The Wine Thief & Ale Jail is located on St. Claire Avenue in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood. This carefully curated, family-owned shop offers responsibly produced wines from around the world, including organic and vegan options; a wide variety of local craft beers and European imports; an extensive gluten-free beer and craft cider selection; and a hand-picked collection of fine spirits at a range of prices. Learn more by reading our Q&A below with co-owner Mejken Thompson!
When and why did you open the Wine Thief & Ale Jail?
Five years ago, my husband saw an old friend’s note on social media that their wine shop was on the market. Having met and fell in love at the old Table of Contents restaurant on Grand Avenue, we had a special place in our hearts for the neighborhood and good wine.
What sets The Wine Thief & Ale Jail apart from other businesses?
We taste every bottle before it comes into the shop and look for wines of integrity at a good price. Most of our wines are under $20. We primarily organize them by flavor profile, so you don’t need to be an expert at grapes or regions to find a new favorite. We seek out beverages with integrity — sustainably produced, organic, gluten-free, and vegan.
What is your favorite wine you sell and why?
It’s hard to pick a single favorite; the needs of the event or meal dictate the wine. I want a wine that refreshes the palate and enhances the flavors in the food. Learn some of my favorite wines for pairing with your holiday meal here!
What is unique about your beer selection?
The Ale Jail carries a highly curated beer selection from all over the world: Iconic European imports, the newest releases from our friends in the local craft beer industry, and the most diverse cider selection in town. We maintain a fabulous singles wall of over 300 unique beers, where you can purchase a single beer or put together a mixed six pack and receive a discount.
How can co-op shoppers support The Wine Thief right now?
Ask us questions! Need an idea for a signature cocktail/mocktail for brunch? We’ve got suggestions. Thinking about what to pair with your holiday turkey? From pre-meal drinks to after-dinner sippers, we can match drinks with what will be on your plate.
Our Community Partners are small, independent local businesses that have been hit especially hard by the effects of COVID-19. Join us in solidarity and show your love for our community by continuing to eat, drink and shop locally. Co-op member-owners get 10% off wine and large-format beer at the Wine Thief & Ale Jail!