The Best Beer Shops of 2023
The geographical designations used in this piece were based on those determined by the James Beard Foundation.
A great beer shop does not have endless choice. The ones that stand out, according to the beer pros from around the country who we spoke to for this list, are the shops that pay attention to having a diverse selection, offer proper cooler space and keep an eye on freshness dates.
While taprooms offer a chance for a consumer to drink direct from a brewer’s tanks, bottle shops offer a little something for everyone. Most of these locations are more than places to pick up a few brews to go. There’s often the chance for education and palate exploration, whether through social media and in-store tasting/education events. Of course, the standouts have taps showcasing the best local or international beer, and sometimes even offer a curated selection of wine and spirits.
Here are the best beer shops in America, according to beer pros.
Explore the Regions
The Best Beer Shops in the South, Southwest, Southeast and Texas
504 Craft Beer Reserve
New Orleans, Louisiana
“They opened as a craft beer store, and then two years later they were the first ones in the state—at least to my knowledge—that were able to prove that the laws did not specifically deny them the ability to also serve on-premise,” says Mitch Grittman, the “beer guy” at Zony Mash Beer Project in Louisiana.
“Now they have about 12 taps and operate as a taproom as well as a beer store. You can buy single cans or bottles and open them on the spot, so it has become a place for people to gather and share beers,” he says. “The owners also very regularly visit the brewery taprooms around the city and are very vocal about supporting local. [They are] super kind folks who have managed to create a unique space.”
Asheville, North Carolina
This shop carries a wide array of beers as well as wines. Appalachian Vintner’s “large footprint for an independent store, especially in Asheville, is impressive and is a maze of choices,” says Leah Wong Ashburn, president, CEO and family owner of Highland Brewing Co. in North Carolina. “It’s a fun tour with the help of staff and the ever-present owners.”
Ashebrooke Liquor Outlet
Morgantown, West Virginia
Along with a wide array of beers, “Ashebrooke also carries liquors that are hard to find,” says Roger R. Johnson, head brewer and owner at Screech Owl Brewing and Spent Grain Café in West Virginia.
“As far as beverage shops, I really enjoy what the guys at Beverage Barn are doing,” says Will Gomez, head brewer at The Brew Bridge in Kentucky. “They showcase and support local Kentucky—more specifically, Western Kentucky breweries with a rotating tap list and tap takeovers. They’re a great community spot that constantly sends people our way. Not only that but they take good care of their beer inventory and have an impressive bourbon selection.”
Every Days a Party
Morgantown, West Virginia
Johnson also picked Every Days a Party for the best beer shops list. He notes how this store has a wide example of both craft and domestic beers as well as excellent customer service.
“If you cannot find what you want in either [Every Days a Party or Ashebrooke] it is not available,” he says.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“Their social media is hilarious, inspiring and meticulously insightful,” says Jake Miller, co-founder of Heirloom Rustic Ales in Oklahoma. “So many liquor stores are out of touch and George’s is the opposite of that. They know the local footprint better than anybody in the state, and their fridge is perfectly curated for those in the know or for those just looking to grab a beer.”
Hop City Beer and Wine
“Kraig Torres, their CEO, and Stacey Chappel, the general manager at the Birmingham location, have done an excellent job on curating a large selection of premium and hard to find beers,” says Luke Garner, director of contracting operations at TrimTab Brewing in Alabama.
“[They have also built] a culture of beer and wine nerds who really enjoy helping people discover new brands and producers,” he says, explaining that he’s happy to send people to Hop city because they’ll receive “inviting, friendly, passionate and informative” service.
“It’s not always easy to build a culture like that in our world where snobbery can run amok,” Garner says.
Hop City Beer and Wine
“Hop City has multiple locations in the Atlanta area, are great supporters of locally brewed beers, they have a great selection and very helpful staff,” says Mitch Steele, co-founder of New Realm Brewing Company, which has locations in Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina. “They also have taprooms that have some of the best variety of draft beer selections in the area. Their packaged beer selection is great also.”
