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Friar Tuck Beverage

Not Rated.
Friar Tuck BeverageFriar Tuck Beverage
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.21%
[ Store, Homebrew Store ]

2401 Maloney Dr
Bloomington, Illinois, 61704-3750
United States
phone: (309) 664-5890

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: 11am - 8pm

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-22-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bnes09:
Photo of bnes09
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Building seems pretty new. Everything is clean. Cement floor. Has a warehouse type feel.

They place much more emphasis on the craft beers then macros. The selection is astounding! I could spend hours here looking at the selection and figuring out what I want to buy. I would have a hard time sampling the entire selection even if given an entire lifetime to do so. There is a single long isle of beers with 8 foot high shelves of six packs, four packs, bombers, fifths and individual 12 oz bottles. On one side are the domestic crafts and on the other, the imports. Several beers are also kept in the fridge. They also have a build your own six pack section with over 100 beers to choose from. Included in this section are Dark Horse, NB, Founders, Big Sky, Victory and many others. One minor complain is that you must choose from this section for the mixers and cannot break a six pack.

Service is good. The employees know what they are talking about and are knowledgeable about what is in stock. I explained to one employee what type of beer I was looking for and he found several to fit my taste all of which I liked. I also witnessed a confused customer on the phone with a beer fanatic having trouble knowing what to get and asked an employee for help. The employee took the cell phone and talked to the man for about 10 minutes helping him find particular beers and beers in the style he asked for.

Prices are reasonable to relatively inexpensive. I got a 4 pack of Founder's BS for $9.99 at Friar Tuck and paid $12 at another liquor store in Granite City, IL.

Overall I think this is a great place to go whether you are looking to try new beer or to pick up your favorite domestic crafts and imports. I will probably be stopping by here whenever I am in Bloomington.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Trooper92292
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Powderhornphil
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Svyturys30
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of ArkansasTraveller
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of maxcoinage
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Kevin_Young
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of NateMac13
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of jman005
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Picked up a sixer of Lagunitas Sucks and Bear Republic Racer 5. Awesome fresh beers, reasonable pricing. Nice bottle store, gave me a box to carry the six packs in and all. Very helpful especially because I was just on a trip through there. Saw this place listed on here and it definitely lived up to the rating.

Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I had never been to a place like this, so my first time walking in was overwhelming. They have a huge amount of beer compared to any grocery store. It is set up like a mini Costco/Sams club warehouse, just with beer, wine, and some cheese.

Besides being a large selection, the quality is pretty good. They do get the really desired stuff (Founders CBS/KBS, Goose Island Bourbon Barrel County Stout, etc.), or so they say, but it's luck of the draw on who's in the store on the right day because they only get one case and it's gone quick. It's probably like that everywhere, but I still find it annoying.

The staff most likely won't come find you to see if you need help, but if you ask they are helpful. I've talked to a couple people there who had some good recommendations, and another who didn't know what she was talking about.

Overall, this place has more beer than I've ever seen in one spot so it gets high marks from me. The only room for improvement is getting more of the rare stuff.

Photo of mkennedy119
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Friar Tuck was a regular stop for me while I attended school in BloNo. The selection is great and the staff is very helpful. Some are more knowledgeable than others, though that's usually not a problem since they don't hesitate to call over another employee who might be "the expert." I love the "Mix 6" selection, as I've put together some combos of great singles for only $7.99. Prices otherwise are pretty much up to par. Whether looking for a craft beer or a nice bourbon, I have found some unbeatable specials every once in while. I always make a stop when I'm in the area.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

This is the third and last I visited in Central Illinois (along with Springfield and Savoy-Champaign).

Layout and distribution is the exact same as the the other Tucks. You couldn't tell one from the other! I did find some exclusive stuff, like Founders Devil Dancer and Bells Consecration on the single-bottle shelf.

Founders Breakfast Stout plus pumpkin and oktober beers upfront by the registers, and a very good variety of Mikkeller (tons of Hop series, but no Black Hole Barrel, which I've seen in Kansas City but not in Illinois).

As for the rest, nothing new when compared to the other stores in the chain, hence my lower score. I was a bit disappointed- drove 40 miles from Decatur to find nothing exciting.

