Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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Hi-Time Wine CellarsHi-Time Wine Cellars
122 Ratings
Hi-Time Wine CellarsHi-Time Wine Cellars

Type: Store

250 Ogle St
Costa Mesa, California, 92627-3808
United States

(800) 331-3005 | map

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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Decided to stop in here, after all the rave reviews, four days prior to Christmas. It was something like 2 PM on that Thursday, and it was *crowded*. The parking lot is meager so I was lucky to find someone pulling out of their space, as there were little other parking options. The street it's on, also, is a bit deceptively small and the cellar itself does not face the street, so be careful not to drive by. Anyway, after parking there is a a main entrance to the left, and an entrance with an awning labeled "Beer/Kegs" to the right. Guess where I went. : )

The inside of the beer/kegs section was, like the outside, fairly busy. Cases of beer lined the unrefridgerated area just outside of the large, walk-in refridgerator, but I had learned to go to the walk-in for the good stuff from the reviews on BA. The fridge itself has an entryway for the walk-in on the right hand side, and on the left hand side a liquor-store style display fridge with five or six doors. This display section contained the bulk of the store's six-packs. I had wondered if the six-packs would be picked apart because of the mixed six-pack option Hi-Time gives, and sure enough they were. This is certainly wonderful for the BA wanting to create their own six-pack, but it is decidedly a disadvantage if you happen to want a full six-pack of something.

The inside of the fridge is not as big as some of these reviews had led me to believe, but it is still sizeable. Opened shipping boxes of some of, assumingly, the newer stock line the floor, stacked on-top of each other. These contained, among other things, Port's Santa's Little Helper, Stone Double Bastard, Hair Of the Dog Doggie Claws, and Ballast Point Dorado DIPA. In the middle is an "island" of these boxes with various American crafts and some Belgians. There is a shelving in back of the shelvings for the six-packs display portion that contains mostly 22 oz beers or single 12 ozes of some rarer things, including Lost Abbey offerings, the typical AleSmith line (IPA, ESB, and the foil-wrap cork bottles), some Rogue, some Stone. Really, nothing absolutely jaw-dropping, but some cool things here and there. There then was a shelving on the opposite end, over the "box island," which contained Belgians and German offerings. They had a good selection of Lambics, Houblon Chouffe, and some others. There is a final shelving containing more German offerings as well as some rarer South American/Latin American beer. The fridge itself was an appropriate temperate, probably something around 45 degrees, so none of the beer was "frosty," which I found a good thing.

Anyway, overall I was a little disappointed in the selection. I think the true value in this place is not that they get anything that, say, a BevMo doesn't, but that they have mixable six-packs. Don't get me wrong, they DO get some cool items that the BevMo's don't (HOTD Doggie Claws being the most notable one upon my visit), but there just isn't enough of a difference for me to make a trip there more than every once in a while, maybe. That being said, the service was helpful - there was an older guy helping anyone with any beer questions at all times inside the fridge (what a chilly job!), and the people who checked me out wrapped my beer in brown baggies, and placed them inside a nice cardboard box which has kept them from clattering since they've been in my car trunk.

Overall, worth a visit if you live in Orange County, perhaps not worth a visit if you are much farther away.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%

*** Ask about special beers not on the shelves! ***

Located only 5 miles from my Radisson Hotel, this place is a veritable goldmine. Not just a great beer store, and not just a great wine store but Hi-Time Wine Cellars also packs a punch with a stunning tobacco and cigar collection, corked bottle openers, knives, limited artisianal cheeses, and aisles of awl-kee-hawl hooch.

Beer is back to the right. There is a row of room temp beers of the "basic nature" and a row of opening door tall cold boxes offering up local suspects, but the treasures lie inside the giant walk in cooler area. All imports are lumped together with six foot tall and several feet wide shelves for each locale such as German, English and Belgian...but don't just think that it's all Chimay and Weinstephaner...it's much much more. So many that I can't even put a dent in the selection. ANY BEER FAN WILL BE HAPPY. I snagged some local CA beers that are not usually out my way like Alesmith ESB, Wee Heavy, Decadedance, Moylans 2IPA, Speakeasy Barelywine, Stone Old Guard 2006, and others. Excellent single selection that WILL NOT DISAPOINT!

