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Shawan Liquors

Not Rated.
Shawan LiquorsShawan Liquors
BA SCORE
95
world-class

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 7.92%
[ Store ]

11337 York Rd
Cockeysville, Maryland, 21030-1909
United States
phone: (410) 528-9463

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of needMIbeerinMD
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

needMIbeerinMD, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -9.5%

DrBier, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of beerjamieson
4/5  rDev -9.5%

beerjamieson, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of scotorum
3.86/5  rDev -12.7%

My first stop in Maryland looking for local beer to try and to check out their selection.

In a modern shopping plaza not far off I-83. Posters all over the windows scream that this is the place to come for good stuff.

About 75 to 100 feet of cooler space for sixpacks of all sorts; a nice wall of singles, although to make a mixed six you had to scrounge for an empty carton.

Big displays of stacked sixpacks and another shelf of bombers and 750s rounded out the attractive display area.

Above average selection at average prices for a liquor store, but given the beer-centric posters over the windows I had been hoping for even more. However the relatively spacious beer display area made for an enjoyable shopping experience, and the convenient location off I-83 means I will surely return on my next trip to Baltimore.

scotorum, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of gillagorilla
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%

This one is quite out of the way for me but I only went there because I helped someone out on a beer run when I was in the area for a get together, but I wasn't into beer at the time. They have either the second or third best cider selection (close with Wine Source).

The service here is decent, but you have to usually ask for it; however, I don't mind this and don't usually ask for or need help.

They have 2 cooler sections, but most of the good stuff is out and about. They layout is warm, open and well lit. I quite like their aesthetics.

There is a wall of singles that are priced very nicely, but I don't think it is a mix six deal (can't remember). They also have a weird piece of glass furniture that they use to display their "vintage" beers. So, they cellar some beers and then put them out unceremoniously on this gaudy piece of furniture. However, the selection was small when I was there but they don't increase the price for the vintaged stuff. If anything, it costs even less. Well, I got a 10/10/10 out of that, which was a big want of mine.

gillagorilla, May 18, 2013
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%

This has been my go-to shop for awhile now. The selection is one of the best in the area, the prices are great on some things and good on most others. The beer section is not the biggest, but they have craft imports, a mix-a-six shelf, cold six-packs and singles and even a vintage shelf. The organization is not always the best, but the staff does a great job of offering assistance and is very friendly and knowledgable. I don't find many outdated beers, which is impressive for the area.

stephenjmoore, May 07, 2013
Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%

I am accustomed to going to Montgomery Liquors in Catonsville so this was an eye-opening experience for me.

The back left corner of the store (about 1/5 the total area) is dedicated to beer and this was a spectacular selection. Reasonably priced individual bottles which is great for someone like me who just wants to try them all but doesn't want to invest in a 4 or 6-pack.

One large refrigerated case and a second smaller refrigerated case as well. An entire shelf dedicated to individual bottles of Belgians, and another shelf for Germans. Great Dogfish Head selection including about 6-7 different limited release bombers. The person working there was extraordinarily helpful and a sales rep from Flying Dog was there and we chatted long enough that he gave me his card and offered to get me into the brewery.

I walked away with:

DFH - Immort - 12 oz. bottle
DFH - Chicory Stout - 12 oz. bottle
Oskar Blues - G'Knight - 16 oz. pounder
Schneider Weisse - Tap 7 - 500 ml bottle
Lagunitas - Sucks - 12 oz. bottle
Stone - Levitation - 12 oz. bottle
Stone - Ruination IPA - 12 oz. bottle
New Belgium - LOF: Tart Lychee - bomber
DFH - 75 minute - bomber

for $48.

Overall second best experience in a liquor store in Maryland for both the selection and the reasonable prices next to Pine Orchard Liquors.

