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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

Not Rated.
Hi-Time Wine CellarsHi-Time Wine Cellars
BA SCORE
100
world-class

113 Ratings
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.11%
[ Store ]

250 Ogle St
Costa Mesa, California, 92627-3808
United States
phone: (800) 331-3005

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mrhitime

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claspada
4.34/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

claspada, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of mrcraft
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

mrcraft, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of ohtheguilt
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

ohtheguilt, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of jraras
4.86/5  rDev +6.8%

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!

jraras, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of jefftheduke
4.56/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

jefftheduke, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

Vanlingleipa, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of OCBeerBaron
4.83/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

OCBeerBaron, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of blincoln
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

blincoln, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

PhiloPsych, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +9.9%

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!

AlexM, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of Hershdawg
5/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

Hershdawg, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
4.64/5  rDev +2%

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.

Retsinis, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of joecast
4.78/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

joecast, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.46/5  rDev -2%

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.

FosterJM, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of cdkrenz
3.55/5  rDev -22%

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.

cdkrenz, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of drewmprs
5/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

drewmprs, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of grilledsquid
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%

* 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.

grilledsquid, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of msmezher
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Hi-Time Wine Cellars is one of the best places to purchase beer, wine, spirits, and tobacco as well as drink related products and high quality cheeses. Hi-Time's beer selection is great, a wall of solid six packs, and a chilled cellar room of singles from breweries and styles around the world. Prices are very reasonable for what is available, and the employees seem knowledgeable and helpful.
Hi-Time is also the best place I've ever been to to purchase tobacco, they have an incredible selection of pipe tobacco and cigars (as well as pipes and accessories for both) at the best prices around. Lan and the other workers in the tobacco section will also let you take samples of some tobacco and make recommendations. I can't make a trip to Hi-Time without a few friends scrambling to come along.

msmezher, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of david131
4.55/5  rDev 0%

I was in Anaheim for a conference and drove out to this store to stock up after reading numerous positive reviews on Beeradvocate. The store is rather large with a seemingly good selection of wine, liquor, and cigars. The beer set-up was the best I have seen. All of the beer was in a walk-in cooler that you could take your cart into. The light was low and the green bottles were kept in darker locations. All the prices were clearly marked and the beer was well organized. The staff was not particularly helpful until I was checking out where Alex made some recommendations and really seemed to know his stuff. For the selection, the prices seemed very reasonable. They had stuff from Stone, New Belgium, Mad River, Russian River, Fantome, Mikkeller, The Bruery, Alesmith, Dogfish Head, Jolly Pumpkin, Port Brewing Co, Green Flash, Bear Republic, Full Sail, etc. I would most definitely go back if I were in the area.

david131, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of OhHerrooo
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%

This is my local bottle shop, about 100 yards down the street. Hi Time has a great selection, and gets a pretty strong distribution of non-California beers. They are usually among the first to get limited release beers, and the staff is very knowledgeable on all the beers they stock. Alex and Holly are always quick to help and point out the newest beers that they know I enjoy.

I choose Hi Time over all of the other close by bottle shops again and again. Their awesome selection and great staff will keep me coming back weekly.

OhHerrooo, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of Krevee
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%

Stopped here after a long day at the DMV. The first time I came here it was a bit difficult to find, and also had a little bit a trouble initially finding the beer which is in the far side of the store from the main entrance.

Q- All the beer seemed to be kept in good condition as is was in the beer area which is a large walk in fridge to keep all the beer cold and away from direct sunlight.

S - Service seemed to be pretty good. The people don't always go out of their way to help, but if you do have a question you can just find someone and ask, they all seem to be pretty knowledgeable.

S - Great selection of beer. Lots of German/Belgians as well as plenty of domestic beers. Definitely one the best beer selections in Orange County. Seemed to have a few beers that a I couldn't find else where, but also couldn't find a few beers I had seen in other places. But generally overall a better selection of beer then other places.

V - Value is good, prices for most everything seem pretty standard.

Great Beer Store, one of the best in Orange County for sure.

Krevee, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.1/5  rDev -31.9%

SO I shopped online, first of all, like 5 of the bottles I ordered they didn't have. So take them off the website. The shipping is expensive. Then one of the beers they sent was the wrong one, and did not reply to emails after that. It happened to be Orange Blossom Ale and it was terrible when I drank it after I figured there was no return.

So their service is really low, they at least emailed saying they didn't have a few products though.

The quality is fine, they shipped it in a a nice shipper, the beer seemed fresh. They also have a good selection of domestics and also imports unavailable to me.

But they have some issues. So be careful when ordering online.

crossovert, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%

Stopped by here on my recent Southern California trip. After reading reviews for various good beer stores in and around LA, I decided I would hit up Hi-times.

This is a really large liquor store that seems to specialize in everything from cigars, to wine to beer. The beer area is located along the right hand part of the store. Most of the beers are located in a large walk-in cooler. There are also boxes of beer located right outside of the cooler.

The selection was very good. They had a lot of stuff from Kern River; Abyss 2009; Mammoth; HOTD Blue Dot; Vicotry; RR Damnation, BP, and Consecration; Alpine Willy; Port/LA; and lots from Alesmith. Prices were very good.

I can't speak too much to the service. I did talk to a guy to verify that they did not have any more Alpine selections and he seemed knowledgeable about their inventory.

This is a great beer store. They had lots of stuff we don't get in SF and carried a lot of stuff that most beer lovers will enjoy. Worth stopping by if you are in Orange County.

mjl21, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of MisterClean
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%

Had trouble finding it, but got there eventually. Tucked in the back of a strip mall in Costa Mesa bordering Santa Ana (or vice versa).

Q - Lots of good stuff, many Italian and German imports that I've never seen. All tucked away in a walk in fridge at about 45 degrees or so. They had some other notable hard to finds like DFH, GI, and some Lost Abbeys too.

Ser - Friendly cashiers and the stockers didn't mock me when I asked, "Hey, where's the beer."

Sel - Lots of good selection on the quality. Might be improved upon though considering the square footage of their store though.

Value - Prices were solid, some stuff was cheap such as Consecration for $20 and some stuff was expensive Speedway at $11.50. Most of it was competitive though.

MisterClean, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%

I have been to a lot of good bottle shops, but this one ranks very much up at the top.

I was initially concerned as I turned onto Ogle (from Orange) to see what appeared to be a residential area. I almost missed the place at first, but was able to slow down and make it into the parking lot.

I walked in through the main entrance to see quite the expanse of cigars, wines, and spirits. I was (again) a bit confused until I looked to my right to see a hallway were I could see some cooler doors and a walk-in cooler through a hallway.

The initial confusion was quickly replaced with a feeling of elation. There are about 6-8 cooler doors and a substantial pile of cases to the left of the doorway. Next to/behind the cooler doors is a large walk-in cooler where there is even more good stuff.

Lots of, well, just about everything. Plenty of German beers, a pretty good selection of Belgians, as well as other imports such as Mikkeller and Nogne-O. All the usual suspects from CA and the west coast, and quite a few you don't usually see (most notably Kern River, Mammoth, and Caldera). Plenty of stuff from DFH, Flying Dog, New Belgium, HotD, Russian River, The Bruery, Stone, Deschutes, North Coast, and more (too many to name).

I wish I had more money to spend here because I could have easily bought a few cases full of beer (I went conservative and only bought one case worth).

If you're anywhere near here, make the trip and check out Hi-Time.

womencantsail, Oct 17, 2009
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.