Novare Res Bier Café

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Novare Res Bier CaféNovare Res Bier Café
BA SCORE
3.02/5
Okay
5 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

BEER STATS
Beers:
2
Reviews:
0
Ratings:
5
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.48/5
Reviews:
135
Ratings:
274
pDev:
10.27%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 135
Reviews by blackie:
Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Second stop on a whirlwind beer tour of Portland while en-route south to Old Virginny. After a short cab ride with the most depressing cab driver ever, we were dropped off outside the wrought iron fence that leads into Canal Plaza and Novare Res.

First visible is the raised wooden patio that serves as a beer garden, it's a large spot with lots of picnic style tables and a view of the uncrowded plaza.

A step or two down are required to enter the bar proper - or maybe not at all, but the place has that below ground feel. It's a very clean and moody basement area with brick walls and pillars, stone floors, beer signage, and lots of wood; well appointed and feeling both aged and fresh at once. Seating space is in the form of communal tables, a nice sized bar, and an almost cellarlike side room with couches and a couple dart boards. The crowd during both visits was mostly young and casual, a very lively and comfortable space.

The draft selection was certainly top-tier if not of the world-class variety, with lots from the Smuttynose big beer series as well as a couple of their short batches - not sure if they'd just hosted a smutty event or what. A couple more immediate locals, a small selection of Belgians and otherwise foreign drafts, and a few good but widespread American micros to round things out, again solid but not particularly wowing. Over our couple visits I chose the great BFM Douze, the Marshall Wharf Deep Purple smoked beer, and Smuttynose Gnome Belgian ipa. The bottle list was pretty exhaustive, and included a section for "beer geeks & connoisseurs" as well in addition to a few special cellar selections. Current lists on the website. I'd say a 4.0 for the drafts on this particular day, and a 4.5 or higher for the bottle list, rounding up the average for my score here. Wish the shirt selection had been better - pretty great design but totally out of my size.

Service was good overall, with one gent in particular that seemed very much on top of things. The other bartenders were just fine and certainly helpful if not to the point of extra comment.

Food is basically limited to sandwiches, salads, cheese/charcuterie plates, and desserts. Everything looked great and I wish we'd gone here for a light dinner. We did make it back later in the night for dessert - "House-made Fin Du Monde Ice cream served atop Rosemont bakery blondie drizzled with caramel toffee sauce". Great flavors but really nothing to write home about.

Most of the better beers ran from 6-7 dollars a glass. Not your sub 5 dollar pint prices, but very much fair for the value given.

Really like what this bar is doing. It's clear that beer gets much respect here, and I would stop in any time given the chance.

 2,726 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.03/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Budlum
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Beersilio
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of Tmappin
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of xtonytx
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of orangesol
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of jfcaa193
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Montanabeerz
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Harrypotter7
1/5  rDev -77.7%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1

Not great.

10 characters

Photo of dfecteau
3.21/5  rDev -28.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Photo of ManapuaMan
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.

 508 characters

Photo of coombski
4.39/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Photo of KEEPonPOURING
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.

 375 characters

Photo of Tommyboy555
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.

 541 characters

Photo of chiefbender
4.93/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Nomis
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of mig100
4.04/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of zimm421
4.48/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of mynie
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.

 1,250 characters

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

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Sound_Explorer
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.

 340 characters

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Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
Brewery rating: 3.02 out of 5 with 5 ratings