BaltimoreBeerLover, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%

Because it's so far from my home, I rarely make it up to Shawan. That's unfortunate, as the beer selection here is just outstanding and their prices are some of the best in town. Most of the craft beer selection is in the back on the left (as you enter from the parking lot), but the selection is sizeable and of the highest qualify. Like other top stores in Maryland (State Line, Fishpaws, PP and the Wine Store), if the beer comes into the State, you can be pretty sure that Shawan will carry it. On this particular day, they had the best selection of Boulevard beer I've seen anywhere in Maryland, as well as hard to find, unusual items like the Brux, Weyerbacher Riserva and Tiny, DuClaw Souljacker, etc. Also, one of the nice things they do here, is that they have a separate area of singles that are individually priced. I was just stopping off after a trip to the UPS customer center, and so just wanted a glass of IRS when I got home after the drive. Much to my surprise, there were a good number of options, and I ended up grabbing a bottle of Dark Truth (exactly what I wanted). Prices are pretty reasonable I thought. My bottle of Brux was $13.99, the GI Juliet was $16.99 (I paid $20 at my local), and doublejack was $7.49 (the cheapest price I've seen in Maryland).

Atmosphere and service are not really this places strong point (the place looks like your typical liquor store, with a number of displays and pyramids in the back - they do have a sizeable cold box, which is a plus). Service was pretty much nonexistent on the evening I went... it consisted of an employee running the cash register when I got up to the front to pay for my beer.

The atmosphere and service aside, the selection here is flat out great, so who really cares if they don't have some designated employee who will come up and ask if you need anything. The only real difference between this place and state line (which is why I give it a 4.5 instead of 5), is that their import selection doesn't remotely compare (though it's still pretty good). From a domemstic craft standpoint, this place is clearly outstanding, and is a place I can't recommend highly enough. This is a great store.

John_M, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4.73/5  rDev +7%

Wow. Lived in the Towson area for 28 years and never went here before. I always went to Wells since it was right by my gym. However, I think this place is better than Wells for a couple reasons. It is cheaper (even more so since you don't have the additional baltimore city tax that you do at wells). Also, you can buy single small bottles here, which wells does not offer. This is great since I usually want to try a beer before committing to an expensive 6 pack. The set up and display is great and they provide empty 6 and 4 packs to load up with singles. I think the selection is as good as wells and definitely displayed more appealingly.

mendvicdog, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%

If you saw it from the outside, it would not lead you to believe its anything special...but don't judge a book by its cover. Inside is a great selection of wine, liquor, and beer. All drinkers can find something here. Im a beer guy myself and they get some very nice beers for very reasonable prices. I've been there a few times and I've seen St Bernardus 12, Rochefort 10, Great Divide Yeti, Barrell-Aged Old Rasputin, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Southern Tier Pumking, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, and Green Flash Palate Wrecker to name just a few. They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff that is always willing to help you find what you are looking for and make suggestions. Its easy to find, right off the 20-A exit on I-83 South. When I have time and want a nice drive on a sunny day while looking for some good beer...Shawn Liquors it is. I would recommend this place to any craft beer enthusiast.

BeerFiend2002, May 15, 2012
Photo of wdeck9
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%

After shopping at Perfect Pour in Columbia, MD for quite a bit I was pretty in awe of the prices here. Way cheaper although the selection is much, much smaller. This is a great place to come in and grab a couple gems since the pricing is very good and local Baltimore beers like Duclaw, Stillwater, or Heavy Seas. It is mostly a liquor store with a beer section but they offer both cold and unrefridgerated beers as singles, bombers, 4/6-packs so all in all no complaints. I have found that they tend to have a nice selection of De Dolle and Dieu Du Ciel beers if you are looking for any of their offerings.

wdeck9, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of philbe311
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%

A - A middle-to-upper class liquor store with much of the footprint dedicated to wines and spirits, but about a fifth of the store is dedicated to brews included two sections of coolers and a larger nicely laid out section for room temperature offerings... The product placement and overall display was quite appealing...

Q - A good visit... Easy to find... Nice layout... Good selection... Good pricing... Solid people... Will definitely be making return trips in the future...

Ser - Very nice staff... Quite knowledgeable... Not pushy in any way shape or form... Good stuff...

Sel - Small wall of singles... Large selection of bombers... Some higher end offerings... Lots of locals... Lots of offerings not offered in bordering states...

V - No complaints in terms of pricing... Everything seemed reasonable and commensurate with what I'm used to paying else where...

philbe311, May 28, 2011
Photo of alexku66
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%

Guess it was my lucky day, to have stumbled across this place.

