Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev -9.5%
With a stout tasting coming up with some East Coast friends, I wanted to try to find something unusual I could bring back from the NW. After a less than satisfactory experience at the Metro and Tacoma Boys, we made the short drive over to Federal Way and 99 Bottles. I am very glad we did.
99 Bottles is located in a small shopping center, and from the outside looks like any other liquor store you'd find next to the barbershop and grocery store. However, once you walk in, you realize you've walked into something pretty special. The store is completely devoted to beer; craft beer and imports in particular. The left side and back walls consist of cold boxes loaded with craft beer and imports from all over, but then with stacks of 6 packs and bombers in large display areas in the middle back area of the store. The selection here is truly amazing, and I suspect represents pretty much everything that is brought into the area by local distributors. They had an excellent selection of RR sours, and their selection of DFH beers I saw on display would rival most stores on the East Coast. This is also a great place to find limited release beers from local NW breweries; my impression is that if a brewery makes something that is released into normal distribution, then you will find it here. Add to that a nice selection of glassware and various beer schwag, plus 5 or 6 beers on tap for growler fills, and you know you are in one high quality store.
Prices seemed reasonable (about the norm for the area), with growler prices in the $10 to $12 range. As for service, it's really difficult to gauge. There were just two people working on the Saturday afternoon I stopped by, with one employee manning the cash register and the other stocking beer. I assume they could probably answer most questions if you had any, but this is not the sort of store where you can expect to have employees coming up to you and asking if you need any help. At least that's the impression I had based on my one Saturday afternoon visit (hence my "average" service score).
No matter, the selection here is outstanding, and there's no doubt I'll be back again soon. On the day I was here there had to be at least 20 customers wandering around the store, most of them with looks on their faces that suggested they had somehow fallen asleep and woken up in beer heaven. I suspect the same look was on my face as well. This place is great.
06-25-2012 13:24:35 | More by John_M
4.55/5 rDev -1.9%
99 Bottles is an outstanding craft beer store. The location is a bit surprising in a very commercial shopping area where everything is a franchise. But this beer-only establishment is anything but corporate.
The selection is extensive and extremely well displayed. It's neat, organized and well presented. Every beer has a tag with some basic info including a description, price and abv. And more than half is refrigerated. I picked up a RR Temptation to haul back to NC. Unfortunately they were out of Pliny.
99 Bottles is a fantastic store and well worth a trip from just about anywhere.
01-08-2010 03:45:50 | More by GJ40
4.6/5 rDev -0.9%
A: I'd probably own stock in this place by now if they went public with an IPO. Walking in it's usually busy, all hours unless you catch them as soon as doors open. So do not be alarmed if they don't immediately greet you. The place is cozy and casual, plenty of light, good vibe, lots of local support and smaller weekly events make this a great beer destination. Overall, the atmosphere is good and the amiance is nice.
Q: I have consumed hundreds of beers from this place none have been less than stellar on quilaity. Half of the beer is properly stored in coolers with the rest on shelves but at room temp
S: Good, never had bad service, not even on the busiest day but they do become quickly overwhelmed which speaks volumes for the establishment. If you don't know, ask, they will answer. Just don't ask a dumb arse question about vintage Tequiza or a growler of Dos Equis to go.
S: Very good, they usually fget everything you want and more. Cases of Sucaba, Parabola sit on the floor begging to be hauled out. It is a beer destination!
No food here but some buts and those types of things. Glassware, beer schwag and kegs to go plus the counter pressure growlers are a nice bonus!
06-25-2012 14:17:19 | More by barleywinefiend
4.5/5 rDev -3%
It appears I have found the upside to being on a client assignment in Tacoma - it would be near impossible to imagine venturing down here from Seattle on a regular basis due to the proximity of other options.
99 bottles is very much in a mall - the air smells of grill from a nearby restaurant and there is lots of hustle and bustle in the after-work hours. What's inside the doors of 99 bottles is pretty special though.
