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Beer Baron

Your Rating: None
Beer BaronBeer Baron
46 Ratings
Beer BaronBeer Baron

Type: Store

19610 Middlebelt Rd
Livonia, Michigan, 48152-2126
United States

(248) 987-6563 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by icculus304 on 07-07-2010

View: Place Reviews | Events
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of Bdt734
5/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best selection in the metro area,and beer on tap!? This place is top notch.staff is nice too!

93 characters

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of n2492004
3/5  rDev -27.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Photo of NojNomlas
2.93/5  rDev -29.1%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3

The place has a lot of beer and their prices are probably the worst around Livonia, which really tells you something. The old man is nice but doesn't know about beer, he does know that if someone is asking for something allocated, the price just jumped. The son is really nice and friendly and he knows good beer.

If they lowered their costs to a realistic markup, I'd go much more often and they wouldn't have 1,000 old IPAs on the shelf. I think they follow their local competitors too much and it results in a ton of local beer buyers driving to royal oak and canton.

I've lived in two different houses within a 10 minute drive to them and they don't even come up on my beer buying radar anymore. They are a perfect store for a newby. it's for someone that doesn't know realistic prices and hasn't smartened up to the Good shops.

 835 characters

Photo of Gemini6
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Fahrn13
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Huge selection and some of the highest prices around...resulting in a lot of long-term shelf turds. I wouldn't buy many IPAs here. Nice guys, just a bit overpriced.

 166 characters

Photo of Hammer28
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great beers and decent prices, just grabbed a 6 pack of freedom 78

66 characters

Photo of acostuhhh
2.47/5  rDev -40.2%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1.25 | selection: 3.5

Their instagram is well kept, the store not so much. Place seems like a dirty whole in the wall with sticky floors and the walk in cooler smells horrible. Selection is decent, great single bottle mix 6 program but not rotation. Not going out of my way to come back.

 265 characters

Photo of 1chuckx
2.31/5  rDev -44.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I stop in when I visit family in that state up north. Beer Barron has gone downhill fast over the past few years. The owner sits on a chair behind the counter, offers no help and only gets up when you approach the register with something in hand. I was there a few weeks ago and there was beer all over. Six packs all over the floor, random dust covered bottles.. The place looked like an old person/hoarder home. Really embarrassing. I'm bummed bc I live in ohio and only get to the state up north when I visit family, and this is apparently the only place near Farmington hills with a good selection. Our stupid laws in ohio prevent beer over 12% so we miss out on a lot.
I hate to say it, but I'm done with beer Barron. I'll find another place even if it is out of the way.

 787 characters

Photo of loganburgh
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Readjusting my rating, which I had given a few years ago. The Baron used to be my go-to place for mixed six packs since their single selection was huge (and still is). At the time, it was worth the extra to be able to not buy a whole six or variety pack if you just wanted one or two. But now, there's a few more places that have just as big a selection (if not bigger and better) of singles and mixed sixes. With the higher prices and the stuff sitting on the shelves for so long, I haven't found a reason to go back in a long time. (It's been almost a year)
Bottom line: selection is great, prices are not, and make sure you check bottle dates.

 647 characters

Photo of rjcoy06
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of msumike89
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of PaulyB83
2.49/5  rDev -39.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Visited this place on a weekend trip to SW metro Detroit. I searched online for the best bottle shop in the area and this was supposed to be it.

A- Looking at the place from the outside it looked pretty nice, it's in a nice new looking brick plaza building. As soon as I opened the door though I was surprised that it had the feel of a dirty 7-11 as opposed to craft beer store. The tile floor was yellow and sticky, it's hot as hell, and the old guy behind the counter looked at me but never said anything. In fact during my time there he went to where the glassware was and took some glasses off the shelf and broke them in a cardboard box, very strange.

Q- Everything seemed pretty dirty and I was afraid to touch things.

S- The old guy was scary and kept breaking glasses in a cardboard box.

S- This place does have lots of different things, a variety of domestic and imports as well as many things I can't get on the west side of the state. However almost everything that was bottle dated expired and they were keeping many IPAs in out on the shelves in very hot temps. It was hotter inside this place than it was outside.

F- Bottle shop not food shop, unless you count Slim Jims and Cheetos as food.

V- This is the first time I've encountered a bottle shop with what I would call unreasonable prices. No wonder this place has 9 month old IPAs. There were a few Belgian beers I wanted to get but the inflated price stopped me on principle. Also they had stuff from The Bruery that I wanted to get but paying and overprice for an already overpriced beer is insane, I'd rather trade for it.

