Healthy Spirits

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76 Reviews
Healthy SpiritsHealthy Spirits

Type: Store

2299 15th St
San Francisco, California, 94114-1237
United States

(415) 255-0610 | map

Sunday: 11am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm

Added by EBbrewpunx on 09-13-2006

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 103
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.74/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

First off, a big thank you goes out to Rami for making such a pleasant experience. I had called ahead to confirm there was Russian River left and he asked if I would be able to bring some Brooklyn Brewery beers, which I was more than happy to abundance. Upon arrival he and William (other employee there) were super cool and great to hang around with. Also worth mentioning is that Rami knows and loves beer and is just a real pleasant guy to talk to.

As far as my honest critique of the store goes: A very nice selection. At that moment they had a lot of Russian River. And I mean a massive amount. Beatification, Supplication, Temptation, Redemption, Salvation, Damnation, Pliny the Elder, and Blind Pig. And not just a small amount either. Cases and cases and cases and cases. So if the folks at Russian River like the place enough to make sure they get a huge delivery of stuff, you know something good is going on. Beyond the Russian River there was a nice variety of well arranged American and international stuff. Lots of Belgians! Everything in the front is in the coolers, but if you want something at room temperature, just ask. They have many, many shelves of things in the back.

Overall I think that Healthy Spirits is really just in it's beginning phases. I can see the whole store growing and becoming bigger and even more interesting as time goes on. Which is why it'll be a place I hit when returning to San Francisco.

About 5 blocks from the N subway and only a few blocks off Market Street.

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Photo of mszuch
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Ok, in town visiting family, and just happen to look through beerfly for a store with good selection.
The name got me originally - Healthy Spirits, gotta love the name!!!
The location isnt too far, and once i start to read the reviews, I am hooked.
I walk in the store and meet Dave. Talk about a great "host", since salesperson just doesn't cut it.
After introductions, he spins me around, and my jaw hits the floor at the Belgian selection he has there!!! HOLY %$#$%^
So. Cal has nothing like this, and don't even get me started on Nor. Cal beers. Russian is my fav, and he mentions a little "back stock" that I take advantage of.
I left there a happy person, and Dave, when you read this, you can definitely expect me back whenever in the bay area, and I cant wait until the shipping thing gets going.
Cheers to the crew.

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Photo of jkane101
5/5  rDev +10.1%

What can I say about Healthy Spirits...other than this is now and forever will be my "Go To" place in San Fran..
here's my story...
So while browsing the forums I noticed that Rami of Healthy Spirits has just posted that he has a limited number of bottle from Russian River in..just a few of each. Me, living in NJ, started thinking "how the fuck can I get my hands on these bad boys" without performing some kind of Fantastic Four stretchy-man act.
Then it hit me...isnt my ex-wife in SF on a business trip??? HELL YEAH she is...
So a few sweet text messages to butter her up and BINGO...she's willing to be my beer mule!
Now I gotta get in touch with Rami and see if we can work out how to get her the beers since she's in a day long meeting.
I call Rami...and he is, in a word, unbelievable.
First he tells me what he has...then he puts the beers I want to the side. He tells me if it comes to it he'll find a way to get the beer to her hotel...are you kidding me? He's awesome. it turns out my ex is able to get out of her meeting early and take a cab there. She's on the phone with me the whole time while Rami and her are adding to the order... being a beer drinker herself she also wanted a few of these goodies.

So there's my tale....
an exceptional store with exceptional people working it.
Thank You Rami!!
and hey...thank you to my ex-wife, Kanesty, for being a good sport.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%

Outstanding! I hiked up from the 16th street BART station to pick up a bottle of Beatification that Rami was kind enough to set aside for me. Well worth the hike--found a great selection of beers, got first class treatment from Rami, bought what I could carry back and vowed to return often. Aside from being super friendly, the man knows and is passionate about his beer.

Next time I'll go up with an empty stomach, grab a sandwich or something from the deli counter and sit down and enjoy with a cold one!

Highly recomended.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

This place is a really good place to get belgian beers. I remember when this beer store wasnt very much, but always had the chimay sign overhead. Clickpush has really improved this place. Even though he's leaving, look for it to continue to be a stop on your tour of san francisco beer stores.

When I went there you could also buy sandwiches, so bring your appetite and a healthy liver and eat, drink, and be merry. Parking is ok, you'll probably find a spot near the place. They also take credit cards, so not cash only

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Photo of Lothore
4.45/5  rDev -2%

Q- This store, while small, seems to be in a good location and everything is set up so it is really easy to find the beer you are looking for.

S- When I usually walk into beer stores I don't actively engage the employees so pretty much everywhere i've been hasn't really went above and beyond to help me except this store. I posted in the forums that I was looking for the abyss and rami told me it was available here. As I walked in he introduced himself and remembered the forum post and really went out of his way to help me, I think this is the mark of a good beer store. This place will definitely get my business in the future.

S- Nice selection, heavy on the belgians. I picked up a few of the top 100 that I haven't been able to find elsewhere and as I previously mentioned, some abyss.