My wife and I are in the Baltimore area cause we're visiting our parents-in-law this weekend. Our next beer club meeting is this coming Tuesday, and I need to get something for it today (blame Maryland for not selling alcohol on Sunday).

My wife found this store on BA site, and so figure we'd go check it out.

When we went there, I was asking the staff there for recommendations, and the gentleman I spoke to suggested me to check with Matt, their in-house beer-guy.

Matt then spent the next 20 minutes suggesting a good number and variety of aged beers (like a sierra big foot from '06 and some out of production beers). He even proactively went above and beyond to tell me that he'll try to help me find, get, and ship any special beer I can't get in Maryland if I can get him the name (I mentioned that a good friend of mine is moving out of DC soon and we're all trying to find some special sh-itz for that last beer meeting with him in June...).

Seriously, all I can say is, WOW. For someone to not only be so passionate about beer, be knowledgeable about it, and be really cool about recommending the good and right stuff, and not trying to go salesman on me but instead he was suggesting things that are not only good but also not over-priced. This was really cool.

This, is customer service at its best. I just came back from the store like 15 min ago and I can't help but leave a review that I feel they'd deserve for what they have in store and more importantly for who they have working in the store.

Next time you go, ask for Matt (other guys are very nice and helpful; but Matt is just beyond awesome). Oh, and definitely ask them what they have in the back.

Thanks. Now, I have just found myself a new go-to beer store.

alexku66, May 15, 2011
Photo of patreely12
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%

This is my spot. It's conveniently located on York Road and is on the way to work for me. I go to Shawan one or twice a week to stock up on some mixed six packs and some bombers. the employees are helpful and friendly (the same few work there day after day), and the prices are reasonable.

The selection is good for the area. They have a decent sized rack of individual bottles. I spend the majority of my time in Shawan circling the bomber selection. Stillwater, Brewer's Art, Dogfish Head, Stone, Great Divide, Rogue, Jolly Pumpkin, Bruery and Allagash are some of the highlight breweries.

patreely12, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of Wonka
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

Review from December 5, 2010...

It has been over 5 years since I reviewed Shawan Liquors so I figured that it was time for an update. The site remains an excellent locale to satisfy your taste in any style of beer. I'm damned lucky to have such a great local resource.

Over the years, the interior layout trended toward very 'beer positive' with the removal of the sandwich shop. Although the business served excellent sandwiches, who can argue with even more beer options? From what I hear from lovers of wine and liquors, they also appreciate the expanded selection.

'Tis always the season for a good beer and I have found that Shawan is timely in creating a strong presence for a wide and rotating variety of seasonals. The layout makes it easy to grab what I need and get on with the day but the presentation also makes it a bit fun to beer shop when I have the time.

The staff has a core that has been around for years with a mix of a few new faces. Today, I recognized two employees handle two separate questions about lagers. Both gave very credible, courteous and clear answers to people with very different questions and different needs. If I was a new customer, within those two minutes of overhearing those conversations, I'd know that I made the right choice in choosing Shawan. When one of the newer guys may not know an answer, they'll have someone there with an answer. Sure, beer makes a beer store - and Shawan has a great selection of beer -- but the people make this beer store better.

I loved the place when I first reviewed Shawan Liquors in the spring of 2005 but they have taken a good thing and made it better. As a business manager, I appreciate what I see and I sure hope they keep it up. They're a credit to the local beer scene.

Original review from April, 2005...

Shawan Liquors has been my local beer store since I moved to the Baltimore area 2 years ago. 95% of my beer list has come from their location so if you see it in my profile, there's a good shot that they have it.

There's a solid selection of beers from the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic such as Ommegang, Magic Hat, Dogfish Head, Victory, Old Dominion, Weyerbacher, Brooklyn, and Troegs. There are harder to find international and West Coast beers (considering Shawan is in northern Maryland) such as Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock, Deus Brut des Flandres, Rochefort 10, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Anderson Valley Deep Enders Porter and an all-around solid representation of styles. They served as my JW Lees Harvest Ale feeder store for many of my buddies in Philly and DC who are JW junkies.

