Friar Tuck Beverage

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Friar Tuck BeverageFriar Tuck Beverage
24 Ratings
Friar Tuck BeverageFriar Tuck Beverage

Type: Homebrew, Beer-to-go

3080 Mercantile Dr
Springfield, Illinois, 62711-6273
United States

(217) 698-1116 | map

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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by allengarvin:
Photo of allengarvin
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

I've ordered about a half-dozen boxes of beer from Friar Tuck, via their online portal at, over the past few months. They have a decent selection, including the Belgian brand Cantillon, which you can't get in Dallas (we only have the sweet lambics around here: Lindemans, Liefmans, Belle-Vue). The best things about them are that they'll split up 6-packs and allow you to order singles (at a reasonable price), which many other online dealers do not; and they use FedEx ground for delivery, which ends up being a half to to a third of what UPS charges. At Internet Wines, I pay $32 shipping for a case of 750ml bottles; at Friar Tuck/Beergeek, it's only about $13.

And they're very accomodating. When I discovered them last spring, I wrote a note bemoaning the fact they were out of 2003 Thomas Hardy ale. Thomas Hardy was available here in the 90s when it was owned by Eldridge Pope, but the new brewery doesn't distribute as widely. They managed to dig up an unsold bottle for me.

Packing comes in wine or beer boxes (you can order up to 12 mixed-size bottles or 20 12-ounce bottles in a single box/shipment), peanuts packing the bottles tightly, and the box sealed and placed inside another cardboard box, with more styrofoam peanuts. I've never had a broken bottle yet.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Big_Thirsty
4.97/5  rDev +21.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of FBarber
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Big box store with an expansive selection, especially for downstate IL. Probably your best bet for craft beer in Springfield. Selection is quite good and includes a nice selection of craft beers and imports. My only complaint is that some of the stock clearly does not move well and the dates are long in the teeth. Check your dates before buying. Mix-six pack selection is really good and you can buy the bottles individually which is nice. Service was very good - staff was attentive, helpful, and reasonably knowledgeable.

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Photo of jak
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of cjfiller
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of RavenForBeer
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Excellent selection in this new building. Used to be over by Target. Prices are to be expected, but without a good selection at the Meijer you are kind of out of luck.

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Photo of diablo14
4/5  rDev -2%

The location is not totally ideal if you live in Springfield, but a better selection of beers you will not find anywhere in the city.

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Photo of RPH2327
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ubenumber2
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of jsh420
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Bluesman2383
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of AleWatcher
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Cruised in here on the way from picking up some wave runner parts... Actually hit up this store then the Famous Liquors as well. (reviews of both posted today- 09.11.11)

I stop in here almost everytime I can. For chicago-area Ba's, this place is a lot like a Binnys... It's a huge box store with a giant selection.
Of course, big store, big selection, big buying power all means that this is the place that gobbles up most of the limited releases when they come out.... As an added bonus, they get to jack up the price a bit! Hooray! Who doesn't want to pay nearly $10 per 12 oz bottle of KBS?!

Anyway... If you're traveling through the area, this is the biggest MUST STOP store around. They carry nearly everything you'd want... Including a huge selection of mix-n-match singles... But check bottle dates on the ipas (hell, check the dates on EVERYTHING!)
Service is fine. Nothing great, but nothing I have a problem with.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I am living in Decatur for a while and this town sucks donkey ass. So I travel around looking for stuff- Springfield is only thirty minutes away... but this Friar Tuck is away from the town itself, in a shopping mall by the interstate highways. Not so easy to get too.

Selection is outrageous, though. Lots of wine, lots of liquor and lots of good beer too! Look for the coolers, the pallets with craft six-packs right by the coolers and particularly the craft-beer aisle at the end of the store. Serious shit there!

New Belgium (Lips of Faith), Stone, Rogue, Bell's, Goose Island, Boulevard, Schafly, Southern Tier, North Coast, Smuttynose, Capital Brewing... all of them either on six-packs or bombers, but also singles for you to build your own six-pack (selection for this is not as exciting, though).

The bomber selection is outstanding, with Lakefront, Flossmoor, New Holland (oak-aged Hatter, Imperial Hatter, Night tripper, Black Tulip, Farmhouse Hatter), Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, Hoppin' Frog... truly amazing. Good Euro imports too, including Belgians, Czech and German beers.

Prices are a lil' high for Central Illinois and on par with what I pay in the East Coast ($7-$10 for a bomber). Service was good, I was offered help while I was browsing, which is something that does not always happen. Quality appears to be good all around, no dust or old bottles (but no vintages either)

This is drinker's paradise, and I look forward to coming back during my stay in D-Tur.

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Photo of jar2574
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Amazing selection, a one-stop shop for beer, wine and alcohol, but I'll focus on the beer for this review.

There is a crazy selection of beer. Lots of stuff from Europe, the midwest, and plenty from the West Coast and NY. Prices are pretty reasonable, nothing out of line.

Service is not a priority here - it's a lot like the Wal Mart that is next door. But hey, if you know what you want, it's almost better not to be bothered while you look.

