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B & B Liquor Store

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BA SCORE
86
very good

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 18.65%
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Store, Homebrew Store ]

2440 28th St
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49512-1609
United States
phone: (616) 956-9413

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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Silphium:
Photo of Silphium
Silphium

Michigan

3.7/5  rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This is my second-favorite beer stop in Grand Rapids. Plenty of beers are crammed into one small aisle and a case of coolers. Nice domestic selection of Founders, Bells, Arcadia, New Holland, Dark Horse, etc. Also carries Dogfish Head, Rogue, Avery, and the other better domestic micros available in West Michigan. Most of these are available as singles, but if they aren't in the coolers, don't expect to be able to break a six-pack. Every now and then a rarity like Bells Batch 5000 or New Holland Y2K Barleywine appears in the coolers.

This store bests its local competitors in its nice (for the area) Belgian selection, harboring a handful of lambics as well as saisons like DuPont Avec les bons Vouex. Rochefort was here before it appeared anywhere else, although a sign falsely proclaimed the bottles were "aged 5 years," a claim that was quickly disproven by a glance at the "best by" date.

One nice thing about this store is that they don't put every last case they order out on the floor right away, so some beers that disappear elsewhere tend to stick around here for awhile.

01-10-2005 21:49:32 | More by Silphium
More User Reviews:
Photo of kylelenk
kylelenk

Michigan

3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$$

B & B Liquor located on 28th in GR. A bit out of the way and pretty hard to get to as 28th is one of the worst/busiest streets in GR.

A-Pretty small liquor store that has some home-brew equipment as well. One single aisle of shelf and a single aisle of cold case beers. Additionally has a walk-in that holds some overflow. Very small shop, hard to navigate if there is more than a few people.

S-Non-existent service. Clerk greeted me but no offer for help or questions.

S-The best aspect is their knack for having some older beers that may be passed over (vertical epics, Stone RIS , etc.) and some others that fly off the shelf at more popular shops (WWS). There are definitely some very, very old bottles there (Vintage Mad Hatter).

F-Limited snack selection

V-Very overpriced and they often hoard and re-release rare releases at later dates (KBS for $20 a bottle on NYE).

03-12-2014 18:20:36 | More by kylelenk
Photo of mcrawford
mcrawford

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

11-18-2013 01:08:42 | More by mcrawford
Photo of KaiMundwiler
KaiMundwiler

Michigan

2.37/5  rDev -35.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$$

Grand Rapids has some nice bottle shops that offer a selection that fluctuates between good and great, B&B might just not be one of them. The owner and rest of the staff aren't that knowledgeable and generally aren't the nicest people.

I could deal with all that if they had a good selection and if the product wasn't priced way outside of general reason-ability, but that combined with low end and old home brewing supplies and equipment really culminates in a place that I don't like going to.

04-05-2013 17:15:12 | More by KaiMundwiler
Photo of otto251068
otto251068

Tennessee

3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$

Atmosphere: A small store with limited space. The aisles are narrow and there isn't a whole lot of room to move around. Not really a whole lot to speak off, no signs displaying newer or sale items.

Quality: Half the beers are displayed on a shelf, and the other half is in singles in a cooler. There is also a walk in cooler with assorted six packs of craft and then some BMC. It doesn't seem like they move a ton of beer, as some bottles are pretty dusty.

Service: Service is almost non-existent, which I am okay with. The store is small so there isn't much to miss or need help with. Stopped in yesterday and talked for 20 minutes or so with a gentleman who works there and is mentioned a couple other times in these reviews (works on Wednesday nights), and also like some others, I am not a fan.

Selection: Lots of Michigan locals, and also a variety of some Belgians and some stuff from out of state as well. Not anything here super rare or something I can't find anywhere else. Selection is pretty similar every time I stop in.

Value: Definitely the most expensive micro store that I regularly visit. A couple things that really made me question this store are some six packs that an employee (mentioned in this post) said could not be broken down into singles because they are "too expensive" ?? and also some aged stuff that, IMO, was just ridiculously overpriced.

10-21-2010 11:30:54 | More by otto251068
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$

Another accidental find while in MI!! I got turned around on 28th street thanks to my GPS and ended up in the shopping center where this place is located...destiny? Maybe not...

As mentioned below...you get smacked in the face with incense...wow...like walking into a Yankee Candle place...ugh...

The beer selection seems to be a bit random, but above average. Some room temp. stuff, some stuff in coolers, more in a walk-in cooler. Nothing jumped out at me...

Seems like a pretty good place to check out every now and again...I did leave empty handed.

05-18-2010 20:35:10 | More by mgbickel
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Had Sweem not known where he was going, we probably would have passed right by this place. It was tucked back in strip mall-type place with weak signage for how busy the main drag there is. An interesting slogan for a liquor (heavily beer filled) store was "Specialty Party Shop". Huh?
Whatever.

It must be known I was already going in with low expectations after hearing Sweem's story of being reamed by the owner for entering a wide-open back room filled with beer. I mean, you're a beer store, if you've got a room completely full of awesome beer with a door wide open leading to it, which beergeek would NOT go in there? That pissed me off a little bit. Especially to hear that the owner said they didn't have a particular beer when it was stocked in the back. I witnessed this door propped open myself on our visit. Either close the door and post a sign saying "Employees Only" or don't be a dick when people walk in there thinking it's an addition to your selection.

