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West Lakeview Liquors

Not Rated.
West Lakeview LiquorsWest Lakeview Liquors
BA SCORE
100
world-class

155 Ratings
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 6.96%
[ Store ]

2156 W Addison St
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-6136
United States
phone: (773) 525-1916

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @wlvliquors

Notes:
Hours:
Mon. - Thurs. 10am - 10pm
Fri. & Sat. 10am - 11pm
Sun. 11am - 10pm

Parking: Y (in the rear of the store)
Mail Order: Y

(Place added by: mkopera24)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spointon
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%

I visited on 2/21/2009.

This was my first visit to this place and I was very impressed. Its not a very large place, but they combat that by wasting zero space on wimpy beers! The wine section is right inside the door, and the beers are in the back. Coolers line the left wall with about 6-8 doors dedicated to craft beer 4 and 6 packs. The warm beer was across from the coolers on a mishmash of curving shelves and display islands.

Selection was pretty diverse for such a small place. There were easily over a dozen countries and a bunch of serious US craft brewers represented with 5+ beers from Nogne, a few from Baird, some Jolly Pumpkin, a bunch of German stuff that seemed fairly obscure, an excellent lineup of Belgians, plus a full line of Great Lakes, Bell's, Founder's, etc. I couldn't begin to list it all, but believe me it was impressive.

Service was fine, the one question I asked they had a ready answer for.

Prices were ok, with a few things being a bit overpriced compared to other stores in greater Chicagoland. Still, the rarer stuff is worth paying a premium to get...

All in all a great store that I will visit again I am sure!

Photo of younger35
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%

Just happened to pass by this store on my way home from visiting Armanetti's. I had no clue it was there but saw the awning and thought I better stop.

Upon walking into the store I was promptly greeted and asked if I needed help finding anything. I was a little surprised to how small the store was but they definitely use the space wisely and only carry pretty damned quality brews.

The Belgium selection is amazingly good and probably the best I've seen in the area. They had stuff that I didn't even know got distributed into Illinois. There American selection was pretty good as well but not as good as other stores. The Imports more than made up for it though. I'm assuming they also keep a lot of beers in the back as I asked about a few beers and the guy said he'd go check. He came out with said beers (Dark Horizon and Black Albert) to my delight!

Very friendly store with a great selection of brews. Glad I got lucky and stumbled upon this store!

Photo of paco1029384756
5/5  rDev +8.7%

I've only been here a few times, and I have a better experience each time I visit. The staff is knowledgeable and very friendly. I was informed of beers that would be appearing in the market that I was not aware of.

It is a little cramped, but they manage to pack an incredible selection of beer into a small space. This is the place to go for rare imported beers, with an exceptional selection of Belgian beer.

Some of the beers may be priced a little high, but it's hardly a complaint when they provide great service and have so much to choose from. This is a must stop place if you are going to be anywhere near it.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

This place is kind of small, a corner grocery store, but they fill the available space with a very good selection of beers. They must keep a lot of stock in some back room, as each beer had maybe 2-4 bottles on the retail shelf (I assume to maximize selection space). The Belgian selection was as good as I've seen in any US location, probably as good as the best stores in Boston, NYC, or San Francisco (that I've visited anyway). Lots of other Eurpoean selections too. The USA micros were represented well enough, but maybe not as many as you can find at Sam's. For imports this place almost can't be beat.

On top of all I got very good tips and information from the 2 girls working there, they know their stock and they are friendly.

Photo of ballewblake
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

This turned out to be my chosen spot on a recent beer tour of the great lakes and one of two spots where I picked up my haul. So far the brews have been fresh and good. Lots of regional brews as well (FFF, Founders, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Great Lakes) and some Belgians I have been seeking out, including Fantome Black Ghost and Intemps, De Dolle Oerbier Reserva. Service was prompt and friendly, selection nice and varied. Say hey to Devon if you stop by the shop, a very generous beer geek whom earned loads of karma from me.

