Binny's Beverage Depot - River North

Not Rated.
Binny's Beverage Depot - River NorthBinny's Beverage Depot - River North
very good

60 Ratings
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

213 W Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60654-7673
United States
phone: (312) 332-0012

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @binnysbev

Place added by: AudioGilz

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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by Northsider:
Photo of Northsider
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This location is very close to work, so it's easy for me. Good selection here, but I wish they had more chilled. Only a select few crafts make it to the fridge area... Unless you are looking for Hard Lemonade, Bud, etc you won't find much cold.

Actual building is pretty cramped and small. Not a big surprise I guess, considering it's River North. I kept bumping into people while navigating the aisles.

I was able to pick up some Flying Dog and Great Lakes when I was there. They accept credit cards, which is great since the liquor store near my place is cash only.

Not much else to say...standard-ish Binnys.

More User Reviews:
Photo of surfcaster
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Great selection, first come first serve no BS kind of place.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Selection here is great in terms of quantity and a couple of recent releases were still on the shelves but nothing overly rare or interesting was available when I stopped by. All the locals are represented well as well as many of the better out of state breweries.

The location is fantastic if you are staying in on or near North Michigan Ave.

Photo of Roman5150
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.75

Was in Chicago over the weekend, visited this place after hearing so much about it. Wow, never seen a selection this big. So many beers I have been searching for, (La Trappe Oak Aged Quads, Ten Fidy, EVERY Michigan beer), maybe im just used to the horrible selection living in Tennessee, but even in SE Michigan not many stores come close to the size and selection.

The Belgian aisle was very impressive, every single trappist that is available in the US, they had. Many rare belgians that I have only seen in Belgium as well.

The domestic aisles were also very large, and pretty well organized. I checked a lot of dates, and while assuming their is a high turnover here, didn't find anything expired (or even close), which is awesome.

Not much service, I was browsing for a solid hour and not one person came up to me to ask if I needed help, then again, this is how I would like it, I hate being bothered unless I ask for help, but others may see this as a negative.

Also, it's pretty cool they have parking given their location in River North. Next time im in Chicago, I will be back!

Photo of MinorThreat
2.76/5  rDev -29%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I stopped into Binny's during a trip to Chicago last week. I am from Denver and was excited to try some Midwest beer that is not available in my distribution area.

A-Looked like most of the Big Box LQ's I've been to. Clean and well stocked. Kind of warm inside a problem I will get to next.

Q-Here is where I have a big axe to grind. I picked up Central Waters IIPA, Founders Centennial IPA, Stone 10yr ruination (sold out fast at home) and a few lambics. I was a bit concerned buying hoppy beers that have been setting warm (real warm) on the self, but thought they would be ok.
I get back to the hotel and look at the Founders IPA, bottled 2/XX/12, five months old, hot for five months... Guess what they tasted like cooked vegetables and stale grass.... Ok so I grabbed a bad six, so I move on to the Central Waters IIPA. Did not notice a date, did notice the awful DMS from cooking on the shelf. Ok that sucks but I've a bomber that is only a few weeks old. Once again, trashed, total drain pour. I just wasted $35....great....
Selection was really nice, however I would never buy another beer from Binny's again. Hopefully the 12 bottles of Fruet they currently are baking don't completely fall apart too.
I am far from a complainer, the Founders IPA was my bad, I would have avoided a five month old IPA had I looked. But c'mon 3 for 3 is pretty bad. More than anything I would be furious if I was one of the brewers who beer Binny's is ruining then selling. What the hell is the point of making a quality product when the retailer is just going to destroy it so bud light can stay cold?

S-Pretty standard... nothing great nothing bad

S-Good, but sort of hard to respect a huge selection of wrecked beers.

V-Prices were good for the product in quality form, the product just was not in quality form.

O-Avoid, seriously, they don't have enough refrigeration or sense to crank the a/c if nothing else to preserve the beers they have rotting on the shelf. I would rather have a mediocre IIPA that had been cared for than Pliny from Binny's.

Photo of stouts4me
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Good atmosphere here.

Quality is on par with other Binny's.

Service is good, pretty much all Binny's have employee's eager to help.