Service and prices are just like at the other stores: inexistent but friendly at the registers, and yes everything is expensive here. I got a Sierra Homegrown Estate and a Fort Collins Barrel Licked Bock.

Wouldn't come back... the other joints have more and better beer. But for Bloomington, this sure is the best spot.

Photo of dstoneui42
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Stopped here over the weekend on my way to Quincy, IL. Had heard good things, but this store still exceeded my expectations. Really a great selection of both Domestic craft and Import. Found a few things in here that I haven't seen in Chicago for a while, as well as stuff from Schlafly and Ballast Point which don't get distribution to the Chicago area.

My only real disappointment was that I thought the bomber selection could be bigger - but regardless I think this will become a regular stop anytime I'm passing through.

Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

2011: Please get rid of the 3 shelves of Rogue already... first thing you see approaching the beer aisle. They've been sitting in the same spot for a couple years now. Bombers are starting to look picked over, much less Boulevard now. Sold out of the current Schlafly seasonal AIPA (again)... starting to think about shopping elsewhere. Many things don't really seem to move or rotate, though there is always a good selection overall. Place needs a makeover in the beer dept. Noticed hops and yeast for homebrewing in the walk-in cooler. Lots of empty slots on the shelves, hope they start to get rid of what doesn't move here, there's plenty of old stock.

2010: Really helpful and friendly beer guy on the floor. Mentioned some newer beers on tap around town too, like Tank 7 when I couldn't find it on the shelf. Unfortunately they had already sold through 10 cases of Schlafly American IPA, and I missed it. Ended up with some fresh Schlafly Pumpkin Ale and Breakfast Stout, which there were stacked cases of.

2009: This has become a regular stop for me when downstate. Also nearby are Destihl and Great Harvest Bread, so I don't mind the detour off the highway. Though I haven't been to Peoria, this is the cleanest shop of the other 3 in IL, and i've gotten better service when I ask questions lately. New arrivals are scattered, but seasonals tend to be near the coolers. Check dates on imports though, I got an old Xmas Zinnebir and can of London Porter recently. End of the year, shelves were a little sparse in spots, maybe due to the holiday rush and less inventory. Better service at the front desk from the store manager.

2008: Green Flash (out of west coast IPA), Michigan Brewing, good Dark Horse seasonals (Too/Tres/Sapient). New German stuff like Passauer, Meckatzer, Faust/Miltenberger, and Zotler Korbinian. Asked a staff guy a stock question and he gave a short answer and walked off...kinda anti-social.

09-05-2007

Stopped at this Friar Tuck on a recent road trip to Springfield. I was pleasantly surprised, like the 1st time I visited Friar Tuck in Springfield. Same warehouse layout, walk to the far left-hand side of the store for the majority of craft and imports (wall o' beer). Coolers along the back left (walk-in center), and some glassware shelves toward the back corner.

The selection was impressive, many imports not seen in the northern half of the state. Obscure eastern European labels in Cyrillic text, German blackletter labels, some dusty, check all the dates of course. Some quality Belgians also in the mix. The new Green's line of gluten-free beers were spotted. Import shelves were sort of a free-for-all, not organized in a clear way. Country of origin would be nice, but hey, the selection is above average in quality.

US craft shelves were opposite the back wall in the last aisle. Many regional selections, and usually 5-6 options and seasonals from one brewery. Schlafly, O'Fallon, Boulevard, Schell, plus several others I can't get in Chicago. These shelves were dominated by 6-packs, but 750's and bombers were at the end of the aisle. They had JP Oro and Roja, and the new line of Moylan's from CA.

Checkout was the only contact I had with the staff, the guy was friendly and possibly a manager. He mentioned the Moylan's had just arrived earlier in the week. Overall a good experience, i'll return in the future.

Photo of spointon
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

I visited this place while traveling through Bloomington on business.

The selection was quite good (if you are from Chicago this place is similar in scope to a good Binny's). I was also intrigued that they had some home brewing supplies there, though not a wide enough selection to support any but the most basic of beginning brewers.

The beers were a good representation of midwest craft brews, other US stuff, and really nice imports. I liked that they had a section of singles where I could build a custom 6 pack. I scored some nice beers at fair prices, including some stuff I can't easily get anymore in Chicagoland (Fuller's 1845 and Fuller's Vintage Ale for example).

