This is a small store with a good selection and nice people.
The quality is first rate. Almost everything was new and 'in season'. I noticed a couple of beers with dust on them but could not find a date to see how old. When I asked they said that they were around a while, very honest. I actually put a few bombers in my cart and later one of the employees what out of him way to let me know that that was an old date on the bottle. They said if I wanted to try it and it was not drinkable I could bring it back and get a refund, Very nice.
The service was excellent, lost of attention, and all my questions answered.
The selection was much better than your normal beer store, But a little thinner when the beer stores I hit regularly. They had most every style you may want and even had 4/6 packs of some brews you normally only see bombers or mages of. The lady I spoke to said the switched distributors recently and were having trouble ordering some others brews for restock. Some of the shelves had empty slots and the bomber selection was not that great.
The first thing I noticed was the prices. They have single, bombers, 6/4 packs, and cases all marked at what I recognized was a discount. Normally at most places that offer a quantity discount I would have to buy a full case (24) of singles or 12 bombers to get their price. It was noticeable and I like it. I wish this was my first stop of the day I would have saved a lot of money.
This is a small store with better then BIG beer store prices so it is top grade and worth going to each season. But it here, If they don't have it go some where else.
Prosit Und Zum Wohl! MK
Vibe was pretty sterile, as it's really a run of the mill liquor store that doesn't really throw props to the "art of beer" so to speak, but hey, no big deal. Staff made themselves available to assist as both gentlemen politely asked me if they could help me find anything, so kudos on showing appreciation for someone willing to spend money. The beer selection itself was not mind blowing by any measure, but a decent selection of locals and as an extension, lots of cans (this is my new bonus point area - cans). Prices were decent, no huge complaints. I'd probably seek out a different shop if releases and limited stuff is your game but if you are in town and just want to grab a six or so (no singles) of some nice local stuff (or regional / national craft if you wish), than this place will do just fine.
A: Your run of the mill, run down, strip mall liquor store. Clean for what it is and in a safe area (unless you're George Wallace. It's in the strip mall he was shot in at a campaign rally in 1972)
S: Current owners and staff don't know about beer and don't care. They'll happily look up stock for you in their computer but that's about it.
S: Better than average for the type of store it is. Adequate selection of local (Brewer's Art, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Stillwater, DFH, etc) and various US micros (Great Divide, Bruery, Southern Tier, etc). Belgian/Import selection is limited but has some surprises (Cuvee Renee, Hardys, De Dolle, Deus, Orval, Dupont, etc).
V: Generally cheap. Bernardus 12 4 packs are 15. Local stuff is typically a buck or two cheaper per 6 pack or bomber than other nearby places.
Not worth going out of your way for, but you might find something cheap or old if you're nearby. The remnants of the previous owners stock that garnered this place higher reviews are now picked clean. 6 months ago they still had 2005 3F Schar. Kriek 750s for 22 and 2006 Orvals for 4.50. No more. Sigh.
I drove quite a ways to check out this place. This store is hidden in a corner of a very congested strip mall. I didn't feel quite safe here. Granted there is a good selection of craft beers that leans toward the usual suspects rather than any hard to find brews. Lots of regionals like Southern Tier, Weyerbacher, Victory, Dogfish Head, etc. Plenty of macros as well as wine and liquor. Prices are fair. Overall, a good standby store, but veteran beer geeks probably wont find anything they havent seen before.
Now that I have visited this establishment, I am surprised at the rather high ratings that it receives. It is definitely no frills, and it had some decent prices on what they carry. However, the selection is nothing remarkable. There was nothing to be found that I could not find in numerous other stores - the selection pales in comparison to Perfect Pour (which is not that far away). The staff had very little knowledge of beer, and the store had an off-putting odor. If you live in the area it might be a convenient place to stop, but it was not worth going out of my way to visit. I am venturing a guess that a change in ownership may have occurred since the previous review written in 2008.
