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Monument Wines & Spirits
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
2250 Monument Blvd
phone: (925) 682-1514
quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This was my go-to shop for a long time. When my girlfriend lived in San Ramon, I would make the drive up to Concord before heading back to the Peninsula. It was, without fail, worth it. There were many consecutive weekends where I dropped over a hundred at a time.
But that was the past....
After Steve (the previous beer buyer) left, the selection of the store dropped off a bit. Turnover suffered. The "hidden gems" -- beers that they pulled from their cellar and placed on the floor in a hide and seek fashion -- diminished in quantity and increased in price.
My favorite was finding Temptation 375mLs (batch 3) for $22 next to a Temptation 750mL (batch 4) for $21. Firestone XII for $60 when the XIII came out. The vintage pricing got, in a word, aggressive. Bottle limits on nearly everything of note.
I still see the Port 3rd Anniversary (a DIPA from Spring 09) sitting out on the floor, unrefrigerated, at its retail price. Cases of unrefrigerated AleSmith IPA on the floor. The Midnight Sun beers they managed to get are several months old, and expensive, so it's not an attractive proposition.
They have a ton of Ola Dubh, for reasons I can't figure out. Their glassware selection is limited.
With each trip I find fewer and fewer things to buy; the selection is rapidly dwindling in variety. I almost get the feeling they're trying to sell out what they have and get out of beer entirely.
This store used to be awesome. Now it's merely good.
12-27-2010 23:35:14 |
More by Arbitrator
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited 8.11.2010 ISO last product for that evening's Craft Beer Tasting.
While this place was a bit hard to find, located in a shopping center next to a Safeway, for those in search of quality craft beer this is the place to go in the East Bay Area. There selection dwarfs the other competitor City Beer in SFO (haven't been to Beer Revolution in OAK yet). Quite a few beers in the cold case, but make sure you allow yourself time to do the Easter Egg Hunt. Man oh Man did I find some treasures! Angel Share 375s (both Bourbon and Brandy), Old Rasputin 12, Port Anniversary, Cuvee de Tomme (!) Fred (Batch 63, are you kidding me?) and other special beers. Just when I thought it wouldn't get any better, the checkout counter had a boxed bottle of Parabola! Frickin' Score!!! All in all 900 bottles, though I had concerns about rotating/returning past-date products, and the 'beer' guy wasn't there when we visited, so we were on our own. The prices were reasonable, though with the Governator's excessive sales tax, there wasn't a lot of bargains to be had. Though it doesn't rise to the level of Belmont Station for care, customer service and knowledge (few places do), I would highly recommend any traveling beer geek venture out to Concord and pick up some goodies. My suitcase was fully packed for return flight to Beervana, and yours will be too. Highly Recommended.
08-21-2010 21:55:03 |
More by jdense
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Great place. Didn't smell as sour last time I visited. They've been very helpful and friendly the few times I've shopped.
Impressive selection with a good offering of cold beers. There are a lot of bottles sitting around in an almost easter egg fashion. I can spend a good hour looking around, but my wife is usually with me.
Prices are usually pretty good. No complaints here.
There are a lot of beers out and about.. looking a little dusty, but not a big deal to me.
Good service with a great variety. Glad to be near this place; my local Bevmo sucks for the most part.
08-05-2010 03:52:51 |
More by Mubbly
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
I have been to Monument twice now and really love it. They have tons of harder to find and rare beers, a huge selection, vintage bottles, and fairly decent pricing. They are nowhere as cheap as Bottle Barn, but they make up for it in selection. Their vintage stuff can get a little outrageous however. I'd expect to pay a bit more for aged beers, but old dusty bottles that have been sitting there for even a year can have a steep price. But hey, you can't find them anywhere else.
Overall, a fantastic selection of beers that are rarely seen elsewhere. I plan on stopping by here every time I travel from Sacramento to the Bay Area.
07-29-2010 05:07:32 |
More by scottfrie
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Quality- My friend did buy a Mexican barleywine here that was gross and oxidized, but generally everything I have bought here was great. There are a good amount of dusty bottles and green bottles that have presumably exposed to light for quite a while, but again, I haven't had quality problems.
Service- The friendlier (beer guy) employees are always a pleasure and ready to point out what new stuff has come in. Wish Steve, the former beer guy was still there though.
Selection- Unrivaled, as a whole, by any other Bay Area beer store I frequent. Cool vintage and hard to find beers are scattered and hidden throughout the beer area. Like a scavenger hunt for those in the know :)
Value- Second in good prices only to Bottle Barn. Definitely cheaper than any SF stores.
02-13-2010 03:35:19 |
More by MrFootstones
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Was in town for business having traveled (with a padded cooler capable of holding 18 beers). Was told to focus on cooler number "8" which had a pretty good selection. Was asked if I needed help and was told by one of the workers "we have a big selection". A lot of their selection is not refrigerated so I passed right by it. I did find selections that I cannot buy in Texas. Not sure how this store compares to others in the area, so I can't really say if their selection is better or not, but they did have offerings from Russian River (which I was interested in), Hair of the Dog (but no Adam), Alaskan Brewing (I still can't believe we don't get this in Texas) Avery, and more. If you are in the area it's worth stopping in to see what is available.
