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Riverside Wine and Imports

Not Rated.
Riverside Wine and ImportsRiverside Wine and Imports
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 17.03%
Taps: 14
Bottles: 42
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]

911 N Mantua St
Kent, Ohio, 44240-2323
United States
phone: (330) 677-4400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @kentriverside

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jeffmonarch:
Photo of jeffmonarch
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%

This place is great. It's a restaraunt, a bar and a beer and wine store. They also have some liquor but it's limited. They have a good selection of Rogue, Stone, Bell's and other mainstay breweries in Northern Ohio. They have a good selection of 6-packs and a healthy selection of singles. They also have a couple of beers on tap. I saw a couple of Great Lakes beers on tap but they also had one of my favorite stouts on tap with Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. I'll have to go back soon to try it on tap. Prices are good. If you want to enjoy the beer there you can but you have to add a little to the price. If you get a chance to stop here, do it.

jeffmonarch, Dec 25, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of cd_beer_disapear
4/5  rDev -4.1%

cd_beer_disapear, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of Spider889
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%

Minor price adjustment: My last visit has caused me to find Riverside getting way too overpriced. The food is getting very expensive and I saw Founders Breakfast Stout on sale for $16/4pk when the rest of the state seems to be selling it at $11.99.

UPDATE for July, 2010.

After a long hiatus I started coming back here when I noticed some new niceties on tap (GI Sophie, GLBC Lake Eerie Monster). I think they have added 3-4 taps, their draft list is bigger than what I recall from last year.

The cooler beer selection has also seemingly improved. Every time I go now there's at least one or two things that I have never seen in OH before or would consider rare enough to justify buying when I had not planned to buy anything to take home.

They even had GLBC Christmas Ale on tap nearly all of July when most places only got a single keg for the July 23-25th Christmas in July celebration around the state.

The only lack of improvement was in food quality. I have not been impressed the last two times. I ordered "warm french bread" with olive oil and herbs for dipping and was apparently mistaken in expecting a nice french baguette. Instead I get a room temp. french roll that tasted frozen. When beer is king though, I guess I can forgive this.... or at least justify coming as long as I avoid the food.

___
I have been to Riverside to eat/hang out at least three times and have stopped by to just pick up beer a couple times as well. I was initially floored by the beer selection that this place has (even better selection of wine). They had many rarities and an overall large selection to beer (probably 6-8 coolers full).

I came back to enjoy the beer on tap and eat. They have 6-8 good beers on tap, and upon first viewing I was very impressed. The food was good (they offer fruit and cheese plates, though a little pricey). The environment is warm and cozy, the shelves of wine take up almost the entire space inside.

My rating would have been much higher but the last couple visits have caused me to be soured on Riverside a little. The beer selection on tap barely changed in the 6 months between visits. After a third visit inside I have determined that at least 2 taps must never change.

On that last visit we arrived around 9pm while live music was playing. It was nice but a little loud when the room only sat 6 tables. Our server seemed a little annoyed when a friend joined us after 10pm. After everyone had ordered their first drink she barely came back to our table, we had to flag her down to order a second beer and some food. By the time the food arrived it felt like we were being rushed, she brought a check without asking. It was about 10:30 or so but they are open until 1am. We only finished half of the food before the waitress tried to take it from our table in an effort to clean up. Meanwhile I was still wanting to order a third beer and add something from the cooler to our tab. We were again treated with disdain at wanting to add to our order, and at least one other server attempted to take our plate of food before we were finished with it.

The final straw was when someone came to tell us at 12:45 that they were locking the doors in 5 minutes and that we had to leave. I understand that everyone probably wanted to go home, but if your business hours say 1am, and if it's a drinking night (Saturday) when you ought to expect late customers, I was extremely offended that we were being forced out.

Overall if you come at the right time you'll find some really amazing beer in the coolers, but it might be some time before I try to stop in to eat and stay again.

