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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)


69 Reviews
Place Score:
Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)

Type: Store

1036 7th Ave
San Diego, California, 92101-5302
United States

(619) 232-6367 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by SidVicious619 on 07-27-2009

View: Place Ratings | Events
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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 114
Photo of GJ40
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of sholland119
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
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.


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Photo of Driver8rws
3.49/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of madpentzer
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
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!

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Photo of drpimento
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
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!

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Photo of Mscarpen
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of Brewzer1010
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

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Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
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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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Stopped in here for the first time yesterday and was absolutely blown away! I've never encountered such a dense and diverse beer selection before. As put by my good friend JustinA1, "They just have everything." I was particularly impressed by the amount of Russian imperial stouts available, though every style was very well represented. I honestly can't say enough - you'll just have to stop in and see it for yourself. (After reading a review below, I will second the fact that I didn't spot any Alpine IPAs. This may be a glaring blemish in some beer enthusiasts minds, but as a San Diego resident who can find Alpine at a number of other locations, this fact doesn't bother me much at all.)

Please note that Best Damn Beer Shop is located inside a typical-looking urban market (Super Jr. Market). The establishment is just a small grocery store with an amazing beer section. The woman at the register didn't offer us any assistance in our beer search, nor did she comment on any of the beers we purchased. That's all fine by me - I rarely need help in choosing beer; I don't think service should weigh into a beer store's grade (unless it's exceptionally good/bad). About half of the beer is chilled, including all of the beer not meant to be aged: lagers, pale ales, etc.

This store is amazing! An absolute must stop when you visit San Diego!

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Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome. Don't know what the "C" is all about. This person didn't even say what was wrong with the place. Looks like a 'Freddy' thing to me, and I'm sure he had something to do with it. BEV4LESS in Santee sucks. Anyway, check this place out. They have an awesome selection ranging from very hard to find stuff to beers you can't get in other places. They have a long cooler full of good beers that do chill the beers that's placed on the shelf before them. The only thing that sucks is finding a meter near by, but I won't dock 'em for that. Check this place out...it's awesome. You can always call ahead and have your order ready for you to pick up.

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Photo of meintempe
4.94/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visiting from Arizona and wow this place impressed me. They had so many California beers I had never come across before. I met the guy who does the bulk orders for the beer and he was extremely helpful in showing me Californias finest. Not only that but he invited me out for drinks with him at a local bar called Johnny browns. Class act for introducing me to the San diego scene as well as treat me to some awesome beer tastings. Overall I was happy to spend a lot of money here for great beer! Thanks again omar!

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Photo of easong
3.15/5  rDev -27.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I don't like to give beer places bad reviews, but I have a responsibility to fellow BAs who might inconvenience themselves, as you guys always do it for me. Went here when I stayed in the neighborhood recently during a Giants-Padres series. Looking for an Alpine IPA or maybe another great local product I can't find in the Bay Area. Damn, actually, none. Settled for a Pliny from back home and an Avery Maharaja from Boulder. Yes the one in Colorado. Gave the Pliny to my brother-in-law to take back to NC. The Belgian section looked better stocked. But still, San Diego, this is Not Really the Best Damn Beer Shop, simply average in the context of a great American beer town.

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Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

When in San Diego you gotta' try this place. Looks like a small deli-like place in downtown, but the selection of their beers a extensive. You are sure to find some nice bottles here. Usually stocked up on West Coast beers along with some rare bottles you don't see everyday. Making a good purchase give them a call to have it ready for you at the counter. Meter parking sucks, but knowing that you can have your stuff boxed up and ready to go is awesome. They have a long cooler shelf that cools up the beer across the isle. Nicely stored refrigerated place.

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Photo of Siggy125
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

Visited this spot for the first time yesterday. I bit embarrassed since it's been under my nose for quite a while and I didnt know it. What kind of BA am I??? Oh well, nevertheless...

Nice little store in an odd place. Downtown SD with a challenge with parking depending on time of day. Great beer selection right as you walk straight in the door. Just about every west coast beer you can think of on the shelf with a nice selection of beers from other regions and countries. One of the best selections I've seen in SoCal.

Pricing is mediocre to high but not ridiculous. Make sure to check shelving endcaps. I found stuff "around the corner" from the main corner and shelving.

The help on hand the day I was there seemed clueless when asked beer questions. Hopefully this isnt the norm.

I will definitely recommend this to others

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Photo of Pexkool
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I had been trying to shop there since I found out about this place here in beeradvocate, and now I just hope I went there sooner!

I live in Tijuana, so downtown San Diego is a little bit far from home, but is totally worth it! The minute I entered and saw a cooler full of a huge variety of beers I was shocked! You could spend the whole day just browsing through their selection!

The staff was constantly stocking products around us, but when they had some spare time they promptly asked us if they could help in any way. I was searching for a stout with chocolate flavor, and they directed my attention to a stand specially for stouts I had by my back the whole time! The clerk knew a lot about the beers they sold and recommended some beers, from which I bought an Aphrodite and a Rogue Chocolate Stout. Heck! Even my girlfriend found a beer that caught her eye, and she doesn't like beer that much! (We're trying to find a beer for her, don't worry) A Samuel Smith's Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer.

