Arena Liquor

Arena LiquorArena Liquor
Arena LiquorArena Liquor

3101 S Providence Rd
Columbia, Missouri, 65203-3696
United States

(573) 443-3144 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 15
Photo of MTNboy
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

While passing through Columbia I only had time to hit up place and I made it this store. It wasn’t bad. The service was helpful and nice. I even got directions. The selection was pretty good a lot of the bigger bottles of craft beer and a wide variety of six packs. They carried a lot of imports from Asia, Europe and Latin America. I would have to say their craft brew selection was the best I had seen in Columbia. They do have the beer out in an area where it gets al lot of light and the store could be a bit cleaner but that is my only complaint.

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Photo of Fromm
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I'm visiting a buddy in Columbia, MO and I thought I'd see what was out there selection wise. I've been to Hyvee and Patricias IGA, but the selection is so much better at Arena Liquor. I came out expecting to get some good Odells and New Belgium, but I discovered so much more. I found some limited release Founders Blushing Monk, Double Jack (I liked this more that Pliney, but it might have been a bad one), Some good Mikeller. I was on a mission to find Mercenary and there it was. So as far as best beer selection in Columbia, I'd say check out Arena Liquor.

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Photo of given2flybrewing
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This store probably has the best selection of beer in Columbia, and luckily, I only live a mile away from it. It is a gas station first and foremost, but inside you'll find three isles pack full of beers, as well as a back wall of coolers. They have pretty much anything you can buy in terms of Missouri distribution (Bells, Founders, Firestone Walker, Stone, BLVD, Schlafly, Odells, New Belgium, as well as a large selection of Belgian and other European beers etc...). The employees don't seem to know much about beer though, so I wouldn't waste your time asking questions.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%

Arena Liquor is a place that I drove by dozens of times before I even noticed it was there. Truth be told, it isn't just a liquor store: the actual business I wanted to use that day was the Shell Station it's located inside. I pumped my gas, went inside, and kind of froze on the spot. Inside, it's fairly dimly lit, with the exception of the coolers lining the wall. Beer was all over the place. Pretty neat thing for me to realize.

The upside is the good selection they have going on there. The usual presence of Boulevard, Schlafly's, O'Fallon, Fuller's, Samuel Smith's, Sam Adams, etc. is there, along with all of the Belgian standards you'd come to expect. They're all there and they're always available... I've only had problems with stock once or twice, and that was with a Unibroue product. They upkeep isn't all that great, and I've found an old beer there more than once. It's not a surprise to me at all; the place just a has a weird vibe like that.

The real downside about Arena is its location. You get the same service you'd expect to get from a gas station. Friendly guys behind the counter, but they won't go out of their way to come greet you. Once I went there a couple of times, they started to recognize me and ask how I was, but beyond that, I'm by myself on beer hunt. So it goes.

That being said, it's definitely a good place to check out. If you're in Columbia for one reason or another, it'd be a good place to step foot in and see if they have any beer that you couldn't find anywhere else in the area. If it's a decently well-known craft brewery, there's a good chance they'll carry the beer. Not a bad store overall.

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Photo of number1bum
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

I visited this store twice while I was in Columbia last week and was very pleasantly surprised. This is basically a Shell gas station but also a very nice liquor store. The sign out front advertised more than 550 beers and the quality and selection were quite good. Had a pretty full line of Boulevard including Smokestack, locals like O'Fallon, Cathedral Square and Augusta. Plenty of other interesting stuff from Odell, Ska, Southern Tier, etc etc. Pretty good selection of imports too. On my two visits I was not offered any help, although I did not ask either. Still, I was in the store for a good bit of time and no one seemed remotely interested in helping. Oh well, I'll certainly visit again, and it doesn't hurt that prices are extremely reasonable either. Very solid beer store.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

Arena is definitely a shady-looking establishment, as it's in a sorta rundown gas station at a very busy intersection. You'd expect this kind of place to be the typical "porn and 40's" kind of place that seems omnipresent in a big college town, and while it does have plenty of both of the aforementioned, they also have some good brews, and a LOT of them.
You can get all the typical larger craft beers that are available in MO (New Belgium, Sam Adams, Rogue, etc) in addition to a lot of the Bells brews, nearly the full Ommegang line, a full line of (semi-local) Schlafly and Boulevard beers, plenty of Avery, Southern Tier, Rogue, Arcadia, He'brew, etc bombers, probably 100+ craft and import 6-packs, and a farily decent selection of single bottles from Germany, England, Belgium, etc. All in all, this gas station is probably the best selection in town.
Service is good and bad. It's great in the fact that they want to help you (they had Southern Tier's Creme Brulee still in the boxes and not out on the shelves, but opened some just for me), and they also do returns/exchanges for bad beer (which some places don't do, sadly), but it's bad in that it's mostly young (college age) kids running it and, while they're friendly, they don't know much about beer if you need help.
If you know what you're after, however, it's definitely worth the stop, and worth checking back frequently to see what's newly in. (I recently discovered Jolly Pumpkin and Anderson Valley there).

