Charles Street Liquors
Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Just decided to stop in and browse what they had last night, especially after hearing so much about them. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Let's get this out of the way now: Is it Julio's? No. Do they still have a reasonably large selection of great beers? Definitely, especially considering the selection at most other surrounding stores. Mostly 22's, but a fair amount of singles too, including harder to find ones (I haven't really been looking for it, but I haven't noticed Traquair anywhere else besides Julio's and here). A good selection of Belgians and American craft alike. I decided to buy just one bottle; since I still have a good stash at the moment, but I wanted to throw a little support to a store I was starting to like so much. The staff was very friendly when I went to check out and the guy working was quite talkative. Nobody came to talk to me when I was browsing the isles though, which I actually prefer (I don't like to feel rushed when I'm looking for something, but not any specific item). Prices were a bit high on some items, but overall pretty fair. I liked their selection and staff a little more than the stores a little closer to me, and it is way closer than Marty's or Publick House for me (let alone Julio's), so I figure I'll be trekking here quite often. Great place to stop in at for some tougher to find bottles.
07-23-2010 14:42:37 | More by kbanks13
4.16/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
one of my regular stops. that said, IMO it's a bit - a bit - overrated from a beer standpoint. don't get me wrong, the selection is great, with many local and regional brews to accompany offerings from the west coast and europe, and pretty well organized. part of an aisle is devoted soley to belgians, which is up my alley, and most major breweries i look for like DFH, founders, ST, lagunitas, avery, and goose island are well represented. and while there are a few obscure beers, a lot of this stuff can be found elsewhere in the city and at cheaper prices. (though it's not outrageous, either.) to be fair, it's a relatively small store and also purveyor of wine and spirits, so they do put limited space to good use. the staff is friendly, though recently the "beer guy" - as he was called by another employee - while amiable and well-intentioned, had trouble identifying a quad. all will be forgiven if the can deliver goose island's vanilla boubon stout upon release! ;)
the location is an asset, steps from the charles/MGH red line stop, or a short walk up charles from the common/public garden. all in all, a place you have to check out, esp if you're in the area.
07-21-2010 20:57:20 | More by perrymarcus
3.85/5 rDev -4.9%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I went to Charles Street Liquors yesterday for the first time in about a year and have to say I was a bit disappointed. This used to be the place where you could find lots of really hard to find beers that you could not find anywhere else. While the selection still has some gems, there are a lot more common beers. There are about four shelf cases with bombers and foreign beers. Their Belgian selection is a bright spot. The appearance as others have said leaves a bit to be desired. The aisle in back of the beer aisle was covered in old cardboard boxes. The service was courteous and knowledgeable, so no complaints there. What I got was a bit pricey for what I expected to pay for it. If I was in Boston--especially Boston proper, I would still come to this store every now and then. The selection still beats most in the area, and it clearly caters to craft. However, it just is not worth the hour trip as it once was or as some other stores still are.
02-03-2010 14:19:18 | More by tigg924
3.65/5 rDev -9.9%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This place is located in a beautiful area of Boston. However, that did not take away from the fact that I was pretty disappointed in this store...I think this may have a lot to do with how spoiled I have been with stopping at some of the best beer stores in various other states (i.e. Indiana, Ohio, New York, Julio's in MA).
Anyways, CSL had a terrible appearance. Everything on the shelves was cluttered and coated with lots of dust. There were a few harder to find beers, such as Ten Fidy, Deus, Ten, and others which offered somewhat of a bright spot. The selection was rather small as well. Basically a refrigerated section and another section with bottles that may be would comprise a small aisle at a local liquor store. I gave the service a good mark solely because it didn't seem like there were that many employees and the ones that were there probably couldn't leave the cash registers.
Overall, if I lived in this area, it might be a place I would stop in to do some beer shopping. However, as a person that does not frequent this area of the U.S. often, I would not waste my time here with likes of Julio's not too far away.
02-19-2009 03:45:51 | More by rhinos00
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a favorite stop of mine when I'm in Boston. Right at the bottom of Beacon Hill, this great store is a convenient stop as you walk down Charles between the MGH T-stop and the Boston Public Garden. Great selection of special beers plus a very nice selection of wines to go with it. The prices are very reasonable, and there are always specials. The shelves and displays are well organized and easy to navigate, and the store itself is pleasant. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Overall, a great place to shop for drinks to take home in a bottle.
