Discount Liquor


109 Reviews
Discount LiquorDiscount Liquor

Type: Store

5031 W Oklahoma Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53219-4545
United States

(414) 545-2175 | map

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 168
Photo of younger35
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Let me start by saying this is the best beer store I've ever been in. Bottleworks in Seattle rocked hard, discount rocked a smidge harder! It's a very unassuming looking liquor store that you'd never guess had a world class beer selection.
I originally had my cart filled to the brim with random deliciousness until the girlfriend came in the store and interjected with some common sense. Needless to say, I still spent WAY too much. Central Waters, New Glarus, Tyranena and some other Wisconsin only goodies were my first order of priority. After that I snagged some Dark Horse and Allagash tastiness that I've yet to see in my area. Basically any brewery with any sort of distribution is here. They have plenty of cellared goodies as well that are very reasonably priced. I specifically remember seeing a couple different years of World Wide Stout and Old Stock. They have plenty of goodies from across the pond as well. At least 8 different kinds of Cantillon (snagged a couple bottles of St Lamvinus), plenty of Fantôme and a bunch of other random European stuff that is probably delicious beyond belief and out of my scope of knowledge.
Although I never specifically asked for any assistance, the guys stocking the shelves were very friendly. They greeted me and were generally nice dudes. Although the store was a bit cluttery when I was there, it was because they were stocking shelves and the rest of the isles were tidy. Highly recommend this place. I may make the drive weekly just to pay my respects.

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Photo of Winter
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Discount Liquor has the largest selection in the city for beer, wine and spirits, while still maintaining the best prices. It is THE place in Milwaukee for BAs to find that "hard to find" import or micorbrew. They do a great job of staying current on newly released products. Everytime I visit there seems to be a tempting new brew to pick up.

It's great to read a good review about a beer here on and feel confident that I will be able to find it at Discount Liquor. If you're looking for something that they don't carry in stock, the staff is more than happy to spend a few minutes with you to see if it's a brand that one of their wholesalers carry. Quite often they will throw in a free pint glass with your purchase from one of their "Beers of the Month".

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Photo of Chaz
5/5  rDev +13.4%

I first heard about Discount through a couple guys I know from Summit Brewing, who made a special trip here after pouring at the Great Taste of the Midwest in 1998. After their visit, I heard nothing but praise for the place, how it was “better than Sam’s” and “worth the round trip just to shop!” I finally had a chance to check it out myself a couple of years later, while visiting friends in Milwaukee. In fact, after taking the Lakefront tour (and a stop at Wolski’s) I was actually able to compare the two, as we made a trip to *both* retailers that weekend. I’d shopped at Sam’s a dozen times by that point, but Discount was indeed a notch above Sam’s, but not for the obvious reasons (quality over quantity, etc). Instead, I saw in Discount a family owned business that just happened
to do a great job of serving their neighborhood and surrounding communities, not the gargantuan “circus of booze” that Sam’s had become. And just like Sam’s, Discount started with a single unit location and grew slowly, but the signs of change were less visible at Discount: it still had that old neighborhood “lived-in” feel to it; some folks call this “dirty” rather than lived-in, but it’s exactly the sort of vibe I got out of the first big liquor store I visited as a kid. It’s a feeling that I more or less cherish, it’s hard to describe I guess. And while Discount may *look* stuck in time they’ve definitely kept up with the times, always offering a plentiful stock of classic craft brews and imports along with the latest buzz brands and Big Imports. In fact, I still have the Czechvar mug that came with a 12-pack at the time of the rollout in Milwaukee.

Although I’m not a big wine or spirits drinker, I have always looked at Discount's pricing on these categories out of professional curiosity, having been employed at the retail and wholesale levels. Fact is, if I lived in Milwaukee, this would be my primary location for purchasing all of my adult beverage needs: their prices are very good and the selection is well-placed and extensive.

I’ve always appreciated their beer glassware selection, too. It’s a bit dusty and tucked out of the way, but it’s chock full of items to round out your collection of functioning, collectible, and gift-able pieces.

As for beer brands? Oscar Blues, Fish Tale, and Pannepot were all new to me on my last visit, but I was on a tight budget: finally got to try a bottle of Niksicko!

No food to speak of, unless pork rinds, peanuts, and chips, are your thing. If they managed to incorporate a good deli on-site, this place would be a very hard place to pass up: somehow, someday . . . I can see it happening.

