Bell Beverage

Bell BeverageBell Beverage
Bell BeverageBell Beverage

2809 S Front St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148-4837
United States

(215) 468-6891 | map
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Ratings by LouStruble4:
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Reviewed by LouStruble4 from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75
Bell Beverage has one of the best selections of craft beers and imports in SE PA, and their prices are very fair. The store associates are always keeping an eye out for customers that look like they could use help, without crossing the line of being pushy. With that said, the store is well organized and I rarely need help finding anything. Cold beer is kept in the back. Keep an eye out for deals in the front of the store. The store is located just off of I-95 near the Philly sports stadiums, so it’s easy to get in and out if you want to make a quick stop. I’ve actually set up a few trades where we met up in Bell’s parking lot. The owner, Frank, is often around and loves talking beer and listening to his customers so that he can learn about new craft beer trends and what he can to do improve customer experience in the store.
Feb 15, 2016
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by lwkuhlmann from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 2 | service: 5 | selection: 5
If you buy beer here make sure to check sell by dates. There are tons of cases with sell by dates from 2015/2016 upwards of $60. Good selection of old beer. That's why the prices are lower than others!!! I wrote this review 11/13/17. This is nothing new been this way for years. Check the dates or buy old beer!
Nov 13, 2017
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Reviewed by siggystardust from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Bell Beverage is the best place to pick up beer in philly. Frank and everyone are very helpful and knowledgeable. They have all those great craft beers, I was able to get bourbon county on black Friday and Firestone Walker 20th Anniversary. They are located close to the Stadiums so I also go there for my tailgating beers as well.
Feb 08, 2017
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Reviewed by cliffordbigreddog from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
I have been purchasing beer from Bell Beverage for many years. I think Frank at Bell Beverage is just great people, he likes to discuss beer, and is very knowledgeable when it comes to suggestions for new beers. Customer service is a high priority at Bell Beverage. The selection at Bell Beverage is quite large, and they always have something available for my taste. Frank will always make the effort to get what you want if he doesnt have it. He also is very good about returning emails. Bottom line, trustworthy, knowledgeable, goes the extra mile for you. What more can you ask for? I value my friendship/relationship with Bell Beverage. I hope this recommendation is helpful to anybody looking to make a purchase at Bell Beverage.
Apr 12, 2016
Rated: 3.64 by kwa357 from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2015
Rated: 4.13 by NickSpencer from Pennsylvania

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of ryang1428
Reviewed by ryang1428 from Delaware

5/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
My go-to stop for cases of beer in Philly. Bell's always has the beer I'm looking for, whether that be a case of local beer or a hard to find limited release. Ive got some hard to find beers there like Nugget Nectar, Sucaba, and Hopslam.

The location is great. It is right off of 95 and they have a parking lot. It is also just around the corner from the sports stadiums.

Prices are always the lowest you will find in the city, and the staff is very helpfu and nicel. Overall if you are looking for some good beer in Philly at a great price, go to Bell Beverage!
Feb 06, 2015
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Rated by Bkamm from Delaware

5/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Best store in Philly. Great selection and the staff is knowledgable, check this place out.
Feb 06, 2015
Rated: 3.36 by loudidonato from Pennsylvania

Jan 19, 2015
Photo of rabbitinmyhat
Reviewed by rabbitinmyhat from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +21.7%
Best doggone service, selection and pricing that I've found in Tri-State area.

Easy trip from NJ at the base of Walt Whitman Bridge. Usually part of my Saturday morning errand runs -- especially when limited releases come out and you can find only a bottle or two in NJ stores.
Dec 02, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
Reviewed by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

2.6/5  rDev -36.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 1.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5
So the wife and I got an apartment in Philly... after getting the keys from our landlord, we were hungry for some real Philly food at Tony Luke's! Turns out this beer jawn is nearby...

Getting a case to celebrate the Philadelphia experience sounded like a good idea, so we stopped at Bell's. The place is not much to look at- just a beer-case joint with stuff piled up high aisle after aisle.

The selection is not particularly impressive either- no Lost Abbey or Russian River like you'd find at Bella Vista Beer Distributors. I did spot a bunch of Belgians, plus American craft staples like Lagunitas, Green Flash, Firestone, Terrapin, Evolution, Mad River, Great Divide...