01-28-2010 23:28:54 |
More by schoolcb
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by this place during a recent trip to the Bay Area on ipa247's recommendation. This is a medium sized liquor store, not a huge massive warehouse type, with a very large selection of craft beers. They have about six or so coolers filled with a lot of west coast and especially CA goodies as well as a very large selection of beers available room temperature. They have about four or five aisles dedicated to an excellent selection of beer as well as a long row of cases of bombers and 750s. In addition they have even more beer at the counter including gift packs and limited rarities. They carry an array of west coast heavy hitters as well as a nice vintage collection, some east coast beers and a good selection of Belgian and other European imports. Higlights include 6L magnum of St Bernardus 12, 3 L magnum of Damnation, FW 12 and 13, Abyss, Cuvee de Tomme, Consecration several bat he's, Temptation batch 3 and 4, Gales Prize Old Ale 1996!, Hitachino Velebration 2004 and many others mixed in.
The service here was very good. They asked mr if I needed any help, answered all of my questions and even went into the back and busted out some rarities for me. I wish I had a bigger budget and an easier way to get the beers back to Philly. Highly recommended!
01-17-2010 00:31:45 |
More by corby112
quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
With all the reviews popping up lately, we had to swing by here to check it out on our last Bay Area extravaganza.
Quality is good. Lots of coolers, but there's a lot of room-temp shelving that shored a lot of the IPAs. I'd like to see all IPAs in that cooler and bring out some of the Belgians to the floor. Found some dusty and moldy bottles, so check dates; I guess you should do this everywhere.
Service: not impressed. Let me itemize this:
First, not allowed to use bathrooms, which sucks when you go so far out of the way (we live several hours away and were stuck in traffic to get here)
Asked about Sculpin availability: "We have one in the back." Oh, so it's only for certain customers? At least put it out on the floor and put a bottle limit on it. It was a warm bottle. But he brought me 2 when I told him we were from out of town.
Asked about Autumn Maple and Hottenroth: "Uh, I've heard of them." "Well, do you have any in the back in the secret stash?" "Duh, I don't know."
My point is, I blew over $200 at this place, and I was on a mission to find those 3 *not exceedingly rare* beers specifically, and got little to no help and respect. The secret stash in the back makes me feel like they don't want their precious special releases to be sold to me, whom they deemed not cool enough.
Selection was pretty good and big, but overall I didn't see anything super rare that's not at Ledgers' or City Beer or any other store I've been in. Prices seemed fair, considering I usually pay these prices at Ledger's after the discount at the cash register (I stock up when I go to the Bay).
Overrated and snobby. I don't recommend going out of your way. I'll stick to my usual stores. Props for trying to stock the store with good stuff though.
11-15-2009 17:17:41 |
More by rayjay
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Monument is definitely one of the best beer stores in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. I found a larger beer selection here than any other store in the Bay Area, with the exception of Perry's Liquor in Livermore. I believe they carry more than Ledgers in Berkeley, and more than City Beer and Healthy Sprits in San Francisco. They also have some of the best prices I've seen at the "big" beer stores.
My main complaint is that I can't seem to find a website that lists their beer selection; this is something that most of the other major beer stores have. Also, though I drove here from a good distance and picked up a lot of beer, they didn't let me use their bathroom.
But again, this is an exceptional beer store with great prices and I highly recommend it.
11-14-2009 07:52:27 |
More by Falcon91Wolvrn03
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This place is awesome - my new favorite store ever! Perry's Liquor in Livermore held the top spot for awhile, but the selection at Monument is every bit as good, if not better. Both are still highly recommended, but if you want more bang for your buck this is your place!
I stopped in here for the first (but hopefully not last) time on Friday around noon. The interior and exterior looked just like Jackson's Wines & Spirits in Lafayette and Moraga Wine & Spirits in Moraga. I asked the clerk about it and he told me that the three stores are all connected. The Moraga store specializes in hard liquor; the Lafayette store specializes in wine; the Concord store specializes in beer. Well, even though I was a huge fan of the Moraga and Lafayette stores, they couldn't touch this one!
The selection was absolutely phenomenal! I saw everything from Cuvee de Tomme to Speedway Stout to Beatification/Temptation/Consecration to J.W. Lees Harvest Ale ('00, '01, '06, '07, and a ton of the cask versions) to Older Viscosity to La Folie to etc. etc. etc. It was unbelievable! I even saw Hel & Verdoemenis and Hercule Stout, two of my big prizes from my first visit to Perry's Liquor in Livermore. Combined, they were about $10 cheaper than the ones I bought at Perry's. At that point, Monument Wines & Liquors became my favorite beer store.
The abundance of quality brews is mesmerizing, and could easily keep one busy for an hour or more. All of the beers are kept in great shape as well; they're stored away from the windows, and the hoppier ones are kept in coolers. Everything is also neatly organized, which is a plus in my book.
The staff was very friendly, though their beer knowledge didn't seem to keen. They were also unintrusive.
I can't wait to come back here! What an incredible store!
09-20-2009 05:22:40 |
More by ThreeWiseMen
Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA