The Village Beer Merchant

The Village Beer MerchantThe Village Beer Merchant
The Village Beer MerchantThe Village Beer Merchant

547 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, New York, 14222-1815
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of byronic
Reviewed by byronic from Canada (ON)

3.51/5  rDev -19.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25
Almost not vibe in this place, a shop with a disappointing selection. May have hit it on a off day but what's not just released has gone stale. Lots of selection in the fridges but most of it is a few months old.
Sep 26, 2017
Photo of Sherman250624
Reviewed by Sherman250624 from Ohio

4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75
Passing through Buffalo on my way back to NE Ohio. Walked in and overheard Brian talking with another customer and noticed this guy was extremely into beer. Passionate. I was stoked this place had tons of beer that isn't in Ohio (yet). Brian turned his attention to me and immediately started guiding me through the choices I wasn't familiar with. Not a Belgian fan, but he convinced me to pick up the Allagash Table Beer, plus some other brews from the Northeast (along with some Firestone Walker). He was even kind enough to spare a Firestone Parabola. He receives new shipments everyday so you never know what you're gonna find, which is part of the fun. It's all about the chase, isn't it? In the end, I found a new gem during my travels and will make it a point to swing by VBM whenever in WNY. Cheers.
Apr 13, 2017
Photo of Rodosman
Reviewed by Rodosman from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75
Great little bottle shop in Buffalo. The service was great. I mentioned to the cashier I was from out of town and he took his time to guide me through the store and explain the layout of the store. Was very knowledgeable of the products and could lent wait to do more to help me. Would definitely recommend to anyone passing through on their way to Niagara Falls.
Nov 03, 2016
Rated: 4.34 by nater919 from New York

Aug 30, 2016
Rated: 5 by jpd026 from New York

Mar 17, 2016
Photo of 52ndVictory
Reviewed by 52ndVictory from New York

4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Stopped in while I was in Buffalo. Super nifty open floor lay out. Had a crazy nice selection of fresh stuff, lots of Belgians and Germans, even found a Brewfist Italian. Had some snakcs, picked up a jar of the best mustard I've had from Sierra. Didn't get anything from the taps, but recognized their large, varied list. Cashier was a good chat and knew the store well. It was a little on the pricier side, but worth it. All in all, wish I had a place like this at my end of the state.
Jul 15, 2015
Rated: 4.14 by ClavisAurea from New York

Jun 26, 2015
Rated: 4.9 by keydiddy from New York

May 08, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by Iamjeff6 from Virginia

Apr 14, 2015
Photo of Misterphinister
Rated by Misterphinister from Michigan

4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5
Best place in town. You never have to look at dates, always fresh.
Feb 24, 2015
Rated: 5 by Wingalls from New York

Feb 17, 2015
Rated: 4.21 by greg4579 from Pennsylvania

Jan 10, 2015
Photo of KATCanada
Reviewed by KATCanada from Canada (ON)

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25
Easy to find and very close to border for fellow Canadians. Cool small place their philisophy seems to be don't stock much and let it turn fast. I am good with that. I went on a Tuesday around noon and there was not a ton of stuff. Had some nice sours and a few unique bottles. I grabbed a Prairie Ale. It sounded like Wed was a better day to get more unique stuff. Girl there new her stuff and once we started talking was good. I would recommend if in a hurry but Premier is only about 10-15 minutes away and has a way bigger selection and Consumers in Niagara falls is just as close to the border with also more selection although neither had as good a vibe.
Updated March 2016: Tuesday again but much more stock, Grimm, Founder Mosaic and great taps. Much better than when I was last here. Brian is a great guy, loves to talk beer. I have updated my rating accordingly.
Dec 17, 2014
Rated: 3 by Alforcat from Wisconsin

Dec 13, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Bnjmnlws from New York

Jul 29, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by bgeisel

Jul 24, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by truthcontortion from Ohio

Jul 15, 2014
Rated: 5 by Tiberianray from New York

Jun 17, 2014
Rated: 4 by lotofsnow from New York

Jun 16, 2014
Photo of Sammy
Reviewed by Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.84/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75
A very classy shop, near Cole's bar and therefore right off the Peace Bridge. This allows a new option for Canadians to shop for bottles if they can't get far enough to Premiere. The comparisons start. Premiere has more selection, particularly with their very liberal singles policy, much spottier service,more food and soda with your beers, more parking, and closer to the main though more expensive Buffalo shopping haunts. Village is more navigatable aisles, slightly better pricing, and of course a different part of town.
Jun 09, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by HoppyBastard1 from Pennsylvania

Jun 08, 2014
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

3.64/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
A bit disappointed. Nothing here that I couldn't find elsewhere. The selection would be good for somebody who hadn't tried as much beer. Still a good selection nonetheless, just nothing crazy when I went.

