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Corks and Tops

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

24 Ratings
Ratings: 24
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

701 Paul W Bryant Dr
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35401-1214
United States
phone: (205) 391-0315

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
24 taps for draft beer to go.

(Place added by: STKPICR0720 on 11-20-2011)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ohtheguilt:
Photo of ohtheguilt
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

Just passing through Tuscaloosa on my way to rural Alabama for work and had to stop for "supplies"...

I was very pleased to see such a great selection...all the standbys (founders, bells, unibroue, cigar city, etc.) plus some stuff that we don't have in Georgia (boulevard, anderson valley, tallgrass, and good people). It is a bummer, though, that Alabama can't sell bombers, as I would have likely picked up more (different) non-Georgia beer...

Service was outstanding..i chatted with the owner (i think) for a bit about what the local bars had on tap, new beer releases, and what to expect from the beers I was purchasing. He was certainly a very nice guy and very friendly.

Overall, a great experience in a small town...I will likely be stopping by again on my way back home.

More User Reviews:
Photo of macon337
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of BlackNotesIII
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of bozwellj
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of brbrown3
1/5  rDev -77%

Photo of Akfindlay
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Corks and Tops has always had a great craft beer selection. But it has gotten even better recently. If the beer you want is available in Alabama, the owner will get it for you. They are really good about carrying the rare brews like KBS and Hopslam when they come around. Also, they are the only store in Tuscaloosa that carries St. Bernardus! The staff is very personable and knowledgeable. They will turn you on to beers you would never think of. I stop by weekly to build my own six pack out of their HUGE singles selection. By far the best craft beer store in Tuscaloosa.

Photo of elkinbrown
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of hcroberts
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

This place has so many amazing craft beers from all over the world. Even with all the diverse craft beers, local brewers are also well represented. They have twenty-four taps and most of those are Alabama breweries but include other southern states with a wide variety that reflects their own taste of the region. Its nice to see local people carry such a wide selection in West Alabama. The owners really care and are passionate about the items and products they carry. It's definitely a place to check out for great deals on great beer and wine.

Photo of mitchell
2.73/5  rDev -37.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Corks and Tops has easily the best beer selection in Tuscaloosa. As a student at the University and consistent customer, I can honestly say I don't know why I would go anywhere else for beer. The only other place that even touches their variety is a bar called Alcove which is, as I said, a bar.

They have draft beer to go, which is awesome because most of what they have on tap is impossible or very, very hard to find in bottles or cans, and many of the beers available are from Alabama.

Michael, the owner, loves to chat and really knows his beer. He makes for great conversation and awesome recommendations for purchase. He listens to requests for new beers and does his best to please people who ask for him to order something specific.

The atmosphere is incredibly laid back and the store unassuming, but once you enter, it's hard to miss the awesome selection of beer and wine they have. I highly recommend anyone to stop by and check the place out, whether they are in Tuscaloosa permanently or just stopping through.

EDIT: the store is no longer under the management of the previous owner, and when I went back in to get draft beer, the gentlemen that are working the store now seemed to have no idea what they were doing and it took ages to get one half gallon of beer! I probably won't be going back unless they get their acts together. Disappointment reigns, to say the least.

Photo of eaglefreak
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

After reading the reviews, I thought I might stop by on the way to Bham for Magic City Brewfest on June 2, 2012 (which was awesome) to beat some of the Bham crowd. Glad I did, got everything I needed before Bham. Michael, the owner, was very helpful. Very good selection. Founders, Bell's, Green Flash, good assortment of Belgians, and many locals. Clean store. Organized. Fair prices. Several beers on tap, many of which were local. Great service. Five cold coolers. He even threw in a lunch recommendation that was spot on. I will be back. Cheers

Photo of number58
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Corks and Tops is great. Michael, the owner, is a great guy who definitely knows his stuff. They get in new beers all the time, and Michael is eager to make recommendations. The prices are fair, nothing spectacular but there isn't exactly much competition.

Recently they got beer on tap. It's unfortunate that they have to pour it into plastic jugs instead of legit growlers, but that's what we have to deal with in this backwards ass state. Michael keeps local beers on tap, which is great.

