Craft Beer Cellar

Craft Beer CellarCraft Beer Cellar
91 Ratings
Craft Beer CellarCraft Beer Cellar

Type: Store

51 Leonard St
Belmont, Massachusetts, 02478-2526
United States

(617) 932-1885 | map

Owned and operated by Kate Baker & Suzanne Schalow, formerly of Cambridge Common.

Added by Suzanneccll on 10-09-2010

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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of ManapuaMan
4.64/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

What more can I say about a place with this reputation? Excellent selection for its size, and the vibe is the equivalent of a chill, super friendly beer geek looking to hang out. Nothing snobbish or dismissive. Suzanne introduced herself and then took me on a 10 minute sour-journey. Epic service. A flagship store that truly changed the landscape of the MA retail scene, you'll find everything from Grimm to Logsdon to cheek-puckering sours and everything in between. If you don't ask what's new or what they're drinking these days you're probably missing out.

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Photo of RBCIPA
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I LOVE CBC Belmont. There is a huge and very well organized selection of beers. What makes CBC so great is the staff. They know beer but when asking for advice or recommendations they never talk down to you or talk above your beer knowledge. Great place

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Photo of KriekKrazzed
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Outstanding across the board! The owners passion shows and it's not their only store. People like this are the Generals on the front line delivering us fine craft beers.
"Craft Beer Cellar" is a growing name to keep an eye on!

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Photo of datalager
4.86/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Okay, this place is awesome. I've only ever seen another place with close to the same selection. But I've never been to a dedicated craft beer store, and here are The Cellar's two huge advantages:

1) The staff. I think there were three or four people working on Friday afternoon. All of them exhibited the epitome of friendliness, knowledge, and willingness to help! I am not a beer dunce, but living in CT there are definitely plenty of breweries that we don't share with MA. One the workers greeted my friend and I and pretty much acted as our private guide for close to an hour.

2) You can get anything (yes, ANYTHING) in singles. Best of all is that the prices were completely in line with a typical large liquor store, that is to say perfectly fair.

One cool thing is how they set up the store. You essentially walk into the New England section, and move into the Southeast, Midwest, then West Coast. The back half of the store is all international, and they really do have GOOD international stuff.

Well worth the visit. Get there.

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Photo of hcontos
4.93/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

In from California on a business trip. Always looking for local beers in cans (for my collection) that I can't get back home. Great selection with the ability to get singles of any beer. The guys in the store were extremely helpful. I would suggest Craft Beer Cellar to any beer lover even if your not a can collector like I am.

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Photo of AdamF625
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

You can't beat a store solely devoted to great beer. It is a small store but it's like a candy shop for beer geeks. The selection is great and they get all the limited release beers. The staff is very helpful and share the passion for great beer. Their prices are good and you can buy singles of any beer in the store which I love.

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Photo of mjstacker
4.79/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Hands down the best craft beer store i have ever entered. Filled my basket so fast i had to slow things down before i spent half a pay-check. I drove over an hour to get there and it was completely worth it. Singles, bombers, mixed six-packs, warm, cold, tastings and beer geeks everywhere. It's Christmas everyday. Go here now.

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Photo of Sheppard
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Atmosphere: As others have said, the beer cellar has a very upscale feel to it. It has that boutique shop feel. It's small, intimate. They re-did the floors last year, putting in wood to replace the old carpet. The beer is well displayed and organized (by brewery location). They spend a lot of time in how the different beers are presented and it definitely shows when you enter the shop. That's the formal aspect of the store.

There's also the informal aspect of the store. I never know what music to expect playing, but it definitely helps to make the place more informal aspect of the store and captures the funky, fun, quirky character. It makes the place that much more warm and inviting.

Quality: They spend a significant time on inventory. They're very concerned with having the freshest beer and turnover. They'll even send back beer that isn't fresh. I haven't heard of a lot of stores that do that.

Service: The service is one of the key reasons I keep going back. The owners, Sue and Kate, are tremendous people. They're friendly, approachable and they want to help you find the beer that will make you happy. All of the employees are the same way. If you like IPAs, they'll probably have a suggestion for you. If they don't, they'll ask one of the other very helpful employees. They do tastings during the week, which are a good way of learning about breweries. They have tasting lessons too. The service is impeccable.

Selection: The selection is terrific. They really do their best to try and get everything that they can get their hands on and that people want. An example of this would be a Heady Topper. The Alchemist doesn't ship sell in MA, but CBC will get some in supply from time to time because people want it down here. They get whatever they can from California. They get whatever they can from Germany, New Zealand. If the brewery ships to the state, they will probably have it or they'll get it. If not, they'll look into it and try to get it.

Value: I'd say they're priced about right. I've seen some beers that might be a little more expensive than what's at other stores. I've seen some that are cheaper. I've never thought that it's overpriced though, so they're definitely reasonable.

