Small place but a lot of hard to find stuff especially the imports. Hit this after Binny’s and found quite a few different bottles. Some bottles seemed very expensive but most stuff less than i usually pay in PA. Parking was pretty easy too.
A fantastic place, that has to be seen to believed, but you dont have to, since they now do mail order. Incredible import selection of everything under the sun. Great selection of US micros too, but the crazy imports are where its at. You may pay a little extra for the rarites, but you wont find them elsewhere. Super friendly service, they really take care of the customer here. Added bonus, they just opened a small grocery next door...
Small store to maneuver around if it were to be really crowded however, there were only about 3-4 customers during my visit. Good quality selection, very knowledgeable and helpful staff and it was nice knowing that they are members of Ratebeer as well. A definite stop when in this area.
One of the best experiences in Beer. Great service by knowlegdable beer people. Great beer selection, and a neat store too! A must go to place in the Chicagoland area.
Crosling (70) Fort Collins, Colorado | October 4, 2008| Updated October 5, 2008
Visited during Dark Lord Day. Not often will you find a place with such a passionate staff. That’s the highlight here, not like the beer selection isn’t great, it is, but it seemed like the entire staff was passionate about fine ale. I spoke with several of them for awhile, and they visit Belgium, taste different batches of the beers they sell and are very knowledgable about everything. You get the sense that they sell every beer that is worth selling. The selection is very nice. They seem to specialize in Belgian ale and lambics in particular, but they have a lot of fine American crafts and other imports as well. I really think West Lakeview is an impressive establishment.
We had quite a shopping experience here. I don’t know that they really have 500 bottles as RB indicates, but they only carry great stuff. Reminds me of Olbutikken, though it’s a bit cuter. The service might actually be as good as Olbutikken though. Seeing that we were beer lovers and from abroad, the owner got into interesting conversations with us, offered generous advice and all her attention. She ended up going downstairs and offered me a Dark Lord of all things! And guess what? I did not even take it, is that the worst crime ever commited by a ratebeerian or not? I’m sorry, but someone would be happier than me with that bottle and I’m not into EBay. We bought not even 150$ of beer between to two of us, but were given the royal treatment. We found lots of stuff we have not seen elsewhere. I’d recommend hitting this place first and then complementing with another store when visiting Chicago, because their selection is not that expansive. Surprisingly, for such an upscale little spot, their prices are actually very good - though still expensive since they carry high-end stuff. Still very impressive and I’ve almost never had better service. She gave my girlfriend a store t-shirt (and they do look good) and was gonna give me one, but I just found one was enough.
Entering the store made me feel like I was back in Amsterdam: cramped quarters with floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with bottles. The beer is in the back on the right, with a large selection of singles. Selection here is great (almost every sought-after Cantillion, Hommage, Scharbeekse Kriek - stuff you can’t get other places in Chicago), but expect to pay some $$ if you want the rare stuff (which you should expect to do anywhere). The guys working there were eager to help, obviously wanting to pass on the world of good beer to anyone who comes in the store. Personally, the prices were a bit out of my range for frequent shopping, but if I’m going to treat myself or if I’m looking for a rarity, I’m coming back.
Stopped here after a trip to Armanetti’s, which is only a half mile or so away. If you’re going to one you should check out both while you’re in the neighborhood. By the way, both are relatively close to the Addison Brown Line subway stop. Lake View had a solid collection of imports. I picked up a good part of the Brew Dog line including their barrel aged beers. Their import stuff was pretty expensive, but noteworthy. On the domestic side I was a little disappointed, but since this was my first visit I’ll chalk it up to sampling error. Don’t get me wrong, their selection is great, but it’s getting harder and harder to find things I haven’t tried. I look forward to going back.
msante79 (342) Mount Prospect, Illinois | August 3, 2008| Updated June 7, 2010
Stopped in today with wfe and child. Greeted when I entered by person working cash register and same person asked if I needed any help with anything twice which was nice. Store is really small but have tons of rare stuff that you do not see any where else in Chicago. A lot of rare imports and belgains that I did not know what they were. Will have to do some more research before my next trip. Spent close to $80 and picked up some GI BCS, DFH WWS, DFH 120, and some other DFH and Bells Kalamazoio stout. Thought prices were reasonable and parking was easy to find especially on a sunday with a local neighborhood festa few blocks away. Wished I lived closer so I could partake in the tastings. Will definitly make a trip up in the winter once some of the new seasonals come in.