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Mari's 6 Pac 'N' Mor
Taps: - / Bottles: 2000
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Eatery, Store ]
835 Hiesters Lane
phone: (610) 750-6430
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vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
Visited May 12th.
Atmosphere: one of the most unique, weirdest establishments I have ever been too (beer-shop-wise). walking in there was latino music blaring int he establishment. a few scruffy gents drinking Coors Light/Labatt Ice hogs legs in their drinking/pool table/hang out area. bottle shop area is very well laid out between a cooler section, a vast American section, and fantastic import/gypsy section. I think it is also important to note the cleanliness of the beer section/entire establishment. UNIQUE is the best way to put it.
Service: couldn't really tell you here. didn't need any help and didn't get offered any.
Selection: this is where I was impressed, the selection between imports and domestic crafts was extensive and detailed. by detailed I mean there were not a lot of breweries where they didn't have at least 5 or so different brews available. couldn't even get into all the breweries represented but I picked up a few hard to finds from central waters, stone, ballast point, and passed on harder to finds from victory, Deschutes, Ithaca, port, and several gypsy brewers.
overall I would certainly recommend visiting this place if in the area and would be worth it for a little bit of travel. has plenty of selection and few gems I was stoked to secure under the pretenses of my random visit. thumbs up regardless of the rating of this review.
05-16-2013 04:13:40 |
More by Jimmys
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Yesterday marked my second visit to Mari's and I wish that public trans was such that I could get up to Reading more often! I am always treated like some sort of visiting celebrity (although I really try to downplay that sort of thing) upon arrival and it makes me want to buy as much as possible to make the visit worthwhile for all concerned.
It is located in the back corner of a little strip mall and the checkout counter is directly inside the door on a button-hook right. Further to the right, upon entry, is the bar area with twelve (12) taps, half on the counter, half on the back bar with those also hooked up to their growler filler. There are a couple of pool tables and some standard tables and chairs, but I like to belly up to the bar when I am done shopping. On a button-hook left coming in the door, one encounters several racks of shelves containing wearables, like ballcaps and such, plus a great selection of mini-kegs and room-temperature CANs. I really want to get at least a couple of those mini-kegs on my next visit, like Uerige. Uerige?!? Are you kidding me?!?
Once I collected myself, I continued on to the bank of coolers that lined the back wall, wrapping around to take up a good 1/3 of the perimeter of the building. I would like to take this opportunity to mention the lighting. The coolers use the U/V black lighting that is recommended and the entire store is lit in low-key status. I cringe when entering what I refer to as "A clean, well-lighted place for beer". If you like taking a chance that your beer has been light-struck, so be it, but I enjoy peace of mind. The floor space was dominated by room-temperature beer with domestic micros taking the center of the building and separate sections for "Gypsy Brewers"; "Beer of the World" (all separated by country of origin); and then alcopops, which I am finding to be a nice change of pace from my steady diet of AIPAs and DIPAs.
I had a blast just walking around, sampling some Flying Dog (they have regular samplings of/from various breweries, sometimes with reps in attendance) and slowly filling my shopping basket. I could see a full day of Mari's, Reading Royals and Al's Diamond Cabaret (beer, hockey and feminine pulchritude, just to show what a class-act I am).
03-31-2013 22:18:34 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Incredible store for any craft beer fan.
They have a large selection of bottles and bombers, a mix and match 6 pack discount, and the best selection in the area by far. The owner and workers are extremely knowledgeable, incredibly passionate, and very friendly.
After moving away from the area I can honestly say I miss this store the most- they spoiled me something terrible and I haven't found a replacement for them.
The only downside is they are located in a "rougher" part of town but I have never had any problems in 3 years of purchasing from them regularly.
02-03-2013 03:36:47 |
More by dcoms233
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
I previously reviewed this place, but felt the need to delete it and start over, as I think it's changed a lot in the last six months to a year or so.
The atmosphere is a little strange - the day to day clientele is there for mostly BMC and malt liquor 40s. There's a little area separated off to the side with a pool table and some tables, and normally when you go in there are a bunch of people in there hanging out, but there is NEVER anyone drinking craft. Ever. Kind of strange for a store with the best selection of craft in the area, but whatever...
