Barb's Beer Emporium

very good

24 Reviews

Type: Store

249 Sheep Davis Rd
Concord, New Hampshire, 03301-5747
United States

(603) 369-4501 | map

Formerly known as Capital Convenience

Added by barleywinebrewer on 03-27-2006

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 39
Photo of tekstr1der
4.23/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Ambiance - Beer store for sure. Service has been great. Selection is pretty decent. Value is low, as these are the highest prices I’ve ever seen on many of the items. Still good to have places like this around.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.86/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5

This store has one of the best selections in the state, but she Jacks up the prices like few stores. Maybe she should sell all beer and she could lower prices. Staff knows beer and the set up is nice. The price gauging is ridiculous! I walk out limping, because she bends over customers. Specialty beers are 4 to 8 dollars more than other stores. If you are looking for an awesome selection go, but understand you will pay more than you should!

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Photo of NHbeerguy
1/5  rDev -73%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

Wow!! Didn't stick around very long once I saw the $35 price tag on Broklyn Black Ops!! I am sure that other beers are over priced. A couple bucks maybe but $15 higher then almost everyone else!! That is crazy. Best of luck to this store I know I will never be back.

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Photo of The_Blaster
1/5  rDev -73%

Barb specifically promised me that she would order me a case of Moat Mountain Brown before my long trek to the NH area. She said it'd be there friday, I said GREAT I'll grab it Sunday on my way home!

They never told me that they couldn't order the beer until the WEDNESDAY following that sunday.

This was AFTER I swung by on sunday 10 minutes before closing ( I told them I would do this as I was on a tight schedule, but had already ordered the case and was willing to spend the money).

Absolutely FETID service, HORRIBLE prices. Did I mention that the per can price, even with a case discount, the per can price was still about a dollar more than most stores that carry it?

Pathetic. Permanently lost my business. I emailed barb herself and the BEST she could give me was "SORRY, WE TRIED TO CONTACT YOU!"

Yeah, an email a week later, and no call? 1/5, would never support again.

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Photo of 2ellas
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Staff is very friendly and helpful. Reasonable selection in general and by far the best selection in the area. The only complaint I have is that they are noticeably more expensive than other NH shops but not having much for competition can do that. I've been there a few times and will certainly be back.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Barb's is a great little place tucked away in Concord NH. The selection is superb and I usually can always find something new when I stop on by. I think the prices are reasonable but if it is seasonal or a hot commodity then the prices rise. The staff is friendly, the place is clean and it never seems to be too crowded. I would recommend Barb's to anyone looking to find something different for their beer selection!

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.51/5  rDev +21.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped by this gem while up in Concord recently, actually stumbling into it turning around in the parking lot, so I figured why not I'll stop. Clean little store tucked away on Route 106. Not crowded at all, I was the only person in the store at 5pm. Probably well over 500 beers to choose from. They had domestics microbrews from all over the country and a large selection of good imports from all over the world. I asked the clerk to suggest a local microbrew and she walked me thru each case and each beer explaining what was good and what was new and what she thought of that beer. Great service. Prices were not bad, some of the newer beers were a little bit more than I would expect them to be, but not terrible on price. If I happen to be up there in that area again I will most likely stop by.

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Photo of dmf01
1.68/5  rDev -54.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3

We tried to order kegs of beer for a wedding at Barb's beer. They gave us the wrong tap for the keg, which meant that we were unable to use the keg for half of the wedding. When we returned to the store, in the middle of the wedding weekend, to try and get the problem remedied, the owner was abusive (literally shouting over the phone at us) and, rather than apologizing, blamed the problem on the distributor and nearly refused to give us the correct tap so that our guests could enjoy the rest of the wedding.

But, of course, the *entire* reason that you get a keg from a store like this is so that it takes the responsibility of being the middleman between you and the distributor. That's what they get paid for!

