Otto’s Beverage Center – Oakland Ave
Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev +7.1%
Otto's is the biggest liquor store near the campus of UW-Milwaukee. It's the place where the students go for cheap booze. But don't be fooled. They also carry some extremely good and hard-to-find beers!
Atmosphere- bright florescent lights, linoleum floors, frat boys, homeless guys... a typical mid-city liquor store. Quieter on weeknights. Parking lot is small and difficult, I recommend street parking on the side.
Quality- with the recent addition of Black Husky, they now carry every major beer I love (that is available in Milwaukee). The only time you'll catch me driving all the way over to Discount is if they advertise Zombie Dust.
Service- Pretty darn good for such a big shop. The beer guy knows his stuff and likes to chat a bit. The register folks are friendly, too, unless they're swamped with college students.
Selection- While they don't carry quite as many breweries as Discount, I don't miss the ones they don't have. And the bonus is that many great beers stay on the shelf a LOT longer here than they do at Discount.
Value- beer is competitively priced and you'll occasionally find about-to-expire beers at more than 1/2 off.
05-24-2014 21:20:01 | More by robear
3.09/5 rDev -15.8%
A step up from your standard liquor store. Beer selection is comparable to Downer (possibly more imports, but I felt like they have fewer American craft bombers to choose from.
They often have limited releases longer than other stores (not sure how many craft beer nerds actually shop here). Found some year old barrel aged specials that I thought had sold out across the state.
Often have solid discount deals and a clearance basket that has good stuff in it.
11-06-2013 20:49:13 | More by sisterthelonious
4.88/5 rDev +33%
After reading some of the other reviews on here I didn't expect much going in, but was very pleasantly surprised. The beer was tucked in the back, away from the windows. Staff knew what they were talking about. Prices were pretty good...
I found some really good rare stuff that I didn't expect. There are some good belgians. A couple sours that I really like. They had a HUGE selection of Mikkeller, which was tons of fun. I also liked seeing some tasty Founders, FFF, Central Waters, Bells, and other more difficult brews to find.
While it doesn't have the biggest selection, it is pretty solid and it seemed like most of the stuff was pretty fresh and relatively dust free. I enjoyed myself, so maybe check it out...
04-11-2012 18:01:35 | More by Beer_Dood
3.33/5 rDev -9.3%
Otto's. What can I say. It's a decent liquor store chain that carries an average selection of craft beer. I used to come here in college when it was Segals liquor. All my buddies worked here through school.
This locale is not much different than any other. Typical liquor store vibe. Crappy run down building. Tons of booze up front and a decent wine selection. Beer towards the back. All the Midwest stuff is well represented along with a moderately sized import section. Fairly solid singles section for making your own mix six. Plenty of the beer is kept cold which is nice when you really need a drink.
Service is typical. No help unless needed.
Overall is it Groppis or Discount? No. Is it better than Pick N Save? yes.
08-31-2011 17:10:20 | More by beerwolf77
4.14/5 rDev +12.8%
I've been shopping at Otto's on Oakland fairly regularly for the past five years. It's an older building, but I kind of like the old school vibe that it gives off. The store has always been clean and tidy when I've been there. The staff are--for the most part--college aged or a bit older. One of the more mature staff is a man with a fantastic white beard, and he has always been extremely helpful and friendly whenever I've been in there. He, in particular, is very knowledgeable about the beers and spirits I've asked about. Their beer selection is right up there with the best in the city--Discount Liquor stands out as one of the few places head and shoulders above it for variety. I like the layout they have: Basically half of a shelf about 20 to 25 feet long stocked with craft offerings from around this country (Avery, FFF, Founders, Great Lakes, Left Hand, North Coast, Rogue, Southern Tier, etc.), half of that shelf stocked with nice Belgian and other European imports, two end caps off this shelf that contain individual bottles of crafts from all across the country that you can mix and match into 6 packs, a cooler of similar length to the shelf that faces it stocked with Midwest crafts and imports, and a similarly sized cooler filled with all the macros. The prices are easily the best on the East Side--again, only Discount Liquor on the South Side has prices that are consistently lower.
I'm a bit surprised at the ho-hum reviews of my fellow BAs on this one, as Otto's really is a great beer stop for Milwaukee's downtown/East Side. The friendliness of the staff, alone, has brought me back time and again. And unlike Discount Liquor, Otto's has the mix and match six packs that have allowed me to try a lot of brews that I otherwise probably wouldn't have given a shot (I first tried several offerings from Great Lakes, Big Sky, and Flying Dog because of this setup). When you also consider Otto's has some of the best prices on barrels, this is certainly a liquor store you should consider if you're in the area.
07-25-2011 02:24:13 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
3.1/5 rDev -15.5%
It is an old school building with it's own little parking garage, which is a very nice touch.
Inside the beer is to the left. There is a solid row of coolers and an import aisle. There was one beer here, Zelta that I had not seen before. It seems most of their imports are the few beers that Discount doesn't carry such as Baltika, Hof ten Dormaal and Vichtenaar. They had an endcap of WI singles which was very nice, I think there was an option to make your own 6.
Overall the selection was decent, but not tops for Milwaukee. It was a pretty dusty and dirty store as well, however the beer seemed pretty fresh. The service is also nil, it was just some college students. It is a good stop if you are in the area, otherwise go to Discount.
12-27-2010 21:44:50 | More by crossovert
2.7/5 rDev -26.4%
Otto's is a mediocre stop. It gets so much business due to the fact that it is two blocks from the UWM campus. The selection is good for the area, but better selections are a 10 minute drive away.
The service here is nothing special. I get the feeling that the staff doesn't really have a passion for beer or spirits.
Imports: decent selection. no singles are refrigerated.
MicroBrews: Selection is decent as well. NOT many singles. Most are refrigerated.
MacroBrews: Same story here. Selection is probably the best of the three. All refrigerated.
Glassware: Not much. Once in a while a free glass with a 12-pack will spring up, but not often.
05-18-2007 04:00:27 | More by botham
Otto’s Beverage Center – Oakland Ave in Milwaukee, WI
86 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.