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Ward's Supermarket


23 Reviews
Place Score:
Ward's SupermarketWard's Supermarket

Type: Store

515 NW 23rd Ave
Gainesville, Florida, 32609-8527
United States

(352) 372-1741 | map

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Added by heatmal on 05-22-2005

View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 31
Photo of KensWorld
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

The place to go for the best beer selection near downtown. big selection of local regional & international beers. most of left wall is a beer cooler opposite that most of the isle has bombers & 6 packs from all over the world. Great grocery store as well. I always make it a point to stop here when in town! One of a kind place. 4.75

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Stopped in here when the wife was out of town and got an unexpected surprise. About 5 bottles of brandy barrel Old Stick just chilling in the shelves a month or two after the release. Not an easy find in FL. Lots of good things to choose from with an aisle of refrigerated brews and bombers. Plenty of Belgian and German beers. Definitely worth a stop in while in town. Did not grocery shop, but looks like they have good stuff if a bit cramped in there. Also a decent wine selection.

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Photo of TomB
4/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Wards is what I would describe as an "old school" grocery store. I remember visiting similar groceries back home as a kid, that no longer exist today as the big boxes have squeezed them all out. Gainesville is quite anti-big box so Wards has been able to thrive here. The clientele is a mixed bag, lots of pretentious hipster types and down-home locals, so don't go expecting the same crowd you might see at Tipples. It's a grocery store so you shouldn't get there and expect the crowd to be the same as a Craft Beer store anyway.

You'll find the beer aisle in the back corner of the store. On one side is a cooler with a lot of variety and on the other is a row of bombers and select 4 and 6 packs. Wards is where I go if Gator Beverage and Tipples run out of something that I'm looking for, though that is slowly changing as the "Craft Beer Craze" grows and more people are aware of Ward's selection. Staff is always helpful and their beer guy (Steve) is super friendly.

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Photo of cubanbeerguy
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75

Wards is a health food market I guess. Lots of local produce and products. They have 1 beer aisle but nice selection. I walked in there one day and Hopslam was sitting there and old rasputin XV. Steve the beer guy is very helpful and always takes my calls since its across town for me. great selection for the size of the store and the fact its a grocery store.

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Photo of aepb1
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

For a grocery store, Wards has a great selection!

The beer is in the back corrner of the store, opposite the entrance.

They have a fairly large cooler and about the same amount of space dedicated to bombers and some more six packs making a nice beer aisle.

The only drawback is that they adhere to the commercial packaging. No singles out of the sixers, but come on, I'm stretching to find a negative.

If you are in gainesville, be sure to give this a shot. Prices are good and the selection is one of the best in town. Exemplary for a grocery store!

A special thanks to vapodge for introducing me to this wonder.

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Photo of MisterE
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

Ever since I first discovered what a great beer selection Ward's has, I've become a 'regular' there. The prices are also very competitive. Over the years, the selection has grown bigger and better - to the point where I almost don't bother to shop for beer anywhere else. If you're looking for something different, you can find some unusual (and expensive) brews that I haven't seen anywhere else, and you can often find some amazing bargains. American micro brews, German wheat beers, Polish and Ukrainian strong ales are all well represented. Definitely worth a visit!

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Photo of GatorBrew
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

Frequent this place often, it's a must-go if you live in Gainesville and have never been to a "local" grocery store anywhere. Truly Different.

To the beer.. They have a good bit of an aisle designated for beer, some of it is in the cooler, some isn't with no particalur reason it seems. The selection is fantastic for a grocery store, and the pricing is pretty good as well. I guess for nostalgic reasons I feel like they are better than a lot of other places in town because they were one of the first places to start carrying micro's and hard-to-find brews.

If you need to grab something for a cookout - try them for not only the food but the beer too - you wont go wrong!

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Photo of jf60657
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

Visited on a trip to Gainesville. About half a aisle of beer in a grocery store. Good selection of brews, lots of harder to find stone (oaked arrogant bastard, runiation) and a good amount of bombers. Sweetwater is available here. Was not very strong on Belgians, mostly American craft brews. Service was nowhere to be found but I didn't need help so no biggie. Pretty average place IMO, I felt like I was in a grocery store (because I was) and I prefer to shop in specialty stores. I'd go here again when in town to check what they have got in but I'd rather go to Tipples and spend my money there.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

As previously stated, first & foremost a local grocery store with a very heavy farmers market vibe. I like that. My mother-in-law loves the meat there, for what its worth.
The beer area is all over against the left (as you enter) wall. Nice selection of Belgians, some UK, lots of good US brewers represented as well. Six- & four-packs as well as big bottles. Cold brews differed from the room temp. stock. Not sure why except maybe to increase the selection? Picked up a new (to me) baltic porter and several other I've never had including a brew from Sweet Water Brewing in GA.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

