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Friar Tuck Beverage

Not Rated.
Friar Tuck BeverageFriar Tuck Beverage
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

29 Ratings
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.62%
[ Store, Homebrew Store ]

1401 W Glen Ave
Peoria, Illinois, 61614-6305
United States
phone: (309) 693-1501

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 7:00pm

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%

Friar Tuck's is really the only place to get good beer in Peoria, and I am very impressed with the selection.

There is a huge walk in refrigerated area in back, and an entire wall (the place is about the size of a large WalGreen's) of unrefrigerated singles and six packs. The mix-a-six area is sizable, but you usually won't find the most desirable beers in that section, but an occasional goodie will show up in the mix once in a while.

The import selection is astounding, and some hard to find special releases and trappist ales (ie. Chimay) are just sitting on the shelf next to everyday beers. Be sure to look on the end caps along the ends of the aisles for the larger bottles of barley wines and belgians, as you may miss them while drooling over the rows and rows of beautiful beers.

The liquor and wine areas are in fact bigger than the beer area so all of your boozing needs may be met. All of the staff are knowlegable about craft beers, and one or two guys are hard core beer geeks. Usually if you have an in-depth question about beer, a staff member will go and grab one of the beer guys for you. (I'll have to get his name next time, but one younger guy is some sort of Michael Jackson protege, and he was able to answer all of my questions and then some).

Really, you can't go wrong at Frair Tuck. They pretty much have everything you would want, or can tell you how to get it.

Also, it's open late (I think 10pm) in case you really need to pick something up at the last minute.

pmcadamis, Sep 05, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of HeidiH7
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

HeidiH7, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of tdmccarthy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

tdmccarthy, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of StrMcG3es
4.02/5  rDev -1%

I live about 30 minutes from Peoria and I'll be honest I normally go to my local small bottle shop two minutes up the road for beer, but, their is a much bigger selection at Friar Tuck and i do occasionally make the venture. For one the selection is OUTSTANDING, i don't think anyone who went there would disagree. They pretty much have any beer you may be in search of even if it's a limited release. My only two gripes about this place are that a lot of the amazing beer they have is on the top shelf directly under florescent light, and that staff knowledge isn't that great. Truth be told I have bought some of these beers from the top shelf and have not had a bad one yet but I do know the risk. Staff has an okay knowledge but will not go out of their way to talk/help you out unless you ask. Overall I would recommend going to Friar Tuck in Peoria, Illinois. If you are on this site and know about beer and don't need assistance you won't be disappointed in the selection/price on the beer available here. On a side note, If you are into spirits or wine they have a huge selection of both.

StrMcG3es, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of crackshot
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

crackshot, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of BigDawgIII
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%

In my opinion, Friar Tuck is one of the premier locations to buy craft beers in central Illinois. They are handicapped, as are other local stores selling craft beers, by the arcane distribution laws in Illinois. Everything goes to a single distributor in Chicago and downstate gets what is left. What else is new? Tuck's used to have all of the Three Floyds and Dogfish Head products you could want but, once the Chicago market forsook Old Style and discovered craft beers in a big way, the supply dried up. Any chance of the General Assembly changing that? Definitely a rhetorical question.

BigDawgIII, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of jzlyo
4.14/5  rDev +2%

Atmosphere is decent enough although crowed in the beer aisle. The macros are refrigerated and the micros/imports are warm.

Quality was decent, didn't really find that any that had gone bad.

Service was good, although the venders were pushing carts down the aisle and had to avoid them several times.

Selection was very good, especially the bombers. The mix a six was also pretty good.

Value was decent, the bombers, one-offs, imports, etc. can definitely add up but that's due to what you're buying.

Overall it was very good, will be back again.

jzlyo, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Jenkster4
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%

Apparently this is the go to place for the people in the Peoria region. I can see why, it was a big place with a lot of beer. I think we got there when a good chunk of the brews were picked through. However, anything that IL can get is probably there as far as breweries distribution. Didn't find many of the rotating brews from Southern Tier, Founders, or Lagunitas, but they had plenty of Smuttynose, New Holland, Bells, etc. The Belgian selection was sort of disappointing, but they made up for it with the German brews. Overall I can see why this place gets the hype, but I guess you have to hit it at the right time.