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Photo of Tone
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%

Arena Liquor is a shell gas station/service station/beer store. Family owned and to my knowledge only one member can really speak and understand English to a high degree. This makes it hard to ask questions and get any feedback. The place is usually busy any time of the day with the employees tied up dealing with the convenience store and gas station mostly. Added a mix-a-six-pack refrigerated section this year - not a wide selection here but its a good start. Overall, many types of imports and domestic. They have a large refrigerated section along with many on shelves. They advertise over 500 different types of beer at any one time. The best in Columbia by far.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%

I decided to drop by the last time that I was in Columbia. The service was really non existent. No one asked if I needed help or was looking for anything in particular. It was a little busy so I chalked it up to them helping other people. The selection is stellar for Columbia. They have the best selection of better beer in central Missouri. Now, I'm not saying it can compare to really good liquor stores, but for the area its great. Bells, Odells, New Belgium, Rogue, a very good selection of imports. I was really impressed when I was in there. The value seemed pretty good. The prices all seemed in line with what I pay in KC. The only thing I can say is that I wish this place had been what it is now, when I lived in Columbia.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

Nice place, got better than average service from the guys there. Found a nice number of locals in the coolers, as well as warm. Specials from Shafly, other MO. locations I've never seen, decent ones from Belgium, but I can get those in Chicagoland so I focused on the locals. They did have mini-kegs (5 liters) of Bells Two Hearted and Oberon, great find, got one and had it with some of the folks who were in Columbia for the diving meet. Very sweet. Also, the form-your-own 6 pack was decent, for $10 the selection was OK, I managed to fill one sixer up, but that was it. Like I said, decent, but there are no stores that do this in IL, so it was great. I didn't even ending up stop in St. Louis, got all I wanted here, so recommended!

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Photo of beerN3RD
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%

I found some beers that i have been looking for at this place. I was just there yesterday and the sign said something about having 550 beers. I couldn't see that, but i did find a lot of good ones. They have a bunch of 550ml bottles or bigger. Definately organized nice a neat. The prices was hard to find on some of these beers, but i managed to get most of them i think. The service was way lame though. I was in there for about 30 to 45 minutes and the guy that worked there walked by me twice and never asked me if i needed any help. He also said "Hopslam is a Hoppy beer" well no duh genius! I picked up some hopslam while i was there(great beer by the way). But at $13.99 for a 6 pack i was surprised. Good Selection. Crappy Service. Pricey. I will go back though because of the selection.

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Photo of zeff80
2.48/5  rDev -31.3%
vibe: 1.25 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.25

UPDATE: Feb 2016 - This place has really slipped. Lots of old bottles sit. Frequently, I find beers that are no longer in our market. It's, maybe, the 10th best place to shop for beer in town.

I've been shopping at Arena Liquor for several years and just got around to reviewing it. The selection and quality is very good but the service is lacking.

They boast having over 500 beers and I believe it. Tons of singles of Belgian, German and British beers. Plus they have some 4 packs of some Belgians, too. The prices are always comparable to the other stores in the area. Never had any quality problems.

As for the service...once I picked up two six-packs and instead of charging my MC $14 they charged me $140. It took quite a while to correct the problem. The service was good once. I was picking up a Chimay and the chashier told me I could get a cold one from the cooler. Not bad.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

I used to live in Columbia and I wish this store had been there during the period of my residence. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but better than anything else in the area when I was there.

A decent selection of Belgian beer, nothing rare. A decent selection of American brews, nothing rare, etc. You won't find any hard to locate brews here, but you'll surely find some old favorites and fall backs.

I'm not sure why they have the beer shelves in front, facing the large store front windows, but I've only purchased one skunky beer from Arena-- which was probably pretty old judging from the updated label I've seen since.

I wouldn't say this would be a store worth a long drive to, but it's worth stopping by if you're in the area.

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Arena Liquor in Columbia, MO
Place rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 15 ratings