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Apologies for a slightly abbreviated entry this week. But when you’re waging a losing battle against tryptophan and general Thanksgiving lethargy, it’s tough to put together a coherent sentence. (I apologize for assuming that I generally put together coherent sentences.) Friday Night Lites I’ve written a review or two about Discount Liquor in the past, […]


Apologies for a slightly abbreviated entry this week. But when you’re waging a losing battle against tryptophan and general Thanksgiving lethargy, it’s tough to put together a coherent sentence. (I apologize for assuming that I generally put together coherent sentences.)

Friday Night Lites
I’ve written a review or two about Discount Liquor in the past, but I went back to the Milwaukee location (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave., 414-545-2175) strictly for recreational purposes a couple of Fridays ago.

I found a scene as festive as any south side bar, complete with a cool retro neon green glowing sign serving as a beacon on Oklahoma. Ten feet inside the front door was a table filled with samples from Capital Brewery. (What’s more welcoming at a liquor store than free beer?) In the back of the store, Lakefront Brewery co-owner Jim Klisch handed out Lakefront samples to an inquisitive (and apparently thirsty) throng. Just three minutes into my shopping experience I had already sampled two different beers (and bought six packs from both brewers). Clearly I’m an impulse buyer.

(Discount Liquor Tip No. 1: Discount has samples galore on Fridays and Saturdays…like Costco or Sam’s Club, but way more fun and with way less sodium.)

The massive aisle of hundreds of single beers from nearly every country imaginable was filled with discerning beer drinkers. It’s as intimidating an experience as you’ll find in a liquor store.

(Discount Liquor Tip No. 2: It’s not a bad idea to have a game plan when attacking the Great Wall of Beer at Discount. Heading in unprepared is akin to searching for a “good read” in the Library of Congress.)

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My fun trip to Discount ended with me standing in line with a couple of six packs. Two 30-something women in front of me strolled out with a shopping cart full of Miller Lite, a few other cases of beer and a smattering of bottles. Their tab was $290. Discount Liquor on a Friday is all about living large.

Barley Pop of the Week
Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout is a limited creation from the folks in Chippewa Falls. I poured some of the deep black stuff into a pint glass and gave it a shot. Here’s the deal, at 9.5 ABV it’s definitely a sipping beer. But, its coffee flavor and almost sweet fruity finish is pretty smooth for a beer that’s just slightly less potent than rocket fuel. Leinie’s is releasing three more Big Eddys (a Baltic porter, a double India pale ale, and a Scotch ale). The beer can be stored and aged, so get some for your collection before it fades away in January.

Events Brewing
I just talked about Big Eddy Imperial Stout. How convenient. The Rumpus Room hosts Leinie’s master brewer Greg Walter on Thursday, Dec. 1st at 6:30 p.m. Walter will be sharing samples of both the 2010 and 2011 Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stouts. Vertical taste testing of beer? Very high brow, and damn tasty.

Discount Liquor is hosting Randy Sprecher this weekend. On Friday, Dec. 2nd, the Sprecher Brewery owner will be at the Milwaukee location from 4 to 7 p.m. to answer questions and hand out samples. He’ll be at the Waukesha location (919 Barstow St., 262-547-7525) on Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 12 to 3 p.m.

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If you want to make it a Sprecher weekend, the Wisconsin Cheese Mart (1048 N. Old World Third St., 888-482-7700) is offering samples of Sprecher paired with cheese. The cost is $12 in advance or $14 at the door.

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