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Sam's Wines & Spirits

Not Rated.
Sam's Wines & SpiritsSam's Wines & Spirits
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 6.43%
[ Store ]

2010 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, Illinois, 60515
United States
phone: (630) 705-9463
// CLOSED //



Notes:
The company was bought by Binny's.
New store page:
 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/21368 

(Place added by: jackndan)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MrMcGibblets:
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4/5  rDev -4.8%

big, nice, new, and clean. conveniently located near the expressway. the beer selection is good but not great. lots of domestic macros and macro imports. domestic microbrew selection is not great. they carry 3f's, for example, but no alpha king left. not much in the way of domestic specialty/seasonal bombers. had some great divide, north coast, goose, anchor, and other usual suspects in illinois. pretty good selection of german and belgian singles, this would be the highlight of this store. service is helpful but i get the feeling they don't know much about beer. i asked to see the glassware section and was cheerily led to it, but there were literally just a couple unlabled beer glasses. this place seems more focused on wine and liquors. they were holding a wine education class when i went. they also have a fine cheese/deli section to pair with your beers. and if you want something really good cold, it's mostly macros in the cooler.

ok, i went back for a 2nd time and have a different impression. service was very helful, 2 people helped me get a fresh case from way up top, very friendly. also the cheese guy (jon?) was very helpful and very knowledgeable about beer. their selection of domestic micros is much better than i previously realized on my quick first visit. this is the best place in the western suburbs to buy beer. prices were at or below what i have seen elsewhere. i would love it if they allowed mixed sixers.

MrMcGibblets, May 07, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of spointon
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

I visited on 12/27/2008.

This place is super easy to get to (as long as it is not rush hour) as it is very near both I-88 and I-355. Parking was a cinch as there is a huge lot right out the front doors.

Upon entering, I realized that this is just the alcohol version of a big box store like Home Depot or Lowes. Lots of lighting, industrial shelving, and alcohol!

The beer section of the store was off to the left of center as I entered the store. There were two mediuim length aisles of warm beer plus a bunch of free-standing pile/displays of craft six and twelve packs. I was pleased to see a mix your own 6 pack offer, but not many of the beers in that section were terribly great. The cold beer stretched down one whole wall and offered a great selection of mostly American craft brews.

The diversity of the overall selection was pretty solid, but no better that Binny's in my opinion. Prices were fair (not too high nor particularly low either). Service was friendly and on the ball.

All in all, a very good store that I will shop at when I am in the area, but since there is a Binny's closer to my house and that chain is every bit as good or better, I will shop there more often.

spointon, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.2/5  rDev 0%

Was a real pain in the ass to get to in the rain and rush hour traffic but finally made it out here. Much cleaner than the Chicago location near goose island, probably because this place is a great deal newer. Reminds me a bit of a Costco, lots of high industrial sized shelves filled to the brim with beer and wine. Right in the middle of the store is the beer section, two full aisles of beers, one side dedicated to imports (mostly singles) and the other side dedicated to domestics (mostly sixers) with end caps filled out with a decent sized selection of domestic bombers. Big bank of coolers which house about half the beer that is kept in warm storage. There is also a small mix a six section that I don't find at most big stores.

Service was very hands on, I was there for about 20 minutes and had no less than 4 people come up to me and ask me if I needed any help. One of the guys was very informed and if I wanted to spend some more time there, would probably be a good contact to have.

As far as selection goes it's pretty standard. Very strong, lots of breweries entire line ups are available, plus they had some Broodoo left, but for the really had to find stuff it's had to beat West Lakeview or Armenetti's in the city.

bluemoonswoon, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of tuo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I stop at this place every time I am near it. The beer section is in the northwest corner of the store. Think of a Costco or Sam's club and then replace the food with beer, that is how the aisle's are laid out. They have a great selection of beers from around the world sorted by the country of origin. On the other side of the aisle is all your micro's from around the country. They also have a nice cooler with a decent selection of Micro's already chilled if you are in a hurry.

Talking to anyone who is around the beer aisle is a great idea, they are very knowledgeable and can pretty much answer any questions you have. When I was there I asked if they were going to carry any of the michelob craft brew series and he said he would talk to his Rep. and low and behold the next week he had some in stock.

