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.
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.
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.
After the successful acquisition of blueberry scones @ the standard bakery (located next door) I make my way into downeast for some brews. Liquor and wine take up the front of the store with most of the beer stuffed into the very back. There are coolers full of beer along the left side as well. As I remember their selection consisted of maine locals (Allagash/Maine beer co) as well as some interesting imports (mainly Belgian). In retrospect the selection isn't as good as I remember it being. I question their impressive selection of Stillwater beers over ones from the new england region, or even the northeast. Finally, the icing on the cake is being lied to by staff about Allagash special release beer availability at the brewery (followed by a huge overcharge for a beer produced <10 miles away). Leaving the place has me convinced the only necessary beer stop is Julio's/Portsmouth, but I think I'll continue to get outstanding scones next door.
After living in Portland for >19 months and having tried all the liquor/beer stores in the area, I can honestly say that this one is the best.
I mostly go there for beer so I'll focus on that. They have a great selection--not as much quantity as RSVP, but still very good. Anything you want from Maine is there, plus anything that is distributed here, and a lot of foreign crafts.
Customer service: this is where they win hands-down. The customer is always right at Downeast Beverage. They do not have inane policies such as not accepting passports or not selling to out of state residents who are < 25 y/o. They will get you bottles on request and call when your order arrives, and then save it for you. They don't have bottle limits either. The staff are very friendly and you never feel like they're mocking you, even newbies. I've heard some pretty silly questions about beer while in there, and the staff are always 100% helpful, never annoyed or put off. They are not salesmen and will talk you out of buying something if they know you won't be 100% happy with it.
They also have occasional beer and wine tastings, which are great fun... wish I could attend more often.
I pretty much exclusively go here now because of the above reasons. They have treated me very well and thus I will always buy at Downeast Beverage. I highly recommend them!
My favorite beer store in Portland for a number of reasons. Nice selection which is very well organized and easy to peruse with most beers organized by country or style. Nolan, the beer buyer, knows his stuff, is extremely helpful and great to talk beer with. Great interior with exposed brick walls and old, old wood floors which remind of the floors in my grandparents' old barn where I used to sneak beer at family events. Prices are a little above average but that is to be expected given the location right in the Old Port. Definitely a great place to check out if you are in the Portland area.
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
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!
Not a lot of stores in the area featuring a good beer selection, but this one is my "go-to". Most of the beer is in the back, past an also decent selection of wines / spirits. Lots of local flavor, including Allagash, Gritty's, Bar Harbor, etc. They keep the new stuff from Maine Beer Company stocked as much as possible, although it flies out the door quickly, usually straight into my fridge. They get one delivery per week according to the staff. There's also a decent amount of imports / Belgians etc along the back wall. Some Shelton Bros stuff, etc. Occasionally you can find some stuff from De Struisse. The only downside is that a lot of the more interesting stuff doesn't seem like it sells, so the selection doesn't change much week to week. I go in probably twice a week, mostly for Peeper Ale, and am getting a little bored w/ the typical offerings. That being said, they do a good job with what's available in Maine. The folks that work there are always in a jolly mood and willing to chat about beer. They have a great logo w/ a lobster holding a martini glass that is available in shirts, flags, pints, etc. Overall a great place and probably the top in the area in my opinion. Also worth noting, if you are just in the area briefly you should consider stopping by the Standard Bakery right next door, another great local place w/ a bounty of baked goods.
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.
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.
Great little beer store in Portland. A nice welcoming atmosphere, not your average warehouse style liquor store feel. The quantity of selection isn't the best, but the quality just might be. Plenty of the usual favorites to choose from with a bunch of oddball stuff you won't see anywhere else in maine. Nolan the beer guy there is very helpful and knowledgeable. He seems to know about every beer in the store, and had an answer for every question I asked. Parking is tough, but well worth the hassle. Pricing is great, I walked out with a ton of good beer for 50 bucks. They usually have slightly out season stuff on sale too. Don't miss this place when in Portland.
