Blackwell's Wines & Spirits
Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.9/5 rDev -9.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I recently stopped in at Blackwell's for the first time. I will update my scores based on future visits. I didn't get a chance to talk about beer with anyone there, but they were very nice while ringing me up and didn't crowd me while I perused their selection. The store is largely dedicated to wine with a good-sized selection of hard liquor. I know next to nothing about wine and nothing about any liquor besides whiskeys, so I can't really comment on those sections. I will say that the store is very aesthetically pleasing and, unlike many stores in San Francisco, quite spacious. It's not a huge store, but everything is laid out well with plenty of room between displays. The wine is attractively displayed and the hard liquor is, well, on a wall of shelves but I'm not sure how that could really be improved.
The beer selection is on the small side, but everything that they stock is high quality. They have some short descriptions for the beer, which is always nice. While the selection could be larger, I visited the day after going to Healthy Spirits, which is my new favorite store and packed to the gills with variety, so the comparison is certainly coloring my judgment on that. That said, they had a few bottles not available at City Beer or Healthy Spirits, so it's certainly not too shabby. On my next visit, I'll try to strike up a conversation with the staff and revise my service score.
12-22-2008 22:16:52 | More by popery
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
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
4.32/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Blackwell's is a very nice store, albeit kind of out of the way of virtually anything else, as far as craft beer goes. However, one of the better sushi spots in town is around here, as are a ton of Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other restaurants that you might enjoy if that's your thing. Mayflower has a location here (I get down to the Silicon Valley location in Milpitas once in a while with family) too, so if you like dim sum, there ya go.
Selection wasn't the largest around, but that is find. There is attention to quality, instead of attention to quantity. I never really need much assistance in the stores anymore, but the woman working there who was stocking seemed very ready to help out and looking to spread the good news to whoever would take the time.
01-11-2013 00:40:23 | More by RblWthACoz
4.34/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I joined Blackwell's email list which is the way to go. You get emails about some limited rlease beers etc that a lot of stores just dont get their hands on. Their beer selection is decent for northern California but is not the center of their stock. Bourbons, whiskeys, and wines are their best attribute. Spectacular selection of all of them. I found out about them when I was searching for a store that might carry Templeton Rye - an Iowa prohibition style rye whiskey only distributed in 4 states. They carried it. And I was grateful they did. They even shipped me 2 bottles across the bay for not much more than the bridge toll. Well worth a visit!
05-05-2011 14:49:25 | More by NorCalgrowler
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is one of the very best beer locations in the city - and is extremely under appreciated by local beer lovers. I happened in here by accident one day shortly after moving to SF, and I've made it a point over the past year to go here at least twice a month. They do wine tastings on Saturdays and that's what'll motivate me to head to the middle Richmond. The beer cooler takes up the entire back wall and Gary has recently installed a large shelf to the right of the register where he keeps some of the better beers at room temp. Blackwell's carries an excellent selection of local micros, Belgians, German's and English beers. It's one of the only places in the city to have a permanent display of AleSmith and Russian River. Good seasonal selection, everything you can think of from California, and small batch imports that you can't find anywhere else. While the staff is trained almost solely on wine, some are well versed in beer as well and will aid in selecting, offer advice, or even hint at ordering something they don't normally carry if you ask nice enough. I'm a big fan.
11-22-2006 21:16:13 | More by clickpush
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
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
Blackwell's Wines & Spirits in San Francisco, CA
94 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.