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Oak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits

Not Rated.
Oak Tree Discount Wines & SpiritsOak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits
BA SCORE
100
world-class

170 Ratings
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

902 Oak Tree Ave
South Plainfield, New Jersey, 07080-5136
United States
phone: (908) 561-0051

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 160
Reviews by bonbini26:
Photo of bonbini26
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%

Pretty much the beer store capital of new jersey (Somerville Supersaver probably has a better vintage selection) But you can pretty much find anything from anywhere here as long as its distributed to New Jersey. Some items can be a little pricey here compared to other stores (off the top of my head Dogfish Head and Milkkeller come to mind) The guys who work here know there shit and can help you with any question you might have. I usually try to stop in every 2 months just to see what they have (guess i should be lucky i only live 20min after reading how far some people drive to go here)

More User Reviews:
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.49/5  rDev -24.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

2014 Review:

Seven years have passed, and the store is no longer what it once was. It looks like they are struggling to fill their shelves, they don't seem to have as much as they used to. Also, I think the rest of the stores caught up to them so this just doesn't seem very remarkable anymore.

I go to Joe's Canal instead (off Rt 1), they seem to have a much wider selection nowadays.

2007 Review:

This is one of my favorite places to go, liquor store or otherwise. The selection is awesome, and it's growing. They have a ton of singles and they even maintain a shelf for the BA top 100. I get many things here I haven't seen anywhere else.

The quality is great, they have beers both in and out of refrigeration. There are beer lovers there all the time, so I'm assuming the turnover is fast, because I've never had an issue. The value is always good, they don't mark up vintage beers if they didn't pay more for them. I always feel like the prices are fair.

The service...I can't even describe. The friendliest store I've ever been in, no doubt. Always willing to help, chat beer, and offer suggestions. The owner will beer mail you with the latest offerings if you want. There is more to be said, but you'll have to experience it for yourself.

Overall it's a place run by beer lovers, for beer lovers...I couldn't be happier with it. The only downside is that I spend too much money when I go there...but I wouldn't want to spend it anywhere else.

Photo of JustHarmless
2.28/5  rDev -50.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2

The once mighty Oak Tree is dead!!! This store was once my craft beer Disneyland! I don't get to get here often because its out of my way and about an hour from my house, and my visits here would routinely leave me several hundred dollars poorer. I had the opportunity to visit Oak Tree tonight and was incredibly saddened and disappointed. Shelves once filled with imported craft beers are now filled with boxed wine!!!! The selection of craft beer was no better than any other beer store carrying craft beer. I don't know what happened, but don't waste your time visiting here thinking it was the Oak Tree of the past!

Vibe: Oversized store for the inventory they carry

Selection: A reasonable selection of craft beer, but nothing special any more. No reason for me to go out of my way to go here anymore

Service: The service was fine...the clerk couldn't stop apologizing

Overall, just suffering total disappointment at what happened to Oak Tree. What a difference a year makes...

Visited on Saturday 1/11/2014

Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Vibe: This place has the looks of a typical warehouse-type liquor store. It is well lit and has wide aisles that are easy to navigate with shopping carts.

Quality: All beers are stored out of direct sunlight. There wasn't a huge inventory so I would expect the turnover to be pretty good.

Service: At least five people came up to me asking if I needed help, so the service seemed top-notch.

Selection: The store only has one aisle and part of the back wall allotted to beer and the rest of the store was devoted to liquor and wine. They did have a few beer that I haven't seen before and had nearly the entire lineup of Chapeau lambics, including the faro. It seems like this store no longer has the selection that it once had that would have justified the high ratings.

Value: Prices seemed reasonable compared to other stores in the area.

Photo of CassinoNorth
2.93/5  rDev -36.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 2.5

Finally got down to Oak Tree as I've read it's NJ's best store. As it's rated 100...I expect to be wowed.

HA. Funny joke guys. The review a couple down is right.

