Beverages 4 Less

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Beverages 4 LessBeverages 4 Less
198 Ratings
Beverages 4 LessBeverages 4 Less

Type: Store

9181 Mission Gorge Rd
Santee, California, 92071-3723
United States

(619) 448-3773

// CLOSED //

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Added by Phocion on 10-22-2006

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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 184
Photo of GJ40
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

Not much from the outside but this place has a great selection of west coast beers such as Russian River, Alpine, AleSmith and Ballast Point. It meanders throughout the store so give it a good walk through or you might miss something.

The guy behind the counter (he wasn't the owner because he made mention of him) was very helpful and outgoing. He even said they shipped beer and gave me their card. That could really come in handy.

Beverages 4 Less is a great, dedicated beer store. It's well worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

On a Sunday - Monday period in Mid October, I did a tour of San Diego breweries, brewpubs and beer stores. All the bottle shops I visited received A+ ratings with a significant number of reviews. My goal was primarily Russian River brews (Pliny, Blind Pig, Supplication) and then WC IPA's that I can't get in Ohio (Alpine, Kern River).
The places I visited in order of ranking...

1. 3 Way tie - KnB Wine Cellars, Beverages 4 Less, Best Damn Beer Shop
2. Holiday Wine Cellar
3. Olive Tree Marketplace
4. Pizza Port Bottle Shop

It's a struggle to come up with a negative for Beverages 4 Less. I suppose the 15 minute drive to get there could be one, but it's well worth it. I was able to land all the beers I was looking for. Lots of other great stuff, but I had to limit myself.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of yemenmocha
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Beverages 4 Less is one of the better beer stores I've been to in recent years and this place has it all - simply amazing selection, great friendly service (thanks Freddie), and a convenient location right off the freeway. I'll be stopping here on my way out of San Diego back to Arizona every time, without a doubt.

Rare bottlings from the West coast are in stock here when they're not in stock at other locations, and he has a wide variety of imported offerings - both east coast domestic craft and from europe. I was pleased to find Victory beers in stock in addition to the usual suspects from California.

Freddie showed me around the store and drew my attention to special bottlings that I may like, and he was gracious to offer a pour of his Mirror Mirror barleywine while browsing. This is exactly the sort of feel you want when shopping for premium craft beer, and Beverages 4 Less delivers.

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Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BillRoth
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Funny...I didn't think a review page would end uo being a chat page. But I received a comment or two in my Beer Mail from someone re: illegal shippping to Maryland, and replied to sender. But since that message appeared in this review column as well...let me set the record straight on something. While I live in Maryland...Freddie has always refused to ship beer directly to me. So I have him send it to my sister in VA. This is also true of some other top rated stores in other parts of the country who ship to me via legal states. Win-win...see my family a few times a year, and always have great beer at reunions. How fun is that. So here's to great guys like Freddie, who make it possible for many of us to enjoy a few good beers we otherwise would miss out on.

Original Review:
Have been getting beers from Freddie on line for a few years, and finally had a chance to visit SD and stop by. Beers had always been shipped well, and exceeded hoped I could meet up with the guy who had helped me out so often. I hit Alpine as soon as I got to town, and then cruised over to Bev 4 Less on my way back into the city. What a blast! It was like old friends...even though we had never met. Freddie had all my reserved orders waiting for me, and pulled me off a few more specials as well. Cuvee du Tomme, Red Poppy, Grand Teton, Alpine, RR, etc etc...just waiting for me as promised. We talked up beer for awhile, and lined up the next order to come. Looking forward to many more awesome beers in the future.
p.s. Sorry I missed the BBQ on Saturday, Freddie.

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Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Ordered on line. Spoke with Freddy, very nice guy and super service. I was able to get ahold of him at all sorts of times when I would not expect to be able to. Wish I would have read here first, he said he was out of Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood. If he was holding out I would have pleaded some more, maybe next time. Many things available I have no chance of getting out here out east. 3 bottles of Abyss, Old Numbskull, Wee Heavy and an Alaskan Barleywine(In place of FFTW). "Boxing" fee is about my only complaint, but it sounds like a one or two man operation, so I guess he has to get something for his time. Well packaged. Will be checking back often, hopefully will get me out of having to try and trade for some rare west coast stuff.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Beverages4less definitely brings in a wide variety of opinions on the matter. They usually can be broken down between locals (bad) and non locals (good). Myself, being a native born San Diegan, but who has moved long ago and is now non local, thought it would be a good idea to stop by this place and check it out for myself. Its pretty much in between my Alpine lunch and trip to Alesmith, so why not I thought?

Its a craphole exterior. Looks corner markety where you would expect bulletproof glass and lots of Phillies Blunts varities and malt liquor.

Quality: They/he carries plenty of great beers, high quality beers. What is not high quality here are the storage conditions and pricing. Lots of warm shelves, dust. Some things get brought out of the back. There doesn't seem to be prices on anything. Thats troubling for me, as its a way for business to often charge different prices (which is akin to the used car salesmen comparison).

