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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
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

After visiting quite a few stores in the Madison area, I found that Steve's Liquor had a wider selection of "local state" type beers. Oddly, it's pretty different from the selection at Steve's Wine's. They have a WHOLE WALL of coolers that house decent beers (all 6-packs), and a small section of that is devoted to bombers. I visited a few other stores, mostly supermarkets and specialty food stores, and I never saw as wide a selection. They didn't have any single 12 ouncers, but I bought a few bombers of beers from a brewpub in Ohio. The store was clean, well organized, and the staff seemed helpful based on the interactions I saw with other customers. Recommended.

NeroFiddled, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of EvilKeith
3.85/5  rDev -10%

Steve’s Liquors is in a newer brick building situated on a hill overlooking a busy intersection. The parking lot is large enough to handle any number of customers.
The interior is clean, well lit and well organized. The selection of wine and liquors is pretty good, but where this place excels in is its selection of quality craft beers. I was surprised to see beers by Three Floyds here. Craft beers from across the country line the coolers.
I found a good selection of beers from all of the larger Wisconsin breweries. What really impressed me was the selection of beers from smaller Wisconsin brewers. I ended up leaving with sixes from the small brewers, these were beers I did not see anywhere else in Madison.

EvilKeith, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.85/5  rDev -10%

I actually think the other location of Steve's has a better selection than this one -- more imports esp Belgians, and you could buy singles of some of the American craft brews.

I could imagine the service might be better at this location as the counter folks here seemed more professional while the other store was staffed by college students who were more interested in each other.

However, we did ask, when we saw the limited beer selection in the coolers along the back wall, whether they had some warm beer somewhere. They said no and did not bother to mention that there was more beer back inside the cooler!

So it seems based on the other reviews we did not see all that this store had to offer. One thing they did have in their favor was a decent selection of Lake Louie and Central Waters, which weren't available at Woodmans. But our other stops, Riley's, the other Steves and Woodman's East, all had their strengths as well, so I did not perceive that any one destination would be far and away the best stop.

4thoseabout2bock, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev -3%

Solid store with great service. Wide variety of American craft six backs and foreign, mainly Britist, Belgian, and German, singles. Expect to find all area beers along with plenty from New Holland, Three Floyds, Two Brothers, Smuttynose, Avery, Victory, Goose Island, etc… American craft singles selection is almost completely lacking compared to the other Steve’s, Riley’s, and Woodman’s west. Price is comparable to the other shops in town, save Woodman’s. 5% discounts are common for holidays, special occasions, or just because you asked. Staff is very good, especially the older lady (part owner?). The supply of Belgian singles changes enough to get me to make return visits every two or three months. Nice wine and booze selections as well. Getting in and out of the parking lot can be a pain at certain times of the day. Mostly, I use this store for Belgian singles that are not available anyplace else. Woodman’s is better for sixers and Riley’s is better for most singles.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

I pulled up at Steve's Liquor after a nearly five hour drive, stretched my legs, went in search of good beer and found it. Clean, well-lit store with wine and liquor in the center and beer in coolers along the back wall. As far as American craft beer is concerned, this place probably had the best selection of any of the four stores that I visited yesterday.

I didn't take notes, but all of the major Wisconsin breweries were represented as well as a lot of the smaller ones. I also saw Great Lakes, Bell's, Smuttynose, Founders, New Holland, Three Floyds and many, many others. The biggest disappointment for me was that they didn't sell American craft beer in singles (I've decided to knock back the selection score a half notch as a result, even though the overall selection was quite good). I didn't have the space or the money to take home 25-30 sixers of beer.

What singles were available were almost entirely from Belgium, Germany and England. These were located in a dimly lit, freezing cold 'cooler' behind door #9. If I ever return, I plan to take a parka because I couldn't stand to be in there in a T-shirt for longer than 3-4 minutes at a time. I gave the shelves a good look, came out to warm up and then went back in to make my selections. Great for the beer, not so great for the customers.

I didn't quite spend $50, but still got a 10% discount. I picked up a bottle each of Unibroue 15 and Chambly Noire because I wasn't sure that I'd see them anywhere else (and didn't). The woman who checked me out (Jan, the self-proclaimed 'Baroness of Beer'; that's what it said on the business card that she gave me, but to her credit, she seemed embarrassed by it) was very nice and chatted me up for a bit. She didn't seem too thrilled when I told her that I was going to Woodman's next, but kindly gave me directions since Mapquest didn't do such a great job of leading me to her place.