I would like to rate this place higher but I have to be honest. I don't think I have ever been in a place like this before. In Astor's all beer is treated equal. Having looked around before committing to purchasing anything I found the shelving and arraigning of the beer to be eclectic. The pricing also seemed a bit eclectic but in general quite reasonable. In the interest of my own purchasing habits I will not reveal the items I thought were under priced but in particular, I did think the Sam Adams was overpriced. The selection was interesting to say the least there were a couple of dozen micros, several Belgians, a hand full of Germans and British Isles. Towards the back there were singles, bombers and 750s, a curious mix consisting of everything on the sixers shelves and more. The service was smiling and happy, but I am not sure if they could answer any beer related pressing questions; Maybe, one of these times I will ask one. From my experience at Astor's I would say check the dates but it doesn't seem like they keep enough stock of the good stuff (there were quite a few holes on the shelves) for you to have to worry much about getting an old beer.
Astor is on my way home from work, lucky me. This place has one of the best selections that I've seen. Many beers are sold individually so you can try new stuff without having a six pack of beer you don't like. The only issue is their inventory turnover which is quite slow especially for some of the rarer and pricier items. For some big beers like DIPA's, Imperials, Barleywines, and Belgians this could be a plus. Be sure to look for expiration dates if you are buying quick drinking beers like wheats or pilseners.
I've been to the store at least a dozen times and have never been offered any assistance. If you need someone to hold your hand and tell you what beer to buy then don't go here, if you know what you want, this is your spot.
A step-up from the typical liquor store in Maryland. Astor isn't exactly on the beaten path, but if you know where it is (next to the Giant right off Rt 1 in Laurel), you'll likely go back. Their "by the bottle" selection is rather small (and old) but they carry nearly all of the regional micros and the most popular German and Belgian imports. I don't know what the market is for some of those selections, but a few have been on the shelf for awhile. Then again, the empty shelves you find (especially in the imports section) lead me to believe they turn over their stock regularly. Astor is one of those stores that, though you might not find something really unique, you will almost always find at least one six-pack of virtually all of the typical brands--something that cannot be said of your local liquor store where "Beck's" is considered a premium import. Case in point, they carry the entire Einbecker line instead of one or two varieties. Definitely a place you can return with some confidence that they'll have something you like.
Visited here on a Monday evening around 7pm and pretty much had the place to myself.
Located equidistant between I-95 and the BW Parkway, Astor Liquors is situated in the back left corner of a strip mall between M&M Gold and Diamonds and Beauty Discount. It was only a few turns and a few miles off of the Parkway and pretty easy to locate. Numerous parallel lines of fluorescent tubes were visible through the macro beer, neon sign filled windows.
Walking in and grabbing a cart from the left, I made my way to the 6 pack row which is a four foot high shelf on the right side of the store. Dont be initially discouraged by the large number of malternatives and jug wine, and walking a few feet down the aisle youll find plenty of selection from Brooklyn, Smuttynose, Bar Harbor, Flying Dog, Old Dominion, Yards, Pyramid, Otter Creek, Abita, and Weyerbacher. They were arranged loosely by geographic area starting with the New England area and moving across the country. There was a good depth to the selections from each brand. The other side of the shelf is filled with 4/6 packs of Belgian, German, and English beers as well as singles and larger bottles beers from these countries including t Smisje, Liefmans, Corsendonk, St. Bernardus, Rodenbach, Weihenstephaner, Sam Smiths, Daleside, and Coniston.
Along the back wall were the bombers and 750s of Allagash (Curieux, Musette, 11th Anniversary, and Victoria Ale), Weyerbacher (Black Hole, Insanity, Imperial Pumpkin and a few others), 3F (Gumball Head and Brian Boru), Rogue (a whole bunch), Great Divide (Titan and Yeti), as well as some Fantôme (Black Ghost), Cantillon (Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru), and Mean Time. There were more than a few empty slots on the shelf which I attribute to it being Monday after a weekend of selling a ton of beer at great prices. The Belgian selection was not overly deep, and I would have liked to have seen a slightly larger selection of 750s and bombers, but overall their selection was respectable.
