Friar Tuck Beverage
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 14
Reviews by allengarvin:
4.3/5 rDev +8.9%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4
I've ordered about a half-dozen boxes of beer from Friar Tuck, via their online portal at beergeek.biz, over the past few months. They have a decent selection, including the Belgian brand Cantillon, which you can't get in Dallas (we only have the sweet lambics around here: Lindemans, Liefmans, Belle-Vue). The best things about them are that they'll split up 6-packs and allow you to order singles (at a reasonable price), which many other online dealers do not; and they use FedEx ground for delivery, which ends up being a half to to a third of what UPS charges. At Internet Wines, I pay $32 shipping for a case of 750ml bottles; at Friar Tuck/Beergeek, it's only about $13.
And they're very accomodating. When I discovered them last spring, I wrote a note bemoaning the fact they were out of 2003 Thomas Hardy ale. Thomas Hardy was available here in the 90s when it was owned by Eldridge Pope, but the new brewery doesn't distribute as widely. They managed to dig up an unsold bottle for me.
Packing comes in wine or beer boxes (you can order up to 12 mixed-size bottles or 20 12-ounce bottles in a single box/shipment), peanuts packing the bottles tightly, and the box sealed and placed inside another cardboard box, with more styrofoam peanuts. I've never had a broken bottle yet.
11-03-2004 01:52:27 | More by allengarvin
More User Reviews:
4.11/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Cruised in here on the way from picking up some wave runner parts... Actually hit up this store then the Famous Liquors as well. (reviews of both posted today- 09.11.11)
I stop in here almost everytime I can. For chicago-area Ba's, this place is a lot like a Binnys... It's a huge box store with a giant selection.
Of course, big store, big selection, big buying power all means that this is the place that gobbles up most of the limited releases when they come out.... As an added bonus, they get to jack up the price a bit! Hooray! Who doesn't want to pay nearly $10 per 12 oz bottle of KBS?!
Anyway... If you're traveling through the area, this is the biggest MUST STOP store around. They carry nearly everything you'd want... Including a huge selection of mix-n-match singles... But check bottle dates on the ipas (hell, check the dates on EVERYTHING!)
Service is fine. Nothing great, but nothing I have a problem with.
09-11-2011 16:21:47 | More by AleWatcher
4.28/5 rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
I am living in Decatur for a while and this town sucks donkey ass. So I travel around looking for stuff- Springfield is only thirty minutes away... but this Friar Tuck is away from the town itself, in a shopping mall by the interstate highways. Not so easy to get too.
Selection is outrageous, though. Lots of wine, lots of liquor and lots of good beer too! Look for the coolers, the pallets with craft six-packs right by the coolers and particularly the craft-beer aisle at the end of the store. Serious shit there!
New Belgium (Lips of Faith), Stone, Rogue, Bell's, Goose Island, Boulevard, Schafly, Southern Tier, North Coast, Smuttynose, Capital Brewing... all of them either on six-packs or bombers, but also singles for you to build your own six-pack (selection for this is not as exciting, though).
The bomber selection is outstanding, with Lakefront, Flossmoor, New Holland (oak-aged Hatter, Imperial Hatter, Night tripper, Black Tulip, Farmhouse Hatter), Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, Hoppin' Frog... truly amazing. Good Euro imports too, including Belgians, Czech and German beers.
Prices are a lil' high for Central Illinois and on par with what I pay in the East Coast ($7-$10 for a bomber). Service was good, I was offered help while I was browsing, which is something that does not always happen. Quality appears to be good all around, no dust or old bottles (but no vintages either)
This is drinker's paradise, and I look forward to coming back during my stay in D-Tur.
07-24-2011 00:59:55 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.46/5 rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Amazing selection, a one-stop shop for beer, wine and alcohol, but I'll focus on the beer for this review.
There is a crazy selection of beer. Lots of stuff from Europe, the midwest, and plenty from the West Coast and NY. Prices are pretty reasonable, nothing out of line.
Service is not a priority here - it's a lot like the Wal Mart that is next door. But hey, if you know what you want, it's almost better not to be bothered while you look.
I did find some beers that had been out too long. I checked the dates on the bottles to make sure I was getting fresh stuff. As long as you do that, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
03-04-2011 13:43:32 | More by jar2574
3.75/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
2010: Still too much old beer sitting around... I don't take a gamble on imports here anymore. Old beer = low quality. Tons of last years holiday stuff. Staff said the Sculpin hiding on the shelf was relatively fresh, but it turned out to be old and faded. Beer guy was friendly though, and tried to point out a few other recent arrivals. Still a bunch of KBS and Nemesis '10 on the shelf here.
Memorial Day weekend 2009
For the last couple years i've been heading to the Friar Tucks in Bloomington, because it seemed that the selection and turnover were slightly better there. This weekend I received help right away (not always the case) locating specific beers and getting info on the ETA for seasonals. They had a few nice limited items like Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, Ballast Point Sculpin & Victory at Sea, and a whole rack of the Boulevard Smokestack series. Newer lines from Green Flash, Eel River, Clipper City Heavy Seas series, Issaquah & others. There was still dust on some things, so i'm not sure of the turnover, but overall I felt that the store had improved in the last year. If you know what you're looking for, this can be a fantastic place for finding beer.
Original review 03-19-2007:
I've visited this location several times, and feel that the other reviews accurately describe the quality and selection here.
Service is a weak point, the place often feels like a ghost town, but there are a couple helpful employees here if you can track them down. After asking a stocker about a particular regional beer, he silently pointed it out on the shelf. Not particularly happy to be working with beer it seemed, but not a big issue. Another guy later asked me directly if I needed any help, so that improved the score.
