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Coastal Wine & Spirits

Not Rated.
Coastal Wine & SpiritsCoastal Wine & Spirits
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
[ Store ]

103 N Main St
Branford, Connecticut, 06405-3034
United States
phone: (203) 481-9400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -0.7%

hoppymcgee, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of kristin747
5/5  rDev +24.1%

kristin747, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of ManMoosePig
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ManMoosePig, May 19, 2014
Photo of von_kaiser
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%

WAAAY underrated! I've never scene a craft beer selection to the extent I saw today. Knowledgable and very helpful staff. $$ is on par w/ the rest of them. Beer enthusiasts, If you're traveling through this area of the state, this, among any other liquor store for that matter, is a MUST STOP!

von_kaiser, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of smutty33
4/5  rDev -0.7%

smutty33, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of RMoeNay
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

RMoeNay, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of ferrari29
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%

They had Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, cases of it. Impossible to find back home in Chicago. 2 full aisles of domestic and international beers. Wide range of liquors and a huge wine selection. Service was good, they answered a few wine questions for my wife. We were very please with the wine purchase we purchase based on a few recommendations. They also answered a couple of beer questions I had regarding the status of a sour and how often they were in. The rep knew the beer I was talking about and said that it comes in rarely, and when it does, its off the shelf the same day.

Overall, probably the best stop in Branford, CT. A must if you're in the area.

ferrari29, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of mltobin
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%

Coastal is in Branford, very close to the East Haven border on US-1. It is a large store overall with a decent amount of space allocated to beer. As other reviewers mentioned, the temperature in the store is higher than it should be. Their selection is better than most alternatives in the immediate area. Coastal carries NEBC, Cottrell, Rogue, DFH, Cisco, St. Bernardus, Orval, Chouffe, others. The staff is friendly. If you find yourself traveling back from a shorepoint, this is an easy stop that is worth it.

mltobin, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of BranfordBound
4/5  rDev -0.7%

This is my go to place, mostly because I live about 3 minutes away. Any other place near me is pale in comparison.

There is an ok freezer section of the macros and some micros like Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Smutty, Dogfish Head, some Stone, Rogue, etc.

Pretty good shelved stuff, all the large micros accounted for (Like what was mentioned before), some good imported stuff like Sam Smith's, Weihenstephaner, Paulaner, Spaten, Hoegaarden, St. Ambroise, Westmalle, St. Bernadus, good seasonal stuff, nice bomber section with some interesting finds.

Service is OK, I know some cashiers and they are very nice and pleasant, so I go there to shoot the breeze on a quiet day. Every now and then someone asks if I need help, but they usually steer me towards the high end stuff when all I want is a good tasting and decent priced sixer, not an overpriced bomber.

Prices are normal, nothing to steer you away but I never see sales. Some of the smaller package stores around me have higher prices so I can't really find cheaper. Pretty much supermarket prices on the normal stuff, I think this is due to CT liquor laws or something.

BranfordBound, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%

Stopped here to stock up for a weekend long wedding, and maybe bring a couple goodies back home.

First, the place is not very appealing from the outside, and even less so on the inside. The floor was dirty, and there was dust everywhere...even on some fresher bottles. It was also a bit hot inside, probably in the upper 70's.

I had been warned from previous reviews about freshness on beer, so I was sure to stick with things that were dated and/or aging compatible.

There is an aisle and a half dedicated to craft beers, the half containing many six-packs, the rest singles. Nothing too crazy here, but a solid selection of craft staples, as well as some locals which I was happy to try out.

Service was good, out cashier was very fast and offered an itemized receipt, he also boxed all our beers for us.

Overall, pleased with the visit...cant imagine much better in the area. TURN UP THE AC AND CLEAN.

Stigs, May 31, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.15/5  rDev +3%

I finally got around to stopping in here (after living in nearby New Haven for 2 1/2 years), and I was glad I stopped by. There's a decent amount of beer (six-packs and singles) in the back-right cooler, and two aisles full of solid craft/import offerings (well, one full aisle of cases and sixers, and one half-aisle of singles). From what I could tell, they had pretty close to everything that's legally available in the state of CT, minus a couple random things I've seen at the Wine Thief. Marginally better selection than Amity and New England Beverage Company, and comparable prices (although generally a bit higher than the latter). A few bottles were on sale, and I wound up picking up a couple of these as well as two singles that I'd been planning on buying for a while (Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer and ST Choklat), so overall I was quite happy with my trip. The service was what I'd expect as a large store like this - one person asked me if I was looking for something specific, I said no, and that was that. Fine. This place is definitely worth a look if you're in the area, but it didn't impress me enough to become my go-to beer store.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of RunawayJim
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

