Monument Wines & Spirits


51 Ratings
Monument Wines & SpiritsMonument Wines & Spirits

Type: Store

2250 Monument Blvd
Concord, California, 94520-3879
United States

(925) 682-1514 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by stephendr on 07-30-2006

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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Amdy
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I love this place, I just recently was told about it though. I travel for a living and the bay area is a second home for me, for a while Jacksons(Sister store to Monument Wines & Spirits) was my to go to spot for rare beer, pliny, ect. Until one of the guys there told me to check out Monument. As soon as i walked through the beer selection I felt like i was in a dusty used book store. Beer cases piled up left and right set up as isles, I probably spent at least an hour looking at everything before i picked up a bottle and put it in my basket. You look at one case Ie: Stone IRS and its mixed with years 2007-2010, sweeet. Sometimes theres a label that has a cheaper price then the rest of em(Not sure if its a mislabel or if they just stop keeping track of everything) which is all the better if you find something cheaper, I have to admit though, a lot of the stuff here is a bit pricey, I tend to spend at least $100 per trip here. still a place worth checking out if you are in the area.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%

This was my go-to shop for a long time. When my girlfriend lived in San Ramon, I would make the drive up to Concord before heading back to the Peninsula. It was, without fail, worth it. There were many consecutive weekends where I dropped over a hundred at a time.

But that was the past....

After Steve (the previous beer buyer) left, the selection of the store dropped off a bit. Turnover suffered. The "hidden gems" -- beers that they pulled from their cellar and placed on the floor in a hide and seek fashion -- diminished in quantity and increased in price.

My favorite was finding Temptation 375mLs (batch 3) for $22 next to a Temptation 750mL (batch 4) for $21. Firestone XII for $60 when the XIII came out. The vintage pricing got, in a word, aggressive. Bottle limits on nearly everything of note.

I still see the Port 3rd Anniversary (a DIPA from Spring 09) sitting out on the floor, unrefrigerated, at its retail price. Cases of unrefrigerated AleSmith IPA on the floor. The Midnight Sun beers they managed to get are several months old, and expensive, so it's not an attractive proposition.

They have a ton of Ola Dubh, for reasons I can't figure out. Their glassware selection is limited.

With each trip I find fewer and fewer things to buy; the selection is rapidly dwindling in variety. I almost get the feeling they're trying to sell out what they have and get out of beer entirely.

This store used to be awesome. Now it's merely good.

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Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev +1%

Visited 8.11.2010 ISO last product for that evening's Craft Beer Tasting.

While this place was a bit hard to find, located in a shopping center next to a Safeway, for those in search of quality craft beer this is the place to go in the East Bay Area. There selection dwarfs the other competitor City Beer in SFO (haven't been to Beer Revolution in OAK yet). Quite a few beers in the cold case, but make sure you allow yourself time to do the Easter Egg Hunt. Man oh Man did I find some treasures! Angel Share 375s (both Bourbon and Brandy), Old Rasputin 12, Port Anniversary, Cuvee de Tomme (!) Fred (Batch 63, are you kidding me?) and other special beers. Just when I thought it wouldn't get any better, the checkout counter had a boxed bottle of Parabola! Frickin' Score!!! All in all 900 bottles, though I had concerns about rotating/returning past-date products, and the 'beer' guy wasn't there when we visited, so we were on our own. The prices were reasonable, though with the Governator's excessive sales tax, there wasn't a lot of bargains to be had. Though it doesn't rise to the level of Belmont Station for care, customer service and knowledge (few places do), I would highly recommend any traveling beer geek venture out to Concord and pick up some goodies. My suitcase was fully packed for return flight to Beervana, and yours will be too. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of Mubbly
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Great place. Didn't smell as sour last time I visited. They've been very helpful and friendly the few times I've shopped.

Impressive selection with a good offering of cold beers. There are a lot of bottles sitting around in an almost easter egg fashion. I can spend a good hour looking around, but my wife is usually with me.

Prices are usually pretty good. No complaints here.

