Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev +5.6%
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 +7.2%
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
Blanchard's Liquors in Allston, MA
83 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.