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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
4.57/5 rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I've been in the Amherst area for about 5 years now, and I can't believe that Ive only just found this place.
From the outside, it doesn't look like more than just your average small town package store, with neon signs for BMC beers and popular spirits gracing the windows. But once you step inside, you see that there's much more than that.
Wines to your left, spirits to your right, and the entire center and back of the store is beer, and 90% seem to be craft options. I can't think of a beer that I've seen anywhere else in western MA that I couldn't find here. From local options like BBC and Element, other MA favorites like Jack's Abby and Wormtown, to west coast favorites like Ballast Point Sculpin, I was really impressed with the selection. Want to finally break down and spend $200 for Utopias? They've got it. Upset because everyone else in the area sold out of Sucaba a month ago? Don't worry, I saw 5 bottles left on their shelves.
All of the beer I examined seemed to be well within the realm of appropriate freshness. They did have a small discount area, where they were unloading some older IPAs and winter seasonals for anywhere between $1-$3 per bottle, some of which would have been perfectly suitable to remain on the shelf at full price. I was not worried about accidentally grabbing a stale beer, which is sometimes a problem when you shop at that big store out in West Springfield.
I spent probably half an hour or more just looking around, and I was approached several times by the workers, who asked if I needed help and chatted about the beers I had selected.
I ended up grabbing a Clown Shoes Space Cake and Firestone Walker Opal, and chatted for a couple of minutes with the guy ringing me out about some of FWs sours that I had been lucky enough to try.
I can't wait to go back. I was definitely lucky to have stumbled into the best shop in the Valley, maybe even the best in all of Western MA.
05-01-2014 03:02:49 | More by TheOneTC
4.44/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hit this place for the first time tonight, even though it is only a little over a half hour from my home. Spent more here than anywhere else I've been to buy beer. Ever. No big deal? Remember, I'm half Scot.
Almost looks like it had been dropped by a tornado which originated in Germany. Redwoody exterior with rough wooden doors. Wine to the left, spirits to the right, beer in the middle and in wooden-framed coolers in back. Nice to see beer so prominent in a liquor store.
Big features here are sixpacks and some twelvepacks of just about everything New England craft brewers have to offer, as well as an exceptional selection of the usual national suspects. Lots of racks and shelves of bombers and 750s, with sixpacks on the lower shelves and stacked on cases on the floor. The biggest array of sixpacks I've seen in Western Mass. outside of Table & Vine.
No help offered during my twenty minute self-guided tour, but none needed. I mixed a sixpack and grabbed big uns of BP Sculpin, Stone Double Bastard and Maine Lunch.
Probably the best beer stop on Route 9 east of Dalton and west of Westborough, with the possible exception of Northampton's Provisions for bomber/750 buyers.
UPDATE 12/17/13: Have been back here a half dozen times since my review and always found something good. Most recently this was the only store in my area that I know of - and I visit most of them at least once every two weeks - that had two of the three new brews I was looking for, plus. One I had been hoping would show up for a month and I knew from a friend was plentiful outside my area. The other is hugely anticipated and highly sought after in its three main incarnations, and the Spirit Haus was the only place that had all three of them, and at the lowest price as well! So it's becoming my go-to store when I want to find something new and popular, something I suspect may never reach the shelves and coolers at all in most other stores closer to me. Raising my ratings accordingly.
07-18-2013 04:11:18 | More by scotorum
4.35/5 rDev -0.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Convenient to budding drinkers in Amherst College or UMass Amherst, this place is a total find. If it's available in western Mass it appears you can find it here, with possible exceptions being those things that only Julio's gets. Maybe Julio's isn't really considered western Mass though...
Easily 300 beers to choose from, conveniently laid out by country and then brewery. Many offerings are available both on a room temp shelf and in the coolers, which are really nice looking wood/glass doored jobs. Of special note is the availability of beers from the People's Pint, which I just haven't seen anywhere else (that I've noticed).
Prices are about on par with Table and Vine, meaning college students won't have to drive too far to get their craft fix. Wish it was like this when I was in college, but then again I was always broke...
10-14-2010 19:30:00 | More by TurdFurgison
3.64/5 rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The selection here is fantastic. There are a lot of good craft and import options, including some of the rarities. Only Table and Vine trumps this selection, and even then the Spirit Haus gets a few things that T&V won't. The store could definitely be better organized, however. The beer section is a bit helter-skelter. Service is average. The employees are friendly and will ask you if you need assistance, but don't expect them to know too much about the beer. Prices are reasonable. I've seen things priced cheaply, but then I've also seen things that were a bit above the norm. As far as quality goes, I have a few gripes. IPAs and hoppy beers tend to sit on the shelves, and then when they get too old/go out of season, they are offered at a sale price. This is fine, and a great way to ensure product turnover, but only as long as the customer knows what he or she is getting. This isn't my real issue though. Maybe I'm being a bit too much of a stickler here, but I was a bit disconcerted to see that they lay down some of their Belgian ales like one would treat a bottle of wine. This is not the preferred method for storing beer (although I am aware of a few Belgian breweries that recommend it), and it can have an impact long-term. I didn't complain because when I was in the store there were only a few college age kids working and they had little to no knowledge of the beer. You can bet I will mention it to management if I ever see them. Despite this quibble, this is still a great place and I stop in here occasionally when I am in Amherst.
09-20-2010 19:07:04 | More by ryan1788a5
Spirit Haus in Amherst, MA
96 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.