Beer Shop: Galeville Grocery, Liverpool, NY



Directions to Galeville Grocery

So we hit the road at 8:00 am and were at the fair at 10:30 am after a few stops – one of which was the Galeville Grocery. Unlike Pennsylvania and its restrictive distributor system, New Yorkers have some of the most civilized laws relating to the purchasing of ales. As in Quebec, any corner store can pretty much be one of the best sources you will find. Thanks to a tip from the Homebrewers Digest, we turned off I-81 at the Liverpool turn-off and hunted for the 116 year old shop.

As the photo below shows, it was a small trip into a pretty nice selection of micros. Lots of Ithaca, Brooklyn and other New Yorkers plus a good selection from across the land. They even had sixes of Sleeman’s honey brown for 4.99 which is about 6.50 CND – or 4 bucks less than it costs here in Ontario where it is made. I picked up a variety pack from both Ithaca and Southern Tier as well as a six from each of Brooklyn, Wagner Valley and, because I could, one of Shipyard IPA from Portland Maine. Expect a few comparing and contrasting reviews over the next week weeks including much reference to the works of Lew Bryson.


It was a bit of a lesson in surcharges. The beer cost me $50.45 USD or $67.10 CND. I then paid $2.10 USD New York State bottle return, $3.66 USD New York state tax, $4.00 CND federal duty, $9.64 Ontario Liquor Commission mark-up, $5.44 Canadian Federal Goods and Services Tax, $10.48 Ontario Provincial Sales Tax. Total was $103.78 CND. If I had spent 48 hours in the states it would have only been the $78.20 as there are no border charges but I am not exactly going to plan a three day holiday around saving 29 bucks.

Later: Visited again today and noticed the returns sorting room at the back and its impressive dusty collection of unreturnables. Spot any favorites?



One thought on “Beer Shop: Galeville Grocery, Liverpool, NY”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Jim J. – February 23, 2005 11:18 PM
    Nice job, Alan. I’m going to check out Galeville Grocery this weekend! Thanks for the tip.

    vince meegan – December 30, 2005 2:19 PM
    Hi, Bernie! You there? I wish you guys had a branch out here in southern California!


    Alan – December 30, 2005 2:23 PM
    Hey Vince! Who is Bernie? I just shop at Galeville.

    Alan – April 19, 2006 9:50 AM
    A short drop into Galeville yesterday found the store well stocked with even perhaps a bit more shelf space being dedicated to the fine ales and lagers they carry.

    Mary – April 23, 2006 7:35 PM
    Bernie is my Dad and the owner of Galeville Grocery. Make sure you ask for him when you stop as he is always happy to talk about beer and give a guided tour.

    Alan – April 23, 2006 7:53 PM
    Hey Mary! I think I have introduced myself as the nutty guy from up north who likes to take photos of beer stores but the shop is always such a buzz of activity you do not want to take the staff away from the customers. But one was nice enough to dig through the garbage when I returned half an hour later after I forgot to get the receipt for the drive back through Canadian customs.

    Brian – April 25, 2006 1:56 PM
    Allen, I have visited the fine Meat/Grocery/Beer establishment many times. We are lucky to have this blog to help popularize Galeville Grocery at 412 Old Liverpool Road. Berine and Cliff do an amazing job keeping a fine selection beers on hand. Love the pictures! You are correct it is convenient located just off 81 south. I am lucky enough to not live too far away from this Beer Paradise. Say hello to them when you visit, and tell them about your blog.

    Keep the fride full!

    Alan – February 5, 2007 7:32 PM
    I hit Galeville on the way out of town after the CNY Brewfest 2007. Great stock and great prices. Even the beer shelfs were expanded, moving more and more into the next room.

    Rob – February 6, 2007 6:04 PM
    Check Galeville Grocery and their beer selection out at

    Alan – February 6, 2007 6:19 PM
    Thanks Rob! Here is the page with their beer listings.

    veronika – August 23, 2007 8:49 PM
    Bernie is awesome – learned to enjoy Allagash White in Maine and it’s not easy to get in Utica, NY — well, not until the super folks at TJ Sheehan told me about Galeville! He was great on the phone and looking forward to meeting him in a week or two when I drive in for a few 4pks of Allagash!

    Mary – June 13, 2009 2:47 PM
    Find Galeville Grocery on Facebook. Thank you for the pictures in this blog that I decicated to the facebook page.

    orbin – September 6, 2009 1:39 PM
    i drove 2 and ahalf hours from buffalo ny just to get my 3cases of the best beer in the world…i looked and called all over the place(you just don’t know ) then some one told me about a small ma & pa store called i called…and the rest is history. i jumped in my car grabed my girlfriend and two and ahalf hours later.we came to this place small but great.i’m telling you this place had everything you wanted.but lets get backto why i went there the only place aroundthat had what i looked for for years are you ready for this…schlitz beer thats right 2 pluse hours for the best beer in the land and they were so so nice.i stayed there a good 30min.talking to if you can’t find that schlitz beer or any beer they will have it thank you, thank you, thank you galeville so much for being so nice and for saveing me 3 cases of the best beer in the world.i’ll see you soooon.

    Mike – September 22, 2010 9:56 AM
    Just curious – you mentioned you paid 103.78$ all said and done… how many bottles of beer did you end up getting for this cost?

    Alan – September 22, 2010 1:24 PM
    That is over six years ago, Mike. I have no idea now other than to read the item myself again and see that it looks like 37 bottles or about $2.80 a bottle. Probably what it would have cost or less buying in Ontario – except you can’t buy all these beers in Ontario even now.

    Mike – September 23, 2010 8:17 AM
    Thanks Alan. I realized that it was a long time ago, I was just hoping you remembered. I thought the Ithaca and Southren Tier mixed packs you mentioned were 6’s – So I thought you had paid 100$+ for 25 beers..

    I’m from Ottawa and I’m trying to justify the trip to the states to buy craft beer. Do the border/customs agents ever just let you go through without paying customs on beer – even if you’ve only been in the states for a few hours?

    Alan – September 23, 2010 8:38 AM
    No, you usually have to pay and should have the receipts handy but with the dollar high as it has been it is still a good deal and fun. If I were you, I would aim for a Wegmans grocery as well if you are thinking Syracuse. If you are getting up early, try to get to Ithaca’s Finger Lake Beverages. That might be four hours drive for you.

    Also, I prefer to cross at the TI bridge rather than at Prescott, as well. Crankier Canadian customs at Prescott for some reason. I understand that you are allowed 5 x 24 beer if you pay your customs. I have never hit close to that on a single day trip. Recently, when a officer started the lecture about “you know you will have to pay…” I said I am quite happy to pay and saved my receipts. He said that in that case I could drive right through. I only pay half the time.

    Mike – September 24, 2010 8:50 AM
    Thanks so much for the information Alan. Whenever you do pay customs on the beer, do the border officers actually look at the bottles? I’m guessing the receipt doesn’t show the specific sizes of each bottle, so I’m wondering how they tax appriately for 12oz bottles vs bombers etc.

    Alan – September 24, 2010 8:53 AM
    I just count a bomber or a 750 ml as 2 bottles when I say how much I have. Once I was asked if I had any large format bottles and was happy I had doubled up. But they’ve never asked to see so far – about 5 years of crossing.

    Mike – September 24, 2010 8:54 AM
    sorry, that should read ‘appropriately’

    Ralph Cognetti – February 20, 2013 1:08 PM
    Do you have OV splits?

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