The Wine Thief

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The Wine ThiefThe Wine Thief
9 Ratings
The Wine ThiefThe Wine Thief

Type: Store

181 Crown St
New Haven, Connecticut, 06510-3005
United States

(203) 772-1944 | map

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Added by dbmcrorie on 05-27-2009

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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of smutty33
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of BranfordBound
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Kind of a smaller place, but they pack it with some pretty decent craft selections. Won't have everything but if you're in the area it's worth it to pop in. It's right next door to Cask Republic and around the corner from Prime 16 so this whole Crown + Temple Street intersection area is like craft beer mecca for New Haven.

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Photo of dipaslife4me
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of OldCrustacean79
4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Great little place with lots to choose from. If you don't see a beer ask because it may be in the cooler hiding lol

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Photo of LutherBrau
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I was pleased to find this shop right next to The Cask Republic. Lunch and brews and then some shopping for booze? Yeah... I dig it.

The Wine Thief is a clean and luminous little store with a ton of wine, mostly on the rarer side of the grape (no Yellowtail here).

As beer goes, there is one cooler with six-packs, bombers and growlers (Berkshires, Brooklyn, Sierra, Smuttynose, Lagunitas, North Coast, River Horse).

More interesting is the room-temp shelf nearby with stuff from all over: Old Engine, Harvest Ale'09, Porterhouse Oyster, Evil Twin, Aventinus; Chouffe, Dulle Teve, Rodenbach '07 and other Belgians... bombers from Ommegang, Rogue, Stone, Dogfish, Stillwater (Max's ale!), Coronado, Sebago...

Some rare stuff, a well-curated selection overall. I got a bourbon-barrel Sebago Porter and an Abita Vanilla Double Dog. The Sebago was pricey at $9.50, but other brews struck me as being reasonable.

Service was good enough and the store really is a pleasure to browse. Quite a little gem on Downtown New Haven.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

While this store definitely specializes in the product they're named for, they maintain a very respectable selection of top-notch beer, focusing mainly on local craft and high-end Belgian and British imports. The variety definitely doesn't rival some of the larger stores in the suburbs, but there's a good chance you'll find a beer or two here that aren't available anywhere else. The service is both friendly and knowledgeable, and from time to time they put on free tastings of some of their products - I really couldn't ask for any more on that end of things. The only real downside (other than the somewhat restricted selection) are the relatively high prices across the board - but that's what you deal with for being downtown. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area and either want some beer (or wine) without straying too far, or if you're looking for something more obscure.


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Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev -1.2%

This is a nice little shop right on Crown St. It is mainly a wine joint with a very good selection of craft beers in the back. There's a couple of refrigerators with the local favorites (Sam Adams, Berkshire Beer, Long Trail, etc...) and then there's a lot of imports at this place with a bunch of Belgian beers that I've never seen or heard of before and some nice English beers that I haven't seen before either. The selection is pretty good, especially for a place that is called the Wine Thief. The service is good and the staff is knowledgeable about their stuff, even the beer. They tend to try a lot of the stuff that comes in so you can ask them questions and they will know. Worth a shot if you're in downtown new haven and need a quick stop for some good beer. A bit pricey, but it's still a decent place to go for beers.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Very noticeable place on Crown St. right next to Lansdowne Pub. The restaurant next to it has a large window covered by a wine rack filled with bottles -- this is deceiving as it appears to be a part of The Wine Thief.

Nevertheless, despite it's small size, it is larger than the branch on Whitney and has a much more impressive selection.

Inside is very clean and organized. Everything is broken off into sections and is (for the most part) labeled.

The selection is relatively small, but the quality is great. They have quite a few six packs of specialty micros and imports in the fridge, and have an interesting range of single bottles available. Most can be found in other beer-centric stores in town, but I've found a few things there that I can't find anywhere else. It's always worth stopping by just to see what they have.

Their staff is helpful but usually seem a bit pretentious in the way they communicate with you. This is partially due to their small selection, but is also imparted by their steep prices. Quite a few things they have can be found at other shops for dollars cheaper. A few rare items are worth the extra dough, but a majority of their stock is a bit overpriced.

However, what makes this shop stand out from others, is that despite their small selection, they are always ready to look something up online and order it for you. If they don't have it, just ask. They will look it up on the international catalog on their computer and see if they can order it. Even if it costs extra, they are willing to help you out.

So if you are looking for a 12-pack of Sam Adams, best avoid The Wine Thief and hit up the nearest Stop & Shop. But if you are looking for a rare Fuller's Vintage Ale, this should be the first store on your list.

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The Wine Thief in New Haven, CT
Place rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 9 ratings