Bella Vista Beer Distributors

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Bella Vista Beer DistributorsBella Vista Beer Distributors
43 Ratings
Bella Vista Beer DistributorsBella Vista Beer Distributors

Type: Store

755 S 11th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147-2613
United States

(215) 627-6465 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2007

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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of sb17
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

How can you not love a well organized depot-style distributor with a cat who wanders around the store?

102 characters

Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Transcribed from notes dated T, 10 August 2010.

I was on a mission on this day. I had received a trade request for Sly Fox CANs and I was getting ready to head to Madison, WI that Thursday so I needed to reload and ship mos' quick. I had a list of all Beer Stores on BA Beer Fly at the time and I decided to visit as many of the ones that offered singles and sixers as I could, taking notes at each one.

I had been in here a few times before, usually to give Jordan Fetzfatzes (the owner) a good-natured bad time. We go 'way back with me having poured for him at numerous PHL beer festivals, especially down at the former Naval Shipyard when I would show up in my dress blue uniform. Today, I wanted to really look around and take some notes.

Located at 11th and Catherine Streets, it is an extensive building starting at the corner and progressing north. I rarely feel compelled to buy a case, but I always like window shopping at the distributors. This place looked like some of the better-run warehouses that I had encountered as a Navy Storkeeper (SK) logistician. Metal racks and shelves were meticulously laid out and organIzed by region of origin. Wow! There were coolers all of the way aft on the left-facing side of the space for selected cold cases. I was most intrigued and inspired by the selection of 5L mini-kegs which qualify as CANs on this site. They have become my new focus on The CANQuest (TM) and on a subsequent visit, I procured one of Bell's Best Brown Ale. Now, if I could just lay hands on a HopSlam ... Singles? Some Belgians to the immediate right of the entry including jeroboams of Chimay Bleu.

The checkout counter was laden with free newspapers, magazines and giveaways along with snacks and cigars for sale. Let's see, beer, snacks and cigars - all that was missing were the women of low moral values and some games of chance and I could have gotten in my vice fix for the day. Hee hee. Also, The Beer Exchange Program exists at the counter for CANs of room-temperature beer that you bring in to exchange for whatever is in the basket at that time. I am told that gems occasionally surface in there.

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Photo of sconsi
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%

This place is definitely worth the trip. Came up to move into our new apartment in Philly and stopped by to pick up some refreshments on the way.

Parking may be hard to find, and we weren't sure where to enter (there's no door, just a big opening). Once we got through the doors it was beer heaven. A giant warehouse with beer stacked from floor to ceiling.

For your more common cheaper beer the price was nothing special, but prices were very reduced for higher quality beers. They even have the rebate forms out for many of the brands, which no one does anymore.

The selection was also exceptional. I really didn't look at all of the microbrews, but they had a ton. This place is the place to go if you want German beer. They had every German beer you could ask for, and at a great price.

The only problem with this store is the pretty much everything is sold in cases, so no buying just one. But for the prices, it's worth buying the whole case.

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Photo of william5586
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%

This is not the closest distributor to me, but it is well worth the extra drive. They have a great selection of hard to find beer along with a very helpful and knowledgeable staff.

The only complaint i have is that prices are not listed in the isles. This is only a slight inconvenience however. There is a clipboard at registers with all the prices that you can take as you look around.

I found out about the grand opening of their new building back in or October (across the street from their old one) though BA and decided to check it out. I was expecting a small tasting and a quick look at the new store. When i arrived it was a mini beer fest/block party. Amazing beer, food, and music all for free. I really cant say enough good things about this place and the owners.

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Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of KLReed
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.74/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

So this is the great bella vista I've heard so much about. I was hyped and this place didn't disappoint. Although it was extremely hot in there (I guess no air conditioner) I decided to start my search. All of the beer is seperated by region. The California and west coast aisle is all the way to the left. That is what I came here for. The local section was stacked with some goodies.The other aisle's I didn't venture too. Although the west coast was stacked I didn't have alot of money to spend so I ended up getting a case of Jai Alai for $38. The other thing that got me was how clean this place was. I've gone into alot beer distributors but I can't remember one not having at least a spec of dirt,or piece of cardboard lying around. Very well kept. The atmospshere was uncomfortable do to the the excessive heat and it did seem to have an effect on the employees. Other than that this is a beer mecca.

