Charles Street Liquors


50 Reviews
Charles Street LiquorsCharles Street Liquors

Type: Store

143 Charles St
Boston, Massachusetts, 02114-3252
United States

(617) 523-5051 | map

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 63
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%

update 6-24-04:
what can I say? I pick up a sixer of "Endurence", yell to the counter,
"Is it any good?"
He comes over and says:
"I haven't tried it, but the Weekly Dig (The Bros) gave it 3 out of 5 stars".

I'm impressed.
Even more so when he pointed out the Victory 10 & 12.

On advice from Todd, I returned to this establishment. I double parked out front, thinking I would only be inside a few minutes. I was lucky I didn't get towed having stayed a good 45 minutes. They have a great selection of beer, including too many Belgians to mention. What impressed me the most though was the free glass with my $20 purchase. Just call me cheap

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%

There's not much I can't say about this place.. They have bottles of beer that I couldn't find anywhere else in boston, such as J.W. Lee's 1999 and 1998 harvest ales for 5.50 a bottle, Victory V10 and V12, a good selection of hard to find belgians, and much much more that I can't think of at the moment. Though the overall selection isn't as large compared to other places I've been to in boston, the quality of what they offer is uncontested. Though I didn't have too much time to chat with the workers, they seemed nice enough and knew their beer. They even through in 3 free beer glass because I bought $50 worth of beer.. (not a bad deal).. The one thing I will say is that I was definetly dissapointed with their glass selection (which was little to none), for I had heard that at one point they did have a great selection in this field. But the beer quality fully made up for this.

Overall, if you've never been, go right now.. You won't be dissapointed...

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Photo of kbanks13
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Just decided to stop in and browse what they had last night, especially after hearing so much about them. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Let's get this out of the way now: Is it Julio's? No. Do they still have a reasonably large selection of great beers? Definitely, especially considering the selection at most other surrounding stores. Mostly 22's, but a fair amount of singles too, including harder to find ones (I haven't really been looking for it, but I haven't noticed Traquair anywhere else besides Julio's and here). A good selection of Belgians and American craft alike. I decided to buy just one bottle; since I still have a good stash at the moment, but I wanted to throw a little support to a store I was starting to like so much. The staff was very friendly when I went to check out and the guy working was quite talkative. Nobody came to talk to me when I was browsing the isles though, which I actually prefer (I don't like to feel rushed when I'm looking for something, but not any specific item). Prices were a bit high on some items, but overall pretty fair. I liked their selection and staff a little more than the stores a little closer to me, and it is way closer than Marty's or Publick House for me (let alone Julio's), so I figure I'll be trekking here quite often. Great place to stop in at for some tougher to find bottles.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Very nice. Good selection all-around, especially the Belgians. Helpful, friendly staff. I have not been disappointed with the beers from there, although some might not move so quickly. Overall their prices may be a little high,(probably just to cover their high rent), but I think I saw the Westys there for cheaper than anywhere else around. My favorite Boston store for the "finer" beers.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

This is a favorite stop of mine when I'm in Boston. Right at the bottom of Beacon Hill, this great store is a convenient stop as you walk down Charles between the MGH T-stop and the Boston Public Garden. Great selection of special beers plus a very nice selection of wines to go with it. The prices are very reasonable, and there are always specials. The shelves and displays are well organized and easy to navigate, and the store itself is pleasant. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Overall, a great place to shop for drinks to take home in a bottle.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%

I had a friend who lived around the corner from Charles St. Liquors and have been here several times on beer runs. He has since moved and I haven't been back for a few years, until today. I've forgotten what an awesome selection they have. There are several beers here that I can not find anywhere else, such as Magic Hat Chaotic Chemistry & Thumsucker and Dogfish Head Pangea. There's a large selection of imports from Belgium, Germany, and Britian, but I also found beers from Japan. They also have a great selection of local and national microbrews.

The service is excellent and quite knowledgeable. While shopping around with several beers in my hand one of the clerks offered to bring them up to the front for me and gave me some tasting notes on some of my selections.

This has to be the premire spot in Boston to get beer. I can't think of another location in the city that has nearly the selection as Charles St. By the way, if you're hungry the King and I next door has some great Thai food!