Walked in, typical warehouse store...maybe a bit small. Beer is to the far right. The mix a six selection (which is probably their best feature) is mediocre at best. Average selection. Then everything they had in the rather long (60 foot or so) aisle for craft beer is spread apart single cases of bombers. 6-8 bottles wide for each beer. 2-3 6 packs wide. Typical selection you'd find at just about any beer store in NJ. Appears they still have really good pull with Hunterdon cause there was Rubaeus and Angel's Share sitting on the shelf...but other than that it was really a mediocre place to buy beer.

In a new store, I can spend 30-40 minute easy mulling over the bomber selection. Going back to see if I missed something. This was an easy 10 minute trip. One walk down the aisle, knew I didn't miss anything...buy the couple things and left. Go 10 minutes down the road to Super Buy Rite in North Plainfield for a much better selection.

Photo of thepeter
4.31/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Your average warehouse looking package store. Bare bones, but the beer is great as far as selection and quality are concerned. wide variety of what is available to the area and a very good international section. Service has been fantastic. I live in London and call them up to get advice and put things away for my mother in law to pick up. They are always helpful nice and talkative. value seems to be on the money as well.

Photo of MAN615
3/5  rDev -34.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Been going here for years, since it is really close to home, and always bragged about being able to frequently visit. I have seen a huge drop off in availability of the good stuff here. Shelves that used to be brimming are now only stocked towards the front, floor piles that were everywhere are just sparsely kept. What a difference a year makes. Still a solid store, but just a shell of what was once a great store.

Photo of vange
2.86/5  rDev -37.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2

This used to be the best craft beer store in NJ and I often came here. I hadnt been here in a few years and went a few weeks back (1/13). Wow, a new owner must have taken over or the beer buyer must have left. Shelves were empty and literally 2/3 of the craft beers they used to have are gone. What they do have is very very basic craft beers. A real shame. I was greatly saddened by this visit.

Photo of bigaizsosexy
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is an all time favorite, but since it is over 40 minutes from me I don't go there much. Their beer selection is the best I've seen so far. I've seen some beers that were a dollar or two over what I have seen them elsewhere for, but their selection is amazing.

Easily have hundreds of beers to choose from, and I must add their import selection is great too.

Their staff is super friendly and very knowledgeable. If I am in the area this is the go to place for CRAFT BEER!

After your purchase they carefully and safely pack the beers in a box.

Photo of mgp2675
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I haven't been to every liquor store in NJ but this is hands down the best one I've seen. Luckily I don't live far and make a pitstop there whenever I can. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and they're honest which is very rare. The selection is unbelievable. They have a huge wall dedicated to imported brews from Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Germany, etc. They have a selection of sours, lambics, etc. They also have a lot of beer cold if you prefer, and another wall dedicated to American micro-brews. With the enormous amount of people that go there, they still always manage to have such a great selection. Very rarely do I have to look elsewhere because it's that good. I would put the in-between pricey and cheap, just right. They have a lot of things though that it's worth it to pay what they ask because you can't find it anywhere else. Lots of DFH, Weyerbacher, Founders, St. Bernardus, Riverhorse, etc. They also carry virtually every seasonal beer, plus holiday beers and collaborations.

Photo of tobelerone
4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This is obviously the most heralded beer store in NJ and rightfully so; it's obvious they care a LOT about the beer and have a staggering selection. They carry pretty much anything that gets distributed to the state and have a phenomenal selection of international beer lining the entire back wall. Everything is very well organized, there's plenty of both cold and warm beer, cases, singles, bombers, sixers, etc.

Staff ranges from enthusiastic to apathetic, depending on who you talk to. Prices are competitive for most offerings, not cheap, but not overpriced either..pretty much market value.

I was a little disappointed after my last visit to find that I bought a few out-of-date beers. That's on me for not checking the bottles more meticulously but I kind of assumed that this store, above any else, would be on top of that. Oh well, guess one has to do their due diligence.

Definitely worth making a trip here, at least once. I have several closer stores that don't match Oak Tree but come close so I don't beeline here as much as I used to, but any beer fanatic owes it to himself to visit at least once.

