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Bottles N' Bins Liquor
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$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
898 Lighthouse Ave
phone: (831) 375-5488
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Reviews by augustgarage:
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is the best place to buy beer on the Monterey peninsula - the selection trumps the local Whole Foods (for example) buy several hundred percent. When I visited, there was a "back in 5 minutes" sign on the door, and as soon as the woman working there noticed me, she ran over to open the door and thank me for waiting. I scanned the large room noting the liquor and wine, and then the wall of fridges. Inside you'll find plenty of 4-packs, 6-packs, nearly every British canned beer produced, a number of offerings from Maine, NorCal (but no Russian River), and Germany, along with a small cooler of macros, and a small cooler of wine/champagne.
Next to the fridges, there is a large rack full of most every Abbey ale distributed to the U.S., the full Lost Abbey line, the full Allagash line, many Fantome (Hiver, Printemps, Noel, etc) and Cantillon offerings (including '06 Lou Pepe Framboise, Saint Lamvinus, '05 Iris, Classic Gueuze, etc), and many more Belgian ales without skimping on the sours. A small glassware collection is here as well - along with a separate shelf for seasonal Belgian ales...
Quality was very good on everything I purchased - and most everything you'd expect to find in the fridge (e.g. IPAs) was stored there, with the exception of a couple German beers.
Service was very friendly and helpful while not at all pushy - though their knowledge wasn't as high as I would expect considering the gems that they stock.
If you are in the area, this is an essential stop if you enjoy Belgian ales (especially traditional lambics). Prices are competitive, and it feels good to support a local family-owned business over the encroaching chains.
03-23-2010 06:58:23 |
More by augustgarage
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Where's the parking? With just a couple spaces available at the store itself, I was lucky to arrive just after the store had opened. Walk inside, medium sized liquor store space. The beers are hanging out furthest from the enterence, so walk past some liquor and wine and then we can start the journey.
Great selection of beers in general, and good options available in the form of drinking vessels. There's a n especially large proportion of the beers being of Belgian origin (Kasteel, Gouden Carolus, Lucifer, Caracole, Timmermans, Bornem, Affligem), but make no mistake, there's also plenty of beers from non-Belgian breweies (Speakeasy, Big Sky, Marstons, Wynchwood, Unita, North Coast, The Bruery. Some of the beers are refrigerated, however you're more likely to pick a beer from store temperature. Prices are marked on the beers, and despite a few older beers I spotted, many of what I spotted were still in good shape.
I wouldn't be surprised if this were the place to stop for bottles in or around Monterey. There's a lot to choose, but don't forget to bring your own bags when you buy multiple bottles.
11-12-2012 18:31:07 |
More by DoubleJ
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This place has more liquor than beer but there are a half dozen refrigerators and a few rows of small shelves dedicated to craft. Styles span from new releases from local breweries, European brews, fresh ipas and even a few limited releases. The staff (or guy who was working at the time) seemed friendly enough, and even pointed out a few of his favorite brews. Prices seemed reasonable on just about everything.
A solid bottle shop all around, especially for the area. Compared to the SF Bay Area where I’m from, this place has nothing new or exciting, and if anything the selection is a bit limited. BUT, for what it is, and for the area, there is no better.
12-11-2011 23:16:33 |
More by scottfrie
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Mid sized store, wine, booze and brews.
Beer is lacated towards the rear in several mid sized coolers and on numerous shelving units of various sizes. Sort of confusing in its organization. Beer here, beer there, beer seemingly everywhere. Expect to find plenty of quality options, local goodies and regional heavyweights. Seemed sorta light on the imports, but hey there were so any quality California and west coast goodies I was not complaining. Owner was helpful and friendly...always a plus. Prices on the high side...but remember you are in Monterey-not Watsonville...Worth a visit if in the area and in need of BA worthy beer.
11-09-2011 01:42:35 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Pretty good selection here, focus seemed to be on imports, and there were a number of obscure ones. From the outside it didn't look like much, but that means nothing when hunting beers. Inside it's a typical 60's era liquor store, medium sized, open layout. Beer is all in the back. Pretty sure there's no "deli" in the name, there wasn't one in the store.
Oddball stuff I walked out with: Belmont Strawberry Blonde, Lost Abbey Inferno 375ml, Corkscrew Ale (English Ales). They had an obscure line of Italian beers i'd never seen and couldn't pronounce. A couple from Jolly Pumpkin, Firestone Walker (even XIV for $30), Ballast Point Sculpin, 21st Amendment Back In Black, and more. Coolers were a little split up, had to wander around to find the bombers, there were plenty more on the shelves too. Pretty broad selection, though they didn't have "everything".
Guy at the register was friendly and was also out on the floor offering assistance and beer recommendations. Not far from the aquarium and various shopping/dining destinations.