Spider889, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Goldopelgt
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

While living in the northeastern ohio area, I found myself as a regular at this place...I loved it, but to but honest, it is somewhat hit or miss...they routinely have at least two to three good beers on tap, but I always found myself wanting more...the guy that owns this place is more of a wine guy (and they have a pretty damn good selection and he is always ready to recommend something) but he also knows a little something about beer. With that said, I found myself thinking (on more than one occasion) 'why in the hell does he have that selection on tap?!?!' While there is a limited selection of taps, and they don't always make sense paired togheter...there is usually something worth your time. The service, being a college town, is somewhat of a roatating door, and they don't always know there stuff (I'll let that slide), but on an upside, they are always ready to help.
The selection is good for beer, and better for wine...overall, a good place to check out...especially on there deck once summer hits...

Goldopelgt, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of drgonzo3705
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Well Riverside is easily accessed off of Rt 43 going through Kent. You walk in with a quaint little bar to your left with about 14(?) taps with some pretty good beers rotating in and out. To your left there is a line of coolers with some single bottles and some bombers. There used to be another row of coolers behind the bar but unfortunately those have been removed! If you walk past the coolers with the bombers and singles there is a wall with built in coolers running down it. Pretty nice representation from the regions craft brewers, but its hit or miss wheather you will find something that gives you hard on just finding it. Still a nice store and totally worth checking out. I normally stop here and grab a couple samples of some of the drafts ($1 for 2oz pours) and grab a bottle or two and head over to 101 Bottles for some take-home beers.

drgonzo3705, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of TaddyPorter
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%

*** I wanted to add a little perspective to the largely worthy praise that this place has been receiving, and hopefully do so a bit more fairly than certain more severe posters! ***

I'm a Kent townie and I still go back to visit family a couple of times a year. Every time I'm in town, I pretty much have to hit both Riverside and 101 Bottles.

Riverside has a solid 6-pack selection and a decent bomber selection, but surely their greatest feature is their rotating list of taps. Unfortunately they don't do growler fills, however, so it's tough to enjoy many of their always high-alcohol drafts without having to find a ride. If they did growler fills, it would totally kick them up a notch.

Sadly, their selection of single bottles, 22oz. bombers, and 750ml champagne bottles was greatly reduced last year when they cleared out some of their coolers to make room for more seating. They now have plenty of tables (not to mention an absolutely killer patio for the summer), but a reduced beer selection. Since I'm more of an at-home drinker, this change was a bummer for me.

Their prices are decent, but I think that 101 Bottles overall has a better selection at slightly lower prices.

The service at this place is problematic. I would break it down as a student/local divide in the attitude of the owner. From my experience, he will not pay any (positive) attention to a person he views as a student, but will provide thoughtful conversation about beer and wine to a person he perceives as older or more likely to spend a greater amount of money.

In my view, even if your service is good to some customers, taking a bad attitude toward so many others makes you look like an ass and discredits your establishment. I'm a little too old to look like a student now, but I've definitely observed both sides of this guy's attitude, which is a most unfortunate perspective for the owner of a major beer locale in a college town.

On the personal tip, I was once in there putting together a mix-a-six pack (back when there was more of a singles selection), and the bottom of the box broke out, dropping a bottle (of Lagunitas IPA or something similar) to the floor and breaking it. Dude comes around the corner like I just killed his mother and starts asking all kinds of questions about what happened. Even after closely inspecting the box the store had provided and establishing that it was indeed faulty, he looked at me with a lot of suspicion. I'm thinking, this guy's a joker! A bona fide Beer Advocate is in your store and all you can find the time to do is be rude and condescending. Not good.

At any rate, Riverside has a very solid selection, especially on draft. But they're bumming me out more and more each time I go there because the decrease in inventory seems to be balanced only by an increase in attitude. More often than not, I'm deciding to skip the attitude and go with the college kid behind the counter at 101 Bottles.

Cheers!
Taddy

TaddyPorter, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

Riverside Wines & Imports is an appropriately named shop/bar on Mantua near Kent State campus just a short way from I-76. There is a small private lot in front.

The interior is segmented into a bar, aisles with beer/wine/food, and a dining area. There is also a large patio overlooking a river and train tracks. The inside has large windows facing the street and the walls are painted with a vineyard feel. The bar is to the left and is pretty small but comfortable.

Riverside has 14 beers on draught, featuring goodies such as Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S The Crusher, Gonzo, Southern Tier, Dragon's Milk, Founders, Corsendonk and others. They also have around 400 bottled beers, many in singles from the likes of Stone, Bell's, GLBC, and Hoppin' Frog domestically, as well as imports from Belgium, Germany, the UK etc. A very thorough selection all around.