Selection is real good, differs from other Binny's somewhat, for instance, I found like 15 Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing here, and none at the Binny's by GI Clybourn. Also, I found 2 Black Cauldren from Grand Teton, none anywhere else.Nectar Ales Black xantus were about 10 deep here, also. And Dampf Loc from Local Option was here, haven't seen it anywhere before.

no food here.

Value-great if you hit their sales, good otherwise.

Photo of elNopalero
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I’m pretty impressed by the selection at this place. Not only did they have a whole corner of the store devoted to domestic craft brew, they also had a whole aisle of imports, and plenty of beers in the fridge. But they didn’t have KBS! (I was there the day it came out—but too late for any.) I spoke with some knowledgeable staff/beer geeks who had some good recommendations to visit during my stay in Chicago. And—since their excellent selection goes beyond beers—I ended up picking up some bourbon too!

Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Well for a first visit to Chicago Binny's does the trick. This store is laid out well and very organized. Selection is quite good for domestic craft consisting of some good Chicago selections, and a mix of some basic and some obscure. Three Floyds though flies off the shelf here. I grabbed a pack of their Pride and Joy, hesitated, but it back, then came back 10 minutes later to purchase it making my mind up and it was gone.

Staff here is also quite helpful. Prices seem reasonable as well. The staff went in the back to grab something that wasn't on the shelf for us too. Selection is also good for foreign with a large variety including lambic and gueze styles, however a colleague didn't like the German selection that much.

Still there is mug to enjoy here, ny only complaint is you can't break up the six packs and mix them up. I wish I could have, there was so much here I wanted to try.

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Popped in here for a short visit while driving to supper nearby. It was bigger than I expected when I saw it from the outside. Beer makes up the left hand wall of the store. There was a nice selection of beers that I can't find in Missouri - like Port, Dogfish Head, Allagash, Victory, Lost Abbey and locals like Half Acre and Flossmoor. Service seemed rather disinterested and I would like to have a large order of beer placed in a box not in plastic bags. What I have sampled so far from there has been good quality. It appears the IPAs are fresh and they move product pretty rapidly. I did not have a lot of time otherwise I would have spent more time and money in that store.

Photo of thain709
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I had the Binny's in Lincoln Park on my list of places to go, but it turns out this Binny's was just a short walk from our hotel. So we went and checked it out to kill some time.

As you enter and walk down the ramp you can see this one focuses on the wine. Wine takes up most of the (small) space. The liquor is off to your right and the beer is far off to the left.

The selection is much smaller than that of the Lincoln Park location. It's also very cramped in a corner. The import section is small, but included brews from all over (BrewDog and Evil Twin stood out). The craft section is about four short rows of 6 packs and bombers. Craft breweries were well represented: Goose Island (including their soda), Half Acre (no Daisy Cutter), Metropolitan, Two Brothers, Floosmore, Victory, Boulevard, Tyranena, New Belgium, Great Lakes, New Holland (all the Hatter selections).

As I said, it was smaller than that of the Lincoln Park location, but there were some things this location had over the other one. I was disappointed to find no Daisy Cutter or Three Floyds. Service again wasn't bad. We were helped in the wine department more than the beer section.

Photo of argock
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Visited on a recent Sunday for a few items to try I usually wouldn't get my hands on in Virginia. They have a ton of stuff, without a doubt. It is slanted toward American beers, but there is a long aisle of Belgian and other imports above and beyond what I would expect, even for a big city store.
On the American end they carry Western brews: Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, North Coast, Lagunitas, Green Flash, Bridgeport, Sierra Nevada, Breckenridge, Fort Collins, New Belgium, Great Divide, SKA, Uinta, Widmer, Pyramid ; Midwest brews: Two Brothers, Three Floyds (limited), Boulevard, Goose Island (but no BCBS), Tyraena, Flossmoor, New Holland, Founders, Bell's, Great Lakes, Hoppin' Frog, and plenty of very local micros; and Eastern brews: Smuttynose, Southern Tier, Victory, Brooklyn, Ommegang, Allagash.
There were an impressive number of Belgian and German brews and others like Hitachino Nest.
Pretty wide selection overall and prices were really good by my estimation -- 6-packs for 8.99-9.99 were most common and bombers for 4.49-8.99.
One big drawback which probably isn't unusual for the city is no singles of 12oz beers -- I asked to make a 6 pack of 2 each of several beers and was turned down categorically even though all the 6-packs were the same price.
All in all, I would go back, but I would plan to hit them the first day of my visit as there is so much to buy in so little time.