Ward's is a grocery store in Gainesville. It specializes in local foods. It is usually pretty crowded. There is 1/2 of an aisle completely devoted to beer. There is a great selection of German and American beers from Florida and around the nation. This is consistently the cheapest place to buy good beer. I would buy Baltika from this place for $1.25. Other favorites that they have in stock are Stone IPA, Schneider weiss, and a large selection of Belgian style ales, Caracole, St. Bernadus, and Gulden Draak. The staff is not there to sell beer. They are there to run a grocery store, so there is no assistance available. That's ok you don't really need it.
You cannot assemble your own beer packs though. THere are several sample packs from Tommy Knockers, or Shipyard, or Flying Dog available usually. Its a good place to get beer.

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Photo of azorie
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

ok this was the first place me and the wife stopped in on our afternoon trip, to check out every beer store in gainesville. Ok so this is a grocery store of mainly local stuff, and its got lots of good things, we had fun shopping here. ok they have a good 20 to 30 of shelf space in beer stacked to about 11 feet high. They had every stone made, even oaked AB, not even TW in JAX has all these. They also had a GREAT German selection of doppelbocks, weizenbocks etc. Also had a decent Belgian selection. I highly recommend this little place. they also have a great organic selection, we found some great olives and crackers, stuff you have to pay more for at Whole foods. go visit this place. Did not need any service so unless some one offers to help I always rate this as average.

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Photo of danny013
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

I go here occasionally when I'm over on that side of town and want to grab a few singles. Overall, it's a small local grocery, lots of fresh veggies and meats (good prices on them too!), and an excellent selection of beer (there is a lot of wine, too, but I know next to nothing about it).

Lots of selection to pick from, mostly singles with some 6 packs thrown here and there. Lots of hard to find English ales, Belgians, and some US craft stuff. I can't recall everything (I'm usually grabbing and looking at those 3 things above when I go), but there is a lot of other stuff to check out as well. Prices are decent - reasonable priced, GB is just a few cents cheaper so it's no big deal, and they do have some things GB does not.

One word of warning, this place is usually packed with hippies! Be prepared for bra-less, shoe-less (and deoderant-less) masses wandering around. :P

One note, though - the address listed here on BA is incorrect; it is on 23rd, not 3rd (threw me off at first as well!).

Check it out!

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Photo of mullenite
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

The best thing about wards, in my personal opinion, is their willingness to carry beers that are not available anywhere else in town. They have a large variety of Hebrew, Baltika, and a few others that are difficult to find throughout the rest of the city. The staff is not always knowledgeable but is always willing to help in whatever way they can, which includes admitting defeat and finding someone who may be able to help you better.

Single bottle prices are average and larger bottles are very reasonable. It is a grocery store with a bit of an 'earthy' vibe but the prices are still decent and the staff is very friendly.

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Photo of joshwlt
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

Looking at previous posts this place must be getting better and better at stocking decent brew. I found a ton of craft breweries available and a decent german and belgian selection. I would list my finds but it would just take too long. They must be pretty quick to get in newly available stuff as well considering weyerbacher just got to Florida and it had both the IPA and DIPA available. The only craft I don't think I noticed there that can be found elsewhere in Gville were from terrapin, but like I said they had a large selection of american craft. A whole isle was set up just for beer and multiple people stopped and stared for minutes at the bevy of choices. And suprisingly I never noticed anyone go for the widely availabe macros and imports. I wouldn't know how stellar the employees are because I didn't require any help but the cashier seemed nice enough. Highly suggest you visit Ward's when in Gainesville.

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Photo of Portertime
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

I never have been to Ward's in the fifteen years I have lived in Gainesville. My wife actually told me about it. I always thought it was some small hippie organic market, boy was I wrong! Tucked in the back is a warm brew selection that will make any beer snob drool. There are organics, rare belgians, and good seasonals just hiding like buried treasure. I went ahead a got a six pack of singles for review. It was a very nice experience. And hey, there is nothing wrong with good organic food at reasonable prices.

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Photo of bkilpatr
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Ward's is a nice grocery store that has a good selection of produce, meats, organic goods, wine, and of course beer. Awhile back my friend had mentioned that this store had a good beer selection, but I never got around to checking it out until now. At first I wandered down the refrigerated beer aisle, which contained mostly macro and other common imports. Fortunately that's not all they had to offer.