Service here is great. The owner was the bartender/cashier/waiter on my Saturday afternoon visit and took pains to learn everyone's names and provide good service. He knew the beers pretty well too.

I did not try any food on this visit.

All in all this place is highly recommended for anyone in the Akron/Canton area. People who denounce a place with a great bottle selection and well thought-out draught list plus a friendly owner based on a "snobby" perception should be careful what they call the kettle. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Dogbrick, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of 77suburban
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

This is my favorite local bar - what you might call my "Cheers". To start, Riverside seems to specialize in wines, but they also stock an impressive and reasonably priced array of beer. They sell by the bottle, pack, case, and even keg.

Although there are lots of bottles here, I really go for the draughts. There are 14 taps which can be just about anything depending on when you go. Recently, they seems to keep Gonzo Imperial Porter and Dragon's Milk on tap. Both are excellent choices in my book. If none of the tap offerings tickle your fancy, you can select any of their single bottles and have it served at the bar.

Most of the staff seems to be reasonably knowledgeable about their beers and proper serving techniques and are good for a bit of conversation when it's not too busy.

The bar only seats about 10 people and there is a modestly sized tv to allow for viewing of football (very important). When it's warm enough, there is a sizable patio out back which looks over the Cuyahoga River. If your arm is properly warmed up, you can throw grapes at passing trains on the other side of the river, altough Riverside doesn't officially sanction such endeavors.

77suburban, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Riverside is a great bar/beverage store. They have over 400 kinds of beer in bottles and 14 on tap. Some reviewers have stated that the owner and staff were snobby. I have been there many times and this has never been my experience. I have always been treated well there. The owner, Bob loves to talk about beer, sports or whatever. Yes, there have been times when he was too busy to talk to me, so what. There’s always someone to talk with.

The bar area is small but I have always had enjoyable conversation with the other patrons. Parking is terrible on Friday and Saturday nights, can’t deny that but if I’m looking to take home some beer I just wouldn’t go on those nights. And if I’m looking to hang out, I go early and grab one of the good parking spots.

They have a happy hour where on-tap beer is dollar off. And there are some great beers on tap; Always a few Belgians, Southern Tier, Flying Dog, Great Lakes and Thirsty Dog (hey it is Ohio, gotta support the local brewers) They even have Framboise; a Raspberry Lambic on tap. You can get a 2 oz taste of something for a dollar if you’re not sure you want to commit five buck to a pint glass.

All the beer is in coolers. I have never seen dust on the bottles. The beer is rotated and always within date. The aisles are indeed narrow but I think they are making the best of the space available. Also since the aisles are narrow you can strike up conversations with other beer fans.

This is a great store with great selection. I highly recommend this place as a bar or a beverage store.

CDBeerDisappear, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

A bit confusing to find this place if you are not familiar with the area, and the parking is very limited, but the sign by the road is obvious so at least you will know where to walk to once you can find a place to park.

The store is a little cramped, but I understand that they are trying to fit a wine bar, outdoor patio, dinner seating, wine cellar, and beer store in a relatively small property. Still, I appreciate the surrendering of space for more diversity in the establishment. It seems like this place is just as focused on beer as wine.

A great selection of beer is to be found here. Belgian beers both popular and rare, with the real jewels mixed in at modest prices. Most popular domestic craft breweries are here, along with a lot of extreme beer. They had many seasonals and beers I know had just hit the market but also a lot of older product; the open cases in the aisles and lack of anything marked down makes me wonder if the beer is properly rotated. The local favorites Great Lakes and Hoppin' Frog are well-represented and they even have Erie brewing products. You are welcome to make your own 6-pack, but only with the beers already marked for individual sale; however- the singles are vast and varied, offering almost every style you might be craving.

