Big Red Liquors
Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in here on a recent visit to U of I. There are a few Big Red stores in Bloomington. The best one is at 418 College. I read some reviews on here so I knew of a good store to stop in. This place was exactly what I was looking for. One LONG isle of American 6-packs with a lot of harder to find seasonals. Across from this isle was long isle of singles, bombers and pints American and English. 5 or 6 cooler doors with a few Belgians, American singles and bombers. Didn't search around the store much. I was in a hurry and on the prowl for some micros that I can't get here in Illinois.
The prices are a little higher than they are around the southern suburbs of Chicago but there was an excellent selection. They also had some closeouts that had my jaw dropping. I bought a couple Rabbid Rabbits for $5.99 a bomber and a couple Morimoto Imp. Pilsner for $5.99. Brian Boru and many others were on closeout too. They were stacked in Bells and Dogfish Head. Case upon case of WWS and 120Min. Not to mention many of the others. Bell's had all the seasonals and a boatload of Hopslam. They carried a ton of Rogue including Old Crusty, Imp. IPA, and Imp. Stout. Many of the local Indiana brewers as well. The day I got there they even got in a shipment of Oaked Bastard.
The staff was helpful and talkative. Knew a good deal about beer and a few others things I asked about. Very professional but friendly at the same time. This place is loaded. I was very impressed.
12-09-2006 03:42:54 | More by joe1510
4.15/5 rDev -1.2%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
11-13-2006 15:43:26 | More by Realale
3.8/5 rDev -9.5%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Realale, nogoodreason, MJR, winomark, and myself stopped by the 418 N. College location of Big Red after Michigans victory over Indiana at Memorial Stadium this Saturday. What a great find. The store is conveniently located right on College in downtown Bloomington. I has a huge parking lot (needed, especially on busy game days and nights). The store is rather large, and is split 50/50 between beer, and wine/liquor offerings.
Lots of shelf space (4 large aisles) loaded with brews that can be found in Indiana. They had decent selections of Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, and several other Michigan breweries. Lots of locally produced beer, and a decent selection of Ohio offerings. Some breweries were lightly represented. I had hoped for more selection from Stone, and Three Floyds, but often light selection is more due to the brewery, and the distributor than the store itself. I scored some Thirsty Dog, Siberian night. Really pleased about that.
One complaint was the organization of the beers. Offerings from a single brewery were spread across multiple aisles Perhaps they were trying to organize by the type of beer, but if so, it did not seem consistent.
The staff was helpful (but very busy). Checkout was a breeze as they had 4 lines open. Prices seemed competitive with most places Ive experienced. I hope I can make it back some time soon.
Just a note. The location at the address listed on this beerfly entry is small, and does not have a good selection. The Big Red at 418 North College is the place to go.
11-12-2006 16:28:25 | More by carln26
4/5 rDev -4.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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 didnt 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 ones 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 werent in the singles for my build-your-own and it wasnt 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.
07-17-2006 19:58:32 | More by Dithyramb
4.3/5 rDev +2.4%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
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.
01-11-2005 06:27:11 | More by swamiswamu
3.95/5 rDev -6%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
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.
01-21-2004 20:48:36 | More by GreenWBush
4.3/5 rDev +2.4%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
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!
09-16-2003 00:46:02 | More by cerevisiaephilus
4/5 rDev -4.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
08-26-2002 18:36:45 | More by BitteBier
Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, IN
93 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.