Big Z Beverage

BA SCORE
95
world-class

44 Ratings
Big Z BeverageBig Z Beverage
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

1675 E Jericho Tpke
Huntington, New York, 11743-5711
United States

(631) 499-3479

// CLOSED //

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
95
Ratings:
44
Reviews:
38
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
10.25%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of pjkelley82
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of stegmakk
3/5  rDev -31.7%

The quality and selection was not as big as I expected. I could get all of what they had and more at another place just minutes away. Heck, even the cheesey chain of Beverage Barns had a few this doesn't. Still, they did have more than most. Overall it is OK if you are in the area...but if you just go down the road 5-10 min...
When I was there...the service was more interested in the game they were into than the customers' questions.

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Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
3.09/5  rDev -29.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2

Not a very extensive selection and there wasn't really any beer or brewery available that was truly special (except maybe '13 Samichlaus, though it's not $26 special!). The layout is nice and spacious. They keep a low amount of stock so it was pretty quick to browse through all of it. That's not a problem in itself, but the overall quality is. You can definitely get some decent stuff, but nothing that anyone is going even remotely crazy over. They also don't update beers on BeerMenus or social media, so you have to just come in and hope, which I really dislike. The dude behind the counter was really nice though, which definitely counts for a lot. He gave us a coupon for a future purchase too. I'll be back to use it for sure, but I'll be coming in with lowered expectations, which is how you should come here too. The prevalence of 5's on here is misleading. Big Z's selection may have been considered excellent a few years ago, but their selection looks like it's remained in 2012. The selection doesn't approach Beverage Plus, Hicksville Beer & Soda, or Syosset Beverage, for example.

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Photo of Latarnik
3.25/5  rDev -26%

Photo of ArkyVaughan
3.6/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

The selection has appeared picked-over when I've been there. Lots of bare shelves.

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Photo of slander
3.65/5  rDev -16.9%

Well.... It was in route to John Harvard's and like I said, I was sniffing out Southampton Double Whites... Sadly, none to be found here. Warehouseish in appearance, upon entry you'll find the racks with the kind micros off to the right. They got some pretty good stuff but not a Southampton to be had. Listen, you're in Suffolk, so is Southampton. It should be unlawful for you not to carry Southampton beers. Some of the micros were looking kind of old. They had a few sixes of the New England Light Lager, do I need say more? They did have some of the more popular big bottles (Delirium, Ommegang, etc) and they are filling growlers of the Blue Point Pale Ale, (Brooklyn's) Post Road Pumpkin Ale and the Sam Adams Octo. Not too shabby but they need to relieve themselves of the outdated inventory.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%

Stopped in today since it was such a beautiful day, I didn't mind the drive.
Okay, first the bad news. Although there was a time when this place had the best, if worst organized and dustiest, selection in the county. Those days are gone. As you enter, it's really only the right side wall that you'll be focusing on. Some decent stuff: Victory, North Coast, Chimay, and lots of other big names but little you can't get at Shoreline or otherwise locally and most of the prices seemed pretty inflated.
There is good news. I picked out a few singles ( a few semi bargains) and talked to the friendly owner and he confided that he'd be breaking up a lot more sixers and expanding his more reasonably priced individual bottles, especially with the summer coming. I got a 12 oz. bottle of Sam Smith's India Ale for $1.75, which seemed fair. I'll check in again in a month or so and report on how things last. What Long Island really needs in a reasonable place to pick up single bottles, like all those delis on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. Maybe this can be it..

Update as of August 2006. Stopped in several times this summer after work and the single bottle display had indeed increased. Some overpriced but the majority reasonable.

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Photo of bonbright7
4/5  rDev -8.9%

The Big Z has a new owner who bought the place in April and seems to have turned the place around with attention being paid to both the quality and the space efficiency. As I walked through the store, I kept noticing nuances and things I had not seen before. Someone had done their homework on providing a good array of imports and micros for the new store. Of course there were a few macro products, but they were blended into the mix over all.

One of the cool things about the new Big Z is the owner himself who is totally hands on and very open to suggestion for improvements to the store.

It doesn't have the depth of Shoreline's selection nor does it have the interesting nuances of Superstar (the local competition), but the Big Z is making a good start on becoming a very good beer store.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%

I found this place recently on Long Island Beer Guide's website and decided to check it out when I headed out to Karp's Home Brew since they are pretty close to one another. My first impression is that it blew my mind how awesome the selection was compared to the other places around here I've been to. It seemed to have everything I could've wanted that distributes to New York. My favorite part is the "Build Your Own Six Pack" thing they have going on. I built three six packs this way and have been able to expand my horizons greatly because of it. Its also poorly lit so the beer isn't in danger of getting skunky. The guy running the register (maybe the owner) seemed very passionate about craft beer, which is something I like in my store owners. They also seem to have a very large growler station though I didn't check that out too much (I prefer to get 12 oz bottles). Overall, a great place and I would definitely check it out.

