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Healthy Spirits

Not Rated.
Healthy SpiritsHealthy Spirits
BA SCORE
99
world-class

97 Ratings
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

2299 15th St
San Francisco, California, 94114-1237
United States
phone: (415) 255-0610

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @healthyspirits

Notes:
Place added by: EBbrewpunx on 09-13-2006

Sunday: 11am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 73
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
3.2/5  rDev -29.4%

Last stop in San Francisco before getting back to Redding, this place is located in the Castro District on a corner, expected great things from this place too and came up empty handed, did not buy one thing, I asked the girl working behind the counter and she just ignored me, got a weird vibe in here and it seemed like more of a coffee shop or something than a beers store, place was clean and everything, just not my thing, lots of beer in the fridges with lots of imports, saw Hair of the Dog Ruth there which was the first time I had ever seen it but I already a couple bottles of that off of Liquid Solutions, so I did not buy anymore, all the Russian River stuff everybody talks about was non existent and I only saw Blind Pig and Pliny there as well, other bottles included stuff from Cantillon, Lost Abbey, Stone, Allagash, and many more, it is too bad I did not get to meet Rami or Dave, maybe next time if I happen to make near this part of SF

More User Reviews:
Photo of ckeegan04
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Corner store just on the north side of the main drag through The Castro. Cool little neighborhood. Signs on the windows advertising beer, whisky and hummus. Interesting combo. Small store crammed full of great beer and one of the best whisky collections I have ever seen. Great selection including some vintage Russian River -tions. Friendly staff that was happy to answer questions. Would certainly recommend stopping by if in the area.

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

A really small store that is situated near the border of the Castro neighborhood and in the Duboce Triangle. Another great thing about the location is that it is a 10, 15 minute walk to Toronado in Lower Haight, which can't be beat either.

Prices are a little high, but the selection here is extremely varied. It's a little cramped but there are small shelves packed with bottles, and two walls one the cooler, loaded with beers. There are only a few six packs, and the store seems to give way to more variety which is a heck of a lot better.

If you are not from the state or area, the selection of beers in distribution here is extremely plentiful and enjoyable. There are even occasionally some heavy hitters on the shelf as well, such as finding Damnation series from DeStruisse here, and a couple Eclipse varieties.

Some serious deals might be available, but the selection is small and gets picked clean. But there are some real serious gems in here. The guy who also worked there when I visited was extremely knowledgeable and answered everything perfectly, there wasn't a question he didn't have an answer for, and there was no bullshitting around either.

A must stop when in the area, would love to go back, there was so much beer here I wanted to buy to take home but just couldn't carry it all.

Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

A liquor store and bottle shop rolled into one. This small place is located between lower Haight and the Castro districts, so if you're in town for a visit, you'll have to rely on a friend or public transportation. Regardless, worth a visit. Friendly and helpful staff.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Last summer, we had the great pleasure of living for a week in the Castro while being tourists in San Francisco. Most of the brewpubs and bars we visited were closer to downtown and, locally, the bars nearest the house didn't offer a wide selection of drafts. However, Healthy Spirits was a very welcomed source of great beer that was a few blocks walk (or a short bus ride) up the hill.

I found it shortly after we arrived; unfortunately, it was after trying several other places. Minnesota friends happened to be in The City at the same time, and we had an impromptu barbecue at our apartment. The very friendly and knowledgeable help at Healthy Spirits allowed me to bring some very fine bottles to our group of beery friends. In short, it's the only beer store I've found that rivals, or surpasses, the Four Firkins. If spending any time in or near the Castro, this is the place to stock up.

Here's a sampling of the week:

Triple Voodoo Grand Cru. Healthy Spirits exclusive barrel aged version of the TV Grand Cru. Dave told me that he bottles from full barrels of bourbon to sell in the shop and then sends the barrels to local breweries. Honey, blue agave nectar, coriander and orange peel are added to this version. Burnished copper color with dark gold highlights and an off white head that falls quickly. Elegant nose with the above plus fig and some alcohol underneath. Smells a bit like a quad but lighter. Flavors meld well and flow over the tongue. Very good ale and a great first beer from this brewery.

Stone RuinTen. Unable to find this at home before leaving, I was so happy to buy a couple. Just awesome.

Knee Deep Brewing Hoptologist DIPA. Brash and harsh bite on the tongue. Good if you like a sharp hop bite. Almost white head over a shining amber gold ale. Enormous citrus nose and a light biscuit base. Sweet on the tongue followed by strong hop bite that has a burn that feeds the beast. Fun hop forward brew that I would enjoy more when more hydrated. Almost sweet finish and a lingering hop.

Knee Deep Simtra. Marmalade ale with a white head. Clean, singular hop nose. Slightly oily taste and some hop bite but the sweetness and the bitterness don't meld completely. Not as good as the Boneyard we had at Toronado this afternoon. Hop lingers nicely on he tongue.