Jug & Bottle Dept.
“It’s an awesome shop that has something for everyone,” says Khristopher Johnson, head brewer and co-owner of Green Bench Brewing in Florida. “They have a great selection of packaged beer, wine, vegan food and some beers on tap available for growler fills.”
This large space in Tempe has created an experience for the customer looking for it all. Beer, wine and spirits are all well represented with careful attention to both established and niche brands. Another great feature of their website is the new arrivals tab, which helps customers get a handle on what’s new without walking the aisles or navigating end caps. Plus, Liquor Express has an Android app and local delivery options.
“This is arguably the most iconic bottle shop in our part of the state,” says Preston Thoeny, head brewer of Wren House Brewing in Arizona. “They’re able to highlight and represent local options while still keeping a constant stream of premier national brands and hard-to-find bottles. The whiskey and cigar options are the cherry on top.”
Knox Brew Hub
Knox Brew Hub offers to-go cans and bottles. However, its vast tap selection will make you want to stay awhile. “It’s not so much a bottle shop—though it has a good amount of cooler space for to-go stuff—it’s more a beer bar run by the biggest beer advocate and supporter in town,” says Matthew Cummings, owner and founder of Pretentious Craft Co. in Tennessee.
Zack Roskop started Knox Brew Tours in 2015 and has been one of the biggest advocates for local beer. “Anytime someone needs help, he’s there,” Cummings says, adding that Roskop has served on the local brewing association board for the last five years. He started Knox Brew Hub, a beer bar that focuses on education and community, in 2020.
It’s “basically the visitors center for beer in town,” says Cummings. “You grab a beer there and he lets you know where it came from and where to get more of it. His team is awesome, and they truly believe in community over competition.”
Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits
Las Vegas, Nevada
“Issa Khoury and his team offer an inviting space where everyone feels welcomed by the knowledgeable staff and local beer is always a focus,” says Wyndee Forrest, co-owner and founder of CraftHaus Brewery in Nevada. “It’s more than a bottle shop, it’s a place to discover a new beer and make a new friend to share it with.”
Peabody’s Wine & Beer
Boone, North Carolina
“Living in Eastern Tennessee, I have been a long-time customer of Peabody’s Wine & Beer,” says Chris Cates, head brewer and owner of Little Animals Brewery in Tennessee. “From where I live it’s a short and very pleasant 50-minute drive through the mountains and well worth it for their great beer selection—particularly Belgian stuff that I revere. When someone calls to ask ‘do you have Taras Boulba [a Belgian Pale Ale] in stock?’ They know it’s me.”
Asheville, North Carolina
Along with can and bottle options, The Whale “always has an enticing selection of draft beers from across the country and the globe. It’s impossible to try just one, so I appreciate the small pour options,” says Ashburn.
“Jody Reyes, the owner, is just a thorough beer geek who started the store almost ten years ago. Reyes knows most of the brewers in town and gets first access to taproom specials and barrel releases that most bars wouldn’t,” says Trevor Nearburg, owner and brewmaster of Beerburg Brewing in Texas. “While the original location is no longer around, their second location—opened in 2019—is in an up-and-coming area of Austin. It features a much larger selection and has a bar with a meticulously curated selection of local favorites, special releases and international rarities.” Reyes also notes there’s a “‘singles wall’ where you can mix and match any number of cans rather than buying a whole six-pack.’”
The Whip In
“This is always a must stop when traveling to town,” says Collin Zreet, the co-founder and owner of Funky Picnic Brewery & Café in Texas. “Not only do they have a great selection of packaged beers, but also 70 plus beers on tap and a full food menu specializing in Indian dishes, not to mention live music and an eclectic outdoor patio.”
