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John's Market

Not Rated.
John's MarketJohn's Market
BA SCORE
96
world-class

76 Ratings
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
[ Store ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: HiroProtagonist)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beervana1858
2.9/5  rDev -33%

I have been going to John's Market with sone frequency for a little over a year and at first it is very impressive. I have yet to find a place that has this great of a selection. However, the service is miserably poor and some employees are notably quite rude. The prices for some of the items are fair be sure you check the price of what you are buying as I have found rather wide price discrepancies for the exact same product. My number one complaint, however, is that much of their beer is WAY past its expiration date and if you don't check it (as I often have made the mistake of not doing) you could be in for a rude awakening. I have bought entirely too much skunked and rotten beer for this place that probably should have been clearanced years ago in some cases. I only go to this if I am in the mood for something I won't find anywhere else but for now I will stick with Haggen and New Seasons and my "go to" places.

Photo of HopHead84
3/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of loren01
3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
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 StogiesandBrews
3.24/5  rDev -25.2%
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 -24%
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 IpeeA
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

So I'm creating my first ever BA review for this place but, sadly, it's because I've had enough!

I've lived near John's for about two months now and have been many, many times. The place seems to have the best selection of any of the many amazing stores in Portland, which is why I return. It's simply outstanding what they have in stock. All the desired/available American micros. All the local micros are featured in their own section. New arrivals are featured in the center of the first aisle that leads to the beer section. A selection of beers are kept in coolers (maybe 30% of the inventory--most/all of which can also be found room temp). There's even a small amount of BMC stuff available. Probably the most comprehensive collection of imports from all around the globe I've ever seen in one store. Impressive.

However, what makes it hard to return is everything else. The place is not well kept and it's no wonder why when interacting with the staff. Bottles can consistently be found on the wrong shelves. Shelves (especially in the coolers) are frequently messy and look like no one has straightened them in weeks (or cleaned them for months--don't look at the floors!). There's a perpetual water leak/hazard from one of the coolers into the aisle and a shop vac permanently kept in the aisle to soak up the water (but that doesn't seem to happen often, either).

When making requests for specific beers the staff consistenly seems not well informed at best and completely disinterested at worst (not to mention not very professional in their appearance). I've been asked to leave my name and number a couple times when making requests and have never received a call back. Prices are on par with other local stores; however, I did ask if they would offer a discount for beers past their "best by" date and was scoffed at. I've witnessed kegs being delivered and picked up which seems to go smoothly but I've never participated myself.

In summary, go for the stellar selection but don't expect anything beyond that.

Photo of gatheredwaters
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of cavemanlawyer
3.68/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

John's is a Portland institution. It was one of the first large wine and beer retailers in the region. They still have an amazing selection of beers, many imports that you just cannot find anywhere else.

I dislike the organization (or lack thereof) of the store. I often have to hunt around for ten minutes to find a beer I am looking for. They could really use some interior renovation.

It would also be sweet if they could add a few taps so that the food area could be used. As it is, they have a $1.95 hamburger special that is just nasty.

Great selection, decent service, crappy atmosphere.

Photo of dfitch81
3.7/5  rDev -14.5%

Talk about deceiving appearances: this place looks like a dingy, dirty minimart from the outside. You would never suspect the treasures that lies within... Selection is unmatched anywhere in Portland, and probably just about anywhere else for hundreds of miles. This is the Powell's City of Books of beer stores - so vast and varied that it could absorb your attention for hours. Service? None to mention, there's a guy at the checkstand who could care less whether you're buying a Oud Bruin or an Olde English 800. Prices are a bit higher on average, but this is acceptable as the price variety (it can't be cheap to stock this kind of selection). Bottom line: if you can't find it anywhere else, odds are you'll find it here.

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
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 gregbechtel21
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This was my last stop on a beer journey from Seattle to Portland but from now on it will be my first. In terms of selection it was the best bottle shop I've ever seen, easily blowing away any bottle shop in Washington state. The only thing I could really think of to say against it would be the freshness of some of the imports, but as long as you don't mind sifting a bit through bottles to find a fresh one you'll be fine. Very happy with the both the volume and variety of their selection. My one stop shop for Portland visits.

