Sun Devil Liquors

Not Rated.
Sun Devil LiquorsSun Devil Liquors
BA SCORE
96
world-class

46 Ratings
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Store ]

235 N Country Club Rd
Mesa, Arizona, 85201-6539
United States
phone: (480) 834-5050

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: hyuga

Store with a taproom in the basement.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by ronniebruner:
Photo of ronniebruner
3.76/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

From the outside this place looks a bit rundown. First of all, the neighborhood is a bit sketchy, especially if you do not speak Spanish. But once you get inside you know why you are there; the selection. These guys have everything you are looking for and also stuff you never heard of. The problem is the employees are very unhelpful and do not care much. The majority of the bottles are dusty and Ive even encountered several bottles past their expiration date. The place is severely cluttered and dingy, but you're here for the selection. There is a cellar where you can taste HopSlam on tap and once I even got some Bigfoot Stout. So if you're in Arizona and you're seeking selection and service is not a concern, this is the place to go! Or you can drive on over to Total Wine at san Tan.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Karianne11
5/5  rDev +14.4%

I stopped in on a whim to buy some beer and was blown away at their selection. Then we ventured downstairs to the wine cellar where they were doing a free beer tasting. Apparently they do it every Friday. The staff was very helpful and friendly and I like that's it's family owned.

Photo of orangesol
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here on the way home since it was on the way. Upon entering the sore it is striking just how much beer they have. Some people walking around browsing the aisles of beer and liquor. Service was solid. I was approached twice asking if I needed help finding anything but I was just browsing. Quality was ok. Nearly all of the bottles were covered in dust and some were out of date, while the rest were fine. Selection can best be described as immense and diverse. Beers of all different styles from all over the world. Nothing overly rare or anything but plenty of solid options. Prices were fairly similar to all of the other bottle shops I have visited in the area. Overall a huge selection is this places selling point, which is both a gift and a curse.

Photo of xdtfx
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Visited Sun Devil Liquors a couple times while on a trip to the Mesa area last fall. Originally, I was recommended this place because they carried Odell and I was looking to get my Myrcenary fix. Great store. Doesn't look like much from the outside but huge craft beer selection. Tons of bombers. They had so much that it was kinda hard to walk the ailes because they had cases of stuff not on the shelves and extra stock all over the place. They have a ton of west coast, local stuff, and some nice midwest stuff. Luckily I was visiting during The Abyss release. They had a shelf full of The Abyss and no bottle limit from what I recall. Like some one else mentioned in their review, I too noticed this place had a large selection Bell's. Anyways.. I ended up shipping home a pretty nice sized box of goodies. The staff was friendly. Prices were reasonable. I noticed they had a pub area to the place but didn't get a chance to check it out since I was spending so much time looking at selection. I would recommend this place to anyone who visits the PhoenixMesa area and is looking for some heady brews .

Photo of Phelps
3.16/5  rDev -27.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5

Sun Devil's selection cannot be argued against. They get every sought-after beer, and every other beer besides. With entire sections of the store devoted to Belgian and Eastern European brews, there's always something new to find.

What can be argued against is the place's service and business practices. A story: around the time Parabola was first released in Arizona, I went on a search that brought me to Sun Devil. I had already bought a pair of bottles at their sister store, Tops, for $14 each. The single case of Parabola at Sun Devil was kept behind the counter -- I had to point it out before they would acknowledge they had it -- and cost $18 per bottle. I begrudgingly forked over the money for a bottle, knowing they were the last ones in town who had it in stock. I return a week later and they have one bottle left. I ask the clerk to ring it up, and he says the price is $22. I tell him I paid less than that just a few days earlier. He just shrugs and says, "It's a popular beer."

Sun Devil has good stuff in stock, but their price-gouging practices have kept me from going back since that day. If you want a sought-after brew, use this bottle shop as a last resort.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Roll up, this place is a dive on the outside. Inside, its a little clustered, but you gotta appreciate trying to carry as much product as possible. Downstairs there's a serving room w/ tons of wine. Hopslam on tap, and available in bottle for purchase. Sweet.

A weird collection of stuff. All kinds of different Bell's beers. In Arizona. Nice. Even the major stuff like Pyramid, they had a variety I've never seen. Tons of Rock Art stuff from Vermont. . . just mind scratching the geographic reach this place has. A little worried about freshness here, lots of dust and damaged labels. Good variety of six pack stuff and stuff in the coolers. What is in the cooler may not be on the shelf.

Employees ask real quick if you need help and then leave you alone. Take care of your stuff when you're downstairs. Prices are decent.

