Beverage Castle

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BA SCORE
85
very good

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

11730 N 56th St
Temple Terrace, Florida, 33617-1602
United States
phone: (813) 985-0455

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Notes:
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(Place added by: BierReise)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zhillsgator
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Comstock
2.94/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75

Prices were on the high side and in my excitement to grab beers unavailable back home I forgot to check dates. Bought some IPA's . Staff was very friendly and they had a fairly nice selection, but just be sure to check the date. For the price and old stock, I would recommend finding a different spot.

Photo of SullTheBull
2.83/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 1.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.75

They have a few above average beers that they mark up way too high. It is hard to find a nice "mind blowing" beer here. By looks of it, these guys ordered a bunch of beer about two years ago, with great intentions I am sure... But now they are still trying to sell off all of this old inventory not seeming to care if the beer is not at its best. I bought a 6 pack of Blue Herron pale ale that had zero carbonation and was a complete malt bomb. Not a trace of hops. I will give them the fact that they do have some hard to find imports here.Whatever you do, don't grab anything from this place that doesnt age well. Chances are its past its prime.

Photo of Connor
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I have been going to Beverage Castle/Cigar Castle for years so I am probably biased. =(

The owners/staff are always helpful, and have gone out of their way to locate beer for me... they once took down my info and held back a few bottles of DFH Bitches Brew, calling me when it showed up.

This is pretty much the only place other than Total Wine that I know of where you can buy good beers in Tampa. Off the top of my head (stuff I buy hehe) you can find all the time: Dogfish Head, Cigar City, Terrapin, Rogue, Avery, Coney Island, Brooklyn, Oskar Blues, Left Hand. .. lots more I have not yet gotten around to.

If you are Northeast Tampa, this is the place to go to get craft beer.

Photo of OldGrowler
1/5  rDev -72.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

AVOID! Total scam! A shame, but I have to agree with the newer internet reviews on this place and assume it's gone downhill. With the poor economy and high gas prices, it's an expensive wasted trip. Some have praised the so-called "selection" (which is even missing most of the "greats"), but in reality ***YOU COULD PAY TO HAVE THE SAME BEER SHIPPED TO YOUR DOOR FOR LESS.*** For example, expecting to pay $10 from the sticker on a 4-pack, I was informed that was actually the price of an individual bottle. $4-6 inflation PER BOTTLE pretty much sums up the greedy beer-pricing scam in there. A message to these crooks: STOP HOARDING and drop your prices so that more people can enjoy craft beer! Oldsmar Beer place sells all the same beers for $1.98-$2.89 a bottle, NOT $10, and they will rush-order just about anything you want.

Photo of nick76
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%

You always hear of the rags to riches stories. Well this is an example of a rage to riches on its way back to rags story. I remember when it was a drive thru only beer store with a good selection but the stock was old and no one there knew very much about beer. They did a good business anyway because it was the only beer store in that part of town that had more than Macros and common imports. The owners sold out or brought in new management that realized how much potential there was in quality beer and servicing the people who buy it. They got an addition to the store called the "beer cave" and got special lighting and cooling for it. The store finally organized it and hired people who knew there stuff. It was great then something happened and the staff vanished the place no longer has staff and the entrance is through the back door. The beers are all over the place (just like in the old days) and the stock is getting old. "deja vu" The worst part about it is the prices are getting higher from an already inflated price. Good luck to these guys I love what you started but I am no impressed by whats happening. I rarely go here anymore and I hesitate to recommend it to visitors. But I will say they have a nice selection.

Photo of Zeckster
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

Wow,
I found plenty of things here. It is kind of hard to locate. (Its between the drive in location and the cigar store). However they have big bottles of Belgians in the first room along with a load of glassware. Then you go into the stock room.

A fair bit of warning the beer room can be hella messy. However, they have a super nice collection of stuff. Old Anniversary Beers, some of the harder to find northern ones too. They had plenty of foreign titles, but I don't know enough about them to tell you if they were all rare. I did still see some Christmas Ales.

Alll around pretty sweet.

Photo of tpd975
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%

This place used to be good when it first opened and Joey R was running things. He brought in lots of good beer.

The bad news is since he left nothing really new or good has come thru the door.

That being said the beer is at cellar temp so anything that can age has. They do not sell much of the good stuff, so most of what was purchased a year ago is still there.

Just be careful the with IPA's and such as they most likely are not fresh. There are pleny of Belgians, Stouts, and Barleywine's though which age nicely.

The way the place is currently being ran is sad. That said there are some gems still there so give it a shot.

Just heed my warning as most of the stock has some age on it.

Photo of udubdawg
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

One of the highlights of my recent vacation.

Selection is great, although I never quite figured out the organization system here. Laughed as I realized a guy from Kansas was going to Florida to buy beer from Washington (Fish Tale) and California (Lagunitas, etc)

Saw around a dozen meads on the shelves, none of which I had tried, so I was forced to buy a couple. Yeah, forced, we'll go with that.

