Premier Gourmet

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

94 Ratings
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

3904 Maple Rd
Amherst, New York, 14226-1044
United States
phone: (716) 877-3574

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnyeast
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Every time I walk into Premier I end up spending more time than I planned. They have a great selection but unfortunately, this past weekend they seemed to be out of stuff. I imagine because of the Super Bowl and the tasting on Saturday (unfortunately I did not have knowledge of) from 12-3.

I enjoy the fine selection of Belgiums and US brews. Didn't get a chance to talk to the clerks but they are usually very informative and friendly. All in all a good experience, but I usually end up wandering around like a kid in a candy store with too much money in his pocket and not enough decision making capability.

Photo of ccs
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%

After leaving Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, we were directed to Premier Gourmet to find some other local brews. Accidentally walked into the wine and liquor store next door, also called Premier.
Nice selection, but someone else commented that there were quite a few gaps in the shelves and coolers. We noticed that, too, but thought it might be partially attributed to being there the day before Christmas--and it seems like everyone was stocking up. Prices were average for other places in New York that we went to. We did not have any interaction with the employees besides being told that we shouldn't break up 6-pks and should get the singles from the shelves. We did not notice any problems with the quality of the beer and it looked like nothing on the shelf was old.

Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%

Awesome selection (for this Ontario boy).

I came back with 30 different bottles of brew, including quite a few highly rated ones. Cost of 160 USD was reasonable, considering 6 were corked 750's, 3 were 650 bombers, and 3 were 500 (or so) mL Brits.

There were few empty spots on the shelves, and apparantly quite a few cases in stock that needed to be shelved. Strangely, the refridgerated shelves had a lot of empty space.

There was ALMOST enough other stuff (Food & kitchen supply) to keep my wife occupied, while a scavenged the beer.

Karl & Greg (the beer guys) were keen & helpful.

I didn't even set foot in the wine & spirits store next-door!

Photo of orfeu
4.5/5  rDev 0%

I moved to Buffalo in August and was directed to Premier almost immediately by BeerFly. The first visit was an eye-opening experience for sure. I had never seen such a selection before. I will always credit this place with nurturing my early experiences with quality craft beer -- I acquired my first DIPAs, Barleywines, and Belgian beers from Premier. I became a frequent customer. However, about a month and a half ago, I noticed that they were beginning to have several problems restocking certain domestic craft beers which should be easily found in this region, at least for a place that sells "specialty" beers. This was around the time all those hurricanes were smacking into the Gulf Coast, and it seemed reasonable when I was told that gas price spikes and other transport-related issues were to blame for most of the empty shelf space. A week or so went by, and I was told that certain beers were now (still) unavailable because of fickle distributors and the like. I decided to give this place a rest, let them figure their shit out, and make a few big runs to Beers of the World in Rochester in order to satisfy my esoteric beer needs. Unfortunately, my last visit to Premier, a few days ago, after a three or four week hiatus, was the most disappointing yet. The shelves were emptier than I've ever seen. All the beers they have spaces for that remain unfilled are available at a couple other places in town (Consumer's and/or Frontier) at lower prices to boot. They may have some Belgians that BOTW doesn't stock, but otherwise, I'm starting to feel like this place is not worth the trip. The beer staff are EXTREMELY friendly and helpful, and like I mentioned before, Premier does have a special place in my heart. I just thought I should put it out there that this place is not what it once was, even a few months ago. I really hope they figure out their stock problems.

***As an aside, Frontier Beverages, which I mentioned above, can't be reviewed on its own in BeerFly since crafts/imports make up less than 50% of their stock, but I highly recommend checking it out since they carry Unibroue, Stone, Bear Republic, Middle Ages, Ommegang, Weyerbacher, and several other goodies -- all unrefrigerated, though. Good prices, too.***

EDIT 11/21/2005: The selection/stocking issues seem to be resolving themselves, and I now understand that distribution is the key issue -- often both breweries and retailers are helpless as to where much product ends up being sold. And the beer guys remain some of the coolest folks around, always willing to chat about industry stuff and give recommendations. Really amazing folks.

Photo of soup35
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

I have been to Premier twice in the last 6 months. It would be more if I actually lived in Buffalo. It seems like each time I make a trip out to this place, I spend more money on my beer supply. They have a great selection of "hard to get" beer that you can't really seem to find anywhere else (maybe Beers of the World in Rochester). The beer staff that I dealt with was VERY KNOWLEGDABLE and definitely helped me with my choices. I picked up a lot of top shelf beer there that I am still "iffy" on drinking because I will have to make another trip!