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Photo of sbeaver_44
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

This is the best beer distributor in Philadelphia, especially since they moved across the street into the newer bigger building.

The selection is incomparable, carrying an incredible amount of American craft as well as a huge selection of imports. Once you walk in there is a whole section of the store on the right hand side that is exclusively dedicated to Belgian beers. They frequently get in beers that I don't see anywhere else.

The folks here are responsible for getting a lot of excellent rare beers, especially from the west coast, into the Philadelphia are market. Jordan does a hell of a job bringing these brands in and in the last year or so has stepped it up by landing all kinds of amazing beers.

The service is always very friendly and knowledgeable. Every time I'm in there it seems like I spend more time talking about beer than actually shopping for it. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for rare cases in the Philly area.

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Photo of tyboxr
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Just did a major buy here and could not have had a better experience! Even before it was known that I was making a buy the owners sons spent a great deal of time talking beers with me. They took the time to walk around the store and discuss any beer I had a question about. As they learned more about my taste in beer they soon pointed me in the direction of some great surprises (Voodoo, Saint somewhere). Even going so far as to lend a laptop so I could cruise beeradvocate while shopping there! They opened a few of their latest additions to share with me and provided a wealth of information about all of the products. Bella Vista has been there about 25 yrs and its not due to luck! Its obvious they like the work and are ready to become THE location for great beer, great service and reasonable prices. Its worth the drive to check this place out! I came all the way from Central PA, bypassing the (in)famous Shangy's and it was worth it!

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Photo of MSL94
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

I made a visit to Bella Vista during the weekend and I have to say it was well worth the trip over the bridge to do so. Usually, residents of PA will migrate to NJ to make beer purchases because of the price; however, I went into PA due to the fact that there are several brands that are not available in NJ. I was very impressed by the setup of the store in which all beers are grouped according to its region or state. There were a few employees who offered assistance during the time I was there and they were very knowledgeable of what brands were in stock. A number of the beers that I tried at the ACBF were available at Bella Vista; however, I specifically came over to find Harpoon's UFO White, which was not a problem. All I can for those of us who live in NJ and visit Philly on a regular basis, it is definately worth it to stop by Bella Vista.

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Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

This is a great place to stop for beer if you live near here and worth the journey if you don't. I had been meaning to stop in and a business meeting at the Linc gave me the opportunity.

BV is located in an old warehouse in the, um, Bella Vista section of Philly, a few blocks south of downtown, and a few blocks north of South Philly. It's a working warehouse, filled front to back and floor to ceiling with beer. I had to move out of the way of a forklift two or three times on my visit on a busy Friday.

There is a great selection of craft beers, including a wide variety of PA brewers and some craft beers that BV is the master distributor for.

What really sets the place apart from others is the service. Jordan is very friendly, knowledgeable and fun to talk beer with. Even though the place was jumping, he was happy to put aside a half hour to chat and show off the place. The commitment to customer service among all the staff is very high.

Prices seemed very reasonable, too.


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Photo of Deuane
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Bella Vista is one of THE must beer distributors not only in Philadelphia but in PA. A major player in the import distribution field the folks at BV are on top of their game. Jordan and company are always striving to bring in new, quality, interesting and innovative breweries into PA.

I have ALWAYS received great service from the staff. Always with a, can I help you and have you tried this or maybe you would be interested in that.

They carry just about everything they can. So, while not perfect, as no one distributor in PA can, BV is about as close as you can get.

With the year old new digs, just across the street from the dirty, run down old place, the atmosphere of the shop is a HUGE step above what you use to encounter.

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Photo of LunaChick
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

As a bar owner I normally shy away from reviewing places. I have to make an exception here. The guys at Bella Vista have saved my ass a couple of times. Not only that they have been very helpful in terms of helping me select what I have on tap and in bottles. Several of my selections have been on a reccomendation from them and I have yet to be disappointed. The selection is very good also. They have a great selection of local beer as well as beer from all over including great imports. Service is exceptional. We had a problem with a keg and one of the guys came over within an hour to fix it. We got a bad keg from another place (nothing against the other place, these things happen)but it would have meant having an empty line thru the weekend if we waited for a replacement. I called at 3pm and had BV there with something by dinnertime. And they know beer. Really know it. Whether you are an owner of an establishment or just someone looking to pick up a case of good beer this is definately a good place to go.