There's not a massive quantity of beers like I have seen in some gargantuan beer houses in Pennsylvania, but considering the containment (a strip mall with Giant, Radio Shack, Hallmark, etc...about 15 miles north of Baltimore) that's a bit liquor & a bit sub store as well, there's a very credible variety. It has placed variety that I couldn't find in northern Delaware and the Poconos (two past addresses) on my map. If the beer you are after isn't on the shelves, Scott the manager, Mike and the rest of the staff will do what they can to get it.

If there's a beer that you'd place a 10% chance of them having, call ahead and they will be ready to come to your assistance. I mentioned Stone IRS (my personal favorite) and immediately they said they can get it. BA's such as me have certainly been welcome. The last time I visited, Mike mentioned the possibility of a BA discount. Now that's good business. Beyond their location (being 2 miles south of both work and home), their selection and service keep me coming back.

Quality - 4.5
Service - 4.5
Selection - 4.0
Value - $$

Wonka, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of orangesol
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%

Stopped in here a few weeks ago. Just getting around to writing up my review.

Tucked into a nice strip mall is this gem of a liquor store. Walking in you can't help but get a little excited. This place is HUGE. I would say it is as big as the "super" state store near my house but they don't sell beer. The service was decent. They seemed to be more interested in standing outside smoking cigs. rather than answering some of the other peoples questions. I really didn't need any help but they did and there was only one person to help them.

The quality was really good. They had plenty of great beers from all over the world. From west coast gems, to the classic belgians. I am going to give them a five for selection based on everything in the store. Their liquor selection was phenomenal and so was their beer selection. They used to carry pappy van winkle appear to be over. I picked up a barrel aged yeti, $11, and a Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic, $17. The prices were very reasonable compared to most bottle shops in PA. I have no doubt that I will return in the future.

orangesol, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of krisandajt
3.35/5  rDev -24.2%

After reading a number of positive reviews, and since I was just down the road, I figure it's about time I stop in and check this place out. It's tucked away in a little shopping plaza, and from the outside it looks like a standard plaza liquor store. So far so good.

When I walk in, I see laid out before me plenty of wine and liquor. Everything is neatly arranged, clean, organized. I walk past all this, however, in search for their beer selection. After a quick scan of the store, I see the goods...tucked away in the back corner. As I walk over there I see the store transform into complete disarray. The beer section is a mess! A good portion of the shelves are barren or woefully understocked. There are heaps of empty cases, and empty or almost empty six packs lying all over the floor. Not good.

As I walk around, I see a slightly above average selection of brew. Plenty of the essentials: DFH, Troegs, Victory, Stoudts, Smuttynose, Great Divide, and a variety of Belgian and German brew. There's nothing really unique or hard to find, just a decent craft brew collection. They do have a shelf of aged beer, which is a nice touch. Most of the stuff there ages well, though I was shocked to see a Moylans IPA from 08 just hanging around. Aging an IPA?

Prices compared to PA are pretty good, and from what I can tell are right in line with Stateline and The Wine Source (my normal spots when I'm in MD). They did have a few bottles that were surprisingly cheap (Kasteel Rouge 750ml for $6.99 stands out because I bought one for my wife).

I would say that if you are in the area and if you're not looking for anything tough to find, it's not a bad stop. That being said, I doubt that I will make the drive down when I'm in MD just because I feel there are much better shops that I would rather hit up. Of course, I did sign up for their mailing list anyway so if a good deal comes about and I'm in the area, I may stop in to take advantage of it.

krisandajt, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of mmilburn
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Due to the fact that I live in Pennsylvania and suffer from antiquated alcohol laws, I am always looking for a good selection across the nearby border of Maryland.

Shawan Liquors is a very clean store, with an impressive selection and excellent service. I spent $20.00 on a 750 of the Bruery's Autumn Maple and a bomber of Great Divide's Hercules Double IPA. The staff was friendly and was very helpful in making the Great Divide selection.

