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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)

Not Rated.
Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)
BA SCORE
98
world-class

98 Ratings
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

1036 7th Ave
San Diego, California, 92101-5302
United States
phone: (619) 232-6367

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @krispbevfoods

Notes:
Place added by: SidVicious619 on 07-27-2009

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 62
Reviews by orangesol:
Photo of orangesol
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Taybeh
4/5  rDev -9.9%

This is a grocery store with a pretty impressive beer section on one wall, and the prices were good. Lots of bombers but not really a place to get a mix-six, which is what I was hoping for. If you're stuck in the Gaslamp/Downtown, this is your best bet (I think).

Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

The area of town seemed a little sketchy, but not overly so.
Service was minimal early in the morning, just an old guy at the counter.
Fantastic selection of west coast and international stuff. Very large cooler arranged by brewery. Room temp stuff arranged by style which was easier to get through for me. Prices seemed about average for the area, 2-3 dollars more than they should be. Best selection I saw in town though, lots of stuff for an east coaster.

Just wish my cell signal was better so I would not have wasted $40 on the White Chocolate. F-U Bruery I am done with your overpriced garbage.

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

I used to really like this place because they got everything and the prices were reasonable. Since blowing up over the past couple years the mark ups have got really ugly on the more coveted beers. Despite that, the selection is one of the best in San Diego particularly if you want something cold I have yet to see a wall fridge like theirs.

Aside from prices the only other real negative is the location. At least it isn't in the gaslamp because I would never shill out $5-20 just to park and find beer there. If it's after 5pm any day of the week you're going to have a tough time finding parking. I suggest giving it a go if you're in town particularly if you want to find belgians you can't find most other places. Service is so-so. If there is a guy in the beer aisle working there you'll get some good help and I've never had to wait long to check out.

Photo of KhakCane
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was absolutely blown away by both the service and the selection at this spot. The location is great for out-of-towners staying downtown, and it was a reasonable walk from my hotel on J and 6th (even toting a case full of beers purchased at the shop). Sid is unbelievably knowledgeable, and he made this southerner feel right at home in SoCal. I was only in town for three days, and I stopped in everyday, largely because Sid was such an awesome guy... oh, and the killer selection did not hurt. If you are anywhere near downtown, then do yourself a favor and stop in.

Photo of mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I briefly visited this store during a business trip since it was only about a 10 minute walk from my office. I completely forgot it was inside Krisp, so I kept walking back and forth because I had the general location, and I was looking for a beer shop and not a market. :)

I thought the selection was on par with the better bottle shops I visit in the Los Angeles area.

I'll spend more time at this store during my next visit and update my review. I was initially impressed.

Update: I visited BDBS again today and spent more time perusing their selection and bought a bottle of 3F Oude Geuze. I noticed beers are more expensive than places I visit in LA. I knocked some points off for that. You have to be careful because some were on the "are you kidding range." Common beers were only a $1 more but 375ml Cantillon Gueuze was $29.99, while the regular price is closer to $16 for this beer.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of zhanson88
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of DRTBrewster
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of JamLand
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of crossovert
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Bobbo330
3.76/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of GJ40
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of sholland119
3.96/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

HV

Photo of Driver8rws
3.49/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of madpentzer
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The vibe here is a little odd. Every time I come in to grab some good beer there at least a couple homeless people hanging around doing weird shit (i.e. talking to themselves, etc). Looks like a hole in the wall market, but when you get to the beer isle it's fantastic.

The quality of the beer here is great and it is always kept nice a cool.

The service here is hit or miss. If Sid is in he's really great. He is very knowledgeable about beer and glad to help you out. But, if he's not in the service isn't really that good. The girls at the counter are nice and will try to help, but they seem to know almost nothing about craft beer.

Selection here is awesome with a huge selection of both craft and import beers. Sid sends out a newsletter via email too letting you know about any new beers comming into the store. The newly renovated home brew section is really nice too.

The food here is actually pretty good (I enjoy the carne asada torta), and it's cheap.

Value here is good. The prices are reasonable compared to other bottle shops.

Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Medium sized food market in the downtown area with a large beer selection that takes up almost a third of the store. They have a nice selection of local and other domestic craft as well as a large selection of imports and glassware.

The vibe of the place is odd with a mix of beer geeks, city workers and homeless people walking around. While I was in line waiting to pay a homeless man who was clearly mentally ill was screaming and threatening to fight everyone. Nobody said anything to him and he finally walked out. I'm used to living in the city so this wasn't a problem for me but I can see how this could be a turn off or really bizarre for others.

Although this place doesn't have the nicest atmosphere, they have a good selection at reasonable prices. Tons of imports including Mikkeller, Drie Fonteinen, rarer Fantome, etc. along with a lot of quality locals and a few east coast offerings. Normally I would give the selection a four but the ridiculously large selection of glassware bumped it up for me. All kind of cool glasses including Russian River ation glass, collectors edition Duvel tulips, Lost Abbey tulips and many others. Really nice!

Not the nicest place but perfect for stocking up on good bottles and cool glassware. Check it out if you are in the area.

Photo of tobelerone
4.04/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This store is in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood with some addled vagrants wandering around but it's not dangerous per se; you're not gonna getted jacked going in here. It's just not as lovely and pristine as much of the rest of town is. Don't let that stop you though, they have a truly tremendous selection of singles, sixers, and large format bottles, make your own six, etc. Lots of rare and hard to find bottles. It's kind of a weird store because it's just a kind of average food market with an aisle of ridiculously good beer. Apparently they have a great homebrewing section too, but I didn't check it out because that's not my thing (yet). Nice glassware choices as well.