They have quite a range of both micros and harder to find imports. They had most of Bell's beers, and Rogue, some Full Sail, a bunch of German and Belgian beers, as well as many more that I can not remember. I'll definitely be visiting this store more often. It's probably the best selection I've seen in Gainesville. And they pretty decent prices too.

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Photo of Zeckster
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

While many in town look to Wards as an excellent seller of foodstuffs, including a nice vegan and vegetarian selection, they also have some fine beers.

They were the only place in Gainesville who carried the Brooklyner-Schneider Weisse, while it was in the area. Also one of the first (along with Gator Bev) to carry the Bells Amber and Kalamazoo Stout. They have a nice selection of Rogue, Belgians and Weisse beers. It seems that the selection does change at a good clip so keep and eye out and keep going back.

Over the holiday season there were plenty of Christmas selections and holiday sets.

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Photo of marinermc
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%

I've been to Gainesville's premiere organic and whole foods market numerous times in the past -- usually to buy something very specific, like white asparagus or some oddball meat. Only recently, when looking for some inexpensive salmon not farmed in Thailand, I stumbled across a literal treasure trove of beer I never knew existed in Gainesville's scant beer retail outlets.

I left the store with a handful of late-season X-mas beers and a "need to come back for that" list longer than the shelves themselves. Ward's has a healthy array of Belgians, US craft brews, and other fine European selections -- many of which are not even on the menu at Gainesville's famous local beer bar (as superb as it is). I was pleased not only with the deep selection, but also with the sheer volume! There wasn't just a few six-packs of Anchor X-mas, there were cases upon cases! Each beer has at least a handful of buddies right behind it -- which is nice seeing as the interest in the area is growing, and, thusly, the purchasers.

Go to Ward's, buy some granola and a cheap side of local beef and revel in the reasonably priced and grand selection of great brews.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4/5  rDev -2%

Wandered into this grocery store after finding myself hungry at lunchtime in its strange, obscure corner of town, and was flat out shocked by its selection. A wall in the back of the store contains almost as many different beers as some of the smaller, more specialized shops in town. As Gator Beverage occasionally has supply problems, there are times when Wards might actually be the better choice in Gainesville for selection, and you can do some actual grocery shopping while you're at it.

Any small, local grocery store that stocks St. Bernardus is ok in my book.

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Photo of geetlord
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

Wards is a fairly small grocery store with a supprisingly good beer selection. I found that it had a reasonable number of Belgain beers and U.S. beers as well as beer from the U.K. and from Germany. The selection is similar to a smaller than at the Wine And Cheese Gallery or at Dorns. the prices were amaxing as well, as an example; the dogfish head World Wide Stout was half the price at Wards as at the other stores that I mentioned. Overall I think wards is well worth the trip even if its selection is slightly smaller than other local places.

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Photo of wesflorida
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

Wards was a great discovery for me this holiday season. They had a large selection that contained many varieties that arent offered anywhere else in Gainesville. Since I have pretty much had all that Gator Beverage and Dorns has to offer its good to find something fresh and new. I am not sure what the previous reviewer was smoking but their selection is nothing like what you find at a typical grocery store(complete lack of selection unless you like rice beer), lots of styles from all over the world. I would say close to 100 different beers if not more, try to find half that at any other grocery store or even 5 there that you would even bother to drink.

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Photo of brewingmonk
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

Ward's of late (Fall 2005) has been surprising me every time I go in their store. The surprises have been selection and price. Not being a beer store (it's a grocery store) I think it's easy to be surprised with any decent selection. But Ward's has beers you cannot get anywhere else in Gainesville (including Stubbie- the local beer bar). Their strengths would be in the area of Belgian beers, Great Divide, some German beers. The price is what is really shocking. Easily the cheapest in Gainesville. As far as the service, there's nothing special, but nothing surly.

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Photo of gabe
3/5  rDev -26.5%

I wouldn't really consider Wards a beer store. Its a grocery store. The beer selection is reminiscent of what would be available at your typical supermarket... though maybe a handful of "ok" finds. I wouldn't go out of my way to get beer here. If my main objective was to find good beer to drink in g-ville I would head to Gator Beverage or Dorn's first.

That being said, Wards is a pretty cool grocery store. Lots of fresh and local grown veggies, fruits, etc. Like what you would find at a farmers market. Plus a nice selection of fresh seafood and meats. Plenty of organic type foods to be found here. I would go here first and foremost to find quality ingredients for a meal and only pick up beer if I didn't feel like making a second stop.

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Ward's Supermarket in Gainesville, FL
91 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.