Novare Res Bier Café

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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
www.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:
132
Ratings:
258
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: 132 | Ratings: 258
Reviews by ToasterChef:
Photo of ToasterChef
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

In a town full of enjoyable bars, Novare Res quickly became my regular hang-out. The selection of beers is amazing; they only stock the finest beers (no BMC, ever). The bottle list spans numerous pages and is organized by country and style, with bottle size, price and ABV clearly listed. The draft list is constantly changing, and surprisingly often you can find a beer on tap that is extremely rare or unique (bourbon barrel aged Allagash brews, for example). The food menu is limited, but it works; a few hot sandwiches and a selection of meats and cheeses. Occasionally, they will over something special, such as grilled sausages cooked outside on their deck.

That atmosphere is fitting for a bar built in the basement of a former bank. The bottle room is in the old vault! The lights are generally kept low (and get dimmer as the night progresses) and the music is played loud (my only complaint about the place is that sometimes the music is so loud you can't converse, but that's rare). There are plenty of empty bottles on display, including all of the staff's KTG empties and a number of Black Alberts. The back room features some nice couches, a fireplace, and two dart boards (personally I don't play darts, but I've heard that the boards are terrible). Overall, it's a place that when you first walk in, you can imagine spending hours here.

My favorite aspect of Novare is their take on a mug club. Called the Uprising, entrants lay down $20 and get a list of 230 bottles they stock. As you drink each one of the list, it gets checked off by a staff member. Once you've had them all, you are officially a member of the Uprising. You get a key to the Chalice room, where you can store your personallized 24oz glass. From that point forward, any draft you order, no matter what size glass it should be poured in, is served in your Chalice--at the normal price. If you finish the list in a year, you even get your entry fee back. It's a fun way to learn a lot about beers, as every style and country represented on the menu is found on the list.

Lastly, the staff is top-notch. Each of them has tried every beer available and can provide suggestions to anyone who walks in. They are all friendly--to the customers and each other. It's as if they are all part of one big family. Make a few trips and soon they'll be greeting you by name when you walk in. Novare is truly a treasure and a beer bar that every BA should visit.

 2,435 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Nomis
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of smb
4.04/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of zimm421
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

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.

 1,250 characters

Photo of AirBob
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

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

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 texasrat
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great beer spot!

16 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 dee4maine
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of ScottP
4.79/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of RePhil
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

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

Photo of SveNss0N
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

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 MRVermont
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

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 LloydDobler
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

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

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

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Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
98 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.
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