Tempted to give 5/5 Selection due to every time I am here they have serious new brews.

Most 22 oz local bottles are $4 - $6 with a few rare boys clocking in at $10. Very reasonable and darn near cheap!


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Photo of Goldorak
4/5  rDev -11.5%

I’m really not a big fan what I saw of the OC. I guess it’s partly because of the area where our hotel was in Costa Mesa, there literally was nothing nearby, except a few bad chain restaurants where we ended up eating anyway, houses that all look the same and just a boring, soul-crushing suburban feel. I guess I’ve always been a city kid, even if (or probably because) I grew up in an environment just like this one. So it’s sort of a surprise for me to see a store like Hi-Times liquor in a place like this. Mind you, the store itself is a perfect match for this neighborhood, half upscale gourmet boutique and half stripped-down warehouse liquidation center. You can get a 40 oz of “vodka” for under 10 bucks to go with that 100$ an ounce caviar! Handcrafted Lagiole cheese knives to spread your cheese whiz! Grand cru wines from Bordeaux and the plastic party cups to serve it in! Anyway, what really stunned me was the Beer selection.

Great walk-in fridge section that my shivering girlfriend stayed in no more than 10 seconds, so everything is kept nice and cool. A few specials and cleanouts as you walk in, they just got some Lost Abbey beers, some Stone 10th anniversary and 6.6.6 vertical epic and some YuleSmith, both summer and winter. Good start!

Browsing through the 4-5 aisles, selection covering a lot of Californian micros, both big and small, a few others from out-of-state, an import section with a few eyebrow lifters, ciders and meads (not too much local rep here, but that was the case everywhere I’ve been to), I was totally satisfied with what they had. Prices were okay in general, with some bargains and some rip-offs, so it evens out.

Outside the refrigerated section you could find a rack with some glassware (basically a collection of shaker pints and a few Belgians), a fridge with liquid yeast and other very basic homebrewing supplies, and a few T-Shirts.

No staff to help out, just a guy at the checkout who promptly packed my bottles in boxes and I was on my way.

Even a diehard urbanite like me would suffer through traffic to head towards suburban hell as long as there’s a store with this kind of selection.

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Photo of instrumentality
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%

My buddy dragged me down to this place yesterday evening (Sunday) around 6:30, leaving me with about half an hour to soak it in before closing. One major thing I've learned from this experience is the fallacy of only looking at the Los Angeles BeerFly directory: this place is a gem behind the Orange Curtain.

Yeah...they had cigars, tons of wine, various gourmet cheeses (apparently they have/had the same cheese guy as Bristol Farms), etc., etc., but I only glanced at all of that briefly. The beer fridge had a massive selection, which everyone and their mother has already described in other reviews, so I'm going to skip that and move on to service.

While I was staggering around the giant walk-in beer fridge trying to figure out what to do with myself, an employee walked in and offered to help me out. At first, I thought I didn't need help, but within minutes I found myself engaged in a half-hour conversation with him that ultimately resulted in me buying about $60 worth of beer instead of about $10. He recommended breweries and beers and explained how they compared with ones I had tried before. He explained cleanliness standards in the U.S. and (moreso) in Germany vs. Belgium and how this impacts the versatility of their beer production processes. He discussed various beer festivals he had been to and how he was reminded of his intake limit at one of them. He almost talked me into spending $10.99 on a 4-pack of Sam Adams that included an alcoholic root beer. He did convince me to spend twice that on a 4-pack of Thomas Hardy. Eventually I had to drag myself out of there after realizing it was 15 minutes after closing and they needed to kick me out.

I shall return, and next time I'll probably end up leaving with $60 worth of cheese.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

As far as American beer goes, they stock up on mostly CA microbrews. Alesmith, Stone, Hoptown, Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic, Moylan's, North Coast, Anchor, Anderson Valley, Mammoth, Speakeasy, Lagunitas, and Lost Coast are a few of them. Out-of-stater's include Deschutes, Rogue, Avery, Ommegang, Abita. It's mostly west coast stuff, and mostly stuff you can find at BevMo, but the advantage here is that they let you split up 6 packs, so you can try whatever you want.

They also have a *great* selection of English, Belgian, German etc beers. They are all kept in a huge walk in fridge. Find an empty case or 6 pack holder and go to town.

