Monument Wines & Spirits

Not Rated.
Monument Wines & SpiritsMonument Wines & Spirits
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

2250 Monument Blvd
Concord, California, 94520-3879
United States
phone: (925) 682-1514

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: stephendr on 07-30-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by willjschmidt:
Photo of willjschmidt
4.65/5  rDev +12%

This is a nondescript looking liquor store in a strip-mall in Concord with an outstanding beer selection, probably top 5 in the Bay Area. Almost everything is in coolers and they also sell singles without jacking the price up. An excellent selection of Russian River brews, I counted 6 on my visit. The thing that sets this place apart from other Bay Area beer stores is their great selection of Port Brewing and Lost Abbey. When I stopped in they had around 5 offerings from Port and another 5 from Lost Abbey. This is the only place in the Bay Area that I know of that carries this much stuff from Port/Lost Abbey. They also have everything else you could possibly looking for, all the Stone's, Hair of the Dog, Avery, Trappists (minus Westy), lots of rare Belgian's, German's, and English. Highly recommended.

More User Reviews:
Photo of beernbiology
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Distribution of craft beers is getting democratized. If the Safeway were not closed next door to MW&S, you could go in and buy Sculpin at significant discount. Yes, our local Safeways now carry Sculpin.

Anyway, I've found one guy here who would go way overboard to help, and others who scowl at you for living. Competition is growing, and prices here are a bit intimidating.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.15/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hophazzard
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Great selection. One of the few places to regularly find Pliny!

Photo of atpca
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Skunkdrool
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Marco_Gtz
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MrDave
3.36/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.75

Best selection in town. However, they often have old or expired IPAs and Pale Ales...sometimes several years old. When they have the good stuff, it's usually about $1 more a bottle than anywhere else that might carry it. They currently have a 1 bottle RR limit in place, yet still charge well above suggested retail per bottle ($5.99 ea). Typically, places will do one of either tactic to keep the beer on the shelves. Whatever, until someone else in town steps up their game, this is my primary bottleshop.

Photo of BRZvice
5/5  rDev +20.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is a mecca for craft beer fans. I loved the selection and will return every chance I get when I'm visiting family in CA. I was checking out with my awesome finds and just casually asked if they got in any sour in the rye (The Bruery) and the sales clerk said he thought there was one in the back and grabbed one for me to buy. Awesome place. Tons of CA beer and very impressive Mikkeler selection.

Photo of Bubbalito
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Just visited this place over christmas vacation. It is my second time going to this store and it did not dissapoint. I personally love the "beer maze" layout, as it provides a sense of adventure. The selection is uparralelled in the city, if not the county. Plenty of jolly pumpkin, RR, and other sours. Good selection of Alesmith's lineup that are hard in NorCal. All your other craft standards are represented well.
I have had great experiences with the staff. There has always been someone organizing, stocking etc. when I have been there that always asks if they can help me find something, they know thier store well. I think with the re-surgence of craft beer in the past year or two, they may have re-focused on this portion of thier store.
Value was good from what I could tell. I am not much of a high end beer buyer, but $14 for a 750 of speedway stout is fine with me. I dont have much use for a 3L of RR or Lukcy Bastard so really didnt even look at the prices.
I will continue to visit these guys every time I am in town.

Photo of GRG1313
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

I can't imagine many stores with a greater selection. I frequent stores all over the U.S. and this one has one of the largest selections I've seen, outside of the original Sams in Chicago (now Binny's). While most places have bottles of very desireable and some rare things, this place has cases! Monument also has a nice selection of aged/older bottles (although can be pricey on these). This is a must stop if you're in the area. I drove about 10 miles to check it out and was very glad I did. Picked up several bottles, many of which I'd not seen elsewhere.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Good sized liquor store, in between a Safeway and a Mexican food joint. Not divey. Walk in, and beer is the first thing you see, weird maze of beer, one of the aisles doesn't go through, its a dead end.

Quality is very good, picked up some Cascade Apricot, Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout/Green Tea ipa, Haandbic, temptation, sanctification, biere de mars, different vintages of Santa's Little Helper etc. . . saw Firestone XII for $55, passed. A bottle of Papier for $50, passed. Nice to see vintage bottles, but aside from the $2 markup on an old Santa's Helper, they were to much for me to justify, but that ain't a reason to hate, I like that simply as an option, so I'm cool with it.

All out of Pliny and Blind Pig, thankfully, I had just visited the brewery w/in the last 48 hours, so maybe I'm a little generous in the selection section. . . 4.25 lets say.

Service was just fine and dandy.

