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PHX: Great Selection of Beer(retail)?

Hi Hounds,

We have a friend who is celebrating a birthday, and he is a beer lover. Do you know of any retail outlets that have a nice selection of beers? I'd like to put together a basket for him.

I can always hit AJ's, but I'd like to try something new.

TIA.

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  1. It might help to know where you're located - my first thoughts are Papago Brewing (Scottsdale) and Sun Devil Liquor (Mesa). Also, do you know what types of beer your friend likes?

    1 Reply
    1. re: azhotdish

      Papago Brewing Company on Scottsdale and McDowell is great! It's a bar, but they have a fridge (similar to a convenience store) with about 150 different beers. So, you can go there try a beer or have one on tap. It's a lot of fun to try all different types a beer. They have a Mandarin Hefeweisen that is awesome. Also, you can purchase individual types of beer without buying a six pack, and it will be cold.

    2. aj's and cost plus market always have some interesting beers...

      you can get a growler at sonoran brewhouse on camelback as well..

      1. Tops Liquor in Tempe, Star Liquor and Convenience in Tempe and Bevmo! in Chandler.

        1. You'll find some interesting brews at Trader Joe's. I saw the big bottles of Chimay there just yesteday.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ajs228

            Chimay?!!?

            Papamia will love to hear that.

            1. re: mamamia

              A few different types too. It was the store on Scottsdale and FLW.

              1. re: mamamia

                and they carry them for a bit cheaper than anyone else. most of their beers are TJ brand though.

            2. I think the best, and most fun place, is Sun Devil Liquor in Mesa. They definitely have the biggest, most diverse selection. In some cases you have to blow dust off the bottles, so I'm not sure about their inventory turnover. But I'm never able to go in there without buying something I've never tried before....huge import selection by region. I haven't been in Topps for years; I think it's the same owners as Sun Devil, but I don't believe they have as big an inventory. BevMo! in Chandler is ok...nothing special, but worth stopping by if the location is convenient. Papago Brewing is also an ok choice to buy interesting single-bottle selections, but it gets pretty pricey there (however, there's no better place in town to sit and have a beer or three).

              1 Reply
              1. re: mitchgx

                Mitch - you are correct, it's the same owners as Topps, and definitely not as big of a selection of beer. They also carry the limited edition Stone brews, which makes it my top spot for beer in the Valley.

              2. The 2 things that are bad for beer are warmth and light - so avoid any places that sell it stacked on the floor, unrefridgerated - you don't know how long it's been sitting there. I like Papago as others have mentioned... buy a 6 pack of 6 different beers.

                1. I never went to Sun Devil Liquor, but Magnum at Union Hills and 7th street is great. It's a really fun place and the employees are very knowledgable and kind. They have a very large selection, a number of rare picks and the ability to buy by the bottle.

                  1. T's Liquor and Convenience at the corner of University and Dorsey in Tempe (right down the street from Four Peaks, while we're on the topic of beer) has a great selection as well. It doesn't have as much stuff as Tops, but they keep it cleaner and it's easier to find things, and overall I think it's a little cheaper. You can buy by the bottle there as well.

                    1. Cost Plus World Market surprisingly has an interesting selection of beer too. =)

                      1. The best obscure beer source I know of is Crossroads Fine Wines northwest of the 10 and 101. I have friends in the business, so I make it my business to know. Cost Plus generally has a good selection, but I don't really trust their turnover.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: themis

                          I concur with themis inre to Crossroads Fine Wines Beer Selection. Jim, the owner,
                          is nice and is very knowledgeable about " putting things into terms" anyone can
                          understand. The last time I was in there, last week, he had almost 300 different types
                          of beer, and you can make up your own 6 pack by mixing up all the bottles and not
                          having to committ yourself to a solid 6 pack of one item..experimenting is fun!

                          1. re: jonathon

                            So is Crossroads on the west side of town? I'm assuming with the 10/101 reference that it is.

                            1. re: mamamia

                              Do the 10 and the 101 intersect anywhere else? ;).

                        2. By far the best place is Magnums in North Phoenix. 7th Street and Union Hills, it boasts about 400 beers (maybe more today) and the best thing about them is they have a full bar so you can buy a few beers and drink them in their lounge. Try before you buy!

                          folks are always very knowledgeable. Also, if they don't have what you're looking for, they will special order it for you.

                          1. Most of the ones mentioned are the best selection. I would also add AJ's at 67th avenue and Beardsley has the best beer selection of all AJ's. Jonpol is very knowledgeable and has an incredible selection of difficult to find and rare beers. Papago has about 500 different bottles, all stored in a cooler and a great staff. 30 taps gives you something to do while you are picking out your beers. Magnums and Crossroads as mentioned are excellent as well. Sun Devil and Tops have the best selections. AZ Wines in Scottsdale has a pretty good selection as well.