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John's Grocery Inc.
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
401 E Market St
phone: (319) 337-2183
Specializes in imported beer and glassware; also known as Dirty Johns for selling Playboy magazines in the 1950s.
Monday - Thursday: 7:30am - Midnight
Friday & Saturday: 7:30am - 2:00am)
Sunday: 9:00am - Midnight
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 62 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by bditty187:
quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Update 2: This is my first visit to John's since they moved the beer in the backroom and this is my first visit since the beer selection has increased and dramatically improved in Nebraska.
I am sorry but John's is not anywhere near as good as I remember. Where did all the Belgian ales go? There are obviously fewer American craft beers as well. I was sort of confused/concerned about all the X-mas beers still on the shelves. Sure, most are still good to drink but are some of the other beers equally as old? Honestly, there was nothing I *needed* to buy but I did pick up a couple bottles for the hell of it.
John's is just not what it once was... IMO.
Update: Okay, I've been here a "few" more times since my original review. Let me say a few things. Johns' has the best selection of beer in the state; it is better than Cyclone in Ames. The Belgian selection is as good as I've seen anywhere (including Blue Max in MN). Also the service has been perfect every time I've been there. If Doug is not in, ask for Eric, and if he is not in... you are NOT out of luck. The beer knowledge runs deep here, so does passion. The workers are friendly but honest; ask questions they can help.
Don't expect a lot of American micros because they don't exist in Iowa. I don't down grade their selection for that; it is not their fault. Blame Iowa laws. The prices are a little high (compared to say, Gomers in KC but on par with Blue Max) but, again, this is not their fault. Blame Iowa laws.
John's is a gem.
This is my original review and first impression:
I was completely impressed when I visited John's Grocery. The beer selection was awesome; they had a slew of Belgium beers... including Westy. It seemed like most of the beer they sold was various European imports. Many of the micros they carried I've never seen in the greater Mid-West and many were indigenous to the local area. A good chunk of the beer is in a cooler. Bottom line the beer selection is great.
Anyway... when I visited John's it was 8:30 am on a Friday. I was greeted (almost at the door) by Doug Alberhasky, the store manager and "Bier Guy." He asked us (my girlfriend and I) if we needed anything. Long story short... he took us on a personal tour of the whole building, he talked about John's history, he was a great guy to shoot the shit with about beer, plus he took my girlfriend to the "(ware-) house" so she could peruse their pint glasses for sale. We got absolutely detailed help. Doug also pointed me out a few beers and I took his advice on all of them, he was right... they were excellent.
John's is a grocery store, and a small, unassuming one at that. They do have a deli but I did not check it out. I thought the prices were very good. You need to visit this place; Iowa City is on I-80 so what is you excuse!
08-06-2008 15:16:13 |
More by bditty187
More User Reviews:
12-12-2013 03:31:08 |
More by BillRoth
11-10-2013 02:39:29 |
More by Stevedore
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
I love this place. Very neat old-school grocery store with a HUGE selection of beers. The beer room itself is pretty cramped. If it's busy the majority of your time is spent saying and hearing the words "Excuse me.". The prices are goofy in this place. Some beer's are dirt cheap and others are way overpriced. The service and selection is awesome, though, so the prices don't really bother me.
I'm new to the craft beer world, and thanks to John's I've discovered so many great beers that you can't find anywhere else in Iowa. Whenever I'm in Iowa City, John's is a guaranteed stop.
06-09-2013 23:27:29 |
More by Sunn
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
Dirty Johns was the first to sell playboy magazine in Iowa City IA.
Now it is the craft beer destination in eastern Iowa.
The staff is extremely helpful.
The selection is outta this state good.
The roast beef is made fresh daily
The the is the shiznotabamsnipsnapsally.
06-06-2013 05:25:05 |
More by EdwardFortyHands
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | $$
John's is one of the better beer stores I've ever been to, probably just behind Hop City in Atlanta and Bruisin' Ales in Asheville.
It's a small grocery store, cramped and packed full of stuff, with the beer in the back. There's a large shelving section with an excellent selection of mostly foreign beers, and lots of singles from various US breweries. Then there's a walk-in cooler with a ton of local stuff, both six packs and singles, as well as the macro beers.
