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!

Healthy Spirits

Not Rated.
Healthy SpiritsHealthy Spirits
BA SCORE
100
world-class

91 Ratings
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.83%
[ 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:
Sunday: 11am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm

(Place added by: EBbrewpunx on 09-13-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of madtowndmb1
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I was lucky enough to spend about 2 hours here with Rami this past week.

The selection is amazing! Everything is seemingly hand-picked and the breweries are all top-notch that he carries. Rami clearly specializes in beer, and knows what he's picking up. He has sandwiches and coffee available as well, both very high quality. After visiting this store, I wish I had one like this here in Madison. He had all the R.R., a bunch of Lost Abbey, and the Belgian selection rivals others I've seen. The only thing is there didn't seem to be many, if any sixers, but I didn't go for them so it didn't bother me at all.

What a great place, it's a can't miss for beer shoppers!

madtowndmb1, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of Genghis22
4.8/5  rDev +6%

Went into Healthy Spirits today and was instantly greated by the woman behind the counter. As I began to browse the selection a voice from above asked about the beer on my T-Shirt. I was wearing a Mongoose IPA shirt and Rami came down and talked beer with me for what must have been 15-20 minutes. He pointed out some new arrivals, some rare finds and some of his personal favorites. I live about 15 miles away but it was well worth the drive. The selection was out of this world, and the amount of knowledge and care for the beers in his store made Rami seem like an owner I'd be proud to support. I'll be back to this little corner market, it was a great find!

Genghis22, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of trumpetego
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%

Stopped by here just a few minutes ago, after hearing about it from several friends. The place was everything I had heard - excellent selection, friendly service, and very pricey.
This is another very small store, no larger than City Beer. There is a wall of coolers against the left wall, a few free-standing racks down the center of the shop, and the cash register and food to the right.
Selection is impressive. The focus is on Belgians and West Coast micrbrews. The Belgians are what you would expect from a good beer store: Chimay, Rochefort, Duvel, Cantillon, Boon, Dupont, Chouffe, Lindemann's, etc. As for the Americans, there were several offerings from Russian River, Hair of the Dog, Marin, Lagunitas, Stone, Rogue, and Avery. There were also a few suprises, including the largest selection of Mikeller beers I've seen. The only area that seemed to be lacking was Germans - I saw Aventinus and Aventinus Eisbock, but that was about it. Not a huge number of English beers either, other than Sam Smith and JW Lee's.
Service was good. The woman who was at the counter was very friendly and pointed out some recent arrivals. As I was leaving one of the owners (I don't know which one) came in and chatted with me about the bottle of Adam I picked up.
Price was my only issue with this place. Very few bottles had price tags, and when I got to the register I found that my total for four bottles was much more than I had expected. As a result, I would say this place is good for rare items (Mikeller, Hair of the Dog, RR), but I would go elsewhere for more common beers. You can probably get Chimay, Duvel, and Anchor cheaper elsewhere.

trumpetego, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of JoshuaCain
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%

my first trip to Healthy Spirits today and I was quite impressed.
the place seems like a run of the mill corner store from the outside, but contains a selection of only-the-finest brews from around the world inside.
of course I showed up on a day when Dave or Rami were not working so I couldn't properly nerd-out, but the lady behind the counter was very pleasant and talkative, though not a BA I would have to guess.
the beer selection is great, however, although space is a little tight.
the price was higher than you might expect to pay, but worth it to keep a place like this open in a great neighborhood location.

JoshuaCain, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of errantnight
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

An excellent, excellent shop, if a bit on the pricey side.

They'll have everything Russian River bottles, they managed to land some St. Somewhere, they've got a large line of 3 Fonteinen, they've split open Sam Adams mixed 12 packs and sold the singles (so I can have my blessed Fezziwig!), there's De Struise and Haandbryggiert, there's Panil and other Italian imports...

Only complaints are price (generally high, sometimes much higher, than what I'd expect... nothing outrageous, though), and space is CRAMPED. If you're anything like me and go into beergasm overload and flit back and forth trying to figure out what you can properly afford it can be a bit difficult, particularly if there's "other patrons" (and there will be) getting in your way. But they make the best of a small space, and it's clean, well laid out, and everything seems well cared for (my impression is turnover is fast and furious).