Prices while generally slightly high were over the board - bought a Fullers Vintage ale for $7, while a single bottle of DFH 120 was $12.99 - ouch! They had a lot of the danish cooperative beers and as usual I was sucked into buying a few.

Didn't see any Saint Somewhere on the shelves, but hey, what's this box on the floor? Opened it, and there's the Lecto Divina, which I bought several of. Other highlights off the top of my head were 2004 Thomas Hardy's, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Full Sail Wassail, and Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

The overall quality of the brews here was exceptional - so why no "5"? The disappointing number of beers well past their prime - the Harpoon IPA was was at least 3 months past, for instance.

Also saw a few remaining bottles of 2007 Utopias for $180 for those who haven't found any yet. Hope that helps.

No service issues. Not sure why he took 10% off of almost all my beers, but I wasn't about to argue. Nice cool atmosphere on a hot day.

I'll be back!

Photo of Axelbay
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

To get to the beer selection, park in the front and walk through the side door which is accessed through the drive-thru. Atmosphere was neat. Foam was sprayed on the ceiling and painted blue and white to resemble a cooler. It was a bit on the cold side indoors, but that's fine since it's for the beer.

Selection was outstanding. Better then Total Wines and World of Beer. But you'll pay for the that better selection. Some bottles were $3 or $4+ more then other places i've seen. Even in florida. They seemed to have have atleast 3 or 4 beers from most breweries they carry. I like that effort. I saw Terrapin, DFH, Rogue, Brooklyn, Avery, SamAdams, Nogne, Brouwerij De Regenboog, Stoudt, Flying Dog, Haandbryggeriet, Achouffe, Oskar Blues Sierra Nevada (Bigfoot '06), Left Hand, Fish Brewing and many many many more. I should have attempted to count how many, but that wasn't on my mind. The front of the store had some glassware and a few coolers to keep some beers cold. They had maybe 6 + meads there, I think. I thought it was a decent selection. If I had the money I would have bought one to try out.

I saw a $100 bottle of FD Gonzo 750mL in a canister. I have no idea why that beer is so expensive. It wasn't barrel aged either. Maybe it was blessed by the Pope.

When I'm back in florida, I will definately go here. I will go here last though due to the prices.

Photo of meadhead
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%

visiting florida for months-

this is a real diamond in the rough

A drive thru
Beverage " Castle"
that truly is a castle
A few meager rows of bargain style coolers
with one side for singles and 750 ml---
and one side for four pack and six packs"
On the singles side:
All they can get their hands on:
Two to three coolers for America
One for Germany
One For England/Scotland
Two for Belgium
and all sorts of interspersed rarities

ALL varieties:
(I think nealry every style Beer advocate lists is there)
Pale ale
Barleywine
Saison
Belgian Pale.dark strong etc
Doppelbock
Wheatbeer
IPA
Scottish Herb
Black lager
Even Mead and some nice wines:

Nealry All the Big Micro-American's that ship to the state
Rogue, Dogfish Head, Avery, Stoudts
Ommegang, Bison, Boulder,
Allagash, Harpoon,
Anchor, Sierra Nevada
Bells, Abita, Tommyknocker, North Coast
Flying Dog
and a few locals

The Big Germans and Belgians
(whatever there names are again)
Weihenstaphener, Ayinger, Pinkus, Schneider and Sohn
Weissbier and many rarities
I can't remember or don't know


Big Belgian's like ,
Huyghe ,Dupont, Bernardus, Chimay
Fantome, (Grimbergen brand)
The one with smiling snails {Caracole}
and another with pigs on the labels
(many rarities)

All the Big U.K.
Samuel Smith, Ridgeway, Wychwood,
St.Peters, and Old growlers
plus
ALL The usual Pub Stout suspects
and a few exotics

The full selection from Scottish
Heather Ale. Ltd. co.

Plus Dutch, Austrian
Australian, Polish, Lithuanian,
And the Ever popular
French Canadian
Unibroue

---

Prices a little bit high
Service meager
but an exceptional get out of the car
and do it yourself
Drive thru

I hear they are building a beer cellar
in 2007

Easy going
Brew Lover's Oasis
Though, Pricey on certain items

Photo of basscram
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%

This is one of the places you can go in Tampa for a giant selection of beer of any kind. Depending on the employee working, they can steer you towards a good beer to try. They can also accommodate you if you need a box to carry your 3 six packs of beer if you so choose to buy that many. I recommend parking and walkin in so you can actually browse their selection cause its pretty expansive. You can get a good deal on mix and match 6 packs as well. One con.. they can never keep Kostritzer in stock but all in all. A good place!

Photo of Jredner
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%

I used to work here so I can confidently say it has the largest selection in Florida. That being said I no longer work there and I know that no one there now knows much about beer. But I set it up well int he new cooler and beers are grouped mostly by country/region so you should be able to find what you want. It is very pricey with many beers being close to double what you might find at other places. But some beers you can only find here, so it is worth a trip. But, it's not the place to buy your every day drinkers, just the rare stuff.

