600 Bottles of Beer On The Wall: Highland Park soda pop shop stocks up on cold beer

Galco’s corners craft beer market. Photo by Martha Benedict

By Nicole Possert

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop has long cornered the market on being “the” place to find and buy sodas from around the world.   Now,  the Highland Park soda shop and market  has become the place to also get the biggest selection of cold craft beer, with a recent cooler expansion that now provides 10 refrigerated  cases  – up from four – devoted to artisanal beer in bottles.  It’s an impressive wrap-around corner and wall of cold-beer nirvana that filled with 600 types of beers. Already one of the largest and oldest beer “bottle shops*” in Los Angeles, Galco’s new cold beer section further expands the overall selection and temperature options.

This is good news for both beer aficionados as well as those who just like to explore new tastes and need a store that offers a really diverse and large selection from small and artisanal brewers.

With beers from around the world, Galco’s stocks 100 different Belgians, imports from England to Mexico in addition to an overwhelming amount of space devoted to American craft beers, including Eagle Rock Brewery,  Fat Tire, Unita Lagunitas and Russian River.  Newly arrived batches of holiday and seasonal ales include five Belgian-style holiday ales, England’s St. Peters Winter Ale and  DogFish Head’s 75 min IPA made with maple, Petrus Winter 9, not to mention Lost Coast Brewing’s Winterbraun. Yes, all of them are either in the new beer coolers or on the shelves.

“Our customers know we have the biggest selection but wanted to have more cold beers so we’ve responded by expanding from 4 doors [cases] up to 10 doors of cold bottled beer,” said Galco’s owner John Nese.

If 10 cases of cold beer is not enough for you, Nese plans to add four more cases in the new year.

* In beer-mecca Portland, where I’m spending some time these days,  people use the term “bottle shop”  to refer to a store where one can browse a large selection of diverse bottled beers for purchase.   It helps to easily distinguish between a brewery for on-site consumption where they may or may not have their own brand bottled vs. a lot of different brands of bottled beer.


  1. So awesome. Gawd bless Galco’s.

  2. Outstanding!

    John knows his soda, knows his beer, and obviously knows his clientele. Galco’s is one of the best small businesses in LA for good reason.

  3. I only wish he hadn’t blocked the installation of those bikes racks as “not good for business”.


    • Exactly …. I loved going to galco’s for the sodas and blockbuster sandwiches. But have not been back since his anti-bike rack comments. Being an avid cyclist that hit home for me..

      • Get over it. He stated some opinions about bike lanes, that’s all. Go buy some beer.

      • Oh grow up! Newsflash: not everyone agrees with you, and cyclists have made themselves a nuisance over the last few years.

        I stand for Galco’s and will be buying extra beer there tonight to make up for your failure to do so.

    • Thanks for posting this, Mr. Rollers. It’s the first I’ve heard of the owner’s anti-bike opinions and it certainly lowers the reverence within which I previously held the landmark store to about the same level I hold those “get over it/grow up” commenters who — as usual — can’t refrain from making themselves the arbiters on what matters to everyone.

  4. Better for you than all that soda pop.

  5. This place is so overrated, prices are SO high, the store looks dirty. I can’t believe they actually make sandwiches there, gross!

  6. I’m surprised by this news, because it is the first hint I’ve seen that Neese might have a clue about how to run a business. As HLP says, his prices are ridiculous and his store is filthy. Then his vocal opposition to bike lanes struck me as surprisingly tone-deaf– is it possible that a man who makes his living selling soda pop and candy on York Blvd. could not have noticed the proliferation of kids with bicycles in his neighborhood? It seems he has noticed that the people like the craft beers, though. Could Swiffers ™ be next?

  7. Prices are wicked high there…but if you can afford to buy your groceries at Figueroa Produce, this is great news.

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