I found the prices to be reasonable, or at least compared to previous beer boutiques/stores in which I've bought (all in Tijuana, so yeah, naturally I was gonna find it cheaper). For a little comparison, last year I bought Young's Double Chocolate Stout from a little shop in Tijuana for $66 Mexican pesos (about $5.5 USD right now) and these days its price is around $88 MP ($7.4 USD), while here in the BDBS the price was around $4 USD! (from what I recall) so yeah...

We are definitely coming back, but next time we'll have more money with us!

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Photo of Gambac
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Hit this up on the way home a few weeks ago, very happy I stopped in.

Huge variety of beers all being chilled, as well as many others, including a wide selection of Belgians. Picked up a lot of local beers, as well as some others I can't find in the Bay Area very easily (Caldera was the main discovery here)

Able to peruse the store a little more, wish I had more time and money to spend. The guy even gave me a glass for spending over 40 bucks on beer, so I have a great Duvel glass for my collection. The area the store is in is slightly sketch, but that's the only thing a little off about this high quality place

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Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Just started coming here within the past couple of months and I must say that it definitely has the best selection I've seen. A huge selection of locals, and an ever expanding array of top-quality beers from around the world. I live in Chula Vista, so it is a bit of of my way, but I'm always more than happy to go to BDBS because I know I'm going to get something new and delicious. Of course, Sid is awesome. Last time I went in I picked up a couple of bottles and he and I talked for almost half an hour about overcharging for beer and his suggestions. Overall a no-brainer of a spot.

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Photo of joshuacavett
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Amazing selection with amazing staff, this high class brew show inside of Super Jr. Market is a no brainer to visit when in San Diego. Sid was super helpful and picked out some top of the line brews for me at great prices. I got an Abacus, Russian River Sanctification, Salvation, Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder and the Bruery Cuir. They even helped package the box up in a 12 bottle styrofoam container for us which was a super plus. I will definitely visit this place again when I am back in San Diego.

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Photo of gregshead
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A: Its a small store in downtown San Diego. Given the area, its pretty good. I don't love coming here at night but I'm not too nervous either. The actual beer area is well organized

Q: Lots of beer in the fridge. I believe they are expanding their fridge section soon too. The hoppy beers are in the cooler like they should be.

S: I almost always have good conversations with Sid if he's there. He directs me to take a look at some of his newer stuff but never pressures, just gives you the info you need.

S: This is the big winner for me. Larger selection than some of my favorite places which makes it very attractive especially when I know I'm a little late on the game of getting the new release or seasonal.

V: Prices are pretty good. Maybe .50-$1.50 more than bevmo but I'll pay that to have fresher stuff.

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Photo of lloyd83
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

As recommended by some ba's in a thread that I made about san diego, I visited this place to grab some west coast stuff that I'm unable to get in chicago. Easy to find, great selection and friendly staff... Only downfall was the constant influx of undesirables who kept pushing past me to grab tall boys of natty light out of the cooler.. Some have mentioned that the market isn't in a great neighborhood; I wouldn't say it's the best, but I definitely never felt uncomfortable.

Great little shop though. Wish I had had more time to poke around, and more room to get stuff home.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

+My buddy and I were really looking forward to checking this place out, as it was highly recommened. Low and behold, we had a job to do a few blocks away, so we decided to check it out. Here is my experience...

First of all, the parking for the place is horrendous. We drove around looking for a spot, and ended up paying 6 dollars to park at a parking structure...

The store itself looks like a run down grocery store. Not the nicest looking place. I enter the store and head straight for the craft section. I was hoping to score on a couple of the harder find RR brews, everything they had was pretty standered. Looked around for a while, and noticed they had a pretty decent selection. Good selection of Lost Abbey, Alesmith, Ballast Point, and other local SD brews. Solid selection, but nothing too impressive. After looking around for a while, I notice that they have a very extensive selection from around the world. Lots of brews I have never heard of before. This is where this place shines...

I end up buying a few things, including an Italian IRS that I have never heard of. When I get to register I ask the guy at the cash register about Santification. Was hoping I would get lucky, and he would have some in the back. The guy at the checkstand just chuckles. Not sure if he was laughing because it was such an absurd request, or because he didn't understand what I was talking about. Either way, I consider my inquiry a loss, and proceed to ask him about the IRS I was buying. I ask him if he had ever had it before. The guy then picks up the bottle and starts spinning the bottle around in his hands reading the print. "I think it's a stout", he says, even though it says IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT in bold letters on the front of the bottle. Wow, what a revelation. Thanks again for the advise, man. It was actually kind of funny. My buddy and I got a good laugh about this afterword...

All in all, a decent shop for craft, but I don't understand the high praises. I can think of three or four places off the top of my head, in SoCal, that are hands down better than this place. Cool place... but not worth the effort in my opinion...


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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
96 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.