Great place to get great beer.

tuo, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

huge warehouse type place that has 2 full aisles of beer. one side is world brews with a large selection from all over the world. Belgium is represented here better than in any other store i have ever been to. the other side is dedicated to american micro brews. recently it has appeared picked over every time i have gone there, and they tend to be pretty slow getting new beers compared to their competitors.

everyone i see around the beer aisles are quick to help, and usually have some recommendations of their own. checkout is always quick and hassle free.

sams tends to be the cheapest place around by a dollar or two/bottle. the location is perfect for out of towners or people from farther away. it can be seen from the exit ramp of the highway.

jwinship83, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of MillRat
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

A very respectable selection of brew for a suburban location. There's an aisle of the usual pyramids of 30-packs for the unenlightened, but the feature is the double-sided warehouse rack with both singles and sixers, with one side imports grouped by country and the other side craft brews by brewer. A thorough selection without getting so esoteric that the stock sits for years. In the far back left corner or the store is a walk-in cooler with a couple of wood racks of specialty 750 ml bottles of some very interesting offerings. The last time I stopped by I ran into Gothean, and the beer guy that clued us in to the selection in walk-in cooler is a newbie homebrewer. A great find in the west suburban beer desert, convenient to both I-355 and I-88.

MillRat, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of balconybrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Go see "the beer guy." He'll take care of you. Check the reccomendations (wine mostly, but you'll find some beers in there.) Timing is everything. I have been on some days where they are fully stocked and other days where I came too late. I never leave empty handed, though. They have something for everyone. Prices are what you would expect. I have never had a problem with service. Anything I have purchased has been within the "to be served" date. The check out was friendly and carded me.

balconybrew, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Stopped into this behemoth of a store recently...

What's fun is when you make it to the designated beer area (back and to the left) you can stare at cases of beer stacked up to the rafters. 3 varieties of Fantome, 5 De Dolle, plenty of lambics. One side of the beer aisle is imports, cleanly arranged by country of origin. Around the corner is all manner of US craft brew.

5 varieties of Jolly Pumpkin, many Arcadia, Bare Tree '06...not bad. There seems to be something for everyone. Lakefront, Flying Dog, including BA Gonzo, lots of New Holland. Victor/Victoria. They seem to showcase the full lines from a few different breweries.

Checkout was friendly enough, no one was helping in the beer area, yet I spied at least 10 employees on the way in and out. Prices were what you'd expect for the area. Overall, it's still in the shadow of the main Sam's location downtown.

emerge077, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of joe1510
4.2/5  rDev 0%

Sam's has been my go to place for some time now. Great quality of brews from across the world. Every beer I've purchesed from Sam's has been in good shape.

I can't really say much about the service. I've never asked for help and no one has ever asked me if I needed any.

The selection is the high point of shopping at Sam's. Shelves of Belgian's, German's, English and everythign in between. A big isle stacked full of American craft brews along with a big cooler selection of much of what is on the shelves. Good place to find a lot of the newer offerings and harder to find seasonals and special releases. Huge wine and spirits selections along with a deli. The deli is stocked full of specialty cheeses.

Prices are fairly reasonable. There's always a few good beers on sale if you use the Sam's card. Great place to shop.

joe1510, May 20, 2007
Photo of brdc
4.2/5  rDev 0%

This is a very good place.
Easy parking right in front of the store, ample hallways easy to maneuver a large shopping cart (hey, it is a very long trip for me, I stockpile).
The staff is very helpful, but a lot of them know their ways about wines better than they know about beers.
Selection is very good, with ample selection of american and imprted brews. Of course, there is always one or two missing, but it is very good nonetheless.
It is a bit pricey but well worthwhile - from now on every trip to Chicago will include a stop there.

PS: wine selection is also pretty decent.

brdc, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of JeffKrenner
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

I stop here every time I am in Wheaton visiting the in laws since it is so close. They have yet to disappoint.

Big aisle of craft beers. Well represented are Three Floyds, Great Lakes, Anderson Valley, Ommegang, Allagash, New Holland, etc al. Go to the other side of the rack for all the imports. Usually this is a quick jaunt for me as I can get most of the same imports back in MN, but there was a hidden gem in there this time. Was very pleased to see Peche Mortel sitting up on the shelf and was even happier to only leave one bottle.

Every time I have been there everyone working has been very friendly and helpful. Worth a stop if you are in the area.

JeffKrenner, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

When I saw that Sam's had opened a store near where I was staying for an event in Oak Brook I was ecstatic. I was not let down by any stretch of the imagination. This place is massive and easily blows away anything we have in my area in that regard. They had an excellent selection of stuff that I can't get back home, including Three Floyds, which I was very happy about. Unfortunately no Hair of the Dog here! What gives? Anyway, a very good selection of imports and local domestics, quite a few six packs and larger bottles refrigerated. Prices weren't bad by Chicago standards at all. They also have a truly excellent Scotch selection, some stuff hard to find anywhere from defunct distilleries. Service was great, I was asked if I needed help a few times, but there was no pressure some little dweeb trying to sell me his favorite beer which happens all too often. I got some strange looks as I was wearing my kilt, but hey, that's all the fun of wearing one in the first place.