Rami is an excellent and BA friendly proprietor... they have a row of just STACKED fridges with a huge variety of beers... it trends very much towards the imports, particularly Belgian, but there are some true gems here of all types. Worthy of a special visit, let him know you're from BA, and buy in multiples of 6. This is about a mile from a friend's house in SF and I'll be here every time I'm there.

errantnight, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of BrewerB
4.8/5  rDev +6%

Not sure why it took so long for me to chime in on this wonderful store. I'm constantly impresses by the breadth of selection at Healthy Spirits. Always well-stocked with hard-to-find brews, some of which you won't see anywhere else in the Bay Area. On my last visit I was stoked to find a 1999 and 2000 JW Lee's Harvest Ale along with a couple bottles of HOTD Doggie Claws.

Staff is always willing to talk shop (in this case beer), suggesting brews to go with your existing selections, or answering questions about beers you'd like to try. I've talked with Dave, Nate, and Rami and they are all just as fanatical about these beverages as any of us BA-ers.

They keep a blog to alert you to new or upcoming releases, run a beer of the month club, and are members of Beer Advocate.

Pricing can sometimes be a bit higher than a BevMo or City Beer Store but still very reasonable. It's located across the street from the 24-Divisadero bus which is very convenient for transit riders like myself.

Occasionally they impose limits on purchase quantity (I recall a one bottle limit on The Abyss) but other than that, selection is fantastic.

Cold storage is impressive with coolers filled to the brim.

The deli is great too. Had a delicious pita sandwich the one time I ordered food and the homemade dagga (a spicy, middle eastern salsa, is fantastic!). Their selection of hard-to-find european candies is another nice bonus.

BrewerB, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%

Outstanding little store with a phenomenal beer selection. I went to Healthy Spirits for the first time two days ago, and that is one great, little store. I talked with Rami (actually, I'm a little embarrassed because I'm not sure if I was talking to Rami or Dave. I'm horrible with names and didn't want to ask again ten minutes into our conversation. It was a dark haired short guy. Of course, I'm 6'4", so most people are short to me. Both guys there were very nice, fwiw.) for awhile about various beers and ended up buying a couple boxes of outstanding and hard to find bottles. Also, I signed up for their beer of the month club, which is an excellent deal, at least judging by this month's selection and their previous blog posts.

The store is small but doesn't feel particularly cramped. The beers are arranged very well with a small area for wine off to the side, which made me smile as most wine stores have the opposite distribution. There are short descriptions written for the vast majority of beers. Also, I overheard Rami making recommendations to people less knowledgeable about beer that weren't just the standard starter beers but actually based on their limited experience. Prices are very reasonable when you take into account the 10% off six bottle discount, the discount on the beer of the month pack and the coupons given to beer of the month members.

The selection is really superb for such a small space. The wall of fridges is packed to the gills with everything you can think of. Their are some interesting vintage selections, including an excellent J.W. Lee's collection. I was even offered beers not on the display floor and given a little tour of the store room. Now, that place is cramped, but it's from all the boxes and shelves of wonderful beer, so that's my kind of cramped. They will even email you their entire inventory list, which is a helpful for planning ahead, not that it isn't hugely fun to peruse the array of bottles. Anyway, Healthy Spirits is a great store and, after visiting all of the top spots in San Francisco, my new favorite place to buy beer.

popery, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of walshclimb
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

We stopped by Health Spirits today, and were very pleasantly surprised by the selection. The sign in front says 555+ beers, and I believe it. The proprietor was friendly and helpful with my choices, and he offered to get room temperature bottles after I told him I was traveling. He offered a couple of beers that weren't in the case once he saw what I was looking for, and the place has a 10% discount on purchases over 6 beers. What more can you ask for? They have a great selection of northern CA and Belgian beers, but I thought it was a little weak on darker beers. Really, this is a minor complaint. It is an excellent store, and I highly recommend it.

walshclimb, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I ordered some Beatification 002 and 003 from Healthy Spirits and I am very pleased with my purchase. Rami was very helpful in putting together my order and my beers arrived in perfect shape. The prices were reasonable, communication was great, and the selection of beers was darn good. I will be doing more business with Healthy Spirits in the future based upon my first experience. It is nice to be able to order beers like Russian River that are not widely distributed. I am hoping that they will be carrying Consecration when it is released in bottles.

ArrogantB, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev -4%

While on my trip to SF I learned they had ABYSS which was just released a few days ago. I emailed Rami and asked if he could hold me a bottle. He fired back a beermail no problem.

I rode the electric cable car over and it was a short walk from the stop at market and castro.

The shop is not big, but what they may lack in size they make up in quality. Wonderful world class beers are all that are stocked on the shelves in this one.