Photo of HopsYeast
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is the holy land of beer. I live around the corner and am so glad i bought a house where i did. oak tree has the largest beer selection i have ever seen. a whole wall of domestic beer, then round the corner and a whole other wall of beer from around the world. one could easily spend an hour in there without even buying anything. the "beer guy" jay is one of the most knowledgeable liquor store employees you will ever encounter.

like i said,
This place is the holy land of beer.

Photo of rhartogsq
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I can't say too much that hasn't already been said. I really liked this place. Their staff was super friendly and helpful and their selection top notch. I wish this place was in my home town!
The staff helped me pick out some local Climax beers, turned me on to Troegs' Mad Elf, and I saw a Breckenridge Beer I hadn't had yet...I had a successful visit.
I had read about Oak Tree but didn't think I would have a chance to go....low and behold, my business meeting was in the building right next to it! Fate? possibly.

Photo of PatrickSullivan
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My go-to bottle shop. It's hard to argue that this is one of the best craft beer stores in the state. Word of warning, if you're planning on stopping by, clear your schedule. They have a huge inventory of imported and domestic craft beer and you'll most likely find yourself spending a good amount of time just taking it all in. If it's available in NJ, chances are you'll find it here. If the massive selection wasn't enough, what sets them apart from a lot of the other craft carrying stores in the state is their single bottle/can selection. They routinely break apart packs and offer a wide variety of singles from Weyerbacher, Troegs, DFH, Victory, Oskar Blues and Sixpoint, to name a few. They also have a dedicated Seasonal single shelf. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Dan and Jay are very knowledgeable about craft beer and are always willing to talk shop or offer suggestions if you need them. If you're ever in NJ and in need of great beer, be sure to stop here.

Photo of bogus564
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

It takes me roughly 35 minutes to get here from my home.

My God, this is beer heaven! Bring a couple hundered dollars with you, because you can't stop picking up beers. I'm talking about more styles than you can name, from more countries than you can locate on a map, and from more states than you'll visit in your life.

There are aisles of domestic beers, and aisles of foreign beers. I remember fondly that his is where I picked up four different beers from St. Bernardus Brewery, two from Hitachino, a beer from Italy, filled my cart without even trying.

As a bonus, I was given a chalice to go with my purchase of a 30th Anniversary beer by Sierra Nevada. Didn't even ask; Dan the owner was on his game.

I'd recommend bringing a friend and making a day of it, then going home and stocking your beer fridge to the brim. There is almost no place like it in New Jersey.

Photo of Samp01
3/5  rDev -34.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

A nice and friendly atmosphere. A large selection of imports along the entire back wall. A very good selection of domestics hard and to find micros. Staff seems very helpful and depending on who you speak with knowledgeable about the brews. I was asked at least several times by a couple of employees if i neded help finding anything, service is very good. I even got some free beer glasses. Value wise a bit pricier on some more widely available brews but not too bad. Overall a very good place to by beer.

Photo of palma
3.95/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Update 6/01/2011: the owner of Oak Tree contacted me recently to personally apologize for the over charge and the stale beer. He also offered me a store credit for the trouble. Very honest and sincere.

Not that I feel my reviews are so important on here, but I feel I have an obligation to update my review.

After talking with the owner, I believe this was a one-off experience (not to mention the other reviews on BA also speak to the fact that my experience was probably a rarity).

---

Stopped by here on my way home from a PA trip. I picked up about 12 singles. Great selection by the way.

Anyway, after getting back in my car, I double check the receipt and I notice they charged me 13 bucks for a 12oz english stout. I buy this beer all the time. It was obviously priced wrong. I know the beer normally costs about 4 bucks. So I go in for the refund and the young girl at the cashier scans it and tells me it's 13 bucks - since that's what the computer says. I look at her screen and yeah it's coming up as some exotic 750ml belgian I never heard of. I tell her get the manager because im being over charged. The manager comes out and realizes the mistake in the system. He acts completely shocked that the system could be wrong. Anyway, he tells me he'll credit me the 13 bucks and then charge me the correct price of 4 bucks. Fine. A little surprised that he doesnt just credit me the 13 and say take the beer on the house since its our mistake. but whatever. My real problem is that after he credits and charges me the correct price, the guy doesnt even apologize! I was already driving out of the parking lot and then had to come back into the store for a stupid embarrasing refund. Then this manager acts like hes doing me the favor!

