Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev -4.4%
After carousing this place on the internet for a few years , I finally got a chance to visit this place in person. I was in near by Laguna Beach visiting relatives when wha lah, the subject of beverage stores came up , and Hi Time Wines was only 10 -15 minutes away in Costa Mesa, so, of course the next morning we were on our way.
The store is huge, divided into three sections, liquor, wine, and beer. The beer section actually looks the smallest, but it didn't lack for selection. Most of the beers are in a large walk in cooler, with maybe 10% of the displays at room temperature. Lots of mostly local California brewers for sale here including He'brew, Speakeasy, Alesmith, Bayhawk, and Hop Town among others, with a decent selection of imports. Not many Midwest or East Coast craft brews, though.
Back to their web site for a minute, they have way more beers available in store than the site has listed, just call and ask.
They also have kegs for sale, and prices are reasonable.
Overall this is a great place to shop for beer, and bonus points for most of them being stored in the cooler.
01-27-2006 05:19:16 | More by beerceller99
3.85/5 rDev -15.4%
While on a short visit to Southern California, decided to check this store out based on the reviews read here. Located in Costa Mesa, the store looks relatively easy on paper to get too, but was a little more challenging on Saturday afternoon, due to the aggravating numberof red lights after the freeway poortion of 55 southbound ended. The store is big and well lit, but the beer part only occupies a fraction of the floorspace. The invenorty is located in standard cooler shelves and a large walk in cooler. There were some room temperature beers in the corridor, but I think they were also in the walk in cooler. The invetory outside of BMC is heavily focussed on California microbrews, and imports. Not too many out of state micros to be found here. The import selection was good, but not stellar. There wasn't a single import here that I couldn't also get in Georgia. The big California micros (Stone, Alesmith, Moylan, Marin, Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, etc.) were all here, and make this a must stop if you are travelling to the area. Service was business like and courteous, but nobody went out of their way to ask me anything. I liked the fact that they also sold some homebrew kits, which although were not what I was looking for, seemed like a good product to offer. They also have an online shiop and will ship to you. I liked to store, but they seemed to be missing a bit of that loving touch that I like in places like Green's and Brawley's.
01-23-2006 05:14:10 | More by rajendra82
5/5 rDev +9.9%
I did some xmas shopping here so i thought i'd finally review it since i'm here almost every week.
You cannot get better than this place. It used to be an old Pacific Bell Central Office and now it's been turned into a wine cellar per se. But there's not just wine. You can get cigars, glassware, literature, cheese, caviar, candies, and of course liquor, beer and wine.
The beer cooler is in the back and you walk in. It has one of those automatic sliding doors. Wear a jackeet because you will be spending time in here looking at all the brews. Domestics, belgians, flemish reds, baltics, italian, german, bavarian, local breweries... they pretty much have it all. From the 6oz to the jeroboams. The staff is very helpful and will help you any way you ask. Talk to Mike the beer guy and he can suggest for you or let you know whats's new. Actually, anyone will help you with that. You can also mail order. Pretty much if you cannot find it here, it probably cannot be found.
Make it a point to stop by here!!!
12-21-2005 18:25:09 | More by SwillinBrew
4.85/5 rDev +6.6%
Thanks to all on Beeradvocate as I would have never found this place without beerfly reviews. It is truly a gem and a cant miss if you live anywhere in So Cal. I traveled 50 miles for this and was not dissapointed. $200 dollars later I was on my way home with tons of Glorious beer. I will make this journey again in a couple of months when my relatives will be in town as it has the largest selection by far of any place I've been to in or near LA. It makes bev-mo's look like a 7-11. lets put it this way I've been searching LA for 2 years to find a kristall weizen and I found 1 variety at bev-mo in west hollywood. At Hi-Times I found 4 varieties and I didn't search that hard as the saison's caught my attention and had to move on. Perfection.
08-22-2005 15:05:20 | More by DogFood11
5/5 rDev +9.9%
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
4.5/5 rDev -1.1%
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
4.7/5 rDev +3.3%
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
4.85/5 rDev +6.6%
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
5/5 rDev +9.9%
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
5/5 rDev +9.9%
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:
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
Harvey's Christmas Ale
Hanssen's Oude Gueze
Cantillon Lou Pepe
Unita Anniversary Barleywine
...and I was *restraining* myself. :-)
09-19-2004 20:30:16 | More by mzwolinski
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.