Westover Market

Your Rating: None
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
57 Ratings
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

5863 N Washington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia, 22205-2923
United States

(703) 536-5040 | map
westovermarket.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHeed2113 on 06-29-2008

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
57
pDev:
17.44%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of MissBuffieSkisAlot
1.14/5  rDev -72%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1.5

Don't order a keg from Westover Market. You will be sorry. We sure are.

We ordered a 1/2 keg for our small non-profit's lobster roll party last night. As our attendees milled around waiting for beer they had paid for in advance, we scrambled to get the keg to work. Turns out WESTOVER MARKET GAVE US A FAULTY TAP. We got a working tap from another, closer, store, but by then, our event was more than half over. When we returned the almost-full keg and the faulty tap this morning, we asked for "a little" discount on the beer. Westover charged us full price in spite of its mistake. As a result, we are out $99 for less than 20 cups of beer.

Go elsewhere for your keg. We certainly will.

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Photo of mjsampson2
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Definitely the biggest selection in the area, but prepare for your six-pack to be (a) warm (even if it's sitting in the "cooler") and (b) at least $2 more than you'd pay elsewhere.

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Photo of siege06nd
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of claspada
2.76/5  rDev -32.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Stopper here after lunch at Lost Dog across the street.
There is a pretty nice selection all long the right wall as you walk in of cold sixpacks, cold bombers and warm versions of both. After having stopped at State Line in MD a few hours earlier I was less than impressed but would be quite happy if I hadn't gone there first.

This is really just a low budget grocery store with a crap ton of beer. A better sixpack shop if that makes sense. Lots of seasonals and out of state options. Most of the beer is American craft. I questioned the freshness of some of the less popular stuff just because of the huge 6 pack variety, but they can say that they have new stuff as well because of the large Pumking and Founders Breakfast stout display.

The cons are the lack of anyone working there. There was like one person and he was running the 1 of 2 registers (for a grocery store) and i just wanted to buy a 4 pack of Maui Coconut Porter but chose to bag it because of the lady buying a cart full of groceries in front of me in line.

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Photo of HookemHoos
3.24/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.25

High prices. Should be cautious but they tend to have limited releases stick around longer.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

been to westover a handful of times over the past year. just recently looked at the overall rating of 94 and was shocked. felt obliged to put in my 2 cents.

when you first walk into westover it simply appears as a dirty grocery store. small rows of goods, some produce, and then to your right a big wall of beer. single bottles (bombers, 750's, etc.) of some of the hard to finds on top produce cooler which hold 4 & 6-packs as well as a selection of mix and match 12oz bottles. the mix and match selection is something i always enjoy doing, but this place is really not the place to do it. very overpriced single servings of brews that are really not that rare (starr hill, SN, kona, etc.). the bottles on top are where you should keep your eyes focused as there are some gems. however, dont plan on walking out of this store with any steals. they know what they have and have marked up accordingly. i find it deterring when i see beautiful bottles of beer directly under florescent lighting covered in dust and then i am asked to shell out a buck or two higher than the average market price. buying beer in this area is a little more expensive than most, however this place is on my avoid list when it comes to doing some bottle hunting.

one cool aspect of westover is it does now have a beer garden that utilizes the side patio for some outdoor seating. they have about 10 drafts and the selection gives a nice range of diversity. the prices are a bit high, but if you have been reading my review this far that should not be unexpected.

i think way to many users are quick to give a high rating to a store if they see a large selection of beer. i understand because i was similar when i first began visiting different bottle shops and exploring new brews. however, the review should really focus on all the aspects that makes up a rating as i find atmosphere and price just as important as selection, seeing as atmosphere and price are the two areas where westover really doesnt cut the cheese.

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Photo of Hanzo
3.38/5  rDev -17%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Stopped in to check if they had any BCBS since we didn't get any in my area of Southeast Virginia. The place doesn't look too great inside, but they do have a large Variety of beer available, and honestly that is what I was there for. A lot of it was refrigerated though not all of the coolers seemed operational.

There were a lot of dusty bottles which led me to question the freshness of some of their time sensitive beers (and I was warned of this by a fellow BA prior to going so I was on the lookout). The Racer X DIPA I picked up, that was on their display table clocked in at a little over two months old, so it wasn't all that bad. They did have five 4-pks of BCBS sitting on the same table so they score points for that!

Prices....well that is where they go wrong. They were about $2-$3 more per item than other stores I have been in around that area. I have no problem spending a few extra bucks if it means the store would look nice and the staff were helpful...neither were the case here so where is the extra money going?

I would certainly return but I think it would serve them well to give the place a little freshening up and at least have one person walking around to help people instead of one guy standing at the register.