10-13-2011 19:57:19 |
More by emerge077
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Easily the best beer store in the Monterey area. They have expanded the shelf space given over to beer, and are clearing away some more shelves to expand even further (as of Oct 2010). Their focus seems to be on Belgian and Belgian style beers, but a good range of American micros and quality German beers also. Someone there seems to have a particular affection for oak aged beers, too!
Organisation seems a bit haphazard, but that could be a result of the ongoing expansion. It took me a while to scour the shelves to make sure I wasn't missing anything, but that's the thrill of the hunt! Only disappointment was that you couldn't break up 6 packs. I wish more specialty beer stores would follow Bev Mo's lead there, allowing more experimentation without committing to a 6 pack of beer that you might not like.
10-22-2010 16:50:49 |
More by Pelagius
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
What's up with the parking here? Once u get inside, there is a cool selection of beers. Kinda unorganized, lost abbeys found all over the place. Lots of lost abbeys while I'm at it. Dropped $30 in a serpent stout & angels share bourbon. Prolly a dozen other lost abbeys, lots of port.
Looks just like a place that would only sell 40 oz, but damn if they don't have what appears to be a very rare selection, especially of the euro beers. Saw lots of stuff I didn't recognize before. You can really blow a lot of dough here without a little restraint. Would be nicer if Monterey wasn't all weird one way street layout, just getting into this place can prove a little challenging. Wine selection looked impressive as well.
06-24-2010 04:25:29 |
More by Beerandraiderfan
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I stumbled by this place when I was lost and trying to find the pier. There was a sign in the window saying thit they have the biggest selection of Belgian beer in town.
The beer selection was decent. They had about 4 coolers with micros and imports. They did have a nice sized shelf with Belgian stuff. They had a good selection of Lambics. 7 different Cantillon beers. I also saw rare local stuff, like Old Rasputin XII.
The staff was friendly, but not the most knowledgable on the beer stuff. He knew his wine, and he was not the owner, who he said was into beer.
Parking is pretty bad, but if you get a chance to check this place out, it is worth it. Prices were decent. Everything I saw was about the same as I have seen elsewere, and since Monterey is a pit pricy, that says a lot.
Overall: I would stop here again if I was in the area. Good place.
11-09-2009 19:59:30 |
More by OStrungT
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
In the Monterey area, the only other place that comes close for selection of beers is the Whole Foods in the Del Monte Shopping Center.
The Bottles n' Bins looks, from the outside, like any other California liquor-beer-wine store, except for the window decals proclaiming the wonderful selection of scotch and Belgian beers. The decals are not exaggerating; as I said, this is the best place to go in the area for beer to take home. Lots and lots of Belgians, British, and US craft breweries. In fact, one of the only ways they could improve is by making more room for beer and less for wine, as good wine is easy to find around here and good beer is not. The staff is extremely helpful and also knowledgeable about all the stuff they have.
Located on Lighthouse, there's not much parking but it is in easy walking distance from the hotels on Cannery Row and not terribly far from downtown Monterey. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.
09-17-2009 23:46:33 |
More by ocmpoma
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
If you are anywhere in the Monterey Bay Area, check out Bottles 'N' Bins. Their selection is outstanding. From Old Rasputin's Imperial Stout to a selection of over 50 different Belgian beers (mostly Ales but an okay selection of Lambics, with a lesser quantity of white ales), you can find just about anything here.
I went home with a six of Full Sail's Wassail, a six of Hoegaarden White, a 'four' of Rasputin Imperial Stout, a four of Duvel (with a Duvel glass all in a gift pack for 15 clams), a St. Louis Peche, a Blanche de Namur, one each of Young's Winter Warmer, Double Chocolate Stout (yum...drink outside naked on a cool night), and Oatmeal Stout, one beautiful bottle of Cantillon Classic Gueze (the only gueze I could find there sadly) which my wife and I will open on Christmas, an Allagash White, two bottles of Blanche de Bruxelles, and a Lindeman's Cassis.
I got all that for about $125. Many of the bottles seemed expensive, but a lot of them were first finds for me (like the Gueze) so I am not sure if $16 is expensive or not. The last time I had a really good gueze (Cuvee Renee) was four years ago in Ohio (from wonderful Jungle Jim's in Cinci) and I can't remember how much it cost.
The service was great. They have a small deli there with good looking olives and other type foods. I didn't order anything, but the lady behind the deli counter was very friendly and seemed to know everyone in the place. I showed up around 1 pm and they were feverishly stocking wines and beers. (As for wine selection, it was huge, but I can't judge what they have. I am one of those happy with a $6 bottle of merlot to drink with lasagna.)
I am taking one full star off of the rating because this was my second time going to Bottles 'N' Bins, but only my first time getting inside. The first time was a Friday some weeks ago; I arrived 45 minutes after the place was supposed to open, but it was closed. I hope that was a one-time occurence.
Check this place out! You will not be disappointed.
12-15-2007 16:40:42 |
More by mjtyson
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Bottles N' Bins Liquor in Monterey, CA