Bobby's Liquors


32 Reviews
Bobby's LiquorsBobby's Liquors

Type: Store

2327 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, California, 95050-4060
United States

(408) 984-1120 | map

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Added by alpinab7 on 02-03-2010

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 42
Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
4.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

This is the place to find what you can't find elsewhere. Tremendous selection. Just make sure to drive a friend's car and wear something inconspicuous, because the giant "Adult" sign over the shop might give the wrong impression to friends and colleagues who may be in the neighborhood.

Aside from the mountains of porn (maybe a plus to some?), Bobby's has a seriously great selection of beer. The staff are pleasant, but sometimes English is not an option, so you may be on your own to sort things out. Not a bad way to spend your time, though...

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Photo of Plasmafunk
4.16/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

As described in prior reviews you have to wander through mountains of porn to get to the beer. The store itself is small, dingy and uninviting. The beer selection, though, is amazing.

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Photo of FocusDave
4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Bobby's Liquors is not the store you go to for your everyday beer shopping; it's where you go to get stuff you can't find anywhere else. I can almost guarantee that if you can get it somewhere else, it will be cheaper somewhere else. However, the number of beers here that you can't get anywhere else is off the charts. Limited releases? Check. Vintages as old as 2009 on the shelf (who knows what's in the back)? Check. A large enough selection of imported beers to confound and stupefy you? Check. Location is a bit odd and unless Dee is there (he's the friendly one who knows a bunch about beer), don't expect to get much in the way of service.


Pros: Selection, selection, selection.

Cons: High prices compared to other places, as much porn as they have beer (maybe not a con for some?), hit-and-miss service depending on who's there.

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Photo of ironchefkook
3.87/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.75

First of all, before I talk about the petty things about the atmosphere and the unhelpful clerk, their selection is great. They are probably the few selection of liquor stores that carry Pliny the Elder and is somewhat easily accessible. They have some vintage beers, rightly noted, and is great all around as far as selection. BUT this place is crowded, swarmed in between two adult shops (which I find highly distasteful) and the clerk doesnt really speak English. I'm not saying that this is wrong, but it is at times difficult if I am looking for a certain beer and the store clerk cant help me out. Plus, it is a bit overpriced. I have found certain beers marked up and not too fresh. But dont get me wrong, if this was the only craft beer shop around the neighborhood, I would go here every single time to get my fix, but that just isnt the case.

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Photo of IPAsStoutsAndPortersOhMy
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is absolutely awesome... amazing and slightly unbelievably wide selection of every type of beer you can think of. I find something new and exciting every time I go here. The guy behind the counter not only knows what he is talking about, he is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge and passion with his customers.

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Photo of brikelly
4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was in Santa Clara for a week for business and searched online for good places, and found Bobby's. Well, color me both impressed and surprised!

Bobby's does not look like a "typical" craft beer store from outside. Actually, even inside it doesn't look great - the middle aisle is for porn mags and the like, and as you walk in you think , "Uhh...I'm in the wrong place..." but fear not! Go to the right and you'll find an excellent selection of US and European beers.

I fount HoTD, 50/50, Drie Fonteinen, Struise, Tilquin, Russian River, De Molen, you name it. The owner came over and we talked for a little bit about the differences between the recent batches of HoTD's Adam, and he was as sweet as can be (and knowledgeable about the beers on his shelves!). Not to mention that his beers are very reasonable priced - I found some high-end beers priced many dollars less than I'd seen at more well-known places.

If you're near San Jose, this place is absolutely worth your time, and your money.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

It's a shame that this store can't be a little bit bigger. I'd love to see what they'd do with more space than they have. That being said, this place is packed very tightly everywhere, and the aisles offer very little space to maneuver. All of that aside, I don't think I saw one beer here, in the clearly separated "craft beer" section that was mediocre. Lots of top of the line stuff. And when I say top of the line, I'm talking Red Poppy, iStout, Supplication, and on and on. Lots of quality stuff. As many have said before, Dee is on top of things, ready to help, and knows what he is talking about. I feel like he's probably an underutilized asset for the beer scene in the south bay. Anyways. This place is bringin' it. A must visit.

