Bier Cellar

Not Rated.
Bier CellarBier Cellar
BA SCORE
99
world-class

19 Reviews
Reviews: 19
Visits: 72
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

299 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine, 04101-2002
United States
phone: (207) 200-6258

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @biercellar

Notes:
Place added by: troughnbrew on 06-07-2012

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Visits: 72
Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Great options for local and foreign selections. Super friendly and knowledgeable staff and they have an awesome email list that lets you know what is coming in ahead of time. (174 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

I've stopped in here a few times because it is convenient off 295 in Portland. My most recent trip was last week on the way up to Augusta for work. Great selection of Maine brewed beers. Banded horn, Marshall's wharf, Funky Bow, Maine Beer, Baxter, etc Nice selection imports as well as domestics with easily 500 labels in house. Some wine and mead as well as a section for cider. It was a late Sunday afternoon and the guy behind the counter was helpful and seemed knowledgeable. I managed to find a dozen or so new beers to try without much trouble. Pricing seemed a bit higher than I'm used to, but could be a Portland thing. I wouldn't hesitate stopping in next time I'm in the area. (687 characters)

Photo of rEBELlION
5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I don't do a whole lot of reviewing on BA but I did want to take a minute to write one for the Bier Cellar. I actually live in CT but my parents live in the Portland area and I am up to visit frequently. I am on the e-mail list and I will buy things through the website and pick up when I am up there. Last time there was a little mix-up with a 4-pk (two were missing). I was refunded my $ and given a bottle of HF Florence that was under the register as an apology. Mix-ups happen so the gesture wasn't necessary but it was GREATLY appreciated. They are always super helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, and tapped into the local beer scene. Can't recommend it enough if you are in the Portland area. (698 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Very nice selection of Maine beers, I like they have most of their hoppy stuff in coolers or on the shelf letting you decide if you want them cold or warm.

Friendly knowledgable staff, and one of the few beer stores that gets the Bissell Brothers Substance Ale regularly. Nice representation of Belgium Beers too, overall quality store (337 characters)

Photo of stearns16
3.65/5  rDev -21.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Solid selection of American and overseas stuff, but really no different than most of the shops in Portland. Not a huge store. Two guys working in the store seem to be decent guys, but one had an Ian Poulter -like attitude when I first started talking to him. His attitude seem improve the longer we talked. Overall a good experience and I would go back if in the area. (368 characters)

Photo of redleaves
4.61/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4

So great beer store no doubt. Clean, knowledgeable staff. Great import selection of rare, strange beers. American Craft selection was decent. But the store is not filled up, there are 4-5 facings of each beer, it is not even close to capacity which hurts it. Looks more impressive then it is. Location is pretty bad pulling into this place is a chore. Worth a stop though. (372 characters)

Photo of thebeerbabe82
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Going into Bier Cellar is the best possible experience for a novice, intermediate, or super-geek beer drinker. Owner Greg Norton gets to know his customers almost immediately, and in addition to his excellent suggestions, the other staff are also completely obsessed with beer. When I walk in I can always know what's new, what's good, what's okay, what I might like - and I barely have to even ask. The selection is only limited by what can actually be distributed in Maine - Bier Cellar has anything you'd need. With ample cooler space, they're also able to keep a great selection of beer cold, so you can drink that deliciousness as soon as you get home. This is small business done 100% right - and you will not regret the experience if you're in the Portland area. (769 characters)

Photo of meehandennis
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I have been going to Bier Cellar since it opened and want to commend them with a review. Greg certianly knows his beer and has a passion to share it. The store is well stocked but you never feel overwhelmed because they will happily walk you through and answer questions and even pick out an assorted 6 pack for you. They are frequently doing tastings and it is highly recommended to get on the email list so you can get the best descriptions and chance to buy new products. They apologize for sending too many emails, but they consistently get the best product and I welcome the chance to know when they are coming. And the mix and match is a HUGE plus. Best beer store in Maine that I have found hands down. (709 characters)

Photo of supercodes
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Bier Cellar is great in the fact that the owner of the establishment knows his beer through and through, and will have a nice conversation about the brews you purchase, and is more than willing to suggest something with enthusiasm. The experience is really highlighted by the great selection of international brews, great local glassware, and some harder to find domestics.

