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John's Market

Not Rated.
John's MarketJohn's Market
BA SCORE
95
world-class

78 Ratings
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

3535 SW Multnomah Blvd
Portland, Oregon, 97219-3761
United States
phone: (503) 244-2617

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: HiroProtagonist

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of almostjay
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Harvest06
2.06/5  rDev -52.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1.25 | selection: 4

Vibe: The first thing I notice is that it has a convenience store vibe. Chips, soda, ect are what you see at the front of the store. Next is bright uncovered florescent lights conveniently ruining the beer. Next I notice is the dust on the bottles and the entire building looks like it couldn't pass a health inspection. Closer inspection shows IPA's with drink dates 1 1/2 years past! But hey, a place can have a trashy vibe as long the ale is good quality and to go right?

Quality: The storage conditions are room temperature - hot in the summer, cold in the winter, under bright florescent lights, past expiration dates. I made the mistake of buying an ipa and it tasted like skunked sweet malts with the hops faded.

Service: I walked up to the register to ask about if an ale was in stock. The guy at the register pretends to be on the phone for several minutes but he's just chatting with someone at the other end. I ask if they have a specif beer in stock. His answer is he doesn't know and he gives me a why the hell should he know anything about beer look. I ask if there's anyone working who knows or can check. He pages the manager. Several more minutes go by. I ask him to page again. Finally he says, “he must be on a smoke break”. I walk out. Next try, I ask the manager about some specialty stouts. He claims he's “holding them back” ie not selling to me now them so he can charge more later. He names a few well known ones he's "cellaring" (like he knows what that means) and says “and a lot of other shit”. Very professional right? The staff in general know little to nothing about craft beer beer, had no concern for customer service and were overall trashy people.

Selection: On first look John's appears to have a very respectable collection. 1500 different beers is impressive even by Portland standards. Unfortunately it is hasn't been stored correctly and much of it is well past its drink by date - in some cases years past. The fresh stuff should be ok and the rest will be hit and miss at best. The large selection means turnover is slow and they don't bother to destroy expired products. Much of the ale is from out of country or out of state – I'd avoid all of this as its likely gone bad. Some of the Oregon ales should be fresh. Most of these you can get many other places. Also there's very little rhyme or reason to where a particular beer is stocked.

Photo of areucrazy
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Lobina
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of HopHead84
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of botanu
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of artoolemomo
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of cherche
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Dcbelkot
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of gatheredwaters
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of dipso123
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jtosch
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of kamikazeokami
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of TaborTime
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of halvbeerson
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Adamnimmo
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of loren01
3.04/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

Several years ago this was the premier bottle shop in the PDX area, however in the more recent years there have been many new bottle shops popping up that are just better. Starting off wit the good about Johns marketplace: probably the biggest beer selection in Portland if not the entire Pacific Northwest area. That's about the only good thing. By the time you get your beer home to drink more often than not it's way old and oxidized. Most all of the beer they have is just sitting at room temp on shelves and they just have too much of it to keep everything fresh. The place is discusting and the people who work there seem to be some of the trashiest people you could come across. In a town full of beer snobs who know good beer vs old past it's prime beer I'd be kinda surprised if these guys make it thru the next coming years withe better bottleshops like Tin bucket, beermongers and belmont station around.

Photo of flagmantho
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

I drove down to Portland from Seattle yesterday, and while a trip to John's wasn't my only objective, it was right at the top of the list. Never having been there before, I really wanted to check it out.

I was not disappointed. It is basically a giant convenience store with a little deli and a huge selection of wine and beer. The atmosphere is basically shelves and shelves of beer; how can you argue with that? There must have been a thousand to fifteen hundred brews available -- just a monster selection.

The quality and variety were great as well, although for me this was particularly the case because of all the brews that are distributed in Oregon and not in Washington (both local Oregonian stuff as well as other brands from around the country). I limited myself to twelve bottles and am now kicking myself -- guess I'll just have to get back down there again soon.

Service was pretty limited, but the store is laid out well and I didn't have any trouble finding anything. The guy up front (John himself, perhaps?) was dealing both with us in line as well as phone customers, so his chances to be out on the floor were limited.

I am going to make John's a must-stop every time I'm in Portland from now on.

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.74/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

This is the best bottle shop I've found so far in Portland, they have an insanely large selection of both micro brews in the states as well as a good amount of imports. I would say the atmosphere sucks but you are there for the beer so this shouldn't really matter now should it. If you're looking for someone to help you out don't bother, the staff aren't the friendliest...but again who cares they have a shit tone of great beer so just walk around the store 3 or 4 times until you find what you're looking for. I've never left without spending copious amounts of money, not because they are expensive but because I always find more to buy than what I went in for.

Highly recommend.

Photo of ByrdBrain
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I really like John's and I would even apart from the fact that it is a half-mile walk from my house. They've got a fantastic selection of beer (and a pretty decent one of wine as well).

