1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Monument Wines & Spirits

Not Rated.
Monument Wines & SpiritsMonument Wines & Spirits
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
[ 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

GRG1313, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

womencantsail, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of rob133
2.81/5  rDev -32.3%

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.

rob133, May 21, 2011
Photo of futura123
3.86/5  rDev -7%

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)

futura123, May 12, 2011
Photo of NorCalgrowler
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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!

NorCalgrowler, May 06, 2011
Photo of dookiepower
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

dookiepower, May 05, 2011
Photo of Amdy
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

Amdy, Apr 05, 2011
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.

Arbitrator, Dec 27, 2010
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.

jdense, Aug 21, 2010
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.

Mubbly, Aug 05, 2010
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.

scottfrie, Jul 29, 2010
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.

MrFootstones, Feb 13, 2010
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.

schoolcb, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +12%

Stopped by this place during a recent trip to the Bay Area on ipa247's recommendation. This is a medium sized liquor store, not a huge massive warehouse type, with a very large selection of craft beers. They have about six or so coolers filled with a lot of west coast and especially CA goodies as well as a very large selection of beers available room temperature. They have about four or five aisles dedicated to an excellent selection of beer as well as a long row of cases of bombers and 750s. In addition they have even more beer at the counter including gift packs and limited rarities. They carry an array of west coast heavy hitters as well as a nice vintage collection, some east coast beers and a good selection of Belgian and other European imports. Higlights include 6L magnum of St Bernardus 12, 3 L magnum of Damnation, FW 12 and 13, Abyss, Cuvee de Tomme, Consecration several bat he's, Temptation batch 3 and 4, Gales Prize Old Ale 1996!, Hitachino Velebration 2004 and many others mixed in.

The service here was very good. They asked mr if I needed any help, answered all of my questions and even went into the back and busted out some rarities for me. I wish I had a bigger budget and an easier way to get the beers back to Philly. Highly recommended!

corby112, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of rayjay
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%

With all the reviews popping up lately, we had to swing by here to check it out on our last Bay Area extravaganza.

Quality is good. Lots of coolers, but there's a lot of room-temp shelving that shored a lot of the IPAs. I'd like to see all IPAs in that cooler and bring out some of the Belgians to the floor. Found some dusty and moldy bottles, so check dates; I guess you should do this everywhere.

Service: not impressed. Let me itemize this:

First, not allowed to use bathrooms, which sucks when you go so far out of the way (we live several hours away and were stuck in traffic to get here)

Asked about Sculpin availability: "We have one in the back." Oh, so it's only for certain customers? At least put it out on the floor and put a bottle limit on it. It was a warm bottle. But he brought me 2 when I told him we were from out of town.

Asked about Autumn Maple and Hottenroth: "Uh, I've heard of them." "Well, do you have any in the back in the secret stash?" "Duh, I don't know."

My point is, I blew over $200 at this place, and I was on a mission to find those 3 *not exceedingly rare* beers specifically, and got little to no help and respect. The secret stash in the back makes me feel like they don't want their precious special releases to be sold to me, whom they deemed not cool enough.

Selection was pretty good and big, but overall I didn't see anything super rare that's not at Ledgers' or City Beer or any other store I've been in. Prices seemed fair, considering I usually pay these prices at Ledger's after the discount at the cash register (I stock up when I go to the Bay).

Overrated and snobby. I don't recommend going out of your way. I'll stick to my usual stores. Props for trying to stock the store with good stuff though.

rayjay, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%

Monument is definitely one of the best beer stores in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. I found a larger beer selection here than any other store in the Bay Area, with the exception of Perry's Liquor in Livermore. I believe they carry more than Ledgers in Berkeley, and more than City Beer and Healthy Sprits in San Francisco. They also have some of the best prices I've seen at the "big" beer stores.

My main complaint is that I can't seem to find a website that lists their beer selection; this is something that most of the other major beer stores have. Also, though I drove here from a good distance and picked up a lot of beer, they didn't let me use their bathroom.