Photo of Allpe45
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

From the outside this looks like a typical seedy arizona liquor store, it even has the classic drive through window. Even the entrance area looks like a typical liquor store if you just look at the counter / cash register area.

Once you glance farther inside, or just breathe some of the air inside, it's obvious that this is not a normal liquor store. The contrast makes this place that much more interesting.

It smells like a wine cellar, in the best way possible. You can feel the humidity in your lungs when you breathe, brings back memories of my late grandfather's basements in Europe.

The inside is peaceful and dim. Gotta let the eyes adjust to the lack of light for a few seconds after escaping the Arizona sun. I normally bring a hoodie, even if it is warm outside, because they keep the temperature fairly low in the building. This is a must if going downstairs. It really is cellar temperature, which honestly isn't THAT cold, except on days when it is comparatively hot outside (meaning almost every days in this city).

I have been there several times and it's always almost empty aside from 1-2 workers and maybe 1 random customer who enters, buys something, and leaves, all before I even finish deciding which beers I want to buy. This may be related to what time I choose to shop here. It seems like I come here at roughly the same time of day, regardless of which day it is.

The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. If there is something specific I'm looking for, they can usually find it for me or give me a valid explanation of why it's not available, and give me a rough idea of when it will be back in stores, if ever. I don't mean typical BS excuses you hear from random employees in various stores. These guys actually know what's going on in the beer world, especially with regard to beer distributed in AZ. I always see the same 1-2 guys working there, so I don't know if all the staff members are all like this, or if I just come at the perfect time of day every time.

They have an unparalleled selection of European beers, but their American stash is nothing to scoff at either. There is a side section of the store devoted almost entirely to Belgian and Belgian-style beers.
They have racks upon racks filled with 750s and bombers of varying age, style, and availability.
Lots of their selection simply cannot be found in any other local store. Harviestoun Ola Dubh series? no problem.

They even have several of the Mikkeller single hop IPAs in stock, but I can't speak for the freshness as I haven't asked about it or tried them yet.

I feel bad giving this store such a high score even though I shop at other local stores WAY more often than I come here. The price is the only issue with this store. Don't get me wrong, they aren't as bad as whole foods, the prices are usually at least reasonable, but still more expensive than totalwine/bevmo.
They also split up 4packs/6packs by the bottle, and if you want to buy a full pack, they will probably charge you for 4 or 6 individual bottles instead of the normal 4pack/6pack price.
Definitely not cool.

I would shop here exclusively if their prices were more in line with other local beer stores, or if their policy of breaking up 6-packs into individual bottles was an option instead of a requirement.

Unfortunately, the way things are right now, I only come to this store if there is something very specific that I want and other stores don't have it in stock.
I really like coming here, it's a great experience every time, until checkout.

Photo of jale
4.5/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Traveled from Michigan to the Arizona Strong beer festival and had to stop here. From the outside you may think this is an older average liquor store. What a great surprise to find a great selection of hard to find beers. The hidden gem here is the basement. They have several taps with good local craft beer. You can also buy anything on the shelves and drink it there. There are several tables and an area with a number a couches and comfy chairs. The feel is intimate and a great place to share great beers with friends. The owner (Lori) is the sweetest woman you will meet. Friday nights they have beer tasting and live music. This place is a must stop when visiting and the first place I will head to when in Phoenix.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

I live in Colorado and have visited this store over Christmas holidays on a few occasions, and very much wish that this store was closer by! The selection is the best I have seen, and they have an impressive vintage beer selection in the basement tap room. I saw older vintages of J.W. Lees, Thomas Hardys, Fuller's Vintage Ale, and others. They have an interesting mix and match policy where you can take bottles out of six-packs and assemble your own from their entire inventory. Usually stores have on cooler than can mix and match, but my understanding was that the rule goes for anything in the store. Pretty awesome! They also have an entire room called "The Iron Curtain", which is dedicated to beer ( and maybe other beverages?) from Eastern Europe. Overall this is the best store I have visited yet for selection (maybe they just have what I can't find in CO). I have not interacted with the staff much, but they seemed nice enough, although the clerk told me that they were getting some more Thomas Hardy's in soon... and I just nodded and smiled.

Photo of jeffaz02t
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%

This is my favorite bottle shop in the Valley of the Sun. They have much more open space than Tops (same owners) and the Tempe ASU crowd does not pick away at the selection here like they do at Tops.

They have the largest selection that I know of in the state and feature a small taproom with a few gems on tap.

This place gets many special releases and offer a 10% discount if you buy by the case.

