The Corkscrew

Liked This Place
4.36 w/ 9 Ratings

Type: Store

203 N Vine St
Urbana, Illinois, 61802-2716
United States

(217) 337-7704

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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by bluemoonswoon:
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%

Came across this place when I wasn't really even looking for it. Heard about it before and stopped in. Like many have said before, this place really caters more to the wine drinker (maybe the name is a tip off, I don't know) as the entire beer selection is basically relegated to a two doored cooler. The cooler houses singles only as far as I could tell. The small selection they do have is rather strong and not at all what I was expecting. Lots of sours (maybe because they taste closer to wine?) more than Picadilly had to offer for sure, 120min IPA, Rochefort, Fantome, a number of Great Divide beers I havn't seen before, plus Thomas Hardy and J.W. Lee's going back to 2000! but this really isn't a beer store and it doesn't look as though they move a lot of product so many of these beers could have been languishing for quite some time, albeit in a cooler. A nice little place, and if you happen to be into wine, a fantastic little spot and friendly staff to boot, but as a beer destination, not really anything compared to the wine selection, but maybe if you twisted the manager's arm...???

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More User Reviews:
Photo of champ103
3.75/5  rDev -14%

This is a wine store that has a really unique selection of beer. All the beer is in two coolers in the back, or on the floor right next to the cooler. Everything is sold in singles. I was kind of put off that most the stuff was in a really cold cooler with the light shining on everything. It does not seem like the best set up for this.

There is a good variety of US micros and European imports. Some Lost Abbey, Founders, Goose Island, Bells, Cantillon, some vintage JW Lees Harvest Ales, and some more. I was very happy to find Old Rasputin XII. Lots of other sour and funky beers as well. Not a huge number of bottles, or rows and rows of shelves. Though a very high quality selection. The service was good, but I did not really need much help. Overall a place that you can find some interesting and unique beers that might not be at the other beer stores around Champaign/Urbana. Especially if you like funky and sour beers.

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Photo of redjameskidd
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Really nice place to buy wine. Not really a beer vendor, though.

They have racks and racks of wine from all over the world. French, American, south american, italian, European, etc. The selection of hard liquor (all higher end stuff) probably outstrips the beer as well.

They have wine and beer tastings on weekends; keep an eye out.

The beer is all in one cooler stand in the back. Decent selection of microbrew and european stuff. Sometimes they'll be tasting it, so you might get to try before you buy.

Very, very helpful staff. They seem to have personally tried every single item in the store. At the very least they can tell you about anything.

You should really think of this as a wine place, though. It's called "Corkscrew" for a reason. In terms of wine amount, it's probably 2nd in town after Friar Tuck; in terms of quality I'd expect it is probably #1.

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Photo of klewis
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%

The Corkscrew is a very nice beer store overall. The staff here was attentive, helpful, knowledgable, and very friendly - in fact, ideal for a beer store. The store has lots of nice stuff that I can't find in Ohio and has a broad variety of styles and breweries. The selection was quite good, but the fact that one may only purchase single bottles (no 6ers or 12 packs) is less than ideal. I haven't bought any beer in Illinois for a long time, but the bottles seemed to be very well-priced and reasonable. Check it out.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%

convinced some co-workers that we should stop at the Corkscrew so i could buy some beer. Went in and it was obviously mainly a wine place, but i was beer in the back coolers so we went back there. 2 coolers, almost all singles, almost all of these were craft brews and a lot of them ones i've been looking to try. bought a mixed sixer: Celis wit, Celis Grand Cru, Victory Old Horizontal, Abita Restoration Ale, Atomium Grand Cru, and something else but i've forgotten. As i was leaving the cashier told me they had tastings every friday or sunday or something and then we got in a discussion about Dark Lord, which he's tried and said is great. cool. I'd go back for the nice selection that looks like it changes around a bit.

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Photo of bluejacket74
5/5  rDev +14.7%

I was in town to watch a football game a few days ago, so I figured I'd stop in and see what they had. This is mainly a wine store, but in the back of the store there was some coolers of beer and some other small displays of beer, all of which were singles which was pretty nice. Everything they sell there is quality stuff, no BMC at all. I was able to get some Bear Republic, Avery, Founders and Rochefort, among many others. I even found a bottle of Samichlaus there too.

