Sam The Beer Man

Sam The Beer ManSam The Beer Man
Sam The Beer ManSam The Beer Man

1164 Upper Front St
Binghamton, New York, 13905-1119
United States

(607) 724-5225 | map

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Ratings by jjayjaye:
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Reviewed by jjayjaye from New York

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
Sam The Beer Man - Fargnoli Distributing is a must do for BeerAdvocates spending any amount of time in Broome County. I rated quality and selection 4.5 only because STBM is limited only by it's real estate. It's a relatively small building, but these guys are all about the beer!

They do move a lot of beer for the National/Regional guys. While i risk propagating stereotypic slurs that i have read in other BeerFlys, i will point out that the area is becoming more and more of a "college town".

About half of the floor space is dedicated to Micros and they have a good selection of Belgians. I really like the fact that i can buy single 22 oz bottles of Great Divide, Rogue, Middle Ages and Southern Tier or a case of Anchor Foghorn or six packs of Magic Hat or Weyerbacker and I also have the option of buying fresh growlers of craft brew as well.

They are not too far from the 86/17/81 crossroads. Best in the area.
Oct 22, 2006
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.22 by jaxon53 from Connecticut

Jul 28, 2019
Rated: 4.74 by neliam24 from New York

May 06, 2019
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Reviewed by officerbill from New York

4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4
Sam's had been the area's ” go to” place for beer for decades.
The store is small and crowded with a wide, but shallow, variety.

Sam's biggest asset is it's staff. The folks working here know their beer. They're familiar with most styles and make well educated suggestions. They will also special order (12 pack or case) anything distributed in NYS. They are also one of the few places left that carry kegs and if the beer you want comes in kegs they'll order one for you.
Apr 10, 2019
Rated: 4.79 by mikeinportc from New York

Feb 12, 2018
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Reviewed by tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75
Spending a few days in Binghamton, so I thought I would check this place out. Kind of a small store with lots of macro cases, but plenty of craft beer as well. Lots of 6 packs, a singles section, some imports as well. Prices seemed a tad on the high side. Service was friendly and helpful. Overall, I wasn't blown away by it, but if I lived nearby, I would be a regular customer.
Jan 03, 2017
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Reviewed by LuckFreeZone from New York

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Stopped there for the first time today. The man working there seemed knowledgable both about beer in general and what was and was not available in the store (and where things were . . . which was helpful as the arrangements were not immediately obvious). Prices were good. If this was the only beer store in thirty miles of me I would be content.
Dec 17, 2016
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Reviewed by DerelictPI from New York

5/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
This place is great! The staff has given me good recommendations and steered me away from some poor choices. They get in some great stuff, try their best to make as many people happy as possible, and are good to talk to about beer. This year's BCBS release was on point!
Jul 14, 2016
Rated: 3.66 by OldhouseRecs from North Carolina

Jun 11, 2016
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Reviewed by marcfromphilly from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5
I come from PA up to Binghamton roughly once or twice a month. Across the whole Southern Tier, this (to my knowledge) is the best beer spot around. Lots of heavy hitter breweries (Prairie, Perennial, Grimm, Singlecut, Almanac) among many others. Truly a great and vast selection that anyone with even the most discriminating palate will find a good beer here. Go here if you can.
Mar 17, 2016
Rated: 3.85 by dangriff from New York

Mar 13, 2016
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Rated by Martelljw2 from New York

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Singlecut, Grimm & other half. This place is a winner!
Feb 07, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by MrFuster from New York

Sep 26, 2015
Rated: 3.61 by ColdOne from New York

Feb 22, 2015
Rated: 4.4 by dwoolley1 from New York

Feb 21, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by BurgeoningBrewhead from Pennsylvania

Dec 09, 2014
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Reviewed by logicalparadox from New York

4/5  rDev -5.4%
Cool. A place in the triple cities with a decent beer selection that actually sells singles! But not that many. Singles are limited to a few dozen choices.

But a nice selection. Not huge, but they make it count.

Doesn't fill growlers. Sad.