Jenkster4, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of JeffMcAwesome
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

As a Peoria resident, this has become my go-to beer place. The first time I went there, the solid wall of beer nearly brought a tear to my eye. They have a huge number of styles from all over the country, and a very good number of foreign beers. I would like to see more of the selection refrigerated, and I wish they didn't have such bright lights shining directly on the bottles, but that seems to be a universal problem.

The staff is generally helpful, but not obnoxiously so. Nothing is worse than being stalked when all you want to do is browse. Occasionally it can be hard to find someone, but that is pretty rare.

After visiting them on a more or less weekly basis, I have become a little less impressed with their selection. While they typically do have a large variety of beers in stock, it seems that they don't stock a large number of each type, so there is always the chance that if you want a particular beer, it will be out of stock. I was also a little surprised to see that they don't seem to carry Three Floyds or Dogfish Head, which seem to be pretty standard for Illinois liquor stores.

In addition to beer, they also carry a good selection of home brew supplies. Their wine and spirit selection is also pretty impressive, and they have a good selection of beer glasses that cover most of the glasses a serious drinker needs.

JeffMcAwesome, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of Jips
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%

I'm local, but I travel all over the states and have been to many a beer store. Few come close to the selection, especially with the imports. Achel, Rochefort, Cantillion, Baltic countries, English brews, all manner of German, etc. are all well-stocked. Have all American brews availible in the central IL market: Founders, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Smuttynose, Clown Shoes, Allagash, Great Divide.... If they can't get it it's not availible in central IL.

Very friendly staff, over time they have become very beer-savvy and hired beer enthusiasts to answer all of your questions and make recommendations. Unfortunately, it is a little under-staffed, during the weekends and before holidays they have little time to escape the registers and their stocking duties.

Always have a wine/beer tasting on Saturday from 1-5. Rarely it's more than one or two brews, but they highlight seasonals and beers new to the area.

They have an ok homebrew selection, definetly enough to get you started and enough essentials (dry yeast, popular specialty grains, hoses and such). Recently they've added a little fridge to store liquid yeast and some hops.

Only complaints: wish they had more fridge space, some of the beers sit on the shelf for quite some time (check the dates!), and would prefer the mix-a-six selection would have single bottle sales too. Other than that, overjoyed to have this store here.

Jips, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of bradner
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%

As a regular visitor to Peoria, I always try to make a trip to this place. There are a few beers available here that you cannot purchase in the Chicago area (Ballast Point, Schlafly, and a few others). I also have come across some limited release Lakefront brews as well that I have never seen on the shelf in Chicago. This store seems to be well stocked with Founders beers, some that are hard to get around Chicago. I don't know how they are on limited releases such as Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout, but the shelves do hold many beers that disappear in other markets rather quickly. They have a pretty good selection of Belgium beers including some that don't last a few days on the shelf in my area. There is a pretty large refrigerated section and an area designated for homebrewing supplies. The service is pretty good and the staff seems knowledgeable.

bradner, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Wamba
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Really, the only place to go for craft beer in the Peoria area. I have a good relationship with the guy that runs Yogi's over in Morton but he can't touch the selection at Tuck's.

I hear the other reviewers on the lighting issue... but has anyone talked to the manager about this issue?

Also, they have a couple employee's there that really seem to know their beers and can make good recommendations if you tell them what kind of beer you are into.

Great location, great selection, decent pricing and a good staff. Hard to top all of that...

Wamba, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of antoines15
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

Again, thanks nate nelson for the info. Parking lot has ample space, enough to fit a large moving truck, ha. The beer is still directly under those lights. Aaaahhhh! Why? The selection here is pretty amazing for being in peoria. No offense. Plenty of belgians, including the endless supply of cantillon lou pepe's that I picked up. Noticeably absent was three floyds and goose island. Other than that, all of the midwest brews were well represented. Founders, 2 bros., boulevard, bells, jolly pumpkin, and lots more. Prices were more than fair, including the 10 dollar mix and match six pack. Some of the bottles were dusty but eh, it happens. Just keep them out of those lights!!! All in all, happy with the stop and will probably stop in anytime I'm in/around peoria.

antoines15, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

This was a great Friar Tuck location, better than the others in Illinois, especially for service. No less than 3 staff people offered help while I was here, which was the opposite of experiences i've had at other FT locations. They grabbed a basket for me, checked stock, and pointed out new arrivals (on more than one occasion).

