Big Red Liquors

Not Rated.
Big Red LiquorsBig Red Liquors
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

40 Ratings
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

418 N College Ave
Bloomington, Indiana, 47404-3829
United States
phone: (812) 332-0653

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bigredliquors

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BitteBier)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MikeFox
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of zrab11
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of target88
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of emwild12
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of JISurfer
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I'm spoiled with the Charleston Beer Exchange (look it up). With that said, I thought this was a decent place. They had a healthy local selection of 3Fs and Upland, as well as regional brews. Their selection of Goose Island was very nice, they had most of their "special" brews. Most of that stuff, we don't get down in the Charleston area. They also had a good selection Belgians, as well as beers from the UK and Germany. Store was clean and very well organized. They also had a large selection in the fridgerated area.

Photo of mgeraci
4.86/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This Big Red is awesome. If your a Bloomingtonian you know Big Red is all over the place, but know that or not this is the one to go to regardless of the others. The layout is huge and well organized. The beer selection is great from the commoners to some very good rare brews. I have been working on a list of some of the must try best beers in the world and they had a nice selection of some of these rare brews. This store will have my regular patronage. Keep it up Big Red you do well for a chain!

Photo of thomcatr3t
3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5

It seems to me that this store is most frequently used as a last second shop to pick up a 30 rack of keystone light or some cheap vodka, which is a shame because their beer selection is second to none in Bloomington. A great offering of craft beers that is rotated with some frequency.

The only knock I have with this store is that the employees are 1) not the quickest to help a patron that is looking for craft beer, or 2) when they offer help with craft beer they are often times uneducated.

Edited: They handled the release of CBS atrociously. The fact that their employees are not very helpful to craft beer enthusiasts became even more apparent during this debacle.

Photo of eyeenjoybeer
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This review is for the mothership store, downtown on College Ave.

I remember this store in 1998, when they had bins full of fun Belgian and other imports. Those days are gone. However, in the meantime, the store has been renovated and the selection is likely more catered to the college drinkers (duh) and a few of us beer geeks.

They always have a good selection of Midwest beers: FFF, Founders, Bell's, Two Brothers, etc. as well as fine beers from the West Coast. The workers could stand to be a little better trained about beer styles and availability. Their internet/FB customer service has always been great. Also, they get some special release beers due their high volume of turnover. This makes it worthwhile to look for fun stuff. This is also the place to pick up a cold sixer due to Indiana laws.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The biggest Big Red in town has the best selection. There is a giant beer cave walk in cooler where you can get a large variety of cold sixers, cases and variety packs.

There's a row of single bottles/bombers as well as a refrigerator that has a small selection cold that are pretty good. Nothing too ultra rare, but other than Sahara Mart, it's the best selection in town.

Everytime I've inquired about a particular beer or new release, they've been able to answer my questions or lead me to another on-duty employee to do so.

Photo of bamadog
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%

I got to go visit a friend in Bloomington recently and she was kind enough to take me here so I could check out the beer selection available in the area. Pretty solid place overall, and the best find was definitely some Adam from Hair of the Dog. Woot.

Quality: Nice, a good size store with a decent beer selection -- nice regionals (plenty of Upland, 3F, some stuff from Michigan, some stuff from Missouri like Boulevard), stuff from across the country (Rogue, Stone, etc.) as well as some imports (Rocheforts et. al.).

Service: Didn't really get any help from anybody because I pretty much feel that in a store like this, what you see is what you get. But I feel that if I asked where something may be or about a specific style, they could have referred me just fine or may have a "beer guy/girl" that does the ordering and is more aware that they could have directed me to.

Selection: As mentioned under quality, a nice selection from all over. Not much more to add here.

Value: Like most decent stores with decent selections, you get what you pay for and I feel that it was pretty reasonable. I walked out with a couple of Adams and a 1554 for a buddy and paid like 12 bones for it, which I can live with since HOTD isn't available any closer to me. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

Photo of backfat
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

been wanting to go to this beer emporium for quite some time now. when i visited bloomington, i would ask people where a good place to buy brews could be found (as i often do), and big red was always mentioned. i had gone to big reds smaller locations but never got around to going to this one. wow. beverage depot. i was greeted right away and asked if i could be helped finding something. i kinda went blank and thought about asking for something ridiculous like apocalypse cow from FFF, but i just asked to see what new beers they had. excellent selection, especially warm. new holland (which is a rare one to find in Indiana) was there. founders, FFF, bells, victory, sierra nevada, boulder, dark horse, and a variety of indiana beers. great place. cheers!

