Hennepin Lake Liquor
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Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8 | Reviews: 8
3.85/5 rDev +19.6%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Things seem to have changed a good deal since this venerable retailer was last reviewed. Think of it this way: the most attractive retailer in the immediate area (to beer-lovers) has been improved! I don't know exactly when the improvements began to be implemented, but the last time I visited the changes were quite evident. The beer selection is now much better organized than it had been previously, with a shelf dedicated to imports (in the rear of the store and off to the right) replacing bulk stacks and box wines. Of course, the warm beer selection is still organized as it has been in the past, with half on the shelves in the main aisles and the rest in bulk floor-stacks, but the new section really serves to help focus the beer selection on point of origin, category, and format. That being said, it is still a much smaller selection than you'll find at the top ten beer stores in town, but being wider than e.g. Hum's or Chi-Lake, it should make for a great impulse stop when in the area.
The beer cooler has been similarly re-organized, and seems to now focus more on established craft breweries and brands (e.g. a good selection of Bell's and Victory, a facing of Blue Moon complimented by other Witbeers) rather than on 'flavor of the week' breweries and market pushes. I'd like to think that this is due to there being a wider range of suppliers in terms of craft and specialty beer in recent years (note: at the time of Feloniusmonk's review, a primary craft and specialty provider had recently gone out of business. Spreading that portfolio around seems to have helped.)
They still have an uncanny tendency to be the last place in town to have a certain beer in stock, who knows why? With BLB only a short stroll down the street you'd think the 'big gun' beers would fly out the door, but no, they still sit there, waiting for die-hard beer hobbyists like myself to find 'em. And yeah, the goofy knock-down bins are still there, with brews selected to fill them in a willy-nilly fashion. If you're as brave as me you may just find a gem! Overall, prices seem to have come down in recent years as well - I think focusing on core craft families (e.g. Big Sky, Breckenridge) has helped them in that sense. There are still a few zingers, but it seems that no matter where you go everyone has a particularly out-priced item.
One drawback is that Hennepin Lake has always exuded something of a claustrophobic feel to it (and the parking lot has always been a challenge), but customer service seems to have picked up in recent years: on my most recent visit I actually talked beer with the buyer, who seemed like a great guy. And even the checkout clerks seem to have become more professional - maybe it's just that I've experienced worse help since, but I wouldn't call any of these clerks especially surly. Uptown is changing . . . maybe for the better?
03-03-2007 02:08:20 | More by Chaz
3.55/5 rDev +10.2%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Hennepin Lake Liquor is the closest liquor store from my brother and sister in laws place. Prices looked to be about par or better for the metro area. They had a nice section of imports which included a really nice selection of Belgians. Pretty small bomber section with mostly Rogue dominating, also some Avery. Four different kinds of Surly to be had. Six pack section included Avery, Bell's, Goose Island, Founders and Victory. Found some Bourbon County Stout which was nice. You won't find much in the way of limited releases, but they have alot of quality beers at nice prices. The only service I saw was at the cash registers. Overall, a decent store which when in the area, I will visit again.
10-17-2009 00:29:03 | More by jera1350
3.5/5 rDev +8.7%
quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Decent enough selection of craft beer, including several beers that sold out months (or in some cases years) ago at other liquor stores. Had plenty of Bells Java Stout over a year after it had gone on 'hiatus' and plenty of imperial stouts like Bells Expedition and Victory Storm King with about a year on it. If you want a beer store that can act as your personal cellar, this might be the place since it seems to be frequently overlooked.
Prices about on par with others in the area, though be forewarned it is cash/check only, no credit cards. They have a couple of singles in coolers along with some bombers, and always seem to have tons of Bells (in both 6-pack and singles form).
11-27-2009 23:28:06 | More by MysticX
3.28/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Great place to find some rare beers. They hardly ever overcharge their beer, which is very surprising.
The staff pretty much doesn't know much about beer excluding a couple guys that work there.
Also this place doesn't accept anything besides cash or checks...weird right? They have an ATM in the store, but of course you have to pay the ATM fee. I don't know why they even accept checks considering they are a whole lot easier to make fraudulent.
Overall great selection, but there have been a couple times that I forgot to bring cash and I just end up going down the street to another liquor store.
02-16-2012 02:08:25 | More by JoRado
3.16/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
A- Walking in, the first thing you notice is that most of the store seems quite cramped. There are big displays of beer and wine and all that but there's minimal aisle space, particularly on the back wall coolers where beer is located. Belgians and similar are on right wall, bombers in back left. Six packs and others are on back shelf and back cooler.
Q- Some of the beer is coolered and some not, but it seems random what is and isn't.
Ser- I have been offered assistance once, and that guy didn't really know much about beer. Otherwise, help tends to ignore you.
Sel- A decent selection with a fairly good variety of craft, but not any better than other liquor stores in the area. They did have a couple bottles of Surly Five later than I saw it anywhere else, but that's about it.
The price is a bit higher than Zipp's or Chicago Lake. Unless I was in the area, I'd probably go somewhere else.
09-28-2011 00:29:03 | More by jsprain1
3/5 rDev -6.8%
quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5
Once upon a time, this was my store, closest to my home way back then, but now I only visit for the beers that everyone else has sold out of and that they can't get rid of!
What am I talking about? Well, for some reason, the ultra-hip Uptown neighborhood doesn't have a lot of adventurous beer seekers among the residents, or at least they aren't shopping here. Prices are high, and the beer sits, begging for customers. The place sells a lot of the same-old, same-old, Summit, Sierra Nevada, all the macros, and Bell's, Victory, Dogfish Head and the like gather dust. Are they rejecting the higher prices, or just not interested? A little bit of both, I presume. So, the selection isn't spectacular, but they do stock good stuff (first place I ever saw Trappistes Rochefort for sale around here, and I know I can always grab a Bell's Expedition Stout 6'er), and it occasionally gets discounted, in the unglamourous "knock-down" bin.
Aisles are tight and narrow, not a comfortable place to shop. And then there's the legendarily surly clerks, with the attitude of a punk-rocker for life who knows there's no other job for them, and for that, you're going to pay, you miserable slug!
If I were ever to live in Uptown again, I'd come here now and then when I'm desperate and just need to pick up something, but I'd still have to make voyages to Surdyk's and Zipp's and elsewhere for variety and value.
12-30-2003 08:44:36 | More by feloniousmonk
2.95/5 rDev -8.4%
quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$
this place is only about 20 blocks from my house but i just dont go there that much any more the selection is good and the prices are all right its just the quality and service is not good..they have a lot of beer in nooks and crannies tucked away.. some big displays and a wall of bombers and some singles..i guess if im on my way to a dinner or a barb-b-que and need a sixer real quick ill stop by but it is not a destination store ..the employees act as though they are doing u a favor for u to spend ur money there ..i dont know there is quite an eclectic crowd that shops there from the rich to the poor which is some what amusing..not really recommended
01-31-2010 22:44:52 | More by gatornation
2.49/5 rDev -22.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | $$
Hennepin Lake Liquor is a store I don't frequent for a number of reasons. First and foremost they don't accept plastic, and I rarely carry cash. Second, their selection is lacking. They carry the basic brands that you can find at any liquor store in the Twin Cities area, and that is about it. Third, the place is a dump, and it is really crowded. The aisles are so narrow it is really difficult for two people to pass each other without bumping into something. Forth, the service is really poor. They always have at least a half dozen staff on, but they always seem to be at the register talking to each other instead of helping the costumers.
11-30-2011 22:33:08 | More by KarlHungus
Hennepin Lake Liquor in Minneapolis, MN
N/A out of 100 based on 8 user ratings.