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B & B Liquor Store
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$$ - reasonable
[ Store, Homebrew Store ]
2440 28th St
phone: (616) 956-9413
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Had Sweem not known where he was going, we probably would have passed right by this place. It was tucked back in strip mall-type place with weak signage for how busy the main drag there is. An interesting slogan for a liquor (heavily beer filled) store was "Specialty Party Shop". Huh?
It must be known I was already going in with low expectations after hearing Sweem's story of being reamed by the owner for entering a wide-open back room filled with beer. I mean, you're a beer store, if you've got a room completely full of awesome beer with a door wide open leading to it, which beergeek would NOT go in there? That pissed me off a little bit. Especially to hear that the owner said they didn't have a particular beer when it was stocked in the back. I witnessed this door propped open myself on our visit. Either close the door and post a sign saying "Employees Only" or don't be a dick when people walk in there thinking it's an addition to your selection.
Anyway, we walked in and were blasted with a massive aroma of incense like a slap to the face. It didn't smell bad at all, but it was way overly potent. It's not something I want to a) leave smelling like, which I feel like I did, or b) leave with product that's been sitting in that aroma forever. Loose the incense lady.
The place was rather small but packed with goodies. Just inside the right corner was a supply of home brewing stuff from books to hoses, sanitizers to fully functional kits, and a glass front fridge with hops and yeast which was part of the whole cooler. Small in scale but it appeared as if everything was in order and you could find just about everything you'd need. This bumped the selection up the extra .5.
The beer selection on the other hand was also nice, but questionable. Giant wire shelving which held all the home brewing goods also held a decent amount of beer. Most of it was Belgian stuff...but the front door. Why do people insist on this? There were two of the absolutely massive bottles of Double Bastard as well as Samichlaus. Somewhere around $90 a bottle for Double Bastard. Lots of Unibroue there with a large selection of big bottles from Ommegang, Southern Tier, Lagunitas, Goose Island Night Stalker, Breckenridge, Rogue, Avery, Flying Dog, and the list goes on. A whole row of six packs contained just about everything you could want on the lower part of the wooden shelves with larger bottles on the upper parts. The walk-in cooler had a lot of BMC stuff with chilled six packs and the sort. One thing I noticed in there was a bottle of Jacobsen Saaz Blonde for $7.59. I don't know if this is normal but when I got it from Binny's a while back (not on sale) it was under $4. On the same hand, six packs of Hopslam were $17.99 each which is lower than most places.
The fridges surrounding the walk-in cooler had Imports, singles, and other things mixed in there. The imports seemed pretty typical ranging from Franziskaner, Krucovice, Samuel Smith's, Tucher, Kwak, Fullers, and a number of others.
My main issue comes into play when quality is taken into consideration. When looking through the good bottle selection I noticed most everything in large bottles on the top were both bathed in fluorescent light and caked in dust. Not a good sign. The second indication to be extra careful when selecting beers from B&B Liquors was the fact that I immediately saw a six pack of one of my favorite beers; Grassroots Ale from Great Lakes. "Is it out already?" I asked myself.
Nope. This six pack is still on shelves from last year. Wayyyy beyond it's best-by date. And of course, lastly, I took issue with the crazy amount of aged stuff that Sweem saw in the back. Are they storing beer for personal consumption here? Or just aging it to sell it at a seriously jacked up price? Or just sell it regularly but in possible poor condition?
All these questions I considered leading me to really worry about the condition most of their beers are in. I grabbed two or three singles of local stuff I had not seen else-where, checked for a date, and headed to the counter. The owner seemed nice enough to me, but the attitude she got with Sweem for an unfair reason was already enough to make me wonder.
I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid this location but customers should be extra careful when picking beers out here. Always check for bottle dates and pull from the back if possible. Otherwise the selection is good!
04-28-2010 12:58:09 |
More by BeerFMAndy
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Good selection of local micros and some imports. Reasonable enough prices. Good selection of items I can not get in North Carolina, midwestern and some northeastern microbrews. Every once in a while you find an old vintage. This past winter I picked up some blackout stout from 2007. Yes only 2 years old, but things don't usually last that long in stores. Nice relaxed cozy place. Basically if you're on 28th street, you need to stop here.
I will agree with the last reviewer however, the old man is pretty much an ass. His daughter(I'm assuming) is a delight however. The prices have went up, but they match everywhere else around town pretty much.
01-16-2009 01:43:51 |
More by Bung
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This place is newly remodeled on 28th street just east of Breton. It's kind of hidden so you would have to look for it to see it. The store is a little on the small side but seems quite clean which is nice. The beer selection is one of the best in GR. Great microbrew selection of (some New Holland I don't see anywhere else). The Belgian selection is also the best I have seen in GR. I was there looking for quite awhile and got no service but the lady working seemed nice enough, just not too helpful when it came to beer. Prices are reasonable. Homebrew section is much weaker than Siciliano's.
04-14-2004 14:29:43 |
More by granger10
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Another accidental find while in MI!! I got turned around on 28th street thanks to my GPS and ended up in the shopping center where this place is located...destiny? Maybe not...
As mentioned below...you get smacked in the face with incense...wow...like walking into a Yankee Candle place...ugh...
The beer selection seems to be a bit random, but above average. Some room temp. stuff, some stuff in coolers, more in a walk-in cooler. Nothing jumped out at me...
Seems like a pretty good place to check out every now and again...I did leave empty handed.
