Imagine a family-run liquor store that has a selection of more than 450 tequilas, 100 mezcals (including sotol and bacanora), 100 wines and 1,300 beers, with rare and new selections of each of these beverages available daily, too.
Welcome to the month-old Ramirez Beverage Center in Boyle Heights, a 12,000-square-foot emporium brought to you by the same family that owns the influential Ramirez Liquor on Soto Street in Boyle Heights.
Ramirez Liquor has become a rite of passage for young adults in the Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles communities, providing the coming-of-aging beer-drinking residents with an incredible selection of craft beer at prices they can afford.
The experience at Ramirez Beverage Center isn’t much different than shopping for groceries: grab a shopping cart, pass through the turnstiles and fill it up. An entire aisle is dedicated to proper beer glassware; several aisles are filled with fine Scotches.
There are over 40 refrigerators stocked with beer from around the world, with an emphasis on local and Mexican craft beers. The latter are a little harder to come by in the States. Nonetheless, they always have a few bottles of Mexicali-based Cucapa and a Tecate, Baja California-brewed Cerveza de Los Muertos.
Of the four brothers in charge, Alejandro Ramirez helms the beer selection. And as you’re perusing the quiet shop on any given day you’ll quickly realize that Alejandro has a lot of connections in the craft beer distribution world. Beer enthusiasts of all backgrounds and parts of Los Angeles know this and hundreds of them showed up on the day of the grand opening.
They all came in hopes of acquiring rare and usually really expensive beers like Peche ‘n Brett from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales of Oregon or a couple of bottles of Rose de Gambrinus from Belgium’s Cantillon Brewery. They carry these rare beers and many more and release them on whim, usually using social media to announce the day’s selection.
The wine collection has been steadily growing as well, offering California labels seen nowhere else in Boyle Heights.
One of the brothers is a fan of sake and another of bourbon, so there are a few nice bottles of that stuff too.
For soft beverage lovers there is a decent selection of craft sodas, as well.
Despite the impressive selection of world-class beverages, the family has not forgotten that their business is in Boyle Heights, directly across the street from the Wyvernwood Garden Apartments complex to be exact. They have set aside a few refrigerators in the back exclusively stocked with Bud Light, Tecate, Corona and other domestic beers popular in Mexican American birthday and quinceañera partying culture. As well as chilled cans of flavored pasteurized pulque, a Mexican alcoholic beverage made from the sap of maguey agave.
Ramirez Beverage Center is open til midnight every day.
2765 E. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 266-2337.