Twin Cities Best Bottle Shops

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by THANAT0PSIS, Oct 16, 2012.

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  1. hood17

    hood17 Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2011 Minnesota

    This made me laugh. But, as a sweaty, bearded 20 something hipster, I love me some Blue Door.
    Revenant likes this.
  2. Revenant

    Revenant Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    I love this place too, including the hipsters. I just wish they would let me in the damn joint on a Friday night.
  3. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    They're opening a second location in Minneapolis in the near future. Hopefully that will alleviate some of the overcrowding at the original location.
  4. Coveralls

    Coveralls Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2008 Minnesota

    In my experience, I find that the Firk is not overpriced. Can someone give me actual examples? I think it's a myth. Please prove me wrong.

    Something to consider. All the liquor stores out there with excellent craft beer selections have wine and spirits to rely on to help their profits. There is a LOT more margin in both of those items and the Firk doesn't carry any of them. I support the Firk because they are ALL about craft beer. I like that. I am not suggesting other stores aren't passionate and awesome, but I really respect what the Firk has done. It's worth a visit if you want to go to an actual Craft Beer Store and talk to actual craft beer experts including a manager who is a certified cicerone and a crew that really knows what they are doing.
    cmannes, hardy008 and evilgenius1917 like this.
  5. maximum12

    maximum12 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,500) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Just beware, really beware, of buying IPAs without bottle dating at Booze Mart. I've been burned more than once.

    The selection is great because the 'beer community' in that area isn't very big, & stuff sits on the shelves for a long time. If you want anything with hops, steer clear.
    Revenant likes this.
  6. deadbody

    deadbody Initiate (0) May 10, 2010 Minnesota

    I have found that the Firkins is on average about a buck more per 6 pack than my local muni or other stores. Not always, but pretty often.

    I understand why that is (no high margin booze) and I respect what they are doing with that, but it doesn't change the fact that they are slightly more expensive across the board. Is the other stuff worth the extra money? Thats for you to decide, I find customer service is worth the money at times, and if I lived closer to Firkins they would get most of my purchases because I like what they do.
    Coveralls likes this.
  7. pioneer13

    pioneer13 Devotee (345) Jun 9, 2007 Minnesota

    This ^^^

    I'd recommend Groveland Tap for burgers and beers too. Stumbling distance from Mac.
  8. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    If you lived by Four Firkins you would quickly realize that their prices are on par with other liquor stores in their area. France 44, and the West Calhoun MGM are both as expensive as the Four Firkins. The only store in the area that I can think of that is cheaper is the Saint Louis Park Liquor Barrel, and their selection pales in comparison to the Four Firkins.
  9. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    That whole area is trendy and the prices at these stores reflect that.

    If any of you are from the Northwest suburbs or around there I'd like to hear some input. Being from Maple Grove my spots are Princeton's and Premier in Osseo. Premier is remodeling and I look forward to the results when they finish around Thanksgiving as I tend to score my best deals there. There is a smaller store out in Hanover that carries a lot of craft beer and brew supplies. Haven't been there since they opened this past spring, but I have heard good things.
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  10. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    It is a trendy area, but I think some of the high pricing also has to due with geography. Up until a couple months ago I lived in the West Calhoun neighborhood, and found myself shopping at Four Firkins, France 44 and MGM way more than my wallet would have liked simply because it was too much of a hassle to drive around the lakes to get into the heart of Minneapolis were prices are much cheaper.
  11. Chaz

    Chaz Grand Pooh-Bah (3,532) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Maple Grove is fairly trendy as well, no? :wink:
  12. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    There's money out here, but it's a difference scene and demographic than say around St. Louis Park. Beer prices seem to be more reasonable out this way.
    Chaz likes this.
  13. boomer31

    boomer31 Zealot (748) Apr 14, 2009 Minnesota

    Couldn't agree more!
    Heritage, Zipps, Firkins, Blue Max.
    hardy008 likes this.
  14. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    I'm a Minneapolis guy, and I prefer the food at BDP to almost everything from Matt's and the Lion's Tap. Plus, I truly think the experience and food are enhanced by the quality of available beer.

    In any case, BDP is opening a Minneapolis location at 3448 42nd Ave S this fall, so it will be harder for you to dismiss as a Saint Paul thing.
  15. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    I have always had better experiences at Thomas than at Ale Jail. I find the staff at Ale Jail extremely unhelpful, and the prices most definitely higher.
  16. zeledonia

    zeledonia Pooh-Bah (1,733) Nov 23, 2008 Washington

    I guess the cat's out of the bag on Thomas. I consider it my go-to store for limited beers that sell out lickety-split at Zipps, Four Firkins, and Ale Jail. I love the place.

