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Novare Res Bier Café

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BEER AVG
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Awaiting 10 Ratings
Novare Res Bier CaféNovare Res Bier Café
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

4 Canal Plz
Portland, Maine, 04101-4034
United States

(207) 761-2437 | map
novareresbiercafe.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by indiapaleale on 05-28-2008

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BEER STATS
Beers:
3
Reviews:
0
Ratings:
5
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
135
Ratings:
263
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
6.53%
 
 
Taps:
26
Bottles/Cans:
250
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 263
Photo of rorykanderson
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Popped in midday Sunday so there were only handful of folks whom were all at the bar. Looked to be ~ 20 or so taps with a great representation from ME and New England in general. Bottle list is unreal - long, wide-reaching, comprehensive and exotic. Lots of those hard-to-find but oft-heard-of lambics. The vibe is the best part of the place - laid back, comfy but with an air of deep knowledge; like if a beer geek ran a bar: low on fluff, deep on content. These folks know their stuff. Highly recommended.

 508 characters

Photo of KEEPonPOURING
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

First time dropping in at open on a Wednesday. Big place, had it all to ourselves but felt cozy. The bartender was very knowledgeable about the taps and the bottle list, which was INSANE (in an awesome way)! Attentive and welcoming at all times were the staff. Had my first ME lobster roll there. Couldn't beat $12. Best beer bar I've ever been to. I will absolutely be back.

 375 characters

Photo of Thor-just-umm-Thor
4.87/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Been here many, many times. A must-stop whenever in Portland. Unfailingly good service and the staff knows their stuff. Beer selection is off the charts with an emphasis on foreign and difficult to find beers. Best times are when it's quiet or slow and you can chat with the super-knowledgable staff about beer. Several times after chatting, they have recommended a beer I had never tried -- and it has always been a winner! Schlenkerla Marzen smoked beer on tap? Great recommendation. Now it's one of my favorites. Novare is just wonderful.

 541 characters

Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Maybe my favorite beer bar in New England, aside from Three Penny (but that doesn't count because Vermont is a special wonderland against which other places should not be rated).

Lord Hobo is great, don't get me wrong. They never struck me as pompous or hipster-y, as others have complained about. But the place is still hypey, and hype brings crowds and loudness and very long lines on release days. Also, getting to and from Cambridge is difficult. Novare Res has a selection that actually beats Hobo's, and it's way more accessible.

The bar takes up the basement level of an old brick building. It's fairly dark, even during a sunny day, but never dank or creepy. The lighting is warm and amber, the decor is woody, and the place just feels cozy and comfortable.

The bar is long and the basement is spacious. There's also a deck that can easily hold another fifty or so people. It gets a big raucous and loud late on weekends, but if you stop by before 10 or so the vibe is super chill.

They do a decent job of updating their online taplist but often do not list very rare beers. This is good, I think, as it helps dissuade stampedes for CBS. They do frequent tap takeovers and other events, and everything is always handled very well.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If you have been to the Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, then this is the equivalent up north. 10 page bottle list and some Rares on a chalk board. Draft list and food keep it going. Interesting spot almost under ground. Good sized patio. It is a bit hard to find as you enter a parking lot behind bank to just see the umbrellas. Still awesome.

 340 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

This place is a bit off the usual path. Old brick filled bar in one section, and a back room that had some couches and more relaxed atmosphere. Large outdoor area with some tables. This is a great place for Belgian beers, they must have had almost 30 on draft. I think there was only one or two local Maine beers here. The bottle selection is incredible so if you are looking for the hard to find Belgian beer it may be here. The place was very crowded but the bartenders were hustling. Very enjoyable visit.

 509 characters

Photo of illpass78
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What is there to say about about this place? It's the best. Amazing selection of foreign and Maine beers. Menu is just what it should be - mix of great cheese pairings and cut-above pub food. Justifiably beloved.

 212 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This was the best beer bar we visited while in Portland. A bit hard to find (located in a back alley type location), it was well worth the hunt. A great selection of tap offerings, and an even better list of rare/interesting bottles to try. The food was also quite good. We had a great cheese plate, with all the fixins. Will certainly return here if in Portland again.

 374 characters

Photo of ESCO138
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

This place was amazing, had CBS on Tap plus too many other great stouts I can't even remember. The staff was very helpful and the atmosphere superb. Would definitely recommend.

 178 characters

Photo of SenatorSpaceman
2.15/5  rDev -51.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.25 | selection: 1.75 | food: 2.5

This place ended up being a MASSIVE letdown for a spot that is so highly recommended. The vibe/setup is cool but that's where it ends. The selection of American/Maine beers was very weak. Nowhere near the selection of Bissell, Foundation, Oxbow, etc. found at so many other bars in the neighborhood. They were unapologetically out of almost everything we wanted on the food menu and the service was absolutely rock bottom quality.

I'd have a difficult time conveying how offensive the service actually was, but our stomachs and empty glasses spent the night longing for our waitress' attention as she sat and chatted at other tables.

If you only like foreign beers and have no problem with putrid service, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, go somewhere else. There are plenty of better options within walking distance.

 831 characters

Photo of jhavs
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Mid afternoon lunch, bar area mostly full, tables not crowded. They have a well-selected tap list that is more euro-centric as well as a large bottle list. The bottle list has many "hard to get" selections, but you will pay dearly for them. Bartenders did a fine job, were knowledgeable, but seemed mostly uninterested in anything but chatting with each other. I saw a few groups walk in and then leave when they were not helped. Had an item off of the special list as my meal. Food is made with care, looked and tasted good but wished I had went with something else after seeing a few people around me served.

