Bella Vista Beer Distributors

Not Rated.
Bella Vista Beer DistributorsBella Vista Beer Distributors
BA SCORE
95
world-class

31 Reviews
Reviews: 31
Visits: 39
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

755 S 11th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147-2613
United States
phone: (215) 627-6465

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2007

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Visits: 39
Photo of papat444
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Came to Philly for a quick day trip to get some Geno's and go visit Rocky! Decided to peek in here.

This is strictly a beer warehouse but what selection they have! Everything from the U.S. (craft-wise) is separated by region. Arcadia, Alesmith, Caldera, Cigar City, Dark Horse, Duck-Rabbit, Elysian, Lost Abbey and countless others. The racks seem to go on forever. The only catch is that everything is sold by the case, even bombers and 750mls. I didn't buy anything because my budget didn't allow it but i sure was drooling at the possibilities. Come here if you have money, it'll be worth it. (596 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Transcribed from notes dated T, 10 August 2010.

I was on a mission on this day. I had received a trade request for Sly Fox CANs and I was getting ready to head to Madison, WI that Thursday so I needed to reload and ship mos' quick. I had a list of all Beer Stores on BA Beer Fly at the time and I decided to visit as many of the ones that offered singles and sixers as I could, taking notes at each one.

I had been in here a few times before, usually to give Jordan Fetzfatzes (the owner) a good-natured bad time. We go 'way back with me having poured for him at numerous PHL beer festivals, especially down at the former Naval Shipyard when I would show up in my dress blue uniform. Today, I wanted to really look around and take some notes.

Located at 11th and Catherine Streets, it is an extensive building starting at the corner and progressing north. I rarely feel compelled to buy a case, but I always like window shopping at the distributors. This place looked like some of the better-run warehouses that I had encountered as a Navy Storkeeper (SK) logistician. Metal racks and shelves were meticulously laid out and organIzed by region of origin. Wow! There were coolers all of the way aft on the left-facing side of the space for selected cold cases. I was most intrigued and inspired by the selection of 5L mini-kegs which qualify as CANs on this site. They have become my new focus on The CANQuest (TM) and on a subsequent visit, I procured one of Bell's Best Brown Ale. Now, if I could just lay hands on a HopSlam ... Singles? Some Belgians to the immediate right of the entry including jeroboams of Chimay Bleu.

The checkout counter was laden with free newspapers, magazines and giveaways along with snacks and cigars for sale. Let's see, beer, snacks and cigars - all that was missing were the women of low moral values and some games of chance and I could have gotten in my vice fix for the day. Hee hee. Also, The Beer Exchange Program exists at the counter for CANs of room-temperature beer that you bring in to exchange for whatever is in the basket at that time. I am told that gems occasionally surface in there. (2,137 characters)

Photo of Soonami
4.35/5  rDev 0%

Pretty reasonable prices for the city. The cases are kept pretty cold, they have a great selection of west coast and import beers. Last time there I saw cases of RR and Lost Abbey corked and caged bottles. Ballast Point, Founders, Bells, and Allagash were also well represented. They have a great selection, but the only catch is that since this is a Philly beer distributor, you have to buy a case of everything. I love Brandy Barrell Angel's Share, but I can't fathom spending about $200 for a case of it. This is not the fault of the store, but archaic PA liquor control board laws.

Great place to look around and buy something you know you'll love for a great price, but you definitely cannot buy a single or bomber to try. So I would recommend Bella Vista to the educated buyer that knows what they want or for small groups of people to split cases, but otherwise it's not the best store for many people. (910 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

I've bought a lot of beer here, and not only has all of it been stuff I was dying to get, it has all been in fantastic shape and very reasonably priced. Best beer distributor in Philly, hands down. The ONLY place i know of on the east coast to buy things i don't even want to mention for fear of other bas catching on... you have to buy a case at a time, but you will get the bottles for much less than what they are on the shelf. Awesome. If you're in Philly and you don't stop by, you are missing out. (503 characters)

