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West Lakeview Liquors

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

133 Ratings
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 6.51%
[ 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: 133 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 osusullins
5/5  rDev +8.5%

This is a beer lover's paradise. Far and away my favorite liquor store in Chicago. They always have a great stock of the highest quality of beers, and in the off chance that they are out of something, then they will special order it if it is available. Some of the kegs they have available on their keg list are simply amazing. The store is very intimate, but not cramped. It is very organized with the bottles easily accessable and easy to find if you know specifically what you are looking for. The staff is very helpful and friendly. I have had many conversations with the owner and she is an absolute pleasure to talk with. Parking is easy and it is in a great neighborhood. I can't express enough how much I love this place.

osusullins, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Alpar
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Alpar, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of wmtxbb
5/5  rDev +8.5%

I sort of hate this place... because it isn't next door to my house. West Lakeview liquors is the epitome of an awesome liquor store.

I'd like to start this rant about how awesome this place is by telling you, the reading audience, that I'm from Kansas - and Kansas has the most strict liquor laws in the country. We can't even fart over 0.15% without being arrested. The Kansas liquor stores stock an ample supply of the crappiest AB, coors, and Miller products that you can imagine. So, when I first moved to Chicago the liquor stores here were like a magical wonderland full of craft booze.

When I stopped into this particular liquor store, I felt the same level of awe...times 10. This place, although it is the size of a closet, has the most amazing selection; the employes know a bunch about beer and the prices are not too bad.

Overall, west lakeview liquors is awesome and you should visit this place.

wmtxbb, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of paco1029384756
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

paco1029384756, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of Halfbrother83
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Halfbrother83, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of rorj
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Fantastic Service. The young guy who was working was super nice, super helpful and knowledgeable. Told me all about pipeworks and some beers in the back.

The Selection was great, tons of pipeworks, Half Acre Daisey Cutter, not too much 3Floyds but going to the pub so didn't matter to me.

someone on here said they had to pay cash for glassware, but I used a card.

great store

rorj, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of polopaul20
5/5  rDev +8.5%

polopaul20, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of RMelyon
5/5  rDev +8.5%

RMelyon, Mar 19, 2014
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 PopnLoads
5/5  rDev +8.5%

PopnLoads, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of chrismason269
5/5  rDev +8.5%

WLVL has a selection that is unmatched not only within the city, but in the world. Beers varying from a couple thousand feet to couple thousand miles from the store's front door make it impossible to leave without something you had no idea existed or was available. It offers the rare and regular beers from popular Goose Island, 3Floyds and Pipeworks locally but also has an imported selection that allows you to step into another world.

chrismason269, Mar 03, 2014
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 ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Firstly , let me say that this place is simply beautiful and charming from both outside and in. It's on a charming little corner of Addison in a neighborhood full of charming two flats and single family houses and cozy apartment buildings all on shady tree-lined tranquil streets. The store is in an unassuming little storefront in an apartment building with little in the way of gaudy signage that would tell one that a retail establishment is nearby. The burgundy awning with the store's name and a few neon signs (Rogue, and some others ) are all that indicates where you are. Step through the door and you find yourself in a smallish but most charming space in which to buy good beer and some good liqour and wine, as well as quality cigars and Nat Sherman cigarettes, and even some quality chocalates. The shelves are all orante wooden with dark varnish and this looks like the way stores might have looked in the 1920's (except for the modern refridgeration), or maybe in Europe, but certainly not modern America. Anyway, the selections were vary large for such a small and quaint space. Very good Belgain and Belgian styles offerings, many of them refridgerated (much more than I've ever seen before) which encourages one to get something to enjoy that same day instead of purchasing a warm one to be chilled for some later time. Also a great deal of German selections, many more than I've seen elsewhere. Some Brtitish, and excellent cross section of American crafts (Victory, Great Lakes, DFH, SN, Anchor, Two Brothers, GI, Avery, and others) and Unibroue from Quebec. The employees were friendly enthusiastic, and both very helpful and very knowledgeable, ready to offer answers and/or insights on the stock, or upcoming stock items, or even things they did not even have but knew something about it that would be helpful to the customer. Their prices are very good. This place is excellent, and it's totally worth seeking out even you don't live on the northside, or in the city, for that matter.

ultralarry2006, May 07, 2006
Photo of AnnArborJoe
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Fantastic store. As long as you aren't there during a major rush, everyone is very helpful. I've shopped many times and I've never been disappointed by the selection, knowledge of the employees, or the level of service. The amount of liquor/wine in the store isn't phenomenal, but it's mainly a beer store and the booze/wine is enough to fulfill the needs if you're not just picking up beer. So far I've been unable to attend any tastings/BBQ/events but I've only heard good things. From my experiences, the beers that you would like to have fresh turnover pretty quickly and their overall inventory is somewhat small so I haven't had any old/skunked beers.

