Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant
Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
3.58/5 rDev -10.7%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5 | $$$$
My very first impression of this place as I walked in with my ragged chuck taylors and flannel overshirt was I was going to be asked to leave as soon as I entered. Super fancy and nice with automatic doors and a fountain. The place is rather large on the inside with everything nicely separated and organized. The selection of beer and wine is terrific, probably one of the best in bakersfield, and the fact that there is a wine bar, beer taps, and the option to buy a shelf beer and drink it right there makes it even better. The reason I must give Imbibe a lower score is the prices and service. The prices are the highest in town I have seen so far, and yes I know they are carrying hard to find expensive things, but I have seen some of the same stuff around town for far far less. Another thing is the service, the employees are nice enough, but it seems forced, unless you are a rich business type who is going to drop a clean 200 on wine and cigars. If you are like me going to go there and spend thirty to forty and those business people are there good luck my friend. I feel all customers should be treated equal. All in all, not a terrible place, awesome selection, nice atmosphere, I just wish it was a little cheaper and catered to all customers equally.
08-23-2013 22:50:22 | More by drunkheathen
4.44/5 rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped her en route to SF, ended up spending what I would have for a cheap hotel on beers. Figured it was a good trade off.
This place felt uber-swanky and at first I felt out of place,
coming off I did from a 12 hour haul through the desert.
$14 for Pliny? Wow. Obviously I passed. Otherwise there’s good deals to be had here. I spoke with a rep named Tim who was very helpful and guided me to some local/regional selections. Came out of there with some nice finds I would have overlooked otherwise. If I’m ever back in the area I’ll stop in and hopefully have some more time to try something on tap or get something to eat.
07-19-2012 22:03:13 | More by elNopalero
3.83/5 rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Imbibe definitely has the best beer selection in Bakersfield, no doubt about it. And it is conveniently located along the Kern River Bike Path (if you are a bicyclist)--one of the reasons I frequent this place quite often. It is a bit hard to find if you are from out of town, although most people can use their smart phones and find it pretty quickly I'm sure. They do cater to wine enthusiasts and the upper-class, but they are very friendly to me--a sort of long-haired, bearded, young man (except for one of their employees who has his/her nose in the air and sees me countless times but is always rude). They have a rotating tap with usually four or five really good beers--usually some west coast beers and then maybe a belgian or something. If you like wine, they have an automated wine bar with maybe 15 reds and 6 or so whites. Alongside beer and wine, they also sell spirits. They don't really have a fully functional kitchen, but if you sit down for a glass of wine or beer, they will bring you some crackers or bread. Frequently they have caterers prepare food for small events. The place is very elegant and nice inside but will make most beer drinkers feel a little out of place. They have a rewards program that allows you to taste wine from the automated wine bar according to how much you spend...but unfortunately they don't offer any sort of rewards or discount towards the beer. It's a little on the expensive side, but for Bakersfield it is a light at the end of the tunnel. Their selection is better than other liquor stores in town and more reasonable. The only place to get beer cheaper in Bakersfield is at a supermarket.
01-02-2012 05:34:21 | More by bierfreundlich
4.13/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$$
This place might as well be my home. Every time I have a craving for good beer this is the first thing that comes to mind. They have affordable beer and they have beer that is ridiculously overprized!! There are only about a handful of other craft-beer stores in town but Imbibe has the best selection in town. Well, actually they pretty much have the rarest beer in Kern County!
When walking in you will know this place is designed to attract the yupie crowd of Bakersfield. It mainly caters to wine'os or as they like to be called pedof... I mean oenophiles or lover of wine. Jokes aside, they have some of the most awesome wine in this place!!
They also have a fridge that carries the best craft beer selection in town. You can either take the bottled beer to go or pay to have it corked or capped and enjoyed there.
In addition, they usually have one beer on-tap usually a good one.
The only thing that gets me about this place is their pricing on so called "limited release" beers. I mean Paso Robles is our neighboring county but Imbibe will take no mercy in charging patrons $29.00, yes $29.00, I mean $29.00, take note $29.00 Dollars for a Firestone Parabola!!! Other than a few ridiculous prizes here and there this is the best beer store in town.
09-29-2011 06:55:34 | More by ChanChan
4.16/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
(Visited 01/2011): Imbibe is in Bakersfield west of downtown off the Blue Star Memorial Highway on Truxton. The place is actually a little tough to find and we passed it before realizing you have to circle around behind the buildings that are on the street. Parking is plentiful all around the building.
The interior is laid out with a sort of bar area immediately on the left that has a few beer taps. The bottled stuff is in coolers further back. Draught beer and bottles can both be consumed on site which is always nice. There is a corkage fee to drink the beers there but they didn't seem overly eager to enforce it. The rest of the store is pretty much devoted to wine, and they have some "pay by the ounce' options available.
As for the beers, they carry goodies from Port, The Bruery, Rogue, Oskar Blues, Hair Of The Dog, Deschutes and many more.
Service was friendly on a weekday early afternoon. Despite the place obviously leaning toward wine shoppers, the staff was more than happy to help us with pouring and purchasing beers.
Overall this is my kind of shop, and definitely one of if not the best places to buy beer in the Bakersfield/Tehachapi area.
09-03-2011 23:35:07 | More by Dogbrick
4.29/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
It's not viewable from streetview, as the enterence of Imbibe faces away from the street address it's at. And it's not just a store, there's a seperate tasting area with live saxophone music entertaining guests while they drink. I should note that I found three beers on-tap for the tasting area.
Five coolers hold the beer, all neatly displayed and organized. I found a few "hard to find" beers like Consecration and Abacus. The quantity isn't the largest, but the lables being sold are good; Porterhouse, Erdinger, Zatec, Firestone, AleSmith, Delirium, Allagash, Oskar Blues, Maui Brewing. Ironically, I don't recall seeing any Kern River.
While it's a wine store at heart, the checker asked me if I had ever tried the Abacus I was purchasing. If you wanted, you could drink bottled beer in their tasting room, but add a $1 "corkage fee". I found that option to be cool. No, I won't sign up for a membership card because a rarely go through Bakersfield, but I will recommmend it to those in or around the area.
03-14-2011 05:38:57 | More by DoubleJ
Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant in Bakersfield, CA
90 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.