The cashiers are very friendly too.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.7/5  rDev +4%

Late May 2006-

The #3 best beer store I have been to in my beer buying years. Only behind Bottleworks and John's Marketplace. Definitely the best I have been to in California. Every beer I saw was kept refridgerated...nice! Wonderful and huge local and statewide micro selection. Plus a great German and Belgian selection as well. Found a case full of beer to take home. No one asked me if I needed help, but when I checked out, the guy was chatty and attentive. Prices are about in line with what I am used to. SOme were on sale at great prices as well.

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Photo of PeatReek
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

So, this was the first decent beer-store I walked into after my move from Boston, so I think I was a bit shellshocked (where's the Sam Adams, the Harpoon, the Dogfish Head?) and so maybe not as impressed as I shoud've been. But there was an absolutely bewildering selection of (presumably) local and regional micros to choose from, as well as some obscure selections like Dixie, which sadly will probably disappear for good soon. Basically any style you're looking for, they have a huge selection of it... lots and lots of imports in the walk-in, too, it's not just the locals.

I think my favorite thing, though, was their nonchalant attitude towards splitting 6 packs. Especially just after I move to the area, it's really nice to be able to build my own summer-ale-plus-IPA sampler pack, and Hi Time certainly has your back in that regard. Plus to "selection" for that.

Oh! And if this was Whisky Advocate, I'd give this place 6 or 7 points out of 5... their Scotch selection is absolutely mind-bending. For any given single malt, they have not only the standard bottle, but also a variety of private label, single-barrel, extended-age bottles. W-O-W.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.7/5  rDev +4%

I stopped here after finding it on BA. What an awesome store. There is an incredible selection of wine and chocolates and all kinds of kick-ass things worth stopping for, but on top of that they have such a good selection of beer. So many USA micros and CA beers and imports to choose from. I counted about 60 Belgians, 40 Germans, well over 50 USA, and 20 UK beers to choose from. The prices were mostly OK, sort of hit or miss.

If you're in southern LA, this is definitely the place to stop for beer. The staff is very knowledgable and helpful, and the prices are not set to gouge.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%

Wow...I felt like a kid in a candy store here.
Yes, they have wines and a wonderful selection with a tasting bar downstairs.
Yes, they have snacks, chocolates, olives, glassware, tableclothes and everything you would need for a wonderful evening.
But the beer.
The largest walk in cooler I have ever seen with an absolutely incredible selection of craft and import beers. In large volume, too. Large enough so that specialty and one time beers can usually be found there after they are long gone from other stores.
Store? Did I say store?
This is a beer supermarket!
Don't come here looking for macros....the macros occupied only one stardard cooler with Bud being one six pack wide and bud light being one six pack wide. The same amount of space they devote to the obscure and hard to find micros.
If that isn't enough, you can choose ANY beers as singles to make your own six packs.
Just take one from a sixer....one from another...one from...
you get the idea.
I walked out tonight with a winter warmer I love that is long, long gone from the shelves elsewhere....two bombers of a Lagunitas one timer that I could find on where else....2 sixers of one's I've been looking for forever, and 6 single 12 oz. I've wanted to try.
And I had TWO people there who were very knowledgeable about beers eager to answer any and all of my questions and help me.
Oh, yeah...
I've found a new favorite.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Hi-Time Wine Cellar is beer heaven for people who live in Southern California. Besides Beverage Warehouse in Culver City, this place is amazing. Their single bottle selection is enormous and their keg selection is great. They have a homebrewing area in the store also, so it is one stop shopping for most beer people.

They do beer tastings every now and again and their wine selection is quite amazing. I go down there to pick up a few beers, taste a few wines and enjoy the company of people who really appreciate what they are selling.

They stock the shelves with great Craft beers, a HUGE selection of Belgian, English, German and other assorted beers. The selection really is amazing.

This is a MUST STOP for anyone who is visiting and trying to pick up a few new beers.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%

First off, many thanks to xlperro for leading me in the direction of Hi-Time on my recent trip to SoCal. Turns out, I went to visit a friend who lives in nearby Newport Beach, and she lives just a few blocks from Hi-Time. Who knew? She sure didn't, but I was fired up.

