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Hi-Time Wine Cellars
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
250 Ogle St
phone: (800) 331-3005
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I just received my latest shipment from Hi-Times Wine Cellars and, as usual, the service and packaging were excellent. It took less than a week from my sending in my order and taking the first sip from one of the bottles I bought. In this case, a little known Brewery from Kern River Brewing in Kernville CA. What a find!
The 12 bottles I bought were perfectly packaged using styrofoam and were received in perfect condition. I *did* order one of their brews, the Sequoia Red, which was out of stock and they promptly called me on my cell phone to let me know so I chose to get 2 more bottles of their IPA. It turned out to be an excellent example of the style though I will try to order the Red in the future.
Bottom line, I've made online orders from them quite a few times in the past and I will continue to do so in the future as the shipping charges are always very reasonable as are the prices they charge for the beers. This is a damn good store to order from if they can ship to your state. Highly recommended!
04-20-2009 23:30:52 |
More by Bitterbill
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This was my first time to Hi-Times and I was very impressed/over whelmed and I will definitely be back. This place is located weirdly since its not really on a main street but it wasn't super hard to find. When you walk in you're in a room with liquor, cigars, wine, and other items (I noticed a lot of chocolate). The beer is in its own room to the right and toward the back.
I've heard of how many styles and what you can find but you really don't realize how much is there until you're physically standing there. You walk up and are looking at about 6 coolers or so of 4 and 6 packs. These are all different varieties of beer. You can pick up singles from the packs or take whole packs, its up to you. Also outside of the refrigerated room are different bombers that I'm guessing they didn't have enough room for in the room. Glassware is off to your right in a cabinet.
Now for the HUGE refrigerated room. You walk in and its just amazing how many different beers they have. They are sorted by county and are all either single 12 oz, bombers, or 750s. It was a bit cramped so getting a cart around some sort of difficult. I probably spent a good 20 minutes just looking everything over before I actually starting pulling things off the shelves (just wanted to make sure I knew what was there).
I didn't really talk to anyone or ask for help but their was a guy restocking some beer and let me know he could help if i needed it. The checkout people were friendly. Prices overall seemed fairly reasonable. I would recommend this place to anyone and as I stated in the beginning, I will definitely be back.
03-21-2009 20:20:49 |
More by Swimsum
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I come here alot with my Father when ever we go have lunch with my Grandfather. The first time I came I was overwhelmed at how cool it was that almost all the beer was kept in a walk in cooler. Its like your entire favorite bottle shop is inside a cooler that you get to walk into to select your beer. They have tons of variety and all the latest seasonals from tons of breweries. Pretty much if it is distributed in So Cal somewhere, it will probably be there.
The staff there are pretty knowledgeable of beer and can point you in the right direction. They have lots of cool glassware and tap handles and tons of Kegs to buy if you have a kegerator. Also if you love spirits, wine, or cigars, this is the place to shop too. If it exists, they probably have it. Their cigar selection was awesome. Lots of cigars I have been wanting to try but not found. The case of fancy and ecpensive spirits is impressive. Didnt spend too much time looking at the wine selection but I can tell they have a ton and if it is anything like the rest of the stores selection, you wont be let down.
I will keep coming here as a go to place for hard to find brews as long as I am living anywhere remotely close.
02-23-2009 06:35:20 |
More by PeprSprYoFace
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Took quite a detour on my way from Las Vegas to the Santa Barbara area specifically to visit this store. I went there with high expectations.
Starting with quality: As far as beers which can be found in southern California, they have them all. Well, at least all the breweries. There are a number of beers from each brewery they don't carry, but for the most part each brewery is well represented. They really didn't carry any of the hard to find east coast brews. As far as imports, they have a nice selection but honestly I was hoping for more. There were a number of Belgians we don't get in Vegas, but then again we have a number of Belgians that this place didn't have.
Service was fair. Nobody asked if I needed help, and when I did have a couple of questions it took a while to find someone available to answer them. Eventually my questions were answered, but I never felt as if I was a valued customer or as if the people I spoke with were enthusiastic about beer.
Selection: Again, I visited this sore with high expectations, mostly due to the glowing reviews here. For the most part, my expectations were not met. Before I walked into the beer cooler I grabbed one of those hand held baskets, thinking I'd fill the sucker. After about 15 minutes of looking, I only had 2 beers in the basket which I wanted. Eventually I grabbed a total of 6, mainly because I figured that if I came this far out of my way to visit this place, I might as well leave with more than just two or three beers. Perhaps I'm spoiled from my trips to Belgium and Amsterdam where I'd walk into a beer store and be overwhelmed with hundreds of beers I'd never seen before. I struggled with what grade to give this store in the Selection department. If grading against your average run of the mill liquor store then this one is great. If grading against the stores I visited in Belgium/Amsterdam then this store is below average. If grading against the stores where I shop in Vegas then it's about a tie. I finally graded it a 4.5, and felt that was generous.
Value: Pricing was fair. I saw no great deals, nor did I see any ripoffs.
All in all I'm glad I came here, if only that it satisfied my curiosity and I found a couple beers I'd wanted. However unless I'm specifically headed into this area again for some reason, I most likely won't visit again. If you live in the area, or within a half hour or so, then you have a nice store to do your beer shopping. Otherwise it's probably not worth traveling any great distance out of your way. You can find most of this stuff elsewhere in SoCal.
02-20-2009 02:15:47 |
More by JBogan
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Pretty much the Mecca of beer stores for the west coast of North America.