Pretty Things Ale Project Fluffy White Rabbits. These guys can be hit or miss,and this one is a miss for me. Muddled nose with some clear spice from hop and yeast, but the balance just doesn't make it. Side of the bottle says floral, and it is that. But this hazy orange beer with a white head has a lot of promise and is clearly well crafted, it falls short for me.

Triple Voodoo barrel aged Inception. Bottle 244 of 432 made for Healthy Spirits by aging in a barrel provided by HS. hazy gold ale with circling white film from a head that barely forms. Spice, yeast and light pepper nose that seems muted compared to the straight Inception but nice. Fruitiness on the tongue that finishes dry nice but unusually like the straight better. Straight version of TV Inception rated a bit higher for me, though I love that HS does it's own specialty aging.

Photo of orangesol
4.39/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here yesterday to start my day of SF beer. Atmosphere was laid back and informal, as a bottle shop should be IMO. Lost of bottles and glasses on the left side of the store, tons of liquor and food stuffs on the right. Service was awesome. He made sure I had everything I needed and even checked on some bottles I was looking for to make sure they didn't have any hiding in the back. Quality was high, I didn't see a single out of date beer and the awesome glass selection was a bonus. Selection was great. Tons of beers from all over the country and even more from the rest of the world. I was able to find a long time want from Europe that I never thought I would see in the US. Prices were more than reasonable. Overall an awesome bottle shop in a really cool looking neighborhood. I would love to have this place in my area.

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.17/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Lovely little neighborhood store, it is a little cramped. Great selection of beers and spirits. That'd were eager to help and answer questions too.

Selection was solid. Ranging from Belgian to California based goods.

Have to dodge amongst other patrons, but the place is in a nice area and worth a little walk to.

Photo of Swongler
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great store. Great staff. Great selection.

They have a regular supply of some of the best beers in the world. They are about $1 more expensive per bottle than most places, but you will have an easier time finding what you want here.

Prairie Bomb! was $9.99 here while it was $8.99 at Øl in Walnut Creek. Enjoy by was $8.99 while I have seen it around for $7.99. Still, no complaints. I would rather talk to this staff and pay an extra dollar for the beer. Plus I like supporting local small shops like this one.

I picked up Old Guardian, Enjoy By, Racer X, Bomb, Mikkeller beers, Lost Abbey beers.... awesome selection all the time.

Rare finds don't tend to last very long here, but they do a great job limiting the number of bottles you can buy. I would easily grade this shop with an A.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.82/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

For purely the bottle selection, this was the best of the bottle shops I visited while in San Fran. Small place but packed with a great selection of bottles. Prices ranged from average to slightly expensive. The service was also great; the guy working there helped me find some of the limited Almanac releases and actually went to the back to grab a box of one that appeared to be out of stock. A close walk to Toronado and Monk's Kettle and easy enough to visit all 3 in an afternoon.

Photo of reverbking
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

I love Healthy Spirits! Seeing as I just picked up a Fantome Extra Sour Dark from them I would say their selection is very, very good. They have some pretty special stuff hiding on the shelves like Moylan's BA Old Blarney that was brewed specially for Healthy Spirits. They have done that with a couple of other breweries like High Water's Old and in the Way Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Edition. I think they secured the barrel's from Buffalo Trace for High Water.

The staff is helpful and knowledgeable. It's a good place to go and nerd out with the guy's behind the counter. They have a new location on Clement st that I go to more often now and the selection is just as good.

I will never forget going to a beer week event they put on a couple of year's ago where i met David Walker of Firestone Walker and got a couple of bottles autographed by him. They had an awesome collection of older vintages of Abacus/Sucaba, Parabola and Anniversary for the event. People should support a local bottle shop that puts the time and energy into hosting events like that. Give them your money!

Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This place is tucked away in a residential part of SF near the Castro. While I’ve heard about it for some time I found it by wandering around. Happy accidents!

I consider myself a beer geek but I was amazed at their selection—imports upon imports that I have never encountered elsewhere. How do they do it? Of course expect to pay a premium for these bottles. The staff was friendly and inviting. And to be honest he seemed like he wanted to geek out with everyone who came in. It was a nice touch to see the employees share in the enthusiasm.

Photo of JosephThompson
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

In essence, it's a kick ass corner store. On offer other then beer they have a good spread of cheeses for pairings, also some chocolates, and other assorted food provisions.

The focus is certainly on Belgians and Belgian-style. For the size of the place, what they fill it with is very impressive. Cooler lined walls on one side opposite the cheese counter and checkout area. Four or five smaller racks with room temp selections. All your traditional labels are here but they've got most other places beat when they add in a label from a brewery you don't normally see in the States.