The staff was very nice and knowledgable, so if you're ever in the Champaign/Urbana area make sure to stop at the Corkscrew. It's well worth the trip. I know whenever I'm in the area again, I'll be stopping there for sure.


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Photo of GreenWBush
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%

Stopped by Champaign/Urbana for a Spoon unfortunately turned out to be the worst possible night to try to stay in town, what with a UI/Wisconsin football game going on the next day. No hotel rooms for 50+ miles. This threw a serious hitch into the beer drinking.

Anyways I knew i'd have to hit up The Corkscrew to pick up some singles I can't get in the area. They do it right here, keeping a cooler full of singles. The focus is US micros but also a better than average selection of British and German beers, including Uerige and Mahr's, which we can't get around here.

The pricing was great - especially considering you get everything by the single. I was able to pick up some Victory (which I can't get in Indiana) as well as Bear Republic, which I hadn't seen since California. Turns out a student at U of I lives in Cali and is a family friend of the Republic so they pulled some strings to get it in this area. This was the only thing I found to be sort of out of date, but still, BR is great and its nice to try it again.

Everyone seemed to know their stuff and treated us very well.

Nice Single Malt Scotch collection, by the way.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%

I stopped in here on my way down to Kentucky recently. The store is directly off of I-74..not more than a mile making it a very convenient stop. Upon entering you immediately see a huge selection of wine nicely laid out in wooden racks and seperated by country. It's pretty obvious off the bat that this store is more skewed towards wine. However...once you get to the back you find the large beer coolers.

All the beer is kept in the coolers, sans a few sixers and 750's such as Fantome Black Ghost and Goliath. The coolers are made up entirely of singles!!! This is very nice as most places in the Chicago suburbs don't carry singles. There's what seems to be a hand picked selection of various brews from Rogue, Two Brothers, Dogfish Head, Bell's, Three Floyds and more....along with a good smattering of imports as well. However, if you're used to larger beer stores, you might be disappointed by the size of the selection. They focus on particularly good beers...but I'd still like to see a wider selection of different brews to choose from as I was only able to find a few things I hadn't tried before or could not get locally.

Both of the guys working there were extremely friendly and offered to help me out if I needed anything or had any questions. They chatted with us for awhile when I told them we were on our way to Kentucky. This is the friendly atmosphere I look for when I walk into a store! Overall, the prices were good and the quality was good...I just think they need to expand the beer selection more to be as far reaching as their massive wine selection....then this store would be truly great.

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Photo of kmpitz2
5/5  rDev +14.7%

I have to say, this was the best expreience I have ever had with a beer store. As the name may lead you, this store focuses on wine. All the beer they have is in a large cooler in the back of the store, but there some interesting and exciting beers that I can not find around Lexington, such as some from Fantome and Cantillon, along with some American micros. We walked in about 5 minutes after they opened, and the beer man Drew immediately asked if there was anything he could help with. He talked with us for almost 20 minutes, discussing the different beers and his opinion on them. I overheard him talking with another patron about their beer tasting which happened to be later that afternoon. We returned and found a nice selection of Belgian ales to taste. But it gets better. He had a growler of Masala Mamma from Town Hall. I have been plotting how to get some of this beer, and by my dumb luck, it fell into my lap. He didn't even charge for the tasting that day either. If there is any shortcoming of this place it is that there focus is wine, but I don't know how much craft beer is comsumed in central IL, so you have to pay the bills. I will definately stop back into this store again every time I drive through on 74 while visiting my friends back home.

Edit: I have to give these folks here all 5's. Their selection, though only 2 refrigerated cases, has so many great beers every time I am there. They rotate stock through and keep only fresh beer around. They always have about 250 dollars worth of beer that I would like to take home with me, so how can the selection be anything less than excellent. They also undercut one of the large, supermarket-like liquor stores in the area, so value is very good here. Since everything they carry is craft or import, things are expensive, but less than other stores in the area. What a wonderful store with wonderful people working that always take the time to talk with me and even share a beer with me when I stop in.

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The Corkscrew in Urbana, IL
Place rating: - out of 100 with 9 ratings
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