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The Wine Thief & Ale Jail

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29 Reviews
Reviews: 29
Visits: 47
Avg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

1787 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55105-1941
United States
phone: (651) 698-9463

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @alejail

Place added by: summitepale on 01-28-2006

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Visits: 47
Reviews by zeledonia:
Photo of zeledonia
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Seems like every time I go there, it's empty. And I can't fathom why. In fact, I'm tempted not to review it so I can keep it to myself and the others who already know about it.

You have to walk through the wine side to get to the "Ale Jail." Once there, it's roomy and quiet. Great selection, a wall of single 12 oz. bottles, a wall of bigger bottles, a wall of coolers, and tables in the middle with 4- and 6-packs.

The mixed 6-packs are the best value I've found; the per-bottle prices are the same as if you bought a pack of each. Awesome selection, mostly organized by style. They also seem to get less traffic than other spots with similar selection, so they have the limiteds and other sought-after stuff for quite a bit longer (e.g. they had plenty of Founders Imperial Stout long after it was gone from my local more-popular shop).

Staff is super helpful, and usually very available. Seriously, why is there never anyone else there?

Great place, well worth a visit for the value and selection. And I hear the weekly tastings are great, though I haven't yet made it to one.

 1,084 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ceanderson
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Love this place! They have a great selection, I do the make your own pretty much every time so I can try new beers. The staff is friendly and knowledgable, they haven't done me wrong yet. Please don't judge this place by it's website though, which totally sucks!!! Looks like someones C average graphic/web design flash final project.

 334 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Good selection for the state including mixed 6 pak section. Vg service. A bit out of the way.

93 characters

Photo of NateMac13
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place was fantastic. Great selection, some decently hard to find stuff, friendly service, discount when you buy so many bottles, prices were pretty good. I went here and to total wine and this place killed it. Must stop if you are looking for a bottle shop in St Paul. Not a single complaint.

 297 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

The Ale Jail is a great place to make your own 6-pack. It seems like most of the beers they sell in 4- or 6-packs you can also find individually. I went looking for a few seasonal specialties from Great Lakes and Sierra Nevada and was a little surprised that they weren't in stock given the selection. The service was good, though - they pointed me to some alternatives, and I was pretty happy with the singles selection. Most of the stuff seemed fresh.

 453 characters

Photo of mikevanatta
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

An incredibly friendly, knowledgeable staff. Always fun, new stuff on the shelves.

82 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of djhowell
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of CCutch
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Great and variable selection with excellent turnover on IPAs and local beers. Nice and knowledgable staff that will help you find what you need and provide some honest opinions and great recommendations.

 206 characters

Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of fuzzcherry
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The Wine Thief & Ale Jail are two halves of a whole store with a wall and open doorway dividing them. The senior beer staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The junior staff, not quite as knowledgeable, but still friendly and helpful. Their selection of superior beers is excellent with less attention paid to the low end. I saw no Keystone or Mountain Crest, but I did see a large variety of sours and Belgians and lots of other goodies. The prices are reasonable, some a little above what I've paid elsewhere, and some a little lower so it all evens out in that respect.

I'll be doing more shopping here.

 624 characters

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -32%

Photo of Jimandhisbeerd
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Chudem
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of SlightlyGrey
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TGanyone
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of heytomcat
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Fluffheady
4.32/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

We are from out of town and visited several beer stores in Minneapolis. This place is where we gladly dropped most of our budget, and the place that any BA reader should visit. There is a great collection of growlers. They had the original half acre growler AND the new one. Any time I see that, I’m SOLD (living on the north side of Chicago). And the Russian River growler, etc, etc, etc. The man working the beer side of the store was extremely knowledgeable, and another one of the customers was a certified beer tasting judge. It is a great place. Stop here if from out of town. Shop here if you live here. These places need to survive.

 642 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4/5  rDev -9.3%

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The Wine Thief & Ale Jail in Saint Paul, MN
96 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.