This is my local shop now--right around the corner from work, and a great place to shop. I find the organization somewhat difficult to navigate when hunting for new beers (esp. in the singles shelf, where it is by style rather than brewer), but the selection is great. Best of all, they post new beers on facebook and make it first come first serve--unlike some local places that hold rare beers for favorite customers, such that you never even see some beers on the shelf. Good sampling and annual backyard tasting festival, too.
Mark has done a hell of a job taking over after Adam left about a year and a half ago. Selection is outstanding. No BMC at all (you canít count PBR pounders). Has all the local bases covered, plenty of US crafts and boatlaods of imports. The selection isnít the biggest, but itís certainly one of the best in the entire metro area. The wall of singles is enormous. Staff is incredibly knowledgable with plenty of tastings to boot. Iíd put the Ale Jail easily in the top 5 beer stores in the state.
Why is it that this place has been around since at least 2007 and Iím just hearing of it now? The only reason I heard about it was that I did a random search for one of my favorite beers that was retired a few years ago, Capital Eisphyre, and saw that it was no longer retired. The distribution page said that someone had gotten it at the WTAJ, and then I heard that another beer Iíve been searching for that just came out of retirement, Odell Saboteur, would be having a special tasting there last Friday. So I was able to get the two beers that have been eluding me at the same place. Really nice beer store; the beer side has a much larger selection of beer than the wine side has of wine. The beer side has everything you want in a great beer store: large selection, hard-to-find beers, singles, AND a pretty good selection of refrigerated beers in 6 and 12 packs. For all of those qualities, Iím not sure it has an equal in the Twin Cities other than Blue Max. Firkins lacks the packaged variety and is higher priced.
Tremendous store! Huge selection, and nearly all of it is available in singles. And lots of oddball / off-the-wall beers as well. Staff was extremely helpful and knowledgable. Might be my new favorite beer store in the Twin Cities.
Fantastic selection. Amazing service as well. This has become my go to location for beer in the twin cities. The staff will go out of their way to provide the service you need. Prices are on par with the market and they offer specials often. I highly recommend shopping here
this is the best liquor store in St. Paul. Everytime I go to the cities I have three places to stop (ale jail, blue max, and the four firkins). The last time I was there I found a bottle of Mikkeller beer greek brunch weasel. Thank goodness I live 3 hours away from the cities or else I would never be able to pay my bills. The staff is great and always willing to lend a hand. Great imports as well.
Iíve been here on a couple of occasions, and have been fairly impressed. Selection is solid, and prices are comparable to many other local stores. A bit out of the way for me, so I donít make it out here very often. A very attractive employee named Mark helped me, and provided me with some excellent advice on what to get. I would recommend this store to anyone who lives in the area. Rumor has it that the beer buyer sits on ratebeer all day... Just sayiní.
Stopped in to the Ale Jail side of this store and was pleasantly surprised by both the selection and value of the beers. Many of the six packs were priced .50 cents lower than anywhere else Iíve seen. Large amount of Surly, but of course I didnít shell out the cash for that. Great Lakes, Central Waters, Furthermore, and Deschutes were all in the cooler in the back. The two side shelves of the store were loaded with imports, 750s, and bombers. Some I had never seen before in the cities. I didnít see a singles wall, but I think the store would benefit from a make your own six pack deal. Service was good, talked to who I assume was the beer buyer and he seemed to know a lot about the domestic craft selections. Overall, Iíd say this store is worth a stop, particularly if youíre looking for great value and good service and selection.