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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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

118 Ratings
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.13%
[ 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: 118 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DotBier
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

DotBier, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of jeff1973
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

jeff1973, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of OhHerrooo
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%

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 Halcyondays
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%

Went to Hi-Time Wine Cellars this Saturday night around 8 o'clock. Just a 20-25 minute or so drive down the 405/73/55, brings me here, traffic was surprisingly light. Beer is in the back, make a big right turn as you enter, past the wine on your left and spirits on your right. First you find a cooler of American microbrews, from Stone to Anchor to Green Flash (a wide selection), plus rarer ones like Stoudt's, and some really local Orange County breweries. The main area for beer is the giant cooler, where they include a wide selection of Belgians, Germans, the best selection of English beers you're going to find in the county, big bombers of California craft brews, and many others. The quality is impeccable, more than 90% of the beer is refrigerated, and this is by far the best selction overall I've found in Orange County. Plus, you can break up six-packs, which makes it a great store for trying new beers. Prices for some bottles can be on the pricey side, but overall it is very reasonable. Although this is a bit out of my way, it is a great store, and I tend to go to it weekly, or at the least bi-weekly, because it is simply the best store for beer in the North County area.

Halcyondays, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%

Made my usual stop here while visiting in laws with my wife. The overall breadth of selection here is fantastic. I can usually count on Hi-Time to have the usual Alesmith suspects in stock (which are hard to come by in San Francisco where I live). However, this time they had no Grand Cru, Wee Heavy, or Old Numbskull. So a bit disappointing in that respect. Lost Abbey selection was standard, but they did have two bottles remaining of Ne Goien, which I promptly placed in my basket. Other offerings were good, but nothing that was exceptionally hard to find in Orange County on this particular date.

waltonc, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of claspada
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%

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 Krevee
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

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 willjschmidt
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

A simply outstanding beer store. This place is close to my in-laws so I checked it out during my last trip south. The reviews on BA led me to believe that it would be top notch and it did not disappoint. A huge selection of imports and American crafts but the best thing about this place is that it is almost all kept in a huge walk-in cooler. I tested their customer service only once by asking whether or not they had any Alesmith Speedway. The guy checked and said that they were out. It would have been nice if he offered to check to see when they got anymore in. The selection is outstanding and is probably why most people come here. The stock looks like it is also rotated very quickly so combined with the cooler you can almost be guaranteed that your beer is fresh. I highly recommed this store, one of the top 3 beer store in which I have visited.

willjschmidt, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of koolchas
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

after hearing so much about this place, i was finally in the area and had an excuse to stop by.

in a nutshell; to me, this place is bevmo on steriods. it's huge. the place is broken out by 'areas.' spirits (hard liquor), wine, all have it's own area. they even have a good tobacco section (for you smokers).

brews are organized very well. the cold walk in cooler is quite impressive. many american craft brews as well as international brews. the belgian section was impressive with items i have never seen before.

prices seem reasonable. the more rare, the more hard to find, the more expensive. some 10.2oz belgians were $15 bottle. american bombers seemed very reasonable and competitive with other places.

was a little disappointed they did not carry dogfish head but, apparently this beer is very difficult to get in california and luckily, i have lone hill liquor for that which is a hop, skip, and jump for me. now, they did have other top brews which i have not seen anywhere else including lone hill. so, i was able to pick up some goodies that i never seen before but, heard raved here on b.a.

i do like the fact they have a website. i was able to check out the site first and when i got there i already had list in hand which made shopping much easier.

given where i live, this place is quite a trek but, when in the area (like at southcoast or newport beach), this will be an automatic stop for me.

cheers!

koolchas, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

As far as American beer goes, they stock up on mostly CA microbrews. Alesmith, Stone, Hoptown, Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic, Moylan's, North Coast, Anchor, Anderson Valley, Mammoth, Speakeasy, Lagunitas, and Lost Coast are a few of them. Out-of-stater's include Deschutes, Rogue, Avery, Ommegang, Abita. It's mostly west coast stuff, and mostly stuff you can find at BevMo, but the advantage here is that they let you split up 6 packs, so you can try whatever you want.

They also have a *great* selection of English, Belgian, German etc beers. They are all kept in a huge walk in fridge. Find an empty case or 6 pack holder and go to town.

The cashiers are very friendly too.