The Union Beer Store
“Union Beer Store has its own unique vibe, with a great assortment of beer, wine and sake in the cooler to-go, as well as a rotating selection of drafts from the best breweries in the country,” says Matt Manthe, founder of Odd Breed Wild Ales in Florida. “On the TVs, there is always vintage wrestling. The food menu is diverse, from enchiladas to country-fried steak sandwiches to pork ribs, there is something for everyone.”
The Best Beer Shops in the Great Lakes
8 Degrees Plato
“It’s a shrine to beer,” says Mitch Ermatinger, co-owner of Speciation Artisan Ales and Native Species Winery in Michigan. “The staff is all super knowledgeable and can help you find some hidden gems based on your taste preferences. They also have beer on draft so you can sip on something while you shop.”
“This is one of two shops, but Austin Harvey [curator and co-owner] at the Chicago location has done a fantastic job of not only having one of the best selections of craft beer in cans but fun beers on draft. They allow all of the beers in package to be bought and drank on site as well,” says Matthew Moldenhauer, who handles business and operations at Old Irving Brewing Co. in Chicago. “With some many amazing breweries from here and all over, he and his staff are friendly, educational and provide the experience of drinking an endless amount of good beer with friends.”
Beer on the Wall
Park Ridge, Illinois
“This store was one of my personal favorites during the pandemic,” says Moldenhauer. “[They] really helped start ‘to-go’ orders. They have the newest releases with an extremely knowledgable staff. Local beer hero Adam Vavrick has taken over as the high-level beer guy, setting up collabs and amazing events with breweries. Finding a place for as many people to enjoy a good beer and discussing the nuances that make beer so special.”
Konbini & Kanpai
“Chicago has a wealth of thoughtful bottle shops—Beermiscuous, The Beer Temple, Maria’s Packaged Goods, Bottles & Cans and Bitter Pops just to name a few—and that doesn’t even cover the ones in the suburbs,” says Jenny Pfafflin, brewer and creative and marketing manager of Dovetail Brewery. “However, one of my favorite stops is Konbini & Kanpai in the Lakeview neighborhood. While it specializes in beer-adjacent beverages like sake and makgeolli, its selection of Asian beers, which spans from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Indonesia and Thailand, is a good reminder that beer goes beyond the traditional European brewing regions most people think of when looking to beer outside the U.S. A few seats in the back are set-up for in-store imbibing, while co-owners Jun-Jun and Naomi are there to knowledgeably guide you through their coolers of Asian-made fermented beverages.”
“It’s pronounced ‘Rosie’s’ and they’re definitely the go-to for great local and rare out-of-town things,” says Shaun Kasaki, brewer of Noble Beast Beer in Ohio. “[They’re] super knowledgeable guys who support the local industry. [There is a] small bar on site where they do a lot of events and tap takeovers.”
“Terra Ferment opened a month before the pandemic closed bars in 2020. But [the shop] has survived and even thrived in spite of that because of the passionate dedication of its owner, Bill Tubbs,” says Marika Hosephon, co-owner of Scratch Brewing Co. in Illinois. Though originally conceived as a bar, Terra Ferment began selling packaged beer to-go during the pandemic. It has continued to sell both on- and off-premise since opening fully again.
“[Tubbs] retired and began a second career bringing beer to central Illinois, filling half of his nearly 40 draft lines with beers he loved from England, Belgium, Germany and France,” Hosephon says. As for the other half? “The most unique and innovative domestic craft brew. On his days off he drives all over the state to pick up beer from breweries and distributors who otherwise don’t distribute to the middle of the state.”
In doing so, Hosephon believes Terra Ferment has one of the most diverse beer lists available anywhere. “[Tubbs] is a stickler for service quality and every beer is served at the proper pressure and serving temperature with a close eye on date codes,” she says.
