East Coast Road Trip

Discussion in 'North America' started by akotsakis, Mar 1, 2016.

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  1. akotsakis

    akotsakis Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2014 Texas

    In a couple of weeks I will be road tripping from Chicago to the east coast and will be visiting Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, D.C., and Boston. I will be spending a total of 4-5 days out there so I want to get an idea of what good bottle shops are in any of those major cities or along my route. Since there are other things on the agenda for my trip, I won't be able to hit up a ton of breweries...So I wanted to find some bottle shops (in those major cities or along my route) I could pick a nice variety of east coast beers. Additionally, some insight into the distribution/accessibility of beers from the popular breweries like Tree House, Trillium, The Alchemist, Lawsons, etc. would be helpful. Any other suggestions of breweries I should definitely visit or beers from other breweries I should make sure to pick up are welcome!

  2. VictorsValiant

    VictorsValiant Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2014 Oregon

    So jelly.

    Good luck!
    CJNAPS likes this.
  3. The_FishermanJay

    The_FishermanJay Pundit (914) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    Sounds like a great trip!

    Start with Places in the upper navigation bar >> (state you're traveling through) >> (city where you're thinking of stopping). The things there (breweries, brewpub, bottle shops) are listed by ratings so they're a great place to start. There are a metric shit-ton of threads dedicated to The Alchemist and Lawson's distribution and also, I'm guessing, on the Massachusetts breweries.

    Good luck, safe travels and cheers!
  4. gobuccos

    gobuccos Initiate (0) Apr 28, 2014 Ohio

    Pittsburgh- Stop at house of 1000. Great selection and you can get lunch there.

    D.C. Area- Norms Wine and Beer. Located in Vienna, close to DC.. Great selection and Good staff.
  5. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Initiate (0) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Assuming you're coming up to Boston via I-95 (from DC/NYC), you should definitely go to the Trillium brewery in Canton - open every day but Sunday, at the very least from 4-7:30 and right off the highway.

    May also want to stop in Providence - Nikki's Liquors is really, really well-thought-of, and you may be able to get some Grey Sail stuff (like Captain's Daughter) you won't likely find in MA.

    For the rest of MA, I'll make the suggestion that as you head west on I-90 to go back in the direction of Chicago, you do so on a day Tree House is open (W-Th-F-S) because it's about 45 minutes or so west down 90 from the city. Also, that will allow you to go to one or two of the best bottle shops in the state - Julio's in Framingham (right off of 90/495) and Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge (if you go to Tree House, you'll pass Yankee Spirits). Both will likely have Trillium bombers, Night Shift cans and bombers, lots of Clown Shoes bombers, Maine Beer Co. bottles and Castle Island cans. And pretty much any MA brewery with distribution.

    Tree House, if you can make it on a Wednesday, that's probably your best option. They will have 2 beers canned, it's only cans so the line moves fast, and you get the highest limits. For example, last week Wednesday they had 2 canned beers (Sap and Julius) at 8 and 6 per person, respectively; when I went on Thursday, they had 3 canned beers (added Doppelganger) but 3 cans per person of each. Although Thursdays is usually when they can their "big" beer - if there's a "hot" release, it's likely on Thursday.

    Wednesdays they open 12-6 for cans, Thursdays and Fridays 5-8, Saturdays 11-6. Don't get there right at open; let it marinade for an hour or so, and you should be able to get in and out for cans in under 20 minutes. 45 or so for growlers. These numbers may change if they do something crazy like King Julius, Very Green or the like.
  6. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Initiate (0) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Also, you asked about distribution, Tree House does not distribute. It's brewery or nothing. Alchemist you can get if you drive about 3 hours up to Vermont and get to a bottle shop the day Heady is delivered, but that's it. Lawson's you can get in Vermont (SOS on delivery day, Super Session is more widely available) or if you're super lucky, in Connecticut... their website has their distro locations there. Of the breweries you asked about, only Trillium has any sort of distro in a city you're visiting.
    TheIPAHunter and VictorsValiant like this.

    MUTINY Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2015 Virginia

    Some thoughts on the DC-metro area:
    Calvert Woodley in DC is probably worth a stop, I'd expect to find at least a few interesting local options along with fresh seasonal stuff.
    If you can find the time, I'd strongly recommend Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church. It's not at all far from DC & has a really impressive selection.
  8. ThomasJ25

    ThomasJ25 Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2014 Pennsylvania

    When you are in Philly, make sure to stop at Monk's, awesome beer selection and awesome mussels. You should also make a trip about four miles outside the city to Ardmore where Tired Hands are. If it's a Wednesday or Thursday, they will have cans to sell. Their beers are right up there with Tree House.
  9. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,493) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Not sure your route/order of Pittsburgh, DC and Philly, but if in that order, then you'll be coming up I-95. At the border of MD and Delaware, right off the exit is Stateline Liquors, great US craft beer selection and a big Belgian section. Sign up beforehand for their free "club" and you get 10 or 15% off individual bottles.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,069) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @jmdrpi beat me to it. State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD is a must stop beer store. It is just a mile off of an I-95 exit. I would have to travel frequently to DC for business and if time permitted I would stop off at State Line Liquors on the trip back home. Great selection and reasonable prices.