The place is on campus in a good location. Overall it's my favorite beer store in town. The only other place that comes close is Spirits, but why would I drive there when Corks and Tops is so much closer?

Photo of UaPhysicsTheory
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great Beer Selection; Great atmosphere; Good beer overturn rate- i.e. the Beer is restocked frequently so it is always fresh stuff. Check in on thursdays and fridays each week to see what Mike has gotten in. Each week there are always nice gems and surprises. Corks and tops also has a nice cigar selection to go along with their beer selection in addition to the boiled peanut selection - which is pretty dank.

Best of all there is always a good domestic beer special waiting in the cave. Oh Please no one drink the wake and bake because its dank and its all mine!!!

Photo of slatetupelo
4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I made the trip from Mississippi to stock up on beer and in the past my usual stops in Tuscaloosa were Brunos and Spirits. After seeing the great reviews on BA for this place I figured I had better check it out.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the selection was really good and the prices were reasonable. If there is a beer that is distributed in the state of Alabama you can find it here. Luckily for me, the owner was there and I had the opportunity to chat a bit about all things beer related. The guy is a true beer geek and I believe his heart is in the store and that he will succeed. I will definitely be stopping here the next time I'm in town or passing through.

Photo of jackpot72
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I just visited Corks and Tops for the first time, and I couldn't be more impressed. The owner, Michael, is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about beer. We had a great conversation, and he turned me to some beers that I hadn't tried.

Alabama's beer laws still limit what can be sold here, but the store's stock is as good as it can be. Michael puts a lot of thought into his orders, and he even plans some of his beer purchases months in advance. After my visit today, I'm confident that if a beer can be found anywhere in Alabama, Corks and Pops will have it.

I look forward to watching this business grow. It's already fantastic, and it will likely get even better in the coming months and years. We're lucky to have this store in Tuscaloosa.

Photo of Riverared
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I am so glad to have this store in my own hometown. The selection is impressive and the service is fantastic. The owner of the store is usually there and you can tell he cares about his customers as well as selling quality beers.
There's always something interesting either already in stock or on its way. The best part is the passion of the owner to get the best beers possible. He's a beer nerd too (but not in the uppity, know it all, snob kind of way).
If you are looking for the good stuff at reasonable prices in Tuscaloosa, you should definitely give this place a try.
This is my go to store when the thirst strikes.

Photo of Crimsontider22
3.69/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The location that Corks and Tops is located at was previously occupied by another beer and wine place called Letters. When they went out of business I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find the selection they offered anywhere else in the area. Fortunately the location was purchased with the intent of opening another business that would sell craft beer.

Corks and Tops not only matched the selection of the previous store, but surpassed it. Unfortunately Alabama still has restrictions that limit the beer that is allowed to be distributed in the state (no 22 oz containers), but I've seen that as soon as something new is available, Corks and Tops has it as soon as or before anyone else.

The owner is very knowledgeable about beer and is more than happy to talk to you, show you around, let you know what is new and recommend brews you might like. Offers mos beers at both already cold or not which is nice because I'm not always wanting to put the beer right into my refrigerator. Selection includes both imports and American beers of all different styles and breweries such as Founders (new to the area), Sweetwater, Great Divide, Boulevard, Terrapin, Bells, Cigar City, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Good People and much more.

Definitely my new go to place for craft beer in Tuscaloosa.

----EDIT----

Under new management now and the prices have gone through the ceiling and the owners aren't nearly as knowledgable or personable as the previous owner. Very very disappointing

Photo of BDN
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

In a small college town, where beer laws still restrict bombers from being distributed, and thus limiting our selection, Corks & Tops is one of the few places to buy quality brews, and the only place I shop. Losing Letters was a huge blow, but thankfully Corks & Tops was able to seize the opportunity to fill the vacancy and improve on a nice craft beer store.

The biggest plus for me would have to be the owner and the staff. Not only do they know beer, but they are more than willing to drop what they're doing and offer advice or help find the perfect beer for your occasion. The owner, Michael, genuinely cares about his customer, and the beer that he puts on his shelf.

