Steve's Wine Beer Spirits - University

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Steve's Wine Beer Spirits - UniversitySteve's Wine Beer Spirits - University
38 Ratings
Steve's Wine Beer Spirits - UniversitySteve's Wine Beer Spirits - University

Type: Store

3618 University Ave
Madison, Wisconsin, 53705-2143
United States

(608) 233-6193 | map

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Added by cokes

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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3

I heard about this place during my visit in Madison and was a bit of a drive out away from the UW campus. I found it to be quite nice - it’s a quasi upscale wine and cheese shop, with quite a nice selection of beer - they had the usual wisconsin micros, regional micros that are sometimes hard to find in the state, interesting Belgian beers, Stillwater, New Glarus, a few 3F bombers that I was not able to find in the other places. The staff was a bit aloof, but fairly nice - prices were on the high side, but they give you 10% off after six bottles.

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Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

After visiting Steve's on Mineral Point a few times, the realization came that i'd never been to this Steve's, possibly due to the average reviews. I'm happy to report the selection here is great, with plenty of things I didn't see around elsewhere.

Beer is the first thing on the left when you walk in. A door or two were devoted to singles, and I noticed about 5 FFF bombers that I didn't see elsewhere. Opposite the coolers were separate shelves for imports and US craft (bombers, 750s). Local craft seasonals were a strong suit, as were Belgian (Mariage Parfait, Rodenbach Vintage), German, Scandinavian (Mikkeller), and English imports. Locals: O'So, Rush River, Ale Asylum (Ballistic), Sand Creek reserve series, South Shore (bombers), Capital, Lake Louie, and more. Full lines from the majority of these breweries. Also plenty of US craft beers from the Bruery, Founders, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin (seemingly scarce around town), Bells, Goose Island reserve series, and more. The selection was dense and varied, lots to see, so take your time to look around.

Checkout was quick and the cashiers were pleasant. There wasn't anyone on the floor in the beer area, but the staff seemed approachable if you need help. Stop in at this Steve's, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%

I stopped here when I first moved back to Madison after school. I was near Hilldale getting lunch, and I saw Steve's across the road so I decided to walk over.

The service wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The employees sat behind the counter while everyone picked out what they wanted. The selection was decent, but nothing spectacular. They had a variety of Wisconsin beer, DFH, Bear Republic and more. There are other places in Madison that have a better selection though.

Not a terrible beer store, but it didn't stand out in my mind so I don't plan on revisiting.

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Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Candyland. I'm from Milwaukee, and even the beer stores there don't compete with the vast selection of Steve's micro brew selection. I like how they categorize their beers geographically!

They also post beers that are "new" and beers that are "sale" by putting stickers near the prices. I find this helpful, although they put a "new" sticker by Lakefront Eastside Dark, which is definitely not new. Perhaps someone got stuck in a beer time warp?

Staff is always friendly :D

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

I stopped here after an interview today. I was a little reluctant to go to this location based on the reviews. I didn't think they would have a great selection. Boy was I suprised. I was like Chunk from the Goonies in an ice cream shop when I walked in the door. Coming from Minnesota we have some great beers available. Wisconsin blows us the hell out of the water. At this location they had Dogfish head, new glarus, stone, capital, lakefront, viking, bear republic, great lakes, bells, founders, sprecher, sierra nevada, 3 floyds, and even smuttynose. There were many other standard craft brews that I can't even remember. For all the brewing companies listed above, they had the flagship brews and usually a few rare/once brewed beers and seasonals. To give you an idea of what was there, here was what I got:
--6-pack Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA
--4 pack DFH 90 min IPA
--Stone Arrogant bastard bomber
--Stone Oaked arrogant bastard bottle
--Stone RIS
--Stone Ruination
--Stone IPA
--Stone PA
--Stone smoked porter
--New glarus mixed pack (organic revolution, fat squirrel, IPA, and spotted cow)
--New glarus raspberry tart
--New glarus belgian red
--Stone Vertical Epic 08/08/08-last bottle

I was astounded by the selection. In addition to the great american crafts, they had a ton of Belgians. They had all the chimays, rocheforts, and many others. If this liquor store was down the street from me, I would be broke. That was the only downside by the way. It was a tad bit pricey. But it was so worth it. Definitely check out one of the "Steve's" locations if you are in Madison. I will be going back there again soon.