Sunday afternoon I was the only one in store and service was very good. Learned that they'll be opening a new store in the next couple of weeks which tells you enough about how people feel about this store.

A very good stop for anyone visiting SF.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.71/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Was only in SF for technically a day and made this a “must go” place for me. Located a few miles from my hotel I found parking right in front of the store.

I walked in around 2pm on a Tuesday. The store was empty except for the man behind the desk who greeted me promptly. The store has lots of fun things besides beer (ice cream, dips, other random food and wine). It is well laid out for such a small store and everything looks clean and new. Presentation was also good with various racks of beers and other things displayed nicely. The selection was fantastic. There were quite a few “rare” beers that I was surprised to see (including Dépuceleuse, BB Old Dipsea, Brettanomyces Lambicus, Danation 23, etc.). Needless to say I was there for quite some time to make sure I saw everything they had to offer.

The gentleman behind the counter was extremely nice and as I struck up a conversation with him I could tell he was genuinely into beer and keeping his store stocked with the best stuff. He was very sincere when he thanked me for complimenting him on his selection.

Overall, a great experience and great beer store. The “hype” of this store is true because as stated, I found some great things I was not expecting in the least, and the people there are great. A must stop if in SF.

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

A: Store is small and cozy, a little tight in some spots but it has a great feel.

Q: The quality of all the product in the store was excellent, maybe a few dusty bottles.. but hey I like my beer aged.

S: I was asked if I need help or suggestions. Talked with the owner for a while and found a common interest in the Foodery back home.

S: Selection was great, everything they had was awesome but the store was small. More would have been nicer, but it was still great.

V: I expected to pay exactly what I did. Most places now do a 6 pack discount for mixing.. I can't remember if they had that going when I visited.

Photo of emerge077
4.41/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Healthy spirits offers an exceptional selection of beers, coupled with even more impressive service. What looks like a corner store with a faded Chimay sign on a residential corner turns out to be a treasure trove of imports and local craft beers. A center row of islands holds quite a few single bottles, and the coolers on the left are full of sixers, bombers, and import singles. An inordinate number of magnums and jerobaums here if you're looking for a party starter.

Rami gave some excellent recommendations and advice, not to mention an extra on top of our purchase. Very helpful in picking some local beers to try.

Selection was varied, plenty of imports from the Shelton portfolio, Mikkeller, Italian stuff from B. United, Hitachino, Jolly Pumpkin, Strubbe, Yo-Ho, Drakes, High Water, Russian River, and plenty more. Felt like a kid in a candy store again...

Photo of skimoore
3.88/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Whenever I am back in San Francisco and looking to stock up on good beers to bring home, I check out the selection at Healthy Spirits. They have a great selection of the usual suspects of quality beers from Stone, Russian River, Lost Abbey, Port, Lagunitas and many more. Even some rare Italian stuff. They have a very impressive bourbon selection as well. If you're hungry they have a really good bagel sandwich. If you can't find a specific beer you're looking for, it's worth asking because they might have it hidden in the back somewhere.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I've been to Healthy Spirits a few times now and feel I should finally review it. It looks like a beer store, enough room to explore the selection. Both the gentlemen I've met weren't super open but, to be honest, trip one, he was talking to boss or owner about what new brews he was ordering. Understandable, it's a beer store. Second time I had to approach the dude, but a good brew conversation insued. The selection is top notch, rivaled only by City Beer Store (my opinion of course). Short list of beers obtained: HOTD Blue Dot, Ola Dubh 20, 30 and 40, Port Mongo and Zuur. I'm poor and not on the ball, so I missed or could not afford some of the choice brews. Got a free cloth bottle bag on my first trip too. Very worth finding.

Photo of FoxiBoxi
4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Healthy Spirits on my Honeymoon last month. I found it on beer advocate, and the website they had set up looked promising.

Upon arrival, I had a list from the website that I was in search of. They had everything on the list. This is a freak occurence if you're used to hoping that stock matches the website at liquor stores. The gentleman behind the counter was courteous and extremely helpful. I needed help locating everything on the list, even though the store is quite cozy. The selection isn't massive like a chain, but doesn't need to be, because they have stocked everything that a beer lover would ask to find.

They make their own hummus in house and we tried a few. They were all fresh, some spicy and others sweet, and would have gone great with an ice cold beer.

We ended up shipping about 15 bottles home from this store, and are so glad that we went out of our way to find it.

Photo of mikul93
3.73/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

As soon as you walk in you see beer! There is a pretty nice sized cooler filled with a large variety. There were a lot of bottles that I didn't recognize so I was there for a bit, studying each one. They also have a decent glass ware section in the front. Prices seemed reasonable. Parking was a pain but it's the city. The guy behind the register greeted me when I walked in and let me browse without hassling me. Some places can be a little pesky. They must have one of the best selections in the city. That being said, their prices can be a outrageous. They tend to mark up a lot of their beer, especially the limited releases. I've stopped going for this reason.