The Best Beer Shops in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and New York
Brooklyn, New York
“It’s a new-ish, woman-owned bottle shop with a small bar, featuring a well-curated and tight selection of local, regional and international beers across all styles,” says Tyler March, co-founder of Wild East Brewing Company in New York. “The bar also has Lukr faucets and knows how to use them for proper traditional lager pours. Bonus: They have a friendly, unpretentious staff who’s very knowledgeable about beer.”
The Beer Yard
“If I’m in the burbs and looking to grab something, The Beer Yard has always been a good go to,” says Andrew Foss, head brewer of Human Robot Beer in Pennsylvania. “If you aren’t seeing what you want, poke your head into the domestic cooler. Every once in a while there’s something special there, hiding in plain sight.”
The Bier Cellar
“The aisles are arranged by geographic region and the coolers are arranged by flavor profile,” says Michael Fava, co-owner and brewer at Sacred Profane Brewing in Maine. “I appreciate this organization for several reasons, but mostly because it allows me to look at a single cooler door for all the crisp refreshing offerings. Or if I want a dark beer I know where to look. This type of shopping for style/flavor profile is my preference. Furthermore, if I’m looking for a special bottle from Belgium there’s a well curated and labeled aisle for them. The staff is well versed in beer knowledge and have a discerning taste.”
The Bier Cellar’s weekly newsletter is also a hit, Fava continues, keeping the shop’s fandom current on what’s fresh in, with beer descriptions written in their own words. Even better for those with a home kegerator or a need to buy beer in bulk, the shopstocks a plethora of kegs and tapping equipment to put your soirée over the top.
“The modest yet mighty store puts as much effort in their cider, mead and wine selections as they do their beer,” Fava concludes.
Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont
“They do an amazing job sourcing a broad collection of beers from around the world,” says Megan Parisi, head brewer of Sam Adams Downtown Boston Taproom. “Their local selection in particular highlights a wide array of local breweries, highlighting our rich brewing community in Massachusetts.”
Craft Beer Cellar, D.C.
While all of the major alcohol categories are covered (plus mead and non-alcoholic options) the focus of this shop not far from Union Station is, as the name suggests, beer. Owner Erika Goedrich, who is also the co-founder of the Mindful Drinking Fest, has curated a beer selection that inspires. From drinkers that are looking to check off the newest release, to connoisseurs that want to revisit classics, the shelves are well stocked. Above all, the store is committed to freshness and making sure that the beer that arrives from around the country is at its peak and ready to be consumed. Kegs are available too.
New York, New York
“Alan and Pam [Rice] and the whole team at City Swiggers have been nothing short of amazing to the New York City beer scene in general,” says John Dantzler, cofounder and CEO of Torch & Crown Brewing Company in New York. “For over 10 years, Swigs has shown steadfast dedication to giving new brands a platform to showcase their products while still giving equal attention to the veteran brands responsible for the craft beer industry boom.”
“Not only do they have a well curated, always cold selection of local Western Pennsylvania beers, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what they do,” says Andrew Witchey, founder and brewer of Dancing Gnome Brewing in Pittsburgh. “They are truly ambassadors for local producers, and genuinely take the time to understand the product. It’s also a one-stop shop that carries a great selection of national and regional craft, imports and macros. [There is] truly something for everyone!”
Little Town Brews
Littleton, New Hampshire
“Owners Kevin and Kristen [Smith] (and their two locally famous Bernese Mountain Dogs, Barley and Nelson) run Little Town Brews, a shop indicative of the community vibe of Littleton’s Main Street that’s just up the hill from our brewery,” says Justin Slotnick, production manager and brewer at Schilling Beer Co. in New Hampshire. “Stop by for a mini keg of Schlenkerla Rauchbier, 3 Fonteinen bottles or cans of the best North Country beers. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a brewery taproom upstairs and a cupcake and sandwich shop next door!”
Oliver’s Beverage Center
Albany, New York
“It has an extremely impressive inventory from all over the world—traditional and all the new-hype stuff, too,” says Kevin Mullins, owner and head brewer of Rare Form Brewery in New York. “Every time I walk in, I find something great. Actually, I have a hard time not dropping a lot of coin when I’m there. I have even heard them helping people with their draft problems, I was impressed.”
