Star Grocery

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Star GroceryStar Grocery
Star GroceryStar Grocery

Type: Store

3068 Claremont Ave
Berkeley, California, 94705
United States

(510) 652-2490 | map

None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 10
Photo of GoodMojo
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great old-time market, with a surprisingly wide, ever-changing selection of beers, though often only a couple of each on hand. Great Belgian selection (probably no less than 10 options from Mikkeller), and many US specialty and craft brews; including many from Lost Abbey. Great holiday/winter beer selection as well. It's hit and miss what you'll find on a given visit, but you'll never walk away disappointed. Their "beer guy" is also very knowledgeable and willing to offer suggestions if you are stumped. While there, grab a sandwich from the meat department - they are awesome.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.73/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This is a funny one to review, because when you get right down to it, the beer selection is very tiny. Laughably tiny. And yet it made me say wow. Funky unusual imports, a couple of unusual domestics. It is eclectic and funky as the grocery store that surrounds it. Well worth your effort to just go look.

And the grocery store is fabulous, hitting that difficult-to-nail zone of gourmet and local. The wine selection is very nice and appears to have been more or less hand selected by the owners and staff with great thought, if the hand-written signs are to be believed.

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Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A nice little neighborhood grocery store with an above average beer selection. Lots of small craft beer brands, and a respectable Belgian/Scandinavian/Italian/New Zealand selection, featuring some of the best B. United products. Prices were really reasonable. Keep this in mind as a place to check when you're looking for the last bottle or two of a long gone limited release. They had a few random bottles lying around that I haven't seen anywhere else in months.
They also have a great selection of chocolate and cheese, which could come in handy when stocking up for beer tastings.

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Photo of veinless
4.58/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited this quaint place after shopping at Ledger's Liquor and Berkeley Bowl West the majority of the time at Berkeley, and I was incredibly impressed by the quality of their selection.

First off, the atmosphere of this place is awesome: it's a super high quality grocery store, with some of the best butchers and quality meat anywhere. The product variety is on the level of Berkeley Bowl, with slightly better prices and more active useful service. People are knowledgeable and seem to shop there themselves.

The quality of beer was incredible: for starters, I bought multiple bottles of 50/50 Eclipse, both Evan Williams and Four Roses Bourbon editions, and saw lots of other limited bottles, both European and American. Didn't get a chance to meet the beer guy, but I'm pretty sure he goes out of his way to get cases of beer from way outside their distribution. I know for a fact they sold Alpha King from Three Floyd's briefly, and from the bottle hall of fame they have on top of the relatively small cooler, they aim to spread beer knowledge more than anything else.

In terms of selection, the coolers were smaller than you would find at Berkeley Bowl, and there weren't as many bottles as at Ledger's, but almost every bottle there was a worthy offering. You can't really ask for much more from a smaller store like this. A small perk the second time I went was the cashier recognized me and didn't charge me any tax on the beer - don't know how allowed that is, but I'll take it. Seemed legitimately pleased that I had selected good beers and showed some real passion for the goods sold at his store which is always nice.

I love this place and will be returning on a regular basis for everything they offer, not just the beer.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Star Grocery is a small grocery store on Claremont Ave in Berkeley. When I noticed only a few beer fridges in the back of the store, I thought this might be my first review below a "C" rating. Was I wrong!

I was amazed at the beer selection here. Lots of hard to find, high quality beers. They had Russian River, Deschutes, Alesmith, Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, Stone, De Struise, Oskar Blues, Mikkeller, Hair of the Dog, and others! What's more impressive is that they carry some of the best of the above brands, along with some of their hard to find bottles; not just the ones you can find at any good beer store.

Harley is the beer guy, and was very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about beer. He made some great recommendations, and seemed to know about all the beers he carried. He packs all his beer in just a few refrigerators, and since there is so little refrigerator space, I learned there is actually more beer than what you can see looking through the glass, as many different beers are behind the ones in front. It's a real shame they don't have more space for their beer, as this could be a world class beer store. As it is now, it's a small collection of very good, hard to find beer.

I bought Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, De Struise Black Albert, Hair of the Dog Fred, and several Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel that I haven't seen before. Prices are well below the San Francisco beer stores. A neat place to buy beer!

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Photo of vince4953529
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%

Compared to the more energetic Cal-surrounded area, Star Grocery is situated in a calmer part of Berkeley. A neighborhood grocery store with a small but quality beer selection, this place is rather underrated. They have both the RR Salvation and Redemption, De Molen SSS, Peche Mortel, Belgians available in 330 cc bottles, and lots of Italian selections, dismayed that they do not have the Bear Republic XP Pale.

I came here because Ledger's closed on Sunday, this is a great find of a store. Service is decent, some clerks offered opinions as they walked by. Overall, I had an enjoyable shopping experience here.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%

Nice little neighborhood grocery store with a small beer cooler stocked with a very well chosen selection. It's a small collection, but with the exception of one door of macro stuff, it is a nice little selection of goodies. As fartingdog's review illustrates, there is a pretty balanced selection of local micros (Drake's, Bear Republic, Moylan's etc- but no Russian River), a fairly eclectic collection of Belgians and English ales, and a few random offerings like an English scrumpy and a Brazilian weizenbock. All the beer is refrigerated, and kept stocked, and the beer guy was around to offer his suggestions. He obviously has a pretty decent palate and can be helpful. I didn't find anything I hadn't seen elsewhere, but I'm not sure I had seen the entire group of beers offered anywhere else. Nice little stop if you are going to Barclay's or Ben and Nicks anyway.

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Photo of fartingdog
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%

I found this gem driving home one day a few months ago. It's near Rockridge, in the Claremont neighborhood of Oakland/Berkeley. The thing that lured me in was the cool metal and neon 50's style awning over the front, what's kept me coming back is the beer. This is a quaint little local market that focuses primarily on wine and unique specialty foods.

The Beer selection is somewhat limited, what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. They do carry some of the less commonly seen beers and styles. You'll find about a plenty of Belgians, a half dozen+ Germans and a dozen+ UK beers, plus a few unique beers from other parts. all sold as singles in either 330's, pints or 750's. You can break six-packs, but you pay a little more for the single bottle. There's also a smallish selection of a couple dozen US micro's- you'll see the standard Anchor and Sierra as well as Allaghash, Ommegang and Drake's, amongst others.

This is a place I stop when on usual east bay beer hunt, and have found they have a few unique beers that I haven't seen at any of the other stores, and the selection rotates from time to time. Prices are average, but the beer buyer knows his stuff, and is a pretty good guy to sit and chat with. The handwritten reviews pasted on the beer fridges are another treat. If you're in the area it's a nice place to stop by and grab a couple bottles (or more) - you may even find something good to make for dinner.

Update 1/2010: The beer selection has been steadily expanding over the years- 5 cooler doors full, and the macros have been pushed down into sad little stacks in the far corner, but hell yeah- more room for the great beers! They are definitely pulling some of the harder to find beers. Good job, guys.

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Star Grocery in Berkeley, CA
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 10 ratings