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Whole Foods Market

Not Rated.
Whole Foods MarketWhole Foods Market
BA SCORE
96
world-class

43 Ratings
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

143 Maple Ave E
Vienna, Virginia, 22180-5724
United States
phone: (703) 319-2000

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @wfmvienna

Notes:
Place added by: JimD

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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerSox:
Photo of BeerSox
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

I wandered in here only after seeing some comments about the place. I'm used to the Whole Foods in Texas, which are mediocre beer places. Here though, the selection is incredible. They have just about everything. My only concern is that they have out of season beers, which means there is a slow turnover. Other than that, it seems that there are plenty of beer shoppers, so that shouldn't be too big of an issue.

They have six packs, large singles, but no small singles (like 12ozs). There is a sign that asks that you don't split the six packs, which is my only complaint. Not that big of a deal, plus there are other places where I can get a single of certain beers.

This is probably one of the better places in NoVA, and it certainly has a selection that is desired. Go there, then go somewhere else.
The location is a little busy, with a smaller parking lot. The street is also very busy, as it was built far before Vienna had a population explosion. The store is shaped very long and thin, not what I'm used to. If you're into organic food, this is the place to shop as well.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Iamjeff6
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Axnjxn
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here when I was in NOVA along with all the other beer shops in the area. This one had by far the most diverse selection of rare beers. If I lived there this would be my go to shop. Ive never seen a whole foods with a better beer selection than this one. It's rare that whole foods can get more exclusive beers than actual bottle shops, but the buyer here must be doing something right. extremely recommend.

Photo of beerfan99
3.48/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5

Until last fall, the Whole Foods in Vienna was my go to place for beer purchases. Great selection of beer, including many that were difficult to find. Years ago, when Jim was the beer manager, he pulled in some great stuff, including Russian River.
After my experience last fall with Jason and the CBS release, I have decided not to support Whole Foods in Vienna.

Prior to CBS release day, I called Whole Foods Vienna practically every day, to verify with Jason that the policy was still first come first served. Each time, he confirmed this policy. On the day of the release, I called again to verify the policy and to find out when the distributor would be stopping by. The Whole Foods Vienna employee confirmed the policy was still first come first served and that the beer would be arriving around 1 PM.

Around 11 AM, I decided to head over to Whole Foods Vienna and arrived at 11:30 AM. I asked 3 Whole Foods employees when CBS would arrive, if there was a line forming, and to confirm the policy was still first come first served. They said CBS would arrive at 1 PM, said I was the first to arrive, and confirmed the policy was still first come first served.

For the next hour, I waited patiently in the beer department, anxious to purchase a bottle of CBS. After a little while, two other beer enthusiasts showed up and we talked about beer and how we were all looking forward to trying CBS. At 12:30, Jason walked into the beer department, coming from the back of the store. Of course, we asked him about CBS. He responded by saying, "Sorry, I only received a case". The three of us waiting asked him to further explain why CBS was not going to be available for purchase. His response was that there was a list and that there would not be any extras. While he provided his explanation, several other Whole Foods Vienna employees stopped by and overheard his explanation. They were dumbfounded as to why he refused to sell us a bottle of CBS. These were the same Whole Foods Vienna employees who had been providing consistent information about the CBS release for several weeks and within the past hour. The Whole Foods Vienna beer manager did not provide any additional details, just another "Sorry, guys, maybe next time".

Selling beer at Whole Foods Vienna has become a pretty big business, not only do they make a pretty good profit on the beer, but it is a significant drawing factor to bring people in the store. Since when does a supermarket refuse to sell goods to consumers who are on site and ready to purchase.

The three of us left Whole Foods that day very disappointed and quite angry. Not only have I decided not to purchase beer at the Whole Foods Vienna location, I have decided to support that particular store.

Photo of jfmorey
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I am only reviewing the new wine/beer bar that was included in a general renovation in the Fall of 2011. They now have 8 taps with four steady, four rotating more frequently, all primo.

The Bell's Two Hearted is their IPA, which has remained since the reopening, along with the Lost Rhino Keller Pils, Port City Porter (both local), and the New Belgium Fat Tire. This week they also have the Lost Rhino Ice Breaker, a good DIPA, Blue Mountain Evan Almighty, a hoppy Altbier, The Williamsburg Coffeehouse Stout, and the Southern Tier Cuvee 3. The beer guy, Jason, knows his stuff, so there have never been any loosers. The price is usually 3.99 for a pint, sometimes for a tulip; and there is a happy hour from 4 to 6 each weekday with $1 off drafts.