I recently relocated from the East Coast so John's has been my source for tasting West Coast beers. I've found most of the bottles that were on the list I made of recommendations from people on BA, and they have most of my favorite nationally distributed and international brews. But like many other reviewers, I've found the service disappointing, in part because it contrasts so markedly from their selection. Being new, I was really hoping to engage someone in a conversation, discuss some of the regional East Coast beers I liked, and get some recommendations. The guys I ran into in the bowels of the store were pretty curt and totally uninterested in engaging, if not downright unhelpful. I would not be totally surprised to learn that this is in part because I'm a woman and, even worse, one with gray hair...it just had that kind of vibe, which if it were worse would prevent me from going back. Once there was a checkout guy who was friendly and responded to my remark about being a new customer, but I only ran into him at the end of the visit and he was too busy to talk. I'll continue to be a regular customer because of the selection and location, so maybe I'll be able to make a connection in the future.

It definitely looks a little like a rundown, old gas station. Yes, it's pretty no-frills inside as well, but I actually like that. The lighting is a little dark, the aisles can be a little narrow, but nothing I found unusual or offputting. I wish they labeled their shelves with the breweries; when it's dark and you're looking on a bottom shelf, it's often a pain to find the brewery name on the label. When I've been, it's never actually been dirty inside; I have never picked up a keg, though. As at least one other reviewer mentioned, I have seen dust on bottles but actually nothing that would cause me concern. I don't give a higher quality rating in part because I've twice bought multiple, undated single bottles of two different California IPAs and at least one of each group was definitely stale. If a date-sensitive product comes in undated, I would hope that the reseller make an effort to track it and control the inventory accordingly. I especially expect it of a place like this that has both a stellar selection and is a bit on the pricey side. It's certainly possible it was out of their control, but when it's happened more than once, I get a little concerned. I didn't talk with them about it so I can't speak to whether they would be willing to do something about it, but I will try (and update my review) if it happens again.

I don't see anyone here reviewing the food. John's is actually a market...well, more of a convenience store, with a limited selection of packaged foods and a small deli. I take a class at an arts center a couple of blocks away and it's a great place to go to grab a quick lunch and snag a few bottles when I'm taking a break from the studio. It's a much more comfortable place to wind down when I'm on my own than the upscale cafés nearby. You can grab a bag of junk food, or I've found their prepared food to be, while nothing special, perfectly ok. I haven't been scared off the food by the dingy atmosphere or the lackluster service and none of the packaged food I've selected has been expired, although I haven't tried to buy fresh dairy. They do carry my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's :-D, which endears them to me all the more.

Photo of StogiesandBrews
3.24/5  rDev -24.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

Let me start this out by saying, they have a great selection. I give them props for the amount of beers and wines to choose from. Something nice is that some of the beers are older. Pre-aged at normal retail pricing, such as having all the demons of ale series by Avery Brewing from 2007. That's the perfect amount of aging. Not so great for other beers, such as any IPA at all. Found a few of those from 2007 also. Some beers being pre-aged is nice, but likelyhood is that they just don't pay attention to the beer dates or they wouldn't have a 90 minute IPA by dogfish head from 2007 sitting on the shelf next to a 2011 one (or they're trying to get someone who doesn't pay attention to the label peeling off to buy it). Overall a good selection though. If I need a certain beer I can count on them having it.

The service can be good or terrible. Depends on who is working. Had a few times with a nice clerk with no knowledge of beers. A few times with a clerk who was not very nice and wouldn't answere a question professionally. I don't want to hear explatives when I ask when they get new stock on something they are out of. One time happening, but left a bad impression. The staff smells of cigarettes. Personal dislike, but it effected the score.

Lastly, it's dirty in there. My wife would hate me if I took her in there. I don't mind it so much, but it is no where I would take any of my out of town guests too.

I do appreciate the selection and fair pricing. That's what is really nice. I have had 2 of the staff be rude, and 3 were alright but didn't know much about beer, so the staff I have dealt with aren't top notch, but if you know exactly what you want, it's a place you can find it.

Photo of ajramirez1
3.29/5  rDev -23.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Finally decide to check this place out. My usual spot is Belmont Station. Dirty looking grocery store but inside, was in awe of the beer selection. Finally a beer shop like grocery shopping. But shit hit the fan quick...

Tiny aisles. Skunk beer. Creepy ass cashier with outdated technology. The selection & layout is awesome, but damn i am glad i read other reviews b/c this place was flooded with out dated non-fresh beer. Prices are decent but the quality is not there at all...would not shop for beer here again bc i want quality fresh beer & i dont have time to check dates. Ridiculous.

A-

Photo of Rifugium
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

It looks like your average, gritty beer / liquor warehouse from the outside, but inside...I was like a kid in a candy shop. Okay, so I hear a lot of stuff sits on the shelves in this place, but all in all, I'd have to say this was one of the best selections of take-out beer I've ever seen in one place, and possibly THE best. Aisles and aisles of crafts and micros as far as the eye could see; it's really hard to rate it anything less than a perfect "5" in that regard. And of course, I gravitated directly to 4 bottles of '08 Goose Island BCBS as soon as I walked in. So I suppose they keep certain gems "in the back" and put them on shelves when it suits them, because I can't imagine such items would have gone unnoticed and unbought for more than a day or two. Staff was understandably busy, but helpful when the need for assistance arose. Prices seemed comparable to most other places I visited, perhaps even a bit better. $4 Pliny is enough to make most non-CA/Philly/Denver residents cream themselves, and I grabbed a few bottles just on that principle, even though I myself am not really interested in the brew, as it's pretty common on tap in my hometown, and I've had it enough of it in my day. But anyway, good place. Must visit if in area. The End.

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John's Market in Portland, OR
95 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.