Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Bell's is an outlet store with a great selection, and in the rare case where they do not have what you're looking for, they'll usually direct you to where you can get it. The catch is...the almighty PA case law. Yes, you can only buy cases here, so you'd better dang well know what it is you're about to make a commitment to. If you want to buy less than a case, there are places where you can do such a thing (without crossing the bridge to Jersey, though that is a viable option), but if you need a lot of a good beer, Bell's is a good bet.
04-30-2011 04:38:51 | More by Rifugium
4.3/5 rDev +7.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
I went here after dropping off my father at the airport. Very easy to get to off of I-95. Upon my journey I was asked to sample a few ocktoberfest beers. Nothing spectacular but always good to wet the whistle while choosing a good brew.
Service was good. No one out on the floor to help out but the cashier's seemed to be knowledgable of what they are selling which is always a good thing.
Selection was fantastic. When you can find a case of Westmalle tripel for sale it means the company has done some research on quality beers. The first 3 aisle's are all craft beer and some hard to find in my area.
I rated a bit pricey as it seemed that the belgian brews were about $5 to $10 dollars more than some other places that I have found them in.
All and all a great place you will certainly find what you are looking for here and then some.
09-26-2010 16:59:20 | More by TheFightfan1
3.85/5 rDev -3.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Went here for a beer run the last time I was in Philly. Next to a Dunkin Donuts near South Columbus and the interstate.
Upon walking in, it looked like a typical warehouse of cases of beverages. About 3 aisles of craft beer and a few more of BMC and other drinks and sodas. The prices are reasonable. I hate how the prices of the beers are not stickered or on the shelves; you have to consult the price book hanging by a chain on each aisle. And some of the prices aren't even in the book, you have to ask the guy directly at the checkout.
Beers are organized via domestic or import, then by brewery name. A pretty good selection. They had cases of FBS, Rock Art, Bell's, Maredsous, Ommegang, Yard's, etc... too many to list. I bought a case of Bell's Double Cream Stout. Not a bad price either. There are mixed cases as well, for those who want a sampling of a brewery.
You're pretty much on your own here. You come in, get what you need, and check out. If you ask, they'll help you but it's probably not necessary.
Overall, it's not a beer museum like the Foodery. This is for someone who needs cases of beer. I dig. I recommend.
03-29-2010 01:41:58 | More by DmanGTR
4.5/5 rDev +12.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
I find the prices here to be very good. As mentioned previously, the sale section right up front has a great variety at very good prices. I recently bought a few cases of Magic Hat Hi.P.A for $11 that had just expired. This was disclosed to me beforehand and the beer was very good. I discussed it with the owner(?) and he said he allows returns at any time for any reason. How could I go wrong. He recently lived up to this as he took back a case of Prima Pils that had gone bad. He seems to be very interested in good beer and very willing to discuss it. They are opening a tasting area up front that sounds very cool. The rest of the staff doesn't seem that knowledgeable or helpful but the selection and the prices have never let me down. As of yet, I have never walked in there and not found what I was looking for.
11-18-2009 00:07:10 | More by Ryan19147
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Huge distributor in South Philly with an excellent selection of craft beer. They have a very large selection of American craft as well as a very impressive selection of imports, especially German and Belgian. This place has the best selection of any distributor in the city and they also sell 5L minikegs and frequently have sales on seasonal cases. Also, they have a price list which is very helpful. The service is average, what you would expect at a huge warehouse distributor. Prices are kind of pricey but when you have to buy a full case they tend to get kind of outrageous no matter where you go.
10-15-2009 09:52:46 | More by corby112
4.35/5 rDev +8.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
I live in South Philly and this is THE best place to go to get your bulk beer shopping done. A great selection, decent case turnaround time, and THE best prices around. I quite enjoy the
"beer sale" prices of the week up in the first isle. I'm telling you....you can't beat Bell's!!!
In terms of selection, although I haven't tried all of the imports/out-of-state beer you can imagine, they have an awesome list. Hint: they do sell a lot of Bud/Millers-Coors products because the masses (especially those going down to the sports complex) don't know what they're doing and only buy the bland crap!
08-07-2009 21:41:30 | More by jwhancher
4.25/5 rDev +6.3%
quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Bell's is my go to place if I want something interesting. The Quantities of any particular beer are not huge (sometimes only 1 or 2 cases), but the variety is pretty extensive, including some obscure stuff as well as old standbys.
