First visit, September 2016. I kept seeing this place driving between Middleton and the Hilldale shopping center for years and finally stopped by. Itís basically a farm-market-in-a-city, with lots of produce, meat, cheese - not so many dry goods. And alcohol. As others have mentioned, itís 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 youíre looking for top-rated beers - the Steveís 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 whatís here Iím guessing is stuff with few ratings, below the radar. Iím 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 Iíve never seen before. Most of the bottles and cans had no dates on them so it was a gamble, but theyíve been tasting mostly good so far. A few old ones, a few OOC but itís 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 itís fucking cold outside, so it is a bit breezy in here. They had an interesting selection, to say the least. You walk in and thereís a lot of Flying Dog, Avery, and thereís even some Haleís 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 didnít see any Three Floyds, Great Lakes, or Bells. I think theyíre 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 wasnít the greatest place in the world. Quite similar to Trader Joeís, in my opinion. The prices werenít 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 Iíve ever been to. And I love Avery.
An interesting stop for anyone coming to or living in Madison. Instead of being WI-centric, Brennanís 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 itís main characteristics and food pairings. The first think I notice while glancing through the section is that I donít recognize a lot of the beer brandsÖ 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.
Iíve 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 Rileyís, Steveís, and Woodmanís. Namely, they have a good number of Colorado micros that the others donít offer. Nothing earth shattering, mind you, but if youíre 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 Brennanís 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 itís comprised of very average beers from odd midwestern breweries (some in IA and KS represented), common Avery, and the like. This isnít a bad stop, but Iíd prefer Steveís 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 havenít 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 farmerís market more than a traditional grocery store. Again, an underwhelming but inventive single beer bottle section to choose from. Recommended.