The service was great. Freddie engaged in a lively conversation. He brought out some beers from the back. He seemed pretty cool. He pushed some of his out of distribution stuff at crazy high prices. That don't bother me. I always appreciate the option, even if I'd have to be dumb as shit to buy them at said requested price.

The selection was great, there's tons of beers in here.

So overall, its a mixed bag.

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Photo of Drink_LocalSD
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Beersnake1
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of drabmuh
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

WOW! Forget what you've heard about Santee, you don't need a KKK hood and sheet to shop in this store. That's just one of those stereotypes that rooted in reality.

This store looks like crap from the outside but I assured my wife, "Don't judge a beer store by its parking lot"...this place is awesome. Its also a homebrew store BTW. It looks like a convenient store on the inside but its all alcohol. About half the store is devoted to beer, a wall of coolers and lots of shelves. Lets see, Lost Abbey / Port, Russian River, Deschutes, tons of foreigns (Germany and Belgium), Mikkeller, lots and lots of beers. THere are also out of market beers, a wink is as good as a nod, that aren't for sale. Things like Dark Lord, Kate the Great...all just sitting there on the shelf. Fucking AWESOME.

The beer is reasonably priced, I just have expensive tastes, we were the only people in there and as a result the guy behind the counter kept trying to help us, we didn't need it but that was nice. I'll be going back here the next time I'm near Klantee...errr...I mean Santee.

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Photo of DCLAguy11
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

If it wasn't for BA this place would be a total hidden local gem because it's in a non-descript strip mall off the highway. Freddy is a great owner and knows his stuff. It's worth a stop to check out what he has available especially if you are on your way back from Alpine. Since he has so much traffic he's always getting new stuff in the store. Everytime I go I spend a long time chatting with Freddy. I wish I had a store like this nearby. Oh, and he has a whole section dedicated to home brew materials.

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Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of HopHead84
1.27/5  rDev -71.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2

Where to start with Beverages 4 Less. Behind the facade of an ugly liquor store you'll find beverages 4 less. It's essentially a liquor store with lots of beer. They have a few coolers and an okay selection, but you'll quickly notice the large quantity of beer sitting out on the shelves unrefrigerated. After a walk around the store, you'll stop to wipe the sweat from your forehead and wonder how the beer is faring. You'll touch a dusty bottle with your hand and find that it's warm to the touch. That can't be good for the beer. No, it's not good for the beer at all. It's one hundred degrees on any given day in Santee, and this place does not have Air Conditioning. Would you buy beer that is cooking on a store shelf in 100 degree weather? No, you wouldn't do that, so do not shop here if you care about quality. I haven't eaten any of the liquor store food here, so I can't comment on that. The selection is okay, but most of the beer is dangerously warm so that really limits your options. The service is awful. The owner makes you feel like you're in a used car lot the way he barks at you and constantly refers to himself in the third person. It's creepy. The man will creep you out. Then he'll sell you a bottle for $4 more than he sold it to the last customer. Walk. Walk away now. I bought a bottle of Parabola here and he told me that "Freddie is the only one who got it" and that "you should be happy that Freddie sell you this bottle cus it's very rare and Freddie only sell it to the good customer." Yea, he feeds you that sort of BS, like he's afforded you a glimpse into the inner circle, some secret society ruled by this liquor store owner who can purportedly get you anything you want. Turn around and head back to one of San Diego's other fine bottle shops. Most of the high reviews are from people who have never visited the store and witnessed the horror. Those who have been know better.

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Photo of BGsWo22
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I placed my order on 09/28/2012 for 2 Pliny the Elder, 2 Blind Pig, 1 Temptation and 1 Deschutes Chain Breaker White IPA.
The Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig were bottled on 09/24/2012 and the whole package arrived at my door on 10/03/2012. This is the freshest that I have had either and look forward to being able to get them this fresh again soon. I will still make the trip to Philly in the future for Pliny on tap though.
Nothing was damaged in the shipping process and the overal experience was great. Fred was very helpful and I look forward to ordering in the future.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.2/5  rDev -27.3%

Visited this place while in San Diego for a science conference... that turned out to be more about beer than science.

Am I missing something about Beverages 4 Less? The outside appearance and setup of this store is less than appealing and the neighborhood its in makes me a little wary of going in, in the first place... IPA's and "perishable" beers are kept in the fridge and there are racks and racks of beer out on the floor. At least they know how to store their beer.

I asked the clerk at the counter about the bottles that they have on display on the wall ( a bunch of rare offerings + some limited distribution stuff). He responded by saying that all of them were, at one point or another, being sold at the store... so... they were selling Kate the Great in the store? Ok... not impressed... and now even a little MORE wary.

