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Whole Foods Market
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
1548 North Dale Mabry Blvd.
phone: (813) 874-9435
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quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
This place is on the come-up, thanks to the efforts of the beer team of Chris, Mike and Mike. These guys are passionate about beer, fairly knowledgeable , and very helpful.
The store is situated directly across from Total Wine, and one block from the Cigar City Brewery, so they have their work cut out for them. But they rise to the challenge, consistently.
I have seen a number of extremely unusual brews, including various t' Smijse brews, tons of De Proef, the Swiss Dragon beer which is intended to be served hot, and many other rarities. The usual suspects are there as well, and usually at good or great prices.
I am so happy with this place that I'll let slide the fact that they recommended De Proef's embarassingly bland Zoetuur Flemish Ale; I still love these guys anyway! They sold me tons of Avery Fifteen and Sixteen for $4 a bottle. And they always break the Odd Notion out of the Magic Hat mixed 12er for me, so I don't have to buy a bunch of crap I don't want just to try the season's Odd Notion.
If you are in the vicinity, I recommend this place over Total Wine. Visiting both is a good idea if you've got the time or inclination.
02-21-2010 20:17:20 |
More by ktrillionaire
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Dropped in here as at the recommendation of the staff at Cigar City. It's actually only about ¼ mile from the brewery, so I just walked.
The beers are located in the back and they have quite a selection of bombers that will catch your eye right away. There are also plenty of 6-packs and 12-packs as well. Crafts and imports are both covered equally, with selections from the east coast to the Midwest, to a really solid selection of European imports. Obscure offerings are tucked in there as well.
While normally I couldn't care less about the service in a beer store, I'd definitely like to mention that the "beer guy" here, Chris is outstanding. I probably talked to him for 20 minutes and he had some great insights and recommendations. He definitely knows his stuff and I feel really confident that he'd give beer neophytes some excellent recommendations. He even pulled some special limited items out of the back for me that weren't yet on the shelves. Again, normally I don't need sales help, but it's really nice to be able to chat with someone who knows their stuff and can recommend selections that often CAN be a bit on the obscure side.
It's not going to beat a superstore in terms of price or selection, but their prices weren't bad and what they did carry was excellent across the board. I'd recommend hitting up Whole Foods in conjunction with Total Wine to cover all of your bases.
02-18-2010 22:48:10 |
More by Domingo
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Just visited this on vacation specifically looking for CCB brews...all they had was Winter Warmer even though they are very close to the brewery. It's hard to know how to rate this. As a grocery store, Whole Foods is awesome and the beer selection compared to other grocery stores is very very good. But I think it best to compare it to any store selling beer...which results in the above average, but not great score. A nice selection from a range of breweries...definitely worth a visit if in the area.
02-02-2010 05:37:51 |
More by mwilbur
quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Preferred Whole Foods over Total Wine by far, despite a much smaller selection. The service was great...though received from a beer distributor. He knew his stuff, pointed me in the right direction, and was willing to talk about the local beer scene. Was able to pick up some CCB and Saint Somewhere...both I could not find at Total Wine. Only CCB they had in was the Warmer Winter Winter Warmer. Prices were very reasonable...and if I lived in the area, would shop here pretty much weekly. Great selection of Northeast beers and West Coast beers, but nothing I couldn't find in NJ...except a few.
Great place...great service. Defnitely recommend the visit...
01-25-2010 23:08:19 |
More by ericfb18
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place is located off of 275 and Dale Mabry (hwy 92). Never thought I would find this type of selection at a health nut place. Plenty of 22 oz r's everywhere you look. Think I ended up with 8. They carry all the local beer; CCB, Saint Somewhere, Dunedin. Prices are very reasonable. THEY WILL GIVE YOU A DISCOUNT if you buy six bottels or more 10% OFF. Picked up a Sierra Nevada Estate for $2.50. Also found some Rouge Captin Sig (deadliest catch) bottles. Great place good prices don't bring your ladies. My wife bought a $12.00 slice of freaking cheese don't let this happen to you!!
