Mari's 6 Pac 'N' Mor

Not Rated.
Mari's 6 Pac 'N' MorMari's 6 Pac 'N' Mor
BA SCORE
89
very good

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: 2,000
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Eatery, Store ]

835 Hiesters Lane
Reading, Pennsylvania, 19605-3046
United States
phone: (610) 750-6430

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: PeterSneakers on 11-29-2011)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Yesterday marked my second visit to Mari's and I wish that public trans was such that I could get up to Reading more often! I am always treated like some sort of visiting celebrity (although I really try to downplay that sort of thing) upon arrival and it makes me want to buy as much as possible to make the visit worthwhile for all concerned.

It is located in the back corner of a little strip mall and the checkout counter is directly inside the door on a button-hook right. Further to the right, upon entry, is the bar area with twelve (12) taps, half on the counter, half on the back bar with those also hooked up to their growler filler. There are a couple of pool tables and some standard tables and chairs, but I like to belly up to the bar when I am done shopping. On a button-hook left coming in the door, one encounters several racks of shelves containing wearables, like ballcaps and such, plus a great selection of mini-kegs and room-temperature CANs. I really want to get at least a couple of those mini-kegs on my next visit, like Uerige. Uerige?!? Are you kidding me?!?

Once I collected myself, I continued on to the bank of coolers that lined the back wall, wrapping around to take up a good 1/3 of the perimeter of the building. I would like to take this opportunity to mention the lighting. The coolers use the U/V black lighting that is recommended and the entire store is lit in low-key status. I cringe when entering what I refer to as "A clean, well-lighted place for beer". If you like taking a chance that your beer has been light-struck, so be it, but I enjoy peace of mind. The floor space was dominated by room-temperature beer with domestic micros taking the center of the building and separate sections for "Gypsy Brewers"; "Beer of the World" (all separated by country of origin); and then alcopops, which I am finding to be a nice change of pace from my steady diet of AIPAs and DIPAs.

I had a blast just walking around, sampling some Flying Dog (they have regular samplings of/from various breweries, sometimes with reps in attendance) and slowly filling my shopping basket. I could see a full day of Mari's, Reading Royals and Al's Diamond Cabaret (beer, hockey and feminine pulchritude, just to show what a class-act I am).

More User Reviews:
Photo of JNForsyth
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Great selection, knowledgeable staff, clean and well laid out.

Photo of RLW001
4.94/5  rDev +25.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Exceptional selection of craft beers. I like to get one of their excellent drafts and slowly make my selection. BTW - craft beers on draft are only $4. Wednesdays growlers are only $10.

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Beastcpa
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of DLS168
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Blaze5445
1/5  rDev -74.6%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Billdog
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Mari's is great because it's one of the only places in the area that sells a large variety of crafts. It is located in a small strip mall with an dreary exterior, but it is pretty nice inside. They have a seating area in the one corner where you can drink and eat. It's funny because despite their large craft selection, this area is always filled with a ragged crowd drinking Forties of Coors Light.

Be careful when choosing less popular brews. I have gotten several skunked beers. The staff seems to be pretty knowledgeable, and is willing to help you if you ask. They have a pretty decent selection. Definitely the best in Reading.

It is a little annoying that not everything is priced though. Never had the food. Overall it is a great place to grab some interesting new brews, as well as all your classic favs.

Photo of AudioGilz
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Doorman1810
4.49/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Mari's has a great selection of bottles and also offers bar service and growler fills. I've only purchased bottles myself and have not been disappointed.
If you're looking for a specific type of beer, but don't know exactly which specific beer, staff is happy to give you recommendations.
Tastings and brewery events are also common and lead to some good sales and swag.
I'm an IPA fan and I say they are the best of what's around.

Photo of kirby570
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of DLSheidy
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of IPAchris
1/5  rDev -74.6%

Photo of jagada
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

After numerous excursions to Reading, I gave Mari's a whirl to mix things up. I was pleasantly surprised.