The atmoshere is good for a supermarket, since the bar is in an isolated section. For Vienna, Va, which is a fairly bland suburb, it is a great addition. I have lived here for more than thirty years, rarely having a casual encounter with another resident; but within the first weeks I struck up conversations with several locals sitting at the bar.

Service is much better than one would expect where tips are not allowed (if given, the manager has decided that they should be donated to charity).

Photo of ccczzz
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I’ve lived in the area for many years and I’ve been to all of the bottle shops in Northern Virginia and easily the Vienna Whole Foods is my go to for regular purchases as well as hunting down special releases. The focus here is quality over quantity. They’ve got pretty much anything I’d be interested in. The beer buyer, Jason, keeps the stock rotating and free of fluff that fills shelves at other places including other local Whole Foods. Overall this Whole Foods has less of a corporate feel and more of an independent neighborhood grocer feel.

The beer aisle has three room temperature shelving units, from left to right… mostly Belgians, then other imports and single 12oz bottles, then mostly domestic 22s/750s. Beyond that is a cooler case with a section on the left for mostly current special release 22s/750s, both domestic and import. Beyond that is a pretty good selection of chilled sixers, both domestic and import. Typically there will be a couple of end caps of whatever seasonal is popular. It’s pretty densely packed in with variety so don’t get fooled by some other places that spread the bottles out horizontally to look like they’ve got more than they really do.

***EDIT 20110913: The store has recently undergone a renovation and the beer aisle has changed. Now there is a larger cooler that runs the full length of the aisle and a regular shelf section on the other side that runs about a quarter of the way down the aisle. Still same good selection so nothing has changed in that regard. If anything there is now more cooler/shelf space devoted to beer***

In regards to selection this store is gets pretty much anything that is distributed in NOVA, but sometimes seems to get the shaft from distributors because it’s a smaller store. That said, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to go elsewhere for a limited/special release. There are also plenty of odd beers that I’ve found here that aren’t at other local stores. There are a few other places I’ll hit up on a semi regular basis (Perfect Pour, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits) just because they have different distribution in MD and DC.

Selection is important, but really it’s all about the service. The beer buyer, Jason, is probably the nicest and most down to earth beer guy I know. And that’s saying a lot since the folks over at Norms (two blocks away) and Ricks (further away but also a great mom and pop shop) are also good guys. Jason takes the time to get to know his customers, even the ones that are new or only show up a few times a year. He’s always quick with a recommendation of similar products to try if you like something and he’s also pretty darn honest if he feels something is not worth the price or their might be a better option.

Jason hosts a monthly tasting, usually the third Thursday of each month, that draws a pretty diverse crowd of beer geeks, casual folks, and people that just happened to be passing by in the store at the time. He’s always well prepared with knowledge of the styles and history of the beer/brewery. It’s never pretentious and a great place to start for folks new to craft beer. He’s not going to blow away your palate/senses with a dozen 10%+ beers and then scold you for not being able to keep up. Instead he’ll start with a few seasonals, a few classic styles, and then a few heavy hitters at the end.

Another mention should go to James who is Jason’s protégé and also to the wine buyer, John, who does a great job filling if Jason and James are not on duty.

Pricewise this store is in line with pretty much anywhere else in NOVA. The mom and pop shops are usually a buck or two more for most 6packs/22s/750s. The big box stores like Total Wine (lots of fluff and questionable rotation of stock) or Wegmans (miniscule selection comparatively) might be a buck or two cheaper for the same if they even have it.

If you’re reading this review as a traveler I’d recommend trying to visit this store mid day during the week or early on weekend as traffic can be a bit disgusting around here during rush hour. Pair it up with a stop at Norms just up the street and it’ll be worth the trip.

Photo of TritterBrew
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been shopping at Whole Foods Vienna for many years and it's always been worth the 30 minute drive. In fact, I continue to go to Vienna even though there is a larger Whole Foods (more beer) only five minutes from my house and a Wegmans I can walk to. Why make the trip? Jason. Jason is "the beer guy" and he always seems to be in the store when I'm there. His knowledge of beers is amazing though I find him always offering me a range of choices in different price ranges. Overall I find Whole Foods prices a bit on the high side but there are often decent sales. I'd say 9 out of 10 times Jason makes a great recommendation. I only wish my broker was this good!

Once a month Jason hosts a beer tasting and I'm always impressed with the time and energy he puts into making it an interesting and informative experience. There is always a theme and usually eight or so beers to try. I'm a beer novice but many of the folks attending the tastings are much more experienced than I. They all seem to get a lot out of the tastings.