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Photo of afrokaze
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

About time I got around to reviewing this place, I've been shopping here for over a year and it's the best bottle shop in San Jose hands down. The owner Dee is a great guy, knowledgeable and friendly. It looks like a random liquor store from outside, although the new brewery logos painted on the front give you a hint at what's inside. About 8 coolers of quality craft, with selections ranging from regular releases, IPAs, DIPAs, stouts, sours, wild ales, Belgians, etc. The stock is well taken cared of and the stock is kept up to date, especially the hoppy beers. There are also 2 huge shelves of dark beers and a decent choice of glassware. Prices are lower to middle range, never felt like I've been ripped off here. Just got some 2 day old Pliny yesterday, where else can you get that around here? Check it out.

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Photo of sfprint
4.56/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was pretty sketched out as a woman going into this store which doubles as a porn shop (as advertised outside). And it's located in a run down strip mall. But I wormed my way to the narrow aisle in the back where I was very surprised to find an incredibly good selection. But the prices were a bit high. Even though they had so much of what I wanted, I couldn't afford to get it all (although I had made a trip out to go to this place).

And the guy there (I guess he's the owner) wasn't sleazy at all, which isn't what I was expecting. He was very nice, and when he saw my list, unexpectedly just ran through all of them, saying whether they were available or not, where to get them, if you can get them. It was pretty shocking. I haven't met someone that knowledgeable about those specifics before.

Highly recommended. I appreciate a seedy place with a hidden goldmine.

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Photo of InfernoBoss
4.8/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Bobby's is truly a one-of-a-kind establishment. As others have posted, this is not a chain store environment. Bobby's has rough edges, namely the adult entertainment aisle with the "No Minors Allowed" gate at the entrance to the aisle. But hey, rough edges are part of life, so put your fears aside and enter a beer wonderland.

To really appreciate the selection, drop in, or check Their product pages will blow you away with the breadth and depth of their offerings. All chilled, except for a few boxes of singles on the floor, and a shelf of items suitable for aging. I turned away from the refrigerator cases on my last visit, and found myself eye to eye with a Deschutes Abbys. Glad I looked!

Basically, its time to stop reading about this place and just go there...NOW!

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Photo of Philousa
3.91/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Although in a less than desirable spot and the space is cramped, this is the pearl in the oyster that is the south bay beer scene. The first thing I noticed was the great selection of Belgian imports. This was literally the first place I saw a geuze in the south bay. Then I noticed they had selections from notable yet hard to find SoCal breweries such as The Bruery and AleSmith. The prices are marked up a bit, which makes sense for a mom & pop shop like this. So if you're just looking for a sixer from a local brewery that can be found at BevMo, go there instead. I only go here when I want a hard to find craft beer or Belgian, and I am never disappointed.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.91/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Ok, let's be blunt about this. This store is not just NEXT to an adult book store, it IS an adult book store. There are racks of skin magazines, sex novelties, rubbers, and porn flicks. Do not take your kids here (I made this mistake and despite my best efforts, my 8 year old said as we left "Daddy, I saw those pictures of girls in bikinis.")

That having been said, the beer selection is pretty great. It's not huge, but is wide-ranging and appears to be quite fresh - with imports, East Coast beers that are unusual in the area, some sought-after limited releases. The prices are decent and the staff is friendly.

This place is not a beer lovers dream, perhaps, but its is pretty good. And perfect if you need a copy of, say, "Juggs" along with your rare 22 oz bomber of craft brew.

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Photo of adsomers
4.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I was pretty puzzled by the lack of craft beer options when I moved to the South Bay. Bobby's Liquors brought me a sigh of relief. They stock a very good selection of locals and imports like De Dolle, Haand, Panil, Petrus (aged pale), Ichtegems, Hannssens, Cantillon, Mikkeller, and much more. I haven't seen anything like this selection in the South Bay, so that's where it gets a LOT of points!

The atmosphere is just f-ed up and I'm not gonna lie about that. Aside from the beer it's just a ghetto junky corner store next to a porn shop. It's kinda cute in a weird way but I hope this transforms into a respectable bottle shop some day.

That having been said, it's obvious the beer is well cared for. Anything that should be refrigerated is (except the entire Mikkeller single hop line-up, but I can understand not wanting to devote that much real-estate to one thing).

Two Indian ladies were working there when I visited. I had grabbed some IPA that wasn't in the cooler and one of them was nice enough to exchange the bottled for chilled ones. I found that to be extremely cool.

The South Bay still pretty much sucks for craft beer, but if you happen to live there Bobby's is your only option, and they do a good job!

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I first visited this store in 2010, and thought it was a great store for the south bay area, but wasn't as good as other top bay area liquor stores. However, after seeing so many A+ reviews, I thought I'd give it another try, and I'm glad I did.

