Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
3.71/5 rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
While passing through Columbia I only had time to hit up place and I made it this store. It wasn’t bad. The service was helpful and nice. I even got directions. The selection was pretty good a lot of the bigger bottles of craft beer and a wide variety of six packs. They carried a lot of imports from Asia, Europe and Latin America. I would have to say their craft brew selection was the best I had seen in Columbia. They do have the beer out in an area where it gets al lot of light and the store could be a bit cleaner but that is my only complaint.
12-20-2011 13:14:18 | More by MTNboy
4.03/5 rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $
I'm visiting a buddy in Columbia, MO and I thought I'd see what was out there selection wise. I've been to Hyvee and Patricias IGA, but the selection is so much better at Arena Liquor. I came out expecting to get some good Odells and New Belgium, but I discovered so much more. I found some limited release Founders Blushing Monk, Double Jack (I liked this more that Pliney, but it might have been a bad one), Some good Mikeller. I was on a mission to find Mercenary and there it was. So as far as best beer selection in Columbia, I'd say check out Arena Liquor.
09-08-2011 19:31:05 | More by Fromm
3.6/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
This store probably has the best selection of beer in Columbia, and luckily, I only live a mile away from it. It is a gas station first and foremost, but inside you'll find three isles pack full of beers, as well as a back wall of coolers. They have pretty much anything you can buy in terms of Missouri distribution (Bells, Founders, Firestone Walker, Stone, BLVD, Schlafly, Odells, New Belgium, as well as a large selection of Belgian and other European beers etc...). The employees don't seem to know much about beer though, so I wouldn't waste your time asking questions.
05-05-2011 00:59:10 | More by given2flybrewing
3.7/5 rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Arena Liquor is a place that I drove by dozens of times before I even noticed it was there. Truth be told, it isn't just a liquor store: the actual business I wanted to use that day was the Shell Station it's located inside. I pumped my gas, went inside, and kind of froze on the spot. Inside, it's fairly dimly lit, with the exception of the coolers lining the wall. Beer was all over the place. Pretty neat thing for me to realize.
The upside is the good selection they have going on there. The usual presence of Boulevard, Schlafly's, O'Fallon, Fuller's, Samuel Smith's, Sam Adams, etc. is there, along with all of the Belgian standards you'd come to expect. They're all there and they're always available... I've only had problems with stock once or twice, and that was with a Unibroue product. They upkeep isn't all that great, and I've found an old beer there more than once. It's not a surprise to me at all; the place just a has a weird vibe like that.
The real downside about Arena is its location. You get the same service you'd expect to get from a gas station. Friendly guys behind the counter, but they won't go out of their way to come greet you. Once I went there a couple of times, they started to recognize me and ask how I was, but beyond that, I'm by myself on beer hunt. So it goes.
That being said, it's definitely a good place to check out. If you're in Columbia for one reason or another, it'd be a good place to step foot in and see if they have any beer that you couldn't find anywhere else in the area. If it's a decently well-known craft brewery, there's a good chance they'll carry the beer. Not a bad store overall.
12-03-2010 00:24:03 | More by bbkd3b
3.85/5 rDev +4.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I visited this store twice while I was in Columbia last week and was very pleasantly surprised. This is basically a Shell gas station but also a very nice liquor store. The sign out front advertised more than 550 beers and the quality and selection were quite good. Had a pretty full line of Boulevard including Smokestack, locals like O'Fallon, Cathedral Square and Augusta. Plenty of other interesting stuff from Odell, Ska, Southern Tier, etc etc. Pretty good selection of imports too. On my two visits I was not offered any help, although I did not ask either. Still, I was in the store for a good bit of time and no one seemed remotely interested in helping. Oh well, I'll certainly visit again, and it doesn't hurt that prices are extremely reasonable either. Very solid beer store.
07-29-2010 03:33:21 | More by number1bum
3.85/5 rDev +4.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Arena is definitely a shady-looking establishment, as it's in a sorta rundown gas station at a very busy intersection. You'd expect this kind of place to be the typical "porn and 40's" kind of place that seems omnipresent in a big college town, and while it does have plenty of both of the aforementioned, they also have some good brews, and a LOT of them.
You can get all the typical larger craft beers that are available in MO (New Belgium, Sam Adams, Rogue, etc) in addition to a lot of the Bells brews, nearly the full Ommegang line, a full line of (semi-local) Schlafly and Boulevard beers, plenty of Avery, Southern Tier, Rogue, Arcadia, He'brew, etc bombers, probably 100+ craft and import 6-packs, and a farily decent selection of single bottles from Germany, England, Belgium, etc. All in all, this gas station is probably the best selection in town.
Service is good and bad. It's great in the fact that they want to help you (they had Southern Tier's Creme Brulee still in the boxes and not out on the shelves, but opened some just for me), and they also do returns/exchanges for bad beer (which some places don't do, sadly), but it's bad in that it's mostly young (college age) kids running it and, while they're friendly, they don't know much about beer if you need help.
If you know what you're after, however, it's definitely worth the stop, and worth checking back frequently to see what's newly in. (I recently discovered Jolly Pumpkin and Anderson Valley there).
09-10-2009 17:17:05 | More by BedetheVenerable
3.4/5 rDev -8.1%
quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
Arena Liquor is a shell gas station/service station/beer store. Family owned and to my knowledge only one member can really speak and understand English to a high degree. This makes it hard to ask questions and get any feedback. The place is usually busy any time of the day with the employees tied up dealing with the convenience store and gas station mostly. Added a mix-a-six-pack refrigerated section this year - not a wide selection here but its a good start. Overall, many types of imports and domestic. They have a large refrigerated section along with many on shelves. They advertise over 500 different types of beer at any one time. The best in Columbia by far.
12-15-2008 01:51:04 | More by Tone
3.7/5 rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I decided to drop by the last time that I was in Columbia. The service was really non existent. No one asked if I needed help or was looking for anything in particular. It was a little busy so I chalked it up to them helping other people. The selection is stellar for Columbia. They have the best selection of better beer in central Missouri. Now, I'm not saying it can compare to really good liquor stores, but for the area its great. Bells, Odells, New Belgium, Rogue, a very good selection of imports. I was really impressed when I was in there. The value seemed pretty good. The prices all seemed in line with what I pay in KC. The only thing I can say is that I wish this place had been what it is now, when I lived in Columbia.
09-09-2008 14:24:22 | More by hwwty4
Arena Liquor in Columbia, MO
86 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.