Vin De Pays


252 Elm Avenue
Long Beach, California, 90802
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.85/5  rDev +14.7%

Well what a lovely surprise!! I had heard about this Store a few times from locals, & some of the LongBeachHopHeads, but it was fellow BA Seagoat who finally persuaded me to get my lazy arse down here & find out for myself what all the fuss was about.

Vin de Pays has a simple motto ‘Welcome to Vin de Pays. We are a group of quality-minded, no-nonsense, full service retail stores that specializes in fine wines under $15.00. Our selection of limited production wines in this price range is astonishing & second to NONE. check us out...”

The Wine-focused name & the fact that the VDP Website pays little attention to Beer has probably prevented me from actually making the dedicated trip here so far. Nonetheless, the aim of VdP is clear, a refined quality selection at good prices. Now I don’t know much about to Wine, but if it is anything like the beer selection & prices, it is most definitely the case.

Located on a quiet part of Elm Avenue, situated between the downtown one-way sections of 3rd Street & Broadway, it is an easy walk from my Apt. It’s an even easier one from the locale of downtown Long Beach & its ecocentric Pine Ave & Hotels. The outside has a sort of laid back feel, nothing too snazzy but also sufficiently low key to miss, look for the dark red window awnings.

It seems like two former shop units knocked into one, in fact I am sure it is, as there are two doors at the front divided by a small wall which disappears inside.The operational door is the one on the right. Inside, the first thing that strikes you is the purple floor, guess it is resistant to those dark wine spillages. A twin-cooler lies to your immediate left (blocking the exterior left hand doorway) & the counter area to your immediate right. All around the edges are bottles of Wine, including floor standing displays full of wooden creates & partly opened cardboard boxes. It is nicely laid out & feels spacious. All the beer is neatly arranged on Shelves in the back right hand corner of the Store. Some case & bottle displays also decorate the area in the front of these.

Range is excellent, almost perfect, it is all craft, no junk here, if you want a 24-Pack of Bud Lite leave. Totally dedicated to quality craft beer that alone makes the shelves eye candy. I was very impressed with the selection here, extremely well thought out it has something of everything. Local SoCal brews from Stone (including their seasonal & special releases), Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Moylans, Marin & also several ‘-tions’ from Russian River (they had Supplic-, Tempta- & even some Batch 003 Damna-).Other US brews included many from Avery, I picked up the recent CA released Maharaja. English & Scottish brews are the better ones, no Wychwood crap here. Belgium has a good thick chunk of the imports; a nice range of traditional lambics from Boon, Cantillon, Oud Beersel & Hanssens. High end fruit brews from Liefmans & De Ranke, including the Kriek. Rochefort & Chimay represent the Trappistes. Great range of Abbey brews including Witkap & a good selection of 12 ounce bottles from St. Bernardus. Regenboog plus a few other smaller rarely seen Belgo brews filled in the gaps. A nice set of offerings from France too, I picked up the La Choulette Ambrée which I have never seen as well as a brace of 8% Francobrews called Yeti & La Bête des Vosges, both new to me. A few 750 Jenlain’s I spied also. I could go on, not sure of the quantity but that does not matter really, its 100% quality craft beer here. Probably over 100 bottles.

Prices are *very* good. 750ml Cantillon Kriek was $12.99, some $3 less than most, the Avery Maharaja was only $5.99 for the Bomber, whilst most of the other imported 12 ounces varied from $2.99 to $3.99. Great value I must say, as inexpensive as you can get given the superb range.

Service was super. The chap who was there during my visit was extremely helpful, friendly & enthusiastic to point out that he was very serious about his beer selection. Given the space I think he has done an absolutely superb job. They also hold regular Wine Tastings (I am very tempted to try one of those myself, this seems like a good down to earth place to learn about Wine I have to say). I am told Beer Tastings also happen but more infrequently.

…& for the locals in Long Beach, if you drop $100 Benjamins, they will deliver within a 10 mile radius of the Store, for Free. Can’t say farer than that!!