The staff will approach you and attempt to help you find what you are looking for. They seem fairly knowledgable, but speak to you in laymen's terms so as to not frighten off the less-beer educated customer. The bar in the front of the store is a nice touch with free popcorn, plenty of cold bottled beer and 5 taps- all interesting craft beer but a bit pricey. The outdoor porch has a view of the river and is very pleasent on a sunny day or warm summer night. If you want to have a craft beer with lunch or dinner in Kent, this is a terrific spot. But, if you're just looking for a store with a good choice of craft beer at decent prices it's a toss up with 101 Bottles just around the corner, they both close at 1am.

PBRstreetgang, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of tbone69
1.6/5  rDev -61.6%

Riverside Wine & Imports is a wine snob's beer store. It has a clubby atmosphere. The wine drinkers often look at you as if you are something they have picked off of their shoe if you dare to grab something made of malt, barley, and hops.

If you think a porter is preferable to a pinot noir, keep moving. Given the generous lack of parking, you might not be able to find a spot anyway. Money may have been better spent investing in a bigger parking lot than a fancy patio with a white fence.

They have a good selection, but many of their products are at the height of tedium. It would be nice if they rotated their stock more often. Some beers do get better with age, but not all of them.

They have remodeled the establishment in the last couple of years to include a bar, tables and chairs. This only added to the clutter of the interior. The aisles are too narrow and often times you have to walk around to another aisle to avoid bumping into the wine drinker that is staring at a bottle for twenty minutes, only to have that person give you a snide look when you pick up a six-pack of good beer. Still, it is a slight improvement from several years ago when the aisles were littered with boxes and you had to wonder if the staff stocked the shelves in order to cause a bottle to fall near where you were standing so that it would finally sell.

Riverside is a store that cannot decide if it a coffee shop, bookstore, or purveyor of wine and beer. It fails to appeal to me on any of those levels.

tbone69, May 24, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

Riverside was my second of three stops last week as I made a whirlwind tour of NE Ohio to stock up on great beer. How could I not visit the highest rated store in the state? Like many great beer destinations, it doesn't look like much from the outside, but don't be fooled. Parking wasn't a problem for me since I arrived just after opening.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. The biggest drawback is the lack of good imports. I saw very little in the way of Belgian, German and British beer. That's really about it. If I was being picky, I'd ask for an even greater selection of American micros and even more singles, but this place has all but the very best beat (or at least matched).

The three things, other than selection, that are most important to me when it comes to beer stores are (in no particular order): freshness, coolers and singles. Riverside passes those three tests with flying colors. Absolutely everything was in coolers and everything, to the best of my ability to tell, was super fresh. It matters. Turnover must be high, which doesn't surprise me a bit.

Even though I didn't have time to have a cool one, I was pleased to see four taps of quality beer (Alpha King, Weyerbacher Quad, Flying Dog Gonzo and Great Lakes Christmas). The owner told me that they have plans to double the number of taps and to open a beer deck when good weather rolls around. Sounds like my kind of place.

Prices seemed about the same as I'm used to, if not a little lower. I did get rocked for two bottles of Oaked Arrogant Bastard at $3.50 per, but they were only alloted 30 bottles and I was taking the last two. All in all though, things were more than fairly marked.

I can see why Riverside Wine & Imports is so highly rated. I wish that it wasn't so far out of my way when I travel back to Ohio. Still though, I just might have to take another trip to Kent next summer to buy some beer and to waste an hour or so on the new beer deck. This place is a must visit for anyone who lives within a 100 mile radius.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of amstelcat
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Riverside is my favorite beer store in Ohio period (hell, I'll throw in Pennsylvania as well). It has just about everything a beer freak could want. Big selection, hard to find beers, singles, glassware, good service, even a nice atmosphere. And, oh yeah, if you're thirsty after looking at all of the selection, they have a small bar and some tables where you can enjoy a pint of draft or a bottle from the beer menu. The last time I was there, they had Hog Heaven Barleywine, Gonzo Porter, Bigfoot, and a few others I can't remember on draft. The owner mentioned that he is also trying to get a patio set up out back.

If you live in Northeast Ohio, you owe it to yourself to get here.

amstelcat, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of klewis
5/5  rDev +19.9%

My God. I've found beer Mecca. I can't say too much that already hasn't been mentioned.

PROS:
-Amazing selection. Quite simply the best I've seen anywhere. (Check the website for a listing of their beers. I'm not sure how often it is updated, but nonetheless, it provides an idea of what is available.)

