Sahara Mart


106 E Second Street
Bloomington, Indiana, 47401
United States

(812) 333-0502 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jkblr
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Based on two different visits to the 2nd Street location. This is a grocery store with an amazing selection of beer. There is more international beer here than any store I've seen. There is a wall of Belgian & trappist beer, with another wall of English & German beers. Also, there's a selection of beers from random small countries worldwide if that's your thing. There is a sizable mix six rack and several more beers labeled for individual sale. Prices are on the low side but you will have to check dates. There are always some "aged" stouts, barleywines etc. if you look. Great selection of Indiana beers from 450 North, 3F, & Upland.

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Photo of Mscarpen
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

A solid find in the heart of the IU college scene. Light years ahead of Big Red Liquors (across the street), Sahara has a wide selection of English, Belgian, "other Euro" and American Craft beers. Lots of representation from the midwest and a surprising selection from California. Picked up some Kwak, World Wide Stout, and a four pack of Scotty Karate from Dark Horse. Was. A was a bit surprised not to find Backwoods Bastard or Breakfast Stout despite the Variety of Founders varients on shelf, but I guess that was based on high hopes.

Great overall bottle shop. Maybe the best in Bloomington.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited this Sahara Mart after checking out the Third Street location on an anniversary trip to Bloomington, IN.

This location was definitely smaller than the Third St. Sahara Mart. I walked to the back of the store to find a small cave-like room where the beer shelves were.

While the quantity of brews was notably smaller at this location vs. Third St., quality was a cut above IMO. The beer cave has two entrances, and brews line multiple levels of shelves around the U-shaped perimeter of the ~30x20ft room. In the middle is a shelving "island" with multiple levels. The room houses some stand-out, harder to find craft and import selections. I was glad to find Upland Kiwi, Persimmon, Raspberry, and Cherry Lambics. I also noticed Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, Goose Night Stalker, Unibroue Quelque Chose, and (on the import side) JW Lees and Thomas Hardy's selections.

Again, Sahara Mart Third St. had a greater quantity of brews. What was telling, though, is that I only wound up actually buying beer from the Second St. location. If I could only visit one of them, I'd hit Second St.

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Photo of eyeenjoybeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place has fine selection of both domestic and foreign brews. Their prices are typically lower than anyone else in town on craft beers and the staff is always very helpful.

It is nice to be able to build a sixer, here, but they should expand the beers available for this. This might get some more folks interested in trying more expensive beers but who don't want to spring for the $12+ sixer.

They always have a good selection of Founders, FFF, Bell's, as well as Colorado and West Coast products. The Belgian selection is notable as well.

This place is worth checking out. Do it.

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Photo of brundo4
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

This is the original, I think, Sahara Mart. The selection is not nearly as big as the new Sahara mart but is still quite respectable. They have a lot of American craft, especially local brews like 3fs and Upland, and a good deal of belgians as well. Surprisingly they have a great amount of german brews, which seems almost disproportionate. There brew is generally pretty inexpensive by comparison, usually a dollar to three dollars cheaper than anywhere else. They have wine and gourmet food items as well.

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Photo of chrizzle
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

this review is for the 2nd St. location:

Q: beers of an amazingly high quality are on display daily at sahara mart. although not as extensive as it's east side cousin quality brews are consistently stocked. there's always something new!

Ser: the beer/wine manager does a good job keeping his shelves full but offers little in the way of extra information. what it says on the bottle or package is about as good as it gets. thankfully their vast selection is sahara mart's saving grace.

Sel: another exceptional attribute. the quality of their selection is seconded only to the larger east side cousin. for a smaller store and tightly compact shelving sahara mart's selection rules.

V: a bit pricey due to the high end offerings that line the shelves. for a craft six pack however, their prices are quite competitive.

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Photo of Beast35
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%

The new store has a much larger collection of brews but you really can't go wrong here either. A good mix of Indiana (Three Floyds ect...), craft beer from around the United States and plenty of quality imports. Prices aren't to bad either. Walked out with a 4 pack of Burton Baton and a bomber of Arrogant Bastard last time i was there for about 14 bucks. Overall if you are in Bloomington passing through go to the 3rd street location but if you are from the area this is never a bad option for a few brews.

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Photo of erz316
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%

Sahara mart is by no means a liquor store, and as a matter of fact, there is one across the street from this store. They have a pretty standard selection of beer, and the regular quality beers (SN, sam, fff, ktl.). I would never go here for any special beers, that is what the large big red is for. but as far as having the line up from upland, and a good lot of quality foods, this place is reliable, though i would never use it for anything more than a late night place to run to if i wanted something more than the selection of macros at the discount big red.

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Photo of Jbeyer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

The overall selection was very good and I was able to get many beers that are not available in Iowa City (current residence). The make your own six pack is a great idea and value. Service was almost non-existent, I could only find one working that wasnt at the check out and he continued to only ask people in the wine section if he could help. I rated the service at a 3.5 because of the environment of other shoppers that knew a great deal about beer and helped out my selection process.