Compare this to the Binghamton Beer Depot, which has a bigger selection, but doesn't do singles at ALL and which has a lot more fluff. Between the two, I could get by in the triple cities. But... thank God I'm from Ithaca.
Nov 20, 2014
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Reviewed by thampel09 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
Pretty good stop right off the highway. Friendly staff and have a bunch of goodies from evil twin, jack's abby, westbrook, cigar city, nebco, horse heads, against the grain, crooked stave, dark horse, etc.. Also had a good selection of limit releases like the 12.7oz allagash ones and such. Their prices were solid as well. Definitely worth a stop if your passing through.
Oct 26, 2014
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Reviewed by beerdedking from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
They carry a wide range of brewers, however, you won't find everything from those brewers.
That said, it was well worth my time to ride up from Scranton. Lagunitis, Great Divide, Westbrook,
MBC, Jacks Abby, Firestone Walker are all near impossible to find in my neck of the woods, and
Sam's has 'em all. I'll definitely return...
Sep 21, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by randysthomas from Kentucky

Jul 18, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by AMCimpi from New York

Jun 30, 2014
Rated: 5 by jmasc from New York

Jun 27, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by BeardedBeerist from New York

May 06, 2014
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Reviewed by nh2032 from New York

4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Updated Nov 2017: Sam's had gone to a completely new level over the past 6+ months. Huge improvement in selection with many beers from the Hudson Valley / NYC area showing up that you won't find elsewhere. The crowler fills have been a huge hit with me as the quality of the kegs has been outstanding.

Not sure how I haven't reviewed StBM yet.

Good selection for the Binghamton area, but not even close to what you can find in Ithaca. It also seems this area gets releases about a week later than Ithaca too.

A lot of space devoted to macros, but the standard selection of Belgian and craft bombers and 6 packs. Some of the harder to find options I noticed on my last visit included Founders, Horseheads, Hoppin Frog, and Ballast Point.

The two things that really stand out are the service and the prices. The guys working the register really know their stuff, make good recommendations, and are knowledgeable about upcoming releases. Prices are low - typically the same or even lower than Wegmans.

Worth a stop if you are limited to Binghamton. Best option I have found in the area.
Mar 29, 2014
Rated: 3 by TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

Mar 01, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Stignacious from New York

Feb 20, 2014
Rated: 4 by ArchiCait from New York

Feb 12, 2014
Rated: 4 by JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

Jan 08, 2014
Photo of JamesShoemaker
Reviewed by JamesShoemaker from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
If you live in Binghamton or the surrounding area and don't feel like driving all the way up to Ithaca, there are three decent beer stores you can patronize: Sam's, Court St. Beer Depot, and Wegman's. Sam's is the best for a number of reasons.

The atmosphere, honestly, is not great. It's a little ways out of town and it's always pretty busy with people who are picking up bulk macrobrews. If you want to look at the domestic micros, you're kind of sandwiched between a wall of six/four packs and a rack of bombers. Import singles (which I don't really buy, so I don't know how good the selection is) are against the opposite wall. Between those two walls and in the back of the store are the macros.

Sam's is almost like what you'd expect a small distributor's shop to look like. There's a lot going on and a lot of obstacles to avoid, but it's never an unpleasant experience.

I give their service a 4 because one of the employees, a younger guy (Shawn or Sean, I think) is really amicable. He loves to talk about new micros he gets in and he lets you know what he's got coming. He's recommended some really good beers to me, including BORIS and Frangelic Mountain Brown. The other guy who works there is a little curt. He never really wants to chat and generally gives one word answers.

Sam's selection is really good for the area. They have a steady supply of Founders (including their Backstage releases, thanks to Shawn [or Sean]), a lot of Hoppin' Frog, Oskar Blues, Victory, TONS of Great Divide bombers, lots of Brooklyn, Brew Dog, and just about every DFH beer I can think of. I'm giving their selection a 4.5 instead of a 4 because they're really cheap too. I can't think of anywhere else where I can get a four pack of Ten Fidy for only $15, or Brooklyn BCS for only $8. They undercut every other store I've been to in New York.

