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Central Market - North Lamar
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
4001 N Lamar Blvd
phone: (512) 206-1000
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Reviews by kbub6f:
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Central Market North has an excellent beer selection (micros and imports). Most of it is available as singles, though sometimes you have to hunt through the mixed up "miscellaneous 12oz singles" section at the far end of the refrigerated aisle. I've heard that some locations of CM don't let you break sixes. I've broken sixes and paid for them at this location without hassle, but I don't know their official stand on it, so you might want to be discreet.
CM North is my second-most visited beer store in Austin (I probably go there once every two months). On any given day, I'd say the selection is almost as good as Grapevine. In fact, once or twice, I think I've found a seasonal at CM after Grapevine had sold out.
I have not had many encounters with the staff. The few times I've asked questions, they seem to be a little out of their element. (Anecdote: they recently had the Avery Ten, but not the White Rascal. When I asked about it, the guy said he didn't know anything about WR. When I said Central Market San Antonio had it, he said: "oh yeah, that's right, I think we're getting some in... check next week". I bought it at Grapevine the next day).
For me, Central Market gets the vote for "Best place to buy beer when you need fresh produce too". An excellent store.
(Footnote: the parking lot tends to get crazy, especially on weekends when the seniors from small-town Texas show up in their tour buses).
09-08-2003 20:42:52 |
More by kbub6f
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
Between Central Market and Whole Foods Austin grocery shoppers have everything they need in one place! This place has a fairly decent selection which I would say is fantastic by Texas standards—certainly leaps and bounds above the regular HEBs I’ve visited, with half the selection devoted to micros and the other half to imports. There’s also a cooler at the end of the section with Texas-only brews, predominately from the Austin-area. I picked up some Jester King goodies here off the shelf, even. Best part about my whole visit, tho, was the ‘beer guy’ working the day I was there—super friendly, helpful, and as eager to suggest beers as I was to talk about them.
03-31-2013 07:11:17 |
More by elNopalero
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Another good place in Austin to get craft beers.
As for atmosphere, it's in a grocery store, I prefer a quite place where I can chose my beer patiently, but what can I expect. Was surprised to see the amount of beer available especially 22oz bombers. Most grocery stores seem to stock up heavily on 4 and 6-packs with only a few big bottles. Prices I thought were also very fair, especially on a recent release, Life & Limb. They were only charging $8.99 when I have seen it going as high as $12.99 elsewhere.
Overall experience I felt was better than Whole Foods downtown, and will be going here again in the near future.
09-17-2011 23:00:20 |
More by tjkinate
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Not too far from the Draught House is this central market. They have a very good beer selection, there are other places in Austin that have better selections, but for a grocery store it is very good. This specific location has a better selection then the south store. The problem with Central Markets in general is that they some what over charge for their products. I've noticed HEB brand products at Central Market before and they were more expensive then they were at HEB (HEB owns Central Market). Their beer has the same issue. A lot of times they have beers that other places sell and they are slightly more expensive. The nice thing about Central Markets is that every now and then they have a sell on beer. I believe it's 25% off of $25 or more in beer, 15% off of $25-15 and 10% of $15-10. I don't normally shop there for beer, unless I'm leaving the Draught House and I know they have something I want and I know it's the same price elsewhere.
07-22-2011 21:03:50 |
More by jamescain
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Well I stopped in because of a tip from a few fellow BA's and I have to say I wasn't at all disappointed. They had a great selection although some of the areas seemed really disorganized but I could still easily find everything I wanted.
The staff seemed to do their best to avoid me which was kinda annoying but when someone finally talked to me he seemed like he knew his stuff.
Central markets prices were also pretty competitive and I found some stuff that was long gone from the other stores and aside from most of the staff trying to dodge me it was a pretty good experience, if I'm downtown and wanting to pick up some beer this will be my first stop.
Note: I like that the beer is right next to the cheese section, makes it super easy to grab a beer and pair it with some cheese.
01-26-2011 04:08:32 |
More by Fenris244
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
one of the best beer spots to hit in Austin. much better selection and sometimes price than any Specs or other grocery store in the area.
during my last short trip there, the 'beer guy' was walking around and helped two other people make their selections. i didn't need any help, but he was there anyway, and he kept a good distance once i told him i didn't need help. this is a big plus, as i have been literally followed or watched by (i can only assume bored) beer managers before. from what i overheard, however, he was very helpful to the other customers and knew what he was talking about.
selection is one of the best in town. they have a ton of seasonals (even some that Whip In didn't have). i saw no bud, miller, or coors, which was somewhat surprising. there were a few beers there that i haven't seen anywhere else in town like DFH Fort and a full line up of Stone. they even have a Texas beers section at the front, which i like, because i like to support local breweries. this is where they keep the Saint Arnold, Shiner, Real Ale, Independence, and a few others.
prices are average, and they have a mix six option for a flat $1.99 a beer, which is an overcharge for some beers in my opinion (my girl loves drifter pale ale and wanderlust cream ale), is quite a deal for other beers like Stone and DFH. i guess it all evens out at the register, though.
