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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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

119 Ratings
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 10.38%
[ 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: 119 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Hi-Time is located in the middle of a residental area just south of 17th street, which may make you think you've gone the wrong way to find the place. When you see the sign, you'll know you've made it. The main entrance takes you inside to a room full of vintage wines, cigars, and liquor. To reach the beer, you'll need to walk to the right and continue down. When you've reached a big coolor with beer inside, you've hit the jackpot. Insde the cooler at a bunch of beers of all origins. The selection is superb, and the prices aren't bad. I was still able to find the winter version of YuleSmith, making me a happy camper, along with Kulmbacher Eisbock in 6-packs. Those are just a few samples you'll come across. International and domestic mix packs are also available for purchase. Because most of the beer there is cold, it means it's ready for consumption rather than setting it in your fridge for a few hours before you're ready to have it. Glassware is also available is several shapes and sizes. Go there for hard to find beers or if you live nearby, your jaw will drop!

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Well I have the “new beer bug” pretty bad at the moment, you know where you want to try something new, but you have pretty much wiped out all your local beer stores and even tried the crappy beers. So being as I had some time on my hands this morning I figured it was time to spread my wings and take the 25 mile drive south to Costa Mesa and the legendary Hi-Times that I have heard so much about from my fellow BA’s who all live much further away from here than I do oddly enough.

Well, first off, I was not disappointed, this place just oozes quality, as soon as you walk in you know this Alcohol Heaven. As the name suggest it has a strong focus on Wines, but it also has fantastic range of just about any other fermented or distilled beverage you can think of. In addition, it has all those mechanical accoutrements required to keep even the best bar stocked, Bottle Openers, Corkscrews, more Glasses than you can shake a stick at, etc. etc. I even noticed a large range of Chocolates and some Olde World Candies piled high in Glass Jars.

But I was here for Beer. To the right as you enter there are some coolers that are full of multiple bottled beer packs, and these alone are a good range. But the real deal is a little further back. A Walk-In Cooler. You will have to leave your Trolley outside and pick up a smaller hand basket, put this does at least help to prevent excessive “involuntary beer grabbing”. For once inside there is a fantastic range of beers. To the left is a wall full of German beers, to the right British and Belgium, in the middle there are many US Craft beers. On shelves and in open boxes, it’s like Xmas time and Santa’s Grotto for Beer geeks. Too many beers to list – just check the Website, but a very good range of traditional lambics is sold here, and they still have supplies of Our Beersel Gueuze. Several check-outs make the hard part a quick and painless operation. Very friendly staff that was incredibly helpful to this Virgin Hi-Time shopper. I’ll be back.

The only minor complaint I had was that it was quite busy when I was here, but sadly with what I call “eye shoppers” rather than the real deal, you know the ones that wonder around and buy nothing – they stumble about and shout “ooh look dear” at every pretty bottle and then they just stop dead in the aisles. Negotiating the aisles with a Trolley even only half-full of Beer isn’t easy here, but there is talk of expansion I see.

*Highly Recommended*.
Bring the Reserve Credit Card, you’ll need it!

Last Visit: 27 Dec. 03

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

I stopped here after finding it on BA. What an awesome store. There is an incredible selection of wine and chocolates and all kinds of kick-ass things worth stopping for, but on top of that they have such a good selection of beer. So many USA micros and CA beers and imports to choose from. I counted about 60 Belgians, 40 Germans, well over 50 USA, and 20 UK beers to choose from. The prices were mostly OK, sort of hit or miss.

If you're in southern LA, this is definitely the place to stop for beer. The staff is very knowledgable and helpful, and the prices are not set to gouge.

Photo of aoampm
4.36/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 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.

Photo of crossovert
3.1/5  rDev -31.6%

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.

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Floydster
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%

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

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +6%

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.

Photo of Goldorak
4/5  rDev -11.7%

I’m really not a big fan what I saw of the OC. I guess it’s partly because of the area where our hotel was in Costa Mesa, there literally was nothing nearby, except a few bad chain restaurants where we ended up eating anyway, houses that all look the same and just a boring, soul-crushing suburban feel. I guess I’ve always been a city kid, even if (or probably because) I grew up in an environment just like this one. So it’s sort of a surprise for me to see a store like Hi-Times liquor in a place like this. Mind you, the store itself is a perfect match for this neighborhood, half upscale gourmet boutique and half stripped-down warehouse liquidation center. You can get a 40 oz of “vodka” for under 10 bucks to go with that 100$ an ounce caviar! Handcrafted Lagiole cheese knives to spread your cheese whiz! Grand cru wines from Bordeaux and the plastic party cups to serve it in! Anyway, what really stunned me was the Beer selection.

Great walk-in fridge section that my shivering girlfriend stayed in no more than 10 seconds, so everything is kept nice and cool. A few specials and cleanouts as you walk in, they just got some Lost Abbey beers, some Stone 10th anniversary and 6.6.6 vertical epic and some YuleSmith, both summer and winter. Good start!

Browsing through the 4-5 aisles, selection covering a lot of Californian micros, both big and small, a few others from out-of-state, an import section with a few eyebrow lifters, ciders and meads (not too much local rep here, but that was the case everywhere I’ve been to), I was totally satisfied with what they had. Prices were okay in general, with some bargains and some rip-offs, so it evens out.

Outside the refrigerated section you could find a rack with some glassware (basically a collection of shaker pints and a few Belgians), a fridge with liquid yeast and other very basic homebrewing supplies, and a few T-Shirts.

No staff to help out, just a guy at the checkout who promptly packed my bottles in boxes and I was on my way.

