American Beer Distribution Company

American Beer Distribution CompanyAmerican Beer Distribution Company
American Beer Distribution CompanyAmerican Beer Distribution Company

256 Court St
Brooklyn, New York, 11231-4405
United States

// CLOSED //

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Ratings by brdc:
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Reviewed by brdc from Wisconsin

2.9/5  rDev -30%
This is a place with a very unassuming facade, you would not imagine what they have inside: lots of different beers, from crafts to multiple imports. Really impressive selection.
Service depends on luck - although they are all very nice, most of them don't have a clue about beer, so you have to pick on your own.
My only problem, however, is quality - first, there are a few expired beers on the shelf.
Second, some are spoiled - I bought 14 different beers, and two of them were just awful ("sun struck"). Not awful beers, I know them both, just spoiled, poorly stored, since both are suitable for long term cellaring.
Dec 06, 2006
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by Caesars0331 from New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75
I used to get growlers filled every Friday. Always had one or two Carton's on tap. Sadly, they closed down at the beginning of this year. Another place in Brooklyn gone along with Bierkraft.
Jul 30, 2015
Rated: 4.16 by botanu from Oregon

Sep 22, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by gory4d from Texas

Sep 04, 2014
Rated: 3.96 by dangelop from New York

Aug 28, 2014
Rated: 4 by SkiBum22 from New York

Jun 20, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by evil_liver from Canada (ON)

Jun 10, 2014
Rated: 4 by metter98 from New York

Mar 28, 2014
Rated: 4 by hoppymcgee from Maine

Feb 19, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by -NESTO- from New Jersey

Feb 18, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by WheelsPSU from New Jersey

Nov 23, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by JLapadura from New York

Nov 01, 2013
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Reviewed by GJ40 from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75
I stopped by while in town on business. The space is good and there was quite a selection but it wasn't well organized. I made a few laps through and hadn't found anything I couldn't get back home when I stumbled across some Brooklyn Black Ops. It was pricy but it's one of my favorites so I picked up a couple. It's worth a visit.
Oct 16, 2013
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Reviewed by petroos from New York

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
Oh American, my little secret in Brooklyn. Let me just start by saying that this place is by no means a reliable "beer mecca" as some may suggest. On the contrary, the selection is very volatile and unpredictable. That's a large part of why I love this place.

For pick-a-six and stocking up on kegs for a party this place is pretty good. Their selection is extensive and mostly local, and the prices are decent. The store clerks are generally friendly but have little to no interest in the beer. There are a few people who work there who will tell you that a bottle in your hand is good or has been selling fast, but I generally just browse the shelves on my own. As has been mentioned, the growlers fills are a flat $10 which is amazing for the city, and they often get a lot of great brews from local places such as Captain Lawrence and farther away greats such as Avery.

In terms of their storage practices, they are generally very bad, as has also been noted. It's often downright hot in the back of the store and bottles can definitely gather dust. The belgian and foreign bottles seem to move the slowest. There's also no real rhyme or reason to the way things are arranged, although after a couple of times there you'll get the feel of it.

All of the above being said, this place would probably only deserve a B at best, but that doesn't take into account the best thing about this place, which is the wacky and random finds you can make here, and how little known it is in the neighborhood. Beers that have sold out in one night at the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room have stuck around at this place for literally months. It just seems like the neighborhood isn't very into craft beer or that most people just generally gravitate towards the more well known distributors in town, but that's what makes this place great.

About a week or two ago I stopped in on a lark on Sunday afternoon just to browse the shelves and see what was new. Somehow they had GI Rare sitting on the shelves. Not only that, but they were only charging $35 for it! I bought two bottles, and when I asked the owner how in the world he'd gotten it (note it showed up on the shelves more than a year after original release) he said that a distributor had sent it by mistake. That still doesn't explain anything, but it does explain why this place is my number one beer spot.
Jun 17, 2011
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Reviewed by deleted_user_574223 from New York