Photo of TaborTime
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of mugglesandhops
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

My buddy from Portland goes here all the time so he took brought me here while I was on vacation. Not was I was picturing when he was describing it but it was still awesome. Huge selection of beers from all over the world. The beers are broke up into country's so all the US micros are by each other, all the Belgium's are by each other, so on and so forth. They have a ton of wine too if your into that. This place is also a market so you can get grocery's, cigarettes, and whatever else you need all in one place. They also sell kegs to go here.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This is a cumulative review of the 15-20 times I've visited John's in the past 2.5 years, since my eyes were opened to the world of better beer (summer 2005).

Little needs to be added to the many fine reviews here. John's is a modest, some might say rundown-looking, little grocery in SW Portland's 'Multnomah Village' area. Their large sign above the drive-under often adverises keg sales or some fairly 'average' case discount and much of the front signage & neon is macro- or local-oriented.That said, it never ceases to amaze me, even on a most recent visit, how awesome/overwhelming the wealth of beer is here....just go to the back of the store.

Incredible loads of craft brew from all over. The West, not just PacNW; the largest selection of Belgians I've seen (outside of Belgium); loads of Germans , UK, Eastern European, and Asian, each group within a section of the display area. Displays are generally arranged by country/region but sometimes the lines are a little blurred, especially when it comes to the open coolers. How many varieties I won't guess, but suffice to say it's well above the 1000+ bottles it's nearest local rival, Belmont Station, carries.

Though I haven't personally had a bad beer yet, I do tend to avoid some of the older-looking, dusty internationals; even some of the domestic stuff can get lost on the shelves and may be past it's prime. That's my only complaint with the quality is the seeming lack of rotation of some beers and also the fairly chaotic nature of the claustrophobia-inducing layout.

Service can at times be very good and friendly, though usually it's the chatty person at the register rather than anyone helping in the beer department. But I have visits where service was bored disinterest, too. This is a grocery store after all, with all the jars and cans, fruits and meats you'd expect... although I never seem to shop that 2/3rds of the store...

Prices are OK for singles, sixers and cases, though occasionally something will seem out of line on the high end. On the flip side, I've found a few absolute bargains here, too - whether they were mis-marked, overstock, clearance or whatever...also, there is a discount of 10% off when buying a certain number of bottles (I believe it's 12 or more)...

A must visit beer store in Portland...don't miss it!

Photo of ByrdBrain
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
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 ShaneTheWalrus
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Adamnimmo
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Spikester
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Housed in this crummy old neighbor hood store is a selection of beers that is quite amazing. I have been visiting this place for about a year about twice a month. They have recently done some tidying up and organizing of their beers. It is much easier to navigate their beer selection now than it was when I first stopped there. They tend to stock the most popular beers that hop-heads desire. They are quick to stock seasonal and special West Coast releases and have a decent assortment of imported beers. Judging by the amount of keg sale activity I've seen they do a lot of business in that area as well. Almost all their beers in stock can be purchased as singles with price stickers plainly in view. They have empty six pack cartons available to fill with your favorite singles and they give a discount for six packs. Their bottle returns are on the honor system. You go in back and put your empties in various containers and when you check out you just tell them how many empties you had and they deduct the value from your total price. I should mention that Oregon charges a 5 cent deposit on most bottles which is refunded when you return them. Overall a good place to buy beer.

Photo of artoolemomo
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Crotor
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Damned impressive, this place. It boasts a top-notch selection with the best of the West Coast from SoCal (think Alesmith and Stone) to the North Bay (think Bear Republic) to Washington. John's Marketplace also had a first class selection of Belgians - only the addition of Westvleteren could've improved it. Also offered some hard to find east coast gems from Victory and DFH. German and international selections were also impressive. Most beers stored at a surprisingly cold room temperature, though there was some refridgeration.

My only complaint would be that some of the aisles were rather narrow, and many of the beer geek sort - myself included - tend to be rather wide. I was constantly afraid I was going to knock precious beer bottles off the shelves.

Note: my only interaction with "service" being when I checked out, I can't really evaluate that factor. If I could check "n/a" I would...

Photo of guajolote
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

There are a lot of great bottle shops in Portland, and this is certainly one of them. I frequent John's most often due to it's location, since it's on my way from Salem to Portland, and is a quick stop off of I-5.

The selection here is top-notch. Obviously, being one of the major players in the Portland bottle shop scene, they get pretty much everything distributed in the area. However, because of their status, that also means they run out of the harder-to-get stuff pretty quickly.