As for quality/selection, they really do have the best selection in Reading (and surrounding areas). Odds are, if Mari's doesn't have it, no one else in the area does either. That said, there are a number of beers that simply don't move off the shelves, so you have to be VERY careful with bottle dates, especially if you're buying beers from the coolers. I would avoid buying un-dated bottles of anything where freshness matters (IPAs, etc).
Additionally, a really large portion of the bottle selection is unpriced; probably well over 50%. They're pretty friendly about scanning bottles at the counter if you ask, but it's really a pain that most special release stuff and seasonals are consistantly unmarked, and when they post a new beer on their Facebook feed and someone asks for a price, they will rarely ever respond.
Recently, Mari has adopted a couple policies that I think are questionable at best, and outright objectionable at worst. Over the last few months, to get almost any special release, you're forced to buy a 4 or 6 pack (depending) of a "regular" offering of the brand of the special release. So, if I want BCBCS (for $25), I have to buy a marked up $14/4-pack of Matilda or Sofie, for example. Bolt cutter (for $25)? Buy a 6-pack of Founders pale ale or porter for $13. I even have to buy a GI 4-pack if I want a $15 Nightstalker (obviously, I passed). I find this pretty insulting as a regular customer - I used to buy the majority of my bottles there (special release or not) because I didn't mind spending the extra dollar or two on the normal stuff to support the business. Being forced to buy something I don't want in order to get something I do has turned me off big-time, and I've walked out empty handed my last two or three visits as a result. More for others, I guess.
There are also bottle limits on just about everything...which I understand, if it's something that should have a limit. On my last visit, I asked if they got anything new in over the last week or so, and was told that if I wanted it, they just got in a case of Half Acre Gossamer, but since it was rare, I could only buy one can (for $4-5). Really? Gossamer? Not a big deal since I didn't really want it anyway, but just about any new release or any beer she only gets one case of, it's limit one. Also, reserving bottles is a no-no. If you're not there when she decides to put it out, no bottle for you. For some of the tougher stuff (i.e., Cantillon Kriek a few months ago), she would actually lock the beers up in the back when she wasn't there to make sure that they weren't being sold over bottle limits, so if you were there when she wasn't there, not only did you not get a bottle that visit, but a bottle would NOT be put on hold for you. Just "stop back in tomorrow" when Mari is there. Extremely frustrating.
Pricing is average on some bottles, high on others. Most of the "regularly available" 4/6-packs are usually $1-$2 higher than a place like Wegmans, but large format bottles are usually 20-30% more expensive than some better value shops, which is a consequence of there being really no local competition for the store (i.e., Sucaba for $30 last year).
Mari's is pretty popular in the area because it's the only option. In my opinion, what the area needs is a competing store. I used to recommend Mari's, and I can't make that recommendation anymore.
01-20-2013 05:39:13 |
More by Greenplastic615
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
A - A great little find in a slightly odd locale that is a bit off of the beaten path... The inside has ample space... There is a lot of unused space... Loads of coolers... The lighting is a bit dark... Quality end caps...
Q - The biggest issue I had was lack of pricing information which is one of my biggest pet peeves in beer stores... I would estimate that 80% of the stock had no discernible price...
Ser - Courteous and knowledge staff... While I didn't require any direct help, I saw employees spending quality timing educating other customers... My interaction at check-out was pleasant enough...
Sel - Best selection I've seen outside of the immediate Philadelphia suburbs since I moved to Central PA a couple of years ago... I was happy to find some rarities and other items that I thought were long gone from the market place...
I'll gladly stop again when passing through Reading, but I'm not sure I'll make the hour plus trip with any regularity...
12-16-2012 02:04:53 |
More by philbe311
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Visited on August 23rd during a road trip. Pretty good spot if you live in these parts though I'd say driving any more then two hours to shop here wouldn't be worth it.
There's not much to the store appearance. Little dumpy on outside and stale on inside but what does that matter when there is a 10 door cooler section and five rows of beers to choose from? The draft lines add a touch as its never bad to sip when you pick up new stuff.
Was able to scoop up a BooGoop. Only place I saw in New Jersey or eastern Pennsylvania that had St. Bernardus Tokyo. Some Cigar City which is different for the area. Plenty of Dogfish. Decent selection of Mikkeller and Belgian imports.
09-03-2012 04:14:42 |
More by JosephThompson
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$
Previous rater is mistaken. Ruination 10 yr is $84/case from the wholesaler, so NOBODY is selling a bomber of Ruination 10 yr Anniversary for $6.49 anywhere, not even at Stone Brewing in Escondido. 6.49 is below cost, no one want to lose money. A business has to make a little money to stay in business, I was willing to pay the $12 because I am not putting out $90 for twelve bottles that will have to sit until I drink them.