    Also, Zipps had Surly Wet (and Founders Harvest) as of today. I'm sure you can easily find Wet around at some of the less-traveled places (such as Skol, which is just a few blocks south of Zipps and gets much less attention from beer geeks).
  17. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    Now I'm going to let the cat out of the bag on Skol. I grabbed two bottles of The Dissident off the shelf there today, which the clerk told me they have had since last week. They still have Wet, too.
  18. ZAP

    ZAP Grand Pooh-Bah (3,902) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    i disagree that SLP Liquor Barrel Pales in comparison to FF.....SLP LB has a ton of beer....I would call it pretty close...can you site examples to back up your opinion?
  19. minnesotaryan

    minnesotaryan Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2010 Minnesota

    the singles wall at firkins for sure is better.
  20. ZAP

    ZAP Grand Pooh-Bah (3,902) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Sure..can't argue that but if a guy wants to buy bombers or six packs or 12 packs I don't see much difference except the lower price at SLP LB
  21. minnesotaryan

    minnesotaryan Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2010 Minnesota

    true story, I like both, I like lots of stores though, just not surdyks and certain MGMs
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  22. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    FF still had a larger selection of bombers, imports, and six packs than SLP LB. If you want a cheaper six or twelve pack of something common SLP LB would be the place to go in that area. If you want a wide selection Four Firkins is were it is at.
  23. surlytwinsfan

    surlytwinsfan Zealot (564) Oct 5, 2010 Oregon

    Well, I havent been there in months because I only go when someone has given me a gift certificate but the last time I was there they were asking $11.99 for a six pack of Odell IPA! WTF?? I can easily find a six pack of that at numerous stores for $9.99. That is a 20% markup! Furthermore, I have bought Odel IPA on sale for as low as $7.99.

    I'm sure if I went in there today I could give you plenty of other examples. I know, I know they have "UV lights."....not sure that justifies the markup.
  24. herman77

    herman77 Maven (1,486) Jan 24, 2010 Minnesota

    In my opinion with Four Firkins, you pay an extra dollar for their expertise/knowledge of beer, the filters on their lights, quick turnover (they won't have expired beer on the shelves) and most IPAs are refrigerated. Also, the atmosphere is awesome compared to other stores. I don't go there for everything (once or twice a month) but I do like to support them because I think they have done great things for the beer community. It's worth it to me, plus they give you a small discount if you pay in cash. They pass on what they are charged when credit cards are used.
    Coveralls, bigdaddypolite and Douggo like this.
  25. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Pooh-Bah (2,061) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    I was from out of town and Zipps was very convenient to get to when I was up there. Great selection too.
  26. cmannes

    cmannes Pundit (943) Mar 15, 2009 Minnesota

    I'm not 100% on prices, but for other options in Maple Grove.

    The Byerly's has a small section, but often has some pleasant suprises. And the MGM a little further north off 94 has a surprisingly decent selection.

    And nearby, the Golden Valley Liquor Barrel isn't bad (got some Syx there) and TC Craft Beer isn't too far SE of Maple Grove.
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  27. Revenant

    Revenant Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    You must be referring to the great Darkness Debacle of 2011.
  28. Douggo

    Douggo Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2009 Minnesota

    I'm glad to hear some folks are still hanging onto the Surdyk's anger, as I am. Hopefully, there's some measurable impact in his beer sales as a result.
    surlytwinsfan and minnesotaryan like this.
  29. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    Haven't even heard of TC Craft beer, but I've been to the other three. MGM does have a large bottle selection, seen some things there that I haven't seen in almost two months like Pumking. MGM and Byerly's prices seem to be pricier though.
  30. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    If fair prices are what you are looking for TC Craft Beer isn't the place to go. They make Four Firkins look cheap. (At least they did last time I was in which was over a year ago.) They have a really large make your own six pack section, but every single bottle is 50 cents to a dollar more than you would find it else where.
  31. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    Went there tonight to scout it out, which was maybe a 10 minute drive for me. Huge selection for make your own six pack. Prices weren't over the top but not the cheapest. Still cheaper than Firkins though like you said. Had Minnesota brews I don't normally see in my area from Badger Hill, Hoodoo, and what seemed like ever beer from Flat Earth. Ended up getting some Bell's Christmas Ale and Badger Hill beers.
  32. Buebie

    Buebie Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Do yourself a favor and stop at Harriet Brewing for a growler of Westside.
  33. copslovebeer

    copslovebeer Initiate (0) Mar 26, 2012 Minnesota

    Karlhungus>originalmnbeerguy in this argument, but Everyone knows that Kings Place in Miesville has the best burgers around. Alas, this is a beer thread so let's point this dude back in the right direction on his quest for MN nice beer.
    Ish1 likes this.
  34. Smurfsuit

    Smurfsuit Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2012

    South Lyndale Liquors is good if you're on this side of town. Otherwise, France 44 and Four Firkens will have what you need.
  35. dckepley

    dckepley Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2006 Iowa

    I've only been to Four Firkins and Blue Maxx, but coming from Iowa, I will always hit up Blue Maxx. It's the most convenient as well...and has a better selection in my opinion.

    And having burgers and beers at BDP, Matt's, and 5-8, I'll take BDP every time (mainly for the beer). After reading the thread, I can't wait to try Groveland and the Nook next.
  36. Icarus

    Icarus Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 Minnesota

    ding ding ding... you are correct sir!
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