Big Z Beverage
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +0.7%
I love this place. Beyond the well documented selection, Z's goes above and beyond to foster a sense of community with their customers.
Personally, Shoreline and Big Z's are my two favorite BD's on the island. Here's a quick rundown of how they stack up imho.
+ Z's has more knowledgeable staff
+ Z's growler selection of tap brew is unbeatable
+ Z's is more much customer friendly, with weekend tastings and a weekly email blast for regulars to let them know what's new in stock.
- Shoreline's entire craft beer selection is sold by the bottle
- While both have awesome selections, Shoreline tends to have more beers per brewery than Z's (typically 1.5x to 2x), which gives you a chance to explore off-the-beaten-path brews from some of your favorite breweries.
- For some reason I feel like Shoreline has a slightly better turnover than Z's, although I'm not sure why because Z's always seems to have more traffic.
---Big Z Review---
A: Medium sized with an open warehouse feel to it. When you walk in there's a shelf line of craft on the left, a by-the-bottle selection of craft on the right, and a bar with a dozen or so great beers ready to be poured into growlers.
Q: Above average job of managing their inventory to keep the selection varied and the turnover high.
Ser: Fantastic service. Everyone is more than willing to help you out and most are very knowledgeable about their beer selection. There're a few staff members that are better on the register than the floor, but they're loveable none the less.
Sel: Nice bottle selection with an outstanding growler portfolio. They don't have the largest bottle selection on the island, but what's there was definitely chosen with care. Big Z's has gone to some lengths to build relationships with breweries, and more often than not you'll find cool brews that are almost impossible to find anywhere else. Their keg of Stone Vanilla Smoked Porter that they shared with their customers at a free tasting one weekend, and offered growlers for sale while it lasted, comes immediately to mind.
04-16-2011 13:21:49 | More by vfgccp
4.85/5 rDev +8.5%
This is pretty much my go to place. Rick and Eric are both cool guys and know their beers. If you have any queries about if/when they're getting a certain beer in, they will look into it and get back to you. Their selection is pretty much the best on the island, and carry the best beers a NY store could legally obtain. They always have great stuff on tap for growler fills and occasionally get in some very rare stuff you won't find anywhere else in Suffolk! If I had one complaint, it would have to be that it's EVERYONE'S go to place, so the rarer stuff goes quick! Make sure you keep up with the newsletters.
Great Selection, great growler fills, great guys. Not really much more to say.
01-12-2011 19:38:47 | More by billyshears
4.85/5 rDev +8.5%
One of the shining stars in craft beer stores here on Long Island. Rick and the gang at Big Z really know their craft beer. I've learned more about good beer from visiting this store than I ever learned from going to craft beer bars.
Located in Huntington on Rte 25 (on the way to Dix Hills and Eat Northport), it's ultra-convenient for just about anyone living in the Huntington area and beyond. There are a few beverage stores closer to my home, but going to Big Z feels like a trip to the candy store for this big kid.
The huge growler station is impressively packed with a nice mix of local and non-local brews. On a recent visit they were even offering a craft beer from a little nano-brewery in my neighborhood called Blind Bat Brewey. Great stuff!
And the knowledgeable staff aren't the only folks in the store who know about great beer. I've found myself losing a half-hour just talking about beer with some of the other customers.
Great beer store, great staff, great customers. Check it out!
11-21-2010 22:56:39 | More by BEEarl
4.7/5 rDev +5.1%
Nestled right in the middle of Huntington, New York, Big Z is an easy-to-miss pulloff on Jericho Parkway, but be prepared to be impressed once you get inside.
Doesn't look like much on the outside, but once you step in, there's tons of floorspace and room for most kinds of beverage imaginable. Craft brews are on the left side, with a long row of racks extending about halfway down the length of the building. There are a few coolers dedicated to craft adjacent to the long racks, and there are also a few shelves off to the right as you step in full of 12 oz bottles for a make-your-own sixer experience. Some glassware is also available for purchase. A very-new looking growler station with at least 4-5 taps is off to the right as well, with mostly local offerings, but a few gems like Southern Tier and Victory.
Quality is top notch. All the beers that should be fresh, like IPAs and other lower ABV brews are well within their expiration dates and beers that do well with some age have at least a few months on them. I was quite impressed with the selection they had. Lots of reputable breweries represented across a wide variety of styles. The usual suspects like Rogue and Stone, but they also had a few harder-to-find brews from Goose Island and Founders.
Prices are a bit more costly than I'm used to, especially with the bombers. I'm used to paying about $6-7 for my Stone IRS, not $9-10. The 12 oz bottles are a bit more reasonably priced, and there's even a standard discount offered based on how many bottles you buy.
The staff was friendly, asking if I needed any help. Pretty knowledgeable as well, answering my questions when I asked about some Founders and Goose Island brews, and letting me know about when they expected to get things in as well as some specials they were running.
