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Our Expert's Guide to Shopping the Beer Department

Get insider tips, including how our beer expertise can make your trip easier.

Our Beer department varies from store to store — but there's one thing you'll find in every location: Team members who know their beer. Whether you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing six-pack or a limited-edition local release, our beer experts can point you in the right direction. As the Global Senior Category Merchant for Whole Foods Market and a Certified Beer Server, I know our Beer department inside and out. Here are seven things to know before shopping for beer in our stores.

We’re not just beer geeks.

Our beer experts don’t just love beer — they live and breathe it. Counting myself, there are currently over 500 Certified Beer Servers who work for Whole Foods Market. We also have Certified Cicerones and one Advanced Cicerone. We love talking beer!

We have beers for everyone.

Our Beer department has something for everyone. We have your favorite local beers and we also have unique imports like Trappist beers from Belgium. We have familiar favorites for all your party needs; we have gluten-free bottles and cans; low-carb or low-sugar options; nonalcoholic or low-alcohol bottles. And we even have hard kombucha, hard cider and hard seltzer.

But we really love local beer.

Our core items — the beers that are in every store — take up roughly 10 to 30% of any given Whole Foods Market Beer department. The rest of it is left to the regional team to select, as experts on their local items. Want to try something before you buy it? If your store has a bar, we feature plenty of local beers on tap. Stay a while and enjoy a pint, or sip while you shop (where legal).

We have hard-to-find beers, too.

We have awesome relationships with our suppliers, whether they’re local, national or imported, so we often get rare products that a lot of other retailers wouldn’t normally offer. Just ask your beer specialist to point you toward a unique brew.

We know how to pair beer with food.

We know proper food pairings. If you say you’re having lasagna or Thai curry for dinner tonight, we can find a beer that will taste great with your meal. Just ask.

We can answer all your beer-related questions.

Customers frequently ask us why their favorite beer is only available in a can, and no longer in a glass bottle. The answer is simple: Light (and heat) is the ultimate enemy of beer, and cans prevent it from touching your beer until you’re ready to drink it. It’s the closest thing you can get to enjoying the beer on draft.

We love sharing our favorite beers with you.

Ask one of our beer specialists to point you toward something they’re loving right now. This is actually how I got into beer: I asked for an exciting beer to bring to a party, and the bottle I ended up with was a Flemish red. I’d never heard of it, but I absolutely loved it. It’s still my favorite beer to this day. I want our customers to have that same experience.

Must be 21+. Please drink responsibly.

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