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Shangy's

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Shangy'sShangy's
BA SCORE
4.41/5
Outstanding
133 Ratings
Shangy'sShangy's
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

40 Main St
Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 18049-4007
United States

(610) 967-1701 | map

Notes:
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Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
133
pDev:
12.47%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 133 |  Reviews: 101
Photo of slander
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

You can't not go to Shangy's. Even accidentally, you'll end up there. There's ridiculously easy access from all highways, and all roads for that matter, as yes, every single road on the Eastern seaboard leads to Shangy's. Directly, and there are no lights. Don't get no easier than that...
We rolled in on the heels of that Lehigh Valley stint in Easton, PA. It's a large stand alone structure that commands respect. It's massive and intimidating. I was a little a-scared.
Mountains of beer inside. It's an odd sight, even in PA where case law brings you to expect pallets and piles of cases of 12 and 24. Well organized and the selection is exceptional. Where'd they get a case of Sam Adams Triple Bock this late in the game? Sadly, no Gumball Head to be had but there were other 3 Floyds to be found. And all the Bells a boy could ring (so why is it that I like the ones that go for a dozen or two bucks more than the rest of the line?) They're sitting on cases of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale '96 in the back, and god only knows what else. I knew better but asked anyway for a case of Rodenbach, and "The son" replied, "In your dreams" without having to think about it. He knows his beer.
They've got a great glassware... "display" might not be a strong enough word here, maybe "section" is better. I scored me a couple of great OerBier glasses of Schoolteacher likeness. Good damn beer store!!!

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Photo of Billolick
4.5/5  rDev +2%

We visited this fine and worthy establishment on our way to a wedding yesterday. It made for a quick and successful stop. Easy on, easy off the highway and easy to find. Largish rectangle shaped store. What you immediately will encounter is the vast selection of cases available (yes your in Pa and you can only buy by the case) and the extensive selection of beer glasses for sale. They also offer a respectable selection of hot sauces and some snacks. But you came for the beer, the selection is very good, including some 3 Floyds, Bells, tons of Belgians, Brooklyn, Avery to name just a few. You will find tons of very high quality selections, including some (but not enough) variety cases. Well worth the visit, only 5 mins. off of the highway. The staff was friendly and knew their stuff to boot!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%

After a great lunch a the Selin's Grove Brewing Company and a long return ride, fellow BA Erica fancied picking up some brews for the fridge. Rising up the smooth tarmacadam coated Car Lot the simple pre-cast formed concrete single deck building redeems its stark utilitarian simplistic 1970’s architecture, or rather lack of it, with a heavily accentuated and projecting entrance way. Like a toned down Circuit City the word “Shangy’s” welcomes Libation Bargain Hunters above the large archway entrance.

Once inside, Best Buy meets Home Depot. It’s brightly lit and everything is neatly arranged in piles forming walkways and large cardboard walls…..but, well, something is missing and I cannot quite put my finger on it….what is it?!?! It’ll dawn on me soon...

As I wander amidst the corrugated cartons, I ponder the question of atmosphere, forgetting that it doesn’t apply to Beer Stores, but I still try to entrench it in memory as much as possible for a later BeerFly. Recalled from the dark annals of my cranium, marks for Atmosphere, if awarded, would be a big fat zero……it’s like walking round a famine relief warehouse, oh lets see, here’s a box, and oh look another pile of boxes, and erm some more carboard Boxes…..some plain, unmarked even, wonder whats in them?...whoooaah, some have designs on them…….hmm… that’s it!!!! That’s what has been bothering me…..<switch on light bulb above head>…. where the fuck are the bottles!?!?! Oh wait, I’m in darkest Transylvania…erm….I mean Prohibitionsylvania……glad they don’t encourage drinking by forcing you to buy Cases……how responsible.

Of course, I am being a tad harsh here so far, if only because writing BeerFlys for Beer Stores can be difficult at the best of times and some bitching spaces things out and adds volume, am I at my word count yet I wonder??? erm….lets see that’s 1348 characters so far….nearly there.

