Capital Market


1420 State St
Salem, Oregon, 97301-4247
United States

(503) 581-7971 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 17 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ilikepaleale
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Pretty decent selection but after hearing so much about it I have to admit I was a little disappointed. For one, most of the IPA's are from the Pacific Northwest and California. You can get those anywhere here in Oregon. Really not that many from other parts of the country, but I guess to be fair more than most places. The other thing is you really have to watch the bottled/best before dates. Not sure why I didn't think of it before but I bought a sixer of Boulevard Double IPA out of Missouri for $16.99 only to find when I got home that it was 3 months past the 'best before' date. Same with a 12 pack of a Firestone IPA sampler for $19.99. You would think since this is a California product you wouldn't have to worry but the 'bottled on' date was 6 months old. I don't mind those prices to find something new or hard to find but it's ridiculous to pay a premium for beer that old. Just check the dates before purchasing.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

what used to be a dive when i was a kid turned into a decent local stop for whatever you wanted, brew-wise, and the older couple who owned it were pleasant enough, if not a bit on the quiet side. today i bumped into their son, and he is a cross between a beer geek and a pleasant, knowledgeable sales person.

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Photo of badleroybrown
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75

Good prices, good selection and great customer service.

I am visiting Salem from Texas for work. I stopped in the Capital Market after work today. They really have a nice selection of beers. While I was looking Mike came over to talk to me. He is a homebrewer like me so we had a fun conversation. I told him what I was looking for. He said he would see if he can pick some up for me. I gave him my card and told him to email me if can find some as I will be back next week.

He responded later this evening to tell me someone else in town that has the beer in stock and that he was still going to see if he can get some.

So if they don't have what you are looking for ask for Mike. Maybe he can get it.

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Photo of beerdedpunk
2.28/5  rDev -37%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I've been going to capital market for years, since I had a buddy that lived like a block away. They have a great selection (for salem at least which isn't saying much), however I agree with many others in the question of some of the freshness. I don't know if I'd say it's a shady place, other than the rack of porn next to the cash register. It is an old neighborhood grocery store that happens to carry a lot of beers from around the northwest and the world. The prices are reasonable if you're getting something that you can't buy anywhere else in Salem, but more expensive than if you can find them in any other store in town. If you are thirsty for something new check them out, or if you are up for the drive head to John's Market in Tigard.

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Photo of guajolote
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

For those living in or travelling through Salem (a.k.a. The Great Oregon Beer Desert), this is one of the few sanctuaries for beer geeks in town. The selection is far and away the best in the area, and the prices are reasonable. You'll find lots of local Northwest offerings, as well as a decent selection of Belgian, German and other European imports.

The location of the store is often described as "sketchy," although being a longtime resident of Chicago before moving to Salem, "sketchy" is relative. I don't find it to be particularly sketchy, but you will run into some shady characters in/around this place from time to time. That being said, I've never felt like I was in danger, even at night.

As for the store itself, it's a cavernous, old "supermarket," so there's a lot more than just beer in this place, although I would never consider buying anything BUT beer here. The beer is located in a long wall of coolers, with warm duplicates on shelves.

This place doesn't seem to have high turnover, so you have to be careful with freshness. IPAs and other date-sensitive beers could be past their prime, so be sure to check freshness dates if available. They also get some seasonals and a few harder-to-get beers, but it's hit-and-miss.

Don't expect much in the way of customer service. The owner will chat about beer, but I'm not sure how extensive his knowledge is. He will, however, try to get beers in if you request them (he ordered RR Temptation for me). But if you need info about a certain beer or buying advice, forget it.

In general, this is a good beer store. Relative to the offerings in Salem, it's a GREAT beer store. Prices are reasonable and you'll usually find something worth picking up, especially if you're looking for something the chain supermarkets or c-stores don't carry. However, if you're going to buy a widely available six pack or bomber, go to elsewhere. The price will almost definitely be better. Regardless, this is my go-to beer place when I don't feel like driving up to Portland.

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Photo of Pemba
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%

I have been going to Capital Market for the past 6 months to get the hard to find microbrews from around the country. Up until the last visit it had been everything everyone described such as somewhat sketchy clientele, location you wouldnt want to hang around late at night, funky smell, and not the most savvy workers. I had been able to get by that for the past 6 months because they have amazing selection on things you just cant get without an hour drive to Portland.

