Half Time

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Half TimeHalf Time
192 Ratings
Half TimeHalf Time

Type: Store

2290 South Rd
Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601-5586
United States

(845) 462-5400 | map

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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 165
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.38/5  rDev -26.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

I've stopped here many times on my travels across the Hudson Valley. Used to think highly of this store, until my last visit this past weekend.

Sure, Half Time is a huge store. A veritable supermarket of all things beer. But guess what? There is only ONE aisle for American craft. That ONE aisle is neatly arranged and colorful and has some (few) brands I cannot get downstate in NYC like Great Lakes, Clown Shoes and Three Heads from Rochester, but it still is only ONE aisle. World's largest selection of beer? I doubt it.

A good variety of Alesmith and Bruery bombers, plus more Elysian than I have ever seen. The excitement ends there, though. No rarities, no barreled brews, no "oh-my-god-gotta-have-that" bottles. Yes, they got a lot of beer, but nothing really that you will not see in your local shelves. Stone, Sierra, Dogfish, Weyerbacher, Jolly Pumpkin... whatever.

The only exciting brews were BEHIND the counter (as if they were afraid they'll get stolen or something?). There they had the barrel-aged Mikkeller Black Hole series, priced at $15.99!!

Indeed, the price is perhaps the worst thing about Half Time. Everything here is two-to-three dollars more expensive than in Manhattan. Why?

One thing I did like is the reduced-price beers upfront by the entrance, including Hoppin' Frog Black&Tan and a bunch of seasonal/Christmas beers. I also like the fact that you can get tap beer to go in containers as small as a pint (16 oz). How cool is that!

There is not much service to speak of here... no beer nerd cruising the aisles offering help. A lil' cold but just fine at the registers. Sorry, Half Time, but you are just not for me.

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Photo of slander
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Great Caesar's Ghost!! This place is awesome. I guess I had to see it to believe it. Located just a few miles south of the Mid Hudson Bridge on Rte 9 (northbound), big and new and shiny and clean. An aisle of american micro brews galore. I happily scored me a few single Bert Grant's beers, some Middle Ages this, some Rogue Imperial Stouts that, just a huge singles make your own six pack heaven. Coolers and coolers of just singles. An aisle of Scottish and English and Irish and German and Belgians, oh my. I scored me a Liefman's Goudenband (edit: I came back and scored 4 more Liefman's Goudenbands and am hoarding them), I am one happy camper. Oh yeah, and a couple of Cantillion's to boot. All sorts of stuff I've heard of but have never seen and all sorts of stuff that I've just flat out never heard of but will be doing research on (hmmmmn, if only there was a very informative beer website where people wrote descriptively about all beers and I could reference them). State of the art, a dozen live taps for pouring 10oz sampler bottles, 1/2 gallon or full gallon growlers and the system is done up right!! and the staff seemed alot more up to beer snuff than the Budweiser beer swill lackeys you usually get at your local bevee. The guy me and Davo were talking to used to brew at Woodstock Brewery in Kingston and was knowlegable as all hell about everything we hit him with (and he's a good barleywine man on top of that). I dropped $71 bucks there and I'm sure I'll be doing the 90 mile pilgramage there again real damn soon.
Well worth the hike, says I.

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Photo of Billolick
4.85/5  rDev +5%

What can I say, except this place is BEER HEAVEN. Drop what you are doing and GO to HALF TIME. My second visit, I met the Omegang brewer and left with growlers of three Philosophers. The selection is awe inspiring. They have it! Perhaps most amazing is the filling of fresh growlers they will do. The tap/growler selection is allways changing and allways impressive. Did I mention the glassware? The sister bar/restaurant located next door is worth supporting as well. Decent taps, alot of eclectic bottles, very tasty food and killer TV's for watching a game or whatever. This a very worthwhile beer destination. Bring a large vehicle and a new credit card. Enjoy!

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Photo of Sammy
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%

Not the best beer store in the USA, but certainly up there. About a half dozen rows of beers, plus a clearance area, where I picked up a magnum of red & white mikkeller. Excellent US micro selection, however I found the foreign to be merely par. Good selection of glssware as well. A long shlep up a smaller highway. A good rotation of bottles, I had no qualms of grabbing lagers. Love the single bottle freedom. Some harder to finds like Coronado. Good help offered and given to bring out boxes. $225 later but no free glassware. No worries.

