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Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor Deli
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Store ]
1529 Connecticut Ave NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 332-0240
Closed on Sundays.
(Place added by: frimairist on 06-24-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
District of Columbia
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is conveniently located in Dupont Circle, right by the Metro and next to Kramerbooks. The place itself is small and a little cramped, with alcohol from floor to ceiling.
Staff is friendly enough, with someone checking to make sure you've found everything if you're searching for a while.
Superb selection of 22 oz. bottles, and pretty good in the way of six-packs. They go pretty heavy on the seasonals. There are several shelves stocked only with abbey ales and Imperial stouts.
Prices are very good considering their variety and the neighborhood competition. The store at 1 West Dupont charges $17 for a six-pack of Bell's Double Cream Stout, but it's only $14 here. Ayinger Celebrator was also several bucks cheaper for a four-pack.
11-01-2011 06:14:22 |
More by fountainofyouth
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Nice little place not too far at all from the Dupont Circle station, so plenty accessible to travelers. By not too far, I mean about twenty steps from the northern exit to the station. Small place on the corner, beer is to the left and back once you walk in. Not a huge number of beers, but there isn't much of anything there that I wouldn't mind drinking.
Al is great and always extremely helpful. The e-mail updates aren't frequent, but normally contain a few gems. Connecticut Ave. is perhaps the best in DC at taking advantage of the liquor laws and bringing in plenty of out-of-market beers. While they're generally pricey, it's nice to have that option. Most of the time these beers are fresh -- e.g., in the past week I've seen Deschutes Inversion IPA and Surly Furious that were less than a month old -- though occasionally some things slip, so I wouldn't grab anything hoppy without a date code.
All in all, definitely a place worth stopping. DC has pretty good distribution, and this becomes excellent when you add in the extra stuff available here.
08-13-2011 15:35:22 |
More by Thorpe429
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Having been to most of the better bottle shops in DC/NoVA, I have to say that overall, Conn. Ave W&L is my favorite. As many of these reviews note, the store consistently carries a small but excellent selection of otherwise impossible-to-get (in the DC area) beers from breweries such as RR, Alesmith, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, Cigar City, Surly, Odell, Deschutes, etc. While these are not as cheap as they are in their regular distribution markets, the fact that they're available at all more than makes up for it.
I also have to give major props to Al, who is the resident beer expert and one of the nicest guys I've met at any shop in the area. He's very interesting to talk to and willing to answer any questions you may have, and clearly values his customers (he once comped me a bottle of PtE!). In sum, I can't recommend the store highly enough.
06-01-2011 17:25:52 |
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped by today as I was visiting my parents and some friends in DC.
Definitely a small selection, really small but I have to say if I had the money I would have no problem getting every kind of beer they stocked (at least what was on their shelf, they also carry some other more generic brands like stella, BMC, etc in their cooler).
I mean they had Russian River, Cigar City, Lost Abbey, Mikkeller, Fantôme and some other nice Belgians, and this is D.C were talking about. I don't live there anymore but as far as I remember DC seldom/never sported these kind of breweries.
Quality was great but there are some draw backs: 1) DAMN PRICEY. some stuff was decently priced but then you'd have a couple $30 750 ml bottles. 2) Not all that much to offer. They only had 3 shelves of beer in a tiny little corner. The store is small though so whatever it's not like you're expecting a beer warehouse anyways.
If you're in DC you have to go to this spot and if you don't mind walking home or wherever with your beer, its right next to the red line Dupont Circle metro stop.
05-21-2011 03:59:36 |
More by alf212
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Dropped in for the first time yesterday afternoon, May 16th 2011.
First of all, the shop and specifically the beer corner is extremely small. I've seen some tiny bottle shops before, but this one may take the cake. It is very clean, and well organized considering.
Luckily though, the selection was really top notch. I can't say they had everything you'd want, but what they specialize in is carrying the hard to find. Looking for Lost Abbey? How about CCB? Yeah, they've got 'em - and more. But as I said, they don't have everything you'd want, though they do make a concerted effort to carry the more popular items from each out of town brewery they stock.