Upon walking in, I immediately realized that this place can satisfy just about any vice you may have; various tobbacos, smoking things of all natures, liquors, lots of wines, and in the back, the walk-in cooler of sweet sweet beer. They have an excellent selection of brews from around the globe, but those I can get back here in PA. I was here for SoCal beer, and SoCal beer I got indeed. A full selection of Alesmith (ho shit!!!) which I of course grabbed quite a few of, Stone, and some other interesting CA breweries that I'd have no chance of finding anywhere but in Cali. Hoppy Brewing, Belmont...a couple others. Really great finds. Service was friendly but not outstanding. Prices ranged from $3-11 for the beers I got. Pretty reasonable. Loved seeing Victory beers here too...a little bit of home so far away. Great place, and I expect I'll be back in June '06.

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Photo of rallison
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%

One of the best selections ever. Plus they have virtually all their beer chilled in a walk-in fridge, so you know the stuff hasn't been sitting out baking as in many other places. Their selection of wine & liquor is just as impressive. Staff is quite knowledgeable, although you usually have to go find them if you have questions. But all in all I don't mind that, as I love to just wander around and check out all their beers. Prices are slightly higher than places like Liquor Warehouse, but still reasonable and definitely worth the cost when considering the extra expense of proper storage. Best beer/liquor/wine store I have ever been to. And only a 10 minute drive for me. How lucky am I?

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Photo of beerceller99
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

After carousing this place on the internet for a few years , I finally got a chance to visit this place in person. I was in near by Laguna Beach visiting relatives when wha lah, the subject of beverage stores came up , and Hi Time Wines was only 10 -15 minutes away in Costa Mesa, so, of course the next morning we were on our way.

The store is huge, divided into three sections, liquor, wine, and beer. The beer section actually looks the smallest, but it didn't lack for selection. Most of the beers are in a large walk in cooler, with maybe 10% of the displays at room temperature. Lots of mostly local California brewers for sale here including He'brew, Speakeasy, Alesmith, Bayhawk, and Hop Town among others, with a decent selection of imports. Not many Midwest or East Coast craft brews, though.
Back to their web site for a minute, they have way more beers available in store than the site has listed, just call and ask.
They also have kegs for sale, and prices are reasonable.

Overall this is a great place to shop for beer, and bonus points for most of them being stored in the cooler.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.85/5  rDev -14.8%

While on a short visit to Southern California, decided to check this store out based on the reviews read here. Located in Costa Mesa, the store looks relatively easy on paper to get too, but was a little more challenging on Saturday afternoon, due to the aggravating numberof red lights after the freeway poortion of 55 southbound ended. The store is big and well lit, but the beer part only occupies a fraction of the floorspace. The invenorty is located in standard cooler shelves and a large walk in cooler. There were some room temperature beers in the corridor, but I think they were also in the walk in cooler. The invetory outside of BMC is heavily focussed on California microbrews, and imports. Not too many out of state micros to be found here. The import selection was good, but not stellar. There wasn't a single import here that I couldn't also get in Georgia. The big California micros (Stone, Alesmith, Moylan, Marin, Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, etc.) were all here, and make this a must stop if you are travelling to the area. Service was business like and courteous, but nobody went out of their way to ask me anything. I liked the fact that they also sold some homebrew kits, which although were not what I was looking for, seemed like a good product to offer. They also have an online shiop and will ship to you. I liked to store, but they seemed to be missing a bit of that loving touch that I like in places like Green's and Brawley's.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
5/5  rDev +10.6%

I did some xmas shopping here so i thought i'd finally review it since i'm here almost every week.

You cannot get better than this place. It used to be an old Pacific Bell Central Office and now it's been turned into a wine cellar per se. But there's not just wine. You can get cigars, glassware, literature, cheese, caviar, candies, and of course liquor, beer and wine.

The beer cooler is in the back and you walk in. It has one of those automatic sliding doors. Wear a jackeet because you will be spending time in here looking at all the brews. Domestics, belgians, flemish reds, baltics, italian, german, bavarian, local breweries... they pretty much have it all. From the 6oz to the jeroboams. The staff is very helpful and will help you any way you ask. Talk to Mike the beer guy and he can suggest for you or let you know whats's new. Actually, anyone will help you with that. You can also mail order. Pretty much if you cannot find it here, it probably cannot be found.

