Downeast Beverage Co.

Not Rated.
Downeast Beverage Co.Downeast Beverage Co.
BA SCORE
93
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
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
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 mltobin
3.09/5  rDev -26.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.5

This is an pretty good spot in Old Port to grab some brew. For people who are from "away", you will likely find some beer that you do not get in MA/CT/NY, etc. They carry Maine Beer Co, Allagash, some Belgians, German, West Coast breweries, others. You will find the beer tucked into a back corner of the store. Most of their space is dedicated to wine and spirits. And along with that, when I came in, their staff was pre-occupied tasting wines with a sales rep.
Regardless of that, this store did not live up to some of the previous ratings for me. Granted, it is in a convenient downtown area and has some good beer available, but some of the really high ratings have me, scratching my head. But, if you are staying nearby, by all means, pick up a couple things hear, but I`m guessing that you will not be blown away.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

I visit this beer store whenever I'm in Portland

After the successful acquisition of blueberry scones @ the standard bakery (located next door) I make my way into downeast for some brews. Liquor and wine take up the front of the store with most of the beer stuffed into the very back. There are coolers full of beer along the left side as well. As I remember their selection consisted of maine locals (Allagash/Maine beer co) as well as some interesting imports (mainly Belgian). In retrospect the selection isn't as good as I remember it being. I question their impressive selection of Stillwater beers over ones from the new england region, or even the northeast. Finally, the icing on the cake is being lied to by staff about Allagash special release beer availability at the brewery (followed by a huge overcharge for a beer produced <10 miles away). Leaving the place has me convinced the only necessary beer stop is Julio's/Portsmouth, but I think I'll continue to get outstanding scones next door.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%

Went in here on a rainy Saturday on a quick trip to Portland. There was a decent selection, but not as good as I expected considering a lot of the positive comments I've heard about this store. Additionally, there were quite a few older bottles on display...especially in the German and Belgian selections. Still, it's a decent selection. I have to ding service on this note, though. I asked the guy at the register if they had any Cadillac Mountain Stout, and he responded, "Cadillac Mountain Stout...ummm...who makes it?" Are you $#!+ting me? If you're holding yourself out as a solid beer store in Maine, every service person, owner, manager, janitor or carrier pigeon in the place better know about the most sought-after beer in Maine (OK, that was before Gargamel). He may have been new, but that didn't help. Still, it has a pretty decent selection save for potential freshness issues. I do prefer Tully's in Wells by a significant margin, however, but when in downtown Portland by the wharf Downeast is the best place I saw. And the bakery next door is awesome.

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 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 morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%

We were checking out of our hotel on a Sunday, so my wife and I walked down here just to check it out and to see what else we could thrown in the car to bring back to MA. We walked in and were greeted with a hello. The beer is in the back of the store. There are a few coolers for cold six packs. Right up front, there is a nice display for Allagash products and next to that, a shelf for other Maine beers. Behind, there are shelves for other US craft beers and imported brews. I was hoping to find some really obscure Maine beers, and while there were some to choose from, it wasn't a large selection. I picked up a bottle of Maine Brewing Company's Peeper Ale for $4.75 to add to the haul from the weekend. We were greeted again at the register. Downeast seemed like the best beer store in the immediate Old Port area.

Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A nice "gourmet food" setup, and a decent number of bottles in the trendy West district. Not as many bottles as Tulley's, by a big margin. More pricey distributed bottles. More Shelton Brothers bottles than anything else. But that was good for me, and passed over bottles of Stillwater and of Dugges enabled me to catch up on his saisons. A little pricey. Still nice street to shop.Smaler bottles only by the six pack and in the cooler. It was the bombers and 500 ml. at a good temperature.

Photo of ivyman
4/5  rDev -5%

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 ferillo
4/5  rDev -5%

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 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 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 GreatPondBrewer
4/5  rDev -5%

A great place to stop on the way back to the Peaks Island ferry. Went in hoping to grab a sixer to tide me over and ended up purchasing 4 big bottles as well. Got a bunch of local stuff (part of the I won't drink beer that is more than 6 hours away from me mode). The place has a pretty sweet selection of American micros (Victory just became available in Maine), Germans, Belgians, and English as well. Also a good selection of booze and wines if that is your thing. The service was very cordial as well. If you need some really good brews this is definitely a place to pop into.

additional note- all people have different pricing systems in their minds and frankly having a value system on here is pretty odd to me. People spend more for the product they get and that is consumer choice they make. I think $8.50 for a beer is fine. In this day and age we make choices based on what is valuable to us. If quality beer is that choice then paying whatever for it shouldn't be a problem.

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 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 kingcrowing
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

I've been in here twice now looking for beer that I can't get in VT - so mainly Nogne-O and higher ABV beers. The first time I found a couple 120 Mins, and I couldn't find a WWS which I really wanted, but I asked the beer guy and he went out back and found me one which was awesome! I came back this time but sadly no WWS. I did find Brewdog Tokyo, Mikkeller Black Hole and Beer Geek Breakfast, and the Nogne-O, Jolly Pumpkin, Stone Collaboration that was brewed at Nogne-O which I've never seen before!

The prices seem a bit high, however I was buying higher ABV imported stuff so that's to be expected. Make sure to look around because I found a Dark Horizon in the back of one shelf the first time I was there which was a pretty good find!

Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

last stop on the way out of town after a really solid breakfast at the Public Market House

cool old building with creaky wooden floors and old brick walls, especially like the 100+ year old mortar dust that seems to settle on bottles placed close to the wall

as an out of towner I was specifically interested in local and regional beers, of which a pretty nice representation is found here, singles available and breaking six-packs is allowed, probably won't find the entire portfolio of any particular brewery but the selections were quality, solid representation from Belgium and the rest of Europe but those received only a quick glance, I left with a few different selections from Atlantic Brewing but you'll also find stuff from Gritty's, Long Trail, Belfast Bay, Geary's, Sebago, Allagash of course...

not much floor service, but the gentleman working seemed to be restricted to the register by a constant stream of checkouts

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 ToasterChef
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

I really like Downeast Beverage. Their selection may not be as large as RSVP (another beer store in Portland), but it does have plenty of great beer to choose from. There are plenty of local beers, out of state micros, and a good international section separated by country. The atmosphere is really nice, with old wood floors, brick walls, and interesting shelves (which allows the staff to show off the beers in an interesting way). The service has always been helpful. The past two times I've gone in they've been willing to go look out back for a specific beer for me, and if they didn't have it, they could tell me when the next delivery was scheduled to take place. I've also ordered kegs here in the past, and the staff was very accommodating for my needs. Since it is in the Old Port, parking can be difficult at times, btu if you're going to be quick, there are two 15 minute spots nearby that I use when I can.

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 mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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