Though smaller than Oliver’s (their sister store), Westmere is just as good. They’ve remodeled quite a few times over the last year or two and are constantly expanding.
There’s two main walk-in coolers. On the left side is all the macros with a lot of singles and 40oz. On the right side is the craft beer cooler. Mostly 6 and 12 packs, with various bombers.
There’s a growler station with about 10 taps. They offer 16, 32 and 64oz pours. Selection changes almost daily.
I recommend the seasonal shelf right across from the counter. Probably the freshest beer in the store.
There’s a secret clearance rack behind the seasonal selection. I’ve found bombers for as little as $2 here! Other 12oz bottles and cans go for as little as 49 cents! It’s usually expired stuff, though (or stuff though to be expired).
Absolutely fantastic selection of Belgian and German beer. A huge cider selection as well. Plenty of American breweries all sorted by state. They offer a "mix a six" discount where you get $3 off. They will let you take a single out of ANY box in the store. I’ve literally opened mix packs and cases just to get one bottle or can and they didn’t care.
Staff is a bunch of great guys. All very friendly and they definitely know their beer. Jeremy and Jeff are the managers and will help you out no problem.
Almost forgot: best empties return system anywhere. Just bring your empties to the back and drop them on the floor or in a cart and when you check out tell them how many empties you had and they’ll credit the refund towards your purchase. I’ve never once been second guessed on my empties.
Love the new selections in on a weekly basis. The $3 off on a mixed 6 pack is great and the selection of beers available is certainly the best in the Albany area. The staff has been incredibly helpful every time I’ve been in and they have made a huge effort to track down craft beer selections that are usually unavailable to this part of the country.
Great place for kegs. Jeremy (manager) is always willing to work with you to help you get in the keg you want, and at a reasonable cost. Will usually price match if you find something cheaper elsewhere. Definitely worth a stop.
Ambiance? It’s a beverage center, I just want a good selection and good service and these guys deliver. There’s a nice selection of beers here and the staff is very knowledgeable.
oteyj (14) New Hampshire | May 25, 2009| Updated July 25, 2010
A most excellent beer garden right off the highway in Albany. Selection is actually quite good; all brews are separated by region brewed, making it easy for me to make a beeline to the Belgian quad section, or the west coast hop-bomb area. Righteous. Staff is knowledgeable and kind. I even scored a couple free glasses. Theres some real gems here if you look hard enough.
Beer pit stop number 2 on my way back to Vermont from PA (visiting parents). Looked it up on ratebeer, seemed like a good stop. Pulled up to the store and thought it looked like a drug drop. OK, do I go in? I did and was quite impressed with their selection, holy crap! Talk about not judging a book by it’s cover, Night Shift Whirlpool and Santilli, Burial (NC), Kent Falls (CT) plus some up and coming NY brewers that I didn’t know of but got to talking with one of the sales guys and he talked about them and gave me some free samples of these up and coming brewers. So service is definitely up there. Value seemed reasonable for the Albany area. Plus, their mix-a-six packs they take $3 off. I know where I’m stopping at in Albany next time I’m there. Just ignore the outside and you all will be fine.
Just happened to go into this store to buy a couple of bags of ice and perhaps some session beer- and what a find! At least three long aisles full of craft beer. Tons of 22’s, six packs, a huge belgian and import aisle. You can buy singles of anything they have in 12 oz bottles. They had some stuff there than I haven’t seen anywhere else in quite a while: Captain Lawrence Nor’Easter, Xtra Gold (2006), as well as their Dubbel. Some heavyweight also on the shelves. Ambiance is typical beverage distributor warehouse. Staff knowledge and service was adequate to above average. I would definitely recommend this store to anyone traveling through Albany. the only con I noticed is that some of the bottles are quite dusty and may be past their prime, especially IPA’s. I should note that this is the sister store of Oliver’s (brew crew).
Another solid beer stop. Almost mind-boggling, largely because the store is a little disorganized. I love the flat $3 off a mixed six pack, that really works for me. Lots of selection in both imports and regional micros. I thought the national micro selection was a little thin, but I’m okay with that. This is where I’ll be stopping on my trips to the Adirondacks.
Visited in February 2010: A beer Mecca in Albany. Great selection of beers from across the world. Deep selection with broad choices from many breweries. Great place to find many lambics, a tough find in upstate. Prices were reasonable and the service was great, I think I was approached 3 times in about 30 minutes to make sure that I was finding everything.
Nice place not too far from the airport. Good selection of American stuff, like Firestone Walker and Sixpoint, good foreign stuff and just okay on the Belgians, but the guy behind the counter knew his business and threw in a free glass on just a $60 purchase. Definitely worth the stop.