I've heard some horror stories about the customer service here, but I certainly didn't see it. In fact I was very well taken care of. There was a really nice gentleman who seemed to be really knowledgeable about the beers they carried, and extremely proud of being able to stock some of the things you won't find in many other places around town. We talked for some time, and I'll be returning for not only the brews, but to chat with him again.
Because their selection is almost unattainable within city limits, you'll be paying for it. Literally. A 375mL LA Angel's Share for example retails for $27.99 plus tax. Their 750mL Serpent's Stout is about the same. But if you want it, and have the cash, it's certainly cheaper then most of the trades I've completed to secure said bottles.
Overall this is a hidden gem I plan on frequenting. When speaking of high quality DC bottle shops, Connecticut Ave. Wine & Liquor needs to be in the conversation. Quality, not quantity.
05-17-2011 16:38:57 |
More by Rhettroactive
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This place is a gem in an otherwise crowded and often unimpressive lineup of beer stores in the District. Like others have mentioned, Conn Ave gets some gems that you can't get other places. They have some sort of hookup that gets them the likes of Cigar City, Lost Abbey, Russian River, Ithaca, Alesmith, Dark Horse and more. They also have a nice lineup of some high quality standards like Mikkeller, Bells, Founders, etc.
It can be pricey for the rare stuff, but you're in a market that doesn't have access to these breweries. So if you want the goods you have to pay. The beers that they carry that are more widely available (bells, founders, Firestone, etc) are really reasonable.
They did have a deli in here but they took it out and there is significantly more space now. This place is a good find.
05-12-2011 12:13:01 |
More by dlmccabe1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I went to a conference at the Washington Hilton last week and some research on BA led me to this quaint little store. I'm certainly glad I found it.
Simply put, this place is all about quality over quantity. There really isn't a lot of beer here, but what they have is remarkable. There are a lot of brews here that should not be in DC. For example, they had RR Damnation, some Cigar City beers, and some Ballast Point beers I did not know existed. I was very happy to find a 6-pack of Two Hearted in one of the fridges. There is a lot of (somewhat) rare and good beer in the store and not a lot of padding. Everything in the little beer corner was worth inspecting.
The actual store was not as cramped and small as some reviews led me to expect. I went into the store wearing a backpack and I did not have any issues staring at the beer selection for about 20 minutes or so. There is somewhat of a side room for wine that seemed pretty cramped, but I did not bother checking it out.
Some of the beers were ridiculously overpriced, but most were pretty fair. The service was good. The woman at the register scraped off the price tags on my beer - very unexpected!
I hopefully won't be staying at the Washington Hilton anytime in the near future (unrelated rant), but if I am in the area I will check this place out again.
05-03-2011 01:00:35 |
More by angrybabboon
District of Columbia
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$$
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 - $$$$
Something bizarre has happened beerwise with what used to be a despicable store full of horror stories to become this prized nugget of rarities in town.
In essence the store seems to have a clandestine hook up that enables it to receive some brews that are not available elsewhere in town, such as Cigar City, Lost Abbey etc. And it also stretches the gamut to quite a few iconic and sought after brews where it also may seem to have an early lead. This stuff is clearly overpriced, and unless one has a strong fancy for a particular choice it is tough to feel very much attracted by the overall set up. Some things are on sale, with reduced prices but make one wonder if they might be trying to get rid of some skeletons. Quite a bunch of reduced single hop Mikkellers for instance... This selection while good is not particularly extensive, and is completed by a generically speaking macro fridge that may help to cover the other range of customers.
On these morning return visits the staff behind the counter was correct but not particularly helpful, or seemingly knowledgeable.
I dunno, as for me if I were nearby and needed a fancy pick I might use it. Other than that...
