an ok place in a sea of other good places. I did however find bottles of the Ranger Creek sour beer so i cant slam the place that bad. crowd seem pretentious and granola. Not a fan of that. prices were fair but selection seemed to be missing key elements of the central texas market.
My rating is about the beers although I do buy groceries here sometimes. This is the best place in the Austin area to buy consistently fresh beer. The beer and wine area is right next to the meat area. As a result, the ambient temperature is lower so the beers that sit at room temp will stay fresher longer. The local beers are on the endcap of the main beer cooler, so you have to look at the end to find a good selection of Texas/Austin micros. Iíve had to return beers to Whole Foods, HEB, and Wheatsville for lacking freshness. The Whip In sold me a horrible bomber of Ballast Point Dorado IPA from their cooler. Iíve had stale beer from Specs. After youíve been burned once, you never want to buy beer from these places again. Go to Central Market for beer. And start returning beer to your retailer if itís not fresh! Both the retailers and the distributors need to get the message.
A large organic and local produce supermarket, but that doesnít only mean there isnít much of a service. It also means very reasonable prices and a selection ranging from macro to local micros. And this one has very nice Texas offerings as well as some lesser available (yet not quite rare) national ones. For me, as a non local, lots of niceties to choose from. I donít complain, but it wonít be your go to shop if you live in the area, I bet.
Fairly typical grocery store ambience. If you see someone on the floor theyíre all very helpful, but some are obviously more familiar with the wine selection than the beer, since itís in the same area. Decent selection that is, as of right now, almost always growing. Steph is doing a nice job transforming this place from decent to great. There are a few things missing here that are available elsewhere which seems to be due to a lack of space, but itís always worth stopping by if youíre looking for something rare just in case. Prices are hit or miss. Some things will be cheaper here, other things will be more expensive. Local things tend to be more expensive than at other places and there are some outliers like Green Flash bombers that are way expensive, but you might save $1 or something on others. You can grab anything out of a pack and buy it individually, though prices for that vary from $2 to $5, depending on what it is and if theyíve put it in the system.
Iíve beer shopped at both the Westgate and North Lamar locations. Theyíre a great place to shop for groceries, to start with. The beer coolers are pretty sizable, and generally they have most of the beers youíll find at a Specís or other beer store in Austin. Itís rare for them to have the particularly limited-release beers, although every once in a while theyíll get in a new beer a week or so before the other beer stores - for example, Brooklyn Local 2. Prices are moderate - some good sale prices, but generally theyíre a little higher than a store like Specís. Not a bad place to go beer shopping, though not the best in town.
Way better than the average gorcery, but not up to par with a top notch bottle shop. Service is very hit and miss, but mostly miss. They also put up signs that say things like "exclusive in Austin" for new beers in town which are not always true (I had already seen the same beer at a bottle shop).
slimchill (88) Austin, Texas | June 2, 2008| Updated September 15, 2008
Pretty solid selection, a bit disorganized but comprehensive. Iíve never been helped by anyone but I assume that they have solid customer service. Nice glassware selection and great prices.
A nice store, with lots of over price hippy stuff. BUT, when it comes to the Beer selection, is very good. Lots of belgians and a nice selection of texan brews (nice to see that!) ... The prices can be high but seeing some of the beers they bring in and it being Austin, not that unreasonable... Have also have a great wine selection and some expensive good food ... went with Hans + Ans....
Overall feeling on my visit: Like others have said, Is like most other Central Market stores and being based in Austin this store gets a good selection of brews that should not disappoint any true beer lover!
This is a very nice grocery store (like a Sendikís here in WI or a Wegmanís in DC) with quite a nice beer selection. There was a good representation of TX craft beers, some other gems (like Stone, which we donít have here in WI), and quite a few imports. The selection was pretty big, but I wasnít all that interested in most of the selection...there just wasnít much that was unusual or out of the ordinary here.
I didnít try to pull singles out of six-packs at this store. I didnít see any other shoppers doing this, there werenít any empty six-pack carriers hanging around, and all the six-packs present were whole (they all had six beers in them). There werenít a lot of singles here a few 22oz bottles and half-liters which were mostly imports and this left me a bit disappointed.
The store is immaculate, had a lot of hot food ready to go in a cafe setting (I visited during lunchtime and this was very popular). Quite a nice store, but wouldnít necessarily be my first stop for craft beer shopping.