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Photo of dpend
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

If you walk up Charles Street from the Common you will find this store somewhat tucked away at the end of street on the right hand side. As you walk in, you are greeted mostly by a large wine selection, but have no fear, just continue toward the back of the store and you will be in front of a wall cooler filled with many impressive beers. Continue left and you will find a well organized wall of some even more impressive finds.Not necessarily a huge selection, but some very hard to find beers and being from FLA, we could not of hoped for a better experience. SCFD471 and I left with two cases each and a few free glasses as well. We almost bottomed the Taxi out.The staff was very helpful and friendly and we actually ran into at the EBF later that evening.Great store that we will visit again.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

When I saw the bottle of Corsendonk in the front window, I knew this was the place. I squeezed past the wine-tasting and found the goods.

They pack an amazing array of beers into on sweeping shelves, a long rack, and a well-stocked cooler. The prices strike me as a bit high on some things, but I definitely get the feeling that no space is wasted on second-rate beer. All the good stuff is here, including several hard-to-find ones.

They have a nice selection of bottle-conditioned ales and they take good care of them. I got some Vintage Henley which comes in a clear bottle has no sign of skunk at all.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

A small store located at the end of Charles St. more towards the river than the common. Seems to have a bit of a Nepolean complex as it is small but packs a big punch. As you walk in, walk towards the back and take a left. You will be surrounded by beers as you walk up the one or two steps. I was suprised to see a few beers that I haven't seem else where in the Boston area. They do have the rare Magic Hat beers if you are looking for them. A great variety of micros from NE and the entire US as well as a great European selection. The price is a bit high, but considering the location it is just fine.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

I enjoy going to this place because it's reachable via T during the week, is on the way home from work, and they get new arrivals in relatively quickly. Nice selection of bombers and imports - very good Belgian and German breadth. Service is good - maybe not quite up to the level when Scot the wine guy was there but still solid. Ample offerings cold also. There are some things that go for reasonable prices (Southern Tier comes to mind here) but quite a few may be a bit higher (buck or so) than in the 'burbs. Solid place to go when in town during the week.

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Photo of klythjohan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

A regular stop for me, they have a solid selection of beer (given there isn't much for selection in the area) and come through with some rarities from time to time. It's a good idea to keep an eye on their facebook feed if you are looking for something special.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

stopped into charles street liquors for the first time today and should of gone there a long time before. i have worked in the neighborhood for a long time and there really is no excuse for my delay.

the beer section is in the back and since the store is small (its beacon hill) the beer section is a bit on the small side. BUT they have a great selection of beer particularly when it comes to imported beers. i saw a lot of stuff that i have not seen in other stores and given its proximity to my work i'm quite excited by this prospect.

im giving the pricing a reasonable rating but some of the prices are on the more expensive side of reasonable (that is most of the stuff i saw was either equally priced to most stores in the cambridge/somerville area or a quarter to fifty cents more).. given its beacon hill thats actually quite a deal.. most stores on this street are super overpriced.

service is very good and the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

Relying on a GPS unit to get me around, I didn't bother printing out or jotting down any addresses before my recent trip to Boston. The first place to come up when searching for a good place to buy some beer in Boston was Charles Street Liquors... literally two blocks away from where we were staying in Beacon Hill. Nice!
I found it to be the best selection of the places I visited and on par (if not better) than some of the places I've visited.

Charles Street is not huge and they obviously focus on wine quite a bit (which is nice, as well). The beer selection was impressive and for the most part reasonably priced. I expected it to be higher than it was for the neighborhood/east coast. Lost Abbey, Stone, Avery, DFH... all beers that can't be had in Omaha. And space was limited to carry home so I needed to be pretty selective. Their stock made it hard to do that! I wanted a bit of everything.

The service was excellent. There were quite a few people looking for beers at the time I was there and only one guy helping all of us and never ignoring any. He knew his beers and was honest. I'd rather get an "I've never tried it" or a "let me look it up" than someone faking their way through it.

A definite must stop if you're in the neighborhood.

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Photo of MJR
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

I managed to visit this store not once, but twice, during my recent trip to Boston: the morning of the AoBF with TXHops, and in-between sessions with Marc77 and MaineBeerMan.

Quality: Good overall quality with very few dusty bottles. With the exception of the McNeill's beers I bought, everything was fresh and well taken care of. The beer area is a bit small, but is packed solid with great beer.

Service: Quite good, as the staff was knowledgable and willing to assist. One cool thing they do is that every $20 you spend on beer, you get a free beer glass. Between both visits, I ended up with 4 or 5... :<)

Selection: This place has a kick-ass selection of both imported and Northeastern brews. I didn't find any Westy Blonde like I wanted, but my other choices more than made up for it. While Davo got the second-to-last bottle of Thumbsucker, I got the last!

