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Big Z Beverage

Not Rated.
Big Z BeverageBig Z Beverage
BA SCORE
98
world-class

42 Ratings
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 11.19%
[ Store ]

1675 E Jericho Tpke
Huntington, New York, 11743-5711
United States
phone: (631) 499-3479

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vfgccp
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.

vfgccp, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of billyshears
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.

billyshears, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of BEEarl
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!

BEEarl, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
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.

r0nyn, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of BiltmoreShores
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.

BiltmoreShores, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
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.

aerozeppl, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of tag0519
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 :-)

tag0519, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of CHickman
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.

CHickman, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
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.

cosmicevan, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
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.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of brewerRob
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%

There have been changes over the years at Big Z and every change has made it better. The best thing going on right now is the Growler station. The selection is great. Big Z is really supporting the local brewers with the growler selection, you can pour a growler to go of about ten different beers including Capt Lawrence Imperial IPA and other great (mostly)local beers. I never leave the place without spending more money than I planned, and glad I did. The bottled beer selection is very good and the beer is fresher than the other beer stores around. The store has new owners since Mark sold out a few months back and it looks like the change isn't affecting the excitment level for new acquisitions. For example, Stone's Oak aged Arrogant Bastard is on the growler station.
I don't think there is another beer store this good in the central Long Island market area.
The people behind the counter know beer and make good recomendations.

brewerRob, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of lbkornlb14
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Big z beverage is the quintessential beer store in nassau/suffolk county for craft beers. I first visited a year or 2 ago, and since then have given any and all of my business to them, I go every week just about and talk with Rick or one of the other guys, they will walk you around the entire store and show you whats new. NO OLD STUFF, you will rarely if ever find a skunky beer on these shelves, they move it that fast. they have 12 growler fills and always stuff you never see. If you live in long island and want the best craft beers from coast to coast, go to big z

lbkornlb14, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Heard about this place from a fellow BA and thought I'd give it a shot... boy was I impressed!!

Quality of there brews were very high. Everything was clean and well stocked and there weren't any dusty bottles unless they were meant to be aged dusty bottles. 6-packs were arranged in a coherent manner and everything just seemed very well kept.

Service was excellent as well. The guys working there were always eager to help without being pushy and they really knew their beer also. It was pleasure talking to them about the different beers and they were all willing to go out of their way to help.

Selection is really the reason why I decided to check this place out. The fellow BA told me there might be some Sculpin lying around, and even though by the time I got there, they were all sold out, their selection really impressed me. Athough not too heavy on the Belgian selection, they had a good stock of American micros that are hard to get in NYC (i.e. Ballast Point, Bruery 2 Turtle Doves). And I also found a case of Mackeson XXX stout, something I thought I'd never see again!!

Big Zs is also one of the cheapest places that I've been to on the island. With their six-pack mixer deals, and Belgian deals, and seasonal deals, there's always a great buy.

I definitely recommend this place and even though its about 30 minutes out of the way, there are absolutely no regrets visiting here. Great prices, great selection, great service, really hard to beat!!

SpeedwayJim, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of SkunkWorks
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

I found this place recently on Long Island Beer Guide's website and decided to check it out when I headed out to Karp's Home Brew since they are pretty close to one another. My first impression is that it blew my mind how awesome the selection was compared to the other places around here I've been to. It seemed to have everything I could've wanted that distributes to New York. My favorite part is the "Build Your Own Six Pack" thing they have going on. I built three six packs this way and have been able to expand my horizons greatly because of it. Its also poorly lit so the beer isn't in danger of getting skunky. The guy running the register (maybe the owner) seemed very passionate about craft beer, which is something I like in my store owners. They also seem to have a very large growler station though I didn't check that out too much (I prefer to get 12 oz bottles). Overall, a great place and I would definitely check it out.

SkunkWorks, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Goldfish19
5/5  rDev +11.9%

~ What can I say about this place? When I first walked through its doors some time ago, I was greeted by the owner, Mark. You could tell in his eyes that beer was not only his hobby, but his passion. Mark has transformed this place from a run-of-the-mill beer distributor into a beer lover's paradise! Big Z carries a huge selection with hard to find beers that other stores simply do not carry. If you don't see what you're looking for (and that's a rarity here), just ask one of the experienced staff and they'll do their best to try and order it for you.

Currently there are eleven (yes that's 11) beers on tap at the growler station. Local favorites are mixed in with hard to find gems. Besides tasting great, the beers on tap are always fresh! The prices are competitive and the customer service is top notch.