There are a lot of beers out and about.. looking a little dusty, but not a big deal to me.

Good service with a great variety. Glad to be near this place; my local Bevmo sucks for the most part.

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Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -3.8%

I have been to Monument twice now and really love it. They have tons of harder to find and rare beers, a huge selection, vintage bottles, and fairly decent pricing. They are nowhere as cheap as Bottle Barn, but they make up for it in selection. Their vintage stuff can get a little outrageous however. I'd expect to pay a bit more for aged beers, but old dusty bottles that have been sitting there for even a year can have a steep price. But hey, you can't find them anywhere else.

Overall, a fantastic selection of beers that are rarely seen elsewhere. I plan on stopping by here every time I travel from Sacramento to the Bay Area.

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Photo of MrFootstones
3.95/5  rDev -5%

Quality- My friend did buy a Mexican barleywine here that was gross and oxidized, but generally everything I have bought here was great. There are a good amount of dusty bottles and green bottles that have presumably exposed to light for quite a while, but again, I haven't had quality problems.

Service- The friendlier (beer guy) employees are always a pleasure and ready to point out what new stuff has come in. Wish Steve, the former beer guy was still there though.

Selection- Unrivaled, as a whole, by any other Bay Area beer store I frequent. Cool vintage and hard to find beers are scattered and hidden throughout the beer area. Like a scavenger hunt for those in the know :)

Value- Second in good prices only to Bottle Barn. Definitely cheaper than any SF stores.

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Photo of schoolcb
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%

Was in town for business having traveled (with a padded cooler capable of holding 18 beers). Was told to focus on cooler number "8" which had a pretty good selection. Was asked if I needed help and was told by one of the workers "we have a big selection". A lot of their selection is not refrigerated so I passed right by it. I did find selections that I cannot buy in Texas. Not sure how this store compares to others in the area, so I can't really say if their selection is better or not, but they did have offerings from Russian River (which I was interested in), Hair of the Dog (but no Adam), Alaskan Brewing (I still can't believe we don't get this in Texas) Avery, and more. If you are in the area it's worth stopping in to see what is available.

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Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Stopped by this place during a recent trip to the Bay Area on ipa247's recommendation. This is a medium sized liquor store, not a huge massive warehouse type, with a very large selection of craft beers. They have about six or so coolers filled with a lot of west coast and especially CA goodies as well as a very large selection of beers available room temperature. They have about four or five aisles dedicated to an excellent selection of beer as well as a long row of cases of bombers and 750s. In addition they have even more beer at the counter including gift packs and limited rarities. They carry an array of west coast heavy hitters as well as a nice vintage collection, some east coast beers and a good selection of Belgian and other European imports. Higlights include 6L magnum of St Bernardus 12, 3 L magnum of Damnation, FW 12 and 13, Abyss, Cuvee de Tomme, Consecration several bat he's, Temptation batch 3 and 4, Gales Prize Old Ale 1996!, Hitachino Velebration 2004 and many others mixed in.

The service here was very good. They asked mr if I needed any help, answered all of my questions and even went into the back and busted out some rarities for me. I wish I had a bigger budget and an easier way to get the beers back to Philly. Highly recommended!

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Photo of rayjay
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

With all the reviews popping up lately, we had to swing by here to check it out on our last Bay Area extravaganza.

Quality is good. Lots of coolers, but there's a lot of room-temp shelving that shored a lot of the IPAs. I'd like to see all IPAs in that cooler and bring out some of the Belgians to the floor. Found some dusty and moldy bottles, so check dates; I guess you should do this everywhere.

Service: not impressed. Let me itemize this:

First, not allowed to use bathrooms, which sucks when you go so far out of the way (we live several hours away and were stuck in traffic to get here)

Asked about Sculpin availability: "We have one in the back." Oh, so it's only for certain customers? At least put it out on the floor and put a bottle limit on it. It was a warm bottle. But he brought me 2 when I told him we were from out of town.

Asked about Autumn Maple and Hottenroth: "Uh, I've heard of them." "Well, do you have any in the back in the secret stash?" "Duh, I don't know."

