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Belmont Station

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

126 Reviews
Belmont StationBelmont Station
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Store

4500 SE Stark St
Portland, Oregon, 97215-1649
United States

(503) 232-8538 | map
belmont-station.com

Notes:
Store:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm

Biercafé:
Monday - Friday: 2:00pm - 11:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm

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PLACE STATS
Score:
99
Reviews:
126
Ratings:
225
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
5.11%
 
 
Taps:
24
Bottles/Cans:
1,310
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 225
Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

Attended the Michael Jackson toast on Sunday night, and the overall experience was great. Didn't expect the split: half of the place is a beer store crammed into what feels like a corner convenience store, the other half is a pub with mostly local taps and food. You can buy bottles (warm or cold) from the store and drink them in the pub. Taking them home is the cheaper option, but either way the prices are fair, and the selection is insane. I can't even begin to list the brews I saw there, but expect to see plenty of things you've never had before, even if you're the biggest beer insaniac out there. Found a few things there that I wasn't even able to get at the ridiculous John's Marketplace: Hitachino's Nest Celebration, and Grozette Gooseberry ale (which, appropriately, I'd read about in a Michael Jackson book earlier that day). Also got turned onto local brew Hub, which was a raw, hoppy delight.

Service was okay, even a little indifferent at the bar. Good enough though, and the casual, intimate atmosphere was just right. In the insanely big pool of choices in Portland, a lover of great beer has got to stop in.

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Photo of dnichols
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

I like Belmont Station. Whenever I'm in Portland (4-5 times a year) I stop in to stock up on beers not available in the outback of eastern Washington. The staff is always friendly, knowledgeably (they like beer and it show), and patient with shoppers like me that enjoy savoring our beer buying experience. Prices are competitive with other beer specialty shops in the region and they run regular specials on a variety of beers. The recent additional of a deli (with a liquor license) attached to the store allows one to linger for a while and enjoy a cold beer from the coolers and a decent sandwich. I keep coming back to Belmont Station...as much for the people as for the beer.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

Really nice store. Walked up here after a recent visit to Horse Brass, and was very pleasantly surprised - they had nearly everything I wanted. They were out of Caldera Pale Ale, but I had little trouble finding it elsewhere.

The service however was the highlight. Several (or maybe it was just a few efficient people - I HAD been drinking) people attempted to help me, and while their names and faces are blurred by now, I DO remember the woman who was most helpful, listening to my semi-drunken tales of my road trip, asking what I liked, and recommending brews that have thus far turned out to be fantastic. (If you're reading this, I'm the guy that gave you the Damnation Batch 23). Thanks for the help.

Wish more stores had friendly knowledgeable service like this. This store will be near the top of my places to go on my next visit.

 845 characters

Photo of Flyer
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%

A new location for this place, with a beer and beer shtick store on one side and a bar on the other. The atmosphere almost feels more like a souvenir shop, but the staff is knowledgable and friendly and that goes a long way toward making it a good experience. They had three quality taps, plus you could buy anything from the cooler and drink it at the bar (for a reasonable extra charge). It's very bright and open inside, and the walls are decorated with mirrors and stained glass hangings -- nothing wrong with it per se, but it could be a little beerier.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

* UPDATE * As of June 2008, The Biercafe now has 16 rotating taps!

We've now visited Belmont Station/The Bier Cafe at least a half dozen times at their new location on SE Stark, so I feel comfortable giving an accurate review.

Relocated from their old outpost on SE Belmont (hence the name) adjacent to the famous Horse Brass, the new place has a much different feel than the old one. First and foremost, its much more spacious and full of natural light. Reach-in coolers line the walls and several aisles worth of singles, 4 & 6-packs, snacks, specials and closeouts, etc. fill one half of the building. A corner of the store adjacent to the check-out counter is dedicated to a large selection of glassware, as well as T-shirts and other paraphernalia.

