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West Lakeview Liquors

Not Rated.
West Lakeview LiquorsWest Lakeview Liquors
BA SCORE
99
world-class

140 Ratings
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 7.17%
[ 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: 140 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%

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 I've had the seldom outdated import, but that's fairly rare.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 Sammy
4/5  rDev -13%

Ranked the best store in Chicago, it likely is. Very good Shelton brothers selection, as well as twelve Percent (Evil Twin). Several US microbrews not available or sent here by distributors that were available at other small stores I visited. Looked like 700 different selections. Some overflow bottles were in the front window which was not a good idea. No breaking up of 4 or 6 packs. Service was a bit spoty but also only one server this night and I was keeping him hopping.Attached to a small deli-like store with some good snacks that go with beer.

Sammy, May 09, 2012
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.

TurdFurgison, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

West Lakeview Liquors is a dedicated shop that focuses on presentation, selection, quality and service. I stopped in looking for something I couldn't find back in NC. The guy behind the counter suggested a beer by Mikkeller brewed only for their shop. Hopefully it'll be a good one.

They have lots of everything but seem to be particularly deep on Belgians. They have the usual six packs displayed in the coolers with the more serious beers nicely displayed on wooden shelves that cover the back of the store. They unfortunately didn't have much from FFF but it seems like everyone in the area was out or running low.

I definitely recommend this place to anyone traveling to Chicago.

GJ40, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%

The first stop on my beer store journey in Chicago.

West Lakeview is a nice corner beer store with a large, diverse selection. They have a real strength in European beers spanning Belgium, UK, Germany, Finland, etc. The Belgian lineup was particularly strong. The American craft selection is moderate in size but high in quality. Good selection of FFF and Goose Island especially.

Service was fine; prices were reasonable. My expectations were very high for this stop. While they were not met, this is still a very worthy stop.

HV

sholland119, Oct 26, 2009
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

dirtylou, Jul 23, 2008
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.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of crossovert
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%

This shop is located off Addison, in the back there is a lot for maybe 4 cars.

It is a tiny place and I was immediately greeted by the cashier who was also the beer guy. He was extremely friendly and asked if I needed help. I saw that the Mikkeller Brett was sold out on the shelf but he went down ad got me some bottles form the basement. He also offered his own suggestions which were awesome. Best service of any beer store I have been to yet.

The selection is very worldly, the American craft selection is actually really tiny. The store is really tiny, a hole in the wall but it is stacked to the top with beer. It is mostly focused on rarer imports, some of which I've only seen here. The prices were a bit tedious, but al in all it was because they trimmed away a lot of the fat form their beer selection offering mostly just the "grand crus" of each brewery. I it is between a 4 and 4.5 for selection, might be closer to 4, it is hard to guess since there are lots of beers up on the shelves with only 1 or 2 more in stock. The thing about the selection is there are just a bunch of rare beers here that I literally have not seen anywhere else in Chicago.

This is a great place to shop in Chicago especially in the area.

crossovert, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of greenspointexas
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

greenspointexas, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of beerwolf77
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

I made an online purchase from these guys recently and I must say thank you.

They carry many things that don't quite make it to Wisconsin. Their website is easy to navigate and non cluttered.

So made an order and was informed via email they were out of one of my selections. No problem. The sales person suggested something along the same lines and I agreed. Well I got another email stating that another of my selections was out of stock. No problem. The sales manager felt bad this time and offered up a bottle of 09 Juliet. To which I replied "hell yes!"

My order arrived on time with no incident. I will definately be going back.

beerwolf77, Nov 28, 2009
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!

spointon, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.46/5  rDev -3%

WLL didn't exactly live up to the hype for me. The bottle selection was very good but there was very little that I couldn't find at other bottle shops in the city and in many cases WLL seemed more picked over than the two Binny's stores that I visited.

The service was outstanding though; very helpful and informative. Worth a visit if you are in Chicago but not the first place I'd stop.

TheSevenDuffs, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of Goldorak
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

I was in the Chicagoland area for business, but my flight was early so I decided to hit Wrigleyville. 25 bucks to visit the ballpark?? Pass!

I'm sure glad I made it here though. Not the biggest store you'll see, but selection is excellent. You can tell the manager knows and loves Beer. Eclectic selections from local, regional and larger micros, and very good stuff from abroad, but I stuck mainly to 3 Floyds and New Belgium, although I would have got more stuff if only customs and luggage space weren't a problem.