My point is, I blew over $200 at this place, and I was on a mission to find those 3 *not exceedingly rare* beers specifically, and got little to no help and respect. The secret stash in the back makes me feel like they don't want their precious special releases to be sold to me, whom they deemed not cool enough.

Selection was pretty good and big, but overall I didn't see anything super rare that's not at Ledgers' or City Beer or any other store I've been in. Prices seemed fair, considering I usually pay these prices at Ledger's after the discount at the cash register (I stock up when I go to the Bay).

Overrated and snobby. I don't recommend going out of your way. I'll stick to my usual stores. Props for trying to stock the store with good stuff though.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.66/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Monument is definitely one of the best beer stores in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. I found a larger beer selection here than any other store in the Bay Area, with the exception of Perry's Liquor in Livermore. I believe they carry more than Ledgers in Berkeley, and more than City Beer and Healthy Sprits in San Francisco. They also have some of the best prices I've seen at the "big" beer stores.

My main complaint is that I can't seem to find a website that lists their beer selection; this is something that most of the other major beer stores have. Also, though I drove here from a good distance and picked up a lot of beer, they didn't let me use their bathroom.

But again, this is an exceptional beer store with great prices and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.7/5  rDev +13%

This place is awesome - my new favorite store ever! Perry's Liquor in Livermore held the top spot for awhile, but the selection at Monument is every bit as good, if not better. Both are still highly recommended, but if you want more bang for your buck this is your place!

I stopped in here for the first (but hopefully not last) time on Friday around noon. The interior and exterior looked just like Jackson's Wines & Spirits in Lafayette and Moraga Wine & Spirits in Moraga. I asked the clerk about it and he told me that the three stores are all connected. The Moraga store specializes in hard liquor; the Lafayette store specializes in wine; the Concord store specializes in beer. Well, even though I was a huge fan of the Moraga and Lafayette stores, they couldn't touch this one!

The selection was absolutely phenomenal! I saw everything from Cuvee de Tomme to Speedway Stout to Beatification/Temptation/Consecration to J.W. Lees Harvest Ale ('00, '01, '06, '07, and a ton of the cask versions) to Older Viscosity to La Folie to etc. etc. etc. It was unbelievable! I even saw Hel & Verdoemenis and Hercule Stout, two of my big prizes from my first visit to Perry's Liquor in Livermore. Combined, they were about $10 cheaper than the ones I bought at Perry's. At that point, Monument Wines & Liquors became my favorite beer store.

The abundance of quality brews is mesmerizing, and could easily keep one busy for an hour or more. All of the beers are kept in great shape as well; they're stored away from the windows, and the hoppier ones are kept in coolers. Everything is also neatly organized, which is a plus in my book.

The staff was very friendly, though their beer knowledge didn't seem to keen. They were also unintrusive.

I can't wait to come back here! What an incredible store!

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Photo of velosuds
4.2/5  rDev +1%

I visited this store while on vacation recently and immediately wished something similar existed in my hometown. Selection was great and prices very reasonable, compared to what I pay in Salem, Oregon. They had the very best selection of Russian River and Stone beers I have ever seen. I finally was able to purchase the elusive Pliny the Elder, and it was fresh.

Store was somewhat disorganized and even a little nostalgic, reminding me of the mom and pop dime stores of my youth, only this is a liquor store. Service seemed hit or miss, although the one who rang up my sale said I had made some excellent choices. I told him I had learned about the store from and he seemed pleased.

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Photo of TheEremite
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

This is probably the best bottle shop in the East Bay but I also happen to live about two miles away, so it may as well be the only bottle shop in the East Bay. They have a great selection and they get some fairly rare beers. The only complaints I have are that the service seldom knows what they're talking about and they talk down to my wife (she knows her beer) and the price is sometimes high... and sometimes they keep rare beers in the back, but don't tell you about them, even if you ask. I have, several times, asked about a beer that I knew arrived that week and been told that they were out... and then I see it on the floor a few days later. I think it's just poor organization. I also often see several different price tags on the same beers. weird.

