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Spec's #00 - Downtown

Not Rated.
Spec's #00 - DowntownSpec's #00 - Downtown
BA SCORE
96
world-class

43 Reviews
Reviews: 43
Visits: 88
rAvg: 4.4
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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Reviews: 43 | Visits: 88
Photo of dnarx
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
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! (613 characters)

Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.86/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (1,520 characters)

Photo of theboozecruise
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

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. (544 characters)

Photo of adamhimself
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

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. (813 characters)

Photo of mdunman
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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. (606 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

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. (888 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

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! (712 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%

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. (615 characters)

Photo of natelocc787
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

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. (642 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

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. (914 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

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. (1,112 characters)

Photo of soultrain19
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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! (520 characters)

Photo of harpus
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%

I have made several work trips to Houston over the last couple of weeks, this is not only the best Specs I have been to in the Huston area, but I would say in Texas. They have at least two or 3 time's better selection of single bottles then any other Specs' I have seen in Houston area. They have a nice selection of Belgian, Imports and US Micros. They just started to receive Pike Brewing Co out of Seattle Washington the other week. The guy that was stocking the shelves was a beer drink and had some knowledge about the beers being sold. Every time I have been I was able to get a parking place. If in the Houston area, this is the Specs to go to. (651 characters)

Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Went here a couple of weeks ago and can't wait until I get to go again. Fortunately, I have family there, so I have a reason to go, other than beer.

Checked out a couple of 'satellite' Spec's locations, but this is the one to go to. They have everything the smaller spots have and more. Found several things that I was searching for along with a few surprises that I didn't expect.
The staff was very helpful and even pointed out a couple of things that I'd missed, based on what they saw in my cart.
Prices were what you'd expect them to be, overall. A couple of items were a bit pricey and a couple were cheaper than expected, so it kind of balanced itself out.
They have a decent wine and liquor selection, too, by the way.

This location also is a high-end grocery store. Imported cooking goods and chocolates. Fresh produce and meats and cheeses. A great selection of sodas, a few of which even I was unfamiliar with.

Aside from the beer, the best thing about this location is their deli. You can get food to go or they have bench seating in the front of the store so you can eat it there.
My wife and I agreed that this is the best deli sandwich spot we've found outside of New York.

An excellent store that is not to be missed. (1,237 characters)

Photo of RickSawyer
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%

If you are in Houston and searching for craft beer, Spec's downtown is a must visit spot. They have 'THE' best selection in town. Their employees are very helpful and knowledgeable (usually) about the beer they keep. High volume helps keep older items off the shelf. Their only limitation is the limits placed on them by the state. Great selection of Texas crafts to boot. Unfortunantly, no growler fills (no draft) but they will try to help you attain anything that is 'attainable' in the state of Texas. A must for beer advocates in Houston area. (548 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I am always impressed with Spec's Warehouse. A huge place, and a great selection. Everything that is at the regular Spec's stores around Houston plus much more! Well, pretty much everything that is distributed to Houston. The Gentleman is is a regular on the sight, and is the very informative beer manager of the store. He is always helpful, and knowledgeable. Though the rest of the people working here can be a bit standoffish. If I was just rating Joey, the service score would be much higher.

Everything that comes to Houston can be found here. Jester King, Smokestacks, they get more cases of Saint Arnold DR's than any other place in the state. Find the beer manager, and he will gladly talk your ear off. As well as find you what you are looking for. (759 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

Definately the biggest liquor store i've ever seen! it is two (maybe three) stories tall! but actually, the first floor is the floor with all of the selection. the second floor is just business. they have a massive wine selection. i believe it takes up basically half of the first floor. there is a huge deli area with some awesome sandwiches, but they also have pizza, burgers, salads, and whatever else.

Now to the beer department. its huge! it has basically every beer that you can find in the Houston market (with the exception of a handful or two of beers). very nice selection. on the occasion, they will transfer old beers from other Spec's that didn't sell very well. Which is good for the beer connoisseur because you can always find some already two year aged brews.

