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Sam's Quik Shop

Not Rated.
Sam's Quik ShopSam's Quik Shop
BA SCORE
100
world-class

149 Ratings
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

1605 Erwin Rd
Durham, North Carolina, 27705-4619
United States
phone: (919) 286-4110

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Formerly The Blue Light Restaurant.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 110
Reviews by ncbeermonger:
Photo of ncbeermonger
4.15/5  rDev -9.6%

Didn't look like much, and had I not been informed about this place before hand I would have thought it was just a corner mart.
The walls are filled with an amazing selection of beer, and the cooler is filled with an outstanding selection of kegs....the keg deposit though is the highest I have ever seen down here!
I bought some great beers and a great half keg for my buddies 40th birthday! i even bought a T-shirt for the wife!
If you are in Durham and you see this hidden gem TURN AROUND and give it a shot! You will be glad you did

More User Reviews:
Photo of GoldenArms
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

I think you have to be a hipster to work here. Besides an abundance of hipsters, the place is cool.

Photo of Martyrob
5/5  rDev +8.9%

It's Sam's and they are definitely one of the best beer spots in NC and possibly the US.

Photo of raleigh_blue
3.48/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75

Atmosphere: If you like run down establishments this place is for you. It doesn't smell good in here and there is virtually no place to stand during events. Sam's is a Durham landmark and John Boy's a pioneer, but lets not kid ourselves, the place has hipster grit and real life grit. It never looks clean and the bathrooms are just filthy.

Quality: I've had beers on tap here more than once that were infected or out of date and decaying (Lake Erie Monster last November) and after discussing with the staff and having them agree with me I find it still on a few days later. I really don't think the staff cares about much, certainly not quality.

Service: This is kind of the Ed Debevic's of the beer world, except the rudeness isn't schtick, it's just bad customer service.

Selection: Great selection. The only place in the Triangle that matches their ability to hold events with awesome hard to find beers is the Busy Bee.

Overall: The emperor wears no clothes. There are plenty of other places in RTP to spend your money, including the new Sam's bottle shop, which is head and shoulders above old Sam's, including a slightly friendlier staff.

Photo of Treyliff
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Every time I'm passing through Durham, I make it a point to stop here. World class selection and I always seem to find something that the local Total Wine stores don't have. Nice selection of NC beers in the front of the store, everything else is in the back. Nice glassware and cigar selection as well. Staff has always been friendly and always up to talking beer. Most beers can be bought in singles or 6 packs. This is definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

Photo of Mantooth
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

One of the absolute best bottleshops I've been to. Bottles everywhere - trust me - you'll find something you're looking for. They've got a nice selection of drafts - so you can drink while you shop. Great selection of local craft brews, and a room full of imports. Super knowledgeable staff. Love this place. Trust me - if you're in the area, just check em out.

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in on my way down for Sexual Chocolate release and was impressed at their vast selection. I found a lot of beers that I been looking for and cannot get in VA. The only thing that irritated me was that the store is dog-friendly. I'm a pet owner and dons't feel that a large dog should be allowed in a store full of glass bottles. It wasn't so much the dog, but the owner who had been drinking what they were serving. He was rude and continued to pass in front of me, no matter where I stood. The aisles are small and the dog could not help but to walk on my shoes. Anyway, it was just very irritating.

Nice selection and good staff! Stop in if you get the chance.

Photo of vgarneth
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

I must say that's it's nice to live in the Triangle. There are some great breweries and establishments for beer, but Sam's Quik Shop is amazing when it comes to the variety of beers available for purchase and/or on tap. The staff is unique and they can help you find most anything. I almost always drop by when nearby; however, I still have yet to fuel up my vehicle there... next time, plus I'll have to purchase more beverages!

Photo of Tirefan
4.86/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Literally one the best beer shops I've ever been to. Stopped by at least a dozen or so time never had a bad experience with them in any way. Very easy to find. Any time I cross the state line this is the first place I want to go. Awesome staff and even better selection. This is a must if you love beer or are even new into the craft beer scene.

Photo of PGH_Penguins
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Sam's is a great place to go for the best selection of beer around. The guys are very knowledgeable and can easily make suggestions for things you like. I never have any issue finding what I need, even when it comes to limited releases. They also have a good bit on tap, which they serve in a pint glass you get to keep. I would easily recommend this to anyone in the RDU area or anyone that is passing through in search of quality beer.

Photo of Nick_RobertsM3
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Awesome place. Beer Heaven. Great staff, very knowledgeable. Answer any question have, and know layout of the store. Definite must try. Easy to get to. Reasonable prices. Great atmosphere, always punk rock playing in the back ground. Event days are awesome as well.

