Firehouse Liquor

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5 Ratings

Type: Store

607 Stafford Rd N
Dundas, Minnesota, 55019-3944
United States

(507) 645-5717 | map

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Added by Chaz on 05-05-2011

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Ratings: 5 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by JamesShoemaker:
Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Per the recent thread "Not Enough Advocacy," I thought I'd come in here and dig up some local places that I frequent so much that I don't give them a second thought. Firehouse is definitely one of them.

Firehouse is a pretty big store, and they have almost equal parts beer, wine, and liquor, with a few coolers and shelves devoted to craft. It's clear that most people come in for the spirits, which are dead center in front of the one store entrance, and since Northfield is a college town, you have to venture into the corner of the store to find the good stuff.

Midwest mainstays are the primary craft offerings, mostly Bells and Summit. They definitely carry the larger craft brands, like Red Hook and Sam Adams, but suspiciously missing are beers that are easy to find pretty much everywhere else outside the Twin Cities, like Founders, Central Waters, Surly (there's some, but it's never fresh), and even GI. Oddly, they have a larger selection of Odell and New Belgium, including some of the Lips of Faith series and Kriek, but it's tough to find anything extraordinary.

The best thing about Firehouse is that they do occasionally get something great and it tends to stick around for one reason or another. Stone Espresso RIS has been there for months at $9 a pop, and I remember the last time I went there they had a few bottles of vintage Alaskan Smoked Porter.

The staff generally ignores the customers, occasionally asking if you need help finding anything, but they always seem nice at the register. I've never had a bad experience there, which is most important, but I've also never seen an employee go out of their way either. Still, the experiences are generally positive. The prices are unremarkable, not too expensive and not cheap.

All-in-all, unless you can get up to the suburbs, Firehouse is a decent establishment, but it's nothing compared to what you can find in the Twin Cities metro or nearby Wisconsin.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of REVZEB
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of nickfish03
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This place is the go-to for Carleton and St. Olaf. It's a pretty big place and has good service from the one or two employees there. They will ask if you want help. Theres a line of beer fridges and a couple standalones for bombers and specialties. Also a few wire shelves for a mix of things. Overall good place, just don't forget your ID. They card hard and may ask you to take it out of a case to check for authenticity.
They have mostly macros and large business crafts with a few less known six packs in the fridge.

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Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Heard about this place on BA and decided to stop by on a recent trip to a nearby State Park.

The place is basically a warehouse pole shed, but inside is a very solid selection of craft beers. On hand were regulars such as Surly, Schells, Summit and Sierra Nevada. They also had special releases such as Ovila Quad and Belgian Golden, Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary and Alaskan Raspberry Wheat. Most of the craft and import beers are in the cooler. Some nice twelve pack deals on hand also. Very friendly service that asked if I needed any help. Prices were marginally more expensive than what would be found at the top stores in the Twin Cities. Overall, a very nice store for the area.

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Photo of Chaz
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

As with a number of other retailers I've come across over the years, Firehouse is not much to look at from the outside, but once inside the selection will do the talking.

As the physical space is a little bit bigger than average it offers plenty of space to mosey around and find what you're looking for. Even on busier weekend evenings the size of the place allows it to retain a relaxed atmosphere which I consider to be very conducive to making a good choice, particularly with respect to food pairings. Staff here are personable and almost always working nearby, and have always given me the impression that they'd be willing to help me find something.

Beer is easy to find here, pretty much occupies the entire southern half of the store. As theirs is a sizable cold box (30 doors) you might notice it immediately upon entry, although beer can collectors will probably notice a small glass display case filled with old Schell beer cans and commemorative Schmidt glassware (located at hand-and-eye level, immediately upon entry).

If you're here for the beer you'll want to veer to the right, and here you'll find the Specialty Beer selection in the southwest corner of the store. A half-dozen floor stackers (Redhook, Shiner, Schell, Summit and a couple of A-B/I offerings) stand between you and two large standalone coolers filled with limited release bombers and corked and caged offerings from nigh-ubiquitous Craft breweries like Sierra Nevada and Rogue. The more recent arrivals from Stone, Weyerbacher, and now Alaskan are also here, and are also available on the "warm shelves" (industrial wire racks). There's also a very good selection of imports here, interspersed between the Craft offerings in the standalone coolers and warm selection; Orval and Chimay along with perhaps a half-dozen offerings each from the U.K., Southeast Asia, and the countries that would've once constituted the Austro-Hungarian Empire ; )

Over the past few years the selection of Goose Island specialty bombers has been notable, and the stock of e.g. BCBVS at Firehouse lasted longer than it did in M/SP. I've also found a few of the more uncommon import packages here.

Also noteworthy are per-unit prices: 4 and 6-packs are often better than what I find in the Twin Cities area. Whether this price break is due to the nearness of their primary wholesaler of specialty beer (College City Beverage, about a mile away) or not I can't say, but even their prices on Surly 4-packs is quite fair.

Altogether I've found each visit to Firehouse Liquor to be more rewarding than the previous one, and consider it well-worth a stop if you happen to be in the area.

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Firehouse Liquor in Dundas, MN
Place rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 5 ratings