But again, this is an exceptional beer store with great prices and I highly recommend it.

Falcon91Wolvrn03, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%

This place is awesome - my new favorite store ever! Perry's Liquor in Livermore held the top spot for awhile, but the selection at Monument is every bit as good, if not better. Both are still highly recommended, but if you want more bang for your buck this is your place!

I stopped in here for the first (but hopefully not last) time on Friday around noon. The interior and exterior looked just like Jackson's Wines & Spirits in Lafayette and Moraga Wine & Spirits in Moraga. I asked the clerk about it and he told me that the three stores are all connected. The Moraga store specializes in hard liquor; the Lafayette store specializes in wine; the Concord store specializes in beer. Well, even though I was a huge fan of the Moraga and Lafayette stores, they couldn't touch this one!

The selection was absolutely phenomenal! I saw everything from Cuvee de Tomme to Speedway Stout to Beatification/Temptation/Consecration to J.W. Lees Harvest Ale ('00, '01, '06, '07, and a ton of the cask versions) to Older Viscosity to La Folie to etc. etc. etc. It was unbelievable! I even saw Hel & Verdoemenis and Hercule Stout, two of my big prizes from my first visit to Perry's Liquor in Livermore. Combined, they were about $10 cheaper than the ones I bought at Perry's. At that point, Monument Wines & Liquors became my favorite beer store.

The abundance of quality brews is mesmerizing, and could easily keep one busy for an hour or more. All of the beers are kept in great shape as well; they're stored away from the windows, and the hoppier ones are kept in coolers. Everything is also neatly organized, which is a plus in my book.

The staff was very friendly, though their beer knowledge didn't seem to keen. They were also unintrusive.

I can't wait to come back here! What an incredible store!

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of velosuds
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

I visited this store while on vacation recently and immediately wished something similar existed in my hometown. Selection was great and prices very reasonable, compared to what I pay in Salem, Oregon. They had the very best selection of Russian River and Stone beers I have ever seen. I finally was able to purchase the elusive Pliny the Elder, and it was fresh.

Store was somewhat disorganized and even a little nostalgic, reminding me of the mom and pop dime stores of my youth, only this is a liquor store. Service seemed hit or miss, although the one who rang up my sale said I had made some excellent choices. I told him I had learned about the store from Beeradvocate.com and he seemed pleased.

velosuds, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of TheEremite
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%

This is probably the best bottle shop in the East Bay but I also happen to live about two miles away, so it may as well be the only bottle shop in the East Bay. They have a great selection and they get some fairly rare beers. The only complaints I have are that the service seldom knows what they're talking about and they talk down to my wife (she knows her beer) and the price is sometimes high... and sometimes they keep rare beers in the back, but don't tell you about them, even if you ask. I have, several times, asked about a beer that I knew arrived that week and been told that they were out... and then I see it on the floor a few days later. I think it's just poor organization. I also often see several different price tags on the same beers. weird.

So, all that complaining, and I still really like the place. It's the only shop that you can find a good selection of world class beers. You just gotta show up at the right time to get the really rare finds.

TheEremite, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of vacax
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

I was lucky enough to make it to Monument twenty minutes before closing after driving about six hours north from Long Beach. I was quickly impressed. They have one wall of coolers stuffed full of beers, then a couple of low shelving units with two tiers. A lot of great beer was outside the cooler, but the store was also kept quite chilly.

First, let me talk about the selection. I walked out of here with my single greatest beer haul. They had Russian River Beatification, Damnation 23, Redemption, Salvation, plus the IPAs. I bought Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Nogne-O Dark Horizon 2nd Edition, Cantillon Fou Foune, Cantillion Lou Pepe Kriek, Cantillon 100% Kriek, Telegraph Reserve Wheat, and a Red Chair IPA. They also had Older Viscosity, Papier, 3F Oude Kriek and more. This place has amazing beer. And prices were completely fair on everything.

