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DownTown Wine & Spirits

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DownTown Wine & SpiritsDownTown Wine & Spirits
81 Ratings
DownTown Wine & SpiritsDownTown Wine & Spirits

Type: Store

225 Elm St
Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144-2918
United States

(617) 625-7777 | map

None provided.

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 70
Reviews by CAMRAhardliner:
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4/5  rDev -2.4%

I visited this place on my most recent trip to Boston a few days ago. The selection blew me away.

The beer section takes up two long rows and two banks of coolers on the back wall. All the goodies are there; Alesmith, Stone, Victory, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Girardin, Dogfish, Allagash, the Trappists, Moylands, Avery, Bear Republic, Two Brothers, Fantome among many others. Unfortunately most bombers are not in the fridges and some beers have quite a bit of dust on them. The store is also not air conditioned so there could be some quality issues, though the beers Ive had have tasted fresh.

When I was there one guy was sitting at a table in the beer section and didnt even acknowledge me or other customers, and I was there for almost half an hour.

Overall I was happy with this place. The prices seemed reasonable but I have had very little comparison with American beer stores, Ive only been to 3 others.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Glider
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5

This place has a great selection of beers. That is the only good thing I can say about it.

The layout is a mess, with several dead-end aisles and stacks of cases regularly blocking other beers on shelves. There are no current prices listed, and when asking the staff I have gotten "estimates" that ended up being way off the mark. They have a price book that is also way out of date. The staff I have interacted with were not helpful and had a disaffected attitude. Prices are higher than average, so you'll get a surprise when you check out. If all you want is beer selection and price is no issue, then feel free to shop here. I'll be going elsewhere.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Phoodcritic
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of rjp217
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of SveNss0N
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of benzalman
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Acaval
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My college roommate and I are both beer fans. Whenever she comes to visit, I bring her here. Fabulous selection, and usually reasonable prices (I got some Bourbon County stout for a dollar less than what she pays in Florida).

This last visit said roomie had been raving about a few beers she had recently tried, one of which being the Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. As we were walking down the aisle and she was talking about how wonderful it was, four bottles jumped out at us on the shelves. Her praises were not unfounded. :)

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they don't necessarily breathe down your neck, which I like. They have always made good recommendations, and though I don't shop there frequently, I am never disappointed.

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Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of papat444
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Post EBF bottle shopping :)

Beer is in the back and they have a massive selection that seems to go on and on. Huge selection of Belgians, lots of imports and pretty much all the U.S. craft beer available to MA. Was greeted when i entered asking if i needed help with my selection. Very nice place, will certainly come back again.

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Photo of thesarahfuller
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of cincysig
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of seanchai
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dreis
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev -2.4%

4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

Offering this feedback from recent visit during a Wednesday afternoon visit (2/2013). New management/owners? The beer shelves were being restocked , staff very put out looking but in their defense the aisles were full with recent deliveries that they were trying to stock and everyone looked overwhelmed . Check out service was uncertain of what to do and everything about the atmosphere seemed in flux.

Always found hard to find brands ( Belgian , Australia/NZ, UK, Germany) that many stores do not offer. Relatively decent pricing in the past,. Prices seemed high during recent visit and far fewer selections , again new management or cleaning out past prime stock? US craft brands well represented . One of the best selections in Boston/Cambridge Area. Hope whatever is going on gets resolved quickly.

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Photo of CAPorter
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I have been going to this store for years. Although some of the staff has changed, I always try to get to know the current beer buyers and they are always happy to meet someone passionate about beer. They are among the few stores around that offer cellared/aged beer, and they make sure to try it before offering it to the public so they don't sell something that went bad. Their beer selection is as good as any you'll find in the area outside of Julio's which is quite a hike from Boston. Some folks have mentioned the service being a little aloof, but every time I walk in, they greet me with a smile and tell me about the cool new stuff they got in. If they haven't, it's because they are talking to another customer, which is exactly what they should be doing! Their prices aren't cheap but fair, and if you were to compare them to Ball Sq., they are cheaper across the board. The guys at Downtown have definitely been an asset for this fan of quality craft beer. While, I may differ in my personal taste than some of the staff, I find it to be a strength since I get to become more aware of things that might not be on my radar. They are also good at allocating the rare stuff so that some tool doesn't walk out with the all of it before anyone else gets a chance.
One person mentioned something about the beer being past its prime, I usually get stuff that has just come in, so no problems for me!

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Photo of BostonHops
4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

what bothers me about this review is that the service counts equal to the selection, thus the overall grade here will be dragged down by a component i feel shouldn't have as much weight as it does... to me selection should carry more clout than service; no question the latter is nice, but c'mon. i'd rather have options - that's what'll keep me coming back.

and i'll definitely be back to downtown wine and spirits. recommended by other MA BAs in the wake of PHP closing, i was hoping not to have wasted my time (davis square being a bit of a hike from brookline). i wasn't. awesome selection with a breadth of options from the major national breweries to locals and one of the better belgian selections i've seen in the boston area. picked up ithaca flower power; both samael's and old ruffian from avery; weyerbacher's 14, quad, and double simcoe; he'brew jewbelation fourteen; founders double trouble; voodoo-vator; pannepot old fisherman's (reserva); and some stuff from southern tier. much more to be had - could have kept going but was limited by what i could carry on the T (and an impatient wife).

as for the service, it wasn't that it was bad, just not particularly memorable either way. was neither approached for nor sought help. guys at the register were friendly enough, commented on a couple of my picks. as mentioned, to me this is forgivable. i'd prefer having a decent selection - i can choose for myself. with marty's and now PH provisions closing, my beer treks are getting farther...