One of the things that's great about Sam's that doesn't really translate into a rating is that people don't really buy up their micros too much. They've had FBS on the shelf for the last two months and I don't think they'll be running out of Backwoods Bastard anytime soon. Most of what I've bought from there is already 6+ months old, which is really great if you like to cellar beers.
Nov 03, 2012
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Reviewed by keithmurray from Connecticut

3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4
Last visited on 9/22/2011

This is a nice little spot in Binghamton. They have a nice mix of mainstream beer along with a nice craft selection. They carry domestic craft from such breweries as Ithaca, Smuttynose, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Dogfishhead, Saranac, Stone, as well as Belgian & German imports. Everything is priced reasonably for what they carry (found some DFH Punkin for $8.99 - cheapest around). The store is not really well organized, but then again the place isn't all that big so it isn't a chore to find what you want. As for customer service it was non existant until I engaged the dude working the register and then he was able to help me out. Gotta be mindful it seems a lot of their beers are out of date. Overall, not a bad place to search for craft beer in the binghamton area.
Sep 22, 2011
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Reviewed by rlee1390 from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
The place seems to be mainly geared to BMC products but they do have the best selection of craft beer in the Binghamton Area.

The beers are not organized very well, just big bottles are separate from six packs. Recently added a selection of singles.

The selection is standard fare for craft; DFH, SN, SA, FD. They do have good local selection in Southern Tier, Ommegang, Ithaca, Cooperstown among the NY beers.

Do be careful of out of date beers, although you can find older beers that are great for aging.

Finally they are a great on prices, four packs of DFH are under 14 bucks, where I normally will see them for 14-16.
Jan 11, 2011
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Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
I like to stop by Sam's when passing through coming home from Syracuse to PA. Sam doesn't have an overly "huge" selection, however, what they do have is high quality. They have a nice mix of craft brew and the "regular stuff" with the hat being tipped towards the craft brew side. They know what they're talking about and I've found some gems in here that I would have otherwise passed up anywhere else. Pricing is reasonable based on what particular brew you may be purchasing, but otherwise, there's a reason I stop by there EVERY business trip to the area.
Dec 12, 2009
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Reviewed by DigitalTaper from New York

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Sam The Beer Man is the really the only place with a big selection of Micro's and Imports (Weggman's excluded). My only issue with Sam's is they never mix up their availability, it's always the same micro's and Belgians. I asked why they don't order any Lambics, Sours and Brett beers besides Lindemans and Roddenboch. They said they couldn't sell them. I let the big guy there know sours/brett's is one of the hottest trends right now and I hope they start to get them. It would be cool if they offered a nice draft selection to fill up growlers. That service is a big hit @ the Ithaca dist.

Edit 2019 : Larger selections, all the good styles. Beer on tap for growler and Crowler fills.
Nov 13, 2009
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Reviewed by asabreed from New York

4/5  rDev -5.4%
I went to this place through recommendations and through Beerfly. From the outside it doesn't look that good, but there are many places like that as we all know.

Amidst the ton of macro stuff, which seems to be what most people are buying, there is a shelf when you walk in mostly of domestic craft bombers. And across the way you'll find all the good 6-packs and Belgians, some in the cold case and some on the regular shelves.

Lots of Ithaca, Middle Ages, Cooperstown, Sly Fox, and other locals. A fairly wide selection, though I was hoping to find bigger bottles of Ithaca stuff, and all they had was White Gold.

Great prices, though that seems to be a trend in this area with craft brews. The guy at Sam's told me the craft brew scene isn't that big here, so I guess it's both good and bad that the prices are so reasonable, but for the customer that always seems like a great thing.

The only thing that I was a little iffy about was the fact that the place was so warm. I'm not sure if they don't have A/C or didn't have it on, or what. And I could care less about me, but all those craft brews sitting on the shelves for those extended hot temperatures can't be good.

Overall, though, I'd go back. I just wasn't as blown away as some people. But for the area, it's one of the better stores for your craft needs.
Aug 20, 2009
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Reviewed by WesWes from New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
I've been shopping these guys for ten years now and they have only gotten better with age. Short of selling singles (which I have been working on for years) they have the complete package. They offer a great selection of macros and an even better selection of micros. They have just about everything available to this mid sized market.

The help there is outstanding especially since Dustin, the son of the owner, has taken a more authoritative role. He orders most, if not all, of the specialty beers and can offer his personal opinion on most. He's hands on like everyone there. No one is a spectator here. Even Mrs. Fargnoli rolls up her sleeves and helps out. It's a family affair and they care very much about customer service. The prices are some of the best in the upstate area. They also take good care of return customers. They now have a growler wall which is starting to catch on.