Overall: This is my beer stop. They're awesome people. They do a great job with social media, letting people know what beers have just come in. I love the way they run their business.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.37/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

personally I break down beer stores into three basic categories: the divey corner store, where you head in a pinch, when pressed for time an need something fairly basic; your go-to, the best place in your neighborhood where you do the bulk of your beer-buying - very solid selection, though you wouldn't necessarily seek it out if you lived elsewhere; and the destination store, which has a selection so good it's worth heading out of your way for. CBC fits into that latter category. just boasts a real nice craft-centric selection top to bottom (and let's face it, when you name your establishment the craft beer cellar, it had better!): numerous offerings from the lineups of the usual suspects coast to coast, on down through myriad local options as well as overseas stuff, notably Belgians. the store isn't huge but the most is made of it, especially without BMC beer horning in on the space. Staff seems friendly and knowledgeable. Now it is a bit pricey but I suppose when you lack the profits from the macros and spirits, you have to keep the lights on. all in all it's a must stop for the local craft aficionado.

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Photo of orangesol
4.57/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in here earlier today while I had some free time in Boston. Doesn't look like the biggest place from the outside but it is much bigger than it appears. Nice relaxed vibe, quite welcoming. Service was good, I was asked if I needed help twice and I talked to the guys a little bit while I was checking out. They seemed to know what they were talking about when it came beer.

Quality was very good, everything I looked at was fresh or aged intentionally. I was able to pick up a Fantôme tulip and Drie Fonteinen pint! I never, ever, thought I would see either of those glasses on a shelf, let alone in the same store. Beer selection was just as good. Lots of different beers from all over the world. Tons of bottles and cans line both walls and down the middle. The likes of Evil Twin, Mikkeller, De Struise, De Ranke, Boon etc. to go along with all of the typical national US brands. Overall an awesome bottle shop. I will definitely return if I am ever in the area again.

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Photo of Jsmick
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The absolute best beer selection that I've ever come across. Their knowledge is extensive, their service impeccable, and their selection is unparalleled. Definitely worth a trip out of the way. This is the type of store that sets the standard. All craft, with absolutely no crap.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.72/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Very nice little shop. Lots of locals, which I was hoping for, and many other craft or imported beers. Nice selection of glassware and even some t-shirts. I managed to drop a bit money here, both in locals and glassware. Glasses, btw, were nicely wrapped and boxed separately to avoid breakage. Very nice touch and much appreciated! Definitely will visit again when in the area. Well worth the drive from Boston.

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Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The absolute epicenter of Craft Beer in Massachusetts and dare I say, New England. Their selection is unreal. They can and will get almost anything out there. Foreign and domestic, reading materials, clothing, glassware, they have it all. The ladies that run the shop make the experience even better. Extremely knowledgeable and courteous. They constantly update the current selection whether it be on the website, facebook and twitter. I cant say enough positive things about the place. They do it right and im glad it's close to me.

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Photo of yottachem
4.93/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

A hands down favorite in the Boston metro for bottles. The atmosphere is always very relaxed and fun. Most of the time when I come in (I've been in at all times of the day) there's some music playing (and excellent choices, generally).

Staff is VERY knowledgeable about both the beers they sell as well as the market in general. The shops focus is on domestics with an emphasis on locals, but they also carry a nice selection of European styles/breweries towards the back of the store. If the shop doesn't have a bottle, just asking the staff will tell you where you could get it or when you could come back to them for it. Everyone there is very friendly and incredibly helpful. These are people that truly love the craft and it shows.

As others have noted, this is a smaller shop, but the space is very well utilized and the staff is constantly restocking. Even still, the selection is impressive given their footprint. Each time I go in (which is almost every week), I'll find something new. Bottle prices are on par with other shops, def. not overpricing.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.54/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

A great little gem of a place. Some shops really just go above and beyond, and this is one of them. A tremendous selection of beer here, including a heavy bias towards local craft/micro options, including Night Shift and Pretty Things. Also a small selection of wine.

Those who know me know that I'm a glassware collector. Well the selection here made me drool, and between the wife and I, we walked out with nearly $200 worth of local and not-so-local glassware. Service was great. Not only was someone right there to ask if we needed help as soon as we walked in, but someone took the time to wrap and box all the glassware we bought. They're running a good operation here. Prices were about spot typical shop prices.

I hate driving anywhere within Boston or its suburbs, but I'd gladly go back to this place if I'm anywhere remotely in the area. And if I lived within 50 miles of this place, I'm sure I'd go broke in no time.