Beer was along the left wall, unfortunately some sunlight came through the front windows onto the beer shelves, and flourescent lights were too close to the top shelf. (Just be aware of this when shopping, sunlight/heat can skunk beer quickly). There were many 750s along the top shelf, Boulevard, Allagash, etc. FFF was sparse, only Behemoth and Munsterfest. Extensive imports as most Friar Tucks, and about the same selection. Noticed Schlafly and Jolly Pumpkin 750s on an endcap in between aisles. Cold bombers and import singles were at the far end of the coolers. Some nice Lou Pepe bottles here, and a couple '06 Cuvee René on an endcap by the cooler, mixed in with newer bottles. White Winter meads x5 and brackett were in a center aisle, if that's your thing.

Overall this was a better location than the other Illinois stores, although they all suffer quality-wise with old, outdated beers on the shelf. Here they seemed to have a full inventory with less focus on seasonal displays as other FT locations.

emerge077, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

Traveled down to Peoria to see Umphrey's McGee and had to make a stop here on the way....just the chance of Sculpin being on the shelves was enough to warrant it. This place was easy enough to find with a big sign.

Enter the doors and head all the way to the left to find the walls of beer. Pretty much everything you can get in IL is represented here with the addition of treats that we don't get farther up north such as Ballast Point and Boulevard. Lucky for me there was a full stock of Scuplin as well.

Furthermore, they have a large selection of imports with tons of Belgians, Germans and English brews many of which are singles so it's easy to sample a few. Picked up a single 08 Thomas Hardy as I didn't have one yet.

The store was clean and well lit...only caveat was the lighting on the top shelf was right on the bottles, so that's definitely not good. I was in here for around 30 minutes and no one asked me if I needed help...but I guess I looked like I knew what I was doing as well. :)

Overall, if you're in Peoria this is basically a must stop. I will go back again if I am ever down there again.

orbitalr0x, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%

Huge wine selection and a decent craft beer selection that has all the standard craft brews that are usually available in Illinois + a nice selection of Ballast Point, which is what brought me to this location.

The beer did not appear overstocked to the point that I would worry about old bottles like some of the larger chains that carry craft beer.

I was there in the middle of the day and must say I didn't come across a knowledgable beer staff. The only guy I could find was stocking some bombers of Lost Abbey on the shelf and he at least was able to tell me how old the bottles I was pulling of the shelf were, but he knew nothing about the beers in general.

I did notice the prices were a little higher than what I'm used to and I'm from the west suburbs of Chicago, so that was a little surprising.

Overall, a good selection of craft beer and I'm guessing this is probably the "go to" place if you're in the Peoria locale.

I would post a "beer spy" for Sculpin but I emptied the shelf.

Vonerichs, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of drewsayles
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

I'm pretty new to the beer world, but from what I've run across Friar Tuck seems to be the best place to by micro brews in the area. Their selection is huge and they have a great international selection but it's predominantly domestics here. As a new comer I was somewhat overwhelmed with their selection and my only gripe is that there was no one around to get advice or suggestions from. As far as price goes they are very reasonable, but I do wish they would bump there mix-a-six price down from $9.99. In my opinion overall a great place for the beer lover.

drewsayles, May 07, 2009
Photo of rustrose
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%

*Edit: everything I wrote originally is true, but I had to knock the quality and service down significantly because of a big problem here:

WARNING: BEWARE OF THE BOTTLES ON THE TOP SHELF!!

They are sitting DIRECTLY under fluorescent lights and can spend a LOT of time there, soaking up the UV rays which translates to a serious skunking problem. I've had this problem MULTIPLE times with top shelf purchases, which of course also happens to be some of the best stuff. Green and clear bottles are especially bad, and unfortunately, this includes some of the nicest English and Belgian selections. Coniston Bluebird bitter? Skunked to hell. Fantome and Dupont? Skunky. I was very annoyed to discover that even the 4-pack of North Coast Old Stock Ale, which comes in brown bottles but was still skunked by their lights. I'm afraid to buy anything from the top shelf. The rest is great, but beware of the lights!

I now shop at Super Liquors when possible because they treat their beers with more respect, and it's all safe from getting lightstruck and skunked! Surely Friar Tuck wouldn't even THINK of exposing their top notch or even decent wines to the constant barrage of harmful light that their world class beers get!!! I would give this place a near-perfect score, if they would fix this one major problem.