From the outside, it doesn't look like much of anything - a bar in a strip mall? OK then. But once I went in, things opened up to me. The selection here is massive - five or six aisles of domestic craft, plenty of coolers, and they have a decent bit of special releases as well. I bought a bottle of Lolita, and had no issues that previous posters have talked about with bundling - all I got was a bottle of that and two bottles of Olde School. The prices on what I bought seemed fine, but some of the other stuff was a little out of whack - 16.99 for a sixer of Levitation? Yikes.

I'll agree with the previous poster about potential issues with pricing - a lot of the seasonal releases were lacking tags. The selections were phenomenal though, as they had all of the craft stuff you'd expect, as well as stuff from breweries like Fatheads that don't exactly have mainstream distribution. Service was fine at the register - the place was busy on a Saturday, and I didn't exactly have any questions for the staff. I'll definitely be back the next time in Reading, and maybe I'll bring a little more money as well.

Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Dawkins
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of OwsleyStanley
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

They buy old beer and charge more than they should. If the bottle/can has no date, abate. The people who work there are knowledgable and friendly, but I don't think that's enough for me to return to beer roulette. I'll pass and find a new place to purchase bottles.

Photo of dueserdo
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

If you live within 50 miles of Reading, PA, you have to see all that is offered here at this one location. The service is great and the help really know what they are talking about. If you don't see what you want, just ask and it is probably there. If it is not, they will try and get it for you. If something is coming in, let them know and they will put it back for you if you cannot be there when it arrives. One of my favorite places on a hot summer day.

Photo of MikeWard
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Have been coming to Mari's for about a year now, a once a month trek down from Pottsville. Not too difficult to find, in a small strip mall next to a car dealership. Ample parking.

I really enjoy coming here. There are thousands of beers to chose from, some in coolers, many more out on the shelves & floor. A very large import section, so if I'm missing some Fullers ESB or similar from the olde countrye, I can always find something. Tons of belgium and german brews as well. No bright lights, other than the coolers, so light skunking not an issue. Laid out very well, with decent size aisles.

The first time I went, Mari, the owner took time to show me around. They have other staff who know their craft ales, so I can get help or advice when I need it. I like to window shop, so often browse around for an hour or so making selections., and I'm left to my own devices. Many times Mari or one of her staff have pointed out an interesting brew.

As I said before, thousands of beers to chose from. New stuff is coming in all the time. Seasonals are often on special display. The staff will let me know if something rare is available. Mix-a-six, and rows of bombers as well. They also have tastings Fridays and Saturdays. There is a tap area for in house supping, and also growler fills. (Mari's now has their own growlers, which are pretty nifty looking, but they will fill any growler). Haven't tried any food, but a basic menu seems to be available.

Pricing seems reasonable to me, occasionally some prices scare me, but I pretty much stick to the mix-a-six. It would be nice if all beers were priced, but the staff will answer any question about that, and it does seem that this has improved over the past year. I understand that with a big selection and turnover, it might sometimes be hard to to price every single bottle. I did have a problem early on with some out of date beers, but Mari took back the unopened ones for credit, and told me to let her know if I found any more. Still, as always, check bottle dating if possible. If in doubt, or no dating, decide for yourself.

Overall, well worth a visit. Wish I lived closer, but I doubt the missus agrees with me. Looking forward to the next trek.

Cheers.

Photo of Jimmys
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Visited May 12th.

Atmosphere: one of the most unique, weirdest establishments I have ever been too (beer-shop-wise). walking in there was latino music blaring int he establishment. a few scruffy gents drinking Coors Light/Labatt Ice hogs legs in their drinking/pool table/hang out area. bottle shop area is very well laid out between a cooler section, a vast American section, and fantastic import/gypsy section. I think it is also important to note the cleanliness of the beer section/entire establishment. UNIQUE is the best way to put it.

Service: couldn't really tell you here. didn't need any help and didn't get offered any.

Selection: this is where I was impressed, the selection between imports and domestic crafts was extensive and detailed. by detailed I mean there were not a lot of breweries where they didn't have at least 5 or so different brews available. couldn't even get into all the breweries represented but I picked up a few hard to finds from central waters, stone, ballast point, and passed on harder to finds from victory, Deschutes, Ithaca, port, and several gypsy brewers.

overall I would certainly recommend visiting this place if in the area and would be worth it for a little bit of travel. has plenty of selection and few gems I was stoked to secure under the pretenses of my random visit. thumbs up regardless of the rating of this review.