And sure enough I´m still mesmerized by the consensus of glowing reviews. What I had here preceding this rewrite was the last and only critical note of them all. I wonder about the missing reviews, plenty I seem to remember. Were they flagged or considered outdated? Weird...
01-25-2011 20:12:20 |
More by Daniellobo
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After stopping (again) at Church Key DC, I made my way to Dupont Circle trying to find Pizzeria Paradiso. The crowd waiting for a table was INSANE. So my European friend said, "forgetaboutit" and we went to Kramerbooks & Afterwords nearby (review can be read separately). After that, and on our way to the subway, I stumbled upon Connecticut Avenue Wine Deli.
I vaguely remembered reading about this place here on BA, but wow! I sure was not expecting the jewels I found here.
The place is tiny, cramped and hard to navigate. One person only per aisle, please. And- the beer section is only, like, two shelves.
But what a selection! Tons of Heavy Seas bombers (at discounted prices), Sierra, Dogfish packs (Burton, Olde School), AND Russian River Damnation (what!!??), Ballast Sculpin' and so on. Lost Abbey. Three Floyds Gumballhead and Alpha King.
Mostly liquor and wine, but when you find the aforementioned treasures, who cares? They also probably have some foreign brews, as I ran into some Spaniards looking for their bullshit Bud-like Euro lagers and apparently found them.
Sure, a lot of beers are damn pricey, but- wouldn't you pay a premium to get 3Floyds or Russian River in DC? Yeah.
Service was nice. Despite all the customers and tiny store, a guy said hi and offered help. Good enough! I rarely get as much as a "hello" at booze stores like this one.
If you live in DC, you MUST come here. If you're visiting... well, you MUST come here too! :-)
01-13-2011 03:17:22 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
District of Columbia
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Since I posted my review, they have taken out the deli/sandwich station and in its place have added lots of new shelving for beer. It is much better organized and easier to navigate. From what I've heard, they also plan to redo the wine/liquor area with better shelving to make it easier to browse. Also, it took me a few trips to realize this, but they have added single beers to one of the fridges on the left when you walk in. It is next to a juice/sode fridge and a wine fridge, so it is easy to miss.
Original Review - 1/7/2011
This is why I belong to BA. I've been looking for Cigar City beers in DC for months. They have distribution in Philly and NYC- there's got to be some savvy distributor who can grab a case or two off the truck en route, right? Well, the answer I've been getting at most shops in town when I ask about Cigar City is one of:
a) a blank stare
b) "never heard of them"
c) "we carry everything you can get in DC! if you don't see it on the shelf, it doesnt' exist!"
So I log into beerfly and start looking at the bottle shops for DC. I read the reviews on CT Ave Wine and thought they were too good to be true, but being desperate and lured by claims of recent Jai Alai purchases I stopped by.
To be fair, it really is tough to prepare yourself for how small this place is. I think I read somewhere (and I'll second the opinion) that if you're wearing a backpack, it's probably safest to leave it at the door.
They seem to specialize in limited release, hard to find beers. It's not an overwhelming, awe-inspiring wall of options, but instead a small, carefully selected bunch of excellent beer, both Belgian and American.
What really separates this shop is the service. The beer guy is dialed in and incredibly helpful. I was greeted when I entered the shop and when I told him I was looking for Cigar City, he pointed me right to the remaining bottles of Madura Brown. He apologized for only having a few left, but he said he was hoping to get another few cases in the next month. I asked him a few other questions including- "When do you get HopSlam?" - A: sometime in the next week or two, a shipment of 4 cases. It was just very nice to go to a beer shop where the employees were not only friendly and helpful, but also incredibly knowledgeable.
It's not news, but yes this place is pricey (It's DC. Everything is marked up.) and yes, there are some very old bottles here (I noticed an '09 Smuttynose Wheat Wine in the fridge), but I still think it's a great shop and a great find in the DC beer scene. Thanks BA!
01-07-2011 20:16:40 |
More by markb40
Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor Deli in Washington, DC
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