A mistake is a mistake, even if it spoils part of a wedding. But refusing to own up and abusing your customers is not to be tolerated. There are lots of other good places to get beer in New Hampshire. I'm never going here again.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

Barb's Beer Emporium is clearly the place to go if you are in the Concord Area. Prices are reasonable enough, with the focus being on the mix-6 packs. Most singles are $2-$3.5 and you get a 10% discount for mix-6 packs. Freshness can be a little bit of a concern, but isn't out of the ordinary compared to any other NH establishments. Prices for regular 4-6 packs, bombers, and high end imports tend to be a little pricey when compared to some of the other NH stores.

The staff can be hit or miss, some of the employees are very knowledgeable while others clearly just work there because it pays the bills. The place is kept clean and organized, except for pricing. This IS a problem. I don't like having to take things to the register to inquire about pricing and as stated below, the few price sheets they have posted are well outdated.

As for selection, it's definitely one of the best in NH. Overall I consider it one of the best 1-stop shops in NH. If you want good selection and don't care to much about price, this place is a must stop in Concord. If you want a bargain, there are better places. Personally, I just go the extra 10 minutes down to Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett.

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Photo of placlair
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Barb's is pretty much the go-to craft beer store in Concord. Service is certainly above average, as the staff always greets you with a smile and will gladly answer any questions that you have. They hold rather consistent weekly tastings with some of the better breweries that they carry.

For being in New Hampshire, Barb's does well with selection and offers *almost* everything that you would want a craft beer store in NH to carry. They offer mix-a-six packs on all non-premium offerings, and pretty much everything can be purchased as a single bottle (including premiums). Management is receptive to requests for additional offerings, provided that the desired product is available in NH. They also offer a limited wine selection, including locals such as Jewell Towne, and various snack items and soda.

Freshness can be an issue here. Several times, I've been too rushed or absent-minded to check the date on what I'm purchasing, only to get home and realize that the Smuttynose IPA, Dogfish Head 90 minute, or Oaked Arrogant Bastard that I just purchased "expired" a few months ago.

The biggest complaint that I have, though, are the prices. Understanding that it's the best beer store in town, they are simply too high for me to visit as often as I otherwise might. Their higher-end offerings are consistently priced a few, if not several dollars higher than similar regional establishments. Nothing is individually price marked, and while they do offer price sheets near the coolers, they are often out-of-date and not in sync with what is currently being sold.

All in all, Barb's is a solid choice if you're making a quick stop to pick up some craft brew in Concord and don't mind spending the extra money. For the reasons that I mention above, though, I find myself shopping here less and less.

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Photo of bosoxyear
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

This place has changed hands twice in recent years. Formally, it was Mamos Market, a grungy yet friendly place with a great selection. The service was stellar and the mix and match 6 packs were cheap. Then it became Capitol Convenience. The interior became larger and the great selection remained. This owner brought in Friday tastings and it was decent.

Finally, it became Barb's Beer Emporium. While the great selection remained, the charm and atmosphere was lost. The mix and match 6 packs are still available; however, they have made way too many exceptions (i.e. 60 minute). They have brought in brewing supplies but only the cheap plastic kits and "bag o beer" ingredients. The tastings remain but it is truly a cluster. Not even worth the time. I used to be a regular but these changes took the fun out of it. The Cracker Barrel in Hopkington has replaced this place as my beer store.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%

This is a little store with a really decent selection...for NH! otherwise it's below average. I was surprised by the lack of home state hero's smutty??? yikes. a serious lack of Belgian offerings, but a decent selection from our cousins across the big pond. victory, DFH, SA are all there along with some local stuff from Manchester Brewing. most of the beer is in 6-packs, and the singles in the two coolers are mostly just singles from the 6-packs. The lady I spoke with there was very friendly and seemed eager to please. Not a bad stop...for NH.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

Well I was visiting Concord for Christmas and it was planned that I stop at Barb's for a US beer refill before I head back home.