A bit out of the way be sure to print a map before starting on the road to find this place.
Primarily a Wine and Luxuries shop, but beer has its own section and it's own door. The small bar down below is primarily wine and brandy.
Very first thing you should do is go to the walk in cooler, and the moment you do it is like stepping through the looking glass like Alice in Wonderland. Probably 1000 different beers at anyone time and a great many are "I have never even heard of that before" type of beers. Beers from the whole planet and more than a few from California like... Pliny The Elder and Lost Abbey stuff I never see anywhere else. In addition to obscure stuff there is always some beers made from pure unobtainium here; this time they had some bottled Japanese micro-brews that I never expected to ever see much less buy.
Service can be too helpful at times but if you know exactly what you are looking for just ask they will know where to look.
Selection? If they don't have it you can't get it in LA.
Can be a little pricey but then again a lot of this stuff is simply near unobtainable, but some how they get it and put it on the shelf. Then again they have a club card and quite a few specials on the less exotic stuff.
I always feel a little guilty after I visit this store because I always feel a bit ashamed of how much beer I walk out the door with. But I can't help it, this place is about as close to beer heaven as exists on earth. If you are wise you will use a hand basket and limit yourself to what you can carry. I was able to limit myself to just $200 of beer this time.
02-08-2009 05:32:13 |
More by Zorro
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited on 12-10-08
Just finding this place is a bit of a mission in and of itself. It is a bit tucked away in a residential neighborhood a little off the beaten path. But, it is worth the trip for sure.
Very good selection of craft beers, obviously, but no really hard-to-find brews that you couldn't obtain elsewhere on this particular date. But, they did have some awesome gift packs that really caught my eye. One of them in particular was a St. Bernardus pack of four beers and some kick-ass logo'd glasses for $19.99 I believe. Damn, I had already blown most of the money that I had won from a recent rash of successful bets!
The only thing that put me off was the service. I guess it's understandable due to the volume of customers at the time, but you will probably get totally ignored if you don't have a personal repoire with them. Other than that, this is should be your go-to spot if you live anywhere close.
12-13-2008 01:58:08 |
More by sweetbrew82
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I stopped by here on a recent visit to Newport Beach to pick up a couple of bottles of Pliny (one of the few places that are currently in the RR distribution network). Nice place! My regular beer store is the Bevmo in Redlands but I have not been... uh, excited about their selection (even though it is fairly comprehensive) in awhile. I didn't really have time to check out the entire store so straight to the beer cooler it was...
Mmmm... within seconds I had grabbed was an Alesmith Horny Devil an Allagash Black a Madrugada Obscura and a Ballast Point Sea Monster (all of which I have not seen at Bevmo and haven't tried before). Then I asked about the location of the Pliny and picked up a couple of the reasons that I had come as well as 2 Blind Pigs (couldn't resist). Before I had left I also had to grab a 4 pack of St Bernardus 12 which put my total at around $80 for the visit and less than 3 minutes in their cooler!... self indulgent... stupid... bastard! Moderation and self control will be on the agenda the next time I visit this store... and there will definitely be a next time!
12-04-2008 23:47:19 |
More by beerhappy
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Made my usual stop here while visiting in laws with my wife. The overall breadth of selection here is fantastic. I can usually count on Hi-Time to have the usual Alesmith suspects in stock (which are hard to come by in San Francisco where I live). However, this time they had no Grand Cru, Wee Heavy, or Old Numbskull. So a bit disappointing in that respect. Lost Abbey selection was standard, but they did have two bottles remaining of Ne Goien, which I promptly placed in my basket. Other offerings were good, but nothing that was exceptionally hard to find in Orange County on this particular date.
08-30-2008 20:12:03 |
More by waltonc
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
THIS IS MY STORE! The only place I go to get beer, bourbon and wine. I still can't believe their are people in the OC that don't know about this mecca.
You have two ways in, through the front that takes you past the Smoke Shack. Stop by and talk to Lan (my boy) about the newest cigars they have. And they have just about everything to go with them or you could go in the "back" by the beer desk. This is my prefered enterance. This is where you will find the keg room (to the right), but keep going straight you will see Elden Ales homebrew kits to the left, keep going toward the stacks of beer at the back. Now take your time and browse behind the glass door at the expansive collection of 6 pack micros. You can even mix and match a 6er of your choice. Now venture into the cooler. This is where the 22's and the import beers hide out. You will find beers from countries you didn't know exsisted. If you have trouble Mike (the man) and Allen know just about everything so ask. Bring a credit card with a high balance you'll need it. If you need something for the non beer drinker go check out the booze. Everything from Absinthe to Vodka and of course the single largest wine collection in the world, well maybe not, but when you see it you'll know what I mean. Everyone there is really nice and they all know quite alot about what they sell. Oh, they also have funky cheeses and candy and other snacks.
08-08-2008 18:15:09 |
More by dbONE
quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | $$
This place hands down has the best selection of beer that is taken very good care of in a very cool climate in the OC. There selection DWARFS any store in this neck of the woods. The down fall of such a great store is there service is so RUDE and not freindly. I don't care I still shop there when I go that way. There wine cellar is at 56 degrees and every bottle is laying domn and taken care well. There cigar room is two rooms with a large selection of quality and value. Plenty of parking, There tequila section is so over the top. They also carry nice glass ware. As long as you don't expect service or a smile you know your still getting the best selection. And there goods are kept at proper temperatures.
08-03-2008 06:40:39 |
More by athensbeermaster
Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA
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