Luke’s Beer and Wine
“Joe Lukos is the owner and cares deeply for his curated beer selection and does an amazing job selling these beers,” says Matthew Steinberg, co-founder and head brewer of Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing in Massachusetts. “He literally remembers all his customers’ names and what they enjoy. He knows what they purchased recently and what they may be interested in today. He has truly created a regular clientele that comes back for his high-level service and fresh quality selection. I could speak for hours about [Lukos] and what he does in his little shop.”
Shangy’s The Beer Authority
Emmaus and Macungie, Pennsylvania
“Not only does Shangy’s The Beer Authority retail great beer, their access to world-class beer from all around the globe is second to none,” says Sam Masotto, brewer of BonnPlace Brewing Co. in Pennsylvania. “Family owned and operated since 1980, it doesn’t hurt that they have access wholesale distribution across all of eastern Pennsylvania with over 2,000 accounts. Nima Hadian, the owner, has forged and fostered incredible relationships within the beer industry and community and has an incredible knack for keeping up with shifts and changes. Generosity, courtesy and respect for the community that supports them? I feel that Shangy’s is the most worthy of the title as ‘Greatest Beer Shop in Pennsylvania.’”
Red Bank, New Jersey
“It’s a boutique liquor store conveniently attached to an absolutely delicious deli,” says Brian Kulbacki of Departed Soles Brewing in New Jersey. “Despite having limited space, they carry a wide variety of local beer and work with customers to bring in special requests. In a town with limited liquor store options, they pack a lot of variety into their space and are a great quick stop before hopping on the train next door.”
Tamarack Wine & Spirits
“The owner and operator Dave Donnelly bought the 1,600-square-foot store in the early 2000s and saw craft beer as a way to stick out from the bigger stores,” says Ryan Lavery, founder and owner of Widowmaker Brewing in Massachusetts. “He started a homebrew store that has churned out countless local homebrewers turned pro.” Donnelly himself moved on at the end of 2022, but Lavery says the shop’s team continues to be amazing. “Not bad for the self-described hole in the wall store in the middle of nowhere!” he says.
White Horse Wine and Spirits
Absecon, New Jersey
“White Horse Wine and Spirits is a large liquor store in coastal, southern New Jersey that leaves no attention to detail untouched,” says Sean Towers, owner of The Seed: A Living Beer Project in Atlantic City. “They have extensive and extremely well curated beer, wine, spirits and food/market programs. The staff is thoughtfully trained and just as passionate about the beer and wine they sell as the customer may be. What we always find so exciting about White Horse is leaving with something completely new and exciting that we likely had no intent on searching for originally. Adam [Sternberger], Elizabeth [McCabe] and team provide one of, if not the, best selections of beer and wine in the state.”
The Best Beer Shops in the Midwest
“The owner is an Advanced Cicerone who is constantly bringing in brands from both coasts to the middle of the country that no other shop around has available,” says Charlie Col, brewer at the Great Revivalist Brew Lab in Illinois.
The Best Beer Shops in the Northwest, Pacific and California
“In a time of bottle shops carrying every beer they can get their hands on, Sean Campell has always had an approachable, curated list of interesting and drinkable beer and ciders,” says Kevin Davey, brewer and owner at Gold Dot Beer in Oregon. “Couple that with one of the best pub atmospheres, knowledgeable staff and being open literally every day of the year, BeerMongers gets my nod for best bottle shop. It’s not only a great local’s hang, but also a fun spot to visit while checking out the Portland beer scene.”
“This location has not been around very long, but they have an incredible selection to go, as well as a great tap list on any given day,” says Kyle Harrop, brewer at Horus Aged Ales in California. “It is where I am able to get my monthly Alvarado Street [Brewing], Cellarmaker, North Park [Beer Company], Radiant [Beer Co.] and Sante Adairius [Rustic Ales] fix!”
