Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 158 | Show All Ratings:
4.74/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Great Caesar's Ghost!! This place is awesome. I guess I had to see it to believe it. Located just a few miles south of the Mid Hudson Bridge on Rte 9 (northbound), big and new and shiny and clean. An aisle of american micro brews galore. I happily scored me a few single Bert Grant's beers, some Middle Ages this, some Rogue Imperial Stouts that, just a huge singles make your own six pack heaven. Coolers and coolers of just singles. An aisle of Scottish and English and Irish and German and Belgians, oh my. I scored me a Liefman's Goudenband (edit: I came back and scored 4 more Liefman's Goudenbands and am hoarding them), I am one happy camper. Oh yeah, and a couple of Cantillion's to boot. All sorts of stuff I've heard of but have never seen and all sorts of stuff that I've just flat out never heard of but will be doing research on (hmmmmn, if only there was a very informative beer website where people wrote descriptively about all beers and I could reference them). State of the art, a dozen live taps for pouring 10oz sampler bottles, 1/2 gallon or full gallon growlers and the system is done up right!! and the staff seemed alot more up to beer snuff than the Budweiser beer swill lackeys you usually get at your local bevee. The guy me and Davo were talking to used to brew at Woodstock Brewery in Kingston and was knowlegable as all hell about everything we hit him with (and he's a good barleywine man on top of that). I dropped $71 bucks there and I'm sure I'll be doing the 90 mile pilgramage there again real damn soon.
Well worth the hike, says I.
09-29-2002 21:58:29 | More by slander
4.85/5 rDev +3.2%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
What can I say, except this place is BEER HEAVEN. Drop what you are doing and GO to HALF TIME. My second visit, I met the Omegang brewer and left with growlers of three Philosophers. The selection is awe inspiring. They have it! Perhaps most amazing is the filling of fresh growlers they will do. The tap/growler selection is allways changing and allways impressive. Did I mention the glassware? The sister bar/restaurant located next door is worth supporting as well. Decent taps, alot of eclectic bottles, very tasty food and killer TV's for watching a game or whatever. This a very worthwhile beer destination. Bring a large vehicle and a new credit card. Enjoy!
02-26-2004 02:51:22 | More by Billolick
4.4/5 rDev -6.4%
quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
Heading south from Montreal with BA Erica on Route 87, a few punters at the Mondiale had mentioned that Half Time was on the way back to New York and JFK for my flight home to LAX, and like hey Man you should pop by cuz its an awesome place. Checking the progress back and the time, it seemed like we could manage a trip to Half Time and Poopkeepsee, Prekepsigh, Pugghesees, Powkowshy Half Time.
Peeling off the 87 South onto the 299 East, then head South down the 9W, then back East across the Hudson River Bridge on the 55 and then head South yet again on the 9 (South Road), its all about an 8 mile drive South from the 87/299 Junction. As we drove South the store was on the left (Northbound 9) and facilitated an 180˚ about turn, but thankfully there is one of those nifty turning circle thingies just after the store.
Handy parking area out front of the rather new looking brick exterior. Inside it is a sort of a Car Parts Place meets Beer World.
Atmosphere: for Beer Stores is not about how nice the place is, it is all about just how beery the interior is. And Half Time is mega beery stacked cardboard cases, more beer boxes, loose stand alone displays, rows of wall-hugging coolers filled with loose bottles and six-packs and several Supermarket aisles of bottled beery delights all arranged at a 45 degree angle to the front wall. Needless to say that the atmosphere is distinctly beery, it is hard to knock the arrangement, neatly laid out, and clearly labeled aisles by Country, yet it still retains that bloody hell I want to go beer hunting feel to the displays.
Beer Range Selection: is something else, I need not bother even trying to describe the brews on offer, if it aint here it is highly unlikely that you can pick it up, on the East Coast at least, I spied many, many brews that I never ever get to see over on the West Coast but all the ones I usually see, so it is not missing anything either. In addition to myriad of bottled brews a very nifty tap set-up dispenses draft beer to go in small bottles and a range of Growler sizes hanging from the roof nearby, could it get any better!?!?
