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Fargnoli Distributing (Sam The Beer Man)
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
1164 Upper Front Street
phone: (607) 724-5225
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Reviews by JamesShoemaker:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
If you live in Binghamton or the surrounding area and don't feel like driving all the way up to Ithaca, there are three decent beer stores you can patronize: Sam's, Court St. Beer Depot, and Wegman's. Sam's is the best for a number of reasons.
The atmosphere, honestly, is not great. It's a little ways out of town and it's always pretty busy with people who are picking up bulk macrobrews. If you want to look at the domestic micros, you're kind of sandwiched between a wall of six/four packs and a rack of bombers. Import singles (which I don't really buy, so I don't know how good the selection is) are against the opposite wall. Between those two walls and in the back of the store are the macros.
Sam's is almost like what you'd expect a small distributor's shop to look like. There's a lot going on and a lot of obstacles to avoid, but it's never an unpleasant experience.
I give their service a 4 because one of the employees, a younger guy (Shawn or Sean, I think) is really amicable. He loves to talk about new micros he gets in and he lets you know what he's got coming. He's recommended some really good beers to me, including BORIS and Frangelic Mountain Brown. The other guy who works there is a little curt. He never really wants to chat and generally gives one word answers.
Sam's selection is really good for the area. They have a steady supply of Founders (including their Backstage releases, thanks to Shawn [or Sean]), a lot of Hoppin' Frog, Oskar Blues, Victory, TONS of Great Divide bombers, lots of Brooklyn, Brew Dog, and just about every DFH beer I can think of. I'm giving their selection a 4.5 instead of a 4 because they're really cheap too. I can't think of anywhere else where I can get a four pack of Ten Fidy for only $15, or Brooklyn BCS for only $8. They undercut every other store I've been to in New York.
One of the things that's great about Sam's that doesn't really translate into a rating is that people don't really buy up their micros too much. They've had FBS on the shelf for the last two months and I don't think they'll be running out of Backwoods Bastard anytime soon. Most of what I've bought from there is already 6+ months old, which is really great if you like to cellar beers.
11-03-2012 16:40:14 |
More by JamesShoemaker
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $
Not sure how I haven't reviewed StBM yet.
Good selection for the Binghamton area, but not even close to what you can find in Ithaca. It also seems this area gets releases about a week later than Ithaca too.
A lot of space devoted to macros, but the standard selection of Belgian and craft bombers and 6 packs. No singles or mix-a-six option. Some of the harder to find options I noticed on my last visit included Founders, Horseheads, Hoppin Frog, and Ballast Point.
The two things that really stand out are the service and the prices. The guys working the register really know their stuff, make good recommendations, and are knowledgeable about upcoming releases. Prices are low - typically the same or even lower than Wegmans.
Worth a stop if you are limited to Binghamton. Best option I have found in the area.
03-24-2012 21:46:26 |
More by nh2032
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Last visited on 9/22/2011
This is a nice little spot in Binghamton. They have a nice mix of mainstream beer along with a nice craft selection. They carry domestic craft from such breweries as Ithaca, Smuttynose, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Dogfishhead, Saranac, Stone, as well as Belgian & German imports. Everything is priced reasonably for what they carry (found some DFH Punkin for $8.99 - cheapest around). The store is not really well organized, but then again the place isn't all that big so it isn't a chore to find what you want. As for customer service it was non existant until I engaged the dude working the register and then he was able to help me out. Gotta be mindful it seems a lot of their beers are out of date. Overall, not a bad place to search for craft beer in the binghamton area.
09-22-2011 17:19:01 |
More by keithmurray
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
The place seems to be mainly geared to BMC products but they do have the best selection of craft beer in the Binghamton Area.
The beers are not organized very well, just big bottles are separate from six packs. Recently added a selection of singles.
The selection is standard fare for craft; DFH, SN, SA, FD. They do have good local selection in Southern Tier, Ommegang, Ithaca, Cooperstown among the NY beers.
Do be careful of out of date beers, although you can find older beers that are great for aging.
Finally they are a great on prices, four packs of DFH are under 14 bucks, where I normally will see them for 14-16.
01-11-2011 23:03:13 |
More by rlee1390
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I like to stop by Sam's when passing through coming home from Syracuse to PA. Sam doesn't have an overly "huge" selection, however, what they do have is high quality. They have a nice mix of craft brew and the "regular stuff" with the hat being tipped towards the craft brew side. They know what they're talking about and I've found some gems in here that I would have otherwise passed up anywhere else. Pricing is reasonable based on what particular brew you may be purchasing, but otherwise, there's a reason I stop by there EVERY business trip to the area.
