The Best Beer Shops in the U.S., According to Pros

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by unlikelyspiderperson, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,193) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Nice shout out to some supposedly great bottle shops around the country. I think that City Beer is SF is the only one I've been to, and I believe that location is long closed. But for those of you familiar with these places, how'd they do?
  2. defunksta

    defunksta Poo-Bah (2,140) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    Cool article! I'm sure it left some off the list, but showed me a lot of places I didn't know about and want to try.
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  3. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,866) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    Spots I've hit on the list deserve to be listed. So I'm adding the rest to my Hit List.
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  4. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (754) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Windsor in Costa Mesa is an excellent bottle shop. They even have a second one by Bottle Logic.
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  5. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,514) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    Mr. B's in Denver is the only one I've actually been to on this list, though I've walked past Hawthorne Bottle Shop in FL.
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  6. augustgarage

    augustgarage Poo-Bah (2,368) May 20, 2007 California
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    Was a little surprised to see The Cheese Shop in Des Moines selected over John's Grocery in Iowa City.

    Agree with the PDX and SoCal choices.
  7. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Savant (997) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina

    I've been to a few of the locations on this list, eager to visit more
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  8. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (474) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Good list - one beef - Port Beer Hub in Portland ME not bad but Bier Cellar on Forrest Ave two miles away is better.
  9. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,819) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Mr. B's is a solid choice for CO. I guess. Although the image they show is of the Stapleton location. The other location is bigger/better.

    Feels like most of our best beer-centric stores are either gigantic with questionable stock (Davidson's, Tipsy's, Lukas, etc.) or tiny with a curated selection (Grapevine, Small Batch, Craft Alley, etc). There isn't much in-between except maybe Argonaut.

    At one time our giant stores were some the best in the country, but not so much anymore.
  10. VABA

    VABA Poo-Bah (6,326) Aug 8, 2015 Virginia

    I have been to four, the two craft cellar stores in Massachusetts and DC, Stein’s in New Orleans, and R&L Liquors in Delaware. All worthy.

    Also worthy imho, State of Beer Beer in Raleigh, NC, Downtown Crown Wine & Beer in Gaithersburg, MD, Beverage Warehouse in Burlington, VT, and State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD.
  11. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,657) Aug 12, 2007 California
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    I've been to most of the ones mentioned in NY, OR, MA and PA. I would argue that Julio's Liquors (MA) should have been included. Cheers!
  12. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (3,110) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
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    I'd add Starks Sport Shop in Prairie du Chien, WI. It's the coolest liquor store ever. Or maybe the coolest sporting goods store ever. Great selection of beer, wine, and spirits of all types, plus a full complement of hunting, fishing, and marine gear. Guns, boats, and alcohol. Laissez le bon temps rouler!!
  13. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,523) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
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    The Open Bottle definitely belongs on this list....terrific folks there and they have a hell of a selection..

    Roof Brothers in Paducah deserves a me tion too....another absolutely knockout lineup of offerings....
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  14. Vitacca

    Vitacca Zealot (562) Sep 15, 2010 Montana

    My favorite part about Shine is the first bathroom on the right. Plus they sell all the Fremont. Can’t complain about that I guess.
  15. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Poo-Bah (1,609) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota

    I guess they all look good. However the one store represented from MN i've never even heard of. It looks new, clean, hip & trendy. Also it's in St. Paul, not MPLS. BIG difference. A couple of Twin Cities beer stores worthy of mention here: Chet's on Hywy 13 in Mendota Heights, Zipps on Franklin Ave in MPLS, a little store in Hopkins on Excelsior Blvd called Mac's, Princeton LQ on 494/Bass Lake Rd. Many many more older places w great selection. Cheers!
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  16. richOutsidePhilly

    richOutsidePhilly Initiate (61) Jan 27, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Only scanned the Norteast thread. Looks legit. Capone's is the OG beer place in the Philly area (actually it's in the suburbs). Small, cramped space but you can find the odd lot here. Matt's a real beer guy, and the place reflects his personal tastes (Hoppin Frog). Also, lots of verticals; Biggfoot from throughout the years. He's also tuned in to what's current. I was just there last week and was talking up my latest obsession. He had it in stock a few days later.
    The bottle shop is attached to his restaurant which has a great rotating tap list (Pliny, often) and good food.
    Saw DeCicco's supermarket mini- chain, and thats also right on. They cite the Brewster location, which is the one that gets all the ink. I've only been to the one in Ardsley, N.Y. The greatest supermarket beer store ever. Huge ungodly selection, staff knows their stuff, and a bunch of taps for growler pours. Actually, maybe the greatest supermarket period.
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Did you notice the article got the name of the location wrong?


    East Norrington, Pennsylvania”

    It should be East Norriton.

    I was at Capone’s last Wednesday for his annual Goose Island BCBS event (plus other good beers – I ordered a pint of Pliny the Elder).

    Matt is indeed a great person and great beer guy. I would encourage more folks to visit the beer store associated with the Capone’s restaurant/bar. A visit to drink some draft beer and eat some good food with a follow up to the bottle shop to buy some beers to take home is a perfect trifecta!

