Blackwell's Wines & Spirits

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Blackwell's Wines & SpiritsBlackwell's Wines & Spirits
30 Ratings
Blackwell's Wines & SpiritsBlackwell's Wines & Spirits

Type: Store

5620 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, California, 94121-2215
United States

(415) 386-9463 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by axisjones on 05-20-2005

View: Place Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of CMC1991
1/5  rDev -75.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

Photo of LaurenPurtell
1/5  rDev -75.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

Absolutely terrible customer service. I would not recommend online orders.

74 characters

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of SanFranJake
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I used to shop here almost daily when I lived in the Richmond District.
Six to seven coolers of solid selections and some harder to find stuff, as well as two to three floor shelves of higher octane 750's bombers, 375's and 12's.
While it's more of a wine and liquor space, the beer selection was (and may still be) solid and decent prices. But I've also seen what he marks stuff up to on-line because he can ship. Supply and demand I guess...?
I saw the owner today in a local grocery store, not in San Francisco, and while I can't be certain, I think he was buying off of their shelves for his shelves. There was no justifiable reason why a shop owner would have bought the beers he did.
My rating is based on the chance that he is pulling this low-brow move. I'd like to believe otherwise but I'm going with my gut.
That being said, the sales staff was always nice (except one guy who I got fired for going off on me on some rant about my Adidas jumper and track pants) and even if he IS poaching other shops, the selection is solid.

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Photo of fuhkyou
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

The owner, Gary Blackwell is a hands on and very conscious person to deal with. This outfit is quick and efficient with FedEx orders, and if something isn't right they will make it right, and I mean right now.
A complete pleasure to do business with.
I would NOT recommend however having anything shipped between approx mid April through October due to the fact it might sit in the shipper's truck in 90 degree heat AND in the sun over the weekend or during transportation.

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Photo of walt5
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Eziel
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of AlexFields
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Jess_sour_girl
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of breathmint
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Clint_Yoho
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of YoudownwithABV
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Dweedlebug
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of terence
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Blackwell's Wine & Spirits is a fantastic shop with a smart and friendly staff. Craft beer selection is excellent and ranks up there with Healthy Spirits and Ales Unlimited. Parking is slightly easier to find in this area than most of SF's bottle shops.

They do a great job of rotating there beers and often have some of the harder to find stuff like Russian River and Cantillon.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Blackwell's is a very nice store, albeit kind of out of the way of virtually anything else, as far as craft beer goes. However, one of the better sushi spots in town is around here, as are a ton of Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other restaurants that you might enjoy if that's your thing. Mayflower has a location here (I get down to the Silicon Valley location in Milpitas once in a while with family) too, so if you like dim sum, there ya go.

Selection wasn't the largest around, but that is find. There is attention to quality, instead of attention to quantity. I never really need much assistance in the stores anymore, but the woman working there who was stocking seemed very ready to help out and looking to spread the good news to whoever would take the time.

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Photo of WesM63
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I lived in NW Ohio and as such don't have access to the California (or west coast for that matter) craft brewing scene, as you can imagine.

A few hours scouring the net for various Russian River beers landed me on Blackwell's website. Not the most user friendly, but it wasn't until after my initial web order did I get the full benefit's that is Blackwell's.

The email based newsletter!

Gary sends them out with new and limited releases as well as the rest of the craft beer selection.

First I searched the website for said new and limited releases mentioned in the newsletter to no avail. Finally I tried the old fashioned method of responding to the email with my "verbal" order.

Gary responded back in person with acknowledgement and even notified me when his shipment of Wooky Jack was delayed. (Turns out it was only delayed a few hours)

Selection is top notch, prices are reasonable (in line with other places I've bought locally), service and quality is above and beyond.

I know where i'll be ordering all my west coast craft beers from, from now on.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Blackwell's in an all-around ideal dream corner store for beer geeks and wine enthusiasts alike. I stumbled upon it on my various early frustrating journeys in attempting to find a nice bottle of Pliny throughout SF. However, when walking into the store for the first time, I felt that I had uncovered my very first treasure chest that beer geeks first uncover in their lifelong adventure of beer tasting.

My God, the selection! I found all kinds of beers by Trappist breweries and craft breweries from Rochefort to Russian River to the Lost Abbey for the first time in my life. Or, at least, the first time I decided to pay attention to their beers when visiting corner stores. I was assisted by one of the full-time employees at the time, a kooky looking character with long white hair, who proceeded to educate me about different Belgian styles and how they can be aged, as well as furthering my knowledge on imperial IPAs.

After various returns, employees at the store begin to identify me as the "Pliny Guy" and always asked me to check out their awesome wine selection as well. Whenever I have the chance to go here, the experience is very intimate and nice. Not all of the people here are full beer experts, but they always know what to recommend you if you want to try something new. Plus, this store very well organized, clean, and it's easy to tell that a lot of love was put into its crafty selection of beverages. A great store!

