For the past few months my craft beer loving friend Jason McKay has been telling me about Michael’s Liquor in Canyon Country. The irony is that I don’t drink, so honestly, I didn’t think much of it. Then a few weeks ago I needed special fancy beer to take to a special dinner and finding myself in a panic as my reservation drew near (knowing nothing of fancy beer) I headed over to Michael’s Liquor. I walked in asking for Michael, but instead I met Andy who helped me pick the perfect beers to bring to dinner. They ended up being a hit at the table.
There’s a cool backstory to this place, but I have asked Jason to do a write up. He’s much better qualified than I am when it comes to beer. Enjoy!
Simply stated, I love beer. My go to styles are really anything with a solid backbone of flavor. It doesn’t need to have a high ABV. It just has to be good at the style it is supposed to be, regardless if it is an IPA, stout, pilsner, saison, etc.
This nondescript liquor store is on the way to work, which means I had driven past it daily. I’m not sure what led me to stop by that day nine months ago, but I’m glad I did. I am now a regular.
Not only did I find a great local business, I found some great beers! This place gets some of the best and most unique beers around. Their selection puts BevMo to shame. They truly get some beers that you can’t get anywhere else in the SCV. Here’s the short list:
- El Segundo Brewing
- Santa Clara Brewing
- Prairie Artisan Ales
- Figueroa Brewing
- MOA Brewing
- Brew Rebellion
- Surf Brewery
and this isn’t even mentioning their decent selection of sours!
Given that this is the West Coast, the most popular requests/purchases for craft brews are IPAs. Currently he’s getting in seasonal bottles like pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews that are pretty tasty.
They also have the largest cold craft brew selection in the SCV, period. Some craft beers can take warm temperatures, but a lot can’t and will not taste good by the time that you purchase them. Think of that the next time you go to BevMo!, Target, or Vons. Do you think the brewer wanted you to drink some beer that was sitting warm on the shelf for a month? I don’t think your taste buds want you to drink that either.
What really sold me, is the people behind the business. There are two guys that make this business run as smooth as it does. The main man is Andy. He puts in a lot of hours and work to make sure his shop has some of the best beers around. The other guy is Irvin, who restocks and covers the night shifts. Together, these two are working hard to bring some exclusives to SCV.
It is easy to get lost in the cases as you see all the variety, but luckily they have really fair prices so you too can become a regular. At the end of the day, yes, this is the neighborhood liquor store, and people stop in for lottery tickets, Coor’s Light, chips and candy, but if it is rare craft beer you are after, you will be in heaven here.
It really is a family affair. Andy’s brother Anthony owns their sister store Certified Market in Monrovia. We are lucky to have Michael’s Liquor here in town.
So, there you have it. Don’t be like me and go in there asking for Michael. There is no Michael, but Andy is usually there. This place has been in the family for almost 30 years, but Andy recently took over. You can tell he has brought in his knowledge and passion for craft beer to his business and this is really the place to go.
Andy posts his new arrivals on his Instagram account @michaelsliquor and on Facebook so make sure that you follow. Some of the beers are known to go quick, but he is also able to place a special order if you are looking for something in particular. So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out for yourself!
20549 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Canyon Country, CA 91351