Blackwell's Wines & Spirits
Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
District of Columbia
4.84/5 rDev +11.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Blackwell's Wine and Spirits carries a wonderful selection of Lost Abbey, Russian River, Stone, Ballast Point, Deschutes, Port, Avery, Oskar Blues, and many other American craft beers. Additionally, they offer a variety of delectable foreign brews, including La Chouffe, Rodenbach, Gouden Carolus, Rochefort, Aecht Schlenkerla, Aventinus, and more.
The customer service is simply second to none. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. It's quite refreshing to deal with people who are both competent and amiable.
Prices are very reasonable, and I have yet to see a better deal.
Blackwell's carries a variety of fabulous beers, has great customer service, and very reasonable prices. Highly recommended.
03-01-2011 00:27:01 | More by Huhzubendah
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I have been shopping at Blackwell's for about a year now. There are many good reasons to visit this Outer Richmond store if you are into great beer. Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Racer 5 and Green Flash West Coast IPA are four of their regulars. They also have a rotating selection of various American beers like Consecration, 2 Turtle Doves, Abyss and Black Butte XXI.
In addition to the American craft beers, there are also a great number of Belgian, German and British imports. Chimay, Duvel, Gulden Draak and of course many more.
If wine is your thing, there is an army of wine bottles at your disposal as well as frequent wine tastings.
The service is top-notch; there is always someone ready to help if you have a question. If you live in the neighborhood or are just visiting The City, come check out the selection. You will not leave empty-handed.
03-14-2010 04:05:40 | More by Hatzilla
4.4/5 rDev +1.6%
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Liz and I rolled in here on Saturday in search of a good six pack for the beach. Unfortunately, the sixers were a little pricey (as were all of the beers), so we went to Martell's across the street instead. That's not where the story ends though. Several bottles in Blackwell's Wine & Spirits caught my eye, so I made sure to come back the next day (yesterday).
So what makes this place worthy of an "A"? Well, first off, it's a very classy little wine store that's got a nice feel to it. Everything is very clean and chic, and all of the beers being sold are near the top of their respective classes. Also, the beers are kept in the very back of the store, where sunlight could never reach. The majority of the beers are kept in coolers too, and those few that aren't are high ABV Belgians (which do just fine without refrigeration). I don't think it gets any higher quality than that.
As for the selection, I found the likes of Temptation, Consecration, Pliny, Blind Pig, Cantillon Classic Gueuze and Rosé De Gambrinus, Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, etc. As you probably picked up on, they specialize in Belgians and have a fine selection of sours. I would have liked to see some more imperial stouts, barleywines, and imperial IPAs, but I was very happy with what I saw on the shelves.
The service varied. We were stuck with a very snobby young lady the first day who straight-up ignored me twice! (I was trying to ask her when the store hours were.) Luckily, her coworker stepped in and helped me out. This guy was cool. I talked to him more yesterday when I came back to get some Temptation. He was very friendly and seemed to know his shit about beer, though he claimed to be pretty green when it came to sours (same as me). We chatted for a bit and I left a happy customer.
I'll likely be back to this place again, but only for some of the rare specialties. Blackwell's is on the pricey side, and I'd rather buy my staple brews elsewhere.
08-31-2009 15:54:06 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I am really lucky to have this great store in my neighborhood, turns out it opened up less than a year before I moved to the Richmond District. They stock a great range of quality beers, and liquors into this space and their wine selection is better still.
For the Richmond District the selection is amazing and pricing is very fair, that said they are not quite the "destination" beer store that City Beer is. There prices are on par with City Beer, BevMo and Whole Foods and cheaper than Healthy Spirits.
They are not afraid to think independently, so you will barely find any BMC here, and they do not even bother stocking the whole line of most craft beers that you see in grocery stores. Instead they stock great products you rarely see at groceries and other neighborhood stores, like Belgians, RRBC's whole line, etc. For wine and spirits they have a special knack for stocking great value products that you won't find elsewhere.
Nearly everything is refrigerated but they also have a shelf with age worthy beers at room temperature.
Because they are not a "destination" spot they sometimes manage to keep things in stock longer than other spots. For instance they have had Consecration or Beatification or Abyss or Damnation 23 in stock long after those sold out at City Beer.
Very friendly and knowledgable staff and owners, they tend to greet every customer and ask if they need help but otherwise leave you alone if you want to look on your own.