Photo of MasterSki
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Pretty much every beer that is distributed in Illinois will turn up at West Lakeview Liquors. The staff is terrific and will make useful suggestions and answer questions ranging from "is this beer good?" to "why doesn't Illinois get Alesmith?"

Sometimes the beer is a little more pricey than somewhere like Whole Foods, but the few extra bucks are worth it to me to support a local business with such friendly proprietors.

They also hold the occasional party where rare and exotic brews are busted out and sampled. They had a pig roast in October with Devil Dancer, Blackout Stout, and SurleyFest on tap!

My only complaint is that the store is kind of small and it can be tricky to find certain brews - particularly the organization of the Belgian Kriek/Lambic area.

Photo of inhoc00
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Finally made it to this Roscoe Village shop. WOW!!! Armaneti's is great but this place...Its like a private cellar. Wine in the front, the good stuff near the back. Small corner store with tall wooden shelves of the most complete single bottle beer collection I have ever seen. The international collection was amazing. Never seen such a large Switzerland section, but there it is. Won't even mention the Belgium section. I would need several hours to appreciate everything. Service was friendly. Found several bottles of Barley Island. The prices were very reasonable. Will certainly go back.

Photo of goethean
5/5  rDev +8.7%

A tiny, but amazing place. It's the size of a large family room, and the beer section is only a few shelves and the coolers. However, they stock more varieties of quality beer than other stores which are many times the size of this place. Emphasizing Belgians, sours, oud bruins, and wild ales, this should be stop #1 for any BeerAdvocate passing through Chicago from less well-supplied locations. The beer guy was very helpful, very knowledgable, and someone who seems to be truly obsessed with great beer.

Photo of botham
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

West Alekview Liquors is an excellent stop for beer and wine. although it is a bit of a walk from the 'el' it is worth a trip. The first time this BA visited the store, there was a cookout in back with complimentary kegs of Surley Fest Lager, Great Lakes Blackout Stout, and Founder's Devil Dancer, nice! a very laid back and convivial atmosphere.

quality is great. the store is clean and well-maintained, and the staff is well versed in beer and wine, and willing to help.

staff is diverse in age, but all are friendly and share a passion for fermented beverages.

selection is good. there is a wide selection of Belgians, many harder to find ones, and a good spread of microbrews from around the states. the store overall is quite small, but the shelves are stacked with great brews, not many macros.

all in all, an excellent stop for brews and wine on the North side. cheers!

Photo of captnamerca
5/5  rDev +8.7%

My only experience with West Lakeview Liquors is placing an out-of-state order via email and over the phone. It was very easy to pick out a few beers that I can't get in Florida from their wide selection. I sent an email to find out about prices and availability and got a response from Kristina the next day. The service was exceptional. I made an order and they were able to hold it for me for a few days when an unexpected expense came up, even when it was the last of a product in stock. The package came in a sturdy styrofoam spacer and everything was in one piece. It arrived from Chicago to Florida in 3 days. Fantastic. I can't wait to order again. I can't wait to go to Chicago in person and check out the store.

I highly recommend West Lakeview Liquors to anyone in the South who wants any Midwestern and any other hard to find beer.

Photo of tedsox31
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Went here because it was the only place in Chicago that had Founder's Breakfast Stout. Binny's wasn't getting it in until October, and I wanted one that was shipped in yesterday. It's a little out of the way for me, but it was well worth the trip. The quality is great, as is the selection. They had tons and tons and tons of Belgian beer, a goodly amount of domestic microbrews, and a few of other countries. Service was fine, the guy seemed to know his stuff, and the store as a whole is willing to ship something in for you if you want it. Go here if you don't mind the trip.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%

Walked in the door and almost thought I was in the wrong place, it sort of a small store with a row of coolers storing all the store's six packs and a number of singles. The store leans mostly on imports, specifically Belgians. The domestic craft section is rather limited, most beers from IL and a few of the other larger microbreweries from around the country. But the real draw of this place is the sheer volume of Belgian singles, if you are into Belgian beer this is the place to go in Chicago, if you couldn't find something at Binny's or Sam's Wines this place probably has it in stock and if not the staff will probably will be willing to put an order in for you. I was in a hurry and didn't get a really good chance to talk to them but the guy working there seemed friendly enough. A bit out of the way at least for me, but I'd say the trek out here was worth it.

Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

I could not afford to shop here often. No the prices are not high. The beer is just high end. West Lakeview has one of the "tightest" selections of beer I have ever seen. Almost no fluff or filler and minimal BMC. High end Allagash? Yes? Rare Cantillon beers? Sure. Multiple Famtome and Mikkeller beers? Yes. Rare imports? Plenty. High quality American craft beer? Those too.

I can't complain about anything beer-wise. While they didn't have many "everyday" beers like GL Dortmuder Gold or Hop Devil they did have higher end products from Great Lakes and Victory, for example. This is not one-stop shopping but damn is it a great place for rare beers.

I can't say enough, what a wonderful selection of high end beers. Impressive.

Great service, I spent a good twenty minutes talking all things beer with the owner, Kristina. The passion, knowledge, and care were apparent.

A small, neighborhood liquor store with a world class beer selection... I see why this place gets the hype.

Loved it. Simple as that.

Highly Recommended!!

Photo of dirtylou
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

i have driven by this place 100 times...its right on addison in between wrigley and i-90. the rogue sign in the window always suggested that what was inside was worth seeing but i never made it in.

i visited this in between hopleaf and piece - a 3 leg tour that you can navigate in 15 minutes or less

i'm not sure who was working but he was extremely on his game - apparently they just had some mikkelier folks in and were excited about that. i saw some interesting beers from holland that i just consumed a few days before (in holland). Small space but emphasis is strictly on quality.

Lots of midwest fare present - jolly pumpkin, three floyds (including 11th anniversary, rabbid rabbit, blackheart), some standard capitol brewing stuff, two brothers, whats left of kalamazoo brewing, etc.

Southern tier has a full representation including jahva, heavy weizen, creme brulee, etc.

You'll find a full stash of saison's, and a huge selection obscure scandavian breweries, as well as a ton of belgians.

6 pack selection was kind of beat, especially compared to madison, so come here for your single serving gems only

prices are a bit high, but its chicago, and the stuff is hard to find elsewhere.

i came away with a 22oz three floyds 11th anniversary, 22oz hoppin frog black and tan, and 16.9oz Haandbryggeriet Dark Force

service was exceptional...shopkeep knew his shit and was quite attentive - great experience, will return every time i hit wrigley

Photo of Crosling
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Visited during Dark Lord Day. Not often will you find a place with such a passionate staff. That's the highlight here, not like the beer selection isn't great, it is, but it seemed like the entire staff was passionate about fine ale. I spoke with several of them for awhile, and they visit Belgium, taste different batches of the beers they sell and are very knowledgable about everything. You get the sense that they sell every beer that is worth selling. The selection is very nice. They seem to specialize in Belgian ale and lambics in particular, but they have a lot of fine American crafts and other imports as well. I really think West Lakeview is an impressive establishment.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

Located on the corner of West Addison and some other non-Addison street and surrounded by a reddish awning with "West Lakeview Liquors" emblazoned on it. As for parking, we lucked out in a spot along the street. The store itself is small, but definitely cozy, neat as a pin, and well-stocked (both with good beer and good people).

At the helm of this classy establishment (provided I have my facts straight) is a very nice young lady quick to offer both assistance and friendly suggestions. The rest of the staff seemed to be made up of knowledgable beer enthusiasts well-versed in their comparably priced wares.

Unlike the distinguished Acknud, I did not grab any cider or perry, instead I snatched up a basket filled to capacity with various bottles from Southern Tier, Founders (Blushing Monk), Three Floyds, Goose Island, Dark Horse, Hoppin' Frog, etc. The bombers and other large-sized bottles are arranged on wooden shelves lining the store, the bulk of the 6/4-packs are placed in coolers. Definitely a recommended beer shop stop when in the Chicago area. Why, I'd be back there right this very moment if I weren't 698 miles away in Georgia.

