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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 27 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by augustgarage:
4.65/5 rDev +5.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Thus far I've had good luck with non-descript, hard to locate, out of the way industrial buildings for liquor selections in L.A. It started with Wine & Liquor Depot. out by the Van Nuys airport with their jaw-dropping selection of whiskey. Tonight, risking vehicular death on the 101 in the driving rain, I can safely add Wades Wines to my list.
Got there just before closing, and rather than feeling rushed by some weary staff, I was greeted by three very jovial employees, who cracked jokes the whole time I was in there; meanwhile, Jason gave me a guided tour of their beer selection, going back and forth to the register when I picked up bottles I wanted to buy. The staff is the perfect mix of knowledgable, friendly, helpful, and relaxed.
The selection was excellent, featuring a good mix of local brews, unusual Belgian, German, and Scandanavian offerings, among others. Great mix of nearly the full line-ups from Alesmith, Alpine, Lost Abbey, Hair of the Dog, Moylans, Caldera, along with plenty of Russian River, Green Flash, Stone, Rogue, Fish Brewing, etc. and plenty of one-offs and seasonal brews. I also picked up the last three bottles on the shelf of 2007 Thomas Hardy's Ale (a beer I never thought I'd see again!). They seem to do a good job of staying on top of what's available from multiple distributors/sources. Most beers you would expect to be in the fridge, are (though they could expand their fridge size a bit to accomodate the few hefeweizens and IPAs that don't fit in there)...the few green bottles are kept well away from (even artificial) light.
Prices are as good or better than most places in SoCal - and no mark-up on rare-ish bottles. I'll be back!
12-13-2009 06:34:36 | More by augustgarage
More User Reviews:
4.18/5 rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5 | $$
I love Wades Wines. My go-to place when I visit my in-laws. Great selection. Very nice bar area with knowledgeable staff. I like that I can make flights of what I want to taste and find they have some great stuff on draft. Even better is the bottle room. Good selection including some great stuff from hard to find Hair of the Dog and the occasional Russian River. Really great place to go in the Thousand Oaks area..
07-27-2013 02:37:05 | More by ScottieD
3.86/5 rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I wanted to check out Wades since I was in the area anyways. It's a bit of an odd location in that it is a suite within a business park and not a standalone location. Inside it is a bit of a warehouse atmosphere with wine, liquor, and beer. All of the beer is located in the back of the store with some in coolers and some on the shelf. They had a lot of different stuff for sale and the selection is pretty great. Service was average with a hello when I walked in and a "let us know if you have any questions" demeanor. Their prices seemed a bit high compared to other places in SoCal. Overall, a pretty good place to check out but be prepared to spend a bit more than you would like.
03-25-2012 00:43:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.56/5 rDev -19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
Today I consulted Wades' website and found their beer list. I was really excited when I saw they had six Mikkeller in stock I'd never had (Mikkeller is me favourite brewery), as well as some Lost Abbey, Allagash, and Alesmith I hadn't tried.
I drove there from Los Angeles (an hour and a half drive - on a GOOD Sunday).
When I arrived, there was ample parking. The seemingly abandoned strip mall in which it's located is a strong contrast to the flurry of activity I encountered once inside. The crowd is mostly wine fanatics (some annoying, some tolerable).
Sadly, I discovered none of the Mikkeller listed on their website were stocked; this would be excusable if they were merely out of stock and I was too late, but alas, it's their error: they just didn't update their website. Moreover, only common Lost Abbey/Alesmith/Allagash was available; also victims of the bad website maitenance. I can't complain too much because I ought to have called ahead, but it was a big disappointment.
Also problematic is the store's lack of baskets or carts. I had to pull a bottle per hand, manoevre past the (long) line, set them on the counter, and return constantly. There's no excuse for this, and feasibly rarer beers could be snatched from your counter pool while you're not looking. This is a terrible system that they need to change.
There was a nice looking area for tastings off to the side; it looked really cozy but I didn't have the opportunity to venture in as I was driving.
Pricing was pretty high compared to my local LA store (Wally's Wine in Westwood), but compared to my Denver store, California beers were priced pretty low.
When I went they were hugely understaffed, resulting in a long line, but the service I got when at the counter was great. The clerk wasn't the "beer guy", but was very friendly and tried to be as helpful as he could. I spared them a snide remark about carts and baskets because I'm sure they get that all the time.
Overall, while the store strikes me as more of a place for posh housewives to throw down $200 for one bottle of wine on their way back from Whole Foods, it has admittedly good selection - even if they're terrible about keeping their website updated. I might return, but I'll call ahead next time to make sure the beer I want is stocked.
02-20-2012 02:59:05 | More by kojevergas
4.15/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Wades sits in the back of a small commercial complex, and doesn't look like much from the outside, but things change immediately the door is opened. The decor is warehouse chic with wood being the predominant feature. I got a mini tour right after walking in the door. Nice bar area with 41 taps, wine on tap, tables and a surprisingly long bar for just a "bottle shop".
