pras

Favorite Beer Shops in DC, MD and VA

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What is everyone's favorite shops to buy beer? My go to stores are Rodmans and Total Wine. Sometimes I hit up Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits. When I want something really isoteric I hit up Connecticuit Avenue Wine & Spirits in DC. Anyone have any other good spots I should check out?

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Honestly, the P St Whole Foods has a pretty great selection. But prices aren't always the best except for sale items (which is usually nothing at all interesting). They have a great selection of bombers; I usually find something new to try there.

In the same neighborhood Cairo Liquors on 17th & Corcoran. Small shop, but a good, eclectic selection especially on imports. I haven't been since moving out of the 'hood a couple years ago, but I assume they are keeping the same stock. I always had to be careful to check dates on bottles when available, some of it was clearly past its prime.

D'Vines (14th St, Columbia Heights) and D'Vinos (18th/Florida, Adams Morgan) have diverse selections with a good focus on local breweries (but no DC Brau from what I can tell). During the brief period when growler fills were quasi-legal they installed a multi tap system. Here's hoping the legislation around that gets sorted out, it would be a great resource.

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I'd also recommend:

-Ace Beverage for a small but usually excellent seasonal selection.

-Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits isn't bad in a pinch and its literally feet from the metro

-Lost Dog Cafe in VA (McLean & Arlington) isn't bad, particularly that they've actually expanded enough to put beers in the coolers vs. sitting out warm

-Westover Market (Arlington) has a great selection, but I've had skunked beers from them before

If you're looking for growler fills, the Clarendon Whole Foods has a "pub" that allows it now (I haven't been to try yet) and it looks like they'll be equipping the one in Tenley with the same.

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What is everyone's favorite shops to buy beer? My go to stores are Rodmans and Total Wine. Sometimes I hit up Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits. When I want something really isoteric I hit up Connecticuit Avenue Wine & Spirits in DC. Anyone have any other good spots I should check out?

Total Wine in McLean (for selection) and Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits (for selection + knowledge) - check out this brief discussion.

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Total Wine in McLean (for selection) and Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits (for selection + knowledge) - check out this brief discussion.

The latter I went to a lot when I lived in DC just a block or so away, great place and very knowledgeable, indeed. They were the ones who first turned me on to and recommended rhum agricole (Barbancourt as I mentioned in another thread recently, I thought of it and bought it again).

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Chevy Chase is good but is consistently overpriced across the board. Figure to pay an extra $1-2 per 6 pack and $1-2 per bomber regardless of what it is.

Magruders used to be my go to place but their beer guy Ben left about 6 months ago and things are starting to slip a little - still generally great prices on cases - I would argue the best in the city. But because they don't have a beer geek dogging distributors they are starting to miss out on some limited release/seasonal stuff, e.g., Founders Breakfast Stout was not on their radar screeen until I asked for it. I still buy a lot of stuff there though

So I'm also starting to hit up Rodmans a little more - they don't have the same value on case prices but have a wider selection of bombers and 750s and price them very competitively.....and you can buy beer on Sundays there

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Chevy Chase was long the place you went to find esoteric stuff after one of Bob Tupper's tastings at the old Brickskeller, before the domestic microbrew category really exploded.

North of the Potomac, don't forget Gilly's Craft Beer in Rockville (2009 Chapman Ave, just off Twinbrook Pkwy next to Urban BBQ).

http://www.gillyscbfw.com/beer.html

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Chevy Chase was long the place you went to find esoteric stuff after one of Bob Tupper's tastings at the old Brickskeller, before the domestic microbrew category really exploded.

North of the Potomac, don't forget Gilly's Craft Beer in Rockville (2009 Chapman Ave, just off Twinbrook Pkwy next to Urban BBQ).

http://www.gillyscbfw.com/beer.html

If you're stuck shopping in Monkey Cty, I would agree with Dave on Gilly's. Some really nice stuff in there.

My other MoCo choice would be Fenwick Beer and Wine right in downtown SS. http://fenwickbeerandwine.com/

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Total Wine in McLean (for selection) and Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits (for selection + knowledge) - check out this brief discussion.

