When it comes to beer stores in the Bay Area, there seems to be two choices. You can go to a warehouse-type store like Beverages and More, which has a decent selection of craft and imported beers but very little in the way of customer service beyond small cards with minimal descriptions. Then there are boutique stores like City Beer and Healthy Spirits, which make up for their lack of shelf and refrigerator space with thoughtful beer selections and helpful advice.
Perry’s Liquors in
strives to combine the best of both worlds. Perry’s beer selection is the handiwork of the store’s manager, Harpreet Singh, who introduced the family liquor store to the world of craft and imported beers about a year ago. Singh, who fell in love with Belgian sours at first sip, understood that he needed more refrigerated space to keep the beer fresh, and a lot of it. His expanded refrigerator now covers about half the store, with a small amount of space devoted to unrefrigerated shelves. Boxes of wine and spirits cover most of the available floor space. Livermore
Singh and his family are passionate about beer, and early on they would drive down to
Port Brewing Company in San Marcos, Calif If distributors didn’t have enough beer for Singh or if he wanted special bottles, he’d go directly to the brewery. It took some six months of wooing for Singh to convince Vinnie Cilurzo that Perry’s was worthy of carrying Russian River Brewing’s signature Pliny the Elder. Now, Singh says, he has the freshest Pliny around and goes through about 10 cases of the 500 ml bottles per week. Not satisfied with the typically available selection of European and . beer, along with select East Coast microbrews like Dogfish Head that are typically found at craft beer stores, Singh is also bringing in beers that are seldom seen on the West Coast, such as Three Floyds Dreadnaught and Jinx Proof and Founders Backwoods Bastard. California
Perry’s is already quite impressive and has become a destination for beer pilgrims from all over
Northern California and beyond, but Singh is just getting started. He’s in the process of getting a tasting license for pouring beer in the back room of the store and as a lover of Belgian and American beer, he acknowledges that developing food pairings is likely in his future, perhaps in conjunction with an uncle’s nearby Indian restaurant.
Perry’s Liquors is an ambitious undertaking and Livermore is a long drive from much of the Bay Area. And the uninitiated might be taken aback at the sight of some of the prices.
But for microbrew lovers, Perry’s is an oasis of beer and Singh is determined to spread the word and educate and serve new beer connoisseurs as well as those of us who already appreciate well-made brews.
With more beer drinkers taking craft brews seriously both on their own and as a complement to fine dining, it’s refreshing to see a beer store that is dedicated to providing the best and freshest craft and imported beer around.