Photo of UncleMeat
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

I stopped in here yesterday on my last day in town for Dark Lord Day. Nice little place. Not big at all. The staff was really friendly and offered suggestions. One of the staff members was at Dark Lord Day as well. We both have some nice sunburn to prove it.

The selection was very nice. They had a lot of rare stuff that I have never seen before. Their selection of brews from Scandinavia was impressive. I remember seeing offerings from Ølfabrikken, Mikkeller, Nøgne Ø, and HaandBryggeriet. I was after a Mikkeller Black Hole, so that was fine by me.

Their German selection was really lacking, but their Belgian selection was very nice. American micros were well represented too. Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds, Southern Tier, New Holland, etc.

The quality of the beer looked fine to me. Very clean shop. Everything looked pretty fresh.

WLL is a bit pricey though. I ended up buying a bottle of Mikkeller Black Hole for ten bucks. Only a twelve ounce, so that was a bit hard to swallow. But, that sure didn't stop me. I also picked up a bottle of Ølfabrikken Porter for ten bucks (bomber). So, the prices may scare some of you. I was tempted to pick up a twelve ounce bottle of Mikkeller Black, but it was selling for $16. I was able to show some restraint, which is hard for me to do.

I would not pick this place to buy a six pack, but if you are looking for some hard to find singles this is probably the place to go in Chicago. I also visited Armanetti's while I was in town. Their selection was more extensive, but they lacked some of the hard to find beers that I saw here.

Overall, I would recommend this place to beer advocates who are in the mood for something different. You will most likely find a number of brews you haven't been able to find elsewhere.

Photo of bgramer
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

I was able to track down a Pannepot here that I couldn't find in Chicago. They have a pretty good selection of Belgians, mainly through their relationship with Shelton Brothers via beer rep.

It's basically a neighborhood store - emphasizing quality over quantity, they don't disappoint. Wines and Whiskys take up most of the space, but there's a bunch of coolers along the left wall, and a bunch of back shelves listing beers from around the world.

It's a bit pricey. I'd concentrate on purchasing beers here that I can't get anywhere else as most beers would be cheaper elsewhere, but this is definitely a great little store stocked with exclusives.

Photo of Monsone
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

I live in the neighborhood and am completely spoiled with this place.

They host tasting events on the weekends. Beer tastings on friday with spirits and wine on Saturday.

The staff is friendly and helpful. They have had a few insightful recommendations on my trips. Best staff I have run across for a liquor store

They have a very good import section with great selection. I routinely see Rochefort 10 on the shelf with tons of other greats.

Their domestic craft section is smaller but still quite good for a small place. They usually have the more popular/better beers. I can usually find a good selection of FFF, Brooklyn, Southern Tier, Victory, Two Brothers etc.

Their prices are in line with the big guys (Binnys and Sams).

Overall my this is my favorite beer store and wish they would just expand into the space next door to give them more room to offer great beers.

Photo of mrquartetman
5/5  rDev +8.7%

This small store has a superb selection of both domestic microbrews and beers from outside the US, especially Belgian beers. One great feature is that for a store of this size, the cooler is amazing. It contains at least some of a very large selection of the beers that they stock, particularly current seasonal beers.

It's worth going back frequently because their selection changes as the season changes - and as they learn about beers they haven't tried before.

Their prices are not low, but there are often special deals that are worth taking advantage of.

The staff really knows their stuff, and they are very helpful. They drink the stuff they sell, too, and will tell you what they think.

A terrific neighborhood resource, and one worth visiting from anyplace on the map.

Photo of harpus
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

West Lakeview Liquors is fairly easy to find, it is located on the corner. When I arrived it was only about 10 minutes before they closed, becase I just can from the airport. Since the store was about to close, I was expecting them to hurry me out. They let me take my time in looking at the selection and were very helpful when I had a question. This store also carries the best selection of Mead, since most of the places I have been to do not havea single bottle of mead. Most beers are offered as single and the price is reasonable. If/when back the Chicago area I will go back to this store.

