Ray's Wine & Spirits


28 Reviews
Ray's Wine & SpiritsRay's Wine & Spirits

Type: Store

8930 W North Ave
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, 53226-2742
United States

(414) 258-9821 | map

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 45
Photo of Angerhaus
1.9/5  rDev -54%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5

Recent change in policy, FYI.

Many rare or limited releases are now doled out proportionally to whomever spends the most money in this shop. You must frequently go in to the store, and you must make sure that the employees "log" your purchases. The owner describes this as "the only fair way" to deal with limited products. Basically, if you aren't going to spend money on their regular overpriced merchandise then you aren't going to have the opportunity to overspend on there limited merch.

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Photo of treznor
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Ray's has helpful staff (at times a bit too helpful as I was asked multiple times if I needed any help by different people... but I guess that's better than the opposite) and a solid selection.

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Photo of RobinLee
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Staff are very friendly, usually pretty eager to help out, very knowledgeable about what's out now. Selection is top for American craft, if the brewery distributes in WI Ray's has it. Limited selection of European brands, but they stock the reputable brands. Also a nice growler gallery with updated tap list online.

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Photo of getatmeimevil
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Love Rays, this is my go to spot and they never disappoint. Great employees and a great selection of beer.

Just did my first growler fill in their upstairs 'Growler Gallery', this just adds another level to how great this store is.

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Photo of mikebcpa
4.75/5  rDev +15%

The best thing about Ray's (other than being within walking distance of my home) is they have great customer service. You are always greeted and the staff will go out of their way to help you find stuff. Over the past 2 years they have really added to their beer selection and have recently added a growler bar that hosts events from many local breweries. Pricing is a little bit higher than average, but that's the only real complaint. They handle the releases of limited release beers such as KBS and BCS as well as anyone can.

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Photo of atone315
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

I visit Ray's 3-4 times a year. It is very convenient, on North Ave, on Milwaukee's west side. Once you enter Ray's, you are immediately presented with beer in coolers on your right hand side with numerous shelves on your left hand side. The coolers continue along the back wall of the store, usually takes me 30-45 minutes to glance over everything they have. They also have a decent glassware selection, this is where I started purchasing my first glassware, mainly Belgian/ European offerings. On an overlook of the store, you can tell wine is their #1 focus, with beer being #2, and booze being #3.

Ray's usually (99% of the time) gets the hard to find/ rare beer offerings. Most of the time they do Saturday morning, 9am releases for the real limited stuff, otherwise you need to pay attention to their Facebook/ Twitter postings as things don't last long here.

I have always been greeted when entering the store, and have always been asked if I needed help finding anything, so their service is above average. I am not really one to ask questions as I generally know what I am looking for, but they are definitely there if you need help.

Ray's only downfall, and the reason I am not there more often, is their prices. They are generally $1-$2 more per 4/6 pk and some of their bomber prices are the same. When it comes to limited/ rare releases, they really go a bit overboard.

If you can only stop at one place in Milwaukee, go to Discount. Otherwise, Ray's is a solid Top 5 Milwaukee beer shop.

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Photo of pk18
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Ray's is one of the few stores that I frequent in the Milwaukee area. They have a great selection of local WI beer and regional offerings too. The number of imports they carry is impressive, but not quite at the level of Discount.

Their special releases are usually done on Saturday mornings, which is a decent way to spread the wealth. They are also active on social media and it pays to follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates on the newest beer to hit the shelves.

The couple times I've had a question or two, the staff has been more than helpful. If you're in Milwaukee and looking for a great liquor store, don't hesitate to stop at Ray's!

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Photo of flyingoose
4.75/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Ray's is right down the street from my house. Of all of the local stores that sell beer, Ray's has the best selection. They have all the local choices as well as some from throughout the US. They also have a good selection of imported beers from Germany and Belgium.

The customer service is impeccable here. On my first visit, I had several questions that were answered with eagerness, which compares especially favorably with your average liquor store.

Also, Ray's frequently schedules tastings in their tasting room upstairs, which range from different beers, spirits, and wines. Their events are well put together and very informative.

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Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.34/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Visited 4/23 on vacation.

