The Beer Depot

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The Beer DepotThe Beer Depot
The Beer DepotThe Beer Depot

Type: Homebrew, Beer-to-go

114 E William St
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-2313
United States

(734) 623-4430 | map

None provided.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 38
Photo of granger10
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Stopped by here after Ashley's because I had some time to kill before going to Arbor for dinner. Plus I needed to walk off the buzz. Small cramped store, looked like a crackhouse from the outside. Selection on the inside was quite amazing though. Crazy beer selection with Belgians I never see in West Michigan as well as some foreign beers I would never really care to see. Domestic and Michigan selection was decent but nothing special. I was hoping for more Dragonmead or Kuhnhenn. Nice little glassware selection at the far side of the store with all glasses being priced $4. Prices on the beers seemed high for the most part. Service was weak, seemed like the guy knew little about beer and was being put out for working. He did make a little gift thing for me with a glassware, beer selection but he wasn't too happy about it. Good place for some Cantillon or some other very hard to find beers but watch the prices and don't expect much help.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +13.3%

I stopped in here before attending the wedding rehersal, I'm in town for, (had to take the bottle of Breakfast stout I bought into the church to keep it from freezing!) Very nice selection of local, national and import high quality suds. A bonus to have Home brew selections also available. Clerk was semi friendly, when asked about local watering holes. Allowed me to pick up that single bottle of Founders breakfast stout that I was told by another place was "gone till next winter" so that was a bonus. Not the best looking place, but selection makes it worth a visit.

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Photo of BeerFink
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%

Stopped by here while doing some shopping in Ann Arbor. The first thing you notice is that the parking is slightly lacking. I wasn't sure if everyone parks in the adjacent lots or just tries to park in front. Inside I found exactly what mentor previously described - a no-frills good selection of beer. There were quite a few craft singles on racks in the front. They had some hard to find singles, although it seemed a bit pricey to me. They didn't have a whole lot of 4 or 6 packs, but what they did have presented a good selection. In the back was a pretty good variety of homebrew supplies, which impressed me. The clerk never offered any help, but was friendly when we checked out. The only thing that I didn't like was that everything had some dust on it, and the store looked like it could use a good cleaning. It wasn't filthy or anything, but I wondered about the freshness of some of the beers.

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Photo of mentor
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%

Stopped in here one afternoon in December, 2004. The outside is a dirty and non-assuming brick building. Oddly shaped and with only a little available parking in the front. Upon entering, the cash register and liquor are to the left and selections are further in and to the right. A nice selection of international and craft singles are available on the first row of four or five the metal racks that form the aisles. The second aisle contains wines, the third contains miscellaneous convenience store goodies, and the fourth contains a moderate supply of homebrew equipment/ingredients. The right and back walls are lined with coolers that contain 6-packs, 12-packs, and cases. Not many craft singles are available cold. The clerk was busy until I initiated conversation, then was helpful with my selections. Overall, I describe the structure and shelving as no-frills, the selection as good, and the service as acceptable. I think this is the only place in Ann Arbor to obtain homebrewing supplies. They do have a nice assortment of yeast and hops in one of the coolers.

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Photo of chilidog
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%

Stopped by based on beer-fly. Went in search of some Michigan micro's I was falling behind on.
To look at this place on the arrival, well, its not fancy on the outside. Sitting downtown, a small looking, multi-colored brick building with a small U-turn drive-way. We parked in the city lot next-door. I did notice the tinted black windows to keep light out.
The beer, as soon as you walk in. The first isle of bombers and singles with price stickers on each. Saw alot of brew from england and belgain.
Around the rear are coolers loaded with michigan brews as well as other micro's. Follow around another corner and you'll find more coolers with a mix of macro's.
A nice stop, not fancy, but with 650 beers, you should find what you need. I did. I did notice in that first isle some dust on bottles as noted by other BA's. Note; we also stopped in mid-december and at the stores front was not holiday brews, but Octoberfests. Hmm.

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Photo of nomad
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%

Sept. 2005 Update: Wow, this place has gone to crap since Bryan the beer manager left. The prices have upped even more and the service more often than not doesn't know a thing. It pains me to shun this place, but the owners surely don't give a damn about craft beer right now beyond painting by numbers.

Beer: The signs out front don' lie, they truly carry over 650 different beers, covering every Midwest brand they can legally import and a dizzying array of foreign bottles. Brian is a Belgo-phile, visiting that yeasty motherland every year, so their Belgian section is quite strong, though their English selection is far from shabby. As per the culture of Michigan, this beer store like all others sells a lot of perishable items besides beer and wine, so a number of freezers are stolen away from beer.

Homebrew: Don't kid yourself, Beer Depot has a very good homebrew section! Both a wide range of Whitelabs and Wyeast yeasts are available in all their varying forms, and the hop selection is killer. They carry many rare or hard-to-find varieties like Northdown, Target, or Yakima Magnum, and have most of the popular chioces of Cascade, EKG, N. Brewer, Centennial, etc. in whole hop form. Both the yeast and hops are hidden in a walk-in section of southern-most freezer - ask or you'll never find them. As for malts, the selection has just about every specialty you could ask for and a heavy stock of base malts and malt extracts. Though confusing to peruse, their is also a full and detailed array of adjuncts and brewing gadgets (airlocks, salts, cappers, etc.). A scale and grain mill are available as well to weigh, crush, and re-seal grain bags.

As mentioned in another review, there is a computer that catalogs everything in the store with pictures and descriptions. There is also a library of more than two dozen books and magazines about beer and homebrewing. I don't buy 'em, but I've been known to lose track of time thumbing their pages in the back corner of the store.

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Photo of smitty1080
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Alright, so I'm already jealous of Ann Arbor just based on the selection of restaurants and then I visit this store.

I stopped in to just check it out. I knew I couldn’t buy anything because I couldn’t protect them from the heat that day. I almost cried when I saw all the choices. I believe I talked to Brian, I didn’t get his name but he was obviously the buyer. He said they were up to 600 beers, 100 of which are Belgium. He pointed out some the aged offerings, such as the 1999 Sinebrychoff Porter.

Just about all of the six-packs, vast amounts of Michigan micro, were cold along with some of the Rogue, Sam Smith, Young’s, and Fullers products. The single bottle selection had the Belgium’s, bombers and other high ABV out at room temp.

When I got the chance to get back there the next day I picked up some Two Hearted Ale and some Oberon, both excellent. But Brian wasn't there and the two women working gave me a funny look when I asked about Hennepin.

So on my third trip in three days I stopped in to grab some 1999 Sinebrychoff Porter, to take back to Ohio, and some Rogue Chocolate Stout to enjoy later that night.

Side notes:

The windows closest to the beer are tinted very dark. Just a little thing I thought stood out from other stores
The hours are great at the store too. Open from 9-2am most days.

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The Beer Depot in Ann Arbor, MI
Place rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 38 ratings