Definately a business that is properly set in the great city of Houston. (851 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -9.1%

When visiting my daughter in Clear Lake, I've shopped at her local Spec's and her Kroger for beer. The Spec's in Webster has an extensive beer selection. Hell, even the Kroger has a nice array of beers. The word, though, from my daughter was that I needed to get to Spec's Superstore to really experience an enormous beer selection.
So, after going to the zoo, we found ouselves on Smith Street. While the beer selection was pretty huge, I didn't think they had that many more brands than the local Spec's.
Still, at least to this New Englander's eyes, they had a lot, and I had fun browsing around. The staff was knowledgeable and helpful, and the prices were quite reasonable.
I think whenever I'm in downtown Houston, I'll hit this place up. (744 characters)

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%

This is one of the largest liquor stores I have ever been in. I was blown away by the sheer size of it from the outside, and the layout inside is impressive as well, and also very well organized. The beer selection is very well-laid out, with several shelves of bombers, more shelves of 6-packs, and a long line of coolers. Of course all of the macros are represented, but beyond that, they's an impressive line of micros from around the country, Texas locals, Belgians, and a variety of other imports. A large cooler of singles is also available if that's what you're looking for. This store and selection was just highly impressive, especially compared to what else I saw in Texas. I would definitely recommend this as one of the beer stops if you're in Houston. (764 characters)

Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

This is on of the biggest liquor stores that I've ever been to. Compared to the rest of the stores selection the beer section was smaller than expected. I'm not saying that they don't have a lot of choices but the beer area was kinda small. With the space that is for beer its very well stocked and kinda organized. Micros are all togeather and the others by country. They have a pretty good selection of bombers too. I hade to limit myself to just a hand basket of beer because it would have been easy to buy beer for a good long time there. (542 characters)

Photo of ruckzuck
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Spec's is the place to buy beer (and every other alcohol) in Houston. The downtown location is huge (like massive grocery store size) and stocked. The selection is great, and the staff are always helpful with finding you stuff and giving you recommendations. There's even a "real" grocery part in the back. They also have Spec's cards for your keychain (think Kroger Plus). Anyone who lives in Houston most likely knows about Spec's or has been to one of the locations. If you haven't been to the downtown, you've got to go! If you're visiting and going to be in the downtown and area and want to do some shopping, go! (618 characters)

Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%

Stopped in 12/28 while in Houston for the Texas Bowl.

Quality of my purchases (what I have tried) was fine. I didn't see much dust on anything, and the seasonals were appropriate.

Service was quite good. If you stop for more than a minute or two, someone will ask if you need help. The two questions I asked were promptly answered. One of the guys even went and got a "professional" for the section after I told him not to worry about it. The professional knew the answer.

Selection was a little less than what I had hoped for. Maybe it suffers from comparison to Baltimore. Still, you should be able to find something good, especially if you are after Texas beer. Belgians and German beers seem to have good representation. Other crafts include Stone, Rogue, Great Divide, New Belgium.

Pricing seemed reasonable. I bought a six pack each of Rahr's and St. Arnolds, and they were both about $7. I also picked up 7 bombers (Lagunitas & Left Hand), a 12oz. Delirium Tremens, and a Lindemans. The total for that was another $46. Just remember to use cash so you save the 5%. (1,083 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

This place is huge and has a lot of liquor, wine, and beer. There are free samples everywhere. It was awesome. I got to try some satan beers, some vodka, some wine, and some good cheeses. It's like a supermarket of beers. I've never been somewhere where they give samples before.

They had a nice selection and GREAT prices if you pay cash. You get a 5% discount if you pay cash. I really really liked this place. I got a winter mix case for $20.86. They also sell a good amount of mixed singles. Try this place out. It's pretty nice.

Everyone here is pretty nice and helpful. I recommend going. (600 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev -9.1%

We stopped at specs in Houston because we heard it was the biggest beer place in texas and was not to be passed up. i also heard from someone that they had massive amounts of lagunitus and dogfish head so i was really excited....and i have to say i was a little underwhelmed. they did have a good selection but our local place in south bend is better. maybe i shouldn't have expected that much from texan beer. oh well. i did grab some massive bottles of el salvadorian beer just to try them and i found a bottle of avery's samael's oak aged ale that didnt have a label and a clerk made a label for me so i could buy it. that was nice of him. but yeah, i guess this place is pretty darn good if you're from anywhere in texas, louisiana, mississippi, etc. but if you're from the coasts or upper midwest...you've seen better. (823 characters)

Photo of HoustonTX
5/5  rDev +13.6%

The biggest distributor of liquor/beer in Texas. This place is enormous. Beautiful selection of many variety of products. Something for everyone. Staff is friendly and always willing to help out. If you so happen find something that they do not supply/have in stock, they will gladly order it for you. Their selection of beers is incredible, shelf upon shelf, of quality brews. Spec's is my definitive beer hookup in Texas. Found many different beers at this location then other spec's. But then again, this is their warehouse. Always a pleasure to visit. Thank you Spec's. (573 characters)

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Spec's #00 - Downtown in Houston, TX
96 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.