2.45/5  rDev -40.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2
I am always up to stop in and take a look at a new distributor. Havingb some business to take of in Brooklyn I decided to go out of my way to check out the ABDC. I have to say that I was sorely dissapointed. I found the selection to be mediocre at best and have the craft brew shelves were empty. Perhaps the Memorial Day weekend a few days before wiped them out, but I wouldn't know since nobody spoke with us. I suppose it's decent relative to some distributors but from I saw it was not worth the hype. The one plus was the bathroom was a great hit allowing us to relieve ourselves prior to the 2 1/2 hour trip in traffic back home. If this is your only place then I get the "any port in a storm" mentality but if you have any means of transportation there has to be better places nearby.
Jun 03, 2011
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Reviewed by r0nyn from New York

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
After reading all the good things about this store, I had to go check it out, knowing I was going to be in the area. I'm glad I did, because it's a good beer store. It just wasn't the beer mecca I was expecting.

As has been said before, ABD is very spacious, with a lot of floorspace to play around with. Unfortunately, I don't think its very well utilized as things seem to be sectioned off without much rhyme or reason. The domestic bombers seem to occupy three separate shelves that are spaced away from each other. The Belgian section is in disarray. Not very well-organized at all. Coolers off to the left with craft beer occupying the back right of the store. A line of growler taps is on your right just as you walk in.

Quality is above average, though it can be hit or miss. Aside from the obvious disorder, some of the bottles have a patina of dust on them, mostly the big import 750ml bottles. That's well and good for some of the higher ABV beers, but not so much for IPAs and lagers. Nevertheless, there were a lot of bottles still within freshness dates and a few interesting things like a Stone 07.07.07 VE. Selection is good, with many different breweries represented, both domestic and import. Found a few gems I'd not been able to locate in my neck of the woods, so I was happy about that.

Pricing seems a bit expensive for my tastes. New York City tax is already hurtful as it is, so the relatively high prices put a bit of a damper on things.

Staff seems to be friendly in general. The pair of ladies running the front were knowledgeable about the prices, but not the actual beer themselves. I overhead one of the other employees talking about the taps and ordering some other beer that wasn't there. On the whole, a pleasant shopping experience.

American Beer Distributing is a neat store with a good selection. Would probably be my go-to place if I lived in the area. I just wish it would have been better organized and a bit cleaner and cheaper.
Nov 19, 2010
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Reviewed by krantul from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +20.8%
Great bottle shop in Brooklyn. Stopped in with the wife after a short trip to NYC and wanted to pick up a few things not readily available in Massachusetts. Great selection, exemplifying pretty much anything that's available in the state. Given that they are distributors as well, it looks like a great place to pick up a keg too.

Chatted with the owner for a bit.. he is highly engaged in the whole craft beer scene. Seemed very enthusiastic about bringing in new brands through their distribution arm. All in all, a place I'd frequent often if I were local.
Mar 18, 2010
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Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
I live in Queens where the good beer distributors seem few and far between so every two or three weeks, I'll make a trip out here to this place.

Comparatively to places like New Beer in Chinatown and Bierkraft a couple of miles away, this place is much roomier. They also have a very large selesction of microbrews and surprisingly, a number of hard to find retired beers (I was able to find Unibroue 15 and 2004 here).

American Beer also does the growler thing and unlike their bottle products, which are all reasonably priced (about $6-$7 for a Stone Bomber), their growlers are usually dirt cheap. I was able to pick up a 64oz. growler of Pennichuk Pozharnik Imperial Stout for only $10 dollars!

The ladies that run this place usually don't seem to be the most helpful but that's ok if you know what you're looking for or are just searching for a new beer to try. However, they make up for this by being super friendly at the register, giving you a good feeling as you walk out the door.

Definitely an establishment to go and take a walk around even if you're a little farther away.
Jul 26, 2009
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Reviewed by millionsuns from Maine

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
Right around the corner from me, so it's a weekly stop on my way home to spend waaaay too much on beer. Not their fault, as most things here are priced fairly, but everything just looks so good.

Their Belgian selection is very good, and that's usually my #1 reason for stopping by. They also carry loads of beers from around the world, along with American craft brews (with an uncommonly large selection of Avery, Allagash, Rogue, and Dogfish) in both sixers and bombers. For the wealthy and employed, they carry items like small batch ciders, Cantillon Saint Lamvinus, and Sam Adams Utopias.

