Big Red Liquors
Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
2.45/5 rDev -41.7%
quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | $$
I had to double-check the address when I got back in the car to make sure I was at the same address as the others who've reviewed this Big Red Liquors (there is more than one store by that name in Bloomington), as I was extremely unimpressed with their selection of crafts and imports. This small-ish liquor store offered two cooler doors of import and craft multipacks with Sam Adams, Heineken, and Corona taking up most of that space. There was an additional cooler door of large single bottles, but most of that space was the same run-of-the-mill brands in multipacks. Highlights of the multipacks were some Upland beers (brewed in Bloomington) and two six-packs from Brooklyn Brewery. In singles, there was Sam Smith, but not much else interesting.
I believe the other Big Red on College (418 N. College) is bigger and I will head over there next. In fact, it would not surprise me if some of the positive reviews for this store on the site were intended for the other store.
The staff asked me if I needed anything, but it was plain to see from the get-go that their selection was interesting so I declined an offer for assistance and headed for the door empty-handed.
11-29-2007 20:28:47 | More by BeerBelcher
3.13/5 rDev -25.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
07-07-2011 03:04:57 | More by thomcatr3t
3.3/5 rDev -21.4%
quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
Big Red is THE liquor store for much of the area surrounding Bloomington. Their main purpose is to supply massive quantities of cheap, fizzy yellow to football and racing fans alike. However, their craft and high-quality import selection has become more impressive over the past two years.
A ton of mix-your-own six pack selections and a well-stocked fridge of mid-west craft brew is a huge bonus, not to mention the glassware retail and the fact that you can buy a bottle of great bourbon while pondering your beer selection (or vice verse). They will sometimes get a case or so of really allocated product, and stock enough esoteric stuff year round to constitute regular visitation, but stopping in for beer only is usually an after-thought.
Expect to be asked a dozen obnoxious questions regarding your two forms of ID (even though you may go there once or twice a week), as per the Hoosier law.
Prices are about $1.50 more expensive than their main competition, Sahara Mart, but in a jam, cold beer is golden.
10-21-2008 20:31:21 | More by jerelwhall
3.7/5 rDev -11.9%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
03-28-2010 05:35:25 | More by bamadog
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
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
3.96/5 rDev -5.7%
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.
06-27-2012 05:45:39 | More by JISurfer
4/5 rDev -4.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
10-26-2008 00:29:16 | More by orbitalr0x
Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, IN
93 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.