They have a good looking growler area that I didn't patronize. Glassware available for purchase as well.
Jan 24, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Wompus from New York

Dec 11, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by deviousdannyg from New York

Nov 25, 2013
Photo of Michael_D
Reviewed by Michael_D from New York

4/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75
2 Village Beer Merchants around here. They have a pretty good selection at both stores, especially compared to other stores in the city. The only issue is they are a few dollars more expensive on average. Sometimes it's worth it for the close drive. Employees are cool, but they aren't always around to shoot the stuff with.
Jan 31, 2013
Photo of soze47
Reviewed by soze47 from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Stopped by here on my way through town. Some great finds that I was glad to find. I walked out with some Cantillion (on the shelf no less), Great Lakes Blackout Stout four-pack, and a growler of St. James Stout from Ellticotville.

Nice atmosphere, like a gourmet shop vibe. Great looking selection of NY locals on one shelf, US on other, Foreign offerings on another. Nice glassware and other gourmet item inventory too, but I didn't look too closely at that stuff. Service was friendly, but I found that I knew a lot more about their inventory than the guy that was helping me.

A nice shop with a few finds I was hoping to come across on my trip.
Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Beejis60
Reviewed by Beejis60 from New York

4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Usually a damn good selection. A bit too pricey though; usually Consumers is QUITE a bit cheaper if they have the same beer... but that's a huge if. Village Beer Merchant always has a handful of beers I've never had and the tap selection is nice too from time to time. Just picked up a growler of Mikkeller Coffee Bean IPA so that was a HUGE freaking score for me. Never expected anyone around here to ever have any Mikkellers on tap.
All in all, the atmosphere is good, seems kinda like a more crafty, more quaint Premier. Great selection, but not excellent... some beers I just don't feel like they need there, honestly. Service is superb. The dude at the counter always has a good recommendation or five for me when I'm in the mood to spend cash.
Dec 12, 2011
Photo of trxxpaxxs
Reviewed by trxxpaxxs from New York

4/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
The Village Beer Merchant is located in the middle of Buffalo's Elmwood Village, right down the street from two of Buffalo's best bars (Cole's and The Blue Monk). So if you're on a mission for beer, make sure you hit all three places.

VBM usually has a really solid selection of beers. They carry imports and domestic, and usually have a few rare beers behind the counter. They also feature 20+ rotating taps for growler fills, and the tap variety is wonderful (local, one-time-only, and standard favorites).

The only knock I have on the Village Beer Merchant is that their prices are a bit higher than other stores in Buffalo, and on numerous occasions I have seen tons of empty shelf space.

But the staff is very friendly and helpful, so don't hesitate to ask an employee if there is something specific you are looking for. If you're in Buffalo, the Village Beer Merchant is a must.
Sep 16, 2011
Photo of cratez
Reviewed by cratez from Canada (ON)

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Second best beer store in Buffalo with a beautiful, clean, and open layout and countless speciality items like gourmet meats and cheeses.

Hundreds of bottles to choose from with 20 taps for growler fills. Expansive selection of American and Belgian micros with some impressive UK (Samuel Smith) and German (Ayinger) offerings as well.

I grabbed a case of beer that included Fantôme Hiver, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and Red Rocket, Great Divide 17th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA, Victory Hop Wallop, Mikkeller IBeatU, and Ithaca Flower Power IPA, among others.

The service on my visit was excellent as the clerk chatted to me the entire time I was shopping. He suggested a handful of noteworthy beers (particularly the new arrivals) and gave me a Bell’s HopSlam as I was checking out. Unbelievable!