Wine definitely dominates, with an extensive liquor selection taking a close second, followed by beer. I will admit, at first glance I was disappointed in the size of the beer area. Their selection, however, has no filler, like the majority of shops out there. A good mix of great new breweries and specialities. I found more bottles I'd never tried than most stores with larger selections. The whole beer room is at cellar temperature. I didn't have time to sit down at the bar, that'll have to be for another time, because I'll be back. It's a shame it's 40 minutes from my house.
01-13-2012 23:26:07 | More by dbmernin83
4.14/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Wades wines is a little gem in thousand oaks. They have a huge variety of great beers. They also have a huge tasting bar now which has a lot of great beer on draft. Service has always been very friendly though knowledge about beers is only a little above average. Some of the negative things about this store is i have frequently purchased old IPA's. Maybe i have bad luck but when it keeps happening it gets quite annoying. They do get in a lot of limited release beers which is a major plus! Though you will be paying a couple more dollars a bottle. The prices at this place is what really stops me from shopping here more often. This is a great store in an area that does not offer much to the beer community.
01-11-2012 21:06:17 | More by mrbubbler
4.86/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Wades is among the best bottle shops in the Northern L.A./Ventura County area. As the name indicates, its wine selection is its famous boast, but their selection of beer and spirits is as worthy of praise.
One recent important note, they've redesigned their tasting room into a bar for all intents and purposes. They now feature 32 quality craft beers on tap that can be had in 5 oz tasting pours or by the pint, in addition to a bottle list that will pleasure the palatte of any BA looking for a prime example of any style under the sun. They also have 32 wines on tap in the same room, so feel free to bring your girlfriends and wives without having to worry about finding them a beer they like.
The staff is friendly. The beer guy is knowledgeable and helpful and will gladly let you know if they have something stored in the back. They all have a good sense of humor and seem to generally enjoy what they do.
As has been said, the selection, though solid in terms of quality, is limited in terms of quantity. They have limited shelf space for beer, as it appears the damnb winos take up too much. But they'll have some of the best quality brews that can be had in this market in stock on a regular basis. Tastings every thursday, but with the new bar opened, you can taste any day of the week.
08-12-2011 21:22:04 | More by Wreckoncile
4.65/5 rDev +5.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is a fantastic store - not for just beer but also wine and spirits. Over 500 whiskeys and a healthy beer selection. Great store for finding quality beverages off the beaten path. Limited mainstream product selection but fantastic pickings in the experimental and upper end arenas.
Beer tastings on occasional Thursday afternoons - about twice monthly. Wine tastings every Friday and Saturday afternoons (check store for times).
Can be a bit hard to find as it's in a semi-industrial area. All the way down the driveway facing the freeway. Took me awhile to find the place but glad I did. Almost a weekly venture.
02-19-2011 04:34:33 | More by artdob
3.85/5 rDev -12.9%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Wades Wines is an interesting little place.
As others have said, this place is nearly impossible to find. Without being very familiar with the area, or having a GPS (which I did, and it was still confusing) it will be a battle. When you do get there, it is absolutely packed with a wide array of all sorts of alcohol. Beer is the smallest selection.
The selection is very small, featuring some good imports, a lot of CA beer, and a few others. The selection is obviously carefully chosen, focusing on quality of quantity. I picked up some Kern River brews, including Just Outstanding IPA, Speedway stuff including the stout, Midnight Sun Including Treat, and Alpine Nelson and Duet. Overall I took 12 bombers out of here for a total cost of 100.02.
One thing that I really liked is that all of the hoppy beers are refridgerated. Also, the Just Outstanding IPA had a one bottler per person limit.
Service here was very strange. Not bad, attentive actually, but just weird. I walked in and one of the old guys working made an awkward joke before directing us to the beer. The second older gentleman came and asked if we needed help. I replied that I could use a basket or cart and he said "I'm a human cart, just hand things to me." This led to him making a few trips to the front of the store. When not walking to the front of the store, he stood as close to me as possible, just watching me.
When I asked about Russian River stuff, specifically sours, things got even more confusing. He said they might have something, but they might not. He said to name a few and he would tell me. I named every single beer Russian River bottles, and he just gave me strange looks and said maybe, but probably not. I get the feeling there is a stash in the back of this store with the rarer bottles that they hide from the general public. Whether this guy wanted me to bribe him, or if this stuff is just for locals, or if this guy is just plain strange, I have no idea. It was a little bit off-putting though. (I should mention that the store's "beer guy" was not there on this day).
Overall, after my research and traveling, this is a good place to go when you're west of the city because it is the best option. I would not go out of my way to check this place out unless you consider the service to have entertainment value, which you might.
01-19-2011 16:53:39 | More by Hojaminbag
Wades Wines in Westlake Village, CA
96 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.