Prices were solidly fair all around.

Its a great store and one I would frequent a lot if I lived nearby.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Friar Tucks in Peoria has been a great resource for me over the past several years, I stop there whenever I drive from OH to IA. So during this trip I thought I'd try the Bloomington location. This FT is not very convenient to I-74, it's about 10-15 minutes to get to the store (and a little difficult to find, I circled it before finding my way).

The layout is classic Friar Tuck, look to the left wall for the massive beer selection. It looks to be separated by state and country. Notables for me are beers from Capital City (WI), Boulevard (KC), Schlafly (MO), and Ballast Point (CA), as these aren't available in OH and I don't really see them in Chicago. Other than these breweries there's a huge selection of beers that can be found in Chicago, with pricing at Chicago level or lower. A great store in my opinion, but not worth the drive from the highway if you're passing Peoria as well (next major city on I-74). The Peoria location is quicker access.

Photo of jsh420
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%

this chain store is a beer lovers dream. the first time i went into the store i felt like Homer Simpson in the ep. where Homer is skipping through the dream land where everything was made of chocolate and he was talking bites out of everything.

if the beer has distribution in the area then friar tucks has it. rarely are they out of stock on any non seasonal beer.

beers are all down one isle that seems to go on forever - first the sixers then bombers then i very good mix a six selection with beers that are fresh not just the ones they are trying to dump.

they have tastings every saturday and i have enjoyed talking to some of the reps from the different breweries.

overall these stores have the best section in central il. hands down not only beer but wine and liquor

Photo of nem2006
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Even though i live in Dallas now, I am from Bloomington and am glad they have a place like this when I come home to visit. The selection is quite broad and the prices are reasonable. I am just now getting into beer and cheeses. So even though I have never bought anything in their cheese section, it is cool they have it there. I plan on checking it out next time I shop there.

I would agree with some that the service is not top notch. They will offer their opinion, but I get better advice from my friends who live in town on new beers to try. Definitely the widest selection I have found in Bloomington.

Photo of ajmoody76
4/5  rDev -3.4%

this is a good thing to have about 2 minutes from the house. my go to place for something you cannot find at the supermarket. quite a few beers. for the most part warm but have a pretty large cooled section. the staff i have talked to are pretty knowledgeable. i can also get homebrew equiptment there. i do not buy grains or hops there- they have them- and they have pretty much everything else you would need. great place to have in town. pricing is reasonable for around these parts. nobody else around has quite the selection.

Photo of bearrunner44
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

Service
I've never had any bad experiences with staff, but they usually don't have anyone around to help with general customer service. The staff is mostly limited to 2-3 cashiers and a handful of stockers.

Selection
Best in the area. The manager said that they carry nearly every beer available to them, and I believe it. The craft / import section takes up a wall and one side of an aisle. Half is devoted mostly to imports, while the other is mostly domestic craft beer.

The locals are represented well. Friar Tuck's carries most of the offerings from Elmwood and Goose Island. They also have a good variety of beers from Dogfish Head, Victory, Flying Dog, Sprecher, Rogue, Founders, Great Divide, and many other domestic micros. In most cases, they have at least 3-4 different styles from each brewery. The bomber selection is decent, with the majority of them coming from Rogue. They have a well-stocked mix-and-match six pack section, containing mostly imported lagers and lesser-expensive micros. (I've never seen anything from Victory or Dogfish Head in the mix-and-match section.)

The import variety is also good. They carry most of the major European brands. The English and Czech beers are especially well-stocked; the variety of porters, stouts, Scottish ales, and pilsners available is about as good as you can ask for. The Belgian selection is good, and it includes most of Ommegang's lineup.

They have a small glassware section with both branded and generic products. Duvel, Czechvar, Goose Island and Guinness glasses were all in stock. They also carry generic pilsner glasses, pint glasses, and tulips.

Value
The prices are comparable with other stores in the area. Bombers generally run $3-6, six packs around $8-12, and the mix-and-match sixes are just under $8.

Overall
Most of the area stores pay lip service to craft beer. This one has great selection, especially in relation to local competitors.

Friar Tuck Beverage in Bloomington, IL
92 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.