Because Sunday is a day of the week, Bwog was anticipating drinking some alcohol. Specifically, Bwog was tired of wine and was not looking to drink hard alcohol, and had accordingly decided to drink beer. Additionally, Bwog did not want to pay very much beer and preferred to drink said beer within the comfort of our own living quarters instead of a neighborhood bar or restaurant. However, this still left Bwog with a large number of options, and so this past Sunday Bwog set out to determine what options there were for buying beer within Morningside Heights. Thankfully, Bwog also took some notes, and is now proud to present this Guide to Buying Beer in Morningside Heights.
Milano offers a good selection of imported and micro-brew beers. In six-pack form, these range from $8 for Bud, Bud Light, and Coors Light to $15 for Liberty Ale, a San Francisco micro-brew. Milano also carries the high-end beers sold only in 25.5-ounce bottles, but had the highest prices for these that Bwog saw anywhere in the neighborhood, the highest being $13.99 for such a bottle of Delirium Tremens, a beer imported from Belgium. Milano’s biggest positive factors are its convenience, the fact that its beer is always cold, and the $3.75 40s of Bud, Bud Light, and Coors Light.
Go For: Convenience, $3.75 40s
In contrast with Milano, none of the beer at Duane Reade is cold, which severely limits its convenience. Duane Reade also had the smallest selection of beer Bwog found in the neighborhood, offering only the standard American beers and imports (think Heineken and Stella Artois). For almost every item at Duane Reade, Rite Aid offered the exact same item at a lower price and often cold, only a block away. However, prices were generally lower than stores other than Rite Aid.
Go for: Warm beer, mediocre prices.
Westside Market, despite being a fully-fledged grocery store, offers more or less the same beer selection as Milano, which is to say an ample one. However, prices are on average identical to Milano, so there’s no reason to make the trek down to 110 unless it happens to be more convenient for you (or you need other groceries).
Go for: Good beer selection, produce.
Rite Aid is the gold standard for purchasing large quantities of beer within Morningside Heights. Most notably, 12-packs of Natural Light and Natural Ice were selling for $7.39 and 12 packs of Yuengling were going for $10.99—two cheapest prices per ounce of beer Bwog found in her survey. In addition, 6- and 12-packs of better bottled beer were selling for around two to four dollars cheaper than the neighborhood average, and almost all of the beer is available cold. The only downside at Rite Aid is its lack of selection compared to Milano or Westside (and its perpetually long line). So, if you want a particular microbrew or a high-end beer, you might not be able to find it here, but if you’re fine with bigger names (Stella, Heineken, Corona, Modelo) it’s most likely cheapest at Rite Aid.
Go for: Cheapest beer in the ‘hood.
Perhaps the biggest black sheep in the Morningside grocery market (Bwog had never been inside before doing this research) D’Agostino came up strong with regard to beer. Generally, beer was marginally cheaper than at Westside or Milano, and though selection was slightly more limited, D’Ag carried a fair number of smaller imports. In addition, D’Ag had the cheapest price for those large-bottle high-end beers, charging $10.49 for Delirium Tremens. Most surprisingly of all, D’Ag had an ample selection of ping-pong balls surrounding its beer section, which would have been so useful to know on all those nights when Bwog was feeling fratty but couldn’t find ping pong balls at Duane Reade or anywhere else.
Go for: Decent deals on more obscure sixers. Delirium Tremens. Ping-pong balls.
CrackDel is stands out among the several bodegas that line Amsterdam Avenue in the 100s for a few reasons. One is the Spicy Special. Another is Four Loko (Bwog only saw it here, albeit in decaffeinated form). Another is their 40s, which cost only $3. CrackDel’s price for 12-packs of Yuengling is slightly worse than that of Rite Aid, but only slightly. They also deliver, which is awesome. In addition, they carry six-packs which they definitely price based on whether or not they like you, so if you’ve got a good relationship with the CrackDel guy, then maybe this is your place to pick up a sixer, but Bwog did not experience this (“Ten to twelve dollars. Why do you want to know?”). Also, in the interest of research, Bwog went into a few other bodegas in the neighborhood and found 40s were generally $3.50, so CrackDel is special.
Go for: $3 40s. Four Loko if you’re into that. Don’t go; get it delivered.
MoWi’s selection is great. Their prices rival those of Milano and Westside, so if MoWi is more convenient there’s not much reason to make a trek unless you know a particular brand is cheaper. Significantly, MoWi sells 30s of Keystone for $23.99, which is cheaper than Yuengling at Rite Aid, but still more expensive than their 12-packs of Natty. They are not cold, however. Still, if you are a true (secret) frat star who demands a real 30, this is a great deal.
Go for: Decent prices on good beer. $23.99 for 30 ‘Stones, bra.
Additional Notes: HamDel and M2M are both very similar, with a focus on individual beers, a lot of Asian beers, and not very good prices. If you’re fiending for a tall boy and either is convenient then go for it; otherwise, go elsewhere. If you live in EC or Wien (Or Plimpton?), then Appletree Deli is basically Milano, but closer to you.
Dutch Beer Assortment via Wikimedia Commons