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Good beer selection?

I really love the beer selection at Whole Foods, but I really hate the prices. Does anyone know of any place where I could find a similar amount of variety without being quite as gouged? Preferably not in the valley, but I'm willing to drive

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  1. try beverage warehouse in culver city...or bevmo

    1. I can vouch for Beverage Warehouse having a very wide selection. But the thing to remember is that there are so many beers nowadays - particularly from the US - that you will probably end up going to more than one place to find what you want, explore, etc. anyway. And since WF (particularly that El Segundo store) tends to carry some beers that I don't see at BW or other places that are convenient to me, I always end up going back. With a few exceptions, I gravitate toward the 750 ml bottles, and the depth/selection at WF is crazy big for a supermarket-type place. They will often have enough inventory of brews that are periodic releases that will last for months, where as other places will be out in less than a month.

      Setting price aside, the service at BW and the other independents is usually very good. Most of the folks there make great recs and give superb advice. That's an intangible that needs to be factored in...

      Beverage Warehouse
      4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I agree that Beverage Warehouse is a great option and that the beer selection at Whole Foods is outstanding. There was a time when I used to buy Westvleteren 12 at Whole Foods.

        Beverage Warehouse
        4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      2. Bill's Liquor on Glendale Blvd. in Atwater has a surprisingly good selection of microbrews at reasonable prices. It's not fancy inside.

        Bill's Liquor
        3150 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

        1. The beer selection at Wally's (like just about everything at Wally's) is excellent.

          1. Obviously not a huge selection, but I find the craft beers at Cost Plus World Market to be well-priced.

            2 Replies
            1. re: TracyS

              My gripe with Cost Plus is their preferred customer pricing policies and the fact that so many of their stores have lots of windows which ends up skunking a lot of their beers and wines.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                the Cost Plus in El Segundo Plaza usually stocks their beers in the back, away from the windows.
                that, of course, is no guarantee that the beer won't be skunked (after all it could get skunked by the store lighting), but it improves your odds. . . .

            2. Wally's on the westside has pretty good selection, as well as Total Wine in Chatsworth. I know you can also purchase bottles of rare beer to-go at bars like Verdugo, not sure about the policy at Surly.

              But I live on the "east side" and my go-to place is always K&L Wine. While the Hollywood store's selection somewhat pales to what they have north, if you're looking for anything specific you can always order from their massive database online and have it shipped free for pickup at the Hollywood location. Not sure to what extent you're a beer connoisseur, collector, or elitist -- but if you're determined you can get on their beer email list and become aware of whenever new stock rolls through (highly recommended for the beer cellar, not so much for the wallet). As a whole however, K&L has some of the most reasonable prices around for beer and many specialty spirits.

              The Verdugo Bar
              3408 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

              Total Wine
              394 N Moorpark Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

              1. I think it depends on what city you live in. When I lived in Burbank, the Pavilions near me had a great selection and so did Gelson's, but Gelson's are probably closer to Whole Foods than not.

                If you are ever in OC, check out Hi-time.

                1. I know its kind of old, but I just wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions. Since posting this, Beverage Warehouse has become one of my favorite places to stop.
                  Looking around I've also noticed that Whole Food's beer prices are not that out of line compared to other places which shocked me.
                  In case other people are interested in the same topic, Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights also has a great variety.

                  Beverage Warehouse
                  4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Butter Fight

                    The prices for unique and craft-type beers don't vary much, so if you've found a place that you like, that's great. I do like Beverage Warehouse as well, but the what I do find great about the well-stocked Whole Foods is the stores themselves are relatively cold, which keeps the beer temps cool, and a lot of their inventory is refrigerated, which is even better.

                    1. re: Butter Fight

                      I salute Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for letting customers purchase single bottles from a 6-pack. Some of us are still sampling, and some of us just want one beer a week.

                      1. re: Butter Fight

                        The best thing about BW is that the guys who work there really know their product. I've gotten great recommendations from them not only on beer, but also on bourbon, tequila and wine. You can tell them what you like, what you've tried, what you're in the mood to try and they will try to steer you in the right direction.

                        For example, they pointed me towards a great bottle of Eagle Rare (they bought the whole barrel from Kentucky and had it bottled, so their whole stock will taste basically the same) and they also pointed me towards a very inexpensive tequila (Lom Azul -- I'd never seen it before) that tasted very good and I use it for mixed drinks.

                        So, another vote for BW. Good people.