Spec's #00 - Downtown

Not Rated.
Spec's #00 - DowntownSpec's #00 - Downtown
BA SCORE
98
world-class

87 Ratings
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

2410 Smith St
Houston, Texas, 77006-2316
United States
phone: (888) 526-8787

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @specs1962

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 46
Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Best selection in Houston but is always crowded.

Photo of rwf08
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Amazing selection. Joey is the beer manager, tall guy with a neck tattoo. He knows me by name now and helps me when he can with rare beer releases. Good group working there. Outstanding bourbon selection too.

Photo of GregJ
4.22/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Great selection, nice layout, lot of bombers and cooler space.

Photo of Sammy
3.14/5  rDev -30.1%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 1.75 | selection: 4

This is a supermarket so no service or vibe expected
Wireless access would be a minimum. Very good selection though. If they bring the brewer in, then all the current offerings tend to be there.

Photo of Bayou_beer_guy
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Okay. This place has the best and largest beer selection in Houston. If there is a limited release in Houston it will be found here. Here is the bone I have to pick with this place:
Spec's only do their special releases at their downtown location and only on weekdays at 10:00 am.
Only a select few can get to this location during a weekday morning for these releases.
I realize that this is a a personal thing, but really this cuts out a whole bunch of people that would like to get their hands on some limited stuff. I talked to the managers of the beer sections at other Specs and they have told me that the beer managers at this location will not make those limited releases available to them.
But as I said, great beer selection.

Photo of BKotch
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

If it's sold in Texas, Spec's warehouse location will have it. Period.

Photo of Getalegup
3.74/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Great selection and price for our region. It is hard get help from the tons of people working there. Maybe the two times I have been is when the beer people were having a bad day. I don't know what the problem was. I will continue to go but not for the service. For service, you need to pay a little more and go to your neighborhood bottle shop.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75

Huge selection of beer, off top. Four or more aisles of bottle, packs, a local aisle, tons of coolers and end caps. Most stuff was fresh, but there were some brands that seemed to sit longer, so I became weary if I couldn't find dates for IPAs. I had no problem racking up a $200 bill. **PLEASE NOTE** Plan ahead and have cash; things are priced cheaper if you pay with cash, not credit/debit. So it's definitely a value, especially paying cash.

Service was meh. Plenty of staff and apparent management, just in the beer area, but never saw a staff member talk to anyone but other staff members. Lots of shooting the shit going on. I didn't need help, but when someone does, I bet they'll feel like they're intruding. Sadly.

In the end, hard to top the sheer variety offered.

Photo of Hopmodium
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went to D&Q Mini Mart last week to stock up so I decided to give Spec's on Smith a chance to see if they could compare.

What Spec's makes up for in selection and prices, they lose in atmosphere and service to D&Q without a doubt.

I had heard the deli was amazing and it was, gyro for me and a veggie sandwich for my lady did us well after our beer shopping. Great selection of chips, chocolates, and cheese to go along with what you get from the deli. Simply amazing selection on almost all products they carry, prices were also the best I have seen in Texas.

I found three 4-packs of brews I had never tried, two 6-packs of some gems from California and 6 more bombers with my food from the deli all for $108 compared to $115 from D&Q for roughly the same amount I spent solely on beer the week before. Do not trust their website to be accurate although it did help me see what they claimed to have carried, which was an assorted variety like no other.

The staff that was supposed to be helping customers in the beer section were more busy trying to impress one another while using the coolers as stand-up recliners, keeping us from shopping in certain areas without feeling like we were interrupting them. They did ask us if we needed help but quickly seemed annoyed that we were asking for beers that they did not carry (D&Q had them, by the way). I was just using the information I had retrieved from their own website when asking them for products and they seemed irritated and judgmental.

Classic example of big vs. small, you pay more at D&Q but you will get better service and atmosphere although Spec's does have a larger selection and better prices (even if you are not paying with cash).

This place is certainly worth the visit if you just remind yourself that within the hour you will be able to enjoy your beverages without the pseudo-hipster glares haunting you from the corner of your eye.

Photo of jjkatter
4.85/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a liquor wonderland!!! You could easily drop a month's salary in this place with little effort. So much to choose from, its difficult to get in and out quickly. You'll want to browse the shelves for hours.

There are many Specs Liquor stores throughout the Houston area, but this one on Smith St has, by far, the largest selection. It can be a bit difficult to get to, but it is well worth the effort when you arrive.

Not only are the shelves and racks plumb full, they offer some of the most exotic choices you will find anywhere in the world. If there is a liquor store with more to offer, surely it’s located in heaven. I could spend hours looking through their offerings and have on a couple of occasions. Each time I visit I find new items I hadn’t noticed on previous visits. If you are looking for a special item not native to the U.S., you will likely find it here. If not, these guys are willing to work with you to get what you need. They are not afraid to add more items and view additions as making their offerings more complete.

