Blackwell's Wines & Spirits
Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
3.55/5 rDev -18%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped here last week while in San Francisco. Found it on BA, and thoughts I'd look for an alternative to Plumpjack for beer on the bay.
Blackwell's stocks some pretty high quality stuff, but the selection is nowhere near as good as Plumpjack. The prices are equally high though.
I was especially looking to find some Russian River beers, or some rare belgians. I was disappointed to find none of the first and few of the latter.
I think this is a place to stop at if you live in the immediate neighborhood. If you're in the city on business, no need to stop here. With less selection and the same price as Plumpjacks, which would you choose?
10-25-2005 11:26:37 | More by TurdFurgison
4.32/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
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
4.4/5 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 | $$
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 | $$
This is one of the very best beer locations in the city - and is extremely under appreciated by local beer lovers. I happened in here by accident one day shortly after moving to SF, and I've made it a point over the past year to go here at least twice a month. They do wine tastings on Saturdays and that's what'll motivate me to head to the middle Richmond. The beer cooler takes up the entire back wall and Gary has recently installed a large shelf to the right of the register where he keeps some of the better beers at room temp. Blackwell's carries an excellent selection of local micros, Belgians, German's and English beers. It's one of the only places in the city to have a permanent display of AleSmith and Russian River. Good seasonal selection, everything you can think of from California, and small batch imports that you can't find anywhere else. While the staff is trained almost solely on wine, some are well versed in beer as well and will aid in selecting, offer advice, or even hint at ordering something they don't normally carry if you ask nice enough. I'm a big fan.
11-22-2006 21:16:13 | More by clickpush
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
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
District of Columbia
4.84/5 rDev +11.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Blackwell's Wine and Spirits carries a wonderful selection of Lost Abbey, Russian River, Stone, Ballast Point, Deschutes, Port, Avery, Oskar Blues, and many other American craft beers. Additionally, they offer a variety of delectable foreign brews, including La Chouffe, Rodenbach, Gouden Carolus, Rochefort, Aecht Schlenkerla, Aventinus, and more.
The customer service is simply second to none. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. It's quite refreshing to deal with people who are both competent and amiable.
Prices are very reasonable, and I have yet to see a better deal.
Blackwell's carries a variety of fabulous beers, has great customer service, and very reasonable prices. Highly recommended.
03-01-2011 00:27:01 | More by Huhzubendah
3.7/5 rDev -14.5%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
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
Blackwell's Wines & Spirits in San Francisco, CA
94 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.