The Wine Thief & Ale Jail

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

29 Reviews
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

1787 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55105-1941
United States

(651) 698-9463 | map
winethief.net

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by summitepale on 01-28-2006

PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
50
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
8.16%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 50
Reviews by augustgarage:
Photo of augustgarage
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I had the good fortune of staying less than a mile and a half away from this establishment during my visit to Saint Paul and was able to make repeat visits during the week.

The store is divided cleanly into a small room full of wine and a small room full of beer. A short wall is devoted to coolers, while the longer walls are lined with floor to ceiling shelves where you can select bombers, singles, etc. Everything is clean and well organized and protected from excessive light exposure.

I purchased an embarrassing amount while I was there, and the quality of every beer was superlative. You won't find a fresher can of Surly in the city (e.g. TWO DAY old Furious!).

Selection was fairly wide ranging in style with plenty of excellent German and Belgian beers intermingling with the wide array of local (Summit, Surly, Flat Earth, Steel Toe, Brau Brothers, August Schell) and mid-west/southern (Tall Grass, Bell's, Founders, Great Lakes, Rush River, Left Hand, etc.) offerings.

The staff was incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and accommodating without ever being pushy. It doesn't take long to realize you are among fellow enthusiasts when you step through the door (I noted a few growlers in the back of the fridge as well, shared among the employees as well as empty bottles of rarities the staff had obtained in trade). There is a secondary emphasis on food/cheese pairing to further elevate your beer enjoying experience.

With the 10% discounts on mixed 6 packs (make them up yourself), you can walk out with a large burden of bottles and cans for not a lot of money.

The only fault I could find is that they sold no glassware, but if this leaves room for more ale and wine it's a very minor complaint.

 1,719 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Taybeh
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of will1256
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of ceanderson
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Love this place! They have a great selection, I do the make your own pretty much every time so I can try new beers. The staff is friendly and knowledgable, they haven't done me wrong yet. Please don't judge this place by it's website though, which totally sucks!!! Looks like someones C average graphic/web design flash final project.

 334 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Good selection for the state including mixed 6 pak section. Vg service. A bit out of the way.

93 characters

Photo of NateMac13
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place was fantastic. Great selection, some decently hard to find stuff, friendly service, discount when you buy so many bottles, prices were pretty good. I went here and to total wine and this place killed it. Must stop if you are looking for a bottle shop in St Paul. Not a single complaint.

 297 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

The Ale Jail is a great place to make your own 6-pack. It seems like most of the beers they sell in 4- or 6-packs you can also find individually. I went looking for a few seasonal specialties from Great Lakes and Sierra Nevada and was a little surprised that they weren't in stock given the selection. The service was good, though - they pointed me to some alternatives, and I was pretty happy with the singles selection. Most of the stuff seemed fresh.

 453 characters

Photo of mikevanatta
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

An incredibly friendly, knowledgeable staff. Always fun, new stuff on the shelves.

82 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of djhowell
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of CCutch
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Great and variable selection with excellent turnover on IPAs and local beers. Nice and knowledgable staff that will help you find what you need and provide some honest opinions and great recommendations.

 206 characters

Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of fuzzcherry
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The Wine Thief & Ale Jail are two halves of a whole store with a wall and open doorway dividing them. The senior beer staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The junior staff, not quite as knowledgeable, but still friendly and helpful. Their selection of superior beers is excellent with less attention paid to the low end. I saw no Keystone or Mountain Crest, but I did see a large variety of sours and Belgians and lots of other goodies. The prices are reasonable, some a little above what I've paid elsewhere, and some a little lower so it all evens out in that respect.

I'll be doing more shopping here.

 624 characters

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -32%

Photo of Jimandhisbeerd
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Chudem
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of SlightlyGrey
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TGanyone
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of heytomcat
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
5/5  rDev +13.4%

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The Wine Thief & Ale Jail in Saint Paul, MN
4.41 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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