Photo of erosier
4.35/5  rDev 0%

Walk in and it is very inviting. The place is clean, very well organized, and has a much higher selection of crafts than I was expecting. There was Russian River, Avery, Flying Fish, Dark horse, a whole lot of stuff that I didn't think I would be able to find. Kind of an overwhelming selection because you gotta buy a case of whatever it is, but really good. I could spend an entire afternoon in this place.
The quality was good and the prices seemed fair. Everything was divided by region so the local stuff had a large selection which I liked and also inevitably gives the consumer a small education where everything is from. I've been to places where people don't know where something is from and they just call it an import which drives me nuts. The selection seemed good and it looked like a good place to go, I would go back the next time I am in the area looking for a case of craft beer. The service was good, they have carts out for those looking for more than a few cases (like myself).
If you're in the area, try this place out. (1,040 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

This is the best beer distributor in Philadelphia, especially since they moved across the street into the newer bigger building.

The selection is incomparable, carrying an incredible amount of American craft as well as a huge selection of imports. Once you walk in there is a whole section of the store on the right hand side that is exclusively dedicated to Belgian beers. They frequently get in beers that I don't see anywhere else.

The folks here are responsible for getting a lot of excellent rare beers, especially from the west coast, into the Philadelphia are market. Jordan does a hell of a job bringing these brands in and in the last year or so has stepped it up by landing all kinds of amazing beers.

The service is always very friendly and knowledgeable. Every time I'm in there it seems like I spend more time talking about beer than actually shopping for it. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for rare cases in the Philly area. (960 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

Bella Vista is one of THE must beer distributors not only in Philadelphia but in PA. A major player in the import distribution field the folks at BV are on top of their game. Jordan and company are always striving to bring in new, quality, interesting and innovative breweries into PA.

I have ALWAYS received great service from the staff. Always with a, can I help you and have you tried this or maybe you would be interested in that.

They carry just about everything they can. So, while not perfect, as no one distributor in PA can, BV is about as close as you can get.

With the year old new digs, just across the street from the dirty, run down old place, the atmosphere of the shop is a HUGE step above what you use to encounter. (735 characters)

Photo of Michadelphia
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%

I have a few locations in NJ and Philly that I frequent for beer. Bella Vista is above and beyond the biggest and best selection that I know of. The prices are reasonable but I have found cheaper prices elsewhere for a few brands. However, I do feel more comfortable paying a few more dollars for something that I know is fresh. I have been burned by the cheaper case of Yards or Victory at other stores. You know that the beer has been taken care of at Bella. Since the new store was built, I haven't gone anywhere else. Especially on Sundays! (544 characters)

Photo of MSL94
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

I made a visit to Bella Vista during the weekend and I have to say it was well worth the trip over the bridge to do so. Usually, residents of PA will migrate to NJ to make beer purchases because of the price; however, I went into PA due to the fact that there are several brands that are not available in NJ. I was very impressed by the setup of the store in which all beers are grouped according to its region or state. There were a few employees who offered assistance during the time I was there and they were very knowledgeable of what brands were in stock. A number of the beers that I tried at the ACBF were available at Bella Vista; however, I specifically came over to find Harpoon's UFO White, which was not a problem. All I can for those of us who live in NJ and visit Philly on a regular basis, it is definately worth it to stop by Bella Vista. (855 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

This place is unbelievable! Their selections is amazing including two deep rows of American micros, many of which I have had trouble findng elsewhere. In addition there are entire rows dedicated to German/Eastern European brews, traditional UK/Ireland stuff, and of course Belgians. A number of excellent cases can even be purchased cold if you wish.

The staff is knowledgable and willing to offer great recommendations based on experience. You're also bound to run into some other advocate in this store to engage in some quality conversation.

In addition there is even a nice selection of glassware and beeraphenalia in the front of the store.

I have a few friends in South Philly and always make it a point to grab a case for the road that I cannot find in CT.