The bottom-line is if you live in Northern Virginia and you are looking for great beer advice, a dynamic beer selection and usually some good sale prices, go to WF Vienna and ask for Jason.

Photo of weasbri
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I've been coming here for years now, dividing my purchases between WF and Norm's. Both places have a great selection, but somewhat surprisingly, I usually end up getting better service here, because a lot of times the Norm's guys will be up at the front chatting, etc, whereas the WF folks are stocking or roaming the aisles.
One particular excitement has been the addition of growlers to the choices. Fresh draft beer from my grocery store? Nice!
In addition, on the third Thursday of every month, Jason ("the beer guy") holds a beer tasting. He brings out some seasonally appropriate brews, and then always two or three beers that are among his favorites or are special buys, including the occasional "vintage" beer. Most recently we tried the Gouden Carolus Blue 2008 and the Bruery Coton (Papier was also available for purchase). Jason knows his stuff and is always very helpful, even if you don't always know what you're talking about (like me).
It's still a tossup whether I go to Norm's or WF, but they'll both stay in my rotation for the foreseeable future.

Photo of PortendingEnnui
3.11/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I previously lived in Vienna and occasionally shopped at this Whole Foods as they expanded their selection. I have been visiting for several years now and from what I can remember, the beer specialist has always been extremely rude and provided terrible service. Today topped the cake though.

I moved away from Vienna about a year ago, so have not had a chance to visit this Whole Foods in a while. I have been working 8am-8pm on the back end of the week and so my girlfriend and I missed the chance to buy a beer release from closer retailers this week (unfortunately, distributors are mostly Wed/Fri here). So, we decided to make the trip to Vienna for dinner and hoping Whole Foods would still have some, as they normally sell releases slower.

When we arrived a young man was stocking the beer and informed me they did indeed have some left. We said we would like it and so he went to the back. When he came out, he only had one so my girlfriend said she had wanted one too. When he returned with a second bottle the beer specialist appeared and stopped him in his tracks and said no, we could not have a second. I asked "she can't have one?" and he said "it wouldn't be fair to the other dudes that might want one" or something along those lines. My girl stayed quiet not knowing what to say and I was equally unprepared for that type of response or for him even being there when the other worker had been assisting me. I started to try to explain that the other retailers no longer carry this release so where were we to get a bottle for her, and he said something like he "didn't care because other people would make that excuse too." Lastly, he walked away saying to our backs "thanks for understanding."

So, does Whole Foods not consider women to be customers? Does being a beer "snob" require you to be sexist and extremely rude? If she had come alone would she have even gotten a bottle? I supposed I shouldn't have been surprised considering my past experiences with him. And I guess it should be said that he very often affixes highly inflated prices to bottles, for example bottles that sell for even $10 less at other Whole Foods in the area.

Definitely a negative recommendation on service from me, and I should have posted it after the previous bad encounters as well.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

I stopped in here not expecting much at all, and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. A good selection of cool and warm beer, which is different from other Whole Foods I have seen that have almost exclusively cool beer. Some of the bottles here I have not seen at any other places, including Norms, other Whole Foods, and Total Wine. Staff is friendly and the beer buyer seems to know his stuff. Prices are reasonable (although no mixed 6 pack discount is a disappointment). The ambiance isnt bad..about as good as you can get for a supermarket. Overall definitely worth stopping at.

Photo of Chaney
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Q: I remember a time when they use to have Westy 12 here. Even though those time are now gone, the quality here is still great!

Service: The beer buyer is also a beer geek himself, so that means that there is good beer aplenty! He basically knows me by name (or at least by face) now and is the greatest guy in the universe.

Selection: There were some selections here that I had not seen in other WF establishments (eg. Duck Rabbit: Rabbid Duck, a couple of Cantillon selections (however, wasn't there on my recent visit), and many, many, many others.

Value: Since we're dealing with Whole Foods now (aka. Whole Paycheck), that can be a bit sketchy. The beer buyer knows the dilemmas surrounding craft beer peeps. This still remains my "go to" Whole Foods joint for great craft beer.

Photo of bernardus
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Both this Whole Foods and the Fairlakes one are about 3 miles from me...too many good choices. While this location is smaller than the Fairlakes one, and doesn't have some beer on tap, the selection and service are just as outstanding.

The beer aisle is towards the middle of the store and the first thing you'll see is a very high shelf of well selected Belgians to the left. Further down the aisle are brews from Canada, Germany, England, and a few other countries before getting the American craft brews. Further down is the cold selection of bombers and six packs. It's a single aisle, but the selection is fantastic.

