Bon Vivant Wine & Brew
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
4.14/5 rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
As other reviews have stated, this place looks like an extremely small house from the outside. It's almost comical. But once inside, it actually seemed bigger. The beer is right to your left in a small room. The shelves are packed, and it is a little tight in there, but most everything is easily visible. They have a small cooler in there with some various beers (didn't seem to have rhyme or reason as to what was in there as opposed to just on the shelf.
I think the word is out on this place as I didn't find anything limited on my trip just pretty much the same you'd find at any Total Wine, though for their size that is a compliment. Prices were a little high but being a mom and pop place I don't mind that. Did manage to find a Batch #3 Big Bad Baptist which is long gone from other stores I've shopped at.
The gentleman that checked me out offered a sample of a beer they were pouring and told me about their Friday they had coming up, he was very friendly and helpful.
If I lived in the area I would certainly go back, but as is I can't say I would return since I have Grape and Gourmet and Total Wine Hilltop closer and between them I can get anything I want practically.
09-23-2013 11:36:40 | More by Hanzo
4.58/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Hit this place up just an hour or so ago. Down in VA for vacation, and never thought that I would find a place like this!
I had driven past it twice over the past few days and thought it was a house but low and behold it's a little hidden gem.
As you walk, the "store" is sectioned with craft beers to the left. The way this store runs is single bottles only. That's the one downfall - single bottles and higher prices. However, that being said, for the area, the selection and quality is outstanding. Beers are broken out by style as opposed to brewery. Since you mix six packs, I think this setup is far more appropriate. Easy to follow set up and great amount of stock. A good deal of local, regional, and elsewhere is available. The breweries that I can recall Du Claw, St. George, Tall Grass, Bluegrass Brewing, Terrapin, Bell's, Schlafly, Founders, Clown Shoes, Cisco, Stone, Southern Tier, and so much more.
We happened to catch and talk to the owner for some time. He's very knowledgeable about beers and absolutely has a passion for good craft brews.
The rest of the store offers a very nice wine selection, and more gourmet snacks and cheeses (which we pruchased some and enjoyed thoroughly!).
When you walk in, you may get a bit of a surprise by the owners dog - big ol Doberman. But he's an utter sweetheart and a rescue dog.
I will absolutely give my business to this place whenever I am in town.
10-10-2011 21:29:26 | More by Jayli
4.3/5 rDev -5.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
looks like it's been said numerous times about this place, but I'll say it again - blink and you'll miss it, Bon Vivant looks like a grandmother's house on the side of the highway, the small but well stocked beer room is your first door on the left after entering
the selection is all singles, and all quality, with enough rarities to make it worth a stop if nearby, but not to make it a destination over Grape & Gourmet in Newport News, there were a few interesting bottles that I hadn't seen anywhere else, mostly warm storage with a mini-fridge with a seemingly random assortment inside, prices a bit on the steep side, a bit torn between a 4.0 and a 4.5 selection but I'll give this little place the benefit of the doubt
service was nice, the lady of the store pointed me towards a few things I would otherwise have missed
08-04-2009 23:48:22 | More by blackie
4.7/5 rDev +3.3%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place is a house so dont pass by looking for a regular storefront like I almost did.
The beer room is first on the left, the rest of the store is wine and a few snack items. Would have liked to have a few stinky cheeses but all that was available was pretty tame.
The beer area was pretty small but well organized by style. All singles. VERY good selection. Some things I havent seen even in Richmond.
The guy on hand there, I assume the owner, was very pleasant and had good reccomendations. We got 10% off 12 beers or more. Price seemed a little high but again theres a premium for rarities.
06-15-2009 16:39:54 | More by nriech
4.7/5 rDev +3.3%
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped in around noon on a Tuesday (had the day off from work). Tiny little place, but fantastic selection. Only one employee there at the time, more than happy to answer any questions I had. Large selection of wines that I will investigate next time I stop in, and I saw a sign saying they now stocked cigars. The beer room was tiny but WELL stocked - very difficult to limit myself to a 6 pack with so many beers I want to try. Good selection of domestic microbrews as well as imports. Seems the owner has a liking for the belgians - larger than average selection. Reasonable prices. Will definitely be returning.