One of the best selections in Bloomington at a good price.

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Photo of maskaggs
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

This location has a good selection of beers, and the new location on the east side of Bloomington apparently has even more. I only rated the service a 2.5 because nobody really does much to help; while it's nice to be able to shop in peace, if one had any questions it could be difficult to get any knowledgeable answers. Most employees seem to be hourly-based without much desire to know more about any of the store's products or family employees with similar lack of interest in products. A good place to go if you know what you want or have some time to kill.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Stopped in here while I was picking up my lambics from Upland on multiple recommendations. Upon entering Sahara Mart you will see that this is also a large health food store...sort of like Whole Foods, which I always enjoy for the large selection of interesting food and organic products.

The beer is way in the back - follow the signs. They have an impressive selection of local brews as well as imports and good prices to boot. They had a few of the lambics for $12.99 a bottle here, I didn't purchase any as I already spent my fair share at the brewery. I did however pick up a few singles including John Barleycorn barleywine which I hadn't seen before.

Overall, it's worth stopping in here to see what you can seemed like some stuff hangs around awhile here so be careful, as they had about every 3 Floyd's bomber ever produced. But the rare finds are worth it including Italian brews I've never seen anywhere else. Overall, a cool store with a great beer selection. Worth a stop for sure if you are in Bloomington.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

Very nice find while in Bloomington visiting Upland Brewing. Very nice store that also carries Wine and Beer. Separate room in the back for the beer, but had a very good selection. All the Indiana local beer, all the major craft beers and a very nice selction of imports. They also had a wall of singles where you could build your own six packs. Some glassware was available as well. Most of the beer was very reasonably priced, while I noticed a couple that were high. Easily the best beer store in Bloomington.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Stopped in over the weekend. The beer section is far back, follow the wall coolers, and then the signs. Stunningly it actually felt cooler in the beer section, even though there wasn't refrigeration.

Tons of great beer packed in there. Some great Belgians, including several geuzes like Cantillon and Girardin. One nice thing was that there were alot of smaller single bottles in the Belgian section, rather than pricey 750s. Lots of English and German imports, nice selection from Italy, including Xyayu and Demon Hunter. American craft was well represented with full lines from locals such as FFF, Brugge, Wabash, Upland, Warbird, Barley Island, etc. Cases of Upland lambics were on the floor for $12.99 per bottle. Good value. Some rare meads from Jaros and Apis on the back wall just before the beer section.

Checkout was friendly, this place is primarily a supermarket, so not much beer knowledge, but friendly service. Compared to Big Red, Sahara seemed to have a more eclectic specialty selection, but Big Red had a couple things I didn't see here.

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Photo of Photekut
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Stopped by on the way to Upland.

Found several goodies to take back to TN.

DFH WWS, Founders Devil Dancer, Upland, Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Imp. Stout, etc.

The selection was very impressive for a grocery store. I wanted to buy more, and would have if I was not going to drop $$ at Upland.

Prices were very reasonable.

There was no one at all watching over the beer section to help with questions, but I did not have any anyway. The lady behind the counter up front was really nice.

Id stop back in a heartbeat if I am ever in Bloomington again.

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Photo of toolbrew
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

What a great place to find beer. There are so many different choices tucked away in the beer section. Lots of the beers I had never even seen before.

You're on your own in the way of service, but if you seek someone out you can get help.

So many beers to choose from. While I was there I got Rogue, Stone, DFH, Schlafly, FFF, Avery, Butte Creek, to name a few. You can create your own six pack out of some of the selection for $9.99. The selection of bombers and 750ml is quite nice too. Good selection of European imports as well.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

I'm so thankful that I live only two blocks from the Sahara Mart on Second Street. It is the only place in Bloomington that carries a huge selection of domestic microbrews and imports. Much of their selection consists of single bottles and they have a deal where you can choose six singles from a large selection for only 10 bucks. If your in B-town, this is the best stop for good beer. Also, if your a wino, this place has an extremely large wine collection.

A second Sahara Mart is being built near College Mall and it looks like it is going to be HUGE! Maybe their selection of beer will expand even further with the opening of the new store...

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

This place is fantastic. They have great brews from FFF, Mikkellers (new), Dogfish Head, Stone, Founders, Bell's, Unibroue, Trappist Rochefort...the list goes on. They have a very nice selection. I picked up some great brews from this place and I'm sad to have to move from it.

The prices are also great compared to the giant, Big Red. This is a great place. There isnt much help that comes up to you, but if you seek them out they will certainly help.

Overall, this is a great place with good prices.
The selection is nice, organized, and big. They even have a shelf of ageable brews!

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Sahara Mart in Bloomington, IN
Place rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 23 ratings