Tops Liquors

Tops LiquorsTops Liquors
Tops LiquorsTops Liquors
Bar, Beer-to-go

403 W University Dr
Ste 104
Tempe, Arizona, 85281-5472
United States

(480) 967-5643 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 55 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Beerandraiderfan:
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Located in a hole in the wall in Tempe, not the most prominent location, mixed amongst restaurants, bars, looks like an oversize convenience mart. Everything inside doesn't seem to have much organization, no rhyme or reason to have the stuff where it is. Shit all over the floor, dusty, stacked high.

What is inside is a good amount of beer. And some stuff I haven't seen before, so that was cool. Staff leaves you alone, lets you take extra cardboard if you need it.

Pricing doesn't seem out of the ordinary. I dunno what it is about the Pheonix area beer stores, but organization and appearance is not their strong suit. But I'd rather have a good varied selection over a pretty location, so I'd hit these up again if I am in the area.

Apr 09, 2011
More User Reviews:
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slasich from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

May 16, 2020
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LumpkinBrews from Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Jan 29, 2019
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TheCrowsEye from California

3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Feb 14, 2018
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andrewh995 from Arizona

4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Bottle Shop: A little crowded but still easy to find things. Great selection with pretty much any beer you could find in AZ. The service great and they are very friendly. Only problem is that a lot of the beers (specifically certain IPAs or Pale Ales) are well past their best by date.

Bar: An incredibly nice vibe with a great selection of beers. You can bring in beers from the shop too. The bartender was very friendly as well.

Dec 24, 2017
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Dec 13, 2017
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tobelerone from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Nov 11, 2017
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SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

We were staying in Tempe for the night after doing some local stuff in Phoenix/Mesa area. We got in around 4 and I just wanted to get some beers and sit by the pool and enjoy the almost-too-cool weather. I looked on BeerAdvocate and found that Tops was my choice for local craft beer. At that point in the day, nothing was more important.

I drove the 3 miles from the hotel to the store and was very happy I did so. All of the beer selections were to the right, and they were many and varied. I was looking for some local selections and found a cooler in the back that had everything I needed and wanted. I settled on some San Tan, Huss Brewing, and Lumberyard selections for the locals with Four Peaks as another solid selection.

I was also looking for a local sour beer and the store associated were able to help me with that. They walked me right to the beers in the cooler. Prices were fair and service was great. My only beef is that some of the IPAs I got were a little older than I expected. I looked at the dates on all six packs except for one, which happened to be the last of its kind, and was disappointed when I got to the hotel to notice that it was 6 months old. It still tasted fine but seemed rather muted and not quite as fresh as hoped.

Mar 06, 2017
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GoffmanvsDuffman from Arizona

4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Jul 01, 2016
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erk0607 from Colorado

4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

May 01, 2016
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Beerzoid from Arizona

5/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BAR ONLY. This is the best beer bar in the world! You can drink it, buy it, and ship it here! I have been going here 18 months now. If Norm lived in Tempe he would go here. I have been a bartender since 1993 in London, England. I have lived all over the world and the US. I have bartended in so many places I cannot keep track of all of them. Never has one bar met all my needs. The bartenders, Jess and Matt are both so knowledgeable that many times I let them select my flights for me. I have NEVER done this anywhere. I am super picky.

The selection is amazing because the selectors are the liquor store owners/employees not a manager or some corporate bafoon. When you go into a liquor store and ask for a bottle of wine, beer, or liquor in a top notch store the sales associate almost always nails it. The Tops staff does that without a hitch and they extend that selection to Taste of Tops. SIMPLY AWESOME. The prices are most affordable!!! This needs repeating...prices are most affordable!!! I paid $3.00 for a Stella Artois and $8.00 a flight. Food is not sold, but you can bring take out. This is a high density delivery area with a Thai Basil, Oregano's, Vegan, and Chillis within a stone's throw. Stouts, chocolate stouts, porters, vanilla porters, wild ales, india pale ales, pale ales, american pales ales, brown ales, bitters, lagers, pilsners, fruit beers, wheat beers, Belgians, barley wines, meads, etc. They serve wine too. If they serve liquor I have never noticed.

I work in a very fancy bar next to a lot of hotels and I recommend Taste of Tops daily to my guests who frown at my vanilla beer selection. They drink at my bar because their room is a 2 minute walk away so I have never lost a customer, but they take clients to Taste of Tops to impress them. Many have tipped a ridiculous amount of money because their clients were so impressed by Taste of Tops! I must have sent at least 100 people there now including friends and school mates.

