More than one commentator has mentioned it does not look like much sitting modestly at the end of a strip mall, next to Moe's. But none of the good beer shops I have come across are built like an oaken barrel or anything. No, it's about what's inside. And this little shop makes the most of it. The entire shop is something like 35 by 12 feet with the front half dedicated to the stock of wine. At the rear there are beer coolers and storage filling at least half that half of the store leaving a bit of a lack of space to even get a decent camera angle. Lots of "'scuse me elbows" and bumping brimming carriers.
But what selection. I had one of those deer-in-the-headlight moments when I spotted the Japanese stuff. Then I noticed this one and that one that I had not see except in books and at the movies. A great selection of UK imports as well as German and Dutch plus a good selection of New England micros. I got into an email discussion with Tully's and it is pretty clear they are shelf stocking nerds of the highest order:
I hope you enjoyed our selection. We try very hard to have as many labels that the distributors carry as we can. I think we stock about 90% of the distributors portfolios, which is impressive if you ask me. This is why we say we have the best beer selection in Maine and New Hampshire.
I ended up buying about $125 USD worth of single bottles, mostly beers I have never seen before like Carnegie Porter from Sweden at $6.99, Scotch Silly from Belgium at $3.20, a large number of new to me English Pale Ales as well as a really nice US micro, Fisherman's Brew from Cape Ann Brewing for $7.99 plus tax and deposit. I passed on picking up Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout, Raisin D'Extra and 120 Minute IPA as that trio of 12 oz brews would have set me back over twenty five US and there was much ice cream and clams ahead of me that week. One handy thing is the digitization of the entire stock so that the receipt has the names of each purchase. Plenty of reviews to come.