Dawn and I stopped into The Four Firkins on Saturday before leaving for an overnight at Camden State Park on Saturday. I was impressed. While The Four Firkins may not be the largest beer store in the Twin Cities, the selection, aesthetics and Alvey’s friendly and helpful enthusiasm more than make up for that fact. There’s just not a bad beer in the store – no crap… no BMC, no liquor (in plastic bottles or otherwise), no attitude. Dawn noticed a reoccurring theme when hearing the description of a number of special beers as “frickin’ amazing.” I was like a kid in a candy store… trying to make conversation and yet trying to soak up all of the good beer and also hit the road in a relatively short amount of time. Easier said than done. I highly recommend you visit The Four Firkins… word on the street is that the place is FRICKIN’ AMAZING. 🙂
Where is it? Can they restore my youth of beer drinking in Texas by filling up my trunk with Shiner Bock and Lone Star.
You went to Camden and didn’t stop in Lucan?
What can you get at the 4 Firkins that you can’t find elsewhere locally?
I’m already close to several places near home and office with the best selection the Twin Cities offers, so what’s to get me to go out of my way to St. Louis Park?
Don’t you mean “Firkin Amazing?”
Does anyone remember the name of the crazy beer he has that you heat up to drink? That’s definitely something they have that no one else does.
I did try to stock a few things that I’d personally never seen at Surdyks or Blue Max.
I knew there’d be plenty of beer geeks in here on Saturday so I had better have an interesting selection right out of the gates. I believe I have a couple of things here that fit the bill:
Dark Island Reserve – Orcadian strong ale aged in Whiskey casks. 10% ABV and yes, it’s firking amazing! $45 and only three left…
Hitachino Nest – Ale matured in Shocyu Sake Casks, bloody amazing!
Cuvee Alex Le Rouge – Imperial Stout brewed with Black Pepper, vanilla and tea.
Latest release from Unibroue – Ephemere Cranberry
The entire line up from De Graal including their Belgian ginger brew. Friking amazing….
St Feuillien, all of them,
The Draco ale with blueberries – 11% ABV and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this one is simply “Fucking” amazing.
If these none of these get you excited then just wait a little longer, I’ve got even more bizarre and wonderful stuff on the way.
While I’m on here I’d like to thank everyone who came down to The Firkins on Saturday, the response was amazing! I didn’t think this space could hold so many people!
That one is called “La Dragonne”.
$22 for a 750ml.
I made the trip from St Paul to visit this store on opening day.
Mostly because we need more people advocating for more great beer if we are going to get it here. Those other liquor stores don’t really care about beer. they offer it more as a convenience. Their market is wine, so they don’t push as much on their distributors to get in great stuff, because good stuff is good enough.
What I discovered is that good is not good enough for Alvey. While the store is a little smaller than I had expected it is certainly made up for in quality.
not a bad beer in the place, my mouth was watering as soon as I entered. The beer is elegantly displayed, and they were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, something else you don’t get with typical liquor store.
While this may not be your go to store for monday night football
I will defiantly be returning often
Sorry Dustin – I had thought about it, but it just didn’t fit into the schedule.
I made a trip over from St. Paul as well. I picked up a couple things I had not seen elsewhere, but that is not to say that they are not available someplace else. Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, Southern Tier Imperial Red and Southern Tier Imperial Pale ale. Like everyone, I wish only the best for Jason and this new store. It is “awesome” (as he says) to have a store like this around.
Here are my pics: http://flickr.com/photos/donosborn/2519947784/
Thanks Don, those photos are great!
First and foremost I want to say it is awesome that someone who has so much passion for craft beer is doing this. So Good Luck Alvey
Second, to Gordon
As a beer buyer for another store, I am pretty offended by this comment. I very much care about beer. I have focused a lot of time and energy on beer because I enjoy doing not, not because I feel I have to for “convenience”. I don’t do beer trades in the mail to try beers we do not have in this state because I think that customer down the street who buys a six pack of Bud cares. I have not contacted multiple breweries not in this state because I really want to sell that extra bottle of KJ chard. I have not made up lists of breweries not available in this state and handed them to Distributors so I can sell that last case of Almaden Brandy. I do it because I love beer and I know there are others in this state that do as well. Thats just how i feel. Sorry to kind of hijack this thread, but I personally felt slighted by that comment.