Place is small, a tiny convenience store is much more adapted to the term of a beer emporium. Service was friendly, I have nothing to say, they werent surprised to see a french guy filling cases of beer at 9 am, so that was good.

selection, I was dissapointed, I expected to see much more selections of US micro, the big players were there with selections of NH's locals

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Photo of puboflyons
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%

This place has been bought out by new managers and renamed "BARB'S BEER EMPORIUM," and I'll tell you, the change is for the better. Thenew owners are all about beer. Not only do they sell just about every label available in New Hampshire, which unfortunately has state regulations that restrict the quantity of products, but they are branching out to sell brewing supplies.

There is a good selection of imports including some I don't regularly see in other New Hampshire stores. They also keep a reasonable supply of New England micros.

You can buy multi-packs or mix your singles into a 6-pack for $10.49 a six. They have a singles cooler and a multi-pack cooler but the singles cooler is diverse.

Beer tastings every Friday night from 5-7 pm. Knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Oh, and for an earlier reviewer who was concerned that they dono't post their prices...that has all changed. There is an alphabetical list available on the back cooler.

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Photo of mshallah
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%

One of the few NH beer stores that offers Stone,Rogue,Dogfish head and most ME, VT, NH breweries. Also some English stuff like Wychwood and some harder to find local favorites like Pennichuck Brewing Co. I can always walk out with something interesting. On a recent trip I purchaesed Rogue Dads Little Helper Malt Liquor,Stone Ruination and Arrogant Bastard,Pennichuck Ginger Pils and Halligan RyePA,Smuttynose Big A IPA,Tuckerman's Headwall Alt,Hobgoblin,Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale and Dogfish 90min IPA.

Notes:Name changed to Barb's Beer Emporium and soon to sell homebrew supplies.

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Photo of deanhead
3/5  rDev -19.1%

When i walk into a store that has no prices, naturally I get nervous. No difference here with Capitol convenience. It's not unlock discount beverage in Brattleboro which has virtually no prices on it's beer. SUCKS!
Why should I asks how much does this cost???
Beer selection is good for middle of nowhere NH. I wouldn't stop here on my way from here to there. The selection is okay, but not what I'm used to.
With that said Ryan and Casey, and Table and vine are my benchmarks for beer.
Are you up for the challenge?

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

Stopped in today for the first time to check the place out. Kind of a small convenience store, but the selection of beers is great for NH. They have lots of bombers, probably more loose bottles than anyone in NH, except maybe Jaspers. They will let you split six packs, buy singles, they have kegs. Definately worth a visit if you are forced into the limited selection available in NH. One negative was that nothing in the store seemed to be priced. Brands I saw included Pennichuck, Allagash, Chimay, Brooklyn, Magic Hat, DFH, Rogue, Grittys, Unibroue, Samuel Smith, Ommegang, Ipswich, Smuttynose, Harpoon, Stone, Chamberlain, Lindemans, Red Hook, Tuckerman, Woodstock Inn, and probably a few more that escape me now.

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Photo of TJP75Beer
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

This is central NHs best beer selection, whick is not quite what you would expect upon driving up. OK parking and within walking distance of the Main Street shops and parking garages. Steve, the current owner has recently sold the establishment to another local beer lover who hopes to improve the decor and add more beer carrying capacity along with a bar for beer tastings.

The real reason anyone goes to Capitol Convenience is Mary. Mary runs the joint. She is a sweet woman who has survived the past three owners and is as much a part of that building as the walls. She'll wax poetic about politics, talk to you about your family or give you heads up about the upcoming beer tastings. By the way, Mary schedules the weekly beer tastings. The likes of Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Magic Hat, Brooklyn, Otter Creek, Pennichuck Brewery, Samuel Smith, Sam Adams and the regional distributors set up shop for two hours for all to come and enjoy. The store carries all the above plus a large selection of imports.

This is worth a visit if you are in the area.