The rating that follows was from before I worked there:

The atmosphere (a drive thru convenieince store) and service (there isn't any really) are pretty uninspiring, but the beer...ohh the beer.

Simply put they have everything. If it is distributed in Central Florida...they have it. They also special order a lot of stuff. Now you will find old beers there, but with higher abv stuff that is a good thing because at least you can get it. They were the last store to dry up when Westy got rare recently.

They don't put prices on any of the beers..you have to ask the staff or have them scan it. And the prices are pretty high. Not as bad as Hyde Park Express, but not cheap. Still if you want access to the largest selection anywhere in the Tampa area I'd have to say Beverage Castle is the place.

And if you are into cigars they have a very large cigar shop right next door along with a good wine selection. The owner says he will move all the craft beer into the cigar shop to get it out of the drive thru and if and when that happens the ambience will go up three fold, but even with all the negatives I still end up at Beverage Castle because it is one of the few beer stores in the area that still has a wide selection of beers I have not had.

It's worth the trip.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

*Park your car and walk in. Step up on the curb, stay away from the cars and make a bowling pin triangle of beer bottles*

After reading poundboy's review, I parked my car at a spot out front next to the neighboring wine store and just walked in to this "drive thru" beer joint. I'd advise doing the same thing. The good beer is on the left and the basic macro and some lesser known micros are on the right. This place is just two giant rows of walk-up cold boxes with a drive thru strip between them. You pay on the left side at the end. I just made a neat bowling pin like stack of my choices and politely said that I was from out of town but heard that this place is great. The young guy working there said that he just started there and proclaimed that he didnt know anything. I picked up a Cantillon Vigneronne, DFH Pangea, a couple local six packs, Abbey de Rocs Brune, and a couple of odd ball brews. You can make a singles six pack from ANYTHING in the place. That is decent. Selection is borderline 4.5 with all three Westvleterens, but the cold boxes are all that they have so a 4 does it. Worth a scope out for any level of beer geek that you are, at reasonable prices. The guys there are always willing to help ya if you are cool about appreciating good beer. They will even make helpful reccomendations about what is new.

Pricey with their good bottles. Meantime Porter and IPA are $17 vs. $12 elsewhere. Scaldis Prestige is $60 vs. $26 and Flying Dog BigDog Series bottles are $29 vs. $15. Avery Mephistopheles is $10 for a 12 oz'er. Basically, this place has you over a barrel with splinters!
All beers are in cold boxes which is good in the Tampa heat, but Caveat Emptor!

Photo of poundboy
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Simply put this place has an amazing selection. If you are looking for a beer that you can't find anywhere else, go here. Thats what this place has going for it.

Unfortunately their are several things that could turn you off of this place. Their selection is great, but their service is poor. Nobody I have been served by knows their beer at all. And they tend to get nervous if you walk around in front of the coolers. And they can be downright rude if you pull up in you car during a busy time and don't know exactly what you want right away. Also, some of their beer tends to be very old. The other week I picked up two 750's of Cantillon Iris. Which is quite a find, but I talked with the distributor and they stopped selling Cantillon in Florida a year and half ago. They tasted fine, but some dunedain's that I bought at the same time were skunked. Sunlight can get on the beers near the doors quite easily. Always take the second bottle from the front. Finally, their prices are outragous. $14 for a Westy 12, $19 for Cantillon, and $3 for any micro. If you can't find it anywhere else, get in here. Otherwise, check out the many other fine beer stores in the Tampa Bay Area.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

This was an unusual store, to say the least. Looking much like a standard drive-thru, the coolers hold hundreds of beers. Specifically they indicate more than 800 different beers with more than 400 imports. I don't doubt that stat at all. There were more beers to look at than I could possibly take in. Very big selection of fine Belgian brews. Most of the easily available micros are here along with many not so easily available. Very little macro takes up cooler space - I'd say maybe 2 out of the aproximate 20-25 doors had macro behind. Service appears spotty, the fellow I had ask me if he could help knew the numbers, but didn't seem to know the beers styles and other distinctions. Not discourteous or bothersome, just not much a beer conversationalist. Lots of singles, but perhaps a bit pricey.

Photo of BierReise
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%

I just spotted this drive through beer emporium by accident on the way home from Busch Gardens in Tampa the other day. Actually I give my wife credit for spotting the sign that reads "over 400 Beers" at it's drive-thru entrance. Not to hold up traffic, I walked in and took a look in their refrigerated cases wich lined each side of the inside drive. To the right were cases containg full packs of beer and to the left singles. Fantastic selection of everything you'd want, Belgians, Germans great American micros and lot's more. I found quite a few that "The World of Beer" in Clearwater doesn't stock and walked out with a good 15 bottles. The two guys working (i assume the owners) were quite helpful and even through in an extra bottle on the house. Beverage Castle is located off exit 265 off I75 and across from McDonalds on a side road.
5/29/03 I'd like to add that the free bottle these guys gave me turned out to be a 2 year old weizen. Also I'd check there dates on the lighter beers.

Beverage Castle in Temple Terrace, FL
85 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.