05-18-2010 20:35:10 |
More by mgbickel
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Review updated as of June 24, 2007: Selection is still excellent for Michigan craft, Stone, and Belgians. Nice, but a spottier elsewhere. Since I hit the store for Michigan craft beer, I'm well hooked-up. Please, don't be shy about stepping into the cooler and checking the dark, cool shelves there, where I found many additional selections not repeated in the cooler door displays or the warm shelves. Very friendly staff continues to be a great asset. No out of code product noted. A great choice if you're on the opposite side of town from Siciliano's.
Great selection crammed into this tiny shop. Emphasis on Belgians and Michigan Micros, which was exactly what I was looking for. Excellent selection of single bottles from the Michigan producers, with a broad range of Bell's, Dark Horse, New Holland, Founder's and others. Lots of large bottles of Belgians as well.
Some dust, but the shop itself was quite cool, and all of the backstock appeared to be in the cooler. Will alter the quality after I have a chance to sample the beers if necessary.
Friendly, helpful staff who are genuinely interested in beers. Worth a special trip.
06-25-2007 00:02:01 |
More by Realale
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Small place that I wasn't even seeking out, but passed and recognized from the greatest tool on the internet.
Everything I bought was high quality, very fresh, or well stored.
The lady behind the counter, I presume the owner, was very friendly, recommending beers basd on what we bought and telling us of her travels to buy the stuff. It was a nice experience.
Not a huge selection of himebrew supplies, but I almost picked up some yeast, and would have if I'd had a cooler. Beer selection is focused on Belgian beers, and their selection is more than ample. Also, quite the selection (both size and variety) of Hitachino and plenty of out of state micros that are not available in Lansing.
A good stop if you're in that part of town and your wife is at Nordstrom's Rack. A bit pricey, but it seems that the owner goes to great lengths to provide the selection that she does.
09-18-2006 22:07:22 |
More by nortmand
quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$$
Finally went in and visited this place after driving by it so many times.
A decent selection of local and imported stuff that most places have. It has a walk-in cooler that keeps most of the stuff nice and cold for you.
They have a sign saying that if you cant find what you are looking for, ask, and they might have it (see the following paragraph about this). Their prices are a little more expensive than most, but I did manage to find some nice aged stuff there.
My biggest gripe with the place is this:
When I went in, the back door into their storage room was propped open with a heavy box. . . they had mountains of awesome aged beers that I would have paid top dollar for. Being my first time in there I walked in assuming it was just another room of the store since the door was open, when the proprietor scolded me and told me to get out I of course obeyed & immediately apologized. I felt bad about it but I continued my shopping. When I asked about a particular beer I didnt find on their shelves, they said they didnt have it in stock. . . well, I happened to have seen that they had cases of the latest release of it in that back room. . .
Are they aging stuff on purpose & then putting it on the shelves later? You turned away a customer that would have paid alot of $ for those beers in the back, but then go and say you dont have it in stock was very discouraging for me. I immediately went over to Siciliano's and bought it instead since they actually had it out on their shelves.
Overall, a nice place, but I look elsewhere.
03-31-2010 21:15:49 |
More by sweemzander
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
B&B had a decent crop of Michigan brews as well as your DogFish Head stuff and other common findings of a shop of this nature. Overall the selection is bested by Sicilianos, but they are certainly holding their own. They seemed to have a decent stock of foreigners, although I have not really been seeking out these and am relatively naive about them. I am always fearful of getting a shitty tasting bottle when it comes to imports as transit time and shelf lingering seem to have offed the flavor of certain things I have tried. Unless they just taste cruddy to begin with. Anyhow, they have a homebrewing section that looks like just your basic requirements. I am not a beer maker myself but the other store that I already namedropped looks to have a wider variety of options available. They did have a gigantic jug La Fin Du Monde ( bigger than the regular big bottles Unibroue offers, I did not look at the volume contained though ) that would be nice to save for a celebration. I also came across Bell's Batch 6000. They had Arcadia #999 too which I wish was sold as a single, but they would not let me get just one which kinda sucked. This place would be better if you could break sixers or four packs that are not designated as single sales at this time. The service was not what I would call stellar. They asked if we needed help but they weren't overly social. Just a cashier and a stocker who were doing their jobs. All in all, well worth the gander. I will return.
03-29-2005 17:51:51 |
More by SupaCelt
quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Good selection of bottle with a small selection of homebrew supplies. This is the only place that I have been able to find Sam Adams Imp Pilsner in the GR area. and have found some interesting thing that I have not seen at other places around.
I have never had any real contact with anyone working there other then getting checked out. But, they seem friendly and it is kinda nice not being bothered when your trying to pick out beer.
They have pre-made custom six packs that follow a style, they often look interesting but slightly over priced (have never gotten one).
03-25-2009 02:36:45 |
More by Roeters
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
I guess I've been spoiled on other stores, but B&B strikes me as a middle of the road place to pick up brews. They have a decent selection of locals, including most of the more obscure Bell's offerings that I'd otherwise have to visit the brewery to get (ie: Harry's Spiced Stout, Trumpeter, so on) as well as stuff from the Great Lakes company, Founders, and some imports, but they only have a couple coolers of singles that have interest to me with the others being filled with wine coolers and macroswill.
Selection on the shelves is quite a bit better though; 4/6 packs of some harder to find items, and much more impressively, a great array of Belgians both in small and large bottle form. I, alas, rarely have enough spare money to buy a decent selection of Belgians at one time, but if you are looking for some variety on that front this is a good place to go, the best variety I've found in western MI actually.
Main knock on this place is it's location, dead in the middle of 28th Street with no easy way to get in and out. When I'm in the area I swing by to check out their selection, but I rarely make a special trip unless I'm dying for an obscure Bell's offering.
01-17-2004 01:44:05 |
More by CortexBomb
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B & B Liquor Store in Grand Rapids, MI
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