Despite the large square footage in the store, it's hard to tell if they're on par with the the much smaller Eagle Provisions and Bierkraft bottle-wise. But they do have an interesting selection with surprises around every corner and new finds every week.

They also have 4 taps for growlers, usually carrying a Capt. Lawrence and a Six Point. The owner tells me he's looking to expand to a much larger range of taps, 8-12 I think. I'm anticipating a larger range of Six Points. Prices for these are a little on the pricey side, but I expect them to get a little more reasonable as they expand.

There are 3 or 4 people working around the store who are always pretty great when I go over there, willing to go to the basement to get anything that isn't on the shelves, finding whatever it is you need, or making recommendations if you ask. They never bug you, which I like. But the people behind the counter generally aren't as knowledgeable and seldom seem willing to venture out of their area. They do give you hints when there's a good deal to be had, though, which is much appreciated.

Prices are pretty reasonable across the board, but some items, when compared to Eagle Provisions and Bierkraft, vary wildly in price -- some better, some worse. If you know your beers you'll be able to tell. Buy in bulk when you see a deal.

ONE IMPORTANT POINT: they are really bad with price tags -- some are inaccurate or missing. So definitely ask before you buy. Gotta deduct half a point for quality for that.

If you like to buy glasses for each of your favorite beers, they also have a decent selection of those. Tons of sodas, seltzers, specialty beverages, things like that also.

Great place overall...I keep coming back. Viva Thrifty American!
Apr 04, 2009
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Reviewed by aibkstaff from New York

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
This is a good beer store. They have a great selection of micro brews, and imported beers. They also have growlers, waters, sodas, glassware and a great selection of kegs. The average price for a 12 pack like Abita or Troegs is about $17.99, good price. The average price for a six pack is about $8.99, not bad. It's a nice sized store and the aisles are big. The staff are pleasant, knowledgeable, and very helpful. Their beer selection is always growing, so this is a place I frequent and highly recommend.
Oct 22, 2008
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Reviewed by mattloaf1 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
A really great selection of American micros. If you're looking for Belgians or any other European beer, you are probably better off going to New Beer Distributors on the Lower East Side. A little pricey but they seem to have everything. I bought a couple 6 packs of Stone Ruination. The cashier was even taken aback, warning me that 'these are $17 for a 6-pack'. For comparison's sake, the same thing was $15 at NBD. Very nice and well lit atmosphere and a nice neighborhood. It would be nice to have one of these kind of places where I live.
Sep 28, 2008
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Reviewed by TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
I stopped here while in town for business, after searching on beerfly. Wow was this a good store, you just knew there had to be unbelievable selections in NYC. Tons of American craft beers, Belgian ales, German beers (not as many of these as I expected, but still a lot), and a good selection of UK brews. The prices were reasonable, especially in the big city. I was happy to grab some Troegs and Hair of the Dog beers (not available in central OH). Worth a stop, and not too far from the highway (about 5 minutes from the Atlantic Avenue exit).
Apr 09, 2008
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Reviewed by zerofear13 from New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
This place, unlike its other Brooklyn counterparts, is very spacious. So although it doesn't look as stocked as Eagle or other locations, it is very thorough in its inventory. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by very friendly faces. It's a very family-oriented place; photos don the walls by the register and counter.

I think the noticeable difference about this place as opposed to others (other than the use of space) is the quantity. Eagle and Bierkraft may have hundreds of different beers, but American Beer is one of the only locations that have a regular supply of cases of each beer. And the prices are amazing! A case of 4 6-packs (24 bottles) of Brooklyn Lager was a tad over $33 with tax and deposit included! And they had cases for almost everything: Brooklyn Weisse, Chocolate Stout, Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Otter Creek, Southern Tier. They even had cases of Goose Island IPA. And it was only $36!

There was a terrific selection of Stone. Smoked Porter, Vertical Epic (07.07.07), Double Arrogant Bastard, Arrogant Bastard, Old Guardian, Russian Imperial, and I took the last 11th Anniversary Ale. All of them were in bombers and for $4.50! I also saw some excellent Victory (including Old Horizontal), Sierra Nevada Harvest. And they had a huge selection of Rogue bombers: Juniper, Seahorse, Chipotle, Chocolate, Younger. I want to go back just thinking about these things.

