This is a small pillbox house stuffed to the rafters with wine and beer. Staff is very passionate, and when I told them it was my first visit, they looked at each other and said "He needs the beer tour." Great selection, but only within Virginia’s archaic distributor laws. Worth going out of your way to try.
No kidding that this place is tiny. Looks like somebodys house except for the open sign in the window. The place is tiny, but the beer room has high density. You won’t find any whales here, but the owner clearly has good taste. Picked up some Maine beer co when i was there. Not sure it deserves a 99, but they get an "a" for effort.
It looks like a house by the side of the road, It is a house by the side of the road. I thought I’d typed the wrong address into the GPS, but it’s got a sign out front and everything. As you enter the beer room is on the left, the counter is on the right, and the wine room is in the back. Despite the relative coziness of the space, the clerk behind the counter still took the time to give us a tour. I liked that everything was available for individual purchase and if you’re holidaying in the area it’s pretty solid.
Braudog (901) Yorktown, Virginia | July 29, 2006| Updated July 16, 2011
Finally visited late July 2006. Driving up to this place, you’ll say no way. But inside this little hut is a wonderful lineup of hard to find beers, not to mention an impressive selection of wine. The owners are down to earth folks who really are welcoming. This is a DEFINITE topper on the Hampton Roads list. Later update .... no question, Bon Vivant is the best retail location in southern Virginia and could hold it’s own with the finer retailers in the country. Mike and company simply provide a stellar lineup of incredible singles that sometimes can be found nowhere else, and at the least all the greats can be found here. Worth a 2-hour detour at least.
From the outside it looks small, but they pack a lot merch in the house. I’d say the ratio is 35%/65% beer to wine. The staff was friendly and seemed to be knowledgeable about the beer. They had mostly major players, with some nice locals, though I was hoping for more. It looks like they are rotating stock well, no dusty bottles. All the six packs can be broken up into pick-6, and they off a 10% discount if you get 6 or more. They had a similar deal on the wine. They also have educational beer tasting events some nights, for a very reasonable price.
Excellent, excellent place! Best selection I have seen in the entire region, GREAT people. Mike is a very nice guy, and really knows his beer. Treated a few of us newbies like we were family at The Beer Lovers Club meeting (which is a fabulous tasting the last Friday of each month, and a cool time to truly "beer geek"). Can’t say enough about this place, you just gotta GO!
TheBeerGod (109) Newport News, Virginia | January 8, 2004| Updated March 1, 2008
One word description of this place: awesome! Mike does everything he can to bring great beer into our area and definitely succeeds on all levels. This small store that could be missed if you’re not looking contains wonderful beers and fabulous service. I get 90% or more of my beer from here. A fellow Ratebeerian (bonvivant), Mike keeps up with everything here in order to get the best beers available. The last Friday of every month bring the Beer Lovers Club. Attendees usually sample 5-7 beers. Lucky folks may get to stay after for some extras. Well worth your time if you are in the area!
The first time I went to this store I passed by it. From the outside you can hardly believe it’s a top rated beer store because it is so small. But inside I was amazed by the selection. Typically I am able to find 1 or 2 beers here that have long since left the area. Overall a really good beer store.
I was down in Isle of Wight for work, and figured, what the heck, The_Beer_God always raves about this place, might as well swing by during lunch. I saw the outside of the place and was prepared for disappointment, as the entire building was smaller than most garages. Boy was I wrong. The inside was absolutely packed with a great selection of beers, thoughtfully arranged by style. Standouts that struck me were Allagash Victoria and a couple of the La Trappe beers. I left with a load of beer and a much lighter wallet. Also met Mike the owner, great guy who really knew his stuff. Can’t believe a place like this exists out in the middle of nowhere Virginia. A must stop, and well worth the occasional journey as well.
I came to Smithfield last weekend for a wedding and I did my research on this place because it had the only good selelction of beer in the general area. I heard it was small, but I had no idea how small. When I pulled up to the place it looked like a regular house with a garden out back and I thought "how is this place gonna house all that good beer?" I walked in and went into the beer room and was blown away. The staff was incredibly smart and helpful. I would definilty recommend this store to anyone in the area. Cheerz