Be prepared to spend some money... Not because of the price on their items, the prices are difficult to beat. It’s because you will want to load your basket with new things to try. If you carry cash you will enjoy an additional 10% discount. On the visits I’ve made here I have yet to leave without relieving my wallet of at least $300.00. Trust me, it’s easy to do.

Living 4 hrs away makes it difficult to get in as often as I like. Maybe this is a good thing… I do have bills to pay.

If you are in the area and want to see what choice is all about, you need to visit this place.

Photo of RedBeardBrewing
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped by while visiting Houston after reading all the great reviews on BA. They definitely have a great selection here. Picked up some Austin Beerworks (a six pack each of their American IPA, German Pilsner and American Pale Ale). They also had a selection of four Clown Shoes bombers (Tramp Stamp, Hoppy Feet, Clementine & Eagle Claw Fist).

I picked up a few other things while there, but this place will definitely provide plenty of options. If this were my local beer store, I'd definitely be a regular!

Photo of shoky01
3.45/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

The downtown Spec's at Smith st is one of our most traveled to destinations, and its 40 miles from where we live. Being that we mostly go down there for the expansive beer selection. They carry the larger brewers, and are always willing to pick up new ones as well. Have seen at least 2 new one in as many weeks. Though being a busy metropolitan store has its downfalls: slim pickings by the weekend and not great parking. Also being that its the main store in the region if there is a limited release they may be the only one that gets it and being that focused it goes quick. Had to go to Austin just to find more Drinkin' the Sunbelt since every Spec's in the area was completely out or never got it. But overall i like it there.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Spec's Midtown has a warehouse feel to it because, essentially, that's what it is. Beer selection is easily the best in town -- if it gets distributed to Texas, there's a very good chance that Spec's has it. They also have a great selection of Texas locals, including seasonal releases.

Liquor selection is also pretty amazing, I could spend way too long just browsing the aisles of this store.

Finally, I enjoy the updates that get posted on BA by their beer guy -- keeping the BA community informed of recent product updates is so easy, but also so important.

Photo of dnarx
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I don't know of any other beer store in Houston with this amount of selection. I also can't say that I have purchased anything here that had been sitting on the shelf too long. That could just be that I head in and get the popular stuff, regardless, I am happy with fresh IPAs.

I also appreciate the updates from the store manager (I think that it is the manager) about new arrivals here on BA. A nice incentive for getting through the workday.

In addition to the impressive selection of beer, and local brews, they have food and other alcohol. I couldn't tell you anything about the rest of the store though!

Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.86/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped here on a recent business trip. Now, don't get me wrong, this is an incredibly impressive store. Unparalleled square footage. Tons and tons of beers. I believe the others reviews that say if it is available in TX, it's at Spec's. That said, I left here feeling a little empty. It felt like a Best Buy of booze.

The employees, busy restocking the shelves, were helpful. They pointed me towards the local brews and things they thought I wouldn't be able to get in NY, but one displayed an odd level of arrogance that I found off-putting. When I asked about Jester King, he said "yeah, well, we're the only place in Houston to get it and we sold out 15 cases in three days." Not only was it untrue that they were the only place to get it, but why would I want to know how quickly they sold it? Granted, if they got 15 cases when Central Market only got one, that is a display of their buying power. But is that supposed to make me feel better about buying there? In any event, the other employee was much more engaging, and gave me the head's up that they would be receiving more CoCoNut Porter the next day, which I thought was really nice. He also made some decent recommendations.

All told, thought, I feel like they may be a victim of their own success. There were no hard-to-find beers there while I was there. I suspect it's because if something rare is coming out, everyone and their mother comes here looking for it.

I'd consider going back, just for the spectacle if nothing else, but I'm in no rush.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

One of the most expansive liquor/beer/wine stores I've ever been in. They have a tremendous selection of all alcoholic beverages, but I'll focus on the beer.

Basically, if it's distributed in Texas, they will have it here. I live in Baton Rouge, but visit Houston fairly often and I never pass up a chance to swing by Spec's and see what's new, what's interesting, and pick up some beers I can't normally get back home.

It can get crowded, but service has always been good, and the quality and selection of beers is unmatched for the region.

Photo of adamhimself
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

I really like Spec's Midtown (or downtown if you are old school.) They have a great selection across the board. The cool thing about the place is not only do they sell quality beer, but they also have a multitude of other items. In fact, I had been looking for some really rare spice and I happened across it right near the beer isle by sheer accident. They also have a full deli with some really good food. They even have specialty food items for sale such as fancy cheeses.

The cool thing about Spec's Warehouse is they are the 1st in town to usually get the rare and limited releases. In the past month I have picked up Deschutes' The Abyss and Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops. They also have a little special section dedicated solely to Texas beers. Chances are... if its available in Texas, then its as Spec's.

Photo of mdunman
5/5  rDev +11.4%

I just moved to Houston for work. I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH, went to school at Texas A&M in College Station, TX and spent summers in Minneapolis, MN and Washington D.C.