The one downside is the price. Many of the options you can get here, you can drive a couple of miles down the road to RSVP and pick up the same thing likely a bit cheaper. I won't fault the Bier Cellar too much for this, as this is a boutique establishment catering to craft brew enthusiasts with no BMC to be had (or many of their European counterparts), so you make up for the price with exceptional service, and a hand picked selection. It is up to you, as a consumer, what you want more, and if Bier Cellar is worth the trip. (905 characters)

Photo of Chowdahead
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Best beer store in the Portland area. Great selection of basically every craft beer available in the state and no BMC in sight. They also sell cider, mead, wine and have a small selection of homebrew equipment and supplies. The store is well laid out and easy to navigate. Prices are a touch higher then some other stores in the Portland area but that is to be expected due to the lack of the BMC sales foundation most other stores have. The place the Bier Cellar really stands out is the service. The owner, Greg, is usually there and he really knows his stuff and always willing to chat or give a recomendation. A refreshing change from some other more high end stores in Portland where the owners don't know squat about beer (I'm looking at you Downeast). Bier Cellar is definitely a must stop for anyone looking for great beer in Maine. (840 characters)

Photo of Tauroe
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Love the Bier Cellar definitely worth a stop if you are hunting for beer in the Portland area. They have a really good selection and carry only craft beer that the owner personally curates. They definitely have a good selection of local Maine beer as well as a wide variety of imports. The layout is pretty cool it tries to group everything by region.
I think where the Bier Cellar really sets itself apart is the service. Greg has been in the store every time I have been there he really knows his stuff and can give you description of just about everything in his shop.
I would definitely recommend stopping in any time you are in the area. (644 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I am part of a monthly beer subscription with a friend and stopped into the store during my visit to Maine this past weekend. Bier Cellar is one of the best stores i've been to in CT/MA/ME with a good/great selection (domestic/international/local maine), great weekly emails on new/interesting/events and reasonable prices.

--Wish I lived closer to stop in weekly (364 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
4.18/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

On our way back from the Allagash tour back to downtown Portland, we stopped here to pick up some beers for the hotel room. Not the easiest place to find tucked in there next to another business. The store itself is laid out by region, which is cool. Local beers, Euro beers, etc. It was fun to just walk around and browse. Great selection all around (they have cider and wine too). The prices all seemed reasonable also. I picked up some Gritty's and Rising Tide bombers. The guy at the cash register struck up a friendly conversation about local craft beer. If you are going to visit, be sure to stop in on the way to Allagash, but heading back to Portland from Allagash, be prepared to make a weird U-Turn to get to the correct side of the street. (750 characters)

Photo of Brez07
5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I've been shopping at the Bier Cellar since it opened last year so figured it was about time that I reviewed it.

This place is awesome. Very diverse selection of beer, wine, cider and mead. No BMC in sight. Greg really knows his stuff and is happy to just chat about beer when things are slow. They offer a monthly beer club, have some pretty cool glassware, bring in new beers all the time and do a few tasting each month - what more could you ask for? Shit, even the music played in the store is great.

Hard to really knock anything about the store other than prices are slightly higher than other stores in the area, but that is negated by the 5% discount for a mixed 4 or 10% discount for a mixed 6.

In summary, if you haven't been there already, get to Bier Cellar and prepare to forget about all other stores in Southern Maine. (836 characters)

Photo of troughnbrew
4.95/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is the best beer store in Maine. 100% craft - no junk - with every quality beer that's distributed in the state, as well as ciders, meads and a careful selection of wines. No liquor, no lottery tickets, no Red Bull, minimal (but good & local) snack foods. Everything is organized thoughtfully and displayed cleanly. As all the comments note, Greg, the owner who almost always is working, is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, but respects that most of the clientele are beer geeks who will enjoy browsing without much help. If you want excellent opinions or suggestions he's got them (a home brewer, he knows his stuff). Mixed sixes are a great deal, as are loyalty discounts. Getting on his email list is a great idea, as it gives you advance notice of (and the chance to reserve) every limited release that hits the state. Emails also note other essential beer geek info (e.g., limited brewery-only releases at Allagash). Atmosphere is great, with a turntable and good music. (994 characters)

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This place is ridiculously awesome. They clearly mark every bottles price, including singles, and allow for a mix a six with 10% discount.

Very clean, everything is easily accessible and clearly marked. One thing that bothers me is the beers on the outermost aisle facing the open unshaded window which allow the sun to beam directly on them for most of the day. Other than that it seems like they put a lot of care into their business. Very friendly staff, knowledgable but they do allow me to beer hunt without pestering me, which is generally a long process.

Distribution/selection wise they have everything you can find in Maine, for the most part. Ie I was able to get brown shugga there whereas I couldn't find it elsewhere, but I couldn't get BCBS when It first hit Maine, maybe they sold out though. I buy all the beer I can there, I only go elsewhere for convenience (I live in Auburn).