There are no prices, best-by dates or beer nerds roaming the aisles but they do have monitors where you can look for your favorite beer.

The place is too hot and not optimal for beer storage. I got a case of Terrapin Hopsecutioner that turned out to have "expired" in April, three months ago. I wouldn't return. These folks don't care for good beer!

As my wife would say, "no dancing girls, dammit!"
Jul 07, 2014
Rated: 4 by soulcougher from Pennsylvania

Jul 01, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by ejmvet from Pennsylvania

Apr 01, 2014
Rated: 5 by InspectorBob from New Jersey

Feb 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by IdrinkGas from Pennsylvania

Oct 10, 2013
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Reviewed by Rifugium from North Dakota

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5
Bell's is an outlet store with a great selection, and in the rare case where they do not have what you're looking for, they'll usually direct you to where you can get it. The catch is...the almighty PA case law. Yes, you can only buy cases here, so you'd better dang well know what it is you're about to make a commitment to. If you want to buy less than a case, there are places where you can do such a thing (without crossing the bridge to Jersey, though that is a viable option), but if you need a lot of a good beer, Bell's is a good bet.
Apr 30, 2011
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Reviewed by TheFightfan1 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
I went here after dropping off my father at the airport. Very easy to get to off of I-95. Upon my journey I was asked to sample a few ocktoberfest beers. Nothing spectacular but always good to wet the whistle while choosing a good brew.

Service was good. No one out on the floor to help out but the cashier's seemed to be knowledgable of what they are selling which is always a good thing.

Selection was fantastic. When you can find a case of Westmalle tripel for sale it means the company has done some research on quality beers. The first 3 aisle's are all craft beer and some hard to find in my area.

I rated a bit pricey as it seemed that the belgian brews were about $5 to $10 dollars more than some other places that I have found them in.

All and all a great place you will certainly find what you are looking for here and then some.
Sep 26, 2010
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Reviewed by DmanGTR from New York

3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
Went here for a beer run the last time I was in Philly. Next to a Dunkin Donuts near South Columbus and the interstate.

Upon walking in, it looked like a typical warehouse of cases of beverages. About 3 aisles of craft beer and a few more of BMC and other drinks and sodas. The prices are reasonable. I hate how the prices of the beers are not stickered or on the shelves; you have to consult the price book hanging by a chain on each aisle. And some of the prices aren't even in the book, you have to ask the guy directly at the checkout.

Beers are organized via domestic or import, then by brewery name. A pretty good selection. They had cases of FBS, Rock Art, Bell's, Maredsous, Ommegang, Yard's, etc... too many to list. I bought a case of Bell's Double Cream Stout. Not a bad price either. There are mixed cases as well, for those who want a sampling of a brewery.

You're pretty much on your own here. You come in, get what you need, and check out. If you ask, they'll help you but it's probably not necessary.

Overall, it's not a beer museum like the Foodery. This is for someone who needs cases of beer. I dig. I recommend.
Mar 29, 2010
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Reviewed by Ryan19147 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
I find the prices here to be very good. As mentioned previously, the sale section right up front has a great variety at very good prices. I recently bought a few cases of Magic Hat Hi.P.A for $11 that had just expired. This was disclosed to me beforehand and the beer was very good. I discussed it with the owner(?) and he said he allows returns at any time for any reason. How could I go wrong. He recently lived up to this as he took back a case of Prima Pils that had gone bad. He seems to be very interested in good beer and very willing to discuss it. They are opening a tasting area up front that sounds very cool. The rest of the staff doesn't seem that knowledgeable or helpful but the selection and the prices have never let me down. As of yet, I have never walked in there and not found what I was looking for.
Nov 18, 2009
Photo of corby112
Reviewed by corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
Huge distributor in South Philly with an excellent selection of craft beer. They have a very large selection of American craft as well as a very impressive selection of imports, especially German and Belgian. This place has the best selection of any distributor in the city and they also sell 5L minikegs and frequently have sales on seasonal cases. Also, they have a price list which is very helpful. The service is average, what you would expect at a huge warehouse distributor. Prices are kind of pricey but when you have to buy a full case they tend to get kind of outrageous no matter where you go.
Oct 15, 2009
Photo of jwhancher
Reviewed by jwhancher from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
I live in South Philly and this is THE best place to go to get your bulk beer shopping done. A great selection, decent case turnaround time, and THE best prices around. I quite enjoy the
"beer sale" prices of the week up in the first isle. I'm telling can't beat Bell's!!!