I have not been exactly impressed by the beer knowledge of some of the staff, but whatever. I do not need a clerk to help me out here, I know my way around a bottle shop.

Photo of leedorham
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Visited this place on a couple occasions while visiting friends & relatives in Mesa.

Quality - Lots of world-class beer here from all over the world. Great to find some beers I can't get in my area and see more than just the usual suspects from Belgium and the like. There were some dusty bottles but I guess that's to be expected with so much selection.

Service - Maybe I just caught them on a bad day (both times) but each time I've been to this place they guys working there have been total tools to me & my significant other. On one occasion we went to an open register while one of the clerks worked behind the counter eating an abba zabba or something. When we finally asked for his attention he picked up a register closed sign, plunked it down in front of us, then walked away without saying a word.

Selection - Very wide variety of choices from not-so-craft to world-class.

Value - I found the prices to be a bit higher than what I am used to in my area.

Photo of chaase44
5/5  rDev +14.4%

as a new transplant to Mesa, i was looking for a local watering hole that served more than budwiser when i figured out that sun devil liquors has a bar in their basement. now, i've been going to sun devil since i got here, because of their exceptional selection of beer, but never had the chance to go into their downstairs bar. well, i finally got a chance, and it is amazing! wicked small bar without the frills, but still done up enough to make you feel comfortable. and the star of every bar is their beer choices. they have between six to a dozen rotating beers along with a cask going, all of them local or regional crafts. i'm so excited about this place. i am able to stop by after work, enjoy a new beer i've never had before, walk upstairs and grab something to take home, then be on my way. top notch place in a town were good beer and good bars are few and far between.

Photo of DPFRD
5/5  rDev +14.4%

This place is the sister store of top's liquor in tempe.

They have an egregious selection of wine and booze, complimented by the best selection of beer known to an arizonan.

This place basically stocks the same stuff tops does, huge belgian selection that will blow your mind, german, asian... they even have a section called the iron curtain.

I love this place cause it's in mesa which isn't the high society of beer, so when tops runs out of something, they have it still... I found the yulesmith summer variety here, sculpin when it was near impossible to find and the Houblon when I thought it was completely depleted in az.

The place can get you a keg of anything, and will give you 10% discount if you buy in cases.

They also have a downstairs wine/beer bar that is killin too.

Photo of dstc
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Stopped in while in town to get my fill of rarer CA beers as well as local stuff. Walked in with a big list and was unable to find most of the oddities I was looking for but who cares? The stuff I found made up for it. Started browsing the Belgian selection and was very pleased. Started filling up a cart with items I've been looking for in FLA but could not find. Still got some great CA beers and the service was very helpful. Would have loved to have gone back to the bar in the basement but that never happened. Great place.

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%

Visited on Sep 17 2010.

There is a large refrigerated area with IPAs and a much larger area for the rest. I was able to pick up many Odell(Deconstruction, Wood Cut #4, Saboteur, etc,) and Bells(Two hearted, Kalamazoo, Oracle) which we don't get in CA. I was also able to pick up some rarer beers(Old Blue Hair) as well. Too bad they didn't have Founders. They had many Belgians, Eastern European, and other Imported Beers.

Employees helped me find anything I wanted(that they had). They led me around and asked me which beers I had access to in CA then showed me the ones they thought I couldn't get.

There was a wine bar down stairs with 6 beers on Tap and let me try a few tasters of some of the beers I have never had before.

A little more expensive than Total Wine(even with the 10% case discount) but a much better selection. I will be stopping by the next time I'm in the area.

Photo of tang3nt
4.85/5  rDev +11%

Just recently made a trip out to Arizona to visit the family, and thanks to beerfly - had this place on my "must visit" list.
Fairly easy to find, I found myself looking at what seemed an average to small sized liquor store. Nothing too out of the ordinary from the exterior with the exception of a drive thru on the side of the building for late hour purchases. Once I entered and found the beer section, my lady knew we would be there for a while.
Everything was somewhat organized by region, with heavy hitters from all over. What I was really tripping over was the fact that they had beers from all over California (where I'm from) that were actually cheaper than I could get them back home. Prices were great, the staff was knowledgeable and after talking with the workers for a while I was amazed to find out they had some kegs tapped downstairs! It just got better and better. All in all a great beer spot for any beer fan. In my four day trip I was all over Arizona and managed to make it there twice. Probably one of the best I've ever been to. If you are remotely close, go there now.

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

Sun Devil Liquors is a large liquor store that caters heavily to the beer / wine crowd in the Tempe / Phoenix / Mesa area. Its called Sun Devil Liquors even though it is several miles away from ASU campus. This confused me the first time I was there.

