Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -11%
Took quite a detour on my way from Las Vegas to the Santa Barbara area specifically to visit this store. I went there with high expectations.
Starting with quality: As far as beers which can be found in southern California, they have them all. Well, at least all the breweries. There are a number of beers from each brewery they don't carry, but for the most part each brewery is well represented. They really didn't carry any of the hard to find east coast brews. As far as imports, they have a nice selection but honestly I was hoping for more. There were a number of Belgians we don't get in Vegas, but then again we have a number of Belgians that this place didn't have.
Service was fair. Nobody asked if I needed help, and when I did have a couple of questions it took a while to find someone available to answer them. Eventually my questions were answered, but I never felt as if I was a valued customer or as if the people I spoke with were enthusiastic about beer.
Selection: Again, I visited this sore with high expectations, mostly due to the glowing reviews here. For the most part, my expectations were not met. Before I walked into the beer cooler I grabbed one of those hand held baskets, thinking I'd fill the sucker. After about 15 minutes of looking, I only had 2 beers in the basket which I wanted. Eventually I grabbed a total of 6, mainly because I figured that if I came this far out of my way to visit this place, I might as well leave with more than just two or three beers. Perhaps I'm spoiled from my trips to Belgium and Amsterdam where I'd walk into a beer store and be overwhelmed with hundreds of beers I'd never seen before. I struggled with what grade to give this store in the Selection department. If grading against your average run of the mill liquor store then this one is great. If grading against the stores I visited in Belgium/Amsterdam then this store is below average. If grading against the stores where I shop in Vegas then it's about a tie. I finally graded it a 4.5, and felt that was generous.
Value: Pricing was fair. I saw no great deals, nor did I see any ripoffs.
All in all I'm glad I came here, if only that it satisfied my curiosity and I found a couple beers I'd wanted. However unless I'm specifically headed into this area again for some reason, I most likely won't visit again. If you live in the area, or within a half hour or so, then you have a nice store to do your beer shopping. Otherwise it's probably not worth traveling any great distance out of your way. You can find most of this stuff elsewhere in SoCal.
02-20-2009 02:15:47 | More by JBogan
4.1/5 rDev -9.9%
This place hands down has the best selection of beer that is taken very good care of in a very cool climate in the OC. There selection DWARFS any store in this neck of the woods. The down fall of such a great store is there service is so RUDE and not freindly. I don't care I still shop there when I go that way. There wine cellar is at 56 degrees and every bottle is laying domn and taken care well. There cigar room is two rooms with a large selection of quality and value. Plenty of parking, There tequila section is so over the top. They also carry nice glass ware. As long as you don't expect service or a smile you know your still getting the best selection. And there goods are kept at proper temperatures.
08-03-2008 06:40:39 | More by athensbeermaster
4.15/5 rDev -8.8%
Ive ordered online from Hi-Time. The website is well laid out and they follow up fast and pack well. You get e-mail confirmation including a printout of what you bought. Good choice for mail order. The selection is pretty damn good and includes the majority of the major California brews along with the plethora of smaller ones that seldom see distribution much outside of California. Alesmith, Stone, Green Flash, Reaper, Drake's, Lost Abbey, Pizza Port, limited release Anchor beers and much more. Definitely a store to shop with for beer lovers.
02-07-2007 17:34:33 | More by Jredner
4.15/5 rDev -8.8%
I stopped by here on a recent visit to Newport Beach to pick up a couple of bottles of Pliny (one of the few places that are currently in the RR distribution network). Nice place! My regular beer store is the Bevmo in Redlands but I have not been... uh, excited about their selection (even though it is fairly comprehensive) in awhile. I didn't really have time to check out the entire store so straight to the beer cooler it was...
Mmmm... within seconds I had grabbed was an Alesmith Horny Devil an Allagash Black a Madrugada Obscura and a Ballast Point Sea Monster (all of which I have not seen at Bevmo and haven't tried before). Then I asked about the location of the Pliny and picked up a couple of the reasons that I had come as well as 2 Blind Pigs (couldn't resist). Before I had left I also had to grab a 4 pack of St Bernardus 12 which put my total at around $80 for the visit and less than 3 minutes in their cooler!... self indulgent... stupid... bastard! Moderation and self control will be on the agenda the next time I visit this store... and there will definitely be a next time!
12-04-2008 23:47:19 | More by beerhappy
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.
06-20-2010 22:03:13 | More by OhHerrooo
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.