Novare Res Bier Café

Novare Res Bier CaféNovare Res Bier Café
Novare Res Bier CaféNovare Res Bier Café
Bar, Eatery

4 Canal Plaza
Suite 1
Portland, Maine, 04101
United States

(207) 761-2437 | map
novareresbiercafe.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.48
Reviews:
141
Ratings:
147
pDev:
10.27%
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by -Rick:
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Reviewed by -Rick from Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
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.
Jan 26, 2016
More User Ratings:
 
Rated: 4.31 by Mikexw from New York

Jul 17, 2022
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Rated by jseidl from New Jersey

4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Super chill vibe, great outdoor space, awesome selection of beers. a "must visit" if you are in/near Portland and a beer fan.
Sep 27, 2021
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5
cool beer bar and restaurant tucked back an alley in downtown Portland. We sat outside since it was during COVID times, they have a sizable deck. Great taplist of about 2 dozen beers, mix of New England craft beers and European classic imports. Service was good. We didn't eat, we only came for drinks after dinner.
Sep 05, 2021
 
Rated: 4.25 by acurtis from New Jersey

Aug 31, 2020
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Reviewed by socon67 from New York

4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Easily one of the best beer stores I've ever been in. Place does look like it belongs in Belgium; very rustic and chill vibe. Their selection is heavily influenced by imports, but I jumped at the chance to get a crowler and some bottles of Maine locals I'll not see back home. Service was incredible, and while I didn't have food it was evident that the small plates they offered were high quality. So glad to be able to stop by.
Jul 29, 2020
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Reviewed by tjcarbone from New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Visited spring and fall of 2017. Welcoming, cozy tavern. A very impressive selection. A must visit for any beer lover. Seasonal seating outside available.
Mar 29, 2020
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Reviewed by Jgitelman from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
I could only give this place 5's across the board because it really was that perfect. Wide, eclectic list of draught and bottled beers. I had a great local Maine sour and my buddy had a Weisse beer in his favorite glass that brought him back to Europe. Ourr server, Jasmine, knew her stuff. Surprisingly the pork taco special is the thing that still stands out in my mind - what flavor! Cannot wait to go back to Novares Res and explore more. A happy place.
Nov 16, 2019
 
Rated: 4.54 by REVZEB from Illinois

Oct 10, 2019
 
Rated: 4.41 by A_Rad from Wisconsin

Aug 09, 2019
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Reviewed by Rifugium from North Dakota

4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5
I FINALLY got to tick Novare Res off my bucket list last trip to Portland. I almost couldn't find the place because the building it's in didn't look like a bar at all, and at first I didn't notice the stylized letters running down the wall. But once inside, it's a truly genuine Belgian bar vibe. This is probably the only bar in the US that I've been to other than Monk's that really gives me that authentic feeling that I experienced in the bars I visited in Belgium, albeit with an obvious American twist. When I went there was an event going on, I forget what, maybe an anniversary or something. All I know is I got a relatively inexpensive pour of Hommage, and there was also a rare Black Albert variant on tap, as well as a bunch of other stuff. Despite the event, the place wasn't too crowded and service was fine. I did not sample the food or even look at the menu. If I wasn't pressed for time, I could've spent the whole day there, and hopefully one day I will get back.
Jul 19, 2019
 
Rated: 4.23 by Griffith from Connecticut

Mar 19, 2019
 
Rated: 4.19 by thegink from New York

Feb 18, 2019
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Reviewed by chippo33 from Vermont

5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
When I walk into this place, I feel like I am back in Belgium. The beer list ranges from old traditional beers (Cantillon, Tilquin, Boon, 3F, westmale, Orval, Fantome, Weihenstephaner, Ayinger, De dolle, De la senne) to newer styles and breweries (Trillium, Aslin, Holy Mountain, the Veil, Trve, Prairie, Burial, Jester King, Lawson's, Fonta Flora, Modern Times, etc.). Plenty of the latest local beers (Bissell, allagash, definitive, barreled souls, good fire, Battery Steele) always available.
Jan 08, 2019
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Rated by ajemianj from Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
This is the best beer bar in Portland. Can’t believe it hasn’t been rated more.
Dec 11, 2018
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Rated by spolgrean from New York

4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5
Great place for Belgian beers, always have unique beers on draft, and a bottle list that is out of this world.
Sep 25, 2018
 
Rated: 4.03 by PhillyStyle from Georgia

May 25, 2018
 
Rated: 4.27 by Budlum from Maryland

May 20, 2018
 
Rated: 4.23 by Beersilio from Massachusetts

May 06, 2018
 
Rated: 4.5 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Mar 12, 2018
 
Rated: 4.05 by xtonytx from Connecticut

Nov 25, 2017
 
Rated: 4.41 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Oct 30, 2017
 
Rated: 4.68 by jfcaa193 from Canada (QC)

Oct 28, 2017
 
Rated: 4.33 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Aug 21, 2017
 
Rated: 4.32 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

Aug 05, 2017
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Rated by Harrypotter7 from New Hampshire

1/5  rDev -77.7%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1
Not great.
Jun 30, 2017
 
Rated: 3.21 by dfecteau from Massachusetts

May 09, 2017
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Reviewed by ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
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.
Oct 30, 2016
 
Rated: 4.39 by coombski from Maine

Oct 22, 2016
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Reviewed by KEEPonPOURING from Virginia

4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
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.
Oct 10, 2016
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Reviewed by Tommyboy555 from Maine

4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
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.
Oct 03, 2016
 
Rated: 4.93 by chiefbender from Georgia

Sep 20, 2016
 
Rated: 4.23 by Nomis from Massachusetts

Jul 24, 2016
 
Rated: 4.92 by GreesyFizeek from New York

Jul 14, 2016
 
Rated: 4.04 by mig100 from Texas

Jul 02, 2016
 
Rated: 4.48 by zimm421 from Ohio

Jun 21, 2016
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Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
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.
Jun 19, 2016
 
Rated: 4.3 by AirBob from Massachusetts

Jun 07, 2016
 
Rated: 4.5 by ArkyVaughan from New Jersey

May 31, 2016
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Reviewed by Sound_Explorer from Washington

4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
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.
May 27, 2016
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
Place rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 288 ratings