Photo of BrewSomerville
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

I have only been to West Lakeview Liquors once, but I plan on returning the next time I am in Chicago.

It is a very small place, but they use their space well. It didn't seem crowded and they had quite a bit of Beer to choose from.

They categorize the Beer by region. Some of their stock is refrigerated and some of it is not. They had a good variety from the areas that have a lot to offer, and they did have things from places that don't really come to mind when Beer is mentioned.

The service was great. They were friendly and knowledgeable. Even though I live about ten hours away (driving) I felt like I was in my neighborhood shop, except this place has a much better selection of Beer.

I can't remember how much I paid for my Beers, but I do remember being a little surprised at a few of the prices, both in a good way and a bad way.

Overall I think this place is pretty cool, I'll be back for more when I return to Chicago.

Photo of emerge077
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I've been putting off this review for awhile now, seeing as how I visit on a weekly basis. Living in the neighborhood, obviously i'm spoiled for choice. What can I say, this place is fantastic. Guess the secret is out.

They have hosted some unique tasting events in the last year that were very exclusive, including Bell's, Mikkeller and Eisenbahn. Beer tastings happen every Friday, this week it's Brooklyn Brewery. Service is great and helpful. The owner is is very knowledgeable and friendly, and she will take new beer requests/special orders.

Best import selection i've ever seen. They have been expanding their shelves lately, and they are grouped by country of origin. Certain items can be pricey, but there is enough selection to have something for every price range. Some items can be found cheaper elsewhere, however quite a few things are rare here, and deserve their premium. They pack alot of quality into the limited area of the store, hopefully the expansion next door will allow for even more volume in the future. I've had the seldom outdated import, but that's fairly rare. They really go above and beyond to have the most eclectic/creative selection around.

Hopefully this long overdue review pushes WLV into the #1 spot for IL beer stores here on BA. They deserve the distinction for their serious devotion to craft beer and to it's enthusiasts.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
5/5  rDev +8.7%

West Lakeview Liquors is probably going to become my favorite liquor stores very quickly. I’m at the point where I typically walk into a liquor store, even a rather good one like Riley’s or Steve’s here in Madison and only find one or two new beers to try. Not so at West Lakeview! Nearly every beer at West Lakeview is rare or exceptional. Most are the type that you’ve never seen and want to try, or the kind that you have tried, but only once because they are so rare, and desperately want to try again. The standouts from my visit are really too many to list but I’ll try to give some idea of the caliber of beers, both in terms of rarity and quality, that one will find at West Lakeview: Nogne Dark Horizon (and everything else), St. Bon Chien, Jadwiga, Pannepot (both versions), De Streuss Wheat, Alpha Kong, 07 Barique, Jenlain Printempts, Fantome, Beer Geek Breakfast, and about 30-40 Belgian and French beers that I haven’t tried and in many cases, never heard of. West Lakeview also carries a boat load of meads from Wild Blossom and I look forward to trying them all over time. The staff is really excellent. The owner’s knowledge and attitude were unparalleled in the business. The other employee I spoke with was great too. Highly recommended shop that will become a must stop for me whenever I’m in Chicago.

Photo of tsmo
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

Uhh... how is it I've lived in Chicago for three years and didn't find this place until today? West Lakeview Liquors easily has the best selection of rare imports, particularly Belgian, of anywhere I've seen in the US.

When I was there thirty minutes ago I noticed: Taras Boulba, Pannepot, and the Hercule Stout. And that's to say nothing of the entire lines from Cantillion, Drie Fonteinen, Girardin, De Dolle and Brasserie Ellezelloise.

Prices were reasonable. My clerk, apparently the owner, was friendly and knowledgeable. Supposedly there are free tastings on Fridays from six to nine.

And yes, there is a down side: This is a tiny store, with relatively little room for six packs and a comparatively (next to their insane Belgian selection) limited selection of American micros.

If you want a case of Sierra Nevada, go to Sam's. If you want something that can't be bought anywhere else in the city (the country?), go to West Lakeview Liquors.

West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
100 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.