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Photo of vahughes
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

I have not purchased beer inside the market but I do enjoy their outdoor patio and the indoor bar. The staff is really friendly. The place is very hit or miss. It's either packed with no where to sit or a ghost tone. Overall I like it and I have discovered some great beers in this place.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Westover Market is both a beer store and a Beer Haus & Garden. To be fair, each should be evaluated separately. I will my best to discuss both in this review.

A
Store - I personally like the atmosphere. Laid back. A big focus on the beer. Others may say the store messy. I don't.
Beer Haus - Small and quaint. Once again focused on the beer.

Q
Store - I am always weary of a beers age in the store, especially with the singles. If the beer does not have a "bottled on date" I am typically hesitant to buy. Some of the coolers aren't so cold, but not much worry there. The beer is not hot and then I go back to the bottle on date.
Beer Haus - No worries here. They typically serve in an appropriate glass inside. Outside will be a plastic cup.
I give the place an average rating because of the age and potential storage issues. Just remember, buyer beware in the store.

S
Store - Almost non-existant at the Wall of Beer. I guess because the guys that know the beer are working in the Haus.
Beer Haus - Good. No complaints. David, Drew and others are very friendly. Remember that you can sit inside and still go outside to get a beer and they charge it direct to your tab inside. Easy accomodation, but somewhat unexpected.
Once again, the store pulls down the overall rating here.

S
Store - Excellent selection. A huge variety of six packs. Singles pulled from sixers. And large format bottles. Greater focus on domestic beers, but there are plenty of Belgian and English available.
Beer Haus - Six to eight on tap inside. Five to six on tap outside. Always varying. Regular tap takeovers. I always find two or three beers I want to drink when I visit.

F - Food is hit or miss. There are some great items on the menu (some specials, the burgers, the bolgogi), but other stuff like the pulled pork and the chili have been extremely disapointing.

V
Store - The store can be more expensive than other nearby establishments such as Lost Dog or Arrow Wine. I recognize that and never buy too much of a special item. Only enough to satisfy. But you can typically save $2/$3 on a bomber (e.g. Bruery) if you go someplace else.
Beer Haus - Standard bar prices for craft beer. Food is not expensive but you must weight that against the quality.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

All around, this place seems like it should be really great. They have plenty of high-quality beer as well as a purportedly-large keg selection. However, the few times I've been have been quite a bit of a disappointment, and I've had other service issues as well. On more than one occasion in the past I've tried to order a keg and been told that it would be in after a certain number of days. Without fail each time, the keg never ended up coming in.

After discussing the same keg with another local retailer, I discovered that this brewery does not deliver kegs to the area for retail sales. No big deal, but this is a big brewery and something a credible beer retailer should know about.

Other than the problems with information, I will say that the individuals I spoke with on each occasion were quite friendly.

The selection here is pretty good, but not mind-blowing. I saw the reviews and thought I would have to check out the selection. While it's certainly above average for the area, I don't see it being any better than Rick's or most of the Whole Foods locations.

The pricing seemed on par with the rest of the area.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

It's pretty much a mini urban grocery store (right across the street from Lost Dog Cafe) with quite an expansive beer selection once you enter and turn right towards the back (their Wall of Beer). They have a very good selection of US micros like Bells, Stone, Victory, Bear Republic, etc. There's nothing here that you can't already get at other good Northern Virginia stores like Norm's or Whole Foods EXCEPT for a couple Southern Tier beers and Hoppin' Frogs. Compared to their US micros, their Belgian selection is somewhat limited but what they carry is good (Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru, etc.). A pretty passionate beer selection for a grocery store. Worth checking out for your everyday beer needs or if visiting the area. Almost their entire shelf stock is refrigerated. The back patio is open during warm weather for beer drinking from their taps too.

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Photo of rhartogsq
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I both love Westover and hate it.
The Love: Awesome, huge beer selection. Great local stuff from Port City, Starr Hill, and others. And a great world wide selction.
They get some great stuff on tap.

Hate: The prices are generally a dollar or more per bottle than average. The taps in the beer house and beer garden are cost prohibitive.
The food I had there was very basic, and expensive for what it is.
The bartenders are hit or miss. One took ages to get my bill, luckily I rarely see that guy.

I talked to an employee once who told them they will keep rare and limited stuff on hold, then jack up the price. Not cool. I own a business and understand the value of making a buck, but the craft beer industry thrives on sharing and word of mouth.

