Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Where to buy good beer in Silicon Valley

By William Brand
Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 6:05 pm in Uncategorized.

We’ve had quite a discusson on the blog in the last month about Finding Beer in Silicon Valley.  Turns out, it’s not quite a beer wasteland.  Here’s the retail store list I’ve developed so far – with the help of many of you.  Got comments, got additions or places you think we should delete, post your comment here or email me at whatsontap@sbcglobal.net. Onward…ever onward into a new world order where craft beer rules!

Here’s our Retail Beer Store list….

SOUTH BAY

Most Beverages N More Stores with Santa Clara and Mountain View having larger footprints allowing them to stock and carry more.  Yes it is a chain but they have a great selection with good prices and turnover so the beer is usually pretty fresh.
Whole Foods – The new Cupertino store (2nd largest in the country) and the new Los Altos store (open 1 year now and pretty big) have a very good selection of beers.
Andronico’s Markets – both the Stanford location and Los Altos store have good selections.

Campbell

Freddie’s Liquor, 1581 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell, CA 95008, (408) 378-0666. A distributor said this place has a decent stock of craft beer and imports, but nothing like some of the better Bay Area stores like Ledger’s in Berkeley. I called the store, but  noone was much help. If someone knows about this store and what they stock, let me know.

Cupertino

Coach House Wine, Liquor and Deli, 655 So. De Anza Blvd, Suite 1,  Cupertino, CA 95014 , (408) 252-7141, Most beer is refrigerated; but cases and sixers of fast-moving brands like Gordon Biersch are out on the floor.  Wide selection of local beers, including Gordon Biersch, San Jose; and  Devil Canyon, Belmont. Their wide range also includes Speakeasy and other beers from San Francisco. Budweiser doesn’t sell very well here, the owners say. This is a convenient stopping place for Silicon Valley high tech workers. They come here from all over; they know their  beer and they don’t buy Bud, one of the owners said. Coach House  also makes first-rate sandwiches, fans say.

Saratoga

Gene’s Fine Foods, 18850 Cox Ave., in the Quito Center, Saratoga, (408) 379-8300. Haven’t visited, but this is a 75-year-old gourmet grocery.
Kelley’s Liquors, 18812 Cox Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 379-8888. A reader said this store has a good beer supply. I’ve not visited.

San Jose

Cosentino’s Market, 5667 Silver Creek Valley Rd , San Jose, CA 95138 ,(408) 270-1561.  The store’s beer buyer says some of the other beers he stocks includes the entire Dogfish Head line, Moylans, Bear Republic, some Flying Dog beers, Drake’s, Stone, He also has a small Belgian selection, a lot of imports and a large selection of other craft beers and seansonals.

Grapevine Wine Bar & Noshery, 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125, 408-293-7574.  Mostly a wine and cheese shop, but a reader says he’s had good luck with beer there as well: “Their selection isn’t vast, but they have some interesting choices on a sporadic basis.”

Kelly’s Liquor Store,  498 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112, (408) 297-4411. Another store
suggested by a reader. Haven’t visited.

Nob Hill Foods, 7076 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose, 95139, 408-226-0203. This is a fairly high-end San Francisco-based supermarket chain. A reader says this one’s good in a pinch: “Not a great selection, but has stuff like (Marin County, Stone, Moylans, Lost Coast, Anderson Valley) and a decent import list.  Pretty good selection for a regular grocery store.

The Wine Rack,
5768 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95123, 408-227-8882.  A regular poster to the blog checked it out gives this little place a surprise thumbs up: “Pretty unassuming in a old, slightly run down strip mall.  It’s a small place, crammed full of stuff.  Lot’s a local brews:  Stone, Speakeasy, Moylans, Santa Cruz Ale Works, Duval, Chimay, Belhaven, a few others I forgot about.  Not a great selection, but a pretty good one, and most of the beer inventory is kept cold.  (Í found a few good wine selections in there, too.)

Zanotto’s Market
,  1988 Naglee Ave., 408-971-9257. Also, 38 So. 2nd St., 408-977-1333. Upscale grocery stores with a good stock of beer. For instance, they stock Malheur Tripel and Malheur 12, both expansive, hard-to-find Belgian beers.

Note:
A distributor who carries a decent line of craft beer also suggested these places. Haven’t visited them yet. If you have and have an opinion, e-mail me at whatsontap@sbcglobal.net and let me know the scoop.  The distributor’s list:

Campbell Plaza Bottle Shop, Campbell
Hecker Pass Liquors, Gilroy
Park Vasona Liquors, Los Gatos
Old Oak Bottle shop, Union Ave, Los Gatos
Sun Valley Liquors, Morgan Hill
Southside Market, Morgan Hill
M&M Liquors, Morgan Hill

Branham Wine & Liquor, San Jose
Cherry Liquor, San Jose
Clyde’s liquors, Snell Ave, San Jose
Dry Creek Liquor, San Jose
Leanardi’s Markets (2 in San Jose)
Liquor Bin, San Jose
Maplewood Liquor ,San Jose
The Wine Fountain , Pearl Ave ,San Jose
Green Earth Foods, Santa Clara (took over the old Cosentino’s)

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  • The Duke Of Dunkel

    I stopped in at some cruddy looking liquor store at…10th and Keyes?…on my way to a San Jose Giants game once. Was surprised to see Moylans and a few other craft beers there among the malt liquors and light lagers.

    Yes, there are a few places to buy great beer in the south bay, but I’m still waiting for that great beer bar to open that will turn San Jose into a beer destination.

  • easong

    When is an enterprising brewer or bnrew-lover going to rent a kiosk inside the Shark tank and dispense something tasty? Already everybody lines up at the ONE stand that sells Sierra Nevada, leaving the Tied House stand lonely and useless. Not everybody wants a Marzen with their hockey.

  • William Brand

    Great question, but concessions at places like the tank are tightly controlled, unfortunately.

  • The Duke of Dunkel

    Had a Gordon-Biersch Marzen from the downstairs bar at the last game I attended. HORRIBLE cheesy off flavors. This is a decent beer; obviousy they don’t clean their lines, and for the prices they charge they damn well should. Gin & Tonics for me next time.

  • William Brand

    Do you mean at the Shark tank Duke..if so, I’ll shoot ‘em an e-mail…and mention it in my next column…

  • The Duke of Dunkel

    Yes, Shark Tank, downstairs bar.

  • William Brand

    OK, I’ll check it out.

  • William Hall

    I’m trying to find Russian River Brewing Sour Beers in the San Jose area, particularly Consecration and Supplication. Does anyone know if these beers are available in the area?

  • jbrookston

    William, Russian River does have a list online showing who carries their beer:

    http://www.russianriverbrewing.com/pages/accounts/index.html