Great beer selection, great staff, and the prices are not bad as well. Go check it out when you can.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%

Located on Delaware Ave, but leave it to Buffalo to put Delaware Road one block from Delaware Ave. so be careful not to get mixed up. This i easy to find with a basic rental car map. This is next to a liquor store so if you also like hooch, you're in luck. Premier Gourmet is the best beer store in Buffalo, Hands Down! Loads of Belgian Beers, German, French, American, and regional to boot. Heads up! The back cold box has some chilled beauties that are not on the shelves. They also have pre-filled local growlers. Bonus points for a chilled open cheese display that is filled with local beers.

Even for the food and culinary delights, this store is a must stop in Buffalo. I bought a big bottle of authentic Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce for my brother for $2.99.

Dont mind the kids earning a buck working here. They stayed out of my way and I got what I wanted, as a "friend" from CT once said. I snaggletoothed Ithaca's IPA 6pak for $8, Middle Ages Druid Fluid 4pak for $12, Middle Ages Wailing Wench bomber for $4.49. Killer cheap!

The only heaper stop in town is Consumers about 5 miles due East. You can hit both in 20 minutes, but Premier Gourmet is the best bottle shop in Buffalo. Even in Philadelphia, this place would rock! Bonus round: Tons of singles to choose from.

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Easily one of the best beer stores I've had the pleasure of visiting. We made the trip down from Toronto just to check it out. For someone from Ontario, they have a wonderful selection of US micros, including seasonals from distant breweries like Stone. The ability to buy individual bottles rather than 4 or 6 packs makes sampling many beers and styles easy and affordable. Plenty of quality European imports as well, as described in some of the other reviews. Nice selection of baltic porters and Belgians. The staff were great, suggesting beers in the styles that we were purchasing. We were also informed of beers that aren't on display out front, so make sure to talk to someone if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Great selection of quality beers + good service = repeat business. We're already planning our next border run to Buffalo.

Photo of HogHill
5/5  rDev +11.1%

In Buffalo for a wedding this weekend, so I checked out what the local BAs had to say about good beer places... Premier Gourmet was at the top of the list -- great beer, cheese and other gourmet treats, I'm there!

Premier Gourmet essentially has 3 parts to it, the liquour & wine store, the beer,cheese, food and kitchen tools store, and a small eatery. The back-end of the beer and cheese store is where the bottled beer dominates. About four solid aisles of craft brew greatness. They were divided by country and state, with a very healthy Belgian section and also an impressive French section (one doesn't see too often). Furthermore they had a section dedicated to Lambics (Cantillion, Liefmans, Lindemans), and lots of Saisons (full Fantome and Dupont lines) too. Most of the top breweries were available from Belgium and Germany and the Czec Republic. I liked how they had both a 750 and a 330 available for many of the same beers.

Some of the ones I picked up were Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru, Liefmans Framboisen, Jenlain Biere de Garde, Dupont Foret, La Choulette Amber, and St. Bernardus Wit.

As far as domestic there is Rogue, Bear Republic, Allagash, and a bunch of others from Colorado, New York, Mass, and Pennsylvania. If there was any dissapointment it was that there were not any Michigan beers available, but this might be just a distribution thing.

They also have a well stocked cheese section and there are some recommended pairings with beer which is great to see. I bought a couple of different Goudas and some Belgian chocolate too. I had a great lunch there too, very affordable and very fresh! Oh yeah, there's lots of cold beer available too.

Service was great too, the beer guy was attentive without being "in ya face" and said that they had been wiped out from Memorial day, which was surprising as the selection was phenomenal in my opinion.

Overall, a true beer mecca, where it is really difficult to curb the spending. Prices were reasonable, though it would be nice if there was a bit of a bulk discount like some other top notch beer stores have. For me this place rates right up there with Massachusetts standouts like Colonial in Acton, Harrington's in Chelmsford, Julio's and Downtown Liquours.

Photo of twelvsies
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Wow. This is really a top notch place. I really don't have any complaints. Premier is actually a bigger store, featuring a ton of "gourmet" food items, glassware, etc., and a seperate store for wines and liqours. However, there is a huge beer section, which if it wanted to be, could be its own store. Everything was layed out very nicely on big racks, as well as a pretty big cooler with sixers and bombers of some more recognizable stuff. The selection I might even say is the best I've ever seen. I was able to find some stuff here that I haven't seen anywhere, such as almost a full line of Fantome and a lot of Cantillon selections, including Lou Pepe and the rare St. Lamvinus. In addition, there were tons of beers I hadn't heard of, and many old favorites. Service was hands down the best I've come across in any beer situation. My friend I was with had just a simple question for him about whether or not they could get Allagash Oddysey (answer was an honest "probably not") yet he stayed and chatted with us for the better part of a half hour while picked out beer. We weren't even grilling him about anything, but he obviously just loved talking about beer. I'm definately going back, as it really was a great experience in general, and I've been to many a good beer store in my day. Fun times. Now I'll go drink some of what I got... perhaps a Fantome Printemps or a Duchesse... yum. Cheers.

