jercraigs (536) Toronto, Ontario | November 7, 2005| Updated April 21, 2015
Got there bright and early on Saturday. Cool store, wood floors and such. Bit cramped in the back, but has a warmer feeling to it than the supermarket like auras of some other places I have been. Selection is mostly Maine micros which is kind of the point. Big finds for me: Curieux, DFH Raison D’Extra, Midas Touch (they had a couple of other DFH as well that I had already had.) some stuff from Vermont and New Hampshire like Magic Hat and Long Trail. Import selection was weak by beer geek standards - The usual belgians like Orval, Lindemans etc. with some rarities that are not as well rated. I picked up an Old Nick and a Pinkus Hefeweisen.
Staff were super friendly, helping us find stuff and looking over my Ratebeer factored "want list" and recognised us when we came back from lunch for more! We learned that yes you do get parking tickets on a Satuday - BUT the first ticket is automatically waived! Nice! Give yourself time to walk around the old port down there, and don’t be afraid to duck down some back alleys. We got some great photos of fishing gear, and that’s how we found Gritty’s! Staff was honest enough to wave us off of some of the more questionable choices.
Great, plenty of selection. Lots of stuff you see talked about on this website, but I seriously doubt you’d find anywhere else in ME - it’s all there right in front of you. My first visit, wasn’t there real long, but staff were interested in what I was buying, seemed very friendly, were looking for feedback on the beer. Cool place. UPDATE 12/1/05: Recent visit was a great surprise - they are getting all kinds of new stuff in (DFH 120 IPA, Behemoth, Raison D’Extra, Sclenkerla, Aventinus to name just a few) - have an additional distributor working with them. Tim promises that if it is available in Maine they will have it - breaking all kinds of new ground here. UPDATE 5/22/06: Well Downeast Beverage is under new ownership and it looks like they’re scaling back a bit. Although some new beers are coming in it looks like they’re carrying less inventory. There’s just less beer on the shelves and store just has a more trimmed-down feel than before. I still think this has the best selection in ME but will have to see if new stuff continues to show up at same rate as before. I’m taking them down a notch or two in the meantime.
fly (270) austin, Tejas, Texas | November 14, 2004
VERY glad that the law here allows shops to sell on Sunday or I would’ve been screwed. MAde some decent finds, but mostly regionals - Allagash & Smuttynose that I can’t get at home. Despite trying to engage the fellow behind the counter in a friendly beer related conversation, he seemd more inclined to just sit there. Oh well, I found what I wanted.
ross (59) weddington, North Carolina | May 14, 2004
this was the first store i hit in my trip to new england. had a good selection of maine beers (no four), and a surprisingly nice supply of belgians. staff was somewhat nice, the main guy- i believe he was the owner- helped me make a six pack of maine beers. aside from him, the staff lacked, but i dont care about the staff, im there for the beer right? they had tons of allagash and shipyard beers, casco bay, etc. had westmalle, chimay, and some smuttynose beers. note- if you want smuttynose- do not go here. while they did stock the big A ipa that i could find nowhere else- i had to pay 3.99 + tax and deposit. in NH a bomber of imperial stout was 2.40 no tax no nothing. aside from that, this was a good store.
Oakes (816) Vancouver, British Columbia | February 8, 2004
By beer geek standards, this store isn't really a mind-blower, and the area witht he good beer isn't very big. I was able to score a bunch of Maine micros and that's pretty much what I came for, so it all worked out. Staff weren't tripping over themselves to help me, though.
See my comments above; hit this and the Great Lost Bear and you’ll get a pretty good idea of the Maine brewery scene. May 2005 update: remodelled, much cleaner and classier now, obviously trying to appeal more to tourists and yuppies with the expensive wine selection...and yet, this place has improved. The single best spot I’ve seen in the state for selection of ME beers and as good as you’ll get (slim pickings) for Belgian/other US micros. Really friendly, somewhat informed service.