Benz Beverage Depot

Benz Beverage DepotBenz Beverage Depot
Benz Beverage DepotBenz Beverage Depot

501 7th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52401-2132
United States

(319) 365-2556 | map

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Ratings by CopperMtnPlowboy:
Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
Reviewed by CopperMtnPlowboy from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
Visited the area from Ohio to watch some baseball. Shelves are very clean, well lit building, friendly (not pushy) staff. If you're looking for the macro beers, this is not the place to go - but if you want locals and craft - this is an excellent choice. There were plenty of wine selections, too - but I'm not into that. I was looking for local beers in cans and purchased several Big Grove and Singlespeed six-packs plus a six of Destihl - all fresh dates. Plenty of other selections from Boulder, Avery, Oskar Blues, Revolution, and ReUnion to name a few of many. The also offer chilled singles of many of the local brews.

If I'm ever back in the area, I'll be sure to visit again.
Jun 04, 2019
More User Ratings:
Photo of dcotom
Reviewed by dcotom from Iowa

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
What's not to like? This place offers a great selection of wines, craft beers, and spirits of all types. The craft selection includes many local and regional brews, plus a decent complement of imports including several Trappist offerings. If you're a wine aficionado, or if you need some obscure flavor of bitters, you can no doubt find what you're looking for here. They have pretty much everything, including gifts and food baskets. It's not too far from I-380. Be sure to stop by if you're passing through.
Thursday at 12:38 AM
Photo of emerge077
Reviewed by emerge077 from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Great selection in a slightly out of the way location. Warehouse-style store with wire rack shelving, fairly clean and well organized with a couple exceptions. The import shelves were pretty dusty, and the local Iowa beer was located far from the rest of the general "designated beer area". I went back in the cooler twice and didn’t see any IA stuff.

Selection was pretty deep, all things considered. 4-5 Fantome, ‘17 Orval, numerous Sheltony imports. The Iowa shelf had 100 beers easy. Overall I was impressed.

Service was friendly but limited to the register. The staff were all in an employee room past the register, having a pow-wow or maybe a meeting. There were like 6 people in there and no one on the floor. Regardless, it was a good stop and probably the best game in town. Hy-Vee might be a dollar cheaper on high volume stuff, but Benz has a better selection.
Aug 02, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by hoosier222002 from Illinois

Jun 29, 2017
Rated: 4.66 by Logopoho

Mar 31, 2016
Rated: 4.83 by Cdutch83

Mar 04, 2016
Rated: 4.42 by jpuetz from South Dakota

Jan 28, 2016
Rated: 4.43 by EricSloan from Iowa

Feb 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by KAF from Iowa

Nov 09, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by beersdmf17 from Illinois

Sep 23, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by redblacks75 from Iowa

Sep 19, 2014
Rated: 4 by Bkoop from Iowa

Jun 13, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
Reviewed by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5
From Chicago to Waterloo, Iowa, and a quick stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Museum of Art, Grant Wood, a still-ravaged city not quite recovering from the 2008 flood, two Louis Sullivan buildings... and a beer store!

Looks like a warehouse, inside and out. But it's filled with goodies! You got your gourmet meats and cheeses, snacks (delicious rice crackers), chocolate and you name it. A ton of wine and booze and a sizable beer selection with a great selection of locals.

The build-your-own pack section doesn't have a lot of stuff but I got some singles from Midwest breweries. There's also a walk-in cooler with mostly macros, a six-pack section and a nice selection of bombers.

Some names I spotted... Peace Tree from Iowa, Lucky Bucket from Nebraska, Boulevard. Potosi from Wisconsin, James Page, Summit from Minnesota, Bells (Expedition, Kalamazoo in packs), Lucky Bucket Certified Evil (great name!).

Also a shelf with lots of Belgian brews, a Euro shelf with Nogne, British and Russian beers and a ton of Mikkeller bombers and singles (the hop story). Laughing Dog and Lips of Faith too.

Oh, and what about New Jersey's Cricket Hill, which you can't find outside of Jersey??? Weird!

I bought two bottles of Peace Creek Imperial Stout ($2.50 a bottle) and some Midwest singles (Potosi, Summit).

Prices were all over. The Midwest singles were cheap, the bombers were more on the average (aka pricey) side. Wine was a tad expensive, or no better than other states. And the gourmet food was pricey. Not too bad but maybe a tad too much for Iowa.

Service was nonexistent in the aisles, but friendly at the registers. A good quality stop if you need some local brews in Cedar Rapids.
Sep 05, 2011
Photo of beerwolf77
Reviewed by beerwolf77 from Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
I stopped in here recently while in town for a fellow BA's wedding. Very happy I did.