(Back to original review:)

This is the beer store you've been dreaming of. In fact, if you love wine or mead or any other liquor, it's probably the store for you. But we're here for beer, right? So anyway, this is the single largest selection of beers I've ever seen in my life. You'll find a seemingly endless aisle full of US micro (well, Midwest and West-- New England does seem to be hard to get a hold of here, and some great Western breweries just don't distribute to Illinois). To boot, you can also get quite a number of the beers already chilled in the cooler aisle. And then the import fun begins. The selection of beers from the UK and especially from Germany is phenomenal here. There is a huge section of singles available, which could keep you busy sampling for months. The singles are especially great for hard to find German brews, with some smaller breweries represented that you don't see too often. A nice selection of Baltic Porters here as well, for great prices-- be sure to pick up some Okocim, Pivovar, Aldaris, and Saku-- all excellent brews representing this affordable, tasty, and hard-to-find style. The Belgian selection is acceptable (not my favorite style) but maybe not outstanding. There's also a large mix-a-six section with some surprisingly generous inclusions (Paulaner, Franziskaner, etc.) and many of the beers are tagged with reviews and ratings, which is helfpul. The staff is knowledgable and friendly, and they've cut me some deals with homebrewing supplies when I was in a bind-- there is an ample homebrewing section as well, though not incredible. If you live in Peoria or ever visit the area, this is a beer-lover's paradise. I didn't know how good I had it until I moved away to Chicago-- and for all the big city offers, Peoria had better beer selection!

rustrose, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of jmw141
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

When I was first getting into "good" beer a friend of mine suggested this place. I'm not kidding when I say that the first time I walked in I was awestruck. I did not know places like this existed within the beer world. I did not know that world class beer was just ten minutes from where I work M-F...(Early 2008)

Well, a year later, and now that I am more knowledgeable in all things beer, I can give this place a fair rating. The service is so so. Friendly and available, but I won't be going to them for any suggestions on what to spend my hard earned dollar on. I always try to strike up a beer conversation with the cashiers, but they only fake interest because it's their job. Do they even drink beer? Also, on new years I was recommended Sam Adams Chocolate Bock because it was "sooo goood." Eh, not so much.

The selection is outstanding. Many world class beers sit on the shelves for easy pickings. Others you have to get there on shipment day in order to secure a bottle. Great American Craft beer selction, great international selection. My go to shop for something fun and unique. Also, their mix-a-six selection is pretty up to date and features the seasonals of the time.

jmw141, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

Friar Tuck has the largest selection of beer in Peoria. It is very nice inside and well-organized. They carry a lot of midwest beers, such as Goose Island, Schlafly, New Holland and Founders, as well as a lot of beers from all over the country, including DFH, Bear Republic, Breckenridge, Moylan's, and New Belgium. They also have a nice selection of Belgium, German, and Czech beers.

Their staff seems to be very helpful when I have seen them helping others. I have yet to ask for any service but have been approached a couple of times by employees. Their glass selection is kind of meh, but it's ok.

Overall, this place has a solid selection of American, Belgium, and German brews. I like going to this place to pick up different 750ml bottles. If you are from out of town, definitely stop here over UFS and Super Liquors. However, their beer seems to sit on the shelves longer here than the other two places mentioned.

birchstick, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

First time at a beer store other than Binny's and boy was this place a nice change of pace. Walked in and made my way to the back corner of the store towards the beer. Everything looked normal until I realized that six packs took up the entire back wall of the store. I'm talking about 300 feet or so of six packs mixed in with bottle selections and a mix a six section which Binny's does not have. Everything is great so far, wait, they have even more singles on the end caps of every row! I could spend an entire day in here. To go along with all this space there is also an entire wall devloted to home brewing as well as a large bank of coolers and a large walk in, so everything is pretty much covered in here,

The service left something to be desired as I thought they were a bit ageist. While other customers, perhaps regulars chatted with the staff and got help, I was left unattended, while it is nice not to have someone looking over you shoulder while you shop, a little advise or suggestions would be nice because the selection is a bit staggering.

While these were all beers I mostly seen before, the sheer volume left me wondering what I missed, this place seems to cater more to American breweries rather than imports because most of the self space was dominated by domestics. There were a few belgians and some french and german beers but again, most of the space was for domestics, many of which came from the surrounding area. Which is pretty nice considering.

