Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Blanchard's has been one of my staple beer stores for a good six or seven years now, not so much due to their selection or pricing (the former is good but not amazing, and the latter is on the high side) but because it's the best selection that is the closest to my apartment.
atmosphere is ok. it's a big liquor store, what can you expect? located on one of my least favorite Allston streets (Harvard Ave - meh), but I guess you can't hold that against it. tons of wine occupy the right half of the store while aisles of liquor can be found off to the left. beer is located in coolers lining the back (6 and 12 pks, cases, etc; craft options mingling with macros), while shelving units in the middle of the store are where the bombers and some warm 4/6pks are kept. as mentioned the craft selection is solid but won't blow your hair back (unless you're really into Belgians, then it might go back a little). you get the usual suspects from the major players like Founders, Lagunitas, Stone, Allagash, Southern Tier, Firestone Walker, The Bruery, Sixpoint, Alesmith, Boulevard, Dogfish Head, Goose Island, Victory, Ommegang, et al., and the locals - Jack's Abby, Pretty Things, Clown Shoes, etc. then there is another shelving unit adjacent to the American offerings devoted to international craft - especially Belgians.
service can be hit or miss. they don't exactly trip over themselves to ask if you need anything, but I have had interactions with staff who were very friendly and helpful. likewise, prices are a bit of a crap-shoot, ranging from reasonable to highway robbery. I've been able to score limited releases here (lot of Firestone stuff, KBS, etc) so they earned points there. all in all, not a destination beer store but more than serviceable if you're in the area. keep in mind though that depending on where you're coming from, Marty's Big Buys is a 5-10 minutes walk away (vastly superior selection), or if you're heading toward Brighton you have Walsh's and Brookline Liquor Mart, or in Brookline there's Coolidge Corner Wine and Spirits and Bay State Liquors both on Beacon. so there are options.
08-20-2013 23:55:35 | More by BostonHops
3.86/5 rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is my go-to liquor store when I am up in Boston.
Only reason I didn't rank the atmosphere higher is because I have to climb over homeless people and shuffle past smoking hipsters just to get in the store. But once in the store, the atmosphere significantly improves.
Prices are the cheapest in the area, by far. Their keg selection is also incredibly long and they keep their fridge well stocked.
Selection is definitely exceptional. They have all of your major breweries, but where Blanchard's really shines is in its selection of microbrews. They also have single bottles available at reasonable rates.
Service is definitely not Blanchard's strong suit. It usually takes a long time before people come up to me and ask me if I need help, which is understandable. It really depends on when you go in. Some of the kids are really helpful, others just want to get out of there. Cashiers aren't very helpful, or bright. One time a cashier refused me service because my license was expired. After explaining to him that I got the license a week earlier, and that my under-21 license still hadn't expired yet, he finally realized that the date he was looking at was the "issue date" not the "expiration date." Also a friend of mine bought seven cases of rolling rock and a few handles of vodka, only to drive away and realize he was never charged for the seven cases. While that, in my eyes is a definite plus, just goes to show that some of the cashiers aren't that bright.
One of Blanchard's redeeming qualities (service wise) is when I had to go in to return a beer. When I brought the beer home, and opened it, it was all foam. I brought it back and asked for an exchange. Even then, the cashier said there was nothing she could do. But luckily, the manager understood the problem and gave me another bottle.
All in all, if you know what you want, Blanchard's is great. They have a good variety at very good prices. If you are looking for kegs, their prices are unbeatable. If you are looking to try a new and exciting beer, they have a great selection of microbrews and single bottles. Just don't expect the employees to go above and beyond to help you.
06-02-2011 20:19:02 | More by mcguirmn
3.76/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Atmosphere is kinda shady. Lots of homeless people in the area, but such is Allston, I suppose.
Quality is superb. Lots of very good brews, best I've seen in the area (unless you're driving to Julio's).
Service is weak. Only once have I ever been asked if I'm looking for anything, and that was after spending 20 minutes+ as the only person in the beer area.
Selection is good. Lots of stuff I can't find anywhere else. They sometimes have some vintage(ish) stuff, too, which is cool. They had a 2 year old Anchor Holiday once.
Overall, if I know what I'm looking for, this is a solid joint. Not great for people looking to ask a lot of questions though.
03-07-2011 06:28:45 | More by gdrydenc
4.15/5 rDev +15.9%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I've been in here a few times so time for a review.
The selection is great. The beers are organized by country of origin which is helpful. Lots of 22oz, 750mL, and anything else. I have easily spent 30 minutes just browsing. One of the best selections i've seen. Lots of hard to find and rare bottles.
About half the cooler space is BMC. Hardly any chilled bombers which is bothersome and where they lose .5. They do have some growlers to go. They are a bit pricey for some brews but average for most. Service is poor, except for the wine guy.
This is place is worth a stop if in the area. The parking lot they own is really nice to have (parking is crazy). Also good selection of wine and liquor.
11-10-2010 02:12:45 | More by busterthecat
3.8/5 rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
review based almost entirely on beer. the wine selection seems extensive but i'm not much of a wine guy. they also have a broad range of liquors. service can be great or nonexistent depending on who is working that day, what day/time it is, etc.
beer selection is definitely good but won't blow you away. due to some alleged spat with a dogfish head distributor, dfh is not available here, which, as a dfh fan, leads to docked points from me. decent assortment of local crafts and belgians, with a mixed bag from out of state brewers like stone, victory, the bruery, founders, and southern tier, to name a few. biggest downside is cost. when i first started frequenting blanchard's, their prices were an advantage, but they seem to have spun a 180. case in point: recently went to pickup a 4 pack of bourbon county stout, which they sold for 24.99... at the star market liquor store adjunct @ packard's corner a mere few blocks away, the same can be had for 17.99. ten-fidy will run you 17.99, while over in coolidge corner the same 4pk is 13.99. to me that's quite a disparity for same-area stores. rochefort 10 is nearly $10 per 11.2oz bottle; you don't have to travel far to get it for $6.50-7. i could go on, but you get the idea.
update: upping my score regarding selection after today's trip. craft section has expanded, with more local, out of state, and foreign beers added and the belgian selection is outstanding. still no dfh, and still for the most part overpriced, but an area must-stop for craft fans.
update 2 (04/04/11): scored both KBS and abacus here in recent weeks. (as well as FW 14 and double jack)... plus nugget nectar... upping the selection another .5
06-13-2010 02:39:53 | More by perrymarcus
Blanchard's Liquors in Allston, MA
83 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.