All in all, this is an extremely high-quality beer store. I just wish it wasn't so far away from where I live, because I'd definitely be back.
10-26-2010 18:17:23 | More by r0nyn
4.65/5 rDev +4%
I was in the area and decided to stop off at Big Z. I've been to so many other distributors on Long Island, but I've never stopped here. The best thing about this place is the service. The beer selection is pretty good and the growler station is impressive, but the service stood out to me. They have everything you would expect a great distributor to have and the guy that helped me knew a lot about beer. They made me feel right at home and that's all you could ask for from a place you hadn't been before. I definitely recommend stopping by here whenever you're in the area. As for pricing, some things were on par, but others were a couple of bucks more than I've seen elsewhere. It's definitely worth a stop.
04-06-2010 12:03:22 | More by BiltmoreShores
4.65/5 rDev +4%
Stopped by while on the Island. From the outside it does not look like much. Much better on the inside. Basically looks like a warehouse complete with concrete floors. Really nice looking long bar and growler fill station. Glasses laid out on top. The only down side was not everything was listed on the chaulkboard that they actually had on tap. Some sixpoint southern tier and Rodenbach grand cru. The craft beer selection was quite diverse and we grabbed 2 bottles of Cigar city stuff we cannot get in upstate NY. The prices were high but the two bottles we grabbed I had never before seen in a store so we grabbed them. Some prices seemed great others high. Good prices on growlers. Great customer service. Asked for a nice looking goose island glass but they could not give any out as they were having a tasting the next day. Good stop if in the area but not a destination on to itself.
03-10-2010 23:30:36 | More by aerozeppl
5/5 rDev +11.9%
Went over to Big Z this afternoon. This was the first trip for me to Big Z and I wish I had come down here previously. Even though I live in Nassau I will be making more stops over to Big Z. The service was great (as opposed to my regular place I get my beer). Everyone was nice and knew their stuff. The selection was fantastic as well and everything I checked was fresh. I cant wait for the tastings (Goose Island, Sam Adams and Long Trail are featured this month) and getting more beer of course :-)
03-05-2010 00:52:40 | More by tag0519
4.8/5 rDev +7.4%
I've been going to Big Z again over the past year and the place has been great. The selection of beers is great and the guys working there are always friendly and helpful. They just finished an upgrade of the place and created a bar which expanded their growler station which is a very cool feature to host craft brewer's. Rick and his staff are all knowledgeable, and give solid recommendations as well as advising on good deals. The tasting events and trips are a huge bonus as Rick and Crew seem to be in with good breweries. It is a great environment and I have a 32 oz and 64 oz growler bottle from Big Z that I am proud to tout around since they are a great place to deal with.
02-12-2010 04:31:53 | More by CHickman
5/5 rDev +11.9%
Wow...what a first experience at Big Z!!! Truth be told, I'd been there many times a long time ago when it was under different management (and I was into beer in a different way).
In any event, had a really great first experience. As I walked in, was immediately approached by the staff. Really friendly and really cool to talk with about beer. I got some great recommendations and had a really nice conversation about craft beer.
The store was neat and organized and had a fantastic selection. There are a bunch of other good spots in the area, but I felt like the layout was the best here and the bottles all seemed pretty fresh...seemed like they really care. They are also in the process of building out their growler station to be a tasting bar and I was told about upcoming events and specials they were having (30% of growlers and 10% all new york brewers in honor of the Jets still being in it). They are really into supporting the local guys and it showed.
I picked up 2 1/2 growlers for this weekend (Captian Lawrence Double & Southern Tier Jahva!!!)...and managed to grab a few bombers as well since I noticed that their prices were far lower than anywhere I had seen on a few of my favs (Ommegang - Chocolate Indulgence for less than $10 AND WITH A 10% NY brewer discount!!!!).
I plan to head back next weekend for a local brewer tasting and pick up a bunch more. (Re-)Finding this place was amazing and I had a great first experience.
Oh and I forgot to mention, the owner tossed me a really rare and hard to find (in NY) west coast beer from his private stash. SUPER DUPER COOL!!!!
Worth the drive for anyone on LI.
01-23-2010 20:12:34 | More by cosmicevan
5/5 rDev +11.9%
I've been a customer at Big Z for quite a while now so I'm re-reviewing the store. IMO this is probably the best beer store on Long Island. The selection of craft beer is great and always fresh. They also carry a nice selection of imports and of course BMC for those who don't know better beer. They expanded their growler station from 4 taps when I first began going to 11 and they're renovating as of January 2010. The staff is knowledgable and the guy that runs the place, Rick, really knows his shit. Rick is a great guy and has 'connections' in the industry to get some special beer for his customers. The prices are on par with most other local beer stores and they run sales on bottled craft beers as well as growler fills from time to time. They host several tastings with good breweries throughout the year and even host party bus tours for special releases. As far as beer stores go, it don't get much better than Big Z.
01-14-2010 00:54:05 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY
97 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.