3 or 4 visits over the last two years, and a few others over the decade previous; most recently in early June of this year. First off this has a great location - it’s across the street from the Hilldale shopping center which has a Great Dane and Belgian bar-restaurant Café Hollander as well as the Sundance Cinema and several other decent non-chain restaurants. It’s also close to a Whole Foods, and it’s about halfway between Middleton and downtown Madison. The city is pretty spread out and not all of the beer spots are close together, but this is a reasonably concentrated area and so it’s worth knowing that there are a bunch of things to hit up all at once.
As to the store itself, as others have mentioned it’s more wine-oriented and they have a small but nice cheese selection (which I will mention doesn’t compare to the wonderful displays at Metcalfe’s, also at the Hilldale shopping center). Also a pretty terrific selection of Scotch including on the last trip I took 3 different Ardbegs. As to the beer, it’s a very good selection, obviously locally focused but also with a fair number of Belgians, and a larger number of high end ($20+ per bottle) choices than I’ve seen in this area. They also tend to stock Schlenkerla, a personal favorite that isn’t seen everywhere in southern Wisconsin or northern Illinois.
Perhaps a touch pricier than some of it’s competition, but also with more informed service; certainly this or the west location off Mineral Point road should be a must-stop in the area.
Much more than just wine. Great selection of European imports and local fare. the ONLY place I was able to find styro shippers in the entire area, so bonus points for that. Helpful staff and fair prices.
Small with a larger wine selection than beer. However, some hard to find Wisconsin and regional brews. Nice bomber selection. Staff friendly, but not overly helpful. A little on the pricey side
notalush (409) Lakewood, Colorado | April 6, 2009| Updated April 16, 2009
I stumbled across this place this afternoon while driving around the UW campus and environs - I found it to be quite nice, and I actually liked it a lot better than the much lauded Steve’s Liquor and More - it’s a quasi upscale wine and cheese shop, with quite a nice selection of beer - they had the usual wisconsin micros (and a few that I was having a hard time finding), regional micros that are sometimes hard to find in the state (Boulevard [including the IS!], FFF, etc.), and a decent, albeit small import selection (but it had a nice assortment of belgian, danish, etc. beers) - the staff was a bit aloof, but fairly nice - prices were on the high side, but they had a lot more singles than a lot of stores in Wisconsin - I would stop here over the other Steve’s in a heartbeat.
Got incredibly excited when I saw their Dogfish Head and Stone selection. Sell individual bottles at a steep price, but I was so excited to see them that I didn’t care. Rybra didn’t know what to make of me when he saw my eyes light up and I started ranting about World Wide Stout and Hopslam and countless other beers. Kinda expensive, but c’mon, it’s beer.
I really like this store, and stop whenever I am in Madison. It’s in a nice location a little ways off campus, and they have a selection of WI beer that is hard to find elsewhere.. I also found a stash of De Dolle Dulle Teve Special Reserva once! Many of the beers are available in singles, or can be if you ask nicely. They have some gourmet foods, but I didn’t pick anything up.
footbalm (76) Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota | January 1, 2007
Stopped here one saturday morning after having coffee next door at the Panera. I was let down and actually walked out empty handed and drove down to Riley’s. Will not go back
I am moving this comment to here now that there are seperate locations for both Steve’s
Stopped in here today looking in vain for New Glarus Sour Brown. Didn’t find it, but I did find an impressive and different selection than the choices at the other location. Among the highlights were several De Dolle (including Stille Nacht), Three Floyds (Gumbal and Brain Boru) and a nice selection of Belgians. I didn’t get a chance to find out if anyone is as knowledge or passionate as Jan here. I am going to have to start dividing my time between them, although as someone said below the Mineral Point store narrowly edges out this location.