Excellent service, guy was friendly without being pushy, and went the extra mile to get me a bottle from the backstore.

Prices were in the mid to high range for some of the classic Beers offered, but I didn't mind for the rarities offered.

Highly recommended.

Goldorak, Aug 12, 2009
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!!

bditty187, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

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 jera1350
4.05/5  rDev -12%

My second stop upon arrival in The Windy City. The store is pretty small, but they make good use of the space. A refrigerator section with some sixers and a few bombers and then another wall dedicated to singles of craft beer. A ton of bombers and 750's. Lots of Lost Abbey, Goose Island, Port, Flossmoor, etc. Seemed to be lots of high end beers here. I found tons of great beers that I don't have access too in MN. I was asked if I needed help and then allowed to look around and make my selections. Prices seemed to be pretty good. A good beer store and worth the stop.

jera1350, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

Stopped in here after a small tasting down the street at Lush. I wasn't sure what to expect, frankly. It's a small place, kinda cramped, with warm beers on shelves opposite a wall of coolers (also filled with beer). This place has a decent-sized selection, one that seems to focus on imports that you won't find very often elsewhere. I collected a few smoked beers and headed off on my merry way. Some gems here, indeed. The guy at the counter seemed affable enough (I didn't press him for knowledge or anything), and I hear great things from regulars and semi-regulars. The prices are a tad high for my blood, but I chalk that up to Cook County and whatnot, to tell the truth (and it wasn't that bad, really). Overall, a great little place, one that I definitely plan on visiting again very soon.

TMoney2591, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

I finally made it here after tons of recommendations, glad to not be let down at all...Cool location in a great part of town, a quiet residential area. The store itself is really small but its mostly focused on beer so thats fine, does have some hard liquor and wine too. There is about 6 fridgees for 6 packs of beer, all quality stuff. No 3 floyds sixers though becuase they said they couldn't get them, kind of weird. Tons of single bottles, mostly focused on Belgians, and rare beglians at that. A unreal list of beers here, lots or sours, semi hard to find lambics. The beer guy at the store knew what he was talking about, had good suggestions.

Excellent beer store, probably the best in Chicago.

jrallen34, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of mattmarka1
5/5  rDev +8.7%

mattmarka1, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of markgugs
4/5  rDev -13%

markgugs, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Visited a number of times in my trip to Chicago in July/August 2010.

The place is divided in two. Half is the liquor store and half is a deli/convenience store. Apparently there is a cellar as well but that's off limits to customers.

Tons of bottles to choose from including lots of imports (Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Mikkeller, Nogne, etc), some locals, and a few random beers. Plenty of fridge space and shelf space that is all filled to capacity. Some random bottles seem to show up but they are not new releases, just left over from the last release. Not bad in most cases but just somethign to be aware of. Also lots of liquor, but as I have no interest in liquor I didnt pay much attention.

The people that work there really know their beer. The regular customers that I saw come in were all helped and seemed happy with what they got.

Didnt pay attention to prices all that much as I had too much beer to bring home in the suitcase already and only bought 2 bottles.

t0rin0, Jan 28, 2011
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!

botham, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%

I haven't been to the physical location but I dealt with them over the phone and through the internet.

They have a great selection listed in a nicely searchable format online. Organized by state or country and then by brewery. I kind of wish there was a clean search function but its easy to find out stuff when I want to find it. I am cautiously impressed with the selection.

I placed an order from some Cantillon beers and some other stuff and they were slow to get back to me. I contacted them via phone after a few weeks and they said some of the beers I had ordered were on back order and they were holding it. I would have appreciated a heads up on that. They shipped my package about a week later and they subbed two beers without asking and sent the wrong vintages of everything else.

I like online liquor stores and this is definitely a good one from a selection and quality point of view. But they really need to work on a system that matches their inventory with what is available on the website. Otherwise the customers won't have confidence that they are ordering what is listed on the site. Also, if something goes wrong, actually call the person who placed the order (or email them). You have access to this information.

I would use them again, cautiously, but I will definitely place my order over the phone.

drabmuh, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -13%

Stevedore, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

MSandahl23, Nov 09, 2013
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West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
99 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.