Bottom line, if yer going Beer Shopping only two things really count, Range and Price, and Shangy’s obviously excels in both of these departments. The prices seem reasonable (learn your 24 times table though) and the range is vast, though I’m sure the rows and piles of Cases make it look bigger than it actually is, it would probably all distil down to a few large coolers full of bottles but even so the depth of styles and breadth of brewers is very good indeed. Nice local range, nearby craft offerings, some from far afield and the West Coast with lots of Belgium and Teutonic offerings and even some East European ones for the cash strapped. Constantly attentive service that frequently enquires as to your disposition and if they can help, top marks there. Can’t knock the range or quality of Shangy’s, well worth a visit…...

……well except for this buying beer in Boxes rule, it just rubs me the wrong way. Archaic. I saw a wooden case full of Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - 2005 Cuvée Van De Keizer, great stuff indeed and a favorite but I couldn’t part with over a $100 just to try it, even if you do get a free snazzy looking wooden box from Mechelen. Could I live in PA and buy cases all the time!??! Nope!! I think I would shop in NJ and NY. But if I did live in PA I would certainly drive out to, and shop, here - but with a few fellow BA friends once a month and maybe I would even organize regular “Case-Split-Saturday-Swaps” in the Parking Lot, hey I just patented that idea so don’t copy it.

Recommended....but stroking dry warm frigid compressed cardboard cases is nowhere near as much fun as fondling nicely chilled moist wet damp Sexy bottles of varying sizes, volumes and cup sizes.….. I can only imagine how great this place could be if they were legally allowed to split Cases...huh-hmmmm, I think it is time for BA erica to take the ride to the legendary nearby Farmhouse, as I need a beer, but just one of a kind, not 24.

Last Visit: Saturday 27th August, 2005.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Finally had a chance to stop by the famous Shangy's, on my way through the Emmaus area. It definitely lived up to it's reputation.

Extremely well organized, with selection that can't be beat. Every stack of beer is clearly marked with prices and most with a description as well. The selection is overwhelming, for both domestic craft beer and Belgian and other imports.

I was asked several times if I needed any help finding anything.

Prices are great, as I understand they are a wholesaler, and they are definitely cheaper than any distributor I've been to in PA.

The only downside is PA's case law, which makes purchasing a variety of beer an expensive task. And for some of the special release stuff, the per bottle prices are great, but you've got to commit to 12 or 24. So beers for aging in the cellar are a good option.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%

The cleanest, brightest and best organized beer store I have ever seen, at least in the land of PA case only stores.

Shangy's was at the forefront of importing craft beer into PA and they are still the master distributor for a whole lot of great brands.

Selection is huge and prices are great as you are buying at the price your local beer store is. The selection of out of state craft brewers and Belgians is particularly good. The selection of locals is no better than your average place. There is also a treasure trove of glassware and gift packs.

I have always found service to be very good, particularly from the founder who is still active in the business.

This review would be 5's across the board except that you have to be careful about freshness in the product you buy. I have bought a $60 case of beer there that turned out to be old and others have told similar stories.

We still like to make the pilgrimage to Shangy's (especially when Bell's has a great seasonal as they tend to hoard that for the retail store) and then head down the road to the Farmhouse for dinner.

HV

 1,092 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.94/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I had first heard about Shangy's from a friend of mine that I worked with a few years ago. I had started talking about beers with him and found out that he was similar to me when it came to styles and tastes in beer. We had talked about something one time and he said that he'd have to call Shangy's and see if they had it. Sure enough they did and he picked up a case that night. There were several times that this happened and if they didn't have it then, they would order it for him. After seeing the pattern of success he had there I said to myself I need to check this place out.

I went for the first time right before my college graduation party to pick up some Magic Hat #9, Moosehead and a case of Guinness. I know I can get them anywhere but I wanted to look around as well. The place is stacked with beer from wall to wall. Domestic to the left of the entry and imports to the right. Just about everything a beer lover could want is there. I've picked up several different things there from Woodchuck Pear Cider to Bell's HopSlam and Southern Tier's Pumking. The selection is very impressive to me. They even had a few single bottles for sale near the register which is pretty cool.

