Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I think I just died...and went to beer heaven. Hi-Time Wine Cellars is a must visit for beer lovers. When you first walk in the stores you're greeted by a cigar humidor on the left and a huge selection of wines and spirits. You can hear the buzz coming from their bar downstairs. In many ways Hi-Time is like a warehouse of alcohol with everything from mixers to wine to beer to bar supplies.
We then made out way to the beer section and into the beer cooler...wow. It was nice to see all the beers stored correctly and such a wide selection. Their prices are more than reasonable (I was at BevMo yesterday and saw the same beers at Hi-Time for a couple of dollars less).
The guys there were all really friendly and helpful. I asked one of them about Pliny the Elder as I've been on a hunt to get my hand on it and the happily started up a conversation give me advice on when they usually get in their shipments. All in all this place is a must visit if you are anywhere near orange county. I left like a kid that just got a new toy...really excited and thoroughly pleased with my box of goodies.
07-22-2011 04:50:32 | More by blincoln
4.72/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
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 +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Hi-Time has been around FOREVER and is arguably one of the best retailers in the entire state of California ... and not just for craft beer, but for wine, cigars and spirits. It's like being in an adult candy store ... just EPIC!!
The beer selection is amazing and selections are properly stored ... cold ... so make sure when you browse the beer choices, bring a jacket or something as it gets cold.
Prices are reasonable ... probably lower in other establishments, but nothing over retail suggested value.
If you are in the area, Hi-Time is a must stop ... the store is simply amazing!
07-18-2011 19:13:09 | More by AlexM
5/5 rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Other than being a great store for non beer related drinks and possibly the best wine store in Southern California it has an impressive beer selection. The prices while a little more then Total Wine the selection of special release and import beers are impressive. The shear amount of breweries featured is great. Also the cooler is walk in. The only reason a beer case is stuck outside of the cooler is lack of space. I've found everything from Hitachino special release to Stone to Russian River. The store allows you to buy 12oz Singles out of the six packs allowing for the ability to try many different beers rather then being stuck to 6 packs and bombers. They have a top shelf for rare beers which I have seen Infinitum, vintage Stone releases, and other barrel aged beers.
If you are in the OC this store is a must stop.
06-23-2011 04:47:38 | More by Hershdawg
4.64/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Been out to Hi-Time Wine Cellars on a number of occasions, though a bit less now that my sister in law doesnt live in the OC anymore. Being from Northridge, it's not exactly around the corner from me. However, anyone that lives withing 50 miles of this places owes it to themselves to go here at least once.
The store is an adults disneyland. They have a walkin humidor, with a fine selecation of cigars. They have freshly made choclates for sale. They have one of the largest selecations of spirits I have ever seen, from cheap, preimium, ultra premium, and some stuff I have not see anywhere else but there. They have several coolers of beer, stacks of beers around the store, and a rather large, Walk in refriegrator filled with beer.
Of course, they also have an underground cellar, with an enormous vintage wine selection. I still get their newsletter, even being as far away as I am. This place is truly unique, and a real gem for So cal.
Their prices are fairly competive, but I marked it as a bit pricey, only because if you walk in here, intending to buy just 1 thing, I pretty much guarantee you will buy more, the selection is just that good overall. While they don't get every limited release, they do get quite a bit of Belgian beers, large format bottles, and various around the world beers that are fairly uncommon. The staff is friendly, helpful, and actually seem to love that they work their from my experience too.
04-28-2011 21:11:29 | More by Retsinis
4.78/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Finally made it here after reading all the good news about it. Thanks twitter for the update about the Deschutes tasting so I raced down for that.
Outside of the big chain liquor stores this place is massive. Looks like a normal bottle shop that just kept on expanding. Heaps of wine and spirits as well as topical magazines, Easter themed stuff and probably more. I headed for the downstairs bar area in the back.
This area is a bit cramped but about 10 spots at the bar. Six or so tables as well for your seated drinking pleasure.
The server for the tasting was extremely helpful and informative. And the pours were quite generous so not sure if that was their generosity or Deschutes. Also the service at the checkout was very accommodating.
Selection was wide ranging filling lots of different styles and origins. Plenty of local regional and imported stuff. The only limitation is how long you can stand browsing in the walk in cooler which is another positive. Plenty of stuff kept chilled.
Overall this could quite possibly be my favorite bottle shop. As with other specialty shops, you might find every day drinkers cheaper at other places, but the selection here easily makes it worth stopping in every few weeks.
04-15-2011 23:16:17 | More by joecast
4.46/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Took a trip down today because the wife was on a business trip so I had some free time.
*next time (don't bring the kid)
Atm- Pretty standard beer store. Was a bit smaller than I thought from all that I heard. Had a nice sized staff on duty. Pretty good.
Qual- You know when you walk in a beer cooler and just go damnit, I need more $$. It's this place. They had stuff you know if good from all the chit chat on here but you've never even seen. Now you have.
Serv- As mentioned above, a nice sized staff on duty. Didn't really throw the I want to talk vibe out but thats fine. They did their job quickly and effeciently if I had a question. I was happy.
Selection- Was a nice selection, I think I came on an off weekend. Seemed to be out of a few things. I saw no RR besides damnation I believe. Although the front board did say no Pliny so at least they know to say when they are out.
Val- For the beers I got vs, what I paid. I was very happy.
03-14-2011 04:49:54 | More by FosterJM
3.55/5 rDev -22%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
The overall selection of beers are good. They offer a wide variety of imported beers from Canada and Europe. They offer a moderate selection of beers from California. A few from Oregon and some scatterings of other breweries from throughout the country. They do offer a nice amount of bombers. The service was nothing more than average. They weren't rude and they weren't nice. The employees did their job. I'm fine with that. The overall pricing seemed to be a bit on the high side. Lot's of bombers in the $8-$12 range. From there the proces went up up up. Very few bombers for less than $6.
01-17-2011 01:09:08 | More by cdkrenz
5/5 rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Without a doubt, the #1 beer store in the OC. Beer manager Trayce is a stand up guy and serious beer geek. They have a massive walk in cooler so bring a coat.
They get more Russian River allocated to them than any store I know of. The store is a bit disorganized but the employees can help you find anything you want.
Also, they have a shipping department and an up-to-date website.
I've spent plenty here over the years without any regets.
They also do tastings of their vintage beers a couple times a year.
12-29-2010 22:29:01 | More by drewmprs
4.85/5 rDev +6.6%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
* This review is for their beer section only.
Hi-Time Wine Cellars is located in Costa Mesa, near Newport Beach. They have an extensive selection of wine, spirits, and, of course, beer. Most of the beer is kept in a cooled walk-in room, with 6-packs placed and available in walled coolers near the registers. Some bulk cases are also stacked alongside a wall near the coolers.
The selection here is great. You'll be sure to find anything local (ie, Ballast Point, Alesmith, Stone, Lost Abbey/Port) as well some out-of-state regionals such as Elysian, Avery, Goose Island. You'll also find an extensive selection of imports like Dieu Du Ciel!, Mikkeller, Rocheforte, and Weihenstephaner.
The prices are reasonable and the staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. I wish I lived closer as I would come here on a regular basis.
10-19-2010 18:11:10 | More by grilledsquid
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.