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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center

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very good

45 Ratings
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 16.4%
$$ - reasonable

[ Store ]

887 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine, 04103-4107
United States
phone: (207) 773-8808

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 42 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jdrouillard


3/5  rDev -20.6%
quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$

This was a place that I was really excited to check out. There are great finds there, but the service is poor. They have a absurd rule of not accepting out of state ID's if you're under 25. I tried to suggest a passport, but that too was immediately shot down as well. It was very aggravating, especially when my basket was full of hard to fine beers. Thanks RSVP. If this happens to you, I suggest going down the street to Maine Brewing Supply. The selection is not as large, but it is still great. Plus, Maine Brewing Supply has very great service and are always willing to chat!

07-24-2009 00:43:13 | More by jdrouillard
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Stopped by on a recent trip to Portland, the day after pubcrawling in the Old Port area to try a bunch of Maine craft beers. I had read about RSVP's service before we went and was a little apprehensive, but all I can say is that they were friendly when we were there... one gentleman in particular even asked how we were making out... twice! The cashier was also very helpful even though we were checking out many singles and the prices weren't coming up. Good beer selection, with lots of Maine beers, which is why we were there, but a very good selection of Belgians as well. Overall I was very pleased with RSVP Liquor.

Update 11/09 - Back for a second trip, selection was still great, and the people waiting on us were extremely helpful and kind.

06-18-2009 19:55:58 | More by berley31
Photo of Jayli


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$

Stopped in here on a recent trip to Maine. The majority of my trips to Maine have not yielded a liquor store with a decent craft brew presence. RSVP is by and far the best that I have come across. There is only one aisle of beer - BUT, what they do have is a decent representation. Delerium Tremens and Nocturnal, Aecht Schlenkerla, High and Mighty, Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Freeport, Sea Dog, Shipyard, Allagash, Rogue, & Stone to name a few. Decent cooler selection, but the real find is down at the end with Growlers. I snagged a growler of Freeports Chocolate Porter that was outstanding. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found at RSVP.

06-01-2009 18:35:52 | More by Jayli
Photo of ToasterChef


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

I go to RSVP for two reasons; first, it's partnered with a redemption center and I like turning empties into full beers; second, the selection is the best in the area. Today was the first time I wanted a beer that is available in Maine that RSVP didn't have (they were sold out). They have beers that you can't find elsewhere in Portland. The beers are intelligently organized by brewery which makes for easy browsing. The coolers a full of local beers, popular micros (Magic Hat, Harpoon, Sam Adams, etc.) and macros and all of the international beers and other micros are stored upright and warm. There is also a wide selection of wines, liquor, soda and snack food.

Where RSVP is severely lacking is in its customer service. There were two staff members that I interacted with today. One is well known to me as a complete grump and a person to avoid at all costs (more on her later), so the first person I approached was the other employee (I approached her even though her register had a closed sign, I dread the grumpy employee that much). I asked employee #2 if there were any bottles of Cadillac Mtn Stout out back, as there were none of the shelves. She didn't believe me at first and had to go look on the shelves for the beer. While she was scanning the international shelves, I politely showed her where they were supposed to be in the domestic area. She then asked if it was a six pack. I told her it was a 22 oz bottle I was looking for. She then went and looked in the store room, returning a few minutes later empty handed. Her explanation was "I didn't see any," and I had to suggest that I try back later. That was the extent of my interaction with employee #1. She's obviously not the beer person at RSVP. I'll assume that their beer guy was not working that day, but perhaps she just didn't bother offering to put me in touch with him.

Now, the checkout process. The only open register was manned by the grumpy employee. This woman would make the grim reaper look like a fun guy. She never smiles, never says please or thank you, and until today, never suggested I have a nice day. I wasn't to impressed with her lackluster suggestion though. Her delivery is so rote and monotone, it's as if she were reciting the active ingredients of cough medicine. Normally, she just snaps "ID" without looking up at me and informs me of the price of my beers--nothing else. Her demeanor is so off-putting, I dread having to deal with her. But the selection of RSVP is so good, I'll keep going there, and keep hoping that another register is open.

UPDATE 1.29.10
The service at RSVP has gotten much better over the past 6 months. The cashiers are friendlier and there are multiple beer folks who will help you make informed selections. It's vastly improved.

05-12-2009 01:44:19 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4/5  rDev +5.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Can't believe I've forgotten to review this place.

