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Big Z Beverage

Not Rated.
Big Z BeverageBig Z Beverage
BA SCORE
97
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 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
Photo of bessanutz
4.65/5  rDev +4%

I go there because I like the HUGE selection of beer Mark (Owner) has to offer, If you need a particular brew Mark will find it, the selection keeps growing every time I stop in. That atmosphere is a very different feel than most Beer Distributors it is more like going to your local Beer Grower ! When you walk in the door Mark is always there to point out the NEW and sometimes Rare beers that he has acquired. Sometimes in very limited quantities. I give it 4 Beer Glass's ! I just like to visit and see what's new in his inventory and there seems to be quite a big turnaround of stock.

bessanutz, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of bonbright7
4/5  rDev -10.5%

The Big Z has a new owner who bought the place in April and seems to have turned the place around with attention being paid to both the quality and the space efficiency. As I walked through the store, I kept noticing nuances and things I had not seen before. Someone had done their homework on providing a good array of imports and micros for the new store. Of course there were a few macro products, but they were blended into the mix over all.

One of the cool things about the new Big Z is the owner himself who is totally hands on and very open to suggestion for improvements to the store.

It doesn't have the depth of Shoreline's selection nor does it have the interesting nuances of Superstar (the local competition), but the Big Z is making a good start on becoming a very good beer store.

bonbright7, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

This place used to boast the largest selection of microbrews on Long Island. However, they have seemed to streamline their stock considering the overall lack of interest in microbrews on Long Island. I think that this was a smart move though when you consider many surrounding distributors are selling old stock. In fact, a few local places are peddling beer from breweries that have been defunct for at least a year.

Overall, a good place to pick up some Stoudt's, Sierra Nevada, Otter Creek, Rogue and Victory. It also has a decent selection of imports.

Update August 26, 2008:

Under new ownership for a few months now. The stock has improved dramatically. Many hard to get 22s in stock. Mark has put in a 5 or 6 tap growler station which is really a centerpiece of the Huntington beer scene.

Mark is very customer friendly and hosts regular beer tastings.

Update December 3, 2008:

The draft system is out of this world. Mark has a constant rotation of six awesome beers on tap - many hard if not impossible to find.

I originally rated Big Z a 3.75 in April 2006.

plaid75, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -15%

Stopped in today since it was such a beautiful day, I didn't mind the drive.
Okay, first the bad news. Although there was a time when this place had the best, if worst organized and dustiest, selection in the county. Those days are gone. As you enter, it's really only the right side wall that you'll be focusing on. Some decent stuff: Victory, North Coast, Chimay, and lots of other big names but little you can't get at Shoreline or otherwise locally and most of the prices seemed pretty inflated.
There is good news. I picked out a few singles ( a few semi bargains) and talked to the friendly owner and he confided that he'd be breaking up a lot more sixers and expanding his more reasonably priced individual bottles, especially with the summer coming. I got a 12 oz. bottle of Sam Smith's India Ale for $1.75, which seemed fair. I'll check in again in a month or so and report on how things last. What Long Island really needs in a reasonable place to pick up single bottles, like all those delis on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. Maybe this can be it..

Update as of August 2006. Stopped in several times this summer after work and the single bottle display had indeed increased. Some overpriced but the majority reasonable.

daliandragon, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of slander
3.65/5  rDev -18.3%

Well.... It was in route to John Harvard's and like I said, I was sniffing out Southampton Double Whites... Sadly, none to be found here. Warehouseish in appearance, upon entry you'll find the racks with the kind micros off to the right. They got some pretty good stuff but not a Southampton to be had. Listen, you're in Suffolk, so is Southampton. It should be unlawful for you not to carry Southampton beers. Some of the micros were looking kind of old. They had a few sixes of the New England Light Lager, do I need say more? They did have some of the more popular big bottles (Delirium, Ommegang, etc) and they are filling growlers of the Blue Point Pale Ale, (Brooklyn's) Post Road Pumpkin Ale and the Sam Adams Octo. Not too shabby but they need to relieve themselves of the outdated inventory.

slander, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
3/5  rDev -32.9%

The quality and selection was not as big as I expected. I could get all of what they had and more at another place just minutes away. Heck, even the cheesey chain of Beverage Barns had a few this doesn't. Still, they did have more than most. Overall it is OK if you are in the area...but if you just go down the road 5-10 min...
When I was there...the service was more interested in the game they were into than the customers' questions.

stegmakk, Jun 20, 2003
Photo of Kwak
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Big Z Beverages
Easy to find ,nice selection they had every thing i was looking for plus beers I didn't even know I wanted. Nice people not to pushy.
Nice wall of micro. and import. they had sixes of everything not just a lose few. I plan to go back but ist a hike from my house its worth it!

Kwak, Nov 18, 2002
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Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY
97 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.