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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center

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BA SCORE
87
very good

51 Ratings
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 16.32%
[ Store ]

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

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Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PlinyTheKid
1.94/5  rDev -49.7%

This place blows. To be honest, it's filthy, it's unorganized, as the staff is beyond rude to their customers. They will not sell to you unless you are over 25 on ID. Even if you are associated with the person under 25, they will not sell to you either. They denied service to us, even though one person from our party had a legitimate 22 year old ID, and restricted everyone else from tr group from making their own purchases. The cashier was ignorant, beyond rude. Don't bother. Go to Beer Cellar down the street instead.

Also, even from Los Angeles, this place had nothing interesting.

PlinyTheKid, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of moulefrite
2.15/5  rDev -44.3%

I read the reviews about this place and thought it would be a great little dive that I would feel right at home in. I don't love a place that has a stuffy feel and prefer the warehouse feel, especially if the service shines. I sought it out when in Portland and I must say this place was the worst place I visited on my trip, and I visited alot of places, and I work in the retail business, so I am no stranger to the life and goings on. First strike was fatal! Upon entering I said hello to the cashier (mind me this is Maine and I thought the people in this state to be amongst the friendliest I've encountered anywhere) and she just looked at my wife and I!? UHHH!!! The homer Simpson syndrome? The other workers leaned against walls talking to distributers-wishing the customers would go away, but knowing they are the ones who bring in the cash! Other stockers sauntered past and tried to not make eye contact. The place is a friggin liqour store mainly with plenty aof cig adds, crappy wines, and a decent selection of beer, but not much one could not find elsewhere. I grabbed a local brew from the cooler only cause I wanted one to drink at the hotel before dinner. This is a place full of burnt out retailers with shitty attitudes and no manners or even courtesy. You can at least say hello when the customer greets you no? Leave this dump to the old red faced gin drinkers and give your money to some one else. There are plenty of cool places in Portland with great employees.

moulefrite, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of kingcrowing
2.16/5  rDev -44%

Came in here on my way to Eb's - I've been to Down East Beverage a few times and really liked it but I thought I'd check this place out.

Overall their craft selection was fairly small with only a few things of interest - they had 3F Oude Geueze in 375s which I didn't see at Down East (although if I asked they may have had some), and WWS for a decent price.

I ended up grabbing those two and a Fantome - three bottles for roughly $35, and I was refused sale because I didn't have a Maine ID. I had both a Vermont ID and a federally issued passport and they still refused. This was totally crazy to me and I found the manager to be rather unpleasant about the situation.

I will not return in the future, Down East has a much higher quality selection and their service was top notch.

kingcrowing, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of JoRado
2.78/5  rDev -28%

I was visiting from the Midwest and RSVP was recommended a place to go to if I wanted to bring home some beers that I couldn't get back home.

I came here with three of my friends, two of which have lived in Maine for a couple years, the third was on vacation with me. The service saw me, but didn't greet me and allowed me to browse their selection without asking if I needed help. For some this may have seemed rude, but I actually prefer it that way.

I ended up getting to the checkout with about four bombers of various beer, and they refused to sell them to me because I was only 24 and had an out of state ID. Even though everyone of my friends that were there with me were 25 or older, and two of them were Maine residents with Maine ID's.

They then almost refused to sell anything to my friends because I was in the store with them! So I quickly left and waited in the car outside. I ended up texting my friends from the car so they could buy my beers I had to put back, but that was even hard to do because the employees wouldn't allow them to buy what I had picked out.

In the end they let that slide and I got my beer.

Overall a very annoying experience.

JoRado, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of cleeze
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%

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

cleeze, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of spence3208
2.97/5  rDev -23.1%

Heard this was to place to go if in portland area. so I ventured in. found a decent amount of craft beer offerings. the store is a typical bottle store with dim lighting and cardboard displays. my buddy had a hard time with buying beer because he had a NH ID he is (24) strange issue, but other then that was a OK experience. cant say id make the trek to go again.

spence3208, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of jdrouillard
3/5  rDev -22.3%

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!

jdrouillard, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

I went here on recommendation of BillyBrew looking for Allagash. I was not dissapointed. The beer selection is varied and it's definitely a wide audience by various styles represented. Great selection of Maine micros. Not as varied as some MA stores regarding singles from around the world but it is on my list of stores to check out on future trips. Much has already been said of service and my experience did not differ from what has been previously said. That's ok in my book, I did not want service, rather selection and price.

barleywinebrewer, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of cnwillis31
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

cnwillis31, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Jayli
3.55/5  rDev -8%

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.

