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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 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 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 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 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 spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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%

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