Beer displays are well-marked and coolers are organized based on style and country of origin. Two different prices are clearly marked, one for on-premise consumption and a cheaper one (generally 15-25% less) for "Beer to Go". Bottle count is now over 800 [UPDATE: well over 1000 bottles, as of early 2008], with plenty of kegs available, too. They also have occasionally held free tastings by beer distributors (Shelton Bros., Merchant du Vin, etc) and they've been packed.

A welcome addition is the Bier Cafe, run by the affable Wade (now aka "Some Dude", based on his description in the recent Willamette Week review...). 4 tap handles pour some generally outstanding specialized beers, ones that are typically rare and/or unavailable in bottles. recent offerings varied from aged Stone RIS, Houblon Chouffe, Fantome Saison, Deschutes The Abyss & Mirror Mirror, several from local small brewers like Double Mountain. Most kegs don't last more than a week, so it seems one always finds something new. There was a limited opening of the cafe half of the building occurred not long after the Jan 2007 relocation, but the cafe has blossomed since it's 7-day-a-week lunch & dinner expansion in April. The menu is limited, typically soups, salads and sandwiches but ingredients are fresh, everything is made to order and prices are reasonable. Items range generally from $5-8. If scoring for food were a category (and it should be now) I'd give a strong '4'.

The store and Bier Cafe walls are festooned with colorful artwork and a growing collection of mostly European beer signage. Seating in the cafe is about 10 sturdy barstools, a few tables and some outdoor seating beneath umbrellas. A small library of beer books, periodicals (including BA Magazine) and board games makes it easy to pass the time here, as does the laid-back vibe of classic rock and banter with employees and other patrons alike.

Speaking of employees, these guys and gals know their beer and are quite helpful/friendly (several active BA's in the group, too). On more than one occasion I've witnessed an overwhelmed-looking out-of-towner, spouse, etc. being patiently waited on by one or more of the BS staff.

The place still has a sorta 'clean' new-ness, but with each visit, I notice it feels a little more comfortable and lived in... Generally, an excellent place to shop and now a friendly, relaxing place to hang out for beers and some food.

Highly recommended when in Portland!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

A wonderful store – one of the best beer stores I’ve been to in America.

I cabbed it from downtown to meet and trade with the very generous Portland BA, maltmaster420 who does the beer ordering for Belmont Station. He wasn’t in at the time I showed up but he left me 2 bottles of Abyss so I couldn’t complain. I handed off a couple New Glarus fruit beers to BA Yoko, another employee (gotta love stores with multiple BA workers), and the next thing I knew I was drinking aged Fantome Saison from the tap. Racer X was also on tap as was some very local, but unexciting brew. Had I been there a few days earlier I could have enjoyed the Abyss on tap as well. The staff was really laid back and chill. We chatted as they prepared sandwiches for some folks and I learned quite a bit about the local beer scene from them. This all took place in a small café that makes up one half of the establishment.

The other half of my trip to Belmont took place in the adjoining room, which was about the size of your average small liquor store. Unlike your average small liquor store, however, this place was entirely devoted to beer. The center isles are stacked with six packs. Three of the four walls are coolers containing singles, bombers, and 750s. I probably found more then 50 beers I wanted to try. Everything local you could imagine was found in these coolers at good prices. Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California were totally covered. There were dozens upon dozens of great Belgians for sale and lots of interesting stuff from Scandinavia, Brazil, Germany, and other countries as well. The staff was with me the whole time pointing out rarities and unknown local delights. I could have maxed out my credit card for sure.

Luckily for my pocket book, I was planning on walking all over the NE side of Portland for the rest of the day and I didn’t feel like carrying dozens of bottles of beer with me. I settled on a bottle of Golden Valley VS Brut, the Champagne de Bier from the BA Mag cover and some Obsidian Stout. After that I hopped down the block to the uncanny Horse Brass Pub.

Note: All bottles are priced for in house and take out consumption, another nice touch.

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Photo of ccrida
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%

The place has a nice selection of high quality brews, maybe not the most for a specialty beer store, but impressive nevertheless, as some are rather uncommon. Also lots of glassware and other swag. The cafe has 4 taps that rotate frequently with some real gems. They recently had Abyss, and now they have Fantome, hot damn! The atmosphere is not much to write home about in the cafe though, kind of diner style or something, if your not a beer geek you probably wouldn't care for this place. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and was playing pretty good music, phish last time I was there.

