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$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
1399 University Avenue
phone: (510) 540-9243
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vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I must say that this establishment met all my expectations regarding being highly disorganized and also a gold mine of beer. I was lucky enough to be witness to a Pliny the Elder beer event. I entered the store at about 4:30pm on a Wednesday. I first noticed a case of Blind Pig sitting in an aisle, opened but no price tags on the bottles. I immediately knew this was a significant find, after having searching various San Fran liquor stores for Pliny/ RR and only scoring a bottle of Damnation at Whole Foods on Haight Street.
So I keep searching through the train wreck of beer selection at Ledger, and eventually find a case of Pliny which still had about 15 bottles left, w a price tag of $4.18. So I grab one bottle, mindful of the fact that my checked luggage only has so much room before I reach the 50 pound limit. Also factoring in that I enjoy my home state New Glarus beers much more that Pliny. So I know I am sitting on a gold mine, and I keep searching.
Then I start talking to an older guy in the store w his 20 something college? kid. He tells me that earlier this year he stood in line for 5 hours at a Pliny the Younger event, etc etc. I grab a second bottle as I see a frenzy developing. Meanwhile an older foreign dude that works at the place said he just put the case of Pliny out an hour ago, and that he has one more that his is shelving that day. So dude’s kid gets a hand basket and puts maybe four bottles in, after asking jefe if there is a limit on bottles. Then some other bozo comes in and swoops up the remainder of the case, which at that point was about 8. So I talk w my guy for a while longer, then head for the check out. I cashed out, then look at the glassware at the store entrance for a short time. I go to my car, and see another patron giving the stink eye to the guy who walked out w the 8 pack of Pliny. He pulls out in his Subaru, and I follow shortly afterwards. I come around the corner in the parking lot, and I am blocked in. I say WTF, then see the Pliny pig walk to the back of his vehicle holding the front headlight ensemble for his vehicle. I believe he made a wide and hasty turn, bumped into the guard rail and knocked out his head light…..
Anyway, Ledger has a ginormous selection of beer and other spirits. Be patient while you search through the shelves, and you will find something good. I did visit at 10am the next day, and the aisles were clear. I believe they stock the shelves during the day, and get interrupted by the waves of customers coming through. So it depends on what time of day that you come through. They have a dedicated parking lot also, which is a definite plus in Berkeley. There is a Trader Joe’s a couple blocks down the street, which has a decent selection of beer and their own parking lot.
01-19-2013 23:45:43 |
More by Tiburon
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | $$
Recently moved to the area and have been looking around without success for a great craft beer store. I heard about this store from a friend whose also into craft beer.
Rode my bike to check it out, and their selection is massive. Bring some spare time when you're there because you're going to have to dig. There's very little organization to the store other than most belgians are on one side of one of the aisles. Also be careful about what you buy, particularly with IPAs. They don't really rotate their stock or remove old beers (least not that I could tell). But the price tags all say when they got the beer which is nice. Prices are some of the best I've seen, and pretty reasonable with a great selection.
I wouldn't say the staff is all that knowledgeable, I asked about when/if they would be getting certain beers like Double Bastard, Darkness, or Firestone Walker Anniversary beers and they didn't know even when they were usually released let alone when they'd be getting it.
Overall best selection I've come across in the Bay Area and that includes SF. friendly staff and prices are right in line. In the area I'd highly suggest checking it out.
10-12-2012 20:51:40 |
More by CommanderOfAwesome
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
A fairly run-of-the-mill liquor store that just happens to have an amazing, if extremely disorganized, beer selection. There is an aisle of imports and a couple of islands of domestics, with a good selection of regionals and locals, but a scattering of good East Coast offerings (Including some oddballs that are hard to find out West, such as Victory's Otto). Did I mention that it was disorganized? Because it is - take some time and pick through the selection carefully because there are treasures back in there somewhere. I didn't speak with the staff, but I overheard some conversations with customers that suggested they are friendly and knowledgeable and love beer themselves.
01-08-2012 01:14:14 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
visited on December 23. Pretty non-descript look from the outside, but what a joy on the inside. Two aisles of beer seemingly randomly dispersed. It would easy to spend at least an hour digging through the inventory, but the 20 minutes I had was very enjoyable. Very high quality selections from Russian River, Alesmith, Belgians, etc. Some selections were a bit dusty, which in a way is a good thing (you know it might be a little old rather than trying to guess among dusted bottles). Prices were reasonable. A very solid east Bay bottle shop.
12-24-2011 01:35:42 |
More by coldriver
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Unlike any liquor store I've ever been to; it's like your grandfather's basement with stuff filling every possible space, leaving just enough room for mobility. But imagine that the stuff was booze.
