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Downeast Beverage Co.

Not Rated.
Downeast Beverage Co.Downeast Beverage Co.

44 Ratings
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
[ Store ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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(Place added by: Bierman9)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | 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.

AC73923, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.8/5  rDev +14%

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!

beerbiatchMD, Jan 28, 2012
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.

UnionMade, Oct 01, 2003
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.

sulldaddy, Jul 08, 2006
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.

Chowdahead, Sep 14, 2010
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.

andyj, Jul 31, 2003
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.

yankeeheel, Sep 27, 2003
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.

MaineBeerMan, Feb 01, 2003
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!!

slander, Mar 03, 2003
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.

ViveLaChouffe, Sep 22, 2003
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Downeast Beverage Co. in Portland, ME
93 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.