1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Spirit Haus

   No picture uploaded.
   Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

38 Ratings
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 7.11%
$$ - reasonable


[ Store ]

338 College St
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002-2331
United States
phone: (413) 253-5384

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
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
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
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
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
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
Photo of Politibrew
Politibrew

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Spirit Haus is probably the best place to get craft beer, local brew, and imports in the pioneer valley. It's a bit chaotic in organization (as noted by other reviewers) but their selection is fantastic. Great variety of local new england and mass beer, as well as a an excellent selection of European imports. I was surprised to find La Trappe, the only Dutch (non Belgian) trappist here, which I've yet to find in the U.S. before. Great big walk in fridge in the back, the place to go to grab some growlers of Opa-Opa. Prices are pretty reasonable, they have some nice mix n match deals, as well as clearance and discount bins. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable. Owner told me they've been around for 37 years.

They need to go easy on the neon signage.

Oh, they sell plenty of wine and spirits too.

12-15-2009 23:03:08 | More by Politibrew
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -8.3%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

We make a habit of stopping in here whenever we are driving through Western Mass. Atmosphere is a bit of a mixed bag. Kind of a "controlled chaos" thing going on with the cases and six-packs on the floor. Imports and better craft bombers on the shelves and I love the older looking wooden cooler in the back that's accessible from the front and can then be walked into as well. Selection is very solid. I especially like the dedication to the local scene with plenty of Berkshire, Opa Opa, Pretty Things, High & Mighty, and People's Pint selections available cold, fresh, and ready to go. Good mix of import and craft with some harder to find selections available. They also make it plainly clear and encourage doing mixed sixers, which is always a bonus for me.

Pricing is reasonable and seems on par with what we usually pay at other liquor stores in state. I've never had to ask for assistance with anything but there are always plenty of young guys always running around helping other people, so it doesn't look like it would be a problem. Overall, this is basically a college town liquor store (and the vibe shows that) that carries a pretty darn good selection of beer. Good enough for us to make a stop whenever we pass by though.

06-26-2009 19:26:01 | More by Kegatron
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I've had mixed feelings about Spirit Haus for awhile. I went yesterday and felt it was time to review the place.

Beer is on the right when you walk in. Its everywhere. Warm cases and six packs are on the ground. There are several aisles of warm beers, mainly bombers and imports.

They have nice, old, wooden coolers in the back which are really cool to look at but not exactly practical for stocking. They also have a walk in cooler in which you can go in and find stuff yourself.

Here are the big pros to Sprit Haus:

* Selection is very good. They had both Black OPS and Nugget Nectar on 3/3/09

* Service tends to be hit or miss. If you find someone who does know beer they will talk to you for a long time which is nice.

* Nice local selections and they do sale beers which is cool

* Prices are decent, not the cheapest in MA but still decent

03-04-2009 15:00:59 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of eLMsITYbUM
eLMsITYbUM

New Hampshire

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

The Spirit Haus is always a good place to find good beers at reasonable prices. They always have a great selection and the people are knowledgeable and friendly.
Today, my wife and I went there in search of Sierra Nevada Harvest and Southern Tier Creme Brulee. No Brulee, but they had several cases of the SNH. Not only were they really helpful, but they gave me a discount off the case. I was quite happy to find Harpoon Leviathan there as well.
I know that we will continue to go to the Spirit Haus - it's like being a kid in a candy store. I highly recommend them.

10-14-2008 00:50:37 | More by eLMsITYbUM
Photo of Cedromar
Cedromar

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -8.3%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I figure since I'm graduating I should probably review the place.

For craft beer selection I've found it's between here, Four Seasons and Liquors 44, with the occasional stop at Whole Foods. Overall I really like the place hence why I stop in at least once a week. The place is well lit and has a nice walk in cooler in the back.
The service I've found is rather iffy. There's one woman in particular who always thinks that I'm underage despite now being 22 and a regular. I don't mind being asked for my ID but twice now she has scanned it through the registry not once, but TWICE because everyone knows that a fake ID gets 1 freebie. Outside of her I've had no problems with the service except one instance when I got into an argument with the owner when they didn't have any Ten Fidy.
The selection is the shining point of the establishment, it may not be Julio's but overall they have the best selection in Western MA. If only Ryan and Casey's would combine their selection in Founder's and Alesmith I think they could begin to rival Julio's ever so slightly for MA dominance. I especially like the overwhelming selection of Jolly Pumpkin brews which I will be stocking up come graduation day. Plus the have a 1988 Thomas Hardy for 87.99. I've always told myself I'd be the one to buy that beer, but I don't think I will be.
The price is incredibly hit or miss when you shop around at all 3-4 locations in Amherst/Hadley. I've found for smaller releases, they're the place to buy from, but for larger things like an '08 Stone IRS go to Liquors 44 for the case discount.

All in all, despite it's flaws I really do love this place.

05-21-2008 02:11:33 | More by Cedromar
Photo of currysage1
currysage1

Maine

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

Walk in and wine is to the left and beer is to the right. All the way to the right is a dance floor that is always evolving with different local beers - New England. All have good sized displays, and some come from outside NE.

Great cooler selection, BBC, Opa-Opa growlers. Walking in the cooler they have so many nooks and crannies literaly stuffed full of beer.

Their dry lineup is where it shines though. A solid aisle for Domestics, bombers, six's, singles. Next is a whole aisle for Belgians, half an aisle for English, and the other half for German. And one more aisle for all the other wonderful stuff from around the globe.

Good prices, knowledgable staff, try to talk up the beer manager, she knows her stuff. Some of the workers are kind of dense when it comes to beer and to customer interaction.

04-07-2008 12:52:45 | More by currysage1
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Since I went to school in Amherst at UMass, I am very familiar with this place and visited it regularly when I was a student.

I feel that Spirit Haus takes their beers seriously, and this is shown by their selection of "hard to find beers." (Great selection of Belgians) Lots of single 12 oz bottles, bombers, and GREAT service.

The owner seems to be a little rough around the edges, but surely knows his beer.

Great beer stop in Western MA, stop in if you are checking out the moan and dove.

01-06-2008 01:57:33 | More by DavidSeanNJ
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
Spirit Haus in Amherst, MA
95 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.