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Bottles N' Bins Liquor

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
[ Store ]

898 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, California, 93940-1012
United States
phone: (831) 375-5488

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Rumrunner)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kdoc8
3.05/5  rDev -26.2%

On a bit of a hiatus from the Fe-brewery beers across America trip, I found that Monterey had surprisingly little beer to offer. Although, I guess it's not surprising, given that it's in the middle of wine-region. I stopped in Bottles N Bins while doing my laundry across the street (sadly, I'd spilled a fabulous bottle of 3F's Dreadnaught in my tent while camping in the Mojave. After licking the tent floor and sleeping bag for remnants, I realized I might have been pushing my love of beer and decided just to wash the beer smell away.) Anyway, Bottles N Bins had a great selection, and it was here I came up with the idea for the I'm Bored Tonight Stout-Off, which would feature Rogue Imperial Stout and Deschutes Obsidian Stout, both acquired at BnB, as well as Bell's Expedition Stout which had been transported from Indiana. They had an awesome selection of everything beer and wine related, and it was the first place in my travels that I'd seen extensive amounts of Rogue and Deschutes.

However, amidst my revelry at their selection, I was distrubed by the loud, obnoxious and, it turned out to be, quite sexist, man behind the counter. For a while he refused to acknowlege my presence at the counter and didn't answer any of my questions about beer or Monterey, he refused to believe I liked stouts, refusesd to believe I was over 21, even with the appropriate ID and pretty much just hit on me instead and told me I should buy wine.

In retrospect I probably shouldn't have bought anything there, but I was overwhelmed by their choice selection. Go there - it's a cool place in Monterey, but watch out for Counter-dude.

kdoc8, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%

This is the only store I have had good luck with in Monterey for beers. It's easy to find and surprisingly this is not one of the better regions in coastal Calif. for beers.

The major beef I have with the place is that the majority of the beers are sitting on shelves. I don't know if you'd call it "warm" storage, being Monterey, but I am dubious of the vast amount of unrefrigerated beer. The coolers do have some interesting things. I bought the Scaldis 75th Anniversary Refermentee for a regular price and it was fine.

Loads of regional beers on the shelves, plus a vast amount of totally random beers from all over the world. It's quite a collection, and you can judge whether the stuff is all drinkable.

The guys, who seem to be owners or totally involved managers, carry on a lively exchange with everyone. Nobody actually wants to talk about beers. It's the typical lotsa stuff, whaddaya want kind of place.

mactrail, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%

This place has more liquor than beer but there are a half dozen refrigerators and a few rows of small shelves dedicated to craft. Styles span from new releases from local breweries, European brews, fresh ipas and even a few limited releases. The staff (or guy who was working at the time) seemed friendly enough, and even pointed out a few of his favorite brews. Prices seemed reasonable on just about everything.

A solid bottle shop all around, especially for the area. Compared to the SF Bay Area where I’m from, this place has nothing new or exciting, and if anything the selection is a bit limited. BUT, for what it is, and for the area, there is no better.

scottfrie, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of clickpush
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

Passed this liquor store on my way home from the grocery store around the corner, where I had just spent $100+ on wine and beer. Feeling like an imbecile, I still refused to pass by Bottles N Bins without checking out their beer selection. A surprising Belgian selection for a place that looked like it focused mostly on main stream wines. Also, this is the first place I saw Flying Dog's Wild Dog, and that sighting really excited me. My first impression was that this store was overpriced, as the Flying Dog cost me $12.50, but upon further shopping experience I realized this was average. Also found bottles from a local brewery that doesn't even make it to San Francisco. The clerk, I believe possibly also the owner, was busy while I was perusing the many coolers and unchilled shelves, but when I went to check out he was very interested and more than happy to talk beer with me. He pointed out shelves and beers he thought I might have missed, and offered apologies for the light stocking as his deliveries were late.

Had I known about this store, I would have saved all of my alcohol shopping in Monterey for here.

clickpush, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev -3.1%

This is the best place to buy beer on the Monterey peninsula - the selection trumps the local Whole Foods (for example) buy several hundred percent. When I visited, there was a "back in 5 minutes" sign on the door, and as soon as the woman working there noticed me, she ran over to open the door and thank me for waiting. I scanned the large room noting the liquor and wine, and then the wall of fridges. Inside you'll find plenty of 4-packs, 6-packs, nearly every British canned beer produced, a number of offerings from Maine, NorCal (but no Russian River), and Germany, along with a small cooler of macros, and a small cooler of wine/champagne.

Next to the fridges, there is a large rack full of most every Abbey ale distributed to the U.S., the full Lost Abbey line, the full Allagash line, many Fantome (Hiver, Printemps, Noel, etc) and Cantillon offerings (including '06 Lou Pepe Framboise, Saint Lamvinus, '05 Iris, Classic Gueuze, etc), and many more Belgian ales without skimping on the sours. A small glassware collection is here as well - along with a separate shelf for seasonal Belgian ales...

