Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
4.34/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Wowzers, what a selection. Huge wine, liquor, gourmet foods and of course beer store. Many different rooms, each holding their specialty.
There was a separate beer cooler which held most of their beers which is great for keeping those hops fresh and I appreciate that and give extra points.
Service was a bit spotty, many people working, none seemingly wanting to help, took me 5 minutes to ask someone where a bathroom was, anyway...
Plently of beer, probably the biggest selection in the greater San Diego area and a must stop if you are looking to grab some local beer and many none local beers that are distributed to the area. The second best place I stopped at in San Diego area, only second to Holiday Wine Cellar because their associates were much more helpful and courteous. Prices seemed in line as well.
06-18-2013 21:56:29 | More by claspada
4.65/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I visited Hi-Time this weekend as I was visiting a friend in Huntington Beach. I'm glad I did. I'm not into wine, cigars, etc., but it seemed they had a very nice selection of those items.
Now to beers. Most beers are stored in coolers or in the walk-in portion of it. I thought the selection was 4.75 out of 5. Very strong selection of beers from the US and abroad. It's not a 5 because I still couldn't find the rarer stuff from the Midwest and East Coast that I've found at my go-to liquor store.
What I value a lot about Hi-Time is that they allow you to break 4/6 packs. This is a godsend, if you're not familiar with a beer and just want to try it out without committing to a bomber or 4/6 pack.
Nice place. Too bad it's not local to me. I will surely return when I'm in the area again which I believe will be Super Bowl Sunday. I'll stock up here before I go the party.
01-14-2013 06:06:31 | More by mrcraft
4.44/5 rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As part of my tour of Orange County during this week's work travel, I dropped into Hi-Time, based on the Ba reviews. Again, I was not let down.
The big cooler has an incredible assortment of California beers, national crafts and a ton of imports.I was also very pleased with the service...whoever helped me (I didn't get his name) went above and beyond discussing distribution differences in CA versus GA, and also checked "the back" for any hidden goodies (Blind Pig, Pliny, etc.) that may have been stashed away.
Overall, great selection, service and quality...if I was local to Costa Mesa, this would be my main stop for good beer.
03-15-2012 02:38:59 | More by ohtheguilt
4.86/5 rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I was in CA for business last week (between LA and OC) and found this place via a BA search. The "world class" rating it currently has is certainly deserved. I will only focus on beer, but the range of spirits and wine look to be much more impressive than even the beer section.
After gawking a bit in the spirits section I made my way over to the beer section (annex). Upon entering I clearly saw the walk in cooler, but opted to chat up the guy at the register who was doing some tasks. I told him I was in from MA and would love to have him tour me around the cooler while recommending what I should get / can't get elsewhere. He was awesome and recommended some great stuff. After picking a few things from the main cooler he escorted me to the smaller/reserve cooler. Here I had my choice of 4 50/50 Eclipses, Pure Hoppiness and various other gems. For RR they only had Damnation and Redemption, but I can't fault them too much for that.
In the reserve cooler we bumped into another gentleman who worked there and he joined the conversation--talking about his favs from the Eclipses, Rayon Vert and the Bear Republic Berliner Weiss. He continued with me to check out, get ice and acquire a cooler as well as some shippers to help me prepare my beers for travel back to MA via Delta (checked baggage).
I wish I could remember the names of these guys as they were super helpful. No worry, I'll ask next time I'm there--which will be the next time I'm in SoCal. I hope soon!
01-11-2012 03:53:58 | More by jraras
4.56/5 rDev -0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I have been to this store many times it is close to home and has a good selection. The store is clean and the the walk in beer fridge is a cool feature, but bring a jacket if you want to look at beer for more than a minute or two. The selection is pretty good but you have to ask for anything that you really want it is all kept in the back and if you don't know someone there or ask for it you want get it. I know Alex and he knows his beer and makes great recommendations. If you are close it is defininatly worth stopping in just make sure to ask if you don't see something you want.
11-19-2011 05:28:46 | More by jefftheduke
4.38/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
What the previous reviewers have said is certainly true, this is indeed a candy shop for liquor lovers. And if all of this giant space was dedicated to beer, it'd be the Disneyland of craft brews as well.
Alas, we have to make do with a large cooler where the beer is properly stored (except it is a little bright in there). Prices are reasonable. The staff are generally pretty cool - another nice thing about this place is you can call in for a high-demand beer and they'll hold it for you for up to a day.
For those of us who like to slum in the fine spirits section get the full benefit of Hi-Times large space and huge inventory. I'm always amazed at the variety of rare and imported tequilas, rums and whiskies. Just wish it was a little closer to my home.
08-11-2011 10:02:45 | More by Vanlingleipa
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The term 'kid in a candy store' comes to mind when I think of Hi-Time because that's how I feel while I'm there. I usually stop by on Fridays after work to stock up on beer and wine. Their selection is ridiculous for beer, wine, cheese, cigars... I also get most of my kegs from them, they'll order it if they don't have it. I haven't done ant tastings here but they have a cool tasting room on the lower floor. Even if you go here for beer only you should walk through the wine cellar because it's amazing. Almost like a public library filled with wine. The walk in beer fridge is awesome. If you are in the Newport / Costa Mesa area go on in and get lost for a bit.
08-11-2011 03:45:45 | More by OCBeerBaron
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I think I just died...and went to beer heaven. Hi-Time Wine Cellars is a must visit for beer lovers. When you first walk in the stores you're greeted by a cigar humidor on the left and a huge selection of wines and spirits. You can hear the buzz coming from their bar downstairs. In many ways Hi-Time is like a warehouse of alcohol with everything from mixers to wine to beer to bar supplies.
We then made out way to the beer section and into the beer cooler...wow. It was nice to see all the beers stored correctly and such a wide selection. Their prices are more than reasonable (I was at BevMo yesterday and saw the same beers at Hi-Time for a couple of dollars less).
The guys there were all really friendly and helpful. I asked one of them about Pliny the Elder as I've been on a hunt to get my hand on it and the happily started up a conversation give me advice on when they usually get in their shipments. All in all this place is a must visit if you are anywhere near orange county. I left like a kid that just got a new toy...really excited and thoroughly pleased with my box of goodies.
07-22-2011 04:50:32 | More by blincoln
4.72/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Hi-Time is the best bottle shop I know of. Even though beer is only a small part of what they do (they're beer section only takes up about 20% of their store), they do beer better than any other place I've ever been. They sometimes hold beer-tasting events; while I've never been to one of these official events, I have been in the store a couple times where their beer staff have been sampling brews and have allowed me to participate and add my input. They are always among the first to get good, highly-anticipated seasonal or special releases. They do a good job of rationing limited-availability brews, too, so as to prevent hoarding. Their selection is extremely extensive, yet they do not seem to overcharge to compensate. I'm very lucky to have Hi-Time as my local bottle shop--even though I have to drive past BevMo to get there, I prefer to buy my beer at Hi-Time as much as possible.
07-19-2011 16:07:52 | More by PhiloPsych
5/5 rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Hi-Time has been around FOREVER and is arguably one of the best retailers in the entire state of California ... and not just for craft beer, but for wine, cigars and spirits. It's like being in an adult candy store ... just EPIC!!
The beer selection is amazing and selections are properly stored ... cold ... so make sure when you browse the beer choices, bring a jacket or something as it gets cold.
Prices are reasonable ... probably lower in other establishments, but nothing over retail suggested value.
If you are in the area, Hi-Time is a must stop ... the store is simply amazing!
07-18-2011 19:13:09 | More by AlexM
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.