  11. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (183) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    We're not shipping to Atlas yet, so neither Julio's nor Yankee will have CI cans yet unfortunately, but you should be able to find it at many of the shops within the 95 corridor.
  12. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Initiate (0) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    I did not know that. Sorry OP. If you want Castle Island, you can get 'em at Wegman's just off of 95 in Burlington, or any of the Craft Beer Cellars (I see 'em all the time at the one in Belmont).

    I do recommend grabbing some of their stuff while you're coming through.
  13. geodonnokepyo

    geodonnokepyo Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Pennsylvania

    In the Pittsburgh area: Giant Eagle Market District in Shadyside has probably the best bottle selection. Also be sure to grab some Draai Laag beer if you like sours/wilds, they have a taproom in Millvale with bottles to go too.
  14. Johnct

    Johnct Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2014 New York

    Adding on to this. High Spirits is a small liquor store about a half mile away from Nikki's in Providence. If you go to Nikki's you might as well take another 8 minutes to stop here. There's another shop called Bottles in Providence that's a little farther away (like 7 minutes) from Nikki's. If you have time, it's got some cool stuff. Definitely stop at Nikki's though.

    Also there's another Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, it's got a similar selection as the other Yankee Spirits, and always has Trillium, Maine, Night Shift, Clown Shoes, etc. If that's closer to you.
    YS1977 and DeweyCheatem-n-Howe like this.
  15. Ranbot

    Ranbot Pooh-Bah (2,327) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    You have to eat at some point, so I recommend when you're in the Philly area try to grab lunch or dinner somewhere that serves Hill Farmstead or Russian River Pliny the Elder (draft distro only). This website makes them pretty easy to find: http://www.phillytapfinder.com/
    akotsakis and PhillyTapFinder like this.
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    That's an ambitious itinerary for 4-5 days, so I hope you like driving and not eating or sleeping. And don't even try to get close to NYC traffic when heading for Boston. Good luck.
  17. LJTate

    LJTate Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2014 Pennsylvania

    "When you are in Philly, make sure to stop at Monk's, awesome beer selection and awesome mussels. You should also make a trip about four miles outside the city to Ardmore where Tired Hands are. If it's a Wednesday or Thursday, they will have cans to sell. Their beers are right up there with Tree House."

    Second this, Tired Hands is killing it right now and well worth the trip/wait for super fresh cans.
    #17 LJTate, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  18. Ryan15237

    Ryan15237 Initiate (0) Jan 5, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Couldn't agree more regarding Monk's. Best beer bar that I've been to in Pennsylvania.
  19. laketang

    laketang Pooh-Bah (2,959) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona
    Pooh-Bah Society

    and don't forget ebenezers
  20. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,000) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    It depends on your style preference. You've already received a nice amount of good recommendations. I'm a bit partial, though. Based on your itinerary, I would skip the bottle shops and head straight to the source, i.e., Tree House and Trillium. Just me...
  21. akotsakis

    akotsakis Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2014 Texas

    Thanks for all the helpful comments and suggestions!
  22. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Initiate (0) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    You'd better come back after your trip and tell us where you went. Inquiring minds must know!
    akotsakis likes this.
  23. cale_dooper

    cale_dooper Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Close to Tired Hands are two bars that typically have Russian River, Tired Hands, Fat Head, Pizza Boy and Hill Farmstead on draft:



    Also, right nearby, the Whole Foods in Devon, PA has a great bottle selection.

    These are all ~20 minutes apart, and about a half hour outside the city with traffic.
  24. Mshaw78

    Mshaw78 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2016 Virginia

    If you are gonna be in D.C. you should drive out to Loudoun, Va area. Check adroit theory, old ox, crooked run as well as lost rhino. There are also about 10 other breweries in the area, but these are the ones that I can speak to. Especially Adroit Theory and Lost Rhino.
  25. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2012 California

    There is a distributor in philly that gets in Cigar City. Maybe someone can chime in on this.

    If heading north on 95 from philly there is a super buy right liquor at the Pennington circle in Pennington NJ that is about 5 min from 95 ( the non turnpike stretch...where you have to take route 1 through Princeton to get back to the pike.).

    When I lived in the area it had the best selection. They occasionally get some really nice things in.

    If you hop back on 95 and take route 1 through lawrenceville/Princeton there is a joe canals right off the the road that has a decent selection as well. Check for freshness though on certain things (port wipeout I bought once was really old). Always used to get six point stuff there and some Maine beers too. Those are the only two in Central NJ I can recommend.

    In Northern Jersey? Kane!
    #25 TriggerFingers, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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