Jayli, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of UnionMade
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Located a bit off the downtown area, RSVP is fairly close to the Great Lost Bear and Stone Coast Pizzeria, on the same street. Driving from downtown, it's located on the right, occupying a large, boxy white building. There's a big sign out front, so it's not easy to miss.
Walking inside, it's a warehouse layout, with a bare concrete floor and little attempt to decorate the place aside from a couple banners advertising assorted liquors and beer.
The beer selection is mostly in coolers against the back wall. It's mainly macros and imports, with all the micros on the right hand end. The usual ME treats, with a couple growlers from Maine Coast and Federal Jacks. I noticed the Maine Coast brews were all stouts, and all in clear growlers. A small warm beer section at the end of one of the aisles hosts a variety of bombers and 750ml bottles, mostly ME brewed products. Several case and six pack displays are set up for special deals.
I didn't have anyone help me, nor did I ask for assistance. The place was pretty dead, and all the employees were at the front of the store setting up some sort of sign. I wound up buying a sixer, and they did ask if I found everything I wanted. I didn't have any complaints.
I noticed the prices here are much cheaper than Downeast. The selection is about the same, with all the same local beers represented. I wanted to pick up a growler of the Maine Coast stuff, but I'm very wary of clear growlers after my experience with some store bought Franconia Notch, which was a clear, skunked growler. Nothing that the store can do about it, really. Some of the more expensive 750's and bombers had a bit of dust on them, which made me a bit dubious as to their age. The regualrs looked fresh enough, but I didn't go around checking expiration dates.
A good enough place to shop for local beer, but I'd stick with Downeast, for the service and location alone.

UnionMade, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of silentjay
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Asked after I toured Allagash where I could find a good selection of beer in the general area, was pointed to this store by both a tour guide and a guest.

Looks very slummy from the outside, and had a less-than-desirable variety of clientele coming and going as I pulled up. Walked in, and the inside was a bit better than my first impressions from the outside, but not too much. Amply lit, and decently laid-out, though it reminded me of a discount grocery store.

No one approached me to help as I dissected their selection for a while, but I like it that way. cashier was friendly enough and they boxed my purchase nicely.

selection was good. found many products I cant get in MA and spent a decent amount. Found many products that I can get in MA that were priced at a dollar or two cheaper than I can get it here.

Would visit again next time I'm in the area. Though it looks shady from the outside, the beers they offer are worth the visit. the also had a SA Utopias in a glass case for $30 less than I bought mine for.... I almost bought that too.

silentjay, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

This store runs frequent advertisements on the radio. Even so I've driven by it from time to time. RSVP carries a good beer selection for Maine. From my casual experience patronizing various beer sellers dotted up and down the eastern states of the US of A, RSVP's beer selection is average but probably stellar for Maine. Wide and varied beer distribution up into Maine is likely harrowed by low demand, high tributes, rules and regs, you name it.

I also patronize two other stores in the greater Portland Maine area that sell craft brews. RSVP probably has the better selection but it's not so outstanding that I'd go out of my way to shop there.

I didn't bother to review their other offerings- looks like a goodly selection of wines.

I did not require assistance so I can't comment on the store's help.

In the end I'm glad for the existence of any channels through which I can obtain quality craft brewed beer.

gueuzeonhigh, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of yankeeheel
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

A decent store for beer. Really more geared towards wine. Their non-cooler space is pretty well limited to one row. A solid selection of the locals. I was an unlucky soul who wound up buying way out of date beer there. Didn't realize it until I read about it here. Beer was still good, but there is no excuse for beer that old on the shelf. Prices are pretty good.

yankeeheel, Sep 27, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Not the selection I was hoping for when I saw the size of the place. Disregarding the size, it has a good selection of Maine brews, micros and imports. Picked up a six pack of Optimator and found Orval among the Belgians. Nice selection of bombers and growlers from Maine breweries. Prices were more than fair IMO. Some of the stock outside of the cooler is old so keep an eye out. I can't say much for the service. I could barely get the cashier to say good morning. I shudder to think of the response I would have gotten if I had actually needed help. Service aside, a solid shop with a nice selection. They have something for almost any taste.

7/2005 My old review applies, seems to be more Allagash and Dogfish Head than in the past. Good selection, lousy service. A must stop though if you are in Portland.

ViveLaChouffe, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of ChrisinRI
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

ChrisinRI, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Always heard ads for this place on the Maine radio stations, and was driving through Portland on our way home so we figured we'd stop by. If you are in the area and specifically looking for Maine beers, this is a good place to look. We were able to score a 6er of the newest Baxter release at the time, as well as some bombers from Rising Tide and some Allagash not normally available in NH or Mass. The place is your typical liquor store, with wine and booze sections along with the beer. The beer consists of a wall of coolers, as well as two aisles of bottles. On top of that, there are some end caps on the aisles, and a couple of random displays throughout the store that all have beer, so you really have to do some searching/exploring. That being said, there are some solid beers available here, both US and imports. On top of the Maine beers, we were able to score a variety of Mikkeller brews. The staff doesn't roam from behind the register from what we saw, but they were friendly enough. They have snacks and what not available, mostly chips and jerkey, which is typical of a liquor store. We are going to try to visit some of Portland's other stores, but it's good to know RSVP is solid for when we need some decent brews.