11-11-2008 18:06:07 | More by repeal06
4.85/5 rDev +6.6%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Wow, talk about a diamond in the rough. Located in the heart of macro-field is one of the finest establishments you'll find. First off, every beer here is good-- not a macro in sight and a fantastic selection from rare imports to elite domestic microbreweries. Everything here is sold in individual bottles, so you never feel the need to purchase in high quantities. I have been here twice and found 2 completely different yet equally pleasing, fantastic selections of choices. If there is a beer that you have heard about here and have been dying to try, as long as it is available in VA-- it's here. The service here is also fantastic with a very knowledgable and friendly staff that is appreciative of your business and of course, great beer.
12-27-2007 02:46:48 | More by Neehan
4.65/5 rDev +2.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
What a candy store for the beer lover. Where I live there are no places to buy good beer. This place is wonderful. Great beer selection and the owner is a mighty fine fellow. I even called in a list and Mike (the owner) put together my case of beer and had it waiting for me. He also will always offer to load the beer into your vehicle. His service is outstanding in a time where you rarely find that kind of smalltown service. Only drawback to the place is it is very small and I feel like a bull in the china closet when I'm in the beer section. I also wish the beer was already cool, but that is just being picky and it's problably better so I'm not tempted to drink and drive.
12-16-2006 16:39:02 | More by Minkybut
5/5 rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I'm continually impressed by this place. It's not huge, but has a great selection of singles and bombers, and usually has a nice quantity of each beer in stock; only a couple of times have I gone there looking for smething without finding it, and each time they had it in stock shortly thereafter. The owners KNOW their beer and have always been friendly and helpful. They have a large wine selection as well as coffee and other good-tasting stuff. Bon Vivant is by far the farthest-away of the local beer shops I frequent, but it has been worth the trip every time.
First-timers can have a hard time finding this place because it's so small; just look for the big brick funeral home on S. Church St., Bon Vivant is directly across from it.
Edited: I keep coming here every few weeks, and it seems like each time I come Mike has something new in stock that I've never seen or heard of before. Both locations are great; I prefer the cozyness of the Smithfield store, but that's just me.
05-16-2006 01:27:34 | More by Havinapretzel
5/5 rDev +9.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
As others have noted, this place doesn't exactly jump out at you. It is very small. That, however, is the only bad thing I can say about the place. Like another reviewer I drove past the place when I made my first trip and had to make a U-turn. The sign isn't exactly eye catching.
The room where the beer is right on the left as soon as you walk in the door and is slighly larger than my bathroom. The selection, however, is amazing. If you're looking for macro swill you will be extremely disappionted. However, if you're looking for Belgian beers and the like this is the place! (They were out of the big Duvel bottles, though.) It's also the only beer store in the area where I've been able to find Thomas Hardy's Ale. The first time I went out there I started my beer cellar when I got home. The owner is very knowedgeable in craft beer and offered a few recommendations when he saw what I had already selected.
It gets no better than here.
04-06-2006 03:50:48 | More by FenwaySquid
4.3/5 rDev -5.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As many have noted, Bon Vivant Market, doesn't exactly jump out at you, rather it's a pearl waiting to be plucked. Hidden on Church Street in an unassuming little brick building is a wealth of great beer.
After viewing their web site, I headed from Newport News across the James River to check out the situation one Saturday afternoon. I passed it at first and had to make a U-Turn. Once inside, I noticed that it was slightly bigger than it appeared from the outside. Still it was a little cramped inside but not necessarily uncomfortable. The proprieter wasn't there during my visit but the rest of the staff was VERY pleasant and made themselves available if needed.
The beer room is as you would imagine..small but packed from the floor to the ceiling. I notice right away some breweries I hadn't had beers by were well represented here. Bear Republic, Great Divide, and others. Alpha King Pale Ale, Old Jubilation by Avery, rare Smutty and Victory brews and alot of other great American brews. Belgium was very well represented as well with a good amount of Trappist and other Belgian ales well stocked.
I was slightly dissapointed that Bernardus Abt. 12 was missing but the staff reassured me they would be getting more. They also had some gift packages, a Brew-opoly board game and other odds and ends. I didn't try any wines or cheeses but the store seemed well versed in those items as well. I was able to find at least 40 or so beers that I hadn't seen anywhere else. Great find and a great establishment!
03-14-2006 14:04:46 | More by Bleedingshrimp
Bon Vivant Wine & Brew in Smithfield, VA
97 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.