Find me the Binny's of the West (Coast)
July 23, 2014 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I moved to the Bay Area recently (San Mateo) and one of the things I've missed most from Chicago has been the amazing beer selection I was able to find at the local liquor chain Binny's. I've tried a couple of BevMo's and some smaller momandpop type places but I've yet to find a place with 4 rows of different beer plus coolers etc. which I could find in Chicago. I miss my selection! Does a place like this exist? Is there a secret bottle shop that I don't know about? Let me know where I can get my beer selection on!
posted by Carillon to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's this craft beer store in Mountain View that I remember reading a crowdfunding campaign for. Also this store a little closer to you in Menlo Park.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2014

Beer Advocate has a search tool for answering this exact question.
posted by grateful at 9:46 AM on July 23, 2014

Best answer: I've lived in both places, and the go-to place on the Peninsula is indeed Beltramo's. They've been around for a long time, the staff is very knowledgeable, and last time I was in there, they had a huge selection of beers.
posted by Atrahasis at 9:47 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Beltramo's is great...and the BevMo selection varies greatly by store. I have found that the one in Colma has the best beer selection.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:22 AM on July 23, 2014

Next time you're in San Francisco, check out Ales Unlimited.
posted by janey47 at 11:03 AM on July 23, 2014

Yes, and next time you're in the city, check out City Beer Store as well.

But you should give Bevmo another chance, too. The ones in Colma and San Francisco (Bayshore) have a biiiig beer selection including "4 rows of different beers plus coolers" - actually more like a dozen shelves plus 2-3 coolers. I think the ones in Redwood City (on El Camino) and Mountain View (on San Antonio) are pretty decent as well, though I don't go to those ones as often.

Good luck!
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:11 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to travel to Berkeley, Ledger's Liquors has an amazing beer supply. It's my go-to.
posted by ORthey at 4:49 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Draeger's on 3rd street has a pretty good selection. It's the best I can think of in the immediate area.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:04 PM on July 23, 2014

I'm afraid I don't have Binny's as a reference point - are you looking only for liquor stores? I can try to help by telling you were I find craft beers. I tend not to visit liquor stores, except for BevMo.

You can find a good selection of craft beers at Costco (membership required). According to Google maps, there's one in Foster City (1001 Metro Center Blvd) and one in Redwood City (2300 Middlefield Road). Clearance prices end in ".97", that's the time to buy! Costco is worth the membership fee IMHO, but that's a different topic.

You can also find a surprisingly decent selection of craft and local beers at Sprouts Farmer's Market grocery chain; there appears to be one in Mountain View near you (630 San Antonio Road Mountain View); and one in Sunnyvale (111 East El Camino Real). Also there's one in Fremont, don't know if that's convenient at all.

Safeway even carries craft beer now. Lunardi's has a very nice beer section. There's one near you in Belmont (1085 Alameda De Las Pulgas), and another one in Burlinggame (1825 El Camino Real); if you want to visit a really nice one in a nice shopping center, come visit the Walnut Creek Lunardi's!

Bev Mo's in Walnut Creek also have a good selection of beers IMHO.

Hope this helps; good luck!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:11 PM on July 27, 2014

craft beers at Costco

I have found this varies from store to store -- some Costcos don't carry craft beer at all (side-eyes the Fremont and San Jose/Milpitas stores). In those that do: a small-ish selection (often tilting towards local brewers), usually in the large "bomber" bottles, at quite good prices. The stock rotates pretty quickly so there's often new interesting beers to try.

(The upside of this, as joseph conrad notes, is that you can often pick up beers that they're about to rotate out at clearance prices. The down-side, as so often with Costco, is that when-it's-gone-it's-gone -- so don't dither if there's one you're on the fence about, because it might not be around long. That said, I'm waiting to see if the 24-count Sierra Nevada Beer Camp box lasts through to clearance; it intrigues me, but $36 is quite spendy.)

Lunardi's has a very nice beer section

Yes, surprisingly so -- not the huge selection you're looking for, but a very wide range for a grocery store.

Also seconding the "give BevMo another chance". The 4 BevMos near me -- Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Danville -- are pretty much exactly the "four aisles of beer plus a wall of coolers" that you describe. What you need is a big sprawly suburban strip-mall BevMo with lots of floor-space. (Also, worth getting their free ClubBev loyalty card; often prices are discounted by a buck or two for ClubBev members. Jenny's number probably works.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:40 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

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