Ray's is the closest good shop to my parents, and where they go to fill their fridge when I come home for a visit. I've been there many, many times over the past several years, and as of late their selection has dramatically improved.

This is a full-service liquor store, having equally solid selections of wine, beer and spirits. I get the feeling that this balanced approach prohibits them from taking risks in beer buying, because the selections on hand were all safe bets. Good beers, no doubt, but I didn't see any rare picks.

Prices were also pretty high for the beers available.

I'll be back here to buy some beers to drink while visiting with my parents, but will go elsewhere to put together a package to take home.

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Photo of drpdaddy
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%

Rays liqour is always my first stop when looking for beer. Their staff is always knowledgable and ready to answer any questions or help out with recomendations. All you need to do is linger in front of any area and someone will ask if you need help. Most of the beer is refridgerated which is a nice feature. They have a decent selection of singles which are reasonably priced. Many beers such as limited editions are only sold in singles. They have a great selection of American craft brew which equals local shops, their import selection is pretty good but not as much as Discount Liquor.

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Photo of duffcalifornia
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Ray's is a great place to go if you want to be taken care of by the staff. Every one there is extremely helpful, and I feel that if you were a regular there, the staff would help you come up with that rare (insert something here) you can't find anywhere else. That being said, I don't think there's any beer here that you couldn't get at Discount Liquor for a cheaper price (usually a buck or two), which is why I said they were a bit pricey. There's also a lot more that you could get at Discount, especially when it comes to foreign beers (Belgians/Germans).

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -3.1%

I finally got to Rays the other day and I must say it's a decent craft beer stop. The L shaped craft cooler stretches from the front of the store all the way to the back then cuts over about half way.A nice plus that most of their craft stuff is kept cold. They had a few North American crafts I've never seen before but all imports were standard. They have a shelf that is labled "Beer Geek" which I thought was cute if unneccessary.

The help was courteous. I beleive I was asked several times if I needed any help.

Overall all dates seemed within acceptable range and the selection was nice. The huge glassware selection was top notch for sure. It's a bit out of my way so I probably won't make this a regular stop since it really doesn't rival my usual haunts.

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Photo of jester27lax
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%

Made my first trip to Ray's this past weekend and I was incredibly surprised and quite happy with their selection! I read through the reviews and knew I had to make the trip. Their selection of WI craft beers was great and I found some things there I haven't been able to find anywhere. They also have a "Beer Geek" area of some very fine incredibly hard to fine beers. I'm still intrigued by something called "Weazel Bean" or something like that. I would never buy it since I'm not into coffee at all, but the beans are crapped out by weazels and used in the brewing. At $15 a 12oz bottle, I wasn't leaving with that in my bag. I picked up 3 sixers from Aly Asylum (2 Bedlam and 1 Ambergeddon), 3 bottles La Fin du Monde, 3 different La Couffes, 2 Ommegang BPA, and 2 of the Ommegang Tripels. I also picked up 2 Tripel Karmeleit glasses...all for a little less than $100. Not bad, not bad at all.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%

I am glad I was finally able to visit Ray's.
Granted, a vast majority of the store is the huge wine selection, but I gotta say, their beer selection was top notch.
The store itself isnt much to look at from the outside, but going into it caught me off guard.
Ray's has a very good selection of local brew as well as a bunch of imports that I have not seen elsewhere. It also helps that just about all the beer is in open coolers keeping it all nice and cold. What really impressed me was their awesome selection and prices on specialty beer glasswear. I will definitely be going back to buy some Wisconsin beer and buy a few glasses.
If you are in the area, look up Ray's, you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of loubrew
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

I've been going here for years(and years) and they have really upgraded their beer department. They have always been a premier wine shop and have grown into a top end beer shop as well. Very solid selection of local and regional brews and the list of Belgians is fantastic(along with the selection of glassware at very competitive prices).

Overall the prices are in-line and if you look for their half page ads in the Milwaukee Journal, once a month or so, you can get some real good deals(free Fat Tire goblets, $12.99 4packs of Gubna, etc...).

