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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)

64 Reviews
Reviews: 64
Visits: 106
Avg: 4.38
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

Place added by: SidVicious619 on 07-27-2009

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Visits: 106
Photo of GJ40
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Conveniently located in downtown San Diego (though not in the best neighborhood). "Best Damn Beer Shop" is inside a family run market that's undergoing an amazing transformation. It was a typical downtown market (but with an amazing beer section) when I first started going there. But they're improving the decor, expanding the beer displays, adding fresh/local foods and building a homebrew section. It's pretty impressive and there's apparently more to come.

They're strongest in west coast beers (which is the main draw for me) but they have a lot of Belgians and plenty from the rest of the world. They had several from Russian River, AleSmith, Ballast Point and many more. Most are refrigerated but some are not. And the prices are good.

The beer is outstanding but the service equals it. Sid is a real beer enthusiast and a great guy. Be sure to ask if he's in when you visit. He's always got a good recommendation.

This is a great beer store and well worth a visit if you're in the area.

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Photo of sholland119
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
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 Yetiman420
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

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Photo of orangesol
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of crossovert
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped in here today, and boy was I glad I did. I had been goign to Bottlecraft which is a good place in its own right but stopped by here today and was thoroughly impressed. I first went and bought some food, very nice stuff, lots of organic. Then I went to the other side which is pretty much straight beer. After a few minutes of browsing Fancisco approached me and then it happened a nice 30 minute beer geek out. He told me what was new, what was good, and when the next shipment this week is in. Best of all he offered to drive me to Alpine. I mean how great of customer service is that. Def the best selection I have seen in SD, though ill give it a 4.5 just because the selection isn't mind-blowing on a national scale. The prices were extremely reasonable. They also have everything you could want for a tasting: glassware, cheese plates, fruit, chocoalte, etc.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
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 -7.8%
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 ThreeWiseMen
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
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 LittleDon
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
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 mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of JamLand
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of armock
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%

One of the only reasons I went to this place was because it wasn't far from my hotel and the glowing reviews of the place here. If a stranger told me to go to this place I would have kept driving this is a you can't judge the book by its cover type of place. After finding a place to park and avoiding the bums on the way in I made it to beer heaven. Sid wasn't there but I was greeted by his brother who is just as cool about talking beer and making recommendations on beer. I picked out fifteen different beers exceeding my beer suitcase limits some. Sids brother even offed up a free shirt but only had larges left and those just don't work with my extra large gut so he hooked me up with a tart lambic that I drank that night and it was good. This is a must stop location for the best bottles in San Diego.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
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 mactrail
2.96/5  rDev -32.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This place is rightfully esteemed as a place with a remarkable selection of California and Belgian beers. There is a fair amount from other microbreweries around the country though they tend to be the widely distributed ones like Allagash. But short on common ones like Dogfish Head. They do specialize in the strongest, rarest, and most expensive, so if you are swinging for the fences this is the place.

On the other hand, this is definitely not my favorite place due to the ever-present bums. You have filthy guys wandering the aisles, odiferous punks ahead of you in line buying wine or half pints, schizo maniacs glaring at you over their shopping carts at the door, and festive winos hanging on the sidewalk with bags and bottles.

Did I mention the dogs?

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of pwoods
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%

Sid is running a top notch beer store here. It's tucked away in a Super J Market with a few bums running around outside, but the beer is the focus here. Everything you could possibly want from SD with everything from RR that is available to the city. Plenty of the better brews available from around the country. The space is a bit limited but the quality of what's on the shelves and the coolers holding the IPAs and more is top notch. I spent so much that Sid tossed in a nice t-shirt. Prices were just fine.

Keep up the great work, bro!

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Photo of Taybeh
4/5  rDev -8.7%

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).

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Photo of drpimento
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
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 ocmpoma
5/5  rDev +14.2%

visited on 30 Mar 2010

An aptly named establishment. I recently moved into San Diego proper from Carlsbad, and was lamenting the loss of Pizza Port's Bottle Shop, which was only a half-mile from my old apartment. The nearest decent beer store to me now is the Servall, which is not bad, but no Bottle Shop.

So, after perusing BeerFly (how I love BeerFly!), I decided to head downtown. Not a bad walk, although if I'm a planning a large haul I'll have to drive or wait until I get a bike.

I was not let down. My wife and I found the market, and wandered back to check out the beer. I was extremely impressed. Other reviewers have noted that small size; and the 'shop' is really one aisle of the market and some coolers in the back. We ignored the coolers, as they were all mainstream stuff. So, no, this isn't BevMo with its many shelves of sixers and cases. But not one inch of shelf space in this place is wasted. Belgian, German, UK, US Craft, it's there. Lots of stuff I haven't heard of or have dreamt of buying. Tons of bombers and 750s. And all of it top-notch.

Sid was there, and spent plenty of time talking to us about the beers he had, what we liked and what would be good to try. It was difficult to walk out with only the four bottles we snagged. We signed up for the mailing list, too, and unless I'm very short on time, I fully intend to bypass anything closer to me and head straight to Sid's. It actually is the best damn beer shop I've yet seen.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%

i seem to always find some sort of gem when i hit up super junior's! being the only good beer shop in downtown san diego they completely deserve their moniker of "best damn beer shop!" sid is a great guy that is knowledgable about his product, and seems to be getting a lot of the harder to find beers quicker than some of the other places around town. they've got a good selection of locals and belgians with many of the beers refrigerated.

if you're around downtown san diego, this is your place! it comes highly recommended!

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Photo of zhanson88
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%

We sort of stumbled onto this place based on a couple of BeerFly reviews on our visit to S.D.
It can be a little confusing to find this place, it's not so much a beer store as an aisle in a little grocery store on 7th and Broadway. There seemed to be plenty of street parking in front of the store. It is not the best area of downtown, but I didn't feel unsafe going to this store.
The selection was quite good. Most of the usual suspects along with Coronado, The Bruery, Lost Abbey, etc. Prices seemed pretty reasonable based on some other places we visited. Service seemed pretty good. There were two guys buying a couple of cases of macros and seemed to get good attention from the staff. The only assistance we needed was to get a price on The Bruery's new fall beer. It had been put on the shelves that day and the price tags hadn't been put on yet. The price was found quickly and politely. Overall, I liked this place and will visit again when we go back to S.D.
Definitely worth a stop.

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Photo of easong
3.15/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
96 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.