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Photo of Gavage
5/5  rDev +8.2%

This place remains the tops for pure beer selection. Signs in the store boast 1400 beers. I was able to procure about $175 of beer I can't get in Jersey, most notibly Stone and northern NY breweries like Wagner and Cooperstown. I picked up The Beast from Avery and several Southampton beers like the IPA, Baltic Porter, and Saison which I have never seen in NJ. Full line of Goose Island beers too. Entire aisle of Belgian beers will keep you browsing for a while. Ten taps for growler fills. Numerous clear glass refridgerators well stocked. Neat checkout area, and nice big carts to haul your finds.

As in my previous visits, I was greeted by a friendly staff member who guessed I was from out of town since my shopping cart was full of bombers and some singles.

This place is super clean, well organized, and well lit. One of the greatest beer stores on earth.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%

Heading south from Montreal with BA Erica on Route 87, a few punters at the Mondiale had mentioned that ‘Half Time’ was on the way back to New York and JFK for my flight home to LAX, and “like hey Man you should pop by cuz it’s an awesome place”. Checking the progress back and the time, it seemed like we could manage a trip to Half Time and Poopkeepsee, Prekepsigh, Pugghesees, Powkowshy…Half Time.

Peeling off the 87 South onto the 299 East, then head South down the 9W, then back East across the Hudson River Bridge on the 55 and then head South yet again on the 9 (South Road), it’s all about an 8 mile drive South from the 87/299 Junction. As we drove South the store was on the left (Northbound 9) and facilitated an 180˚ about turn, but thankfully there is one of those nifty turning circle thingies just after the store.

Handy parking area out front of the rather new looking brick exterior. Inside it is a sort of a Car Parts Place meets Beer World.

Atmosphere: for Beer Stores is not about how nice the place is, it is all about just how “beery” the interior is. And Half Time is mega beery……stacked cardboard cases, more beer boxes, loose stand alone displays, rows of wall-hugging coolers filled with loose bottles and six-packs and several Supermarket aisles of bottled beery delights all arranged at a 45 degree angle to the front wall. Needless to say that the atmosphere is distinctly “beery”, it is hard to knock the arrangement, neatly laid out, and clearly labeled aisles by Country, yet it still retains that “bloody hell I want to go beer hunting” feel to the displays.

Beer Range Selection: is something else, I need not bother even trying to describe the brews on offer, if it ain’t here it is highly unlikely that you can pick it up, on the East Coast at least, I spied many, many brews that I never ever get to see over on the West Coast but all the ones I usually see, so it is not missing anything either. In addition to myriad of bottled brews a very nifty tap set-up dispenses draft beer to go in small bottles and a range of Growler sizes hanging from the roof nearby, could it get any better!?!?

Service: always a tough mark for beer stores. OK, so we have full marks for Atmosphere and Beer Range Selection but I feel Service on my visit at least was “just average”: For a start, I couldn’t find any hand sized baskets anywhere even though I saw signs and an area for them, where were they!?!? I really didn’t fancy getting one of the huge Spacker-Sized wire Trolleys so dip in marks there. I guess I could have asked where the Hand Baskets were…..but there was, well quite literally no-one in the store!! I mean No-one. Erica and I could have robbed these guys blind if we had the inclination to, we might not have got far for sure, but the lack of human presence was a little off-putting. So what the heck, I’ll just pick up my handful of bottles and hand-carry them around, pain in the ass as it was, so a few more lost marks there too. Right, check out time……erm, young kid could not make up his mind which till to use, which is rather annoying as I was already hand lugging my bottles around. Then he seemed to have troubles working the till and just scanning the bottles. Enter stage left from the back room experienced Dude who rescued the situation, grabbed a box and had me served in double quick time with no ID bullshit or silly hassles and any of that stupid shite you get in NJ. So….what to give, I think to be fair a 3.0 would be reasonable overall, it really does not deserve more from my limited experience and I say it as I see it.

Average Service aside, would I go again? Too bloody right, I’m only *really* interested in the beer range on sale and the prices, the rest fades once I walk out with a box full of beer. To put it all in context: 1,800 Beers, 500 Microbreweries, 100 Delicious Styles from over 40 Countries – So is Half-Time worth a visit?…erm, hmmm, erm, yep, hmm, well I guess so. If not, and you live in NY State, you could always deal with the guys on-line too! Lucky buggers.

