The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Retailers










Ellicott City





Ocean City

Perry Hall

Prince Frederick

Silver Spring





Nick's of Calvert
930 Costley Way
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
(410) 414-7105

Whilst enjoying a few beers at The Ruddy Duck in Solomon's, I was tipped off to Nick's, where they had a great beer selection, and one could get a growler of Greenspring beer, an under-the-radar brewer in the area...

Nick's of Calvert is an upscale grocery store located on
Route 2/4, in the Southern Maryland town of Prince Frederick.
Important to the Questor though, is beer.
Nick's probably has the best selection of craft beer in Prince Frederick, if not in Southern Maryland.
Not only does Nick's stock a wide variety of six-packs and bombers, but they have a state-of-the-art growler stand.
They stock about 8 different rotating drafts at a time, which are available to fill 32- and 64-ounce growlers.
Alas, they were out of Greenspring at the time of my visit...a reason to return!




College Square Liquors
College Square
444 WMC Dr # 106 Westminster, MD 21158
(410) 751-9922

You may find beer stores with larger selections, but you won't find them in Westminster.
College Square carries hundreds of different beers, craft and otherwise.
They have a mix-and-match shelf for singles, and a moderate variety of bombers.
College Square boasts a friendly and helpful staff, tastings, other specials, and was voted Carroll County's Best Liquor Store in 2013.
When Questing in this neck of the woods, College Square Liquors demands a visit.



The Winery
116 S Piney Rd
Chester MD 21619
(410) 643-9466

On Kent Island, just off Blue Star Memorial Highway, aka Route 50, Gateway to the Eastern Shore, sits The Winery.
The manager informed us that The Winery stocks around 350 different beers.
I suspect it's probably closer to 500.
They have 20 or so coolers and then many shelves of single bottles and bombers.
Each single bottle is labeled with a price, which is great.
Overall, The Winery offers a very nice selection at quite reasonable prices.
The accomodating staff was glad to help we travelers and seemed to be well known to the local customers.. The Winery is an accessible place for Questors to hit after they cross the Bay Bridge on their way to the beach, and the vastly improved beer scene on Maryland's Eastern Shore.




Ye Old Spirit Shop
1005 West 7th Street
Frederick, MD 21701

The Spirit Shop is a bright, clean beer and spirit retailer in Frederick, MD. They claim to have the largest beer selection in Western Maryland.
Several factors make this outlet a must stop for Questors:

They stock hundreds of types of different beers.
The prices are clearly marked.
One can pick any single out of a 6-pack and purchase it.
Customers can not only make their own 6-pack, but they can make their own case using four different 6-packs of craft beer...both carry a 10% discount.

Additionally, the staff was particularly helpful and parking was plentiful.




West-O Bottle Shop & Bar
12611 Ocean Gateway
Ocean City , MD 21842
(410) 213-2079

West-O Bottle Shop & Bar is located in West Ocean City, MD just a few minutes west of the Route 50 bridge.
Aside from wine and liquor, West-O offers hundreds of brands of beer in singles, 6-packs, bombers, and cases. The interior of the store is attractive and spacious...roomy enough to have a small bar with 6 taps.
The bar also serves snacks and cheese plates as well as wine and cocktails.
West-O was voted Best Liquor Store and Best Wine Store by Coastal Style Magazine.
West-O is definitely one of the best beer stores in the Ocean City area.




Liquid Assets
Bistro & Package Goods

9301 Coastal Hwy  
Ocean City, MD 21842
(410) 524-7037

Liquid Assets is a carry-out beer store and bistro in Ocean City.
The place is dark, and the perimeter is lined with beer coolers and racks of wine.
They carry hundreds of different beers; cases, 6-packs, some singles, and many bombers.
Their beer selection is darn good for the Eastern Shore.
In the center of the room is a very large oval bar, which serves beer, wine, and lite fare.
Although it was the last weekend in October, and much of O.C. was desolate, Liquid Assets was crowded and jumping.





Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits, & Bistro
11011 Baltimore Ave  
Beltsville, MD 20705
(301) 937-5999

Old Line is a beer retailer located on Route 1 in Beltsville.
The store is spacoius, with wide aisles and lots of space for displays.
The beer can be found in the back of the store, occupying several aisles. The beer is sold in cases, six-packs, and bombers.
Old Line stocks hundreds of different brands of micros.
Rob, the beerman, was glad to explain the array of tastings, beer dinners, beer classes, and many other events that Old Line sponsors.
But what really makes Old Line stand apart from other great beer stores is the Bistro.
One enters the Bistro through an archway in the back of the store. There is a large bar which seats about 20, as well as possibly 20 tables and booths.
The tap list featured 20 brews, 19 of which were rotating micros.
They also serve food.
The Questor would do well to stop by Old Line, pick up some beers to go, and wet his whistle on the way.


Cheers Beer & Wine
9926 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811

Cheers is a great beer retailer just a stone's throw from Burley Oak Brewery in historic Berlin, MD.
Cheers has hundreds of different craft beers in cases, six-packs, bombers and singles.
There is also a selection of the Shore's regional beers.
Cheers is a worthwhile stop as you visit Berlin when you are in the Ocean City region.