-Everything is fresh and kept in coolers.

-Plenty of staff on hand.

-Prices on par for the area. Singles sold with little markup.

-It's not often that you can shop for good beer, and then have a good pint afterwards. Only six taps, but fantastic stuff. Gumballhead, Ruination, Lindeman's Framboise. Stuff you normally don't see on tap around here.

CONS:
-Parking sucks.


My new favorite beer store.

P.S. I'm sure that the service is probably worthy of a 5, but I didn't require any help while I was there and didn't have a drink from the bar. I'll update this score when appropriate.


Edit: As expected, the service is outstanding. On my second trip, I sat in the bar and ordered something from the taps. The service was fast and friendly, and knew exactly when to check on us and when to give us some space. Best of all: "Would you like frosted or unfrosted glasses?" Perhaps the best service I've ever had at a bar.

klewis, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of AltBock
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

After leaving Hartville by going through Kent, I thought hey might as well stop here to see if their beer selection matches to what everybody says about it. More on the beer selection later. This place is located near this triangle intersection of Kent. When I pulled into the place I thought this place is kind of small with limited parking places. When you go through the door, the bar is located on the left, then a beer refrigerator on the right, then behind that, another beer refrigerator, and after that was a couple of rows of wine racks. If that wasn't enough, in the back was another long beer refrigerator. The first beer refrigerator carried pony kegs and the more common (Bud, Miller, Honey Brown, St. Pauli Girl, etc) beer. The second beer refrigerator is filled with single bottles of the uncommon beer (Bell's, Weyerbacher, Buckeye Brewing Co., etc). The third beer refrigerator is filled with the six packs of the singles of the uncommon beer. So basically all of their beer is stored in some kind of refrigerator.

The service here was really good. They knew what they were talking about and very helpful of finding a certain beer. What more can you ask for? No people here that just stock the beer and know nothing about it! They could also help you in finding a certain wine too probably. Way to go!!!

What a selection!!!! I couldn't believe my freaking eyes! They had beers from certain breweries that I've never seen in my part of the state. There is no way I could even mention all the beers they have here! All I can do is give a minor sample of what they have. They had most of all the Ohio beers Great Lakes, Buckeye Brewing Co, and Thristy Dog. The American micros consisted of Brooklyn, Avery, AleSmith, 3 Floyds, Rogue, Stone, Allagash, Ommegang, Victory, Weyerbacher, Founders, Dogfish Head, Jolly Pumpkin, Flying Dog (even had the Gonzo porter), Left Hand, Sierra Nevada, Bell's, Moylan's, and plenty more of that quality! There was no shortage of Belgians and other imports. That consisted of, Lindemans, Liefmans, Samuel Smith, Spaten, Baltika, some Indian beer, Saison Dupont, Rochefort, Orval, Franziskaner, St. Bernardus, Weihenstephaner, St. Peters, Melbourne Bros., and tons more of that quality. Again, there is no way I could even mention all of their beers! Great selection!!!

Not only was the selection great, but their prices too. Everything here is what you would expect to pay for these beers. Best of all they didn't add too much $ to their singles either. For example a single of Bigfoot would cost $1.69 and the six pack would usually cost $10.

If you ever find yourself in Kent, you have to stop here and admire their selection! I'm sure to return in the future!

AltBock, May 26, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
4/5  rDev -4.1%

I first found out about this place on BA.com for their Thirsty Dog Tasting. And thank god I did. This place has what kent needs. A fine wine and beer place where folks can go and enjoy some of the finer ales and lagers out there. This place is stuck way out on the outskirts of town but easily accesable. Actually you would want to make this place accesable due to the great selection of beer they have. The whole place is filled with coolers for the beer, so as to not let the beer go bad. (not that you didnt know that but I decided to give you that tip) The have only a few taps but, they have good stuff flowing from them. Also for those in your party whom do not prefer the ales they have a wine selection that would knock over a horse. Why that horse is in the store? im not really sure. But if you live in the area, make a trip and support the local bussinesses, this one is worth it!

quasimoto, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%

fun-looking place. stopped by for the Thirsty Dog tasting. half-dozen taps of delicious brews, not enormous but good sized selection of very good beers, even bigger wine selection. the beers represented the region well and plenty of other breweries (like left hand, dfh) were there too—along with many big belgians

they had blackout stout, which i couldn't find anywehere else

my "service" rating might be misleading since the tasting caused the place to be fairly busy. not sure what the normal procedure is (do they normally have waitresses?)

bruachan, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

I used to live in Kent, about 2-3 blocks from this store. I visited often, picking up "obscure" (to me) 6-packs for variety. The owner was always friendly and helpful.