Service: always a tough mark for beer stores. OK, so we have full marks for Atmosphere and Beer Range Selection but I feel Service on my visit at least was just average: For a start, I couldnt find any hand sized baskets anywhere even though I saw signs and an area for them, where were they!?!? I really didnt fancy getting one of the huge Spacker-Sized wire Trolleys so dip in marks there. I guess I could have asked where the Hand Baskets were ..but there was, well quite literally no-one in the store!! I mean No-one. Erica and I could have robbed these guys blind if we had the inclination to, we might not have got far for sure, but the lack of human presence was a little off-putting. So what the heck, Ill just pick up my handful of bottles and hand-carry them around, pain in the ass as it was, so a few more lost marks there too. Right, check out time erm, young kid could not make up his mind which till to use, which is rather annoying as I was already hand lugging my bottles around. Then he seemed to have troubles working the till and just scanning the bottles. Enter stage left from the back room experienced Dude who rescued the situation, grabbed a box and had me served in double quick time with no ID bullshit or silly hassles and any of that stupid shite you get in NJ. So .what to give, I think to be fair a 3.0 would be reasonable overall, it really does not deserve more from my limited experience and I say it as I see it.
Average Service aside, would I go again? Too bloody right, Im only *really* interested in the beer range on sale and the prices, the rest fades once I walk out with a box full of beer. To put it all in context: 1,800 Beers, 500 Microbreweries, 100 Delicious Styles from over 40 Countries So is Half-Time worth a visit? erm, hmmm, erm, yep, hmm, well I guess so. If not, and you live in NY State, you could always deal with the guys on-line too! Lucky buggers.
Last Visit: Monday 5th June, 2006.
06-15-2006 06:20:00 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.38/5 rDev -28.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $$$$
I've stopped here many times on my travels across the Hudson Valley. Used to think highly of this store, until my last visit this past weekend.
Sure, Half Time is a huge store. A veritable supermarket of all things beer. But guess what? There is only ONE aisle for American craft. That ONE aisle is neatly arranged and colorful and has some (few) brands I cannot get downstate in NYC like Great Lakes, Clown Shoes and Three Heads from Rochester, but it still is only ONE aisle. World's largest selection of beer? I doubt it.
A good variety of Alesmith and Bruery bombers, plus more Elysian than I have ever seen. The excitement ends there, though. No rarities, no barreled brews, no "oh-my-god-gotta-have-that" bottles. Yes, they got a lot of beer, but nothing really that you will not see in your local shelves. Stone, Sierra, Dogfish, Weyerbacher, Jolly Pumpkin... whatever.
The only exciting brews were BEHIND the counter (as if they were afraid they'll get stolen or something?). There they had the barrel-aged Mikkeller Black Hole series, priced at $15.99!!
Indeed, the price is perhaps the worst thing about Half Time. Everything here is two-to-three dollars more expensive than in Manhattan. Why?
One thing I did like is the reduced-price beers upfront by the entrance, including Hoppin' Frog Black&Tan and a bunch of seasonal/Christmas beers. I also like the fact that you can get tap beer to go in containers as small as a pint (16 oz). How cool is that!
There is not much service to speak of here... no beer nerd cruising the aisles offering help. A lil' cold but just fine at the registers. Sorry, Half Time, but you are just not for me.
10-05-2011 15:55:00 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.35/5 rDev -7.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Not the best beer store in the USA, but certainly up there. About a half dozen rows of beers, plus a clearance area, where I picked up a magnum of red & white mikkeller. Excellent US micro selection, however I found the foreign to be merely par. Good selection of glssware as well. A long shlep up a smaller highway. A good rotation of bottles, I had no qualms of grabbing lagers. Love the single bottle freedom. Some harder to finds like Coronado. Good help offered and given to bring out boxes. $225 later but no free glassware. No worries.