AnnArborJoe, Jun 12, 2011
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 cnbrown313
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Whenever my beer advocate friends come into Chicago from out of the area and ask, "Where should I go to find good beer in Chicago?" West Lakeview Liquors is my immediate response. And nobody has ever been disappointed.

A - The shop has a "boutique" feel to it (although not in a bad way). There are only about 2-3 bottles of each beer on the shelves (usually more are available in the back stock), so the store feels like a museum that is being constantly kept up by a very knowledgeable curator. Amongst the endless bottles of beers they also offer t-shirts, glasses, lambic baskets, etc. (many of which you aren't likely to find anywhere else except here and Belgium)

Q - The selection of quality beers here is the best I've ever seen. I have to imagine that it has to be up there with the best in the world. Very rare beers from breweries like Mikkeller, De Dolle, Evil Twin, Fantome, De Molen, etc. sit alongside local breweries like Pipeworks (they got their start working at this store by the way), Revolution, Three Floyds... and it goes on...and on...

Service - I've heard some people say that they haven't had the best service here, but personally, I've had nothing but good experiences. Last time I was in there buying a bottle of Bon Chein, the employee working the counter said, "If you like that, I've got a 2006 bottle in the basement you might really like? Another time I was buying about $200 worth of bottles and they threw in a free t-shirt for me too. I dropped a bottle on the floor once and thought I was about to get scolded, but the employee that saw just said, "Ah, don't worry man... that's why we've got rubber floors here!" So my service experiences here have been nothing but great.

Selection - If you are looking for the best and rarest beer you can find in Chicago. This is it...

V - Every once in a while you might be able to get a bottle $1 cheaper at Binny's, but in general, they are on par with everyone else. Also... Pipeworks bombers are $1 cheaper here than anywhere else.

O - If you haven't been here and have the means to do so. Do yourself a favor and go. And only bring what you're willing to spend... because I've gone in there for "a bottle for the night" and came out with $200-$300 in beer. It will happen...

cnbrown313, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of tdmccarthy
5/5  rDev +8.5%

tdmccarthy, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of ktrillionaire
5/5  rDev +8.5%

West Lakeview Liqours is a must-stop if you are in Chicago. Everything in stock is of the highest quality, from beer and booze to cheese and accoutrements. The import selection is great, and the whisky is phenomenal. Lambics and are well-represented, as are obscure Euro brands. The prices are all reasonable, and really good if you factor WLVs economy of scale. The staff is as knowledgeable as it gets and exceptionally helpful. About as good as it gets; WLV has all the good stuff and none of the crap.

ktrillionaire, May 12, 2011
Photo of mattmarka1
5/5  rDev +8.5%

mattmarka1, Jan 19, 2014
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 blue-dream
5/5  rDev +8.5%

blue-dream, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of ssimpson89
5/5  rDev +8.5%

I was in the city and wanted to see what I could get that's not available in the 'burbs. It's a small store, but has an awesome selection. It was early on Saturday, March 9 and me and my wife were the only 2 in the store.

I didn't get the name of the guy working, but he mentioned he was a Cleveland native and was rocking a Great Lakes hoodie. He knew I wanted local and pointed me to Pipeworks, Spiteful, Begyle, etc. I also grabbed some Daisy Cutter, which is limited in the 'burbs and he asked if I wanted some Double Daisy Cutter as he thought there may be few bottles in the back. It was my first time there and he made me feel like a regular. I've been buying at least 12 beers a week from my local Binny's for the last 5 years and have never received such great service and selection of hard to get beers. They tend to hold limited releases in the back for friends of the beer guy...bad policy.

West Lakeview had most of the recent limited releases on the shelf with a 1 per customer limit, which I love. It gives everyone a chance to get their hands on rarer beers.

What a great store. Everyone in craft beer retailing should make a visit to see how it should be done. Well educated and friendly employees do make a difference. I'll definitely be going back.

ssimpson89, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of scottwurst
5/5  rDev +8.5%

scottwurst, Oct 08, 2013
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West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
100 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.