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Photo of Naerhu
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

This place was the best place for craft beer I found while in Boston.

The staff bent over backwards to answer my questions. They were available and amicable. If anything they were too eager to please, kinda felt weird. But things are good when thats ones biggest complaint.

The beer is located in the back of the store, with three or four doors of cooler space, lots of international beer being store at room temperature as well. There is a strong presence of German, British and Belgian beers. To be honest, I was kind of concerned about the room tempurature storage of these beers, but everything I bought from them was in perfect condition.

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Photo of mydeadguy
4.2/5  rDev +4%

Charles Street Liquors is located in the shadow of the Charles/MGH red line stop on the end of Charles opposite the Common. I read a few reviews here and decided to check it out myself. A nice store to look at, a little posh, but considering the neighborhood, not too posh. Big wine selection, and also spirits, but I was on a mission, and didn't look at either. I was expecting a bit less beer, and so was pleasantly surprised with the good selection. The staff was nice, asked if I needed help, but was in no way pushy. I especially like that the beers were arranged by country of origin, U.K. , western Europe, Belgium, etc. and then by state for American beer, nice touch. They also have plenty of cold 6 packs, and a handy make your own six pack with many local N.E. brews to choose from. I will definitely shop here again, notolny because it is the only Boston store in which I have found the Rogue Morimoto Hazelnut.

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Photo of jvdineen
4.2/5  rDev +4%

When I'm on my way to the Blue Line I'll make the detour and go to Juliana aka Charles St. Liquors. In the back of the store the entire left side is put aside for beer. 750 ml and bomber bottles dominate. They hold many beers from the Allagash, Unibroue, Weihenstephaner, Smuttynose and Cisco lines (among others). They have a "make your own six pack" of macros and some imports. Lots of German and Belgians to choose from. Prices are only slightly high. This is mainly due to their Beacon Hill locale. Very reccomended, very good.

They have a book that you can ask for certain beers. I've never tried it but it's out and free for anyone to use.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.16/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

located just off the Charles/MGH T stop, CSL might be the best craft option in downtown Boston. as with most downtown liquor stores, the space is limited and shared with wine and spirits, so while you might not be overwhelmed ala Julio's or Marty's or someplace of that ilk, it's enough to leave a beer enthusiast pleasantly satisfied. the chilled 4/6pks are situated in coolers in the back, while bombers are parked on shelves to the back left side of the store. solid overall selection ranging from the usual locals (Pretty Things, CBC, Jack's Abby, BBC, etc) to the standouts across the country (Stone, Founders, DFH, Avery, Ballast Point, Great Divide, Goose Island, Boulevard, Southern Tier, Lost Abbey, Allagash, Victory, Lagunitas, et al), with a handful of some obscure stuff you don't tend to see in your run of the mill liquor store. the stock is fairly well organized and also inundated with many European beers, including a small but impressive selection of Belgians.

prices are easily a dollar or two more than you see outside the city, but that's to be expected in the downtown area. the staff is pretty friendly and usually - though not always - will approach to ask if you need help. worth a look if in the area and would be on a short list of go-to stops for beer fans living in the Back Bay/Beacon Hill/West End vicinity.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.16/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

one of my regular stops. that said, IMO it's a bit - a bit - overrated from a beer standpoint. don't get me wrong, the selection is great, with many local and regional brews to accompany offerings from the west coast and europe, and pretty well organized. part of an aisle is devoted soley to belgians, which is up my alley, and most major breweries i look for like DFH, founders, ST, lagunitas, avery, and goose island are well represented. and while there are a few obscure beers, a lot of this stuff can be found elsewhere in the city and at cheaper prices. (though it's not outrageous, either.) to be fair, it's a relatively small store and also purveyor of wine and spirits, so they do put limited space to good use. the staff is friendly, though recently the "beer guy" - as he was called by another employee - while amiable and well-intentioned, had trouble identifying a quad. all will be forgiven if the can deliver goose island's vanilla boubon stout upon release! ;)

the location is an asset, steps from the charles/MGH red line stop, or a short walk up charles from the common/public garden. all in all, a place you have to check out, esp if you're in the area.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

This place always seems to be pleased by your visit, no matter how you look. Willing to lend a hand. They always seen to have a few obscure brew options. Prices clearly marked underneath the selestion, with items on sale in red. There is no appearent 'Charles Street' tax imposed on the prices, although it is at the less desireable end, next to the Beacon Hill Pub. Conveniently located within eyeshot of Charles/MGH. Well worth a stop-off. Cheers!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

