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Riley's Wines of the World

Not Rated.
Riley's Wines of the WorldRiley's Wines of the World
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

66 Ratings
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.54%
[ Store ]

402 W Gorham St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-2004
United States
phone: (608) 257-0400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rileyswow

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: cokes)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of battlekow
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%

An imposing two-story building on Gorham & Broom, Riley's is blessed with an enormous sign, good word of mouth, and a very tiny parking lot that makes it seem like an exclusive club. It is not, however, blessed with a particularly good selection of beer. Being in Madison allows it to carry growlers of Lake Louie, which is a godsend, but their other beers are scattershot. They do have quite a lot of singles, all refrigerated, but it's extremely hit or miss. They even lack some Capital Brewery varieties; being in the same city, I'd expect them to at least carry a full line of that. They also advertised having Rogue Brutal Bitter, but didn't, which pissed me off. As for six-packs, they have have another refrigerated wall kitty-korner to the singles with most of the same stuff. Directly across from this is a shelf with some haphazard other sixers. Employees are friendly and eager, but ignorant. Prices are higher than I would have expected, by a couple bucks sometimes.

battlekow, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Stopped here while visiting town, specifically seeking out Lake Louie beers. I walked back to the cooler at the back and found a few varities and grabbed one. I asked the guys at the counter if there were any others and they directed me over to another set of coolers that I had not seen before. Found what I was looking for there. After making my purchase, I talked with one of them a little more. He told me that the LL milk stout was awesome. I didn't see that one, and he let me swap out for it. Super nice guy. There was a nice selection of local beer. Not a whole lot of imports compared to other places I have been, but still nothing to scoff at. There was no service on the floor, but at the register, the guys were really nice and helpful. I really enjoyed my experience here and would stop in again.

kmpitz2, May 08, 2005
Photo of bnuttz
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%

Not a bad place, I usually stop here when I am in madison to pick up a few things. There selection is not too shabby. The things that bring me in here are the Lake Louie (obviously), central waters, and viking. None of which are available in Milwaukee. Everything else pretty much is at one store or another. I have found some prices to be solid, such as 2.49 for new glarus unplugged, where i pay 2.99 in town, but other times such as 8.99 for a sixer of three floyds, which i can pick up for 6.99. Such is life. I've only been to one other place besides this in madison, so its hard for me to compare quality wise, but if you are in the downtown area and want to pick up some wisconsin gems, hit this place up

bnuttz, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of nchrist13
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

riley's has really improved over the last 2 years, it seems. old beer has become less of a problem (this may be tied to the fact that most things i buy are local or things that are new, but i also think it just genuinely is so). selection is pretty good, they have almost everything cold, and they carry pretty much all of the wisconsin/great lakes brews you could want and also a decent amount of far-away domestics and a respectable amount of dank imports (always rocking the fantome and dupont, which impresses me). always have a pretty good 22oz bomber selection, which is a big plus, and prices on the bombers are almost identical to every other place around town.

they do allow you to mix and match any 6 single beers to get 10% off, and after the discount, the price is still pretty reasonable (personally i prefer to get 6 or 4 packs, but ymmv). selection is only beaten in town by woodman's, and a lot of the time you're better off just staying downtown rather than driving out to gammon road for a sixer or a couple of bombers. some beers have strange pricing which doesn't seem to be in line with other places around town (for instance slab city's milkhouse stout is $9 here, whereas it is $6.50 at woodman's), but for most things you'll find a fair price.

nchrist13, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of Sixpoint
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Ummm....

It's funny. With all of this selection, you'd think this place would be a haven for microbrews. Well, the fact is most of the people who get their beer here are college students. And college students are broke. And broke people drink Keystone Light.

As a result, most of the microbrews (a lot which are unrefrigerated) are outdated and dusty. To make things worse, the service is pretty lousy. It's a steady stream of meatheads who think it would be cool to work at a beer store.

You can get a decent selection of microbrews, but pay attention to how old they are. Try to grab a sixpack of a hot seller, that way you know the stock has been rotated.

Sixpoint, Nov 16, 2004
Photo of cokes
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%

Update:
Skidz and crew have turned this around of late. It gained a beer entity unto itself, as many fantastic brews are available here and nowhere else in town. I still have some gripes (see below, but mute it somewhat), but its definitely heading in the right direction. I stop here with a good degree of frequency, which I never have in the past, even when I lived much closer nearby. The singles selection is very solid. I currently recommend a stop for all Madison beerhunters.
---
Next to Woodman's West, and the two Steve' stores, Riley's has the best selection of beer in town. And it is located right on campus, which would logically make this a favorite of mine. However, I will only shop here occasionally to pick up beers I can't get someplace else.

The reason? The service and management absolutely suck. Most of the clerks are too stoned to answer any questions (and I'll give them leeway here), But the owner must be a descendent of Pol Pot. Students and campus area customers are victims of some of the highest prices in Madison (although some brews are reasonable). The MO here is $$$, thus care for the brews they offer, or the customers is nonexistant. Old stock is rampant, and no one seems to give a shit.

Quote from the owner when I addressed her with some outdated beer: "Put it back then, if you care. Someone else will buy it. Those dates don't mean anything".

Worth a stop only to get what can't be obtained elsewhere, otherwise steer clear.

cokes, Jan 02, 2003
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Riley's Wines of the World in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.