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Perry's Liquor & Craft Beer
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Store ]
1522 Railroad Ave
phone: (925) 443-0550
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Reviews by Arbitrator:
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$$
They refrigerate almost everything. Great selection. But it's expensive.
Recommended for: anyone from out of town who wants to pick up Bay Area beers that are gone from other stores' shelves.
Not recommended for: Bay Area locals who live near a good bottle shop. Any travelers should visit Monument first. The selection isn't much different, and it's costlier.
Oh, and I'm banned from this store. Not surprising.
Perry's is a bit of a drive from the Peninsula, but in spring of 2009, my girlfriend moved within 10 miles of the place, so I had to stop by. I have to admit it's not much to look at: it's a crappy looking liquor store in a run-down strip mall. That aside, my first few visits were wonderful. Great selection, good personal attention from Harpreet, and I spent hundreds there on each visit.
However, as I began to explore the area and visit bottle shops like Monument, Ledger's, and City Beer, I found that Perry's just doesn't cut it. For comparable bottles, Perry's is always more expensive (AleSmith IPA is $9 here versus $5 elsewhere).
They do sell some black-market stuff out of the back, like Westvleteren, Three Floyds, Surly, and even Lost Abbey Sinners Club releases, but they are VERY expensive (Westy 12 was $29, for example). I wound up trading for most of those at a lower cost. Here's a rundown of some other beers (prices are from 3/16/2011).
A few prices were very fair:
Black Butte XXI $15
Cantillon Classic Gueuze 375mL $10
Stone IRS '10 $7
Stone 13th (ha!) $4
Some were just a little high:
RR Damnation $5 ($4 elsewhere)
RR Consecration / Temptation / Supplication $14 ($12 elsewhere)
Stone IRS $7 ($6 elsewhere)
And some were flat-out derp:
BA Old Stock $30 ($25 elsewhere)
Evan Williams Eclipse $30 ($22 elsewhere)
Abyss '10 $15 ($12 elsewhere)
Angel's Share $18 ($15 elsewhere)
Stone Highway 78 $8 ($3 elsewhere)
Speedway Stout $16 ($12 elsewhere)
When I complained about his prices in the forums, I received some BMs from Harpreet telling me that his dad sets the prices (which I don't believe, since he's the beer buyer) and that prices would come down. I have made some more visits since then, and the prices have remained fixed.
Supposedly they have a price-matching policy, though they won't admit to it unless you press the issue. But the terms are ridiculous: you need documented, itemized receipts from another store. If you're buying beer at another store, why would you come to Perry's to get the same price? Idiotic. They're just hedging their bets.
I'm annoyed with the dishonesty -- hence the low "service" score. If the beer buyer lies on one thing he's probably lying on another. Anyway, regarding prices, I find it more worthwhile to drive slightly farther away to Monument, where they have a better selection and lower prices.
I can see why people like this store, but if you have the mobility to check out the Bay Area's other bottle shops, you'll get more value there. I also checked the dates on a number of products and found that several beers were old; I'm guessing the high prices cause low turnover.
As I was leaving, Harpreet asked me to give his store a perfect 5.0 review. Sorry buddy... I'll do that when you've earned it.
An aside: when I was there in summer of 2009, Harpreet made it a point to tell me about a beer that Russian River was brewing exclusively for his store. Naturally, I e-mailed Vinnie to ask about it.
I'm a big fan of Russian River beers, particularly the sours. On a recent trip to Perry's Liquors in Livermore, I was informed by the beer buyer (Harpreet) that you are brewing a beer exclusively for his store a la Deviation and Toronado 20th.
Can you provide any details on this beer? What style will it be, what kind of barrel-aging do you have in mind, etc.? Do you have a timeline for release? I'm pretty excited to try it."
"Ahhhh, I'm not sure what you are talking about."
Coming soon to Perry's... Russian River Fabrication Ale (thanks Arne).
03-17-2011 06:21:28 |
More by Arbitrator
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Great shop! I stopped in while in CA on business. They had a lot to choose from. I picked up some Russian River Consecration and Pliny the Elder. There may be cheaper places but this was a great one stop shop. They took great care of me and made sure that my trip from the east coast resulted in some great takeout.
04-20-2013 23:59:31 |
More by GJ40
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
This place is awesome! I was returning from a visit to LA over the weekend and this place topped all of the shops I stopped at while down there. Diego was very informative and helped us find things we might have missed otherwise. This is one of the most outstanding beer stores in the Bay Area. The prices aren't cheap, but they have held onto some limited release bottles you can't always get easily.
