1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

93 Ratings
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 62
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of meintempe
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of easong
3.15/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of Siggy125
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
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

Photo of Pexkool
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Photo of Gambac
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of joshuacavett
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of gregshead
4.44/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of lloyd83
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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...

Cheers...

Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here on my two day trip to SD from LA. The beer guy was extremely nice and knowledgeable. The atmosphere was of a Mom and Pops store, but with a great beer selection. The quality of the store was average and the service was great however. The beer guy stood there and let me ask him questions about what beers he might have over LA. Found a couple beers I don't have access to in LA, but overall the vast majority I could get back home. The selection was pretty damn good (comparing to my great beer stores in LA) and the value was a bit expensive but was expecting seeing as it was located in downtown SD. If I was ever back in SD or lived there, I'd for sure go here.

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

Corner grocery store meets upscale beer and wine shop. Don't be fooled by the run-o-the-mill urban grocery store when you first walk in. Head to the back.

If you can look past the ho-hum exterior and urban supermarket feel when you walk in, head to the back right and you have one of the best beer shops in the US. First, the quality is top notch. While the selection wasn't colossal, everything they had was exceptional. I appreciated the outstanding collection of SD County beer, particularly the stuff I couldn't get because of the Draconian TABC laws (Alesmith, Russian River, Ballast Point, Alpine, etc.). No shelf filler here. Service was exceptional as well. Sid did an excellent job helping pick things that would challenge my palate. Wound up taking home four bottles (3 Alesmith, 1 Lost Abbey). Prices were reasonable. Definitely worth a return visit. Leave space in your suitcase.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%

On a Sunday - Monday period in Mid October, I did a tour of San Diego breweries, brewpubs and beer stores. All the bottle shops I visited received A+ ratings with a significant number of reviews. My goal was primarily Russian River brews (Pliny, Blind Pig, Supplication) and then WC IPA's that I can't get in Ohio (Alpine, Kern River).
The places I visited in order of ranking...

1. 3 Way tie - KnB Wine Cellars, Beverages 4 Less, Best Damn Beer Shop
2. Holiday Wine Cellar
3. Olive Tree Marketplace
4. Pizza Port Bottle Shop

The crazy thing about BDBS is that's located in the city with a bit of riff raff hanging around outside and people mostly buying cheap "ice" beers.

I was blown away when they had all the brews I was looking for and Alpine Nelson. This would be the stop to make if you were in town for a conference and didn't have a way to make it to surrounding bottle shops. They had everything and more that the other bottle shops had.

Photo of aBeerSupreme
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

Visited this place while I was in SD for the day, and was pleasantly surprised at what an exceptional selection they had. Its actually located in a place called Super Jr. Market in downtown San Diego.

The selection included a vast array of west coast beers, especially complete was their selection of local to SD brews too. Also, they carried a great selection of Belgians and some hard-to-finds.

Service was great too, I met Sid, who was re-stocking at the time and he suggested some IPA's he thought I'd be interested in, as well as showing me their very complete selection of Lost Abbey, which I pilfered. Sid was great. I'm still a newbie in my career, so his sage advice was a huge help. Prices were very reasonable, too! I'd say if you're in the area, stopping by would be a must! You won't be sorry.

Photo of hawkmoon666
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%

Very nice beer selection in this market in downtown SD. I knew there were good American beers somewhere, I just didn't know where to look for them - until now. No offense but in the US what you usually find on tap and in regular stores is almost without exception pure crap. At the Best Damn Beer Shop though you can fill your fridge with quality beer so that you never again have to settle on a dreadful Coors Light - at least at your home.
I know nothing about the American market but they have a pretty wide selection of local beers from the SD area here as well as some from the rest of the US. There's also an interesting selection of beers from the Old Continent that I reckon must be really hard to get down here but, being European myself, I wasn't really interested in that.

A guy from the shop helped me with my shopping and gave me advices on what to buy among the local beers. I've tasted some of what I bought and he obviously knew what he was talking about, very good stuff. He was also kind enough to cut 50% off the price of the "best damn beer shop" t-shirt he saw me buying at the counter.

Honestly, if you live in the SD area there is no reason why you shouldn't do all your beer shopping here. Actually, there's plenty of reasons why you should. Beer shops in the US are quite different from what I am used to but this one is definitely fine. And you can sense the love that is being put in it, which is a big plus.
Also, prices are very, VERY reasonable but I am European and I am used to be ripped off. Anyway there's some very good quality here and well worth the money.

Photo of theghost3
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%

This is a little market with a deli and a killer beer selection. It's actually called the "Super Junior Mart" and it's just north of Broadway on 7th. Don't be confused with the "Super Discount Mart" on the corner. I would recommend going during the day because the area around it can be a little seedy with the winos and panhandlers even in the morning.

The beer is located along the right side of the store towards the back and in a cooler on the back wall. The cooler in the back is all BMC. There's a cooler facing the right side with lots of goodies in bombers, sixers, and 12-packs. There are also beers on shelves across from and beside this cooler.

You will find a great selection of West Coast beers from Alpine, Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, Sculpin, Stone, Karl Strauss, Deschutes, Hair of the Dog, Green Flash, Marin, Alesmith, Kern, Speakeasy, Hair of the Dog, and Russian River (Supplication, Consecration, and Damnation when I was there). There was also a decent selection from Belgium and from the Midwest and Northeast U.S. represented by breweries such as Goose Island, Allagash, and DFH.

I was happy to find some older vintages of Port Older Viscosity as well as Mikkeller Black Hole and almost everything from Lost Abbey and Alesmith. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't any RR Blind Pig and there weren't more seasonal/limited beers from Deschutes or Hair of the Dog. But overall, a nice selection; better than I expected after reading the reviews of this place. A little pricey on some of the beers, but it is downtown San Diego.

No one ever asked if I needed help, but the checker did at least place each bottle I purchased in a separate paper bag.

Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.