1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

89 Ratings
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 10.59%
[ 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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: SidVicious619 on 07-27-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bnoise11
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Bnoise11, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of bennetj17
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

bennetj17, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Minnesota_beer_guy, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of jedschlueter
3/5  rDev -32.4%

jedschlueter, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of orangesol
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

orangesol, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

Mosstrooper, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

drewone, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of kristougher
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

kristougher, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

AlexChillton, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of zhanson88
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

zhanson88, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

BillRoth, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of BeerMothaLova
3/5  rDev -32.4%

BeerMothaLova, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of marqoid
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

marqoid, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of dwagner003
4.75/5  rDev +7%

dwagner003, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of bcerv-ca
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

bcerv-ca, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of DRTBrewster
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

DRTBrewster, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of JamLand
4.24/5  rDev -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.

JamLand, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of crossovert
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

crossovert, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of Bobbo330
3.76/5  rDev -15.3%

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.

Bobbo330, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of GJ40
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

GJ40, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of sholland119
3.96/5  rDev -10.8%

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

sholland119, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of Driver8rws
3.49/5  rDev -21.4%

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.

Driver8rws, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of madpentzer
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

madpentzer, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%

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.

corby112, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
4.04/5  rDev -9%

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.

tobelerone, Jan 06, 2012
Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.