I recently was introduced to cherry beer and the best local brand usually costs about $10-12 a bottle (for about 750 mL). However, I was recommended to visit Surdyk's because they were having a sale on the brand, so I decided to go visit.
I didn't have a good experience at all. The moment I walked in, I noticed it was crowded (we did go on a Friday evening around 8pm). We could hardly maneuver through the place without getting bumped or pushed by both customers and staff alike.
I was so stressed out by trying to find what I was looking for that I didn't get a chance to really look at their selection, but I noticed they had a lot of everything.
My boyfriend came with and thought since we were there, we could pick up one of our usual liquors, Jameson Whiskey, but it was priced well above what our usual liquor store charges.
When we tried to stop an employee to ask where the cherry beer was, he pointed in the general direction. We headed that way, and eventually found what we were looking for.
When we finally made it to the checkout, the woman cashier was snobby and rude to us (most likely because we weren't purchasing a cart-full of wine, like most of the customers).
If I do go back, it will only be to get a good deal on my cherry beer, but I also might deem my trip not worth it. My regular liquor store provides better service on a Friday night and the aisles are wide enough for everyone to maneuver through even when it IS busy on the weekends.
Cons: normal prices, crowd, staff
Alright, the liquor store is AMAZING with great service. Wine, alcohol, and beer selection is great! Even better is the cheese shop. Awesome selection of cheese. Ask for a sample. For a sandwhich, no place is better. If it's not too busy ask one of the workers to make a sandwhich to your liking. Also, have premade sandwhiches, sushi, various desserts, as well as specials. Yesterday, I had a huge sandwhich with salami, chedder, aioli and all the fixings for $3.99. Homemade caramels are awesome, as well!
I am no beer expert, but I do love hefeweizen and on a lark I asked the clerk in the beer section to help me select one. Not only was he the most knowledgeable person I had ever spoken to about hefeweizen, but the selection Surdyk's offered was amazing. I could not count all the varieties there were so many. They did not have a good selection of Romanian wine (another small interest of mine), but only Liquor Depot has had that and that is due to the presence of a (now deceased) Romanian importer in the Twin Cities.
Pros: excellent beer select, parking, location
...and my head. I have a vicious love/hate relationship with Surdyks. I cannot walk into this place without dropping way more dough than i intend. The wine selection is adaquate for most and the best the cities has (that I've found). A great selection of inexpensive gems and overpriced selections to impress. The fromageria is bar none. This week i got parmigiano reggiano for $9 a pound, and the goat's milk gouda is better than that at Lund's or market.
Pros: Knowledgable Staff, Good Value
The selection in everything - wines, beer, liquor - is outstanding. Some of the best prices I've seen in the Twin Cities. Very low snob factor - I'm a total novice when it comes to wines and still feel comfortable asking questions here.
I never miss their seasonal wine and liquor sales!