Don--I agree with Total Wine, but I have never thought that the staff at Chevy Chase was particularly knowledgeable or helpful. I have been hitting up Rodmas quite a bit. Connecticut Avenue Wine and Spirits is just about the best for isoteric hard to find, not distributed in DC beers (but you will pay dearly!). Norms in Vienna also has a good selection. I was wondering if I was missing a place that is a gem.

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Don--I agree with Total Wine, but I have never thought that the staff at Chevy Chase was particularly knowledgeable or helpful.

pras, when I said "knowledge" at Chevy Chase, I was only referring to the gentleman who must surely be the beer manager - I've dealt with him twice, and was impressed both times. I don't know his name, but he is an educated beer-lover, and I don't mind paying extra if that extra money is going to pay for his salary.

It was just yesterday when I read about "The High Cost of Low Price," and this kind of fits in with my beliefs on the subject in general.

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Each time I visit I become a bigger fan of I.M. Wine in Fulton, MD. It's a smaller shop, but they have a good selection of high quality beers including seasonal and large format bottles. Also a good quality selection of wine as well - to suit all budgets. But the reason they continue to move up in my book (while you can find good value wines there their prices aren't the *most* competitive, which some could see as a detractor) is that every time I go in there, they take care of me. Most recent example - they have a monthly sampler pack, 6 wines for $60. I went in right around Thanksgiving to buy it for a gathering I was having, but for the holiday the selections were a bit different and I knew it wouldn't work for my mostly red wine drinking friends. I thought I'd just purchase the reds and the sparkler individually but they had sold out of some by then so they discounted some other wines they helped me select to make it work out to be similarly priced. No reason they needed to do that, just good customer service.

There's also a place in Columbia called Perfect Pour that has an *excellent* beer selection in terms of quality (also greater variety than I.M Wine). Again, not your cheapest option, but they do a nice job. I'm less enthused about their wine selection.

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pras, when I said "knowledge" at Chevy Chase, I was only referring to the gentleman who must surely be the beer manager - I've dealt with him twice, and was impressed both times. I don't know his name, but he is an educated beer-lover, and I don't mind paying extra if that extra money is going to pay for his salary.

It was just yesterday when I read about "The High Cost of Low Price," and this kind of fits in with my beliefs on the subject in general.

I guess I have never happened to have a conversation with this guy. Maybe I should hit them up again sometime soon.

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Surprisingly, World Market is cheaper than Whole Foods. They have a pretty good selection.

I like Batch 13, though it's a little hit or miss.

Total wine is always great, as is Trader Joe's (yay for singles!)

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I wanted to bump this thread to see if anyone has a new favorite or somewhere I should check out.

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I highly recommend the K-1 convenience store on Columbia Pike across from Penrose Square.  The selection in this tiny place will blow your mind.  

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Nothing new though I will rescind my IM Wine love. The knowledgeable guys who used to help me make great wine selections are long gone and last time I went in I was really disappointed with the beer selection, especially large format bottles. Still a decent option over say Corridor in some cases, but not the gem it once was. 

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Nothing new though I will rescind my IM Wine love. The knowledgeable guys who used to help me make great wine selections are long gone and last time I went in I was really disappointed with the beer selection, especially large format bottles. Still a decent option over say Corridor in some cases, but not the gem it once was.

Yeah it is really sad those two guys left. One went to Old Line (which is also fading, at least on the wine front), but he vamoosed in less than a year to move out to Oregon. I wish I knew his name as I am sure he's still in the business.  Not sure where the other one went.

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Yeah it is really sad those two guys left. One went to Old Line (which is also fading, at least on the wine front), but he vamoosed in less than a year to move out to Oregon. I wish I knew his name as I am sure he's still in the business.  Not sure where the other one went.

I was at Old Line several months ago and was able to pick up a bunch of Rayon Vert by Green Flash.  This is significant for several reasons 1) it shows a good selection; 2) it had been discontinued almost a year before I bought it; and 3) this beer ages very well.  I guess it is strange to be happy about finding an old gem, because it means something about their turn over, but I was overjoyed to find it.  Makes me want to take one out and see how it is progressing.

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Either of the Arrowine locations. The one in DC has a nice, but eccentric, spirits selection.

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Considering the topic is DC, VA, MD, I'll throw in a plug for Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA for those that may be headed out here. They're my local outpost for interesting beers as well as wine. Knowledgeable staff to research items as well.

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