Their prices were pretty dang reasonable and in some cases downright cheap. Allagash Curieux for $14, Chouffe Houblon for $8, Aventinus Eisbock for $3, Cantillon for $14. Weyerbacher Pumpkin for $4.25. The deals just went on and on.
The quality seemed good and the turn over looked fairly brisk. There were no craft beers in the refrigerated section on the back left side, so all product is at room temperature and your green bottled beer may suffer a bit under the bright and ample fluorescent lights.
I didnt have anybody check to see if I needed anything, but the woman at the register was pleasant and wrapped the single bottles before placing them into a paper bag so there was no chance of breakage.
Overall, Astor Liquors had a decent selection and fantastic prices. The store has plenty of room to maneuver with you cart and while you may have to climb past tall stacks of BMC, you might just find some treasures in the process. Worthy of strong consideration if in the Laurel area.
The store is located in the corner of a shopping center and doesnt hint at all to its great beer selection from the outside. When you walk in there is a fairly long shelf forward and to the right full front and back of 6 packs and imports that seemed very well organized. Theyre were several selections both local to Maryland and imported that I have not seen in Northern Virginia, like Claypipe. All the prices seemed equal or cheaper than I have seen in NOVA. In the back across the wall are the shelves for the bigger bottles and the 12oz singles. Jolly Pumpkin was the main line I found that was absent from my usual shops. There were a few other scattered beers I hadnt seen before in the area ever or in awhile Hebrew Rye Double IPA and Fantome Black Ghost spring to mind. Also noteworthy was 3F Dreadnaught which I havent seen in years in VA. I was approached several times to see if I needed help and the cashier seemed very careful everything rang up right. A great stop thats not far off 95 if you head past the area.
This place is easy to pass by. It's not exactly in a posh environment, and normally liquor stores like this cater to the non-craft-brewed bottles of Malt Liquor. Needless to say, if you can find it you will be glad you did.
Selection is great, and is well laid out. You can actually turn around and breath in the asiles here, unlike some other similar stores in the area. In fact, the beer selection is so spread out that it's easy to miss things - American craft brewed six's have an asile, imports have half an asile, and big bottles are against the wall in another part of the store. You really do have to do some searching to find everything. Selection is outstanding, and the stock appears to move - they only had the newest Hops Infusion packaging. Only a few of the Flying Dog big bottles appeared to be permenant residents.
I talked to one of the staff (Peggy, Penny?) who seemed to be in charge of the beer. She really did know her stuff. I'm not sure how knowledgeable the rest of the staff are, but if you can find her you'll be all set.
Finally, the prices were very, very good. Some six packs were 1-3 dollars lower here than other local stores - a VERY good thing. Hopefully that won't change, because it is the icing on the cake.
This place is tucked away in a non-descript mall. You would not think it would have much to offer in the way of craft brews but it has a suprisingly good selection. Prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly.
This is places focuses on selling craft beer by the bottle or six pack, a lot of which is chilled. The majority of store space is devoted to cases of the domestic beers and wines.
The next closest store with a good selection is Corridor Wine and spirits. For me I try to buy at Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits in Washington, DC which is the mecca in terms of selection. Larry Robinson is there beer specialist there and I have yet to meet someone at a store with his knowledge.
I decided to check out Astor Liquors after reading a forum post on good liquor stores in the Annapolis area. I am very glad that I took the time to check it out.
Quality: American, Belgian, English, German. Astor stocks singles and sixers of all types. In addition to that, a decent wine and liquor selection abound.
Service: Nothing specifically to say, although the cashier did double check to ensure that I did want the $7 bottle of JW Lee's Harvest Ale. I liked that she took the time to double check and avoid surprises.
Selection: Excellent selection that equals Corridor Fine Wines. A great selection of singles (DFH 120 min, Allagash Four, Rochefort, JW Lees) and sixers (Heavyweight, Celebrator, St. Bernardus).
Within a 3 mile area, two of the best liquor stores (Corridor and Astor) have set up shop. Check 'em both and you will have a well stocked beer cellar.