Just a bit of praise where praise is definitely due to the good folks at City-Wide Liquors at Jefferson Street in South Bend. I was able to stop in twice and found the place one of the beer best shopping experiences in my life, you know, with good beer. Why? Here's why:
- There is an Indiana law that folks 21 and younger can't even open the door at a drinks store. So the folk good at City-wide provided a clerk to wait at the door with the lad. Irritating law. Well handled.
- The place is in the downtown a block from the courts, a block from the College Football Hall of Fame, surrounded by professional office space and looks like it fits right in. Neat and tidy, clever and kind.
- Note the awning. It says "micro-brews" and not "beer" or whatever. These folk promote the good beer along with fine wines and spirits without a tie to food or a fest or a flavour of the month. If someone is looking how craft beer should be placed in the market to send the message that it is a stand alone quality product, check out City-Wide.
- Great selection and great prices. I was happy to open the wallet to pick up beers by Indiana's Three Floyds, Back Road and Barley Island along with St. Louis's Schlafly of St. Louis and a New Belgium Mothership Wit for 3.49 a bomber. None of these are available in Ontario or from what I have seen in New York - and maybe not even in neighbouring Michigan.
- Did I mention it is open from 9:00 am on into the evening? Sounds too early but when you are heading out of town at the beginning of a 15 hour haul east, well, 9:00 am makes a lot of sense.
The only quibble is their website isn't telling the story well enough. It looks like it is focusing on the class of product other than those getting the focus at this downtown - and I would assume flagship - location. As with this evening's experience of buying Arbor IPA, Founders IPA and Bell's pale ale at a grocery store in Michigan, shopping at City-Wide in South Bend will only drill home all winter how poorly served Ontarians and folk in many other locations are.