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Photo of sevenarts
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A great Long Island distributor with a good-sized selection of craft brews, Belgians and just good beer in general. All the usual suspects are here and there's a good chance of finding some rarer finds as well. My other go-to Long Island stop, Shoreline, has a comparable selection and there are always some things I can find in Shoreline but not Big Z, and vice versa, so they're both must visits. The shelves are well laid out and one advantage over Shoreline is that the bottles at Big Z generally aren't dusty, so there may be better turnover here. Prices are reasonable and comparable to other places on Long Island.

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Photo of sirsteve42
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of bsm80x
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of ntorch
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%

I visited Big Z on the strength of some recommendations on this site as well as local blogs. I was very impressed with the selection and the competence of the staff. The store was well organized and clean.

An additional half point was added to selection for having Coopers of Australia which I can't seem to find anywhere in NY. I also added an additional half point for the staff being to direct me to the Coopers without question.

The prices were reasonable, certainly not bargain basement, but not exorbitant. They also indicate that they will search to get what you want and have sent me two emails letting me know about new styles they received.

Some bottles in the singles area were a little long in the tooth so only a four for quality.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.39/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Vibe: huge warehouse - a little cold and empty-seeming; their tap area is like a small bar in an airport hangar. Rows of craft along the left - loose single section to the right.

Quality: respectable with an average amount of shelf turds compared to new products; you can mix up 4 or six packs from their singles section, and when I've asked, I've been able to do so with other shelf beers as well, but I've always asked as they do price their individual singles.

Service: some management changes over the past few years, but generally speaking I've had nothing but friendly and pleasant encounters. Kinda hard to assess their beer knowledge, but no complaints. Bombers and singles have price stickers on them. Don't recall if their 4 and 6 packs do.

Selection: a large amount of space equals a respectable selection, but its fluctuated slightly over the years. I'd rank them slightly behind my Superstar stores in North Babylon and Huntington. One strike against them that has remained consistent over the years: they don't seem to get some of the elite beers that come around, or if they do they're gone so fast that I don't often find rare or limited release items there.

Prices: standard stuff for the area.

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Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

In sort of a middle of nowhere type location, near Huntington and Dix Hills on good ole L.I. This place looks like nothing special from the outside. Inside the theme continues, its dark and dingy, but open and roomy. One large room, rundown, warehouse in feel and atmosphere. They came highly rated and just a few minutes of browsing tells the story of why. They have the goods....domestics to the left, imports to the right, cold stuff to the far left, macro/crap in the rear. Also about 10 growler fill stations to the right near the entrance. The beers they carry are all listed on their website, including up to date listings of the growler options. Some glassware for sale, friendly, knowledgeable guy behind the counter. Add it up and this becomes a very worthy destination on the Island.

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Photo of Kwak
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

Big Z Beverages
Easy to find ,nice selection they had every thing i was looking for plus beers I didn't even know I wanted. Nice people not to pushy.
Nice wall of micro. and import. they had sixes of everything not just a lose few. I plan to go back but ist a hike from my house its worth it!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

In my opinion, this is the best beer store on LI. It is pretty awesome. The owner, Mark, is constantly bringing in new beers, including crazy rare beers that no one else on LI can get. For that alone, it is worth coming here! Apart from rare stuff, the selection is pretty typical for the area. Not as huge a selection (especially in the Belgian section) as Shoreline, but turnover is better. Recently, they just got in a bunch of Norrebro/Nogne/Mikkeller beers, some of which cannot be purchased anywhere else on LI. There is a growler station that has 4-5 taps on (Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve IIPA is pretty much a mainstay; it seems to always be on). Mark is always looking for suggestions for taps and will try to get what he can. Prices are comparable with others in the area, maybe slightly cheaper but it's variable. Mark has done great things for the store in the last year that I've been coming here and I am consistently amazed by what he is able to bring in. This place keeps getting better and better and it is definitely worth a visit.

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Photo of fredandboboflo
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Been here a number of times.

A great selection of American beers (locals/regionals like Southern Tier, Ithaca, Southampton, as well as others such as Goose Island, Hair of the Dog Green Flash) with a small but powerful Belgian selection (Bernardus, Rochefort, Gouden Carolus, the like). Growler selection is probably the best in the county with typically 5 taps running from breweries like Captain Lawrence, Smuttynose, Allagash, Southampton, Legacy, Sixpoint...

Not really anything in bottles here that you couldn't buy over at Shoreline, but whenever possible, the prices will be a bit cheaper ($1 on many items, sometimes $2 on big hitters), and certainly much cheaper than overpriced Superstar. Also a sale rack to keep inventory moving and if you want to try out some semi-aged brews.

Owner Mark always looking to chat, get suggestions for bottles, or particularly for growler options. Treats his customers well with occasional freebies/discounts as well.

Big place that will hopefully be able to keep expanding its selection.

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Photo of GGMUDBONE
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of joefuzz
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Absolutly amazing bottle shop. They hd such a huge selection that I spent well over an hour looking at all they had to offer. And the staff had no problem with any of this, they actually seemed to enjoy the look of wonder as I aimlessly wandered around the store. They were very happy to answer any of my questions as they arose as well.I joined the email list so I can be kept up to date on what's in stock so there is no need to make the 30 minute drive from my house if they don't have what I want. I will be returning to this place very soon.