A wonderful selection of Belgian brews along with the best the West Coast have to offer. Numerous bottles of ABYSS and Beautification which were recently released. Also 750's of Salvation, Sanctification, and Damnation. They also had some nice glassware which was also reasonably priced.

The prices were good and displayed on the bottle. I did not meet Rami, but I did meet his wonderful wife. She was very chatty and very friendly. I purchased an wonderful bagel sandwich as well before leaving.

It is a wonderful little corner shop. I would kill to have it in my neighborhood.

Rami, your an asset to the BA community and the neighborhood that you serve.

tpd975, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%

Healthy Spirits is a solid beer store in a mostly residential area. The beer selection isn't huge but the quality is very good. They had lots of Belgians, Pliny the Elder, several from Avery. I stopped in specifically for the Sierra Nevada Chico Harvest Ale. I was very impressed that most all of the beers are refrigerated. A very nice touch. They even had several magnums from Chimay, Stone and others.

The guy behind the counter was very helpful and offered a few good suggestions. The prices weren't cheap but probably aren't bad for SF. They also carry a decent selection of wine, chocolate and other foods.

Healthy Spirits is a nice neighborhood beer store. Check it out.

GJ40, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of ahatcher78
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

This is kind of a two part review for me. My wife was going to be in San Francisco for business so I immediately scoured BA for reviews. Saw some nice things about Healthy Spirits, and that Rami was an active member of our little community so for me the search was over. I contacted Rami by email to check on a few things, and received a very prompt response about what they had in stock. Very nice.

My wife said it was a short cab ride from where she was staying at the Argonaut. When she arrive Dave was working, and according to my wife the only place she had been that compares to the helpfulness she received is Bruisin Ales in Asheville. So that's a rave review from her. She said the store was nice, and the selection was outstanding. Seeing what she brought home I'd have to agree. Dave even called her a taxi, and offered to make her food while she waited. He even recommended a couple of local restaurants she really enjoyed. Class act all the way. I look forward to hopefully visiting as well in the future.

ahatcher78, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of tippletime
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Romey and Dave are good people! They have some solid raft/micro brews in store as well. Quaint nice shop located in a cool location btwn Castro and Haight. I was in from out of town and they were able to offer me a good base of beers which were enjoyed during our vacation down the CA coastline to LA. I will definitely visit them again next go round. Ohh, Thanks to Romey for the tip about the hip North Beach area. I strongly recommend this area to Italian cuisine lovers. Thanks for the stocking such a selection!

tippletime, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of vince4953529
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

This place is within walking distance from the Castro and Haight, a very convenient location as I spent my afternoon walking around these areas; enjoying the beautiful city and looking at beautiful San Franciscan girls. Anyway, impressive selections of Belgians and Nordic brews. They do have the normal 750 Russian Rivers in the cooler, the barrel aged brews are in the back, just ask for it and they'll give it to you. Lots of rarer Belgians, others I found interesting are the Weihenstephan 1809, Koningshoeven Bock, etc... But still, no Bear Republic XP Pale... ahhh!!

Service is pleasant and down to earth. A nice little store that i will go regularly if I live nearby.

vince4953529, Aug 26, 2008
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

Floydster, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.74/5  rDev +4.6%

First off, a big thank you goes out to Rami for making such a pleasant experience. I had called ahead to confirm there was Russian River left and he asked if I would be able to bring some Brooklyn Brewery beers, which I was more than happy to do...in abundance. Upon arrival he and William (other employee there) were super cool and great to hang around with. Also worth mentioning is that Rami knows and loves beer and is just a real pleasant guy to talk to.

As far as my honest critique of the store goes: A very nice selection. At that moment they had a lot of Russian River. And I mean a massive amount. Beatification, Supplication, Temptation, Redemption, Salvation, Damnation, Pliny the Elder, and Blind Pig. And not just a small amount either. Cases and cases and cases and cases. So if the folks at Russian River like the place enough to make sure they get a huge delivery of stuff, you know something good is going on. Beyond the Russian River there was a nice variety of well arranged American and international stuff. Lots of Belgians! Everything in the front is in the coolers, but if you want something at room temperature, just ask. They have many, many shelves of things in the back.

Overall I think that Healthy Spirits is really just in it's beginning phases. I can see the whole store growing and becoming bigger and even more interesting as time goes on. Which is why it'll be a place I hit when returning to San Francisco.

About 5 blocks from the N subway and only a few blocks off Market Street.

