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Craft Beer Cellar Opens in Winchester

Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex opened on Monday morning in Winchester.

Nicholas Vaughn, of Chelmsford, works at the new Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex store in Winchester. Credit: Mark Ouellette
Nicholas Vaughn, of Chelmsford, works at the new Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex store in Winchester. Credit: Mark Ouellette
This article was posted by Mark Ouellette. It was reported and written by Mark Ouellette.

It's been several months in the offing but Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex opened its doors to customers on Monday.

"I think the first day has been fantastic," said Kate Baker, co-owner of Craft Beer Cellar locations in Belmont and Winchester. "I think the coolest thing is standing here watching people walk by. Some people have walked right in with a purpose while other people have just walked by going about their business and you see them stop dead in their tracks, turn around and be like 'There's a beer store in my town now' and they will stick their heads.

"People have been cool and very honest and have said things like 'I didn't know this was here, I have to head to work but I'll be back.'"

Ed Flynn, a Burlington resident who used to travel to the Belmont store, said he was excited that there was a location in Winchester that was closer to home. 

"I think it is an awesome idea to showcase New England beers because it's blowing up," Flynn said. "In a tiny space like this, look at how many brands they are carrying. It's pretty impressive.

"I definitely wanted to come down on the day that they opened to support them and see what they were going to be stocking and pretty much everything you can get around here is here. They have a good selection so far."

As of 5 p.m. Monday, roughly 85 customers had visited the 500-square-foot Winchester store, according to Suzanne Schalow, who co-owns the 18 Thompson St. location with Baker.

"It's been awesome. Extremely busy today," Schalow said of the opening. "We've received a lot of support from the community. Brewers came by and I think it's a day for these guys to stand proud and know that a lot of people are in their corner, not just us, and we have an opportunity to step up to the plate and sell their great beers."

Nicholas Vaughn, a Chelmsford resident and one of several self-professed "beer geeks" working at the store, said he was excited to be helping out during the store's opening. 

"Since I got here, it's been awesome," he said. "People have been coming in and checking out everything. I think a lot of people don't know just how much Massachusetts beers we have."

Vaughn, a fan of IPAs, said the store carries some of his favorites, including Rosemary IPA by Boston Beer Works and Wormtown IPA from Worcester.

In the coming days, Schalow said she expects to have a refrigeration unit set up in the remaining available space in the store.

"We're going to fit as much beer in there as possible," she said. "I think we're going to get about 36 different six-packs in there, and no less than 24 tall bottles and throw some cider in there as well."

Did you visit the Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex on Monday? Let us know what you thought of the store by posting a comment below.

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Craft Beer Cellar Opens in Winchester on Monday

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