Photo of dcoms233
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Incredible store for any craft beer fan.

They have a large selection of bottles and bombers, a mix and match 6 pack discount, and the best selection in the area by far. The owner and workers are extremely knowledgeable, incredibly passionate, and very friendly.

After moving away from the area I can honestly say I miss this store the most- they spoiled me something terrible and I haven't found a replacement for them.

The only downside is they are located in a "rougher" part of town but I have never had any problems in 3 years of purchasing from them regularly.

Photo of Greenplastic615
2.89/5  rDev -26.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.75

I previously reviewed this place, but felt the need to delete it and start over, as I think it's changed a lot in the last six months to a year or so.

The atmosphere is a little strange - the day to day clientele is there for mostly BMC and malt liquor 40s. There's a little area separated off to the side with a pool table and some tables, and normally when you go in there are a bunch of people in there hanging out, but there is NEVER anyone drinking craft. Ever. Kind of strange for a store with the best selection of craft in the area, but whatever...

As for quality/selection, they really do have the best selection in Reading (and surrounding areas). Odds are, if Mari's doesn't have it, no one else in the area does either. That said, there are a number of beers that simply don't move off the shelves, so you have to be VERY careful with bottle dates, especially if you're buying beers from the coolers. I would avoid buying un-dated bottles of anything where freshness matters (IPAs, etc).

Additionally, a really large portion of the bottle selection is unpriced; probably well over 50%. They're pretty friendly about scanning bottles at the counter if you ask, but it's really a pain that most special release stuff and seasonals are consistantly unmarked, and when they post a new beer on their Facebook feed and someone asks for a price, they will rarely ever respond.

Recently, Mari has adopted a couple policies that I think are questionable at best, and outright objectionable at worst. Over the last few months, to get almost any special release, you're forced to buy a 4 or 6 pack (depending) of a "regular" offering of the brand of the special release. So, if I want BCBCS (for $25), I have to buy a marked up $14/4-pack of Matilda or Sofie, for example. Bolt cutter (for $25)? Buy a 6-pack of Founders pale ale or porter for $13. I even have to buy a GI 4-pack if I want a $15 Nightstalker (obviously, I passed). I find this pretty insulting as a regular customer - I used to buy the majority of my bottles there (special release or not) because I didn't mind spending the extra dollar or two on the normal stuff to support the business. Being forced to buy something I don't want in order to get something I do has turned me off big-time, and I've walked out empty handed my last two or three visits as a result. More for others, I guess.

There are also bottle limits on just about everything...which I understand, if it's something that should have a limit. On my last visit, I asked if they got anything new in over the last week or so, and was told that if I wanted it, they just got in a case of Half Acre Gossamer, but since it was rare, I could only buy one can (for $4-5). Really? Gossamer? Not a big deal since I didn't really want it anyway, but just about any new release or any beer she only gets one case of, it's limit one. Also, reserving bottles is a no-no. If you're not there when she decides to put it out, no bottle for you. For some of the tougher stuff (i.e., Cantillon Kriek a few months ago), she would actually lock the beers up in the back when she wasn't there to make sure that they weren't being sold over bottle limits, so if you were there when she wasn't there, not only did you not get a bottle that visit, but a bottle would NOT be put on hold for you. Just "stop back in tomorrow" when Mari is there. Extremely frustrating.

Pricing is average on some bottles, high on others. Most of the "regularly available" 4/6-packs are usually $1-$2 higher than a place like Wegmans, but large format bottles are usually 20-30% more expensive than some better value shops, which is a consequence of there being really no local competition for the store (i.e., Sucaba for $30 last year).

Mari's is pretty popular in the area because it's the only option. In my opinion, what the area needs is a competing store. I used to recommend Mari's, and I can't make that recommendation anymore.

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Mari's 6 Pac 'N' Mor in Reading, PA
89 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.