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Photo of KBrennan1000
4.73/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Craft Beer Cellar is the kind of store I dream about. Small shop (square footage-wise) with a serious selection of beer. Glassware and tshirts from several breweries, along with a nice little collection of beer-centric books for sale. The area towards the back where tastings are held was well set up and out of the way of most foot traffic so as not to impede shoppers. The layout of the beer section was a little confusing to me, though if I wasn't on a bit of a time crunch I probably could have figured out the pattern. The store had a slightly crowded feel to it but that could partly be because of all the people crowding around the tiny Boston Terrier puppy who was making friends with what seemed to be a large black Newfoundland by the register. It was pretty awesome. I do think that the small space was well utilized, though. I'm curious to see what a slightly larger Craft Beer Cellar would look like but this was without a doubt a place I would enthusiastically spend my paycheck every week. I hope they open a shop closer to me.

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Photo of ComRock12
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love this store - it is hands-down the best beer store I have ever been to. The atmosphere is super classy and well organized, the owners are extremely knowledgable, and the selection is out of this world. While they don't have the most bottles I have ever seen in a single place, the focus on what they do carry makes up for it. The belgian section at the back of the store is hidden when you first enter, but do not leave without checking it out. Nice selection of glassware and specialty items like mustard as well.

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Photo of hagbergl
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

First off, I have to say that this review is long, long overdue. My girlfriend and I have been coming to the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont for nearly six months now and have really made a tradition of it--going there and picking up some special beers to have with, or after, a weekend meal. So without further ado, a review of the beloved Mecca of beer geek-oriented stores:

Atmosphere (5/5): one of the best aspects of the Beer Cellar is that it is NOT one of those dingy, poorly-lit, somewhat smelly liquor stores that all are familiar with. Instead it feels like a real shop where you'd buy quality products. This isn't just some happy accident, the result of Kate and Suzanne lucking out--the owners have put real love and deep thought Into presentation. The place looks greats, is well-lit, keeps the music at medium-low so you can hear yourself think (rather feverishly about what you should buy, how to resist blowing $100...), and is arranged so that it always looks pleasantly full of fresh brews from all over the world. I'm telling you, I have seen no liquor store of any kind that looks so classy and that so strives to please the customer's sensibilities. You, Craft Beer Cellar have succeeded in making me NOT want to leave your store, while at most others I can't wait to escape.

Quality (5/5): considering that the Beer Cellar is all about quality, I won't waste space here going on and on about it. It should suffice to say that I have never bought a bottle that wasn't fresh from them. No oxidized beer. Ever. Which is amazing, since the type of beer they stock often sits on the shelves at other stores (I'm looking at you Kappy's in Fitchburg!) for eons and spoils. The beers stocked are of tip-top quality, and I have bought some of the most sought after beers--like Speedway Stout and Lost Abbey Inferno--all in mint condition.

Service (5/5): service at the Craft Beer Cellar is always excellent. Whenever I find myself torn over this bottle or that, I'll ask one of the owners, Kate or Suzanne, for advice and they always give their honest and unvarnished thoughts. Whenever I have been unsure about a new beer they've steered me in the right direction. Besides recommendations, they're great about taking requests on beer and glassware, and if you call or contact them on their Facebook page they'll set aside anything that you'd like them to hold for you if you're worried a particular beer will be out before you are able to get to the store. That is service. They also can special order kegs, help organize in-home beer tastings, and have beer geek discount and beers of the month clubs. Pretty, pretty cool. Their website is constantly updated and the owners are very active on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Selection (5/5): the selection at Craft Beer Cellar is impressive to behold. It is well-curated and always growing. They've been near one thousand different beers in stock for a while now. What's on the shelves and in the coolers is fresh. They also have a nice selection of glassware from Belgian (the Trappist breweries' chalices and others from Dupont, Duvel, and Scaldis), German (Weihenstephan weizen glasses), and American breweries (Stone, Maine BC, Slumbrew). I don't think it's possible for a beer geek to be disappointed with what the CBC has to offer.

Value ($$): while some reviewers have said that the Beer Cellar is a little pricey, I think it's reasonable. Yes, the beer to be had at this shop CAN be expensive, but there is quite a range. There are 500 mL bottles of Jack's Abbey beers for less than $3, 22 oz. bottles of SN Torpedo for less than $4 and then there are barrel-aged beers of white whale status by the Bruery in CA for $35. Everything else falls in the middle of that range, generally. Pricing is competitive and compares favorably to stores in Somerville and Cambridge and is almost always better than a shop in downtown Boston. Also, if you're looking to save, they let you buy individual 12 oz. bottles of any beer in the store found in that format. You can't beat that. If you want more than a bomber of Ruination but don't want to spend $20 on a sixer, just take three or four 12 oz'ers! CBC is definitely an easy place to shop smart.

Hopefully this review was helpful and turns more people on to what is, in my mind, the finest little beer shop the greater Boston area has. "Changing the world one craft beer at a time" indeed.