Overall, this is a must-visit when shopping for beer in Buffalo, although Premier has a slightly larger, cheaper, and in some cases fresher selection than Village. Still, I will undoubtedly be returning here when I find myself back in the city. An outstanding beer store.
May 24, 2011
Photo of dam0ne4
Reviewed by dam0ne4 from New York

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Great location, great selection, great staff, it's definitely my go to place for beer. As already mentioned, it's smaller than Premier Gourmet, but the intimate setting and the neighborhood make you feel more at home. They have a great deli and other gourmet food offerings and also have about 6-8 beers on tap. They are always having beer tasting events so definitely look them up on facebook to find out what's going on. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable if you're undecided or looking to try something new.
Mar 16, 2011
Photo of psycle
Reviewed by psycle from New York

3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
Lots of beer for a small gourmet shop. Not quite the vast selection of Premier but you can still find some brews not found anywhere else. Very friendly staff with most being knowledgeable of the beer they sell. Not all the beers are available as singles but if you ask nicely, they have broken up a six-pack for me. Medium size cooler along the back wall. Also a growler filling station with a nice selection.
This store also has a deli and gourmet food.
Not too far down the road from Premier, this is a good place to either start or end up at.
Nov 29, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
Reviewed by TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -8%
This place is a must-visit for anyone dong a Buffalo beer run. Overall, the selection is not as good as Premier Gourmet but you will find a number of beers here that aren't at Premier, including a number if Die du Ciel beers. I actually went here after a huge purchase at Premier and still managed to find a couple of interesting beers that weren't at Premier (or Consumers).

Staff is also very helpful and the atmosphere is must more intimate than Premier - in case you need a little help picking out a few bottles.
Jun 07, 2010
Photo of WeedKing4
Reviewed by WeedKing4 from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -8%
A nice little shop. Pretty solid selection overall, but not as good as Premier Gourmet. Its a little more expensive too. Everything on my shopping list was a dollar or two more here, then at PG. Solid selection of american craft beer, and from other countries too. Good selection of bombers, and some 12 oz singles, and the rest is mostly in 6 or 4 pks. Some bottles look like they have been sitting there for awhile though. But still, a very solid store, with good selection. Not used to this kind of selection from where I am. Just wish Buffalo was closer.
Nov 08, 2009
Photo of MrDanno96
Reviewed by MrDanno96 from New York

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
I stopped here while I was visiting Buffalo last week and was very impressed. They have an immense selection of American micro-brews, a fairly extensive selection of English, Belgian, and German beers, as well as 12 growler taps. I picked up a Rocheforte 10, Fullers 1845, Old Rasputin, and Caracole Saxo. They also have a decent selection of fine meats and cheeses and there is a deli built right into the store. I wish I lived in Buffalo so I could stop by here on weekends to get a sandwich and some fine beer. There was only one person working when I visited, and she seemed a little overwhelmed with all the customers, but it wasn't a big deal. They were also out of bread while I was there, which I though was kind of odd for a Deli, but o well. I would definitely recommend this place.
Oct 17, 2009
Photo of bobsy
Reviewed by bobsy from Canada (ON)

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
Some say that Premier Gourmet is the spot to pick up your bottled needs, but there's a new player in town, and Village Beer presents an excellent alternative, and may even be better (I haven't been to Premier so I can't comment on that). Excellent selection, with all New York Micros seemingly covered, as well as the better domestics (Stone, Rogue, Jolly Pumpkin, etc.) and internationals (huge selection of English, German and Belgian beer). Staff seemed friendly and helpful, and the place seemed well organized and classy. Also good prices.

I picked up a Smuttynose Wheatwine, Sam Adam's Hallertau Imperial Pils, Southampton Imperial Porter, Celis White, Troegs Nugget Nectar, Lagunitas Brown Shugga and Great Lakes Imperial Dortmunder. I could have spent thousands here.