Service has always been helpful and friendly but weekends can get a bit crowded and crazy.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

Finally made my way over here seeing as it is only about 5 minutes from my place. My usual go to's are either Discount or one of the numerous Otto's. This may be my new one. Place looks like the common Milwaukee liquor store, old sign, decent interior and better beer selection.

I do like how they have all their beer in semi open coolers with glass ware above. They have some good beers that you can't really find anywhere else in the state, or to my knowledge. The people there are more than accommodating. I wanted a beer that was only sold in singles and the guy who helped me said I could have it for the 4 pack price. It was only about a dollars difference but it's the little things that count.

Overall a pretty nice shop that has a good selection and some nice people on staff who seem to be pretty knowledgeable. Another good hidden gem that is the Milwaukee Beer Scene.

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Photo of crossovert
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

It's no north avenue just down form the mall in a "downtownish" area. It has a nice decent sized parking lot.

Outside it looks like Discount, inside it is a bit nicer, witch carpeted floors. Most of the beer is in coolers which can be good and bad, they max out the shelf space, above there is an array of moderately priced glassware.

Some say there are more selections here than Discount, but that simply isn't true, while the selection in here is good, there are at least 300 more varieties that I would say Discount has. If you are on the North or West side, this might be your place, but discount is only minutes away anyways.

I didn't have anybody help me, but there was a guy patrolling the beer section who looked like he could be helpful.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -3.1%

What a surprise! I stumbled upon this place while my father-in-law was getting the address of a place plugged into his Garmin. It is pretty big and has most of its beer in coolers along a wall and a half in the corner to your right as you enter the building. They have far more 12oz singles than Discount Liquor and had quite a few beers that I hadn't seen at other places in Milwaukee. The service was okay. It was very busy - New Year's Eve around noon. I didn't buy much because I already dropped a mint at Discount Liquor, however, what I bought was fresh and good. Overall, this place is a hidden gem in not far from downtown Milwaukee.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Ray's is cool. The majority of the beer is in the coolers, a stack of seasonal cases is towards the end. There is a ton of glassware, a ton. Trappist, WI pints, etc. line the top of the coolers in the beer section.

Many import singles, Mikkeller, Cantillon, a few others. Current NG unplugged and a few other craft singles from Ale Asylum, Grand Teton, and others. Saint Somewhere, a couple Jolly Pumpkin, Cantillon, several others. Plently of Belgians paired with their glassware. Fancy vines over the wine area. Carpeting throughout the store, probably helps the bottles bounce. Imports are probably the strong suit here, but there was plenty in the way of local craft options.

Friendly checkout, the guy stocking the beer area answered my beer question easily. Recommended on the west side, but it doesn't hold a candle to Discount...

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.8/5  rDev -8%

Wow. I've heard much of this "Ray's" and it surely lived up to my expectations. Plenty to choose from and probably the best selection I've seen in Wisconsin, when I walked in around 5, it was already starting to get busy with people just off work looking for a relaxing bottle of wine or a cold beer.

I made my way to the beer section and was just stunned. I needed a dubble and a triple for one of my upcoming beer events but ended up looking for probably half an hour.

I was amazed at the selection of various brew they carried plus things I had never seen before and didn't know were available in Wisconsin!

The place was pretty stuffed with product so space was a bit cramped but it's well worth it. They had a section of a lot of Oktoberfests too. That was nice.

The cashiers were the only people working that I saw and it was typical service. Not great but not bad. Quick check-out and they put my armful of beers into a box for me while I payed.

Good prices on most things but I noticed a few bottles of this and that which could have been lower. Hop Juice was about $1.50 more than normal and some 12 oz singles seemed a bit pricier but I haven't seen a lot of them around.

Also, everything was in open faced coolers. Very nice.

For now, I'll keep the quality at average because I have yet to have any of the 5 beers that I picked up (although the 750 of La Fin du Monde is well within its best by date).

It all boils down to too much sun/fluorescent light ruining the beer? We'll see, but, as far out of the way as it is, this might be my go-to place from now on.

EDIT: I forgot to add in there that they also have a TON of glassware for sale. All above the coolers are glasses galore but mainly a large selection of American Tumbler Pints.