Their foreign section is nothing to sneeze at either. It's no Eagle Provisions, but it's alright. Rochefort 6 and 8, St. Bernardus, Orval, Chimay, etc. I'm not huge on 'em, and if you're looking for more rare Belgians, Eagle might be a better fit.

So I picked up a ton of stuff and only ended up spending around $70. The prices are awesome here! For bulk purchases of good micros, come here. And to boot: price labels and tags on a lot of stuff, so no more guess work in it like other beer stores. Probably my new favorite beer store in New York City. Go here; you will not be disappointed!
Jan 21, 2008
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Reviewed by ikats from New York

4.1/5  rDev -1%
American Beer is out of the way for me, so I rarely go there. I drove there recently when I had nothing else to do on the weekend. It's a nice store to browse around.

Selection is very, very good. You are very likely to spot a few beers that are not easily found. A lot of American micro brews, Belgians and other imports. On my last visit, I've picked up Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter, Brooklyn Local 1 and Sam Adams Longshot box. One problem I see with the store is that it is not well organized. I only found Cpt. Lawrence by accident hearing some other shoppers refer to it (and Nor'Easter was in a separate area from Cpt. Lawrence's other brews.)

I did not have any problems with quality of beers bought from American Beer. And service seems to be above average. I personally prefer to shop in peace and quiet in my own thoughts, but observing other shoppers, I can say that everybody got friendly, attentive service. And it is always so damn nice to have somebody mention something nice about your selection (got a good comment about Nor'Easter.)

Prices are on the level of other NY stores such as Bierkraft and New Beer.

All in all, I think a visit to American Beer is worth it. It definitely deserves to take up one of the top places among best beer stores in NY.
Mar 26, 2007
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Reviewed by ntorch from New York

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
Visited American/Thrifty based on other BA members reviews and the selections promised on their website. Unfortunately, the shop did not live up to expectations.

Store had a great selection of euros and craft brews. However, it did not have most of the the varieties that I came in looking for. When I asked about various american micros/craft brews that were advertised on the American/Thrifty website I was told that they haven't updated their website. We're not talking about one or two things that I couldn't find either, more like nine out of the ten I came looking for.

On a positive note, the people in the store were quite friendly and willingly admitted that the varieties I was looking for were not there.

I would probably not return to American unless I was certain that they carried what I need or I was in the mood to just browse their euro selection.
Feb 23, 2007
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Reviewed by plaid75 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
Located on Court Street, just south of downtown Brooklyn.

The facade was rather unassuming. You wouldn't know the treasure trove to be found inside by just walking by. The interior was a rather large space. The center aisles were devoted to craft beer while on the right side is found the German, Belgian and English imports. The craft selection included: SA, SN, Anchor, Stone, Rock Art, Magic Hat, Butte Creek, Wolaver's, Stoudt's, Otter Creek, Brooklyn, Saranac, Long Trail, Penn, etc.

Single bottle are available for sale. There is also a growler station with three or four taps.

An excellent store.
Jul 26, 2006
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Reviewed by bklynbeerbaron from New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
Ah, good old Thrifty - I never call it by the long-winded name. Grew up around the corner - my dad still buys his seltzer from this place. I loved it as a kid for their dynamite selection of sodas and the old promotional stickers reading "Beer Makes You Schmart."

Now that I'm an adult, the store takes on a whole new meaning. I have to restrain myself every time I visit my parents, because I've spent an hour in there at a time. Full shelves of domestic micros - if they don't have it, they can probably get it - and shelves and a full wall of imports from all over the map - if they don't have a foreign brew, it's probably because it's not imported to the US. Plus, a fully stocked cooler of the more popular brews. Yes, some of the imports look a bit dusty on occasion, but I haven't gotten a bad bottle from them yet. And they have plenty of monthly and seasonal specials, as well as growler service.

The proprietors are very knowledgable - one once helped me choose a selection of dark beers as a birthday present for an uncle who enjoys them. There wasn't a single beer he disliked.

There may be other stores out there which have a better selection, maybe even better prices. But Thrifty will always hold a special place in my heart. I'll always associate it with home.