While I was in town last week, I stopped in to see if the variety was as good as I remembered. It turns out that this place has been growing in terms of selection and services. It now has about 6 taps for on-site drinking, and a pretty cool atmosphere as well. Unfortunately I stopped by on a Sunday (their license does not allow on-site sales on Sunday). The taps looked awesome though (DFH 90-minute, some kriek lambic, Jolly Pumpkin something, and Great Lakes Irish).

Don't even think about not stopping here if you're in Kent. It's a great establishment with extremely knowledgable and helpful staff. The atmosphere on the inside is a lot better than the exterior would lead you to believe. The same can be said for my old house in Kent, so maybe it's a city thing...

TurdFurgison, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of becktone
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%

I was suprised when I walked into this small looking store earlier today. This store has a very large selection of wine. However its selection of beer is just as good. There are some brews there that I have not seen anywhere else. They carried a wide variety of beer, and the majority of the beer section of the store was devoted to micro brews and imports. Most noticeable to me was the selection of micro brews they carried. I haven't seen Three Floyds or Victory in any other stores that I have been in. They had alot more than I expected. In addition to the great bottled beer there are also six taps. This store also functions as a bar. At the time I was there each of the six taps had a micro brew on it ( The only one I really noticed was some type of dogfish head brew, I didin't pay much attention to the taps). The people who were working were very polite and helpful. In addition to various sixers and sampler packs the store also sold individual beers. These were reasonably priced and the selection of the beer in this area was also impressive. This is where I spent most of my time. I am a really big fan of this store and will definitely be visiting it again. My only complaint is that there were some beers I really wanted to try but these were not on the shelves, I'm sure if I asked someone they would've checked to see if any was in stock but I just grabbed something else that looked good instead.

becktone, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of Bones54
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Found amongst a major university, one would think that a beer store here would offer all the college classics (natti light, beast, coors light, etc.). Wrong!! Very wrong!! The store offers over 300 different beers, and the best part is that many are offered as singles. At a quick glance it seems as if any beer offered in the 6 pack, can be bought in the single. All the singles are kept cold, and none seem to have dust on them. While there are quite a few places that offer a lot of selection, the main problem is often cycling stock. This is not a problem at Riverside. While the store seems to boast about its wine selection, also amazing (at least it seems like it, I'm not the wine affeciendo), the owner, Bob, is still very happy to discuss beer. My only complaint is that I would like to see a larger selection of Belgian style beer. This tops my list for local stops to get fine beer!!

---
12/05

I've moved out of the area, but one weekend morning woke up with a pulling feeling toward Riverside. I had to go see if Bob made the changes he had talked about. Sure enough he did. Now he has a sit down bar (4-6 people), some tables in the back, and I believe (can't quite remember exactly) about 4 taps. All solid choices. My favorite being the DFH 90 IPA!! Also, for a slighly higher price than marked on the bottle, you can open ANY single bottle sold and enjoy right there at the bar. Staff and customers all well versed and very knowlegable in beer, and willing to talk beer as well! What a mix of retail and bar! Like nothing I've seen, and in the summer he plans to add a deck in the back.

---
Edit 4.28.08
Stopped here after a 2 year absence. Things have changed a lot once again! They now have 14 beers on tap - all very solid offering (GL, Avery, DFH, Lefthand, etc.). A big change is that they are eliminating a beer cooler, and downsizing to 150 singles vs. 400 singles. At first I was upset by this decision, but the focus appears to be going towards draft and sixers - which is more profitable for them. I am ok with that because with a 150 singles, they can still have a decent offering - plus retaining a solid selection on 6/12 packs along with a very nice selection of taps. The deck is also amazing and they have added 32 more parking spots. The focus of this place might be shifting to more of a sit down then a shop, but it is still very unique with solid offerings and a very helpfull staff. This is still a must stop!