Highly Recommended.

Last Visit: Monday 5th June, 2006.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Made a detour on the way back from a trip to Albany to check this place out and get some beer that isn't available to me in PA.

The place is extremely well organized, with clear pricing. Biggest selection of international beer that I have seen at any beer store ever, period. Big selection from UK, Germany, and Belgium, plus beers from obscure places like Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, etc. The selection of US Micros was also excellent, with a wide variety of single bottles and six packs. They had the real limited release stuff on shelves behind the cash register. Also had a large amount of cooler space, even though I wasn't interested in that. Prices were reasonable compared to other places I've seen in PA, NJ, DE, MD, etc. A little higher on some stuff, and a little lower on other stuff. Staff was friendly, and I was given a free glass, assuming from the size of my purchase.

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Photo of sholland119
5/5  rDev +8.2%

If there is a better beer store anywhere, I want to know where it is.

The selection at Half Time is mind blowing. Whether you fancy Belgians, American craft beers or beers from Germany, UK, Australia, or anywhere else probably, this place is for you. We grabbed two mixed cases of great stuff from Brooklyn (Black Ops), Capt. Lawrence (Nor' Easter-sold out at the brewery), Keegan, Pennichuck and others.

In addition to the miles of aisles (organized geographically and clearly labeled), there is also an 8 tap growler fill station. Very cool!

We had a great beer conversation with the buyer/owner, who also gave us some cool free glassware. Prices a bit on the high side I think, but worth every penny.


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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%

I stopped here based on strong praise from most BA reviews on the place. Most of the praise is well earned now that I've seen the selection.

The aisles are separated by country. America has the most beers (maybe 300 or so), followed by Belgium (maybe 100). Germany was somewhat under-represented in my opinion, but they still had about 40-50 German beers. England was also in the race and France surprised me with their bid for glory. I've never tried French beer yet.

The service is kind of lousy. I brought a list of some East Coast beers with me and had no luck getting help to find them. The salespeople couldn't even tell me if were out of stock or if they carried them, I thought they could check some list or something...

As long as you know what you're looking for and you have time to roam the aisles you'll enjoy this place.

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Photo of seanchai
4.25/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Sixpoint
5/5  rDev +8.2%

There are beer stores, and then there is Half Time Beverages. There was a time when I doubted them... I asked myself, "Is it really worth it to drive 1 1/2 to 2 hours from Brooklyn to go to a beer store?"

Well, it depends on how dedicated you are. Granted, I was spending the weekend in Chappaqua so it actually was only about 2 hours round trip. But I will never question whether or not it's worth it again.

The manager and beverage buyer for the store, Matt, greets beer enthusiasts with an electric enthusiasm. He'll talk your ear off about beer, beer styles, his favorite beers, favorite breweries, and BEER. The selection at his store shows his obvious inclination towards Belgian Ales, as he had two Belgian beers ON TAP during my visit, as well as scores of American microbrewed Belgian styles. Furthermore, his stock of Belgium imports dwarfed his selection from any other country, including the UK and Germany.

I don't see how this store could be graded anything less than a 5.0 in quality, service, or selection. I've never seen anything like it!

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Photo of mrcraft
4.44/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

My review is based on my online order. The website is pretty straightforward and allows for easy navigation. You can sort beers by breweries, countries, states, styles, etc., so that can be helpful when browsing. They do carry a lot of beers, especially from the regional breweries. If you see any highly sought after beer, I'd suggest buying it quickly. Since this was my first online beer purchase, and I was wavering back and forth whether to proceed or not. I missed out on BCBS, Night Stalker, and some nice IPA's. :( My bad though.

I finally did order, and my shipment was processed and shipped promptly. They used a pulp shipper, and my beers were packaged nicely. I was able to re-use their shipper for a subsequent trade, so that was a plus.

I found the prices to be reasonable, and the shipping charges fair. I didn't purchase enough to qualify for free shipping, but that's an option too for those ordering more than $100.

Overall, I was pleased with my experience. I would recommend them highly when purchasing beers not available locally.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped by here on 26JAN10 while en-route to Ft Indiantown Gap PA. Since it wasn't much out of the way, I just HAD to....