For those “Out-of-Towners” attending an Event at the Long Beach Conference Centre or just staying a few nights in downtown, this place is *ideal*. It has all the local SoCal offerings that you probably want (or have been told to pick up) & some imported beauties too, it’s perfect if you don’t have a Car also; very easy to get to being only a few blocks East of Pine Avenue & the Metro Transit Mall.

Vin de Pays is a gem in downtown LB. Highly Recommend. Spread the Word.

Last Visit: Sunday 2nd April, 2006.

Apr 03, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Watch your block numbers, as Vin de Pays only takes small amount of space when it meets the street. You'll also need to find a quarter to feed the parking meters on the street.

I'm going to go against the grain, I don't see the big deal with this store. To be fair, there are a couple quirks I like. One is the tasting bar inside, where two drafts (Stone Smoked Porter and Allagash Dubbel) and a handful of refrigerated bottles are ready to be consumed. The second is the slightly different beer selection. It's not every corner where you can find Straffe Hendrik, Rebel Pilsner, Corsedonk, and Aventinus Wiezen Eisbock. I saw more inmported beers than domestic in the selection, and most is sitting at room temp with a little dust. Hmmm, this sounds familiar to a store local to me that I already know, sans the tasting bar. Is this a miniaturized Wine Exchange?

Sep 24, 2010
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glid02 from Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

This place was a few blocks away from my hotel on a recent stay and so I made it over there during lunch one day.

Quality is good. The stock seemed fairly well rotated and nothing was exposed to the sun.

Service was good. The person there was doing what looked like a wine tasting but was more than happy to step out and help me find what I was looking for.

Selection was pretty good. A decent amount of LA, AleSmith, and other local breweries were represented well, along with a solid selection of other domestic and international beers. I must say I was a bit disappointed at the lack of harder to find brews.

Value is good. Some prices were a bit more expensive than I'd seen elsewhere, but nothing too over the top.

Overall this definitely seemed like the best option in the immediate area but there's a much larger selection without much of a rarity dropoff down the street at BevMo.

Sep 07, 2009
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Swimsum from Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Stopped in here today while waiting for my cousin to do some shopping a few blocks away. Parking was pretty easy given it was a Friday afternoon. Located in downtown Long Beach this is a great place for anyone to stop by if they're in the area.

Mainly a wine store there is a decent selection of beer in the place. Located at the front of the store to the left right as you walk in. Had a decent selection and had a lot of Stone 08.08.08 still. Also had about 8 bottles of the Stone/Nøgue Ø/Jolly Pumpkin holiday ale still which I haven't seen in awhile. Also had some other good offering I haven't seen otherwise.

There was only one guy working behind the desk. Did say hello and was very friendly but didn't ask if I needed help or anything as I shopped (was the only one in the store). But like I said he was friendly at check out and when I came in so I can't really knock the service. Overall I really enjoyed this store and will be stopping in again next time I'm home from college.

Dec 27, 2008
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vacax from California

3.85/5  rDev -9%

Stopped by Vin De Pays early afternoon on a Friday. Downtown Long Beach, but in an area where you can snag parking easily (plenty of open meters right in front of the store). The beer area runs right along the front wall of the store. The rest of the place is wine.

I had read reviews on this place and visited their website prior, but their selection really blew me away. Not only was their more wallspace than I expected, they packed a ton of beers into a small area. This place is only for beer geeks. BevMo might carry one kind of Moylan's or Nogne-O, but this place throws out entire brewery lineups in my face. I could easily go broke here. Way more imports than I expected, too. Plenty of stuff I have never seen.

I found two out-of-season Lost Abbeys to pick up: Carnevale and 10 Commandment. Most everything is pure AAA. They do not carry everything I could think of, but the selection is vast for being so top tier. You can stop by here and pick up a hundred beers and every single one is pure class. Of course, with such good stuff make sure to bring your wallet. Nothing cheap here, and stuff I can find elsewhere ran a couple bucks extra on some items. Very satisfied, however. Totally worth the prices for the selection; I don't think you could spend money wrong here.