Photo of erz316
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

This is the standard joint I go to to purchase beer and other liquor. Having frequented here once a week for many weeks, the staff has come to recognize me and have ceased with the nagging questions when I present two ID's (except on weekends of course). The selection of cold beer does not really interest me, as it is mostly huge blocks of Keystone, PBR, or other such party assets. They always have someone staffed in there for your convenience to help you find your beer quickly and get out of the cold. While browsing the warm beer someone always will eventually ask you if you are finding everything alright. Though not always as knowledgeable on the certain type of beers you are perusing at the time, they do, however, have one man who seems to know damn near everything about Belgians. One thing I really like about Big Red is the selection of glassware they have. though not big enough to deserve a whole section unto itself, they do stock many nice glasses for popular and good brands of beer that need particular types of glassware. They have a good selection of Belgian Trappist ales, a decent variety of weiss beer, and they stock some important standard UK brewers like S. Smith, Harviestoun, and Fuller's. Aside from A good selection of imports, the American beers (craft) are enough to satisfy most; having many of the top California breweries (Rogue, Stone...ktl). I have yet to run out of good, quality beer (or exciting glasses) from this establishment.

Photo of adamhdv
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

This Big Red has always had what I was looking for in stock (that is, if they carry it). Freshness seems to not really be much of an issue as the location of this place keeps it busy. Has a great selection of 6ers and 12 packs, a lot of which are cold too. Pretty big grocery isle row filled with singles too! The service has been good, always offering to help me find something.

Although, if you're not 40...make sure to bring two ID's and answer questions, gets annoying. Especially when the students are in town, dammit.

Worth a look if you're in town!

Photo of mightyjoemoon
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

I'm mainly writing this review to point out to Bloomington drinker's how lucky they are that they have two (including Sahara mart) beer venders which carry an impressive selection of imports and crafts. Big Red has the cold beer and also a better selection of micro brews of the two. The prices are a bit higher here as well but not on everything. I was reading reviews of a liquor store in Fayetteville Arkansas (my wife's home town) and was shocked at how their biggest liquor store had the same rating as Big Red. Big Red carries an order of magnitude more selection of beer than the comparable store in Fayetteville. I also don't know of a comparably good liqour store in Knoxville, Tennesse (my home town).

Big Red carries all the trappists available in the states including the full run of Rochefort and Chimay. They have a good selection of UK ales, German lagers and wheats, Czech pilsners and lagers, and the previously mentioned seasonally rotating and excellent coverage of micros. Basically they have a wide enough selection of beer here that you could come in regularly for 6 years picking out bottles that are new to you and not run out of options.

Sure you have to provide two forms of ID on weekends, fight past hordes of douche bags, and walk through the shadows cast by monuments built out of keystone cases but if you love beer you are lucky that you can come to a store with such a good selection. The staff is also helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.

Photo of maskaggs
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

I enjoy going to Big Red Liquors when I have something besides the standard fare (Bud Light, etc) in mind. When knowledgeable is on shift (which isn't all the time), they're extremely helpful. Their wine selection is impressive, and they carry a good selection of beers. The spirits they have in stock are pretty run of the mill for a store of this size.

BRL also has some great sales, and I've picked up more than one gem on a good bargain here. The prices are definitely reasonable and on a par with the other liquors stores in town; the only annoying thing about shopping at Big Red is frat guys on weekends yelling how f*** hammered they're going to get off Keystone and Heaven Hill vodka. Other than that, a pleasant shopping experience.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -5%

Stopped in here while in Bloomington recently for a trip to Upland. My main reason for stopping was my buddy altering me to the fact that they had Boon Oude Kriek here! Upon entering I was carded quite hard, must be a college town thing, but they wanted two forms of ID!

The beer selection was a good mix of locals and micros with plenty of imports as well. I picked up some Mad River brews I can't get in IL along with some others. Grabbed my Boon Oude Kriek and noticed that they had glassware next to bottles on the shelves which was a nice touch. Just before I left I saw some Barley Island barrel aged bombers in the cooler! Score!

Overall, a good beer store with good variety if you're in the area. The clerk on the floor even took the time to tell me about an upcoming beer fest. I'll stop in here again if I'm in the area.

Photo of jerelwhall
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%

Big Red is THE liquor store for much of the area surrounding Bloomington. Their main purpose is to supply massive quantities of cheap, fizzy yellow to football and racing fans alike. However, their craft and high-quality import selection has become more impressive over the past two years.