 615 characters

Photo of JonahBrews
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place has been a staple for years. The selection is astronomical and I love the fact they have a beer list to keep and check off which beers you have tried and write personal notes. Individual glasses mean a lot for each particular beer, and a very knowledgeable staff. Also, a Hole-In-The-Wall; you have to walk down an plaza in order to find it.

 353 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.61/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Not really my scene. Nothing exciting on the menu; they were having a lord hobo event. A decent selection of beers, but the King's head is much better in my opinion.

Would return if they have a better taplist.

 212 characters

Photo of 52mgtd
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Ok, so you don't go there for the food, you go there for the beer! A fantastic list of on tap and even better bottles, ask any chalice owner, what a great place to enjoy great beer and meet interesting people, chalice #71

 221 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on Tuesday evening. The two of us sat at one of the big multi-party tables. The place was slow.

V - Dark, not well lit, dank, but clean and open and definitely a beer bar vibe. I wouldn't call this a "dive bar" because it is not dirty or inhabited by undesirable folks. 4.5

Q - All beer served in proper and clean glassware. Beer seemed to be at correct temperature. Some might complain that beer is served in glassware not of its own branding, but not an issue for me. 4.5

Ser - Our server Jamison (yeah that's right) was fantastic. Very good in helping my friend pick a beer she would like. He was even ready to send us to a different place so we could find the food we looking for. 5

Sel - Fantastic bottle selection and a very good tap list the night we were there. Had a De Strusie XXX Rye Triple and a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza 4.5

F - Did not eat food during this visit.

 905 characters

Photo of vonnegut21
3.47/5  rDev -21.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2 | selection: 4

An old school dive of a craft beer bar. Solid selection, but underwhelming considering their reputation. There are certainly better taplists in Portland. Service was poor. I get that it was busy, but the bartenders (particularly the one with the man-bun) were more concerned with serving their friends than helping a new customer.

In summary, Novare Res was fine, but it hasn't adapted over time and has been surpassed by some of the other up and coming craft beer bars in Portland.

 486 characters

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

By far my favorite place in Portland (that IS saying something!). Amazing draft list, even more amazing bottle list. They thrown amazing events and have special tappings constantly. The staff are insanely knowledgeable and can always assist with making top notch selections from their ridiculous Belgian offerings. Cannot say enough good things about Novare.

 358 characters

Photo of kevdemers
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Flat out best "beer bar" food I have ever had! Must stop while in Portland, wish I had visited here sooner. And my family members who are not beer fans couldn't stop raving about the food, so I would not hesitate to bring anyone here.

 235 characters

Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Novare Res is one of the best beers I've ever visited. Their tap and bottle lists are insane, and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. We visited three times in four days, and each time found a new draft list with beers we'd been searching for everywhere.

Can be tough to find since it's in a back alley, but it only adds to the ambience. They also have a great outdoor terrace for the warmer months.

Highly recommend making it here if in Portland, ME.

 465 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Amazing list of rotating taps with events every month or two. Even better is the bottle selection, with multiple vintages of hard to find beer including Cantillon and other European brews. A must-visit.

 202 characters

Photo of hudsonheat
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

You don't come here for the food, and that's okay, mostly small plates. Their tap list is always interesting, very Belgian leaning. Their bottle list, especially their rare stuff, is what excites me. Always something interesting and new to try!

 247 characters

Photo of KornWallace
4.75/5  rDev +7%

While a little difficult to find using GPS, once you get to Novare Res you're going to be their a while.

They have the nicest bottle list I saw on my trip to Maine and a fantastic tap selection as well. The food is also fantastic, the cheese plate was my personal favorite but I also had the roast beef sandwich which was worth it.

Our server seemed very knowledgable in the beers and suggested a couple nice beers.

We were seated in the outside area which was very nice I'm always a fan of the communal tables in the summers. The inside area was worth checking out with a large bar and enough seating on the inside.

The pricing seemed a little expensive. But nothing outrageous and in my belief I think it was totally worthwhile.

 738 characters

Photo of millionsuns
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

When I pass from this life, I won't have to go far to get to Heaven. Novare Res is only about 15 minutes away.

It's tucked in an alley off Exchange Street and the elevation of the place makes you feel like you've walked into the catacombs of a Belgian abbey with the most beautiful beer selection you're likely to see in your lifetime.

These folks are the first to get Cantillon in the state. They get things on draft you never knew existed on draft on this side of the planet. Fou'Foune, anyone? De Struise, Tilquin, De La Senne? Sure!

There's a section of the menu specifically dedicated to rotating Maine drafts - and they're always amazing.

The bottle menu is a laminated spiral binder. There's a page dedicated to lambics. Am I dead yet? Somebody pinch me.

There's a room, under lock and key, inside which are housed huge chalices won by members of the Uprising after consuming beers representing every possible style from all over the world. These people are either wealthy, crazy, brilliant, or all three. The chalices may be used to consume any beer on the draft menu at the regular price. They've earned it.

Their annual tap takeovers are legendary. They're as nice and polite and helpful as can be. They have a classy outdoor deck with Cornhole. They have a back room with a fireplace surrounded by dozens of spent bottles of Lou Pepe and Lord knows what else. They have a daily sushi special, the best banh mi sandwich in Maine, and a killer hot dog. I've discovered more amazing music there than I know what to do with.

No fan of beer should enter the State of Maine without going to Novare Res. There's no excuse not to.

And now it's late and I have to go to bed before I change my mind and drive to Novare for a nightcap.

 1,744 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
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

 614 characters

Photo of shahn
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

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Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.
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