My other issue is that i bought about 12 beers. Drank 6 of them so far. 2 of them were oxidized.

This place has a great selection, but the turnover does not seem to be the best. No doubt though, it's hard to keep track of freshness when a place has such a large number of bottles in stock.

Photo of ummswimmin
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I've wanted to visit this store for a year... ever since I heard of it.

I finally was able to visit last Tuesday.

The store is amazing.

In the front there is a set of owner recommended beers. Having had about a third of the beers, these were good picks (and not a dumping ground).

Along one wall there was a large selection of chilled beer. Across from that there is a pretty good amount of domestic craft beer. At the end I noticed that the entire back wall of international beers.

I ended up picking up about 15 bottles at this point. I ran into the owner and he was really nice.

The owner found three more rare beers for me (including KBS!).

The beers were reasonably priced overall. I spent about $200 on 18 bottles, BUT one beer was $25 (very worth it).

I recommend stopping by to pick up some beer, but give yourself a lot of time to see the entire selection.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My second visit to Oak Tree and I'm re-reviewing a little...

This -and no other- should be named the best beer store in the world! A gigantic mega-store of booze with aisle after aisle of high-quality beer (and wine and liquor too, if you care for those) from all over the world.

Strange to find this treasure of beerdom in a busy mall in Nowhere, New Jersey. But to whoever had the idea of opening this joint up: Thank You.

I can't even begin to tell the many rare beers from small European breweries I saw here... Norway, Denmark, Italy. This is stuff I've never seen anywhere else in the US. They have more Mikkeller beers than anywhere else, like Big Worse Bourbon Barrel Edition, 1000 IBU, Barrel Aged Breakfast...

Some American rarities too, like Bruery Coton, a barrel-aged barleywine from the Jersey nano-brewery Cricket Hill, and things I cannot get in New York City such as Laughing Dog and Terrapin. Oh, and aged stuff, like '09 Dogfish World Wide Stout.

You will find six-packs, singles and bombers of just about everything and anything produced in the US and distributed in the East Coast. What a delight it is to peruse the aisles here!

Service is very good. They have at least one beer expert running around, taking questions. The instant I got in there, I was asked if I needed help. I told the guy I like barrel-aged beers and he showed me a bunch. And you could tell he is genuinely interested, not just "I hate my job but they make me do this", you know what I mean.

I came out of Oak Tree pushing a shopping cart full of beer. A most amazing place! But beware- prices are HIGH. Beer here costs more than in New York City. I do not understand why.

Still, everyone should come over at least once in a lifetime. A truly mind-blowing store.

Photo of PGHeppJr
4.41/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I used to frequent this tucked away in a strip mall superstar on my way home from work on the regular. The cat who owns it knows his shit and how to treat people. He saw I had a cart filled with Italian, Danish and Belgian goodies and on my way out tossed a pair of speciality Belgian glasses; this was on my initial visit!

Staff is friendly and has a couple of quite capable members who can answer just about anything you throw their way.

We Make it a point to drop in everytime we visit family in the area.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I saw that this was the top rated beer store in New Jersey, so decided to stop on my way through the area. I was not disappointed.

From the outside, looks like a non-descript place, since it's in a strip mall, and the name doesn't include the word "beer". but you can't judge a book by the cover.

When I walked in, I grabbed a cart and made my way back to the beer section. the last aisle is all American Craft, with the back wall of the store being all imports. Very well organized by region and brewery, with clear prices and BA shelf talkers for many of the high rated beers.

Best selection of any bottle shop I've been to yet, almost overwhelming. I had to restrain myself from spending my whole paycheck.