I love all the local artists on the walls and the quiet environment. One time a glass blower had desert terrariums in glass floats hanging from the ceiling over the bar. This is my speakeasy to unwind and relax. One night I heard they had a DJ and my friend went elsewhere. So loud you could not hear yourself think she said. DJ's do not mix (pun intended).

The music is eclectic because every bartender has their own music selection be it an internet radio station sometimes. I am always intrigued. The TVs play all the old cult classics and memorable movies. Saw Aliens and Heavy Metal.

The decor is wood. All wood. There are seats and tables of all kinds. Something for everyone. Board games are in the front.

Lastly, when you are done drinking and adding your distinct beers on Untapped you can walk through the internal doorway to Tops Liquors. There you can buy the same beer you drank if available in bottles or cans. Wine and liquor too. Then you can ship it to your friends!

I LOVE THIS PLACE! It is one of three bars I can say I have been a regular.

Apr 14, 2016
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jschott75 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Nov 29, 2015
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Robert_Ray from Arizona

2.44/5  rDev -42.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Just left the store with my selections still on the counter. Staff or owner very rude. I was trying to get a little guidance since nothing seems to grouped or arranged in any particular order. When asking if a bottle of beer was very good, he shouted out loud "Fucking terrible, that's why I'm telling you about it". He was not in the best mood since I was taking him away from his stocking duties. He also said later in the conversion that he doubts that I will find anything in the store that I like. Wow! What a douche bag. This after having spent hundreds of dollars in this store over the last few years. I left about $20 worth on the counter and walked out. I always try to give the mom and pops my business instead of the chains, but Total Wine never treated my like this and Total Wine is a hell of a lot cheaper. They lost a customer for good.

Oct 19, 2015
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PassMeAZima from Kentucky

3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Jul 04, 2015
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tjumfrid from Arizona

4.94/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Jun 01, 2015
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Lobina from Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Nov 28, 2014
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Coconuts from Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Oct 20, 2014
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t2grogan from Arizona

4/5  rDev -5.9%

Oct 10, 2014
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chefbigjon from Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Aug 04, 2014
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BarrelAgedG from California

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Jul 29, 2014
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nleaders from Arizona

3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Jul 03, 2014
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timlyon from Arizona

5/5  rDev +17.6%

Jun 17, 2014
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EyePeeAyBryan from Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2.25 | selection: 4.5

Tend to only visit Tops when I'm desperate or heading by and feel like killing a few minutes. Prices will and are always higher than every single shop in AZ and the service is just awful. Every time I buy something I get the evil-eye from the dude who's ringing me up. For some reason they always look pissed and like they would rather do anything in the world other than helping my give them my money. Great selection of Imported stuff as well as the usual suspects we see in AZ. Points for an excellent selection but have to take some away for the piss-poor customer service.

Jun 04, 2014
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Camjmorton from Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +8.2%

May 24, 2014
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Auraan from Arizona

4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Review is for both the liquor store and Taste of Tops, the attached bar.
Atmosphere for the liquor store is simple Arizona strip mall feel, crappy old floors, same shelves you see at every Goodwill here, packed with bottles. It's not the most upscale feel, but it has a charm to it that I love. The bar is amazing. It looks like nothing from the outside but then you go in and it's a charming place with local art on the walls, nice wood floors, great looking tables and an excellent bar set up. Nice set up of coolers as well. It's a hidden gem. Quality for the liquor store is great, they have lots of great stuff in there. The bar is even better. They get all sorts of amazing stuff on tap on a regular basis. Service is all round excellent, I've never had a truly bad experience here. This holds for both the bar and the liquor store. The bar staff in particular is great, always knowledgeable and able to tell you what's good. Selection for the liquor store is amazing. You can find all sorts of great stuff in there, often at excellent prices. I see stuff here that I never see anywhere else, and pretty dang fresh at that. The bar is the same, excellent selection of both taps and bottles, with all sorts of great rare and special stuff in both bottles and taps. No food, so I can't rate that. The value varies. The liquor store can either be more than the local big store, or way, way less. I've seen six packs for a buck or two more than elsewhere, but at the same time I've gotten bottles of Drie Fontien's for a couple bucks less and Witch's Wit in 750mls for five dollars less than the next cheapest place. Not to mention the $4 Thirez Blonde 750mls. So while it might not be the least expensive for everything, you can get some great deals in there. The bar is always a great value, with all sorts of taps for great prices. The bottles are bar priced, but fair, especially the cellar series selection. Overall the bar is my favorite spot in the Valley to have a drink, and the liquor store can be a great place to find some great stuff.

May 18, 2014
Tops Liquors in Tempe, AZ
Place rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 55 ratings