So, all that complaining, and I still really like the place. It's the only shop that you can find a good selection of world class beers. You just gotta show up at the right time to get the really rare finds.

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Photo of vacax
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

I was lucky enough to make it to Monument twenty minutes before closing after driving about six hours north from Long Beach. I was quickly impressed. They have one wall of coolers stuffed full of beers, then a couple of low shelving units with two tiers. A lot of great beer was outside the cooler, but the store was also kept quite chilly.

First, let me talk about the selection. I walked out of here with my single greatest beer haul. They had Russian River Beatification, Damnation 23, Redemption, Salvation, plus the IPAs. I bought Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Nogne-O Dark Horizon 2nd Edition, Cantillon Fou Foune, Cantillion Lou Pepe Kriek, Cantillon 100% Kriek, Telegraph Reserve Wheat, and a Red Chair IPA. They also had Older Viscosity, Papier, 3F Oude Kriek and more. This place has amazing beer. And prices were completely fair on everything.

My experience, however, has some mixed elements. Of the three employees on shift, one was kind enough to help us find the good beers here. Unfortunately, this was necessary because all of the really good beer is literally hidden. Get on your hands and knees and crawl around the low shelves looking toward the back on the bottom shelves. This is where all the good beer is. Not organized, but hidden. We were informed that the beer guy will put out one bottle of beer at a time, and keeps the real stash in the back (which nobody working was allowed to even look at). Somewhat ridiculous.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

I decided to check this place out since I saw such good reviews and it's pretty close. I went there with my girlfriend this evening to check it out and immediately as I walked in straight ahead were all these racks of rare and hard to find beers. I bought a Damnation from Russian River Brewing, Red Chair IPA from Deschutes and a couple others. The thing was it took me forever to decide because of their wonderful selection. It was like a kid in a candy store. I thought I was in Heaven. I will be going back there regularly. That place is awesome.

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Photo of BevMoPatrick1
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

Was in the concord area in April to take an entry level sommelier exam,(who says wine and beer geeks can't be one in the same). During some down time went to check out Monument and was happy with the selection. A great variety of belgians. Nice selection from Allagash, Ommegang, Stone, and plenty of RRBC. Picked up a batch 23 Damnation and some cold, fresh Pliny's. Was somewhat discouraged by the stack of Pliny and Blind Pig on the floor, but other than that, a great store to visit if ever in the area again.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

Made a special trip down to Concord to go here and to E.J. Phair today since this is one of my first "free" days in a year (my wife and 1 year old are out of town). Immediately recognized some awesome bottles I hadn't seen in CA before, so that was very exciting. I also noticed quickly that they had some big prices, but after a while I realized that this was more due to the selection of beers than any kind of gross markup. Still, $30 for that supposedly uncarbonated Angel's Share? Nah. Found some real gems though. Lots of Fantome, some Russian River beers I hadn't seen elsewhere (Beatification, Damnation 23 [they also still had Consecration]), lots of Lost Abbey, Port, Jolly Pumpkin (!). One tiny 6oz bottle of Drakes Bourbon barrel stout for $10 (nah.) Nogne Dark Horizon 2nd get the idea. This was a much more impressive store than Ledgers and City Beer, imo...actually resembled some of the better places in the midwest and east coast for quality and range of selection. good stuff. Staff didn't interfere with me, but asked if i needed any help so thats nice. Yeah, ill go back next time i'm "free."

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Photo of mjl21
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

Monument is a great spot for beer. I found out about this place from an employee at their sister store, Jackson's Wine and Spirits in Lafayette. The clerk mentioned that Monument's beer selection was the best of the 3 stores that they own (they also own Moraga Wine & Spirits in Moraga).

