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Spirit Haus

Not Rated.
Spirit HausSpirit Haus
BA SCORE
96
world-class

44 Ratings
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 6.88%
[ Store ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
We are a full service, family owned specialty beverage store. We have hundreds of beers, wines and specialty liquors in stock. We pride ourselves on our friendly customer service. We can help in your planing of parties - kegs, coolers, glassware, delivery, etc.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Billolick:
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

Must hit beer store very near to downtown Amherst, MA, excellent selection, very beer savvy,nice guy behing the counter, found a bunch of overpriced Alesmith, all the locals, regionals and national good suff, tons of imports, glassware, more everyday stuff on the floor, stacked up, more high quality suds on 3 large shelving areas and in cool, old school wood framed coolers along the rear wall. we were given two glasses, allways a nice touch. well worth a visit if in the general area, just a few minutes from Moan and Dove and the Dirty Truth, what a great local trifecta!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Stagga_Lee
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of gatheredwaters
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of markdrinksbeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of magnificent70s
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of TheOneTC
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of Bob6518
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of rockrob
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Bilco
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of scotorum
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%

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...

Photo of ryan1788a5
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.

Photo of Politibrew
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

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

Photo of eLMsITYbUM
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

Photo of Cedromar
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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.

Photo of currysage1
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

Photo of fitzy84
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

This is really the only liquor store I go to in Amherst. It has probably the best selection in Greater Amherst, arguably Hampshire county. As soon as you enter, you know this is not a place to pick up a 30 rack of Bud. Wines line up the left of the store, with the right full of microbrews from around the country and world. The freezer section is walk in and houses many brews found outside and unique, in bulk, selections.

Many of my first unique beers were had in this place. The staff is very nice and helpful. Any questions I have had or friends have had were answered honestly. It definitely has a down to earth but professional tone when it comes to beer. Because of the incredible selection, I would expect high prices, but I find all their prices really reasonable for the beer, wine, etc selections they have to offer. Overall, if you want to shop in Amherst, MA, this is the place to go.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Nothing like Ryan and Casey in Greenfield,or Town and Country in Springfield in terms of any measure, this was still a better than average beer store. It is big and staff was friendly. Good selection of primarily local brews, with a reasonably good import aisle. I was able to put together basics here and prices were similar to the other stores. Extra point for being allowed to grab a single - all of the 3 top stores even encouraged this. A cooler you can walk into.
A good store for beer, sure.Claims of this being one of the best stores in the state, no.

Photo of mountdew1
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%

A very well stocked store for a college town. Ample selection of both american brews, and imports. Almost all the singles (except for some local bombers) are out on shelves. Most of the 6 packs can be found in the coolers, as well as out cold. They do let you mix 6'ers, something that isn't publicized anywhere. Cost me about 1.40 for each from Otter Creek, Opa Opa, etc, and 2.50 for a Bigfoot 2007. A little under 10 bucks for the 6 which wasn't too bad. Service was mostly non-existent, but they did answer my questions about pricing. The coolers are neat, look like old fashioned ice lockers with glass fronts.

Photo of kelticblood
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%

The absolute best place to buy beer in Western Mass. I thought Town & Country was the place, but Spirit Haus beats it easy. I've been there before, but wasn't into Rare Belgian beers at that time. I couldn't believe the amount of rare and hard to find Belgian Beers they had. I could of easily spent over a hundred bucks on just single bottles of beer. Outstanding!! Located right down the street from Amherst Brewing Co. which in my opinion has the best IPA i've ever had. This is a must place to travel to. I will definately go back after finding what I found there.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

I visited this store on a recent adventure with my wife. We hit up ABC and the local EMS as well. Quite a nice day trip. The Spirit Haus was our first stop and I was not disappointed. The store is on a main road just after you pass through Amherst College. There is ample parking in the lot and lots of doors on the front of the building. You can go in any of them, they all lead to a great beer selection. Walking in the beer is to the right of the store. There is an aisle of imports with a fine selection of English, German, and other European brews. To the left is a wine rack with numerous 750s of various Belgians, lots of Cantillon amongst others. Sorry I bought the last Rose de Gambrinus they had. Next row is all US beers with a great selection of DFH, Rogue, Left Hand, Harpoon, Avery, and Brooklyn. There are tons of 6 packs on boxes and the selection is good here as well. I walked into the Self Serve cooler (VERY COOL) and found some Allagash Musette and Interlude! Some locals (People's Pint and McNeils) were also heavily represented in the cooler. So I spent a lot of cash and could have spent more very easily. There is also a cabinet with vintage brews stored. Tons of old J Harvest ales, some Samichlaus and Thomas Hardys are what I remember.
This store is a no-brainer visit if you are anywhere in the Amherst area. Service was negligible but I didnt really ask for anything and they were helpful once I got to the counter and asked about a few bottles I didnt find. Go in with a shopping list and leave very happy!
I thought prices were pretty reasonable.

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Spirit Haus in Amherst, MA
96 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.