I did find some beers that had been out too long. I checked the dates on the bottles to make sure I was getting fresh stuff. As long as you do that, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

2013: Welcome to the beer museum. Beers are still pretty old here, Famous has better turnover in general. Christmas beers in July date back a few years. Worth a look for seasonals and novelty gifts.

2010: Still too much old beer sitting around... I don't take a gamble on imports here anymore. Old beer = low quality. Tons of last years holiday stuff. Staff said the Sculpin hiding on the shelf was relatively fresh, but it turned out to be old and faded. Beer guy was friendly though, and tried to point out a few other recent arrivals. Still a bunch of KBS and Nemesis '10 on the shelf here.

Memorial Day weekend 2009
For the last couple years i've been heading to the Friar Tucks in Bloomington, because it seemed that the selection and turnover were slightly better there. This weekend I received help right away (not always the case) locating specific beers and getting info on the ETA for seasonals. They had a few nice limited items like Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, Ballast Point Sculpin & Victory at Sea, and a whole rack of the Boulevard Smokestack series. Newer lines from Green Flash, Eel River, Clipper City Heavy Seas series, Issaquah & others. There was still dust on some things, so i'm not sure of the turnover, but overall I felt that the store had improved in the last year. If you know what you're looking for, this can be a fantastic place for finding beer.

Original review 03-19-2007:

I've visited this location several times, and feel that the other reviews accurately describe the quality and selection here.

Service is a weak point, the place often feels like a ghost town, but there are a couple helpful employees here if you can track them down. After asking a stocker about a particular regional beer, he silently pointed it out on the shelf. Not particularly happy to be working with beer it seemed, but not a big issue. Another guy later asked me directly if I needed any help, so that improved the score.

Selection includes some unusual stuff, thanks in large part to Specialty Import Distributing, i'm guessing. However, maintenance seems to be an issue, lots of dusty, out of code singles in the import section. Lots of empty spots as well, so there has to be some turnover/rotation.

Regional oddities in the US craft shelves, such as Schlafly, Barley Island, New Holland, Lakefront, plus a few others seldom seen elsewhere in the state. Many more unique options in the German, Czech, Eastern Euro imports, but "caveat emptor". Last summer I tried a bunch of random Hefes from here, and got a few stale ones (Flensburger, Aktien, Hirsch Bavarian-Weissbier) Check for dates, dust, and flaky bottle sediment. Belgian section was ok, mostly located on the kiosk in the back left corner, some near the singles section, and a few more on the right end of the import aisle. One good thing I can say is that they have a good assortment of Cantillon. Some items were seriously overpriced (Kapsreiter Landbier 16oz./$6) (St. Sebastiaan Golden 16oz. $8) but for the most part prices were in line with other stores. Oh yeah, as jpm30 mentioned below, there is a walk-in cooler, which can be fun to poke around in.

There actually wasn't anyone at the checkout on the last visit, so we had to track someone down. Is it worth the hassle? I say yes it's worth a visit, you may be impressed the first time, but pay close attention to quality of what you want to buy.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Visited this Friar Tuck for the first time a month or so again and then once again more recently. It is located on the southwest side of Springfield off Veterans Parkway and I-72. There is a fairly large lot out front.

The interior is segmented by type of drink, with beer being in the rear of the store. There are coolers all along the back wall, and along the left side are singles, 4 and 6-packs, bombers etc. The store layout kind of reminds me of a smaller Bevmo.

The beer selection is solid regardless. Lots of beers from the western part of the US including Lost Abbey, Stone, Rogue, Port, Ballast Point etc. In addition there are a lot of beers from closer to home (for me) like Three Floyds, Bell's, Hoppin' Frog etc. Imports from Belgium, Germany, Finland, UK etc are fairly abundant as well. The mix and match singles are pretty extensive and there is a good amount of cold beer available.

FriarTuck also carries some homebrew supplies.

Service has been pretty good on my visits. Someone will typically stop by and see if you need anything, and the people working the checkout are friendly.

Overall having this place in walking distance of my hotel means I am always going to have something good on future visits and will need to remember to bring bubble wrap for goodies to share back home that I can't find there.

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Photo of kicktothehead
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Beer selection is great. But knowledge of management is lacking.
Beer is places under floresant lights which any brewer knows will impart a skunky flavor over time.
Home brew equipment is severly lacking. It is the red headed step child of the store. Hops and yeast is not check for expiration dates. Hop bags have holes in them, which ruins the oxygen barrier bags. Hops are thrown is mini fridge, so try to find the hops you want by digging.
Since they are the only homebrew supplier in town, not much to do other than buy online.
Prices are high and service is low. Without internet they have a monopoly for a hundred miles.
But they have a great selection of beer, wines and liquor.

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Photo of hardy008
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%

Stopped here on my way home from vacation. They have a nice selection of beers from Green Flash, Ballast Point, Weihenstephaner, Michigan Brewing, Avery, Bear Republic as well as many other breweries. I was disappointed because I had read that they carried Great Lakes and Three Floyds. They did not carry Great Lakes at all, and only had Robert the Bruce from 3F. They only had World Wide Stout and nothing else from Dogfish Head. That doesn't change the fact that they still have a pretty good selection, and a nice section to pick up singles and bombers.

