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Cap N Cork Liquor

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BA SCORE
89
very good

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 15.56%
[ Store ]

1674 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, California, 90027-5532
United States
phone: (323) 665-1260

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Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Rumrunner)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

I've stopped in here a handful of times over the last year, and while they frequently don't have what I came in expecting to find, I always leave with something I hadn't heard of before.

Per previous reviews, all of the beer is in a wall length refrigerated case, with each door largely corresponding to a geographical location, style, or bottle size. Quality is generally very good, although several beers don't seem to turn over very quickly, so be cautious when picking out a hefe or an ipa. On the other hand, I tend to find ales that are no longer in production as well - especially limited Belgian releases - though nothing super-rare.

Besides the single bottles, they have a wide selection of 4 and 6 packs, cans, cases, min-kegs, and so on - largely from the West Coast, but including several gems from Belgium, England, Australia, Germany, Austria, etc. Prices can be slightly high (e.g. Temptation runs almost $26; and they mark-up their top-shelf whiskey quite a bit), but overall they compare well to anywhere else in L.A.

Spirit selection is rather good, and while their single wall presentation is impressive (though I wouldn't want to be working there during a strong earthquake), it doesn't lend itself well to browsing.

Soft drinks, mixers, snacks, and a few groceries are here as well since they still try to maintain an identity as a neighborhood corner store rather than a specialized liquor emporium.

I get the impression the business is family run, so the person behind the counter can be a surly and condescending middle aged man, an earnest enthusiastic young man, a harried but kind matriarch, or any combination thereof.

Worth a visit if you are in or near the neighborhood - though try to keep an open mind about what you hope to find within.

augustgarage, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of bcarreon
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

The place was very easy to find and park in the rear of the building. What impressed me right away was the wall of liquor and spirits behind the cashier counter. There had to be hundreds of bottles, all with readable prices and labels. The rest of the store layout was organized and easy to maneuver through. I went in looking for Fantome and found it right away in numbered fridge lockers. This system allows the owner to point you in the right direction without having to leave the cashier counter. The owner was very helpful and knowledgeable on his inventory. I really enjoyed the experience and will likely come back again to look at the selection again.

bcarreon, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of FreightTrain
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

I found this to be a very good place to buy beer.

First, the beer selection was quite large by any standard and entirely refrigerated, which some people love and some hate, but I love it because I know the odds of my getting a skunked beer are reduced. The beer refrigerators wrap all the way around two long walls, and are well-lit and well-stocked.

When I visited, I found an ample selection of craft and import beers. Crafts they had at the time that I can remember: Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Port, AleSmith, Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Avery, RR (Devotion), Allagash, Anderson Valley, Victory, Deschutes, Stone, Greenflash, and others. They only had a handful of one-off or specialty beers from those brewers, but they had all of the primary offerings. The imports were also well picked (but I can't remember them as clearly), with plenty of good German, Belgian, and British options.

I was offered assistance from the staff and they thoughtfully packaged all of my purchases in cardboard wine boxes, even when I didn't have enough bottles to fill a whole case.

All in all, I was very pleased with Cap 'n Cork and all the bottles I've opened from there have been in great condition. I would love to have this as my local beer store.

FreightTrain, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

Visited on Monday afternoon, 06/23/08, at about 3:30pm.

The store is very clean and well organized. Almost all of the substantial floor space is dedicated to wine, and there are lots of spirits arrayed impressively on shelves behind the counter.

The beer is kept in coolers; I didn't count, but, if memory serves, they have about eight doors of craft beer. Impressive.

Lots of bombers, individual bottles and sixers of all the usual suspects that a moderately well-stocked LA area beer store carries. Nothing out of the ordinary (no Dogfish Head, Oskar Blues or Sprecher and very little Alesmith, Russian River, Lagunitas, Bear Republic or Ballast Point, for instance).

Decent selection of Belgian and German beers, and some nice English choices as well.