Oh, and its soda selection still rocks.
Jun 27, 2006
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Reviewed by mkobes from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
Very nice beer store. Very helpful staff. They are very knowledgeable. The beer is reasonably priced too. Good selection of beer. You can find Heavyweight there, Jolly Pumpkin, German beers, Cantillon and many others. You can also fill growlers there which is a big plus. They also have a nice glassware collection you can purchase.

They don't really have food there unfortunately just chips, and salsa. They sell soda and different types of water. They have a good selection of everything. So if you are in the area and haven't been yet, take a trip there you won't be disappointed.
May 28, 2006
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Reviewed by daliandragon from Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
Hit this place up on Court Street while visiting my sister today to help her move some junk from her old apartment. It is modestly located and I've passed by it without noticing it about a thousand times. Now that I know it's next to Buddy's Burritos (only okay but cheap) it'll be easier to find.
Once you get in and realize that three quarters of the store is devoted to quality beer and the rest for macro and soda instead of the usual one tenth, your heart skips a beat. . A little haphazzardly stocked but tons of stuff I'd only heard about (Stone Russian Imperial Stout...madre de dios, the legends are true!). I won't go overboard trying to describe their stock but they had a lot of stuff you see rarely here on the island, including Stone, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, J.W. Lees, Aecht, and lots more.
Also to be mentioned are the prices: I like British beers and $1.79 for Adnams Broadside pints and $2.59 bottles of Old Engine Oil is excellent. I've seen both for double that. Service was friendly but uninformed. Still, this a huge winner in Brooklyn for all the lucky drunks that live there.
Apr 27, 2006
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Reviewed by Lnedrive14 from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
Was staying with a friend at Brooklyn law and was happy to find out this place was nearby (I was looking for some Southampton):

Quality: Top notch here - great brews from all over. I grabbed some goose island, a couple Southampton beers, and (this was a nice surprise) a 2004 bottle of Stone RIS. There were actually a couple of aged samples that I was pretty excited about, including a fair amount of 2004 Old herb. That being said, lots of bottles had a ton of dust on them, and I was a bit worried about how well they had been kept. That being said, if you know what you're buying (in other words, what cellars for a long time), it's a great place.

Service: Non-existant. I tried to ask the guy a couple questions, and he seemed like a jackass (even by NYC standards). Of course, I shouldnt rate the service based solely on this one guy, since I'm sure many different people work there and he might justh vae been having a bad day, but it's all I have to go on.

Selection: Very extensive. I was excited to come across this place, since the other beer stores I had seen in NYC had been so poorly stocked. Pretty much every brewer that distributes to NYC was well stocked and there was a large selection of belgians, germans, micros, etc.

Value: Cheap, I thought.

Great place. I'll be back.
Apr 08, 2006
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Reviewed by OldSock from District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
Quality – Standard quality, not much fridge space and varying ages of beer. However the place was dust free, and despite some clutter the beers were well organized, although I almost tripped over a case of Peche Mortel that was on the floor.

Service – Decent service, the guy behind the counter asked us if we needed help, but didn’t go out of his way to interact.

Selection – Varied and interesting selection. As a MA resident I was blown away by their Southampton selection, at least eight different beers including Cuvee des Flores, old herb, IPA, double white, bier de guard etc… Lots of New England beers, including some Smuttynose Big Beers that I have not seen in MA. Good selection of imports, Belgian, British and German take your pick.

Value – Prices seemed fair, and considering its NYC, they seemed great.

Conclusion – I liked it more than Bierkraft, and it had loads of stuff that Half Time had not had when I was there earlier in the day. Great place to go, particularly if you are on a Southampton hunt.
Nov 23, 2005
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Reviewed by PopeJonPaul from Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a 'flagellant' as "a person who scourges himself as a public penance." Only now after living in this neighborhood for a year did I get off my butt and go find American, and it's only 4 subway stops and about 7 blocks away. What shall I do as my public penance for neglecting this place? Maybe wear a "Silver Bullet" T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off...

