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West Lakeview Liquors

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

151 Ratings
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 6.94%
[ 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: 151 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ballewblake
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

ballewblake, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of MasterSki
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

MasterSki, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of inhoc00
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

inhoc00, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of goethean
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

goethean, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of botham
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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!

botham, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of captnamerca
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

captnamerca, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of tedsox31
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

tedsox31, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

bluemoonswoon, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

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!!

bditty187, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%

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

dirtylou, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Crosling
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

Crosling, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

ChainGangGuy, May 03, 2008
Photo of UncleMeat
4.7/5  rDev +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.

UncleMeat, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of bgramer
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

bgramer, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Monsone
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

Monsone, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of mrquartetman
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

mrquartetman, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of harpus
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

harpus, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of BrewSomerville
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

BrewSomerville, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

emerge077, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of tsmo
4.7/5  rDev +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.

tsmo, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of Rasputin
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%

I just moved into town, and lo and behold this place is a 5-min walk from where I live! Jackpot!

To sum up West Lakeview's theme, I'd say it's "quality over quantity." This is a small place, with limited shelf space. That having been said, they have made the absolute most of the space they have. Great selection of European beers, especially English and Belgian. The American selection is up there too. Nothing is lacking.

For a smaller place, they have a good bit of cooler space, and use that well too. It looks like their better sellers across all styles and locales are well represented in the cooler. The best aspect of the coolers is that the very last cooler, in the back corner of the store, is where they keep the American macros. You have to go a little out of your way to find them, which is how most of us here at Beer Advocate would probably prefer stocking was done at all beer stores.

I found some beers here that I haven't seen elsewhere, including Sam's. Not many, but for a place this small to have something Sam's doesn't is impressive. The fact that they took the time to stock liquors by Rogue, Dogfish Head, and Chouffe is commendable. (Those liquors are not cheap though: $30-40/fifth)

As for service, I have found that everyone who works there is friendly and helpful. However, not all of them really know the beer that well. They try, and are pleasant to talk to regardless.

All in all, I'm not sure this place worth going way out of your way for (if you aren't already in town). However, if you live, and/or are visiting anywhere nearby, and appreciate good beer, you owe it to yourself to check this place out.

I haven't been to one of the weekend beer/wine tastings yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so soon.

Rasputin, May 23, 2007
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

We finally made it to this place last night (the official excuse was the Belgian tasting and a chance to try the Christoffel Bok) but really, had been meaning to make it hear for a while. T

his is a small but exceptionally high quality shop. There is as much shelf space for beer as for wine. The selection is excellent especially for its size. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful.
I was surprised to see several brands/beers not available at Sam's.

Prices seemed to be a bit higher than Sam's on some items, but I will happily support the little guy. Especially one that is willing to take a chance on a nice high end beer selection with virtually no mass market beers!

Some nice prizes were some scandanavian brands including Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout and Ølfabrikken Porter

and a brazilian smoked lager Eisenbahn Defumada (actually a whole line of brazilian craft beer I had not seen before from Eisenbahn).

(we tried this last night and it was very nice, moderate smoke (not hit you over the head rauch). Reminded me of one of my favorite smoked marzens from Drei Kronen located just outside Bamberg)

4thoseabout2bock, May 19, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%

When I moved to Chicago this was the beer store around the block, so I had a distorted view of beer stores in Chicago. This place has lots of great beers packed into a very small store. They have a wall of about 10 cooler doors where most of the beer is store with some nice book shelves with the rest of the warm beers.

They had some nice beers that were not that common with some nice Dogfish Head Vodka and Rhums. There was some Anchor X-mas Ale from 2005 that was interesting to see and many of there brands had 5-6 styles which was nice to see. The also had a nice Belgian section with a smaller German section but the main focus is on American craft beers. They have some hang tags to describe a few beers and they looked like they were made by the owners.

I had forgotten how charming this place was and I will have to stop in more when I am in the old neighborhood.

rhoadsrage, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

I've hit this shop a few times in the recent months. A month or so ago, they hosted a Bell's tasting, where they went and purchased the beer, brought in a rep from Bell's, and gave all that attended a bottle of their choice, free of charge, to take home with them. I was very impressed with this. One of their guys on staff has connections with a reputable importer, and they often find a way to get a decent supply of some of the more difficult to find brands from this importer. I have never been pressured by the staff there, but I have always been offered help or asked if I needed anything once while there. Though this is a smaller store, their selection is very nice. I would venture a guess that they have at minimum 150 or so unique brews, not counting the ubiquitous brands that you can find at a corner grocery. Their prices are on par with the mega store in town, if not significantly lower on certain brands. The store is not too far away from the Wrigleyville area, so if you hit Sheffields, Uberstein or Goose Wrigley, you can easily make it over here with a short bus ride. If you don't, that leaves more good beer for me.

kmpitz2, Dec 12, 2006
West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
100 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.