Certainly one of the best beer locations to buy from if you're in the Portland area, I've been able to get some real gems here, such as 1260 Triple IPA, Black Albert and could have gotten Black Ops if I had wanted to.

One of the better selections around too, guess it helps that they have the room for it too. Place is like a warehouse, while the looks have much to left to desire, it's really what's inside that counts. Parking is kinda hectic since it's on Forest Ave with a good amount of traffic, so be careful.

As a warning, if you are from out of state you have to be older than 25, pretty weird ayuh!

03-13-2009 20:13:15 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of cleeze


2.9/5  rDev -23.3%
quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$

Just got back from a recent trip to RSVP. STILL like Tully's much better. Now I use to live right down the road and I remembered a better selection.

Price is pretty damn good for maine. 4.50 for an arrogant bastard when i been paying 5 and some change.

I was also pleased to see that had Jolly Pumpkin. I've yet to try one of their brews and yet to see one. Good selection of local brews that I can get any where in maine. Personally I think too much of their cooler space is dedicated to BMC products. More geared for quanity. They do have some gems though. Deffinatly worth a peak

Service wasn't what I'm used to either. Not that friendly kinda rude too

01-04-2009 06:27:52 | More by cleeze
Photo of Pamola


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I drop by RSVP every time I head back to Maine to visit the rents. I usually go in with a 60 dollar budget and walk out with a wine box brimming with bombers and 750s, and maybe a couple 6 packs as well. In my opinion this is the best beer store in maine by leaps and bounds. The local selection is exhaustive (most recent maine additions being the shipyard big beers, stone coast 1260, allagash collaboration, geary's wee heavy, and more) and they have an entire aisle devoted to euro singletons from every country on the continent. It's true the service isn't incredible. They have one older guy who knows beer cold. If you can find him, all your questions will be answered.

One of my favorite parts of this store is the gritty's mini kegs. 20 bucks for a little barrel of best bitter always makes me happy.

Check this place out. I have no idea how someone could be disappointed by what they have to offer.

12-01-2008 18:58:20 | More by Pamola
Photo of joepais


4.5/5  rDev +19%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I was in looking for a special bottle for Secret Santa BIF. I know it was available in the state of Maine but haven't seen for a while. Sure enough it was there, as well as a great selection of Belgians and other imports. A large selection of American craft brews that was available in the state. They had the new Allagash collaboration as well as most of the other local Maine brews. The place was well laid out and the clerks were knowledgeable. The prices on the bottles were reasonable as well. I most defiantly be back when I get to Portland again

11-09-2008 21:20:26 | More by joepais
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$

I only just heard about RSVP on Beer Advocate when I was looking for a retail location to get six Maine Brewers Festival tickets. I was not interested in paying $6 per ticket and we were headed that way anyway so I stopped by. From the outside it looks like an everyday liquor store and even inside I was skeptical until I got into the back where the beer is. There warm section was awesome, it looked like they had almost everything that I know of that is distributed to Maine. They even had some Maine brews that I had not seen at Tulley's, my usual beer store.

Price was another big plus, some bombers were significantly cheaper than I was expecting. The service was mostly MIA, I'm sure I could have gotten questions answered if I had any but it seemed like the only person in the store besides us was the cashier. I will definitely be back, especially when I'm on my way to the Great Lost Bear.

09-10-2007 00:13:02 | More by ericj551
Photo of blackburnrovers


4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Agree with the previous reviewer. I've lived in Portland for over 12 years and the place has changed for the better over the past couple of years since the new owners arrived. The store used to have bad lighting, a "very used" floor, etc, but things have slowly changed and it is more inviting. For starters, the place is brighter, a new floor has been installed, and racks have been moved making it easier to get around.

More importantly, the beer selection has improved. Sure, you can always get almost every Maine micro produced in bottles, but the import and "out of state" micro selection has greatly expanded. This is due in part to two new distributors in the state carrying out out of state micros and imports.

R.S.V.P. has jumped on this with an expanded "beer geek" rack which you can't miss on the way to the cooler doors in the rear of the store. Some of these offerings as well as most Maine micros can be ordered by keg through the store.

They have also recently put up a "Kappy's Route 1" scrolling sign outside the store announcing beer, wine, and booze specials.

I'm not a wine or booze aficionado, but they do have a large wine and booze selection.

Well worth a stop if you're in Portland and searching for a Maine micro, out-of-state micro, or funky import to take home.

07-04-2007 19:01:46 | More by blackburnrovers
RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center in Portland, ME
86 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.