Monument is located in a strip mall that is anchored by a Safeway and an El Faro burrito shop. When you walk in the liquor and wine is up front. The back wall is lined with coolers. The first few coolers on the left have the crappy stuff. As you start going to the right is where the good stuff is located. They carry tons of NorCal stuff and a boatload of the Belgians, Trappists, and Euro offerings. By the coolers they have a shelf filled with random beers and an area stacked with various cases of beers. You can always get Lost Abbey, RR, Stone, Drake's, Moylan's, et. al here. Prices are usually very good. They also have a lot of stuff that is hard to find. I have recently seen Sanctification, Temptation, and Older Viscosity. They also stock older vintages of numerous beers. Single bottles are also available in the coolers.

The service can be spotty. I think the beer buyer is named John. He is a nice guy and is very helpful. They also have a younger kid who works there that is helpful. The lady at the register is good at taking your money.

Prices generally are very good. You do pay a little more for older vintages, but that is to be expected.

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Photo of Lothore
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

I stopped by Monument on the way to Sacramento to get my craft beer fix and was very surprised by the selection, if i lived closer i'd come here all the time. I got exactly the same vibe here as you do from ledgers (large, not too organized but has an absolutely massive selection and some definite gems you can find when rummaging through it). Their beer guy seemed friendly and although they were out of blind pig he pointed me in the direction of pliny! They had a lot of california beer, russian river, lost abbey, drakes special releases, and much more as well as a fairly large import selection (although they seemed to focus more on US craft brews which is fine by me). The only beef I had with this place (and i'm not sure I can blame them) is that it seemed like they jacked up the prices on a few russian river beers that hadnt been released for a while which in my mind is a little scummy. I can understand slight price increases but they were selling a couple of the sours for double or more than their original price. I can understand if they were aged but they were only about a year old (some less). Anyway, not big enough of a complaint to keep me away but i'd never buy that section of their stuff.

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Photo of ipa247
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Ok this is my local beer store where I get most of my stuff so I am a little biased. Nonetheless, bias aside, it really is an excellent beer store.

The location is a little odd being that it is located in a strip mall in one of the more questionable areas of Concord. It is very easy to drive by it if you didn't know it was there and from outside appearances it looks like your typical liquor store.

However, inside is another story. You walk in and immediately ahead of you are large coolers devoted entirely to beer and 80% of it to quality and hard to find craftbrews. Immediately in front of the coolers and also to the side are shelves also filled with craft brew. The selection is excellent and ranges from hard to find Russian River Sours like Beautification, Temptation and Supplication to an assortment of Lost Abbey products. All major west coast craft breweries are represented well including Stone, Deschutes, Port Brewing, Ballast Point, you name it. There is also a wide assortment of hard to find Belgian Beers, German Beers and other European products. You can almost always find a rare nugget if you check the shelves in front of the coolers closely. Last time I went I found a bottle of Older Viscocity. The store still has a stock of Abyss and Firestone 12 and as late as a couple weeks ago, Firestone 11.

Prices are a little high but definitely cheaper than Ledger's Liquors and the City Beer Store which I feel are their main competitors.

Service is also excellent depending on the day of your visit. If you happen to be there when the main beer buyer is working then he is more than willing to discuss and make recommendations on his current and rare selections as well as pull things out of the back for his loyal customers. He is gone so far as to tell me when rare, limited release beers are coming out and then holding back a bunch of bottles for me until I can get in there to pick them up. Great guy and very very knowledgeable. If you come in there when he is not working the guys are clearly not as knowledgeable and less inclined to engaged in beer talk or banter with customers.

I make a weekly visit now and no longer have any need to make the trip out to Ledgers and pay their inflated prices. Only problem here is no beer on tap like at City Beer Store. But still highly recommended if you are out in the Wcreek/Concord area and are looking for quality craft brews.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

Monument is one of those places you would drive by a dozen times without realizing what's inside. The only reason I made the stop was a strange feeling that I'd seen the name of the shop on BA before, along with the subsequent glowing recommendation from Jesse at More Beer around the corner.

I'd place Monument in the top five bottle shops in Northern California, right up there with Ledger's, Bottle Barn, and City Beer. What sets Monument apart is the fact that they carry beers not seen anywhere else in this part of the state, and at excellent prices. Think rays of light and angels singing when you walk in.