Photo of underthebeer
3.94/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Amazing beer store. Chock full of beer. Huge variety of imports and domestics.

Looks sketchy from the outside. Inside feels chaotic. Takes a couple trips to get used to because although the store is divided into sections: imports, domestics, and locals, the sections are not labeled.

Staff looks like a punk rock concert, has a wide knowledge, and a mercurial demeanor: sometimes helpful and friendly, other times standoffish and snotty.

Prices are fair. Very few rip offs - a couple deals. Beers on tap in store (that you can drink while browsing) priced as steals.

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4.24/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

I've lived in several states (and the 4th largest city in the country). This place amazed me with it's superb selection. Many of the people shopping there were true beer lovers who were welcoming and not snobbish. He staff is hit or miss, but it's worth the trek. I will definitely shop there often and bring people there when they come into town.

Photo of tarheels4life23
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Overall the best selection in the triangle. If they distribute here then Sam's has it and they always get any special/limited releases that come around. Staff usually wont offer to help unless you ask. The only down side is everything is scattered so it can be hard to find some things.

Beer on tap is usually good and will get some special release kegs from time to time.

Photo of jhmichel
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best beer store ever. It's a candy store for adults. The selection is always getting better and they're always getting new beers on tap. Friendly and knowledgable staff are always willing to help find something new. It's a must visit if you're in Durham.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.41/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

I'm a regular here and love it. At first glance you'd think this was just a gas station but youd be so wrong! It's always well staffed with friendly people, even during off hours there are always at least 4 people there to help you or chat about beer. Great atmosphere, anyone is welcome and on Friday nights it can get a bit packed. They always have about 10-14 beers on draft for your enjoyment and you get to keep the glass too! I come here frequently and get a couple pints each time, they always have rotating taps and frequently of beers you wont find bottled. The selection is excellent, there isn't a better selection in NC. Prices are reasonable. It's also located in a great place in downtown Durham, very easily accessible. Dont be put off by the outside decor, this place is terrific.

Photo of brewski09
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

An amazing place. The beer selection is fantastic and spans the range of well known craft and major brands (for the college students) to small breweries nationwide (if you haven't heard of Moylan's in Novato, CA, they have a mean beer lineup). The atmosphere was above average. You know you are in pretty much the only beer shop you need to know about in or around Durham, NC. The beer is everywhere. Quality starts at therapy handles behind the register with a great selection. They had Stone Enjoy By, 1 year old Founders Breakfast Stout, and were putting on Green Flash for a tap takeover along with Avery Majaraja, all with only 8 tap handles (wish they had more, but that may happen when they move to their new location). Service is good and very knowledgable. I was from out of town, so I asked about local beers and was steered to a couple of 90+ point IPAs and Imperial IPAs (after he asked if I liked hops). The selection is fantastic. I found rarities like the New Belgium La Folie sour beer as well as an expanded lineup of major craft (think every variant of the Great Divide Yeti you can think of, even the Barrel Aged Yeti and a Belgian Yeti. Who knew?). Food is a misnomer for this review as they don't have food, just draft beer. And yes, you buy a draft beer, start drinking it, then walk around the store shopping for bottles of beer. It's an amazing sales technique and a very enjoyable shopping experience. 12oz Founders Breakfast Stout for $7 (you get to keep the glass too). Pretty respectable if you ask me. The prices are mostly fair. Some stuff is way overpriced (compared to back home) and some is less expensive. For example, DFH 90 Minute IPA was $10 for a 4-pack ($11back home) and Burton Baton was $14.50 a 4-pack ($13 back home last I checked). You just have to know what you are buying I guess, but that holds true in a ny establishment.

Bottom line, wish I could take this place home with me.

Photo of napetry
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Food? Gee, you don't really go here for food! It's all about the BEER!!!! OK. they have some wines, cigars, beer-pong-balls, and T's too, but you go because you're thirsty!! If you can't find a satisfying beer for the moment, you're in real trouble. If you can't think of it or find it . . . ASK! Best place to go to find the beer you're in the mood to drink and never had. Just have one on premises while "shopping" for that just right for the occasion brew.

Photo of humuloner22
4.23/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Every time I am in Durham I stop by this place. I would have to say they probably have the best beer selection I have seen anywhere and I have been to several bottle shops including some of the big box stores, which at first impressed me but lately have fallen short and they cannot compare with a smaller merchant like this place. I have been able to find rare beers and ones from all over the world that you just can't find anywhere. I like a vast array of beers and this place is as is likely as anywhere to have them. Maybe it is the nature of Durham, or a philosophy they have adopted but I don't get a lot of help, not that I have asked for it. Maybe if I had I would have gotten it, however, I feel like I do have a pretty good grasp of what I want or maybe try something I have never had before. In any case this place will likely have what you are looking for if it is available in this state. I highly recommend it if you are passing through the Durham area.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.14/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

Glad that I checked BA before visiting Durham or I likely would not have found this gem - I used to live in the RTP area but seemed to rarely (if ever) make it over to Durham. It looks like and probably is basically a quik mart that has been converted to have a huge beer selection. The organization of the store is a little confusing (someone organized by country with US stuff kind everywhere) but if you have the time to just wander and shop, it is a fun place to do it. They also have a couple of beers on tap so that you could enjoy a brew while you shopped.