I've had some great service there and some odd service over the last year or more that I've been going there. Most of the time the guys stocking the shelves are very willing to help and they check in the back for stuff. One time I asked about a beer from Australia called the Knappstein Reserve Lager and the guy tried offering me other stuff from New Zealand. I wasn't looking for anything but that beer and he insisted that it was basically the same thing... I left a little annoyed because he almost made me feel like I was unsure of what I was talking about. The people at the registers are hit or miss. Sometimes they've got a really nice younger girl behind the counter who was willing to take part in small talk as I checked out. Then on the other hand you have some who scan the barcode and take your money. I suppose it depends on the person and how busy they are.

All in all though, the place is a wonderland of beer in the Lehigh Valley area. It's been impressive every time I go there. I haven't seen anything like it to this day.

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Photo of akorsak
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Surprisingly, I've never been to Shangy's. The way home from the Tap & Table's Saison weekend seemed as good a time as any.

Quality: Clean, bright, large, orderly. This is a shrine to beer. Aisles of cases, stacked in pyramids provide an obstacle course of sorts. The only strange aspect is the cove of what looked like glass art that surrounds the entrance to the back warehouse portion.

Service: We were greeted on entrance and again while shopping in the German section. The staff was helpful on price and availablity of Weihenstephaner weisse ales.

Selection: Absolutely perfect. Dicks, Speakeasy, Avery, Lost Abbey, if the beer is in PA you'll find it here. Prices seemed competitive, with my case of dunkelweissbier running $43. I also spied bottles of La Gaillarde, a Unibroue offering I'd never heard of. They sold singles, so I picked one up. Imagine my surprise when the last review was in 2004. So much that it is overwhelming. If not for the PA case law, I'd go absolutely nuts.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of markgugs
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%

So I just walked in the door from taking my 1st ever trip to Shangy's, the famed (infamed?) eastern PA beer distributor. I went specifically to pick up a case of Bell's HopSlam, which just hit shelves in PA this week (and is VERY reasonably priced at $48+tax/case).

First off, the store's layout. Wow, it's massive. I don't think I've ever seen so much beer in any one place. The outer walls are ringed with tons & tons & tons of cases, mostly of German, Belgian, and other European brews. Just about everything you could want is here. The inner walls are lined with even more cases of American micro beers, both 22oz or 750ml bombers, and 12oz bottles. When I say they had everything, I mean they had everything. And then in the center of the store are 2 long aisles of cases stacked in pyramids, and for the store's size, I was amazed at the relative lack of domestic macros. It almost seemed like 75% of the selection was great micros that I would want to buy. Amazing. Top-notch.

The service staff pretty much left me to my own devices, though they did ask if I had any questions or needed any help to just shout. When I asked how to get the cases, I was instructed to go outside, get a wheeled handtruck and get 'em myself, which was not what I expected. I am willing to think that this might because they only had a skeleton crew for pre-noon on a weekday.

Finally, the pricing. I've never seen such inexpensive pricing in PA, at least I don't think I have (maybe at the Beeryard it's the same). Here are some examples (all by case, as it is PA, and all before tax):

Bell's Two-Hearted - $31
Bell's HopSlam - $48
Sierra Bigfoot ('07) - $31
Sierra Celebration ('07) - $28
Southern Tier Choklat - $77
North Coast Old Stock Ale ('07) - $56

and so forth. It was WELL worth the 90 mile drive and I will be making a return trip.

 1,833 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Seanibus
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%

If this isn't the best beer distributor in the state, I can't wait to see the better one - this place is like a cathedral of beer. It's just too bad it is in Pennsylvania, where the beer laws are stupid (you can only buy by the case - no sixpacks or singles). If this place were in any normal state, it would be the best beer store ever.

