Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BEERporting - Downtown Produce

Downtown Produce
7856 Ellis Road
Melbourne, FL 32904

Positive: a small section overall that benefits from utilizing its limited space to have as diverse a selection of beer as possible. They take a lot of expensive chances on many breweries, domestic and especially import, that the average beer shopper is going to whole-heartedly ignore, but is a gold-mine to beer aficionados. Reasonable prices assure the buyer that they aren’t getting gauged at any given point. There are also a lot of old, rare single bottles left of beers that have multiple years on them which, for the discerning beer geek, eliminates the task of having to age them for supping excellence themselves.

Negative: it is immediately and apparently obvious to anyone who knows anything about beer, especially someone involved on the retail side, that there is no one person who tends to and cares for the beer. Orders are placed, the shelves stocked, and that be all she wrote. There were a lot of beers that were either out of date or old enough to have skunked by default of beer style alone. In an instance where the beer section is not managed daily, even weekly, it is impossible for the consumer to know if a beer is past due when there is no best-by date, bottled-on date, or stocking date to go by. There was very little order to the section which makes browsing a bit of a longer process.

Bonus Points: what beers others would skim on past, I made special note of to go back and buy. Beers that do age well and have been there awhile are there for the grabbing. I was also pleased to see a small yet decent sake selection along with one of my favorite meaderies, Dansk Mjod. Really good mead is hard to find, and I am more than willing to drive out of my way for it.

Overall: not bad and not great. Most of the selection is average, but the rare and aged gems that one can and I did find there made it a successful visit. But this is the case with any store that sells beer but doesn’t specialize in it. Downtown Produce of Melbourne, FL is an even better place to shop for anyone who cares about the quality of their food and drink. The beer section could be great if there was someone to manage it with tireless TLC. Until then, it will only be average.


(an original work written by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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