Quality was very good on everything I purchased - and most everything you'd expect to find in the fridge (e.g. IPAs) was stored there, with the exception of a couple German beers.

Service was very friendly and helpful while not at all pushy - though their knowledge wasn't as high as I would expect considering the gems that they stock.

If you are in the area, this is an essential stop if you enjoy Belgian ales (especially traditional lambics). Prices are competitive, and it feels good to support a local family-owned business over the encroaching chains.

augustgarage, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%

Where's the parking? With just a couple spaces available at the store itself, I was lucky to arrive just after the store had opened. Walk inside, medium sized liquor store space. The beers are hanging out furthest from the enterence, so walk past some liquor and wine and then we can start the journey.

Great selection of beers in general, and good options available in the form of drinking vessels. There's a n especially large proportion of the beers being of Belgian origin (Kasteel, Gouden Carolus, Lucifer, Caracole, Timmermans, Bornem, Affligem), but make no mistake, there's also plenty of beers from non-Belgian breweies (Speakeasy, Big Sky, Marstons, Wynchwood, Unita, North Coast, The Bruery. Some of the beers are refrigerated, however you're more likely to pick a beer from store temperature. Prices are marked on the beers, and despite a few older beers I spotted, many of what I spotted were still in good shape.

I wouldn't be surprised if this were the place to stop for bottles in or around Monterey. There's a lot to choose, but don't forget to bring your own bags when you buy multiple bottles.

DoubleJ, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%

Mid sized store, wine, booze and brews.

Beer is lacated towards the rear in several mid sized coolers and on numerous shelving units of various sizes. Sort of confusing in its organization. Beer here, beer there, beer seemingly everywhere. Expect to find plenty of quality options, local goodies and regional heavyweights. Seemed sorta light on the imports, but hey there were so any quality California and west coast goodies I was not complaining. Owner was helpful and friendly...always a plus. Prices on the high side...but remember you are in Monterey-not Watsonville...Worth a visit if in the area and in need of BA worthy beer.

Billolick, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

Pretty good selection here, focus seemed to be on imports, and there were a number of obscure ones. From the outside it didn't look like much, but that means nothing when hunting beers. Inside it's a typical 60's era liquor store, medium sized, open layout. Beer is all in the back. Pretty sure there's no "deli" in the name, there wasn't one in the store.

Oddball stuff I walked out with: Belmont Strawberry Blonde, Lost Abbey Inferno 375ml, Corkscrew Ale (English Ales). They had an obscure line of Italian beers i'd never seen and couldn't pronounce. A couple from Jolly Pumpkin, Firestone Walker (even XIV for $30), Ballast Point Sculpin, 21st Amendment Back In Black, and more. Coolers were a little split up, had to wander around to find the bombers, there were plenty more on the shelves too. Pretty broad selection, though they didn't have "everything".

Guy at the register was friendly and was also out on the floor offering assistance and beer recommendations. Not far from the aquarium and various shopping/dining destinations.

emerge077, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

I stumbled by this place when I was lost and trying to find the pier. There was a sign in the window saying thit they have the biggest selection of Belgian beer in town.

The beer selection was decent. They had about 4 coolers with micros and imports. They did have a nice sized shelf with Belgian stuff. They had a good selection of Lambics. 7 different Cantillon beers. I also saw rare local stuff, like Old Rasputin XII.

The staff was friendly, but not the most knowledgable on the beer stuff. He knew his wine, and he was not the owner, who he said was into beer.

Parking is pretty bad, but if you get a chance to check this place out, it is worth it. Prices were decent. Everything I saw was about the same as I have seen elsewere, and since Monterey is a pit pricy, that says a lot.

Overall: I would stop here again if I was in the area. Good place.

OStrungT, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

What's up with the parking here? Once u get inside, there is a cool selection of beers. Kinda unorganized, lost abbeys found all over the place. Lots of lost abbeys while I'm at it. Dropped $30 in a serpent stout & angels share bourbon. Prolly a dozen other lost abbeys, lots of port.

Looks just like a place that would only sell 40 oz, but damn if they don't have what appears to be a very rare selection, especially of the euro beers. Saw lots of stuff I didn't recognize before. You can really blow a lot of dough here without a little restraint. Would be nicer if Monterey wasn't all weird one way street layout, just getting into this place can prove a little challenging. Wine selection looked impressive as well.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Pelagius
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Easily the best beer store in the Monterey area. They have expanded the shelf space given over to beer, and are clearing away some more shelves to expand even further (as of Oct 2010). Their focus seems to be on Belgian and Belgian style beers, but a good range of American micros and quality German beers also. Someone there seems to have a particular affection for oak aged beers, too!
Organisation seems a bit haphazard, but that could be a result of the ongoing expansion. It took me a while to scour the shelves to make sure I wasn't missing anything, but that's the thrill of the hunt! Only disappointment was that you couldn't break up 6 packs. I wish more specialty beer stores would follow Bev Mo's lead there, allowing more experimentation without committing to a 6 pack of beer that you might not like.

