What! I haven’t rated this place yet. Been here a couple of times. This place puts out the rare / hard to find stuff and at a pretty fair premium. Lots of stuff from all over the globe. They have a decent selection of local stuff but since I’m no longer local seeing a bigger local selection would be cool. That said I still find several local brews I need to get each visit. If you are anywhere near here you need to stop by. All in all one of the best selections I’ve seen in CA.
These guys have a bit of a stigma for importing a bunch of beer only semi-legally. Five years ago it was all the rage (on beeradvocate) to hate on people that did this. Now everyone does it, so some of the popular targets like these guys and Beverages 4 Less are just several of hundreds of stores that do this. Most likely not legal, possibly unethical, but the upside is that you have access to lots of things you’d otherwise have to travel out state or trade for. As mentioned in some other ratings the prices are out of control but I’d be willing to bet that many of the desperate beer nerds that hated on this place still frequent it.
The selection is pretty impressive. There are two rows of shelves and a row of fridges full of beer. I spotted some Tilquin Quetsche and some of the gueuze squared (for $50 lol). Also saw plenty of Cascade (half a dozen different ones), a bunch of Almanac sours, some Bruery society-only stuff, along with Mikkeller, De Molen, and Ale Apothecary. They of course have plenty of legitimate stuff too. All around a great selection but you’ll pay for it.
Place is a little less than 2 miles off the 580 in Livermore. Definitely worth stopping in if you’re traveling along that route. Huge selection including a good amount of sours and barrel aged beers from AleSmith, The Bruery, and Almanac among others. The owner was a nice guy who I enjoyed talking to. Overall the prices were not bad, though as previous posters stated, some of the rare beers are expensive. I saw a few $40 offerings. I’m glad I stopped by.
Located in a strip mall, easy to find. The store is nice, but not very well organized and there were many beers not priced. Service was excellent, I believe by the owner, he pointed out some great beers and rarities. Selection was amazing, there were lots of hard to find beers although he charges a premium for those beers. Value was great on most things but high on rare beers. Overall a great place to stop for an out-of-towner. I picked up a bunch of good, cheaper local stuff and a few spendy rarer beers. Will return if in the area.
OK, first of all, why is this place not in google maps? I had to navigate by address cause it kept wanting to take me to Pleasanton even when I said Livermore. OK, rant over. I had heard a lot about this place and was dying to check it out. Finally got the chance when I ended up that way for work and had (just) enough time for the detour. Pretty big store, but most of the space is dedicated to non-beer. The craft beer is confined to one long shelf plus a row of coolers. Things are stored pretty haphhazardly with labels not matching products and some individual bottles showing up in about six different places around the area. That being said, the selection is pretty damn impressive. Nothing too hugely whale-like, but they did have a lot of beers I havent seen on the shelves anywhere else in the bay. Picked up RR Sanctification and Damnation B69 for great prices, as well as a bunch of other stuff. Overall prices are a bit on the high side compared to say City Beer or K&L Wine Merchants, but some of their stuff is dirt cheap. I am a bit concerned with shelf aging, however. For example, they still had a couple bottles of YuleSmith SUMMER on the shelves, which can’t be too great six months later. Ditto for Port Hop-15 and its three months of aging. That aside, this is a great place, I just recommend checking best by dates, particularly for IPA’s.
My biggest issue with this place is the prices. I did a quick price check for beer I bought there to another beer store in SF, I could have saved about $5 per beer if I went into the city. That said they have a great selection of beers that I just cannot find elsewhere in the Bay Area. Further, they sometimes have out of season beers that they have purposely held on to. The staff are friendly and offer help if you want it and not if you don’t. It’s a great place if your in the area and have the cash but otherwise...
Kind of an infamous place. They do have a really nice selection, for the most part, but prices are typically high and they’ve been known to engage in some less than savory business practices. If you know what you’re getting yourself into, not a bad place. But I wouldn’t drive from the Peninsula just to go here.