MiScusi, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of Tdizzle
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

Hi-Time is one of the quintessential beer destinations in Southern California. The selection is great and they always seem to get stuff in before anyone else. Almost everything is kept within a walk-in fridge. They have a staggering selection of Belgians that's unsurpassed by any bottle shop I've visited. The staff is generally very friendly and knowledgeable about their inventory. Plus, they've been getting a fairly large quantity of the special releases in lately. I recently picked up a few bottles of Old Rasputin XII, of which they had over five cases. They also had plenty of Angel's Share, Cuvee de Tomme, as well as lots of fresh Sculpin. Overall, Hi-Time is well worth my drive.

Tdizzle, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of vince4953529
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

While spending most of my time between Orange and Irvine, this is simply an exceptional liquor store not too far away from me. Their English and Belgian selections are especially the strong points here. They won't have everything (for example, they're out of the Kwak the last time I came), but I'm sure you'll find some surprises here. Most of the West Coast brews are also well-represented, but nothing out of the ordinary. The service is alright, sometimes they will ask you if you need help or not, but most of the time they just leave their customers alone, which is the way I like. This is simply the best liquor store in Orange County. If you've stopped by in this area, be sure to pay this place a visit.

vince4953529, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of beerceller99
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

beerceller99, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

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
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

Stopped in on a Sunday afternoon while en route to Dana Pointe.

Looks like they could satisfy many a vice. Cigars, liquor and wine options were plentiful to go along with the beer.

Quality was fine. I samped a bomber and part of a six pack I purchased there, and had no issues with either.

Service helpful as I was leaving (quick check out, decent packaging and an offer to help carry it out). Not much offered while I was looking, but I usually know what I am after, so I don't worry about it too much.

Selection was very impressive. Great microbrew options, with, of course, a CA focus. Lots of choices for Belgian and German beers. My picks included Alesmith, Port, Russian River, Drakes and some HOTD. I also grabbed a sixer from Mammoth Brew. Co. and a bomber from Angel City Brewing. I quickly filled up a case of bombers/750s and was left wishing I had more room.

Overall, no complaints whatsoever. Would certainly recommend a stop if you are anywhere nearby.

, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of MisterClean
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

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 aoampm
4.36/5  rDev -4%

This spot is perfect to grab some good brew or some quality food/liquor or even cigars. Their beer selection is high quality and they have an entire walking in chilled room with a great selection of beer. All the times that I've been in the employees are extremely helpful, and one employee really helped me out with my home kegerator issues and answered all my dumb questions with eagerness and genuine concern for me getting the keg flowing correctly.

Definitely recommend if you are in the newport area/costa mesa area and need a quality spot to stock up on beer.

aoampm, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%

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 ohtheguilt
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%

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 Floydster
4.45/5  rDev -2%

Located in a Costa Mesa neighborhood

Beer is located in the pack in a large refrigerated room along with 8 different fridges outside of that

Super cheap and can buy singles out of six packs

Found some nice gems here, Avery Czar, Flying Dog Woodie Creek, Firestone Walker Reserve, Bornem Double, and Flying Dog Horn Dog barleywine

Only spent 28 dollars on 10 different beers, some were 22 ouncers too

Nice selection of glasses

Very helpful workers

Could have spent a lot more money here and I probably will if I make it back there soon

Floydster, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of FosterJM
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%

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 OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

After hearing about this place for quite some time now, I finally got the chance to check it out. I must say that this place is much bigger than I expected. Lots of wine and liquor, along with much merchandise. Clothes, wine chillers, glassware, and more. There was also cheese, candy and other treats.

The beer section was great. It is one of the few places I have been that sells single 12 oz bottles. There was a lot of beer sitting in the isle, and some in the coolers. There was also a walk in cooler with a giant selection of German and Belgian beer. They had a lot of good beers that are hard to find. The import selection was bigger than their local selection, but the American stuff was not lacking either.

Prices were about average. I didnt think anything was overpriced. I managed to get out without spending over $50, so that was good.

I was impressed with this place, but with it being over an hour away, I doubt I will be going back again unless I happen to be in the area.

OStrungT, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of boxer0029
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

boxer0029, May 28, 2014
Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

fthegiants, Oct 31, 2014
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

This place has a very huge selection of wines, liquors, and beers.

I like that I don't have to buy an entire sixer of a beer just to try it.

People were very helpful although I did not require much help. People knew about their inventory and were eager to help.

The selection was huge and I to calm myself down and not buy everything. There are a whole bunch of cali brews, stone, alesmith, etc. and west coast offerings as well.

Everything seems to be pretty fresh and the prices are decent. Seems to be 50 cents more per item than bevmo, but then again, you can't buy singles out of sixers from bevmo.

jasonjlewis, May 18, 2008
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.