Healthy Spirits

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

98 Ratings
Ratings: 98
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: 98 | Reviews: 73
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

Photo of wd40
3.35/5  rDev -26%

The shop is very clean and tidy. There is a long string of refridgerators on the left wall as you enter the store with beer, some wine and sake as well as some soft drinks. There is a counter where you can get food on the right, which is also where the register is located. Between the two walls are stand alone shelving units which have beers are room temperature. I believe that there is little to no crossover between what is in the fridge and what is on the shelves. There are a number of very good and hard to find beers (at least hard for me to find!) as well as good beers or beers that are just ok.

They had beers from hair of the dog, north coast, some russian river, bear republic, lost abbey, cantillon, st. bernardus among others.

Although I think the store has its good points, I have to mention that I did not feel particularly welcome in this store due to the attitude of the clerk. Also the person working in the store had very little knowledge about beer. If you know what you want and are willing to pay a few dollars more for it, this is the place to go.

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 clickpush
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

This is a small, innocent looking corner store w/ a surprising beer selection that's in your face directly upon entering. While they may not carry everything, there's an impressive amount of Belgians for such a small place, and most of the smaller label Belgian selections rotate through. This is a place you have to check every couple weeks to make sure you're not missing out on anything. The clerks there don't seem to know (or care) much about the beer, but this is an excellent place to get a sandwich and stare at the beer coolers while you eat. A number of rare brews somehow find their way in here and their prices aren't any different from anywhere else, despite the fancier aura about it.

Photo of radshoesbro
3.85/5  rDev -15%

Heard a lot about this place, and it was recommended by my friend Alex (checkii), so I had fairly high expectations.

First off, it's small. Only about five or six coolers and a few racks. Gourmet cheeses and ice creams, plus wine and beer. Good, friendly service and they seem knowledgeable about beer.

Fair number of belgians that aren't available in San Diego, so I was excited about that! The prices seem about average for a lot of their higher end beers. Otherwise, their selection was pretty moderate. The size sort of kills the amount of excellent beers they can have. Obviously they're going to need to carry the more pedestrian beers as it's their businesses bread and butter.

All in all this is a good place to have in the neighborhood, but if I lived here I'd be somewhat disappointed.

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 CraftBC
3.9/5  rDev -13.9%

Corner market with a large selection of Belgian and Belgian-style ales in 750ml size bottles, all kept cold in a line of display coolers. At the time of my visit (early Feb 2007) there were over 149 craft beers, of which 84 were from Belgium. The owner said he expected to receive another 25 or so Belgians in the next week. Some interesting beers I haven’t seen elsewhere recently included the Kapittel range, Deschutes Abyss, Leute Bok, three beers from Belgian brewer Blaugies, Ecaussinnes Ultrabrune, and Duinen Dubbel and Tripel. Prices are high – about 24% higher than BevMo and 13% higher than PlumpJack – but the interesting selection makes it worthwhile. Very tough on-street parking but open late nightly.

Photo of rayjay
4.05/5  rDev -10.6%

Small corner store with a friendly vibe. Awesome selection, and 98% in the fridge. Go fresh beer! Specializing in Belgian beers, lots of bottles I've never heard of before in my life (I've been in CA for 4 years and therefore am out of the Belgian loop). Probably about 150 different beers total, and all are top notch. Lots of good looking wines and botique sodas too. Small but quality food as well, specializing in middle eastern comfort food like hummus, along with a small but equally quality cheese selection.

We got a Monks Flemish Sour Ale (cool, I thought they only sold this one in Philly!), a Troubador Obscura Mild Stout, Houblon Chouffe (1st time since it came out a year ago that I've ever seen it for sale), and a Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calbaza (1st time I've seen it in CA). Total came to just shy of $50, steep for 4 bottles but I consider the quality as well.

The cons are that this place really jacks up those prices. A $7 bottle of Damnation costs $11 here. Ouch. Also, they didn't honor the 5% BA discount, which I was kind of counting on. Live and learn. My only other complaint is that the Bay area breweries aren't represented as much as I'd like; didn't see any Drakes, and no Trumer. They did have White Knuckles and Hopsickles, so I'll give 'em a break. I think they should have a little more hometown pride, though. Hope this helps, cheers!

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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

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.

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 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.

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 100floods
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%

Located just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of the Castro, this place almost feels like a hidden gem everyone knows about. The last time I was there the owner's wife was there. She's a really sweet lady who is totally hip to beer nerds coming in and even told us that her husband posts updates regularly on BA. Also the beer buyer was extremely well verses in the beer he sold; on one particular day he took me into the back to show me the early stages of what he hoped would become a cellar. He even gave me a bottle of Ale Smith's 2006 Crand Cru (this was in late 2007). This was before even city beer was aging stuff. Very nice and helpful staff.

The beer selection was pretty damn good too. This place mostly focuses on belgian beers and carries a good selection of german and some american beers, but the theme is mostly belgian. Their stock varies from things you've seen before so a few things you'll see for the first time. The prices aren't cheap, but I marked it as reasonable because you're getting mostly high end and imported beer.

Grab some home made hummus while yer their too, AMAZING!

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.

Photo of live4beer
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

I found this place while driving to toronados. It had a chimay sign hanging, so I went inside. My jaw dropped as I browsed through all the bottles. I stayed a good hour looking through all the beers. They had different of beer, domestic and foreign. The inventory had different brews of popular belgian breweries. I must have spent around 120 bucks. Included was a spelt ale, fig ale, buckwheat ale, cuvee, saisons, tripels, and some other intersting styles. The staff was helpful and friendly. I ended up just going back home. When it comes to Belgian beer, they have the best selection in the bay area. I highly reccomend this place

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.

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Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA
99 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.