Much like most of the best beer stores I've been to in the world, this place aint big. A wall of coolers has a heavy focus on singles and bombers spanning anything you can find in Washington. Schooner growlers, boundary bay bottles, Harmon bottles and lots of things I have yet to even discover. The import selection is decent - the belgian stash cant compete with other parts of the country but there is competitive with other Seattle spots.
The dry storage area had lots of good stuff - boulevard brett saison, strange Epic beers not logged on this site yet, stone collaborations, things from dogfish head i havent heard of, russian river wild ales, and so forth.
I'm not on the Bottleworks hate-wagon like some are but it doesnt appear to be the only game in town anymore with the emergence of 99 Bottles, Chucks, and other places I have yet to make it to.
The service was overwhelmed with a tasting that was going on at the time, but I preferred to just browse anyway.
07-28-2011 16:13:03 | More by dirtylou
4.84/5 rDev +4.3%
I have to be honest... I liked place way more than any place I went to buy beer in Portland. The people there not only interested in beer, but the satisfaction of their customers in a good experience. There were beers on the floor and an wall of coolers efficiently packed with bombers on the east side of this rather thin mall store. If you want something obscure, they try to get it here, as I picked up beers from breweries I never heard of and were relatively new. Not sure on their ability to get hard sought after beers but I did pick up a few releases by Midnight Sun.
12-03-2011 18:32:10 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
4.7/5 rDev +1.3%
I took a short drive from Fort Lewis to Tacoma with a friend after learning about 99 bottles. Upon entry the line of beer coolers immediately gets your attention. The place is set up very nicely and is appealing to the eye. The wooden shelves with singles and six packs are well stocked. The experience was a little overwhelming with such a great selection. I found myself in a state of vertigo after I returned to the place I entered a few times to review the options.
The service was friendly and I couldn't find anything out of line as far as pricing goes. I chose a Caracole and an old chub stick lip moisturizer to go along with my liquid purchases. I was highly impressed and will most certainly be returning the next time I am in the Tacoma area.
06-17-2007 03:43:05 | More by Slatetank
4.03/5 rDev -13.1%
Was really blown away by this place. As I recall, about 95% of their stuff are in coolers. I think anything can be purchased in singles, although I still would like to see more 6 pack selection, this seems to be a downward trend in availability.
Totally inconspicuous location. Wide open floor plan inside. They had all kinds of gems of selection. I mean, I got my first Southern Tier stuff here (3000 miles away), and it was still delicious. Anyways, after spending almost an hour going through the store and spending way more than $100, the dude at the register allowed me to pick out some pint glasses for free. Wish I was in the area more often. This is a world class bottle shop.
I mean, 99 bottles, Hollingshead, Discount Liquors . . . its in that elite grouping of retailers.
EDIT: On my second trip, they didn't give me anything free, and they get even stingier with the cardboard you wanna take. Still, I'm gonna keep shopping there, but its not quite as elite as my first impression, at least service wise.
08-13-2010 19:01:06 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5 rDev -3%
Located in a fairly busy mall, this is certainly one of the better bottle shops I've been in. Obvious care has been put into taking care of product re UV lighting. Really nice selection, especially hard to find Washington breweries and their one-off products. Good selection of Lost Abbey products (sadly not available in OR) they had a pretty big stack of Red Poppy, right next to the full range of bottled RR sours. A small wine selection. They had a $1 taster special, the day I visited they were doing stouts, really small pours (2 oz.) though. Very knowledgeable and caring staff. Given relative proximity Sea-Tac, this is a very worthy stop for the traveling BA. Reasonable prices with a Facebook check-in discount of 10% on 6 bottles of same product, though the bastardly 9+% sales tax cuts into any value priced bottles. Highly recommended.
03-18-2011 18:16:26 | More by jdense
99 Bottles in Federal Way, WA
100 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.