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Photo of scarletfire79
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

definitly the best selection within driving distance.not bad parking, quiet area. the only other one i think that compares is possibly winooski beverage in vermont. awesome selection, love the mixed sixers for 8.99. they also had a really nice keg selection, complete with to go menu. nice selection of local beers, and a good amount of the stuff that's typically hard to find in the area (ie. rogue, dogfishhead,belgians, you get the picture). being only about 35 minutes away, i'll definitly be back.

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Photo of dizheafta
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

After discovering them on here I decided to stop by and check em out. There really easy to find and parking on the street right by Dominos. They have lots of coolers filled with different selections of beers and you can mix and match for 8.99 a 6 pack. I found some beers there I've been dying to try but not willing to drive 100 miles for there.They have a good selection for this area but down in Massachusetts is where to find all the good stuff. They just need to get some Stone Brew products and I'll be a customer for life!!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

I stopped in this store over the summer when I was up in NH for the week. Not too difficult to find, located not far from I-93. The store itself is small, and a multipurpose convenience/deli and liquor store. The beer selection was pretty good with several Belgian beers and many regional microbrews (e.g., Unibroue, Affligem, Ommegang, Dogfish Head, Smuttynose, Harpoon, etc.). I was told that Dogfish Head is very popular here. The prices were pretty typical for the area. The service was pretty friendly -- the woman working gave me some free ice and a bag to put it in so that my beers would not get too hot in the trunk of my car. Not the largest selection of beers in New England, but definitely one of the best you are going to find from Concord north.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

Capitol Convenience is about 1/2 mile from exit 14 on I-93 so it is real easy to get to. Street parking might be limited if there are a lot of customers and that occurs on certain Thursdays when they have beer samples and pizza. Service is extremely friendly and will make the effort to get requests in. A mixed 6-pack is $8.99. Their prices are slightly higher than Smiley's in Dover. I think they have 180 different bottles. Right now they have a very large selection of Oktoberfests - Paulaner, Gritty's, Smuttynose, Redhook & more. Also a good selection of English, some German plus Unibroue. I can usually manage to find one or two new bottles which is not easy with nearly 2000 in my collection.

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Photo of xumbi
4.8/5  rDev +29.4%

I finally stopped by Capitol Convenience yesterday afternoon to see this place for myself. What I found was an exceptional selection for this area, along with great service.

The selection is far beyond what most would expect for the Concord area. A sign outside boasts "over 100 beers", and I don't think that's an exaggeration. Anchor, Unibroue, Sam Smith, Dog Fish, Magic Hat, Rogue, far too many to list here. The biggest selling point by far, for me being relatively new to the beer scene, is "build your own 6-pack" starting at $8.99. Most beers go for $1.50 each, prices go up as you get more exotic (I picked up a couple from Unibroue for $2.50 each).

Another big plus was how friendly the owner was. He saw me looking around, asked if I needed any help, introduced himself and even shook my hand. He went on to talk about the beer tastings that he has coming up, the next of which is Woodstock Inn next month. When I checked out I picked up a deli menu (the store runs a small deli as well) which suggests beer pairings with each item! Very cool.

In summary, until I see a reason to shop elsewhere in central NH, I'll be picking up my beers at this fine establishment.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

There's been a lot of buzz regarding this new establishment in Concord NH. Of course I had to find a reason to drop by since it's reasonably close to home.

The shop is just a block north of the whole south main street congestion. It's easy to get to via 3 potential exits off of 93. Parking is a breeze.

It's interesting how new shops get started. Some go for looks and under deliver, others go for substance. A walk through this store shows a sincere commitment to quality beer. This store was a beer oasis to me in the concord area. It is refreshing to see a commitment to barleywines, imperial stouts and belgium brews as well as the nicer micro brews.

The store is running a series of beer and wine tastings with representation from ommegang, dogfishead and redhook peaking my interest. I'm looking forward to repeat visits and suggest this store as a key stop in one of many potential stops in a revitalizing downtown Concord scene.

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Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord, NH
3.71 out of 5 based on 39 ratings.
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