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Piccadilly Beverage Shops

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

14 Ratings
Ratings: 14
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.7%
[ Store ]

505 S. Neil St.
Champaign, Illinois, 61820
United States
phone: (217) 359-8777

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: ngandhi)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spointon
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%

I visited this store on 11/10/11 after attending an all day meeting in Champaign, IL. I thought I would see what they had that I can't get up in the Chicagoland area.

This place is easy to find, especially if you are coming in from I-57 and/or I-74. Parking was adequate, close by, and free.

I know others have said the same thing but there was almost zero organization to the beer in this place! There was a display of seasonal stuff near the front that looked good enough, but in the back, where 99% of the beer is, it was chaos. To their credit, two employees asked me multiple times if I needed help finding anything, but that is sort of useless if what you are looking for is "anything different than what I can get at home".

There was a lot of great beer in this store though. All of the expected/major US craft brewers that can be had in the Midwest were there. Great selection of Schlafly and Boulevard especially, but also Bell's, Great Lakes, Goose Island, etc, etc. There were good imports, but I thought the British and Belgians were a little under represented compared to the sheer volume of beer in the place. Just my opinion. Nothing wrong with a commitment to US craft though.

Overall a good store with good prices. They just need to organize their beers to help the customers help themselves.

spointon, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev -0.5%

The organization is scattered - beer set hither and thither, intermixed with wine all over the place - but the selection is quite good, including national, regional, and a few local options. The imports aren't quite as impressive, but nothing to laugh at either. If you take the time too look around, you'll see there is a lot of very good beer here. There are extensive cold coolers with sixpacks and a few cold bombers. he staff is extremely friendly and attentive. And the prices are great. A place I wished lived closer to.

Seanibus, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

This is going to be my go to beer store coming August as I am relocating to just about a mile away from here. An interesting/older looking store. Come in a beer seems to be everywhere, a big island stacked up right near the massive windows in front, so...so...not really a good start...but there were some nice selections from Dark Horse and Victory over there. Move to the back right hand corner of the store and the beer begins, and it looks like you can just pick and choose whether or not you want to buy a whole six pack or just pluck out a bottle. Cool I suppose if you are looking to sample a wide arrary of beers without committing to the Indian so to speak, but sort of cheapens the look of the store and must be murder on overhead with all the lost soldiers that must inevitably pile up. Service was very hands on and seemed very attentive but as I was in a hurry didn't really stay to chat. Selection was pretty standard for a beer store, had some beers that I can't get near Chicago, but they didn't have some I could get by me, the Belgians don't seem to represented as strongly as the domestics which could be bothersome to some people and to me at some times, but for the moment I don't really care. Will most likely re-review in the coming months as I will come to know it quite closely I am sure.

Edit: 2/27/2010

This place really has a nice selection. And you can generally tell what is fresh and what has been languishing on the shelves, unlike Friar Tucks which seems to never move any beer out the door. Yes the selection is not as good as that store in Savoy, but it easily holds its own and just happens to be within walking distance of my apartment which is a plus as well.

bluemoonswoon, May 03, 2009
Photo of jsh420
4.3/5  rDev +7%

neil st. location

i stop in here every few weeks just to see whats new since they usually get all the new seasonals before friar tuck and are normally cheaper

plus they give you a good discount for buy cases and tucks doesnt. they also let you buy singles so you dont have to buy a sixer in case you dont like the beer and they let you mix and match beers at the same 6er price.

and after you have dropped big money they will help you take your haul out to your car

good place good people - if your passing through its worth the stop

jsh420, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of redjameskidd
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%

I'm not really too sure how you can rate a place like this, really. It's a chain liquor store.

The staff doesn't, as a whole, know much about what's going on. It's not the sort of place you'd go to get anything except for your usual cases of beer. Even if they did carry something out of the ordinary, they'd probably gougue you for it's rarity in such a place.

They occasionally have interesting sales. I've gotten decent deals on discounted wine here.

Otherwise though, it's perfectly mundane. For a place that features strictly booze, they make no effort to branch out and carry anything but the usual. These places exist just to rent kegs and sell 30's of lite beer to college kids. I am one of those kids. I know.

