I expected parking to be a royal pain because the first time I passed it on State St there was nothing to be seen. Making a u-turn in Santa Barbara isn’t easy either. When I came back a spot in the 15 minute parking area had just opened up though. Inside is your typical liquor store with stuff piled to the ceiling. This one focuses entirely on alcohol though, with out a lot of the other stuff you find in convenience stores. The beers are in the fridges on the left side of the store and in those fridges are some pretty good beers. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to find cases of Pliny or cases of Scharbeekse Kriek sitting around but they’ll have plenty of Firestone, AleSmith, Bear Republic, Green Flash, etc. I was mildly surprised to see Black Racer IPA and Racer X in the fridge as I haven’t seen them anywhere else lately. Not sure if this is a new batch or these are leftover from the last batch. I was also surprised to see bottles from Barrelhouse Brewing in Paso Robles (I didn’t even know they were bottling anything yet). Prices were a bit high and the clerk was very pleasant and asked if I needed any help. I might come back for some bottles if in the area again and looking to buy some bottles. Actually, this is probably better than the Bevmo about 150 feet to the west.
Walking in you see that almost all of the beer is in coolers--very nice. Some good offerings from CA and a few gems from out of the country.
They still had some FW anniversary left as well, but at $25 a bottle. I picked up one and left the other two for someone else.
The service was friendly, but nothing out of the ordinary. I sort of like to not be bugged in these situations, but appreciate a hello and a smile.
The only downer is that the beers are a bit on the expensive side, probably about 10%-20% higher than usual (on average). Still, you don’t have all that much choice when it comes to beer in SB.
GT (672) San Diego, California | February 17, 2012
Gas station convenience store feel. Nice selection. Almost all refrigerated with stuff like Drake’s Drakonic, FW Abacus/Sucuba, FW15, lots of bombers of the local Santa Barbara breweries that weren’t stocked at the BevMo! down the road. Worth dropping by to peruse. I picked up a few bombers of unrated local stuff.
Very good liquor selection. They also sell hookia if you want. I spoke with the owner about the selection and he siad that he had to special order everything as Santa Barbra doesn’t get any of the good stuff. A pretty solid Belgian selection, including some stuff I hadn’t seen before. A nice selection of lambics (including several fruit, several gueuze, a faro and an unblended). What was missing was a lot of the top California Micros (No Alesmith, Lost Abbey/Pizza Port or russian river). They did have a full line of Stone, Moylans, and Marin, as well as two of the telegraph beers. Pretty good for Santa Barbra. I bought a nice French Cider.
The second best store in the Santa Barbara based purely on selection, after Keg N Bottle in Isla Vista. I have a feeling more of the import stock here is fresher though. Good selection of micros that are available in the area. Not as good as any of the better stores in LA or farther south, or the Bay Area though. Pretty good Belgian selection and Nor Cal minus Russian River. Not much from SD except The Ballast Point regulars, Green Flash regulars and Stone. They do have all of the Telegraph bottles though; even stuff that the brewery might be out of like the reserve wheat. That alone might make this a must stop if passing through and looking for local stuff.
While San Roque Market may not be the motherlode of Southern California craft beers that I’d hoped to find somewhere in Santa Barbara, their selection is far better than anything else I’ve found in town.
They carry quite a decent selection of Belgian beers, and a fair number of unusual Californian microbrews as well.
The service was friendly and helpful and willing to let me split up sixpacks of some local session beers so that I could try those as well. Thanks!
Good selection of local, California & US ales, along with a large selection from Belgium. Everything is refrigerated and appeared to be stocked in styles. Some of the pricing looked a little high, but I believe this is typical for Santa Barbara (?)
Also appeared to be a good selection of liquor too but I was to busy with the beer.
As an out of towner everything was ’rare’ to me. Everything also appeared to be fresh; no dusty or cloudy bottles, clean labels etc.
Was there for a good 20 minutes trying to decide what to buy. Walked out with 12 bottles of goodness.
Would visit again if ever in the area.
erway (41) Albuquerque, New Mexico | April 7, 2007
Really nice selection of West Coast Micros but missing some key one’s like Alesmith, Lost Abbey, Russian River. Found HTF like Bison farmhouse and barleywine. Best place for beer and liquor in SB. Single Malt and Tequila selection was stellar.
Crowded liquor store that is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. Best selection in the area by a long ways carrying all the local releases from Fig Mtn, Firestone, Tapit and Telegraph among other good brews from the west coast. Prices are higher than other beer rich places, but not alarmingly high.