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Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

I recently made a trip to Long Island for the weekend and made a few beer related stops. Besides the usual breweries/brewpubs, I decided to check out a local beer store for some hard to find local treats. Big Z's Beverage was well reviewed on this site and definately deserving of the praise. The selection was good, but not too much. The owner, Mark, knows what's good and doesn't waste his time or the customers' with average or worse offerings. He's very knowledgable about beer and really goes the extra mile for the customer. The service was the best I've ever had at a store and I've been to many. His staff also shares his passion and they do a tremendous job. I picked up many beers not available upstate. Mark is a beer lover like me. His passion is to provide the best selection with the best service. Great Job Mark. I'm glad I made the stop at your store. I look forward to utilizing the mail order beer option in the future. Keep up the good work!!

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

This place used to boast the largest selection of microbrews on Long Island. However, they have seemed to streamline their stock considering the overall lack of interest in microbrews on Long Island. I think that this was a smart move though when you consider many surrounding distributors are selling old stock. In fact, a few local places are peddling beer from breweries that have been defunct for at least a year.

Overall, a good place to pick up some Stoudt's, Sierra Nevada, Otter Creek, Rogue and Victory. It also has a decent selection of imports.

Update August 26, 2008:

Under new ownership for a few months now. The stock has improved dramatically. Many hard to get 22s in stock. Mark has put in a 5 or 6 tap growler station which is really a centerpiece of the Huntington beer scene.

Mark is very customer friendly and hosts regular beer tastings.

Update December 3, 2008:

The draft system is out of this world. Mark has a constant rotation of six awesome beers on tap - many hard if not impossible to find.

I originally rated Big Z a 3.75 in April 2006.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Found this while at the US Open last week (thanks to fellow BA's). Warehouse-like on the inside with metal racks holding beer running away from the door on both sides. Selection was very good in craft beer, and the gentlemam working (owner?) was incredibly knowledgable, and friendly. He gave me a personal tour of what was special and what was new.
Bought many intersting items not available in Mass., and would definitely return if and when I ever travel to that area again. I highly recommend it.

 499 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I love this place. Beyond the well documented selection, Z's goes above and beyond to foster a sense of community with their customers.

Personally, Shoreline and Big Z's are my two favorite BD's on the island. Here's a quick rundown of how they stack up imho.

+ Z's has more knowledgeable staff
+ Z's growler selection of tap brew is unbeatable
+ Z's is more much customer friendly, with weekend tastings and a weekly email blast for regulars to let them know what's new in stock.
- Shoreline's entire craft beer selection is sold by the bottle
- While both have awesome selections, Shoreline tends to have more beers per brewery than Z's (typically 1.5x to 2x), which gives you a chance to explore off-the-beaten-path brews from some of your favorite breweries.
- For some reason I feel like Shoreline has a slightly better turnover than Z's, although I'm not sure why because Z's always seems to have more traffic.

---Big Z Review---
A: Medium sized with an open warehouse feel to it. When you walk in there's a shelf line of craft on the left, a by-the-bottle selection of craft on the right, and a bar with a dozen or so great beers ready to be poured into growlers.

Q: Above average job of managing their inventory to keep the selection varied and the turnover high.

Ser: Fantastic service. Everyone is more than willing to help you out and most are very knowledgeable about their beer selection. There're a few staff members that are better on the register than the floor, but they're loveable none the less.

Sel: Nice bottle selection with an outstanding growler portfolio. They don't have the largest bottle selection on the island, but what's there was definitely chosen with care. Big Z's has gone to some lengths to build relationships with breweries, and more often than not you'll find cool brews that are almost impossible to find anywhere else. Their keg of Stone Vanilla Smoked Porter that they shared with their customers at a free tasting one weekend, and offered growlers for sale while it lasted, comes immediately to mind.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Heard about this place from a fellow BA and thought I'd give it a shot... boy was I impressed!!

Quality of there brews were very high. Everything was clean and well stocked and there weren't any dusty bottles unless they were meant to be aged dusty bottles. 6-packs were arranged in a coherent manner and everything just seemed very well kept.

Service was excellent as well. The guys working there were always eager to help without being pushy and they really knew their beer also. It was pleasure talking to them about the different beers and they were all willing to go out of their way to help.

Selection is really the reason why I decided to check this place out. The fellow BA told me there might be some Sculpin lying around, and even though by the time I got there, they were all sold out, their selection really impressed me. Athough not too heavy on the Belgian selection, they had a good stock of American micros that are hard to get in NYC (i.e. Ballast Point, Bruery 2 Turtle Doves). And I also found a case of Mackeson XXX stout, something I thought I'd never see again!!

Big Zs is also one of the cheapest places that I've been to on the island. With their six-pack mixer deals, and Belgian deals, and seasonal deals, there's always a great buy.

I definitely recommend this place and even though its about 30 minutes out of the way, there are absolutely no regrets visiting here. Great prices, great selection, great service, really hard to beat!!

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Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY
4.39 out of 5 based on 44 ratings.
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