In terms of selection, although I haven't tried all of the imports/out-of-state beer you can imagine, they have an awesome list. Hint: they do sell a lot of Bud/Millers-Coors products because the masses (especially those going down to the sports complex) don't know what they're doing and only buy the bland crap!
Aug 07, 2009
Photo of dstotz
Reviewed by dstotz from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
Bell's is my go to place if I want something interesting. The Quantities of any particular beer are not huge (sometimes only 1 or 2 cases), but the variety is pretty extensive, including some obscure stuff as well as old standbys.

The store logically and compactly organized, with all the beer you want to look at in just two isles - one for domestics and one for imports (All the Bud/Coors/etc. is in a separate isle!). Even so, browsing can be tedious with it all jammed in next to each other. If you are looking for something specific, check out one of the handy price lists hanging from the shelves (again, domestics listed in the domestics isle and imports in the imports isle) to see if the carry it, then ask at he front if they have it in stock. Better yet, ask one of the people on the floor who stock the shelves. At the front, they don't necessarily know where to send you to find it.

I talked to someone on a fork lift recently who seemed to be in charge of the place and really knew his stuff. He filled me in on their expansion plans which include rearranging the store, devoting a larger section to specialty beer, and installing a new refrigerated section. Make sure to hit them up on your next trip to Ikea.
Mar 17, 2009
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Reviewed by jimbomill from New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
I just got back from a run over to Bell's. I had read about it here on BA for half a year or more. Having had a run to Victory in Downingtown fall through, I made the best of it.
And HOW!

Although the place can be "dusty" and the help centrally located away from the beer (update - next trip there, folks on the floor were available and helpful), they carry a lot of choices. Although some folks say the prices are standard, I found them excellent.

Mad Elf around me, if you can find it, is in the $58-$60, range. Bell's had it for $50 and a few cents.
Golden Monkey around me is going for $38-$40. Victory has it for $34.50 if you can make it up to the brewery store. Bell's had one case left at $32.94.
But wait, there's more!
The best I got a case of Wyerbacher Blithering Idiot in the past 3 years was for $46 at the Canal's in Berlin, NJ. I walked out of Bell's with a case for $43.99. Around me the local places have it for $52.

Lastly, I love Wyerbacher Decadence. Naturally, it is no longer made and no longer available - can't get it anymore without being "lottery lucky".
Bell's had two cases, selling them at $58 a case. Heck, I can't compare that price because I can't get a case of 12 oz (or any other) Decadence around here!

It was a very worthwhile trip - plenty of local microbrews, plenty of USA microbrews, as well as the delicious imports, like Delirium Tremens (about $84 for the case of 11.3 ouncers), Chimays, German brews, et cetera.
In summary, the folks at Bell's willingly look up prices, but the simply aren't posted with the products(UPDATE - Bell's has posted Price Lists throughout the store at last visit). I found the prices on all the beer I asked about to be very good and the place deems another visit, but I should be good for the Chrsitmas rush now.
Dec 01, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -10%
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the retail side of Bell's is only part of their operation - they're one of the largest suppliers to bars and restaurants in the city! And c'mon, they're in south Philly next to the highway, waddaya expect?

They've got some very good sale prices (which they advertise in the papers), and the regular prices are standard - I've never seen them gouge like I have at some other places (which will go nameless). They've got a great selection of imports and micros, with some stuff that you can't find in other places - not that you couldn't get it by ordering it, but you'd have to wait. And for me to say that, well that means a lot. I still go back to grab stuff I haven't had.

They're well stocked, and since I'm in the habit of checking code dates nowadays, I always take a look around and I haven't found anything out of code yet.

There's no service, however, unless you go up to the front to ask about something, but I kind of like that.

"Pricing" could be better though. I prefer the stores that actually tag every item, but I know that costs them time and money. But not everything is marked, and when you're looking at imports and thinking of buying a few cases a few bucks here or there makes a lot of difference. Still, you can always check up front.