    Cheers to a trifecta!
  18. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (6,566) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
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    I can vouch for Bottleworks and Belmont Station.
  19. OffTrail

    OffTrail Initiate (98) Aug 12, 2012 Washington

    I live four miles from Ben's Bottle Shop, named the #1 shop in California & Pacific Northwest. I'm surprised by this ranking. It is a nice shop, but the size and selection stocked are not that notable. I don't advise anyone to make a special trip. I don't make special trips, and I live ten minutes away. This just goes to confirm that such lists are usually ridiculous.
  20. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (646) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Agree. The Beer Hub is a nice social experience for sure. But while their minimal stock is nice for weekly changeover and getting "freshies", there may be times when I strike out finding anything that catches my fancy.
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  21. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (646) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    To include Yankee Spirits over a place like Julio's got a "huh?" from me. Julio's has some great service from my experience, plus they have the absolute best grand tastings of wine, beer and whiskey that I've encountered.
  22. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Defender (649) Apr 9, 2015 California

    No way in hell i would ever drive to costa mesa just for beer from los angeles. idgaf what beer they have in a basket or what russian river beer is on tap.
    only stuff i ever really hear about winsor is that they get cantillon stuff
    i have 0 interest in those beers , but kudos to them for being a Homebrew supply shop.
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  23. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (3,054) Dec 1, 2010 New Jersey
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    Interesting list and was surprised to find I’d been to 7 of these spots. NYC has a lot of good locations but they missed what’s probably the best one, where multiple Cantillon bottles were sitting next to the register just a few weeks back…

    Also the bevie in Winooski has to be on this list right?
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  24. Giantspace

    Giantspace Meyvn (1,049) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    State line in MD could be on this list. They do great tastings, have great sales and a good selection. First time I was there I walked around a bit and left empty handed. I was overwhelmed by the Belgian section. I don’t get bear here often so I have not been here in years, I do check their site once in a bit for tastings, sales and growler board.

    Capones is good too but if you are in Philly on a visit it’s not really close and in my mind not worth the drive. Maybe if you want to have a decent, not great meal and a few good to great beers before you check out the shop. Even then I would stay downtown and eat better food and drink good to great beer while not having an hour drive both ways.

    I’m sure all these spots are good. Are they go out of your way great? I don’t know. Can’t say I would go out of my way for any beer shop. I did go 20 minutes to get to a shop outside Columbus. It was nice , had singles of almost everything and lots of locals I had not seen elsewhere but again it was not too different than any other larger shop. What’s the cost at these “great” shops? You can have the best selection of everything but what are you charging. I see many places when I travel that have beer I don’t know much about and no idea if a $20 bottle is a good price. For me I’m ok getting very good local “shelf beer” at a nice price at the grocery store over expensive limited beers that are just good from the bottle shop.

    Probably does not rank but the beer spot I remember most is the Woodmans just outside Milwaukee. Awesome prices huge selection and the grocery section is worth a stop just to check out the size of this place.

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  25. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,866) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    I don't think it's ranked within region, but rather a crappy attempt at alphabetical sequence.
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  26. shigg85

    shigg85 Poo-Bah (2,429) Jan 31, 2012 Japan
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    Half Time is heaven on Earth
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  27. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    The Mamaroneck location is not as good as it used to be in my eyes… but perhaps someone would consider the addition of Decadent brewing at the location a significant plus. I have no idea if the Poughkeepsie location has changed over time.
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  28. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I guess that location will remain a secret whatever it is. NYC is usually well represented in beer lists (as it was in this case) because of the industry professionals (particularly writers) located in or near it.
    #28 zid, Nov 29, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  29. rolltide8425

    rolltide8425 Meyvn (1,321) Feb 18, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Been to 3 of them, Capone's, Top Hops, and Carmine St, all deserving.
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  30. Providence

    Providence Champion (829) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    The Providence spot they mention (Bottles) is not that great when compared to High Spirits and Nikki’s. I found the article’s description funny. It describes Bottles as “small” when it’s literally one the bigger liquor stores in Providence proper. Most liquor stores in the city are much smaller.
  31. Uberdachen

    Uberdachen Initiate (42) Jun 21, 2019 Minnesota

    I’m pretty sure it just opened within the past few months. Maybe six, I’ve been bad at time since the pandemic. I am a bit surprised for that to be the choice, but despite that if you’re not on it I recommend subscribing to their weekly roundup of new releases across the state (regardless of whether their store carries it).
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  32. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Poo-Bah (1,609) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota

    Cool. Thanks man.
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  33. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Disciple (340) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Hate to be a downer, but that R&L Liquors entry is certainly dated. Their main craft beer enthusiast, Tom, is no longer there and the craft beer selection there has gone way down since. I was there on Black Friday and casually asked if they had gotten any Bourbon County and they hadn't heard of it.
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  34. RJD422

    RJD422 Initiate (153) Aug 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Will definitely check out Capone's as it is only 14 miles from me.
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  35. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Poo-Bah (1,943) Oct 17, 2012 Texas
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    Love Stein's! Great food, too!
  36. VABA

    VABA Poo-Bah (6,326) Aug 8, 2015 Virginia

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  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Lots of good beers on tap today (11/29/22). From today's e-mail:

    We Gladly Fill Growlers Too

    Currently On Draft

    2015 DOGFISH HEAD - 120


    "Our website"


    Later today I will be meeting a friend who is up visiting from Florida for a walk at the Norristown Farm Park and then afterwards stop over to Capone's for a couple of beers.

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  38. o29

    o29 Devotee (462) Sep 29, 2020 Texas
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    That tap list...

  39. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Crusader (719) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    I think the closest I've been to any of these places is Steins for work when I'm in NOLA... walked close to it went I hit Urban South... never went, though. Much sadness.
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  40. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (3,054) Dec 1, 2010 New Jersey
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    probably gone by now but shoot me a dm if you’re curious. I was going to put it out there when I ran into them recently but decided against it as I didn’t want to encourage the hoarders/resellers/ransomers.
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