I could go on and on for pages on how great this place is, but you're just going to have to see it to believe it. If you're ever in the area, stop in, you will not be disappointed. ~

Goldfish19, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of BeTheBall
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Found this while at the US Open last week (thanks to fellow BA's). Warehouse-like on the inside with metal racks holding beer running away from the door on both sides. Selection was very good in craft beer, and the gentlemam working (owner?) was incredibly knowledgable, and friendly. He gave me a personal tour of what was special and what was new.
Bought many intersting items not available in Mass., and would definitely return if and when I ever travel to that area again. I highly recommend it.

BeTheBall, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

In sort of a middle of nowhere type location, near Huntington and Dix Hills on good ole L.I. This place looks like nothing special from the outside. Inside the theme continues, its dark and dingy, but open and roomy. One large room, rundown, warehouse in feel and atmosphere. They came highly rated and just a few minutes of browsing tells the story of why. They have the goods....domestics to the left, imports to the right, cold stuff to the far left, macro/crap in the rear. Also about 10 growler fill stations to the right near the entrance. The beers they carry are all listed on their website, including up to date listings of the growler options. Some glassware for sale, friendly, knowledgeable guy behind the counter. Add it up and this becomes a very worthy destination on the Island.

Billolick, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

I recently made a trip to Long Island for the weekend and made a few beer related stops. Besides the usual breweries/brewpubs, I decided to check out a local beer store for some hard to find local treats. Big Z's Beverage was well reviewed on this site and definately deserving of the praise. The selection was good, but not too much. The owner, Mark, knows what's good and doesn't waste his time or the customers' with average or worse offerings. He's very knowledgable about beer and really goes the extra mile for the customer. The service was the best I've ever had at a store and I've been to many. His staff also shares his passion and they do a tremendous job. I picked up many beers not available upstate. Mark is a beer lover like me. His passion is to provide the best selection with the best service. Great Job Mark. I'm glad I made the stop at your store. I look forward to utilizing the mail order beer option in the future. Keep up the good work!!

WesWes, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of shaebs99
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%

After two updates it is time for a new review

Big Z is the best beer store I have been to in NY and one of the best I have been to ever (though I am limited to only a few states)

The building is a large warehouse. when you walk in the growler station (currently with 5 taps, but rumored to be expanding into 10 taps. or at least the capacity to have 10) is on the right. The beers on tap are a good mix of locals and hard to get beers. The only problem is that sometimes all the beers are big and crazy and something I can not drink a growler of very easily.

On the left is the cooler. The windows closest to the register are full of crafy 6-packs and bombers (in case you know you are going to drink some southern tier when you go home). If you go in the cooler you will find some other things that do not get window space in the cooler, but are typically on the floor. I think it is nice to be able to get craft beer ready to drink when I get home.

The store (non-cold beer) is broken up with domestic shelves on the left, 12-packs/cases in the middle and imports on the right.

The selection is varied and quite impressive. If you are a frequent visitor you can expect to find something new each time
Domestic selection (DFH, Stone, Bear Republic, Victory, Stoudt's, Southampton, Captain Lawrence, Brooklyn, He'Brew...it really goes on and on)
The things that stuck out the last time I was there: Hair of the Dog, Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter, Stout Trooper, The Bruery

I have been staying away from imports the past few months so I don't know the full selection. They have the typical and easy to recall like St Bernadus, Rochefort, Gouden Carolous, Unibroue, Sam Smith, Fuller's. They recently have expanded their belgian selection to a series of small stubby bottles with barely pronouncable and hard to recall names (sorry I told you I haven't been buying them)

With such a wide selection you may worry about old beer, but they usually have a sale on beer to either make room or get rid of before they go "bad" (a lot of it would age fine)

The best thing about this place is the staff. The owner Mark is great. Friendly and passionate. Always willing to go the extra mile for his store or customers. The atmosphere Mark and his crew provide is really great even if they are not currently having one of the many tastings that they have been hosting.

Overall this is a must stop for anyone on LI or passing through. The selection is great, the growlers are interesting, tastings are frequent, and the staff is friendly

I am leaving the selection at 4.5 because I am always going to want more beer to choose from.

shaebs99, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Gmann
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%

Located on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington. The place has a small store front with limited parking but once inside it is very open and spacious. There are two long shelve racks on both sides of the place with a display of various cases in between them. The shelving could be nicer and they can probably use their space to increase their selection. They have a nice growler station with 5 taps that are listed on a chalkboard. Their shelving limits the selection, somewhat, but it is still very good. The quality is great, a lot of good Belgian brews. They could beef up their selection of American micros, English, and German brews but they do have beers that I haven't seen anywhere else. They seem to have tastings often, I went to their Sierra Nevada tasting today where I got a growler of their Imperial Smoked Porter. The best part of the store is their very friendly and helpful staff. They are more than glad to take your selection to the counter as you continue to shop. A highly recommend shop, it appears that they continue to approve upon their business.

