Best beer selection in the Northampton/Amherst area. Yeah, it’s dusty and staffed by clones inured to serving the needs of troglodytic UMass students, but it is all about the craft and import selection, which is very good.
On the outskirts of Amherst, the Spirit Haus is a red shack-like building with a very good selection of beers. There are several aisles plus old fashioned glass fronted cabinets alongside the walk-in cold store. It was doing a roaring trade at 1230 on the day that Hurricane Sandy was due to hit the coast, with people stocking up on supplies.
(Visited 29 October 2012).
It has an almost ski lodge meets dive liquor store vibe which is kinda cool. The beer selection is by most any standard large. It’s a bit random but they have some pretty rare stuff by NYC standards from CA and MA. The prices are good and they have sales on old or out of season bottles. Some Port Brewing IPA bottles with dates I checked were more than 6 months old. The service was non-existent until I was checking out. If this visit was an indication there are definitely gems to be had and a plenty big selection to satisfy most anyone.
Place is a bit of a dump especially inside of the ancient "refrigerator". They have a lot of BMC though they seemed to be pushing the Sierra Nevada tonight. Lots of college kids looking for something for the weekend and not wanting to spend more than 12 seconds looking. They miss a large craft selection of local regional national and international craft. Hiding by the missing beers in six-pack holders they also sell singles. My big caveat with this place, besides all of the college kids looking for four Loko, is that a number of selections looked well past the sell by date with a few coated in dust.
A diamond in the rough. Huge selection of rare beer. Wasted selection on a college crowd. I have visited the house more since graduation and wish I had a more refined taste when it was a 5 minute walk to the Haus rather than an hour and a half drive.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I found at Spirit Haus. Well-organized store by brewer and import/domestic distinction. I like that they will break up six packs and sell singles. Service is decent - the employees won’t go out of their way to help someone without the customer asking for it, but are glad to help when asked. Perhaps this was because the store was packed on my Saturday visit. Prices aren’t too awful, and selection is the best in the Amherst/Hadley area. Decent import selection. I probably won’t be going back as this place takes a while to get to after meandering through college-town Amherst with people walking everywhere and traffic is a nightmare for such a small town.