I will be visiting them again, many times, in the future.

mmilburn, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

As a student at Towson University...i've been looking for a nice spot for some good beer...

the store is big, has a lot of open space, tons and tons of alcohol everywhere

the beer selection was great...had a very wide variety to choose from including trappistes, samuel smiths, sierra nevada, duvel, st. bernardus from what i remembered

didn't experience much service, just at the checkout counter, but from the reviews, it sounds like these guys know what theyre talking about

the beer was decently priced, maybe it was just what i bought but 4 beers cost me $24: Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary ($11), sam smith imperial stout ($3.50), trappistes rochefort 8 ($6), and sam smith oatmeal stout ($2.5)

Overall, i was very happy with the store...i will definitely be a returning customer anytime i'm out of beer...next time i'll bring a list of what i want because their selection is very nice

EDIT*** Service- i increased my service because the last time i visited, they recognized me and told me about future beer tastings from their store

Pballa4lyfe, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of smokeypeat
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

This is a great great beer store. Impressive selection of beer from around the world. I really like their section of "cellered" beer. I always have found that they do a great job of getting in seasonal beers and having them displayed prominently where they are easy to find. Their recent display of pumpkin beers is a great example of this. The staff is friendly and happy to help with any questions you might have. On a final note I've got to say that they have very fair pricing for the area. I often find that a six pack here is $1 less than you find at other places.

smokeypeat, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of cooksterkc
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%

Love, love, love this store. I really appreciate how very knowledgeable the staff are, and friendly to boot. They're always not just willing, but eager, to drop what they're doing and help you look for things - they make great recommendations about beers similar to what you're looking for, and help you know when they're expecting a new shipment of whatever they don't have. Very clean, well-organized, plenty of room to wheel your cart around (and you'll need one). A total A+ - now if only I didn't live quite so far away ...

cooksterkc, May 28, 2010
Photo of mwrecording
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

I'll preface this by saying that the only liquor stores that have reviews on this site I've been to(or go to often) are Honeygo and Calvert. I've read the reviews of Shawan enough to drive the 10 minutes from my house on a rainy saturday to see what all the positive reviews are about.

As I walk in the store, I'm impressed by the size and depth the store has. The organization is great and the room of beer is impressive. The wall of mix and match singles they have isn't as big as Honeygo's but as a guy who just gets the pretty common stuff, I can't complain.

Everything had a clear price and they even listed the prices of how much a case would be for most beers - something I don't see very often but love to know. The prices were not only fair but were typically 50 cents to a dollar cheaper than anywhere I've been.

I'm lucky enough that, generally, I live 10 minutes away from this store...so I'll be going often. I believe this is the highest rated store in Maryland and if I'm correct on that, Congrats. They have a great store.

mwrecording, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of pecokid
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%

This place is great. Wide selection of bottles. I didn't see to many cases but that is fine by me. It is a candy store. I will say I couldn't figure out the organization. There was an obvious attempt for a nice presenation but I saw little organization by style or origin. They took out the deli I hear so no more sandwiches with a beer. No problem though, just leaves room for more bottles I guess. They have/had Stillwater which was kicked by the time I got to Max's Belgian fest. Don't forget Calvert up the street.

pecokid, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of al3
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%

This is a great shop, one of the best I've been to. Huge selection of top quality beers, well organized, and the staple of any good shop the "mix 6". The staff is knowledgeable and accommodating. They will assume you know what you want, if you don't just ask.

---UPDATE---

Been purchasing here on a regular basis and have been impressed with the mix rotation and pricing on the good stuff (at least for some of my regulars like Yella Pils and the recent batch of Stone IRS). With the exception of my first visit they don't seem to mind if you swap a few of the mix beers for cold ones out of the cooler. The guys here know beer and it shows.

al3, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of 321jeff
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

Stopped in here for the first time today after a recommendation from a friend. It's pretty easy to find in a shopping center near Hunt Valley Mall. When you first walk in, all you see is wine and liquor, but a quick walk to the back reveals an above average beer selection. Not the most beers I've ever seen in one place, but they have much more than most. Selection is typical Maryland, lots of Clipper City, Southern Tier, DFH, Victory, Weyerbacher etc with a good selection of other American micros and a pretty decent selection of imports. The best part of this place, by far, is the number of older beers you can find sitting around. There is a display dedicated to aged beers, many were sold out when I was there but I'll be checking back in soon to see what else appears. Aside from the display, there are other "aged" beers from Southern Tier, Jolly Pumpkin, Stone, Allagash, etc just sitting around in random places. Like the previous poster said, this is my new go-to beer spot instead of the Perfect Pour.

321jeff, Jan 10, 2010
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Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville, MD
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.