Photo of BigB415
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here on a friday afternoon after passing it by every week day for work for more than a month. As soon as you walk in you're greeted by beer by the several "focals" in the middle of the store. On the left side of the store is glassware and a cooler filled with all sorts of beer and soda. On the back wall there is wine and magnums of beer and older vintages. I saw a magnum of 1998 Anchor Our Christmas Ale. On the right side of the store there is whiskey, home made hummus, cheese and the cash register. I found a mini vertical of Gale's Prize Old Ale 1996 to 2000. I brought up the 1997 to 2000 and the guy threw in the 1996 for free so I could complete the vertical, I thought the 1996 was the 1997.

The guy working the register and seemed to be the only one working at the moment was really laid back and nice, I asked him his thoughts on the 1997 Gale's and he gave an honest opinion and left me to wander on my own. Healthy Spirits really focuses on Belgium/Imported beer. About 85% of the beer selection was imported, the rest being from America. I had to stop and look at every bottle since I didn't recognize more than half the beer in the store. A nice little spot in a nice part of SF, the neighborhood is beautiful. I suggest stopping in here if you are in the neighborhood. I guarantee there is nothing here you haven't had already.

Photo of leschkie
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

One of my go-to bottles shop while in the city. I like how this one is located away from the bustling city life. Bottle selection is very expansive and probably one of the best in the bay area. I think this is the poster-child of how a bottle shop should run their customer service. The staff is very knowledgable and looking to help you out. One of the best things about this shop is how they are constantly keeping you informed of new arrivals (even the rarest of things) via their blog. And, unlike many other bottle shops I've shopped at, they give everybody an equal and fighting chance to get their hands on new limited releases the moment they arrive, rather than putting them aside for their buddies. Slightly more expensive than other shops around the bay, however.

Photo of stupac2
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love this store. Their selection is among the best (or perhaps the best) in the Bay Area, the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful, their communication with customers can't be beat (updates via facebook and blog when new stuff comes in), and their Beer of the Month club has expanded my tastes significantly. Sure, you pay a bit of a premium because it's in the city, but it's worth it (and the 10% discount for BotM members offsets it somewhat).

If you're in the city, check this place out.

Photo of futura123
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is a small, cozy beer store looking like a mom and pop shop. However, when you step inside, you will be amazed with the selection they have. Most IPA, Belgians are in the fridge with some cellarable stout outside. Everything is well organized and well thought. They have plentiful of beers available for the West Coast. Once in a while, they also have some special release with 1 or 2 bottle limit.The staff is super helpful. They also have some special beers behind the counter. One of the thing I really like about Healthy Spirits is that their inventory is pretty accurate with what they post on their website, thus saving me time to browse and plan my trip to get the exact bottle I want. Besides beers, they have excellent Humus. Love Healthy Spirit. I always stop by if I made a trip to the city.

Photo of baycat
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Best bottle shop in San Francisco. Healthy Spirits is unassuming on the outside but is packed full of great beer ranging from sought after locals to hard to source rarities. They maintain an up to date inventory list on their website and post shipment updates constantly. While it is good to be surprised by what a store has in stock, even better to know what you can get before you buy. Healthy Spirits runs a well priced beer of the month club which will get you those special releases and introduce you to new beers. Plus the make some of the best hummus.

Photo of Beerenauslese
5/5  rDev +10.4%

If you've never been to this store, and were just driving by, Healthy Spirits would appear to be just another Mom and Pop small corner store. But those in the know will quickly see signs that this store is a special place. There are several different brewery signs in the front window, including an iconic Chimay sign hanging outside. There also might be a sidewalk sign that says they know hummus, bourbon, and beer, or that boasts they have more than 500 bottled beers.

Once inside, get ready for beer nirvana. The selection of beers is just fantastic. They get most of the beers that are in distribution to the west coast, and Dave Hauslein, the beer manager, gets his hands on lots of special allocations. Dave runs their beer of the month club that I have been a member of since it started, with great selections of new things to try and interesting writeups of the beers. BOTM membership comes with a good discount (15%) for buying additional beers, which makes their prices fairly competitive with other providers in the Bay Area.

The service is outstanding. Rami, Nate, Dave and others know their beers and can be depended upon for good advice. I do most of my shopping here, except for some special allocation beers they may not have. They also ship and they have a website with product updates and that has their entire inventory and prices (http://healthy-spirits.blogspot.com), updated regularly. They have added a line of specialty beer glasses too.

It is wonderful to have this resource just a few blocks from where I live. It's not their fault, but a downside is that due to city laws, they are prohibited from pouring because they are a block away from an elementary school. Wish that would change.

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Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA
99 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.