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Photo of mynie
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%

Ran into this place out of nowhere. We stayed at a hotel across the street and from the look of its exterior I was thinking I would be lucky if I found any New Glarus (which is what I was looking for) aside from Spotted Cow.

Looks can be deceiving.

This is one of the biggest, freshest, and cheapest single bottle selections I have ever seen. Cooler after cooler full of crafts and imports, including a very good selection of rare and one-off beers. New Glarus unplugged, I just kept shoving more and more bottles into my box and before I knew it I was a little worried, thinking maybe I was spending too much. Of course that was a just plain silly thing to think, seeing as I was in Wisconsin where for some reason beer is all but free.

The decor wasn't too great. It was hot and sweaty in there and the beer isn't grouped together in any kind of logical order (not by style or country or even brewery, sometimes). The place overall had the feel of a dirty little liquor store. Still, the staff was friendly and the selection was great and those are the two most important things.


Upping scores. The place is cleaner now, and every last beer--EVERY LAST BEER--is sold in fresh singles, cold, from a tinted fridge. That's class.

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Photo of rkinsella
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Beautiful beer and wine selection. Almost all of the great imports and craft-brews are chilled!!! Rick the manager/owner is one of the best wine scholars in the area. Extremely friendly and helpful.
Don't be afraid to ask for some suggestions on beer and wine. They take the time to really help you out.

Some great finds here include numerous offerings from Dogfish Head Brewery, Milwaukee based Lakefront Brewery, Cleveland based Great Lakes Brewery, New Glarus, Sam Smiths, Weihenstephan, and a large selection of Trappist Ales. I always manage to stop in when I visit family in Wauwatosa.

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Photo of timmlimestone
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Hey this is the third of the great beer stores in the Milwaukee Area. This is also the nicest of the three. I only wish they would bring out a beer buyers email list. They quite often buy wine in small batches and sell them only through the email list. I am sure the markups could not even come close to that on beer.

This is a wine store. They make their bucks selling wine to Milwaukee aficianados. But the beer section is just as impressive. The line of import bottles has been my challenge for years, and i am still going through it slowly. They rotate stock heavily in the 6er section so the thought of conqering that task is unfathomable. Sometimes there is nothing that sparks you fancy, but there is always something new.

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Photo of botham
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

I've been going to Ray's for a couple months now, and the selection and prices are close to unbeatable compared to the other liquer stores in my area (close to the UWM campus).

Ray's has a phenomenal selection of brews, which keeps me coming back. The store is decent size, and carries a sizable wine section. The staff is knowedgable, always friendly and glad to help.

Imports: great selection, mainly singles. some are pricey, but are well worth it.

MicroBrews: Good selection, would like to see more singles, but six packs are aplenty. (good singles section of Sprecher)

MacroBrews: Pushed to the back wall, taking nothing away from the micros and imports (the way it should be in my opinion).

Glassware: if you are looking for beer glassware, CHECK RAY'S OUT. pint glasses are one dollar ($.99!), and other glasses and mugs are VERY reasonably priced.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%

I visited Ray's at the suggestion of a friend who is a long-time Milwaukee resident. It is a well-organized store with an extensive wine and beer selection. The import selection here is much more interesting than the craft beer selection, although there are many varieties of both. Selection of singles is mostly confined to imports...it seemed to me that most of the US crafts were sold in multipacks.

When I first walked through the door, I noticed most of the floor space is devoted to wine, with all beer in coolers along two walls of the store. The store staff greeted me, but didn't bother me as I scoured through the imported single serves.

Unlike some others, this store is clean and well-organized, and in a way, is a reflection of the rather yuppie-schic Wauwatosa neighborhood which houses it (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Overall, I thought the selection was good, but not great and the level of service seemed fine but not great. This is a nice place, but I feel that my mix of Milwaukee liquor stores satisfies my needs. When I want import selection, Discount; when I want US craft selection (stored in dark fridges), then Breeze-Thru; and when I want service, I drive up to Murray's. While this is a perfectly serviceable store, it just didn't identify a superlative that would bring me back to this store.

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Ray's Wine & Spirits in Wauwatosa, WI
4.13 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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