Photo of JNewbs
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Went here at the recommendation of other BAs when I queried on where I should go in downtown Chi-town.

My first impression was that this is a wine store, or maybe a liquor store. Beer is the red headed step child here.

When I found the beer I rejoiced. The selection was fairly large, especially the Beglian aisle. I was a little diappointed that they offerings for Three Floyds were so limited. They had Alpha King and Arctic Panzer Wolf, that was it. Also picked up some Ommegang Abbey Ale in 12 oz bottles, which I usually can't find. They had all the Hoppin Frog you would want, including Barrel Aged BORIS and also DORIS. Happy to see that, being an Akron, OH boy.

Prices seemed a bit steeper than I anticipated on the beer. However the prices on the wines and liquors seemed a lot cheeper than I expected.

As for people, I actually think that the "beer guy" there when I was there did not know his stuff. He was trying to find the Ommegang for a customer, and he kept looking with all the Belgian imports. I actually intervened after like 2 minutes and showed the guy where it was.

All told, the selection gets this one an overall "good" in my book, but that might just be because it's different than what we have back home.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

The main thing this Binny's has working against it is being compared to other Binny's. At this point, I have been to ten or so Binny's, and this is the location in most need of an update. The whole store is cramped, it seems dingy, and the underground / cave nature of the entrance does not help.

On the plus side, you can be 100% confident that light is not hitting the craft beer section, since none gets in the store at all.

In terms of selection, this Binny's has less than the Lincoln Park or Lakeview stores do, but every once in a while they might have something not available elsewhere. The prices are on par with what you expect to pay at other locations.

Overall, this is a decent store. It serves its purpose of being close enough to work for me to pick up something every once in a while on the way home from work.

Photo of jrallen34
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

I have been here several times now, mostly due to Rich the beer guy. Every time a special new beer comes out he blasts out an email, and then thankfully he's considerate enough to send out another one when it runs out an hour later. If it weren't for that I probably wouldn't come here. The selection and size of the store is much smaller than the Lincoln Park Binny's. The store is cramped and the set up makes it difficult to find things. When I'm here I just feel closed in. The selection is pretty decent, offering things that aren't most of the other stores, but its generally not stuff I would get. When I come for a special release I usually don't find anything that interests me.

Join Rich's email list, but shop at the other stores unless you're just in the area.

Photo of ferrari29
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

I finally made my trip to Binny's on Grand and I was very glad I did. For two reasons. First, to pick up two bottles of SA's Infinium. The second, to finally see what I have been missing out on. Huge selection of beers at good prices. Everything form Great Divide, Stone, Rogue, FFF, macros & micros. You name it and they probably have it. The service was excellent, one customer service rep I was helped by (email if you would like his name) was more than glad to point me towards a couple of quality beers and advise me on plenty of other selections I should choose from when I return.

Atmosphere is not as nice as the South Loop or Lincoln Park location. Its a bit dingy since it sits underground, so it lacks a lot of the open airiness and sunlight that some of the Binny's have. It also looks cramped. I will say that they did a really great with the space they have, making the beers and wines very accessible in tight places. Besides great customer service and a fine selection, you couldn't ask for anything more.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

I went here as it was a short L ride and walk from my hotel. Being from PA where we have few "bottle shops", it was overwelming seeing all the great beer available in single bottles and six packs. They had a few isles of US craft, and then a wall of imported stuff from all over. What I was focusted on was the section of Chicago/Midwest locals that don't distribute to PA. I picked up some Goose Island, Half Acre, Tyranena, and then some hard to find California stuff. Unfortunately they were sold out of all of their 3 Floyds.

It really sucked that I was limited to what I could fit into my checked suitcase for the flight home.

The prices seemed reasonable to me, and the staff was friendly, the one worker even suggested a competitor's store that I might be able to find some 3 Floyds.

Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Walked here from our downtown hotel as it was a really easy walk. Quite a nice selection of crafts. Found some beers that I was looking to pick up that I could not find at West Lakeview. Several Lost Abbey's, GI, Flossmoor, Ska, and The Bruery to name a few. Large selection of imports as well. Picked up a bottle of Angel's Share which I was happy to find. Cashier was very friendly and directed me to the beer guy who wasn't the most knowledgeable, but did his best to help me out which I appreciated. Prices were fair and about what I saw elsewhere on our stay. Worth the stop if you're in the downtown area.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

apparently this is the smallest location but it was stupid close so it was a no brainer.

they had a very nice selection however a few items had a pretty good covering of dust on them and since they were not dated (and hoppy), i passed. besides that, i as quote pleased, they ahd lots of new releases from all over in stock.

i was asked if i needed assistance several times, the cashier was quite friendly, sparked up conversation, and boxed everything up for me as i had a lot. aces.

i was amazed at how much chicago has actually, i did not expect to find LA 2009 angels share 375ml's. lots of three floyds and the latest releases from goose island. they were missing a few odds and ends that i was looking for (although i found them 7 blocks away somewhere else). overall, pretty good!

Photo of cratez
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

My go-to place while living in Chicago. As an Ontarian, I was blown away by the beer selection at this store. For the U.S., it's probably 'typical,' but I personally felt like Homer Simpson in the Land of Chocolate.

Canadian offerings included Unibroue 15, 16, 17, La Seigneuriale, Quatre-Centième, Quelque Chose, and La Terrible. U.S. brands were most of the Rogue, Goose Island, and Three Floyds lineups, as well as Sierra Nevada Anniversary, Peak Organic Amber, DFH Palo Santo Marron, Souther Tier UberSun, New Belgium Skinny Dip, and Anchor Small Beer. Imports ran the gambit from Sam Smith Winter Welcome to Rochefort 10/8/6 to Hitachino Red Rice, Weizen, White Ale and Lacto Sweet Stout. It took me the better part of three months to work my way through these offerings, and I can truly say that Chicago reinvigorated my passion for craft beer.

Staff here are reasonably friendly. On certain occasions I required their assistance and they were pretty helpful. My only beef is that they would always check for ID, even though I was a twice-weekly customer. I know it's part of their job, but employees at my local LCBO often spare me the embarrassment if they recognize me. Sometimes homeless vagrants were lingering outside of the store, but they were harmless. Overall, Binny's North is a great beer store in the heart of Chicago.

Photo of emerge077
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%

2009: Don't go here on a friday-saturday night... amateurs everywhere. "Dude, should we get 2 kegs of Bud?" etc. A real cluster based on the poor design of the beer area. Everyone was on top of each other, and you really couldn't get a look at the beer with people pushing past you every other minute. No one offered help, and it was such a free-for-all with long lines that I just left.

This Binny's seems to offer the least amount of space to beer than any other store in the chain. However, they have a quality selection. It seems that American craft is given slightly more space, followed by Belgian, German, and British selections. There are a fair amount of obscure euro singles for cheap, that seem fresh every time i've tried them. Occasional new offerings and seasonals.

For the US, there was GI, Founders, Lagunitas, Jolly Pumpkin, Brooklyn (plenty of local 1), New Holland, 3 Floyds bombers & 6-pks. Plus 10-12 others i'm forgetting. Good representation of JP and Lagunitas though. Belgians have their own nook near the coolers, with a meager smattering of pint glasses and Cubs beer cozys. St. Berny, Duchesse, Rodenbach, several Lambics, Nostradamus in the coolers. Lots of Belgian seasonals for Xmas here. Good representation of Germans, many Hefes, a Kellerbier or two, even the dreaded Black Abbot. Many British singles, including a couple new ones like Trafalgar IPA.

Once I encountered the elusive "beer guy", once in about 10 visits to this place. He gave some interesting recommendations for Hefes, including a Lithuanian one. Sort of like a genie, he must be properly summoned.

Checkout was ok, ID is mandatory even if you're old and gray. You're lucky to get a hello, usually just a grunt...but stay to enjoy the off-color banter. There's a free bottle chiller slightly hidden against the wall past the registers, works well for 750's.

Photo of spointon
3.85/5  rDev -1%

I have visited this Binny's a few times, most recently 2 days ago...

This place is located near the touristy restaurant area of downtown Chicago. An unexpected bonus is that is has its own convenient parking lot. Very nice!