As has been mentioned, their customer service is pretty much non-existent. However, if you know what you're looking for, that's not really a problem.

There definitely is some concern with some beers being past their "best by" dates, so you have to be vigilant. I usually stick to the main display area located in front of the main beer aisles. That's usually the seasonal/new arrival area, so what you're getting is generally pretty fresh. The selection of imports is pretty mind-blowing too.

Overall, John's is a great store that I'll continue to patronize as long as I'm in the area.

Photo of Rezzin
4.2/5  rDev -3%

I made it a point to stop by Johns Marketplace on my recent trip to Portland. It's near a Fred Myers but that's about the most I remember as far as directions go as I didn't drive.

The outside looks like your typical run down liquor store but once you walk in and past the wine section you'll be like a kid in a candy store. This place has a huge selection of beers. Although a lot of the beers I can find back home (so cal), just the fact that they carry DFH was good enough for me. Oh yeah I forgot to mention - they even let you split up 6 packs. Love it.

Fortunately I have a friend who lives nearby that visits several times a year so - he's now become my official Johns Marketplace errand boy.

Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev -3%

I don't think I have ever seen as many bottles of craft beer on the floor of a beer store as I saw at John's Marketplace. After loading up on beer at Belmont Station, we stopped in at John's to make sure we had not missed out on anything.

While Belmont had a world class selection, the selection here was even bigger. The craft beer section is in various coolers, wire racks and supermarket shelves in the back left corner of the store, and in stacks of cases on the way to it. Tons of cases of Deschutes Hop Trip, Avery Ale to the Chief, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Alesmith summer Yulesmith (and last year's winter Yulesmith. Not sure how fresh that will taste these days). Racks filled with locals like Ninkasi, Lazy Boy, Rogue, more Deschutes, Hair of the Dog. Two or three long shelves across the aisle were filled with Belgian and other European selections. Simply amazing!

My only minor complaint is that the wire racks of American craft beer are so close together that it is difficult to see what is on the bottom shelf. Also, staff members passed us constantly during our visit and never asked if we needed help, had questions, were looking for something, etc. We didn't, didn't and weren't. But I have almost always had good conversations with a local beer enthusiast wherever we go. And heck, I usually buy something I was not planning to buy as a result.

But I'd still highly recommend this place.

HV

Photo of Toddv29424
4.2/5  rDev -3%

I drove up to this place after reading all about it on this site. Its true, there is not much to look at inside or out. Its the back corner which will blow you away, where they have about 15 fully stocked rows of beers from all over the world. I am not sure if there is any method to the organization (I did see an English section and an American section) but the rest seem to be pretty scattered around. If you are looking for one thing in particular it might be hard to find, but if you keep an open mind about new styles and regions this is the exact place for you. I was most impressed by their trappist collection, which included beers which I not only havent seen other places, but new sizes as well (I didn't know St Bernardus came in 1.5 liter bottles!). If you've been exploring this site for a while and have a good knowledge of beers and breweries, then its a must.

There was very little service though, and the people there didnt know anything about the beer I was looking for or purchasing, but as a beer enthusiast this hardly detracted from the aura.

Photo of Franchise
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I have to say that this place is probably better from a selection standpoint than Belmont Station but the location and atmosphere just brings the overall score down a bit when examining what I want in a bottle shop.

A little off the beaten path, located in a sort of shady bodega store where you can get milk, eggs, wine, and some other staples.

Parking is good, they have a dedicated parking lot, they also do a lot of kegs and it makes it easy to get it in and out.

As you walk in the first thing you see is the wine section, to the right it is more wine and the staple items, chips, bread, etc. If you move toward the back this is what your here for, 3 aisles of beer.

Here lies the problem, the store is cramped and it is tough to get up and down the beer aisles and a lot of the time there is stuff all over the place making it even more difficult to navigate.

So now that I complained if your looking for beer which most of us are, this place is bar none, there is some phenominal selections from OR, CA, MT, ID, and even some great offerings from Ommegang and Allagash making this one of the best places for variety for local and internaional beer offerings.

I still highly recommend this place, but if your looking for a fancy beer store this is not for you but if you want to get a great selection at a nice price point then stop here!

Cheers,
Frank

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John's Market in Portland, OR
96 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.