Maris has 1000s of different beers from around the world. They have an incredible selection and allow buyer to purchase straight 6 packs and mix-a-6 pack. Mixed 6ers are 20% off, good deal :-). The owner herself travels all over to get rare beer for her beer fans. Mari is dedicated to her buyers and attempts to get whatever beers are requested.
Maris 6 Pac has 5 taps flowing with fabulous changing beers. No big American breweries on tap, just the good stuff such as Daisy Cutter & others. Grab a cold one & drink while you shop for beer to take home. They have growlers & a new style growler to take two pints home for later that night. Bring your own growler too & they will fill it up with some sweet bitterness.
Outside of the Philly area, this is THE TOP BOTTLE SHOP around. Located outside of Reading with plenty of parking. This place rivals Capones.
The owner is changing this place to be the beer palace that we all crave, a great spot to pick up some incredible brewskis for the night.
FREE BEER TASTINGS on Saturdays & Sundays with free give-aways.
Maris 6 Pac is on Facebook too, she updates new beers in stock daily giving her followers some inside info to come grab the goodness before its gone.
Just some testimony of how good this place is & how rare some of the beers are that they have... Where have you seen Rogue Voodoo Donut? @ Maris, pink bomber, on the shelf. 120 minute? Available most of the time. Hop slam? Yeah, they had it when others didn't.
If you are any where near Reading or looking to take a cruise to find some killer beer & selection... This is the place.
08-27-2012 03:49:51 |
More by ShortestStraw
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 1 | $$$$
This place used to be a small six pack shop w decent prices on mostly cheap lager type beers and a bunch of locals watching sports on tv. They also had a small selection of craft beers that consisted of a few DFH and Stone gems with decent enough prices. The craft beer must have sold well though because they moved into a bigger space and started concentrating heavily on craft. Granted the selection now is impressive, but I feel that the pricing has gone up. Since they get their beer from Shangy's with little or no discount, expect to pay at least a few dollars more per beer than splitting a case purchase would be.
As far as my grade goes, I'm somewhat limited by the BA structure.. But here it goes:
Atmosphere: Getting better... if what you want to see is a craft beer bottle shop. This place used to be more of a local hangout. It still is at certain times, but the bottle and six pack take out has really taken over.
Quality: In the past I've seen some old IPAs for sale here. Be sure to check the dates when you purchase. FWIW, I've seen this problem at most places.
Service: I've had some problems in the past, but they seem to have replaced a few of their surlier employees. My last few visits have been good.
Selection: The selection is undeniably pretty impressive for these parts.
Food: Hot dogs, popcorn, just a few things to make the bottle shop legal.
Value: Expensive. But often the only way to go if you don't want to buy an entire case.
08-05-2012 23:14:30 |
More by mcslain
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
1st time at Mari's and I feel like part of the family. Seriously, how many times do you go into a place for the first time and get treated like you've been going for years? Talked to Dave quite a bit - obviously knows his stuff and really friendly to boot. Really nice to see a vendor as passionate as I am about craft beer. My critiques: Most items were fresh, but some were a little old, so as usual watch your dates. Not everything was priced - this annoys me, but I've noticed this trend in several bottle shops. Guess turnover is too much to keep up with. I know it's minor, but guys, I would probably buy more if I knew what it cost. Dave helped me with prices though - not sure how he remembers all that stuff. Overall - excellent place, especially for the rare stuff. I'll definitely be back.
07-29-2012 23:32:02 |
More by 30-06pack
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
It has been about 2 years since i was there, so i saw that they updated it and their selection has grown. I walked in and i was blown away. The atmosphere was great, and the service was great. Mari is great to talk to and her staff is knowledgable and will help you and answer any questions you have. The selection I think is awesome, there is no other store around the reading area that has a selection like they do. The prices are reasonable i think, some are a little higher, but they have to make money also,and i personaly don't mind paying a little bit more for the convience of getting single bottles of stuff i haven't tried yet than buy a six pack of it and not like it. If you live near there and love craft beer, go check it out, you will not be disappointed.
07-08-2012 10:54:20 |
More by chefhatt
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Mari's 6 Pac 'N' Mor in Reading, PA