Gator Beverage

very good

31 Reviews
Gator BeverageGator Beverage

Type: Store

1126 W University Ave
Gainesville, Florida, 32601-5110
United States

(352) 336-6128 | map

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 43
Photo of Graham19840
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Look like a convenience store from the outside but inside it has a wide variety of bottles. They usually showcase the new arrivals near the cash register.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Largest selection of craft and European beers in town. They have wine and liquor too, but really a ton of quality beer. Staff will help me find what I'm looking for and even pull a bottle or two from the back for me. Also keep me informed when special deliveries are upcoming, i.e. 2015 W00tstout.

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Photo of p0l4r21
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The best place to get beer in Gainesville. Regularly stocks new interesting beers. The service is great. They deal with college kids regularly it would be understandable if they seem not to care about you. The more you frequent the place the better the experience. The beer selection is top notch. They keep the store stocked with rare beers from not only America but the world; especially Japan and Belgium. Keep the sours coming.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Walked in here expecting Bud Light central, and got a nice little surprise. Snatched up some Infinium and La Trappe Oak Aged Quadrupel (Batch #3). They had a Utopias sitting on the liquor shelf but I wasn't going for it at $180 (or any price, really). Have had nice finds like Moat Water, they'll get some Cantillon here and there, nice selection of Belgian brews. Sometimes able to find some gems hiding in the back like Swamp Head Roosevelt and BA Human Blockhead. Lots of selection here for a Gainesville place. Will return soon!

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Photo of TomB
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

A go-to for Craft Beer in Gainesville. The outside facade and frequent panhandlers aren't quite inviting, but don't let that deter you from venturing inside to check out the selection. Wall to wall beer (mostly due to the place being way too small). Great selection, but as a previous reviewer stated, check the dates on stuff that doesn't age well.

The staff can be hit or miss on service. One day you can get someone who is very interested in helping you and makes good suggestions, and on other days you can get someone who has no interest in you or your beer choices and experiences. I think I read a previous post that described the staff as "surly" which may apply sometimes, but is a bit of an unfair assessment. They deal with people from all walks of life, including college bros looking for a keg for their party, craft beer know it alls, and plain ol' drunks. Should probably cut them some slack if they're not overly friendly all the time.

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Photo of GatorBeer
3.68/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Sketchy looking from outside, but inside it is a crazy beer lovers heaven. Shelves and shelves of beer from most of the breweries that get distributed to Florida. They get in most one-offs, limited releases, etc. The workers there can answer most questions and are a little surly, but I think they mean well.

Be aware of bottle dating here! I don't buy many IPAs or beers I'm concerned about freshness with because they tend to sit on the shelves here.

Selection-wise, this is on par with TIpples as the best place to go in Gainesville, and like any bottle shop just be aware what you're buying and you'll get some gems.

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Photo of cubanbeerguy
4.16/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Ok Gator beverage. So the staff is usually very knowledgable and will locate beers for you. They wrote down my info and called me when a beer came in. There is one guy that looks like a burnt out druggie and I dont care for him, very removed and antisocial and hates his job. But as you can see from the pic its a corner convenient store that gets homeless people buying fifths. But the selection is great. they always get all the rare stuff in and I frequnt this shop quite often as they have some of the best prices in town.

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Photo of cirtap
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I've been going to Gator Beverage for more than 5 years now. From the outside the building is pretty run-down and they get some shady customers coming in, especially late at night. The beer selection is very impressive though, and prices are in line with the best in Gainesville. They also have a good selection of refrigerated beer, including some refrigerated 750s and bombers which can be hard to find. Service can be hit-or-miss, a couple members of the staff are extremely knowledgeable with beer while others are apathetic. Still, it's one of the best places for craft beer in north Florida.

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Photo of jgagne
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I first went to this place after hearing about the great selection. The selection itself was very impressive and surprising. When you look at it from the outside it looks like your typical college town convenience store with a bad beer selection. There is a large selection of almost anything you could ask for, from great American craft beer to high quality imports. They also have great weekly deals (ex:when i first went they had Sierra Nevada Glissade 6 packs for 5 bucks). On the other hand the inside of the building is low quality, the layout is small and unorganized. They are also not the most helpful. One time me and a buddy went down to pick up some beer for a party and the beer we picked up was skunk and tasted terrible. We called back that night and they completely unhelpful and didn't let us exchange our case. Overall i have a love hate relationship this place, great beer bad establishment.

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Photo of flahuskie
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%

I drive sixty one miles each way for their selection. It is Gator Beverage or a longer haul to Tampa St Pete. The clerk is always helpful (I am fairly new to craft beer) and the selection is great. Prices are comparable to other stores (who have poorer selections). They have Bells, Stone and Dogfish and more, so what else do I need. They also have singles which helps me find new favorites. Only problem is visiting Gainesville, as I hate the Florida Gators but for the next year I can fly my Seminole/Huskie car flags.

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Photo of beeratlanta
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%

I read the reviews on BA prior to going to Gator Beverage and expected a good beer selection but an apathetic staff with little to no craft beer knowledge. The beer selection was as described, better than you would expect for small package store, across the street from University of Florida. However, the guy working that afternoon not only had great knowledge of the beer that they had but knew his craft beer in general too. I'm only giving the selection a less than perfect score because they didn't have any Avery in stock.

