First visit, September 2016. I kept seeing this place driving between Middleton and the Hilldale shopping center for years and finally stopped by. It’s basically a farm-market-in-a-city, with lots of produce, meat, cheese - not so many dry goods. And alcohol. As others have mentioned, it’s a weird selection - more beers from Idaho than Wisconsin it seems, and also lots of other mountain & western states - Washington, Oregon, Montana, and even an elusive (in this area) Wyoming choice. Several ciders as well. Obviously not the "best" selection if you’re looking for top-rated beers - the Steve’s on University a couple miles East would be your best nearby bet for that - but an interesting and unusual selection to say the least - a lot of what’s here I’m guessing is stuff with few ratings, below the radar. I’m cool with that, at least occasionally.
Stopped by here on my way out of Madison after GTMW, was looking for a place to pick up a case of single local bottles. This place satisfied. They have a pretty decent selection of hyper local singles, lots of labels I’ve never seen before. Most of the bottles and cans had no dates on them so it was a gamble, but they’ve been tasting mostly good so far. A few old ones, a few OOC but it’s not worse than I expected. Easy parking. Place is a grocery store pretty much, kind of like a more dimly lit whole foods vibe. The way the singles work, you get to fill 6pks for a set 6pk price (some exceptions). Pretty reasonable value, at $9 a six-pack I think it was... Staff was pretty nice, as much as they could be. A cool place to pick up some local singles overall. I left satisfied, with nearly 2 cases of new stuff for myself.
I agree with a lot of the other comments. This is an open market, even when it’s fucking cold outside, so it is a bit breezy in here. They had an interesting selection, to say the least. You walk in and there’s a lot of Flying Dog, Avery, and there’s even some Hale’s stuff from back home. Hales? What the fuck is Troll Porter doing in Wisconsin? I saw some Ale Asylum, New Glarus, and what I believe to be a few other local brews. I didn’t see any Three Floyds, Great Lakes, or Bells. I think they’re catering to a specific market here. There are lots of bottles strewn out in a very particular section of the store. The selection is great, for an out-of-towner looking for a few specific local offerings, but overall, this wasn’t the greatest place in the world. Quite similar to Trader Joe’s, in my opinion. The prices weren’t out-of-line, from what I saw.
Super cold, I think they forgot to turn on the heat. This store has waaayy too many crappy Western Craft brands. The only redeeming quality in this is that they have a lot of Flying Dog and wayyyyyy more Avery than any other store I’ve ever been to. And I love Avery.
An interesting stop for anyone coming to or living in Madison. Instead of being WI-centric, Brennan’s is the spot in town to pick up interesting Mountain and Northwest states beer. You can make mix 6packs for 7.99. Huge selection of produce and cheeses. You could cerainly put together a nice tasting here, though the food prices are a touch on the high end. Worth checking out.
Liquor department tucked in the back of a grocery store that has some tasty samples. First thing you see when you walk in the liquor store is a build your own singles section with the beers organized by type and signs informing you of the type of beer and it’s main characteristics and food pairings. The first think I notice while glancing through the section is that I don’t recognize a lot of the beer brands… El Toro, Estes Park, Yellowstone Valley, Palisade Brewery along with a handful of stuff I had seen (Avery/Millstream/Great Divide/Capital/etc). While looking through the beers, the liquor area manager Nick came over a let me know they were sampling the beers. Nice. They had five beers to try, nothing spectacular but nothing offensive either. He even gave me a list of all of beers the carry. Build you own six packs were reasonably priced at 7.99 or 29.99 for a case.
I’ve been here a handful of times. Small market specializing in produce, cheese, and meats. Nice place worthy of note because they fill a small beer niche not covered by Riley’s, Steve’s, and Woodman’s. Namely, they have a good number of Colorado micros that the others don’t offer. Nothing earth shattering, mind you, but if you’re a Colorado beer nut or something, this is your place. They also have a typical selection of local micros and I most recently noticed a smattering from Kansas. Try the cheeses as you stroll through.
This Brennan’s had the usual assortment of foods, cheeses, and produce, but I found the beer selection to be mediocre for the chain. They have a nice build your own six pack selection, but it’s comprised of very average beers from odd midwestern breweries (some in IA and KS represented), common Avery, and the like. This isn’t a bad stop, but I’d prefer Steve’s right down the street.
***Middleton location. Very nice beer selection available in six-packs, singles, and build your owns. Decent Wisconsin and Mountain state selections for individual bottles. My personal "Build Your Own" sixer was comprised of mostly mountain states and New England state breweries. Nothing top of the line, but a great place to go for a sixer of beers that you haven’t yet rated. The cheese and seafood looked very good, as did the frozen fruit medleys and vegetable compositions in the freezers. A nice large produce section greeted me upon entry. Really only had produce, dairy, and meat/seafood, but I can imagine a civilized shopper going here for those three food groups. Felt like a farmer’s market more than a traditional grocery store. Again, an underwhelming but inventive single beer bottle section to choose from. Recommended.