Just in time for the weekend, Filling Stations is a weekly post that highlights one of Los Angeles’ destinations for craft beer, be it a bottle-shop with a great selection, a restaurant with great food to go with their beer list, or a bar serving excellent beers.
Whole Foods Markets
- Neighborhood: Various Locations Around LA View Larger Map
- Type: Grocery Store
- Selection (Varies by store): 3-4/5 Price: 3/5 Staff (Varies by store): 4/5
While we stress buying local and supporting small businesses and we would not normally not recommend a non-local chain as the place to score your craft beer, we’ve been impressed by Whole Food’s commitment to the craft beer industry and to Los Angeles breweries. The image of expensive organic foods and Malibu hippy/yuppie clientele oftentimes makes the chain of grocery stores a punchline, but the chain’s dedication to craft beer is enough of a draw that shopping at “Whole Paycheck” is a little more bearable.
Each store has a unique footprint, and some locations have devoted more space to craft beer than others. Each of the locations has a beer buyer dedicated to the section, and that person is charged with developing relationships with distributors and breweries and more importantly with learning and understanding the tastes of that location’s customers. This results in each store’s beer cooler being tailored to the neighborhood and overseen by someone with a vested interest in its success. These store’s beer buyer is a fantastic resource for the craft beer fan, and we can not stress the importance of meeting and getting to know your preferred stores buyer. The small effort on your part helps grow the LA scene, and we promise it will pay off for you!
Selections in the stores vary from a concise selection of 6-packs and some bombers to several coolers filled with the best craft brewed sixpacks and bottles from breweries around the country. Often the stores have a build-a-sixpack selection of loose bottles, and each stores attitude varies on the topic of buying a single bottle from a full sixpack. We’ve seen an increasing amount of local LA brews available at Whole foods with Golden Road, Eagle Rock Brewing, and even Cismontane Brewing bottles available. Prices are average for Los Angeles, with the occasional good deal to be found ($12 bottles of Supplication!)
We will be updating this post periodically with details on the individual locations.
Do you have a favorite Whole Foods location when you’re on a beer run? Lets hear about it in the comments, and we will add the suggests to this post first!