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Beverages 4 Less

Not Rated.
Beverages 4 LessBeverages 4 Less
BA SCORE
98
world-class

190 Ratings
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 23.87%
[ Store ]

9181 Mission Gorge Rd
Santee, California, 92071-3723
United States
phone: (619) 448-3773

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Phocion on 10-22-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GJ40
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%

Not much from the outside but this place has a great selection of west coast beers such as Russian River, Alpine, AleSmith and Ballast Point. It meanders throughout the store so give it a good walk through or you might miss something.

The guy behind the counter (he wasn't the owner because he made mention of him) was very helpful and outgoing. He even said they shipped beer and gave me their card. That could really come in handy.

Beverages 4 Less is a great, dedicated beer store. It's well worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.

GJ40, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Yetiman420
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

On a Sunday - Monday period in Mid October, I did a tour of San Diego breweries, brewpubs and beer stores. All the bottle shops I visited received A+ ratings with a significant number of reviews. My goal was primarily Russian River brews (Pliny, Blind Pig, Supplication) and then WC IPA's that I can't get in Ohio (Alpine, Kern River).
The places I visited in order of ranking...

1. 3 Way tie - KnB Wine Cellars, Beverages 4 Less, Best Damn Beer Shop
2. Holiday Wine Cellar
3. Olive Tree Marketplace
4. Pizza Port Bottle Shop

It's a struggle to come up with a negative for Beverages 4 Less. I suppose the 15 minute drive to get there could be one, but it's well worth it. I was able to land all the beers I was looking for. Lots of other great stuff, but I had to limit myself.

Yetiman420, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Beverages 4 Less is one of the better beer stores I've been to in recent years and this place has it all - simply amazing selection, great friendly service (thanks Freddie), and a convenient location right off the freeway. I'll be stopping here on my way out of San Diego back to Arizona every time, without a doubt.

Rare bottlings from the West coast are in stock here when they're not in stock at other locations, and he has a wide variety of imported offerings - both east coast domestic craft and from europe. I was pleased to find Victory beers in stock in addition to the usual suspects from California.

Freddie showed me around the store and drew my attention to special bottlings that I may like, and he was gracious to offer a pour of his Mirror Mirror barleywine while browsing. This is exactly the sort of feel you want when shopping for premium craft beer, and Beverages 4 Less delivers.

yemenmocha, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

greenspointexas, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%

Funny...I didn't think a review page would end uo being a chat page. But I received a comment or two in my Beer Mail from someone re: illegal shippping to Maryland, and replied to sender. But since that message appeared in this review column as well...let me set the record straight on something. While I live in Maryland...Freddie has always refused to ship beer directly to me. So I have him send it to my sister in VA. This is also true of some other top rated stores in other parts of the country who ship to me via legal states. Win-win...see my family a few times a year, and always have great beer at reunions. How fun is that. So here's to great guys like Freddie, who make it possible for many of us to enjoy a few good beers we otherwise would miss out on.

Original Review:
Have been getting beers from Freddie on line for a few years, and finally had a chance to visit SD and stop by. Beers had always been shipped well, and exceeded expectations...so hoped I could meet up with the guy who had helped me out so often. I hit Alpine as soon as I got to town, and then cruised over to Bev 4 Less on my way back into the city. What a blast! It was like old friends...even though we had never met. Freddie had all my reserved orders waiting for me, and pulled me off a few more specials as well. Cuvee du Tomme, Red Poppy, Grand Teton, Alpine, RR, etc etc...just waiting for me as promised. We talked up beer for awhile, and lined up the next order to come. Looking forward to many more awesome beers in the future.
p.s. Sorry I missed the BBQ on Saturday, Freddie.

BillRoth, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -16%

Beverages4less definitely brings in a wide variety of opinions on the matter. They usually can be broken down between locals (bad) and non locals (good). Myself, being a native born San Diegan, but who has moved long ago and is now non local, thought it would be a good idea to stop by this place and check it out for myself. Its pretty much in between my Alpine lunch and trip to Alesmith, so why not I thought?

Its a craphole exterior. Looks corner markety where you would expect bulletproof glass and lots of Phillies Blunts varities and malt liquor.