(originally reviewed on: 01-05-2011)

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

We stopped in here on Saturday night on the way home from ACBF for souvenirs. Nice selection of brews available for sale tucked into the back end of the liquor store. Lots of great micro labels to the left with world offerings to the right. I was able to find some nice items to take home with me. Service seemed no existent, but I really wasn't in need of any. Seems a bit pricy even by Boston standards. I would go back if I was in the area, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to shop here.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

I go here all the time, awesome selection including stuff you really won't find elsewhere else. But one risk of awesome selection is you develop very old beer. I have purchased beers I know I enjoy that have obviously expired. But knowing that, you can find rare high ABV and kick ass sour beers here.

I have rarely felt like I got any kind of deal (w/ the exception of the occasional mis-marked price. Everything is about 10-30% more expencive than I find it anywhere else. But like I said I go here all the time.... and the selection rivals any other store in the area.

I have been overcharged more than once which totally sucks. And it's kind of degrading asking for money back. Also I have never found the staff helpful. Especially if I need help.

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Photo of beerman999999
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I lived in Somerville for four years, so this is my regular place. It has a deceptively large collection of beers. Last time I asked them, I think they said they had 1100 different bottles. They have a great foreign selection of beers, but you never really know how long they've been sitting there (if there's no bottling date), because there are so many different harder to find imports. I like the back of the store with a decent selection of solid beers like Founders, Alesmith, Lost Abbey, The Bruery, etc.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

downtown wine and spirits.. as many have said the wine selection seems very impressive (i like wine but i dont know a lot about good wineries etc to personally say how the selection is but many friends who can have said its quite good).. the beer selection is very good here particularly when it comes to six packs. the bomber selection is good too but not nearly as extensive as the six packs and they seem to focus on having a lot of a particular brewery instead of a few things from a bunch of breweries. i have noticed also that for some of these items they have collected quite a bit of dust so purchase with caution. ive generally gotten good service here but did once get the 'i couldnt be bothered to assist you' attitude but that was a one-off so i wont say that you will get the same. pricing is a bit expensive compared to other places but it is smack in davis and does have a great selection so a buck more for a beer seems understandable. not a place i go to often but im never disappointed when i do drop by.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

I was passing by after having dinner in the area and I was in need of some good beer to ring in the new year. I walked in the front door and from that view all I could see was a good wine selection and a few rows of spirits with a small area for beer. I almost thought this was going to end up being a mistake. I was wrong. Once I actually managed to get to the beer section I saw that is went on into another section filled with many good beers. I wondered for some time looking for just the right beer for the new year and with so much to choose from it was taking more time then I expected. The service wasn't bad. I did get some help finding one beer I was looking for in particular that was a local and sometimes hard to find. The prices were good and I will be seeking this place out whenever I find myself in the area again.

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Photo of zackcg
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Downtown has an amazing craft selection. But when I visit I tend to make my selections from the coolers only. A lot of the shelf-kept options sit and sit and sit, now the 22oz rack never has dust on it, but too many of the 12oz stuff for the mix six options are just completely faded and not worth chancing in my opinion. Stick with the fridges and or bottled on dates and youre in the clear.

One thing I will say that may seem contrary is that Ive had only positive customer service at downtown. One time a girl rang up a single 120z as 6-pack and I didnt realize until a couple days later, I called and they made it right without conflict. They have also acknowledged some of my inquiries so attentively that they have offered to contact distributors directly to make certain brews available (i never took them up on it though).

If you're in davis sq looking to pick up, downtown is worth the a pit stop, otherwise stick with the great bars in the area.

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Photo of Jordan1985rec
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%

The problem I have with this place is the staff. While there have been a couple of people who were quite friendly here, mostly the staff is a sullen and often downright rude. I always enter smiling and leave frowning. The selection is fine, but so is Porter Sq Liquors and that staff is far friendlier. I live right near this place, but I tend to avoid it.

Unlike what many other posters have said, I have not had a problem with the actual beer, but that may be reflective of my selections. Typically I go out to pubs/beer bars for the good craft beer in this area, so when I'm having people over I'll tend to go with safe choices like Sam Adams, Harpoon, Stone Cat, etc. These beers probably move well, so there aren't left to be ruined on the shelves. I have picked up some bottles from the warm shelves, like Meantime IPA (awesome), and some Fullers' stuff I like. Those have been fine.

As I mentioned, my problem is not with the selection, but with the staff who could stand to be friendlier.

I do understand that people working in liquor stores have to deal with some pretty crappy situations. That being said, not all of us as grim winos buying plastic bottles of cheap vodka, some of us just want to stop in grab a six-pack of good beer on a Friday.

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DownTown Wine & Spirits in Somerville, MA
Place rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 81 ratings