Keg N' Bottle
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Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
3.87/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Despite having lived about .5 mi from this place for over 6 years, just made it in for the first time yesterday, and returned today. Those Jubel 2010 another reviewer mentioned? Yeah, they still have some. Along with 2008 Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. And that's probably not even the oldest beer there. I picked up a bunch of stuff that I've never seen anywhere else locally, or came and went instantly (2013 Abyss, 2011 Old Stock Cellar Reserve, some Clown Shoes specials), plus some other old stuff that I can't find anywhere else now (2012 §ucaba and DDBA). For the most part, prices on old stuff were close to new—so, a few bucks high for new, but a great deal for old. Probably look somewhere else for beers that must be fresh, but for stuff that ages well, kind of a gold mine. However, haven't had any of what I bought yet, so if it turns out to be bad due to improper storage, I will update this review.
03-29-2014 20:10:46 | More by neurobot01
3.2/5 rDev -16.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Keg N Bottle has a huge selection of cold California microbrews and plenty of European imports as well. The prices are all about 25% higher than you would expect. Also be careful, Keg N Bottle is notorious for selling beer that is past the expiration dates or just very old.
Another thing is that there's absolutely no customer service or satisfaction. The cardboard box on a 12 pack of beer broke as I was lifting it off the cashiers counter after paying for it, sending it crashing to the floor, and they stubbornly refused to give me a new one.
Keg n Bottle is more of a necessary evil than something that you would voluntarily want to go to.
12-01-2011 21:59:18 | More by BenHesk12
3.8/5 rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Had trouble finding this listing on BA but able to find it under Isla Vista over on the other site. Oh well.
Kind of a weird location being in the middle of a college campus but no more than 15 min from downtown SB. Definitely tons of liquor and BMC but I read enough reviews to know they had a decent craft section.
I liked that all the beers I cared about were in coolers except for 1 section, which kindof seemed like their "special" section. If anything, these are the beers that needed to be cold. Decent selection of Alpine (Duet, Nelson, Pure Hoppiness), but again, not cooled and a bit steep at $16.99 a bottle. A couple of RR things but waaay marked up ($25 a bottle for Damnation?!?!). Some FW 14 left, Brandy Angel's Share (also $25). Tons of other solid stuff in the cooler. Some good deals and finds that I picked up while I was there---Older Viscosity at a better price than I've seen elsewhere, Kern River Just Outstanding, Stone VE 07.07.07, Doggie Claws '09. Passed on Abyss (got really excited at first then realized they were '09s) but they still had tons of Jubel 2010.
Bottom line, if you're not from California and are vacationing in SB area, definitely check this out. I wouldn't make it a destination as better shops exist in the bay area and further south in LA, etc.
09-04-2011 21:39:01 | More by CruisaC
3.98/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in a couple of days ago for the first time. Summer break, so not so many youngsters about. Impressive amount of beer and liquor, although a sales rep informed me that these kids can really burn through those 30 packs. It wasn't a few minutes later that three guys sweep past with a couple of Keystone light 30's. Oh, boy. Anyway, this place is a good stop on the way up or down the coast. Found lots of FW14's on the shelf and in the coolers. Speaking of which, the selection is ginormous. 2.5 entire supermarket size coolers, plus an "aging" section, says the guy behind the counter. Plus even more out on the floor stacked from floor to head high. Even a couple of Parabola 2011 still remain. Lots of belgians, California things, and such. Prices are very high, at least $2 - $5 more than I would expect. No bargains here. Also wonder how fresh some of these are. Saw someone dusting bottles - hmmm. Bought nothing, but will return again.
07-02-2011 02:18:47 | More by wethorseblanket
3.86/5 rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Located in sunny isla vista CA home of the UCSB Gauchos, KnB is a reat place to find some craft beer. 99% of the students here will be purchasing 12.99 30-racks of Natty, and wont even walk down the craft beer isle (I know I didnt for a long time). Here you can find some gems such as parabola, Abyss, FW13 and 14 and VE 07.07.07 and up. Not sure how fresh the IPA's are here but there are definetly some stouts and saisons which I wouldnt even hesistate to buy. Some great beers here, unfortunatly the prices are a little high and freshness could be an issue.
05-09-2011 21:05:49 | More by Dobby
4.2/5 rDev +9.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
During my time at UCSB I found having Keg N' Bottle nearby sort of a God-send. The fact that this little liquor store in the middle of one of the craziest college towns has some of the best selection around is mind-boggling.
Scanning the two aisles of beer, particularly the single bottles, one gets a warm feeling knowing the hard to find and specialty beers they stock. Prices are reasonable, if not a bit more expensive considering its location and average customer. Pay no attention to the large stacks of Natural Light 30s being grabbed like candy around you.
It's only when you look into the cooler where you'll find such gems as the '09 Abyss I picked up the other day, or a range of Moylan's, Bruery, Allagash, and other wonderful beers available. If you're ever in town and looking for a specialty beer shop, look no further than K and B!
10-05-2010 21:23:26 | More by mrfunk
4.15/5 rDev +8.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Keg N' Bottle has an enormous selection of single bottles and six-packs, think a full grocery aisle of each. They carry an excellent range of European imports and American Microbrews. Everything is refrigerated, so no waiting for your beer to chill when you get home. There's not much in terms of service if you're just browsing beer bottles, but I don't really mind, since it's the beer I'm after anyway. I like that they carry some sampler 6-packs of certain beers, for instance, for 20 bucks I grabbed a 6'er of different styles of belgian ales. My only complaint is that their selection doesn't change too often, but for this area there's really no place better.