American aka Thrifty is a nice well-lit store with a lot of room to move around, more like an actual market than a distributor's warehouse. They have an excellent and fairly well-priced selection strewn about in a totally haphazard manner. Normally this might be irritating (Why is the Hitachino mixed in with the British ales? Why are the Chimay & Duvel in their own wooden rack? Why is Brooklyn lumped with a bunch of West coast beers?) Instead though it makes it a rewarding adventure to wander through the store, maybe they designed it that way on purpose to get you to check the whole place out instead of just running to the Belgian section. Also, they've got a keen selection of glassware, and a big pricelist on the wall behind the register. Although I need more glasses like I need a hole in the head.

Service was good, I didn't ask for any help on the floor but the checkout girl took extra care in bagging everything, which was nice. I was also there on a Friday afternoon while they were proably out doing deliveries, so staff was pretty minimal everywhere but the register. Now that I know where they are, I'll have to swing by more often.
Mar 18, 2005
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Reviewed by apintofknowledge from Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
Been here a couple of times now, and finally getting around to writing a review. Basically, the best bang for the buck in Brooklyn when it comes to beer... an excellent wide selection at relatively good prices. For East Coast beers, they always have a good variety of Dogfish Head, Heavyweight, Weyerbacher, Southampton, Geary, Allagash, Harpoon and of course Brooklyn beers on hand. From the West Coast, Rogue is the most widely represented but many others are there as well. Nice variety of brews available from Belgium, Britian and Germany, as well as a few good selections from nations not quite as well known for their beers.

There's a nice display of glassware for sale up by the registers. And plenty of mixers and other beverages on hand (juices, interesting sodas, etc.)... but beer is the main focus. And although not clearly noted on all shelves, you can buy any beer by the single bottle (for a relatively good price, although it's cheaper to buy by the six-pack).

And while the selection on my latest visit was relatively impressive, one employee apologized that it takes them a couple of months after the holidays to get their store fully stocked again... I can't wait for my next trip to see how much more will be on hand at that point.
Feb 14, 2005
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Reviewed by bultrey from New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
Oh, I am so lucky to live around the corner. As a matter of fact, when me and the lady were looking for an apartment in NY about six months ago, we were considering this particular neighborhood among others. But on one fateful morning checking out an apartment, we parked near American Beer Distributing Co. (also known as Thrifty), and I knew it was meant to be.
In terms of selection, this place is top-notch, and the people who run the store will try to get something for you if they don't have it. Great mix of West coast beers, Belgian, German, British, etc., with a huge selection of locals, as well. This is my go-to Southampton store as well, as they have carried two to three rotating styles in the corked champagne bottles, as well as the Old Herb, since I started visiting. It appears as if the product moves quite well, and storage is good, although there are several Belgian beers (Saison Dupont being one) that were stored on their sides inexplicably. Prices are OK, a bit above average, but cheaper than neighborhood competitor Bierkraft and Manhattan mainstay Happy Deli -- though not as cheap as New Beer Distributors. Nice selection of gift-type items (once bought a Sam Smith three-pack of big bottles w/ free pint glass for $7.99), as well as glassware from a wide variety of breweries.
Overall, I love this store and make a run at least weekly, dropping $20-40 almost every time.

Update 1-7-05: I've obviously been here several more times since the above reviews, and every time it's gotten better as the people working there have become familiar with me. Plus, they recently rearranged the shelves somewhat, and have a whole shitload of really difficult to find stuff, like Thomas Hardy's, Cantillon Lou Pepe, Rose de Gambrinus, a number of Fantomes, etc.
This place is my favorite place in NYC to stock up on beer, and it even trumps New Beer on Chrystie, I think.
Sep 29, 2004
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Reviewed by ark57 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -7%
The best thing about this place is that it carries a lot of Southampton beers, which is a place that too far for me to travel on a regular basis. I picked up 4 different ones one my last trip. The import selection is good, but I stuck mostly with their micros. They also have a decent selection of glassware like Schneider Aventinus Eisbock and Gordons Scotch Ale. The prices were a little high, but I wasn't going to find the stuff I bought elsewhere. Other notables are a good selection of Stone beers. The store is small, but packs a lot into it.
Feb 12, 2004
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Reviewed by twilight from Germany

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
Every time I buy beer I feel like I'm in on some sort of secret. The guys ahead of me had a case of Corona and a twelve or Heineken in cans. I had my sixer of Storm King, waiting patiently, knowing I'd be drinking something unusual that night.