Photo of biscodoll
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%

Premier Gourmet IS a Super Bierkraft! As someone who visits Bierkraft very often, I found myself in Buffalo for the day and decided to pay a visit. I wandered around the gourmet food part for a while, til I came across the 4 aisles of beer, plus fridges.

If anything, it was nice to see a few breweries that don't sell in lower NY, and purchased a Southern Tier Porter and one of 3 or 4 different Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbiers. I was very impressed with the Belgian/German/English sections, with a few surprise aged beers thrown around (the 2002 Stille Nacht woulda come home with me had I not found the '96 Elizabethans).

The service was wonderful and unpretentious. Once I proved I could hold my own in the beer talk, the cellar-dudes were excited to show me their favorites and tip me off to a few secrets. I walked out with a 6pack of mixed sizes, and look forward to returning!

Photo of hobbes2112
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%

I found this store using the BeerDir and it was great! This store has a really great selection of beers, both import and american micros. Way more stouts/porters than I am used to in Texas. Somewhat pricey, but that is ok when it means drinking better beers.

The store also has a great deli where you can stock up on cheeses and meats for matching. Decent bakery, and my favorite feature: free espresso.

The store next door is the Premier liquor store where they have a tremendous selection of wine. This is one stop shopping.

Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%

An awesome beer store, supermarket in Buffalo that is basically a huge Bierkraft! The quality of everything here is top notch, from the gourmet cheeses, to the artisianal mustards! The service is friendly and very knowledgable as well. The selection of awesome food items and beers is amazing! 5 or 6 Fantomes, the full Cantillon line! 1996 gueuzes! $30 St. Lams. This place gives halftime a run for their money. The most ridiculous beer store i've encountered in my travels. I spent $50, but if I was in a better place I could have EASILY spent $500!

Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%

Make a visit to Premier every time in the Buffalo area (once or twice a year)looking for hard to find beer and my wife looking for different gourmet foods.Anyways the selecton of Belgians is top notch along with northeastern micros and a good selection of growlers from locals like Flying Bison,I will say there UK selection is not as good as it used to be but they still have Lees Harvest ale dating back to 1996.My mother in law just brought me a stash from there that included Aventinus Weizenbock 1999,and some Wailing Wench to name a few.Pretty friendly service and usually quite attentive,a few more months and another trip will be in order.

Photo of wailingwench
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Cheers: Fancy schmancy place. FREE Beer tastings once a month (and it includes cheese and crackers, a quick snack before a "session"). $10 growlers of Flying Bison and CB's are the way to go. Staff is very knowledgable and willing to help you out. Excellent selection of imports.
Six packs are slightly pricy, but your other choice is a 12er of Blue form Sunoco. Empty carriers for single bottles. Upcoming events listed on dry erase board. One is allowed to write on dry erase board. Singles of pretty much everything are available. The wine selection is amazing, the best I have ever seen. You could finish a bottle of Bully Hill while walking @ the place. Armed security (actually off duty transit cop) is very friendly. Bathroom is co-ed which could be a good thing (or bad) if you leave the door unlocked.

Jeers: Here in Buffalo, no other place exists besides Consumers Beverage at Eggert and Sheridan. And that's not even close. No directions or map to beer section causing me to wander around. Uncomfortable feel if slightly buzzed, almost paranoid, maybe due to the customers staring at me. One is not allowed to place the carbon fiber techron plated strainers with micro-lock technology on their head and walk around. No DFH Punkin Ale.

Photo of CBFanWish
3.8/5  rDev -15.6%

Fancy food and fancy beer at fancy prices. They have a great selection of American micro's and a descent selection of imports. Aranged by country, I liked the layout of the store. The staff doesn't seem very knowledgable, but they are there to sell food more-so than beer. The prices seem a little steep also. What I would normaly pay $4 for, I am spending $5 at Premier. But that's okay. It is the best thing Buffalo has to offer. They have a great selection and could get even better if prices were to drop a little.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

In a word, selection. Organized by Country or State are a half dozen aisles. Buying a bottle rather than a six-pack make it great for sampling. Gaining a profile for Canadians travelling through the USA from Niagra Falls/Toronto as its near the border. European selection by far the best I have ever seen. Lots of gourmet packaged products of high quality. Staff are helpful but not knowledgeable about beer. I believe the manager is, but I am not passing through when he is available. Prices are a bit steep on the hard-to-gets but overall theya re fair.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%

Quality of this establishment can only be summed up by taking a stroll down their Belgian bier selection, you come to the end of the rack and there is every rare Cantillon I have ever heard of pretty insane, beers from De Ranke, Blaugeis, Oud Beersel, De Dolle, multiple Fantome seasonals. A slew of English and German biers, multiple vintages of JW Lees Harvest Ale. When it came to service they had it covered, a guy named Josh helped us make some of our selections and pulled out a limited release of De Dolle for me. This place is hard to beat one of the best selections I have ever seen in person, great resource for beer lovers everywhere.