As you enter the store, you immediately encounter the check out counters on the left and the beer is situated behind those. There are 4-5 very short aisles of warm craft beer on shelves, a few stacks/end caps/islands here and there with the same, and then a long wall of glass door coolers with cold beer. I'd say 10 doors of cold craft beer altogether.

Compared to every other Binny's I have been to, this one had a smallish beer selection, but what they had was quality. All the best midwestern breweries were represented as well as choice imports and some common stuff from regional and more national craft brewers. Nothing rare, but a solid selection.

The service wasn't particularly noreworthy, but it was friendly enough I guess.

Prices were average for this chain and for the City as a whole. I scored a 6 pack of Bell's Java Stout for a buck less than what others are charging so I was happy.

Overall this is a decent to good store, but if you have transportation I recommend going to the Binny's South Loop store instead.

Photo of tronester
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

I am in Chicago for vacation, and found this Binny's through Beerfly so that I could purchase a bunch of beers I could not find at home in Tulsa. Well, I certainly was not disappointed. Chicago gets a lot of beers I can not get back in my home state, so I picked up a few that I have been meaning to try. The beer is well organized, but very little of it is refrigerated, which isnt as good as some upper end stores in this state (No beer over 3.2 abw can be sold for off-premises consumption cold in Oklahoma though). The prices are a bit high, but nothing outrageous. Another problem is that they dont sell many single bottles, especially 12oz, but this wouldnt usually be too much of a problem for a local person, but it is for a traveler.

I mainly picked this location as I do not have a car here, and it was easily within walking distance of my hotel. There are better places in Chicagoland for sure, but for the area, they have more than enough variety to keep me happy for the time I am here.

Photo of sacullen
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%

Of all the Binny's I've visited, this is my least favorite. The beer section is very cramped and the store is a little run down. One positive is they have their own parking, a nicety in downtown Chicago.

I have never been asked if I needed any assistance. While I don't necessarily mind because I never need it, it's nice to know the employees are looking out for you.

The beer selection is the worst of all Binny's. Because the beer section is small, they don't carry as many offerings. Relatively speaking, it's still good. However, their other stores offer much more. I also notice each time I go they don't seem to keep up with stocking the shelves.

Prices are in line with what you expect in Chicago. They regularly offer specials if you are a club member (free to join) that allow you to take advantage of discounts on select brews.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Since this place was within walking distance of our hotel, I couldn't resist loading up on some stuff I can't find back home.

Binny's has exceptional parking facilities for the area, and you can basically back your car up to the front door to load up. The store itself has a surprisingly small beer section for its size, but the selection is still outstanding. I think the beer section looks small because they carry a lot of bombers and wine-sized bottles and not quite so many six packs.

I blew a quick hundred bucks at this place, and I still didn't grab everything that I wanted! The Belgian shelf has some good stuff, and I like the way that the beer is arranged on shelfs by it's geographic origin ...(look for some really cheap deals from the Slavic/Baltic nations!)

The staff was helpful and friendly, and obviously having fun. When my wife and I first walked in, I had to take a leak STAT, and when I asked where the restroom was, one of the workers told me that I'd need some quarters. Now, my wife and I are both small town people who aren't used to the faced paced and expensive big city. I loudly asked my wife "Hey got any quarters? I need them for the restroom." She gave me some change, and when I went back to the bathrooms, I heard over the intercom "Bathroom facilities are free for the next twenty minutes."

I'd been had! I really thought that the bathrooms took quarters and was gullible enough to ask my wife for change! Coming out of the bathroom I was pretty hot, and I was looking for the guy who told me to use quarters... my wife calmed me down and I eventually laughed about it with the dude who poked fun at this gullible small town yokel.

Photo of number1bum
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Picked up a few things here while in town on business. It was pretty convenient to my hotel - maybe a 7 or 8 block walk, which wasn't too bad, although did prevent me from buying too much (not necessarily a bad thing). Selection was pretty solid, with a good selection of midwest and other micros, fair amount of Belgians and other imports, etc. Not a whole lot in the cooler, however. They had the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout I was after, and that's all that counted to me. It was a bit pricier than I was expecting, but for downtown Chicago I can deal with it. Based on my perusal of BeerFly this seems to be the best option if you're staying downtown, and it certainly did the trick for me.

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Binny's Beverage Depot - River North in Chicago, IL
88 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.