Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)
Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 57 | Show All Ratings:
4.19/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Best way to describe this place is a NY bodega on steroids. Typical small grocery in the front and along the left wall and then tons of liquor, wine and beer in the middle and right side. Atmosphere was laid back and easy going. Service was nowhere to be found initially but once they cleared the small line I was asked if I needed help but I was good by then. Quality was solid all around. I only saw a few bottles I would say are past their prime and they had some really cool glasses, including one of the specialty Duvel’s which I hadn’t seen yet. Selection was top notch. They have a TON of beer in that place including some pretty limited bottles from overseas to go along with the above average local selection. Prices were a touch high on the rarer stuff but the rest was on par with all of the other shops I have visited in the area. Overall a really nice bottle shop in the city limits, if I lived in the area I would definitely return often.
02-19-2014 02:06:51 | More by orangesol
4.49/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Been to this store a few times with a friend of mine. I generally go to the Navy Exchange for beer, but this place is my go-to when I want to delve deeper into beer.
Atmosphere: It looks and feels like a local natural foods store; essentially a local non-chain Whole Foods. The beer is on the right and towards the back adjacent to the wine and booze. It's right in the Gaslamp quarter so there are plenty of places nearby to eat. The atmosphere of the store is very Brooklyn-equsque; something I've missed a bit since leaving NYC. The one complaint is the homeless people nearby who can be somewhat annoying, but, hey, not as a bad as most places in New York.
Quality: I have not gotten a bad beer from this place yet, but there are lots of dusty bottles which leads me to believe they've been sitting on the shelves for a while. Thankfully, most of the dusty beers seem to be age-able so I doubt anybody would come across any real issues with freshness.
Service: I rarely need help when beer shopping; I either know what I want or I browse the shelves before making my decision. Thus, I haven't really had the staff help me out. Still, they all seem to be very friendly and will ask if you need help. When I was at Krisp last night, there was a guy there who I overheard helping out customers who was extremely knowledgeable and was giving very good advice to people from everything I overheard.
Selection: Krisp has a large open cooler of beers, along with about three uncooled shelves and a beer cooler in the back. The cooler contains some of the macros (if you really want that) as well as bottles of craft. The shelves consist mostly of imports and foreign-styled beers while the open cooler has pretty much everything minus macrobrews. I haven't been able to get lost perusing beer shelves for an extended period of time since I lived in NYC, and I have definitely found that feeling again walking through Krisp. Last night I picked up a sixer of Raging Bitch, AleSmith Speedway Stout, Avery Maharaja, and Dogfish Head My Antonia. There was so much more I could have gotten, but I restrained myself. They also carry a solid selection of glassware at very reasonable prices.
Food: I have not bought food here (yet) so I cannot comment.
Overall, I'd recommend this place to any San Diego beer shopper who is close enough to it. My one complaint is that many of the beers seem priced higher than they are elsewhere.
If you find yourself in downtown San Diego for whatever reason and want to pick up some brews, seek this place out.
02-15-2014 22:05:59 | More by Mosstrooper
4.09/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
Was down in the Gaslamp district of San Diego, saw this store was close and figured I should stop by based on reviews. Walked in to a very nice, clean store. Lots of interesting organic and natural foods in about half of the store. The other half is devoted to wine and beer, with the majority of that half being devoted to beer.
It has been a while since I have been truly "wowed" when walking into a beer store. But I must say that after a few minutes of perusing, this store gave me that reaction. As far a quality goes, the styles are grouped together, and probably 3/4 of the inventory is refrigerated, which is great. Those styles that are not refrigerated are the appropriate styles to not refrigerate. Selection wise, the usual great Cali IPA selection, with some real eye openers in other styles, such as some Cascade sours, multiple Eclipse 50/50 varieties, several Bruery semi-rarities such as White Chocolate, and an excellent selection of Belgian sours. I ended up snagging a couple Avery Rumpkins (stoked to find this), a couple Anchorage Bitter Monks (have not seen this at all in the LA area), and a couple Prairie Artisan Okies. Price is what deterred me from snagging some of the slightly "rarer" brews, though. They were most definitely not priced to sell. The more common beers were probably about on par with what I have seen elsewhere, but when I see single beers marked $35-45/bottle, I call that overpriced. Overall, an excellent store that hope to get down to at some point again. Very nice selection.
10-19-2013 03:36:36 | More by zhanson88
4.56/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I am giving this a high score because I found what I was looking for, Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig I.P.A. I had to ask (which I would expect) and although the gentlemen did not give me a choice, he came back with the two mentioned above. He did indicate he could only give me one (good think the wife was there), so at least he mixed up when he went to the back. I was very satisfied, their general selection was very good and I would go back if I was in downtown SD.