08-20-2010 23:00:26 | More by Sammy
5/5 rDev +6.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
This place remains the tops for pure beer selection. Signs in the store boast 1400 beers. I was able to procure about $175 of beer I can't get in Jersey, most notibly Stone and northern NY breweries like Wagner and Cooperstown. I picked up The Beast from Avery and several Southampton beers like the IPA, Baltic Porter, and Saison which I have never seen in NJ. Full line of Goose Island beers too. Entire aisle of Belgian beers will keep you browsing for a while. Ten taps for growler fills. Numerous clear glass refridgerators well stocked. Neat checkout area, and nice big carts to haul your finds.
As in my previous visits, I was greeted by a friendly staff member who guessed I was from out of town since my shopping cart was full of bombers and some singles.
This place is super clean, well organized, and well lit. One of the greatest beer stores on earth.
12-27-2005 15:15:55 | More by Gavage
4.4/5 rDev -6.4%
quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
I stopped here based on strong praise from most BA reviews on the place. Most of the praise is well earned now that I've seen the selection.
The aisles are separated by country. America has the most beers (maybe 300 or so), followed by Belgium (maybe 100). Germany was somewhat under-represented in my opinion, but they still had about 40-50 German beers. England was also in the race and France surprised me with their bid for glory. I've never tried French beer yet.
The service is kind of lousy. I brought a list of some East Coast beers with me and had no luck getting help to find them. The salespeople couldn't even tell me if were out of stock or if they carried them, I thought they could check some list or something...
As long as you know what you're looking for and you have time to roam the aisles you'll enjoy this place.
08-23-2006 04:01:13 | More by TurdFurgison
5/5 rDev +6.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
If there is a better beer store anywhere, I want to know where it is.
The selection at Half Time is mind blowing. Whether you fancy Belgians, American craft beers or beers from Germany, UK, Australia, or anywhere else probably, this place is for you. We grabbed two mixed cases of great stuff from Brooklyn (Black Ops), Capt. Lawrence (Nor' Easter-sold out at the brewery), Keegan, Pennichuck and others.
In addition to the miles of aisles (organized geographically and clearly labeled), there is also an 8 tap growler fill station. Very cool!
We had a great beer conversation with the buyer/owner, who also gave us some cool free glassware. Prices a bit on the high side I think, but worth every penny.
02-08-2009 19:54:07 | More by sholland119
4.66/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I strategically booked a hotel in Newburgh, NY just for the chance to visit Half Time. Well worth the cash.
Quality: Never have I seen this many bottles laid out in such a beautiful fashion. The layout of the store and the selection was top notch.
Service: The check-out girl struggled over my Sixpoint Bolshoi, but it was not too aggravating. The manager offered my a free glass (I guess based on the size of my purchase) and I chose a wicked nice Leute Bok glass with wooden stand. That kind of little thing counts big in a rather difficult category to rate.
Selection: What more can I say that hasn't already been said. I got the following:
Avec les bon voeux (2)
Stone Smoked Porter
Stone VE '06
Southampton Grand Cru
Southamption Imperial Porter
Southampton 10th Anniversary Old Ale
Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA
and one other that I can't recall right now. Suffice to say I've never been in a store like this. You MUST visit this place. Oh yeah, they also fill growlers.
Value: The value is based on your tastes. Some beers are cheaper than others but it is worth your while.
07-21-2006 00:45:29 | More by akorsak
5/5 rDev +6.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
What else can I add, that has not already been said. This place, although 3 hours from my humble home, is certainly beer nirvana! Over 1,400 beers in stock, but I kept my cool and only dropped $80 in addition to my $80 worth of gift certificates (thanks Erica). This place is just disgusting! Aisles, and aisles of micros on shelves that are fully stocked and labeled well. Want some French beers and ciders, how about a whole endcap of them? Traditional lambics? There is a whole aisle devoted to them! Service was nice, as we got two free glasses, and two free growlers since we came from far away. Talk about nice! Quality of all of the beers was awesome as well, with all beers being fresh, and before their best buy date. This place must have awesome turnover. Unreal. But too damn far! Good prices as well! GO!
01-06-2005 00:38:37 | More by francisweizen
Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY
100 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.