Bet Craft Beer Bottle Shop in SD???
Looking for the Best Craft Beer Bottle Shop in SD. Besides BevMo what is there?
The various BevMos are different in terms of inventory, each store can order their own stuff. The BevMo in Solana Beach is better than the others, their beer buyer is a serious beer geek.
Whole Foods Hillcrest's beer buyer is also a serious beer geek, and their selection is very good for speciality releases.
Pacific Liquor at El Cajon and 30th has quite a large selection, surprisingly so.
Super Jr. Market downtown, which also goes by the moniker "The Best Damn Beer Shop" has a good selection.
South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach has a great selection, too.
I've heard good things about K&B Wine Cellars in Del Cerro, and last but not least, Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, and Pizza Port's bottle shop in Carlsbad both have awesome selections.
"The various BevMos are different in terms of inventory, each store can order their own stuff. The BevMo in Solana Beach is better than the others, their beer buyer is a serious beer geek."
I noticed that. I don't think I was in there a minute before one of their employees (could have been him) was recommending three or four beers based on my preferences. I've had pretty good experiences with all of the stores I've visited, though. They may be the big boys on the block, but they don't act like it.
Perhaps it was just timing, but when I visited the Pizza Port bottle shop last summer, I was not that impressed. They had a few things you wouldn't see elsewhere, but other than that it seemed a bit lite. It was a week before the real ale festival, however, so maybe things were being geared up for that.
Without regards to price or customer service but just in terms of best selection:
Beverages 4 Less on Mission Gorge Road in Santee, Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, South Bay Drugs in IB and Pizza Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad.
Olive Tree Market in Ocean Beach, Whole Foods in Hillcrest and K&B in Del Cerro all have good beer and are more central than the above places. Windmill Farms next door to K&B stocks some bottles of Alpine which can be difficult to find as well.
I vote for Olive Tree for hands down best Customer Service and a great selection. They are the only other one that carries Alpine. Port Bottle shop is also really good but the hours are sketchy (its a beach shop).
Stephen is no longer at the Solana Beach BevMo but moved back to La Jolla. That store (and the Solana Beach store) is pretty small though.
Beverages 4 Less has an outstanding selection, probably the best of all SD stores. He also has the best prices on Alpine beers. There are a couple of things that outweigh it though:
A) When the owner sees you buying craft beer you will immediately feel like you are in some bad cliche with a used car salesmen
B) The store isn't air conditioned and a lot of the beers have been there a long time, so I would have reservations buying anything you know may not be fresh.
I actually like talking to the owner there, although your complaint about his salesmanship is not uncommon. He is not there after 4, so it can easily be planned around if it bothers you.
That is a good point about the AC but I usually try to get my IPAs out of the cooler anyway. Maybe I should pick up some of the last batch of Angels Share since it could have carbonated being in the heat...
Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido has a great selection. Also with a decent selection is Baron's Marketplace in Rancho Bernardo. They sell a lot of local crafts like Stone, Lost Abbey, Alesmith, etc in addition to crafts outside of SD.
Distiller's Outlet on Poway Road (across the street from North Park Produce, next to Michael's and the new 99 Cent Store). I've never had the opportunity to give this place a shout-out before, but we never go to Bev-Mo anymore after discovering this gem.