The selection, while somewhat limited(hopefully changing soon), is the best in the area, and most likely around Birmingham as well. The owner cares about carrying whatever is possible, and going above and beyond to try and get a specific request.

I am looking forward to the growth of Corks & Tops for as long as I live in Tuscaloosa, and I will enjoy the great feelings that come from the brews sold.

Photo of UAyeroc2425
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Corks and Tops is a relatively new (as of this review) establishment in Tuscaloosa that provides the best beer selection you'll see anywhere in the area.

They carry literally everything you can legally get your hands on in Alabama, and always have the year round beers in stock. Great Divide, Bells, Founders, Tallgrass, Good People, SweetWater, Terrapin, etc. are all represented here, and they carry way more than just each breweries calling card.

The owner, Michael, is almost always there. He is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. He is always talking about how he is working with his distributors to bring us the best quality, and most quantity possible. He loves to talk, and knows what he is talking about, so it always makes the visit more enjoyable.

The atmosphere of the place is great. You're literally steps away from the campus of the University of Alabama. The homely feel of the shop combined with the sight of campus is awesome. It's also extremely convenient.

I gave the selection here a 5 after some thought... Being in a place like Alabama, where the appearance of craft beers is just really starting to blossom, it is hard knowing that you simply can't have everything you want. However if it's here, Michael sells it, and just the fact that I know that if it ever does come here, he will have it.

Photo of ImmortalMoose
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I first learned about Corks and Tops from here on BA and decided to try it out. I'm glad I did as this store is will now be my main source for beer while I'm in Tuscaloosa. It's located just off campus making it a very convenient trip for me.

They have the most varied selection I've seen in Tuscaloosa and the owner is constantly trying to bring in new beers. My favorite type of beer are pale ales and the have a very good selection of those as well as stouts, Belgiums, porters, and seasonal brews. Founders, Delerium, Terrapin, Sweetwater, Cigar City, Sierra Nevada and many others are represented here.

The owner, Michael, also adds a lot to the overall feel of the store. He is very helpful and knowledgeable, and, as I said before, he tries to get new beers in all the time.

I suggested this store to my roommates and they came back very pleased at having gone. I highly recommend this store to anyone looking for a solid place for beer.

Photo of Huntbuc
4.86/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

When the "former" store closed I was ticked...miles to get quality beer! OPEN again under new ownership! Great service, knowledgeable, and has a great selection! I would recommend very highly! Lots of American breweries represented here....Founders, Terrapin, North Coast Brewery...needs to get Old Stock! Rogue, Bell's, Boulevard! One of my favs! Love "The Sixth Glass" plus "Dark Truth" all good! Many, many more! Plus a great wine selection for you grape lovers. A convenience store for show...some tobacco....a winner! No place like it in T'Town! Roll Tide! Good to have the corner store on P.W. Bryant Drive again!

Photo of justinm4bama
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Has the best beer selection in Tuscaloosa. The only place that is even close is Spirits over in Northport, but C&T is much much closer.

Carries a large variety of stouts, and that appeals to me as a stout drinker.

The owner is very knowledgeable about beer and has tried most, if not all, of the beer in his store and is always happy to tell you a bit about something you might want to try.

This place is definitely worth checking out, the selection and service will keep you coming back.

Roll Tide.

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Read about Corks and Tops on BA and decided to drive over tonight to check it (and a few other places in Tuscaloosa) out. The two women working in the store tonight were extremely pleasant and helpful. Much better service than in the joint a block down the street.

Excellent selection of craft brews. St. Bernardus, Delerium Tremens, Rogue, Corsendonk, Duvel, Innis and Gunn, Westmalle, and many others.

Great location on Paul W. Bryant. Easy to find a parking space.

Don't miss this place if you are in Tuscaloosa.

Photo of bdeast1
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Corks and Tops is the new "convenient" store located in what used to be Letters, Hops, and Vines. Make no mistake though, this is THE place for beer nerds in Tuscaloosa. Corks and Tops is still relatively new but already has a great selection. They do have the basic convenient store essentials: snacks, sodas, smokes, BMC, but the similarities stop there. About half of the store is allowed for wine (decent selection) and craft beer (very good selection).