I've run into some employees who couldn't have really cared that I was there - in fact, they carried on their conversations as if I wasn't there - but I've never found anyone to be outright rude or seemingly annoyed (I chalk it up to boredom as I'm usually in at odd times like just before closing).

Overall, I give it a thumbs up. I wouldn't make it a destination stop by any means, but if you're in the Philly area and you've just never given them a shot you might want to think about it.
Nov 26, 2006
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Reviewed by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
As a South Philadelphian this is one of my closest beer distributors. I do not get there too often (once a month/every other month) because there are two closer but when I do I am impressed with their selection. Not as extensive as The Beer Yard, but better than 4 out of 5 distributors in PA. It is also one of the few distributors that advertises regularly, so if you are lucky you can get some decent beer for reasonable price (they had Yards cases for 19.99 last week). As noted in other reviews, the temperature of the warehouse is definitely an issue in the summer months, though I could not notice a difference in the taste of the beer I purchased. Service I have had was nothing to be noted, a place that won't ask if you need help but they seemed friendly enough to answer any questions. Location is ideal since it is right off of 95, perfect stop on the way down the shore.
Jul 28, 2006
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
Reviewed by WilliamPhilaPa from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
My pop told many times that Bell's is a good place to buy cases... I don't frequent that part of town unless I'm going to a sporting event. I like the fact that nobody bothers you when you are just looking at all the choices. Great selection overall, however the only time I have been there is during the cold months and by the reviews I read it seems that they have a issue with keeping the warehouse cool during the summer months, hopefully that can be fixed and make this place better then it already is.
Apr 17, 2006
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Reviewed by Schooly from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
Bell’s is very easy to get to. At the end of the off-ramp of I-95 at the Front St. exit in South Philly. A billboard advertises their specials which are decent, but on the macro side of things. At the front of the store near the cashiers is the discount area where the out-of-season seasonals end up. Some good buys can be found there.
They seem to be a larger regional distributor, so a lot of stuff probably passes through there, and they could probably get their hands on just about anything. Lots of Micros and Imports are represented here, just check the dates; not as much turnover here. It seems like a bunch of their imports have been there for a few years; domestics too. I saw a case of Ommegang Abbey 25’s dated Oct ’93, not necessarily a bad thing for Omme, but not so good for the more obscure lighter fare, especially since climate control looks non-existent. Several boxes looked opened and rummaged through, so be careful with that. Price lists in the middle of the aisles look like they’ve been typed with an actual typewriter and not updated for several years.
Service is sparse; don’t expect anyone to come and ask if you need help (but hey when does a BA need that!) go to the cashier for current prices. Speaking of prices, theirs are reasonable to good, and you may be able to haggle over that ‘expired’ case of Omme.
Mar 17, 2006
Photo of paddyos
Reviewed by paddyos from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
Right off of 95 and also right next door to a Wine and Spirit shop which makes this easy as easy as it's going to get for one stop booze shopping in Philly.
Well more than half of the store is dedicated to micro's from across the US as well as imports. While most of the distributors in Philly are good with the locals, Bell's takes it up a notch having all araes of the US represented.
The only daownfall is that the pricebooks in the aisles are dated 8/5/05, but there are plenty of staff around to answer any questions and the stuff that is on sale that week is clearly marked. I actually got a case of Yards here for cheaper than what you pay at the brewery.
Even though this place is on the opposite end of the city of which I live on and there are at least 2 distributors much closer to me, this is my new go-to place.
Feb 27, 2006
Photo of jmc44
Reviewed by jmc44 from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +1%
Bell Beverage is very acessible, just off I-95 in South Philly.

They are the best beer distributor I have found in the city, with an impressive collection of microbrews and imports. Unlike most distributors, they did not donate half of their store to stocking macros.

Prices I have not found better anywhere. They are typically always below even the best deals elsewhere in the city, and I usually save $3-5 a case on something like Yuengling, and $5-8 on micros or imports (if you can find them elsewhere). Theres always a bunch of kegs in the back as well, although I do not know brands - they may or may not be macrobrews.

Service seems good; the employees seem to have a pretty good knowledge of beer, better than some bartenders I've met.