I will defintely return.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Look for the giant orange Home Depot and the Sam's is tucked in beside it. This place is about 1/4 of the size of the Chicago Sam's but I left with a full basket all the same.

When I walked in I was greeted by tower of Fat Tire cases that are almost as ubiquitous as construction signs in Chicago. Back to the right is a small row of beer cases then a row of imports followed by a row of American craft beer. They have the beer on shelves that are from the floor to about 7 feet high so make sure not to miss the top row. Behind the rows are 14 doors to the coolers full of 6-pack and a few large bottles. They have all the usual suspects from England, Germany and Belgium. In the craft beer section I was surprised to see quite a few beers from Lagunitas and a few other brands that I don't see around here.

I went in on a Friday afternoon and it wasn't very busy with the only real staff were stocking wine and beer and didn't really have time to help with questions. The checkout person was friendly but I think he was learning the computer system and didn't say much about my purchases.

rhoadsrage, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Visited this place in November of 05. Huge warehouse of wines, liquors, and beer. Also had some food (cheese and gourmet-type items).

A good ten feet of Belgians with shelves from the floor to eye-high. All (but one, of course) of the Trappists, Bernardus 8 and 12, and others.

Huge row of American micros - Three Floyds, Rogue, Stone, Goose Island, usual suspects.

HUGE kudos for service; I asked about other Three Floyds' beers (they had Alpha Klaus on the shelves); the guy went into the back and gave me their last two bombers of Gumballhead, which I guess they'd been keeping for themselves.

Prufrock, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

have family in naperville, this place is right on the way

nice location, literally right off 355

similar but definately smaller than the downtown location...even still, this place is huge. big focus on wine, with a huge liquor and beer selection to go with as well as a little gourmet foods section

well staffed, although i usually avoid any assistance

selection is pretty solid....one long row of belgians and some other imports, another long row of US micro six packs, some cooler space featuring mostly US micro stuff and some macros.

selection of belgians is well over my head but i dont think it was as large as downtown....as far as micros...lots of bell's, founders, lagunitas, rogue, capital (good to see), sprecher, anchor, arcadia, new holland, three floyds (alpha klaus)...was a little dissapointed to not see hair of the dog brews at this location

prices seemed a little obscene for some things (left hand bombers high gravs especially) but most other stuff well in line with the expected. nice suburban stop, a million times more accessible than the lincoln park area location

dirtylou, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of Bumpon10s
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%

Having visited the Sam's in Chicago, this didn't quite compare, much less beer, and much, much less liquor. Their prices were pretty good, on par with everyone else in this area. The service is where it slipped, I maybe even ranked it higher than it deserved, no one bothered to help me even though I was there about a half hour, I only got to talk to the cashier who lied about their exclusivity for certian lines. I wasn't terribly impressed by this one, I will visit thier location in Chicago again, but if I want to stay local I'll stay at Binny's.

Bumpon10s, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of thechaacster
4/5  rDev -4.8%

I came across this store on a sojourn out to the Yorktown mall. Really enormous warehouse store with the vast majority dedicated to wine. The beer department is really very nice though, with five rows: two rows of closed cases (mostly 12-packs of the usual suspects), one row of imports (mostly singles, lots of Belgians), one row of domestic micros (including some stuff I haven't seen elsewhere in the area, i.e. Three Floyds Gumballhead), and one row of coolers with 6-packs and singles. Prices were mostly comparable to other places, though I did find a few bargains, including Young's varieties for $1.99 a bottle. The gentleman in the beer department was happy to make recommendations and the girl at the register was also polite. Three registers were running, so despite being crowded there was no wait. I'll definitely be coming back here, as this is a nice "superstore" that is a little closer to me than Binny's in Glen Ellyn.

thechaacster, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.45/5  rDev +6%

This is a warehouse like establishment. Walking in, I really had no idea where to find the beer. Luckily I had a friend with me that could direct me. There were 2 large isled of beer, one domestic and one import. Lots of great things I had never found before, including Dutchess de Bourgogne, Achelese Kluis, Cantillon 100%Bio to name a few. There were no splitting 6-packs, so that kept me from getting any of those, but there were enough big bottles and imports for my taste. From my experience, the prices were VERY high, but I am not living in Chicago, so I imagine that it is relative for the area. If you are visiting from out of state, the price is gonna hit you I think. We had folks ask us a few times if we needed any help, which was nice. They even had folks around with samples of Nora beers, so that was nice to get a taste of. Overall, a stop I will make again, but I will definately be bringing more money.

kmpitz2, May 02, 2005
Photo of sweethome
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

I have been to the Chicago location many times over the years, so I was pleased when this opened close to home.