That all changed, last week I went in there with my wife as she had found a style of beer she liked. Good times. The reason i go to Capital Market was to get individual bottles or bombers of brews i wanted to try out before committing to an entire 6-pack of which I might only have 1.

So I am there with my wife and we walk up to the counter with 2-3 bombers and 4-5 different individual bottles, some from broken 6-packs on the shelf and some from six packs that were full in the cooler. The past dozen times I had been there the people just charge per bottle, but this time, the owner wouldn't let us break any six pack containers. He said they have too many out there. I tried talking with him and he insisted that this is his new policy.

With the option of no individual bottles now out, I probably won't be going back unless I know there is a hard to find bomber or six pack that I can't get elsewhere. I will probably just be stocking up anytime I am near John's in Multnomah Village.

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Photo of Elimination
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4

This place must get very overlooked, honestly in some of the selection and finds, i think this might be a bit better than belmont.

Im not a snooty dressed person, hell when I walked up to the counter with stone imperial from 08, and a bottle of abyss, the guy looked at me as if he was wondering where the keystone was. because honestly, that is the average person coming into this place, someone who wants to drink to get drunk.

the store has a great selection, very low key, dirty, but fuck it this place just feels right to me, prices are good as well.

September 2011 Re-review

Basically this is one of the first stops I always hit up when going through salem. Lately quality of selection has gone down, and prices have gone up. It once was a place where I could find rare brews that even my higher end stores in Bend didnt always have.

Now rarities are not as present, and more of the easily accecables are filling the shelf. Prices are also about 10 percent or more higher than they were a year or so ago, yet at other retail locations are about the same.

Along with that, they keep are large amount of beers right out in open, ambient tempature, with light staring down at them. That is until they can put them in the cooler. This has made me purchase a few beers that I know are great, but almost undrinkable after sitting in a hot convenience store under light for a whole summer.

Overall, if you live in salem, this is a great place. But if your from somewhere else, it might not be worth your time.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.2/5  rDev +16%

So, I traveled out to Salem for work. (I'm from Wisconsin.) I had anticipated Capital Market to be a small liquor store with limited space and an even greater limit on the beer selection. That was not the case.

As you walk in you'll discover the largest liquor store you've likely ever been in. It is in fact a converted grociery store. The beer selection is great. There are full size coolers lining one entire wall that stretches a good 75 feet. You'll have a selection of beers from all over the world. Each cooler is labeled accordingly; Belgium, California, Oregon, etc.

I was extremely pleased to find bombers of some very highly rated Oregon-brewed beers. I stocked up with a six pack of some local IPA and another 6 individual bombers. Just enough to fill my backpack for the 1 mile walk back to my hotel.

The service was cordial and they take Amex, what more can you ask for?

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Photo of velosuds
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%

I have been to this store four or five times now and, sadly, Capital Market has the best beer selection in Salem, OR. This is the only favorable attribute. Not a place to go with my wife (see other reviewer comments). Thankfully, many of my favorite beers are available at other places. I am very concerned about freshness, as I have seen some very old beers, particularly in their unrefrigerated aisles. I only go there when I want something I have not tried before, but I will probably be postponing these types of purchases for when I am traveling to Portland, Bend, or parts in Northern California when I am on vacation next month and know I can get fresher product. Prices are higher for many of their beers that are also available at large grocery stores with decent beer selection. Service is virtually nonexistent.

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Photo of olmatty
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

Capital Market is a moderatley sized grocery store located on State street just a couple of blocks from Wilamette U Campus. From the outside building and signage one would never know that this in the best place in town to buy beer. I doubt the outside has been renovated since the store's inception. The neighborhood is questionable and there are clearly three types of beer clientelle; the college students, the hop heads who come from miles around for a good selection and the local brown-bag boozers who are buying cheap malt liquor; the last group a product of the immediate neighborhood. Either way one has no trouble telling the groups apart.

I haven't counted all the beers, but I'd say they carrry between around three hundred brands/styles, more than twice the selection of any place in town. The owner told me he'd been there for more than twenty years and, while nice and pleasant enough, after several conversations at the counter: I'm sure that ownership and staff lack a passion and substantial knowledge for the beer, seemingly the mainstay of their business.

Although, the selection is the deepest in town, it is nothing compared to stores in both Eugene and Portland. Many of the seasonals of the brands they carry are absent, as are all higher end specialties and asking about something that's not there has been a dead end one hundred percent of the time; no information, no knowledge and no promise to procure it or offer to special order.

