Samís is insane. I think itís a must stop in Chicago not for its selection but its immense size. The selection is good though, as many Belgians--including Lambic--as you can get anywhere, American micros is sixers and bombers, plus the requisite selection of poorly kept imports. Thereís seriously some dusty bottles here. Stay away from the British beers. They just donít sell and are generally in poor condition. The Eastern European beers are worth avoiding as well (whatís new?). Look around and find the meads. Sometimes their is a bottle or two of Jadwiga or other Polish Mead stashed away stealthily on a bottom shelf by the weird cherry wines and such.
Decent spot in a nice location with free parking. The selection isnít as large as the bigger Binnyís stores, but they keep a nice stock of US micros and also some choice imports (more wine oriented - 1 large aisle of good beer). The people associated with the beer are knowledgable, but the overall staff is kind of aloof. Atmosphere is a typical warehouse chain feel. Prices are decent. Not the best place for beer in Chicago, but if youíre already at Goose Island, it is worth a stop.
Huge barn of a warehouse. Super busy on a Friday afternoon, amazingly so - donít people have jobs? A couple of long aisles of craft stuff from around the country. More depth in west coast brewers than most places I can get to. I had stopped for Pelican IPA as advertized here, but they had discounted it and sold out not long before so the beer guy directed me to OíFallon 5 day ... not in the same league, Iím thinking.
Stopped by after visiting Goose Island. Messy and warehouse-like. Above par selection for sure. Locals and imports nicely represented. Nabbed a cuple of Girardin Black Labels! Prices seemed about a buck higher than other places that I visited. Wandered around for at least a half hour without one person asking me if I needed any help (not that I did, itís just nice to know someone is there to help). Really nothing here that I couldnít get @ Binnyís. No mix 6 pack selection either. Worth a stop if youíre visiting GI, but really nothing to go out of your way for while in Chicago.
Stopped in here while in Chicago on business. Right across from Goose Island Brewpub. Concrete floors, warehouse-type building. 3 aisles of beer. Great US Craft selection. Not so great international selection with the exception of Belgian beer. I found some things here I canít find around Peoria at Friar Tuck, but Friar has a mix-a-six selection and Samís doesnít. Also, Friar has a great 6-pack selection, but Samís is more concentrated on single 750ml bottles of harder to find stuff. Great stop if looking for big beers.
Iím afraid this palce is no longer the Chicago institution that every visitor had to hit when in Chicago. Nevertheless, its convenient location close to the awesome Goose Island make this a logical stop. Itís a good store, but victim of the emergence of better concurrents in town. It feels impersonal and while Iíve not asked questions, I donít think Iíd have gotten the best advice. Not a must though still a classic.
just around the corner from binnyís south loop. i think the binnyís has a better selection, though i did see a few odds and ends i dont think binnyís had. at worst, this is #3 or 4 top beer store in chicago land area. good service and awesome cheese selection.
douglas88 (301) Portland , Oregon | July 22, 2008| Updated September 9, 2008
What a place! Easy parking and a huge store. Like a grocery store for alcohol. Probably over 500 beers here at least, many Belgians, a ton of American craft beers too. I saw Southern Tier, FFF, some kind of dodgy Bells, Cantillion, just a ton of stuff. Many single beers from all over. I wish I had bought more. The staff was helpful also. One of the best stores Iíve ever been to. Decent prices also.
Stopped by to buy a Dreadnaught for a trade. All out and the guy told me they are all out everywhere except maybe Lush! WRONG! Went to Binnys and found a bunch of them. This is a weaker version of the Binnyís South Loop location. Would rather get what I can at Binnyís and Archer!