As we pulled up I saw the warehouse style building and my pulse raced. I imagined pallets of beer as far as my eyes could see. Well it wasn't quite that but it was rather impressive. One entire wall dedicated to craft. With a fairly large ice cold walk in freezer as well. All the local options were well represented. As well as the typical Midwest brews. The imports were plentiful save for the usual no shows. IE Cantillon.

The people working were extremely helpful and friendly. My wife was looking for a nice wine for her dad and the clerk spent some serious time showing her a vast array of stuff that he might like. I was asked several times if I needed anything as well.

Most everything I picked up had a reasonable date on it so no complaints there. Prices seemed more than fair.

Overall a must stop if you are in town or passing through.
Jun 21, 2011
Photo of mynie
Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Stopped by for a tasting during craft beer week. Apparently they're always doing tastings, now. Figures. Soon as I move away, things get cool.

Still, I had always hear this place was an unfriendly warehouse. I heard wrong. It's the size of a warehouse, yes, and I suppose it's not as friendly as John's, but the decor is warm and welcoming. It's kind of like an uppity version of a Binny's--a big selection with an almost Whole Food-ish vibe. There's track lighting, the products come in decorative racks, and the floor is wood paneled.

So far as domestics go, if they sell it in Iowa you can probably find it here. Belgian and foreign selection is tight, though not as tight as John's. Decent selection of rares and one-offs, too, and most of the lower-ABV beers are properly refrigerated.

Well, I feel kind of like a dumbass for never coming here when I lived a half hour away...
Jun 05, 2011
Photo of rundocrun
Reviewed by rundocrun from Iowa

4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Atmosphere: While the building is not impressive from the outside, once you step in, it's a wonderland of shiny glass bottles (something that gets my heart racing every time I see it). While they have lots and lots of wine, the east and south walls are entirely devoted to beer.

Quality: Of course they carry the usual bud, bud light, etc... but for the most part, quality beers are represented on the shelves. Not only the year-round offerings from breweries, but the special one-off or seasonal offerings too. Many big bottles too.

Service: I didn't really get a chance to experience the service side of things while I was there (only had time to stop long enough to gaze over their selection and snatch up a New Belgium La Folie).

Selection: I counted 4 of the 7 trappist breweries represented on the shelves. Lots of imports as well as American craft beer selections. They have another section almost entirely devoted to Iowa beers.

Everything seemed fairly priced. Obviously some more expensive beers, simply because they cost more to make.
Jun 01, 2011
Photo of LeroyJohn
Reviewed by LeroyJohn from Iowa

5/5  rDev +17.1%
Great selection of all kinds of beer, and also an ever growing selection. They have recently extended the beer selection to almost the entire back wall of the store, plus their walk in cooler. Always quick on keg orders (usually order on Tuesday and pickup on Wednesday.) Matt and the gang at Benz are always very helpful and know the answer to most any question. If they don't have something you're looking for, you better believe Matt will be on the phone that day checking with his sources to find what you're looking for. This is the best place in town for whatever you need.
Aug 25, 2010
Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
Reviewed by BehindtheFinBrew from Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
Benz Beverage Depot has a fantastic selection of just about everything, including beer. The building is an off purple color in downtown Cedar rapids. There are numerous varieties of higher end wine and spirits in addition to a wall of beer and a walk in cooler which advertises 60+ kegs.

The beer selection is impressive with several single bottle selections as well as 6 packs and a build your own 6pack cooler. I will say the build your own section was less than ideal givent he other quality beers they have solo. The amount of Belgian beer is impressive with St. Bernardus, Westmalle, Trappist Rochefort, Duvel and as well as other well known Belgian breweries. They have a nice selection of German beers as well having a variety of Hacker Pschorr and Weihenstephaner brews. There are some other singles from England (Samuel Smiths, Wynchwood, and St. Peters). My only gripe is the lack of American offerings in the single bottle area. In my search for an IPA I was only able to find ONE 6-pack of Lucky-U IPA from Breckenridge. This was the only offered IPA. Regardless, Benz is a hopheads playground and a fantastic place to load up your beer cellar. I will definitely be going back.
Mar 04, 2010
Photo of daledeee
Reviewed by daledeee from Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
Everybody talks about how much room the wine takes up vs. beer etc. WELL, that's because it stacks and packs!! Wine has to be laid out with label up. How tedious!! This store does pretty well for selection. They have many beers tucked in the corner. The Belgian selection is good. The American micro and imported section is good. They also took my suggestion about trying to get some of the beers that I know are good and are also accepted on this site. This place is modern looking and was remodeled before opening. A big focus on food, but I must say, the food is way out of line. Some of the food is available at certain large discount grocery stores who shall go unnamed. I am only reviewing the beer here and not the food though. Beer prices are in line considering the bureaucracy a beer store must go through in Iowa to market anything over 6% ABV. Handy for me; only 3 miles away!!
Jan 05, 2008
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
Reviewed by JudgeRoughneck from Louisiana

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
This is a large gourmet food store with lots of wine and fancy-pants kitchen gagetry and way more salsa and cheese spreads and cocktail rimmings and what not than I thought possible to gather under one roof. I'd say about a fifth of the store is dedicated to beer and as far as the selection goes its definately a quality over quantity approach, but all the beer is definately fresh and I overheard a (I assume) manager telling a customer they wouldn't stock certain beer that nobody would buy because they won't sell old beer. I thought that was refreshing. They have great big cold section of singles and a good deal on mixed sixes.

