Charles Street Liquors
Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 50 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Boilermaker88:
3.85/5 rDev -4.9%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Took a decent 2.5mi. walk from where I was staying for the ABF to get to Charles St Liquors. Almost walked past it as it blended in very well with the other stores and eateries in the neighborhood.
Once inside, I found the beers located in about half of the smaller back section of the store, sharing space with some varieties of champagnes. Charles St Liquors is primarily a wine and spirits store but still maintains an excellent selection of local beers and a great selection of foreign brews. Most imported beers were on shelves and not refrigerated. Some had built up quite a layer of dust on them. Did I mention it was kinda warm back where the beer was? It gave me pause for concern but after looking around for half an hour and marveling at the selection I threw caution to the wind and started loading my cart.
The selection of Euro beers was stellar, with some hard to find (for me) beers like Sinebrychoff porter and Aecht Schlenkerla's Rauchbier Weizen coming off the shelf and into my basket. I also went after some local brews - Berkshire's Lost Sailor IPA, DFH's ApriHop and 90 Min IPA - and would have gotten more if I had been able to break up a few 6-packs. They have a "make your own 6-er" area but when I picked up a bottle of Victory's Golden Monkey and saw the date was August 7, 2004 I decided against it. The staff might want to rotate out the beers that are ten months past prime.
The service was pretty much non-existent. Two people at the counter, I'm the only customer, in there for half an hour, and no one even asks if I need help finding anything. Given the obvious attention to the variety of beer they choose to carry, I'd think they'd also make sure the service could at least make an effort to be helpful.
In the end, I bought eight bottles and, fortunately, found a T station only about 100 yds away so I didn't have to hike back with all that brew. Charles St Liquors has an outstanding selection and I thought the prices were pretty fair. If they can improve the service, the store would be fantastic. Nevertheless, if you visit Boston, Charles St. Liquors is worth a stop.
06-28-2005 20:51:50 | More by Boilermaker88
More User Reviews:
4.16/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
located just off the Charles/MGH T stop, CSL might be the best craft option in downtown Boston. as with most downtown liquor stores, the space is limited and shared with wine and spirits, so while you might not be overwhelmed ala Julio's or Marty's or someplace of that ilk, it's enough to leave a beer enthusiast pleasantly satisfied. the chilled 4/6pks are situated in coolers in the back, while bombers are parked on shelves to the back left side of the store. solid overall selection ranging from the usual locals (Pretty Things, CBC, Jack's Abby, BBC, etc) to the standouts across the country (Stone, Founders, DFH, Avery, Ballast Point, Great Divide, Goose Island, Boulevard, Southern Tier, Lost Abbey, Allagash, Victory, Lagunitas, et al), with a handful of some obscure stuff you don't tend to see in your run of the mill liquor store. the stock is fairly well organized and also inundated with many European beers, including a small but impressive selection of Belgians.
prices are easily a dollar or two more than you see outside the city, but that's to be expected in the downtown area. the staff is pretty friendly and usually - though not always - will approach to ask if you need help. worth a look if in the area and would be on a short list of go-to stops for beer fans living in the Back Bay/Beacon Hill/West End vicinity.
08-22-2013 20:02:41 | More by BostonHops
4.11/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Probably the easiest store to get to if you are downtown. The selection is pretty strong, though the focus tends to be a little more towards European beers. This store surprises me as some things linger on the shelves a little more than one would think. Some stuff goes very quickly, but occasionally, you find a beer that doesn't seem to be available anywhere else. A definite stop if you are in the area.
06-09-2013 13:24:14 | More by SHCC
4.33/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | $$
A regular stop for me, they have a solid selection of beer (given there isn't much for selection in the area) and come through with some rarities from time to time. It's a good idea to keep an eye on their facebook feed if you are looking for something special.
04-20-2013 22:18:56 | More by klythjohan
3.8/5 rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place is conveniently located on Charles Street in downtown Boston, not too far from the hospital area where I was staying with a friend. It is a relatively small store in general for wine/liquor/beer and the craft beer section also is small. But, they do make a very good use of their space. You can pick up some Belgian classics like Chimay and other trappist beers. Mass beers like Haverhill and Mayflower. Other US craft beer such as Port, McNeill`s, White Birch. The staff I came across were friendly enough, but did not all seem well versed in their offerings. Prices were better than I expected for the great location, where other things can tend to cost a pretty penny.
08-07-2011 00:57:06 | More by mltobin
4.3/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
stopped into charles street liquors for the first time today and should of gone there a long time before. i have worked in the neighborhood for a long time and there really is no excuse for my delay.
the beer section is in the back and since the store is small (its beacon hill) the beer section is a bit on the small side. BUT they have a great selection of beer particularly when it comes to imported beers. i saw a lot of stuff that i have not seen in other stores and given its proximity to my work i'm quite excited by this prospect.
im giving the pricing a reasonable rating but some of the prices are on the more expensive side of reasonable (that is most of the stuff i saw was either equally priced to most stores in the cambridge/somerville area or a quarter to fifty cents more).. given its beacon hill thats actually quite a deal.. most stores on this street are super overpriced.
service is very good and the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.
03-11-2011 03:28:23 | More by celticfutblclub
4/5 rDev -1.2%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Wine tends to be the liquor of choice here but do not fret; if you walk to the back of the store you will find a small but high quality beer section. There are a couple of coolers for the national macros and better-known micros but I think you will be spending time perusing the dry shelves where they stock their imports, Belgians, and scarcer regionals. Some of the UK imports I have not seen before (ie. Fullers Honey). You cannot pull from 4 or 6 packs but there is a singles cooler. The singles are mainly nationally known brews though. Be prepared to spend a little more than you are used to. If you are in Boston it is worth a visit. Don't make plans to turn it into a tourist destination. It is fairly easy to get to from the Red Line, which has a station about a block or two away.
02-13-2011 23:15:21 | More by puboflyons
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Just decided to stop in and browse what they had last night, especially after hearing so much about them. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Let's get this out of the way now: Is it Julio's? No. Do they still have a reasonably large selection of great beers? Definitely, especially considering the selection at most other surrounding stores. Mostly 22's, but a fair amount of singles too, including harder to find ones (I haven't really been looking for it, but I haven't noticed Traquair anywhere else besides Julio's and here). A good selection of Belgians and American craft alike. I decided to buy just one bottle; since I still have a good stash at the moment, but I wanted to throw a little support to a store I was starting to like so much. The staff was very friendly when I went to check out and the guy working was quite talkative. Nobody came to talk to me when I was browsing the isles though, which I actually prefer (I don't like to feel rushed when I'm looking for something, but not any specific item). Prices were a bit high on some items, but overall pretty fair. I liked their selection and staff a little more than the stores a little closer to me, and it is way closer than Marty's or Publick House for me (let alone Julio's), so I figure I'll be trekking here quite often. Great place to stop in at for some tougher to find bottles.
07-23-2010 14:42:37 | More by kbanks13
Charles Street Liquors in Boston, MA
91 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.