Note: There are at least 3 of these separate establishments in town, and they may very well vary in quality, or at least in staff.

redjameskidd, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

A nice convenient store that is close to downtown Champaign and the U of I campus. Beers are spread out all over the store, but labeled and displayed nicely. You can buy everything in singles and most by the six/twelve pack. There is a very good selection of US micros and and lots of German, Belgian, and Great Britan beers to choose from. Something for everyone. I found some Skull Splitter, several Arcadia beers, Goose Island Harvest Ale, and Rockefort 10. The manager was very friendly and helpful. They helped my Mom put together a great mixed twelve pack for Christmas. Stuff I did not even know was available. That is refreshing because most beer stores around here have clueless college students running the show. All the bottles had lots of dust on them, and some bottle are displayed on there side. That causes me to suspect the quality of some of the beers, though a very minor concern. The prices are very far, and below average for some of the other stores around town. Friar Tucks has a wider selection overall, but this place is run right. Highly recommended if you are looking for good beer in the area.

champ103, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of klewis
4.1/5  rDev +2%

Convienient, close to campus, and easy to find. The staff was attentive, friendly, and close by. A very large selction, however, it was spread throughout half the store and quite unorganized, making it a bit hard to browse without retracing my steps several times. The selection was quite extensive and offered quite a few brews that weren't available at The Corkscrew (my stop before this one); however, the CS featured much more selective brews that were not available here. Quality seemed a bit suspect. Only a very limited (and seemingly random) selection of brews were kept refrigerated, and it seemed likely that much of the stock may have sat for a while. Still, this seems like a good stop to buy beer if in the area.

klewis, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%

A relatively small but packed store, this gem tucked away in a plaza between Neil and Randolph Streets is a must-stop for beer buyers in the area. Nestled close to the University of Illinois campus, it offers an excellent variety of beer and a good variety of wines and liquors. The beer selection is especially strong, replete with many imports, American micros, and a wide range of styles, from Belgians to IPAs to dopplebocks to stouts and a bevy of ales. There are at least 200 different varieties of beer from which to choose.

The store maximizes its limited space very well, utilizing the floor for displays of terrific domestics and imports, as well as seasonal specialties. Currently, the store has Samuel Smith's outstanding Winter Welcome Ale, Samuel Adams Winter Classics, the wonderful line of Arcadia products and others well represented and displayed. Much of the diverse selection is driven by the great manager, JD, who not only works hard to bring in such a wide selection but is also very knowledgeable and generous with his time and information. He turned me onto such excellent beers as Primator from the Czech Republic, and Arcadia products, while I emphasized to him the beatific benefits of Winter Welcome Ale. The staff is friendly, helpful, and always willing to assist. They have even begun to conduct sampling parties from 4-7 p.m. Friday afternoon, and 1-4 Saturday afternoon. I have not yet been there but, when I do, I'll be sure to pass along more information.

A modest drawback, not for this store but for the area unfortunately (something to keep in mind for out-of-state travelers), is Illinois's bizarre disputes with distributors have deprived the state of Bell's excellent products for at least the next several months. Also, as the sale of Ommegang brewery and its beer distribution is settled, this store has unfortunately been out of Ommegang's top-notch products for the last several months. Yet the selection is still as good as it gets in Champaign, the service and expertise is first-rate for knowledge and friendliness, the prices are good, and its location makes it worth the trip. I myself pass a different locally-owned Piccadilly to buy at this one on Neil St. It's that good. You won't go wrong.

Gehrig, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -0.5%

I stopped here while driving through town a few day's ago. My main hope was to find some Gumballhead in 6-packs, but I didn't find it anywhere within 4hrs of 3F... Anyway this place was a reasonable stop in a college town.

The selection is pretty good, maybe 200+ beers to choose from. There was a reasonable showing of Belgian beers (maybe 50) and a mix of UK and German representatives, with the vast majority of the rest being USA craft beers. The pricing was really reasonable (for example, Delirium Tremens 4-pack for $12.99) and you could buy everything in singles as well.

I'd make this my main stop if I went to U of I, or if I lived in the area. Otherwise probably not worth a drive from I-74 (about 10 minutes each way).

TurdFurgison, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of Illini5596
4/5  rDev -0.5%

An excellent spot to pick up beers. I don't normally expect a package store to have quite this selection, but the Piccadilly at this location was remarkable. Just about any American Microbrew can be had here, and a good number of strong European beers as well. They have a fridge in the front with the weekly specials, almost always something to interest you, and some coolers in the back stocker with Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes, Anchor, and Goose Island. Staff was friendly and fairly knowledgeable, they know a bit of what they are talking about when it comes to beer. All in all an excellent store.

Illini5596, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of falloutsnow
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%

I've been to the smaller stores around campus, which have a decent stock of good beers considering their inventory size, but the location on Neil Street seems to have the best selection of them all.

When I walked in, I was greeted by the only person working there and was asked if I needed any assistance. I was mostly just browsing, so I didn't talk to the clerk much to determine his knowledge about the products, but it didn't seem extensive. Eventually tried to overcharge me for an old six-pack that was marked on discount; what the heck.

The south wall, significant front of store floorspace, and six refrigerators are shelved with quality brews. I noted a full line of Goose Island, Avery, some Bell's, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Dark Horse, and some other American microbrews. Less present were brews from Germany, though Weihenstephaner's beers, some Hacker-Pschorr, and Paulaner made appearances. Belgian import styles (Unibroue and from the continent) seemed relatively well-represented, though I didn't notice American east coast brewers like Allagash (though I could have missed them). Also noticeably absent were the west coast brews. Some better-known English brewers, such as Samuel Smith's, were present, and there was a fair selection of Eastern European products, including some Baltic porters I'd been looking for.

