Spec's Liquor Warehouse
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev +19.1%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I am from New England aka Taxachusetts, also know as Massachusetts. I went to Spec's on the recommendation of this crazy lady friend of mine. She kept saying the selection was grand and the service was exemplary. I didn't believe her because she was a drunk and prone to showing her tits at a drop of a hat. However, when I walked in to the store for the first time, I was astonished, aka. I shit my pants. Selection, Selection, and plenty of selection. I could not believe the sheer amount of beers they had to spare. I resisted the temptation to crack open a beer and drink in the aisles. The only thing that pissed me off was that I was unable to get a Bully Porter from Boulevard Brewing without purchasing a sample pack for $16 bucks. I love that beer. Otherwise the selection was exemplary. I bought enough beers to get a small army drunk. I even saved a couple of dollars by paying in cash. I wholeheartedly recommend this place, and if you manage to get down there ask them if you can sample a beer, they might just crack one open for you..
09-19-2008 05:52:31 | More by LiquidSnake
3/5 rDev -16.9%
quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Spec's is a wine and liquor store chain based out of Houston that has multiple locations in Austin, and this review is for the Airport Blvd location. The focus of the store seemed to be liquor, with wine having the second most space, and beer a respectable but distant third. The beer was on the left side of the store, with a few cooler units closer to the front of the store that were stocked with beer and a few areas of shelving towards the back of the store.
Quality - Most of the beer here is stored on regular shelving instead of in cooler units. Some of the beers we bought from this location had turned, so it made me wonder if the temperature in the store in general is kept within a relatively safe range. The place is essentially just a big warehouse with air conditioning, and the hot Texas weather could play havoc with the beer over time. Some of the bottles looked like they had been on the shelves for a while or had been handled in less than optimal conditions, with some visible dust and dirt and torn labels on several bottles.
Service - The service here was of big box store quality. Most of the visible employees were working cash registers, and no one seemed interested in talking with the customers but rather with yelling across the store at one another over the heads of the customers. Spec's has a policy of charging people extra for paying with a credit card instead of cash, so keep that in mind if you intend on shopping here.
Selection - There were a variety of European beers available, with more selections from the British Isles than from the rest of Europe, including a decent variety from Young's, Wells, and Belhaven. There were the usual Belgian selections, and Unibroue from Canada. Local Texas brews from Shiner were here, and a lesser selection from St. Arnold's and Independence as well. There were more products from the macros here than I had hoped to find, from the usual name brands to the seasonals-of-questionable-value.
Spec's was worth the trip since our friends needed a few varieties of liquor for their apartment, but it was somewhat disappointing as a beer store. The prices weren't too high, but it would have been nice to know about the whole cash thing before getting to the store. I would go to Central Market or The Grapevine before going here again, but it also wasn't a complete waste of time.
04-03-2008 20:44:46 | More by kensuthe
4.15/5 rDev +15%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
It's been six months since I've reviewed this and need to make some updates. I've been pleasantly surprised by Specs lately.
The staff has been much more helpful than when I initially reviewed this. Also, the beermanager is on the BA forum and lets us know when they get new beers in.
- The "good" beers are not in the fridge , they are on shelves next to the refrigerated beers.
- The deli counter is excellent. I've had several tasty sandwiches there.
- I also like the cheese selection. They have several cheeses that have just a Specs label, like they get them from small cheesemakers and wrap them up. I picked up some Chimay cheese there that was excellent with our BA beer tasting night. Tonight I found a french cheese, St. (I can't remember the name) that had a great aroma, nutty, complex, reminded me of St. Nectaire. The only thing was that the "Sell By" date was a week ago. I asked the deli guy if I could get a discount or something since I was willing to risk my health for good cheese and he said no. I hope they just don't change the "sell by" date like some stores do. I may check up on that later....
- They have this weird cash policy that they charge you extra if you use a credit card. I usually pay cash, but I don't often carry around enough cash when I do a beer run so I have to pay a 5% penalty to pay with visa.
I'll keep going to Specs because the prices are good and they are conveniently located so I can stop after work and avoid some traffic.
03-18-2008 03:37:47 | More by JonathanL7890
4/5 rDev +10.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Spec's, as I am told, is a chain of liquor stores that hails from Houston. I don't know what the type of store was that was there before Spec's moved in, but it has a warehouse feel to it.
They have an all-around good selection. They have a lot of liquor, wine, and an okay selection of beer. Grapevine Market has the market down pretty tight on selection - there is no one in town that has a larger selection than Grapvine. Spec's comes in a close second. The part where Spec's definitely lacks is the fact that they don't sell single 12oz. brew.
Their service is very good. They have a policy of not taking a beer out of a customer's hands, even if it sucks (and I wish they would tell me if they thought a beer sucked - it would make their service seem more genuine), but they always make a suggestion for another brew that is similar in style. I never would have tried Avery's Maharaja if it wasn't for a Spec's salesman suggesting it after seeing my basket full of Hercules DIPA. Levi "the Beer Guy" has always been extremely helpful every time I have gone in.
Their prices are alright. Some stuff is more expense there than other places, and sometimes not. Kind of hit or miss.
Overall a decent place to buy beer.
10-09-2007 04:20:05 | More by MiguelMandingo
4/5 rDev +10.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Spec's from Houston now has a store in Austin. It's a big warehouse-like affair on Airport Blvd, just south of Highland Mall. Easy access from I-35, but take the 2222 West exit, not Hwy 290 (the Spec's website says the store is at Airport and 290, but from I-35, 290 goes east only and if you take a 290 exit, it's not easy turning back).
The inside of the store is even more warehousey than the outside. I actually like the open grid layout, but the concrete and fluorescents give it a pretty cold, parking-garage vibe. Beer coolers take up the whole left wall, with macros in the first half, craft past the door to the inner cooler where the cases are. The coolers end before the back of the store, but there's more beer on shelves hidden in the back left corner. You might miss this part if you're not paying attention. And on my visit there were beers on the shelves that weren't in the coolers.
The selection seems pretty complete: no glaring omissions. They lose a half-point, though, for not offering the 12-oz beers in singles. This will probably keep me from shopping here, even if it is on my way home from work.
So: good location, good quantity and variety, no 12-oz singles.
01-12-2007 16:26:20 | More by kbub6f
Spec's Liquor Warehouse in Austin, TX
85 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.