip
4.15/5  rDev -3%

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.

Cheers

sprucetip, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of joe1510
4.15/5  rDev -3%

Steve's is the store I stop in every time I pass through the Madison area. Everything is kept in great shape and within the freshness dates. The biggest wall is all beer coolers with a walk in you can search through for anything not on the cooler shelves.

The people at the desk are very friendly and helpful. I asked for some suggestions on places in the area and they were glad to give recommendations. They were also commenting on the beer I purchased and making suggestions about it.

The selection is very good. Full lines of the Wisconsin favorites including the special releases. Tyranena, Central Waters, New Glarus, Lake Louie, Ale Asylum and others. Good selection of American crafts and a solid selection of Belgians. Fair prices on everything I picked up to purchase.

Good store to pick up all the Wisconsin goodies.Make sure to stop by on your way through town.

joe1510, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

This was my 3rd visit to Steve's, and it continues to be a regular stop on my radar.

New this time, the walk-in singles area had been moved, and there were new mixed-six selections for Capital and New Glarus (10% off 6). This is a positive development, my old gripe would have been that most regional stuff was 6-pack only. It would be ideal to see a huge wall of singles here, but that's just a personal pipe dream. I'll echo what others have said, huge regional/local selection with full lines from most breweries. They usually have whatever seasonal that's in current rotation. Great mix of imports, a number of choice Belgians. Small deli section that's good for snacks or throwing together a picnic.

Service was great, the lady at the counter was also the beer buyer. She answered all my questions, and gave great recommendations.

emerge077, Jul 16, 2007
Steve's Liquor in Madison, WI
95 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.