Whenever I visit, the beer dude (I never caught his name) always approaches me to offer assistance. It's good to take him up on it since he's obviously tried so much more than I have and is patient in helping you find what you're looking for based on ones you've tried and liked.

Overall, this Whole Foods is well worth a visit. It's in a very central, easy to find, although very difficult to get in and out of, area of town.

Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%

an A+ Whole Foods - that typically means great things

very similar beer set-up for the whole foods chain (much greater than madison). the shelved bombers/750's were intriguing enough. i picked up a southhampton triple (they also had the grand cru - great beer) and a le freak. There was some other stuff that was interesting too but a lot of belgian/scandanavian overpriced stuff as well

service was pretty strong as it usually is at whole foods. shopkeep was upfront about the quality of the nugget nectar decreasing due to age

six pack selection was not very impressive

Photo of jnn4v
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

I've been to this store on a number of occasions. Every single time, they had tons of top quality beers at an excellent price. They have one of the best collections of beers to be cellared that I've ever seen anywhere - tons of vintage ales both from US and UK. They have a decent collection of singles, although many are bomber or 750ml size. The majority of the beers here are sold in 4/6 packs, although many of the regional favorites (and beyond the region) are available. I can't do it justice to describe the store without describing the quality of service, either. Every time I've been, the section manager has been on-hand to walk me through which beers were there, which I'd like, which he enjoys, etc. As much as the selection itself, the personal interaction and consultative selling are what sets this place apart.

Photo of thekanna
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

I was surprised at what this Whole Foods had to offer: though their selection is not as varied as, say, Chevy Chase Wine, what they do have is only the good stuff. There were lots of 750 ml bottles of Belgians, Germans, and crafts. I found both the Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer Blue and Red here, whereas they're both pretty rare and unavailable at other stores. Lots of Unibroue/ Ommegang and others too. The manager who runs the store must have an interest in good beers, otherwise I'd expect a lot more macros available and a lot less of the top-of-the-line beers that he has now.

Photo of Pencible
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%

I just recently discovered this Whole Foods location, since there are a couple closer to my house. But this one is worth the extra commute. Each Whole Foods location stocks its beer selection separately, and this one has a very enthusiastic beer manager. On my several visits, he's always been around to guide me through the selection and make suggestions. Super friendly and helpful. He's even offered to place special orders, if I can't find something that I want already on the shelves.

The overall selection isn't quite as large as Total or anther nearby beer/wine store, but this Whole Foods is my favorite just because of the manager's attitude.

Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

We stopped in here recently to hit the place up for dinner to go, show at Wolftrap, and to check out the beer selection.

The beer selection is simply outstanding. I think they have just about all of the quality stuff you can expect in NOVA. My favorite was seeing, and purchasing, "local" stuff from Legend and Williamsburg Alewerks.

Service was solid with the young man who is the beer manager chewing my ear for a good 15 minutes or more. We had fun playing the, have you had this one game?! He was kind enough to clue me in on a few extra Williamsburg Alewerks beers that were hidden. A very nice time...too bad I was a bit rushed becasue we had to get to the concert! I will make sure to revisit this place, I like Whole Foods Markets as it is, when I find myself in the area the next time.

Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

quality: everything seems to be in check, a large quantity of the selection is refrigerated, with some Belgian and higher-abv selections kept on the room temperature shelves

service: the beer guy Jason is extremely helpful and I've had quite a few chats with him about beer, and not only because I'm a beer nerd, as everybody in the store seems to get this same level of service

selection: great selection, a few rare Williamsburg Alewerks bombers), many semi-obscure Europeans, and a slew of American micros...Troegs, Clipper City, Victory, Stone, Bell's, Southern Tier, Southampton, a Legend bomber or two, Avery, Smuttynose, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy...

Photo of tugdriver7
3.7/5  rDev -15.9%

Something about the organic foods market that brings out some really interesting beer selections. Popped in while waiting to pick someone up from a nearby theater. Nice store, friendly staff (though not particularly geared toward beer drinkers). Perhaps because of their market angle, the selection focuses on imports and craft beers (no complaint there) and I found a couple of Germans that aren't particularly rare, but some things you don't always see. I assume the selection rotates a bit; but well worth dropping in.

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

We stopped in here recently while beering-it-up in Northern VA. I will say that this location sits on quite the little busy road in Vienna. I think we almost got hit only like 3 times trying to make the left into the parking lot. That being said, the beer selection here more than makes up for the aggravation of the traffic in the area. Just a huge selection, not only in the cooler but also on the shelves. Now I'm used to visiting the Falls Church location (which unto itself is pretty good) but man, the selection here is fantastic. You name it. Bell's, Bear Republic, Moylan's, Avery, Rogue, Stone, Troegs. Pretty much all the good stuff that VA gets and then some. They even had some local stuff from Legend and Williamsburg Aleworks, which I didn't think made it up this far in VA. And that's just the domestic craft.