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Photo of Talisker
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Updated Review 22-Nov-2008

In the ten months since my initial review (below), Healthy Spirits has continued to grow its beer selection and prominence in the Bay Area beer community. I bet there are 150 more beers there today than the several hundred stocked earlier this year.

The Belgian focus still remains strong, and they're the only source for a great number of obscure Belgian and Belgian-styles. Yesterday I saw two beers from St. Somewhere in Florida, thus far not seen elsewhere in the Bay Area, and three obscure Dupont varieties unique to this shop.

Unfortunately prices remain on the high side, so this wouldn't be your go-to place for stocking up on regular drinkers - BevMo or even City Beer Store rule the roost there.

But Rami and his new guy Dave have really turned this unassuming corner store into a world class beer destination. They're in spitting distance of Ledger's for selection, and way past Ledger's in general ambiance and enjoyment.

Initial Review 08-Jan-2008

In just over a year (essentially the whole of 2007) I have seen this shop turn from a quaint but unremarkable high-end corner grocery with a nice Belgian beer selection into an outright paradise for Belgian and similar-styled beers.

Plumpjack Noe Valley used to rule the San Francisco roost when it came to Belgian and obscure imports (aside from the Toronado's oft-overlooked but amazing bottle list), but as of early 2008 this is no longer the case. Healthy Spirits has the best stocks of its chosen niche - overall not as broadly interesting as City Beer Store, but much deeper than either CBS or Plumpjack where Belgians are concerned.

The beers are everywhere - most stored very nicely in coolers with low light, but with others in racks all around. There must be 300+ Belgians alone, not to mention a smattering of other imports and good American stuff. Be sure to peruse the whole store (not hard - it's a small place), because there are often one-offs or odd-format bottles in places you wouldn't think to look.

Prices, unfortunately, are a bit high overall, and if BevMo or even City Beer gets the same item, you're almost guaranteed to get it for less there. But the overlap isn't significant, and there are a great many treasures that find their way only to Healthy Spirits in the Bay Area.

Rami, the owner and proprietor, has a deep commitment to establishing a fabulous beer selection (and BA Clickpush helped make it a reality when he worked there).

Rami's taste is other food and drink is impeccable - you're unlikely to find a better selection of high-end deli-like food and coffee anywhere else in town. It's hard for me to think the neighborhood walk-in market can support such an over-the-top high-end beer selection, but let's hope it keeps going on.

It looks like parking would be tricky, but I've never had a problem finding a spot within half a block of the store.

The world needs more places like Healthy Spirits. It and City Beer Store are now *the* retail places to go in San Francisco.

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Photo of jwebco
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

I had read about this place from beer advocate and finally had a chance to pop in this New Year's Eve. Wow, was very impressed from the get go. As others have said, the place is a small, typical looking SF corner store. Once you go in and really get a look at the coolers along the left side you know you are somewhere special. Two words: Jolly Pumpkin, this is the first time I have seen this in the Bay Area (I am not claiming to have been to every beer store in the bay area). I didn't have much time so I grabbed a bottle of La Roja and a 750ml of Tripel from the La Trappe brewery (The seventh Trappist brewery!).

I could have stayed another half hour and spent more money. I spotted some magnums and bigger size bottles but didn't have time to look.
I complemented the two guys working there on their selection and after talking to them for a little bit they seemed pretty knowledgable about the selection. They had just got a new shipment of Belgians that they hadn't even put out yet. The main man, Ron, who I think it the owner was very nice and enjoyed talking to him.

I cannot wait to get back here and I only gave this place a solid 4.5 because it was such a short visit. I love finding gems like this.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%

Stopped here a few times over the past year the most recent being the day after thanksgiving. They have a pretty good selection considering how hidden and small this store is. I actually found it by accident while walking to haight street last summer. There are a couple of fridges filled with a number of hard to find beers. Theres plenty of stuff from bigger belgian companies as well as others that make belgian style beers. These include Russian River, Allagash, and Unibroue. Interestingly enough they had a selection of Green Flash. Didn't try the food but the guy was nice enough to give me some paper towels to clean my hands while my brother and I were waiting for the tow truck outside the store.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%

Outstanding little shop that packs in the good (Belgian/French style mostly) beer. Brewbacca and Clickpush, the place’s Beer Specialist were nice enough to show me the place.

Food: Samples of various Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods were available free of charge. All were homemade and delicious. A Cheese expert, I believe he called himself a fromageie, was on hand as well giving out samples of some very fine, even exquisite California cheeses. This is hard for me to admit as a cheese head but California certainly has Wisconsin beat when it comes to my favorite styles of cheese, aged goat and lamb cheeses and lamb/goat bries. These were found in abundance at Healthy Spirits. We ended up purchasing some great cheese that was called something like moonlight or dark of the moon or something. Wow was it good. They also sell all sorts of pitas and breads.

Beer: Hundreds of bottles of Belgian and French style beers and a few local gems crammed into a tiny little place. Well selected, well displayed. What more can I say? This is a tremendous shop.

