1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Tops Liquors

Tops LiquorsTops Liquors

Taps: 24 / Bottles: 400
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

31 Ratings
Ratings: 31
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.98%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Store ]

403 W University Dr
Ste 104
Tempe, Arizona, 85281-5472
United States
phone: (480) 967-5643

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @tasteoftops

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: hyuga)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by rhartogsq:
Photo of rhartogsq
rhartogsq

Virginia

4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Just visited this place and was duly impressed with the selection. Being from out of town, visiting a local beer shop or brewery is akin to going to a museum or something.
I was way impressed with the selection. My goal, which was achieved, was to find what I can't get at home. There is a lot of Arizona beers as well as Southern California, and stuff from back east. The selection of Jolly Pumpkin and Lost Abby was insane.
It is crowded there because they have so much inventory. The owner asked if I needed help, but I politely declined.
A must stop for beer drinkers.
The tequila selection looked primo top!

02-01-2013 22:17:39 | More by rhartogsq
More User Reviews:
Photo of kerry4porters
kerry4porters

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

03-11-2014 06:42:34 | More by kerry4porters
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$

Stopped in here after four peaks since it was so close by. Upon entering I was a bit overwhelmed as there is a TON of beer, liquor and wine in that medium sized store. Beer is located on the right, the middle and the middle left as well as the right and back walls. Atmosphere was pretty laid back. People coming and going buying their wares for the weekend ahead. Service was ok. My interaction with them were fine but one of them tried to run me over from behind with a hand cart without even asking me to move. Selection was insane. 4-5 isles packed to the gills with beers from all over the country as well as the world. I was able to find two bottles I was looking for the last few days as well as a few others that I hadn't seen in years. Prices were more than reasonable and on par with the other shops I visited in town. Overall one of the better bottle shops I have stopped at on the trip, glad I made the side trek to check it out.

02-08-2014 05:38:02 | More by orangesol
Photo of skholbrook1982
skholbrook1982

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

02-07-2014 23:37:07 | More by skholbrook1982
Photo of Tjvan2
Tjvan2

Iowa

4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Stopped in from out of state just to see what they had that I can't get in Iowa. As it turns out, there are a bunch of things here I can't get in Iowa! The best thing about this place, as far as I am concerned, is that you can just grab an empty six pack and grab singles of anything that they have in the store....I mean anything! I like to try as much variety as possible, so this is fantastic. The organization is pretty much chaotic at best, but there is a lot there.

11-21-2013 19:30:38 | More by Tjvan2
Photo of Jonesy12
Jonesy12

Arizona

4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Just reviewing for the Shop, haven't tried the bar yet. The shop is fully stacked... I mean FULLY sacked. It is a lot of college kids running in and out so many of the imports and wines are dusty. Yes this is the desert and things get dusty quickly believe it or not.

There is a absolutely amazing selection however of most anything you could want. Basically If tops and total wine don't carry it, its not in the state. Although the staff can be a little abrasive at first, they are great and know what they are talking about. Also if there is something specific that you want, they will go out of their way to get on their distributors for it.

They have a large refrigerated section with many different micro-brews that is great for a quick stop in.

02-11-2013 05:36:07 | More by Jonesy12
Photo of jale
jale

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$

Reviewing the store and bar. I live in Michigan, so this place has a great selection of beer unavailable to me in my state. Seems dusty and not well organized but this does'nt matter to me. I'm only here to find bottles. The staff appear to be wishing they were somewhere else, so come knowing what you want. Connected to the store is a casual bar with a nice tap selection. I tried the Stoic and several local beers. If your looking for sours, I did'nt see anything worth buying. I think sours have not caught on in AZ like other parts of the country.

02-28-2012 16:01:19 | More by jale
Photo of matttttYCE
matttttYCE

Arizona

3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$

This is for the store, not the bar (Taste of Tops).

I like the atmosphere here because there's almost always some music playing in the store which gives it a cool vibe. The music has a broad range of styles but fits well with a more hip college place. The layout of the store is a bit crowded, and that's when there aren't many people in the store. On a Friday or Saturday night the place can get pretty hard to navigate. But overall the atmosphere is pretty laid back and cool - fitting for being essentially right at the heart of Arizona State University territory.

