Bella Vista Beer Distributors
Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
3.54/5 rDev -19.4%
Warehouse atmpsphere. Isles and isles of cases of craft and macro beer on the shelves. The front section has a small area for the current "seasonals" also in cases as well.
The quality is a as good as can be expected. Numerous brands and some decent rarities. I saw a case of Tilquin Gueuze, Stone Imperial Mint Chocolate Stout and various beers I can normally not find in Jersey like Great Lakes and Bells regular and seasonal release.
Service was non-exisitent. Guy sat at the counter and I could tell he had no idea what was up. Did let me friend use the bathroom which was nice I guess.
Prices were super super reasonable and a great value. Only problem is that you need to buy a case which is hard when you are visiting the area and are traveling via foot, cab or mass transit. Worth a stop if you have a vehicle but dont mock yourself and go without means of carrying one or multiple cases of beer.
12-03-2012 15:41:08 | More by claspada
3.88/5 rDev -11.6%
Bella Vista is a great supplier in the Philly area, and you have to give them a lot of credit. They keep the good craft beer flowing, and help bring the rarities in for events like Philly Beer Week.
The actual retail store is located at 11th & Fitzwater, an easy walk from South Street, and just across the street from Hawthorne's. Not much to say in the way of atmosphere, as it's pretty much just a warehouse, but things are set up nice and neat and in a generally organized fashion. Service is fine and prices are reasonable. Beer selection is just fine, however, seeing how this is PA with our ridiculous archaic alcohol laws, it's still cases only here. So you really have to want what you're drinking, because you're dedicating yourself to a whole case of it if you buy here. They also keep a nice selection of glassware, with typical pints going for around $3. I picked up a Dark Horse and a Cigar City pint during a visit here once.
So basically, if you want a case of Dogfish Head or Troegs or Founders, this place is fine. If you're jonesing for a bomber or a mix-n-match 6-pack, look elsewhere...like Hawthorne's for example.
06-10-2012 08:55:14 | More by Rifugium
3.23/5 rDev -26.4%
A fairly convenient location, which is not very far from center city. As some of you may know, since this is a distributor, if you buy beer here, its going to be a case. That in itself, is a big turn-off to me, but that is the Pennsylvania law. Selection is good, including Great Lakes, Stone, Anchor, Sly Fox, Brooklyn and many more. Their prices are really up there however, for most people a case here is going to be cutting into a good slice of your paycheck. And this was paired with non-existent customer service. From the truck drivers who nearly collide with you while rolling dollies to the cashiers who do not even say hello when you walk in or leave. But, if you got the $, its worth picking up a couple cases.
05-13-2012 21:08:01 | More by mltobin
4.08/5 rDev -7.1%
The famous Bella Vista Beer Distributors!
A beer-case paradise, with 13 aisles of all things beer divided by regions. They have a bit of everything, from the rarer names like Lost Abbey, Duck Rabbit and Russian River to locals like Weyerbacher (I so wanted that case of Double Simcoe!!) and Victory, plus Dogfish, Stone and all the big names in the craft world.
If you have the money to blow in, let's say, a $215-plus-tax case of Lost Abbey Deliverance, by all means do so! But there is also cheaper stuff, I remember buying a case of Dogfish 90 for around $40 a couple of years ago.
Service is nice, although I only saw the guy at the checkout register and not a "beer guy" cruising the aisles, but he was nice and helpful and had no problem explaining the infamous Pennsylvania case law. I'm sure he answers questions about it every other day!
If you have a car and money, come here and stock up. Then walk to Hawthornes for some singles and a growler.
02-16-2012 00:17:07 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.36/5 rDev -0.7%
This place is a huge warehouse type distributor. They carry Cigar City, Russian River, Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, and most other highly sought after breweries that distribute to Pennsylvania. Prices are decent. They had cases of month old Jai Alai for $35 which I thought was a steal. They also sell tons of other beverages and some glassware. They also had a pretty big section in the front which was devoted to pumpkin beer. Probably like 30+ different breweries. Spent a long time in the place walking down every aisle two times because I didn't want to miss anything.
The best case distributor in Philadelphia.
09-06-2011 19:17:00 | More by IdrinkGas
4.3/5 rDev -2.1%
I stopped in here earlier today after the Monk's - Cantillon event.
Upon entering I realized that this is not a small place. Lots of aisles filled with all kinds of beers from all over the world. Most of the beers were clearly labeled with the info and prices but some didn't have either. As far as the service goes, I didn't see a single employee the entire time I was inside the store. It wasn't until I was leaving that someone finally came out of their office to help a fellow customer who had been waiting at the register for quite some time before they even noticed him.
The quality was very good. Most of the cases I was interested in where pretty fresh and reasonably priced. They also had some pretty cool glasses up at the register. While the quality was good, the selection was great. From cases of Russian River, Founders, and Bells to cases of belgians like Rochefort 10 and Saison Dupont, you would be hard pressed to find a better selection of cases.
Overall they have one of the best selections of case beer I have seen but the service can be a bit hit or miss it seems. I will return in the future.
08-08-2011 23:12:40 | More by orangesol
4.74/5 rDev +8%
So this is the great bella vista I've heard so much about. I was hyped and this place didn't disappoint. Although it was extremely hot in there (I guess no air conditioner) I decided to start my search. All of the beer is seperated by region. The California and west coast aisle is all the way to the left. That is what I came here for. The local section was stacked with some goodies.The other aisle's I didn't venture too. Although the west coast was stacked I didn't have alot of money to spend so I ended up getting a case of Jai Alai for $38. The other thing that got me was how clean this place was. I've gone into alot beer distributors but I can't remember one not having at least a spec of dirt,or piece of cardboard lying around. Very well kept. The atmospshere was uncomfortable do to the the excessive heat and it did seem to have an effect on the employees. Other than that this is a beer mecca.
07-24-2011 20:18:17 | More by TheFightfan1
4.28/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
05-28-2011 18:58:24 | More by papat444
5/5 rDev +13.9%
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.
01-22-2011 13:10:48 | More by woodychandler
4.35/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
07-28-2010 05:22:47 | More by Soonami
Bella Vista Beer Distributors in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.