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Photo of Michadelphia
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%

I have a few locations in NJ and Philly that I frequent for beer. Bella Vista is above and beyond the biggest and best selection that I know of. The prices are reasonable but I have found cheaper prices elsewhere for a few brands. However, I do feel more comfortable paying a few more dollars for something that I know is fresh. I have been burned by the cheaper case of Yards or Victory at other stores. You know that the beer has been taken care of at Bella. Since the new store was built, I haven't gone anywhere else. Especially on Sundays!

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

This is a great place indeed. Spacious, clean and with a great selection of US and imported beer. Friendly staff as well. The prices were very reasonable too especially considering its location near(ish) the city center.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of CHADMC3
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

This place is unbelievable! Their selections is amazing including two deep rows of American micros, many of which I have had trouble findng elsewhere. In addition there are entire rows dedicated to German/Eastern European brews, traditional UK/Ireland stuff, and of course Belgians. A number of excellent cases can even be purchased cold if you wish.

The staff is knowledgable and willing to offer great recommendations based on experience. You're also bound to run into some other advocate in this store to engage in some quality conversation.

In addition there is even a nice selection of glassware and beeraphenalia in the front of the store.

I have a few friends in South Philly and always make it a point to grab a case for the road that I cannot find in CT.

Stop here if you can.

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Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

I've bought a lot of beer here, and not only has all of it been stuff I was dying to get, it has all been in fantastic shape and very reasonably priced. Best beer distributor in Philly, hands down. The ONLY place i know of on the east coast to buy things i don't even want to mention for fear of other bas catching on... you have to buy a case at a time, but you will get the bottles for much less than what they are on the shelf. Awesome. If you're in Philly and you don't stop by, you are missing out.

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Photo of soulcougher
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of BWH3
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Just came back from the grand opening of the new store. Was a nice free tasting.

Quality is top notch. Beers are fresh and plentiful. The selection of cold cases is expanded quite a bit. The shelves are not fully stocked and I am sure things are only going to get better. The friendly service and devotion to customer satisfaction is what this place has always staked its reputation on and that has not changed one bit. The new space is open and roomy and well laid out. They have even set aside a section for Belgian beers.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

This is another good place in south/center city philly that seems to get better and better each time I stop in. A nice large open warehouse greets patrons. Setup is easy to navigate and employees are very helpful. Not sure of the beer knowledge as I am usually looking to pick up something particular, but very friendly. The selection is the standard local PA brews, with a great national craft selection as well. Always well stocked with interesting beers and have been there on more than one occasion when there is a tasting. The prices seem a little bit ($1-2/case) more than other local stores (society hill and bell's beverage) but thats probably because they are the closest stop to center city.

Overall, a great setup, nice service and good selection, but the prices seemed a bit high.

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Photo of bigred89
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

8/17/09 EDIT: Things have changed. Selection has become certifiably "Mind Blowing", as far as distributors are concerned. I have revised scores accordingly.

2/19/08 ORIGINAL:
This is my place in Philly (when I splurge on cases). I've only been in here a handful of times but I get treated like an old local every time.
Tonight I was there and saw some good selection - i.e. Green Flash IPA, Bells (but no hopslam damnit!), lots of Stone (IPA, Ruination, AB), 120 min (~$159) and other DFH, Avery, Flying Dog, Great Divide, many many more, an entire row of the locals and great selection of Belgians, Germans and beyond. I suppose this selection doesn't qualify as mindblowing, but was more than enough to give me options I've never had the chance to try. I don't need mindblowing. I need a solid place, clean with a professional staff. BVBD has it. Pretty exciting.

The staff here are very knowledgeable, very friendly. Willing to look up endless prices and chat about beer. Beer culture is alive and well here.
Well organized, roomy. Fresh beer every time.

Also, I spied the Bells Two Hearted 5L "mini keg". Very cool, wish I would've bought it.

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Photo of FightinIrish88
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

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Bella Vista Beer Distributors in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 43 ratings