For those that aren't familiar, Jungle Jim's is a HUGE -- seriously, ridiculously huge -- grocery store, international market and liquor store all smashed into one (and there are lots of smaller sections as well, like a cigar area). Last weekend, my wife and I had to drive her brother back to Miami University in Oxford, OH. Oxford is only about 20-30 minutes from Fairfield -- a Cincinnati suburb that's home to Jungle Jim's -- so it seemed like an ideal time to make our first trip there.
From the moment you turn off the road into the parking lot, you feel like you're going to an amusement park. There's even a bus loading area, for God's sake! After making the trek in from the parking lot, I tried to make a beeline for the beer section. The olive bar beckoned, though, so I had to stop briefly before continuing to the beer, only to be sidetracked again by the cheese shop!
The beer section at Jungle Jim's is very large, but the wine section is even bigger. My wife and I decided to split up, so while she took off to check out the wine, I circled the beer area. One wall had shelves labeled for areas of the country but the vast majority of the selection is disorganized. For example, there was a shelf of selections from AleSmith on one side while clear across on the other side were stacked cases of their IPA and YuleSmith. If you go in there looking for something specific, it might take you a while to find it. The beer area also features a walk-in cooler with many beer selections, including growlers of beer from a local brewery (sorry, can't remember the name).
The shopping itself was a different process than I typical use. Given that Jungle Jim's is very far away and I don't know when I might be going back, I circled and circled, scanning all the shelves, not wanting to miss out on some hidden gem. I wanted to be particularly diligent because Jungle Jim's stocks a lot of beer that's distributed in Ohio but not in Indiana.
One thing I couldn't get a handle on was the prices; some seemed very high while others were the best prices I'd ever seen. There was Brooklyn Black Stout for just $8.99, but I knew I could easily get that back in Indy so I passed on it. Then Hopslam was priced pretty high at $15.50, and there were cases and cases of it. Good thing I'm already stocked up on Hopslam!
I easily could have gotten three times as much beer as I got, but this is what I walked out with:
Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout
Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale (I've had this but I love it and it was just $2.99 per 24 oz bottle!)
Brooklyn Monster Ale
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
I've already had the Hop Rod Rye and I can tell you that it's very, very tasty. I'll definitely be grabbing more of that on a future trip. You might not guess from the name, but it's an IPA. Highly recommended if you ever see it, as is Jungle Jim's in general! We were in a bit of a rush on this particular trip, so I hope to be able to spend a little more time checking out the rest of the store on a future trip. If you're ever in the area, Jungle Jim's is a place you really have to experience!
Choice Downloads - May
7 years ago