Steve's Liquor, along with Woodman's, looks to be the class of Western Madison. The selection of American craft beer puts Iowa to shame; although we're at least equal and maybe superior when it comes to Belgian beer. As far as I'm concerned, this is a must stop for travelers, although keep in mind that you won't be able to buy singles of New Glarus, Tyranena, Lake Louis, etc.

BuckeyeNation, May 28, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

So, this is supposedly one of the best beer stores in Madison. Was a little disappointed. Smaller than I imagined, but still a decent selection from the all-cooled beer section. Quality on average seem pretty top shelf. I almost missed the singlesthough, had to ask... you actually walk into the cooler toward a pretty decent sized bookcase of goodies. Stuff I know is good, stuff I haven't seen... The help was pretty good, friendly, not invasive but helpful when needed. Basically, if I lived in Madison, I'd do my regional and micro shopping at Woodmans, but definitely go here for the better, harder to find stuff. What I took away? Dogfish WWStout (which I hadn't seen at 3 other stores), and Meantime London Porter. But, there were many other tempting me for sure.

objectivemonkey, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of rugger
4.15/5  rDev -3%

I walked in here after waiting for them to open. They probably thought I was an alkie waiting for them to open. The guy that was there was real friendly and was joking around with me about my car. Anyway, the place was nice, and smaller than I had expected. All of the beers were in the coolers along the wall in the back and in the walk in part. The walk in was full of boxes that made it hard to walk around in, but they did have a nice selection. It was hard to find some of the things that I was looking for, but seeing as how I had all day to look at beer stores I was able to find most of what I was looking for. A nice place to say the least. If I am ever up there again (11 hour drive) I will stop in.

rugger, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of nflmvp
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Another of many stops on my most recent trip to Madison. On my way in the door, I asked about a quantity discount (because I had been OFFERED one at Star Liquors earlier in the day). Because of the response I got, it seems to me that it is not policy, however, they DID offer me 5% if I put together at least a case of craft beers...and that was EASY.

They have a wide selection and I was able to walk away with some Three Floyds, Great Divide, New Holland (Dragon's Milk-YUM) and a couple of nice Imports.

The prices were reasonable but I felt that they were a little higher than some of the other places I hit the same day so the 5% discount didn't really amount to much. However, when I had questions about a certain beer, another emplyee offered to do some quick research for me online and came back within a couple of minutes with the answers I was looking for.

I'll go back the next time I'm in town

nflmvp, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

When I first walked into this place I thought I had gotton the wrong liquor store. All that I could see was wine bottles. Then I saw the beer in the cooler off to my right. They are a little strange in keeping all of their beer at a constant cool temperature, but I don't know if that's a big deal to anyone else. Walk into this cooler and you will find your imports. A very good selection that is comparable to HyVee Wine and Spirits. I tried to get some video of all the beer for my records, but as it turns out there is some kind of business rivalry or something going on there because I was practically yelled at. I was asked who I worked for, I replied the name of the local restaurant, but I don't think he knew what that was. If I hadn't come 300 miles for a great selection I would've left. Instead of being informed of the situation I was treated as a theif, however it wouldn't be too difficult to write down the selection as well. I think that information should be shared and not boguarded like it's a secret, but he didn't know I don't own a store, nor do I give a crap whether someone steals his beer that the rest of the world knows about already.

Re: review

Went back a few more times and found that the service is outstanding if you know Jan the beer Baroness. She knows her stuff.

Erdinger2003, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of badbeer
4.15/5  rDev -3%

This place is a nice place to visit with a decent wine and beer selection, however I was searching the beer only. Beer is kept in a walk-in cooler with a decent selection of singles. I thought some prices were fair, but it is overall a little pricey. Service was good, I liked that I was pretty much left alone to look and they only asked once if I needed help. The thing I didn't like so much is that there didn't always seem to be an order, some things seemed to be almost hidden because other bottles were pushed in front and I actually didn't find a few beers until I went inside the cooler behind the racks. Decent place worthy of a visit, but if you are looking for something look hard.

badbeer, Dec 22, 2005
Steve's Liquor in Madison, WI
95 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.