***Edit*** It slipped my mind when I wrote this a few minutes ago, but they do have some issues with beers kept far past expiration, so keep an eye out for that. Their pricing is a little bit higher than average, but everything in Santa Barbara County seems that way...
09-23-2010 01:14:32 | More by msmezher
4.7/5 rDev +22.4%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I live in Goleta, so I've been quite pleased over the last few months to discover that this place has a selection that rivals if not exceeds San Roque/Mesa Liquors in Santa Barbara. Their stuff seems fresher (no dusty bottles!) and more of it (especially the really good stuff, almost 100%) seems to be refrigerated. 5.0 quality, given geography (it ain't quite City Beer or Hi-Time, but this ain't San Fran or LA County).
If you ask the right people, the beer knowledge is exceptional (and they're eager to know what else you'd like to see on the shelves), and if you call ahead, they'll let you know when special releases come in. They also have a discount card program that gives, I think, 2% back on large purchases. On the down side, if you come in at the wrong time, you may end up behind a line full of Isla Vista pre-partiers. (Of course, if that description fits you, it looks to me like this is your place -- I have heard about some really exceptional kegs getting ordered successfully here.) 5.0 service if you're there on the right days, 4.0 if you're not -> 4.5 final in the review.
Top-of-the-line SB county distro of most local, San Diego, and Bay Area breweries, DFH, standout Belgians and Europeans, and some real rarities in the 22oz section -- I haven't seen, for example, Coronado or the Shipyard special releases anywhere else in the county, and they're starting to get in some Russian River! Most importantly, they have the really special releases right out in the cases and they last a while before they're bought up: Firestone Anniversaries most prominently. 4.5 selection (RR would make it a 5.0)
Prices on standard stuff (Stone IPA, e.g.) aren't much higher than they are at local grocery stores and, of course, the rare/gourmet stuff is pricey, but mostly fits the the standard rate in SB -- and they list their prices on most of the six-packs, unlike San Roque/Mesa, in my experience. I wish there was a ranking between $$ and $$$. I went $$$ because when the prices do deviate from what I can get elsewhere (usually common stuff at grocery stores), they're usually higher than lower (but still usually beat San Roque). But on the elite stuff, it's $$.
It's replaced heading into Santa Barbara to find things for me (the only exception I can think of is the Pliny and Blind Pig at Whole Foods) and well worth stopping in even if you're coming from SB -- you may find it has surpassed San Roque. I would think, even if you're just passing through, it'd be worth a stop.
11-22-2009 05:42:20 | More by jdouge
3.7/5 rDev -3.6%
quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | $$$
This is going to be the oddest beerfly review I've ever done, I can just tell.
I've been to Isla Vista (IV) once before, and was stunned by this store. It was before my BA days, but I still wanted to drink craft beer and at the time picked up an 07 Vertical Epic. Now I'm back with some more knowledge of exactly what everything in the store actually is, and I was not wrong in remembering the selection.
The selection is all refridgerated, which is awesome in my book, and faces no windows. Also awesome! Paging through their beers, we ran into such vintages at 06 Cantillon Gueuze, 04 and 06 Iris, several years of Chimay Blue, some Consecration / Temptation, Moylan's, Lost Abbey, and really just a diverse and rather appealingly huge selection. There really is quite a bit here that you won't find anywhere else in Santa Barbara, that's for sure.
Some great deals to be found: Stone/Brewdog's Black Pilsner collaboration: 5 dollars. Or half the price I've seen it most everywhere else. Some really interesting things to be found, and age can work in your favor here! But beware of the hoppy stuff or low-ABV beers, as they may have been there for a while.
As a semi-relevant story: the service here was all UCSB students, and we were geeking out over in the nice beer aisle as people pushed by us to pick up Milwaukee's Best and Keystone cases. The girls at the checkout were a little stunned by our huge purchase and seemed surprised that three guys their age were buying this nice of beer. Most of these, apparently, had never beer rung up before. They really knew next to nothing about beer, but I can almost write them a pass: they never got in the way, and they never acted like they did know what they didn't.
I have no clue what I really thought of K&B, but I certainly walked away in a good mood. Make the trip to check it out if you're in the area, you might find something pretty excellent.
09-11-2009 16:39:02 | More by nomomentwasted
3/5 rDev -21.9%
quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Surprisingly good selection in the middle of IV, but you'll pay for it.
Really odd pricing scheme (usually very expensive, but there are good deals to be found), but a good place to find decent brews when need be.
The staff has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to beer, so don't go in with any questions.
Overall, I'm really glad this place exists, but its miles away from perfect. They could use a better staff, more consistent selection, and more reasonable prices.
EDIT: The more I go here, the more I appreciate it. Lots of good stuff to be found, but my previous complaints remain: no staff knowledge, really old stock (last time I was in there I found a best before 3/05!), and oftentimes pricey.
Stick to this rule, and you'll leave happy: 1. Always look for dates, and if no dates are available, only buy high ABV beers that do not depend on strong hop profiles for their quality.
02-07-2009 23:32:51 | More by photomike
Keg N' Bottle in Goleta, CA
88 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.