Make it a point to stop by here!!!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%

Thanks to all on Beeradvocate as I would have never found this place without beerfly reviews. It is truly a gem and a cant miss if you live anywhere in So Cal. I traveled 50 miles for this and was not dissapointed. $200 dollars later I was on my way home with tons of Glorious beer. I will make this journey again in a couple of months when my relatives will be in town as it has the largest selection by far of any place I've been to in or near LA. It makes bev-mo's look like a 7-11. lets put it this way I've been searching LA for 2 years to find a kristall weizen and I found 1 variety at bev-mo in west hollywood. At Hi-Times I found 4 varieties and I didn't search that hard as the saison's caught my attention and had to move on. Perfection.

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Photo of Southernbrew
5/5  rDev +10.6%

I just received my first order from Hi-time and I could not be more impressed. I ordered 6 12 oz. singles and when it arrived and I opened it up I knew they would be in good shape. They pack this stuff so it could survive being run over by a truck. The selection on the website was great, at least 90% of the stuff is unavailable in Georgia, if not most of the Southeast. The service is wonderful too. The day after I placed my order, an employee (Tre maybe) called to let me know they were out of one of my choices and helped me pick out something else and was happy to answer all my questions, some of the best service I've ever had. My one gripe is I ordered a full-sail amber ale and was sent a saint louis obispo amber, oh well. I'm not sure where I would dock points since the whole experience was so nice. I will order from them again for sure.

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Photo of rowew
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

This was my first stop as soon as we moved to LA. Luckily it's a relatively short drive. Store has a very eclectic selection - very easy for my signifigant other to entertain herself with chocolate, wine, glasses, etc while I stared slack-jawed at the beer cooler. Nice selection of liquor, wine, and obviously beer. They also have a decent humidor and some cigar accessories. Nice to combine several vices all in one store! Several hard to find imported beers and a solid collection of craft brews. Helpful employees and several check out counters make for a nice shopping experience.

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Photo of oggg
4.7/5  rDev +4%

This place is full of random junk on one side, then huge aisles of hard liquor, then a wine cellar downstairs. At the end, there is a walk in fridge, not too huge, but stocked with lots of beer. Lots of west coast brews, but nothing that BevMo wouldn't have. Huge German beer selection, but mostly dunkels, hefes. A couple of bocks and a kolsch. Belgian section is pretty nice. I grabbed Hanssens Oude Geuze. English section is pretty expensive. Several singles that I haven't seen before, but they were pretty expensive -- $4-6 for a regular strength ale, 16 oz size. Maybe when my curiosity gets the better of me I'll dig in.

Overall: Good Belgian selection. I won't be making the trek back though..

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Photo of alexgash
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%

Was very excited and had very high expectations for this hallowed place. I wasn't disappointed. Stopped by on the busiest shopping day of the year in the early evening. The place was pretty busy, but not insane. Walked in and past a cool little tobacco corner (I don't smoke, but it smelled good). I noticed glassware in the back corner and checked that out. Some cool stuff (especially high-end wine ware). But I didn't come here for glassware. I quickly paced past a dozen or so aisles of hard liquor (very good selection of that by the way) until I reached the beer section. There were 6 or so coolers full of six-packs, several little mountains of cases of bombers and sixers stacked on the floor at room temp., and a small glass door that led to the walk-in. The six-pack coolers had lots of good W. Coast micros, and very few BMC. It was nice being able to buy single 12 oz. bottles. The walk-in was the highlight though. Inside were tons of US micro bombers and 750s (Stone, Marin, Moylan's, Rogue, Alesmith, AK Smoked porter and many more). Surrounding these floor case stacks were the imports. Very impressive Belgian section with stuff I've never seen before. England was decently represented, and Germany was very well represented. Staff was very helpful, if a little scarce (they were busy though). The only bad thing about this place is the amount of money one will spend! Yikes! I dropped 125 bucks before I could even get my list out. The wine cellar is an amazing place too--make sure to check it out, if you can pull yourself away from the beer!