Pelagius, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Rumrunner
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

I have not been to every place in Monterey that sells craft beer, but as far as I have investigated, the Bottles N Bins has the best selection by far.

I saw this establishment while driving by one afternoon and I decided to stop by. Low and behold, craft brews and even a few unique imports. Now I am not going to say the selection is phenomenal. For right now it is a little better than good. From what I saw in Monterey it is the the best.

The establishment is a liquor store. The name has deli in it but I do not remember a large deli section. They do have some food though. The name may remain from the original owner who started the store many years ago. His son owns it now. It is a decent size and clean. Nothing special about the decor. Mostly wine and spirits in this establishment. It is still wine country for now.

The beer selection is good but not supreme. Aside from the usual macros and usual imports there are a decent amount of micros. Anderson Valley, North Coast, Moylan's, Deschute's, New Belgium, Mad River and beers from Oregon, Colorado, Illinois and many from California. The imports aren't that many and I did not ask but probably fluctuate based on price and availability. I will note that I did find some domestic micro beers that I have never seen in the Los Angeles area before.

This is why I say this establishment has great potential. I talked to the owner for a few minutes. His noticing my large selection of beer in my basket prompted him to talk beer. He was extremely helpful and a very easy person to talk to. Very friendly. He mentioned that he would like to add many more micros and imports to his selection if he could just get a few more regulars buying these beers.

So BA's if you live in Monterey stop by and talk to this guy. If you are visitiing check out the place. If you had problems finding craft beers check out this place and drop a hint. "Hey, nice selection. It could be bigger in my opinion." I think if he had the customers he would add to his selection.

Like I said a good selection for now and better than any of the bars I ventured in to. It could be better.

Rumrunner, Jul 19, 2003
Photo of LakerLeith
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

LakerLeith, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Mneme1984
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

Mneme1984, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of ocmpoma
4.5/5  rDev +9%

In the Monterey area, the only other place that comes close for selection of beers is the Whole Foods in the Del Monte Shopping Center.

The Bottles n' Bins looks, from the outside, like any other California liquor-beer-wine store, except for the window decals proclaiming the wonderful selection of scotch and Belgian beers. The decals are not exaggerating; as I said, this is the best place to go in the area for beer to take home. Lots and lots of Belgians, British, and US craft breweries. In fact, one of the only ways they could improve is by making more room for beer and less for wine, as good wine is easy to find around here and good beer is not. The staff is extremely helpful and also knowledgeable about all the stuff they have.

Located on Lighthouse, there's not much parking but it is in easy walking distance from the hotels on Cannery Row and not terribly far from downtown Monterey. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

ocmpoma, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of mjtyson
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%

If you are anywhere in the Monterey Bay Area, check out Bottles 'N' Bins. Their selection is outstanding. From Old Rasputin's Imperial Stout to a selection of over 50 different Belgian beers (mostly Ales but an okay selection of Lambics, with a lesser quantity of white ales), you can find just about anything here.

I went home with a six of Full Sail's Wassail, a six of Hoegaarden White, a 'four' of Rasputin Imperial Stout, a four of Duvel (with a Duvel glass all in a gift pack for 15 clams), a St. Louis Peche, a Blanche de Namur, one each of Young's Winter Warmer, Double Chocolate Stout (yum...drink outside naked on a cool night), and Oatmeal Stout, one beautiful bottle of Cantillon Classic Gueze (the only gueze I could find there sadly) which my wife and I will open on Christmas, an Allagash White, two bottles of Blanche de Bruxelles, and a Lindeman's Cassis.

I got all that for about $125. Many of the bottles seemed expensive, but a lot of them were first finds for me (like the Gueze) so I am not sure if $16 is expensive or not. The last time I had a really good gueze (Cuvee Renee) was four years ago in Ohio (from wonderful Jungle Jim's in Cinci) and I can't remember how much it cost.

The service was great. They have a small deli there with good looking olives and other type foods. I didn't order anything, but the lady behind the deli counter was very friendly and seemed to know everyone in the place. I showed up around 1 pm and they were feverishly stocking wines and beers. (As for wine selection, it was huge, but I can't judge what they have. I am one of those happy with a $6 bottle of merlot to drink with lasagna.)

I am taking one full star off of the rating because this was my second time going to Bottles 'N' Bins, but only my first time getting inside. The first time was a Friday some weeks ago; I arrived 45 minutes after the place was supposed to open, but it was closed. I hope that was a one-time occurence.

Check this place out! You will not be disappointed.

mjtyson, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of BeerisUber
5/5  rDev +21.1%

BeerisUber, Oct 20, 2013
Bottles N' Bins Liquor in Monterey, CA
92 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.