Gotta’ agree with Bill here – I’ve met buyers at other liquor stores who definitely have the same sort of passion that Alvey exudes. There are some places out there where beer really isn’t respected, but there are also other places (like where Bill works) that there’s a genuine passion for beer. I’ve been told that beer doesn’t have the margin that wine and liquor has… given that notion, it’s good to see that there are a number of shops in the state dedicated to going above and beyond to bring in great beer.
Gotta agree with Bill on this one. There are a multitude of stores where beer is the number 1 passion, and to say that nobody else gives a damn is a huge slap in the face for all of them. I wish Alvey all the luck, and I wish I had the financial ability to do the same, but it is not in the cards for me. There is room for multiple beer stores metro wide, and I wish all the great beer stores, with or without plastic bottles luck in the economic state we face right now.
I just realized I stole your intro Ryan……………my bad. Let me try again. “I agree with Bill as well.”
let me rephrase
I’m not saying that all stores don’t care about beer buyers, what I am saying is that their primary focus is wine buyers, even places that have good beer selection.
I’m not familiar with what company you work for,but i buy beer from Syrdyks, the cellars, Thomas liquors, and i have heard great things about blue max but have never been there, and these store focus on wine.
these stores do have pretty good selection, but when beer is in the last Isle, is 5-10% of the store, there are wine tastings, wine sales , the newsletter has noreference to beer.
I do start to feel like my preferences are not being considered.
I know this is probably just customer perception, and may not truly reflect the thoughts of the beer buyers. I am for any positive beer advocacy. And i salute any buyers that are involved in getting a wider selection of quality product.
what I ment is to give Alvey props for hanging his hat on beer
when I walk into the Four firkins I know that the guy i am talking about is as crazy about beer as I am,
Gordon, I don’t think all the stores (or any?) necessarily focus on beer. If you’ve ever been to Cellars in Eagan, you’ll find that most of the folks that work there (most of the folks that I’ve talked with, anyway) are very knowledgeable and very much into beer. Cellars also does beer tastings on a regular basis. Sure, the wine selections might be bigger than the beer selections, but I don’t think that’s a slight to beer or an indication of their lack of interest in beer buyers.
The Four Firkins is on the extreme edge of alcohol retailers focusing on a very niche market and that has pros and cons. You don’t see many stores like that around. Why? I imagine its harder to keep the doors open when you avoid sales opportunities to wine buyers, macro beer buyers and/or liquor buyers. You have to do what you have to do to keep the doors open.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to checking the place out. Good luck Alvey!
I do respect Alvey for what he is doing. I think it is great. I for one love it when people with passion are in the business like this. The last thing I want is stores who don’t focus on beer getting these quality beers and negleting them because they hear craft beer sales are booming. That certainly does not help the craft beer scene.
I will tell you right now, that I personally do a email news letter once every 2 weeks that focuses 100% on craft beer. I know there are other stores out there that have guys who just order beer that take time out of their family lives to go to tastings that Brad from Chisago puts on, Corey from Hohenstiens…..believe me I have met them. I will spend 20 minutes talking to a customer to sell them a single bomber of beer that I love. I am sorry that the service around town may not have been 100% to what you want, but I can’t speak for them. I can only speak for myself and I will say I work hard at trying to keep the craft beer scene in MN fresh and fun and welcome to the retail business Alvey, I know your on board brother!!!!
Thank you Ryan for the kind words and everyone else recognizing that this summer is probably the best in years to be a beer nerd in MN. I WILL SEE YOU ALL AT ABR THIS FALL AND IT WILL BE MY BIRTHDAY SO HELL HELP US ALL!!!!
I stopped by yesterday, met Alvey and picked up some Southern Tier brews and a few others. Great little place – it’s definitely worth the trip. I’d never seen the Southern Tier beers or the Boulevard SmokeStack collection in Minneapolis – Also a hefty supply of Avery Maharaja.
I also enjoyed the organization – beers were grouped by style as opposed to the random placement most stores go with.
Good luck – I’ll be supporting Alvey with my $.
DoubleBast: Not to say that you shouldn’t be purchasing them at The Four Firkins, but Southern Tier, Boulevard SmokeStack, and Avery Maharaja hit most liquor stores in the last couple of weeks, which is probably why you haven’t seen them everywhere quite yet.
Hey ~~ would you be interested in having us come do a tasting!! We have a strong line up of craft beers and we are Minnesota local!! Lucan, Minnesota!! Strawberry Wheat to a Cream Stout to a Scotch Ale!!
I just stopped by FF yesterday after a glowing recommendation from a friend. This store is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to go back and spend more money on great beer.
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