Friendly staff, Arnie asked us if we were looking for anything in particular immediately. After I walked up with a couple selections we had a little discussion. Sensing I was an aficionado, he offered us for purchase some "behind the counter" beer in the name of Russian River Supplication. Hell yes.

Update 9/30/2009: Vin de Pays lost its beer specialist a while back. They still have a good selection (last trip I found some Hanssen's Oudbeitje), but they are not wise about the latest thing anymore really. The woman helping me now was nice, but didn't know much at all about beer. There is still that one small cooler, but checking the Blind Pig in there revealed it was months old. Not as good as it used to be, but still worth checking out.

Jul 26, 2008
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Floydster from California

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

Located in the downtown area off of 3rd street, stopped here Wine Country on my way back to LA this afternoon around 3:00 pm, place was super clean and very organized, walked in and said hello a man named Artie on the computer and he immediately came out on the floor and started talking beer to me, I immediately noticed the Marin's White Knuckle bombers on the shelf in front of me and this was the first time I had ever seen a bottle in a store, unfortuantely it was nine dollars when it is usually four or five up north but still cool to see, also some Drake's Imperial Stout there, the same Bruery Levud 750 here but it was two dollars more than Wine Country at $17, also a bottle of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter somehow, the full Lost Abbey lineup including some of the seasonals, Tomme Arthur and De Proef's Signature Ale, Russian River Damnation, and several other things, honestly too many to name, pretty much every California microbrew available via distribution around here, blown away by the selection but it was one of the pricier places I have been to, regardless it is still one of the best I have visited in the SoCal area, the service was great and the guy talked to me for about twenty minutes, he also let me know that a special tapping of Pliny was happening at Beachwood at 3 pm, he even gave me his email address so I can send him my wish list and he can see what he can do for me, great experience and cannot wait to go back when in the area again, great place to have for Long Beach residents

Jun 27, 2008
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Halcyondays from California

4/5  rDev -5.4%

Located on 3rd and Elm in downtown Long Beach, just east of the 710, Vin de Pays, is a small, boutique type store that is difficult to find at first. Once in there, I was gretted by Stetson who I assume is the friendly proprietor. The beer selection is not huge in volume, but they have a lot of quality stuff such as some of the rarer Port offerings such as 10 Commandments and Devotion and Judgment Day, some Stone 7.7.7 still there as well. Lots of Stone brews, Ballast Point, Alesmith, and other CA brews, and a good collection of Belgians including some I have never seen, such as De Ranke Guldenband. A nice little store in Long Beach all and all, with friendly service, though it is a bit out of my way to go very frequently.

Jan 05, 2008
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wardough from Wisconsin

4.8/5  rDev +13.5%

Being from Kansas City, I was excited to buy some West Coast beer. When I was in LA, I took the afternoon off and looked for this store. I walked past the store...twice. It's not noticeable.

It's mainly a wine store, but the beer selection was great: Russian River Temptation, Alesmith Decedance, Lost Abbey products, Port Brewing, and Big Bear. I walked out with 15 total beers. I was a happy camper. Stetson is very knowledgeable, friendly, and links up your taste with the beers from SOCAL. I ran out of beers last month, so I gave them a ring. It's very easy to work with them over the phone.

Bottom line-great store, great service, knowledgeable staff. Well worth going out of your way to visit.

Oct 26, 2007
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RidiculedDisplay from California

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Vin De Pays is located off of Elm in the heart of downtown LB, near the Southern California Edison building. There is metered parking on the street, but the selection really isn't large enough inside for you to need to place much more than a single quarter in for the duration of your visit.

The store itself isn't huge. Wine racks line the right-hand wall as well as the left, with some stand-alone racks on the left-hand side of the store. The beer section is prominently in front of you on a three-tiered shelf on the back wall. There is also a small refridgerator immediately to your left as you enter, with a few things somewhat arbitrarily refridgerated, but it's certainly not necessary to buy anything from there unless you absolutely need to drink your selection NOW. : )

There are a few things in here that I haven't seen elsewhere. For instance, Meantime India Pale Ale (although I've heard La Bodega in Riverside has this as well), and Skullsplitter Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale. Otherwise, the selection is comparable to a slightly lesser-than version of The Wine Country, also in Long Beach. Avery releases, Russian River Damnation, most of Port Brewing's stock, a lone six-pack of Oaked Bastard from Stone. There are a fair amount of Belgians, also, but nothing particularly eye-catching from what I remember. Anyway, it's a good place to stop in in terms of selection if you're in the area.