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Photo of TheBlueJerzzzz
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of ahalloin
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

This is an interesting place to visit if you live in the area. Basically, the entire back wall of this little neighborhood grocery store is beer. There is a good mix of large commercial beers, west coast craft beers, local craft beers, and highly regarded imports.
Use your imagination for the list of large commercial stuff. Standard stuff you can get in a gas station.
For west coast craft beers they have a few from Ballast Point, Stone, Green Flash, Sierra Nevada, Moylan's, and Lagunitas.
As for local breweries, they have a big selection of Flying Dog, Starr Hill, Clipper City, and St. George. In addition they have most all of the selections released by Dogfish Head.
In imports they have Unibroue, Chimay, Gouden Carolus, Schloss Eggenberg, DeProef, St. Bernardus, Orval, Rochefort, among others.
I would say their strength is local craft beers, as you (or I) can get most everything else at a somewhat cheaper price at a few other places in the area.
The only beers I hadn't seen elsewhere were Ballast Point (which is slowly making its way into this market) and a few selections from DeProef.
According to their website, this may be the place to get incredible kegs in the area though.

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Photo of BigTomZ
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This is a store in Arlington that I stop by from time to time. They are a grocery store with a huge beer selection. They have tons of micros with a small selection of imports. The side and back walls of the store are all beer. Seems to be a good few hundred kinds there. They keep up on all the essentials for the area. I do see some old stock from time to time. Not a deterrent to shopping there, just a note for BA's to check labels on those hoppy brews. Most of the beer is kept refrigerated. I don't really see much in the way of locals represented. I have noticed that some of their prices are a bit high, even for the area. I can't recall ever speaking to any of their staff aside from checkout. For the most part I'm left to browse at my leisure, which is fine with me.

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Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great selection of beers and they have various events with different breweries (Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Stone, Lagunitas, Devil's Backbone, etc.) on tap.

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Photo of hophead_87
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Great selection but price point is significantly higher than other places in NOVA.

82 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -1.7%

the Westover Market is a medium-sized neighborhood grocery, not the kind of place I'd shop at regularly but they do have a wide selection of most standard items, the back wall of the store is one continuous cooler of beer, with additional beers stacked on top of them, a small shelf on the right side with various Belgians, and a small selection of singles near the entrance of the store, they apparently host tastings from time to time

there's a wide range of beer to be had, encompassing the entire range from macro to micro and all the pseudos in between, nothing particularly surprising that I haven't seen elsewhere, but did I live nearby this would likely be my regular beer stop, Victory, Stone, De Proef, a few locals, French Broad, and many many more

the Stoudt's DIPA was about five months old, glanced at a few other dates and they all checked out, being kept in the cold case can't hurt either

while most of the prices are towards the high end, a few of them are ludicrous (thirty bucks for a 4-pack of Palo Santo), I thought the $4 Zywiec was cheap but that's apparently double its going price elsewhere in the area

there was nobody at the back of the store to give service, but the shopkeep at the checkout line was friendly

 1,242 characters

Photo of DubCo21
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Chaseeager
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of pmarlowe
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of kellyej
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Westover is a great little neighborhood bar/restaurant. They do a really great job tweeting what they have on tap (which changes quite regularly). The market has an outstanding selection of craftbeer all along the back wall. There's something for everyone at Westover!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Rumors of the fabled Wall of Beer brought me to this small gorcery establishment. Unlike Bigfoot and the like, these rumors paid off, and then some. The Wall itself consists of over a hundred different varieties from across the country. The international selection is quite lacking, but the American and local offerings more than make up for this seeming oversight. Also included is a smaller selection of singles and select rarities that are relatively harder to find in other nearby places. I haven't felt the need to ask for help, so I can't comment too much on it, but, while paying, I've had some nice (albeit brief) discussions about my selections. As others have noted, some of the bottles can be a tad bit pricey, but for the most part there isn't much of a difference between their prices and those of any other nearby store (until you cross into DC, that is). Overall, a very nice place to pick up some brews. Now, if only there was more parking...

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Photo of Jimbo87
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

They have great beers. Last time I was there they had Bigfoot, Nugget Nectar, Blue Mountain Pale Ale, and French Broad Altbier, in addition to the great stuff they always have that can't easily be found elsewhere in the area, like St Bernardus Wit, Thirsty dog siberian night, and Traquair, and of course the tons of stuff they have in all the good beer places in the area.

Selection is very good. Not very good selection available for the mixer sixer deal, so I never do that. I wish they had a better selection for that, or just sold by the bottle, because I almost never buy sixers of one beer.

Prices seem pretty decent. Some things slightly overpriced, few things slightly underpriced.

Definitely stop by if you're in the area, and then go across the street to the Lost Dog Cafe where they have a good selection of very good beers and great sandwiches.

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Westover Market in Arlington, VA
Place rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 57 ratings