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Austin Liquors

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]

117 Gold Star Boulevard
Worcester, Massachusetts, 01606-2800
United States
phone: (508) 853-8953

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

This is a large white box of a place, in a mall/shopping/highway kind of area, real close to rt. 290, just north of Wusta. Huge selection of wine, and an equally impressive selection of fine beer from near and far. They have got the goods. Locals, regionals, imports etc etc, they have all their beer bases well covered. Cases of macros all the way to the left, the good stuff takes up an entire, huge row, 2nd from the left. Also coolers with cold brew in the rear, including growlers from Berkshire Brewing. A nice feature was a display they had up front, showing beers that were being recomended for consumption with various types of food. This type of beer/food education I have never seen before in a liquor store. A very cool touch. They also have a newsletter, with wine and beer info/education. I highly advise making this a stop on your beer travels.

11-22-2004 02:36:33 | More by Billolick
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Located in a large strip mall along Route 9. This is a large store with lots of wine, liquor, BMC and a decent amount of craft beer. As others have mentioned, a small amount is in coolers and a larger amount of it on the shelves. You can find local stuff like CBC, Mayflower and Barrington Brewing. Other stuff from quite a few us craft brewers including the newer to Mass, Boulevard, which was nice to see. Some beers from Europe and other regions as well. For those coming from a different state, passing through Worcester, it is worth spending some of your time and money here.

02-16-2012 02:42:48 | More by mltobin
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I visited this store on a recent trip to Worcester. The store is laid out with two beer aisles on the left side of the store. THe furthest left is all cased brews while the next aisle is singles and sixers.
They have a great selection of belgians Fantome, Stille Nacht, Trappistes Rochefort 6, 8, and 10 and many others. ALso good selection of english ales. Stone, DFH, and Rogue were well represented too. Also some nice MA locals Berkshire Brewing among others.
WHile the selection is great I did not see anybody working the floor and was never asked if I needed anything. The cashiers were friendly but didnt seem to know much about the brews.
This is a very good store to find some goodies and if you're in WOrcester you should stop by and pick something up.

01-19-2004 00:21:10 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is almost local to me when at work, as the crow flies, but with the highway being all ripped up, is a bit of an adventure to get to. However, after visiting for the first time since my college days (lo, so many years ago at WPI), I was quite impressed. Only two full aisles of beers, but oh what beers the second one is. Tons of Belgians, innumerous US micros, inc probably a case of Stone VE03, if anyone's looking... Selection better than most all in the central MA area, and is better than their sister store in the White City section of Shrewsbury, I feel.

But my main reason to go was that I was in search of a bottle of Magic Hat Thumbsucker. Called the distributor for Magic Hat in MA, they gave me a lead on Austin, called them, they had one last bottle in stock, and were more than happy to hold it for me at the register. Excellent! That is the kind of service I appreciate.

Worth a stop if you find yourself in Central MA, for sure.

05-10-2004 18:22:00 | More by ppoitras
Photo of AGust82
AGust82

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$

If you have the unfortunate circumstance of living in or visiting Worcester this place will soften the blow. Great selection and decent prices. A large warehouse store vibe that's a bit on the dumpy side. The plaza and neighborhood kind of dictate that though. The employees I saw were all distant and unfriendly. Judging by the beer selection someone working there is on their A game though.
Bottom line...A dumpy place in the ghetto with an A+ beer department. I would avoid it at night.

03-30-2014 15:10:33 | More by AGust82
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

05-18-2014 17:16:02 | More by cbutova
Photo of macpapi
macpapi

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +3%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Although I just left Worcester a couple of weeks ago, my many experiences at Austin's necessitate a Beerfly review. It is by far the best place in Worcester for purchasing beer--though that is not saying much. But still this is a quality store. Until recently, they held beer tastings on Fridays and Saturdays for such quality brews as Stone, DogFish Head, Ommegang and Unibroue, among others. Still do wine tastings on the weekends, but that is beyond the purview of this review.

Overall selection is usually excellent. There were a few times, when they seemed to be behind on ordering or receiving of products and there were quite a few holes on the shelves. But between the many fine selections of Belgians, local brews (in both sixers and growlers located in the back cooler), traditionally popular craft beers from out of region (good run of Stone, Bear Republic, Rogue, and Victory among others) and others from just about every global region, you can always find something worthwhile to purchase. While their prices aren't the best, there are a few staples that are more than reasonable for my tastes. (Hop Devil at $6.99 was a steal compared to most local places pricing at two-three dollars more.) And I always looked forward to the times when they placed slightly out of seasonals on clearance (summer sixers for $2 in October; Concord North Woods for $3.49 in January for example).

Service was usually very good. All employees are helpful and you could always find one or two very knowledgable about beer. Aaron who ran the tastings was extremely helpful and up on his beer styles and info. Worcester is not the easiest place to find good quality beer, but Austins is definitely a diamond in the rough!!

07-21-2005 13:18:20 | More by macpapi
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
BlackBelt5112203

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$

I grew up in the Worcester area and I remember always going in here with my dad when he wanted to pick up some wine. I just discovered not too long ago that they have a pretty damn good selection of beer, as well. The place looks like a big warehouse with big, wide aisles. Most of the store has wine and liquor but the 2 aisles on the left as well as a cooler section in the back are dedicated to beer. The left-most aisle has mostly BMC products, hard lemonade, and twisted tea, but there gets to be a great selection of Sam Adams and Wachusett beers toward the end. The next aisle over has more craft 6 packs and all of their bombers. I was pretty impressed with their selection, especially when it came to their offerings from California. I wished I could have found more local beers (eg. Wormtown, Jack’s Abbey, Clown Shoes), but I can’t complain. Prices are pretty competitive, and I’m not sure if the staff is helpful or not. The only person working there that I could see was a cashier way at the front of the store, so there aren’t people readily available to ask questions.