09-24-2013 22:16:12 | More by DRTBrewster
4.24/5 rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
One of the four bottle shops I visited while on vacation in San Diego recently. It is in downtown with some homeless around, but honestly more of hassle for me was the parking. However, I'm a bigger guy and could see how some would be more nervous around some of the downtown crowd. At one point, my wife walked back to the car, to refill the meter, because of how long I was spending in there and she was not happy with the downtown crowd when she got back. So, I would say, if you are squeamish about homeless people in a downtown area, this might not be your spot, but not the bottle shop's fault for society's failures regarding the homeless.
As for the shop itself, great selection, once approached the beer guy in the store was very friendly and helpful. Nothing over the top, he didn't offer anything from the back or from his stash, but friendly and seemed knowledgeable. If you are in San Diego, worth a stop if you are near downtown, but not necessarily a must stop.
06-19-2013 01:07:28 | More by JamLand
4.88/5 rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Stopped in here today, and boy was I glad I did. I had been goign to Bottlecraft which is a good place in its own right but stopped by here today and was thoroughly impressed. I first went and bought some food, very nice stuff, lots of organic. Then I went to the other side which is pretty much straight beer. After a few minutes of browsing Fancisco approached me and then it happened a nice 30 minute beer geek out. He told me what was new, what was good, and when the next shipment this week is in. Best of all he offered to drive me to Alpine. I mean how great of customer service is that. Def the best selection I have seen in SD, though ill give it a 4.5 just because the selection isn't mind-blowing on a national scale. The prices were extremely reasonable. They also have everything you could want for a tasting: glassware, cheese plates, fruit, chocoalte, etc.
07-25-2012 01:17:04 | More by crossovert
3.76/5 rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
This was the first shop that I visiting on while on vacation last week. For reference I was there early in the morning on a weekday. As others have stated the area did have a large number of homeless people and while unsightly I did not feel like I was in harms way at any point. Onto the beer... Their selection was solid with a good amount of Russian River and Lost Abbey. I must say that I was not blown away by the overall selection and after having gone to 4 bottle shops in total I would rate this in the bottom half of the regional shops. While still having a solid selection I was able to find many more 'harder to find' beers at other shops. Perhaps I came at an odd time but honestly I would not go out of my way to re-visit this shop in the future.
07-23-2012 21:53:35 | More by Bobbo330
4.74/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Conveniently located in downtown San Diego (though not in the best neighborhood). "Best Damn Beer Shop" is inside a family run market that's undergoing an amazing transformation. It was a typical downtown market (but with an amazing beer section) when I first started going there. But they're improving the decor, expanding the beer displays, adding fresh/local foods and building a homebrew section. It's pretty impressive and there's apparently more to come.
They're strongest in west coast beers (which is the main draw for me) but they have a lot of Belgians and plenty from the rest of the world. They had several from Russian River, AleSmith, Ballast Point and many more. Most are refrigerated but some are not. And the prices are good.
The beer is outstanding but the service equals it. Sid is a real beer enthusiast and a great guy. Be sure to ask if he's in when you visit. He's always got a good recommendation.
This is a great beer store and well worth a visit if you're in the area.
07-10-2012 23:25:53 | More by GJ40
3.96/5 rDev -10.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
An interesting combination of bottle shop / homebrew shop / bodega / homeless shelter. We visited on a Sunday morning while strolling the Gas Lamp area after our arrival in town.
There is a very extensive selection of bottles on the right hand side of the store, with a heavy emphasis on locals and big ticket Europeans like Mikkeller. The homebrew section at the front of the store was cool as well, with a good selection of base and specialty malts, yeast and basic supplies.
The neighborhood, and the area right around the front door, were rather more heavily populated with homeless folks than average for San Diego. I have never really had a difficult encounter with homeless anywhere but it is a bit more off putting for me in a strange town.
We were planning to return with our rental car to make some purchases but then we hit KnB and blew our budget. Worth a stop for sure.
02-29-2012 19:10:01 | More by sholland119
3.49/5 rDev -21%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | $$
AMAZING selection of WORLDWIDE beers.
Stuff I have NOT seen elsewhere for sale.
Not that great of a Southern California selection but pretty good.
Prices were a few cents more or a few cents less than BevMo.
TOTALLY "gangsta" area of town though (at least after dark)...
The beer area takes up about HALF of the supposed "grocery" store.
Staff was fairly knowledgeable about the beers they had and even ones they did not (Heretic).
Worth a trip (in the daytime) if you are in the area.
02-27-2012 21:11:40 | More by Driver8rws
Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.