The guy who owns the place (don't know his name) is very friendly and beer knowledgable. Both times I've been in there, despite it being a predominately wine store, he was talking beer with customers and customers were buying beer. Don't tell him I told you, but I even saw him pull out an unidentifiable Great Lakes beer from behind the counter and give it to someone who had buttered him up with compliments, so I guess it's possible he's going to get or is getting some rarer stock. He even talked about a beer tasting occurring at the store sometime.

Anyway, worth a trip. In Long Beach, this is probably only second to The Wine Country in terms of selection, and only by a hair.

Jan 04, 2007
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

I stopped here while in Long Beach on business. It is extremely convenient if you're at a conference in Long Beach and staying down near Ocean Blvd (as I was). Very close to Pine Street.

I stopped in to see the selection after finding it on BA. Mostly this is a wine store but the beers they have are all top-shelf craft beers. The owner told me they carry over 200 beers. It looks like most of them are good selections. Unfortunately I didn't find anything too rare, everything was good quality but more or less common enough to be found in many other establishments.

Worth a visit.

May 18, 2006
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instrumentality from California

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

I lived in Long Beach for most of my life and never heard about this place until I joined BA.

It's a very small store, mostly devoted to wine, with just a small corner dedicated to beer. As I walked in, the first thing I noticed was a couple of people doing a wine tasting. The scene was pretty casual and laid back, which was comforting.

On to the beer. Small corner, but AMAZING selection, at least as compared to what I'm used to. This place blows out any standard liquor store I've ever seen. As I'm still learning the ropes a bit, I actually printed out the top 20 of the Best of BA list, and I found about half a dozen of those twenty available, including Trappistes Rochefort 10. They only had a handful of each for the most part, so the selection may vary from one visit to the next, but I was highly impressed...and no mass-marketed yellow beer whatsoever as far as I could tell.

As for the service, most of my not-so-high rating is based on calling the owner in advance. I had asked him if he carried a particular beer, and he said he had it and would reserve it for me. The next time I talked to him about it, he said that particular beer wasn't even distributed in bottles and he could only get it in kegs, which meant he hadn't actually held anything for me.

Nonetheless, my curiosity over their selection overshadowed my slight annoyance about this miscommunication (?), and the owner seemed like a nice guy in person.

Bottom line, I'm now the proud owner of bottles of Alesmith IPA, Rogue Imperial Stout, Russian River Supplication, and a now empty bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10, as well as an interesting bottle of wine, and I will be back for more soon.

If you're into both wine and beer, a nice perk of this place is that all of their wine (and they have a LARGE selection) is $15 or less.


It's been 8 months since I posted this review, and much has changed in my perception. I've been to several liquor stores that had a much larger selection of beer, but I've been back to this place a couple of times recently and it still has a niche in my option. I went there once for beer tasting (they do beer tasting monthly and may soon do it twice a month...last week's theme: English beer, none of which I had had the opportunity to try before) and a couple days later for a "Best of 2006" wine tasting (they do wine tasting every Thursday thru Sunday from 4-8pm) and my interest in this place was reinvigorated as a result.

Given the fact that they have a relatively small selection compared to a place like Lone Hill Liquors or Hi-Times, but that they seem to rotate their inventory fairly regularly, I figure I'll pay them a visit once a month when they do their beer tastings and have a fresh selection to look at while I'm there.

Also, Tom, the owner, seems to be very knowledgeable about both wine and beer, he's a friendly guy, and he has good taste in music, so my impression of the service at VdP has improved significantly since my initial encounter.

Apr 21, 2006
Vin De Pays in Long Beach, CA
Place rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 11 ratings