Wine selection seems a little smaller than in the city, but the beer selection and setup is better in my opinion. US micro selection is very good: Avery, Great Divide, Boulder, Rogue. Great midwest selection: Goose Island, Two Brothers, Capital, Bells, New Holland, Great Lakes, Lakefront, Three Floyds. A few east coasters too: Victory, Allagash, Dogfish Head.

Equal sized section of imports - good belgian section, ok german, good British section, and the Hitachino beers from Japan.

Service is good - always someone to ask what you need. The guys in the beer section had ok knowledge, but one guy kept mentioning "garlic clove" taste of belgians.. Say what??

A great place to get quality beer in the western suburbs.

While you are in the area, skip over to Binny's in Glen Ellyn who has a few Sams does not.

sweethome, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of keilerdunkel
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

I finally have had a chance to venture down here and I am glad I did. They have a large selection of beers, many of which I have only seen here. They are organized by country in one aisle and then the micros are in the next aisle over. They also have a good variety stored in the coolers.

The reward club is a nice feature as they have rotating discounts associated with it with usually between 50 cents - to $1 off. You can either select miles (AA) or a gift certificate as the reward.

All in all, a very good store that is comparable to the one in the city for selection. What is even better, is the added competition will also cause some of the other local stores to stock a wider variety as well. I will make this part of my normal rotation of stores I visit.

keilerdunkel, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I am so very happy that Sam's has opened a suburban location, and I'll be damned if it isn't directly on my way to work in the morning. This place is a beer loves dream come true. There is a massive amount of import and micobrews here...all sorted by country. There Belgian selection is massive. Everything is priced pretty average for what I've seen around the Chicagoland area...they do have Rewards Club sales that are very nice as well.

I've been here a few times now and the staff has always been courteous and helpful...asking if I need help with anything. I could honestly blow my whole paycheck here easily. They seem to get seasonal stock in quickly from all the micros and every time I go there they have something new. This is not to be missed if you are in the suburban area....definetly one of my new faves.

orbitalr0x, Oct 06, 2004
Photo of Redrover
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I enjoyed my visit to the suburban little brother of Sam’s. Sam’s is one of my favorite beer/liquor stores, so I had high expectations for the new outpost. I was not disappointed.

While it is obvious that they are still working a few kinks out, there is no doubt that this will be a great store. The selection is large, I would say about 75% as large as the city outpost and it is easier to navigate. All of the Midwest favorites, plus plenty of East & West Coast micros. A massive import section.. I noticed that they have less Eastern European offerings in the suburban location and more Belgians, UK & German offerings.

They also carry a large selection of quality keg beers and they will special order for you. My special order was in four days after I placed it. They were very good about follow-up communication as well.

Massive selection of wines. They probably carry 50% more than most large liquor stores and that is still only about ½ of the selection they carry at the downtown store. They also have a very nice upscale deli.

The prices are in-line with most of their local competition. Look for the good sales as they can help your bottom line. They will also offer discounts. For example, if you buy 20 or more loose hefes, they give you a case discount of 5%.

The service was outstanding. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I actually felt happy to be spending my money : )

I’m very glad to have this store on the local scene.

Redrover, Sep 24, 2004
Photo of livin4jc
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Ok, this store has not had their grand-opening yet. I was there last Friday on day three, so I do note that the store did not look complete. This store is in an old Petsmart store just off the I-355 (next to Home Depot - get your tools and get the beverages). My first impressions were that the store seemed smaller than their Marcey Street. They do have a large deli, however behind the deli is a lot of empty space (perhaps contributing to my smaller-store impression).

They were very well stocked. They had a good selection. One Aisle had Imports, sorted by country, another Aisle had the domestic craft beers. The cheap beers are in an area by themself, and in the back of the cooler in a small cooler room or a few uprights in front of the room. I was impressed by the number of craft brews in the refrigerated section. My beloved Koestritzer was there as well as on the shelf in ample supply. They also had cases of craft brews on the floor for their sales. I don't believe I saw a case of Budweiser, though, except in the back corner. However, I have to give this store a 3.5 for quality since only about half of the items were priced.

The service was excellent. The young man signing the beer department made sure I had found everything I needed and if I was looking at a display, made sure he was not in my way.

At the checkout, the lady who rang me out was very friendly, though it was evident she was new - but that's ok. She asked me if there was anything I thought could be improved in the store and apologized for the store not being signed too well. She explained the Sams preferred card to me quite well (I had one, though). The manager also stopped and asked me what I thought and when he learned I had been to the Chicago store, asked if I was equally satisfied with this store. I was. Between Binnys on Roosevelt and this store, I have an excellent road trip.

livin4jc, Aug 26, 2004
Sam's Wines & Spirits in Downers Grove, IL
93 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.