The quality (which I'm having a little trouble differentiating between selection) I would say is pretty good. If anything I would say it's a little lacking because it's hard to tell how long things have been on the shelves unless they are bottle dated.

The service is usually good. The employees are usually helpful when you ask for something but I have had times where they have been either a bit short with me (like they didn't really want to help me because they thought my question was stupid) or seen them do the same with other customers, especially ones you can tell aren't as informed on most things beer as some BA members might be. I've also noticed that they tend to be short with you on the phone when you call about releases. And if you ask about more than one thing, you can just tell the guy on the other end is rolling his eyes as he responds. The other thing that really gets me and causes me to knock the service is that I have had employees talk either directly to me or to other employees or customers about buying some more expensive beers and then selling them online to turn a profit. From what I have overheard, at least a few of them seem to practice this. I try to just overlook this, but it's happened so much that I just can't anymore.

The selection is very broad, great range of year round and seasonal beers, fantastic range of imports, and for the most part you can get most limited releases here, but there have been times where I have tried and struck out here when some other stores around the valley have had what I'm looking for. More often than not you can find it at Tops, though. Again the only downfall, which I deducted from the quality rating, is that you often can't tell how long things have been on the shelves unless they are bottle dated. Some things get pretty dusty and leave you wondering if you really want to spend the money.

And lastly, the value rating is where this review really sticks out for me. I understand that this is a smaller store and located in a college area but the prices are usually the what lead me to shop elsewhere unless I can't find something anywhere else first. It just seems like the prices could be a little lower considering the likely volume of money they take in for where they are located. When I compare prices here to other stores like Total Wine, BevMo, and Whole Foods, Tops is almost always more expensive by a few (or many) dollars. It's not so much that it keeps me from shopping here all the time, but if I can get it for $5 less somewhere else, you better believe I'm going somewhere else. Money don't grow on trees, ya know.

Overall, a good stop for the breadth of the selection the store has, but when comparing to some of the bigger stores, I'll sacrifice some selection for much better prices.

01-15-2012 05:47:25 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of TempeBeerMan
TempeBeerMan

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$

I have been to Tops many times being that I am a Tempe resident, and they are definitely a destination spot for craft beer in Tempe.

First, the selection at Tops is insane. After you have reviewed a huge double-sided aisle of American craft beers and rows of coolers featuring all styles, dont miss that there is ANOTHER aisle in the mid point of the store featuring two huge rows of imports! Belgian, German, Russian, English, you name it. You can usually find some rare stuff here.

Drawback - hard to tell how long some of this stuff has been on the shelf, because sometimes a layer of dust covers a particular bottle. Store aging anyone? :)

Tops has taken some knocks about the service, but I found their service to be just fine, as the one time I asked about certain beers, a clerk was more than happy to dig in the back until they found it, or walk the aisle with me looking for a missed bottle.

The aisles are a little narrow, and if the store is crowded (often) managing them while "window shopping" can be challenging.

Going to Tops is like a treasure hunt in that you never know what you will find. One caveat - not sure how often they "restock" and if you clean them out of a particular brand, it might be months until you find it there again in some cases. Sounds like an excuse to try a new potential favorite!

11-23-2011 22:33:44 | More by TempeBeerMan
Photo of landspeed57
landspeed57

Arizona

3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$

This is supposed to be THE place to go for beer in Tempe. I've gone into this store several times and while it's not bad, I don't find myself too impressed either.

First off, the staff can be pretty oblivious to what's going on in their store, or actually just rude. One time this lady asked about some beer(forget what she was looking for) for I think it was her son. The older guy at the counter kind of looked at her funny, pointed down the beer isle and said "have you looked there yet?" Dickhead. But other times they've been fairly helpful to me so take it for what you will.

As far as selection, aside from a few belgians, they really don't seem to have anything that Total Wine can't get for $3 less. The tasting room is cool though and worth a visit. Personally I'd rather take the trip out to SunDevil though.

05-12-2011 14:35:16 | More by landspeed57
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
Tops Liquors in Tempe, AZ
92 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.