Revisited a few months later. I picked up Stone Old Guardian 2008, Stone RIS, Lagunitas Old Gnarly Wine, Southern Tier Mokah, Southern Tier Iniquity, Great Lakes Burning River and a couple bottles of Edmund Fitz. A great haul, but I've downgraded the selection a touch, because a full 5 is perhaps overly generous. However, I was very impressed with the service I received on this visit, and found the staff very helpful. They even broke a sixer for me, which I don't think is their usual practice.
Jul 28, 2009
Photo of dogfishandi
Reviewed by dogfishandi from New York

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
this place is my new favorite beer store. nice location in the elmwood village, very friendly and helpful service, and prolly the best selection in buffalo. tons of beers you cant find anywhere else. they are a little pricey, but not much more than consumers or any other local beer store. they also offer some gourmet cheeses, meats, and have a very nice deli as well. i havent tried any of there food, but it looks top notch. nice location with lots of good beer bars just a walk down the street(one even nextdoor that ive never been to). definately a place worth checking out.

picked up some oskar blues gordon ipa, st. bernardus watou tripel, pater6, and prior 8.
Apr 24, 2009
Photo of cpn920
Reviewed by cpn920 from New York

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
All I can say is WOW! I love this place. It will definitely be my new hokme for purchasing beer. Everything about this place is awesome. They have a better selection than Consumer's by far...especially singles. The guy working told me that they try to get everything available in New York state except the macros. They will let you break up six packs if they don't have it offered as singles, as long as you ask first. They have a growler station with about eight taps. I even saw they had Brooklyn Black Ops and I haven't seen that anywhere else in Buffalo. It is similar to Premier but with the focus being on the beer and the other things secondary, although the sandwiches looked awesome. I noticed that their pricing is less than the other local usual suspects. They are having a brewery appreciation night on the 21st of January with samples given out. Just call first to make sure that I have the right date. Highly recommended and I couldn't be more happy that they are here in Buffalo.
Jan 10, 2009
Photo of wailingwench
Reviewed by wailingwench from New Mexico

4.7/5  rDev +8%
Cheers: Hummus is spot on, sandwiches like totally 80's rock. Nice selection of artisian and cheapo cheeses. Interesting array of portable pre-packaged carbohydrates. Turkey sammy Fuccillo HUGE enough to soak up anything Imperial that you are gonna throw at the gastro. Seasonal selections well placed within stumbling, heck, even crawling distance from front door. Artvoice and Brewing News rack located immediately inside of the front door in case you run into the age old beer vs. toilet paper dilemma. Beer always wins. BTW. Provided us with plastic cups to drink brews on the long walk back to Allentown. Staff recommended the scenic Elmwood to North to Allen to Days Park for a growler walk.

Jeers: Actually, I can not think of any besides I wish that I had the capital to finance my own brew emporium on Elmwood Ave. I also dislike the usage of Village, as the Elmwood area has apparently become. But that's neither here, there, or hairy bear (or Eyeball for that matter).
Nov 02, 2008
Photo of sliverX
Reviewed by sliverX from S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.79/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5
Could not wait for the place to open, the gf at the time lived a block from the place so I think I was in there 3 out of the first 4 days they were open. Very impressed by the selection as I often just wander and take a long time to pick something out of the vast variety that I'm not used to. Prices are average from what I've seen. Selection is outstanding IMO. They also offer a deli which I have not tried and a small selection of specialty pops ( read soda) which was also fun to try along with the beers. I don't make it enough to the place but I tend to splurge while there. A must for me just hope they stick around as I'm sure rent isn't cheap in the hippie area of town...

As of 11-2010 selection has dropped considerably, rarely see anything not found at premier gourmet, last visit only had 4 kegs for growlers. About on par with the nicer consumers now, which is sad..
Oct 19, 2008
Photo of generallee
Reviewed by generallee from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
This is a quaint little beer store on Elmwood Avenue in the city of Buffalo. Parking is on the street so remember to bring some quarters for the parking meters.

They have a great selection of local and national micros and imports. The major macros are also represented. The can be found within the big walk-in cooler along with some select micros and imports that are keep cold. The also carry a rotating selection of beer on 10 taps for growler fill-ups. There is a deli and gourmet food selection as well. You can have a sandwich or take home some meats, cheeses, olives and so on with your beer selections. Oh, and don't forget to check out there glassware to make sure you have the proper glass for your beer, with the Village Beer Merchant logo of course.

They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff that can help you find a beer or recommend other beers or beer styles and help with the growler fill ups. They also serve excellent sandwiches, meats and cheeses from their deli.

Overall quality, service, and selection are very good with good value as well.
May 23, 2008
The Village Beer Merchant in Buffalo, NY
Place rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 41 ratings