Blue Max Liquors
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
3.84/5 rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | $$
I was seriously pumped to finally hit up Blue Max. I'd read about it for a long time, but it's a solid 30 minute drive for me (with great beer stores very close to my place). I had the day off and made the hike. Perhaps I was just on the hunt for other things, but I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, their selection is fabulous and I love that it is all in coolers. However, it is not much above some of the other beer stores around the Twin Cities these days. For certain things you would certainly be pleased: some less distributed imports, New Holland, Epic, etc.
I was definitely disappointed by the stock (or lack thereof) of MN beer. Very little for bombers. Regardless, I do not mean this to be negative in tone. Nice folks working, impressive selection, and reasonable prices. Just not worth the hike from Minneapolis, in my opinion.
Still walked out with a decent haul.
08-02-2013 13:59:26 | More by MNBeerGeek
4.49/5 rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Blue Max is another "must" destination in the Twin Cities, along with Zipp's and Four Firkins. Located between Burnsville and Apple Valley, it's a bit of a hike from Minneapolis, but it's definitely worth it.
The store is unimpressive looking in an unimpressive location, but things are laid out very carefully. All of their imports are refrigerated and the aisles are spacious, which is good because the store is ALWAYS busy. The selection is pretty good, particularly if you're looking for hard-to-find European imports, but don't expect a slam dunk from the domestic section. They have a lot of Minnesota locals of course, but only a smattering of everything else. High volume of Epic and New Holland Lips of Faith series, but nothing to really write home about.
The service, however, is phenomenal. The time before last that I was there, Abrasive had just come out, but they informed me that they were sold out. Well, as luck would have it, someone called and cancelled their hold on three four packs, so an employee came and hand delivered them to my cart. I asked someone if they had anything special in the back, and he brought out a bottle of Big John for me. The last time I was in there, I bought four different vintages of Celebration and, when I remarked on how cool it was that they had so many different years, they explained to me that their beer distributor auctions vintages like that from time to time. Very informative, very polite.
I like stopping in every time I go to the cities just to chat with the employees and pick up whatever Surly staple may be in season. A good store and a decent value.
05-25-2013 20:24:35 | More by JamesShoemaker
4.29/5 rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Best thing about Blue Max was the very competitive prices on Surly cans across the board. This was the place I was told to stock up, and wasn't disappointed.
The beer selection winds around the first aisle, around the corner and opposite the coolers in the back. First up were a few Belgian coolers, where there were a few traditional lambics but not many. Noticed Hanssens Exp. Raspberry here, but no Gueuze or Kriek for example. Staff was helpful in directing me to a numbered cooler where the Surly was (#10 I think). Current seasonals like Overrated and Bitter Brewer (which Heritage hadn't received yet). A dozen Jolly Pumpkin varieties, which was impressive. Noticed a sale shelf with discounted winter seasonals and obscure imports.
I overheard the staff recommending wild/sour ales, and pointed them to the JP's. Two beer guys were on the floor, helping customers, stocking, and manning the registers. Good service, friendly guys that made themselves available. Lots of senior citizens in here on a saturday afternoon, and I noticed a guy helping a lady to her car with a purchase.
Overall a great store, lots of obscure imports and fresh MN seasonals. A recommended destination.
05-20-2013 16:38:14 | More by emerge077
5/5 rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Having grown up in Burnsville, I never really knew this place existed until I made the leap into craft beer and logged into Beer Advocate. It always sort of blended in the scenery just off of Cty Rd 42. I read the reviews and set off to shop the store myself. Let just say I was amazed at the selection BlueMax has to offer! It is quite obvious they take great pride in their selection and the care taken to shelve, stock and price items.
I appreciate that a huge majority of the stock is kept in coolers making it consumption ready. I was also taken aback by the sign when you enter reading over 300 different single malt scotches available! It is definitely a store you want to go to with a shopping cart because you will find more than you can carry.
10-08-2012 01:47:14 | More by MN_Beerticker
3.6/5 rDev -19.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
On my travels, this place didn't stand out all that much. It's a typically liquor store, in fact a little smaller then I expected. Beer is off to the right when you enter with the majority of the selections located in coolers.