The store was quite busy when I stopped by, early on a Tuesday evening and it seems like te inventory moves pretty quickly. There is not a lot of natural light in the store so the beer is not exposed to a lot of sunlight and almost everything is available bot chilled and at room temperature. Only a few dusty bottles to be seen and those were in the clearance area (and were seasonals from the previous season - pumpkin and Oktoberfest).

The guys working at the store were very friendly and helpful - even willing to check around to see if there were any more of a couple of the beers that I asked about. They gave some recommendations for the next place that I went on both beer and food (which was great since this was a meal that I did not plan).

There are literally about a 1000 different beers and the selection is very good for both the European beers as well as domestic and locals.

Prices seemed to be on par with other stores in the area.

Photo of oldedog
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Killer place thanks b.a. for this find little from the outside huge on the inside its crazy the beer you will find here row after row of nothing but craft beer best store i have seen anywhere!!! Only one cooler of b.m.c. beers the rest craft cool staff knowledgeable and laid back

Photo of DiverJon
4.61/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is one of the biggest surprises I've had since moving to NC even after reading reviews of this place. If you can not find something you are either looking for or want to try then there is no hope for you. Set up in an old gas station, it is crammed with beer from all over the world. I even found 2 cases of Brooklyn Brewery's Chocolate Stout from 2010 and bought one of them. The prices seemed a little high to me comparing the beers I have bought in other places to the ones carried here of the same brewer but they probably do that to make up for the huge variety in the store. Having both warm and cold beer is a big plus. This is well worth the trip if your in the area. We went over on the 4th as it is one exit from The Durham Bulls Stadium.

Photo of RCK86
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I live in Georgia now, but I try to stop by Sams every time I'm in Durham. Without question, it's the best beer store I've ever visited. I was a sophomore at Duke when i discovered the place. Filled up my car with gas, went inside to pay, and OHMYGODYES. I had absolutely no idea that such a beautiful, beautiful place existed behind such an unassuming facade. I made a mental note to return as soon as I turned 21.

Over the years I visited Sam's almost weekly. They have everything from cheap light beer to rare brews you won't find anywhere else. You can get bottles from all over the world and just about every state in the country. Their offerings from North Carolina are also impressive, and seem to get better each time I go. Their prices are fantastic for the crappy stuff (cases for 10 bucks during football season!), and very reasonable for the good stuff. Knowledgeable, easy going staff, too.

Recently, they've started having tasting parties--outdoors if the weather is nice. They also now serve beer on tap in the store. Yes, you can drink while you shop. I repeat: YOU CAN DRINK BEER WHILE YOU SHOP. And here I was thinking this place couldn't possibly get any better...

Photo of CBlack85
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The somewhat plain exterior of this place does nothing to even hint at the phenomenal selection of beer inside.

Once you step inside you will find a huge selection of craft beer. All of the larger craft breweries were well represented (DFH, Anchor, Brooklyn, Stone, Sierra Nevada, etc...), and they have a very respectable selection of Belgian, German, and English beers. They also have a terrific selection of NC beers; Duck Rabbit, Aviator, Mash House, Big Boss, Natty Greens, etc..., all at very reasonable prices.

I love the fact that they are willing to break up sixers to sell singles. The sales staff were friendly and helpful, and quick to offer suggestions based on the beers that I already had in my hands.

If I had a little more time, I could have easily spent an hour in here looking over all of the available options, and with the laid back vibe of the place, I would have felt comfortable doing so. Really a top notch place.

Photo of NCbeerpirate
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

If you haven't been to the mecca of all beers in NC, this is it. Just went there this past weekend with my future brother-in-law who has been telling me about this place forever. Quite a drive from Cary, but is well worth the drive. This place is astonishingly amazing. Knowledgable staff, and you're surround by beer enthusiasts like myself.

If you can't find a particular beer there, then that beer must not exist. This place has the largest and greatest selection in the triangle area. Their ever-revolving 5-4 taps allows you to take a taste or buy a whole pint. They even have an awesome glass selection from which you can buy. Over all, if you haven't been...GO NOW.

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Sam's Quik Shop in Durham, NC
100 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.