“Seattle is teeming with great beer joints, but head just south to Renton and you’ll find a gem. Brewmaster’s Taproom is a dog-loving and family- friendly taproom who pride themselves on inclusivity and community building,” says Tristan Karosas, head brewer at Single Hill Brewing Company in Washington. “A true steward of the Pacific Northwest beer scene, Marley [Rall] has built a top tier beer bar, as well as a bakery, catered to dogs through use of spent grain. Tons of fresh beer, tons of big hearted humans and even bigger-hearted doggos.”
The Good Hop
“They have a great selection of beers, a knowledgeable team [and] create a diverse and inclusive community,” says Ting Su, co-founder of Eagle Rock Brewery in California.
A beer shop and pizza joint all in one, this celebrated spot in northern Washington—in a town that boasts plenty of local brewing options—is a must visit for someone looking to try new beers. New arrivals are regularly updated on the website and the store is remarkably clear on how fast inventory moves.
It is “amazingly awesome to see all these new items,” the store writes, “but also a big challenge for those who find something they love and are disappointed to find out it is not going to be back, perhaps ever. All we can say is enjoy it to its fullest and then look for the next amazing thing.”
Windsor Homebrew Supply
Costa Mesa, California
“This is one of the best beer shops, period,” says Bob Kunz, owner and brewer of Highland Park Brewery in California. “Scott Windsor is a thoughtful human being who prioritizes freshness. [The shop’s] meticulous curation makes buying beer at Windsor easy.”
“Since we’re a state comprised of islands, no one can easily go on a beer run without hopping on a plane,” says Garrett Marrero, chief executive officer and founder of Maui Brewing Co. He suggests Tamara’s on Maui, Village Beer on Oahu, Hanalei Liquor on Kauai and Hilo Bottle Shop and Kona Wine Market on the Big Island.
“Each of these have a true love of craft and always make sure to have a fresh selection of craft beers from local brewers and those abroad,” says Marrero. “They’re great at sharing the excitement with customers and creating fans for us all.”
The Best Beer Shops in the Mountain States
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
“Bin22 is not only a great bottle shop with a thoughtfully curated and diverse selection of wine, beer and spirits, but also serves up a full menu of European-style tapas,” says Max Shafer, brewmaster of the Pure Madness Brewery Group. “Grab a bottle from the racks and saddle up for some snacks or a full meal.”
“They are small, but they have a highly curated collection of beer, wine (including natural wine) and local spirits,” says Alyssa Hoberer, head brewer at Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery in Colorado. “Walking into the beer cellar you will find a great selection of specialty bombers and bottles from around the world. The staff is also very knowledgeable and very helpful for anyone looking for anything specific. Love that place.”
Moonshine Liquor, Beer & Wine
“I love this shop because it brings in well-crafted beer brands that you wouldn’t expect to find in a small town in Southeastern Idaho,” says Shafer. “The beer is also fresh. These folks check their dates! On top of great beer, expect to find great wines and spirits.”
Shine Beer Sanctuary
“There is a lot going on with this beer oasis,” says Travis Zeilstra, executive producer of By All Means Brewing. There’s a restaurant with wraps, burritos, tacos and soups. There are the 30-plus taps, and patios on the roof and on the street. And, of course, a retail beer shop.
“Yes, they have a lot going on in their space, but they are passionate about beer first and foremost,” says Zielstra. “[Owner] Travis Collins and his crew love beer [and]find great beer from all around to bring it back to share with their customer base.”
Wyatt’s Wet Goods
“They have an outstanding selection of craft beers, both local and from around the country,” says Gary Glass, head brewer at Left Hand Brewery in Colorado. “Plus, they have a knowledgeable staff that can help you find whatever you are looking for.”
Zalto Beer Glass
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