Definitely the place to shop in Philadelphia.
Jul 26, 2005
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Reviewed by oxmasterscream from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -10%
For the southern New Jersey resident, a fairly good spot. Lots of stuff we don't get like Bell & Stone. Tons of micros, Belgians and Germans. Only problem is PA law forces you to buy by the case. That's the law and you can't fault them for adhering to it. If you're looking for something you can't get in NJ, call here first before trekking further into PA. It's just over the Walt Whitman Bridge. An easy drive. The guy there was happy to order me some St. Victorious and it was there within 48 hours.
Feb 17, 2005
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Reviewed by Billolick from New York

3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
Easy on/off location by highway 95. This place is also real close to the two temples of steak cheese sandwedges in south Philly, Gino's and Pats. Large warehouse type set up, large selection of macros and micros. featuring a nice amout of local mid atlantic breweries as well as a fair amount of classy imports. Biggest problem i had with this and other spots in Penn. is the fact that you MUST buy a case. no sixers, no singles, no big bottles. What a lame law! Only way around it would be to go with a friend and split up the goods or try one of the mixed cases that some of the breweries offer. Worthwhile stop just dont expect to pick up a few bottles or to try a sixpack. Staff was a wee bit cranky...
Oct 01, 2004
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Reviewed by nomad from Kansas

3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
Forgot this was the place I used to frequent for cases... A pretty shabby looking building just off Columbus and Oregon, easy to find and access, though its fairly lonely on the inside for service. No matter how long I walk around looking at the merchandise, no one has ever offered any help, despite workers constantly, though leisurely, walking around me. This isn't a problem, as the prices are in those mid-aisle books. These are often in need of an update, though, as I often cannot find the prices for in-stock items. Conversely, I often cannot find cases for things that are supposedly in-stock. Some service would clear up all of the above.

Great selection, not as good as the Beer Yard, but pretty darn good for a South Philly warehouse. Unfortunately, during the summer the store's temperature is the same as the outdoors, because they leave the loading dock and other doors wide open. Thus the beer gets baked all day long by Philly's spring and summers of 90 degree, 100% humidity. This is a key knock to their quality, especially if you're buying outside the cooler November to April time period.

The prices, as other's have mentioned, are great for the flagship brews of regional and national micros. Even more helpful is that they have large advertisements in the Philly Weekly, City Paper, and many other easy-to-find and free publications - very nice for the city residents. But, their prices on imports and choice micros could be a tad better.

A decent choice when the Beer Yard feels to far away
Jan 29, 2004
Photo of halfpgl
Reviewed by halfpgl from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
Right off of Rt.95 this place couldn't be easier to get to if it tried. The building is right across the street from the end of the exit ramp. The beer side of the shop is great. Don't look for 6/12 packs because this place moves cases...and plenty of them from the looks of things. This is set up like a warehouse and they even pull the trucks into the back door to unload. I went on a mission to find Belgium beer and was not disappointed. While not cheap they have what appears to be a nice selection of a wide variety of biers. They may only have one or two cases of some types so I’m guessing you must come back often to find a real special brew…and bring your plastic since it won’t be cheap for that special hard to find case, but hey, at least you found it here.
Jan 29, 2004
Photo of leeenglewood
Reviewed by leeenglewood from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +1%
Looks like a little old distributor from the outside but you walk into a huge warehouse. They have a massive selection of beers. As you walk in they have little kiosk that has discounted beers around it offering a few good seasonal that might be just past their prime. They have a huge selection of British, Belgium, German, and American micros. Price books are in the middle of each section. The service is a bunch of handcarts so you can carry your selections to the register area nothing wrong with that. Very easy to get to from 95 and is the best distributor in city limits hands down..
Jan 10, 2004
Photo of stirgy
Reviewed by stirgy from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
This is one of those special places for the true beer enthusiast.
Although sold by cases only, this place has a wonderful selection of world wide beers and local micros. Limiting myself to two cases was very hard. I saw dozens of names that I had been in search of.
(and many I have never heard of!)

The staff seemed a bit uninformed on some of the product they had there. I had to let them know of the pallet of Weihenstephan that they had sitting on their shelf.

They have price books in every row, which was helpful and they had a small closeout section of holiday and winter warmers, which was good to see. There was some nice priced specials, too.
Mar 26, 2003
Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 35 ratings