Mid Columbia Wine & Spirits
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Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by woemad:
3.96/5 rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Now that hard alcohol has been privatized in the state of Washington, all sorts of private liquor stores have opened up. While some are essentially old state liquor stores under private management with the exact same products on the shelves (i.e. almost no beer), some places have really jumped on the craft beer bandwagon. This is one of the latter.
Getting here involves driving along Columbia Center Blvd, which is a kind of showpiece for the worst driving Tri-Citians can offer. Once off the maddening street, there's a large parking lot, offering ample spaces for this and other business within what is a strip mall, more or less. This place has what is probably the best selection of beer in the Tri-Cities, but it's not immediately apparent when you walk in, so you must persevere. There's no atmosphere to speak of, just lots of stuff in bottles on shelves.
Uopn entering, there's a cash register to the left, a cigar humidor to the right, and dead ahead is wine that is on sale (you are in wine country, get used to it). Beyond are about 5 or 6 rows of hard alcohol (much of which can be had MUCH cheaper about 30 miles south - in sales taxless Oregon). Beer and wine are towards the back.
At the rear is a growler station, which has, generally, at least a dozen choices, but I've never actually seen anyone working there. Perhaps the cashier has to be summoned (I've only once seen more than 1-2 people working here, and they are usually at the cash register). To the right rear are a number of cases of beer sitting out - probably about 20-30 different kinds of beer, mostly craft. Sounds unimpressive? That's because you haven't gone into the walk-in cooler to the extreme right! I'd guess there's at least 200 kinds of craft beer, all chilled, to be had. Beer seems to be organized so that American micros are in the front (mostly PNW breweries), towards the rear are imports (fewer of them but still quite a few, organized by country), and at the back and off to the left (the whole walk-in is shaped like an upside down and backwards "L") are the mass market beers and alco-pops.
As alluded to above, service is mostly non-existent and generally limited to the cashier. It's not rudeness or aloofness - they just seem to have a very small staff. When I asked them whether they'd be getting any Selkirk Abbey beers they didn't know, but SA had only just started distributing, so it wasn't really a fair questiion to test beer saavy.
Prices are generally consistent with most of eastern Washington, and a little cheaper than the nearest store to me in Spokane. Because the overall selection is bigger and prices are a little cheaper, I usually hit this place when I visit family in the Tri-Cities.
08-14-2013 16:47:20 | More by woemad
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