Quality: They/he carries plenty of great beers, high quality beers. What is not high quality here are the storage conditions and pricing. Lots of warm shelves, dust. Some things get brought out of the back. There doesn't seem to be prices on anything. Thats troubling for me, as its a way for business to often charge different prices (which is akin to the used car salesmen comparison).

The service was great. Freddie engaged in a lively conversation. He brought out some beers from the back. He seemed pretty cool. He pushed some of his out of distribution stuff at crazy high prices. That don't bother me. I always appreciate the option, even if I'd have to be dumb as shit to buy them at said requested price.

The selection was great, there's tons of beers in here.

So overall, its a mixed bag.

Beerandraiderfan, May 30, 2013
Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Ordered on line. Spoke with Freddy, very nice guy and super service. I was able to get ahold of him at all sorts of times when I would not expect to be able to. Wish I would have read here first, he said he was out of Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood. If he was holding out I would have pleaded some more, maybe next time. Many things available I have no chance of getting out here out east. 3 bottles of Abyss, Old Numbskull, Wee Heavy and an Alaskan Barleywine(In place of FFTW). "Boxing" fee is about my only complaint, but it sounds like a one or two man operation, so I guess he has to get something for his time. Well packaged. Will be checking back often, hopefully will get me out of having to try and trade for some rare west coast stuff.

Bung, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of dwagner003
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

dwagner003, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

WOW! Forget what you've heard about Santee, you don't need a KKK hood and sheet to shop in this store. That's just one of those stereotypes that rooted in reality.

This store looks like crap from the outside but I assured my wife, "Don't judge a beer store by its parking lot"...this place is awesome. Its also a homebrew store BTW. It looks like a convenient store on the inside but its all alcohol. About half the store is devoted to beer, a wall of coolers and lots of shelves. Lets see, Lost Abbey / Port, Russian River, Deschutes, tons of foreigns (Germany and Belgium), Mikkeller, lots and lots of beers. THere are also out of market beers, a wink is as good as a nod, that aren't for sale. Things like Dark Lord, Kate the Great...all just sitting there on the shelf. Fucking AWESOME.

The beer is reasonably priced, I just have expensive tastes, we were the only people in there and as a result the guy behind the counter kept trying to help us, we didn't need it but that was nice. I'll be going back here the next time I'm near Klantee...errr...I mean Santee.

drabmuh, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

bpfrush, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.2/5  rDev -27.9%

Visited this place while in San Diego for a science conference... that turned out to be more about beer than science.

Am I missing something about Beverages 4 Less? The outside appearance and setup of this store is less than appealing and the neighborhood its in makes me a little wary of going in, in the first place... IPA's and "perishable" beers are kept in the fridge and there are racks and racks of beer out on the floor. At least they know how to store their beer.

I asked the clerk at the counter about the bottles that they have on display on the wall ( a bunch of rare offerings + some limited distribution stuff). He responded by saying that all of them were, at one point or another, being sold at the store... so... they were selling Kate the Great in the store? Ok... not impressed... and now even a little MORE wary.

Selection is very reasonable but maybe I just went on a bad day? The variety of beers here is monstrous but they were out of stock on a lot of semi-rare beers (ie. ASGC, Deliverance, Pliny, etc.) Judging by what's on the wall though, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Very reasonable prices here for the most part except they were trying to charge $36 for a bottle of parabola... Still though, I feel like the prices I was paying on a majority of the items was very good.

SpeedwayJim, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -2%

Went here after the O'Brien's TION night. Easy trip down the CA-52. Quite easy to find in the dark which was nice since I don't know the area too well. First ever trip to East County San Diego. Looks of a typical liquor store with a great beer selection. Aside from the Alpine, Lightning, and a few oddities, nothing I couldn't find in Orange County, but it's nice to have all that beer at one stop. Picked up 5 Alpine bombers and a Full Sail Old Boardhead '07, none of which I've seen locally. Met Freddie, who was nice and quite jovial, enthusiastic about beer. Prices were reasonable. I will certainly revisit next time I'm in San Diego. I liked this store a lot, I wish it was my local liquor/convenience store.