I went to one of their tastings, which they charge ten dollars for, but you get to try like 20 beers, you get five dollars off whatever you buy that night. Everyone was very friendly and informed about the beers they were serving. They have a winery/distillery renting a tasting room in the same building so I got to taste that stuff too, which was all great. Basically for under 20 bucks I got totaste tons of stuff, bring home fancy cheese, and a mixed six, and a belly-full of goodness. I'd say thats a good trip.
Apr 05, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
Reviewed by neonbrown82 from Nebraska

3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
I finally got a chance to check this place out on my way back from the butcher in Cedar Rapids (I just purchased a new grill yesterday, and I had to buy some specialty meats for the inaugural flame). Quite a swanky little place in what seems to be a not-so-swanky little neighborhood, though most of Cedar Rapids looks (and smells) like shit anyways... I must say, I was a bit impressed by the place, though.

The store is all very new and modern looking. The big blue warehouse is filled with all kinds of wine and liquor, but I didn't spend any time checking it out as I was here to check out the beer, which is limited to a decent sized corner of the store, including a walk-in cooler. On the outside wall of the walk-in there is an adjoining cooler that contains all of the single bottles, and just around the corner from that is the import selection. From my count, there were approximately 1/2 a dozen beers not available at John's Grocery back home in Iowa City, but nothing too exciting (I ended up picking up an amber by Grand Teton).

Many of the beers were resting atop BA shelf-talker tabs, which was quite positive, but other than that there seemed to be an utter lack of service, especially when it came to beer knowledge. I was wearing a BA shirt even, but I would doubt the women at the check-out even noticed the BA tags on the shelf with all they seemed to care about beer.

I might shop here again if I'm in the area, but I don't think it is worth the drive from Iowa City on its own. The butcher I mentioned earlier is another story, however... best ribs ever... I may just be in the neighborhood again soon.
Aug 30, 2005
Photo of hero27
Reviewed by hero27 from Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
You can't miss the big blue warehouse. Inside, the place is dimly lit and is the definition of "trendy". Store obviously seems dedicated to wine and "uppity" selections of meat, cheese, and chocolates. All their craft beer is located in the far right corner (from the entrance). They have the ever-popular "make-your-own" six-packs, and other beers on shelves outside the cooler.

The selection isn't bad. I estimate around 160+ different beers..mostly American micros & English ales. There were some other European offerings..I noticed some Chimay and a few German selections, but nothing too out-of-the-ordinary. With the minor drawback of half of it being dedicated to macros, the walk-in cooler is pretty sweet as well. They have a few brews stored in there that they don't have on the shelves outside. I noticed Goose Island 312 Wheat, DFH 60 minute, and DFH Shelter Pale, and some Pony Express beers (some I haven't seen in Iowa until now). Their Rogue selection is definitely respectable as well.

I just happened to be wearing my BeerAdvocate shirt, and spent a good 20-30 minutes picking through every beer they had..but not one person asked me if I needed any help or even said "hi" for that matter. And the store was far from busy when I stopped in. Given, I may have stopped in at a bad time (I understand that), but I didn't get any service that I would qualify as "above average". I will update the review accordingly if I get better service next time I stop in.

Overall, it's far and away the best place to get beer in the Cedar Rapids area..and a nice little beer oasis nestled halfway between John's Grocery in Iowa City & HyVee Wine & Spirits in Cedar Falls.
Jul 18, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
Reviewed by orbitalr0x from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
I was out in Cedar Rapids for my great grandma's 100th birthday and I figured I'd stop by Benz...and I'm quite happy I did. The store is located on a corner in downtown Cedar Rapids and upon entering has a very nice gourmet liqour/beer store vibe with nice dim lighting and a warm interior. Everything is well laid out with plenty of space to move around. The back right corner is dedicated to brew and they have a wall of sixers and bottles...including a nice variety of Rogue bombers. On top of this there is a walk-in cooler with a nice selection of micros (check out the Millstream Colony Oatmeal Stout) as well as a large selection of singles so you can make your own sixer. The staff was very friendly and were excited to hear that I found thier store here and came all the way from Chicago to check it out! I think this is probably the only store in Cedar Rapids to get some good if you find yourself in the area be sure to take the time to stop and check it out.
Feb 07, 2005
Benz Beverage Depot in Cedar Rapids, IA
Place rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 24 ratings