In a word: WOW! Found in one of many small strip-mall type places along Rte 9, the huge Half Time logo is hard to miss. Enter at the front left of the building; front is all windows, right and rear walls are all coolers, and on the left is the cash register and check-out area. Just upon entering is a clearance table with marked-down goods. Then there are 5 or 6 long rows, running diagonally from entrance to rear-right, loaded and loaded with goodies. Belgians, German biers, American micros, obscure, hard-to-find stuff - it's all here. I picked up a varied assortment of Belgian, German and US stuff; 9 bottles total, including 3 bombers, 3 0.5l bottles, and 3 regular bottles. Total cost? Only $47.06, including tax and deps. Very nice pricing here, indeed. I couldn't quite give service a 5, as pretty much all they did was point me to the WC and ring me up, though they were quite pleasant in doing so. If you're anywhere near this place and love great bier, Half Time should be your full-time stop. Prosit!!

vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5


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Photo of akorsak
4.66/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I strategically booked a hotel in Newburgh, NY just for the chance to visit Half Time. Well worth the cash.

Quality: Never have I seen this many bottles laid out in such a beautiful fashion. The layout of the store and the selection was top notch.

Service: The check-out girl struggled over my Sixpoint Bolshoi, but it was not too aggravating. The manager offered my a free glass (I guess based on the size of my purchase) and I chose a wicked nice Leute Bok glass with wooden stand. That kind of little thing counts big in a rather difficult category to rate.

Selection: What more can I say that hasn't already been said. I got the following:
Avec les bon voeux (2)
Stone IPA
Stone Smoked Porter
Stone VE '06
Sixpoint Bolshoi
Southampton Grand Cru
Southampton Saison
Southamption Imperial Porter
Southampton 10th Anniversary Old Ale
Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA
and one other that I can't recall right now. Suffice to say I've never been in a store like this. You MUST visit this place. Oh yeah, they also fill growlers.

Value: The value is based on your tastes. Some beers are cheaper than others but it is worth your while.

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Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +8.2%

What else can I add, that has not already been said. This place, although 3 hours from my humble home, is certainly beer nirvana! Over 1,400 beers in stock, but I kept my cool and only dropped $80 in addition to my $80 worth of gift certificates (thanks Erica). This place is just disgusting! Aisles, and aisles of micros on shelves that are fully stocked and labeled well. Want some French beers and ciders, how about a whole endcap of them? Traditional lambics? There is a whole aisle devoted to them! Service was nice, as we got two free glasses, and two free growlers since we came from far away. Talk about nice! Quality of all of the beers was awesome as well, with all beers being fresh, and before their best buy date. This place must have awesome turnover. Unreal. But too damn far! Good prices as well! GO!

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Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

This is simply the best store in the area, one of the best I've ever been to, and a can't miss beer destination if you are anywhere in the vicinity. Tremendous selection organized by country, shelf after shelf of bottles, tons of refrigerated beer, growler station with a half dozen or so excellent choices. Staff is up and down, not everyone knows their stuff here or is always super friendly but that's a minor knock. A disinterested teenage girl at the cash register or a college student stocking shelves who doesn't know what Cascazilla is ain't a big deal when you're here. At least not to me, because I'm always overwhelmed with choices.

Nice selection of glasses here too. Weekly sale items and an excellent website (halftimebeverage.com). Go here and buy stuff. Make it a day and hit up Keegan Ales in Kingston, the Gilded Otter in New Paltz and Hyde Park Brewing in...Hyde Park.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%

We had the chance to check out this much praised beer Mecca on a recent run through the area. The area inside is very large, bright, spacious, and industrial. There are tons of neatly organized shelves for warm product and then a good amount of cooler space (with a great selection) that covers the back wall. I love the organization here. Larger bottles sit up on the top shelves while six-packs are on the ones below. Two prices are listed on these shelves. One price for the six-pack alone and another for a single from that six-pack. Pretty simple, efficient, and something that I wished more beer stores would do. The imports are also separated by each country, making finding what you're looking for that much easier. I didn't see any dust on any of the bottles and stock looked like it gets rotated pretty frequently.

Selection here is terrific. Awesome selection of American Craft beer form heavy hitters like Stone, Bear Republic, Goose Island, Dogfish, Troegs, etc. Sadly I didn't see any Alesmith though. Good representation from regional NY breweries like Keegan, Wagner Valley, Cooperstown, and Ithaca. Import selection was very solid as well. I saw a couple of selections that I usually only see at some of these top ranked places that we visit. They also had a modest selection of glassware that looked like it was picked through pretty good.