Halcyondays, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Not much more I can add to the glowing reviews of this truly amazing beer store. I was lucky enough to visit Beverage 4 Less during a trip to California in July 2009. My compadre from San D. was unfamiliar with this store (I'd read about it on BA, of course)! We were kind of in the neighborhood, so I suggested a "quick" stop. Well, unfortunately, if anybody knows me, it's never a quick stop. Just ask brewslut about me and record stores.

Freddie is an amazing host and extremely proud of his shop. He spent a good hour talking with us, and he even sold me good wine shipping boxes at a very reasonable rate. Not only that, but he let me pick out "any bottle" in the store to crack open and share. He even said, "Don't be cheap!" While I was eyeing up the Rasputin Anniversary and Lost Abbey stuff, I maintained some sort of restraint and went with a bomber of Ballast Point Tongue Buckler. Plus he gave us fresh oranges! What a guy!

Needless to say, the selection here is ridiculous. If you come in here and leave empty handed, something is seriously wrong. They also have a pretty solid porn collection (if that's your kind of thing). Next time I am visiting the San Diego area, you can bet your ass I will be stopping in here to pick up some choice bottles.

ffejherb, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of youbrewidrink
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Knowing Freddy is like having family on the west coast. You can trust him and depend on him to keep the most current and sought after beers available.

He ships promptly and adds a nice personal touch. He ships when he says he will and provides tracking info way before you even ask.

I have dealt with many mail order beer locations and Beverages 4 Less has been by far one the best places I have purchased from.

I highly recomend Freddy to anyone purchasing beer mail order for the first time or anytime for that matter.

youbrewidrink, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of notchucknorris
4.79/5  rDev +7.9%

The selection at this store is pretty great. They may not have the biggest selection in San Diego, but they manage to get some amazing beer in here and everything on the shelves is quality. What really sets the place apart, as others have said, is the owner, Freddy. Within 2 minutes of me setting foot in the store, he had let me try one of his homebrews and taken me to the backroom to let me see a few beers that didn't find their way to the shelves. It's a bit of a drive to get out there, but it's worth it for the selection. If you're in the area, you have to check this place out. You will not regret it.

notchucknorris, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of the_encinitan
3/5  rDev -32.4%

the_encinitan, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of magictrokini
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%

My new go-to beer store. Selection is unbelievable and only rivaled by Holiday Wine Cellar. Freddy is the man. Knows his beer, and always has the hook-up for hard to find stuff. Teases you with the Angels' Share up front and other that are not for sale, but what is for sale more than makes up for it. Scored The Dissident, tons of Boris, and Firestone 12. Biggest selection of Alpine in town. A weekly destination. Downside is you do pay a premium for the good stuff. Everything comes at a cost, though.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of Thorpe429
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%

Finally getting around to reviewing this place. Went there in the summer of 2008 and was blown away and just placed my first online order. My wife and I drove around the country, stopping at 50+ liquor stores and together with Capone's in Philly, this is probably my favorite place in America. Freddie is amazing. They stock an incredible amount of beer and have a fantastic selection.

When we were there he went out of his way to grab stuff from the back and was really excited to help us get stuff that we couldn't get out East. Placed my first order online and he had responded, packed up my box, and got my tracking number all in less than an hour.

Pricing in the store is quite reasonable, and online is just as good. I realized that for a lot of things, it's probably easier to just order online than find a trader and end up paying for packing and shipping anyhow. My most enthusiastic recommendation.

Thorpe429, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of d0ggnate
5/5  rDev +12.6%

I finally decided to stop over at Beverages 4 Less, as I have heard a lot of good things about Freddie and all his beer. I was really glad I made the short trip. An amazing and well laid-out selection. Lots of interesting bottles. Some were old favorites. Some I was surprised to see. It was also nice to talk beer with Freddie for a while. He was right there with recommendations or just to chat about beer happenings. This trip I picked up a few small things, Abyss 2009, DFH Chicory Stout and a random gueuze. I can't wait to go back and shop there again.

d0ggnate, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of radshoesbro
1.28/5  rDev -71.2%

