1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Spec's #00 - Downtown

Not Rated.
Spec's #00 - DowntownSpec's #00 - Downtown
BA SCORE
99
world-class

77 Ratings
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 8.2%
[ Store ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @specs1962

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%

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!

StoneBrewFanatic, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev -8%

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.

woodychandler, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

natelocc787, Nov 01, 2009
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.

wagenvolks, Aug 24, 2009
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.

TurdFurgison, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of soultrain19
5/5  rDev +10.9%

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!

soultrain19, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of harpus
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

harpus, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

coldmeat23, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of RickSawyer
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

RickSawyer, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev -6%

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.

champ103, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of stumac
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

stumac, May 15, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

lordofthewiens, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev -8%

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.

YonderWanderer, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

armock, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
5/5  rDev +10.9%

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!

ruckzuck, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -14.6%

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%.

, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

jasonjlewis, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

aforbes10, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
5/5  rDev +10.9%

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.

HoustonTX, Jul 06, 2006
Photo of shererjt
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%

A pretty amazing place. As previously stated, they carry every beer that is distributed in the Houston area. Prices are highly competitive, but be sure to pay cash/debit to avoid a 5% surcharge. I'll only ding the service and selection a bit, as when asking why they don't carry any altbiers (they used to have Frankenhiem and Diebels) I was told to try Paulaner Original Munich, Weihenstephaner Original, Hofbrau Original, & Hacker Pschorr Munich--which obviously are not alts. But I did get a courteous response, so I'll give them credit for that.

Great place to buy beer. I don't drink much wine or liquor (the wife likes wine, though), but the selection in these areas is crazy good as well. I've had mixed success with the food (deli, sausages, etc.) but they have an interesting variety of stuff.

If visiting Houston, check it out.

shererjt, May 28, 2006
Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev -4.7%

Ground zero for the beer and liquor selection for Texas.
A huge warehouse feel, aisles and aisles of every beer, wine, liquor, spirit, and glass you could want. The beer section has about 12-15 cooler doors, and about 2 aisles of warm beer choices. They do a good job of keeping a lot of the choices in Texas in stock, but I think Hall’s (in DFW) might have an edge on them. They had a good selection of DFH beers and I got the Midis Touch and 120 min IPA which are hard to find in Texas. I also found Ice Cider, which even Grapevine in Austin didn’t carry.
Staff was very friendly and helped me find what I needed and served me with a smile.
This is the place to build a party, whether it’s a small gathering of just you, or a block party for the ages.
If you’re in Houston, there’s no reason not to be at Spec’s downtown.

HardTarget, May 05, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
4.15/5  rDev -8%

I have some mixed thoughts about spec's, or maybe Houston. They certainly did have a nice selection of beers, but i just thought they would have more, particularly in the american micro genre. It's not a bad or low selection, i guess i was just expecting more (wishfull thinking from where i'm from).

The quality was good, seemed they took carefull attention to the beer isles. They also have pretty much all the beers they have in coolers, which is nice.

Service was pretty good. one guy stuck around the beer area asking if anyone needed help.

But i guess overall the selection what pretty nice. Lots of things i usually cant get. (i just thought houston would have more). I thought the belgian section was slacking, nothing out of the ordinary really. English beers were pretty generous. As far as american beers, they sold lots of texas beers, had a large amount of Avery Brewery beers, as well as Great Divide. But it just seemed their selection was focused on texas and Colorado. Nice to see abita there; very nice to see lots of people buying them.

Value is average.

Overall it is a great place to check out. Tons of wine, tons of liquor. Nice little grocery store in it as well. Check it out.

acrawf6, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%

This here is the best Spec's.

Every beer that I've seen available at any other Spec's was in stock here last time I went. In fact there were some beers I'd never seen before (or since) at other Spec's locations (Olde Suffolk Ale, for example). Nice produce section, and I'm not sure, but I think I might have been a baked goods section in there too (this was a few months ago, I don't remember). Service seemed decent as I saw a lot of employees scrambling around helping people find stuff, or maybe they were just pulling out all the stops because it was a week before Christmas.

This Spec's gets my highest recommendation, but, when I'm in the Houston area, this is just a pain to get to.

goochpunch, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%

This liquer store is by far the best I have been to.Walking into this warehouse of goodies I feel like a kid in the candy store.They have plenty of checkout lines to keep the crouds moveing.They have a section for glassware that can get very expendsive.
They have many many rows of wines and liquers.Beer selection was good and disappionting too.Only because they did not have the beers that other Specs stores have.If wanted 6 brands I would like to know I could go to 1 store to get them all.Maybe thats just me.
Service was great,many wine and liquer sample taster stands scattered about.Which is a plus,where else can you get free alcohol to get your beer buzz warmed up?
They have a nice sized deli department.With many cheeses,breads,salad bar,chips,etc etc.I would have tried something from the deli but the line was way to long and I was to eager to drink the beer in my basket.The food must be good for people to wait that long.
They do have a cigar humidor and a few tables up front for dineing.Remember pay cash and get 5% discount always a plus.

Cheers2Beers

cheers2beers, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of dungaree
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%

The best selection of beers I have found yet in Houston. I wish all Spec's had the selection this downtown location has. The quality is good too. I haven't gotten a stale beer yet from this Spec's. The beers are nicely arranged by country making it easy to plan your sampling of beers. There are about 15 checkout lanes, so you won't wait to check out. It will take many, many trips to this location to try everything they have on the shelves. I particularly like their selection of single bottles so I can try more beers without having to buy a whole four or six pack.

dungaree, Mar 09, 2005
Spec's #00 - Downtown in Houston, TX
99 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.