Selection includes some unusual stuff, thanks in large part to Specialty Import Distributing, i'm guessing. However, maintenance seems to be an issue, lots of dusty, out of code singles in the import section. Lots of empty spots as well, so there has to be some turnover/rotation.
Regional oddities in the US craft shelves, such as Schlafly, Barley Island, New Holland, Lakefront, plus a few others seldom seen elsewhere in the state. Many more unique options in the German, Czech, Eastern Euro imports, but "caveat emptor". Last summer I tried a bunch of random Hefes from here, and got a few stale ones (Flensburger, Aktien, Hirsch Bavarian-Weissbier) Check for dates, dust, and flaky bottle sediment. Belgian section was ok, mostly located on the kiosk in the back left corner, some near the singles section, and a few more on the right end of the import aisle. One good thing I can say is that they have a good assortment of Cantillon. Some items were seriously overpriced (Kapsreiter Landbier 16oz./$6) (St. Sebastiaan Golden 16oz. $8) but for the most part prices were in line with other stores. Oh yeah, as jpm30 mentioned below, there is a walk-in cooler, which can be fun to poke around in.
There actually wasn't anyone at the checkout on the last visit, so we had to track someone down. Is it worth the hassle? I say yes it's worth a visit, you may be impressed the first time, but pay close attention to quality of what you want to buy.
09-07-2010 18:56:26 | More by emerge077
4.15/5 rDev +5.1%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited this Friar Tuck for the first time a month or so again and then once again more recently. It is located on the southwest side of Springfield off Veterans Parkway and I-72. There is a fairly large lot out front.
The interior is segmented by type of drink, with beer being in the rear of the store. There are coolers all along the back wall, and along the left side are singles, 4 and 6-packs, bombers etc. The store layout kind of reminds me of a smaller Bevmo.
The beer selection is solid regardless. Lots of beers from the western part of the US including Lost Abbey, Stone, Rogue, Port, Ballast Point etc. In addition there are a lot of beers from closer to home (for me) like Three Floyds, Bell's, Hoppin' Frog etc. Imports from Belgium, Germany, Finland, UK etc are fairly abundant as well. The mix and match singles are pretty extensive and there is a good amount of cold beer available.
FriarTuck also carries some homebrew supplies.
Service has been pretty good on my visits. Someone will typically stop by and see if you need anything, and the people working the checkout are friendly.
Overall having this place in walking distance of my hotel means I am always going to have something good on future visits and will need to remember to bring bubble wrap for goodies to share back home that I can't find there.
06-03-2010 21:49:34 | More by Dogbrick
3/5 rDev -24.1%
quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$
Beer selection is great. But knowledge of management is lacking.
Beer is places under floresant lights which any brewer knows will impart a skunky flavor over time.
Home brew equipment is severly lacking. It is the red headed step child of the store. Hops and yeast is not check for expiration dates. Hop bags have holes in them, which ruins the oxygen barrier bags. Hops are thrown is mini fridge, so try to find the hops you want by digging.
Since they are the only homebrew supplier in town, not much to do other than buy online.
Prices are high and service is low. Without internet they have a monopoly for a hundred miles.
But they have a great selection of beer, wines and liquor.
04-10-2010 04:29:48 | More by kicktothehead
3.65/5 rDev -7.6%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Stopped here on my way home from vacation. They have a nice selection of beers from Green Flash, Ballast Point, Weihenstephaner, Michigan Brewing, Avery, Bear Republic as well as many other breweries. I was disappointed because I had read that they carried Great Lakes and Three Floyds. They did not carry Great Lakes at all, and only had Robert the Bruce from 3F. They only had World Wide Stout and nothing else from Dogfish Head. That doesn't change the fact that they still have a pretty good selection, and a nice section to pick up singles and bombers.
The staff was friendly and helpful. They were able to answer my questions and provided a box for me to carry my purchases. The only concern I have is the turn over of their product. The store was not that busy when I was there, and some of the bottles had dust and some of the product was out of season. Overall, a nice store with a pretty decent selection. When I go to Springfield again, I will be sure to check them out and see what's available.
08-08-2009 14:59:43 | More by hardy008
3.4/5 rDev -13.9%
quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
I think this place was much better than the previous reviewers have given credit for. While they might not have had the largest selection of imports, their microbrew section was impressive.
The biggest downside is that the beers were very disorganized. Bombers and 750 ml were found in a number of different places with no rhyme or reason seperate from the 6 packs. Some of the stuff in the refridgerator was not on the shelves and vice versa..
I am not from Illinois but was shocked to see some very good west coast stuff.. Port brewing and Lost Abbey were the biggest shockers.. Also saw Bear Republic and 3 floyds..
I picked up a 750 ml of Lost Abbey Devotion, Victory 12, Port hop 15, Boulevard Long Strange Tripel and Doublewide IPA. Also picked up sixers of 2 brothers Heavy Handed IPA and Green Flash West Coast IPA..
03-09-2009 20:09:00 | More by erichall
3.85/5 rDev -2.5%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This is about the only place around Springfield where one can find a large selection of different beers, so it gets lots of points for that. I've always managed to find something new and interesting, but I do wonder about their turnover at times. Still, the service is alright, though I've never really needed the help. Their prices are pretty decent as well. Sure beats the heck out of a lot of Chicago places when it comes to pricing. Overall, I really like the place. It's my shop of choice. I always go in thinking I know what I want... and then spending an hour and a half wandering around anyway! Seriously though, if you're in the area give it a look. Probably doesn't have the best selection ever, but it suit me just fine!
01-15-2009 06:46:48 | More by PirateUlf73
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Friar Tuck Beverage in Springfield, IL
89 out of 100 based on 14 user ratings.