It's been more than three years since we first(-ish) talked about JB's Foods (and now also Bottleworks) so it seems pertinent to have another look at them.
And you know, if anything, things have just gotten better. JB's already had one of the premier beer selections in town, and that selection has, if anything, grown. Significantly. Here you can find rarities and bottles no longer found on shelves anywhere else in town, and quite a few of them too.
During our last visit we saw a large quantity of Deschutes's Dissident 2012 on the shelves. I mean, really, it's been a good while since those could be found anywhere, so props to JB's for hanging on to some bottles for later sale. Price-wise they weren't bad either: $15 a pop.
Other bottles are hidden behind the counter. In our case they pulled out a bottle of Abyss 2011, which, hell, is not a bad find by any means. The only problem with it -- and whatever they pull out -- is the lack of a marked price. What you end up paying for the bottles seems a bit... random. In other words, make sure to ask for the price before buying. The premium could be steep.
Now sure, there still is a lot of minimart-ing going on here, but the beer and wine selection is slowly taking over. Soon they will also have taps for growler fills -- I was told stories of twenty-five taps, which seems somewhat hard to believe, but hey, keep an eye out. Taps can only make an excellent store even better.
Original July 22, 2010 Write-Up
We have talked a lot about JB's and so we will talk some more. Because it's awesome.
The storefront looks like that of a minimart, largely because it is. In fact the division of the interiors is quite interesting. On one side you will find your selection of the Natty Ices of the world, where unassuming patrons will discuss their latest baby-mama drama and how their dealer was busted. Truly. It happened last time I was there.
The other half, though, is beer-Nirvana. I swear, every time I go in there the craft brew selection grows. I don't know if it's by magic or not, but I'll take it either way. There are aisles of bombers (22 oz bottles), many which aren't seen any other place in Spokane. The owners head west at regular intervals and bring back some bottles that can be harder to track down on this side of the state. Reserves and special editions are plentiful.
Smaller bottles, of different sizes, and cans are also plentiful, and mix and match six packs are encouraged.
The juxtaposition of run-down minimart hell and craft brew heaven makes JB's one of the more interesting stores in town. It also has the largest beer selection up north, and possibly in town.