Cork & Bottle Liquor Store

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Cork & Bottle Liquor StoreCork & Bottle Liquor Store
8 Ratings
Cork & Bottle Liquor StoreCork & Bottle Liquor Store

Type: Store

855 E. Johnson St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States

(608) 256-3620 | map

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Added by cokes

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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of Rilesmiles
3.43/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Tiny store in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood that reminded me of Star Liquor on a micro scale. An old sign on the wall hinted at the building's former life as a grocery. Creaky old wooden floors, worn wooden counter and shelving. Impressive whiskey selection, which the store seemed most devoted to, also to wine.

Beers were mostly all in coolers in the back, maybe 8 doors or so. One with assorted imports, Belgian, German, Euro, English, sort of a mishmash. To the left was an assortment of 5 Mob Craft bombers, a couple O'so 750s, New Glarus Raspberry Tart, and a few other random things. To the right was an assortment of 3 Epic Ales including Big Bad Baptist. New Glarus wise they also had Scream, Moon Man, and Spotted Cow. A few craft staples like Sierra Nevada and Anchor seasonals, handful of macros and random filler.

Nearly 10 years later the Dane's review rings pretty true. I'd say the main thing limiting this store is the size of selection and randomness of it all. Its quaint old timey vibe is kind of nice, and the staff were nice enough. Overall it's more of a stop if you're local type of place, and not a destination by any means, but an ok shop. A couple blocks from Forequarter and the Caribou.

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Photo of tyleeis
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of Florida9
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Happened across this store while taking my kid to the rock shop across the street. Decided to pop in and see what they had.
Was mainly looking for NG's Apple Ale at the time, but alas, this store didn't carry a single bottle of NG Thumbprint beer. Actually, most of the beers they carried were just the flagship beers of the respective breweries. So while there were some decent, Wisconsin brewers being represented in the coolers to the back of the store, what was on offer is exactly what was on offer virtually everywhere else. That said, at least this place carries some decent craft beers (though, in Wisconsin, thats not saying much).
Store itself is small, dingy, and old. It feels like it has been in that same location selling booze for longer than I've been alive. Prices are a dollar or two higher a six pack than the bigger chains, but thats to be expected with a neighborhood store.
Service was mediocre. The young guy working the counter didn't know anything about beer whereas the older guy (presumably the owner) steered me towards a Furthermore Fallen Apple, explaining to me it was a better beer than the one I was seeking. All I can say about that is that he was wrong. Dead wrong. Appreciate the effort, but the advice was pretty far off.
In the end, I imagine if you live in the neighborhood, it would make a good place for a beer run, but otherwise I couldn't recommend this one to out-of-towners.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%

Located in a nice eclectic near east side neighborhood on east johnson

This is a neighborhood does not have a lot of room and just has a few small coolers of beer. Fortunately the quality is pretty good and they seem to be on top of new distributions to the area. This was the first place I saw Dark Horse beers hit the shelf and they also had DFH Liquor de Malt, both at cheaper prices than Rileys I believe

Service is fine but I question whether they really know what they are talking about...shopkeep seemed confused on how NG unpluggeds work and someone on the phone told blackie that they had NG cherry stout, when she really meant belgian red. oh well, i dont need help

Selection is small but quality...expect to find most of the local gems here and a standout here and there... worth a stop occassionally for locals but no reason to suggest out of towners to stop here given the larger beer stores in the area

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Comparable to Star Liquors on the other side of the Isthmus with a slightly smaller selection and a far less cool staff. I’ll always have a soft spot for this shop because it was here that I bought my first bottle of Ommengang. Better for wine and scotch than beer but still a fine stop if you’re in the area. Plenty of Capital, New Glarus, Berghoff, Leinies, etc… Plenty of swill too. Decent but typical imports. Even an average liquor store like this in Madison blows away the best liquor stores in most other cities of our size.

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Photo of longarm
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%

This is a decent neighborhood liquor store. The selection is quite limited, but it is possible to find quality craft brews and seasonals. They have a fairly good selection from south central Wisconsin, including Berghoff, New Glarus, Capital and some lesser known labels from the area. Also have a few choice belgians and other imports, along with a few of the better known national craft distributors such as Sierra Nevada, Red Hook and Kalamazoo. There is not much else. The selection of wines and top shelf whiskey labels, however, is quite good.

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Photo of cokes
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

Nice little neighborhood liquor store with an emphasis on quality. Selection is seemingly limited, but a closure examination will primarily choice brews. Complete (or near complete) lines of Dogfish, and K'zoo, plus quite a few WI brews (however, this could be improved). A few Belgians and some other good imports.
Staff is always attentive, friendly and helpful.
Nice place, and one of the better stores on the eastside. But there are superior options in town.

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Cork & Bottle Liquor Store in Madison, WI
Place rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 8 ratings