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Photo of NorCalgrowler
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I joined Blackwell's email list which is the way to go. You get emails about some limited rlease beers etc that a lot of stores just dont get their hands on. Their beer selection is decent for northern California but is not the center of their stock. Bourbons, whiskeys, and wines are their best attribute. Spectacular selection of all of them. I found out about them when I was searching for a store that might carry Templeton Rye - an Iowa prohibition style rye whiskey only distributed in 4 states. They carried it. And I was grateful they did. They even shipped me 2 bottles across the bay for not much more than the bridge toll. Well worth a visit!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Blackwell's Wine and Spirits carries a wonderful selection of Lost Abbey, Russian River, Stone, Ballast Point, Deschutes, Port, Avery, Oskar Blues, and many other American craft beers. Additionally, they offer a variety of delectable foreign brews, including La Chouffe, Rodenbach, Gouden Carolus, Rochefort, Aecht Schlenkerla, Aventinus, and more.

The customer service is simply second to none. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. It's quite refreshing to deal with people who are both competent and amiable.

Prices are very reasonable, and I have yet to see a better deal.

Blackwell's carries a variety of fabulous beers, has great customer service, and very reasonable prices. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I have been shopping at Blackwell's for about a year now. There are many good reasons to visit this Outer Richmond store if you are into great beer. Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Racer 5 and Green Flash West Coast IPA are four of their regulars. They also have a rotating selection of various American beers like Consecration, 2 Turtle Doves, Abyss and Black Butte XXI.

In addition to the American craft beers, there are also a great number of Belgian, German and British imports. Chimay, Duvel, Gulden Draak and of course many more.

If wine is your thing, there is an army of wine bottles at your disposal as well as frequent wine tastings.

The service is top-notch; there is always someone ready to help if you have a question. If you live in the neighborhood or are just visiting The City, come check out the selection. You will not leave empty-handed.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Liz and I rolled in here on Saturday in search of a good six pack for the beach. Unfortunately, the sixers were a little pricey (as were all of the beers), so we went to Martell's across the street instead. That's not where the story ends though. Several bottles in Blackwell's Wine & Spirits caught my eye, so I made sure to come back the next day (yesterday).

So what makes this place worthy of an "A"? Well, first off, it's a very classy little wine store that's got a nice feel to it. Everything is very clean and chic, and all of the beers being sold are near the top of their respective classes. Also, the beers are kept in the very back of the store, where sunlight could never reach. The majority of the beers are kept in coolers too, and those few that aren't are high ABV Belgians (which do just fine without refrigeration). I don't think it gets any higher quality than that.

As for the selection, I found the likes of Temptation, Consecration, Pliny, Blind Pig, Cantillon Classic Gueuze and Rosé De Gambrinus, Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, etc. As you probably picked up on, they specialize in Belgians and have a fine selection of sours. I would have liked to see some more imperial stouts, barleywines, and imperial IPAs, but I was very happy with what I saw on the shelves.

The service varied. We were stuck with a very snobby young lady the first day who straight-up ignored me twice! (I was trying to ask her when the store hours were.) Luckily, her coworker stepped in and helped me out. This guy was cool. I talked to him more yesterday when I came back to get some Temptation. He was very friendly and seemed to know his shit about beer, though he claimed to be pretty green when it came to sours (same as me). We chatted for a bit and I left a happy customer.

I'll likely be back to this place again, but only for some of the rare specialties. Blackwell's is on the pricey side, and I'd rather buy my staple brews elsewhere.

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Photo of Gilmango
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

I am really lucky to have this great store in my neighborhood, turns out it opened up less than a year before I moved to the Richmond District. They stock a great range of quality beers, and liquors into this space and their wine selection is better still.

For the Richmond District the selection is amazing and pricing is very fair, that said they are not quite the "destination" beer store that City Beer is. There prices are on par with City Beer, BevMo and Whole Foods and cheaper than Healthy Spirits.

They are not afraid to think independently, so you will barely find any BMC here, and they do not even bother stocking the whole line of most craft beers that you see in grocery stores. Instead they stock great products you rarely see at groceries and other neighborhood stores, like Belgians, RRBC's whole line, etc. For wine and spirits they have a special knack for stocking great value products that you won't find elsewhere.

Nearly everything is refrigerated but they also have a shelf with age worthy beers at room temperature.

Because they are not a "destination" spot they sometimes manage to keep things in stock longer than other spots. For instance they have had Consecration or Beatification or Abyss or Damnation 23 in stock long after those sold out at City Beer.

Very friendly and knowledgable staff and owners, they tend to greet every customer and ask if they need help but otherwise leave you alone if you want to look on your own.

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Photo of popery
3.9/5  rDev -6%

I recently stopped in at Blackwell's for the first time. I will update my scores based on future visits. I didn't get a chance to talk about beer with anyone there, but they were very nice while ringing me up and didn't crowd me while I perused their selection. The store is largely dedicated to wine with a good-sized selection of hard liquor. I know next to nothing about wine and nothing about any liquor besides whiskeys, so I can't really comment on those sections. I will say that the store is very aesthetically pleasing and, unlike many stores in San Francisco, quite spacious. It's not a huge store, but everything is laid out well with plenty of room between displays. The wine is attractively displayed and the hard liquor is, well, on a wall of shelves but I'm not sure how that could really be improved.

The beer selection is on the small side, but everything that they stock is high quality. They have some short descriptions for the beer, which is always nice. While the selection could be larger, I visited the day after going to Healthy Spirits, which is my new favorite store and packed to the gills with variety, so the comparison is certainly coloring my judgment on that. That said, they had a few bottles not available at City Beer or Healthy Spirits, so it's certainly not too shabby. On my next visit, I'll try to strike up a conversation with the staff and revise my service score.

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Blackwell's Wines & Spirits in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 30 ratings