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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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

106 Ratings
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.11%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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: 106 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Southernbrew
Southernbrew

Georgia

5/5  rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I just received my first order from Hi-time and I could not be more impressed. I ordered 6 12 oz. singles and when it arrived and I opened it up I knew they would be in good shape. They pack this stuff so it could survive being run over by a truck. The selection on the website was great, at least 90% of the stuff is unavailable in Georgia, if not most of the Southeast. The service is wonderful too. The day after I placed my order, an employee (Tre maybe) called to let me know they were out of one of my choices and helped me pick out something else and was happy to answer all my questions, some of the best service I've ever had. My one gripe is I ordered a full-sail amber ale and was sent a saint louis obispo amber, oh well. I'm not sure where I would dock points since the whole experience was so nice. I will order from them again for sure.

02-10-2005 16:16:19 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of rowew
rowew

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This was my first stop as soon as we moved to LA. Luckily it's a relatively short drive. Store has a very eclectic selection - very easy for my signifigant other to entertain herself with chocolate, wine, glasses, etc while I stared slack-jawed at the beer cooler. Nice selection of liquor, wine, and obviously beer. They also have a decent humidor and some cigar accessories. Nice to combine several vices all in one store! Several hard to find imported beers and a solid collection of craft brews. Helpful employees and several check out counters make for a nice shopping experience.

01-10-2005 16:54:10 | More by rowew
Photo of oggg
oggg

California

4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is full of random junk on one side, then huge aisles of hard liquor, then a wine cellar downstairs. At the end, there is a walk in fridge, not too huge, but stocked with lots of beer. Lots of west coast brews, but nothing that BevMo wouldn't have. Huge German beer selection, but mostly dunkels, hefes. A couple of bocks and a kolsch. Belgian section is pretty nice. I grabbed Hanssens Oude Geuze. English section is pretty expensive. Several singles that I haven't seen before, but they were pretty expensive -- $4-6 for a regular strength ale, 16 oz size. Maybe when my curiosity gets the better of me I'll dig in.

Overall: Good Belgian selection. I won't be making the trek back though..

01-10-2005 07:39:11 | More by oggg
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Was very excited and had very high expectations for this hallowed place. I wasn't disappointed. Stopped by on the busiest shopping day of the year in the early evening. The place was pretty busy, but not insane. Walked in and past a cool little tobacco corner (I don't smoke, but it smelled good). I noticed glassware in the back corner and checked that out. Some cool stuff (especially high-end wine ware). But I didn't come here for glassware. I quickly paced past a dozen or so aisles of hard liquor (very good selection of that by the way) until I reached the beer section. There were 6 or so coolers full of six-packs, several little mountains of cases of bombers and sixers stacked on the floor at room temp., and a small glass door that led to the walk-in. The six-pack coolers had lots of good W. Coast micros, and very few BMC. It was nice being able to buy single 12 oz. bottles. The walk-in was the highlight though. Inside were tons of US micro bombers and 750s (Stone, Marin, Moylan's, Rogue, Alesmith, AK Smoked porter and many more). Surrounding these floor case stacks were the imports. Very impressive Belgian section with stuff I've never seen before. England was decently represented, and Germany was very well represented. Staff was very helpful, if a little scarce (they were busy though). The only bad thing about this place is the amount of money one will spend! Yikes! I dropped 125 bucks before I could even get my list out. The wine cellar is an amazing place too--make sure to check it out, if you can pull yourself away from the beer!

11-30-2004 20:35:22 | More by alexgash
Photo of BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

5/5  rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is simply the best all around beer store (not to mention wine and liquor) that I've ever been to. They treat their beer like a member of the family, not a commodity to be sold. Their selection is second to none. Rare beers from around the world are easily found here. When I visited yesterday I found a wealth of Liefman's and other great brews. It would be impossible to list even a fraction of hte excellent brews they have. And the best part is that they have a walk-in cooler where most of the beer is stored.

The staff is very helpful and unpretentious. They go out of their way to help you find what you need. They know their beers as well so it is pleasure shopping at Hi-Time.

11-07-2004 16:40:55 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

5/5  rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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. :-)

09-19-2004 20:30:16 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Finally made the trek down to Costa Mesa to come to one of the highlights of the SoCal beer scene.

Hi-Times is located in the rear of a strip mall in their own standalone building. This store is a warren of aisles and shelves filled with vices of all natures, tobbaco, chocolate, candy, and of course wine, beer and spirits.

The beer selection around here is grand, all manners of Cantillons, Micros, Belgian and German imports and a few of the increasingly rare Baltic Porters. Virtually everything is stored in a giant walkin cooler. The staff is knowledgable and helpful. Always willing to give a hand.

All in all if you're in the area of Costa Mesa, this should be a stop that you make. Top Notch! (Oh and the store is all of 5ish blocks from the Goat Hill Tavern.)

06-27-2004 21:24:55 | More by drewbage
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

After living and working in this area for nearly three months a couple summers ago, I never found this place in person. We searched local Wild Oat stores, Trader Joe's, and grocery stores for beers to bring out but we never heard about this place even though we frequented the Yardhouse and Goat Hill Tavern a stone's throw away. Selection on the online store is massive all of the west coast brews that don't come to Pittsburgh can be found, and in addition to west coast micros they have a slew of others plus imports including German and Belgian ales. After placing my order within a couple days they called my cell to confirm my order in person, now that's service. I couldn't have been more happy with my purchases got some hard to get Alesmith brews great source of finding beers online.

05-06-2004 16:20:05 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Made my first excursion to this place (40 miles from my work, in the opposite direction of home) on the receommendation of the folks here at BA, and was I ever NOT disappointed. As others tell you, this is mostly a wine shop, but their walk-in beer cooler was amazing. I got away with only spending about $70, and it was only that low because I kept telling myself that I could go back! The selection is excellent- lots of Belgians for me, and lots of everything else for everyone else. The only store I've ever been to in the US that sold Cantillon products- and they had several.

Mike (the beer manager) saw me with my mouth open, and he started telling me all about the place with obvious pride. He's a great guy, and very knowledgeable. His monthly tastings are what I really want to check out, but haven't had a chance yet.

My only complaint (minor) is that the beer area is really cramped and kind of dark, and I was afraid I was going to knock something off the shelves with every movement.

I'll be back...

02-25-2004 00:52:30 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is done as a mail-order review rather than an in-store review.

Quality/Selection: Hi-Time has one of the largest selections of beer of any website I've seen. Just about any California brewery that I could think of (Stone, Alesmith, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, North Coast, Lost Coast, just to name a few) was represented here, along with most of the great West Coast beers, and unique beers like Kona.

Service: If the beer selection is great, then the service is even better. They made a phone call to me in order to note that my original order would have been exceedingly expensive to ship (but fortunately I trimmed it down to a box). When I called to confirm, I spoke to Trayce for almost half an hour about beers, the best of the beer on the West Coast, and the great beers from out East, and he showed that he had a genuine love for beer. In addition, he went out of his way to keep the shipping down for me ($34 dollars for a whole case from Califonia to PA!). When the box arrived, it was excellently packed with packing peanuts and cardboard sleeves...there was no way it was going to break. Thank you very much, Trayce.

I think that Hi-Times stands up with Vintage Cellar and Liquid Solutions as one of the top mail order beer purchasing stores in the country. A simply fantastic selection of beers combined with top-notch service. A place that I'd urge other East Coast BAs to give a try, and certainly someplace that I will order from again!

02-20-2004 20:46:39 | More by beergeek279
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.