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Photo of brdc
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

This place has a lot of wine and spirits, which make up for most of the store space, but along with that, good cheeses and a sizeable selection of good beers. There are even a few beer glasses, although the options are limited.
It has most of the local stuff, along with some others from throughout the country and some imports, although the belgian collection is somewhat disappointing.
A small but good selection of singles to make your six pack from a cooler round out a place that if not amazing, it is still a worthwhile stop if you are in the area.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.7/5  rDev -8%

Steve's is a mix of specialty food shop and wine store, but there is a nice selection of foreign brews and micros. They frequently have samples out from their cheese shop that are always worth a try, and I often get my dry chorizo and cornichons here. The wine selection is respectable, and there are several varieties hard to find elsewhere, and the beer selection is also decent, although this is not the shop's primary focus. The prices vary widely, and it's good to go in with an idea of what they price competitively, and what to look for elsewhere. I found some liquors I buy there for much cheaper elsewhere, but the last few times I bought ale and beer it was priced competitively. The service is okay. I have never asked for help, and none has ever been offered. I'm sure they're knowledgeable, seeing all they offer, but I've yet to exchange any words with the employees except about their latest cheese sample.

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Photo of nchrist13
4.3/5  rDev +7%

i stop here as often as any other liquor store. the staff here is very nice. they aren't always the most informed (they're not beer geeks like the folks over at Steve's Liquor on Mineral Point), but they definitely will go out of their way to order you something rare if you ask them to. i give them a lot of credit for that.

also, the cheese. hot damn if they don't have a cheese selection. seriously, you could get broke and fat eating cheese here. i'd recommend the Pleasant Ridge Reserve.

onto the beer. they have a good selection of local, all the Lake Louie, Central Waters, Tyranena, New Glarus, Viking, South Shore, Capital, Sprecher you need. All of it at a fair price. they have a pretty decent selection of non-local American beers, not as extensive as Riley's but they are definitely better when it comes to freshness. Imports are a lot like non-local American beers, decent selection that focuses on quality. all nationalities of beer are adequately represented, so if you're looking for a particular style you should be able to find an offering or two, but maybe not the exact one you had in mind.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

Steve's Wine Market is the closest beer for me in Madison (walking distance), but to be honest, I'd rather go to Riley's over by the University.

They've got a decent selection, but most of its in 6-packs. There's not a lot in 12 oz. singles or larger bottles - although they do have a selection of beers from Oregon (which I thought was weird). And, surprisingly, the prices are a little higher. In some cases more than that! The New Glarus Raspberry Tart in the 750 costs more than anywhere else I saw it.

On the up side, they do have a very decent selection of artisinal cheeses which sets them apart. And their liquor and wine selection is better than you'll find at the grocery store.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

Walked in and saw this little beer selection area that was about 1/4 the size of the whole place. It had a pretty good selection. Really the only thing that I noticed was I couldn't buy the smaller Chimay glasses without purchasing Chimay. That's cool for the locals. The lady did want to help and did, but nothing beer knowledge related, mostly this was a short little stop and I was ready to go the Essenhaus. They had a bigger selection of Lake Louie than any other place I had noticed. Overall I thought this might be a place to check out with a lot of time, just not my go to store.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.7/5  rDev -8%

Steve’s Wine is a very nice upscale wine shop. The wine selection is impressive with bottles from across the globe, but this supposed to be about the beer.
The reach-in cooler has a pretty good selection of import singles and sixes. There is also a very good selection of quality micro and craft brews in sixes. I also found a respectable number of craft and micro singles for sale. The 12 packs and cases can be found in a large walk-in cooler.
It is nice to see that the wine world has noticed the craft brew movement and is becoming increasingly accommodating to our needs.
This place was staffed by two young college girls on this visit. I did not have any questions, so I can’t comment of their level of beer knowledge.
I was pleasantly surprised by this establishment.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev -0.5%

I feel like the two Steve’s take turns having better singles selections although most of the time the University store wins out by a slim margin. Service always seems better at the other location but it ain’t shabby here either. Prices are nearly identical.

Singles Selection:

Lots of Belgians, i.e., Rocheforte 6, 8, 10. St. Bernie Wit, 6, 8, 12. Tons of De Dolle (the biggest selection I’ve seen anywhere). Wit Pater, Caracole, Delerium, DuPont, etc…

American Craft Singles: One 6 ft by 4 ft cooler of American craft and few German/Brits. Plenty of local stuff, i.e., Lake Louie, Capitol, New Glarus, Central Waters, and also many fine brews from smaller regional and national craft brewers.

Very good 6 pack selection from nearly all Wisconsin brewers and tons of other great craft brewers such as Sierra Nevada, Bells, Great Lakes, New Holland, North Coast, etc…

Great wines and cheeses too.

Prices are higher than Woodmans but not bad. Singles are a touch cheaper than at Riley’s.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

Steve's Wine Market was the fourth and final beer store that I visited on my recent whirlwind tour of Madison. It's located in an upscale shopping area just west of campus, a location that should be fairly handy for a wide number of locals. Since space in my car was growing short and since I had already dropped a bundle at the other three stores, I knew that I wouldn't be leaving with much of Steve's beer.