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Photo of loren01
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%

Nice little bar/beer store in the middle of Portland. Excellent selection of both local beers and beers from around the country and world. Selection is not as good as John's Marketplace but John's selection is flat out rediculous. They also sell some pretty sweet glassware as well. The little bar connected to the place only has 4 beers on tap, but they are 4 very well chosen beers. I was lucky enough to get an Abyss while I was there, I think it was like 4.50 a glass, you really can't beat that at all. Its a good thing I don't live near this place or I would be there way too much I think. Check this place out for sure if you are ever in Portland.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%

Quality: Nice and simple, Belmon Station is a clean covenient store, filled only with beer and beer glassware. Nice and simple with fridges around the walls.

Service: This was a standout point, the employees were knowledgeable and I asked them if they would ever carry certain beers, and they knew the answers.

Selection: Definitely a broad selection, but at the time, not as good as John's marketplace. A lot of the must-have's though. Prices were right in the ballpark for NW beer stores. I believe some were higher than John's Marketplace, while other's were lower. I bought a couple pint glasses while I was there, that was a nice feature. Good glassware where various breweries.

 689 characters

Photo of Matthew
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%

I had heard alot about Belmont station upon moving to Portland and enjoy stopping in from time to time to see what they've gotten in after swinging by the awesome movie store next door. The selection is very good, lots of local micros, great selection of german, belgian and other imports and they are usually have the newest releases of seasonal beers. All the beers are stored in the back in a cooler and I have only gotten a few old bottles out of quite a few bottles that I have purchased from them.
The service is good, they always are friendly and ask if you need any help, I have found a few times that the person working the register was less than knowledgable about some beers and hadn't really known about any upcoming releases, but none the less very friendly.
Belmont Station is worth stopping by but I would suggest they are a bit pricey. I personally would prefer to go to Johns Market Place of Beaumont Market but Belmont Station is still a great beer store.

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Photo of isaac
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%

I love Belmont Station and, though I can get several of my favorite beers at the local specialty food store, I can't help myself from coming back to this small shop, time and time again. Whether it is their pretty extensive collection of American Micros and Belgians, the friendly and helpful staff, or just the pleasing, slightly air-conditioned place itself, Belmont Station is a must for people in Southeast Portland. As much as I've learned on this website, if not for this store, I would not have the practice to talk about beer and really feel like I'm learning.
Really, the ideal beer shop for me.

edit: the new store is amazing! i don't know if they've added to their selection, but with all the new, glass-door fridges it sure seems like it.
now, if only we could get some russian river up in portland...

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Photo of slander
4.5/5  rDev 0%

If you didn't know its neighbor next door had been there for some 30 years, you'd think this was one of those "chicken or the egg" kind of things. Did the kind beer store set up shop next to the killer pub or vice versa? Yes, the Horse Brass Pub located all the way through that door over there was here first, and they really compliment each other wonderfully. Had a great beer at the pub, I wonder if I can get that in a store, there you go...

It's really a great little beer store stocking a few hundred bottles. It's strangely deceptive in that the floor stock spread out across the floor units and wall mounted slelves is only one of each bottle, and then the staff grabs you what you need from coolers beyond your view. They hold a similar Belgian collection to that of that other beer store we visited in town just a few hours earlier, but less in American micros and world imports. Still, a very good selection of the regional goods from the Pacific states, and extending the long arm of far reaching micros. A small sign indicated that they were out Hoegaarden. "Oh no, whatever will I do?" remarked Phil mockingly alarmed. Ofttimes, he's a little smartass.