Fine selection of brews from all over the world and some excellent local stuff. They've get tons of RR, some FW, the Bruery, Alesmith, etc. They also had SA Infinium which I had never seen in person. Great selection of glassware as well.
It's a lot like a great used clothing store where most of the stuff is actually pretty good but you've got to dig through a lot of it to find the gems.
Some folks have mentioned the mold in the coolers, and I noticed it too. Don't know what's going on with it, but luckily it didn't affect anything I bought or wanted anyways.
Glad I stopped in while staying in Berkeley. Will def be go to when back in the area.
12-20-2011 03:57:50 |
More by Heavenisbeer
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Worth your time if you're around Berkeley and need some beer.
Impressive selection of Belgians for sure. Tons of stuff from Witkap to Petrus to Chouffe to a few I didn't even know. Prices are decent and stuff can be scattered which is kind of bad if you are in a rush but great if you're looking to do a little beer hunting and see what's around.
Good selection of craft stuff; definitely didn't recognize some bottles on the shelf and was unfortunately on foot so couldn't buy too much. Great selection of beer glasses too if you're looking to build a beer den. Prices are about on par, if not a dollar better, than most other places.
Service was good; received a greeting upon entering and I think I was helped by the one guy who knows where every beer in the store is. Recommended if you're in the area or considering "quality of earest liquor store" while apartment hunting.
10-06-2011 06:13:51 |
More by TheStove
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Looks like any other liquor store on the outside but is a treasure trove of cool finds when you enter.
This quickly becoming my go to place in the Berkeley area. The selection is diverse and huge. No matter what mood you are in you will find something to suit you here. The shelved beer isles are the place to seek new beers. They have an incredible selection of crafts, Belgians, and Uk beers. I am especially fond of the English ales they have on the shelves. They always have something new in the coolers. I did notice some dust covered beers on the bottom shelves which could be rotated. The prices are average. I don't find the staff to be as paranoiac as some of the other reviewers have. Young looking people are treated with a certain level of suspicion at any place that sells liquor. Once you show your ID you are fine. Cool place that also gives away free beer newspapers and magazines.
08-28-2011 06:16:00 |
More by BerkeleyBeerMan
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
This is by far one of the wildest corner stores I've ever stumbled upon. Any review on Yelp will immediately tell you that it's a messy yet incredibly overwhelming place to buy drinks, and they're not kidding. Ledger's Liquors has no isles, but rather crates of different beers stacked over each other in the middle of room to create passageways. However, this messy vibe only enhances the charm of this store. In fact, I wouldn't dare come close to criticizing this store for anything due to them holding by the far the most diverse, colorful and well stocked collection of beers that I've seen yet. Any corner store with a Samuel Adams' Utopia for sale seems worth a shot!
There's a lot of amazing beers to choose here, that's for sure. However, a lot of light enters this store and it concerns me when that does for the beers that are always sitting out in the open. Their coolers are nice and dark to maintain beer quality, although I did find a bottle of Scaldis Prestige inside one of them that was covered with mold... haven't seen that before, and hope that is taken care of by now. Despite that, the staff is very helpful, and they especially know their glassware and aged ales - the most helpful combination of knowledge, if you ask me!
Its funky vibe is part of its fun, and with the ridiculous selection of beverages, how could I not return? Overall, a great corner filled with good prices!
07-20-2011 08:30:47 |
More by magictacosinus
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I visit this place every time I visit friends in Berkeley.
The store is a nondescript front on University, and the inside pretty much bottles, bottles, bottles. The selection includes all of the Bay Area favorites: RR, 21st Amendment, Lagunitas, Moylan's, et al. as well as many other California brews. Beyond this, they have fun stuff like Jolly Pumpkin and a slew of other domestics. Their foreign collection is pretty good as well. However, I am curious about how long some of the bottles have been there on the floor.
The staff has been friendly, unlike some notes of the previous posters who have claimed a paranoid response from whoever is working. Their prices for PtE, for example, are the best I have ever found. The rest of their pricing is very reasonable.
I will always stop by here when in the area.
07-02-2011 18:42:58 |
More by eyeenjoybeer
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
All in all this is the best beer and liquor store in the East Bay. Ed and his staff have made a great name for themselves here. Dont let the initial clutter get to you. Often it is only when new stock comes in. There is often older stock that is no longer available anywhere else that is fair market price. The beer selection is spectacular. Lots of craft brews, supports Russian River huge! Always the freshest Pliny and Blind Pig. And where else can you get a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue for $139??? This is the only store I go to for beer
05-05-2011 22:35:06 |
More by NorCalgrowler
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Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA