I don't know why it has taken me so long to post something about this place, The West Richland Beer & Wine store. It is the Columbia Basin's premiere beer store!
I first went in about a year ago, just out of curiosity, and discovered they had all sorts of cool and unique beer for sale. It is a store this area desperately needs. Beer from all over the world and a fine selection of American craft beer, as well as a few beers on tap that were for sale by growler only. The staff was not exactly friendly or engaging, and the place was laid out more like the warehouse than a showroom. A terrific idea and a great selection, but it really had the ambiance of a poorly lit Conoco.
There was a rumor someone else had bought the place. Then there was another rumor that it had been closed down and all of the stock was gone, which I had believed for most of the summer of 2011, until a friend of mine said he had been in the store and it was in fact open.
In the middle of August 2011 I stopped in and was completely surprised. There were new owners who are friendly and really into beer. The whole vibe of the place has changed. The huge rack in the middle of the room is gone and they added tables and chairs. They have a Tavern license, which means you can get a pint from the tap or buy a bottle, have it opened by the staff who also gives you a proper glass, and then you can sit back and drink while browsing random beer magazines and books. It is completely relaxed and is a welcome alternative to the obnoxious, "We got both kinds, 'Bud and Bud Light'" blaring ESPN flat screen sports bars that dominate the social beer drinking landscape of America. Of course you are also able to purchase beer and wine to take with you. They also expanded their taps from 4 to about 20. Last week I enjoyed a pint of: Sierra Nevada/Abbey of New Clairvaux Collab.: Ovila Saison... from a tap.
I have not yet been to one, but The West Richland Beer and Wine Store also has events where a brewer might come in to do a Q&A about a new beer being served.
West Richland Beer and Wine Store - Long name, Long drive (for most), and the longest lineup of craft beer in the Columbia Basin.