This place is amazing for local beer. BluePoint, Victory, Weyerbacher. But they also carry Rogue, Bear Republic and Stone Brews. Great selection of Belgians, though I think they had a bit too many Tripels. But they had some brews I'd not seen elsewhere. They also have lots of gift packs and a wide selection of sodas. The place is clean and well lit with a great selection of beer glassware. Totally awesome.
Feb 07, 2004
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Reviewed by Billolick from New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
this place rocks, I always find something new and/or interesting....friendly and helpful owners. I always try to swing by whenever I find myself in Brooklyn. Excellent selection of Belgians and micros. both locals and nationwide. Also have a huge selection of glassware. The best Ive ever seen. They do store many of their Belgians (cork and cage variety)on their sides. not sure about this practice. In general, this place should satisfy any beer geek....also Its a good place to start a downtown Brooklyn tour, the Brazen head is close, waterfront ale house as well, then off to Park carefully and don't drink and drive!
Jan 13, 2004
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Reviewed by francisweizen from Washington

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
This store is wonderful. Unfortunately for me I hit this place up *after* I went to bierkraft. I saw the aisles and aisles of beer and started to load up my kart. Victory, le coq, three monts, magic hat, southampton, aventinus 2000, world wide stout 2003 and many many more brews were available here, all at rock bottom prices. The southamptons they had were great, and a lot cheaper than at bierkraft. The range was impressive, but as Davo said, when they get some new breweries in, they kick some old ones out. No Ramstein? I asked myself...anyway, the service was great, and they checked downstairs to see if they had any other southamtpons kicking around for me, but alas they did not. The checkout lady was quick and accurate with totalling up our bill, and she was very nice to speak to, and definately new her stuff about beer. This is perhaps the best beer store I have ever visited. Number 1 in NYC if you ask me, for both price and selection. Go here first when you go to NYC! Than go down a few blocks and hit up beierkraft for some even more rare brews...
Dec 15, 2003
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Reviewed by Weissenheimer from New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
I must've walked right past this place twenty times on my walks from Park Slope through Cobble Hill and into Manhattan, and I never knew it was there until I found it online! If you blink, you'll miss it. Which would be a real shame, because this place is to beer geeks what the land of the lotus eaters is to... um... lotus geeks.

The very first time I went to Thrifty (It's known as American Beer Distributors but the sign says Thrifty American) I got there just after they closed. Joe, the friendly guy who runs the joint, was unloading cases and asked me what I was looking for. I listed a bunch of my favorite Belgians and he told me he could get them. Since then I've been there a bunch of times, and Joe has gotten in most of the Belgian and upstate New York beers I raved about. He always seems glad to engage in beer talk and to make recommendations, but he's no bull****ter. If he doesn't know anything about a beer you ask about, he'll tell you that. He's the one who got me started on Weyerbacher Autumnfest (now my favorite fall beer) by giving me a bottle. He da man.

There is a staggering variety of beer on the shelves. I haven't done a rigorous comparison, but I think the selection rivals that of Bierkraft and may surpass it in some cases. And from what I've seen, the turnover is fast enough that there's little risk of getting skunked. To top it all off, in most cases their prices are the best I've seen around here. For example, most of their artisanal Belgians are around $8.

So go. Talk to Joe. If he doesn't have it, I'll bet he can get it.

Note: Thrifty just got its barcode system up to snuff. Previously the receipts were done by hand and twice I got charged for two extra bottles, but now the checkout process is quicker and less error-prone.
Nov 24, 2003
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Reviewed by saltydog from New York

4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
This has been an institution for many years...I have been going to this place since back in the days when I lived in Manhattan and had to commute out to Brooklyn to get there, back in the early 90's. They still have a great selection of beer, quite reasonably priced, many wonderful beer glasses, and now have gone from stength to strength by becoming the NY Distributor for some great breweries: Heavyweight, Hair of the Dog, Weyerbacher and Penn among others.
Oct 19, 2003
American Beer Distribution Company in Brooklyn, NY
Place rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 42 ratings