I grew up in Branford and lived here until about 4 years ago when I moved to Providence. Visiting family for the holiday weekend, I decided to check this place out to see if they had anything I can't get in RI. I had been here before when I still lived here and they had a large amount of beer, but hadn't heard of the craft beer revolution yet. They're finally getting it and it shows. Upon entering, they had a guy doing a tasting of the entire Harpoon lineup, including the latest 100 bottle series (Firth of Fourth Ale).

As with most large liquor stores, the store is mostly booze and wine. The beer is kept to one large shelf at the end and a bunch of coolers on the back wall in that corner. They had a lot of New England beers (though I didn't notice any of the big Smuttynose bottles). They had a few Belgians (Chimay most notably and 4 packs of Duvel). They had a bunch of English and Irish beers. The majority was American. They had the whole Rogue lineup in 6 packs (I didn't know a lot of Rogue was available in 6 packs). The one brewery I was interested in, but couldn't get in RI, was Stoudt's. I picked up their Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Double IPA. They also had all the CT beers - Hooker, New England Brewing, and Farmington River (and supposedly Old Burnsides, though I didn't notice any). They also had Trout River from VT, something I can't get in RI.

It was pretty well organized and pretty well priced. Being a big store, you tend not to get personalized service, but there happened to be someone organizing the beer at the time and he asked if I needed any help, which is more than I usually get at these large liquor "supermarkets". This store has potential, though I don't know what kind of distribution issues exist in CT. They also seem to be trying to cash in on the craft beer movement, which isn't a bad thing (this is based on a post in the BA forums about a job opening for beer manager there). Please note, however, that my rating is based on my experience today and not future potential, though I do hope this store improves as the nearest big/decent beer store to the town I visit most often is 15-20 min away.

RunawayJim, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of arnulfooxblood
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Stopped in while I was driving through Branford. Lots of signs on the front windows advertising specials.

Beer selection takes up the last aisle on the right hand side of the store. Very good selection of six packs, wide selection of Anchor Brewing that can be harder to find. Rogue, Dogfish, lots of local brews. Found discounted Saranac Nut Brown Lager in "Season's Best" packaging at $3.99 per six pack. Most sixers ran for around $7.99, reflecting the recent price increase.

Decent selection of 750s, including some Belgians and Belgian styles.

Talked to one of the people that worked there, said they would be happy to order anything that they didn't have in stock.

arnulfooxblood, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of waldo567
4/5  rDev -0.7%

This review is a little biased because I live in Pennsylvania and we would kill to have any place like this in my area, so this review is based on my limited expereince with package stores like this.

When you walk in the beer is on the far right. A long isle with American micros in the first half and imports on the second half. There is a cooler in along the back wall but I didn't check it out.

There's plenty of beer to choose from especially if your from out of town like me. I picked up a few Unibroues, a Ommegang, and a few local selections. I wish I could go to a place like this in PA and pick up singles, but that's another issue.

Overall, a great place to go if your in the area. The selection is good and the prices seemed reasonable.

waldo567, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%

visited this place last week. easy enough to get to off exit 54 of I-95 northbound.. two quick rights off the exit if my memory serves me. next to a bike shop. visited during their shelf-stocking hours, so the place was a little cluttered. no points off for that.

beer selection is set up just as it is in amity new haven (owned by the same people so i hear)... far right side has two long aisles... first one closest to front is american and then imports further back. coolers along the rear wall. shelves are smaller in height and therefore hold more beers. whereas amity boasts alot of belgians and germans, this store focuses on polish beers. small selection of belgians is really unimpressive.. duvel, one corsendonk, some chimay. lindemans, but no cantillon. disappointing. american section is decent.. most victory sixers were as fresh as can be for the area and they carried some of the sought-after stuff locally like river horse, cooperstown, hooker, and dogifsh limited stuff like 120 min and pangaea.

prices were average.

coolers were mostly macro 30 packs with a door or two full of sam smith, sierra nevada, etc. spotted some old liberators on the bottom of one fridge.

came here looking for some old belgians that have been sitting around or some other treasure, nothing. pretty much your average beer store.

oh, and i overheard an interesting conversation between two stock boys.. one said, "you told me to rotate the beers, but it's not my job. you know why it never gets done?" "why?" "because its the drivers' job, and you know them. they're lazy m-f-s and they don't do s-. these beers are never gonna get rotated." "guess not, i aint gonna do it."

i wont be going back. too far out of the way for its neglect and mediocrity

goodbyeohio, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of paulie
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

I am editing (re-writing, actually) this review based on new experiences since my first review 16 months ago. I have seen a decline in quality at the store since then and can no longer laud it the way I did.