Even though I live only four miles away from this place, I don't think I'll be going back unless I'm much closer. And seeing as how I have never been to this neighborhood before, despite having lived in LA for 21 years...

A note about the service: I came up to the counter with $20.00 worth of beer and wanted to shop for more, but I really needed to use the restroom. I asked politely if I could use it, and the fellow behind the counter told me, "Sorry, no."

I told him it was a shame I couldn't buy more as I had to get to a restroom fast. This didn't sway him. I probably would have spent double that much if he'd have just let me pee in their restroom.

Maybe this is why I go so far out of my way to go to Walnut Liquor or Lone Hill - they never deny the bladder needs of their customers.

charlzm, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

I drop in here from time to time although its a bit out of my usual routes so it doesn't get near enough attention from me. The entire beer supply is stored in the wall lined coolers. The owner seemed eager to talk to me about his beer stock and pointed out some new seasonal offerings they just got in. Friendly guy and motivated. He also asked for any suggestions and I told him I'd take it easy on all the organic stuff and lean on some of the better local Micro's like ballast point, Lagunitas and maybe branch out for some east coast brews.

Selection: They carried 4 or 5 offerings from Stone and Rogue. 1 cooler was well stocked with some hard to find Belgians along with the usual suspects. I picked up some triple karamelite and a few bottles of poppering hommel. The biggest downside is the selection of American Micro's was decent at best. Tons of organic offerings from various brewers. They carried the line of Santa Cruz (Ughhh). They carry a line of SLO brewing (ehhh). I was excited to find Full Sail's LTD series in six packs, that was an easy choice.

Notes: Prices were on the high side especially considering there is a bevmo just a few miles away with a selection at least on par with this. Kind of a shitty part of town. Graffiti covered the bldg across the street from the cap n cork. Worthy of a stop.

DogFood11, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of uberabr
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

I went to Cap N' Cork today to pick up some beers I havn't been able to find. Their website listed about 10 or so that I wanted. When I got there, it was immediately obvious that they didn't have all the beers listed on the site. They have 1 wall of coolers full of beers...hardly enough for the thousands they have listed online.

I ended up not finding a SINGLE beer I had come for.

I talked to the manager, disappointed by their false advertisement. He said that they used to carry all those beers because they were a litle over ambitious when they first opened, but that they ended up having to throw most of them away due to lack of sales, and consequently they offer a relatively limited selection. I mentioned that I drove about 45 minutes to get there and didn't end up finding a single beer, and the guy gave me a half-assed "sorry." I then pointed out that they might want to change their website since it is just about completely wrong. No response.

This brings me to my next point: There is a psychological principle called the Sunk Cost effect. When someone drives an hour to get to a store because they supposedly have a large selection of rare beers, they will undoubtedly feel obligated to buy SOMETHING, even if they don't find anything they were actually looking for. They end up justifying the lost time by buying something they never wanted to begin with. I feel that Cap N Cork is, intentionally or not, utilizing this principle. Why havn't they changed their website? They've figured out that in sales, the number one priority is getting the customer there, it has nothing to do with the actual product. What a lame, immoral business game.

My last point: On top of not having the beers I came for, their selection of other beers was also sub-par. I couldn't find a single beer I'de like to try. Not a single Lagunitas, Stone, or Bear Republic beer. I guess if you're relatively un-established in the beer-tasting game, and you happened across this store, you'de be very impressed. To me, it was a let down. My local wine store has a much finer selection. Ironically, I found the Lagunitas I was looking for at a gas station on my way home.

What a lame store. I'll never return.

uberabr, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

This was my first visit to Cap N Cork. I'm used to holding out until my periodic trips to Long Beach to visit Vin de Pays, but after coming here, I may not need to go so far out of the way for good beer.

Their web site lists their massive array of offerings. I checked this against the first 25 or so of the Best of BA and found half a dozen I wanted to try. I also found several others I was curious about.