I worry about Wegmans' new craft beer section hurting these guys in the long run, but I'll remain loyal to the little guys who actually know what the hell their selling.
Oct 07, 2008
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Reviewed by akorsak from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
We spent the night in Binghamton on the way to Cooperstown and were right down the street from Sam the Beer Man.

Quality: Craft and imports are right up front; kegs and macros in back. The place is easy to find as well, on Rte 11 just north of downtown.

Service: The manager was quite friendly and helpful, offering suggestions from amongst several new cases he was opening (including Kwak). Checking out was easy as well.

Selection: For the most part, the beers are six-packs (or four-packs) only. The upscale imports and domestic bombers were available for single purchase. I grabbed a Creme Brulee, Hop-It, Ithaca TEN and Old Habit and a Rodenbach Grand Cru. Very nice selection. The prices were moderate and in line with what I pay at State Line.
Aug 04, 2008
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Reviewed by ledemie from New York

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
I came from the DC area and I was not happy to find out that I will be away from my favorite place to sell beer and the selection was great, but one day going down to DC I saw a Harley store and decided to stop and look around to my surprise I see "Sam's the Beer man" sign, I said let's see what type of Budweiser I am going to find in here :-), well there it was a great selection of Belgium beer right in the front of me, you name it: Chouffe, Unibroue, Omegang, Cordenstok, St Bernadus, Duvel.... and many more, the best surprise was last November, I stop by and to my surprise they had some Jenlain (blonde's and Amber), I grab 4 bottles and at the register, I ask the guy, when did you start carrying that ....he said 2 weeks ago.... I was so delighted, anyway enough with the blah blah, the beer price beats Syracuse Ithaca and Binghamton, this is a good priced beer with a decent selection, and the location is nice right of I81.
Apr 18, 2008
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Reviewed by number1bum from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.4%
I've stopped at Sam the Beer Man about 5 or 6 times now. It's right off of 81, very convenient when I'm headed from Syracuse to home in PA, which I do relatively frequently.

I'm glad I haven't reviewed before, because now seems to be a better time, mainly because their selection is starting to expand a bit. I was a little underwhelmed the last few times I've been there. Granted, they have a lot of micros, both six packs (no singles) and bombers/750s, as well as a pretty good selection of imports, but it was all stuff that I could find elsewhere. And what stood out most was not what they carried, but what they didn't. For example, they always had Southern Tier's Jahva, Unearthly and Heavy Weizen, but never any of the limited release stuff.

Until now...yesterday they had the new Gemini and Choklat, and their prices were amazing. $5.99 and $6.99, respectively. That's a theme at Sam the Beer Man - the prices are very, very reasonable. I've no doubt that their selection is unparalleled in the Binghamton area, and is even worth a drive from Northeast PA. And their prices are better than anywhere you'll find elsewhere in central New York for sure. Selection is growing, and I see new stuff there all the time. Still not as good as Party Source in Syracuse, or anywhere close to Beers of the World in Rochester, but a few more imports than Party Source and a solid selection across the board. Prices are outstanding and the guy who is always there is very helpful and friendly. They also have quite a bit of stuff available in cases, if you're into that kind of thing.

All in all, a beer store worthy of a visit if you've not been, and I know I personally will be stopping more often based on price alone.

EDIT: June 08 - selection continues to improve at Sam the Beer Man. They have a much improved imports lineup now and they even have other surprises like Ithaca Excelsior brews, new Southern Tier releases and a few Harpoon 100bbl brews here and there. This place rocks.

ANOTHER EDIT: January '10 - I'm sorry to say that the selection at Sam the Beer Man has plateaued and even declined over the last year or so. They no longer have their connection at Ithaca so they aren't getting Excelsior brews anymore, and my main feeling when I visit here now is disappointment that they don't have more new releases that I'd like to see. Still a solid selection, but nothing more.
Jan 09, 2008
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Reviewed by kevman527 from New York

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
By far the best place to get micro brews in the Greater Binghamton area, short of mail ordering from the internet. This is much easier.
The people working there are very courteuous and will take the time to help you with what you are looking for. I am there every other week, picking up a six pack or two, or one of the many variety packs they have. I like the fact they have a shelf of most of the regional beers of the area. I would recommend this place to anyone in the area looking for a place to buy some good beer.
Dec 11, 2007
Sam The Beer Man in Binghamton, NY
Place rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 52 ratings