As fun as it can be to go to a brewery or a bar to enjoy some seasonal libations with friends, a lot of times it’s just easier to stop at a store, grab a pack of something nice and enjoy it at home on the couch or in the yard. When it comes to choices for where to shop and what to buy, it’s an embarrassment of riches around here, and that’s a good thing for the discerning craft beer or cider fan.
While there are certainly dozens of stores in the city where you can pick up some beer, many of these places just don’t have much to offer. You can run into a gas station in a pinch, but if you’re looking for something other than Bud Light or Natty Daddy, you might have a hard time. There are also plenty of grocery stores that have good selections, but it can take forever to get in and out of places like that.
If you want the best selection with the best options and the most convenience, you need to hit up a store that specializes in craft beer, and there are plenty of those here in Concord.
The newest place on the list is Georgia’s Northside. The North State Street business opened as a take-out barbecue restaurant in late summer, and recently got its permit to sell craft beer and cider. This is a unique business model in Concord – you can stop in here on your way home from work and grab a hot and ready-to-eat fried chicken sandwich, plus a 4-pack of Fresh Patch pumpkin ale by Wormtown Brewery or Fire Starter spiced hard cider from North Country Hard Cider Company, among many other tasty options.
Local Baskit, at The Concord Center on Ferry Street downtown, also offers take-home meals as well as craft beer, cider and wine, though the meals you get from Local Baskit are for you to make yourself. The beer selection is always top-notch, and there are many options for fall beverages. On the local side, you can get Concord Craft Brewing’s new Apple Crisp Porter, Lithermans Limited’s Quadracalabasia (made with real New Hampshire pumpkins, not generic pumpkin spice), Henniker Brewing Co.’s Flap Jack maple double brown ale and ciders from North Country, Downeast (Maine) and Citizen (Vermont). If you’re in the mood for something stronger, try the Pumking or Warlock brews from Southern Tier (New York), which pack 8.6% alcohol by volume.
If you’re downtown, stop into Capital Beverages on South Main Street. This store has long been a staple in the craft beer market, and they boast a healthy selection of craft as well as commercial varieties. This is one of those shops where you can get a couple classy 4-packs for yourself and also grab a case of Miller Lite for the guests you don’t like as much.
On the other end of town is the hidden gem that is Riverhill Market. This shop is unique in that you can go in here and get a high-end steak to take home and grill, a slice of pizza to eat on the ride and almost any beer you can think of. Riverhill’s craft beer selection is right up there with any place in the city, and if you’ve never been (it’s at 189 Carter Hill Road), you have to check it out.
Concord Food Co-op is also a good craft beer destination. While not as varied as some of the other stores, the co-op’s selection is definitely not too shabby, and it’s a quicker shopping experience than going to Shaw’s.