1st Grand Avenue Liquors
Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
First Grand is a solid little shop in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St. Paul. The first thing you notice about this spot is before you even walk in the door - the parking sucks. They do not have a lot, and they are on a very busy strip of Grand Ave. Street Parking is your only option, and sometimes the walk can be over a block.
Inside, you will find a solid whiskey selection along with a fair craft selection, which is nice if you lean both ways from time to time. The walk-in cooler is a great feature that I wish more stores had. It is not unreasonably cold, so browsing is not uncomfortable. Outside the cooler are a couple of shelves of bombers and limited releases, along with another small selection of readily available year-around Belgians. Selection is above average for a TC liquor store, but not as good as a number of other craft focused shops. You will see the big hitters such as Darkness, BCBS, etc. here but not anything obscure. Pricing is pretty much average, nothing high or low as far as I can tell from multiple visits.
The staff are primarily hands off, with fairly limited craft knowledge. You are not likely to find anyone to chit-chat about beer with in this shop. They are very pleasant and helpful though, and offer a couple of great perks. They will take orders for rare beers over the phone with payment and hold them for up to a week. They also have a tendency to hold onto the super hot items and release them weeks or months later at complete random, which is fun. Keep an eye on their Twitter account!
Overall, a solid shop for the big names and limited releases. Just be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
01-22-2012 04:53:52 | More by doucmehu
4.5/5 rDev +11.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped here after visiting Northern Brewer. There is a walk in cooler where you can pick out all kinds of craft beer. I dont recall seeing any macro brewed beer, although im sure they carried it, I guess I wasnt looking for any. They also had some gluten free beer, which was cool to see. It was great to see the selection of the bigger bottles that they carried. They had a great selection of Surly there, which I wish we could get here in Wisconsin. They also had a good selection of wine and liquor.
12-09-2010 15:03:41 | More by arboristfish
3.65/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
The quality is great, as it has a nice atmosphere for the primary wine section, and a separate cooler room for the beer. It simply feels like a nice place and most of the beer is turned over quickly, keeping it fresh. Knowledge of the staff is hit-and-miss.
The selection of craft beer 6 and 4 packs is great. There are a lot of nice Belgians, and there is always plenty of Surly - a must for Minnesota. However, do not offer singles (of 12oz) or allow mixed packs. That is definitely my biggest issue with the store. Otherwise, great.
Edit: they do now offer singles on some beers. They also seem to be gouging on popular, specialty beers.
07-26-2009 03:50:55 | More by bsp77
3.85/5 rDev -4.7%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
While stopping in at Northern Brewer to pick up some homebrew supplies I decided to stop in and check out 1st Grand Ave. Liquours. I wasn't disappointed. The "beer cave" was fun, albeit cold. I was reasonably impressed with the selection. I would have been able to find most of the items I saw at other Twin City locations, but there were several that I have not seen around the metro and so I had to buy them. The list of what they have to offer is comprehensive, but not "out of this world." They have everything they "should" have plus some other selections that make this establishment worth a trip. The service was simply average. Not bad, but not good. They seemed to just kind of mind their own business and let you do your thing. I did make some remarks to the employees around the register but didn't feel that they were much interested in small talk, so I pressed on. As for some other reviews stating it was "pricey" I don't really think that the prices are all that far out of line with what microbrews are going for these days. If the prices are a smidge elevated due to its location that would be understandable, but to me it was invisible and everything seemed in line. If others contest that then perhaps I shop in expensive places, I don't know. Most locations around the Twin Cities have a decent selection of beer, this is just one of the few that goes above and beyond. Worth a trip for sure, and I will probably try to stop in when buying homebrew supplies if possible.
I do need to mention that the parking lot had plenty of space up the side street. Don't miss it.
07-09-2009 00:39:09 | More by Ragingbull
4.05/5 rDev +0.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Despite the Grand Ave. location, parking really shouldn't be an issue as this place has its own parking lot on a side street that during my bi-weekly trips over three years, I never once saw full. Impressive selection for a smaller store. They have the main Belgians, a majority of the beers from the midwest and a fair selection of eastcoast. The place is a lacking in west coast/rocky mtn brews, but mostly because many of those breweries have limited distribution. Price-wise, you can find cheaper, but it's not horrid considering you're on Grand Ave. with all the yuppies and stroller moms. As far as service, most of the guys/girl hung out at the register, but the assistant manager (ND dude) regularly prowled the store and was more worried about keeping the place stocked with beer and wine he would drink than what sold the most.
Best place to buy if you live near Summit, Highland Park, or Crocus Hill.
06-06-2009 03:39:34 | More by GeezLynn
3.7/5 rDev -8.4%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
raced over here after learning they have flat earth bc bottles.
walked in, looked around, couldn't find the beer. i asked the man ehind the counter where the beer was. he pointed me to the amazing sliding door. you even get to push a button to open it. pretty cool. looked a little small at first glance, but further investigation proved me wrong. they had only a small rack of bombers and beyond that was a wall of craft sixers. then cases on the other wall. would be just average selection but the amount of small crafts they fit in is pretty cool. the whole time i was there no one said anything to me, not even when i checked out but i was the only one in on what seemed like a slow day, the guy was prolly just tired. the prices were a little high i though but whatever. decent place ill prolly be back sometime just to see if they got anything cool
01-05-2009 17:59:37 | More by jjanega08
1st Grand Avenue Liquors in Saint Paul, MN
90 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.