There are several hundred bottles of beer in sun devil liquors as well as a substantial keg selection as well. It is very impressive. The beers are organized roughly by regions. The store even has an "IRON CURTAIN" section of beer produced in former Soviet Block countries. Its a pretty cool place.

Down stairs there is a small bar (I believe its called the cellar). It is in fact a wine cellar. On Fridays they do a wine tasting and a beer tasting in the cellar. There is usually a beer representative there pouring beer samples for people. The cellar also is a small beer bar with maybe 6 taps but always really interesting stuff on draft there. I had a Samichlaus beer there one year on draft. A truly inspiring place. Beer is reasonably priced for the PHX metro area, competitive with other liquor stores but you can't beat the service. The staff there is generally helpful and seem like they know a lot about beer.

Check it out if you are in Phoenix.

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev -8.5%

If this place were any darker on the inside, it would like walking through a cavern. I had just raided Top's Liquors of beer, and to my curiosity wandered over here to see if I could find some other good stuff. Well, they do have good stuff, lots of it in fact. Maybe 20% of the selection is refrigerated while the rest sits out on the shelf at store temperature. Some of the examples of beer they carried were Oppigårds, Mikkeller, Hacker Pschorr, Cucapá, AleSmith, Bear Republic, Coronado, Squatters, Eisenbahn Lust, Hitachino, Nøgne Ø, Echigo, and Rochefort. In one oddball, hidden part of the store is a treasure chest of Eastern European beer (for those who are interested), make a U-Turn to the right after you pass the cash register as you walk in. The store advertises they carry over 150 different kegs, don't know which beers though. There's even a wine cellar located in the basement, where I saw a handful of beers on draft, but I skipped an extended visit down there. Overall, this is a very good establishment to cater to your beery needs.

Photo of bigbelcher
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%

The sister store of Tops in Tempe but much better in my opinion. They have a very impressive selection, some of which you probably won't find anywhere else in Arizona other than these two stores since they carry some of the really esoteric eastern european beers that a lot of places don't carry. The staff is pretty beer and liquor knowlegable. The real hidden gem part of Sun Devil is their tasting room downstairs where you can open various bottles of beer or wine or drink from the limited but usually highly select section of taps. They also have beer promos quite often. Not very big but well run and a good place to impress a date with your beer knowledge. Tasting room does have limited hours which is about the only drawback I have about the place. They will also fill up CO2 botles.

Photo of PhxHorn
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Not much I can say that hasn't already been said about this place. Big big selection, some of it old and dusty, so beware. There are bottles of Green Flash from 2005 on the shelf. The service ranges from great to "I don't know where the stuff you're looking for is. I thought it was here when you called, but I'm too busy selling this keg of Bud to look for it." It all depends on who's working. The best part is the 'Iron Curtain', an entire little room dedicated to beers from Communist (or former Communist) countries. You can break up a 6-pack, which is a nice option. You get a 10% discount for buying a case (in any combination) of craft beer. Don't overlook the stairs by the cooler which lead down to the wine cellar. The selection is killer, for sure, and if they could just act like they give a damn, they'd have the best place in town.

Photo of BEERANDNOW
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

I've visited Tops Liqours on many occasions to assort my own variety of 6 packs. For the longest time I believed it couldn't get much better than this (5 miles from home)
Until I discovered Sun Devil Liqours (I believe under same ownership as Tops).
Upon arrival for the first time at Sun Devil I was a bit overwhelmed with the selection and organization of the store, I also spent alittle over 2 hours shopping before I returned home.
Sun Devil has now become my primary source of beer shopping pleasure.
They've seperated into several ailes of american micros a large belgian section and off in another far corner they've have a more obscure european selection.
If selecting beers upstairs to take home wasnt enough, take a short walk to the back of the store where you find flight of stairs that lead you down to the cellar.
The cellar is where weekly wine and beer tastings occur but also they have a large cooler with beers sold upstairs available for purchase to drink in house in the private bar just in case your not sure you should buy the whole six pack upstairs first.
If your on the hunt for good beer on tap for your kegerator at home Sun Devil has a large selection they keep instock and they can order pretty much anything in you need.
Since my discovery of Sun Devil Liqours I've been a return customer again and again. Thanks Sun Devil!

Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

Sun Devil is sprawling, slightly disorganized, and pretty daunting at first. It's organized by "country style" so that Belgian styles are all together, Eastern European all together, etc. Once you figure out the system you're good, but the first time you walk in is a little bit "huh?".

That said, the staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and I've found them to be quite friendly. I wouldn't say they go out of their way to help you, but once asked they will service you appropriately.