This is by far the best beer store I have ever been to. The only real comparison I can describe is... remember when you were 5 and you went to Toys R Us for the first time? How unbelievable it was so be surrounded by so much of everything that you could ever want. That's what it's like the first time you walk into the Spec's warehouse. Rows and rows of craft beer. And all at the best prices you can get anywhere in town.

Photo of GJ40
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

Wow, this place is huge! The beer selection is big but that's not where the size comes from. There's also a big selection of wine, spirits and specialty foods. It's nothing fancy (as described, it's a warehouse) but they really stock this place.

I only focused on the beer. They had a few loaded aisles and a long refrigerated section. It included a pretty good selection of beer from throughout the US and Europe along with several local breweries. They seemed to have sixes and larger bottles but no mix a six option. I made the trip over for The Abyss and Black Ops and managed to find both.

The prices are a bit on the high side but the cash discount eases the pain a little. I was asked if I needed help but I didn't take him up on it so I can't really comment to much on the service.

I hit a lot of beer stores on my travels and Spec's is right up there. It's well worth a visit.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.85/5  rDev +8%

Had to swing by this place while I was in Houston today as I frequent the one in San Antonio. Wow! This place is huge and the beer selection is quite nice. Tons of bombers and packs refrigerated and even more on the shelf. The service was fantastic, asked if I needed assistance, held a good beer conversation and filled me in on a few new facts, all in all really quality! As with the other specs this is not just beer and wine, but an amazing selection of liquor and once again fine foods and cheeses and all kinds of great stuff you can pair with the beer of your choosing. On top of all that they have a fine cigar selection as well. Wish I was in Houston more often so I could regularly shop at this Spec's!

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

I could not help but be impressed by the size of the location. Eileen, my CS host, said that the entry was in the corner, under the dome. Under a dome!?! WTF? Once again, we have nothing like this in Pennsylvania. The logo was of a bespectacled jackrabbit - specs, get it? For their super quick service. this was not just beer and wine, but high-end cheeses, a full-service delicatessen, liquors of every stripe, glassware, coffee, cigars, cigarettes. 21 checkout lines. Two prices - one for cash, one for everything else. My only complaint was that you could not break 6-packs and the single selection was limited.

Photo of natelocc787
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Visited this place on a trip to Houston recently. Very nice selection of spirits and craft beer. Chances are if it's available in Texas then you can find it at this store. Many staff members are available to help you with your questions. They are very eager to please here. They also have a great selection of craft beer glasses for craft breweries. I left with a Chimay and Unibroue laser etched tulip but they had many more to offer. They will hold beers for customers if asked and are generally knowledgeable on beers coming and going. Highly recommended and they also have great foods in a upper end deli to pair with your beer selection.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Nothing bad to say about this place at all...I wish the Austin Spec's were more like this beauty of an all-encompassing alcoholic beverage emporium. Did I mention they have a huge section of fresh foods too? I got stopped by a lady at a booth selling her own Olive Oil...delicious.

The beer selection has everything you'd find in Texas. I didn't notice any huge omissions, obviously, and they seem to get new stock regularly, including Rogue's Captain Sig Northwestern ale and Somer Honey when I visited. Plus, they put signs up all over the shelves that list and describe future releases (although this did provide me some false excitement/disappointment when no Mikkeler, Allagash Belgian Stout, and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ales were to be found). Staff is helpful and friendly, roaming the aisles and generally bustling about. Very lively store, to say the least. Prices are low, as expected for Specs.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Wow, I didn't expect this place to be so good. They stock a LOT of beer, a very good selection, much better than I expected based on infrequent forum posts about the beers available in Texas. I'd guess there were >150 USA craft beers to choose from, maybe 50-70 more from Belgium and another 50 from the rest of the world (primarily Germany). I didn't see anything fantastically rare but the selection was very broad and good. The prices were among the lowest I've seen anywhere, mostly about 50 cents cheaper per 6-pack or bomber than I've seen in other states that carry the same beers (IN, IL, OH, MI, NY, CT, CA, CO). I was actually thinking to myself "if you can't find something you like here, then you just don't like beer" when I heard a guy complaining loudly to the beer stocker that he could not find Michelob. He said "who are you trying to serve with all these ridiculous beers, why can't I find an honest Michelob?". Not sure why but I found this funny. I assumed the macros were well represented here as well as the micros but apparently not. Anyways this place is easy to recommend in Houston.

Photo of soultrain19
5/5  rDev +11.4%

If you are looking for beer in Houston, then this is the place to go. They have all the BMC products and an ever growing selection of previously hard-to-find craft brews. Routinely there are wine and liquor tastings throughout the store.

Oh did I forget to mention the massive selection of wines as well as liquor. From the low end to the scotch older than me, they have it all. Now combine all this with a well stocked walk-in humidor and a world class deli and then you may begin to understand this Houston landmark!

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Spec's #00 - Downtown in Houston, TX
98 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.