I was also happy about the pricing, I saved a boatload here compared to Binny's. Everything was either 2bucks or more cheaper than there and I couldn't be more pleased. Would go here all the time if I actually lived in Peoria. A great place.

bluemoonswoon, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Stopped here while driving through Peoria yesterday. It took about 5 minutes from I-74, definitely worth the minor detour. The selection was unreal, 5-6 shelves of beer about 100 feet long. I can't really detail all the beers I saw, but I will say that the German beer selection was the best I've ever seen. And I've looked high and low in many states! The Belgian beer selection was really decent as well, and the US craft beers were well represented. The prices were mostly really low, but some of the real rarities were priced sort of high (Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and IIPA were both $19.99 per 4-pack, $4-5 more expensive than I've seen elsewhere). Otherwise the prices were really reasonable. I definitely recommend a stop here if you're in the area.

TurdFurgison, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of mizzoueng
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

Q - Everything seemed fresh. There were some older bottles on the shelves (2005 Avery Samael's and 2004 Unibroue), but they are okay to have around.

Service - They were helpful when cornered, but no one offered help and the "beer guru" was more interested in talking to the cashier girl than coming back and answering questions. I had to ask the wine girl (who i didn't know was the wine girl) questions and she took them to the beer guy who then answered them and made her relay the answers back instead of coming back and answering them himself.

Selection - Impeccible. All of the DFH (minus 120 minute), Avery, Alagash, 3 floyds (didn't see gumballhead tho), new holland, tommyknocker, ommegang, dark horse, flying dog (gonzo in stock), great divide, the list goes on.

Overall I was impressed and next time I will need to make a list of wants before entering. Easy to get overwhelmed. I dropped $100 and kind of expected to get a pint glass for my expenditure, but all I got was a thanks from the beer guy in the corner.

Each bottle was tossed and turned by the cashier, who said she knew nothing about beer. As 90% of the beers I bought are for cellar, I didn't speak up, but still i was upset that all my beers were now disturbed.

mizzoueng, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of nightcrawler
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

Friar Tuck seems to go through phases of feast-or-famine with micro brewed beers.

Some imports have been sitting on the shelf for months, though. They may not be as fresh and the domestic micros.

Selection is unbelievable at times. I’ve been shopping there for over 3 years, usually picking up something I haven’t tried a couple times a month and I still have lots more untested beers to choose from. However, there are times when I want a Schlafly or Celis and they will be out-of-stock, so I can't give a great selection score.

Their prices are the same as Super Liquors, which is about 2 miles away, but their selection is much larger.

Service is fairly good. They will look up availability of unusual items for me, but Broadway Liquors in Pekin spanks them in one-on-one customer service.

nightcrawler, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of CplHunter
4/5  rDev -1.5%

One whole wall of the store (the longest wall...100ft?) is devoted to their beer selection. It is unrefrigerated and a thing of beauty. They have a make-your-own-sixer portion, containing mostly domestic micros. Pricing is $8.99 per 6, a bit steep in my opinion considering the selection. Beware, I found some Victory Whirlwind that had a best by of Oct '06 (it is currently June '07...!) After seeing that, I decided to pass on the roll your own section...

There is one thing which...got to me. The entire beer section is illuminated by fluorescent lighting, which is affixed under an overhang _just_ above the top shelf. No telling how long these brews have been baking under that lighting... The shelves underneath are well protected from lighting, but I still dug back to the middle of the pack to get to the darkest bottles...!

The remainder of the wall consists of a plethora of 6 packs, but also has single bottle selections of micros and imports. Be sure to check out the endcaps of the aisle next to the Beer Wall...more liquid gold can be found there and I almost missed it.

The vast majority of the selection is domestic. However I was taken aback by some of the "staple" beers which they do not stock. Duvel for one was nowhere to be found. I only saw a bottle of White Chimay, and it was lonely looking all by itself. However, since their focus seems to be domestic, I can let it slide...and they do have a fair selection of imports, including some I have never seen before (Czech, Russian and Polish brews in particular).

They stock homebrew supplies as well. I did not spend a whole lot of time perusing the selection, as I have not made the step into homebrewing. While a bit off topic, they also have a great selection of root beers across the aisle from the Beer Wall.

At the back of the store there is a refrigerated section with a selection of macro swill and a fair selection of single bottle imports, sixers, and those small kegs (2-3 wall units). They also have a walk in cooler, but I did not visit it.

I ended up spending about $120 and came away with two wine cases of singles and about 6 sixers, including some Samichlaus 2004...which I am enjoying at the moment (but only one...stuff packs a whallop!)

CplHunter, Jun 22, 2007
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Friar Tuck Beverage in Peoria, IL
91 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.