The rest of the store holds English goods and provisions. Biscuits & shortbread, dry food mixes, puddings, jams, preserves, teas, toffees, mustards, marmalades, sweets & confections; all the cool cadbury candies we can't get here. Jon was all silly over some version of the Kit Kat bar you can't get here in the states. They also sell hats, shirts, glasses and most important just now, mugs & tokens for the Oregon Beer Festival. Service is up to snuff and really has to be so, because they do all the running to get you your beer. Good store, nicely marked by the London Underground style sign out front.

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Photo of Skidz
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%

Well holy crap. I call up the Rogue public house to check their hours and as for a good beer store in town. I'm directed here, assured that I will find just about anything I want. Damn right.

This place reminds me of a small gift shop, which isn't too far off I suppose. Probably about 7-10 rows of local micros and import singles line the back wall as you walk in. Two Jeroboams sit on the end of the counter, St. Feuillian Triple and something else...high double digits. Keep walking. Ciders to your left on the center island and meads across on the other side.

Now on to business. You've got all your local CA breweries (well not all, but a lot of them) on the left along with a good variety of other micros. Down to the right there is an amazing selection of imported beers, lots of Belgians.

Pick out which ones you want and try and remember all of them as you list them off the the guy at the counter who then travels into the back and snags them out of the cooler. Quick and efficient? Not so much, but cheers to almost guaranteed quality.

I'd most definatley stop by again if I ever (hopefully I do) make it back to Portland again. Did overhear that this place will be picking up and moving to a different location with some on-premise features. That could not hut.

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Photo of Toddv29424
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Visiting my cousin in Portland and he knew I was a fan of beer, so I was directed here. At first glance it looks small, with a strange assortment of international foods on the wall and bottles in the corner, but upon closer inspection I found one of the best selections I've found in the US. There is a big concentration of West Coast breweries, but also an amazing selection of hard-to-find (Des Rocs Imperial Tripel) and discontinued (St Feuillien Tripel) Belgian beers. The service is terrific as well. The owner takes you around and tells you how its organized, but this is easy to do on your own as its only single bottles on the floor (the rest is kept in the back) with prices clearly marked. He is great at giving suggestions too. What a great place!

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Photo of Iguana
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Decided to make a trek to this place the other day, its about an hour and a half drive from where I am. After getting lost twice and calling them and asking for directions, I finally arrived. They have a nice list going on their website for what all they have although I do wish it was kept a little more up to date, a couple of the ones that had caught my eye were out of stock. I really liked their system of write down what you want on a pad of paper and when your ready they fetch it all for ya. They had a really nice selection of imported beers, and micro's that arent available closer to home. The guy working there was quite helpful with some suggestions on what to try. Overall I found them to be a great store, not necessarily worth making a long trip for, but if your in the area, it really is worth the stop for the selection.

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Photo of Crotor
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Belmont Station presented a damned fine if somewhat West-Coast-centric selection. The set-up was rather intelligent for a small space - one beer of each type in stock out on the shelf with a price tag, with the bulk in the back (in refridgeration) where the helpful and knowledgable clerk would fetch what you wanted. Decent prices too. My only complaint would be that it's a bit weak on the Belgian side of things, but the bottles of 2001 Rogue RIS will silence me pretty quickly...

Note: ultra-convenient location for beer tourism - right next to the Horse Brass...

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Photo of NVbeer
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%

Stopped by this bottle shop after attending the Holiday Ale Festival this past weekend. It has one of the best selections of regional, national and import beers that I have ever seen. Picked up way to much for the trip home, including a number of Barleywines and other winter warmers.The staff was extremely helpful and quickly put our selection together. I was very pleased to see all the beers are kept refridgerated and protected from light. If anyone is ever in Portland, they must add this to their list of places to go.
Jason
NVBeer

 541 characters

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Ahhh, I got to pick up all the fun stuff I can't get on the East Coast. Moose Drool, Terminal Gravity IPA (yes, now by the sixpack,) Black Butte Porter, even a Governator, just for fun (I'll only drink it if he becomes President.) Impressive selection of other stuff too, lots of Belgians, British, domestics. Pricing was fair, a bit on the high side I thought for Portland but then again I guess I'm spoiled with distributor prices back home. Service was great, the setup (you pick off the shelf, they make a list and then bring it out) definitely works to their advantage, as you can rack up a trunkfull without realizing it. Lots of gifts, glassware, bar towels and snacks as well, overall a really cool place. Plus it doesn't hurt to be next to my favorite pub in Portland.