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Photo of BrewMaster
5/5  rDev +10.6%

This is simply the best all around beer store (not to mention wine and liquor) that I've ever been to. They treat their beer like a member of the family, not a commodity to be sold. Their selection is second to none. Rare beers from around the world are easily found here. When I visited yesterday I found a wealth of Liefman's and other great brews. It would be impossible to list even a fraction of hte excellent brews they have. And the best part is that they have a walk-in cooler where most of the beer is stored.

The staff is very helpful and unpretentious. They go out of their way to help you find what you need. They know their beers as well so it is pleasure shopping at Hi-Time.

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Photo of mzwolinski
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Visited 9-18-04

This place is simply amazing. This was my first visit, but from what my fellow beer-lovers say, it is even more amazing now than it used to be in the past. The walk-in beer refrigerator is now expanded and much more spacious, allowing for easier browsing and a wider selection.

Outside the walk-in are display cases featuring six-packs of various, mostly west-coast domestic beers. This is a pretty decent selection in and of itself, and you can, of course, break up the six-packs any way you like, purchasing a single here, a single there...

But inside the fridge is where the real action is. Beers along the wall are organized by country of origin. I spent some time browsing through Germany, than England, then various Eastern European countries (I've learned to be rather wary of these but my friend EyeChartBrew has some sort of sick fascination with them). Then Belgium. Glorious Belgium. Cantillon is, of course, well-represented, as well as the Trappists, and just tons and tons of exciting stuff I'd never seen anywhere else. Really a treat. Finally, in the center of the fridge are more US six-packs and bombers. A very good selection here, though mostly West-Coast stuff. It's the imports where this place really excels.

Reasonably priced. I didn't talk to any of the staff, but I hear there's always somebody around who knows his shit.

Anyway, this is all very abstract, so here's what I came away with from my latest trip. Total bill was $78:

Spaten Optimator
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 1997
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 1998
JW Lee's Harvest Ale 2000
Dulle Teve Mad Bitch
Harvey's Elizabethan 1998
Dolle Oerbier
Sinebrychoff Porter
Harvey's Christmas Ale
Hanssen's Oude Gueze
Aect Urbock
Aect Marzen
Cantillon Lou Pepe
Paulaner Salvator
Unita Anniversary Barleywine

...and I was *restraining* myself. :-)

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%

Finally made the trek down to Costa Mesa to come to one of the highlights of the SoCal beer scene.

Hi-Times is located in the rear of a strip mall in their own standalone building. This store is a warren of aisles and shelves filled with vices of all natures, tobbaco, chocolate, candy, and of course wine, beer and spirits.

The beer selection around here is grand, all manners of Cantillons, Micros, Belgian and German imports and a few of the increasingly rare Baltic Porters. Virtually everything is stored in a giant walkin cooler. The staff is knowledgable and helpful. Always willing to give a hand.

All in all if you're in the area of Costa Mesa, this should be a stop that you make. Top Notch! (Oh and the store is all of 5ish blocks from the Goat Hill Tavern.)

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%

After living and working in this area for nearly three months a couple summers ago, I never found this place in person. We searched local Wild Oat stores, Trader Joe's, and grocery stores for beers to bring out but we never heard about this place even though we frequented the Yardhouse and Goat Hill Tavern a stone's throw away. Selection on the online store is massive all of the west coast brews that don't come to Pittsburgh can be found, and in addition to west coast micros they have a slew of others plus imports including German and Belgian ales. After placing my order within a couple days they called my cell to confirm my order in person, now that's service. I couldn't have been more happy with my purchases got some hard to get Alesmith brews great source of finding beers online.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%

Made my first excursion to this place (40 miles from my work, in the opposite direction of home) on the receommendation of the folks here at BA, and was I ever NOT disappointed. As others tell you, this is mostly a wine shop, but their walk-in beer cooler was amazing. I got away with only spending about $70, and it was only that low because I kept telling myself that I could go back! The selection is excellent- lots of Belgians for me, and lots of everything else for everyone else. The only store I've ever been to in the US that sold Cantillon products- and they had several.

Mike (the beer manager) saw me with my mouth open, and he started telling me all about the place with obvious pride. He's a great guy, and very knowledgeable. His monthly tastings are what I really want to check out, but haven't had a chance yet.

My only complaint (minor) is that the beer area is really cramped and kind of dark, and I was afraid I was going to knock something off the shelves with every movement.

I'll be back...

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Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
Place rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 122 ratings