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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center

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BA SCORE
88
very good

57 Ratings
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 15.72%
[ 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)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Not a real pretty place but houses a pretty damn good beer selection. It's a hair from the Great Lost Bear, meaning convenient as all hell. They've got all the macros I don't need to know about, but they've also got a terrific selection of micros, most specifically Maine (Atlantic Brewing, Geary's, Casco Bay/Carrabassett, Gritty's, Maine Coast, Sea Dog, Allagash, Shipyard, Belfast Bay) & New England brews. Some of the "haven't seen anywhere else up there" beers include Smuttynose and the growlers of Federal Jack's beers. Like I said, not the most asthetically pleasing joint but functionality is the name of the game here. Prices were also a lot better than I've seen in the immediate area.

slander, Mar 16, 2003
Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

Stopped by the first time this afternoon. This place is just great.

From the outside, the place looks like it was a Jiffy Lube in a past life, but no matter...

Upon going inside, RSVP is pretty sizeable, with a good size wine selection to the right and a nice liquor selection to the left. The beer selection is in the back, and is most impressive. Aside from generally having a good selection of craft and imports, there is a very nice separate area of local beers with a number of limited, hard to find local items I've seen no place else. On this particular day I was looking for stuff from the Maine Beer company, and I was not disappointed. I was able to purchase the current line-up, as well as a number of other hard to find (at least for me) local beers.

As for service, shrug... it's not that kind of a store. Service was pretty much non-existent, though I assume the folks up front could have answered any question I had. Frankly, I didn't require a whole lot of assistance, and so I could care less about the service here. The selection was the only thing that mattered to me, and in that respect this place is top shelf. An absolute gem in Portland... I'll definitely be back.

John_M, May 22, 2011
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

This store is located outside town, on Forest Ave. not far from Rt. 9. The interior is like a warehouse with a lot of beer, wine, and liquor. The cashier is near the front of the store surrounded by cigarettes, lottery tickets, and some playboy magazines.

The beer selection is good, and like other liquor stores in the area, the emphasis is on Maine beer. However, there was also a decent selection of beers from outside Maine (Unibroue, some English, some German selections). Overall, probably as good a selection as Downeast Beverage Co., but not as big on customer service or atmosphere.

Definitely worth a stop on your way to or from the Great Lost Bear, or on your way to I-95.

UncleJimbo, Nov 07, 2003
Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%

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 ecoboy
4/5  rDev +3.1%

The best stock-up joint for anyone going any further north than Portland in Maine. If you're heading up to camp, fish, ski, boat and need the full range of beer, wine and spirits, RSVP has the best and most sensibly priced. Best beer is all the way on the right of the coolers in the rear of the room, before you stumble into the berry coolers. Don't miss the warm bottles in the middle aisle, too. This where you can find the Coursendonks and Traquairs of the world, plus Maine rarities like Honey braggot.

Service is average, but with choices this good this far north, who cares?

ecoboy, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%

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 Resuin
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Resuin, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%

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 ViveLaChouffe
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

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 bennybrew
4/5  rDev +3.1%

rsvp is just past the pie hole. otherwise one might miss it. i did not.

whilst attempting to secure some of that triticus the kids are talking so much about (thanks to camen and joe and jennie for the effort!). billybrew sez rsvp has it coming out thier butts. being somewhat nearby, i decided to stop on by.

billy further sez that rsvp opens at 9am sunday. i was skeptical especially when we pull up and it looks dark inside. shorenuf. they was open.

you step into a dank, dark room. good news, that (what with uv light from flourescent lights being bad for beer).

there is quite a selection. manymany maine beers. many beers i've not seen anywhere else in maine (there isn't much for beer stores where i live some 3 hours north of portland): some rogues and dfh and a wider line of some others: long trail, youngs....

prices were pretty decent: triticus was $3.99 and allagash 10th was $12 something. there were only 3 bottles of the 10th i could find and someone dropped what they were doing to go look for me. can't ask for much more than that i suppose...

not as pretty a store as downeast beverage but better prices and about the same selection.

bennybrew, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of hockeypuck
4/5  rDev +3.1%

hockeypuck, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of mk_ultra
5/5  rDev +28.9%

mk_ultra, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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 jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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!!

jzeilinger, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Rochefort10nh, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of kingcrowing
2.16/5  rDev -44.3%

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 UnionMade
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%

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 Jayli
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

Jayli, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of ChrisinRI
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

ChrisinRI, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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
Photo of berley31
4.15/5  rDev +7%

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.

berley31, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of Reds76
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%

Reds76, Nov 09, 2014
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

mtnbikerpa, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

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 BillyBrew
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%

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
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RSVP Discount Beverage & Redemption Center in Portland, ME
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.