The place is huge, clean, and piled floor to ceiling with cases of beer from all over - if you can get it in Pennsylvania, it appears, it is here, including some stuff I haven't found even in other standouts like Bella Vista in Philly. Whatever you want, from Coors Light to Delirium Tremens to a seasonal from some obscure regional brewer, it is here.

The staff is attentive and knowledgeable.

If there is a downside, it is that the organization is spotty, particularly in the cases lined up on the walls. Beers are only loosely grouped by brewery and within each brewery there is no pretense of organizing by style or type.

But that's a small quibble given the huge selection.

 1,020 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Alright, I feel I can say a lot about Shangy's because I used to work there. This place has a cooler the size of most beer stores. It has a warehouse the size of a football field (seriously). The man who runs the place and his son are always trying to get more and more beer added to their stock of over 2,000 beers, that's right 2000! You name it. It has a domestic and an import side. If you want Coors Light, don't ask where it is because you will be ignored. It is a store for people that respect beer. Here are some hints at how to shop at Shangy's:
1) Take your time! There is a lot to look at!
2) If you aren't sure of where something is, be sure to ask because chances are they have it somewhere, although things are always stocked. They are very anal about things being stocked up to the minute (even on Friday nights). Personally working there was not a lot of fun, but I got in good shape and learned a ton about beer.
3) If you have a draft system, they have a keg list. They have half barrels and sixlets of tons of good stuff. A lot of Microbrews.
4) If you are having a party and need a lot of beer, DO NOT go anywhere else. They go out of their way to have the lowest prices on everything because they sell in bulk. They deliver beer to restaurants up in the Poconos, in Center City, everywhere...Chances are they even deliver beer to your distributor!
5) Try something new when you are there or get a bunch of your friends and all buy cases and than divide them up into 6 packs..that is a tip for you Jersey people that don't like the PA law on cases.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE MID ATLANTIC, THERE IS NOT A BETTER BEER STORE.

 1,642 characters

Photo of tgbljb
5/5  rDev +13.4%

There are beer stores, and then there's Shangy's. It is the most amazing beer distributer I have ever visited in Pennsylvania. The selection is enormous. There North American micro selection is superb. Great selection of Brirtish and Belgium beers. The place is immaculately clean. Everthing is stocked in an orderly fashion, and the prices are well marked. The stock all looked clean and fresh. The only drawback is the PA case laws, which I can't blame on a beer distributer, due to the prohitbition mentality in Harrisburg. I gave it $$ for value, but many items were a dollar or two less than other suppliers.If you live within an hour or two of Shankgy's, do yourselg a favor and visit.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.06/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I first heard about this place in grad school while I was at The University of Scranton. I frequented Cooper's Seafood House (Scranton) who has a fantastic selection of beers and found out that Shangy's is the main place they buy all of their beer. It turned out that I then moved to the Allentown area and made Shangy's my number 1 beer shopping destination for the 2+ years I lived in that area.

For those of you don't know, in the state of PA, you have to buy cases of beer or pay an arm and a leg for a 6 pack. It's just the way it works.

It is a large warehouse style store with pyramid shaped stacks of cases along the middle, and stacks of cases piled high along the outside rim. The domestic microbrews take up about half the store. A fine selection of Belgian's and other imports take up about 1/4th of the store.

They also have a great selection of 22oz bombers nestled in with the microbrews.

They have a large freezer room full of a ridiculous amount of kegs, but light on the cases of micros. Your basic BMC grab and go with some common micros thrown in.

The prices are clearly marked on 99% of the cases and the staff is pretty knowledgeable and helpful. They also have a section of cigars and some beer snacks near and around the register.

A great place to shop for that combination of selection and price.

 1,328 characters

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.5/5  rDev +2%

I made the long journey from my home in Levittown to Shangy's and made it with fifteen minutes left until closing for my case of Hopslam.

I most say. This is the most brightest beer distributor I've ever been in. Piles of neatly piled cases with the prices on a sign right on top of them fill the entire store.

The service was just fine the lady at the front desk seemed like she had a long day and didn't seem to be to chatty but still friendley enough then some of the disgruntled people I have met at distributor's.