A ton of mix-your-own six pack selections and a well-stocked fridge of mid-west craft brew is a huge bonus, not to mention the glassware retail and the fact that you can buy a bottle of great bourbon while pondering your beer selection (or vice verse). They will sometimes get a case or so of really allocated product, and stock enough esoteric stuff year round to constitute regular visitation, but stopping in for beer only is usually an after-thought.

Expect to be asked a dozen obnoxious questions regarding your two forms of ID (even though you may go there once or twice a week), as per the Hoosier law.

Prices are about $1.50 more expensive than their main competition, Sahara Mart, but in a jam, cold beer is golden.

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

Clean and well organized store. I came in here looking for Indiana beer, and left with quite a bit of it. Staff was friendly and helpful. Beer is pretty easy to find here, 1st aisle on the left, and in the left side coolers. Found stuff from Upland, Oaken Barrel, Mad Anthony, 3 Floyds, Mishawaka, also Thirsty Dog, Stone, & Mad River, which I hadn't seen before. Everything wasn't available as singles, but i'd say at least 2/3 were. Good selection of Lambics, snagged a Boon Oude Kriek here, there were also several Hanssens and Cantillon selections. Lots of German, UK, and Belgian beer to be found. One cool thing about this place was that they had branded glassware (even Chimay mini-chalices) on the shelf next to the appropriate beer.

The rare find for me was the Barley Island Bourbon Barrel stout, in bombers for around $6. Overall a great shop for all your beer needs. Check this location out if you're in town.

Photo of toolbrew
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%

I frequented this store while living in Bloomington for 3.5 years. Please note that there are ten(?) other satellite stores in Bloomington, but this is the largest, with the best beer selection, and a walk-in beer cooler.

Also keep in mind that Bloomington is home to Indiana University, and as such, there are loads of Bud, Miller, and other cheaper beers that mean you get more buzz for less money.

Aside from those beers, Big Red has a great selection of microbrews and craft brews. I used to order beer for a restaurant there so I know the distributors they go through and what they have at their disposal.

The walk-in cooler that I spoke of has six packs of just about everything they sell warm. One wall is microbrews, the other are more commercial brews for college kids. In between are kegs and 30-pack cases.

There are several reach-in coolers that have single bottles of about everything they offer. And bombers (22oz) bottles too. Then of course the 40oz bottles. There are also warm singles.

Big Red does a great representation of Stone, Bell's, Upland, Two Brothers, many Colorado brews (not New Belgium), and many other Indiana brews.

They typically have one person working who is in charge of the beer stocking and is very knowledgeable about what you are looking for.

Big Red offers beer tastings here and there. And they also have a great selection of liquor and wine.

For the money I spent I got great bargains. I only wish there were a place here in Michigan that was that cheap. Of course Michigan tax laws are huge.

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.45/5  rDev -41.8%

I had to double-check the address when I got back in the car to make sure I was at the same address as the others who've reviewed this Big Red Liquors (there is more than one store by that name in Bloomington), as I was extremely unimpressed with their selection of crafts and imports. This small-ish liquor store offered two cooler doors of import and craft multipacks with Sam Adams, Heineken, and Corona taking up most of that space. There was an additional cooler door of large single bottles, but most of that space was the same run-of-the-mill brands in multipacks. Highlights of the multipacks were some Upland beers (brewed in Bloomington) and two six-packs from Brooklyn Brewery. In singles, there was Sam Smith, but not much else interesting.

I believe the other Big Red on College (418 N. College) is bigger and I will head over there next. In fact, it would not surprise me if some of the positive reviews for this store on the site were intended for the other store.

The staff asked me if I needed anything, but it was plain to see from the get-go that their selection was interesting so I declined an offer for assistance and headed for the door empty-handed.

Photo of JamesS
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

Came in to pick up supplies for a buddy's bachelor party and ended up spending quite a bit more for my own beer selection. They have a wonderful selection of beers from all over the world in a variety of sizes. Singles and six-packs, cold and non-refridgerated, you can find the best of begian ales and scottish ales to a wonderful selection of US beers, including many Indiana brewed. The employees were also excellent with their help, even if they did not have intimate knowledge of all of their hundreds of beers.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Visited here on several occasions during the holidays and other such in-law events. I think this one is actually 418, or atleast that is what I am reviewing. Located near or on the campus of IU, this is a beer lovers heaven; especially for those out of state where one can find beers not available in ones home state. I always go for the Founders and Bells until recently, and the Stone and DFH WWS and 120min. They have just about everything. Prices are reasonable and cheaper than some places I have seen. They dont allow mixed sixers or breaking up sixers but they have some beers for sale as singles but not necessarily the same ones that are in full sixers. Service is hit or miss. The last time I was in, nobody helped me. The two previous times, someone was there at my beck and call basically. I always make a visit here while in IN, and you should too.