Will visit again if I'm in the area, would recommend, would say there isn't anything as good unless you're in Oakland/Berkeley.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Finally made it to Monument (what a special occasion!)

The beer selection here is certainly one of the better ones in the Bay Area. Lots of the local stuff (Russian River is especially plentiful), and quite a bit of Southern California stuff, which doesn't seem to always make it up to the Bay Area. Lots of Midnight Sun and Mikkeller (blech), too.

On the regular stuff, the prices are pretty decent, I must say. $11 for Consecration and Temptation is at or below the usual price, for instance. Other stuff is a bit on the pricey side ($20+ for Hanssens Oude Gueuze?!). But nothing tops their vintage pricing. One batch back of Consecration is $15 instead of the usual $11. Batch 3 Temptation: $40, 2008 Angel's Share: $40, 2007 Utopia's: $500. You get the point.

Very minimal service (one older lady at the counter). And what interaction took place was not exactly the most friendly.

Plenty of good beer, but some sort of questionable practices and service.

Photo of rob133
2.81/5  rDev -32.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

This was my go to place for a while. Not any more unfortunately. The last three times I have been I have left empty handed. Yesterday I think was the last time I will visit.

There were cases of 2010 DFH Festina Peche still for full sale at price, pretty much every bottle I picked up had a coating of dust but the icing on the cake was one of the fridges. Every bottle label was covered in mold in this one fridge. It was enough for me to say enough is enough. There are too many other options these days to worry about this place anymore, sad, but true.

The pricing for some of the vintage stuff also seems way over the top.

Photo of futura123
3.86/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I went there last week to pick up some extras for my package. My first impression is that they do not organize their beers at all. Beers are everywhere on the floor without any systematic arangement. The store clerks do not have much idea about beers and suggested me to come back Thursday or Friday when the beer buyers there. However, they have really good selection of RR, even some old batch ( some of them have really premium price tag). They do not have a lot of limited release like Abacus. Overall, it is a good place to pick up regular release and hunt for some vintage if you are willing to pay the premium price ( like ~$300 for 3L of Supplication)

Photo of NorCalgrowler
4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This place is for sure a diamond in the rough. I was very surprised and quite pleased with the selection of beers at this bottle shop - Thank you to a fellow BA for telling me about it. I actually liked it more when it was more disorganized. Funny to say but sometimes you would find a nice older beer on the shelves at a very reasonable price. They have taken the time to better organize their selection so everything is way easier to find right now. They carry all regulars plus a lot of sought after California beers. Great job to whomever takes care of the beer at this place!

Photo of dookiepower
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Was first introduced to Monument by my wine and spirit's teacher who works at one of their sister stores. The first time I walked into monument I was floored by the amount of beer they had sprawled around the store. However after a further and sharper look at the store it is a lot of the same beers repeated all over the place. They do however have some nice things, always have the entire current lineup of RR stuff. They also used to do the hide and seek thing when the last beer buyer was there, those days are long gone unfortunately. I've always had a positive experience, but the atmosphere is nothing special. They do have a "rare" selection of some beers near the registers, but it's mostly extremely overpriced. For example. Batch 1 supplication in a 375ml is 50.00. A Firestone 13 is 149.99
Some of Monument's pricing is just really out of wack and I don't understand it, but it's their decision not mine. Overall Monument is a good bottle shop that is relatively close to me, and I can always depend on them for the RR lineup.

Photo of Amdy
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I love this place, I just recently was told about it though. I travel for a living and the bay area is a second home for me, for a while Jacksons(Sister store to Monument Wines & Spirits) was my to go to spot for rare beer, pliny, ect. Until one of the guys there told me to check out Monument. As soon as i walked through the beer selection I felt like i was in a dusty used book store. Beer cases piled up left and right set up as isles, I probably spent at least an hour looking at everything before i picked up a bottle and put it in my basket. You look at one case Ie: Stone IRS and its mixed with years 2007-2010, sweeet. Sometimes theres a label that has a cheaper price then the rest of em(Not sure if its a mislabel or if they just stop keeping track of everything) which is all the better if you find something cheaper, I have to admit though, a lot of the stuff here is a bit pricey, I tend to spend at least $100 per trip here. still a place worth checking out if you are in the area.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%

This was my go-to shop for a long time. When my girlfriend lived in San Ramon, I would make the drive up to Concord before heading back to the Peninsula. It was, without fail, worth it. There were many consecutive weekends where I dropped over a hundred at a time.

But that was the past....

After Steve (the previous beer buyer) left, the selection of the store dropped off a bit. Turnover suffered. The "hidden gems" -- beers that they pulled from their cellar and placed on the floor in a hide and seek fashion -- diminished in quantity and increased in price.

