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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
3.74/5 rDev -13.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I visit this place every time I visit friends in Berkeley.
The store is a nondescript front on University, and the inside pretty much bottles, bottles, bottles. The selection includes all of the Bay Area favorites: RR, 21st Amendment, Lagunitas, Moylan's, et al. as well as many other California brews. Beyond this, they have fun stuff like Jolly Pumpkin and a slew of other domestics. Their foreign collection is pretty good as well. However, I am curious about how long some of the bottles have been there on the floor.
The staff has been friendly, unlike some notes of the previous posters who have claimed a paranoid response from whoever is working. Their prices for PtE, for example, are the best I have ever found. The rest of their pricing is very reasonable.
I will always stop by here when in the area.
07-02-2011 18:42:58 | More by eyeenjoybeer
4.4/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
All in all this is the best beer and liquor store in the East Bay. Ed and his staff have made a great name for themselves here. Dont let the initial clutter get to you. Often it is only when new stock comes in. There is often older stock that is no longer available anywhere else that is fair market price. The beer selection is spectacular. Lots of craft brews, supports Russian River huge! Always the freshest Pliny and Blind Pig. And where else can you get a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue for $139??? This is the only store I go to for beer
05-05-2011 22:35:06 | More by NorCalgrowler
4.44/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Fairly close to my alma mater on University Ave in Berkeley, I stopped by to see if they had any of the recent releases available. Really typical corner liquor store filled to the max with liquor, wine and of course beer, boxes everywhere in the aisles and on the shelves. Well lit but the store is still a bit disorderly and you do have to look closely to find some beers, but there's a great selection of domestic and foreign beers. The owner behind the counter keeps a stoic face and will answer questions curtly, but I don't expect glowing service from this type of store.
Their selection of local brewers like Drakes, Lagunitas, and Russian River is very good, they allow people to break up six pack type beers into singles, though with a small increase in price for that convenience, and there are just so many types of beers available that you have to spend some time looking carefully to make sure you don't miss anything interesting.
03-19-2011 21:56:56 | More by nataku00
3.56/5 rDev -17.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
They had a great selection, though it was clear that much of it was very old and may not have been taken care of. Some coolers had significant amounts of mold growing on labels. There was not much organization, so they may have what you're looking for, but it might be hidden behind a jumble of other random beers you'll find in three other places throughout the store. They still had the jubel 2010, old guardian 2010 and mirror mirror in the coolers, which was surprising. All in all a great selection, but Im concerned how well they care for their beer.
03-11-2011 00:44:33 | More by DaveJanssen
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Don't let the shady environs, initially paranoid Indian guy, and disorganization get to you - this is a great beer store. Good selection of Russian river, along with limited releases from locals like firestone walker. I picked up hoptimum there, and they also have a great selection of Deschutes and Colorado beers. Tougher to find east coast stuff, but you cant have everything I guess. Lots of glassware too. Prices are reasonable, similar to those at Berkeley bowl west. This is your local spot if you go to Berkeley.
UPDATE: My roommate tried buying beer there, as he turned 21 in December. He was told his license had expired and therefore his id must be a fake. Ten minutes of arguing + paperwork for his temporary license until he gets a new license yielded no results. These guys are flat out paranoid, so build a good rapport early if you can.
UPDATE AGAIN: They really warm up once you go a couple times, that initial paranoia is irritating though. As a young beer lover it puts me off a bit that store owners wouldn't be excited for people to bypass the dumb binge drinking phase and truly appreciate beer, but they may have had some bad experiences in the past so they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
01-22-2011 22:42:17 | More by madvermin
4.6/5 rDev +6.7%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
When it comes to the quality, I state "good" because from the outside, it looks like a hole in the wall and that it may have been robbed a few times.
That's the beauty of it once you walk inside. Everything opposite. Arguably the best selection in the east bay and less expensive than the known beer stores in the city. (Healthy Spirits to name one)
The best aspect of this store front is the owner Ed. He's more than happy to spend time with you, educate you and just make you feel welcome. Selection is fantastic including all the latest releases. $15.99 for Parabola when at Toronado sells it for $20 and Perry's liquor sells it for $28.99 (LMFAO!) Just one example.