Bones54, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of diamonddave
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

I can't believe I went to school in Kent for five years and never checked this place out. Okay, so when I was in college I spent most of my beer money on 40 ouncers of Night Star (anyone out there who actually remembers that swill... hang your head in shame).

I stopped by on the way home from Akron. Thank god it was 20 minutes until closing time when I got there, 'cause I would've spent hours looking through the singles. The selection is, simply put, kick-ass. They have beers from Bell's, Three Floyds, Allagash, Dogfish Head and... well, I don't feel like listing it all. Suffice it to say, they have a lot. And if there's anything you're curious about, hell, just buy a bottle. If it sucks, at least you didn't waste the money on a sixer. After ten minutes of shopping, I walked out with two mixed six-packs along with some extras (including a large bottle of Allagash Tripel Reserve, which I can't wait to try).

The young dudes behind the counter get extra marks for friendliness, because they were willing to chat about beer even as closing time approached. The owner wasn't there, which is understandable since it was nearly 10 PM on a Saturday night.

I fully expect that I'll be making the one hour drive out to Kent at least once a month to visit this store. Any beer fan who's anywhere near Kent would be crazy not to check it out. "Highly recommended" is an understatement.

diamonddave, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of cupbeerman
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

Riverside is one of the finest beer stores that I have ever been in. Their selection includes 400 single bottles of craft and imported beer. The selection includes Great Lakes, Dogfish Head, Thirsty Dog, Bells, Victory, Stone, and many imports including Belgians. As well as singles, there are many six packs available as well. All of the beers I bought were fresh and none were past the drink by date.

The service was very good, I got to meet the owner Bob. He was very pleasant and had very good beer knowledge. The prices were very reasonable.

Overall this is a place that I will probably make the trip from PA to shop at at least once a year. If you are ever near Kent stop and give them a try...it will be worth it.

cupbeerman, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

Quality/Selection: Riverside had well over 400 different beers available, most of which could be found both in singles and 6-packs. Craft beer lines such as Avery, Arcadia and Flying Dog sat next to a fine selection of English, German and Belgian bottles. A shelf of warm bottles sat opposite the several coolers of chilled singles, and on the back wall sat over 10 coolers of 6-packs, and there was an open-faced cooler with macros and more common imports by the checkout. Prices were quite reasonable, especially compared to singles in PA.

Service: The service at Riverside was simply fantastic. We met Bob the owner there on the Saturday we went in. Bob had a genuine enthusiasm for beer, and we had a decent conversation about beers that we liked, and what I could find in PA that I couldn't find there.

Riverside is a must-visit for anyone heading to Northeastern Ohio. Just so many fantastic beers, especially ones that aren't available in Western PA. Excellent service and reasonable prices round out the experience, and I hope to be able to return again!

beergeek279, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of budsboy
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

My wife and I were in town for a funeral, of all things, and made our way into Kent, where we attended college oh so long ago. I was shocked and jealous! Man, I didn't have anything like this when I was in school.

Casting my eyes upon the singles cooler, I told my wife, "I'm going to need a big box." Her reply: "uh-oh." The singles are what sells the place for me. I was able to pick up a few 12 ozers of beers that I hadn't tried (IPAs, Hefes, other styles I don't particularly care for) and those that I have no interest in buying a six pack.

Service was friendly and knowledgeable. The store owner was there (it was a weekday before New Year's Eve) and they were busy. But not to busy to chat a bit about the store that wasn't there when I was. I'll go back when in Kent again. Good luck to them.

budsboy, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of smitty1080
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

I would say this is the #1 beer store in Kent, for the sheer fact that they offer so many beers in singles and they have a really good selection of sixers. I would say the majority of the singles focus on
Micros, they have a nice import section of sixers. It's really hard to walk out of this place empty handed. They have a great staff that makes an effort to remember names and faces.

I've been to one beer tasting, gotta start making them more of habit. They offer 4 beers each Friday, they give you a sample of a couple ounces for $.50 each beer. So for a couple bucks it's well worth it.

smitty1080, Oct 19, 2003
Riverside Wine and Imports in Kent, OH
93 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.