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Monument Wines & Spirits

Not Rated.
Monument Wines & SpiritsMonument Wines & Spirits
BA SCORE
92
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
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 MrDave
3.36/5  rDev -19%

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.

MrDave, Jul 23, 2013
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 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.

beernbiology, Oct 06, 2014
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 ibbjamin
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

For the amount of people that drink good beer in the bay area, the amount of heady beer stores is lacking. Made the trip out here after a weekend in San Francisco before heading back to the South Bay. Well worth my stop, but I did drop $200 easily.

Russian River, Port, Lost Abbey, Drake, Stone, Rogue, Rodenbach, Flying Dog, Lost Coast, rare Belgiums and the list goes on.

Some of their bottles are a bit dusty, but none of the beers I've tasted thus far that I purchased there tasted like they had been skunked. They have many loose 12oz bottles if you want to try something new and not get locked into an entire six pack if it sucks. I also picked up a snifter and Chimay Goblet which were reasonably priced.

I heard rumor that they had carried Pizza Port, so after unsuccessfully searching, I asked the young gentleman behind the counter if they had any and he looked at me like I was cracking a joke on him. Later, a nicer man (probably about 33) said that they had discontinued that brewery. He rang me up quickly and helped me carry my 4 boxes of beer out to my car on a dolly.

ibbjamin, Jul 30, 2008
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 Bubba83
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

I visited here two days ago while on the way to see my sister in Brentwood.

The place does not stand out in the strip mall it is in, but looks nice enough with ivy growing on the store from the outside. I went in expecting to find Lost Abbey and Pizza Port stuff that I just can't get in the South Bay and they delivered.

They don't really have a good method of displaying all the rarer stuff they have, as it's basically lined up in rows on the floor in the middle of the store. There is also most of the same stuff in the coolers, and a few things in the coolers that are not on the floor. They also had 3 different Russian River brews, and some Stone stuff I can't normally get: 2007 RIS, 2008 RIS, and XI anniversary. Avery can also be found here, as well as a good selection of rarer belgians that seemed to be priced a bit high.

The clerks seemed to be used to people coming in and loading up boxes full of beer like I did, but despite this they didn't seem to engage me in a beer related conversation when I told them how happy I was with their selection. The clerks both seemed a bit clueless as to how good their beer selection is, but someone must know what they are doing behind the scenes.

I'd highly recommend this store based on the selection alone, and the other aspects of the store are not bad.

Bubba83, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of bbothen
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

Non descript liquor store in an older strip mall in beautiful Concord. Who'd have known.

Someone here is obviously a beer fan. Lots of the latest releases from Pizza Port, Lost Abbey, Russian River, Stone, Hair Of The Dog, etc. Lots of Belgians I haven't seen elsewhere as well. Barrel series from Drake's. 750 corked bottles of barrel aged Gonzo porter. Yep. Got all from this place.

The best thing about this place is the good stuff usually stays on the shelves awhile.

Hope I haven't given up my secret. I've been making trips here for awhile.

bbothen, Jun 06, 2008
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 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 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 CraftBC
3.9/5  rDev -6%

An unusual find in suburban Contra Costa County: a full-range liquor store with an excellent selection of craft beers. More impressively, almost all the beers kept cold except for a few cases on the floor. I counted about 274 craft beers in late January 2007 of which 80 were not carried by BevMo. (Monument also carries another 50 or so mass-market beers which are not included in my count.) The beer selection is well-balanced between Belgian beers (about 60) and West Coast micros available by the bottle or in six packs. Notable beers on my last visit included Drake’s Barleywine Ale Brandy Barrel, Tripel Karmeliet, Girardin Black Label, Achouffe N’ice Chouffe, Cantillon Gueuze, Rogue Old Crustacean, a large selection from Hair of the Dog and three from Russian River. On average, their prices are 5% lower than BevMo on the same beers (about 200 in common). In my book, this store has the best combination of selection and pricing in the East Bay. It may not be worth traveling inland for, but if you live in the area you’ll soon be a regular and may never have to visit BevMo again!

CraftBC, Feb 08, 2007
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 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 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 Marco_Gtz
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Marco_Gtz, Jan 26, 2014
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 atpca
4/5  rDev -3.6%

atpca, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of Skunkdrool
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Skunkdrool, Jun 06, 2014
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 0110x011
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%

Swung by here while in the NorCal area. Smallish building, but a great selection for the size. Walked away with Stone '07 Russian Imperial Stout, 07.07.07 Vertical Epic, & a mountain of XI Anniversary. Also Rogue Old Crustacean, Avery Mephistopheles Stout, Lagunitas 13 Anniversary, & Drake's Barrel Aged Old Ale & Barleywine. They also had a solid selection of Belgians (St Bernardus 60th anniversary, Triple Karmeleit, etc.). Little to no glassware. A bit on the pricy side, but definitely worth going out of the way for.

0110x011, Mar 30, 2008
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 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
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Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA
92 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.