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Photo of aepb1
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

I wish this store with it's great craft beer selection wasn't wasted on the frat boy crowd. The biggest detraction is the location and I think a reason for the apathy from the staff is their clientele.

That being said, this is really a great store. A cooler wall that is at least 50% craft beer and then a couple aisles of 6ers and bombers including some rarer stuff and local brews. A nice selection.

If you've not been, I would actually recommend heading there during the day to check it out it will be worth the trip!

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Photo of idb2002
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%

This place is a beacon of light in a sea of Gainesville Natty. A friend introduced me to this place recently and I'm thankful for it. I had driven by it numerous times and never noticed it because 1) it's set back from University Blvd. slightly in order to make room for parking and 2) the place admittedly looks like any other dump in a college town where you can find cheap beer. It sells its share of Bud to be sure, but after just a few minutes of walking around and talking to the knowledgeable staff, you realize that this place is committed to selling craft beer. It has two full aisles of beers you wouldn't expect to find in many places in Gainesville - Dogfish Head (including some I had never seen before), Rogue, Stone, Victory, Chimay, Westmalle, Ayinger Celebrator, Imperial Series Sam Adams and a host of others. They've also got a refrigerator for singles and cut you a deal off of the singles price if you want to make your own six pack. The staff was so friendly and enterprising that one of the guys even asked my friend and I what beers we would like to see offered as singles in the future. All in all an important place for Gainesville beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

This is a tiny liquor store near kind of a bad neighborhood. It is not uncommon to get harassed by a homeless person looking to score some liquor. Inside the store is crowded and seems dirty. About 2/3 of the store is devoted to beer though (not counting the pornography). There is a wall of coolers where you can get your standard mass produced fair of crap. About 1/2 of the cooler are craft beers or imports like Singha or Carlsberg.

The beer aisle, not refrigerated, is filled with interesting bombers and six packs of beer from Belgium, Germany, Great Britian and the United States. The staff doesn't really want to help you. The beers are roughly organized by style and region, but the organization is often in great flux. The selection and diversity has been increasing. I would estimate that there are maybe 200 different beers available at this place. I would definitely check it out if you are into beer.

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Photo of babaracas
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Very nice selection of domestic craft, German, and Belgian beer. They will typically have everything that makes it out here, but occasionally one of the other stores in town will get certain releases before gbev does. Prices are good too. Employees are nice enough, but most aren't particularly knowledgeable. They will give you a heads up on upcoming releases though, which is great.

They recently revamped the store layout and stuck the Belgians in front of a window that gets bright light much of the day. (Of course a bunch of those are in green bottles). Bummer about that; gotta get Dupont, etc somewhere else now.

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Photo of mullenite
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%

Everyone else has pretty much said it all, it is a very small store with very little shelf space but much of that holds an excellent selection of beers. They have a lot of the standards and a good variety of harder to get beers. They also sell with enough volume to request hard-to-get beers, though they may not always be able to. Be sure to check dates on rare brews as some may be out or close to it.

While most of the employees don't care, if you go in and speak to Ryan my experience has been he will help you as much as possible, even going as far as to take my phone number and call me when he got an answer about adding to their Brooklyn lineup.

Update to change my review a little:

Since posting this I have noticed that the staff has been much more helpful all around and has really gone out of there way to make me happy on multiple occasions.

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Photo of danny013
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

First and foremost, it is important to note that this is a small store in midtown. As a result, the store is packed with shelves/kegs/boxes and sometimes you are left with some unsavory characters to deal with. I have only recently started going here as I thought for the longest time it was just a sketchy ghetto liquor store, lol.

That being said, the store is extremely crowded because they have a HUGE selection of beers. Lots of micros and imports line the isles and coolers. Of course, there is a lot of standard BMC stuff, but as someone mentioned before, this is the bread and butter of the store and allows them to have such an extensive line of fine beers. I saw a large selection of English/Irish/Scottish imports (my favorite), plenty of Belgians, and a lot of American Micros, plus many more I did not get a chance to browse over. Many beers are both in coolers for enjoyment soon after or on shelves for storage/aging.

As almost everyone else has noted, the staff just doesn't care; they are just there for a paycheck. If you are planning to shop here, do your research before you come on what style you're in the mood for and a couple good examples of it, and go from there.

Prices are pretty fair, as well. Of course, hard to find imports and micros are going to cost a little more, but for what you're buying it's a good deal.

Overall, it's a good place to find great beers - you just have to take the good with the bad. Great location close to campus.

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Photo of teletype1
2.6/5  rDev -29.3%

i typically shop at Gator Beverage for the stuff i keep at home, and i really do love the selection. they have pretty much everything that is available in our area.

that's where the positive elements end, however. as many have written here, the staff is incredibly rude, condescending, and seems to be more interested in watching TV behind the counter than actually being helpful. in addition, the last three times i've been at Gator Bev I've been panhandled in the parking lot. once the panhandler was quite aggressive and scary.

seriously thinking about not shopping here anymore, unless they clean up their act and get some control over what happens on their premises. if i have to drive down to 34th street, ward's, or dorn's, i will!

on a positive note, i did get into a conversation with the owner once, and he was very nice.