Fantastic selection here for out-of-towners. I was able to pick up a lot of singles from Iowa and other Midwest / Great Plains breweries. Dropped about $80 in two visits over the course of a weekend.
Highly recommended if you're visiting Iowa City.
06-04-2013 22:39:48 |
More by shivtim
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Lots of imports and Belgians. Very good selection, although just a bit light in microbrews for my taste. Staff is very knowledgeable and can tell you just about anything about anything that they have. It's in a small corner grocery store, but the beer room is separated from the rest of the store and is worth the trip.
03-13-2013 03:40:51 |
More by Tjvan2
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in on my trip past I-80. Easy to get to but the lack of parking was a disappointment. There is a small lot behind the store but it looked like chaos going on. Ended up parking a block or two away on campus. Risking a ticket I hurried myself to the store. One of the most interesting stores for beer I have set foot in. A small market/deli/wine/ and beer store. I think beer takes up most of the space but I did not search every nook and cranny in the building as I was in a hurry. Nice selection and I picked up a few bottles of interest or on sale. I think if it is for sale in Iowa, it is at John's. Interesting mix of college kids and longtime neighborhood residents. Service was very good and friendly even though I did not ask for assistance.
Not sure of the business model, but I would do away with the market and expand the deli and alcohol departments. God knows they need the room and there did not seem to be much focus on the deli which I think could be huge.
11-11-2012 00:34:54 |
More by morimech
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited mid-afternoon August 30
I knew of John's reputation for great beer selection prior to visiting Iowa City on business, so a stop there (even a brief one) was a must before leaving town. The day was a scorcher (mid/upper 90s) and my traveling coworker had no interest, so I left her curbside (our rental car's A/C running) for a 15 minute shopping spree! We'd actually eaten breakfast a block away (Hamburg Inn) earlier in the day, so John's was very easy to find, despite a modest brick facade and an average-looking corner location.
Inside, I immediately veered right past the counter and into a vast wine department. Oops, I'm here for beer! A quick correction past the half-filled deli case and I entered Beervana - a sizable room stacked floor-to-ceiling with hundreds and hundreds of imported and domestic bottles. Oh, to have adequate time to browse!!! I next entered an equally spacious walk-in cooler, again stacked 8 feet high with shelf upon shelf of beer. I noticed right away that all the cases and sixers of macro stuff was placed at the back of the cooler, forcing one to walk past all the 'craft' stuff in order to get to it. Clever.
In the few minutes I had to shop, I was approached by 3 different employees (easy to spot in John's T-shirts of varying colors) all eager to help: one guided me to the empty six-bottle carriers for mixed packs, another pointed out the Iowan locals in the cooler plus a few favorites and a third was friendly at the register. My bill for 12 bottles and cans was about $28 with tax (borderline pricy, but I'll call it 'reasonable' for 12 singles). Among them: three different bottles from Peace Tree, a couple from Millstream, a couple more (cans) from Great River, and odd & ends from Summit & Tallgrass...plus a pair of Two-Hearteds, among my all-time favorite IPAs. I didn't go out of my way to find the 'fanciest' or 'rarest' bottles, opting instead for an array of styles from mostly local breweries we'll never see back home in Oregon.
Although I skipped buying glassware (have plenty at home), I've heard their inventory is vast.
Excellent store with friendly staff, tons of selection. Couldn't ask for more ~ very highly recommended.
09-11-2012 19:03:09 |
More by msubulldog25
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This among the best places to find any and all beers available in Iowa.
The customer service service, quality and selection are all very good, many of the staffers are very knowledgeable about beer. The atmosphere was good but kind of cramped in space, although considering the location in downtown Iowa City its understandable that expansion isn't possible. Value was reasonable, most micro/non specialty beers/ales had a good prices. Some prices for ales/beers were high priced, but due to the rarity of them,, the prices were about right.
Excellent place to find beer, among the best in the Midwest.
03-05-2012 00:00:24 |
More by jzlyo
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John's Grocery Inc. in Iowa City, IA
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