The staff was friendly and helpful. They were able to answer my questions and provided a box for me to carry my purchases. The only concern I have is the turn over of their product. The store was not that busy when I was there, and some of the bottles had dust and some of the product was out of season. Overall, a nice store with a pretty decent selection. When I go to Springfield again, I will be sure to check them out and see what's available.

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Photo of erichall
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%

I think this place was much better than the previous reviewers have given credit for. While they might not have had the largest selection of imports, their microbrew section was impressive.

The biggest downside is that the beers were very disorganized. Bombers and 750 ml were found in a number of different places with no rhyme or reason seperate from the 6 packs. Some of the stuff in the refridgerator was not on the shelves and vice versa..

I am not from Illinois but was shocked to see some very good west coast stuff.. Port brewing and Lost Abbey were the biggest shockers.. Also saw Bear Republic and 3 floyds..

I picked up a 750 ml of Lost Abbey Devotion, Victory 12, Port hop 15, Boulevard Long Strange Tripel and Doublewide IPA. Also picked up sixers of 2 brothers Heavy Handed IPA and Green Flash West Coast IPA..

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

This is about the only place around Springfield where one can find a large selection of different beers, so it gets lots of points for that. I've always managed to find something new and interesting, but I do wonder about their turnover at times. Still, the service is alright, though I've never really needed the help. Their prices are pretty decent as well. Sure beats the heck out of a lot of Chicago places when it comes to pricing. Overall, I really like the place. It's my shop of choice. I always go in thinking I know what I want... and then spending an hour and a half wandering around anyway! Seriously though, if you're in the area give it a look. Probably doesn't have the best selection ever, but it suit me just fine!

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Photo of 1fastz28
4/5  rDev -2%

I never get to go to a friar trucks so going to one is a big treat. This is by far the biggest place i've seen souly for booze. Lots of whine and other spirits, and a pretty decent collection of beers. They have probably over a hundred different beers for mix-a-six sixxers which is a great way to try out beer, as well as lots of different micro brews and imports. although they didn't have any dfh 120 which what i was hoping for, i did get some great belgians which i cant find around where i live. has alot of homebrewing supplies as well as some cool glassware, i got myself a nice chalice. anyway a great place compared to the alternatives in the area.

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Photo of malibujohnny
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

This place here is the most fantastic beer shopping experience you can have for miles.I have been shopping here for years now and have become friends with quite a few of the longer lasting employees.If you go at the right time and day you will find that more than half of the crew knows beer and wine very well.I am a homebrewer and there selection is kinda lacking due to the fact that not alot of people homebrew in this area....if your reading this and you homebrew near here beermail me.But anyway i've had the pleasure of being able to order specialty yeast from them.That is way cool considering shipping yeast from a store out of state durring the summer is bad even with a cold pack.I even drink scotch and they have a great varying selection that matches that or better than stores in Chicago i have been to.They also carry a vast selection of wines,vodkas,rums,liquors,etc. What it comes down too is this,if your in the area and need a great beer or other this is the place for you!!

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Photo of gmfessen
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

I recently moved to Decatur, IL and there isn't any brewing supply stores there, so I drove to Springfield to see what they had. The selection of wine and hard liquor is excellent. I don't really drink much wine or liquor but it seemed to me that they had pretty much anything you could want. The selection of beer is also very good, lots of micros from around the region and country as well as an excellent international selection but you do pay slightly more than what I've seen at other stores. I would watch the dates though; I did manage to pick up a few brews that were either over their best by date or fast approaching. The home brewing section however leaves a lot to be desired. The selection is limited at best; their biggest downfall in my opinion is their lack of variety of specialty grains. I did however manage to score a free 10 lb bag of 120L crystal malt from one of the employees who said that it was ordered on accident and they wouldn't be able to sell it. SCORE! There is a decent hop selection, very limited yeast selection and limited DME and LME selections. Unfortunately this is the only homebrew shop I know of in the area. They do have wine tastings every Saturday which is nice for someone like me who doesn't really buy wine because I don't know jack about it. Once and a while you get lucky and they actually have a beer for tasting. Most of the employees seem to be more into wine than beer and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of brewing knowledge. Overall, this is a really cool store to check out if you're in the area. As I stated, not the greatest home brewing selection but the only one I know of in the area. If anyone knows if the other locations have better home brewing supplies, please shoot me a beeradvocate email.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Being from St. Louis, I was hoping to find a few brews I couldn't get in my area. Nothing more, nothing less. I was totally blown away. This place beats the selection of any place in St. Louis hands down. They have a very large selection of refrigerated and non-refrigerated 6 packs. Their mix a 6 selection is exceptional good and includes plenty of imports and micros that are not generally found in most stores (including a few obscure German brews and Belgians). They have a decent selection of 5 liter kegs and a lot of single bottles both domestic and imported. I truly feel that their overall variety of beer is greater than Sam's Wines and Spirits in downtown Chicago, a selection I used to drool over. Now i'm thinking an hour and 45 minute road trip every 6 months or so is in order...

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Friar Tuck Beverage in Springfield, IL
Place rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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