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Photo of Portertime
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

This would be a good store but one, it is smaller than a Mini Cooper in a trash compacter, and two, the people who work there just aren't into beer. I ask them if they can get this or that and they say they don't know, maybe and they are always distracted with talking to each other or something else when I go to check out. Now their selection blows me away. I didn't know you could fit so many different beers in a space the size of Vern Troyer's underwear but they did. Their best varieties are the Dogfish Head seasonals, Avery, and Rogue but they also have some interesting ones you don't see every day like Heavy Seas, Terrapin, and Atwater. Everything can be bought singlely and warm or cold. So if you are ever driving down the corner of University and 13th in Gainesville and you squint really well, you just might see the blue roofed building called Gator Beverage. Go in a pick yourself up some Dogfish Head 120 IPA (when it is in season) and feel the burn!

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Photo of Zeckster
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

Like everyone else has said they have a fine selection of Rogue (at a far cheaper price than many of the other places in town) along with some nice Belgians and lots of Unibroue (way more Unibroue than wards). They're also good about getting the seasonal beers.

However, it is a small storefront so you might have to search a few aisles or fridges to find your brew. Its really not that big of a deal when you go there multiple times, since you know the layout.

The staff really isn't big about talking to you at all. However, I can't give them a 1 because a few times someone has recommend other beers based on what I was picking up at the time.

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Photo of UFGUY2122
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%

This is one of the better places in Gainesville to find some decent brew. They normally carry a decent selection of DFH, Rogue, and some other notables.
That being said, i'd have to agree with some of the others that have reviewed the place and found the service to be lacking and the store to be somewhat cluttered. There's always boxes all over the floor that make it hard to navigate the aisles. The staff generally consists of two or three bums that sit behind the counter, eat pizza, and ignore the customers. On the couple of occasions that i've dared to interrupt they've been either unhelpful or blatantly rude. On one of the occasions, one of the friendly staffers impatiently hurried me to produce my money while checking out. I was fumbling through my pockets and searching for some cash when i realized that i had already placed the correct amount on the counter. I looked at the guy, wondering why he hadn't taken the money yet and he said to me "alright, i thought you might smooth out the bills but whatever". I haven't been back in a while.

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Photo of scottyshades
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%

Although this place has a very good selection for a liquor store, the store itself is a dump...there are boxes and shelves in random places that force you to squeez through the isles and it is anything but clean. The biggest bone I have to pick with this place is that the people behind the counter are the rudest most impatient people I have ever come across. The last thing that they want to do IN THEIR OWN STORE is to help you in choosing a good beer. They rushed me out of the door and literally told me to hurry up when pulling out my wallet and cash.

If you want to find some good beers, go to Gator beverage, but do not expect to have a good experience...hopefully you will find yourself having a better experience than mine

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Photo of hunteraw
3.35/5  rDev -9%

This place is practically across the street from the parking lot I use to go to class every day, so it's real convenient to stop at on the way home and pick up something new.

Selection is better than anywhere else I've been in Gainesville, with the exception of Ward's. All the standards: Unibroue, Flying Dog, Sierra Nevada, full selection of Rogue, Ommegang. Some DFH, but not all, and lots of Belgians and British beers (Samuel Smith, etc.), including some gift cases: for example, the St. Bernardus pack of 4 that includes a chalice. Lots of other random stuff, as well.

The behind-the-counter help has never particularly interested/helpful, but I've spoken to the manager a couple of times about stuff they don't have. Both times, the answer has been "if I can get it, I'll get it soon."

I did get a Saison Dupont here that I suspect might have been skunked, but since it's the only one I've had I can't be sure.

Prices are reasonable.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

I'll admit, I did not go into the store at the best possible time for browsing. It was a Saturday in Gainesville which means FOOTBALL and many students picking up cheap kegs and cases of Natty Light. However, I was impressed by the selection, especially being located in such a small college town right across from the University. Rogue, DFH, Ommegang, Unibroue and some belgian singles are some of the standouts. I am lucky to have a couple absolutely stellar stores in my hometown of Orlando, but when I am in Gainesville Gator Beverage will surely do! Service was not that great, but then again there were tons of people in there so I cannot be too upset.

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Photo of gatorsuf1
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

Extremely sketchy looking; you would never think this place carries a variety of craft beer. You almost always see something crazy/amusing in the parking lot. You enter and most of the good beers are in the 2nd isle on the right. It's a pretty small and cramped store, but they have a good selection of beers, probably the best in Gainesville. They carry Ommegang, Sam Smith, Dogfish Head, Unibroue, Rogue, Weihenstephaner, Franziskaner and a variey of Belgian Beers. The workers never offer to help, they are usually college kids. The prices are standard. Oh and they usually have a 9.99 deal on Natty 24-packs...for all of us college guys out there ;).

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Gator Beverage in Gainesville, FL
3.68 out of 5 based on 43 ratings.
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