Pine Orchard Liquors
10281 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
(410) 465-1635

Pine Orchard Liquors is another great beer source in Ellicott City.
Pine Orchard offers hundreds of different beers in cases and six-packs. They also have large number of craft beers and imports in bombers, pint, and half-liter bottles and cans.
Pine Orchard is the last stop west in the Ellicott City/Route 40 beer corridor.




Jason's Wine and Spirits
9339 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City

Jason's is an upscale establishment that carries a few hundred varieties of microbrews and imports. Jason's has a large selection of individual European half-liter and pint bottles of unusual beers and ales.
Since this article was written, Jason's has enlarged the store, and has more beers than ever.
Jason's now fills growlers.


Honeygo Wines and Spirits
5004 Honeygo Center Drive
Perry Hall, MD 21128

Honeygo Wine & Spirits may just be the "Perfect Pour of the East." The beer list is simply amazing for such a small place.  Around 500 beers in total, most of which are sold as singles with a 10% discount on a mix pack.  The beers are rotated out every couple of weeks so there's a new selection all the time.  The imports include many Belgians, Germans, and U.K. offerings with myriad other countries represented. The microbrew section is impressive, with several hard to find beers.  Bernie and his staff are fantastic and will gladly help you out (even going so far as to order a particular beer you want). 


Staples Corner Liquors
1334 Defense Highway
Gambrills, MD 21054

Located in the Crofton-Gambrills area, Staples Corner is a pleasant surprise in a region not ordinarily known for beer variety.
The store stocks hundreds of micros and imports, and has a large selection of bombers, 750's and Belgians.
Proprietor John Fisher is always looking for new brews to stock and is willing to take suggestions from his customers, even if they be tall, staggering, chiorish Englishmen. Staples Corner also offers a small rack of mix-and-match bottles, and they definitely merit a visit.
Staples Corner now has a growler station.


The Perfect Pour
6630 Marie Curie Drive Suite E
Elkridge, MD 21075

Located in a large shopping center just off the intersection of Rts. 108 and 175, The Perfect Pour has a sizable portion of their floorspace given over to beer.
The have hundreds of varieties, mostly micros and imports, including a vast number of Belgians. You can also find a nice selection of beer glasses.
The staff is extremely helpful and will aid you in your selections if that is necessary.
Of particular importance to can mix a six pack; all beers are also sold singly. Call to inquire about their next tasting, or better still, visit.
Perfect Pour also has a large growler station.
Upon further review, Perfect Pour is the best Questor's beer store in the region!


Fenwick Beer & Wine
1327 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring MD

Located in a cottage amid an urban setting of tall office and apartment buildings, the one-time living room of this tidy little dwelling is home to over 400 different U.S. craft beers and imports. And that number is growing. There is on-site parking, the interior is clean and well-lit, and Fenwick Beer & Wine hosts beer and wine tastings every Friday afternoon. This Questor found a couple of African beers here that he had never encountered anywhere else.


State Line Liquors
1610 Elkton Road
Elkton, MD 21921

Plain and unassuming, just a stone's throw from Delaware, you'd never know from it's storefront that State Line Liquors is a beer hunter's jackpot.
State Line carries thousands of different beers, neatly stockpiled, macros, micros, and imports.
They have one other wrinkle that is really helpful to the can take a single can or bottle out of any sixpack or 12-pack and purchase it individually.
It's easy to get a Club Card and get a discount on your order.
State Line also has 20 taps for growler fills.
State Line is located about an hour from Baltimore, two minutes off of Route 95 and 5 minutes from the college town of Newark, DE.
Check out their website with the calendar of beer tastings. Then get in the truck and check out State Line Liquors.



Total Wine & More

3321 Fort Meade Rd.
Laurel, MD

Look at the sign. The Quest firmly believes that the word "beer" should be displayed. Wine notwithstanding,
Total Wine is a beer-hunter's paradise, giving Questors the opportunity to search through hundreds of arcane microbrews and imports, including many Belgians.
Pictured is a fraction of the Mix-A-Six area, both intriguing and economic for a Questor.
Inventory includes cigars and gifts, and the staff is efficient and friendly.
A Foamee favorite, Total Wine is conveniently located near the B-W Parkway.


Astor Liquors Inc.
364 Domer Ave.
Laurel, MD 20707


I had not visited Astor Liquors in several years, and was I surprised to find a selection of well over 300 different beers, including many micros, and a rich selection of single bottles including British, Belgians and Euros. Conveniently located right on Route 1, Astor is worth visiting and worth going back to.


Total Discount Liquors
1438 Liberty Road,
Eldersburg MD

Total Discount Liquors, with a 10,000 sq. ft. store, offers an outstanding selection of imports, micros, and hard-to-find single bottles. Their mix-a-sixpack area is an economical boon for a Questor.
It's worth the drive to Eldersburg.