Austin Liquors has a really nice selection of craft beer at reasonable prices. If you’re in Worcester, you should check it out.

06-21-2012 13:29:33 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Photo of FirstMan
FirstMan

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.7%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I just moved to Worcester from the Seattle area and have been itching to find a good place to get samples of the local brew.

Never did I imagine that Worcester would have a selection like this.

Austin has a great selection of foreign and domestic beer. Three or four shelves full of Belgians, more for Germans, Czech, you name it. I turned the corner, expecting to see a wall of Bud and was stunned. A great variety of locals on the shelf and in the coolers. I even noticed growlers of Berkshire brew in a case at the back. That I had never seen before.

The place is a little run-down from the outside as it is really the last place left in what was once a larger strip mall. That said, the selection of beer, wine, and all other exotic booze is excellent. Highly worth the trip.

Austin is definitly making my move to Worcester a LOT easier.

03-31-2005 01:04:50 | More by FirstMan
Photo of Knuckles
Knuckles

Washington

3.95/5  rDev -2%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I had spent the day out at the Cape with FirstMan and my sister, made a frantic stop in Braintree to get my sister an assload of stuff for her apartment at Bed, Bath and Beyond...

****Editorial aside: One thing the West Coast does very, very well is make it incredibly easy to get off the highway, do some shopping, and get back on the highway. The East Coast does not do this. It's difficult enough just to stay on the right fucking highway, much less get off and back on, that shopping becomes something you have to dedicate a day to, rather than stop on your way by.

and then the plan was to go to the CBC and hook up with BeerPanther and polskapanda for a pint or two, then mosey on out to Worcester to hit Austin Liquors before closing time. Well, weather, shopping, end of weekend traffic and the Massachusetts DOT's predilection for not putting highway signs out until the last possible second conspired against us so that we had to, very reluctantly mind you, cut out the stop at the CBC with BP and PP. Hell.

After we escape the shoppers paradise that is Braintree, the wrath of God touches down on Boston. I've seen rainstorms in Seattle, I've seen rainstorms in Florida, I've seen rainstorms in Louisiana (I'm really getting this creepy-ass James Taylor-esque feeling right about now), but few of them have approached the ferocity and doggedness of this one. This is "Hey Noah, can I catch a ride?" kind of rain. I find out the next day that train track signals have been flooded out, all sorts of houses are trying to float away, that sort of thing. Again, I ask myself, "Why was it the Puritans stuck around?" Anyway, the end result of this is an extended period of clock watching where FirstMan and I are convinced that there's no fucking way we'll get to Austin on time (Sunday hours are 12-5 for those to you who are curious).

But no, what's this? We get into Worcester at 4:45! Holy crap, we may have time. Of course, it's all the way across town, and the entire highway system is either under construction or submerged under the tears of god. But we go screaming into the parking lot at 4:57, leap out of the car in a very Starsky & Hutch fashion, and run as fast for the door as my flip-flops will allow me (for the record that speed would be "Not Very Fast"). The Austin chick is turning the sign as we get there, but she unlocks the door and lets us in, and FirstMan beats a path to the beer aisle.

I have to say, I'm quite impressed. It appears to me that they have organized by style, rather than region. So all Belgian styles are together (meaning I can grab an Allagash Tripel, Ommegang Rare Vos and a Gouden Carolus from the same section), all German styles are together...you get the picture. And the selection is huge, with singles lining the aisle to the right, cases and half racks to the left. I'm assuming this store used to be a grocery of some sort, as it has all the atmosphere of the Prairie Market my mom used to take me to by the Crest Theatre in Shoreline (Prairie Market is now a bingo hall, and retains the same old school charm). The main difference between Austin Liquors and Prairie Market is that you don't have to write the prices on the hooch with a grease pencil. And Austin doesn't sell 'BEER'.

Our time here is short, almost painfully so. The selection is vast, and my space is horribly limited. I've already got bottles to take home from New Glarus, Snake River, Smuttynose, etc. so I need to make my choices wisely. I settle on an Allagash Tripel and an imperial stout and a barley wine that I cannot recall at the moment (and yes, I'm embarassed as hell by that). I find it to be incredibly badass that they have growlers in the cooler in the back, Paper City, Berkshire, etc. Actually, we had the Paper City Pilsner down the Cape on Saturday night, and I quite enjoyed it.

My only criticism of the store is this: The lighting is incredibly harsh, and I know from talking to FirstMan that he's gotten a fair number of bad bottles out of there. There are actually flourescent lights on the beer shelves at the top, and then there's the charming flourescent lighting thirty feet in the air on the ceiling of the store. Whatever you do, if you take a bottle off the top shelf, try and grab it from the back, and the same goes for their coolers. The lower shelves don't appear to be nearly as at risk.

If you're expecting the atmosphere of a bottle shop like Bottleworks in Seattle, you're going to be horribly disappointed. If you're expecting a huge ass store with a huge ass selection of top notch beers that are questionably stored, you're going to be thrilled. I was, and am envious of FirstMan's luck in finding this place. I don't have anything with near that selection that near to me in Bremerton.

08-17-2005 18:27:01 | More by Knuckles
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Austin Liquors in Worcester, MA
90 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.