Photo of ark57
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%

This is one of the first places that I ever found the Fantome beers. Now I don't have to go quite so far to find them. I was also able to find a few vintages of Saison de Pipaix, which I still can't find readily. While I live insanely far from Buffalo, I happened to be visiting a friend in Utica and thought why not, I am over half there. So I made the eight hour rounf trip. It was before I knew of the many great places that I now know of in New Jersey and New York. I also remember getting Great Lakes beers there as well. The Edmund Fitgerald Porter was a great find for me.

Photo of aardvrk1
5/5  rDev +11.1%

I was very pleased in my two visits to Premier. The selection was very good, especially Belgian and other European beers. The staff was very helpful and knowledgable and made several good recommendations. I was able to find beers I had not seen anywhere else and many others that I consider hard to find. I found the vintage Sinebrychoff Porter selection especially interesting; they had them available by brew date from the present back through 1997. The 1998 bottle I sampled was awesome. The store also had a great selection of cheeses and wines. I wish that I lived closer, as I am now 1300 miles away. I will make a point ot go there whenever I am in Buffalo again, however.

Photo of goz
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

I visited Premier Gourmet when I was in Buffalo for the Patriots game. It almost made me want to move to Buffalo. The beer is on a few racks (and a few doors in the cooler) in the back of a gourmet grocery store. I was greeted by one of the beer buyers (forgot his name), who spoke with me for quite a while and recommended a bunch of stuff for me. I was mainly looking for stuff I can't get back here in Mass - Middle Ages, Weyerbacher, Southern Teir, etc. They also had a ton of Belgian, English, and German imports, and growlers from the local Flying Bison brewpub. The only thing I was looking for that they didn't have when I was there was Three Floyds, which they said was due to a lapse in Distro when 3F's moved their bottling line in house. A must stop if you are in the area.

Photo of steelreign
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

Whoa, this place is nuts! This is a VERY dangerous store for me to be in. Five rows of nothing but the best beers on Earth is enough to make me tremble and sweat with fear of going into some serious credit card debt.

Trappists, micros, lambics, 3L bottles, specialties, seasonals, you name it, they have it (except for Stone... :( ) But that is only part of the store! Every gourmet food and cheese, coffee, hot sauce you can imagine is here. I think I will be back many, many times in the coming days.... gotta find a second job now!

Photo of fattyre
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%

When I start getting close to this place I start shaking and my credit card get hot!
Very strong in Belgians and English beers. A smaller but still good amount of American Micros. They carry a fair amount of locals in the form of growlers. I can always find something I have never had before here. The last time I was in they had beers laid around in the cheese section as matches, which I thought was a very nice touch and shows the love of beer in the place. The staff is always very friendly and helpful. I have found that even if there is something that you don't see on the shelf - ask! They may have it in back or in the "cellar". Definitely worth a stop when in the Buffalo area

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Superb assortment of numerous styles and varieties, several Belgiums, lots of English and a decent variety of American Micros, believe they boast over 700 kinds of beer (in a recent ad). Victory, Brooklyn, Dogfish, Middle Ages, Gearrys, Yuengling, Cooperstown, Saranac, Great Lakes to name a few of the big ones. Surprised to see Iron City as well! The best thing about Premier Gourmet is that almost all (probably 90 percent) of their beers are sold as singles, priced reasonably too! The singles are placed right next to the parent six pack, so you don't have to dig for them. Growlers are available from the Flying Bison and Pearl Street brewery. Believe they have 3-4 aisles of beer, lighting is great, aisles are a little crammed, but not too bad. Staff is knowledgeable and very friendly. Several beer glasses and beer publications, to include past issues of All About Beer mag. are available. The store also includes a huge selection of cheese, deli meat, hot sauces, coffee, glassware, kitchen gadgets, etc. A separate, but connected store sells nothing but wines and the hard stuff (and that store is the size of a grocery store). They also have a coffee stand and a little sit-down area to have a coffee and bagel. You could easily spend a full day in there just browsing, and of course beer shopping! Worth the stop if you are in Buffalo, worth your while to go out of yer way if you're not!

Photo of John
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Good selection of brews...including American micros and imports from all over. Beer section is fairly well organized. UK brews are well represented. Good selection of gourmet foods, cheeses, hot sauce, coffee, etc. Picked up some tasty brews, cheeses, salad, and bread and had an impromptu picnic at a local park. However, I didn't care for the shots the store manager was taking at another WNY retailer when they had outdated product on their own shelves. No class. Still worth a stop when in Buffalo or when traveling through the area.

Premier Gourmet in Amherst, NY
99 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.