04-01-2013 16:47:00 |
More by flaran
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$$$
Dumpy liquor store that realized they can illegally resell beer purchased in other parts of the state to people in the East Bay for insane markups. Staff think they know everything and will gladly share some stories they made up for their "beer cred". Oh, Russian River is going to brew you a special beer? Oh, you got KBS shipments directly? Come only to look around and see what greed is.
03-21-2013 07:24:52 |
More by JasonFromLA
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I went here on a whim. I am from Chicago and to find such a large selection of West Coast and PNW stuff was amazing for me. I really loved how much selection there was and they have a few harder to find bottles for a guy from the MW. My only downside is that I am limited by the space available in my suitcase for the flight home. Might have to invest in a bottle shipper! Cheers!
03-07-2013 16:08:37 |
More by DanGolfs86
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
This is a great liquor store with an awesome selection. I was told by a friend to check it out, and I was not disappointed. This place gets all the rare bottles as well as everything from most all of the California breweries as well as some great out of state gems and Belgians galore. I've gotten some amazing rare Bruery bottles here, as well as all the great California standards such as Russian River sours, and AleSmith beers. Whenever I am anywhere near the area, I make it a point to see Diego and Happy and talk to them about what they have, and what they're getting. Make it a point to seek this place out.
01-19-2013 00:10:19 |
More by PeterWeller
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Perry's Liquors is awesome! The selection is awesome. Sometimes if you lucky too you can find some really great gems. Cascade at a Liquor store in Livermore what how awesome is this in addition they all the great CA local staples Russian river, lost abbey, Stone Sierra etc... A great selection of belgian ales. Even Last years eclipse reasonably priced. If your ever too overwhelmed by the amazing selection you can Talk to Diego he will point out something great to suit your taste. In addition to a great beer selection you can also pick up some fantastic whiskey or what ever spirit you crave at the moment. if your within 30 miles this is a must hit spot.
11-15-2012 19:41:51 |
More by Leaf_hound
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Place has a great selection, including Firestone Walker Anny Ales (but expect to pay out the ass for it). Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable and willing to help and give suggestions. Their selection is on par with Ledgers (top two I have come across in the Bay Area). However their prices seem to fluctuate wildly.
For example, you can find Speedway Stout readily available in the Bay Area usually for around $12-$13. Here is $17. Firestone Anniversary is about $20, here its $30. Other beers are priced right in line with other competition so just do your homework or expect to pay $5 premium on some beers. Also be careful, buddy of mine who went with me, picked up a bottle that once he got home and tried it, had to drain pour it. It was over 2 yrs old and skunked (sitting in the cooler).
Overall great place with fantastic selection and knowledgeable staff, just be careful with prices and ages of the beer.
10-19-2012 20:08:08 |
More by CommanderOfAwesome
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
A major caveat for those who don't live in Livermore and found the place online - DO NOT go there because their website listed something you wanted in their inventory. It is not accurate/kept up to date. I went 45 minutes out of my way on a trip to the bay area to check this place out because they were supposed to have Peche Mortel and Bourbon County Stout (even Dieu du Ciel's website lists the place as a carrier of that beer). They had neither. It was remarkably disappointing, but I guess it's also on me for not calling. But based on other things I've read about the place I figured it would still be worth visiting either way. To some extent, it was. They do have a pretty good selection including a few beers I've never seen in my hometown. They could use some better organization outside of the fridges, but the chilled products are easy to navigate and they have a remarkable amount of Mikkeler, Bruery, Russian River and Lost Abbey beers, among others. There are also some surprising/rare selections that indicate a true beer fanatic runs the place, but those can also be unpredictable.
Atmosphere-wise it's kind of a dumpy city liquor store, sadly, but the owners are nice and helpful. I hear they own a bar in town that constantly has great beers on tap (naturally).
So anyway, it's a good store, but it's not worth going too far out of your way.
08-18-2012 06:10:47 |
More by TheRealBigC
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Like The Bruery much?? If so, this will be your dream spot. These guys had a ton of stuff that I had never seen at a store before, which is a rarity for me. I picked up Tart of Darkness, and they had many of the other Provisions Series as well as the Collaborations. Beyond that, there was a pretty wide variety waiting to be picked up. I will say that it seemed there was some beer that had been resting here for a while, but with a selection such as this, I blame beer nerds not keeping up their end of the bargain, as opposed to the store not "moving" inventory. Plus, some of these beers aged would be a good thing (barleywines and the like). Perry's is clearly dedicated to bringing in a lot of good stuff for people to try. Livermore isn't exactly near San Francisco or anything else, but if you're going to Byron to skydive or heading to Stockton, Davis, or Sacramento, it may be worth a side trip.
05-09-2012 05:36:25 |
More by RblWthACoz
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Perry's Liquor & Craft Beer in Livermore, CA