There was some activity in the store but I wasn't bothered too much which is nice so you can actually do some shopping. If people are in love with J.W. Lees then I would suggest only shopping at Blue Max. The collection and vintages on these labels was very impressive.
For me, I was able to scoop some Pannepeut 2007 for a reasonable $8/bottle. That was it. As stated earlier, the rest of the stock was pretty standard stuff so no special stop necessary if it's out of your way.
09-16-2012 14:57:09 | More by JosephThompson
4.88/5 rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
A close friend of mine is a specialty beer sales rep who sells to Blue Max. She has a portfolio of over 500 beers. It's her favorite account because they are so knowledgeable and treat her well.
I was going to end my post with that paragraph, but I need to add words, so I'll mention that it's been interesting to learn about the specialty beer industry from my friend.
Her company can never get as much product as they would like to because it's generally small scale batches that are fought over by not only the distributors like her company, but also the reps within the distributorships! There is a lot of bartering going on in the background to supply Blue Max with the excellent selection that they have. This is a credit to Blue Max, and to customers like the members of this website who make the market happen.
Blue Max is a great store, and I highly recommend them.
06-29-2012 23:38:31 | More by Chadmanmn
4.88/5 rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
Best beer shop I have ever been to. The selection is great, I was able to pick up a '06-'11 Sierra Nevada Celebration vertical as well as Aventinus 04'-06'. The prices are also about 10% lower than most of the craft friendly stores I have been to. The staff was great, willing to break up a 6er of something I wanted to try a single of. If you are into JW Lees they had more varieties in stock than I knew existed. Its a bit of a drive for me but I will be back for sure. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
03-03-2012 21:36:20 | More by Steasy66
4.14/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I only found out about this place because once a week I work down in Burnsville and I decided to stop in and check it out one day.
Man was I surprised! I had no idea they had such an excellent craft beer selection. There is I think one guy that is in charge of buying all the beer and he does a good job.
I do wish they used Facebook as a social media tool to let me know when they get stuff in, but apparently they use twitter a little more to update customers. Unfortunately I'm not a twitter user, but they have gotten better with the facebook account.
Staff is friendly just not too knowledgeable on the beer excluding two or three people (I know who to ask questions now if I ever am looking for something special).
Overall great place and I usually always stop in once a week whenever I am working down in Burnsville.
02-15-2012 23:46:00 | More by JoRado
4.81/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
Went to Blue Max for the first time today and it surpassed all expectations. Definitely worth the drive for me.
a - Not really much to say for atmosphere, freakin' packed wall to wall with good beer so that puts it above average I guess.
q - Tons of quality stuff. It seemed like one cooler was totally dedicated to unearthed cellar gems. Anchor Christmas going back to '06 for 2 bucks a bottle and Avery Sixteen to name a few. Sweet!
sr - It was pretty empty when I was there so I'm not sure that my experience was demonstrative of an average day at Blue Max. But there was an older guy there that was extremely helpful and friendly.
sl - Unparalleled.
I would highly, highly recommend this place to anyone who has even the vaguest appreciation for anything beer or beer related.
02-08-2012 22:37:28 | More by yamar68
4.31/5 rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
On the front door, it says Minnesota's greatest beer selection... or something like that. I haven't been to every liquor store in MN, but this trumps all that I've been to.
Atmosphere: Blue Max doesn't look like much from the outside, and it really isn't, they've just crammed a ton into a little place. So, not a lot of aisle space, but a lot of beer. They know what matters most.
Service: staff seems to be rather knowledgeable, not overly friendly, I've been there 4-5 times and they don't exactly know me yet. Big deal.
Okay, my take on the south metro is this, If you want an extraordinarily good price, go to Big Top (Eagan) or Sid's Discount (Bloomington).
If you want a extraordinarily vast selection of beers, go to Blue Max.
01-31-2012 00:45:55 | More by AllenJasper
Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN
98 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.