01-30-2010 15:59:09 |
More by vdread
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
the central market beer section is divided into two coolers. one for six packs and one for individual bottles. there is also a small section of 12 oz bottles at the front.
good quality of beers. nothing you couldnt find at most stores but still impressive for a super market.
ive only encountered a beer guy once out of the many times ive been but the store is so huge i didnt really expect anything else.
pretty big selection. only problem is all the new, limited beers fly away because they put all of them on the shelves. nice rotation of seasonals and new beers.
the section in the front is usually where i lurk theres usually a few good bottles for 1.99 a piece. its definately worth checking out.
11-24-2009 23:32:53 |
More by northaustin
quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The review below this one states: "The place reminded me of a less flashy Whole Foods with a slightly smaller selection." And that surprises me, because I went to both a Whole Foods (the one across from North By Northwest Brewpub) and this Central Market, and Central Market had a markedly superior selection. Lots of good options from DFH, Stone, New Belgium, Bear Republic, Unibroue, Great Divide, etc. etc. Where the Whole Foods only had one or two options from most of those breweries, Central Market had four, five, six or more. There is another WF south on Lamar which I didn't make it to. No idea if it's much better than the one off Capitol of Texas Highway.
In addition to a huge cooler with both singles and six packs there were quite a few beers interspersed on the wine shelves, and case displays piled up over quite a bit of real estate. And it was a nice touch to have a separate cooler section just for local brews.
There was no employee monitoring the beer area offering assistance, so I didn't have any experience with service, good or bad.
I didn't hit a lot of places in town, but the prices here seemed to be about on par for the area.
Note that this place is huge, with lots of stuff to interest a spouse who doesn't care much about beer, which is a nice plus for me.
12-09-2008 19:02:40 |
More by Bonhoeffer
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
In town for ACL, my Austinite sister-in-law & husband needed to go grocery shopping and I read about this place here.
The place reminded me of a less flashy Whole Foods with a slightly smaller selection.
The place was clean and the service was prompt. I mentioned to the clerk that I was from out of town and he suggested some beers; most I have tried but he did point out the Pine Belt 16 oz. cans. Pine Belt turned out to be an outstanding beer.
The place was affordable and average priced. If I lived in Austin I am sure I would hit this place up every couple weeks or so (as I do with Whole Foods in Columbus).
10-03-2008 20:22:13 |
More by jdoncbus
quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Central Market is a grocery store that also has a nice selection of beer and wine. This review is for the S. Lamar location, not the N. Lamar location that is listed in BeerFly. The wine and beer sections are located towards the back right corner of the store in relation to the entrance.
Quality - All of the beer storage and display here was in refrigerated shelving units that formed an "L" around a portion of the wine selection. The temperature was not set too low, but it was cooler than the surrounding store in the beer area and should be adequate to keep the warm Texas weather from affecting the beer. Some of the beer that we purchased from this store had gone bad by the time we opened it, unfortunately. I do not know if that was the result of transporting it back home, storage conditions at home, old supply, or some other storage conditions previous to purchase. Luckily it was only a portion of the total purchases that were bad, but it was definitely a disappointment.
Service - While we were shopping, we happened to run into the managers of the beer section who were running inventory and getting ready to order the next season's seasonals. Both guys were very knowledgeable and helpful, and didn't mind answering any of the questions we had about their suppliers.
Selection - There was a good variety of beverages available, with an entire row of shelving reserved for local Texas brews like Shiner and Independence. There was a decent selection of Belgians from Affligem, Leffe, Rochefort, Chimay, Koningshoeven, and others, as well as a nice variety of Youngs, Wells, and other English breweries. Most beers were in three, four, or six packs and couldn't be broken down individually, but there were multiple larger single bottles available too. The prices were a little high for some things, but very reasonable for other items.
The trip to Central Market capped off our weekend in Austin quite nicely. The next time I'm there visiting with friends, I will definitely have to stop by the N. Lamar location and see if it is as good an experience as the S. Lamar location was.
04-02-2008 18:22:53 |
More by kensuthe
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Central Market - North Lamar in Austin, TX