Bier Cellar

BA SCORE
97
world-class

91 Ratings
Bier CellarBier Cellar
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

299 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine, 04101-2002
United States

(207) 200-6258 | map
biercellar.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by troughnbrew on 06-07-2012

PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Ratings:
91
Reviews:
23
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
4.76%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by ToasterChef:
Photo of ToasterChef
4.94/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The newest beer store in the Portland area has been open for a couple of weeks now, but it wasn't until today that I made it in. I already felt familiar with the store though. The owners have done a good job of crafting a helpful online presence that no other bottle shop in the area has been able to do. Between Twitter and Facebook updates, I have a good idea of what is happening in the store in near real-time. The e-mail updates have been a revelation though. A summary of new arrivals? Check. Special offers? Check. A loyalty program of subscribers (5% off after for each $100 spent)? Check. The only other store in Southern Maine that offers a e-mail (that I know of) is Tully's, and that generally consists of a schedule of upcoming tastings and a note to check Facebook for updates. What Bier Cellar is doing is very helpful much appreciated.

Now, onto the store itself. Being freshly opened, the space is still very clean and has the feel of a recently renovated area. None of the center aisles is very tall, letting you get a good look around the entire store no matter where you are standing. Beers are generally organized by country and then brewery. The flags from each country represented sitting atop the appropriate shelf is a nice touch. On wall has a row of coolers, holding some six packs and singles, as well as white and sparkling wines. There may have been more in the coolers, but I didn't really look them over.

The room temperature selection is well laid out. Each 4 or 6 pack has an accompanying row of singles, so you don't have to break up someone else's pack if you only want one bottle. Also, each selection has a description, pack price and single price. If you do decide to go with singles, a 5% discount is applied to mix and match 4 pack, and if you buy 6 bottles, the discount bumps up to 10%. All of the craft breweries available in Maine are represented, as far as I could tell (except for Lagunitas, because they were sold out!). There are plenty of imports as well.

The shelves directly in front of the window are empty. I assume this is to avoid and skunking/spoilage from sunlight exposure. It's a nice touch!

In the second room of the store you'll find more beer, plus wines and meads. I didn't spend any time with the non-beer selection. It looked to be smaller than the selection found at other stores in the area, but unlike the Bier Cellar, none of those places focuses mainly on beer.

There is a small area for glassware and books, but I was more interested in the stack of LPs and the records player that provide the background music. Very cool.

I got to talk to the owner, Greg, while I was there. He was very friendly and told me about all the new items into the store, plus stuff he should have soon. It never felt like a sales pitch...just two beer nerds discussing their hobby.

After this one visit, I find myself really liking Bier Cellar. It doesn't have the biggest selection of beer in the area (RSVP has all of the adjunct lagers and malt liquors not found here), but it has the best selection of craft beer in the Portland area, as well as the best organized. Plus, it has it's own parking lot, something that has caused me to not go to Downeast Beverage more than once.

I'm really excited for some of the things Greg is planing. The discounts already in place are great (other stores may have similar discounts, but if so, that aren't advertised very well). Plans for Pack Club look promising (you get a mixed 6 pack, plus 1 22 and 1 750 of classics and new releases), and the beer geek socials sound like they will be a fun and well attended event.

I know that I'll be visiting this store a lot. It outshines all the other options in the area, and is easier to get to. The only thing I can possibly say it is missing is homebrew supplies, but since Maine Brewing Supply is right down the road, I don't mind. Those of us who regularly respond to the "Where should I visit in ME/Portland" threads in the New England forum have a new store to tell all of you from away to visit first.

 4,052 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Just west of 295, down the street from the Great Lost Bear and RSVP, this stellar little clean place is entirely dedicated to good to high end craft beer. He does get some meads and ciders in here, but can be slightly biased towards what he wants in the store, nothing wrong with that to me, just shows that he wants to run a top notch store. With that in mind, he even makes sure the light coming in the window is kept to a minimum and even sets the beers closest to the window a bit further back just so that they don't become "lightstruck." Because of this, his care and respect for craft beer allowed this store to be a fantastic place in the Portland area for beer geeks to check out. Selection is quite good. Prices are reasonable. Owner is super friendly and willing to talk with anyone on what he can get for you.

 821 characters

Photo of brewstervt
2.8/5  rDev -36.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Grumpy and unpleasant

21 characters

Photo of dwoolley1
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of coombski
4.1/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.32/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TTripp725
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of thoglund
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of Sabtos
4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Very wide selection, knowledgeable staff, descriptive labels and a really interesting layout to the store. It's a small but cleanly organized store with a simple but uniquely eye catching way of setting out their beers.

 219 characters

Photo of SweetChicken
3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of CayseyW
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of zimm421
4.61/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.06/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Sweet bottle shop with the regional selection you would expect. All the goodies too, Founders BS, Sixpoint, locals and nationals. Has cider and mead as well so you should find something you like.

 195 characters

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Skellbop
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of ScottP
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Lonborgski
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

The go to place in Portland on the right coast if you don't want to wait in line and fight for a parking spot on Industrial Way on a Saturday afternoon. Really knowledgeable owners/staff who leave you alone until you are clear you want some help. Nice spacious layout in an easy to access location by car. Helpful descriptions of the beers on the shelves. Good cider selection, which is what first drew me in. I'll never be satisfied with selection, but Bier Cellar is about as good as you can get without waiting in line at the brewery

 536 characters

Photo of Patches826
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Sweeneydawg
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of bostonbeans
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of rjp217
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of cherche
3.82/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of MRVermont
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of illpass78
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great staff, terrific selection. Might be best in Portland.

59 characters

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Great options for local and foreign selections. Super friendly and knowledgeable staff and they have an awesome email list that lets you know what is coming in ahead of time.

 174 characters

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Bier Cellar in Portland, ME
4.41 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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