The second example is a conversation Ed and I had about vintage beers meaning 2009 and 2008 Barleywines, RIS's and other older Barrel Aged Beers that's stuck around on his shelves some. Keep in mind other beer stores look to profit off these and upcharge for them once they feel the age is right (less than a year in most cases) Can you say City Beer and Perry's Liquor to name a few...
The conversation went like this when I asked about keeping his prices the same on vintages:
"If they stayed on the shelves, I still payed the same price for them. The price shouldn't change on the consumer just because it's still on my shelf".
I can't tell you how many times he's thrown a extra in my bag after a decent haul. Not cheap extra's either let me tell you. After plenty experience in shopping beer in SF and the greater Bay Area, I can honestly say Ed is looking for your continued business and loyalty. He's not caught up in getting the most $$ out of your wallet and over charging rarities.
I highly recommend Ledger's as hands down my favorite. A better experience than every location in SF in my experience.
01-06-2011 05:29:35 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
5/5 rDev +16%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I heard good things about this place so I decided to stop in and everything I heard was true. Tons of bombers and other singles to choose from, and the man who worked there was genuinely interested in send me off happy. He helped me with some choices, gave me publications as to events in the area and around California, and even threw in a few free beers for me since I was from out of the area. It seemed to be an old place but you can't judge a book by its cover. While it had some beers in the cooler, some where on the floor but considering the outstanding service there turnover is probably brisk and not an issue... I mean they excelled at everything else so they must know what they're doing.
01-04-2011 01:08:41 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
4.65/5 rDev +7.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
In terms of quality and quantity, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better bottle shop in the east bay, or maybe anywhere in the bay area.
The number of beers on the shelves and in the cold boxes is pretty impressive. They generally get most new releases and have on hand many rarer bottles. I've managed to find a bottle of the Alaskan Balkan Porter here not to long ago, which I hadn't seen anywhere else. Anytime I visit, I always manage to pick up something I didn't expect to find.
Service is a perfect balance. The staff really let's you figure out your own shit; allowing you to meander for quite a while without pestering you. Nonetheless, most of the folks, namely the owner, is stoked to talk shop and help you out if you need it. My visits are always very pleasant.
Selection is very solid. Organization could use some work, but that is part of the charm of the place. In fact, digging around for those gems is part of the fun here.
Prices are bit steep, but nothing that would preclude a purchase.
If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting this spot.
08-23-2010 17:25:24 | More by WOTO97
4.35/5 rDev +0.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've lived in Oakland most of my life and I've just now finally made it to Ledger's. They have a great easy to find location, a great beer selection, and competitive prices. Their beer is kept in the far back of the store away from most of the light from the windows. There is a fairly large wall of cooler but another couple row of room temp bottles of shelves. The selection is of that of similar big named stores of the greater bay area (Bottle Barn, Perry's, Monument, etc), and there are always a few brews that you can find only at any one store. Pricing is very good, and closer to a store like Bevmo than a specialty bottle shop. One thing of note is they had fresh Pliny for $4.18 a bottle which is cheaper than most places. They the normal RR sours there as well. Overall, a great store for the area with a great bottle selection and friendly service. They had a pretty good selection of glassware as well. I highly recommend hunting here if you're in the area.
08-21-2010 02:05:45 | More by scottfrie
4.35/5 rDev +0.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Great place. Very unorganized but I don't mind that. It's fun to dig for treasures there, and the selection is pretty great, ranging from all over the world to many great local breweries. I found it to be a bit pricey, but not too much so. Grocery stores like the Berkeley Bowl and even Andronico's offer some better prices, but dont come close with the selection. I wish the whole store was beer rather only 1/3 being for beer. Imagine the possibilities! The people there seemed nice enough too. Perhaps the best place in Berkeley.
06-22-2010 08:29:18 | More by sfprint
Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA
95 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.