Also of note: if you're looking for older seasonal selections you can't find elsewhere, try this store as they apparently have a slower turnover rate and usually have a few leftovers dating to two beer seasons prior. I've found these leftovers to still be in good (non-off) condition.

The store is clean, well-kept, and without many indications that the beer had been sitting on the shelves for an extended period of time. That being said, it's fairly nondescript and generic feeling.

This is a good store with a large enough selection to pique interest and keep it going for a long time, along with prices that seem reasonable.

falloutsnow, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of Dithyramb
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

I walked in yesterday, mainly to waste some time since the Blind Pig wouldn't let me inside until 3 p.m. I had printed out the Beerfly page for Champaign, but didn't pay attention to scores, plus Neil Street was right in the middle of town, south of the two beer bars I wanted to check out.

Located right on the main Neil Street--gotta love all the grids out here in the mid west--in a strip mall. I almost missed it, but saw a small sign under the Pickle's one. It was pretty unassuming from the outside. They've gotta start bothering their reps for free display stuff, DFH just gives it away.

Lots of premium liquor and wine, but I was here for the regionals and crafts...The whole left side was full of locals, regionals, and national micro and craft beer. They had at least a dozen different Bells brews to confuse the hell out of me. All the tastier of the midwest concoctions were all here, no need to list them out. Nearer to the fridges, they had Belgians, Germans, Brits in pretty good order. My only negative about the selection is that they appeared to have little to no options from the West Coast. Also, I just forgot to nab a New Belgium.

The dude at the counter saw me walking in confused circles and came over to help. Once I told him the problem--I was from the East coast, wanted some goodies, and only had room for 8 bottles in my baggage--he literally walked me up and down the isle pointing out the best beers, the best values, and several opinions.

Build your own out of singles was pricey, but worth it for a tourist. I spent $24 for a mixed sixer and a couple of bombers, which wasn't bad at all.

Dithyramb, May 18, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

The beers are along the left side of this store. There is about 50 feet of american micros followed by another 40 feet of import brews, along with two banks of coolers in the back of the store. There were quite a few beers that I had only dreamed of finding, but not the one that I wanted. I would imagine that half of the beers they have, I can not get in Lexington, so this was worth finding on my trip to central IL. While there, none of the staff asked if I needed help or if I was finding everything. That was a downer, but everything else was great about this place. This place wasn't as shiney and showey as other places I've been, but the selection was great.

Edit: I've been back a few more times and the service is better than reported earlier. They almost always say hi to me when I walk in and ask if I need any help. A very worthy store.

kmpitz2, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%

The entire left wall and six double-refridgerators are stocked with beer.
If you're in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area, this Piccadilly on Neil St. in the strip mall next to Pickles is the best you can find.

While you can find premium beer at other stores, they are usually sold individually. Duvel will go for 2.50-2.75/bottle, the Three Floyd's will bottom out at 1.45. Those prices are decent for individual bottles, but what if you actually want to do more than TRY a beer? What if you know beer and want to drink Duvel, Fin du Monde or Alpha King regularly? Are you to shell out 15 bucks a six pack? Individual prices get to be ridiculous once you start buying in bulk. Piccadilly is the only liquor store in the area that sells premium beer by the pack for discounted rates. A four pack of Unibroue's beers runs about 9 bucks with tax.

You can also buy most premium beers by the case including the bigger bottles like S.S. Oatmeal Stout; an option I haven't seen offered anywhere else.

They don't have a lot of "secondary beers" by which I mean beers that are not a brewer's main selling point. For example, they carry Hacker-Pschorr and Konig-Ludwig weiss beers, but not the dunkles; they have Guinness Draught, but not the exports. It's not a surprise, most places are this way, and the enormity of Piccadilly's selection more than makes up for this fault.

Besides price and the convenience, Piccadilly on Neil St. rates high for its intelligent, multinational selection. You find the great, hyped-up Belgian-style ales, trappistes, good German pilsners, Asian beers, and a thoughtful selection of American microbrews. Whatever Bell's, Sierra Nevada, or Three Floyd's you need, they've got. They are a little weak in the stouts. They have the big ones -- Sammy Smith, Rogue, Guinness, and Bell's Kalamazoo and Expedition -- but you'd have a tough time finding much else there. I hope they fix that soon; maybe in the winter? I'll keep you posted.

Additionally, Piccadilly hosts weekly beer tastings for only a couple bucks (one of which you get back if you buy something).

Sometimes, the staff is a little unfriendly and amateurish; this is, afterall, a chain liquor store.

The main thing here is selection. They don't have everything, but there's enough to keep you busy for a while.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Jul 30, 2003
Piccadilly Beverage Shops in Champaign, IL
90 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.