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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center

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BA SCORE
87
very good

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.88%
$$ - 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: 48 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smauretti
smauretti

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +13%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Stopped in at RSVP on 7/16/10 and 7/24/10 and enjoyed the selection of brews available. I found many beers that are not available back home in Massachusetts. Picked up some Mikkellers, Bar Harbor Cadillac Stout, Maine Beer Company Zoe, Maine Beer Company Peeper's, Stone's 14th Anniversary, Sebago Single Batch as well some other great selections.

Service was good on both occasions and found associates that were knowledgeable about the beer available.

RSVP has a great craft beer selection that was worth the stop on the way through Portland.

Put this one on your list as a must do if in the area.

07-29-2010 04:01:12 | More by smauretti
Photo of mtnbikerpa
mtnbikerpa

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I visited this local liquor store while on vacation. I was not to impressed with the staff, they were not very helpful. But there were a number of long isles stocked nicely with craft beers. A lot of Maine beers available, Sea dog, Seabago, Bar Harbor Brewing, Allagash, Atlantic Brewing Company. Also Weyerbacher, Stone, BrewDog, Dogfish head, Flying Dog, Victory and a lot of German Imports. Most seasonals seemed to be fresh. I was able to get a good supply of Cadillac Mountain Stout which is always a favorite of mine when visiting Maine.

06-27-2010 18:56:54 | More by mtnbikerpa
Photo of rrheisler
rrheisler

Maine

4/5  rDev +3.9%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

RSVP has earned itself a reputation of having a pretty brutal service staff, as it took almost four months of me going there as a customer before actually getting a greeting out of anybody before hitting the registers. However, they have a really strong selection of local, national, and international brews. Lots of options that you can't find anywhere else, especially on the imported side of things.

However, over the last month and a half, they have really stepped up their service game; more employees who really know what they are talking about. Talked quite a bit with Bill, the beer guy, and through a long conversation with him was able to procure a bottle of Black Ops. Really good guy, knows what he's talking about, and will be the first to point out the good and the bad of the craft in his store.

Prices are good, not great, as Downeast Bev and Oak Hill both beat some prices RSVP has, but RSVP has some that they price lead on. $6.99 is the cheapest I've found locally for Brooklyn's Local series, though.

01-17-2010 14:24:28 | More by rrheisler
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$

I travel all the time and when I'm in Maine, I have made this location a regular stop of mine. The store is predominantly liquor and wine, but the SMALL beer selection they have (when compared to the rest of the inventory) is very HIGH quality. I'd much rather have a more concentrated selection of high quality brews as opposed to a huge selection of crap. I've found RSVP's prices to be the BEST I've seen in the seven states I travel in. If you stop in, ask for Bill. Bill knows his beer, I love talking to this guy every time I come in because I learn something new every time. How many places can you go and buy DFH 120 at the same or just about the same price as what you would pay for in DE? I rely on Bill to give me recommendations for some new brews I've never tried before - he's been bang on. Business travelers, seek this place out. Locals who have never been here, pull your head out of the sand!!

12-12-2009 05:10:04 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of shaebs99
shaebs99

New York

3.85/5  rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Hmmm...The rating I gave this place may be a bit low..

Heard of this place on my research into Portland. My intel was on the mark about the 25 year old rule at RSVP. Coming from NY I knew they wouldn't accept my ID (and Portland as a whole is a bit strict with the carding). Luckily my friend is a few months older than me and is 25 years old... YAY!

I got a basket for my beer (only realizing afterward that Ishould have gotten a cart instead). Loaded it up with Maine goodies. Bar harbor (small batch and 12oz available), Spring Peeper, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (my GF tried it a few minutes before at Great Lost Bear and wanted some for her self), Clipper City Great Pumpkin (surprised to see it made it this far up), some other NE goodies, and a Rasputing XII. Probably shouldn't have gotten that last one, but who can resist seeing a beer like that for the first time.

My only regret was not getting a Gritty's minikeg

Overall the selection and prices was the best I saw in Portland. They don't compromise on the 25yr old out of state rule so have a backup plan. If you are visiting and are below 25 you may consider visiting Downeast Beverage. Almost all the beers I got at RSVP were here, just a tad more expensive (10% or so).

11-11-2009 02:19:53 | More by shaebs99
Photo of bitterliving
bitterliving

New Hampshire

4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Just got of the phone with these folks, and have to say the time they took looking for items over the phone was more than patient.
Without finding what I was looking for, Chris took my name and # to call me back when it arrives.

Two hours later, he calls back to ask how many they can hold for me, as it is coming in.

I've always had good service and selection when I've visited the store.
The place definitely doesn't shine when it comes to the looks department, but for pretty descent service and some of the best selection around the area (wine too) they seem to be the ticket when I head in that area.

09-09-2009 16:03:12 | More by bitterliving
Photo of jdrouillard
jdrouillard

Michigan

3/5  rDev -22.1%
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
berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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
Jayli

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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
ToasterChef

Maine

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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
RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center in Portland, ME
87 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.