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Where to Buy
If you want to do more than pick up a six-pack of domestic, it pays to go where people know Imperial Black India Pale Ale from Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. Here are seven of the best local locations to take home rare, unique and seasonal craft brews.

By Tim Cigelske

Photo of Three Cellars by Chris Kessler

A warning: Walk in and you may never want to leave. The selection isn’t as expansive as elsewhere – though 500-plus isn’t shabby – but free tastings, rotating seasonal taps, leather couches, happy-hour treats, a beautiful new patio and friendly servers make it an inviting hangout. 7133 S. 76th St., Franklin

Ray’s is a fixture of the wine scene, featuring more than 8,000 varieties, but it also boasts an incredible selection of more than 1,000 craft beers. In a room devoted to beverage education, Ray’s hosts in-depth classes, including blind taste tests run by brewers like Russ Klisch of Lakefront Brewery. 8930 W. North Ave.

Come for the food, stay for the craft beer. The expanded Bay View Italian market added a bar to its back room for tastings, growler fills or just enjoying a rare sour beer or unique seasonal. 1441 E. Russell Ave.

This boutique market that started in Monroe is known for being artisan in all things from cheese to olive oil. Craft beer is no exception. At its two Milwaukee-area locations, you can find obscure beers from a small Amish community in Iowa to the big hop bombs of Colorado. 19000 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield; 1670 Old School House Rd., Oconomowoc

Don’t let the warehouse feel and stock of house-party beer fool you. Otto’s has tucked-away shelves of specialty bombers, such as rare Belgians, and coolers full of American-style craft beer. Otto’s has seven locations throughout the region, including its well-known East Side store. 3476 N. Oakland Ave.

If you want a beer made at any corner of  the globe, from Atomium (a Belgian grand cru) to Zatec (a Czech lager), check out Discount Liquor. The store also carries nearly 40 types of barrels and can do special orders of what they don’t keep in stock. 5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.; 919 Barstow St., Waukesha

This East Side store may be on the small side, but every beer is selected with quality in mind. Downer has more than 200 six-packs of craft beer along with single bottles for do-it-yourself six-packs. 2638 N. Downer Ave.

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gloriosos Posted: 6/20/2012 1:27:41 PM
 0   0    

Glorioso's Italian Market at 1011 E Brady St, also has a fine, newly-expanded craft beer selection.
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