I’ve visited Discount about half a dozen times in as many years, but have interacted with staff over the telephone on several occasions. Once to arrange a special purchase for myself, and twice to arrange purchases for customers in Minneapolis (the latter make for a long story : ) But no matter whether it was in person or over the phone, I have never felt any type of irritation, pressure, or condescension from their staff, instead being rather impressed by their cordiality and professionalism. At the risk of sounding contrary to many of the other reviewers, I have also experienced knowledgeable assistance when I needed it, and warm hospitality*. This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve experienced in only a few of the better beverage retailers, including Sam’s.

If you love your beer and love your adventure, Discount Liquor is well worth the trip, and is among my favorite retailers. *Ask to use their restroom . . . it’s also like a trip to the center of the earth, at the end of a maze of cases in their warehouse / basement. Wow!

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Photo of pphunkdelux
5/5  rDev +13.4%

This place is like heaven. They have everything. Whenever I'm looking for a beer I can pretty much assume they have it. If not, they'll try to find it. Everything is priced very reasonably. This is the place most Milwaukeans go to stock up for a party. Kegs a plenty and service that can't be matched. .a medium sized grocery store that is filled with nothing but alcohol. That's what this place is. About 10 isles of booze and a back wall of coolers filled with 6 packs of different beers from all over. The service is great too. They have people that will bring the kegs and ice right to your car.

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Photo of bnuttz
5/5  rDev +13.4%

The beer stop in Milwaukee. If you are looking for a beer in town, this is the place to look for it. Beers from every country and style imaginable. I couldnt even begin to start listing the brands, but if its available in the city, they probably have it or can get it. The staff there is friendly and willing to help. Marie, who is in charge of beer, ordered some Founders Breakfast Stout and set it aside for me a while back. Great service and selection. The place to stop on the south side and whole damn city. Opt for this one over the Waukesha location. Now only if I lived closer.

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Photo of Gtreid
5/5  rDev +13.4%

The best beer store I have ever been to, period! The beer takes center stage here. They have everything Wisconsin can get, Founders, New Glarus, Bell's, Three Floyds, ST, Goose Island, ect, ect. The beer buyer was very helpful, and answered every question I threw at her. She even went to the back and pulled out a Life and Limb and offered it to me, which I took her up on. Friendly service, good pricing, and a world class selection. If I lived here, this would be my go to store. I only wish I had this type of place in Florida. Skal.

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Photo of TheSSG
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Checked this place out on a Sunday.

Just an FYI, I showed up a bit before 1PM.

First thing I saw was the glassware. That was a fun area to browse. Ended up getting some neat glasses I can't seem to find anywhere else. All were reasonable in price; figure $4-7 for most glasses. There were some more expensive and crazy glasses, but overall very reasonable, if not even on the low side.

Bier selection was very surprising.
When you drive up to the place, you REALLY think the reviews have to be for a different place...

But you get inside, and they had one hell of a bier aisle.
TONS of single bottles (but singles are mostly the imports). A few singles of select craft biers.

LOTS of 6-packs of local/craft brews as well as ones from all over the world. They even had 12-packs of the BIG bottles of Erdinger (never seen those in the USA).

I was especially pleased to find my beloved Hitachino Nest bier aged in Sake Casks. Picked up a few more interesting bottles (a Flanders Sour Red Ale, and some craft Pumpkin ales).

I come to Wisconsin bi-monthly to get New Glarus, but I was amazed to see a full load-out of Lakefront bier. I NEVER can find more than 2-3 of their brews at most places. So I got a sampler and some 6-packs. Also got some New Glarus, saw a nice display of Capital as well.
While just a ways from the Sprecher brewery anyway, I still got some single bottles of that, because the price was so nice.

Selection was astonishing. A+ for that.

Staff was fine. We were a bit late, didn't realize they closed at 2PM, left about 2:15PM. No one hassled us or was rude that we made them stay a bit late. I apologized, and they were fine with everything.

Prices are a bit hit or miss. Some stuff was just a STEAL! Other things are a bit steep....So you've got to be careful.
EDIT: Typically, they are the cheapest prices in the Milwaukee area (Woodman's being the only people who are EVER cheaper, but not always). I can get New Glarus cheaper at Woodman's in Beloit....but that's pretty far if you live in Milwaukee.