GarthDanielson, May 31, 2012
Photo of gtn80
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

RSVP is my go to bottle shop in Portland. First the good part. They have a great selection of continental beer, especially German and Belgian. They also have a great selection of craft beer, especially the local and New Englad scene. Most is warm, but they do put a bunch of the bigger micros and cases of micros in the coolers.

The bad is the service and atmosphere. The place is a pretty dumpy warehouse feel. The service is exactly that, serviceable. I usually only interact with the cashiers, and they are adequate. The problem is the staff has no clue about beer, but I don't really care about that. I know what I want going in, but if you like to ask alot of questions, this isn't the place for you.

gtn80, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of BillyBrew
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

An alcohol 'warehouse', but in the best sense of the word.

A good sized place that is function over fashion. Glossy concrete floors, high raftery ceilings and that effervescent 'redemption center' smell. Also, nice spread of New England regionals, micro-classics (seasonal and regular Anchors and Sierras) and interesting options (spelt brews and a few lines of organics). Great selection of bombers and 750mLs. Solid selection of macro-domestics. Also wines and liquors. Prices of the good stuff are competitive or low. The help is thin or busy or both. The owner, however, was fantastically helpful (he went into great depth into the history and non-availibility of Alexander Kieth's in Maine). The checkout staff is serious and have a very strict ID policy, especially with Flatlanders (out of state folks).

I shop here two to three times a week for everything form High Life and PBR to Allagash and Bar Harbor bombers (along with my girlfriend's wine and Irish Cream from Lewiston, yum). Enjoy, Cheers!

BillyBrew, Nov 23, 2002
Photo of shaebs99
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

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).

shaebs99, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

RSVP is located on Forrest Ave and is pretty close to another great beer landmark; The Great Lost Bear. The layout is pretty basic as the store works as a redemption center and beer/wine/liquor store. Atmosphere is lacking in all honesty and not particularly comfortable with the concrete flooring.

It’s all about the beer selection that offers a great variety of brews. Very nice Maine representation that includes Allagash Double Ale & White Ale, Stone Coast 420 IPA, Casco Bay, Shipyard and Gritty McDuff’s. I also spotted a bottle of Atlantic Coast Brother Adam’s Bragget Ale. There is a good amount of beer in the coolers in the back, but there is a also a lot of warm beers on shelves that include stuff from Unibroue, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series and a wide variety of Belgians too.

Service was basic and average by all accounts. I wasn’t offered assistance, but I didn’t seek it out either. Just made my purchases and left. There are some better stores in close proximity that may offer you better options though. Overall, RSVP has a nice location in Portland and worth stopping by if in the area for its solid selection.

Hibernator, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

I stopped in here last week while working out of town. I’m a little surprised about the low ratings from previous reviewers, but then again I had no issues with my out of state ID because I’m a bit older. On forest st a bit out of the center of Portland a bit past the Bear with ample parking. Feels like an open warehouse with a row of cold beer coolers filling the back wall of the store. Macro’s well yea they have them, but a huge focus on craft beer with a focus on Maine as usual. Off to the far right hand side of the store is a long warm isle with an incredible selection of craft beer. Respectable imported selection but more domestic with a focus on ME brews. Employee sent to straighten out the shelves said hi to me but never asked if she could assist me. Nice selection. decent prices, if I were in town again I wouldn’t hesitate to stop in again. .

johnnnniee, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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!

deltatauhobbit, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of lou50rp
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Stopped in today 8-7 to but a locally distilled gin, and checked out the beer selection. Found a good selection of locals and out-of-state microbrews. Lot of 12 packs with good prices. When I am in Portland, it will be scheduled stop from now on.
I like the ample parking and easy access. (its only a couple miles from the interstate and not far up the avenue from the Great Lost Bear and Maine Beer Supply) Brewing supplies, packaged beer and lunch with in a mile. Can't beat that.
Staff was friendly, (only encountered at the check-out).
The prices for all my purchases were good (except for the taxes and deposits).

lou50rp, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +3.6%

RSVP Liquors, conveniently located just up Forest Ave north of I-295. A pretty standard liquor-mart style store, big-ish, but with a nice selection of beer. A wall of coolers holding six packs, growlers, etc. A good showing of local beers, as with most places in Portland, and also a good deal of variety from around the country, essentially whatever is available here. Solid showing of Belgians as well, and usually a large stock of said items. Where some smaller shops get a case or two of something like Red Race for example, RSVP will have a whole stack. So, if there's something you can't find, it's worth a trip to see if it's in. That being said, there's really not a lot of "geeky" selection here, or at least as far as I can tell. I am only a semi-regular customer, so maybe befriending the beer guy would help, but I have not met this person. The staff I have encountered have been friendly. Big store = low prices, which is good. Definitely a spot to check out in Portland.

twelvsies, Oct 04, 2010
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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center in Portland, ME
87 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.