I think that the growler taps here are what really set this place apart though. 12 taps total and we're not talking any old plain Jane taps either. Rarer seasonals, special releases, and solid Imports make up the selection and there wasn't a bummer in the group. Just awesome! Prices here were reasonable. We didn't ask (nor were approached) out on the floor but we did see the staff helping people out with selections up front and they seemed friendly and knowledgeable. All in all, this place rocked and I would kill to have someplace like it near me. It's definitely up there with some of the other top heavy hitter beer stores on the East Coast. Most recommended!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Went here with GeoffFromSJ and it is stunning!!! The first time that I ever just knew that a place was gettin' all 5s. This is the Mecca of beerdom. This is A BEER STORE! Gadzooks! Rows and rows of beer. Best part: You can mix and match any amount or beer you want. It's like a playground! I picked up some Southampton, Ramstein Winter Wheat, Long Trail, Middle Ages, Brooklyn Monster.

The service was excellent. Once the guy there saw that we were serious, (which pretty much walking in the door explains) he was super helpful and even offered us $1 samples from the ten taps there. Just killer! Also, I picked up some glassware! Wow! Glassware, single bottles and taps. This place just lacks hookers!

It's actually worth the 3+ hour drive! If ya go, hit the Gilded Otter in New Paltz, too. Nice trip!

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Photo of grahuba
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Awesome beer selection. Spent an hour in the store and was able to get most of the beers I wanted to try. They fill growlers and even have cigars. Wish this place was closer to CT.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.29/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A huge beer store in Poughkeepsie, widely renowned. My expectations for this place were absurdly high due to other BA's reviews, and those expectations weren't quite met, but this is still a must stop due to the wide selection and helpful staff. Multiple aisles of beer separated by country, and a solid growler selection. The "best stuff" is behind the counter, visible. Workers were very knowledgeable about the selection and helped me determine if it was worth dropping $20 on BA Boris (they said it would be, and happily, it was). Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Soloveitchik
4.25/5  rDev -8%

Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

I visited Half Time toady while in the area for business. I have been there a few times now and think it is perhaps the best beer distributor in the state.

The selection was overwhelming. Excellent micro selection and excellent imports and belgians.

A big selling point for me was that they encourage you to mix and match. They also give a per bottle price, which is obviously helpful.

I was also impressed with their selection of draft beer. I believe there wer a half of dozen taps ready to fill up various size vessels.

I would have given the quality a 5, but I did notice some old stock. Not very much, and certainly less than at your average distributor, but some.

$60.00 later, I am very happy.

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Photo of Loki
5/5  rDev +8.2%

I can't say enough about this place.

Quality: Top notch, some of the finest beers you can find, with huge efforts taken to rotate stock, and keep it clean and fresh.

Service: If I could rate it higher than 5 I would. I emailed Half Time through the website trying to find their hours because I know I would be getting into Poughkeepsie late (1 AM) and would be leaving early after a 7AM meeting the next day. Alan, the owner, emailed me back saying they would be taking deliveries at 9AM and would make a special expection and open the doors for me. This was huge. Not only that, but the staff took time while they were stacking shelves, taking in deliveries, and preparing for the day to help me find things and fill a growler (Of lovely Southampton Oyster Stout) for me.

Selection: You're kidding right? I'd say about 2500-3000 sqft of space with neatly divided isles, 12 rotational taps (literally changing every day or two), and 15-20 coolers (maybe more I wasn't paying attention to the cold stuff) full of beers. Great prices from what I can tell. The 5 cent deposit thing sucks for somebody from out of state, but a very, very small price to pay for such a great selection.

My only regrets are that I was traveling and could only pack so much and it was the end of the month so I could only buy so much. But I made out very, very well!

A absolute must if you are anywhere in the area, and when I say within the area I mean about a 3 hour drive.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%

I've only used the online version o' this store, but it has always been a good experience. The selection is top-notch, especially in terms of singles. They provide a very nice smattering of brewery choices from across the country and around the world at some very nice prices. The shipping is very reasonable, and they encourage half- and full cases in order to maximize the costs. I do not mind picking out a mixed case any day. I have yet to have an issue with a single order (I've placed three thus far this year), but they've been quick to answer my questions via e-mail. Overall, I look forward to future purchases that I will have from them. Good times.

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Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY
Place rating: 4.62 out of 5 with 192 ratings