ONLY complaint is the freshness.
I about died when I saw they had Schuß for Berliner Weiß bier. Waldmeister and Himbeeren. I was FLOORED.
Then I noticed the "mindenstens haltbar bis" on the bottle (exp date). It was long past due...just over a year. Now, I know the entire bottle is in German, and the rest of the world does dates differently, but as my brother noted, "2008 is same year, no matter where you live." Since the bottle mentioned no preservatives as well, I imagine that Schuß would be disgusting if not outright sickening.
Up side is that a good deal of the bier that looks like it's been sitting is the kind that is okay with aging. Some of the biers that really need to be fresh I would avoid.
EDIT: As I've become a more regular shopper at Discount, I've noticed they're getting a LOT better about fresh dates for almost everything. Additionally, I've NEVER had such a problem with anything regional. They are the first ones to get anything from Wisconsin, and nothing seems to sit on the shelf more than a few days.

Overall, will definitely be making a voyage back here for more Wisconsin biers, and perhaps a few others....They did have a 40 year Ola Dubh...hmmm

EDIT: I've come to really appreciate the service here, too. Whenever I have questions, they're more than glad to help, and everyone is just really friendly and nice to talk with.
Now that I work in Milwaukee, this is pretty much my go-to for everything. It's just really hard to beat them in terms of selection, service, and price.

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Photo of mitrednip1
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Great beer selection and the owner was quite friendly and very helpful. He recommended some local beers that I can't get at home and I was very appreciative, as I might have otherwise missed these beauties.

For anyone visiting Milwaukee I'd highly recommend Discount Liquor.

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Photo of vkrazzy
4.85/5  rDev +10%

What can I say that hasn't been said already, if you live in Milwaukee and the surrounding area and don't know of this place I suggest you stop in. They always seem to have the newest and hardest to find beers. THE REPUTATION IS DEFFINATLY WARRANTED FOR SURE!!

Huge selection whether it's 4 packs, 6 pack, 750ml, domestic, import, whatever they have it. Was one of the first places in Milwaukee to sell Founders beer. They have a huge selection of both beer, and hard liquor, One of these best in Wisconsin, if not the best enough to say.

Price is what makes this place stand out, I have yet to be disappointed, they always seem to be the lowest in town, I've even been there when they have had brewery's giving out tastings, which is always an added bonus to this reviewer.

What else can I say except stop in for sure!!

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Photo of duffcalifornia
4.85/5  rDev +10%

If you're looking for the best collection of bombers, foreign beers, and American craft beers in Milwaukee, look no further. While their beer selection is limited to one aisle and a wall cooler, you will find probably close to 250 types of beer there. The staff is EXTREMELY knowledgable and will help you find exactly the right beer. They have an excellent mix of local, regional, and national craft beers. They also sell kegs if that's what you're interested in. The only downside to Discount Liquors is that they don't do mix and match six packs. Other than that, I can't think of anything else you'd want in a beer store.

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Photo of birchstick
4.85/5  rDev +10%

I went a little out of my way to get this place, but man was I rewarded! As soon as I walked in, there was an aisle of bliss...New Glarus, Central Waters, FFF, Stone, Smuttynose...this list could go on for a while. I was especially excited to see some NG Unplugged. As I was shopping around, a couple of emplpyees asked if I needed anything...a couple of them went looking for some CW Coffee Stout to no avail, but at least they offered to look and were helpful. The prices were right, the selection was top notch, and my wallet was hurt. I won't even think going anywhere else next time I am in the area. This is easily one of the best beer store I have been to.

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Photo of sholland119
4.85/5  rDev +10%

Stopped here while doing some beer hunting on a business trip to WI.

This place rocks. A very long aisle and a couple of end caps filled with great selections. The selection starts at Europe and works its way to American beers. And what an awesome selection it is.

I "only" picked up stuff that I could not get at home. Like Dreadnaught (!), Goose Island Imperial IPA, Great Lakes Blackout Stout, New Glarus Unplugged Hefe, BR Pete Brown Tribute, FFF 10th Anniversary. Pretty awesome if you are from PA.

The beer guy was smart and knowledgeable, and always around to answer my annoying beer geek questions.

I'd shop here all the time, if only the place were 850 miles closer...and had the same selection.

I forgot originally to mention another cool thing. There was a cart of discounted, not so fresh beer. We sometimes struggle with this in PA (Hi, Shangy's!) so it was nice to see someone addressing this honestly.