I just can't reiterate how thankful I am for how the product is displayed and clearly priced. I am a beer advocate, and love seeking out new beers and styles and will do it despite the cost. But I am also a father with a wife and mortgage among other responsibilities who needs to budget my beer money so being able to know what I'm paying when I get rung up and not having to ask them to check prices on everything makes me a happy customer. (1,343 characters)

Photo of dciBA
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Bier Cellar has quickly won over the hearts of beer geeks in the southern Maine area and out of staters seeking beers to bring home. The store is very clean and well lit with good music playing at all times. The wooden shelving and oak barrels immediately tell you you're not in an average liquor store. Quality is top notch, with no BMC taking up valuable space. Greg, the owner is always there to answer questions and make recommendations. There's some snack food, but let's face it, you're not going to a bottle shop for food. Overall Bier Cellar has been a great addition to the fast growing Maine beer scene. (613 characters)

Photo of tecnica
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Staff is knowledgeable and approachable
Store is clean and presentable
Selection is great
Custom 4 and 6 packs offered so you can try new micros without breaking your wallet.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to try new beer while you're in Portland Maine, the Bier Cellar can show you the way. (300 characters)

Photo of ToasterChef
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The newest beer store in the Portland area has been open for a couple of weeks now, but it wasn't until today that I made it in. I already felt familiar with the store though. The owners have done a good job of crafting a helpful online presence that no other bottle shop in the area has been able to do. Between Twitter and Facebook updates, I have a good idea of what is happening in the store in near real-time. The e-mail updates have been a revelation though. A summary of new arrivals? Check. Special offers? Check. A loyalty program of subscribers (5% off after for each $100 spent)? Check. The only other store in Southern Maine that offers a e-mail (that I know of) is Tully's, and that generally consists of a schedule of upcoming tastings and a note to check Facebook for updates. What Bier Cellar is doing is very helpful much appreciated.

Now, onto the store itself. Being freshly opened, the space is still very clean and has the feel of a recently renovated area. None of the center aisles is very tall, letting you get a good look around the entire store no matter where you are standing. Beers are generally organized by country and then brewery. The flags from each country represented sitting atop the appropriate shelf is a nice touch. On wall has a row of coolers, holding some six packs and singles, as well as white and sparkling wines. There may have been more in the coolers, but I didn't really look them over.

The room temperature selection is well laid out. Each 4 or 6 pack has an accompanying row of singles, so you don't have to break up someone else's pack if you only want one bottle. Also, each selection has a description, pack price and single price. If you do decide to go with singles, a 5% discount is applied to mix and match 4 pack, and if you buy 6 bottles, the discount bumps up to 10%. All of the craft breweries available in Maine are represented, as far as I could tell (except for Lagunitas, because they were sold out!). There are plenty of imports as well.

The shelves directly in front of the window are empty. I assume this is to avoid and skunking/spoilage from sunlight exposure. It's a nice touch!

In the second room of the store you'll find more beer, plus wines and meads. I didn't spend any time with the non-beer selection. It looked to be smaller than the selection found at other stores in the area, but unlike the Bier Cellar, none of those places focuses mainly on beer.

There is a small area for glassware and books, but I was more interested in the stack of LPs and the records player that provide the background music. Very cool.

I got to talk to the owner, Greg, while I was there. He was very friendly and told me about all the new items into the store, plus stuff he should have soon. It never felt like a sales pitch...just two beer nerds discussing their hobby.

After this one visit, I find myself really liking Bier Cellar. It doesn't have the biggest selection of beer in the area (RSVP has all of the adjunct lagers and malt liquors not found here), but it has the best selection of craft beer in the Portland area, as well as the best organized. Plus, it has it's own parking lot, something that has caused me to not go to Downeast Beverage more than once.

I'm really excited for some of the things Greg is planing. The discounts already in place are great (other stores may have similar discounts, but if so, that aren't advertised very well). Plans for Pack Club look promising (you get a mixed 6 pack, plus 1 22 and 1 750 of classics and new releases), and the beer geek socials sound like they will be a fun and well attended event.

I know that I'll be visiting this store a lot. It outshines all the other options in the area, and is easier to get to. The only thing I can possibly say it is missing is homebrew supplies, but since Maine Brewing Supply is right down the road, I don't mind. Those of us who regularly respond to the "Where should I visit in ME/Portland" threads in the New England forum have a new store to tell all of you from away to visit first. (4,052 characters)

Bier Cellar in Portland, ME
99 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.