What once was a check-cashing store now is a cash-taking store. The Craft Beer Shoppe is now open to Beacon brew fans, from the people who bring you Key Food, specifically Jb Said (Jb with a lower case "b"). In addition to keeping his regular responsibilities with Key Food, Jb has branched out on his own to open this convenience shop for craft beer. The Craft Beer Shoppe is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm, with an extra hour on Friday and Saturday, when they close at 10 pm.
Although the windows were covered in brown paper during the transformation, regular patrons of the check-cashing store did try to check out the new space - despite the large, red, lit-up new sign above the door that announces what is inside: craft beer. Now, with the store opened and the left side of the store fully lined with refrigerators, there can be no mistaking what one will find inside.
While craft beer connoisseurs have their favorite spots to pick up beer around Beacon - including Dia Beverage way down 9D past Stony Kill Farm, or the beer store next to the wine store on Wolcott and South Avenue in the Beacon Dental plaza (aka Loopers Plaza), or even in the gas station in the middle of Main Street (across from Antalek & Moore) that has a surprising selection of craft beer - Beacon hopheads now have an even more convenient location: right next door to Key Food.
What's In Stock?
Plenty, according to craft beer enthusiast David Martin, a weekend customer who usually commutes to the city during the week. In order to stock the shelves, Jb orders from at least 10 different distributors. That doesn't make it easy to get wholesale deals on beer prices, but offering a variety of beer is important to him.
"I was surprised to see the prices displayed under each beer," says David. "Usually, you find out the price after you bring it to the counter. I appreciate the displayed pricing. Speaking of which, the prices are on par with everywhere else."
During our first visit to the store, we tailed Byrdie from Accuprint, another craft beer enthusiast.
Byrdie was pleased to see the variety, including the selection of ciders. Included in the variety are non-craft beers, old trusties for some, like Rolling Rock, Bud, Bud Light, Stella, Blue Moon, and more.
Let's see what's in stock, shall we?
The Craft Beer Shoppe also has drink mixes, and bottles of non-alcoholic beverages, like Fever-Tree Ginger Ale and Tonic Water. Whisky Sour and Daiquiri mixes are also on hand.
Oops, I Forgot Eggs!
They read your mind! In the last refrigerator case, Jb has stocked the 'fridge with organic Pete and Gerry eggs, organic cheddar cheese, Hudson Valley Fresh whole and chocolate milk (how did he know!?!). Even though Key Food's doors are just a few steps away, you could just grab-n-go here. This is the move of a true small-business person, knowing his customers and delivering.
Hot Tip: Shhh... Don't tell Key Food, but the Pete and Gerry's eggs were $4.99 at The Craft Beer Shoppe, which is a steal compared to the $6.49 they usually are next door at Key Food. Not that you all will be storming this case for the low-priced organic eggs. Besides, you could always storm Homespun just a block down for their $4.99 farm-fresh eggs on your way home (if it's before 5 pm), because their dessert and cheese case is always stocked with dozens of eggs you can buy. Same thing at Beacon Pantry a few blocks in the other direction and open later, and Barb's Butchery has stacks of farm-fresh eggs ready for you to carry home when you pick up bacon or steak. There are of course other sources of farm-fresh eggs around Beacon, so you've got options.
But this isn't an article about eggs, it's about craft beer, and this new supplier in town. Have you checked out The Craft Beer Shoppe? Let us know what you think!