In recent history I purchased two bombers of old, skunked beer from among the dusty shelves which I had to dump out and last week personally witnessed a six pack of Pike Pale Ale that was coverend in black mold proudly displayed in the front of a refrigerator. To be fair, these are the exceptions to an otherwise mostly reasonable store.

Prices are a bit higher than supermarket, but I consider that a trade off for better selection.

Sadly, Capital Market happens to be the best beer store in Salem at the moment. This store seems to be tottering between just a bit more effort and selection making this an excellent store and just not caring enough to do anyhting to make it better.

Update- As of 3-09 the market has added huge new beer refrigerators so that nearly the entire store is ringed with coolers. A nice addition to enhance the store.

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Photo of Spikester
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

Another old neighborhood store that looks run-down and like they would have nothing but macros and malt liquors. Close in downtown the clientel is varied to say the least. Anytime of the day you can find a hard-core drunk desperately searching for his brown bag special brew. It is even more nasty at night. That being said, it is the best place in Salem to buy craft beer. A very good assortment of NW and California beers. A pretty good selection of european beers as well. The prices are a bit higher than Portland but I don't mind paying a bit more to not have to drive 45 miles one way to buy beer. I really don't recommend going there in the evening.

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Photo of Deeter
4.2/5  rDev +16%

The scores I give for Capital Market are skewed by its location; if this store was in Portland, it would get a slight to moderate docking. It is, however, in Salem, and it is the place to go in the area for a great beer selection. For whatever reason, the mid Willamette valley has been a flyover area for great beer in Oregon, and Capital Market fills that niche. It looks like a place you wouldn't send your wife into, both inside and out (likely hasn't changed since 1955), but nearly the entire left wall of the store is a refrigerated beer mecca for Salemites. Beers are organized by country, then state, and you can mix and match to your hearts content. The clerks range from knowledgeable (owners) to disinterested (most others), but you should be able to find something to satisfy you, no matter your tastes. Oregon, Washington, and California beers are probably over-represented, but there is a good selection from the rest of the country and abroad as well.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +10.5%

While visiting Salem I started to think I was in a beer waste-land. I actually only found one 'liquor store' and discovered that liquor stores don't sell beer...just liquor. Go figure.

Anyway some readily available brews from Widmer and Bridgeport kept me smiling as they are world class, but I really was hoping to find and try something new and different.

Capital Market.
What can I say....over 100 different brews...several beliguims and a whole lot of American Crafts...wonderful was hard to stop at $80 but I still had to buy gas for the trip home to Southern California.
The store is small and not pretty at all to look at...either inside or out, but the two working the counter (owners, I am guessing) were very pleasant and helpful and besides a great selection of brews, they also allow you to mix and match your own 6 packs which gives you an opportunity to try lots of beers without making a major commitment.

If you should find yourself in Salem, do yourself a BIG favor of checking this place out even before you settle into your hotel room.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

Capital Market is my standby in Salem. While the majority of the state, especially Portland, boasts excellent beer selection and a number of very stocked stores, Salem is a desert of good, craft beer. Belgians are incredibly difficult to find, and the more obscure and difficult to find Oregon native brews are often just a difficult to find if they are not Deschutes or the occasional Widmer seasonal release. Capital Market is different. It's selection of craft beer, which makes up the majority of the rear, lefthand corner of the store - the back wall being full of a selection of malt liqour heavy macro products. They boast a great selection of Rogue bombers from one seasonal selection and a variety of year round releases. They also carry the usual Deschutes products along with the Bond Street Releases, Widmer products, Siletz, Hair of the Dog, and more. The selections from other states, especially California and ther other west coast states are nice. Highlighted bombers I have purchased there are Great Divide's Hercules Double IPA, Bear Republic products, and Lagunitas steady stream of seasonals and one off releases. Each region, whether it be a nation like Germany (Paulaner and Ayinger products) or the UK (Thomas Hardy's and also some Fuller's and Young's products along with Sammy Smiths), or the states are organized into sections. They have single bottles availalbe, and across the aisle from the cooler full of bombers and craft beer sixers, rest a myriad of open sixers and cases where the shopper can feel free to make a mixed six pack for him or herself.

While Capital Market does not have the best selection in the world, the selection of the beers in relation to the majority of Salem is excellent. While places like Life Source Natural Foods and Grand Vines deli have excellent, but limited selections, Capital Market is a great to place to hit if looking for a great variety.

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Capital Market in Salem, OR
Place rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 17 ratings