Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
2.49/5 rDev -42.6%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$$
Visited this place on a weekend trip to SW metro Detroit. I searched online for the best bottle shop in the area and this was supposed to be it.
A- Looking at the place from the outside it looked pretty nice, it's in a nice new looking brick plaza building. As soon as I opened the door though I was surprised that it had the feel of a dirty 7-11 as opposed to craft beer store. The tile floor was yellow and sticky, it's hot as hell, and the old guy behind the counter looked at me but never said anything. In fact during my time there he went to where the glassware was and took some glasses off the shelf and broke them in a cardboard box, very strange.
Q- Everything seemed pretty dirty and I was afraid to touch things.
S- The old guy was scary and kept breaking glasses in a cardboard box.
S- This place does have lots of different things, a variety of domestic and imports as well as many things I can't get on the west side of the state. However almost everything that was bottle dated expired and they were keeping many IPAs in out on the shelves in very hot temps. It was hotter inside this place than it was outside.
F- Bottle shop not food shop, unless you count Slim Jims and Cheetos as food.
V- This is the first time I've encountered a bottle shop with what I would call unreasonable prices. No wonder this place has 9 month old IPAs. There were a few Belgian beers I wanted to get but the inflated price stopped me on principle. Also they had stuff from The Bruery that I wanted to get but paying and overprice for an already overpriced beer is insane, I'd rather trade for it.
06-29-2014 08:26:21 | More by PaulyB83
2.81/5 rDev -35.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | $$$$
I'm updating a review that I left in May 2011. At that time, I had never experienced service and selection so great that it prompted me to hop online and leave a glowing review. I lived in West Michigan for six years -- just down the street from Siciliano's Market, widely-regarded as the best beer store in the state -- so I was thrilled to find a great beer store for when I came to visit family on the east side of the state. A few months ago, I moved back to the area full-time and thought being a 10-minute drive from the Beer Baron would be a blessing.
I'm not one of those people who thinks, "a bad review, yeah, that'll show 'em," but I'm more throwing this out there because there are no recent reviews up here, and I'm wondering if the regulars here have noticed some changes that haven't made this the stop that it once was.
First, the service. The selection was always great, but many of these reviews single out Darren as the go-to guy, and I always found that to be true. It was always him or an older gentleman working in there when I stopped in (probably 10 times over two years). He was super passionate. Never pushy, but always excited to show you what's new, find out what you like, etc. When the older guy was there, he'd always openly admit that he didn't know the beer as well, seemed like he owned the place and couldn't believe how craft beer has taken off, etc. Commented to me once how they have to constantly reconfigure the store to fit the supply and demand of craft beer.
Since I've been living back here, I haven't seen Darren, just the older guy. I think Darren's moved on to bigger and better (and good for him). But everything about the beer, from the prices to the organization of the shelves, has suffered. The tags that once designated "new" or "rare" or "last chance!" bottles are gone, and it's difficult to work your way through their still-impressive selection.
The worst part, though, are the prices. How it's always worked here is, the prices for singles are a little high, but you get a 15% discount when you mix your own six pack. And there aren't many mix-your-six stores out here, so that was great. The discount brought the beers back to where they should be. Now it seems like they've raised the prices where you aren't really getting the normal shelf prices -- and then some. In fact, I once heard a woman complaining about his price on stamps (seriously, stamps!) to the older dude, and his response was "hey, I've gotta make a buck." Seems the same philosophy has hit their shelves. You won't find many singles at all for under $3, and any limited releases or even-remotely-rare seasonals are going to be $5/6 minimum. You still get the discount, but 15% off that is still going to leave you scratching your head over why your six-pack is pushing $30. But seriously, who's spending $2.75 for an Oberon when Meijer or Busch's has a 12-pack on sale for $14 bucks every other week?
You'll certainly find whatever you're looking for here -- it might be a few months old and stored in direct sunlight, and you'll pay a premium -- but there's no doubt that the east side of the state is lacking in stores that will break apart any six-pack. However, it's just odd that the prices are gouged so badly here when one of the other stores that singles everything is less than two miles away -- check out the Wine Palace on Five and Middlebelt. No "Darrens" there (in fact, I don't think I've ever been offered help there, which is fine now that I know what I'm looking for), but everything is individually priced -- no discount, so the prices are what they should be. Even the Wine Castle, which is just a few streets down, has better prices, although their single selection is lacking.
End rant. Just an odd evolution for a place I once considered an east-side staple. It seemed like they were once excited to be pioneers in the beer community, but now they just want to cash in on the demand for craft beer. The old dude is well within his rights to "make a buck," but it certainly won't be coming from my pocket from here on out.
05-26-2014 03:16:17 | More by FedExPope
4.18/5 rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
This is a go-to when around town. Service here has always been great. I don't know the name of the man behind the counter, but he is always willing to help out. For example, he stopped to open a case of beer for me that hadn't been added to the shelves. They carry everything local that i can think of including limited releases. Of note, prices for singles can be a bit pricey but you can get a discount if purchasing in quantity.
06-27-2013 16:12:41 | More by sugarcaneE
2.78/5 rDev -35.9%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I stopped in at lunch today to check this place out. Place was a little dirty(sticky floors), no big deal. Picked up a mix 6 and a bomber. First one was a Racer 5 which looking at the date now is 9 months old. Drain pour. Stone IPA was fresh and rest were beers that it shouldn't matter. I also noticed they still have some Mikkeller IPAs, I believe Shelton Bros hasn't distributed to MI for about a year. They do have a good selection and still have beer that sold out quickly at other stores. Be cautious and check the dates here and be prepared to pay more.
06-27-2013 00:00:07 | More by Jas45678
Beer Baron in Livonia, MI
95 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.