I entered the store and paused to eat a few samples of some outstanding cheese. I hadn't eaten in almost 8 hours and could have downed the whole tray without a problem. A left turn took me to the beer shelves (Belgians) and coolers (U.S. micros for the most part). Steve's Wine was my least favorite store of the day, although they still had a decent selection of quality stuff. It's tough to compete with the likes of Steve's Liquor, Woodman's and Riley's.

I don't remember seeing much here that I hadn't seen elsewhere with the exception of Houblon Chouffee IPA. I'd estimate that their selection is roughly half of what it is at Steve's Liquor, maybe a little higher. The singles cooler had more empty spaces that full ones, but I'm not sure if those beer were out of stock or if the selection is never very extensive. Prices seemed similar to the other stores in town.

The guy who checked me out pointed out that with one more beer, I'd get a 10% discount. One more beer is never a problem, so 10% it was. He also entertained me by telling me how he'd practically chugged a Bitter Woman From Hell after doing some strenuous yardwork the previous night and then wished that he'd had something a little less... challenging.

I'm glad that I stopped at Steve's Wine Market, but Riley's has it beat in all ways that matter (except for the free cheese) and is the clear choice for those who live anywhere close to downtown. For those who live out of town, this isn't really a destination store unless you have some time on your hands or are in the area.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

The other Steve's. I usually shop at Steve's on Mineral Pt., but this place is definitely worth a stop. Overall, the selection at this store is not quite as good as the other Steve's. However, there are many beers here that are not found at the other location. There is a pretty good selection of Belgian beers here. At least 4 De Dolle Brouwers, Poperings Hommel Bier, and St. Bernardus 6 come to mind. Another good thing about this store is that many of the six packs are available as single bottles. Most beer is chilled, though some of the singles aren't. Service is fine. The employees don't know their beer like the employees at the other Steve's, but I've never had a problem here. Prices are a little high, but nothing too bad. This is not the first stop to make in Madison, but definitely high on the list.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%

12-7-08 update: this is my 2nd favorite place to shop for beer in madison (#1 rileys, #2 steves-univ). quality is always great and beer is extremely well rotated with some of the better prices in town. The cheese and wine selections are both top-notch

a bit closer than the mineral point location to my apartment...the consensus is that this is inferior to the other steve's but I dont really get that...This one has a little less beer but the quality is pretty great

theres a wrap around cooler of beer...heavy on the locals, great lakes, bells, founders, etc...nice rotating selection of singles ranging from local to west coast bombers, etc...theres some thomas hardy ales and a bunch of sweet belgians in the non-refrigerated section...they let you build your own 6pack at 10% off and they have been known to make calculations in your favor

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Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Steve's Wine Market is clean and classy. Although the focus is on wine and liquor the beer selection is damn fine. A good array of singles (imports and domestics) and 6-packs (and up)… the prices aren’t too bad either. The staff was so nice when I visited (the lady thought it was the coolest thing EVER that I drove from Nebraska to buy beer in Wisconsin). Bottom line: I hope I make it back.

It is not as good as the other Steve’s but I’d recommend you visiting both.

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Photo of ethosx19
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

Good selection for a wine store. I bought singles of Dogfish, Young's, Rogue, Paulaner, Ommegang, and lots of regionals here. The service was okay, but I'm sure it would be better if the store hadn't been in a holiday frenzy. Oh, and 10% off 6 mixed singles. I noticed prices a little higher than Woodmans on a few items.

I think I'll make this place a regular stop when I don't want to go all the way to the West side of Madison.

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Photo of cokes
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Quite similar to their Mineral Point location, but this one is different enough to warrant a stop at both.
More wine focused, but the beer selection does not suffer. Very clean, spacious inside, with a tasting room that sometimes is devoted to beer events (though typically, it focuses more on wine)
Staff is friendly, well-versed and love to chat.
The beer: Tons of regionals, Plenty of other quality craft brews and good imports. Belgian-leaning single collection, but plenty of British and German brews as well.
Single section is almost entirely different than the other location. That's where you'll find me.

Update: The selection here keeps growing and growing with new stuff nearly weekly. It used to be overshadowed by the original Steve's (Mineral Point). No longer. Although there may be a store or two with slightly better selections. The dedication to quality is unsurpassed. This is top of the line in Madison.

Update part 2: There are just a shitload of new beers arriving all the time. You want a specific Belgian, British or German brew? IF it is available in Madison, then it is available here (and usually only here). While this a positive in most aspects, the beer stock has outgrown the cooler, and many of the imports are displayed on the uncooled shelf. Never had anything off from them though. So keep on growing!

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Steve's Wine Beer Spirits - University in Madison, WI
Place rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 38 ratings