Photo of joe1510
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Stopped in here on a recent visit to U of I. There are a few Big Red stores in Bloomington. The best one is at 418 College. I read some reviews on here so I knew of a good store to stop in. This place was exactly what I was looking for. One LONG isle of American 6-packs with a lot of harder to find seasonals. Across from this isle was long isle of singles, bombers and pints American and English. 5 or 6 cooler doors with a few Belgians, American singles and bombers. Didn't search around the store much. I was in a hurry and on the prowl for some micros that I can't get here in Illinois.

The prices are a little higher than they are around the southern suburbs of Chicago but there was an excellent selection. They also had some closeouts that had my jaw dropping. I bought a couple Rabbid Rabbits for $5.99 a bomber and a couple Morimoto Imp. Pilsner for $5.99. Brian Boru and many others were on closeout too. They were stacked in Bells and Dogfish Head. Case upon case of WWS and 120Min. Not to mention many of the others. Bell's had all the seasonals and a boatload of Hopslam. They carried a ton of Rogue including Old Crusty, Imp. IPA, and Imp. Stout. Many of the local Indiana brewers as well. The day I got there they even got in a shipment of Oaked Bastard.

The staff was helpful and talkative. Knew a good deal about beer and a few others things I asked about. Very professional but friendly at the same time. This place is loaded. I was very impressed.

Photo of Realale
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

As noted by several below (and Big Red's own website . . .) the store to hit is the one at 418 College. The one actually listed in beerfly is a little dive. This one is just a couple of blocks down the road, and well worth the extra effort.

Small supermarket sized store, with a nice big parking lot. About a third to a half of the store is dedicated to beer. The organization is a complete nightmare, so be prepared for some aimless wandering and checking of all aisles to make sure you've covered the selection. For example, I found six packs of Stone IPA in one aisle, a somewhat disappointing selection of Stone Bombers in the coolers, and then a better selection of Stone Bombers in another aisle. Same thing with FFF. Don't know what their thought is, but I found it extremely confusing.

Excellent selection of both domestic and imported beers. Tons of Three Floyds (including bombers of old seasonals being closed out - Brian Boru for $2.99, Rabbid Rabbit for $5.99 anyone? I thought so.), Stone, Bell's, Jolly Pumpkin, Bluegrass Brewing, Dogfish Head, and several local breweries were the highlights for me. Imports were extensive as well, with lots of representation from the Shelton Brothers portfolio, though I didn't spot any Fantôme on this visit.

I'm always a bit concerned about freshness with a selection this big, but those items sampled so far have been top notch. In addition, there were two knowledgeable staffers roaming the beer section to answer stock and freshness questions. They seemed to really know their stock, and their presence was much appreciated. Older stock (see FFF seasonals, above) were being discounted and moved out, which gives some additional confidence. Four cashiers working on a Saturday night was a big plus as well, as they handled the post football game crush with aplomb. Overall, a fine stop when in the area.

Photo of carln26
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%

Realale, nogoodreason, MJR, winomark, and myself stopped by the 418 N. College location of Big Red after Michigan’s victory over Indiana at Memorial Stadium this Saturday. What a great find. The store is conveniently located right on College in downtown Bloomington. I has a huge parking lot (needed, especially on busy game days and nights). The store is rather large, and is split 50/50 between beer, and wine/liquor offerings.

Lots of shelf space (4 large aisles) loaded with brews that can be found in Indiana. They had decent selections of Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, and several other Michigan breweries. Lots of locally produced beer, and a decent selection of Ohio offerings. Some breweries were lightly represented. I had hoped for more selection from Stone, and Three Floyds, but often light selection is more due to the brewery, and the distributor than the store itself. I scored some Thirsty Dog, Siberian night. Really pleased about that.

One complaint was the organization of the beers. Offerings from a single brewery were spread across multiple aisles Perhaps they were trying to organize by the type of beer, but if so, it did not seem consistent.

The staff was helpful (but very busy). Checkout was a breeze as they had 4 lines open. Prices seemed competitive with most places I’ve experienced. I hope I can make it back some time soon.

Just a note. The location at the address listed on this beerfly entry is small, and does not have a good selection. The Big Red at 418 North College is the place to go.

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Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, IN
93 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.