1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: n/a
[ 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
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 beerbiatchMD
4.8/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This has become my bottle shop.

After living in Portland for >19 months and having tried all the liquor/beer stores in the area, I can honestly say that this one is the best.

I mostly go there for beer so I'll focus on that. They have a great selection--not as much quantity as RSVP, but still very good. Anything you want from Maine is there, plus anything that is distributed here, and a lot of foreign crafts.

Customer service: this is where they win hands-down. The customer is always right at Downeast Beverage. They do not have inane policies such as not accepting passports or not selling to out of state residents who are < 25 y/o. They will get you bottles on request and call when your order arrives, and then save it for you. They don't have bottle limits either. The staff are very friendly and you never feel like they're mocking you, even newbies. I've heard some pretty silly questions about beer while in there, and the staff are always 100% helpful, never annoyed or put off. They are not salesmen and will talk you out of buying something if they know you won't be 100% happy with it.

They also have occasional beer and wine tastings, which are great fun... wish I could attend more often.

I pretty much exclusively go here now because of the above reasons. They have treated me very well and thus I will always buy at Downeast Beverage. I highly recommend them!

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 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 Chowdahead
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

My favorite beer store in Portland for a number of reasons. Nice selection which is very well organized and easy to peruse with most beers organized by country or style. Nolan, the beer buyer, knows his stuff, is extremely helpful and great to talk beer with. Great interior with exposed brick walls and old, old wood floors which remind of the floors in my grandparents' old barn where I used to sneak beer at family events. Prices are a little above average but that is to be expected given the location right in the Old Port. Definitely a great place to check out if you are in the Portland area.

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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 Bierman9
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is a nice little place down by the waterfront in Portland. Yesterday VENOM, JohnnyP, LondonPride, Davo and myself made a raid on this place. They have a real nice selection, with good emphasis on local Maine bier as well as some very nice Belgians like Piraat and Gulden Drak, among other things. As I said, they have a wide array of Maine bier, including Cadillac Mtn Stout. You can make a mix-six of Maine 12oz bottles for $7.95. Stop by if you're nearby to stock up on some good, fresh Maine bier!

overall: 4.46
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

44

Photo of dciBA
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%

Great little beer store in Portland. A nice welcoming atmosphere, not your average warehouse style liquor store feel. The quantity of selection isn't the best, but the quality just might be. Plenty of the usual favorites to choose from with a bunch of oddball stuff you won't see anywhere else in maine. Nolan the beer guy there is very helpful and knowledgeable. He seems to know about every beer in the store, and had an answer for every question I asked. Parking is tough, but well worth the hassle. Pricing is great, I walked out with a ton of good beer for 50 bucks. They usually have slightly out season stuff on sale too. Don't miss this place when in Portland.

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 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 StevieW
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

I visited here on my Maine vacation in August 2002. I was surprised it wasn't listed, but didn't want to add it and show up my New England Beer advocate friends. (I actually just found the price sheet I stuffed into my duffel bag.)
A very impressive selection of Maine Beers. I picked up most of my loot here. I remember getting the Atlantic Brewing Co. Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale, Gritty's Halloween Ale the day it came out, and some sea dogs. Also offered the mixed 6-pack option, really nice for the beeradvocate types that like to sample different beers. The guy working was nice and wearing a flannel shirt in August, that's something new to me.

Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%

I was happy to be able to check out Downeast Bev Co with my friends FooFaa and ffejherb. We strolled in after having a bite at 3 Dollar Deweys and befor heading to Novare Res Bier Cafe.

The place is not huge,but what they lack in size they make up for in selection. They have quality stuff like a whole rack of very reasonably priced Trappist and Lambics and they cover the gamut with locals and Europen choices as well. The coolers are pretty well stocked with craft brews including some Allagash and ffejherb got the last bottle of Spring Peeper they had. I was very happy with the prices in comparison to PA as I saved over 3 dollars after tax on a bottle of Orval.

The quality and selection are both good, but the service was limited to ringing us up when we were done. I don't have a problem with that since everything is well displayed and we were having a good time marvelling at the varity of things we can't get in PA. They have seasonals grouped together but some hoppy beers were displayed in the light -my only gripe. I would not hesitate to recommend them - I left my wallet sit absentmindedly and the cashier picked it up for me -Thanks! If you want to try some out of the ordinary brews like gruit, Zwickel and rauchbier they have them too --nice place and you won't be dissapointed.

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 twelvsies
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

Not a lot of stores in the area featuring a good beer selection, but this one is my "go-to". Most of the beer is in the back, past an also decent selection of wines / spirits. Lots of local flavor, including Allagash, Gritty's, Bar Harbor, etc. They keep the new stuff from Maine Beer Company stocked as much as possible, although it flies out the door quickly, usually straight into my fridge. They get one delivery per week according to the staff. There's also a decent amount of imports / Belgians etc along the back wall. Some Shelton Bros stuff, etc. Occasionally you can find some stuff from De Struisse. The only downside is that a lot of the more interesting stuff doesn't seem like it sells, so the selection doesn't change much week to week. I go in probably twice a week, mostly for Peeper Ale, and am getting a little bored w/ the typical offerings. That being said, they do a good job with what's available in Maine. The folks that work there are always in a jolly mood and willing to chat about beer. They have a great logo w/ a lobster holding a martini glass that is available in shirts, flags, pints, etc. Overall a great place and probably the top in the area in my opinion. Also worth noting, if you are just in the area briefly you should consider stopping by the Standard Bakery right next door, another great local place w/ a bounty of baked goods.

Photo of bennybrew
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

the widest selection of beers i have seen yet in maine. beers from here and beers from away (that means not from maine). and far more micros than macros. prices are decent for in the city too. plus glasses, t's and a few sodas and such. i'd go back. plus its right across from ri-ras.

[my review was for maine beer and beverage at this location. i don't know if the "downeast beverage co" is just a new name or a new business. as soon as i visit i'll let ya know as i wouldn't want you to be decieved.]

[update 5.18.5] so. now i've been to 'downeast beverage' as such. same store. same loaction. i'm not sure i would have even noticed the name change. seems like they have more wine than before. but also more beer. also, they were quite helpful in locating some allagash odessey and saving it for me. it was a bit more than i thought it would be and the prices there were a bit more than the hannaford grocery store but not so much as to complain about.

Photo of jjboesen
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

This is an excellent store right in Old Port, right on the waterfront. Though a bit small, there is plenty of Maine beers to be had in sixers and bombers along with a decent wine selection.

If you don't see anything, ask and you shall receive a quick response. I was able to find a good selection from the new brewers like Rising Tide along with much else. This may not be the highest rated beer store in Portland, but it is excellent for visitors with limited time who seek a store with a (seemingly) endless selection of regional brews.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Downeast Beverage Co. in Portland, ME
94 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.