04-21-2009 20:45:54 | More by Gilmango
3.9/5 rDev -9.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I recently stopped in at Blackwell's for the first time. I will update my scores based on future visits. I didn't get a chance to talk about beer with anyone there, but they were very nice while ringing me up and didn't crowd me while I perused their selection. The store is largely dedicated to wine with a good-sized selection of hard liquor. I know next to nothing about wine and nothing about any liquor besides whiskeys, so I can't really comment on those sections. I will say that the store is very aesthetically pleasing and, unlike many stores in San Francisco, quite spacious. It's not a huge store, but everything is laid out well with plenty of room between displays. The wine is attractively displayed and the hard liquor is, well, on a wall of shelves but I'm not sure how that could really be improved.
The beer selection is on the small side, but everything that they stock is high quality. They have some short descriptions for the beer, which is always nice. While the selection could be larger, I visited the day after going to Healthy Spirits, which is my new favorite store and packed to the gills with variety, so the comparison is certainly coloring my judgment on that. That said, they had a few bottles not available at City Beer or Healthy Spirits, so it's certainly not too shabby. On my next visit, I'll try to strike up a conversation with the staff and revise my service score.
12-22-2008 22:16:52 | More by popery
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a great store overall but specifically it is a good beer store. Although wine takes up the bulk of the store and much of the entire left/western wall is for spirits and liqueurs, it has a nice beer selection at the back of the store and on the back part of the left wall.
The selection is not large in terms of volume, but considering the size of the store, it has great variety, with a high proportion of interesting and varied Belgian and German beers, a number almost unavailable elsehwere in the region, along with some harder-to-find Czech and British beers as well as various domestic microbrews. I mainly go here for the imports, since I can find a good selection of domestic microbrews everywhere.
I have not had much occasion to test the service, but it always seems friendly and accommodating.
They also have a nice selection of beer glasses, again some harder to find.
When I'm in San Francisco, which is often but not often enough, I usually stop here.
10-21-2008 23:55:17 | More by Offa
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is one of the very best beer locations in the city - and is extremely under appreciated by local beer lovers. I happened in here by accident one day shortly after moving to SF, and I've made it a point over the past year to go here at least twice a month. They do wine tastings on Saturdays and that's what'll motivate me to head to the middle Richmond. The beer cooler takes up the entire back wall and Gary has recently installed a large shelf to the right of the register where he keeps some of the better beers at room temp. Blackwell's carries an excellent selection of local micros, Belgians, German's and English beers. It's one of the only places in the city to have a permanent display of AleSmith and Russian River. Good seasonal selection, everything you can think of from California, and small batch imports that you can't find anywhere else. While the staff is trained almost solely on wine, some are well versed in beer as well and will aid in selecting, offer advice, or even hint at ordering something they don't normally carry if you ask nice enough. I'm a big fan.
11-22-2006 21:16:13 | More by clickpush
3.55/5 rDev -18%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped here last week while in San Francisco. Found it on BA, and thoughts I'd look for an alternative to Plumpjack for beer on the bay.
Blackwell's stocks some pretty high quality stuff, but the selection is nowhere near as good as Plumpjack. The prices are equally high though.
I was especially looking to find some Russian River beers, or some rare belgians. I was disappointed to find none of the first and few of the latter.
I think this is a place to stop at if you live in the immediate neighborhood. If you're in the city on business, no need to stop here. With less selection and the same price as Plumpjacks, which would you choose?
10-25-2005 11:26:37 | More by TurdFurgison
3.7/5 rDev -14.5%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
This is an odd place to put such a beautiful wine/liquor store since it feels like it belongs in a rich neighborhood. The beer selection is somewhere between a bev'mo and a plumpjack. Bevmo for stocking on up on good but fairly easy to find beer and plumpjack for an occasional "wow" beer like the Rulles triple, thomas hardy or the Russian River Supplication. It would be great if they could be great and go the extra mile as they clearly did for their wine selection. I didn't ask for help and was left alone but they could have checked in on my snooping.
09-13-2005 04:49:24 | More by lou91
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
This has become one of my favorite places to pick up beer in San Francisco. It sells mostly wine, but the entire back wall is devoted to coolers of beer. While the selection isn't huge, the owners are dedicated to stocking mostly quality beer and each time I go back they have upped the ante. Belgium, Germany, England, and the United States are all well represented with interesting offerings. From Deep Shaft Stout, to Boon Geuze, to Ceramic Bottles of Crusty, there is always something for everyone. On top of the diversity, there are random gems and the selection improves almost weekly. The owners are always there and are super cool, enthusiastic about what they carry and have held a few beer tastings in the last couple months. While maybe not a "must visit", this is a great place to pick up beer in San Francisco, especially considering that the upper Richmond isn't the hottest place for beer.
05-20-2005 07:39:34 | More by axisjones
Blackwell's Wines & Spirits in San Francisco, CA
94 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.