Seriously, I don’t think people in Southwest Michigan realize what they have on their hands. The best kept secret of beer in Saint Joseph happens to be “Liquor Cabinet” on Hilltop Road. I don’t recall how I came across this place, but I’ve been coming here for months to pickup brew that my favorite local shops don’t carry. First impressions are important, right? As you walk into the Liquor Cabinet, you immediately notice how organized and clean everything is. I’ve been to several shops in my day, and this happens to be one of the nicer looking ones.
Of course looks aren’t everything, they also have to back it up with substance. They claim to have the largest selection of beer in Michigan, which I have no way of confirming, but wouldn’t be surprised if this was accurate. As soon as you walk in, you’ll notice a pretty good selection of singles off to the right. It would be great if there were even more, but the owner, Chris, informed me that the singles don’t turn over as quickly – fair enough.
Just past the checkout counter is a massive amount of warm beer. Foreign, domestic, tons of craft. Lots of Michigan breweries such as Arcadia, Dark Horse, Frankenmuth, North Peak, Jolly Pumpkin, Founders, Bell’s, the list goes on. In addition to some of the Michigan breweries that we don’t get in the South Bend area, you’ll find Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Dogfish Head and so on. The selection of 4-packs, 6-packs, bombers, etc., rival that of any store in the South Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart area, and often times blows them away.
What’s this you say? You want more beer? Good, because there’s also the cooler. This is where the majority of the Short’s (one of my favorite breweries, Michigan only) is located, along with brew that you may also see in the warm beer area. If the fizzy yellow stuff is more your thing, well they’ve got that too.
Chris is the owner, and a pretty cool guy. He once stated that he’s not really into beer, but more of a vodka guy. Normally this would concern me, however he keeps up to date on what’s out, what’s good, and what will sell. He also is willing to take suggestions from the beer community. All in all, he runs a great shop.
Oh and the piece de really-awesome-thing is that when all the special release beer is sold out in the South Bend area, Liquor Cabinet usually has a few bottles left. I’m not even going to tell you what Chris sold me today, you might not even believe it. If you did believe it, you’d be really jealous, you might even try to rob me. What I can tell you is that he still has 6 bottle of Founders Blushing Monk and several cases of Founders Devil Dancer. Get down there while you still can.