Stop here if you can. (792 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
4.35/5  rDev 0%

Given the stupidity of Pennsylvania's beer laws (case-only at beer distributors, with sixpacks and singles available only at bars and restaurants at shockingly inflated prices), Bella Vista is as good as it gets in Philadelphia for beer fans.

The new store, opened in 2008, is huge, bright, and friendly. The selection is simply the best in the city, with an astonishing collection of cases, including cases of 22 oz bottles of unusual beers, such as Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Avery's limited Ale to the Chief (expect to pay a LOT for these cases, but at least they are available). The 12 ounce cases include almost everything you can get in this part of Pennsylvania, from the macro stuff, to all the locals, to national winners like Bells and North Coast. A nice selection of imports, including Belgians (again, if you have to ask how much it costs, you shouldn't be buying - but at least they have it available).

Except for the exotic imports and the Bomber cases, the prices are competitive with other distributors in the city.

The store also includes a nice selection of beer accessories, including fun beer glasses, and the standard non-alcoholic beverage selection.

The staff is friendly and loves to talk beer.

Parking, which is never a minor issue in this part of town, is plentiful and convenient. (1,323 characters)

Photo of william5586
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

This is not the closest distributor to me, but it is well worth the extra drive. They have a great selection of hard to find beer along with a very helpful and knowledgeable staff.

The only complaint i have is that prices are not listed in the isles. This is only a slight inconvenience however. There is a clipboard at registers with all the prices that you can take as you look around.

I found out about the grand opening of their new building back in or October (across the street from their old one) though BA and decided to check it out. I was expecting a small tasting and a quick look at the new store. When i arrived it was a mini beer fest/block party. Amazing beer, food, and music all for free. I really cant say enough good things about this place and the owners. (779 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev 0%

Bella Vista has certainly come a long way since I first visited them, and the new building just across the street from where they used to be is the icing on the cake. They've continued to grow their selection along with the microbrew market, and although I've tasted and reviewed thousands of beers in my day they've actually got some things that I've missed. The service is good and the prices are normal. It used to be that I would be in this part of town I would go to another big distributor (that will go unamed), now I go to Bella Vista. (543 characters)

Photo of BWH3
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Just came back from the grand opening of the new store. Was a nice free tasting.

Quality is top notch. Beers are fresh and plentiful. The selection of cold cases is expanded quite a bit. The shelves are not fully stocked and I am sure things are only going to get better. The friendly service and devotion to customer satisfaction is what this place has always staked its reputation on and that has not changed one bit. The new space is open and roomy and well laid out. They have even set aside a section for Belgian beers. (525 characters)

Photo of LunaChick
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

As a bar owner I normally shy away from reviewing places. I have to make an exception here. The guys at Bella Vista have saved my ass a couple of times. Not only that they have been very helpful in terms of helping me select what I have on tap and in bottles. Several of my selections have been on a reccomendation from them and I have yet to be disappointed. The selection is very good also. They have a great selection of local beer as well as beer from all over including great imports. Service is exceptional. We had a problem with a keg and one of the guys came over within an hour to fix it. We got a bad keg from another place (nothing against the other place, these things happen)but it would have meant having an empty line thru the weekend if we waited for a replacement. I called at 3pm and had BV there with something by dinnertime. And they know beer. Really know it. Whether you are an owner of an establishment or just someone looking to pick up a case of good beer this is definately a good place to go. (1,019 characters)

Photo of sconsi
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%

This place is definitely worth the trip. Came up to move into our new apartment in Philly and stopped by to pick up some refreshments on the way.

Parking may be hard to find, and we weren't sure where to enter (there's no door, just a big opening). Once we got through the doors it was beer heaven. A giant warehouse with beer stacked from floor to ceiling.

For your more common cheaper beer the price was nothing special, but prices were very reduced for higher quality beers. They even have the rebate forms out for many of the brands, which no one does anymore.

The selection was also exceptional. I really didn't look at all of the microbrews, but they had a ton. This place is the place to go if you want German beer. They had every German beer you could ask for, and at a great price.