Again, this places purpose is beer. As mentioned before they do have a decent selection of wines from your lower end mainstream wines (yellow tale) to some other pretty quality bottles (murphy's law, menage a trios, etc ), but the main stage is for the great selection of craft brews. One reason that they are so popular is they that have the required build your own six pack option. They have several coolers of singles which include Trappist Ales, Belgians, Stouts, Porters, IPA's, Double IPA's, Barrel Aged, Seasonals, etc. all of which are a combination of American/Foreign breweries. The keep empty six packs around the store for easy access to the build your own option. Corks also has a large selection of six packs of some great brews from some of the best breweries (Bells, Cigar City, Founders, Innis & Gunn, etc, etc, ).

As mentioned in an earlier review the help here is fantastic. Mike ( the owner) is very knowledgeable, and even more willing to help or chat about great beer. You can definitely tell this guy is all about getting the best beers possible here in Tuscaloosa.

The most important thing is that he is trying to expand the selection on a daily basis calling breweries, distributors, and the like. Once Alabama removes its size restriction on bottles this place will explode with all the possible selections. If you ever catch yourself in Tuscaloosa be sure to drop by and help promote quality beer here in Tuscaloosa.

Photo of Reaper16
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Back when the state of Alabama first allowed high-gravity beers to be sold in the state (around two or three years ago), there was this wine & stationary store called Letters -- with a great location that is basically on-campus -- that jumped on the craft beer bandwagon. They had a great selection, but they always priced things about $1.50 to $2.50 higher than they were anywhere else. That business plan cost them return customers and Letters closed last Summer. BUT that turned out to be a good thing, because Corks and Tops opened up about a month ago in its space.

Corks and Tops is a convenience store with about half of its space dedicated to wine and craft beer. It has an unpretentious, utilitarian atmosphere. Craft beers are arranged by brewery name on shelves arranged in the middle of the beer section, allowing customers to walk in a circle around the whole beer display. Single bottles and select six-packs are also kept in the refrigerated displays. There are easily accessible six-pack boxes so that you can make your own six-packs of single bottles.

The selection of beers here is the best in Tuscaloosa. I've seen some items in Spirits across the river in Northport that I haven't seen in Corks and Tops (chiefly St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition) but Corks and Tops has plenty of items that Spirits doesn't have. Plus, Spirits is an 18-minute drive from my house and Corks and Tops is a 2-minute drive from my house. But anyway, back to the selection. Corks and Tops always has Trappist beers in stock and fair prices (and they sell a lot of them too). A decent supply of Belgian items, especially considering how limited the state of Alabama is with Belgian beers because of AL's bottle-size laws.

But C&T concentrates on American craft beers. They get in a steady influx of beers from Bell's, Founders, Boulevard, Rogue, Terrapin, Sweetwater, Great Divide, Left Hand, Cigar City, etc. All of the heavy-hitter brands that come to AL are here and you can rely on seeing those brands. If I am looking for something, I know that Michael (C&T's owner) will be able to get it for me if at all possible. Barely any cases of Founders Breakfast Stout came to Tuscaloosa. Despite only being open for a month, C&T got two cases. There's a dedication at C&T to getting the beers that craft beer consumers want.

And since I brought up Michael, I might was well laud the customer service. Like I said, Michael will work to get in whatever you need. Michael is very helpful. He knows his beer and he's passionate. I've seen him talk some customers into picking up certain beers and I've seen him steer customers away from certain beers and I've seen those customers come back. Michael won't hesitate to get into beer nerd conversations with you. Every time I walk into the store, the first thing that Michael does is tell me what's new and exciting. I know that I, as a consumer, really appreciate it when a store owner recognizes who his or her's regular customers are.

C&T is a neighborhood store and that shows in its simple, easy-to-navigate store layout and great customer service. It also has the best retail selection in town. I love that I can ride my bike there in under ten minutes, so I buy nearly all of my beer from here now. But even if it were further away from me, it'd still be the place that I go out of my way to frequent.

Corks and Tops in Tuscaloosa, AL
95 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.