The selection here was better than it was when I first visited. I found quite a number of beers that I had trouble finding elsewhere, and they even had a number that I've never found elsewhere.

They even had a Utopias ($250)!

This is definitely one of the best beer stops in the bay area, and clearly the best in the south bay.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.81/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I do not care where in the world you look, if you find a liquor store as cool as Bobby's Liquors, then it is a total gem.

As stated by others, this joint is located in a strip mall, next to an "adult" store. Once you get past this fact, and enter the store itself, you will find a liquor store not unlike many of the locally-owned stores in just about any urban setting.... However, this one has two of its entire wall-chillers and one opposing shelf devoted to hard-to-find craft beers. If it is distributed to the area, then you can find it at Bobby's.

If you happen to be shopping when the purchaser, Dee, is working, you will often be greeted with a pleasant hello and an offer of assistance. Dee goes to great lengths to make sure that his store is well-stocked with excellent craft choices because he is a true beer-lover himself, and he is willing to help you find the right beer for your mood and budget. (I can report this as fact because I have had several beer-related discussions with him.)

Most of the prices are right in line with what you would pay at other liquor stores and Bev Mo--some beers/brands are slightly more expensive, some are less--but the keg selection is truly what does it for me. It is so refreshing to have all my local favorites available in half-keg format, especially the rare & seasonal kegs!

I really cannot say enough great things about Bobby's Liquors--it is, hands down the best store I have found in the South Bay, and potentially anywhere. Cheers to Bobby's Liquors for making my favorite beers available!

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Photo of shwillivanilli
4.81/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

i heard a lot about this place from locals and from BA. so today i finally made the trip. i already knew what to expect as far as the location, being next to a adult store, and it just looking like a corner mart. with that being said, i knew from what ive heard that they would have an awesome selection. well that was no lie, a small store with a tight selection. i found soo soo much that i will have to make multiple visits just to catch up! soo many different things, and vintages as well. all stored in a selection of coolers. the guy that runs the place is super friendly, and knows his s&*#! not only does he know about beer, but from talking to him i could tell he enjoys beer a lot as well. awesome first experience, i plan on going many many more times!

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Photo of kevo2007
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This has been my go-to bottle shop for the past six months. The selection is impeccable, and Dee, the manager, is extremely knowledgeable even if he does not necessarily let on at first. Dee is very friendly and gives off no sense of superiority or anything of that nature. Most of the beer, including all IPA/DIPAs, are stored cold, something a little unusual from my experience. I even got a keg of Port Wipeout for my birthday a couple months ago. A great selection of both American and Belgian beers, including a wide arrange of sours. A great array of beers from Russian River, Stone, Green Flash, Firestone, Hair of the Dog, Mikkeller, Deschutes, and many others. Prices are reasonable too; I can spend $50 and get plenty of beer. I have found a few treasures too like 50/50 EW and BCBS months after it seemed like everything was gone. When looking for beer in the South Bay, Bobby's is the place to go.

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Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Undoubtedly one of the best bottle shops in the south bay. Don't let the location of Bobby's deter you from walking through the doors (next to an adult entertainment store). The selection here is very good to exceptional. Whatever you locate in the city of SF, chances are you'll find it here as well at a cheaper price. The beer manager, Dee, is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Occasionally, he'll even throw in a free bottle of beer with your purchase that you can't find in the state of Cali. When I have that craving for beer, this is where I go everytime.

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Photo of Gambac
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Sometimes, you feel bad for people who can't find the joy in a place like this. They can't find it because they are afraid of hole-in-the-wall restaurants or small shops that reside next to an adult entertainment store.

They will miss out, and that's fine by me.

Came in on the way back from work, hoping to catch Dee. While perusing the bottles (Lost Abbey, AleSmith, Port, Stone, Rogue, all the favorites are here), came across a few bottles of Serpent's Stout. Easily snagged one, and when I came to the counter, Dee was up there. He warned me that the bottle was at least a year old - never had someone tell me a beer's potential age (maybe I should start asking...)

Talked with him for a bit, and bought the Stout. Would definitely go back, as he has some beers very unique to his store (Hair of the Dog, a variety of different Rogues, plenty of lambics and different Belgians than I've seen elsewhere). Only gripe is the narrow aisle, but really, that should add to the charm. Dee knows his stuff, be sure and try to catch him if you need recommendations

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Photo of ciscov
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was in luck to find Dee still at the store. I live in GA, but I found this little gem via BeerAdvocate since I found out I was going to Santa Clara for a conference. I'm glad I did. Dee walked me through the beer selection, specifically those I cannot find in GA. As the other reviewers mentioned, you would never know that the beer selection is that good, but all the sudden you see the shelves in the back. Oh yes. So, if you find yourself in Santa Clara, see Dee for a great selection of beers.

