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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012

Great Places to Buy Beer

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Ray's Wine and Spirits, Wauwatosa
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Buying beer can be as easy as stopping at a convenience store or your local grocery shop. But if you have a discerning palate and an adventurous taste for beer, you are likely looking to take the time to find a shop that stocks with selection and quality in mind. Luckily, the Milwaukee area is blessed with many excellent places to refill your beer fridge.

Three Cellars
(7133 S. 76th St., Franklin) is a great shop for any beer lover. With some 500 varieties of beer to choose from, it is easy to find something new or unusual to try. If making a decision gets too tough, go with the popular “make your own six-pack” option. Perhaps best of all, Three Cellars doesn’t just sell beer and send customers on their way. For a nominal “corking fee,” they will chill and open any beer in their stock to be enjoyed in their comfortable lounge (or patio, in season). Beer tastings are offered 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. Plan ahead for your weekend beer needs, as Three Cellars is closed on Sundays.

With two locations (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee, and 919 N. Barstow Ave., Waukesha), Discount Liquor is a local institution. In operation since 1960, the business has raked in numerous awards over the years for its huge selection and reasonable prices. From a quarter-barrel of Bell’s Oberon to a six-pack of the best Belgians, Discount Liquor has an amazing variety of beer. Free tastings are offered at both locations, mostly on weekends, showcasing new types of beer as well as old favorites. Gluten intolerant? Discount Liquor offers a decent selection for you, too.

Otto’s Wine and Spirits
, another Milwaukee institution, has steadily expanded its presence throughout the metro area since 1945. With seven locations, Otto’s is close to just about every neighborhood. Although “beer” isn’t in the name, Otto’s stores consistently have a very solid beer selection. Local micros, domestics and imports are well represented, with some hard-to-find varieties usually in stock.

Ray’s Wine & Spirits
(8930 W. North Ave.) is well known for its excellent customer service and top-notch beer selection. Special and limited edition brews change frequently (so if you see what you want, buy it, because it may be gone next time you visit). Ray’s also has a full-fledged tasting room above the store. Events may require pre-registration and a small fee, but those who attend come away with a proper education on the event topic.

Bert’s Beer & Liquor
(2523 E. Oklahoma Ave.) stocks more than 100 types of beer. With a fine selection of local and craft beer, as well as a good mix of foreign brews, Bert’s is committed to pleasing its beer-loving customers. Bay View residents can even take advantage of Bert’s free delivery service and have quality beer dropped off right at their door.

Don’t let the size of Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits (2638 N. Downer Ave.) fool you. For a compact store, it takes its beer selection seriously. Step into the refrigerated “beer cave” and marvel at more than 200 varieties of six-packs and more than 100 singles, featuring plenty of local favorites, domestics and imports. Maximize your choices and be rewarded: Save 10% when you buy at least four individual bottles of craft beer.