12-12-2009 05:03:30 |
More by jzeilinger
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Sam The Beer Man is the really the only place with a big selection of Micro's and Imports (Weggman's excluded). My only issue with Sam's is they never mix up their availability, it's always the same micro's and Belgians. I asked why they don't order any Lambics, Sours and Brett beers besides Lindemans and Roddenboch. They said they couldn't sell them. I let the big guy there know sours/brett's is one of the hottest trends right now and I hope they start to get them. It would be cool if they offered a nice draft selection to fill up growlers. That service is a big hit @ the Ithaca dist.
11-13-2009 00:51:26 |
More by DigitalTaper
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I went to this place through recommendations and through Beerfly. From the outside it doesn't look that good, but there are many places like that as we all know.
Amidst the ton of macro stuff, which seems to be what most people are buying, there is a shelf when you walk in mostly of domestic craft bombers. And across the way you'll find all the good 6-packs and Belgians, some in the cold case and some on the regular shelves.
Lots of Ithaca, Middle Ages, Cooperstown, Sly Fox, and other locals. A fairly wide selection, though I was hoping to find bigger bottles of Ithaca stuff, and all they had was White Gold.
Great prices, though that seems to be a trend in this area with craft brews. The guy at Sam's told me the craft brew scene isn't that big here, so I guess it's both good and bad that the prices are so reasonable, but for the customer that always seems like a great thing.
The only thing that I was a little iffy about was the fact that the place was so warm. I'm not sure if they don't have A/C or didn't have it on, or what. And I could care less about me, but all those craft brews sitting on the shelves for those extended hot temperatures can't be good.
Overall, though, I'd go back. I just wasn't as blown away as some people. But for the area, it's one of the better stores for your craft needs.
08-20-2009 14:06:14 |
More by asabreed
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been shopping these guys for ten years now and they have only gotten better with age. Short of selling singles (which I have been working on for years) they have the complete package. They offer a great selection of macros and an even better selection of micros. They have just about everything available to this mid sized market.
The help there is outstanding especially since Dustin, the son of the owner, has taken a more authoritative role. He orders most, if not all, of the specialty beers and can offer his personal opinion on most. He's hands on like everyone there. No one is a spectator here. Even Mrs. Fargnoli rolls up her sleeves and helps out. It's a family affair and they care very much about customer service. The prices are some of the best in the upstate area. They also take good care of return customers. They now have a growler wall which is starting to catch on.
I worry about Wegmans' new craft beer section hurting these guys in the long run, but I'll remain loyal to the little guys who actually know what the hell their selling.
10-07-2008 20:11:03 |
More by WesWes
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
We spent the night in Binghamton on the way to Cooperstown and were right down the street from Sam the Beer Man.
Quality: Craft and imports are right up front; kegs and macros in back. The place is easy to find as well, on Rte 11 just north of downtown.
Service: The manager was quite friendly and helpful, offering suggestions from amongst several new cases he was opening (including Kwak). Checking out was easy as well.
Selection: For the most part, the beers are six-packs (or four-packs) only. The upscale imports and domestic bombers were available for single purchase. I grabbed a Creme Brulee, Hop-It, Ithaca TEN and Old Habit and a Rodenbach Grand Cru. Very nice selection. The prices were moderate and in line with what I pay at State Line.
08-03-2008 23:55:50 |
More by akorsak
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
I came from the DC area and I was not happy to find out that I will be away from my favorite place to sell beer and the selection was great, but one day going down to DC I saw a Harley store and decided to stop and look around to my surprise I see "Sam's the Beer man" sign, I said let's see what type of Budweiser I am going to find in here :-), well there it was a great selection of Belgium beer right in the front of me, you name it: Chouffe, Unibroue, Omegang, Cordenstok, St Bernadus, Duvel.... and many more, the best surprise was last November, I stop by and to my surprise they had some Jenlain (blonde's and Amber), I grab 4 bottles and at the register, I ask the guy, when did you start carrying that ....he said 2 weeks ago.... I was so delighted, anyway enough with the blah blah, the beer price beats Syracuse Ithaca and Binghamton, this is a good priced beer with a decent selection, and the location is nice right of I81.
04-18-2008 20:25:41 |
More by ledemie
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Fargnoli Distributing (Sam The Beer Man) in Binghamton, NY