I had some time to kill on Christmas Eve before my plane departed, so I strolled along Charles Street in search of Charles Street Liquor. I felt I needed to take home another sample of beer home as a last-minute gift, and that I did (a bottle of Founders Red Rye). The selection is more focused on imports than domestic craft beers, but you can still come away with a 3 liter bottle of Double Bastard. The imported selection is diverse and evenly represented; I noticed a large number of German and English beers I've never heard of before. I was asked if I needed help a few times when I was debating what I wanted to take home with me. Multiple checkout registers help move the queue line fast, ending my BeerFly tour of Boston a little faster than I was expecting. Great place to stop at for beer if you're around the west part of the peninsula.

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Photo of petemoss14
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

This is where I go for those hard-to-find beers. Their selection consists mostly of individual bottles with a decent selection of sixers/fours in the cooler. This is one of the few places I have been able to find St. Bernardus Abt 12, but they have a nice selection of beers from all around the world, organized by geographic region.

Prices are decent, though there are a lot of things there that I know I can get for less someplace else. I also wonder about some of the dust in the beer area (it kind of has a cellar feel, even though you actually go up a step to reach it), but I haven't yet had a problem with freshness.

Service is fairly good -- I will usually be asked if I can be helped with anything, but this might be a result of how long I often take to browse. Asked once if they ever carry Abbaye des Rocs, and it took the guy a minute to figure out what I was talking about before he gave me a non-definitive answer.

A lot of people complain about the parking here. And while it can be difficult depending on the time of day, if you have an idea of what you are looking for, then you can just use the 15 minute parking in front of the CVS right around the corner. It is also right near the Charles St. T stop.

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Photo of taez555
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

Located on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, Charles Street Liquors is deffinatly one of the best liquor stores in the Boston Area.

A rather small store compared to some of the large mega stores in the Boston Area. Charles Street Liquors is mostly a Wine Store. Dedicated to quality wines mostly. Not the place to go if you're looking boxed wine. The liquor selection is also small but of some quality.

The beer selection here is small but excellent. Several shelves dedicated to singles of more obscure craft brews and imports. The only place in the Boston Area I found Westvletern abt 8. I also found a few bottles of Magic Hat's Braggot and Thumsucker here. The 6 pack selection is just as interesting. Your standards but with a few more obscure selections.

Overall a great store. If you're looking for great bottled beer in Boston, this is right up there at the top.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

Charles Street Liquors was my first stop to find local beers in Boston. As it's on Charles Street not too far from the north station it's easy to get to if you're traveling. Of course, I was driving, and there's absolutely no parking near there! I made due.

I was impressed with the number of 6-packs they had, but I normally buy single bottles. They would not break up a six pack for me (...I found it on tap later that day!). The single bottle collection was pretty good too, but there wasn't a whole lot that I couldn't find in other parts of the east coast. Lots of good Belgians though. Decent Germans. I was looking for local though.

The store is well maintained, and very comfortable and easy to browse. The staff (I think I dealt with an owner, perhaps just a manager) know their products and what's going on in the market, and they're more than willing to assist customers who need help (unlike me)! ... ... (An aside... I found it interesting that the man I spoke with gave a 2-sided compliment/put-down to a local brewer as #1 - he had no idea who I was, and #2 - that should be some of their bread and butter, but that's not really the market they're interested in).

Had I known, however, what limited range of local beers I would encounter on my next 5 stops, I probably would have bought more - but even then, I did have that clock ticking on my illegally parked car!

Certainly worth a visit for beer, and don't forget that they do have a very good, expansive wine selection if you're headed out to a BYOB restaurant (Boston has many!). I certainly wouldn't pass it by.

Oh, and as to the dusty bottles mentioned earlier, yes, I saw them too and it kept me away from the Belgians. ... ... ... Why not just dust them off?

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

I made this one of my many stops while in Boston for the EBF. Good selection including many Belgians/imports, Stone, Founders, Oskar Blues, AleSmith, and the locals. I am still kicking myself for forgetting to grab a six-pack of Gordon....grrr. There is a parking garage pretty much right across the street from the store. There was some dust on some of the bottles I purchased but I am assuming it was just blowing in from nearby construction. Atleast, I don't think AleSmith would sit around long enough to get dusty. Mass. gets a lot of great beers and I wish I could of found a store that was large enough to have more of the offerings from all of those brewers. This was a good store with a good selection a little bigger than some of the other downtown Boston stores.

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Charles Street Liquors in Boston, MA
4.04 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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