10-30-2009 19:26:39 |
More by Blitzstyle
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Who'd have thought? Whole Foods as a beer stop in Florida. Mark is to be commended though, for those visiting Tampa, this is the place to stop for Cigar City Beers, but Mark has done a great job loading up on some other quality beers. He is also committed to offering great customer service. While I came specifically to buy CCB, I ended up leaving with a few other tasty, rare beers I was excited to encounter. Sounds like Mark is driven to make this in to even more of a beer destination, so I had spread some positive word of mouth here on BA. Great stop for your Florida breweries, great service, and buy in bulk for the discount. One stop and I am done with my Florida beer purchases.
05-30-2009 13:01:13 |
More by bhalter8
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I like to visit Whole Foods every time I drop by to visit the Cigar City guys. Their beer section is not huge but it is full of quality stuff. They have most of the best beers the market offers without taking up room with the crap.
They have really devoted space to Cigar City which I love. I have never stepped into the beer section without being asked if they could help me or suggest a beer. Chris or Mark are usually the ones to greet you. They are very much about service which is great.
Their beer prices are good and if you buy six beers you get a 10% discount. I even had them throw in a six bottle carrying bag on one visit.
Beyond the beer they have wonderful cheese and meats. I love stopping in for a few items. Just don't stay long or you will spend your "whole" paycheck as there is lots of tasty stuff.
05-27-2009 13:52:37 |
More by tpd975
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I went to Tampa to get some of the new Cigar City beer in a bottle, only available at Whole Foods. I found a great beer department, and the beer guy (Chris) was very knowledgable about beer styles, recommendations, etc. I bought what I came for, but I also found another 10 or 12 bottles that I just had to have too - that I had not found anywhere else. The beer is well cared for, nicely displayed, and there is a good variety of the standard beers, as well as quite a few specialty beers. Highly recommend - and also they have a great artisan cheese department!
05-25-2009 00:28:19 |
More by HamFon
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This Whole Foods location is located on N. Dale Mabry in a large shopping center next to Target and in the same shopping center as Total Wine and More, which is another worthy beer destination. As with other Whole Foods locations, the size of the selection isn't going to blow you away, but most of the beer they sell there is of great quality. Many of the larger brewers that distribute to the state are available here: Rogue, Bell's, Stone, Dogfish Head, Terrapin, Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn, Great Divide and others just to name a few. This is also a great place to pick up locally brewed Cigar City beers. Another plus is that they offer a case discounts which offers nice savings when buying in bulk. Overall, this is a great place to stock up on some of the more available beers that are distributed down here. For some of the rare/limited release offerings; you may need to go to one of the specialty stores in the area. Recommended!
05-24-2009 17:42:46 |
More by cjgator3
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$$$
While I am a seasoned Whole Foods shopper, all the way back to the days of the originals in Mid City New Orleans, my beer experience there has been fairly limited. However, on a couple of recent visits, I noticed quite a few interesting beers that were rarely found elsewhere in the Tampa Bay market. So in my search earlier this week for Abita Strawberry Lager, a hard to find seasonal beer, the beer distributor rep pointed me toward Whole Foods (where consequently, I picked up the last six pack they had).
The selection of beer, while limited, is unique and complete. At any given times, their selection will cover most of the major styles, while also introducing the average shopper to some of the harder to find and unique beers likely found anywhere else in the area. The beer guy (more on him later) is plugged in to the beer scene and has made it his mission to carry some of the great but hard to find beers. Also, in the near future, there will be a buildout to add 18 extra feet of cooler space for an enlarged selection.
So about the service. Since it is a grocery store, you're likely not going to find many employees that know anything about beer. However, I happened to be visiting while the beer guy, Chris, was working. He is amazing and because of him, I will regularly shop for beer at Whole Foods.
Unfortunately with good selection and great service comes a price tag. Whole Foods is not the best place for budget or session beer purchases. You'll likely pay $1-$2 extra per six pack of many craft beers. However, I am willing to pay extra if I get great help from the staff. I walked in to the store hoping to get one six pack and left with three, just because there were beers that I couldn't find elsewhere. So price really didn't have as much to do with my buy. But keep in mind, the prices for everyday beer is hight.
Overall, I can't wait to go back to Whole Foods, but I will save the experience for days when I am open to trying something new and have extra cash in my wallet.
04-24-2009 11:50:24 |
More by UptownKevin
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Whole Foods Market in Tampa, FL