Before I even saw the signs on the beer coolers, I turned to my friend and said, "This is like beer heaven," and it truly is. An enormous selection of singles that a beer lover like me (who attempts to try one of everything) goes mad over. Thinking of this place brings a smile to my face.
Rerate: They’ve gotten rid of a whole row of coolers after remodeling a couple years ago and have half the selection. Hardly any singles and barely a better selection than Acme. Staff hides behind the checkout counter and seems uninterested. Absolutely no reason to go here when 101 Bottles is a couple blocks away...
Parking is a problem. I’ve only ever been there to pick up singles, and that aisle is a very cramped, high traffic area, sometimes with boxes of wine on the floor and not very well lit. In the ten times I may have been there, the staff hasn’t approached me once to say hello or ask if I need help.
Was told that I needed to make a $10 purchase in order for them to accept mastercard. This is not allowed by mastercard. After telling the owner this, I was threatened: “You better leave while you still have legs.” Needless to say, I won’t be back.
They used to have a decent selection of craft beer in bottles, but that has diminished over the years. The tap handles are okay, but I do not feel they are the best in Kent. They often have a lot of the same beers on draft, regulars seem to be Flying Dog Gonzo, New Holland Dragon’s Milk, etc. I understand that if you have a proven winner it can be a good idea to stick with it, but I would change it up a lot more than they do. I like to go into a bar that has different beers on draft every week. I have not had any issues with the staff, as they seem to be very attentive and friendly. The owner can be nice to some people, but he seems to exhibit disdain for college students. I guess when you operate a business in a college town, it makes sense to alienate your biggest customer base. The outside patio is nice, except for when the trains rumble by and cause you to delay your conversation for several minutes.
OK, this is how it went down.
I started to home brew with some buddies and the owner of Abruzzo’s (home brew store) told us that we should stop into Riverside because of their unique selection on tap with decent quantity samples for a buck. So, we stopped in and tried several beers that I never knew existed. One in particular, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Flemish red sour ale was the first one I tried. My friend loved it, but to be honest, I wasn’t entirely excited about it. A few weeks later, we stopped in and I tried it again and I started to love it. I went back the very next week to have more, but the keg was dry. I asked the guy working if they sold it in bottles and the answer was no. I emailed the owner to see if he could get it and he said it wasn’t available. I looked everywhere around town and online and found it on NJ & CA, but the shipping was $15 + the beer. About five days after the email to Riverside on a Friday, the owner emailed me again and said that he asked his distributor again and that yes, it was available and he ordered it and it would arrive that day. I showed up around 7:PM and purchased it from the owner, who let me know that they will continue to have it available. $4.99 a bottle is crazy I know, but I got four of them and I love it.
How is that for service! Thanks!
I like beer stores where i can drink great beer while i shop for beer. Had a goose island imperial brown goose while I browsed the beer. Small selection bottle count wise than 101 bottles, but they had a couple gems here. Ended up purchasing 4 bombers here, two of which were on my want list. (alesmith yulesmith summer and otter creek imperial IPA). Was pleasantly surprised by the variety of beers on tap. They had gonzo porter, imperial brown goose, south tier hop harvest, plus about 10 other craft beers! Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.
MrBunn (91) The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania | March 16, 2009
This is a very nice-looking beer/wine store with excellent service, nice taps for samples or pints and a slightly better than ho-hum selection. The singles selection is limited and everything is in coolers, but this is still a worthy stop if you’re in the area. Prices on most things were a little more than at 101 Beers on the Wall, but then there were a few better prices here and there.
(Visited 03/2008): Riverside Wines & Imports is an appropriately named shop/bar on Mantua near Kent State campus just a short way from I-76. There is a small private lot in front.
The interior is segmented into a bar, aisles with beer/wine/food, and a dining area. There is also a large patio overlooking a river and train tracks. The inside has large windows facing the street and the walls are painted with a vineyard feel. The bar is to the left and is pretty small but comfortable.
Riverside has 14 beers on draught, featuring goodies such as Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S The Crusher, Gonzo, Southern Tier, Dragon’s Milk, Founders, Corsendonk and others. They also have around 400 bottled beers, many in singles from the likes of Stone, Bell’s, GLBC, and Hoppin’ Frog domestically, as well as imports from Belgium, Germany, the UK etc. A very thorough selection all around.
Service here is great. The owner was the bartender/cashier/waiter on my Saturday afternoon visit and took pains to learn everyone’s names and provide good service. He knew the beers pretty well too.
I did not try any food on this visit.
All in all this place is highly recommended for anyone in the Akron/Canton area. People who denounce a place with a great bottle selection and well thought-out draught list plus a friendly owner based on a snobby perception should be careful what they call the kettle. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
This is roughly on part with 101 Bottles. The only difference is that here you are just as likely to find something worth trying on tap as well as bottled. Last time I stopped in there were a handful of Christmas beers and Bell’s Expedition Stout.
Prices are comparable to other stores in the area. Selection can sometimes be hit or miss if you are looking for Alesmith or Stone releases though they usually have the regular stable.
If you are making a stop at 101 Bottles this is on the way back to Cleveland so you may as well visit. You are unlikely to regret it unless you have an empty wallet.
I live in Canton and they have about the best selection that I could find in the area. I also like the fact that you can try a lot of the beers on site before you buy a 6/12 for home. The food selection is somewhat limited, just cheese, crackers and the like.
The owner was very helpful and will actually order just about anything you might want if it’s not in stock.