Service was top-notch. When I walked it I was greeted by a gentleman who I assume was maybe the manager or owner, and asked if I needed help. I was asked several more times in the 45 minutes I shopped if I had questions or was looking for anything in particular. And when I checked out with a whole cart full of beer, he threw in some glasses on the house.

I'll definitely be stopping by anytime I find myself in that section of Jersey.

Photo of NJIPA
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is the best beer store in New Jersey. The store is about an hour from my house, and I make the trip there about once a month. They have a great selection, easily over 1500 beers. They have a full selection of mikkeler, founders, DFH, southern tier, avery, great divide, stone, ballast point, left hand, and rouge to name a few. They have many hard to find beers and a large selection of imports. The store is always well stocked and the service there is great. The prices arent the cheapest, but they are not over the top either.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.24/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Warehouse-style storefront in a strip mall, split roughly into thirds for wine, liquor and beer. The beer occupies two walls of the building, a whole aisle, a couple of fridges and a display area of opened cases up front.

This place is what most people are saying: a staggering monument to beer variety, with the best overall collection of Europeans I've seen in America. Also especially good for special releases and local brewers.

However, instead of adding more fawning worship to the pile, let me purposefully split hairs to maybe give someone who hasn't been something useful to go on.

Oak Tree has the following (minor) flaws:
* Best overall selection kinda means not the greatest at any one thing. While the Danish range was definitive, there are better places for English and De Cicco's is still the place to beat for Italian craft.
* The single bottle assortment is great. The sign saying these are priced more expensive. Not so much.
* Not quite as complete as I expected. While some, like Rogue, had the full range, there were gaps for Elysian, Lagunitas and Bruery.
* Between singles, bombers, and seasonals , you can end up with one brewer's beers in 3 places without necessarily repeating. Scattered and confusing.
* I spent nearly an hour, and the only employee to ask if I needed help was the wine guy. Maybe not everyone's experience, but mine.
* Don't rely on the website.
* Not the place for sampler or assortment cases from a single brewer.
* If you're coming from NY, remember, NJ means no growler fills.

Yes, these are trifling - this place beats 99% of other beer stores with one hand tied behind its back. It really only deserves to be compared to one other place I've been: Half Time, in Poughkeepsie.
In this case, the latter might win out for the space and taps, though it may come down to distribution differences between NJ (Founders, Terrapin) vs upstate NY (Clipper City, Great Lakes).

Photo of 9InchNails
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

Holy crap this place has beer, beer everywhere beer! Obviously, this place isn't all about beer by the name of the store but it should be! Towards the back of the store, welcome to freakin' beer heaven!
I heard about this place in one of the forums and I decided to check it out. They have beers from one side of the globe to the next and in between. I couldn't believe my eyes! I only brought 20 dollars so I could control myself but if I didn't I could have blown easily 200.
If you want rare, micro, craft, macro, whatever; this place is top notch with selection.
I went with my brother and he's not into rare beers as much as I am but he was in awe. He was asked twice if he needed help in about an hour span. I on the other hand was not but that's okay, no hard feelings. The cashier was extremely nice, courteous and overall pleasant.
The two things I was a little let down with was the prices were a little steep and I was looking for a selection of Appalachian Brewing Company for my buddy, which they did not have. Other than that, I highly recommend this place for the sheer amount of what it seems like endless beers!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Visited on 9/22/2010. Had I not known better before hand, from the outside this place would not have struck me as being anything more than an average store and even when you first walk in you don't get the immediate sense that there's going to be such a huge selection as the store is a bit smaller than most stores I've seen with such a large selection (other than Nikki's). However, once you see that back wall and the large aisle on the far right of the store, you know you've reached a beer geek's destination store. The previously mentioned back wall has all of the bottled imports and the US crafts are on the aisle. The high shelves allow them to make good use of the limited store space. Service was quite helpful when needed and the prices are reasonable. There's too much to get into as far as listing what they offer, but this is a "must go" type of store if you have the chance.

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Oak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits in South Plainfield, NJ
100 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.