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Big Red Liquors

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

38 Ratings
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.38%
[ 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: 38 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamhdv
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

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!

adamhdv, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of mightyjoemoon
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

mightyjoemoon, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of maskaggs
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

maskaggs, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of jerelwhall
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%

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.

jerelwhall, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

emerge077, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of toolbrew
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%

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.

toolbrew, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.45/5  rDev -41.7%

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.

BeerBelcher, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of JamesS
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

JamesS, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

SaCkErZ9, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of joe1510
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

joe1510, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of Realale
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

Realale, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of carln26
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

carln26, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of Dithyramb
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Shopped at this Friday at ~11. I had just incorrectly stopped into the “other” Big Red Store, which also happens to be on College Avenue, just about four blocks up. Though the help was super friendly and helpful at that location, they really didn’t have that wide of a selection (I was walked around the store with highlights on the best offerings. After asking about other shops in town, they directed me to the correct Big Red, and were cool enough to return the sixer I had just purchased).

This one is more shopping store-like, with carts and multiple aisles. Gigantic parking lot for those who care about those things; school was out and it was early, not sure if it matters in a town like this. There was an entire aisle of six-packs to choose from (including one of those mini-kegs of Oberon that I contemplated stuffing in my carry-on), an entire aisle of build your own singles, and a couple of cold boxes in the back. I got a ’06 Vertical Epic to include with a load of Bells and Founders brews to take back home. Had some Belgians, Brits, and other internationals to complement the regional mix of micros.

Not sure what to really put down for service. Unlike the other Red that I scoped out, this one’s service was pretty much non-existent. There was a guy milling about the liquor aisle and a heavily tattooed girl on the counter, but otherwise no one around. In their defense, it was early. Everything was bagged and charged properly. I had grabbed a couple of things from the six-pack aisle that weren’t in the singles for my “build-your-own” and it wasn’t a problem (the entire selection is properly named and stored in their inventory).

Quality seemed spot on and the rotation in the selection seemed apparent.

Overall: Great selection in a centrally located store. It was definitely the perfect place to stock up for the trip home.

Dithyramb, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of swamiswamu
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

This place has improved considerable in the few short years since I graduated. The new renovations feature a huge walkin fridge with a wide variety of regionals, ie Bells, Upland, Great Lakes, FFF, etc, etc. Prices are very reasonable, esp. for Rogue bombers. Above all the staff seems to care about the selection. The checkout attendant was visibly excited about my pruchase of Barley Island Boubon Aged Oatmeal Stout, which turned out to be incredible. My only complaint is they no longer have cases of Rheinlander in returnable cases. Oh well.

swamiswamu, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of GreenWBush
3.95/5  rDev -6%

This store is patriotically gaudy: you'll see its blazing red, white, and blue from blocks away. In fact, you might think that this place is a supermarket if you didn't know you were in a college town.

I happened upon the store on a Saturday night, and to my shock and surprise they were looking and questioning IDs at the doors. Hadn't had that happen in awhile.

This store's layout is beautifully simple: a good 1/3 of the store is dedicated to various wines, and a small sliver is dedicated to expensive scotches, cognacs, and the like.

There is an entire isle of warm singles. Here you'll find many Dogfish Head offerings, Rogue bombers, local brews, and Belgians. You'll find a nice selection here of local and regional brews, and enough Stone products to whet the appetite. The cold cooler even has a varied selection and there is a cold case that contains many high-quality singles. I guess I must mention the huge corner of macros and cheap liquor.

I love this store. They don't have the amazing selection that Kahn's in Indianapolis does, but their specialty and craft brews are much more competitive in price. The salespeople are knowledgable and helpful - almost a little too much so!

No complaints here - I would be a regular if it were in my town.

Edit: They've still got the amazing selection, but now its upgraded: upscale interior apperance & blue paint make everything more eye-friendly.

GreenWBush, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

This store has what I have been told is the biggest beer selection in Southern Indiana. They have a good selection of beer. Belgians include Chimay, Orval, Achel, Rochefort, Delerium, Gulden Drak, Piraat, Corsendonk, LaChouf, Duinen, 8 Lindemans and a couple others. A pretty good German selection, the big three Doppelbocks plus. They could do better on their British beer selection, although they do have most of the Fuller's and Youngs and Sam Smith lines. Their domestic selection is good. The Ommegang beers are $4.99 a 750ml, which I find to be quite nice (I'm not sure if this is standard?). They have SNs, Rouges, Anchor, Stone and then most of the regional beers from the midwest, 3 Floyds, Bells etc. Their staff is quite knowledgeable and the beer manager is very cool and has cards placed around the beer area so you can contact him with questions or suggestions, which I think is pretty cool.

UPDATE: 02/18/04, plans to get Westvleteren 12, Bernadus ABT 12, Westmalle soon...I was told one month. Rogue bombers of Chocolate Stout, Santa's Special, Yellow Snow and two others for $1.99 each!

cerevisiaephilus, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of BitteBier
4/5  rDev -4.8%

This place has been a standout in south-central Indiana. The beer selection (particularly imports) shrunk a few years ago, but there's still a nice variety. Many selections are available chilled or (though less so than in the past) in single bottles or cans. The shelves are organized nicely, with beer ratings and reviews posted here and there. The staff is knowledgeable, and the store layout and check-out process are user-friendly. For beer lovers, the biggest payoff of last year's extensive renovation is a monster walk-in beer cooler.

BitteBier, Aug 26, 2002
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Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, IN
93 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.