Here's what to expect: Tons of Lost Abbey/Port, current and older Stone, lots of RR sours, a great selection of Belgians, along with many relatively obscure beers that I've yet to see at the previously mentioned shops. FW 11 and 12, Abyss, and other limited release beers (that always seems to disappear quickly everywhere else) are still available here. On that first trip I picked up a bottle of Older Viscosity at a lower price than what I paid in SD six months earlier.

About half of the beers are kept refrigerated, with cases of the other half arranged by brand on the floor. It's somewhat organized, somewhat not, but the slight disorganization just makes the hunt that much more fun. Stephen is their resident knowledgeable and helpful beer guy, and is always eager to BS about good beer.

Monument has become my go-to bottle shop. Nothing within a 30 mile radius even comes close.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

For the amount of people that drink good beer in the bay area, the amount of heady beer stores is lacking. Made the trip out here after a weekend in San Francisco before heading back to the South Bay. Well worth my stop, but I did drop $200 easily.

Russian River, Port, Lost Abbey, Drake, Stone, Rogue, Rodenbach, Flying Dog, Lost Coast, rare Belgiums and the list goes on.

Some of their bottles are a bit dusty, but none of the beers I've tasted thus far that I purchased there tasted like they had been skunked. They have many loose 12oz bottles if you want to try something new and not get locked into an entire six pack if it sucks. I also picked up a snifter and Chimay Goblet which were reasonably priced.

I heard rumor that they had carried Pizza Port, so after unsuccessfully searching, I asked the young gentleman behind the counter if they had any and he looked at me like I was cracking a joke on him. Later, a nicer man (probably about 33) said that they had discontinued that brewery. He rang me up quickly and helped me carry my 4 boxes of beer out to my car on a dolly.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

This store is easily has the best beer selection in the area. Almost all their beers are kept in coolers lined up on the wall. They have an excellent selection of russian river (they still even have the sours in! They are a little hard to see in the dark bottom corner of one of the coolers), Stone (though for some reason they don't carry the smoked porter... but they do carry multiple vintages of Old Guardian, and the IRS), Lost Abbey (all the year round stuff on a regular basis), and numerous offerings from many other west coast breweries. They also have a decent selection of imports, with special attention to lambics and geuzes.

One rather odd thing they do is put out quite a few beers lined up on the floor. Obviously not the ideal storing location, and most of the items on the floor are also in the coolers, but on rare occasions you can find some real rarities on the floor. Today I saw a small caged beer hiding behind a bunch of larger beers, with the label hiding. I picked it up and nearly let out a scream. Older Viscosity. I found a second one hidden in a similar fashion on the floor. Needless to say, that inspired this review.

In terms of service, the people I've talked to in the past seem to have a decent grasp of their selection and make some okay recommendations. The prices are pretty much standard for the area, with the occasional beer with an inexplicable mark-up.

Overall, chack it out if you can.

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Photo of bbothen
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

Non descript liquor store in an older strip mall in beautiful Concord. Who'd have known.

Someone here is obviously a beer fan. Lots of the latest releases from Pizza Port, Lost Abbey, Russian River, Stone, Hair Of The Dog, etc. Lots of Belgians I haven't seen elsewhere as well. Barrel series from Drake's. 750 corked bottles of barrel aged Gonzo porter. Yep. Got all from this place.

The best thing about this place is the good stuff usually stays on the shelves awhile.

Hope I haven't given up my secret. I've been making trips here for awhile.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Swung by here while in the NorCal area. Smallish building, but a great selection for the size. Walked away with Stone '07 Russian Imperial Stout, 07.07.07 Vertical Epic, & a mountain of XI Anniversary. Also Rogue Old Crustacean, Avery Mephistopheles Stout, Lagunitas 13 Anniversary, & Drake's Barrel Aged Old Ale & Barleywine. They also had a solid selection of Belgians (St Bernardus 60th anniversary, Triple Karmeleit, etc.). Little to no glassware. A bit on the pricy side, but definitely worth going out of the way for.

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Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA
4.16 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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