Coastal Wine & Spirits

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Coastal Wine & SpiritsCoastal Wine & Spirits
29 Ratings
Coastal Wine & SpiritsCoastal Wine & Spirits

Type: Store

103 N Main St
Branford, Connecticut, 06405-3034
United States

(203) 481-9400 | map

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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by mltobin:
Photo of mltobin
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%

Coastal is in Branford, very close to the East Haven border on US-1. It is a large store overall with a decent amount of space allocated to beer. As other reviewers mentioned, the temperature in the store is higher than it should be. Their selection is better than most alternatives in the immediate area. Coastal carries NEBC, Cottrell, Rogue, DFH, Cisco, St. Bernardus, Orval, Chouffe, others. The staff is friendly. If you find yourself traveling back from a shorepoint, this is an easy stop that is worth it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped by on my way to Providence based solely on BA ratings. Well worth my stop since I'm not generally in this part of the country. Good selection but nothing incredibly outstanding.

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Photo of jhavs
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Big liquor store with a good selection of beer and craft beer. It always seems to be crowded and loud when I stop in, and though they get deliveries of sought after brews, I have never seen them on a shelf.

If you are looking for a wide variety of craft brews, they do have a huge and well put together selection of the beers that you can get with CT distribution.

It always seems like I have to wait in line at one of the many registers for at least 10 minutes.

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Photo of Tomdee74
5/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I haven't posted in years I think and can't believe I'm finally posting about coastal my go to package store for years.

It's my personal favorite place and every time I go I'm there about an hour as the selection includes just about every beer you can legally get in CT. The beer guys there are the best. I can't say enough about them. If you are in the area this is a place you have to check out.

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Photo of Invinciblejets
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of CTJman
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of xtonytx
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of dipaslife4me
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of BillyGam
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of herringtondap
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kristin747
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of ManMoosePig
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of von_kaiser
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

WAAAY underrated! I've never scene a craft beer selection to the extent I saw today. Knowledgable and very helpful staff. $$ is on par w/ the rest of them. Beer enthusiasts, If you're traveling through this area of the state, this, among any other liquor store for that matter, is a MUST STOP!

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Photo of smutty33
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of RMoeNay
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of ferrari29
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

They had Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, cases of it. Impossible to find back home in Chicago. 2 full aisles of domestic and international beers. Wide range of liquors and a huge wine selection. Service was good, they answered a few wine questions for my wife. We were very please with the wine purchase we purchase based on a few recommendations. They also answered a couple of beer questions I had regarding the status of a sour and how often they were in. The rep knew the beer I was talking about and said that it comes in rarely, and when it does, its off the shelf the same day.

Overall, probably the best stop in Branford, CT. A must if you're in the area.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Re-review on 06/05/2015 since they moved into a bigger place and re-did everything.

Thankfully, this is my go to place, mostly because the people and the beer are great. It's also only a few minutes from my place which just adds to the awesome-ness. Any other place near me is pale in comparison when it comes to the beer and wine selection.

There is an good freezer section of the macros and a bunch of micros like Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Smutty, Dogfish Head, NEBCo, Founders, some Stone, Rogue, and other local stuff. Berkshire bombers and growlers and the occasional single that lost its way from the six pack.

Pretty great shelved stuff, all the large micros accounted for (Like what was mentioned before), some good imported stuff like Sam Smith's, Weihenstephaner, Paulaner, Spaten, Hoegaarden, St. Ambroise, Westmalle, St. Bernadus, good seasonal stuff, nice bomber section with some interesting finds. They've got a local selection of a bunch of other smaller brewery selections. By far the most expansive in terms of breweries and styles.

Service is great, gotten to know a few of the guys and they always talk beer with me and fill me in on the latest arrivals.

Prices are normal for CT. Some of the smaller package stores around me have higher prices so I can't really find cheaper. Pretty much supermarket prices on the normal stuff, I think this is due to CT liquor laws or something.

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Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%

Stopped here to stock up for a weekend long wedding, and maybe bring a couple goodies back home.

First, the place is not very appealing from the outside, and even less so on the inside. The floor was dirty, and there was dust everywhere...even on some fresher bottles. It was also a bit hot inside, probably in the upper 70's.

I had been warned from previous reviews about freshness on beer, so I was sure to stick with things that were dated and/or aging compatible.

There is an aisle and a half dedicated to craft beers, the half containing many six-packs, the rest singles. Nothing too crazy here, but a solid selection of craft staples, as well as some locals which I was happy to try out.

Service was good, out cashier was very fast and offered an itemized receipt, he also boxed all our beers for us.

Overall, pleased with the visit...cant imagine much better in the area. TURN UP THE AC AND CLEAN.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

I finally got around to stopping in here (after living in nearby New Haven for 2 1/2 years), and I was glad I stopped by. There's a decent amount of beer (six-packs and singles) in the back-right cooler, and two aisles full of solid craft/import offerings (well, one full aisle of cases and sixers, and one half-aisle of singles). From what I could tell, they had pretty close to everything that's legally available in the state of CT, minus a couple random things I've seen at the Wine Thief. Marginally better selection than Amity and New England Beverage Company, and comparable prices (although generally a bit higher than the latter). A few bottles were on sale, and I wound up picking up a couple of these as well as two singles that I'd been planning on buying for a while (Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer and ST Choklat), so overall I was quite happy with my trip. The service was what I'd expect as a large store like this - one person asked me if I was looking for something specific, I said no, and that was that. Fine. This place is definitely worth a look if you're in the area, but it didn't impress me enough to become my go-to beer store.


