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Downeast Beverage Co.

Not Rated.
Downeast Beverage Co.Downeast Beverage Co.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.26%
[ Store ]

79 Commercial St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4703
United States
phone: (207) 828-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Bierman9)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sprucetip
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Collected a modest haul here on a recent visit to Portland. Selection was solid but not remarkably extensive. It was largely organized by country and in some places region. There were modest but solid sections from Belgium, UK, and Germany and a few others. Had some nice ones like St. Bernardus Christmas and Scaldis Noel. American crafts had some national representation, but focused on New England, as it should. Victory, Smutty, Weyerbacher, Brooklyn and so on. Of course Allagash and the Maine micros were very well represented.

The service was outstanding. One staff whose name I didn't get or don't remember (I had come from the Allagash tour-tasting) understood my mission and was right by my side anytime I had a question, and I had many. His input was very helpful. In addition to that, you can pull singles out of sixers, which gets bonus points in my book. Prices reasonable.

Photo of gameface23
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

The beer section of the store is located in the back. There were a ton of high quality/hard to find beers there. All of the prices seemed much lower than they are in MA. I saw Pannepot, a few Jolly Pumpkin beers, a bunch of Cantillon, De Ranke, Dieu du Ciel, various trappists, DFH, Stone, etc.

We were in there for a few minutes and it was reasonably crowded. An employee came by and asked if anyone needed any help. He was really, really helpful. A wealth of knowledge and made some great recommendations.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -5%

Very Nice place right near the water in the Old Port. Nice little selection of wine, liquor, and beeer. They don't have everything, but they do lean toward quality. This is more of an upscale beverage shop than a liquor store, o their hours are a little bit limited- they close fairly early, for instance. Nice people here whom I didn't really ask about beer, so I can't comment on their knowledge. They had most everything local including a nice selection of Allagash, Cadillac Mountain Stout, Smuttynose and even some Peche Mortel now. Much is refrigerated, and what is not is nicely displayed and clean. Best place I found to get the local stuff in Portland. I wasn't really interested in Belgians or other imports as I've got very nice availability to those back home.

Photo of MMAJYK
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

This beverage store has quite the selection of beer. I was really looking for locals and stuff I cannot get in GA while there on a business trip. I spoke with Andy on the phone prior to meeting him to find out where exactly they are located.

They had all the stuff I was looking for: Weyerbacher, Smuttynose, Allagash Odyssey, Sebago at VERY reasonable prices.

The folks working there were quite courteous and friendly and very willing to help out since I was from out of town.

Again, selection was right on with what I expected and I was not let down.

I got a mixed sixer, a 750 of Odyssey, and quite a few bombers for less than $70. That is just fine in my book!

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev -5%

I work upstairs from DBC and go there quite a bit so I thought I'd write a review finally. Downeast Beverage seems to function as three types of liquor store all at one time. It is definitely a wine and liquor store first, a pretty good beer store second and definitely a summertime stop-off for people buying booze before either getting on a boat or leaving town with something from Maine. That being said, if you are there for beer it has as good as a selection as you will find in Portland and is the only place worth going in the Old Port. They are currently shifting things around so hopefully they will accommodate for more beer in the future! They have mix a six if you want random Maine beers, a bunch of bombers and if you are lucky you can find some local growlers in the fridge. They have the usual suspects in the coolers along with some good Belgian and German beers. (I believe you can get all the Trappists available in the States). . Ask for Adam when you are there, he will be able to help you out with stuff and is an all around nice guy and beer lover.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

One of the best places to buy beer in Maine in my opinion.

They have selections from Maine that sometimes aren't even available 2 hours north of Portland. Whenever I visit the Portland area, I make sure to stop by and hit up things I've been wanting from New England that for some odd distribution reasoning, can't find its way in ALL of New England.

Prices are on average with what I usually pay for certain items, such as Allagash. Big plus in my book is having Sheepscot in growlers, in Bangor they usually only have the bombers of Pemaquid (and not all places have them either). Selection of Belgians could be a little larger but they have good choices of what they have.

Easy to find, but hard to park (it is the Old Port afterall) but fortunately there's a parking garage pretty much across the street if you don't mind paying a little for the stop.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

Downeast Beverage- Portland (Old Port)

Walked in here while my wife drove the car around the block. Absolutely NO parking. Across from the wharf and just off of Franklin St. which is exit 7 off 295.

Plenty of Local bombers and belgians on tables with a coolers filled with plenty of 6 packs. I picked up 3 Cadillac Mountain Stouts, along with 4 other bombers and payed $29. Good prices, excellent selection of locals and better known regional micros (Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Long Trail, etc.)