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Photo of logansboat15
4.85/5  rDev +10%

I've been shopping at Discount for about seven years. The staff has always been excellent, so it baffles me to read other reviews bemoaning the lack of knowledgable service. I suggest that when fellow Beer Advocates visit Discount, they seek out the assistance of beer manager Marie Gruska. She keeps up-to-date on all of the latest beer selections and industry news.

Perhaps some of the young cashiers were asked their opinion on various issues relating to availability or selection. It's always been my impression that these employees were there to handle the high volume of traffic at the register, rather than to field questions from beer geeks.

Discount Liquor is the ultimate beer store for my friends visiting from Illinois and Michigan. When in Milwaukee, check out the amazing selection.

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Photo of pat61
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

This place has a huge selection of craft beers and as of 1/17/15 they have 17 different Three Floyds offerings in stock. they also have a large selection of imports.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%

The place I stop when in Milwaukee to get WI only beers. Huge selection and good prices. GREAT service. The first time I was in there, I asked a guy stocking the shelf for some help. He talked to me for at least 20 minutes, pointing out stuff, making suggestions. It took that long to realize he didn't even work there, but for the distributor and was just a nice guy. I asked at the counter when I was buying stuff he suggested. It wasn't even all from his distributor.

The staff is also very helpful. They know when the out of state guys are there and have pointed me to stuff they know I can't get at home, which is very nice. Even though it looks kinda dingy on the outside, I recomend this place for sure.

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Photo of crossovert
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Wow, such a store.

I don't even know where to start with this place. Well, you walk in and theres a nice display of glassware all for really cheap prices, most regular glasses we 2-3$ and rarer stuff like the Kwak glass was only 10. After this quick detour I walked ahead and to the left to find more glassware and a huge display of trappist extravaganza will most bottles a dollar cheaper than anywhere else.

Then you turn to your left and it hits you, the WALL. Top to bottom, side to side just a MASSIVE aisle of almost anything you could imagine, harder to find beers like Quoellfrisch and Embrasse (to just name 2 of the many I saw), and a plethora of beers from a host of countries. They even have the bottle of syrup to go with your Berliner Weisse if your into that. And the prices are dirt cheap. Not only that but I left with a huge haul of about 30 bottles from all over and not one was even near its due date. Also FFF for 4$ cheaper on average than in IL. Just check the BeerFly list, well over 1000 brews and growing, amazing selection. They are missing a few noticable brews though, a few form La Trappe, Urthel, and others, they seem to not stock full brewery lines of the Belgian beers aside form the merciless onslaught of Cantillon, I wish they did. They also don't have St. Bernardus or Baltika beers which is really strange.

The service was top notch with an older bearded guy there to answer any question. He knew exactly when each new shipment of beer came in and was willing to stock new beers as well. A really nice guy, and he was constantly filling shelves because people just kept coming in and buying huge supplies of beer and alcohol which he would immediately restock.

It's too hard to explain the aura of this place, just go there.

Update 11-7-09 saw NG R&D, snatched up the last bottle.
Update 5-6-10 saw NG Two Women, bottles still available
Update 7-7-10 they have at least 20 new beers incl. Revelation Cat, Edelweiss, Lost Abbey, Sünner, and more.

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Photo of mynie
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%

An adorable little building in a dirty district of Milwaukee. Traffic getting here from the North Suberbs wasn't bad at all, even for mid evening on a Saturday. Big neon sign, pastel colors, letting you know you are in for quite the liquor buying experience.

The atmosphere is excellent. I love the slightly-dirty feel. It's worn in, friendly. No prentensions. Not the processed, mass marketed feel of the chain liquor stores.

TONS of beer. Aside from John's Grocery in Iowa City, they had the biggest Belgian selection of any store I have ever been to. Tons of micros, including a lot of stuff you can't find in Chicago. Rare 3 floyds, New Glarus, Smutynose, Founders, Ommegag, Victory, Great Lakes, and many, many more. I had no trouble filling up a cart--I only wish I had brought more money!

The staff was great. My out-of-state ID was no problem, (unlike the Chicagoland Binny's and Cardinal chains, both of which will never again see my business, because of their retarded practice of refusing all out of state IDs), the clerks were joking and in high spirits.

I'm putting this down as Single Dollar Sign-Level inexpensive. It might just be the price difference between the Iowa/Illinois market and here was markedly inexpensive. About 1-2 dollars less per six pack/bomber.

