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All year long, I will be drinking one beer a day -- no more, no less -- with no repeats. Join the discussion and help me discover and share new beer!

Julio’s Liquors

By Andy Murphy
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Over 1000 different beers at Julio's Liquors!

It’s safe to say the BeerADay.net challenge wouldn’t be possible without Julio’s Liquors, in Westborough, MA.

To explain, let’s go back in time a bit.

When I first socialized the idea of drinking one beer a day only, with no repeats throughout all of 2009, the first question I heard was almost always something such as:

“Are there actually 365 different beers? Won’t you run out of beer to drink after a couple of months?”

That question helped me understand that most people — even many avid beer drinkers — have no idea how much great beer is out there. Hearing people ask if this project was even possible simply rededicated me to the importance of discovering new beer and sharing the experience.

But the question that loomed most ominously in MY mind as I planned this project was: “Where can I buy a robust variety of single bottles of beer?”

You see, if I buy a six pack of beer, chances are very good that most of that beer would go to waste — since I’d be drinking just one. (Not to mention the pocketbook pain of buying, say, 365 six packs.) I looked into buying singles on the web, and through there are some decent web stores, none will ship to my adopted state of Massachusetts. Even if they did, by the time I added in the shipping costs — I’d be going broke one bottle at a time.

With the clock ticking down on 2008, I was getting very near to pulling the plug on the entire project. “A great idea,” I thought, “but just not logistically possible.” And that’s when I received a recommendation to check out Julio’s Liquors.

Julio’s is quite an experience. I scouted out the store in December, walking in during a wine tasting event that somehow ended with my cart heavy from four bottles of great, discounted wine. (Whether you’re into wine, whiskey, beer or cigars, Julio’s is hosting a special event with your name on it nearly every week.)

And the beer — wow, this selection will blow you away. Julio’s has the best selection of American and international beer I’ve ever seen in one place, with at least three long aisles dedicated just to six packs and singles of craft beer. And that’s not counting the rows of big bombers, the refrigerated section, or the cases and cases of beer lining the back of the store.

Such a selection could be intimidating, but Julio’s encourages you to try new beer without being locked into buying a whole six pack. Every beer is available as a single, which means you don’t have to sink $14 into a six pack of the latest extreme beer from Dogfish Head only to discover, belatedly, that the beer is just not for you.

The video below showcases the store nicely — even if you only catch a glimpse of the beer.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

The Pièce de Résistance — for my purposes in particular — is the Wild Six program. They invite you to grab an empty six pack holder from the shelves, unfold it, and fill it up to make your own six pack from any bottle you can find. You’ll get 15% off each bottle, and frequent fliers get a punch card to track purchases. Every 36 bottles earns you a free gift — usually a set of beer glasses, but I got a bottle of hot sauce as well as two beer glasses with my last purchase.

The only difficult part of the experience is exercising restraint. I live more than an hour away from Julio’s, so I usually stock up on a least two months’ worth of beer during each trip. After loading down my cart, I can’t resist grabbing a bottle or two of bourbon, scotch whisky, or some hard to find bottle of wine. Let’s just say the 15% beer discount really comes in handy.

So for all of you who have asked me where I source my beer — head on over to Julio’s!

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[...] some ways, this challenge has been easier than I thought it would be. I found a great liquor store that has kept me well-supplied with a variety of individual bottles of beer, and the excitement of [...]

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