The store logically and compactly organized, with all the beer you want to look at in just two isles - one for domestics and one for imports (All the Bud/Coors/etc. is in a separate isle!). Even so, browsing can be tedious with it all jammed in next to each other. If you are looking for something specific, check out one of the handy price lists hanging from the shelves (again, domestics listed in the domestics isle and imports in the imports isle) to see if the carry it, then ask at he front if they have it in stock. Better yet, ask one of the people on the floor who stock the shelves. At the front, they don't necessarily know where to send you to find it.
I talked to someone on a fork lift recently who seemed to be in charge of the place and really knew his stuff. He filled me in on their expansion plans which include rearranging the store, devoting a larger section to specialty beer, and installing a new refrigerated section. Make sure to hit them up on your next trip to Ikea.
03-17-2009 18:32:43 | More by dstotz
4.2/5 rDev +5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I just got back from a run over to Bell's. I had read about it here on BA for half a year or more. Having had a run to Victory in Downingtown fall through, I made the best of it.
Although the place can be "dusty" and the help centrally located away from the beer (update - next trip there, folks on the floor were available and helpful), they carry a lot of choices. Although some folks say the prices are standard, I found them excellent.
Mad Elf around me, if you can find it, is in the $58-$60, range. Bell's had it for $50 and a few cents.
Golden Monkey around me is going for $38-$40. Victory has it for $34.50 if you can make it up to the brewery store. Bell's had one case left at $32.94.
But wait, there's more!
The best I got a case of Wyerbacher Blithering Idiot in the past 3 years was for $46 at the Canal's in Berlin, NJ. I walked out of Bell's with a case for $43.99. Around me the local places have it for $52.
Lastly, I love Wyerbacher Decadence. Naturally, it is no longer made and no longer available - can't get it anymore without being "lottery lucky".
Bell's had two cases, selling them at $58 a case. Heck, I can't compare that price because I can't get a case of 12 oz (or any other) Decadence around here!
It was a very worthwhile trip - plenty of local microbrews, plenty of USA microbrews, as well as the delicious imports, like Delirium Tremens (about $84 for the case of 11.3 ouncers), Chimays, German brews, et cetera.
In summary, the folks at Bell's willingly look up prices, but the simply aren't posted with the products(UPDATE - Bell's has posted Price Lists throughout the store at last visit). I found the prices on all the beer I asked about to be very good and the place deems another visit, but I should be good for the Chrsitmas rush now.
12-01-2007 22:48:16 | More by jimbomill
3.7/5 rDev -7.5%
quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the retail side of Bell's is only part of their operation - they're one of the largest suppliers to bars and restaurants in the city! And c'mon, they're in south Philly next to the highway, waddaya expect?
They've got some very good sale prices (which they advertise in the papers), and the regular prices are standard - I've never seen them gouge like I have at some other places (which will go nameless). They've got a great selection of imports and micros, with some stuff that you can't find in other places - not that you couldn't get it by ordering it, but you'd have to wait. And for me to say that, well that means a lot. I still go back to grab stuff I haven't had.
They're well stocked, and since I'm in the habit of checking code dates nowadays, I always take a look around and I haven't found anything out of code yet.
There's no service, however, unless you go up to the front to ask about something, but I kind of like that.
"Pricing" could be better though. I prefer the stores that actually tag every item, but I know that costs them time and money. But not everything is marked, and when you're looking at imports and thinking of buying a few cases a few bucks here or there makes a lot of difference. Still, you can always check up front.
I've run into some employees who couldn't have really cared that I was there - in fact, they carried on their conversations as if I wasn't there - but I've never found anyone to be outright rude or seemingly annoyed (I chalk it up to boredom as I'm usually in at odd times like just before closing).
Overall, I give it a thumbs up. I wouldn't make it a destination stop by any means, but if you're in the Philly area and you've just never given them a shot you might want to think about it.
11-26-2006 00:14:59 | More by NeroFiddled
3.85/5 rDev -3.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As a South Philadelphian this is one of my closest beer distributors. I do not get there too often (once a month/every other month) because there are two closer but when I do I am impressed with their selection. Not as extensive as The Beer Yard, but better than 4 out of 5 distributors in PA. It is also one of the few distributors that advertises regularly, so if you are lucky you can get some decent beer for reasonable price (they had Yards cases for 19.99 last week). As noted in other reviews, the temperature of the warehouse is definitely an issue in the summer months, though I could not notice a difference in the taste of the beer I purchased. Service I have had was nothing to be noted, a place that won't ask if you need help but they seemed friendly enough to answer any questions. Location is ideal since it is right off of 95, perfect stop on the way down the shore.
07-28-2006 03:11:37 | More by mvanaskie13
Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, PA
90 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.