RblWthACoz, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of mszuch
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Ok, in town visiting family, and just happen to look through beerfly for a store with good selection.
The name got me originally - Healthy Spirits, gotta love the name!!!
The location isnt too far, and once i start to read the reviews, I am hooked.
I walk in the store and meet Dave. Talk about a great "host", since salesperson just doesn't cut it.
After introductions, he spins me around, and my jaw hits the floor at the Belgian selection he has there!!! HOLY %$#$%^
So. Cal has nothing like this, and don't even get me started on Nor. Cal beers. Russian is my fav, and he mentions a little "back stock" that I take advantage of.
I left there a happy person, and Dave, when you read this, you can definitely expect me back whenever in the bay area, and I cant wait until the shipping thing gets going.
Cheers to the crew.

mszuch, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of jkane101
5/5  rDev +10.4%

What can I say about Healthy Spirits...other than this is now and forever will be my "Go To" place in San Fran..
here's my story...
So while browsing the forums I noticed that Rami of Healthy Spirits has just posted that he has a limited number of bottle from Russian River in..just a few of each. Me, living in NJ, started thinking "how the fuck can I get my hands on these bad boys" without performing some kind of Fantastic Four stretchy-man act.
Then it hit me...isnt my ex-wife in SF on a business trip??? HELL YEAH she is...
So a few sweet text messages to butter her up and BINGO...she's willing to be my beer mule!
Now I gotta get in touch with Rami and see if we can work out how to get her the beers since she's in a day long meeting.
I call Rami...and he is, in a word, unbelievable.
First he tells me what he has...then he puts the beers I want to the side. He tells me if it comes to it he'll find a way to get the beer to her hotel...are you kidding me? He's awesome.

Anyway...as it turns out my ex is able to get out of her meeting early and take a cab there. She's on the phone with me the whole time while Rami and her are adding to the order... being a beer drinker herself she also wanted a few of these goodies.

So there's my tale....
an exceptional store with exceptional people working it.
Thank You Rami!!
and hey...thank you to my ex-wife, Kanesty, for being a good sport.

jkane101, May 12, 2008
Photo of Rzzzzz
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Outstanding! I hiked up from the 16th street BART station to pick up a bottle of Beatification that Rami was kind enough to set aside for me. Well worth the hike--found a great selection of beers, got first class treatment from Rami, bought what I could carry back and vowed to return often. Aside from being super friendly, the man knows and is passionate about his beer.

Next time I'll go up with an empty stomach, grab a sandwich or something from the deli counter and sit down and enjoy with a cold one!

Highly recomended.

Rzzzzz, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
4.35/5  rDev -4%

This place is a really good place to get belgian beers. I remember when this beer store wasnt very much, but always had the chimay sign overhead. Clickpush has really improved this place. Even though he's leaving, look for it to continue to be a stop on your tour of san francisco beer stores.

When I went there you could also buy sandwiches, so bring your appetite and a healthy liver and eat, drink, and be merry. Parking is ok, you'll probably find a spot near the place. They also take credit cards, so not cash only

Murchmac, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Lothore
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%

Q- This store, while small, seems to be in a good location and everything is set up so it is really easy to find the beer you are looking for.

S- When I usually walk into beer stores I don't actively engage the employees so pretty much everywhere i've been hasn't really went above and beyond to help me except this store. I posted in the forums that I was looking for the abyss and rami told me it was available here. As I walked in he introduced himself and remembered the forum post and really went out of his way to help me, I think this is the mark of a good beer store. This place will definitely get my business in the future.

S- Nice selection, heavy on the belgians. I picked up a few of the top 100 that I haven't been able to find elsewhere and as I previously mentioned, some abyss.

Lothore, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Talisker
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Updated Review 22-Nov-2008

In the ten months since my initial review (below), Healthy Spirits has continued to grow its beer selection and prominence in the Bay Area beer community. I bet there are 150 more beers there today than the several hundred stocked earlier this year.

The Belgian focus still remains strong, and they're the only source for a great number of obscure Belgian and Belgian-styles. Yesterday I saw two beers from St. Somewhere in Florida, thus far not seen elsewhere in the Bay Area, and three obscure Dupont varieties unique to this shop.

Unfortunately prices remain on the high side, so this wouldn't be your go-to place for stocking up on regular drinkers - BevMo or even City Beer Store rule the roost there.

But Rami and his new guy Dave have really turned this unassuming corner store into a world class beer destination. They're in spitting distance of Ledger's for selection, and way past Ledger's in general ambiance and enjoyment.