Service was decent enough although I've heard the guys here can be great, I just don't think they were in attendance when I stopped in. As an Easterner it was great to come here because there was more stuff I can't get at home than I could possibly begin to try. Scored myself some Russian River, Kern, Alpine, New Belgium, Port Beers. As someone else mentioned, they have a sign limiting you to 2 a piece Pliny and Blind Pig but didn't have any bottles of either, oh well. Got 'em elsewhere.

Definitely worth a stop. Don't let my opening paragraph sway you; just wanted to distinguish the hood from the rest of town; this was the only place in the city I actually saw panhandlers and homeless folks, etc. Being from NYC it didn't bother me but if you're not used to seeing that don't let it dissuade you. Metered parking on the street, I was able to pull right up in front of the store and park for a quarter.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.14/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on Halloween night '11 to pick up some suds to bring back east.

First of all: beeline it when you get there, as there's always a hoard of homeless folks begging out front. When I was there, this was most certainly true, as we got approached the moment our feet hit the sidewalk.

Once you're in, the shop looks ok. I wouldn't say it's on par with Whole Foods or anything like that, but it's a decent shop with a nice selection of foods, snacks, etc.

The service was really on point. The beer buyer approached me pretty quickly, and was extremely friendly and helpful. Once I told him "I got this" he smiled, walked away and left me to my business without hovering.

I'd been told that this is "the place" for beer in SD. Though it has good selection, I can't say the shelves were stocked with mondo-rarity. Being an east coaster, I was a little dissapointed not to find the treasure chest of amazingness I'd hoped sat on their shelves 24/7. Maybe they keep some stuff in the back, I don't know. But don't get me wrong, the selection was still pretty solid, as I easily found ten day old Pliny and Blind Pig in their fridge.

You know, maybe I'm being a bit tough on 'em. But you've gotta understand that when I see an A+ rating, I tend to think it a life changing place. Everything was good, really good. Would I come back and shop again? Absolutely. Just keep your expectations in check.

*A BIG thumbs up and thank you for selling styro bottle shippers, both one and six bottle packs!

Photo of drpimento
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Just got back from there and starting to sample some of the bounty provided. Most of the beer is stored to minimize fluorescent light and super easy to find - straight in from the door. Owner was working the aisles restocking and helping customers. Helped us out a lot, polite, sense of humor, and straightforward. Selection was by far mostly bomber/750s and lots of one offs. Spent some solid coin there and they recognized and gave us couple of tshirts as tokens of appreciation. Place was clean and other customers cool. Love to return.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Best Damn is inside the Super Junior Market on the outer edge of downtown. Easy on-street metered parking.

Loads of beers along one long series of shelves and more on shelves opposite. This place is definatley import/Belgian heavy, so if you want to drop loads of cash on Mikkler, this is your place. The usual suspects for SoCal though, and only a sign on the shelf where the Pliney and Blind Pig should be that states "Pliney and Blind Pig, two bottle limit". (I guess you can take down the sign if you have none to sell?)

Probably the best selection in SD proper, and certainly the go-to place since Southbay drugs closed up about a year ago. I was asked if I needed any help, which is high marks for service in my book!

Photo of Mscarpen
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Its been said many times, Sid is the heart and magic behind Best Damn Beer Shop. I visited this store with of a buddy of mine while on a business trip not knowing what to expect. Within 2 minutes of entering the store, Sid had spotted us, engaged us in discussion, and had us "felt out" for our tastes and preferences. I had no intention of flying beer home, but $120 later, my buddy and I had scored a treasure trove of exceptional beers not available in the mid-west (either due to distribution territories or depletion of local inventory). Since then, I've kept in touch with Sid and even made a couple of amazing trades. Best Damn Beer Shop lives up to its name and deserves a visit if you're ever in the San Diego Gas Lamp district.

Photo of Brewzer1010
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

There isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said. Sid runs the best bottleshop in town, hands down. He is always down to talk beer and will send you in the right direction if you tell him what you are looking for. The selection is fantastic. The email/facebook updates make it easy to reserve some new arrivals, and Sid seems to get good quantities of everything. The prices are very reasonable. Some say the neighborhood is a bit sketchy - it's not glamorous, however I worked across the street for 9 years and I can tell you that the area is safe. If I didn't live 25 miles away, I would be here multiple times weekly. Keep up the good work Sid!

Photo of Sebowski
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great beer shop. Whenever I am close to this place it is a no-brainer to see what Sid has in stock. I remember when the selection was half what it is now and was still one of the best n town. Great for fresh new releases and the newest wave of Belgains/Mikkeller/etc... Parking can sometimes take a minute since it is right downtown, but it is well worth it. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. I send a lot of people staying downtown here and they always thank me for it.

Check this place out if you can.

Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I'm glad I stopped in during my most recent visit to San Diego. As others have mentioned, the beer is tucked away in a grocery store - kind of cool to find such an awesome selection in such a place. Much of the beer is kept in coolers, particularly anything that requires drinking fresh. Plenty of bottles suitablr for aging, big beers and Belgians primarily, were stored at room temp. Lots of singles, including some limited releases, as well as a decent six pack selection. It's not the largest selection that I've seen, but just about everything on the shelf was something worth drinking. I didn't experience the same service others have apparently had, but had no issues either - about what I expected for a grocery turned beer store. Definitely stop by if you're in the area.

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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.