The best liquor store I've seen in Portland!

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

My second time I have visited this store the last time was back in 2003 but I had remembered the great selection then so I headed straight for the place when looking to get my NE stash started.On Commercial street in the busy Old Port District and right across the street from the port itself really in a bustling area of shops and restaurant/bars so you dont really have to go out of your way to find it.As you walk in you see beer on shelves and lots of them they also have a big cooler to the back and left,I would 60% percent Maine brews with more NE stuff as well with a decent Foreign selection as well but I didnt come for that I came for local stuff and they filled that need well,I picked up a few bombers from Stone Coast,Kennebic,and Sheepscot,and finished up with a Old Marley barleywine from Thomas Hooker a regional NE brewer that I havent really had much of a chance to try much.The guys behind the counter knew their beer and I shot the shit with them for a few minutes I got around 10 bombers for under $40.00 dollars wich isnt bad,so when the Old Port I would say this is the best place to get good beer.

Photo of MrMonkey
4/5  rDev -5%

Finally made it over here after a friend told me about how good the selection is, especially when compared to any place we have here in NH. The store definitely has that old New England charm that many others have commented upon, which lends itself to a very comfortable atmosphere. The two staff members working that day were quite friendly, and I struck up a good conversation with one of them regarding different breweries and beer styles. He made several informative suggestions, and the general good vibe I got will make sure I go back whenever I am in Portland.
The selection did not disappoint. So many offerings, including many Trappist and Abbey ales, along with many other Belgians. Lots of good English and German selections, as well as many offerings from throughout Europe. American beers were the usual suspects from around New England (DFH, Smutty, Allagash, etc). The only slight disappointment was the lack of Rocky Mountain and West Coast breweries, but being from NH, I am pretty much used to that.
Definitely a place worth checking out if you are in the Portland area, and definitely a place I will be visiting again soon.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

I stopped here on the way to a friends cabin near Lewiston to stock up on ME brews. I wasnt disappointed.
The store is easy to find just across from RiRa in downtown Portland. Walking in there are a few tables of room temp local/regional bombers and a mix and match 6er table. I spent most of my time here. The owner/manager was stocking shelves so we chatted about beers and I asked about Brother Adams Braggot and he apologized saying they were out. He answered questions about brews I havent heard of (Black Bear brewing) and told me about the growlers in the coolers. Walking past the tables there is a row of 4-6 cooler doors with locals regionals first some growlers and then finally the big 3 and the like in the last cooler. There were growlers from two very small breweries and also most of the same brews that are on the tables at room temp. I scored some Allagash Musellete, Black Bear stuff, Bar Harbor, and a smattering of other brews. I also asked about a large magnum from Belgium, the owner said he'd drop $5 off the price (only 28 anyway) if I bought it...SOLD! He then comped me two of my 15 bombers. QUite a great little shop, that obviously has a focus on craft brews and quality products and service.
Easily worth a visit.

Photo of xumbi
3/5  rDev -28.7%

I stopped here with my wife on our way to Cushing for the weekend. I had hoped to pick up some Cadillac Mountain Stout and a couple Allagash selections. This store is definitely 30% beer and 70% wine. Beer in the front left, wine everywhere else.

As I searched around I didn't find any CMS, so I asked one of the girls behind the counter, and she said (unapologetically) that they were out. So I ended up going with some Allagash White and Dubbel Reserve.

I have a feeling that their limited selection was the result of the holiday weekend. However, if I find myself in the area again, I will probably look elsewhere.

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

If I opened a store I would want it to be modeled after this place, I love the country store type feel with the big wood floors and brick walls. I gave quality a big rating b/c everything on display in the front of the store was good craft brews. A good selection of maine breweries(bar harbor+++) as well as other top end micros, most offerings from Dogfish were available. The store was very easy to find off the highway and parking wasn't tough at all. Prices were in the ballpark of everything around boston and I was able to grab four Cadillac Mtn Stouts for under $20.

Photo of AC73923
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%

I have been going to school in New York for three years now, and needless to say I am a bit out of the loop on the current beer destinations in my hometown of Portland, Maine. After searching BA for a decent beer store in the area, I came across Downeast Beverage co. When I arrived I was warmly greeted by the owner Tim who gave me a brief store tour.

The layout and overall feel of the store was very comfortable. I was impressed with their selection and ended up spending close to an hour staring in awe at full shelves stocked with great local, micro and import brews. I was incredibly surprised to find Dogfishead Pangea and Fort in 750ml bottles. I was also happy to see that they pride themselves on supporting and featuring local beers and breweries.