Selection is very reasonable but maybe I just went on a bad day? The variety of beers here is monstrous but they were out of stock on a lot of semi-rare beers (ie. ASGC, Deliverance, Pliny, etc.) Judging by what's on the wall though, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Very reasonable prices here for the most part except they were trying to charge $36 for a bottle of parabola... Still though, I feel like the prices I was paying on a majority of the items was very good.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Knowing Freddy is like having family on the west coast. You can trust him and depend on him to keep the most current and sought after beers available.

He ships promptly and adds a nice personal touch. He ships when he says he will and provides tracking info way before you even ask.

I have dealt with many mail order beer locations and Beverages 4 Less has been by far one the best places I have purchased from.

I highly recomend Freddy to anyone purchasing beer mail order for the first time or anytime for that matter.

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Photo of the_encinitan
3/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

Went here after the O'Brien's TION night. Easy trip down the CA-52. Quite easy to find in the dark which was nice since I don't know the area too well. First ever trip to East County San Diego. Looks of a typical liquor store with a great beer selection. Aside from the Alpine, Lightning, and a few oddities, nothing I couldn't find in Orange County, but it's nice to have all that beer at one stop. Picked up 5 Alpine bombers and a Full Sail Old Boardhead '07, none of which I've seen locally. Met Freddie, who was nice and quite jovial, enthusiastic about beer. Prices were reasonable. I will certainly revisit next time I'm in San Diego. I liked this store a lot, I wish it was my local liquor/convenience store.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

The selection at this store is pretty great. They may not have the biggest selection in San Diego, but they manage to get some amazing beer in here and everything on the shelves is quality. What really sets the place apart, as others have said, is the owner, Freddy. Within 2 minutes of me setting foot in the store, he had let me try one of his homebrews and taken me to the backroom to let me see a few beers that didn't find their way to the shelves. It's a bit of a drive to get out there, but it's worth it for the selection. If you're in the area, you have to check this place out. You will not regret it.

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Photo of ffejherb
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Not much more I can add to the glowing reviews of this truly amazing beer store. I was lucky enough to visit Beverage 4 Less during a trip to California in July 2009. My compadre from San D. was unfamiliar with this store (I'd read about it on BA, of course)! We were kind of in the neighborhood, so I suggested a "quick" stop. Well, unfortunately, if anybody knows me, it's never a quick stop. Just ask brewslut about me and record stores.

Freddie is an amazing host and extremely proud of his shop. He spent a good hour talking with us, and he even sold me good wine shipping boxes at a very reasonable rate. Not only that, but he let me pick out "any bottle" in the store to crack open and share. He even said, "Don't be cheap!" While I was eyeing up the Rasputin Anniversary and Lost Abbey stuff, I maintained some sort of restraint and went with a bomber of Ballast Point Tongue Buckler. Plus he gave us fresh oranges! What a guy!

Needless to say, the selection here is ridiculous. If you come in here and leave empty handed, something is seriously wrong. They also have a pretty solid porn collection (if that's your kind of thing). Next time I am visiting the San Diego area, you can bet your ass I will be stopping in here to pick up some choice bottles.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%

My new go-to beer store. Selection is unbelievable and only rivaled by Holiday Wine Cellar. Freddy is the man. Knows his beer, and always has the hook-up for hard to find stuff. Teases you with the Angels' Share up front and other that are not for sale, but what is for sale more than makes up for it. Scored The Dissident, tons of Boris, and Firestone 12. Biggest selection of Alpine in town. A weekly destination. Downside is you do pay a premium for the good stuff. Everything comes at a cost, though.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Finally getting around to reviewing this place. Went there in the summer of 2008 and was blown away and just placed my first online order. My wife and I drove around the country, stopping at 50+ liquor stores and together with Capone's in Philly, this is probably my favorite place in America. Freddie is amazing. They stock an incredible amount of beer and have a fantastic selection.

When we were there he went out of his way to grab stuff from the back and was really excited to help us get stuff that we couldn't get out East. Placed my first order online and he had responded, packed up my box, and got my tracking number all in less than an hour.

Pricing in the store is quite reasonable, and online is just as good. I realized that for a lot of things, it's probably easier to just order online than find a trader and end up paying for packing and shipping anyhow. My most enthusiastic recommendation.

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Photo of radshoesbro
1.28/5  rDev -70.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2

The guy that owns this place is a crook. He mules in beers from brewery release events and upsells them for exorbanant prices. Then he treats you like he's doing you a favor for ripping you off. I haven't been here in years because I flat out refuse to shop at this store. I know for a fact that he'll charge you more for beer if he realizes you've given his establishment a bad rating. Stop rating his shop highly. The beers are sitting out on a floor in 100 degree heat, they're warm to the touch. He used to blow fans on them to give you the perceived idea that they're being kept cool. Seriously, think about that one for a second. If he cared about his customers or his product he would install air conditioning in his store. Do not buy beer from this man.

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Photo of vermilcj
4.93/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I have not been to the store, but having ordered from Freddy online I can tell you this is a top notch store. He is always very attentive in responding to orders and questions and goes the extra mile for his customers. I hope to get out to see him in San Diego some day soon.

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Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA
Place rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 198 ratings