Even a diehard urbanite like me would suffer through traffic to head towards suburban hell as long as there’s a store with this kind of selection.

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I have been purchasing wine here for years and one of the wine buyers is actually a member of my Italian wine tasting group that meets several times a year.

I finally started looking here for beer the past several months and when I'm in Orange County. This place is worth a special trip! Just seeing all that booze and wine is probably worth the trip; but, the beer selection is noteworthy. The selection is great, diverse and ever changing and the prices are fair.

The service cannot be beat. I apologize that I forgot the name of the beer manager. However, he saw me with a full cart and engaged me in a discussion. At the time I was a relatively new devotee and he spent a great deal of time with me! He would have spoken with me as long as I wanted.

Then, after asking more and more foolish questions to which he gave serious and thoughtful answers, he said "wait a minute, I want you to try something." He went into the cooler and brought out a bottle which was one of two he'd been saving for himself. He told me to try it to get a very good example of something that we'd been discussing...then, he didn't charge me for it.

This is a must visit if you're anywhere near the area and like beer. A must.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

*** A MUST STOP WITHIN HOUR DRIVE ***
*** Ask about special beers not on the shelves! ***

Located only 5 miles from my Radisson Hotel, this place is a veritable goldmine. Not just a great beer store, and not just a great wine store but Hi-Time Wine Cellars also packs a punch with a stunning tobacco and cigar collection, corked bottle openers, knives, limited artisianal cheeses, and aisles of awl-kee-hawl hooch.

Beer is back to the right. There is a row of room temp beers of the "basic nature" and a row of opening door tall cold boxes offering up local suspects, but the treasures lie inside the giant walk in cooler area. All imports are lumped together with six foot tall and several feet wide shelves for each locale such as German, English and Belgian...but don't just think that it's all Chimay and Weinstephaner...it's much much more. So many that I can't even put a dent in the selection. ANY BEER FAN WILL BE HAPPY. I snagged some local CA beers that are not usually out my way like Alesmith ESB, Wee Heavy, Decadedance, Moylans 2IPA, Speakeasy Barelywine, Stone Old Guard 2006, and others. Excellent single selection that WILL NOT DISAPOINT!

Tempted to give 5/5 Selection due to every time I am here they have serious new brews.

Most 22 oz local bottles are $4 - $6 with a few rare boys clocking in at $10. Very reasonable and darn near cheap!

GO GO GO TO HI-TIME!

Photo of claspada
4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

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.

Photo of glid02
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Definitely the best retail place I visited while in CA.

Quality is good. All beers are away from any kind of direct sunlight and there are a ton in a huge walk-in cooler.

Service is good. I didn't have any specific questions but everyone was friendly enough and no surliness was observed.

Selection was great. Tons of offerings from CA breweries, including Cuvee de Tomme, Sculpin, Consecration, etc. There really wasn't anything that I didn't see here that I did see elsewhere.

Value is good - prices seemed about par for the course.

Overall this was a huge stop and I only wish I'd seen this place first before going to a local BevMo. Definitely make a stop here if you can.

Photo of womencantsail
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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!

Photo of drewbage
4.8/5  rDev +6%

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.)

Photo of rowew
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.8/5  rDev +6%

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...

Photo of Bwagner1122
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of charlzm
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Others have waxed far more eloquently than I ever could about this place. I'll just pay them the highest compliment I can think of by saying I wish they were up near where I live.

Yes, they have an awesome selection of officially available beers in their massive, climate controlled walk-in. Do they have grey market brews? I didn't see any evidence of that.

Yes, they have beer enthusiasts on staff who will talk to you about beer with almost no excuse.

In no way is there anything negative I can say about this place, except that they need to have a location close to my neck of the woods.

Because of the distance, I don't think I will be visiting them again any time soon. It's wonderful to know that they're open and doing great things, though.

Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Rumrunner
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Excellent! This place has it all for the liquor inclined person.

Hi-Times is a large and very clean establishment. They carry a ton of wine and spirits. From cheap to expensive. They have a wine tasting cellar.

Here is a list of the other stuff this place carries besides liquor. Glasses, cigars, smoking accessories, fresh made candy, aprons, knick knacks, liquor related gifts, wine and beer bottle fancy gift bags, utensils and a bunch of other items.

We are here for the beer. I will just state what many others have said. This is the best selection I have seen in California. The beer cooler is a wonderful place to visit. A large selection of craft beers. The west coast states are well represented as well is Alaska. Dogfish Head is here and Victory and just too many to name. They are also carrying the Rogue Dead Guy Ale in the growler. A great selection of English beers and Ales. This is the only store I have seen Trafalgar IPA sold. A very good selection of Belgians and Germans and many other countries are represented. They even had some made to ready sampler packs. Old Scottish Ale styles is one example.

The beer prices are very fair and compete with what many other stores sell their beers for. I thought some of the imports were a bit pricey but they are probably competitive with other liquor stores.

The staff was very friendly and helpful. They made sure I was happy and I left the store with all I could carry. Cha ching! The only thing that would make this store better is if they could get more beers from the rest of America.

Check this place out if you have not already. It is worth a trip. A person could spend a long time in this place deciding what to spend their beer budget on.

Note: As of my last visit 11-04, the beer cooler is now in a different place in the building. More to the back to be exact. It is much larger and accomodates a cart much more easily. I don't know if this is a good or bad idea. Many more beers can be thought to purchase now. There is also an outside cooler. So many beers to contemplate. Oh the credit cards do shine and the bills do add up. The cooler is a brilliant sight to see. Cheers!

Photo of OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.