At the time of my first review, the beer buyer was a committed Beer Geek, deeply knowledgeable and eager to spread the blessings of Better Beer to everyone. He has since moved on. His replacement is very nice and seems to care, but has much less accumulated knowledge and is not taking the same care with the stock.

This isn't to say that the place has gone to the dogs. I still stop in there and the selection is still way better than average. They respond quickly when you ask for things to be ordered and they take suggestions to heart. But it is not on the leading edge where it was. And I'm concerned about storage conditions in the back rooms.

The final straw came earlier this week when I stopped in to prepare for a homebrew club meeting. The theme was "porters", so I quickly grabbed 4 of my favorites: Hooker, Anchor, Cisco, and Sinebrychoff. I was in a hurry, so I didn't check dates or bottle conditions very well. Imagine my embarassment at the meeting when every single one turned out to be either well past its prime or obviously damaged in some way. Not only were they not what they should have been, they were downright undrinkable.

Now I know that 3 of these beers (the exception being the Hooker) are not fast movers and that better-selling beers from Coastal have been fresh and tasty. Still, I'd expect a store that really cares to remove old product from the shelves at some point.

So, I have to downgrade my review here. But I remain hopeful that the store will someday rise again to the level it once held.

paulie, Feb 18, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Well, this is the ol' staple in my diet when I visit my fellow BA buddy Sulldaddy in Branford on occasion. Since I am from PA, we don't have stores in which hard alcohol is found along with beer! Stupid PA legislature!!!!

Anywho, it pretty much reminds me of an alcohol supermarket which sounds awesome to me! They have a lot of good alcohol selection and an above average beer selection in which you cna buy sixers of your favorite local, domestic, or imports by bottle. OR....you can buy bottles individually and build your beer karma for a good price! I have always enjoyed visiting this store, and they have a nice selection of local and New England micros! Often on weekends they do beer tastings or wine tastings as well. Not a bad stop if ever in Branford!

Fish113d, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of markman
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Coastal...becoming a regular stop for me any time I'm in the area. Volume, volume, volume. If it's available in CT, they probably have it. Matt, the beer manager is a great guy and enjoys the beer geek in all of us. A wide variety of regionals are available and plenty of Belgians, Germans, UK, and the rest of the world. Do watch out for beer that has been on the shelf much to long though...the layer of dust on the bottle is a dead give-away. Otherwise, a solid place that is worth the trip if you're even remotely in the vicinity. And, as somewhat of an aside, they don't discriminate on your returns...they'll take anything no matter where you bought it.

cheers, Mark

markman, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%

Ahh...Since I live so close to this place I have become spoiled with the availability of beers I can bring home to drink in my apartment. Tons of great micros and imports. Dogfish Head, Rogue, Trout Brook, Victory, and lots of others. Always hard to find stuff here. I was able to pick up about 14 bottles of world wide stout here last season and they have told me that they are getting in more this year. Definitely gonna pick some up to age alongside the few I have left from last year. But I digress.

The store is mostly wine and liquor but I have spent 45 minutes just trying to pick a few beers to try. If you are ever on the southern coast of CT you should stop here. It is just off of exit 54 which is the Cedar Street exit.

Definately check it out!

sulldaddy, Nov 15, 2003
Photo of far333
4.15/5  rDev +3%

An oasis for beer in this part of the state. This place benefits from being owned by Amity. They are able to provide good selection at good prices. Great stuff lines the shelves. Tons of delectable macros, plus a huge variety of tasty imports, and many rare items. Lots of stuff that I hadn't even seen before, and I wanted to buy it all. Staff is attentive, knowledgeable, and helpful. Definitely worth the trip if you're even somewhat nearby.

far333, Sep 18, 2003
Coastal Wine & Spirits in Branford, CT
90 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.