Easily the best beer-buying experience I've ever had. This place is worth making a trip to.

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Photo of sonoma01
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This was my first visit to Discount and I will definitely be back! The selection of both domestic and imported beers is good, but the import selection is astounding. I was there for about an hour just trying to decide what to get and I had brought a list with me. The gentleman working the beer section was very friendly, helpful and extremely informative. The singles selection was small but had some nice choices. The drive is well worth it to get some hard to find beers new and old. I would highly recommend Discount to anyone that is in the area.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

Hands down the best beer selection in all of Milwaukee and that is saying a lot. The place may not look that great on the outside but once inside, behold a gold mine of beer. The prices are also pretty dang good, usually a little cheaper than most other liquor stores. The selection is huge and has a wide variety from many countries and many state alike with every style you can think of. It's about a 15 minute drive for me to get there and worth it everytime. If you are ever in the area this is a must stop place.

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Photo of drpdaddy
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

I love visisting Discount Liquour. The selection they have is awe inspiring. Just when you think you have had a lot of different beers, Discount shows you there is an entire world of beer to explore. I could easily lose an hour just looking. The import selection is second to none. There are plenty of domestic and craft inventory as well. The prices are competative and usually about 50 cents to a dollar cheaper then everywhere else. One drawback is the staff isn't always available for recomendations and other questions, although I can usually find someone if I need them. Discount is a must stop when you are in Milwaukee.

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Photo of nchrist13
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

less a liquor store and more an encyclopedia of beer. what else is there to say about the place? many positives and very few negatives. let's get the negatives out of the way.

there isn't that much in the way of american singles. if it comes in a sixer, you're probably gonna have to buy it in a sixer. same for a 4 pack. but there are so many bombers that this isn't as big a problem as it seems. this place basically sets the lower limit for beer prices in this state (which is cheaper than any state that touches it, mn, il, ia and mi), so it's pretty easy to forget about them not offering singles.

another negative is that service is basically spotty. the beer buyer, maria(?), is a beer genius, so if you see a chick in the beer isle with short brown hair don't hesitate to ask. but from anyone else you're not likely to get much.

positives: ridiculous selection. tons of imports, more belgians than you know what to do with, and all way too affordable. you will end up dropping much more than you wanted to and you will go home with a gigantic grin. german, belgian, english, american, they're all represented well. and as previously mentioned they will basically set the low price.

if you're on a budget, don't go here. it will destroy it. also, full line of cantillon. you gotta like that.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

The best beer store I’ve been to in Wisconsin. Inside this unimposing old school liquor store on Oklahoma is an aisle straight from god. All the big crafts available in the area, tons of German singles., more Belgians to try than I can afford at the moment. The Cantillion selection alone is worth a trip from Madison or Chicago. Prices are amazing. Most bottles are 15-20% cheaper than they are in the average Madison shop. I will be returning soon and regularly and will likely have a much smaller balance in my checking account because of this place.

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Photo of battlekow
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

Best selection of any liquor store I've been to in the Milwaukee area, and remarkably inexpensive. Nice selection of Wisconsin micros, domestic micros in general, and imports. They have a fair amount of singles as well. Employees are generally a little weird, but are usually friendly and seem to be prone to making errors when ringing up up, mostly in your favor. The store is usually teeming with beer delivery guys and customers who just float around, making seem a bit like a madhouse. Most beers are unrefrigerated, but they do have a good number in the fridge at the back. The beer aisle itself is well organized, but the store in general is a little haphazard, with piles of cases everywhere. They also have a great selection of glasses.

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Photo of jumboj11
4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

I love Discount Liquor. It's a must stop when I'm in Milwaukee, and if I'm passing through on my way to northern Wisconsin, it's usually the first stop I make when I leave the airport. They have a great selection and a staff that's always willing to help you find something.

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Photo of RobinLee
4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Excellent import selection. Lots of cool stuff from lesser-seen breweries like To Ol, Haandbryggeriet, Mikkeller, Blaugies, De Struise. That doesn't mean they skimp on American craft, either, as they stock the latest and greatest from both around the nation and from WI. Friendly staff who are always willing to help. It looks a bit dingy, but that just means the money goes towards getting the good stuff. Better than their Waukesha location.

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Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI
4.41 out of 5 based on 168 ratings.
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