Gmann, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of rasta16ry
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%

As the best beer distributors are consistently improving, I think it's necessary to provide an update for Mark and Big Z on this site.

Big Z has been transformed, in a very short time, from a conventional beer store to one of Long Island's (and New York's) best places to get beer. There is a growler-fill station with five taps, and that will be increased to ten sometime this year. Mark keeps the selection varied by style, season and region, although the choices are usually American (no problem there).

The bottle selection is really quite good - Big Z has at least as much store space as its biggest competitors, and there is a huge selection of American and especially Belgian beers. Typically there are at least ten interesting choices, and there are always good discoveries. The mixed-six pack selection is also very good, and sometimes an exceptional value.

But the best part of Big Z is, to me, Mark's dedication to beer and his customers. Further to that end, Mark has a strong ability to organize great events. A couple of weeks ago Big Z hosted a great Captain Lawrence event, which went down as well as anyone expected. Scott Vaccaro brought down some great stuff and it flew off the table. Big Z also has an email list that provides updates on store happenings and selection.

Basically as other reviewers have said, if you live in Northport/Commack/Greenlawn/Huntington, this is your best choice. If you don't, it's still a great choice. Quit figuring out how much it costs for the train/taxi ride and come to the events, and definitely take a ride over to check out what's on the shelves and growler-fill. Big Z has a lot of dedicated customers for a reason.

rasta16ry, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

In my opinion, this is the best beer store on LI. It is pretty awesome. The owner, Mark, is constantly bringing in new beers, including crazy rare beers that no one else on LI can get. For that alone, it is worth coming here! Apart from rare stuff, the selection is pretty typical for the area. Not as huge a selection (especially in the Belgian section) as Shoreline, but turnover is better. Recently, they just got in a bunch of Norrebro/Nogne/Mikkeller beers, some of which cannot be purchased anywhere else on LI. There is a growler station that has 4-5 taps on (Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve IIPA is pretty much a mainstay; it seems to always be on). Mark is always looking for suggestions for taps and will try to get what he can. Prices are comparable with others in the area, maybe slightly cheaper but it's variable. Mark has done great things for the store in the last year that I've been coming here and I am consistently amazed by what he is able to bring in. This place keeps getting better and better and it is definitely worth a visit.

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of fredandboboflo
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Been here a number of times.

A great selection of American beers (locals/regionals like Southern Tier, Ithaca, Southampton, as well as others such as Goose Island, Hair of the Dog Green Flash) with a small but powerful Belgian selection (Bernardus, Rochefort, Gouden Carolus, the like). Growler selection is probably the best in the county with typically 5 taps running from breweries like Captain Lawrence, Smuttynose, Allagash, Southampton, Legacy, Sixpoint...

Not really anything in bottles here that you couldn't buy over at Shoreline, but whenever possible, the prices will be a bit cheaper ($1 on many items, sometimes $2 on big hitters), and certainly much cheaper than overpriced Superstar. Also a sale rack to keep inventory moving and if you want to try out some semi-aged brews.

Owner Mark always looking to chat, get suggestions for bottles, or particularly for growler options. Treats his customers well with occasional freebies/discounts as well.

Big place that will hopefully be able to keep expanding its selection.

fredandboboflo, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of ntorch
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%

I visited Big Z on the strength of some recommendations on this site as well as local blogs. I was very impressed with the selection and the competence of the staff. The store was well organized and clean.

An additional half point was added to selection for having Coopers of Australia which I can't seem to find anywhere in NY. I also added an additional half point for the staff being to direct me to the Coopers without question.

The prices were reasonable, certainly not bargain basement, but not exorbitant. They also indicate that they will search to get what you want and have sent me two emails letting me know about new styles they received.

Some bottles in the singles area were a little long in the tooth so only a four for quality.

ntorch, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Robiscool25
4.65/5  rDev +4%

I just moved into the area and i have to say Big Z is probably one of the best beer stores on long Island.I am a beer lover and I searched the area to find a store that could introduce me to new products. I found that they were much more knowledgeable of their products then Superstar and other local competition. The second i walked in I was amazed at the selection. I got a chance to talk to Mark (owner) and I just found out he recently bought the place. His knowledge of everything in this store is unbelievable. Hes a very nice guy and knows how to talk to the customer . He told me that if he didn't have a certain type of beer in stock he would do what he could to track it down and find it for me. Thats what made me really enjoy coming to this store which was the fact that he would go out of his way to make the customers happy. I recommend checking this place out and I will definetly be going there as often as possible.

Robiscool25, Dec 28, 2007
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Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY
98 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.