My favorite was finding Temptation 375mLs (batch 3) for $22 next to a Temptation 750mL (batch 4) for $21. Firestone XII for $60 when the XIII came out. The vintage pricing got, in a word, aggressive. Bottle limits on nearly everything of note.

I still see the Port 3rd Anniversary (a DIPA from Spring 09) sitting out on the floor, unrefrigerated, at its retail price. Cases of unrefrigerated AleSmith IPA on the floor. The Midnight Sun beers they managed to get are several months old, and expensive, so it's not an attractive proposition.

They have a ton of Ola Dubh, for reasons I can't figure out. Their glassware selection is limited.

With each trip I find fewer and fewer things to buy; the selection is rapidly dwindling in variety. I almost get the feeling they're trying to sell out what they have and get out of beer entirely.

This store used to be awesome. Now it's merely good.

Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Visited 8.11.2010 ISO last product for that evening's Craft Beer Tasting.

While this place was a bit hard to find, located in a shopping center next to a Safeway, for those in search of quality craft beer this is the place to go in the East Bay Area. There selection dwarfs the other competitor City Beer in SFO (haven't been to Beer Revolution in OAK yet). Quite a few beers in the cold case, but make sure you allow yourself time to do the Easter Egg Hunt. Man oh Man did I find some treasures! Angel Share 375s (both Bourbon and Brandy), Old Rasputin 12, Port Anniversary, Cuvee de Tomme (!) Fred (Batch 63, are you kidding me?) and other special beers. Just when I thought it wouldn't get any better, the checkout counter had a boxed bottle of Parabola! Frickin' Score!!! All in all 900 bottles, though I had concerns about rotating/returning past-date products, and the 'beer' guy wasn't there when we visited, so we were on our own. The prices were reasonable, though with the Governator's excessive sales tax, there wasn't a lot of bargains to be had. Though it doesn't rise to the level of Belmont Station for care, customer service and knowledge (few places do), I would highly recommend any traveling beer geek venture out to Concord and pick up some goodies. My suitcase was fully packed for return flight to Beervana, and yours will be too. Highly Recommended.

Photo of Mubbly
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

Great place. Didn't smell as sour last time I visited. They've been very helpful and friendly the few times I've shopped.

Impressive selection with a good offering of cold beers. There are a lot of bottles sitting around in an almost easter egg fashion. I can spend a good hour looking around, but my wife is usually with me.

Prices are usually pretty good. No complaints here.

There are a lot of beers out and about.. looking a little dusty, but not a big deal to me.

Good service with a great variety. Glad to be near this place; my local Bevmo sucks for the most part.

Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -3.6%

I have been to Monument twice now and really love it. They have tons of harder to find and rare beers, a huge selection, vintage bottles, and fairly decent pricing. They are nowhere as cheap as Bottle Barn, but they make up for it in selection. Their vintage stuff can get a little outrageous however. I'd expect to pay a bit more for aged beers, but old dusty bottles that have been sitting there for even a year can have a steep price. But hey, you can't find them anywhere else.

Overall, a fantastic selection of beers that are rarely seen elsewhere. I plan on stopping by here every time I travel from Sacramento to the Bay Area.

Photo of MrFootstones
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%

Quality- My friend did buy a Mexican barleywine here that was gross and oxidized, but generally everything I have bought here was great. There are a good amount of dusty bottles and green bottles that have presumably exposed to light for quite a while, but again, I haven't had quality problems.

Service- The friendlier (beer guy) employees are always a pleasure and ready to point out what new stuff has come in. Wish Steve, the former beer guy was still there though.

Selection- Unrivaled, as a whole, by any other Bay Area beer store I frequent. Cool vintage and hard to find beers are scattered and hidden throughout the beer area. Like a scavenger hunt for those in the know :)

Value- Second in good prices only to Bottle Barn. Definitely cheaper than any SF stores.

Photo of schoolcb
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%

Was in town for business having traveled (with a padded cooler capable of holding 18 beers). Was told to focus on cooler number "8" which had a pretty good selection. Was asked if I needed help and was told by one of the workers "we have a big selection". A lot of their selection is not refrigerated so I passed right by it. I did find selections that I cannot buy in Texas. Not sure how this store compares to others in the area, so I can't really say if their selection is better or not, but they did have offerings from Russian River (which I was interested in), Hair of the Dog (but no Adam), Alaskan Brewing (I still can't believe we don't get this in Texas) Avery, and more. If you are in the area it's worth stopping in to see what is available.

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Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA
92 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.