My experience, however, has some mixed elements. Of the three employees on shift, one was kind enough to help us find the good beers here. Unfortunately, this was necessary because all of the really good beer is literally hidden. Get on your hands and knees and crawl around the low shelves looking toward the back on the bottom shelves. This is where all the good beer is. Not organized, but hidden. We were informed that the beer guy will put out one bottle of beer at a time, and keeps the real stash in the back (which nobody working was allowed to even look at). Somewhat ridiculous.

vacax, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.15/5  rDev 0%

I decided to check this place out since I saw such good reviews and it's pretty close. I went there with my girlfriend this evening to check it out and immediately as I walked in straight ahead were all these racks of rare and hard to find beers. I bought a Damnation from Russian River Brewing, Red Chair IPA from Deschutes and a couple others. The thing was it took me forever to decide because of their wonderful selection. It was like a kid in a candy store. I thought I was in Heaven. I will be going back there regularly. That place is awesome.

jeffjeff1, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of BevMoPatrick1
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

Was in the concord area in April to take an entry level sommelier exam,(who says wine and beer geeks can't be one in the same). During some down time went to check out Monument and was happy with the selection. A great variety of belgians. Nice selection from Allagash, Ommegang, Stone, and plenty of RRBC. Picked up a batch 23 Damnation and some cold, fresh Pliny's. Was somewhat discouraged by the stack of Pliny and Blind Pig on the floor, but other than that, a great store to visit if ever in the area again.

BevMoPatrick1, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of aforbes10
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

Made a special trip down to Concord to go here and to E.J. Phair today since this is one of my first "free" days in a year (my wife and 1 year old are out of town). Immediately recognized some awesome bottles I hadn't seen in CA before, so that was very exciting. I also noticed quickly that they had some big prices, but after a while I realized that this was more due to the selection of beers than any kind of gross markup. Still, $30 for that supposedly uncarbonated Angel's Share? Nah. Found some real gems though. Lots of Fantome, some Russian River beers I hadn't seen elsewhere (Beatification, Damnation 23 [they also still had Consecration]), lots of Lost Abbey, Port, Jolly Pumpkin (!). One tiny 6oz bottle of Drakes Bourbon barrel stout for $10 (nah.) Nogne Dark Horizon 2nd Edition...you get the idea. This was a much more impressive store than Ledgers and City Beer, imo...actually resembled some of the better places in the midwest and east coast for quality and range of selection. good stuff. Staff didn't interfere with me, but asked if i needed any help so thats nice. Yeah, ill go back next time i'm "free."

aforbes10, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

Monument is a great spot for beer. I found out about this place from an employee at their sister store, Jackson's Wine and Spirits in Lafayette. The clerk mentioned that Monument's beer selection was the best of the 3 stores that they own (they also own Moraga Wine & Spirits in Moraga).

Monument is located in a strip mall that is anchored by a Safeway and an El Faro burrito shop. When you walk in the liquor and wine is up front. The back wall is lined with coolers. The first few coolers on the left have the crappy stuff. As you start going to the right is where the good stuff is located. They carry tons of NorCal stuff and a boatload of the Belgians, Trappists, and Euro offerings. By the coolers they have a shelf filled with random beers and an area stacked with various cases of beers. You can always get Lost Abbey, RR, Stone, Drake's, Moylan's, et. al here. Prices are usually very good. They also have a lot of stuff that is hard to find. I have recently seen Sanctification, Temptation, and Older Viscosity. They also stock older vintages of numerous beers. Single bottles are also available in the coolers.

The service can be spotty. I think the beer buyer is named John. He is a nice guy and is very helpful. They also have a younger kid who works there that is helpful. The lady at the register is good at taking your money.

Prices generally are very good. You do pay a little more for older vintages, but that is to be expected.

mjl21, Mar 09, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA
93 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.