The selection is great; as good as anything in the Valley. Top notch, or as the blurb on BA says: World Class. If it's available in Arizona, it's probably at Sun Devil. And I've never gotten a bad bottle, although I might look a little harder for dates and dust than your average shopper.

Super impressive liquor store.

Photo of atigerlife
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%

OK, this place looks like your basic BMC store from the outside. Don't let that fool you!

First, I love the drive thru! I don't know how it works, but what a concept!

Beer is located on the left side of the store on shelves and on the back wall in the fridge. There are 9 fridges with beer. Quite impressive.

I thought there were two shelves of beer, which was impressive, but I was wrong. When I rounded the corner to the far back left of the store...OMG! More beer!

Very, very impressive collection of beer. They even had some growlers as well as 2 litre and 4 litre bottles [Rogue Double bastard and Corsendonk Christmas, about $66/each].

While I was standing in awe, a very friendly sales person came by and asked if I needed help and we had a little chitchat.
Also, on service, when I checked out the guy [different guy than before] let me know that if I got 2 more beers [case] I would get 10% off...which I did [and this basically made my last 2 beers free]. He also cut off the top of the case with a razor blade. Best service I've ever had in a beer store!!! Kudos!

Though the place is not much to look at, the selection and service make this place a winner!

Photo of salfter
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Before heading down to the Phoenix area for a car show, I checked in here to see where I might be able to pick up some Dogfish Head and other stuff that I can't get back in Las Vegas. I'm staying in Tempe for the weekend, so that meant stores in the southeast part of town would've been preferred, and this was one of them.

I learned firsthand why it's getting good ratings here. :-)

Physically, it's one of the smaller stores I've run across. However, they make very good use of the space they have available, with most beers represented on the shelf with a column of bottles or a six-pack stretching back. There's tons of stuff available here that isn't available in Nevada: not just Dogfish Head, but several other East Coast breweries (such as Shipyard and Sea Dog), a bunch of Colorado breweries (picked up some Avery and Left Hand, and also noticed that they had Great Divide, Flying Dog, and Boulder Brewing...of those, only Flying Dog is available at home), and several San Diego breweries (not just Stone, which I can get, but also AleSmith and Green Flash, which I can't). It would just be wrong of them to not carry Nimbus, of course, so they have that.

I can get a fairly wide range of imports back home. If, however, you can't, they have you covered here too. In particular, I noticed they had several of the J.W. Lee's Harvest Ales and 2007 Samichlaus in both the usual 330-mL 4-packs and in 750-mL swing-tops. The only swing-top Samichlaus I've run across in the past has been the big 3-liter double magnum, so I snagged one of the 750s just for the novelty. (2007 Samichlaus should hit Vegas soon enough; I'll pick up 4-packs then.)

As others have noted, you can break up six-packs and mix-and-match. In addition to the aforementioned Samichlaus and a couple of bombers, I made up six-packs with two each of six beers from Avery and two each of three beers each from Dogfish Head, Left Hand, and Shipyard. They didn't blink twice at the register...in fact, when I commented to one of the employees that they had too many beers and I had too little time, he volunteered that you can do that. Very cool...while I drove down here and will drive back to Vegas, someone who flew into PHX (only about 10 miles away) could put together a nice variety of beers without going overweight on his baggage.

If you're in the area and looking for stuff you can't get at home, you can't go wrong here.

Photo of sweetkness
4.5/5  rDev +3%

I was able to make it here while I was in Phoenix for Thanksgiving and I was very impressed.

I have been to a couple very good liquor stores as far as beer selection goes, but these guys were definetely the best. I'm from Minnesota, so perhaps I was even more so blown away because there were so many choices there that I don't have access to here. It was great to finally get my hands on some Stone brews. It was probably a good thing my wife and brother were hurrying me along or else I would have stayed and browsed for a couple hours.

As far as quality, I didn't notice too many dusty bottles likes I had read in other reviews, although there were still some.

Service was pretty good. I talked with two employees. One had a slight attitude but was still helpful, the other very enthusiastic in answering questions.

The one thing more than any other that set this store apart from any other I've been to is the option to be able to GET SINGLES OF ANY BEER THEY CARRIED!!!! I have yet to see this anywhere else and it was fantastic for someone like me who loves variety. And like I said earlier, the selection was the best I've seen thus far.

As far as value, I'm quite limited money wise, but fine craft brews are the main thing I allow myself to splurge on. So while some may find the prices here overpriced, I found the prices very reasonable considering the quality I was finding.

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Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ
96 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.