I really like Downeast Beverage. Their selection may not be as large as RSVP (another beer store in Portland), but it does have plenty of great beer to choose from. There are plenty of local beers, out of state micros, and a good international section separated by country. The atmosphere is really nice, with old wood floors, brick walls, and interesting shelves (which allows the staff to show off the beers in an interesting way). The service has always been helpful. The past two times I've gone in they've been willing to go look out back for a specific beer for me, and if they didn't have it, they could tell me when the next delivery was scheduled to take place. I've also ordered kegs here in the past, and the staff was very accommodating for my needs. Since it is in the Old Port, parking can be difficult at times, btu if you're going to be quick, there are two 15 minute spots nearby that I use when I can.
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.
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.
Collected a modest haul here on a recent visit to Portland. Selection was solid but not remarkably extensive. It was largely organized by country and in some places region. There were modest but solid sections from Belgium, UK, and Germany and a few others. Had some nice ones like St. Bernardus Christmas and Scaldis Noel. American crafts had some national representation, but focused on New England, as it should. Victory, Smutty, Weyerbacher, Brooklyn and so on. Of course Allagash and the Maine micros were very well represented.
The service was outstanding. One staff whose name I didn't get or don't remember (I had come from the Allagash tour-tasting) understood my mission and was right by my side anytime I had a question, and I had many. His input was very helpful. In addition to that, you can pull singles out of sixers, which gets bonus points in my book. Prices reasonable.
The beer section of the store is located in the back. There were a ton of high quality/hard to find beers there. All of the prices seemed much lower than they are in MA. I saw Pannepot, a few Jolly Pumpkin beers, a bunch of Cantillon, De Ranke, Dieu du Ciel, various trappists, DFH, Stone, etc.
We were in there for a few minutes and it was reasonably crowded. An employee came by and asked if anyone needed any help. He was really, really helpful. A wealth of knowledge and made some great recommendations.
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.
This beverage store has quite the selection of beer. I was really looking for locals and stuff I cannot get in GA while there on a business trip. I spoke with Andy on the phone prior to meeting him to find out where exactly they are located.
They had all the stuff I was looking for: Weyerbacher, Smuttynose, Allagash Odyssey, Sebago at VERY reasonable prices.
The folks working there were quite courteous and friendly and very willing to help out since I was from out of town.
Again, selection was right on with what I expected and I was not let down.
I got a mixed sixer, a 750 of Odyssey, and quite a few bombers for less than $70. That is just fine in my book!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Finally made it over here after a friend told me about how good the selection is, especially when compared to any place we have here in NH. The store definitely has that old New England charm that many others have commented upon, which lends itself to a very comfortable atmosphere. The two staff members working that day were quite friendly, and I struck up a good conversation with one of them regarding different breweries and beer styles. He made several informative suggestions, and the general good vibe I got will make sure I go back whenever I am in Portland.
The selection did not disappoint. So many offerings, including many Trappist and Abbey ales, along with many other Belgians. Lots of good English and German selections, as well as many offerings from throughout Europe. American beers were the usual suspects from around New England (DFH, Smutty, Allagash, etc). The only slight disappointment was the lack of Rocky Mountain and West Coast breweries, but being from NH, I am pretty much used to that.
Definitely a place worth checking out if you are in the Portland area, and definitely a place I will be visiting again soon.
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.
I stopped here with my wife on our way to Cushing for the weekend. I had hoped to pick up some Cadillac Mountain Stout and a couple Allagash selections. This store is definitely 30% beer and 70% wine. Beer in the front left, wine everywhere else.
As I searched around I didn't find any CMS, so I asked one of the girls behind the counter, and she said (unapologetically) that they were out. So I ended up going with some Allagash White and Dubbel Reserve.
I have a feeling that their limited selection was the result of the holiday weekend. However, if I find myself in the area again, I will probably look elsewhere.
If I opened a store I would want it to be modeled after this place, I love the country store type feel with the big wood floors and brick walls. I gave quality a big rating b/c everything on display in the front of the store was good craft brews. A good selection of maine breweries(bar harbor+++) as well as other top end micros, most offerings from Dogfish were available. The store was very easy to find off the highway and parking wasn't tough at all. Prices were in the ballpark of everything around boston and I was able to grab four Cadillac Mtn Stouts for under $20.