They also have a big selection of Belgians and other imports and did I mention the glassware? Yes, beer glassware (while it was a somewhat limited selection) in a super market. I love it! They also have a limited selection of singles that were conveniently placed alongside the appropriate six packs on the shelves. And I must also comment on how much I love the giant stacks of awesome beer that are just randomly placed around the store. They literally had an 8 ft. tall wall of Bell's Two Hearted sixers and mini-kegs that I just wanted to jump into and live in.

Prices appeared to be on par with other beer stores in the area and we didn't get much assistance as we didn't see anyone even remotely acting as a beer manager in the vicinity. As a matter of fact, I saw one lady pull someone out of the wine area to ask questions about beer. This is in contrast to the Falls Church location, where there is usually someone always restocking the area and asking if you need help. All in all though, this is a must stop. The general area can be a pain to negotiate on a busy day but it's definitely worth a visit, just for the selection alone.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

Had heard about a couple places with good selections that I had not been to and this was one of them, so on my weekly beer haul I decided to check this place out. Awesome selection for a grocery store. Actually, awesome selection period. I ended up spending way more than planned just because so much caught my eye. Fair amount in cooler and quite a few other choices not cooled. A lot of good cellar candidates. Ended up getting Fuller's Vintage 2005, Thomas Hardy 2005 and 2006, Eggenberg's Samischlaus Bier Helles, DFH 120-min, Lee's Harvest Ale 2002 and 2005, DFH Fort and more. Lots of bombers. Good prices, too.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

Went here on a whim. Great selection, especially for a grocery store. Actually, awesome selection. Found some damnation and a nice deal on Arrogant Bastard bombers for $3.99. Lots of Belgians and internationals along with a nice selection of local micros sixers. Someone knows what they are doing here. Everything is fresh as a grocery store has quick turnover. Even found some nugget nectar which I snagged 3 sixers of. You wont find buried treasure here but you will be very satistified if looking for a delicious micro fix.

Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

When I visit the folks, the local grocccery stores they have are Giant, Safeway, and Whole Foods. The giant beer selection is horrid in vienna. I cant even get anchor. craft brews are relegated to sam adams and sn. my mother suggested i go to whole foods(she loves the place for other reasons) any way i blew it off thinking they would have weird organic beers etc etc. I was wrong. in fact it was the polar opposite of giant. they had very few macro brews and alot of craft brews. i dont rem the exact selection, but i knew there was more than enough to keep me happy on visits. The service is good, though like most groccery stores you need to ask. The ppl that work there are very friendly though. Its a great place to turn if your looking to escape the macrobrew world. Prices are reasonable too.

Photo of jasonm
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

Made a trip to the Vienna Whole Foods during a recent business trip.

As far as quality and selection go, I would consider it very good for a Whole Foods, definitely a step up from the one in Arlington. Not only the standard micros like Stone, DFH, Avery, Victory, etc, but a very nice selection of Belgians and seasonal and rotating releases. As mentioned, this store carries Russian River, but was out during my visit. Was able to pick up some Southampton Grand Cru and 10th Anniversary. JW Lees Harvest Ales back to 2000 also available (and all priced at $7/bottle, except for the Calvados barrel aged, which was $8).

The stock looked like it was mostly fresh and rotated often. With the possible exception of the Avery, which had lots of bottles with torn labels and dust.

Didnt get any service at the beer section, but the cashier and bagger were helpful in fetching me a larger box and shopping cart to haul my stuff.

As mentioned before, the prices seem pretty reasonable. And Arrogant Bastard is still on sale for $3.99 per bomber.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.05/5  rDev -8%

This is not my goto beer store but in a pinch it is fine and they do have a few things I have not seen before.

Q- Top grade fresh looking beers. Hey it's a grocery store. The stuff dose more due to traffic.

S- not bad for a grocery store. The guy there restocking had tried many and was willing to be honest about several, Good Man. But not a BA level Beer Geek.

S- Quite good that is why we go. Lots of imports, lots of stuff from every where. Could use more local brew but it's a small section, just on aisle.

V-Kind of Pricey on some stuff, most in line and.. Well Hey It's a grocery store, they have to have a come on display, Stone AB $3.99 per 22 oz. Not Bad.

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Whole Foods Market in Vienna, VA
96 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.