Thursday, April 18, 2013

Palmer's Beverage Center

Palmer's Beverage Center is a business I'd heard about for a while before I'd been to it.  I'd seen different people on forums online claiming that one shop was better than another, had a bigger selection, etc.  Palmer's was often mentioned as a shop with a good selection of beers that you wouldn't find elsewhere.  That's been my experience with them.

Palmer's is a little out of my way, but always worth the time when I can drop by.  Their beer selection always contains several things I've not seen at other area retailers, so I inevitably leave with something unusual and cool.

Palmer's has very little inside for sale other than beer, wine, and other alcoholic products.  For example, you won't find rows of potato chips and snacks inside, or an ice cream freezer like you do at Kenny Road Market.  You won't find gourmet foods like you do at nearby Weiland's.  But if you take the time to look around, I think you will find a number of beers that you're not going to see at most other shops in town.  Their selection of Belgian and Belgian-style beers is particularly good.  They also have quite a selection of glassware bearing the names of various breweries.

It would be easy to dismiss Palmer's at first glance.  The shop isn't huge, and you'll see a lot of familiar names on the shelves that you see at most other craft beer retailers, such as Stone, Rogue, Sixpoint, Great Lakes, Bell's, Columbus Brewing Company, and Sierra Nevada.  But if you take the time to actually look around, there are always some good surprises.

During a visit today, I saw some beers that I haven't seen elsewhere, such as Baltika 9 in cans (lots of places carry the bottles), Fort Collins Brewery's The Incredible Hop, Hoppin' Frog Turbo Shandy, New Holland Blue Sunday Sour, Marston's Oyster Stout, Renaissance Brewing's 8 Wired Saison Sauvin, Bellegem's Bruin, Cuvee des Trolls LambickX, Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge (a world-class Belgian beer, according to Beer Advocate), Scheldebrouwerij Hop Ruiter (a Belgian strong ale), a couple of 1.5-liter bottles of Gulden Draak, St. Feuillien Grand Cru, Mikkeller It's Alive and Texas Ranger Barrel Aged Chipotle Porter, Leelanau Good Harbor Golden Ale, Magic Hat's Humdinger Series: Over the Pils, Eel River Triple Exultation, and many others.  I'm reasonably certain I haven't seen any of these at any of the other shops I've visited in the last couple of months.  (As I've done with my other retailer articles, I'll list the breweries whose products I saw on the shelves during my visit to give you some idea what you might find during your own visit.)

Palmer's is a family-owned and operated business, and has been in operation nearly 40 years as I understand it.  There is definitely a family feel to the place.  The owners bring in their two dogs, which periodically come out to greet customers.  Pinky the bulldog (pictured here) is usually napping, but did follow me around a bit on one visit to the store after I gave her an ear rub.  The staff is usually very friendly and helpful, and they know the products they sell (at least as well as I've ever needed them to).

While Palmer's does have a good selection of beers that you won't find at many other Columbus area retailers, it's important to note that the more unusual items tend to be stored on shelves rather than in the refrigerated cases.  In the refrigerated section you'll find Coors, Miller, Budweiser, and the usual mass-market beers.  You'll also find 4-packs and 6-packs of beers from Goose Island, The Brew Kettle, Troeg's, Founder's, Southern Tier, Green Flash, Portsmouth Brewing Company (of Portsmouth, Ohio), Bell's, Great Lakes, Left Hand, Columbus Brewing Company, Indigo Imp, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, and others.  What you generally won't find is many of the "bomber" sized bottles in this section. A refrigerator near the front door contains a selection of these larger bottles, but the majority of the selection is on the main shelves.  I mention this because you might be thinking of picking up several cold bottles on your way to a party.  If you're looking for some of the more unusual beers Palmer's carries, you'll need to keep in mind that what you want may or may not be cold.  (This is actually a good thing if you're planning to age your purchase or travel a long distance with it.)

You'll definitely want to check them out, especially if you're interested in Belgian beers and limited-edition beers that you don't often see.

Palmer's Beverage Center
3375 Indianola Ave.
Columbus, OH 43214

Phone: (614) 263-7444

During my visit on April 18, 2013, I saw beers for sale at Palmer's from the following breweries.  Please note that this is not a complete list of all beer available there, but is intended to give some idea of the selection to be found at Palmer's.
  • 21st Amendment Brewery
  • 5 Rabbit
  • 8 Wired Brewing Co.
  • Abita
  • Achel
  • AleSmith
  • Anchorage Brewing Co.
  • Anderson Valley
  • Aventinus
  • Avery
  • Ayinger
  • Baird Brewing Co.
  • Ballast Point
  • Baltika
  • Bayerischer Bahnhof
  • Bear Republic
  • Beck's
  • Bell's
  • Bellegems
  • Bitburger
  • Bockor
  • Boddington's
  • Breckenridge Brewery
  • The Brew Kettle
  • Brouwerij de Molen
  • Brouwerij Huyghe
  • The Bruery
  • Bruton
  • Chimay
  • Columbus Brewing Co.
  • Coniston Brewing
  • Coronado Brewing Co.
  • Corsendonk
  • Dark Horse
  • De Proefbrouwerij
  • Dieu du Ciel
  • Dogfish Head
  • Dupont
  • Elevator Brewing Co.
  • Epic Brewing
  • Erdinger
  • Evil Twin
  • Fat Head's
  • Flying Dog
  • Fort Collins Brewery
  • Foster's
  • Founder's
  • Fuller's
  • Glutenator
  • Goose Island
  • Great Divide
  • Great Lakes Brewing Co.
  • Green Flash Brewing
  • Grolsch
  • Guffel
  • Gulden Draak
  • Heavy Seas
  • Hinterland
  • Hoegaarden
  • Hofbrau
  • Hoppin' Frog
  • Indigo Imp Brewery
  • Innis & Gunn
  • J.W. Lees
  • Kapuziner
  • Kentucky Ale
  • Kingfisher
  • Kwak
  • La Chouffe
  • La Rossa
  • Lagunitas
  • Leelanau Brewing Co.
  • Leffe
  • Lindemans
  • Mad River Brewing Co.
  • Marston's
  • Meantime
  • Mendocino
  • Mikkeller
  • Modelo
  • Moosbacher
  • Moretti
  • Morland
  • Murphy's
  • New Holland
  • Newcastle
  • Nogne
  • Ommegang
  • Oranjeboom
  • Orval
  • Oskar Blues
  • Otter Creek
  • Paulaner
  • Peroni
  • Petrus
  • Pinkus
  • The Porterhouse Brewing Co.
  • Portsmouth Brewing Co.
  • Reissdorf
  • Revolution Brewing
  • Rockmill Brewery
  • Rogue
  • Samuel Adams
  • Samuel Smith
  • Scaldis
  • Scheldebrouwerij
  • Schneider & Sohn
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Singha
  • Sixpoint
  • Smithwick's
  • Southern Tier
  • St. Feuillien
  • St. Louis (Belgium)
  • Steen Brugge
  • Stillwater
  • Stone
  • Straub
  • Thirsty Dog
  • Trappistes Rochefort
  • Troeg's
  • Troubadour
  • Two Brothers
  • Uinta
  • Unibroue
  • Urthel
  • Val Dieu
  • Vanberg and DeWulf
  • Victory
  • Warsteiner
  • Weihenstephaner
  • Well's
  • Westmalle
  • Weyerbacher
  • Wurzburger
  • Wychwood
  • Xingu
  • Young's

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