Overall I think that Downeast Beverage Co. is an asset to the Portland beer community and I wish them the best of luck. I encourage anyone who appreciate fine beers to stop in and talk beer with Tim and his helpful staff.

Photo of OldSock
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%

Quality: Everything seemed fresh, no complaints here.

Service: Nothing too special, the couple of times I have been in here I didn’t get anything more than a little chit chat.

Selection: Great Maine selection, but not much else that is particularly outstanding. A spattering of Belgians and New England Micros rounds out the selection. It is definitely a good place for someone who is not from Maine and wants to grad some Allagash 10th Anniversary or a variety of random smaller local micros.

Conclusion: Prices were pretty standard. Not a huge place, but they do a good job shoehorning everything they can into the space. Definitely not worth a major trek, but worth stopping in if you happen to be visiting Portland, or live in the area.

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

After reading the reviews, I had pitcured a place much bigger. But while it was a lot smaller than expected, they have done great things with the space they have for beer. I would guess about 40% of their limited space was for beer. Selection was quite good. I have a feeling if a beer is from Maine and available in bottles in Maine, I could get it there. They also had a nice selection of Belgians and other American brews. No dust on anything. Bottles I looked at with a date on them were within a reasonable time. Service was great, one of the guys came over and answered all of my questions. They let me stack my beers on the counter while I continued to look. If ever in the area again I will need to return.

Photo of Hibernator
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

This place is phenomenal.

Now on to the review:

Located on the Portland waterfront on Commercial Street, this place is built to impress anyone who appreciates beer. It has a country store feel with wooden floors and shelves. Upon entering the store you see cigars, glassware and some food. There is also a shelf that invites you to make a 6 pack of local Maine beer. One of the many great things about this place is that you can purchase singles from any of the beers available in six packs. I love to see this option.

The selection at Downeast Beverage is outstanding. They carry some incredible Belgian beers and New England's finest craft beers. In addition they have an awesome selection of Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada and Unibroue. Here are some of the many highlights... SN Bigfoot, DFH World Wide Stout, Geary's, Magic Hat Chaotic Chemistry, Allagash (Four, Curieux, Grand Cru, White, Dubbel, etc), Cadillac Mountain Stout, Long Trail, Piraat, Smuttynose Big Beer Series (Scotch Ale & S'muttonator), Brother Adam's Bragget Ale, Shipyard, Geary's and the list goes on.

The service was friendly and very attentive. Staff were responsive with any questions I had and offered input & suggestions. It was also clear that they were knowledgeable.

This place is awesome and I can't wait to go back again and stock up next time I am in Portland. This place is doing it right.

Photo of mdavis31481
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

If a beer is distributed in Maine you can find it at Downeast Beverage. Dogfish Head, Cadillac Mountain Stout, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Samuel Smith's, Allagash, Smuttynose, Geary's and so many others are all available. The gamut of Maine beers is presented here. Prices are on par for the area. Parking can be a bit prohibitive at times.

The store also stocks a nice selection of wine, liquor and cigars.

Along with Tully's in Wells, Downeast Beverage represents the best of beer in Maine. It is certainly worth a stop if you're visiting the area. For those Maine BAs it should become a regular destination.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

Located on Commercial St. near the far end near India St. There is a parking lot adjacent. Very comfortable, old-tyme country store decor.

This a decent sized liquor store, with the beer near the back along one wall. The emphasis of the beer is on Maine with many Maine breweries represented, including many beers in bombers (I picked up a range of Bar Harbor beers, incl. Cadillac Mtn. Stout). Other than Maine beers there is a decent smattering of other micros and Unibroue offerings. Some imports, but not a huge variety of non-Maine beer.

The store also has a large wine selection and various snack and food items. The service was good, and the staff was helpful.

