Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 112 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ToasterChef:
4.9/5 rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
In a town full of enjoyable bars, Novare Res quickly became my regular hang-out. The selection of beers is amazing; they only stock the finest beers (no BMC, ever). The bottle list spans numerous pages and is organized by country and style, with bottle size, price and ABV clearly listed. The draft list is constantly changing, and surprisingly often you can find a beer on tap that is extremely rare or unique (bourbon barrel aged Allagash brews, for example). The food menu is limited, but it works; a few hot sandwiches and a selection of meats and cheeses. Occasionally, they will over something special, such as grilled sausages cooked outside on their deck.
That atmosphere is fitting for a bar built in the basement of a former bank. The bottle room is in the old vault! The lights are generally kept low (and get dimmer as the night progresses) and the music is played loud (my only complaint about the place is that sometimes the music is so loud you can't converse, but that's rare). There are plenty of empty bottles on display, including all of the staff's KTG empties and a number of Black Alberts. The back room features some nice couches, a fireplace, and two dart boards (personally I don't play darts, but I've heard that the boards are terrible). Overall, it's a place that when you first walk in, you can imagine spending hours here.
My favorite aspect of Novare is their take on a mug club. Called the Uprising, entrants lay down $20 and get a list of 230 bottles they stock. As you drink each one of the list, it gets checked off by a staff member. Once you've had them all, you are officially a member of the Uprising. You get a key to the Chalice room, where you can store your personallized 24oz glass. From that point forward, any draft you order, no matter what size glass it should be poured in, is served in your Chalice--at the normal price. If you finish the list in a year, you even get your entry fee back. It's a fun way to learn a lot about beers, as every style and country represented on the menu is found on the list.
Lastly, the staff is top-notch. Each of them has tried every beer available and can provide suggestions to anyone who walks in. They are all friendly--to the customers and each other. It's as if they are all part of one big family. Make a few trips and soon they'll be greeting you by name when you walk in. Novare is truly a treasure and a beer bar that every BA should visit.
04-15-2009 13:29:11 | More by ToasterChef
More User Reviews:
4.85/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I haven't rated a beer establishment yet, which is strange as I spend 75 percent of my time in them. Just spent a day visiting Portland - great beer town. Even beats the other portland in Oregon. Found this bar on BA and agree with all the recommendations. Such a diverse list of beer and the atmosphere in there is great. Wait staff was very helpful. They recommended that I take it easy with the barley wines which was excellent advice - although I ignored it and now surprisingly my wife is telling me I ruined dinner at Street Co which I dispute since I don't recall dinner. Two solid thumbs up for Novares Res
02-09-2014 16:28:02 | More by BradMacMullin
4.74/5 rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Off the beaten path. My first time in Maine - I could safely say: I'd be a regular there if I moved to Maine! Excellent selection of beers. Service was great: knowledgable & friendly staff. Atmosphere: because you feel like you're in a cellar, one could stay way too long! Loved it!
01-13-2014 15:56:40 | More by shahn
4.25/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Regular visitor to novare, love this place. Kinda hidden off exchange street, a definite European feel with the beer garden and wood tables. Always an awesome draft list and a great way to educate people or friends to beers. Can always find a beer that fits a persons palate. Service can be a bit spotty, depending on the bartender, but that really has to do more with individual personalities than anything else.
12-20-2013 20:02:23 | More by Twobeards
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
99 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.