Staff: They have a manager whose secondary title is “Beer Specialist.” He’s a BA. What more needs to be said? Perhaps that the owner is very friendly and obviously makes a great effort to hire knowledgeable people and to sell the best possible products.

This store is highly recommended.

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Photo of live4beer
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

I found this place while driving to toronados. It had a chimay sign hanging, so I went inside. My jaw dropped as I browsed through all the bottles. I stayed a good hour looking through all the beers. They had different of beer, domestic and foreign. The inventory had different brews of popular belgian breweries. I must have spent around 120 bucks. Included was a spelt ale, fig ale, buckwheat ale, cuvee, saisons, tripels, and some other intersting styles. The staff was helpful and friendly. I ended up just going back home. When it comes to Belgian beer, they have the best selection in the bay area. I highly reccomend this place

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Photo of scojo
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

I've been to Healthy Spirits a few times now. They have a solid selection of Belgian beers, including a few things that I haven't seen anywhere else. Matt, their beer guy, is very friendly and happy to chat about beer and answer questions or provide recommendations. They have the most comprehensive selection of Cantillon brews that I've found in the city, along with a couple of other lambics, sitting on a rack in the middle of the store. Good stuff.

I picked up a bottle of Cantillon lambic, a Girardin Gueuze, a bottle of Orval, some Monk's Flemish Sour and a bottle of Flemish Primitive while I was there. Cost about $50 total, which isn't bad for the Bay Area. They give a 5% discount if you buy six bottles and 10% if you buy 12.

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Photo of rayjay
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%

Small corner store with a friendly vibe. Awesome selection, and 98% in the fridge. Go fresh beer! Specializing in Belgian beers, lots of bottles I've never heard of before in my life (I've been in CA for 4 years and therefore am out of the Belgian loop). Probably about 150 different beers total, and all are top notch. Lots of good looking wines and botique sodas too. Small but quality food as well, specializing in middle eastern comfort food like hummus, along with a small but equally quality cheese selection.

We got a Monks Flemish Sour Ale (cool, I thought they only sold this one in Philly!), a Troubador Obscura Mild Stout, Houblon Chouffe (1st time since it came out a year ago that I've ever seen it for sale), and a Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calbaza (1st time I've seen it in CA). Total came to just shy of $50, steep for 4 bottles but I consider the quality as well.

The cons are that this place really jacks up those prices. A $7 bottle of Damnation costs $11 here. Ouch. Also, they didn't honor the 5% BA discount, which I was kind of counting on. Live and learn. My only other complaint is that the Bay area breweries aren't represented as much as I'd like; didn't see any Drakes, and no Trumer. They did have White Knuckles and Hopsickles, so I'll give 'em a break. I think they should have a little more hometown pride, though. Hope this helps, cheers!

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Photo of illidurit
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

A couple friends and I went well out of our way (the heart of San Francisco on a Santa Cruz-to-Berkeley trip) to find Healthy Spirits, based solely on a beer selection list posted here by employee and beer advocate Matt (clickpush). Upon entering I was awestruck, as the tiny corner cafe boasted an entire wall of refrigerators, each stocked to the brim with high-rated and hard-to-find beer. 4 Russian Rivers, St. Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition, a bunch of trappists, and dozens of other Belgians.

Matt, an established beeradvocate member, was clearly knowledgable about the selection. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Brasserie de Rocs Triple Imperiale, which he strongly recommended, is in the top 50 on this site. My only regret is that I didn't pick up Deschutes The Abyss, as I haven't been able to find it anywhere else since. More reason to return to San Francisco, I suppose!

I found the prices fair enough considering the rarity of the beers I bought (made a healthy dent in the Russian River section), but this place is very generous with discounts. I got 5% off for mentioning BA and 5% off for buying 6 or more beers.

I'll surely be back again.

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Photo of CraftBC
3.9/5  rDev -14.1%

Corner market with a large selection of Belgian and Belgian-style ales in 750ml size bottles, all kept cold in a line of display coolers. At the time of my visit (early Feb 2007) there were over 149 craft beers, of which 84 were from Belgium. The owner said he expected to receive another 25 or so Belgians in the next week. Some interesting beers I haven’t seen elsewhere recently included the Kapittel range, Deschutes Abyss, Leute Bok, three beers from Belgian brewer Blaugies, Ecaussinnes Ultrabrune, and Duinen Dubbel and Tripel. Prices are high – about 24% higher than BevMo and 13% higher than PlumpJack – but the interesting selection makes it worthwhile. Very tough on-street parking but open late nightly.

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Photo of clickpush
3.75/5  rDev -17.4%

This is a small, innocent looking corner store w/ a surprising beer selection that's in your face directly upon entering. While they may not carry everything, there's an impressive amount of Belgians for such a small place, and most of the smaller label Belgian selections rotate through. This is a place you have to check every couple weeks to make sure you're not missing out on anything. The clerks there don't seem to know (or care) much about the beer, but this is an excellent place to get a sandwich and stare at the beer coolers while you eat. A number of rare brews somehow find their way in here and their prices aren't any different from anywhere else, despite the fancier aura about it.

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Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA
4.54 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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