Anyway, we walked in and were blasted with a massive aroma of incense like a slap to the face. It didn't smell bad at all, but it was way overly potent. It's not something I want to a) leave smelling like, which I feel like I did, or b) leave with product that's been sitting in that aroma forever. Loose the incense lady.

The place was rather small but packed with goodies. Just inside the right corner was a supply of home brewing stuff from books to hoses, sanitizers to fully functional kits, and a glass front fridge with hops and yeast which was part of the whole cooler. Small in scale but it appeared as if everything was in order and you could find just about everything you'd need. This bumped the selection up the extra .5.

The beer selection on the other hand was also nice, but questionable. Giant wire shelving which held all the home brewing goods also held a decent amount of beer. Most of it was Belgian stuff...but the front door. Why do people insist on this? There were two of the absolutely massive bottles of Double Bastard as well as Samichlaus. Somewhere around $90 a bottle for Double Bastard. Lots of Unibroue there with a large selection of big bottles from Ommegang, Southern Tier, Lagunitas, Goose Island Night Stalker, Breckenridge, Rogue, Avery, Flying Dog, and the list goes on. A whole row of six packs contained just about everything you could want on the lower part of the wooden shelves with larger bottles on the upper parts. The walk-in cooler had a lot of BMC stuff with chilled six packs and the sort. One thing I noticed in there was a bottle of Jacobsen Saaz Blonde for $7.59. I don't know if this is normal but when I got it from Binny's a while back (not on sale) it was under $4. On the same hand, six packs of Hopslam were $17.99 each which is lower than most places.
The fridges surrounding the walk-in cooler had Imports, singles, and other things mixed in there. The imports seemed pretty typical ranging from Franziskaner, Krucovice, Samuel Smith's, Tucher, Kwak, Fullers, and a number of others.

My main issue comes into play when quality is taken into consideration. When looking through the good bottle selection I noticed most everything in large bottles on the top were both bathed in fluorescent light and caked in dust. Not a good sign. The second indication to be extra careful when selecting beers from B&B Liquors was the fact that I immediately saw a six pack of one of my favorite beers; Grassroots Ale from Great Lakes. "Is it out already?" I asked myself.

Nope. This six pack is still on shelves from last year. Wayyyy beyond it's best-by date. And of course, lastly, I took issue with the crazy amount of aged stuff that Sweem saw in the back. Are they storing beer for personal consumption here? Or just aging it to sell it at a seriously jacked up price? Or just sell it regularly but in possible poor condition?

All these questions I considered leading me to really worry about the condition most of their beers are in. I grabbed two or three singles of local stuff I had not seen else-where, checked for a date, and headed to the counter. The owner seemed nice enough to me, but the attitude she got with Sweem for an unfair reason was already enough to make me wonder.

I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid this location but customers should be extra careful when picking beers out here. Always check for bottle dates and pull from the back if possible. Otherwise the selection is good!

04-28-2010 12:58:09 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -27%
quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$$

Finally went in and visited this place after driving by it so many times.
A decent selection of local and imported stuff that most places have. It has a walk-in cooler that keeps most of the stuff nice and cold for you.
They have a sign saying that if you cant find what you are looking for, ask, and they might have it (see the following paragraph about this). Their prices are a little more expensive than most, but I did manage to find some nice aged stuff there.

My biggest gripe with the place is this:
When I went in, the back door into their storage room was propped open with a heavy box. . . they had mountains of awesome aged beers that I would have paid top dollar for. Being my first time in there I walked in assuming it was just another room of the store since the door was open, when the proprietor scolded me and told me to get out I of course obeyed & immediately apologized. I felt bad about it but I continued my shopping. When I asked about a particular beer I didnt find on their shelves, they said they didnt have it in stock. . . well, I happened to have seen that they had cases of the latest release of it in that back room. . .
Are they aging stuff on purpose & then putting it on the shelves later? You turned away a customer that would have paid alot of $ for those beers in the back, but then go and say you dont have it in stock was very discouraging for me. I immediately went over to Siciliano's and bought it instead since they actually had it out on their shelves.

Overall, a nice place, but I look elsewhere.

03-31-2010 21:15:49 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Roeters
Roeters

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Good selection of bottle with a small selection of homebrew supplies. This is the only place that I have been able to find Sam Adams Imp Pilsner in the GR area. and have found some interesting thing that I have not seen at other places around.

I have never had any real contact with anyone working there other then getting checked out. But, they seem friendly and it is kinda nice not being bothered when your trying to pick out beer.

They have pre-made custom six packs that follow a style, they often look interesting but slightly over priced (have never gotten one).

03-25-2009 02:36:45 | More by Roeters
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4/5  rDev +8.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Good selection of local micros and some imports. Reasonable enough prices. Good selection of items I can not get in North Carolina, midwestern and some northeastern microbrews. Every once in a while you find an old vintage. This past winter I picked up some blackout stout from 2007. Yes only 2 years old, but things don't usually last that long in stores. Nice relaxed cozy place. Basically if you're on 28th street, you need to stop here.

I will agree with the last reviewer however, the old man is pretty much an ass. His daughter(I'm assuming) is a delight however. The prices have went up, but they match everywhere else around town pretty much.

01-16-2009 01:43:51 | More by Bung
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B & B Liquor Store in Grand Rapids, MI
86 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.