Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
4.41/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Healthy spirits offers an exceptional selection of beers, coupled with even more impressive service. What looks like a corner store with a faded Chimay sign on a residential corner turns out to be a treasure trove of imports and local craft beers. A center row of islands holds quite a few single bottles, and the coolers on the left are full of sixers, bombers, and import singles. An inordinate number of magnums and jerobaums here if you're looking for a party starter.
Rami gave some excellent recommendations and advice, not to mention an extra on top of our purchase. Very helpful in picking some local beers to try.
Selection was varied, plenty of imports from the Shelton portfolio, Mikkeller, Italian stuff from B. United, Hitachino, Jolly Pumpkin, Strubbe, Yo-Ho, Drakes, High Water, Russian River, and plenty more. Felt like a kid in a candy store again...
10-08-2011 04:46:08 | More by emerge077
4.2/5 rDev -7.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
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.
10-09-2008 04:57:21 | More by GJ40
4.15/5 rDev -8.6%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Outstanding little shop that packs in the good (Belgian/French style mostly) beer. Brewbacca and Clickpush, the places Beer Specialist were nice enough to show me the place.
Food: Samples of various Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods were available free of charge. All were homemade and delicious. A Cheese expert, I believe he called himself a fromageie, was on hand as well giving out samples of some very fine, even exquisite California cheeses. This is hard for me to admit as a cheese head but California certainly has Wisconsin beat when it comes to my favorite styles of cheese, aged goat and lamb cheeses and lamb/goat bries. These were found in abundance at Healthy Spirits. We ended up purchasing some great cheese that was called something like moonlight or dark of the moon or something. Wow was it good. They also sell all sorts of pitas and breads.
Beer: Hundreds of bottles of Belgian and French style beers and a few local gems crammed into a tiny little place. Well selected, well displayed. What more can I say? This is a tremendous shop.
Staff: They have a manager whose secondary title is Beer Specialist. Hes a BA. What more needs to be said? Perhaps that the owner is very friendly and obviously makes a great effort to hire knowledgeable people and to sell the best possible products.
This store is highly recommended.
08-07-2007 20:27:09 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.74/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
07-21-2008 15:27:08 | More by RblWthACoz
4.65/5 rDev +2.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped by here on a recent trip to the Bay Area. Pretty large corner bottle shop with a very large selection of craft beers. They have a center aisle with a lot of room temperature bottles and about six cooler of additional bottles. The selection was pretty solid but the prices were a bit higher here than everywhere else in the area. Some of the highlights were Abyss, Mirror Mirror, Black Butte XXI, Marin Dipsea, Gales Prize Old Ale 1998 vintage, Cuvee de Tomme, New Belgium Lips of Faith series, Full Sail beers and a large selection of Belgian and Scandinavian beers. They also have quite a few different magnums for sale. The guys working here were very knowledgeable and friendly and I spent a good bit of time just talking to them about beer. I really liked this place and would highly recommend it even if the prices are a bit steeper than others.
01-16-2010 09:59:30 | More by corby112
3.2/5 rDev -29.5%
quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$
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
08-24-2008 04:14:53 | More by Floydster
4.39/5 rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here yesterday to start my day of SF beer. Atmosphere was laid back and informal, as a bottle shop should be IMO. Lost of bottles and glasses on the left side of the store, tons of liquor and food stuffs on the right. Service was awesome. He made sure I had everything I needed and even checked on some bottles I was looking for to make sure they didn't have any hiding in the back. Quality was high, I didn't see a single out of date beer and the awesome glass selection was a bonus. Selection was great. Tons of beers from all over the country and even more from the rest of the world. I was able to find a long time want from Europe that I never thought I would see in the US. Prices were more than reasonable. Overall an awesome bottle shop in a really cool looking neighborhood. I would love to have this place in my area.
02-14-2014 06:30:16 | More by orangesol
4.69/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$
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.
05-11-2014 02:22:25 | More by FightingEntropy
5/5 rDev +10.1%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
topped in here for the first time earlier today. A guy named Nate happened to be working the register.
Wow was this selection impressive! And most of it (or at least half) was kept chilled. The majority of the beers came from Belgium and other northern European countries (I saw a ton of Mikkeller), but most the rest came from the good old U S of A. No BMC here, and not even any mediocre breweries. Jolly Pumpkin, Mikkeller, Nøgne Ø, Russian River, Cantillon, Stone, Baladin (there were a good number of Italian beers too), HaandBryggeriet, Goose Island, the list goes on and on! I can't say enough about the selection - you'll just have to see it for yourself.
I chatted with Nate (the cashier) for quite awhile, and the guy definitely knew his craft beer. In fact, he probably knew more about craft beer than I do, which (don't take this in the wrong way - I'm not a cocky guy) has never happened to me at a beer shop before. It was really enjoyable! I was able to get honest opinions on just about everything, even the odd/rare styles like faro and gueuze. Nate claimed that he had tried 80-90% of the beer sin the store, and I certainly believe it. After finalizing my order, Nate hooked me up with a free reusable bag (long story, I lost mine, etc. - it was a very nice gesture). Top notch service!
I also found out (partially through the Healthy Spirits website, partially through Nate) that Healthy Spirits has a Beer of the Month club. For $40-50 a month, subscribers get monthly beer packages loaded with the rarest and most highly-sought-after beers Healthy Spirits has to offer. Last month, subscribers got a bottle of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With Brett, which was only released at Marin Brewing Co. and Healthy Spirits. Yeah, it's that kind of beer store.
All in all, this was a fantastic experience! Healthy Spirits is the best beer store I've ever visited, and I recommend it to anyone within driving distance of the place!
08-12-2010 06:30:25 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA
99 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.