The best selection I have come across yet and very reasonable. I took home a case of Hopslam and a few bottles and a glass from Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.

 683 characters

Photo of BigRizz62
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of jrancan
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%

Okay, everyone seems to being giving this place 5's all around, but I can't do that because the one guy working the store was on the phone the entire half hour that I was browsing. I couldn't ask him any questions. Since I've only been here once, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Selection is very, very good, but I would have to give a slight advantage to The Beer Yard for variety. Prices were good and the beer I bought was fresh, but I did see a stack of SN Celebration bottled on 11/4/01. It was on sale for $20 I believe, but still......

 553 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
5/5  rDev +13.4%

I can't say enough for Shangy's. I have been buying my beer (almost exclusively) from them since 1991. I know Javad and Nema and I have to say, these two guys have done MORE for my personal beer education than I can begin to fathom. Unlike alot of places, the folks at Shangy's KNOW what they're talking about. I've struck a personal relationship with the owners and I can't tell you the number of times they've turned me on to new beers because they know what I personally like and match me up perfectly like some sort of dating service. They're very reasonably priced, family owned and operated, and KNOW their stuff. I've had a ton of beer friends from out of town visit and I've taken them over to Shangy's, the reaction is the same every time...this place is pretty much the Disney of beer, hands down. It's huge, it's spotless, all the beer is fresh, the selection of glassware is unbelievable, I can't praise this establishment enough. If you're not from the Allentown,/Bethlehem/Easton area and you are visiting, you HAVE to seek this place out. If you're someone who lives in the Lehigh Valley and has never been here, where have you been? I can't sing the praises of this place enough. Oh yeah, have purchased kegs from them in the past for backyard BBQ's...unbelievable selection of kegs and the BIGGEST walk in fridge I've ever seen in my entire life.

 1,363 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3/5  rDev -32%

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

too much hype on this one. checked this place out after a trip to bbw. drove by the farmhouse and found this place with no problem. looked huge from the outside. weird to see handtrucks out front instead of carts.. still, i entered.

lots of stacks. all perfectly separated with nice spacious isles cases one atop another to nipple height or so. american selection was varied and rather thorough. plenty of macros (this is NOT a specialty shop, just a thorough one). local hot micro beers like weyerbacher, dfh, bell's, lancaster, and left hand here. nice to see 3 floyds bombers, but the freshness was questionable (alpha klaus and brian boru??) belgian section was nice but cases + belgian prices = not happening. the whole brasserie de rocs line (blonde and brown are not found in ct) was intriguing tho. monk's sour ale was a nice find but it was also found at beer yard which was superior IMHO.

service was also nothing special. actually a bit inferior. speaking of monk's, i asked the counter girl if they had "monk's flemish sour ale". she said no. she then asks if i had ever been to monk's, to which i replied "yes". then she said, "well we carry a monk's sour ale that we have in bottles, but its not flemish." uhh. er. finally i had her go get a stockboy who knew the deal.

some snacks and cigars which i suppose are nice complements to beer. separate soda room. prices seem pretty standard and i didn't hate the place. there's just no way this exists .10 points below half time on overall score. worth a stop if in the area, otherwise beer yard is your place.

 1,580 characters

Photo of anteater
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jhartley
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

One of the most well known distributors/wholesalers in the Lehigh Valley. HUGE selection of many different beers: East Coast, West Coast, European. You can spend a good hour or more trying to make a selection, I know I have on many occasions, the "Beer Heaven" sign does not lie. Staff is always helpful; they can/will help you make a selection, put it on a cart and take it to your car for you!
Of course with any time you are buying beer, you have to check dates as much as you can, because sometimes there is old beer.
Well maintained facebook page which is updated 6 days a week with a "Beer of the day". They do not hold cases so if it is a rarity and they have it in stock best to get there as soon as you can.
Either way if you are in the area you need to check it out!

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Shangy's in Emmaus, PA
Place rating: 4.41 out of 5 with 133 ratings
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