The guy that owns this place is a crook. He mules in beers from brewery release events and upsells them for exorbanant prices. Then he treats you like he's doing you a favor for ripping you off. I haven't been here in years because I flat out refuse to shop at this store. I know for a fact that he'll charge you more for beer if he realizes you've given his establishment a bad rating. Stop rating his shop highly. The beers are sitting out on a floor in 100 degree heat, they're warm to the touch. He used to blow fans on them to give you the perceived idea that they're being kept cool. Seriously, think about that one for a second. If he cared about his customers or his product he would install air conditioning in his store. Do not buy beer from this man.

radshoesbro, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of Phocion
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%

I found this place on the Alpine website as one of their few distributors. I printed out the directions on mapquest and the next time I was in San Diego I stopped by. It's an unassuming place that you'd definitely not expect to carry any craft beers, but once inside that changed.

Their selection is above average at best, but I gave them a 4.5 simply because of a few rare brews they carried. As mentioned above, they carry all the Alpine stuff, which is impressive in itself. I also found some Stone 8th Anniversary (this was in September of '06) at a relatively bargain price, which needless to say I grabbed as much as I could carry along with a few bombers of Pure Hoppiness. Aside from this they carry all the basic San Diego County breweries (Alesmith, Green Flash, Ballast Point, etc) and a decent selection of imports, though I was there for the Alpine and didn't spend much time browsing anything else I could get much closer to home.

The store is run by an Indian or Middle Eastern family who although they don't look it, they (or at least the gentleman who helped me) seemed to have a good knowledge of craft beer. Very friendly as well.

Next time I feel an urge for Alpine or find myself in East County, I'll definitely make sure this place is a stop. Recommended for anyone in the area.

Phocion, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of vermilcj
4.93/5  rDev +11%

I have not been to the store, but having ordered from Freddy online I can tell you this is a top notch store. He is always very attentive in responding to orders and questions and goes the extra mile for his customers. I hope to get out to see him in San Diego some day soon.

vermilcj, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of ThirstyBird
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Well I'm glad that My friend BA stevemcqueenjr introduced me to Fred at beverages4less! The first time I called Fred and I talked beer for 50 minutes. The man cares and it shows - he'll do whatever he can to get great beer in to his store for you.

I just got a great package of west coast goodies (some tough to get treats). I'm looking forward to placing my next order. I REALLY looking forward to my visit to SD this winter so I can visit the store first hand.

He is my go to source for buying online - great service and great selection - I can't ask for more!

ThirstyBird, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
5/5  rDev +12.6%

My day started off at 4 am, getting ready to head down to the Alesmith Barrel Aged Speedway release. After getting to SD around 7 am and getting my ticket for my treasure, a fellow beer geek in line suggested my buddies and me visit this gem. So to kill some time, we decided to head down and take a look. When I thought my day couldn't get any better...Fred (the owner) decided to make it even better. We walked in and he immediately started helping us out and asking us questions....and not in a pushy way either. Anyways, the selection was pretty darn good too...I was impressed. Basically, Fred is a super nice guy who loves what he does...which really makes the experience that much better. It would be a shame to not visit this place.

OlieIPA, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of nomomentwasted
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Ho. Lee. Cow.

Whatever you think you need at a beer store, this is it. If you're looking high-end and cutting out the middle-man, then this is your place. No doubt about it, the nicest selection I've seen in San Diego. The depth of amazing beers is huge, and there are assortments from Allagash, Russian River, Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Stone, Alpine, Belgians galore, and so much more. Whew, no doubt, it's worth the trip out there.

Just of the highest end, they have the Rogue Imperials, Cuvee de Tomme, Angel's Share, and Lost and Found (among many others) from Lost Abbey, cases of Sculpin, Pure Hoppiness, Mirror Mirror, Decadence / Yulesmith / Old Numbskull / Grand Cru, Consecration from RR, and so much more. I could've easily spend $200-300 without even thinking about it, but alas, my income is way, way less than that.

If you're willing to make the drive from SD, it's more than worth it, but be ready to pay a tad more on some things, but the selection really is unrivaled. This is really not a 6-pack store either, it's about the bombers and singles, and you really just can't go wrong. Great beer, great service, and great selection. Do yourself a favor and go here (or don't and leave more for me).

nomomentwasted, Jul 19, 2009
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Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA
98 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.