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Photo of RunawayJim
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%

I grew up in Branford and lived here until about 4 years ago when I moved to Providence. Visiting family for the holiday weekend, I decided to check this place out to see if they had anything I can't get in RI. I had been here before when I still lived here and they had a large amount of beer, but hadn't heard of the craft beer revolution yet. They're finally getting it and it shows. Upon entering, they had a guy doing a tasting of the entire Harpoon lineup, including the latest 100 bottle series (Firth of Fourth Ale).

As with most large liquor stores, the store is mostly booze and wine. The beer is kept to one large shelf at the end and a bunch of coolers on the back wall in that corner. They had a lot of New England beers (though I didn't notice any of the big Smuttynose bottles). They had a few Belgians (Chimay most notably and 4 packs of Duvel). They had a bunch of English and Irish beers. The majority was American. They had the whole Rogue lineup in 6 packs (I didn't know a lot of Rogue was available in 6 packs). The one brewery I was interested in, but couldn't get in RI, was Stoudt's. I picked up their Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Double IPA. They also had all the CT beers - Hooker, New England Brewing, and Farmington River (and supposedly Old Burnsides, though I didn't notice any). They also had Trout River from VT, something I can't get in RI.

It was pretty well organized and pretty well priced. Being a big store, you tend not to get personalized service, but there happened to be someone organizing the beer at the time and he asked if I needed any help, which is more than I usually get at these large liquor "supermarkets". This store has potential, though I don't know what kind of distribution issues exist in CT. They also seem to be trying to cash in on the craft beer movement, which isn't a bad thing (this is based on a post in the BA forums about a job opening for beer manager there). Please note, however, that my rating is based on my experience today and not future potential, though I do hope this store improves as the nearest big/decent beer store to the town I visit most often is 15-20 min away.

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Photo of arnulfooxblood
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Stopped in while I was driving through Branford. Lots of signs on the front windows advertising specials.

Beer selection takes up the last aisle on the right hand side of the store. Very good selection of six packs, wide selection of Anchor Brewing that can be harder to find. Rogue, Dogfish, lots of local brews. Found discounted Saranac Nut Brown Lager in "Season's Best" packaging at $3.99 per six pack. Most sixers ran for around $7.99, reflecting the recent price increase.

Decent selection of 750s, including some Belgians and Belgian styles.

Talked to one of the people that worked there, said they would be happy to order anything that they didn't have in stock.

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Photo of waldo567
4/5  rDev -4.1%

This review is a little biased because I live in Pennsylvania and we would kill to have any place like this in my area, so this review is based on my limited expereince with package stores like this.

When you walk in the beer is on the far right. A long isle with American micros in the first half and imports on the second half. There is a cooler in along the back wall but I didn't check it out.

There's plenty of beer to choose from especially if your from out of town like me. I picked up a few Unibroues, a Ommegang, and a few local selections. I wish I could go to a place like this in PA and pick up singles, but that's another issue.

Overall, a great place to go if your in the area. The selection is good and the prices seemed reasonable.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.05/5  rDev -26.9%

visited this place last week. easy enough to get to off exit 54 of I-95 northbound.. two quick rights off the exit if my memory serves me. next to a bike shop. visited during their shelf-stocking hours, so the place was a little cluttered. no points off for that.

beer selection is set up just as it is in amity new haven (owned by the same people so i hear)... far right side has two long aisles... first one closest to front is american and then imports further back. coolers along the rear wall. shelves are smaller in height and therefore hold more beers. whereas amity boasts alot of belgians and germans, this store focuses on polish beers. small selection of belgians is really unimpressive.. duvel, one corsendonk, some chimay. lindemans, but no cantillon. disappointing. american section is decent.. most victory sixers were as fresh as can be for the area and they carried some of the sought-after stuff locally like river horse, cooperstown, hooker, and dogifsh limited stuff like 120 min and pangaea.

prices were average.

coolers were mostly macro 30 packs with a door or two full of sam smith, sierra nevada, etc. spotted some old liberators on the bottom of one fridge.

came here looking for some old belgians that have been sitting around or some other treasure, nothing. pretty much your average beer store.

oh, and i overheard an interesting conversation between two stock boys.. one said, "you told me to rotate the beers, but it's not my job. you know why it never gets done?" "why?" "because its the drivers' job, and you know them. they're lazy m-f-s and they don't do s-. these beers are never gonna get rotated." "guess not, i aint gonna do it."

i wont be going back. too far out of the way for its neglect and mediocrity

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Photo of paulie
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

I am editing (re-writing, actually) this review based on new experiences since my first review 16 months ago. I have seen a decline in quality at the store since then and can no longer laud it the way I did.

At the time of my first review, the beer buyer was a committed Beer Geek, deeply knowledgeable and eager to spread the blessings of Better Beer to everyone. He has since moved on. His replacement is very nice and seems to care, but has much less accumulated knowledge and is not taking the same care with the stock.

This isn't to say that the place has gone to the dogs. I still stop in there and the selection is still way better than average. They respond quickly when you ask for things to be ordered and they take suggestions to heart. But it is not on the leading edge where it was. And I'm concerned about storage conditions in the back rooms.

The final straw came earlier this week when I stopped in to prepare for a homebrew club meeting. The theme was "porters", so I quickly grabbed 4 of my favorites: Hooker, Anchor, Cisco, and Sinebrychoff. I was in a hurry, so I didn't check dates or bottle conditions very well. Imagine my embarassment at the meeting when every single one turned out to be either well past its prime or obviously damaged in some way. Not only were they not what they should have been, they were downright undrinkable.

Now I know that 3 of these beers (the exception being the Hooker) are not fast movers and that better-selling beers from Coastal have been fresh and tasty. Still, I'd expect a store that really cares to remove old product from the shelves at some point.

So, I have to downgrade my review here. But I remain hopeful that the store will someday rise again to the level it once held.

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Coastal Wine & Spirits in Branford, CT
Place rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 29 ratings