02-05-2009 01:23:13 | More by jushoppy2beer
4.1/5 rDev +1.2%
quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
My neighborhood beer store. I have been a loyal customer for over a year. Good selection of American craft beers(Avery, Southern Tier, Lagunitas, Port, Victory) and an excellent selection of imports.
As others have said there are some olllddd bottles of beer here, which is not always a bad thing, but beware of what you are buying; also, CSL seems to be a bit slow at getting seasonals and special releases which can be irritating when you want a beer but don't want to travel to Allston or Newton for Marty's
The staff of CSL deserves tons of praise as they are the nicest group of ladies and gentlemen. Always willing to assist in any way possible and accept special requests with grace.
A great store, great location, and always willing to accomodate.
10-06-2008 23:36:13 | More by gcarl
4.35/5 rDev +7.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I enjoy going to this place because it's reachable via T during the week, is on the way home from work, and they get new arrivals in relatively quickly. Nice selection of bombers and imports - very good Belgian and German breadth. Service is good - maybe not quite up to the level when Scot the wine guy was there but still solid. Ample offerings cold also. There are some things that go for reasonable prices (Southern Tier comes to mind here) but quite a few may be a bit higher (buck or so) than in the 'burbs. Solid place to go when in town during the week.
07-15-2008 01:52:50 | More by IBUnit63
4.3/5 rDev +6.2%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Relying on a GPS unit to get me around, I didn't bother printing out or jotting down any addresses before my recent trip to Boston. The first place to come up when searching for a good place to buy some beer in Boston was Charles Street Liquors... literally two blocks away from where we were staying in Beacon Hill. Nice!
I found it to be the best selection of the places I visited and on par (if not better) than some of the places I've visited.
Charles Street is not huge and they obviously focus on wine quite a bit (which is nice, as well). The beer selection was impressive and for the most part reasonably priced. I expected it to be higher than it was for the neighborhood/east coast. Lost Abbey, Stone, Avery, DFH... all beers that can't be had in Omaha. And space was limited to carry home so I needed to be pretty selective. Their stock made it hard to do that! I wanted a bit of everything.
The service was excellent. There were quite a few people looking for beers at the time I was there and only one guy helping all of us and never ignoring any. He knew his beers and was honest. I'd rather get an "I've never tried it" or a "let me look it up" than someone faking their way through it.
A definite must stop if you're in the neighborhood.
07-14-2008 13:24:43 | More by Fugazme
4.15/5 rDev +2.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Charles Street Liquors was my first stop to find local beers in Boston. As it's on Charles Street not too far from the north station it's easy to get to if you're traveling. Of course, I was driving, and there's absolutely no parking near there! I made due.
I was impressed with the number of 6-packs they had, but I normally buy single bottles. They would not break up a six pack for me (...I found it on tap later that day!). The single bottle collection was pretty good too, but there wasn't a whole lot that I couldn't find in other parts of the east coast. Lots of good Belgians though. Decent Germans. I was looking for local though.
The store is well maintained, and very comfortable and easy to browse. The staff (I think I dealt with an owner, perhaps just a manager) know their products and what's going on in the market, and they're more than willing to assist customers who need help (unlike me)! ... ... (An aside... I found it interesting that the man I spoke with gave a 2-sided compliment/put-down to a local brewer as #1 - he had no idea who I was, and #2 - that should be some of their bread and butter, but that's not really the market they're interested in).
Had I known, however, what limited range of local beers I would encounter on my next 5 stops, I probably would have bought more - but even then, I did have that clock ticking on my illegally parked car!
Certainly worth a visit for beer, and don't forget that they do have a very good, expansive wine selection if you're headed out to a BYOB restaurant (Boston has many!). I certainly wouldn't pass it by.
Oh, and as to the dusty bottles mentioned earlier, yes, I saw them too and it kept me away from the Belgians. ... ... ... Why not just dust them off?
06-26-2008 22:18:09 | More by NeroFiddled
3.95/5 rDev -2.5%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I went into this shop at the end of my trip expecting nothing and it ended up being the biggest selection of beer (at a store) that I had seen anywhere in Boston. Everything was sorted nicely and my only beef was that there seemed to be a thick layer of dust on a lot of their brews which really brought up the question of freshness in my mind. Despite that one detail, this was an amazing shop with quite reasonable price that carried everything from Alesmith to Weyerbacher to Achel and everything in between. If you are in Boston and looking for a stop to pick up some brews on the go you HAVE to check this place out.
01-17-2008 21:28:42 | More by Lothore
Charles Street Liquors in Boston, MA
91 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.