--
Initial Review 08-Jan-2008

In just over a year (essentially the whole of 2007) I have seen this shop turn from a quaint but unremarkable high-end corner grocery with a nice Belgian beer selection into an outright paradise for Belgian and similar-styled beers.

Plumpjack Noe Valley used to rule the San Francisco roost when it came to Belgian and obscure imports (aside from the Toronado's oft-overlooked but amazing bottle list), but as of early 2008 this is no longer the case. Healthy Spirits has the best stocks of its chosen niche - overall not as broadly interesting as City Beer Store, but much deeper than either CBS or Plumpjack where Belgians are concerned.

The beers are everywhere - most stored very nicely in coolers with low light, but with others in racks all around. There must be 300+ Belgians alone, not to mention a smattering of other imports and good American stuff. Be sure to peruse the whole store (not hard - it's a small place), because there are often one-offs or odd-format bottles in places you wouldn't think to look.

Prices, unfortunately, are a bit high overall, and if BevMo or even City Beer gets the same item, you're almost guaranteed to get it for less there. But the overlap isn't significant, and there are a great many treasures that find their way only to Healthy Spirits in the Bay Area.

Rami, the owner and proprietor, has a deep commitment to establishing a fabulous beer selection (and BA Clickpush helped make it a reality when he worked there).

Rami's taste is other food and drink is impeccable - you're unlikely to find a better selection of high-end deli-like food and coffee anywhere else in town. It's hard for me to think the neighborhood walk-in market can support such an over-the-top high-end beer selection, but let's hope it keeps going on.

It looks like parking would be tricky, but I've never had a problem finding a spot within half a block of the store.

The world needs more places like Healthy Spirits. It and City Beer Store are now *the* retail places to go in San Francisco.

Talisker, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of jwebco
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

I had read about this place from beer advocate and finally had a chance to pop in this New Year's Eve. Wow, was very impressed from the get go. As others have said, the place is a small, typical looking SF corner store. Once you go in and really get a look at the coolers along the left side you know you are somewhere special. Two words: Jolly Pumpkin, this is the first time I have seen this in the Bay Area (I am not claiming to have been to every beer store in the bay area). I didn't have much time so I grabbed a bottle of La Roja and a 750ml of Tripel from the La Trappe brewery (The seventh Trappist brewery!).

I could have stayed another half hour and spent more money. I spotted some magnums and bigger size bottles but didn't have time to look.
I complemented the two guys working there on their selection and after talking to them for a little bit they seemed pretty knowledgable about the selection. They had just got a new shipment of Belgians that they hadn't even put out yet. The main man, Ron, who I think it the owner was very nice and enjoyed talking to him.

I cannot wait to get back here and I only gave this place a solid 4.5 because it was such a short visit. I love finding gems like this.

jwebco, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%

Stopped here a few times over the past year the most recent being the day after thanksgiving. They have a pretty good selection considering how hidden and small this store is. I actually found it by accident while walking to haight street last summer. There are a couple of fridges filled with a number of hard to find beers. Theres plenty of stuff from bigger belgian companies as well as others that make belgian style beers. These include Russian River, Allagash, and Unibroue. Interestingly enough they had a selection of Green Flash. Didn't try the food but the guy was nice enough to give me some paper towels to clean my hands while my brother and I were waiting for the tow truck outside the store.

t0rin0, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%

Outstanding little shop that packs in the good (Belgian/French style mostly) beer. Brewbacca and Clickpush, the place’s Beer Specialist were nice enough to show me the place.

Food: Samples of various Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods were available free of charge. All were homemade and delicious. A Cheese expert, I believe he called himself a fromageie, was on hand as well giving out samples of some very fine, even exquisite California cheeses. This is hard for me to admit as a cheese head but California certainly has Wisconsin beat when it comes to my favorite styles of cheese, aged goat and lamb cheeses and lamb/goat bries. These were found in abundance at Healthy Spirits. We ended up purchasing some great cheese that was called something like moonlight or dark of the moon or something. Wow was it good. They also sell all sorts of pitas and breads.

Beer: Hundreds of bottles of Belgian and French style beers and a few local gems crammed into a tiny little place. Well selected, well displayed. What more can I say? This is a tremendous shop.

Staff: They have a manager whose secondary title is “Beer Specialist.” He’s a BA. What more needs to be said? Perhaps that the owner is very friendly and obviously makes a great effort to hire knowledgeable people and to sell the best possible products.

This store is highly recommended.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 07, 2007
Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA
100 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.