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Photo of ponderos
4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Every once in awhile in life, you find those little hidden gems. Bobby's is one of them. It's in a little, nondescript strip commercial center with a classy-looking porn store nextdoor. If you didn't know about the beer nirvana in the back of the store, you'd drive right on past Bobby's as it looks like your typical hood rat liquor store in Santa Clara.

Best thing to know about the place: Dee is the beer buyer and he knows his shit. He also only buys beers he likes (a lot of stouts, porters, etc). Getting the stuff you like means it's a labor of love and this is an out-of-the-way gem for beer lovers.

If you know your quality breweries, then you know the beers that are there. If you're lucky, Dee might have some in the back that just aren't out because he didn't have room, but "oh ... you like that style of beer, yeah I still have some of that. It's back here."

Tip: find out what day the Russian River delivery comes in because, apparently, it goes fast. I figure a lot of people already have this information, but the less people in line on that day, the better.

It's a little pricier than other places, but you'll be hard-pressed not to find some "wow!" beer that you can't wait to take home. I did.

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Photo of grannun
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Called ahead of time to make sure Dee was there, even though it was the end of the day for him, he stuck around a little longer to answer my questions, and boy did he ever.

He personally went through every beer I asked about, including showing me all of the local selections and beer unavailable in my home market. All of his recommendations were great! Finally, he let me pick out a free glass on my way out.

This is a great store, with an incredible selection. Dee has personally guaranteed my continued visitation and purchase.

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Photo of Dobby
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Overall Bobby's is a great place in the southbay to find some great craft brews. What looks like your typical liquor store on the outside hides the true gem that is located inside. 5-6 full coolers stocked with IPA's, Belgians, Stouts, Porters and everything in between. Dee (owner) is the man and has personally tried all the beers he sells. Always incredibly helpful and will always let you know what it is coming in soon. I hear he is also possibly opening up a bar/bottle shop in SJ, hope that comes soon!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I could have drove directly to San Fran, but my senses directed my to find Bobby's Liquor first. The very first impression isn't going to make you go wow, as this is a small liquor store with merchandise stacked high and BMC in your direct vision. From the enterence, the craft varieties sits in the back right of the store. A majority of it sits in coolers, and a small amount at room temperature.

No question about the selection, it is excellent. A lot of the foucs was on the Belgian and American schools; among them was Hanseens, El Toro, Kern River, AleSmtih, Cascade, also brands like De Molen, Dieu du Ciel, Handdbryggeriet, J.W. Lee's cask matured barleywine. I even saw a few bottles of Sink the Bismarck, but at $100 I wasn't going for it. To compliment the beers, a few pieces of glassware are sold.

The clerk working early in the morning was on his game with the beers. Wile I was still deciding which beers to buy, he came up to me and offered some suggestions, from the AleSmtih IPA to the HOTD Adam. I eventually got around and told him that I prefered to purchase beers that I never tried before, but even so, I still appreciate that kind of enthusiasm from a beer store employeee.

Don't be afraid of how it looks on the outside, Bobby's Liquor offers plenty to make the beer geek happy. Perhaps not as extensive as Perry's, but still a very worthwhile stop among shops in the Bay Area.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Thanks to the BA brethren I wandered into Bobby's after I landed on a business trip in San Jose. Not much to look at from the outside but it makes up for it in every way inside. Being from Florida I was in a beer wonderland of choices I cannot get. After drooling at the cases for a few minutes a guy walks over and asks if I need help. He says he is Dee. I said ahh Dee I was told to look for you from the BA brothers. Told him I was from Fl. visiting and off he went with recommendations. Pliny the Elder and Santification were on my list and he got me each. He then pointed my way to other Cali locals. Great selection from Goose Island, Mikkeller, Russian River, various geuze, RIS etc etc. I grabbed way more then I should have and we talked beer for awhile. As I was paying Dee told me to grab a glass for free and pointed out a little Allagash snifter. Nice. Go here when in town. Dee is the man. I will be back on my next trip bearing gifts for him. Thanks to Dee and BA for the recommendation.

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Bobby's Liquors in Santa Clara, CA
4.53 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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