The only problem with this store is the pretty much everything is sold in cases, so no buying just one. But for the prices, it's worth buying the whole case. (955 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

This is a great place to stop for beer if you live near here and worth the journey if you don't. I had been meaning to stop in and a business meeting at the Linc gave me the opportunity.

BV is located in an old warehouse in the, um, Bella Vista section of Philly, a few blocks south of downtown, and a few blocks north of South Philly. It's a working warehouse, filled front to back and floor to ceiling with beer. I had to move out of the way of a forklift two or three times on my visit on a busy Friday.

There is a great selection of craft beers, including a wide variety of PA brewers and some craft beers that BV is the master distributor for.

What really sets the place apart from others is the service. Jordan is very friendly, knowledgeable and fun to talk beer with. Even though the place was jumping, he was happy to put aside a half hour to chat and show off the place. The commitment to customer service among all the staff is very high.

Prices seemed very reasonable, too.

HV (995 characters)

Photo of tyboxr
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

Just did a major buy here and could not have had a better experience! Even before it was known that I was making a buy the owners sons spent a great deal of time talking beers with me. They took the time to walk around the store and discuss any beer I had a question about. As they learned more about my taste in beer they soon pointed me in the direction of some great surprises (Voodoo, Saint somewhere). Even going so far as to lend a laptop so I could cruise beeradvocate while shopping there! They opened a few of their latest additions to share with me and provided a wealth of information about all of the products. Bella Vista has been there about 25 yrs and its not due to luck! Its obvious they like the work and are ready to become THE location for great beer, great service and reasonable prices. Its worth the drive to check this place out! I came all the way from Central PA, bypassing the (in)famous Shangy's and it was worth it! (944 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

This is another good place in south/center city philly that seems to get better and better each time I stop in. A nice large open warehouse greets patrons. Setup is easy to navigate and employees are very helpful. Not sure of the beer knowledge as I am usually looking to pick up something particular, but very friendly. The selection is the standard local PA brews, with a great national craft selection as well. Always well stocked with interesting beers and have been there on more than one occasion when there is a tasting. The prices seem a little bit ($1-2/case) more than other local stores (society hill and bell's beverage) but thats probably because they are the closest stop to center city.

Overall, a great setup, nice service and good selection, but the prices seemed a bit high. (793 characters)

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

8/17/09 EDIT: Things have changed. Selection has become certifiably "Mind Blowing", as far as distributors are concerned. I have revised scores accordingly.

2/19/08 ORIGINAL:
This is my place in Philly (when I splurge on cases). I've only been in here a handful of times but I get treated like an old local every time.
Tonight I was there and saw some good selection - i.e. Green Flash IPA, Bells (but no hopslam damnit!), lots of Stone (IPA, Ruination, AB), 120 min (~$159) and other DFH, Avery, Flying Dog, Great Divide, many many more, an entire row of the locals and great selection of Belgians, Germans and beyond. I suppose this selection doesn't qualify as mindblowing, but was more than enough to give me options I've never had the chance to try. I don't need mindblowing. I need a solid place, clean with a professional staff. BVBD has it. Pretty exciting.

The staff here are very knowledgeable, very friendly. Willing to look up endless prices and chat about beer. Beer culture is alive and well here.
Well organized, roomy. Fresh beer every time.

Also, I spied the Bells Two Hearted 5L "mini keg". Very cool, wish I would've bought it. (1,149 characters)

Photo of bpelowski
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%

I went to this place a couple weeks ago after seeing the review on this site and realizing that this place was really not too far from my apt in center city. I'm glad I checked it out. Very good selection of PA locals, plenty of Dogfish Head and a solid selection of Belgians (De Dolle, St. Bernardus, Chimay, etc). They also had some sampler cases - the one that caught my eye in particular was the Weyerbacher big beer one that had Blithering Idiot and a couple other of their big beers in it. I didn't have any interaction with the staff other than to pay for my case of 90 minute IPA. I'm getting a car soon so I'll be able to start going here a bit more often. (665 characters)

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Bella Vista Beer Distributors in Philadelphia, PA
95 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.