Note: Too bad I didn't have room in my suitcase for that 1.5 of Leviathan. Damn.

 861 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%

A beautiful bottle shop attached to the Horse Brass pub.

Most everything is offered by the single, so expect to pay more if you're looking to pick up by the six or 12. But why would you: oodles of PacNW and left-coast brews, most notably Bear Republic, Moylan's, Bridgeport, Full Sail, Rogue, Lagunitas, and tons o' English brew. It makes sense; the decor is decidedly anglo.

There are plenty of gems to be found as well, it was the first time i'd ever seen any Victory beers, and there was a good selection of DFH as well. The prices are relatively decent, but there are always alot of good specials to be had.

The guy working the counter was from my homestate and had a great demeanor and knowledge of his products. A winner.

Oh yeah, and the English swag was great too - tons of foodstuffs i've never seen this side of London.

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Photo of damjadi
5/5  rDev +11.1%

I always make a stop at Belmont Station and Horse Brass when I am in Portland, and never have been disappointed. Yes, John's Market has more beers, but the storage of beers in the back cooler insures freshness. Also the staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly.
I recently noticed that some of the beer is of the collectable/archiveable variety. Fish brewing Leviathan and Poseidan (in 1.5L) were from 2002 (not made in 2003). Some of the belgians are also older (read better and more balanced).
To quote the Beastie Boys, this is one place you need to "Ch-check it out."

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%

A cool hole in the wall kind of place on Belmont, next to a good pub. Nice selection of beer! Not nearly good as John's Marketplace in Multnomah Village, but still pretty good. They focus on the more popular beers (popular with domestic/imported beer lovers- not swill drinkers) instead of having everything. Fun selection of British candy. Certainly worth checking out.

 370 characters

Photo of freed
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

Really a nice place in an excellent location. Plus, my wife didn't get bored while I was looking because there was plenty of other things to look at, including candy.

The beer lined wall was quite impressive. Many I hadn't seen anywhere else. Also, a nice collection of glassware and other paraphernalia. The atmosphere is quite pleasant, and somewhat authentic. Some generic brit-pop was on the system to top it off. Only bought 1 bottle, but also some caramel, short bread, and postcards.

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Photo of weefisheads
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%

What a brilliant idea - put a beer store right next door to a fantastic bar! Do these guys know what they're doing or what!!

I love going to this store because there's nothing in here to offend a beer drinker with refined tastes - ie., no Bud, Coors, or any Macro for that matter. The store is not terribly large, but it's entirely dedicated to mirco beers, an outstanding selection of English and other imported beers, and all sorts of beer paraphernalia.

I didn't rate the selection a five because first, it's Oregon, and nowhere in this state can you find a good selection of anything from the East, and second, there are a few other stores with a few more choices. However, the strength of this store are the folks who work there and know loads about the stuff they sell. The small and somewhat cozy size means that you always get very personal service, and it's always a treat to talk with folks who want to chat about beer.

Overall, a great store.

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Photo of gwfrankpsu
5/5  rDev +11.1%

A beer lover's dream - wonderful selection of beer, one of the best. After moving from Portland, OR to Portland, ME, I was in need of a NW beer infusion. The people at Belmont Station worked with me and I recieved four cases of NW Christmas beer in early December - I'm still holding some for next (this) year.

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Photo of sinistersteve
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Not a bad place to get some great beer on the East side of town here in Portland. Although, I do wish they had a way of having the customers write down their request. Perhaps a simple note pad could to the trick, especially if you're planning on purchasing several different styles of beer.

Update 10-05-2002: Well, I still wished they had a piece of paper lying around so they don't forget what you requested. They missed my Bigfoot Barleywine today. They also double dinged me for the beer deposite.

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Belmont Station in Portland, OR
4.5 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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