 1,605 characters

Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of FedExPope
2.81/5  rDev -32%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5

I'm updating a review that I left in May 2011. At that time, I had never experienced service and selection so great that it prompted me to hop online and leave a glowing review. I lived in West Michigan for six years -- just down the street from Siciliano's Market, widely-regarded as the best beer store in the state -- so I was thrilled to find a great beer store for when I came to visit family on the east side of the state. A few months ago, I moved back to the area full-time and thought being a 10-minute drive from the Beer Baron would be a blessing.

I'm not one of those people who thinks, "a bad review, yeah, that'll show 'em," but I'm more throwing this out there because there are no recent reviews up here, and I'm wondering if the regulars here have noticed some changes that haven't made this the stop that it once was.

First, the service. The selection was always great, but many of these reviews single out Darren as the go-to guy, and I always found that to be true. It was always him or an older gentleman working in there when I stopped in (probably 10 times over two years). He was super passionate. Never pushy, but always excited to show you what's new, find out what you like, etc. When the older guy was there, he'd always openly admit that he didn't know the beer as well, seemed like he owned the place and couldn't believe how craft beer has taken off, etc. Commented to me once how they have to constantly reconfigure the store to fit the supply and demand of craft beer.

Since I've been living back here, I haven't seen Darren, just the older guy. I think Darren's moved on to bigger and better (and good for him). But everything about the beer, from the prices to the organization of the shelves, has suffered. The tags that once designated "new" or "rare" or "last chance!" bottles are gone, and it's difficult to work your way through their still-impressive selection.

The worst part, though, are the prices. How it's always worked here is, the prices for singles are a little high, but you get a 15% discount when you mix your own six pack. And there aren't many mix-your-six stores out here, so that was great. The discount brought the beers back to where they should be. Now it seems like they've raised the prices where you aren't really getting the normal shelf prices -- and then some. In fact, I once heard a woman complaining about his price on stamps (seriously, stamps!) to the older dude, and his response was "hey, I've gotta make a buck." Seems the same philosophy has hit their shelves. You won't find many singles at all for under $3, and any limited releases or even-remotely-rare seasonals are going to be $5/6 minimum. You still get the discount, but 15% off that is still going to leave you scratching your head over why your six-pack is pushing $30. But seriously, who's spending $2.75 for an Oberon when Meijer or Busch's has a 12-pack on sale for $14 bucks every other week?

You'll certainly find whatever you're looking for here -- it might be a few months old and stored in direct sunlight, and you'll pay a premium -- but there's no doubt that the east side of the state is lacking in stores that will break apart any six-pack. However, it's just odd that the prices are gouged so badly here when one of the other stores that singles everything is less than two miles away -- check out the Wine Palace on Five and Middlebelt. No "Darrens" there (in fact, I don't think I've ever been offered help there, which is fine now that I know what I'm looking for), but everything is individually priced -- no discount, so the prices are what they should be. Even the Wine Castle, which is just a few streets down, has better prices, although their single selection is lacking.

End rant. Just an odd evolution for a place I once considered an east-side staple. It seemed like they were once excited to be pioneers in the beer community, but now they just want to cash in on the demand for craft beer. The old dude is well within his rights to "make a buck," but it certainly won't be coming from my pocket from here on out.

 4,079 characters

Photo of DavidRandall
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of TurboBrew
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

Photo of salinasa
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of HardyA
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of JasonR1975
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of sugarcaneE
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

This is a go-to when around town. Service here has always been great. I don't know the name of the man behind the counter, but he is always willing to help out. For example, he stopped to open a case of beer for me that hadn't been added to the shelves. They carry everything local that i can think of including limited releases. Of note, prices for singles can be a bit pricey but you can get a discount if purchasing in quantity.

 431 characters

Photo of Jas45678
2.78/5  rDev -32.7%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I stopped in at lunch today to check this place out. Place was a little dirty(sticky floors), no big deal. Picked up a mix 6 and a bomber. First one was a Racer 5 which looking at the date now is 9 months old. Drain pour. Stone IPA was fresh and rest were beers that it shouldn't matter. I also noticed they still have some Mikkeller IPAs, I believe Shelton Bros hasn't distributed to MI for about a year. They do have a good selection and still have beer that sold out quickly at other stores. Be cautious and check the dates here and be prepared to pay more.

 560 characters

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Beer Baron in Livonia, MI
Place rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 46 ratings
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