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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class

98 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
99
Reviews:
98
Ratings:
121
Avg:
4.53
pDev:
7.95%
Hi-Time Wine CellarsHi-Time Wine Cellars
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

250 Ogle St
Costa Mesa, California, 92627-3808
United States

(800) 331-3005 | map
www.hitimewine.com

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 121
Reviews by mzwolinski:
Photo of mzwolinski
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Visited 9-18-04

This place is simply amazing. This was my first visit, but from what my fellow beer-lovers say, it is even more amazing now than it used to be in the past. The walk-in beer refrigerator is now expanded and much more spacious, allowing for easier browsing and a wider selection.

Outside the walk-in are display cases featuring six-packs of various, mostly west-coast domestic beers. This is a pretty decent selection in and of itself, and you can, of course, break up the six-packs any way you like, purchasing a single here, a single there...

But inside the fridge is where the real action is. Beers along the wall are organized by country of origin. I spent some time browsing through Germany, than England, then various Eastern European countries (I've learned to be rather wary of these but my friend EyeChartBrew has some sort of sick fascination with them). Then Belgium. Glorious Belgium. Cantillon is, of course, well-represented, as well as the Trappists, and just tons and tons of exciting stuff I'd never seen anywhere else. Really a treat. Finally, in the center of the fridge are more US six-packs and bombers. A very good selection here, though mostly West-Coast stuff. It's the imports where this place really excels.

Reasonably priced. I didn't talk to any of the staff, but I hear there's always somebody around who knows his shit.

Anyway, this is all very abstract, so here's what I came away with from my latest trip. Total bill was $78:

Spaten Optimator
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 1997
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 1998
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 2000
Dulle Teve Mad Bitch
Harvey's Elizabethan 1998
Dolle Oerbier
Sinebrychoff Porter
Harvey's Christmas Ale
Hanssen's Oude Gueze
Aect Urbock
Aect Marzen
Cantillon Lou Pepe
Paulaner Salvator
Unita Anniversary Barleywine

...and I was *restraining* myself. :-)

 1,856 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.17/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Hi-Times serves up all kinds of unusual spirits, solid wine selection (with a wine serving area), and beer. On the plus side, Hi-TImes has a large refrigerated area for beers. However, the area is not well-organized and on the cold side (aka more like a cold ass fridge and not a cellar)... At times there are some interesting selections from all sorts of breweries (mainly CA based), but you really have to look. Moreover, there is an area off-limits to the public where other more rarer beer is stored and only a small number are allowed to purchase. Not providing an update of inventory is one thing, storing exclusives just for "friends" is a bit off-putting.

 663 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.63/5  rDev -41.9%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2.25 | selection: 4.25

On the plus side, there are a lot of beers. Most of them are cold. Most have prices on the shelf, though not necessarily cued to the bottled there are currently occupying the space.

On the minus side, the beer area is so messy, cramped, poorly and inconsistently lit it's just an unpleasant experience to paw through to find things. Then there are the random bombers on their sides in flat boxes under the bottom shelves in the cooler, and some that looked like they just rolled there some months ago.

On a Friday at 3 p.m. the shelves were randomly stocked, misplaced beers all over, some an arm's reach way in the back of the lower shelves. Like they weren't really expecting any business. But I find a dozen and bring my cart up to what looks like a clerk's station. "Where would you like this," I ask, indicating the cart. So I roll the cart to the end of the counter where he can get them and he looks at me, like it's so tedious that he's going to have to pick them out of the cart. This looks like the place for kegs, or better yet, unusual rums.

 1,055 characters

Photo of Fern54
4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of JDean439
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of The_Jerk
3.25/5  rDev -28.3%

Photo of HippieDave56
3.96/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of dagubna
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great place to get pretty much anything with alcohol in it. Killer beer selection, hard to find allocated beer. Nice group of guys though the one guy Trayce can be kind of a d-bag, I've had him answer the phone multiple times and when I asked what they got in that was new as far as beer was concerned he refused to give me a straight answer, made me come in which was kind of a hassle since I live in HB. When I came in there was nothing that special as he had alluded to. How hard is it to tell me what allocated beer you have in? Everyone else does. Still a decent place though.

UPDATE: Trayce got canned, place is better for it.

 633 characters

Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of trippytbta
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Great selection of wine, spirit, anddddddd beer. Although their beer selection gets picked through real quick

109 characters

Photo of MonkeyKnfeFight
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Shandycan
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Popped in here while on vacation at the recommendation of some family members and was not let down! Wish I would have checked the reviews prior to visiting though, so I would have known that I could have broken up 4/6 packs... next time. Great selection in the cooler for someone coming from the East Coast, didn't even bother asking to check "the back". Got into a great conversation with Trayce, who was friendly and very knowledgeable. Will visit again when I'm back in town for sure.

 491 characters

Photo of Bwagner1122
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of TNeedles
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of Fred28
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of TaylorIPA19
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of aoampm
4.36/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This spot is perfect to grab some good brew or some quality food/liquor or even cigars. Their beer selection is high quality and they have an entire walking in chilled room with a great selection of beer. All the times that I've been in the employees are extremely helpful, and one employee really helped me out with my home kegerator issues and answered all my dumb questions with eagerness and genuine concern for me getting the keg flowing correctly.

Definitely recommend if you are in the newport area/costa mesa area and need a quality spot to stock up on beer.

 567 characters

Photo of TrojanHopHead
4.82/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Great place that I would highly recommend to anyone in the surrounding area - very accessible from the 55 fwy.

Service was good, but not overly pushy/hovering. They have a great selection of glassware.

Most importantly, the beer! Big wall of coolers and a crazily-stocked walk-in that is loaded with domestic and imports. Also, being able to break into 4s or 6ers to purchase a single is a fun twist and lets you try new stuff that would only be offered in 6 packs elsewhere.

Great store...I'll be back!

 506 characters

Photo of inscoism
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of PeterR
1.5/5  rDev -66.9%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of boxer0029
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
99 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.