Federal Wine & Spirits
Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +16.3%
I've come to swear by this place. They're absolutely incredible, but to find that out you really have to go in and converse with the employees if that's something you're into doing.
They really know their stuff and you can tell they're really, really into beer... They were able to answer any question I had from, what IPAs they had in the style that I liked, to what kinds of yeasts were in the wild ales they carried.
The selection upstairs is indeed small, but as it turns out they have probably one of the best collections in the Boston area downstairs. I think they actually have the entire lines of both Dogfish and Stone, plus the best from the other big craft names in America, some more obscure stuff to experiment with, and of course loads from Germany and Belgium.
Apparently they do tastings and send out newsletters as well; I just missed one for Stone where they had - I kid you not - 22 different offerings from them, including a ton of vintage stuff like the 2003 vintage Old Guardian and 03-03-03 Vertical Epic, and 3 Liter bottles of Double Bastard.
They even do deliveries for free in Downtown Boston if you buy enough, or just walk it down with you on a cart if it's too much to carry. Definitely the right place to go splurge at. A little pricey, but hey that's what you get for the convenience of Downtown.
05-20-2009 18:40:52 | More by RothenbergXXX
4.5/5 rDev +11.4%
Federal Wines keeps a stock of interesting brews available all the time. There are American, British and Irish ales, and other stocks [barley wines, pilsners, mead, etc.] This is a pretty small store front, so you may not guess that such good beers and whiskies are available right in the middle of downtown Boston.
Weekdays, see John K. for assistance with a beer selection from the cooler or cellar.
If you enjoy single malt whisky, see Joe Howell for a taste of the finest malts. It's often that I come home from FedWines with a perfect whisky and a hard to get six pack of beers.
For assistance with a wine selection see Peter or Len.
04-25-2005 02:09:11 | More by MrSeth
4.5/5 rDev +11.4%
work a few blocks from this store, and find myself going in because they have pretty reasonable prices, and actually cellar beers and don't go overboard on the prices for those beers. have bought cellared vintages between 2 and 8 years old for a markup of 1-7 dollars.
they don't have the largest selection but they do have a very good selection from regionals to imports and harder to find domestics.
prices are good on the beers and the staff is extremely helpful, they will let you know what they have for any given brewery that you are looking for and are more than willing to help you find any of them from the cellar.
01-16-2011 21:18:17 | More by rowingbrewer
4.46/5 rDev +10.4%
An interesting location for a downtown store, right on the line between the touristy Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market area and the high-density office district. No surprise that the actual store is the size of a walk-in closet. Beer, wine and liquor all share the confined shelf space, as well as the fridge. But the selection of beer, as limited as it is in number, is high caliber. The owner has a general policy not to buy crap (although I did spy a case of Foster's oil cans sitting in the corner, right next to Sutter Home wine nips). Besides, how many stores will offer Odio Equum and Evil Twin Aun Mas Cafe Jesus in the same tasting? Shockingly, the tiny space had at least five people working, which suggested that there's more there than meets the eye. Indeed, besides the "closet", there is an expansive basement "wine cave", complete with climate control and a vintage cage that only two guys can enter. The staff is extremely helpful and know their beer. What they don't know, they will find out. What they don't have they will order, if it's available (an early heads up on special releases might go a long way, as long as it's not Stone). If the store was a bit bigger and the selection a bit broader, it might have got 5s across the board.
08-09-2013 00:27:35 | More by VictorWisc
4.15/5 rDev +2.7%
My office happens to be right around the corner from this place. While they have a sign outside about their 8000 bottle wine cellar, they really dont advertise their beer selection.
Its a pretty small space but they do a good job in a limited space. I was happy to find 3 different varieties of Founders. They also seemed to have excellent prices on some of the Belgians too. I met the beer guy John and he is very helpful, easy to talk to, and seems to definitely appreciate a better selection of beers.
These guys are open on Saturday which is kind of surprising given the financial district/downtown location but good for them. I prefer this place over a few of my other local beer store choices, so I'm glad I discovered it. If it wasn't in beerfly, I may never have gone in. I recommend this place pretty highly --especially when you consider the location and the size of the store.
06-11-2005 02:45:59 | More by rousee
4.15/5 rDev +2.7%
space-wise they're limited here, with the entire store compromising about the area of a bedroom, and most of that is taken up by wine and spirits. that said, they offer a fairly eclectic beer selection including a lot of off-the-beaten-path stuff you don't typically see. some of the usual suspects like DFH, Founders, and Stone, as well. today i grabbed a few Dark Horse offerings, FW Double Jack, and a 3F Gueuze. they were closing as i hurriedly looked around, so i didn't have time to broach the subject of what might lay about in the basement, which is where the real gems lurk (rumor has it). will have to do that next time, so the selection score here is subject to change.
the strength of federal, however, is the service. very friendly, helpful crew and eager to offer info. one of the guys offered his card and told me to shoot him and email and he'd keep me abreast of latest arrivals. will definitely be back.
09-06-2012 00:54:57 | More by BostonHops
4.05/5 rDev +0.2%
I just discovered this place even though I've worked not far from it for 8 years.
Yep, it's tiny and the one off bombers of beer are all right near the door so if like me you have a hard time making decisions and are a browser be prepared to do a lot of shifting out of people's way.
The majority of what they have is harder to get, slightly higher end brews. Lots of specialty stuff. Cooler is densely packed w/ a mix of sixers and singles. The selection is very interesting, but given the space it is limited.
I have not had a chance to explore the basement that some have spoke of, but I'm sure that'll be soon.
All things considered the prices seem on par if not a bit cheaper than other downtown stores with similar stock.
05-23-2008 14:30:51 | More by 3leggeddub
4/5 rDev -1%
This place has an extremely small cooler of beer - singles/bombers and six packs. I will say most of what they carry is extremely high quality and rare stuff. It's a tiny little store but stop by and you might find a few brews that you'd never see elsewhere. They carry some great stuff; found Hercules IPA here and a rare bananna lambic - supposedly the last batch ever made as the sales clerk informed me. Service was great as the employees have often talked to me about what I'm buying, provided recommendations, facts/trivia about the brews, and asked me other questions, being generally friendly and talkative.
09-10-2005 01:29:28 | More by LPorter33
4/5 rDev -1%
Great location for working stiffs in the Financial District like me. They have increased their beer focus and have gotten in quite a few interesting craft beers in the past couple of months. Purveyors are quite knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and I stop in every couple of weeks to get updates on what's new. It is a small store at ground level (with wine cellar, storage and offices downstairs) so that limits their visible beer selection on the sales floor. Good to ask the manager what's in and it may be downstairs. Prices are pretty much within the norm. Perfect stop during the work week to pick up something new to catch the Sox game.
09-10-2008 16:19:49 | More by IBUnit63
Federal Wine & Spirits in Boston, MA
90 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.