Photo of UnionMade
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%

The place is located right in downtown. Very classy, the establishment name written in gold lettering with a bold black facade. It kind of looks like an english pub in that respect.
Walking inside, it has a sort of general store feel. Lots of bare wood and a country sort of ambiance, with a loose 12oz bottle sampler collection greeting you. They have tons of local beer, with most of their selection Maine brewed. A healthy selection of domestic and imported craft beer, including a few great belgian and english ales. I'm always happy when I see a beer I had never heard of. This place had at least two dozen I wasn't aware had existed.
Towards the back of the store you find a large cooler, I forget how many doors, but it's filled with tons of local, domestic, and imported craft beer. They have an entire cooler door filled with Maine brewed 22oz bottles, which I thought was excellent. The Bud and other macro beers occupy only the last cooler door, with the rest dedicated to the good stuff. The wine selection looks pretty decent, catering to a wealthier clientele, but I really didn't look at that. They even had mini-kegs of Gritty's beers.
The service is excellent. The employees were happy to accomodate us in any way, including providing us with empty boxes and just being enthusiastic about beer in general. When we paid, they accidentally overcharged us, and were kind enough to give us a free bottle for the trouble. I thought that was very nice.
The product quality is terrific. I was assured that the stock is rotated weekly, with new product being brought in all the time, and nothing sits on the shelf for long. Most of the green and clear bottles are placed in darker areas, I noticed.
It's a pretty upscale place, in an upscale shopping area, and the selection really reflects that. This is certainly a shop for connoisseurs, not joe sixpack looking for a cheap case. The place to stop for local beer while visiing the Portland area.

Photo of yankeeheel
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

The place in Portland...bar none. Has all the big local hitters with a nice smattering of big name brews. Solid little wine section too. The folks here are ever helpful. As others have mentioned the mix and match six is a nice thing when you're trying to sample some local flavors. Slighlty more expensive than outlying stores but they make up for it in quality of knowledge and selection.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Finally went down to check this place out this weekend. The best selection of Maine brews hands down. You can get a six-pack of Maine singles for just over $7. They carry full lines from some Maine breweries that you can have trouble finding elsewhere (Bar Harbor Brewing, Allagash for example). I picked up a 750ml bottle of Allagash White and a 750ml bottle of Brother Adam's Bragget Ale. Unibroue is well represented. Could have easily spent alot more as they had plenty of Belgian brew (and other imports) but I excersized some rare self restraint. As has been mentioned, great selection for a relatively small space and the stock appeared well rotated and fresh. Staff was friendly and helpful. Certainly a must if it's your first trip to Portland.

Photo of Thrasher
4/5  rDev -5%

A very good beer store with wide selection. It's impressive how much they fit in there, considering it didn't seem like a huge space. Singles for sale up near the front, then sixers and bombers in the cooler in the back. Also Gritty's mini-kegs, can't go wrong there. Lots of Maine beers and a decent pick of Belgians too. Attractively laid out with products other than beer throughout the store, so your girlfriend can browse too. I had some difficulty finding parking (when you shop for beer, you want the car close by). I eventually parked in the lot next door but there were signs that made me think I wasn't supposed to do that.

Photo of andyj
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

This place is just wonderful. I have been hankering for so many New England brews since I moved below the Mason-Dixon line. This place has just about every beer that I have been jonesing for. The ones they did not have I believe went under. I was quite impressed with the number of just New England beers they have in one store. They don't just specialize in Maine beers, they carry the smuttynose products as well. I wish there was a similar place specializing in regional brews where I live in Maryland, but Montgomery County employs stasi-like tactics as far as beer distribution.

The staff was wonderful as well. The guys were very cordial and I recall that my wife had to practically strong arm to get me out of there. Despite being a good drive from I-95, it was incredibly easy to find.

Photo of slander
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Kicking around the Old Port area last week and "Hey, I've never seen that place before". Unsuspecting and low key. I'm no pro on the Maine beer scene but I think I saw every Maine brewery I know of represented here as well as some good New Englanders and some fine Belgians. I like the mix your own six pack crates in the middle of the store where you get to try different Maine brews at a decent price. The front window displays the various glassware for sale. They've also got teas and juices and sodas and the like. A fine beer store and I haven't seen too many of those up North.
Got me the goods!!

Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

Maine Beer & Beverage has the best selection of micros and imports in Portland, even more than RSVP. They do this in a much smaller location by doing two things, 1. they don't carry as many of the big name macro-swill brands (good), and 2. they keep a smaller stock of inventory on what they do carry (bad).
This place has just about anything brewed in Maine that the breweries of the state will put in a bottle, the best selection of Belgians in town and a nice mix of other imports. The fact that they are limited on space means that occasionally they run out of things, but if it isn't a limited type seasonal beer, they can get it for you soon.
They also offer a nice deal on mixed sixpacks of selected beers, basically they put certain beers out on wood wine crates and allow you to mix and match a sixpack out of that for about 30 cents more than a six of just one brew would run you.
The prices here are a bit more than some other Portland beer stores, but the selection can't be beat.

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Downeast Beverage Co. in Portland, ME
94 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.