When I arrived at the store, I found that every single beer of interest that I found on their web site was also at the store. I can't speak to their service because I didn't need any--I just walked in, grabbed a basket, and started filling it. I ended up spending $80 on beer. It stung a bit, but I walked out with a couple of Trappistes Rochefort 10s, a Rochefort 8, a couple of Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Crus (what's the plural of Crus?), a St. Bernardus Abt. 12, an AleSmith Speedway Stout, and numerous other random selections.

They definitely had more of the top notch beers I wanted than Vin de Pays, but I get the feeling that their inventory is relatively static, so I may still be heading down to Long Beach to experiment on the unknown periodically.

I don't have a strong basis of comparison on price, but for quality of selection, this one is the best I've seen, definitely beating out BevMo. Again, I'm talking *quality*: BevMo might have *more* kinds of beer, but Cap N Cork has better options. And they're not so exclusive as to refuse to sell those delicious yellow assembly line beers we all know and love.

Based on a post I read on here this morning, I asked about the rumor that Three Floyds would be distributing there soon, and the cashier confirmed that this should come about in the next week or so, but he wasn't sure which of their offerings would show up (apparently someone else works there who is much more knowledgeable about beer). Could this be the first Three Floyds sighting on the west coast? I'm not sure, but it would definitely be my first sighting.

I read that Cap N Cork also serves food, but I didn't get there until almost 9:00 and the food area was closed, so I can't vouch for the quality. Not that I particularly cared...a 5 minute drive and I was eating paella and drinking sangria while my beer waited patiently for me in the trunk of my car. No wonder I feel like the bottom of a shoe this morning.

instrumentality, May 31, 2006
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Fantastic! Best place to find quality beer in LA that I've found so far. Great selection of singles in all different styles. Not to mention a decent selection of good beers in six-pack as well. The prices are really low. I picked up a 22oz of Alesmith, Young's, Charles Wells and St.Peter's for $15. Oh yeah, there's also wine, snacks, sodas and a deli.

(Anecdotal aside: Two buddies were grabbing stuff while I was here. The first one just bought chips and a soda. The second was in search of the perfect beer for the evening. The first one got impatient and said to his friend, "Come on dude, you're not buying a car!". The second one totally ignored the comment, left his friend standing there and kept on looking until he found the right one. I say hooray for him! Don't bow down to pressure! Clearly quality beer is more important than a jerk, i mean, friend like that!)

JayTheFinn, May 01, 2006
Photo of Naerhu
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%

I always come to this place when in Los Angeles, as this is the only game in Hollywood (excepting Bevmo). They have two things going for them that Bevmo doesnt, 1) really knowledgeable staff, one of whom, I hear is a BA, and 2) you can buy singles where that is often not the case at Bevmo.

Their staff is always really friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. They have even offered to ship to Japan especially for me. And gave me packing advice and always give me free packing materials (cardboard boxes and those shrimpy styrofoam things) for the beer I had purchased.

They always have Stone, Unibroue, and all the other usual suspects (listed in the other reviews), so I alwasy buy a couple dozen bottles to take back to Japan with me.

Naerhu, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%

After reading the other two reviews I made a point to visit this place. They didn't steer me wrong! This is a very impressive liquor store, I'd say a little better than Galco's in terms of selection and pricing, with a slightly less friendly staff, but with much better storage. I definitely make a point to stop by whenever I'm out in Los Feliz or Silver Lake. Highlights: obscure Belgian imports at very reasonable prices and a good range of the usual west coast staples (Rogue, Stone, North Coast, Lost Coast, Lagunitas, etc.), plus some very, very pleasant surprises (Hitachino Nest, Ommegang, Victory, and Fat Tire!). Storage is excellent, everything is refrigerated in the back. The only downside is that you can't buy singles.

Definitely worth the trip! They also have a decent array of wines... and just about every liquor under the sun.

soulgrowl, Dec 05, 2005
Cap N Cork Liquor in Los Angeles, CA
89 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.