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Photo of shootingbox
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The CBC is essentially worked into my weekly routine. Living in Watertown there are a number of stores with a good selection of craft beer, none however compare to the the selection found at the CBC. I have never walked out of there disappointed. Kate and Suzanne (the owners) are awesome and know their beer. The staff at the store also are very well versed and always looking to help you find the perfect beer and are quick with great recommendations. I try to tell everyone I know about this place and have caught myself on more than a few occasions telling patrons in other beer stores that if they love good beer they need to pay the CBC a visit.

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Photo of brureview
4.86/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

The Craft Beer Cellar has an excellent craft beer and glassware selection. One usually has to order special glassware online, but a number of well-known brewery glasses are available here including Belgian Brewery tulip glasses.

The store is easy to shop in. Beer selection is well organized .
The staff is very knowledgeable, and is familiar with the restocking date of hard to find or seasonal beers.

There are weekly tastings. Their web site, has an events calendar, and is very informative. The site lists all of the beers currently in stock.

I highly recommend this store for craft beer fans..

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Photo of greenengineer
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The one beer store I will go out of my way for. While other stores try to stock everything, the selection at Craft Beer Store is carefully curated. If it is on the shelf or in the cooler, you should try it - nothing industrial or bad in the entire place. (I wonder how many people walk in there looking to pick up a 2-4 of Coors Light?)

The owners are always there, and always have good advice, or thoughts to share. Very frequent tastings of all sorts of local stuff, and they have all the local stuff I cant get anywhere else (Baxter and Slumbrew most recently for me.)

This is the place I'll always go to if I don't know what I always leave happy.

I'm not here for the price, and it's probably toward the high end, but it feels like money well spent. Really the kind of place that should be nurtured and supported.

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Photo of jslot38
4.8/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I challenge any member of this site to visit the Craft Beer Cellar and not walk out with a case of bombers... its very hard not to. The selection for this joint is paralleled only by Julio's from my experience in the area.

I've travelled out twice to the store, and both times I've been impressed with the selection, diversity of styles and regional representation. They have you covered when it comes to locals, including the new guys like Slum Brew, Backlash, Baxter, Idle Hands, Wormtown and new-to-bottle Cambridge.

There is no non-craft brews to be found, no wine, no spirits, which means the focus for both the staff and the customer alike is on the craft beer. And its everywhere here, including four seperate sections - American (with locals seemingly to the front), Cold (including 6'ers and Bombers), International, and Belgian (including some tough to find guys).

Prices are in line with the area (metropolitan) and the quality of product you are getting.

As a side note, their twitter account is very active, and their website is always up to date. Considering this place is a 30 minute drive for me, this is a big plus. I know exactly what they have and when. And the staff is very friendly in store. They also hold plenty of beer samplings with brewery staff on hand.

Overall, this place is a beer lover's dream. A must visit in the area, and definitely holds its own to the other area stores including Julio's, by which I measure all stores.

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Photo of smcolw
4.8/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This was a recommendation from a total stranger. I was not disappointed. There were hundreds (perhaps a thousand+) of beer. There were NO macro-beers there and only a small rack of wines. Otherwise, it was all micro-beers, with an emphasis on the regional (and often obscure) beers.

There was a significant number of European beers. I particularly liked the selection of lambics.

The staff was very helpful. As I was setting aside the beers, the person at the counter rang in my purchases. So, when I came by to pay, they already had my bill ready and the beers boxed. Impressive. They were also knowledgeable about the beers and the styles. Not to sound sexist, both of the staff were women--I thought that was pretty cool.

Lastly, the prices seemed reasonable to me--not cheap but not abusive either.

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Photo of seanwhite
4.56/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Great spot in Belmont (just outside of Boston and some good eating spots right near by).

I went for the release of Slum Brew, a new brewing company out of Somerville, MA, that was doing their initial launch tasting of their new brews.

I also was able to pickup a bottle of Lunch IPA, and a Full Sail 6 pack.

The store is in a small space, but it sure as hell packs a big punch. They have a wide selection of imports, as well as local and non-local domestic craft beers, that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. I really enjoyed meeting the owners and visiting this joint. I will surely come back.

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Photo of Neorebel
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

While visiting a friend we went to this store and quite frankly I was blown away! It's like a high-end clothing boutique only for beer instead. Everything is neatly organized, clean and fresh, with displays that are eye catching and creative. The place is full circle with glassware, books, apparel, and even Stone's hot sauce for sale. Suzanne and Kate were unbelievably kind, as if you were a guest in their homes. I was very impressed with the selection - especially the German and Belgian sections... I scored some Wurzberger Hofbrau and Duvel Triple Hop, as well as De Dolle Stille Nacht. This is less a store ad more of a tourist attraction!

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Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA
Place rating: 4.77 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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