John's Market

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John's MarketJohn's Market
92 Ratings
John's MarketJohn's Market

Type: Store

3535 SW Multnomah Blvd
Portland, Oregon, 97219-3761
United States

(503) 244-2617 | map

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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%


Just wow.

Been on the BA scene for almost a year now, and having grown up in Portland, I knew that good beer was everywhere, and finding it relatively easy.

I went into John's because I had heard great things.

I left feeling empty, knowing that even my favorites in San Diego don't have a chance against John's. They just don't. Great Belgian selections (including Cantillon . . . I could've bought the whole allotment of everything), Northwest crafts, world-wide famous beers, and everything in between. 12oz, 22oz, 375ml, 750ml, 6l, you name it, John's has it.

Beverages 4 Less in Santee is my highest rated store prior to this, but I have to say I'd probably go here 9 times out of 10 if they were equidistant from me. Just outstanding selection, and the prices! Excellent. No tax either! Awesome.

All in all, worth the hype, check it out if you haven't. If you're passing through, make the trip. I may have to go back right now and I just left. It's THAT good.

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Photo of DrinknFish
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%

I went to John's Marketplace to load up on some west coast beers while I was in Portland for vacation. I was in a hurry so I only went to the section with local beers and was thoroughly impressed. There were the brands I knew and many others I had never heard of. They also had a huge selection of imports, other domestics and wine but I never made it to those aisles.
The service was also great, I ran into the wine clerk first and he helped me with what he could and pointed me in the direction of the beer guy. I forget his name but the beer guy knew his stuff and led me to some real nice finds including some Oregon Trail bourbon barrel porter. He even hooked me up with a 12 pack shipping box, the type with the foam insert, so I could get my beers home safely. I can't say much about the prices for specific beers as I do not have anything to reference then against, but they were reasonable for beer as a whole.
Next time I head out there, this place will be high on my lists to visit again.

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Photo of velosuds
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%

If Ben Franklin's inspiring adage, "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," is true, then God must really love John's Marketplace. And I am the happier for it. In fact, I am envious. We have no similar store in Salem, OR.

My first visit resulted in only a modest purchase. I was nearly overwhelmed with the selection. The very best I have seen. What I especially liked was that every bottle I looked at was individually priced. So, I made my own six pack of 12 oz. bottles, each something I have not yet tried. This is really great since I prefer to try new beers in 12 oz. singles, thus avoiding the higher costs of a full six pack of one variety or having to buy a bomber to try a beer. They had a huge selection of beers available in both 12 oz. and bombers, even some varieties available in both sizes.

I also bought a Blind Pig IPA in a 500ml bottle, my first Russian River beer and only the second time I have seen this available. Saw it only once in Salem.

I didn't really get to evaluate their service. I was left to myself and enjoyed taking my time. The store had more distributors than customers late this morning. I had the impression that I could have gotten whatever assistance I may have desired.

Prices were reasonable, especially since they give a 5% discount when you buy at least six bottles.

It would not be difficult to spend a small fortune here due to the selections available.

I will be back, with glee.

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Photo of jdense
5/5  rDev +16.6%

And on the 7th day, when the Beer Gods decided to build a beer store, they settled in the quaint section of Beervana known as Multnomah Village. And they were pleased, as pilgrims from far and near made their way to this Mecca of Bottle Shops...

Holy Sh#t!!! Sorry about waxing poetic above, but this may be the center of the beer universe. I saw things I'd never seen before (a phenomenal Belgian selection including the full array of Devil beers, a whole aisle of Germans, full range of NW micros including newly released items like FS Imperial Porter, Deschutes HH Experimental) that I was transfixed-and that ain't easy to do.

The help was phenomenal, starting with the staff who helped overcome the crappy mapquest directions. This place is not the easiest to find, but don't give up, it's more than worth the trouble.

My understanding is they do a robust keg business too, the chap in front of me was picking up Ninkasi Total Domination. All in all, an absolutely essential stop to the traveling beer geek seeking some special brews for consumption or cellar. A good value with the 5% discount on purchases of 6 or more bottles, including intact six-packs. Whoopee!

A truly world class bottle shop.

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Photo of olmatty
5/5  rDev +16.6%

I'm a recent arrival to Oregon. Just had my first visit to John's Marketplace today. Thanks again to my fellow BA's for pointing this place out.

Outside does not portend the wonderful gems hidden inside. A grocery store that has been almost entirely taken over by their wine and beer selection.

Get a basket or two up front and head toward the back of the store. Each beer is singly priced to encourage the buying of singles; an important feature in a place that has so much variety to offer.

Every country and style is represented here. Row upon row of shelves and several different freezer areas plus many displays. Also, a seemingly nice wine selection.

They were able to "go and find" some special requests I had from hidden stocks somewhere not accessible to retail. Very nice and very accommodating staff.

A bit pricey on some iems, but not out of control. You're paying for excellent selection likely unmatched for hundreds of miles. I'll be going back often.

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Photo of Spikester
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Housed in this crummy old neighbor hood store is a selection of beers that is quite amazing. I have been visiting this place for about a year about twice a month. They have recently done some tidying up and organizing of their beers. It is much easier to navigate their beer selection now than it was when I first stopped there. They tend to stock the most popular beers that hop-heads desire. They are quick to stock seasonal and special West Coast releases and have a decent assortment of imported beers. Judging by the amount of keg sale activity I've seen they do a lot of business in that area as well. Almost all their beers in stock can be purchased as singles with price stickers plainly in view. They have empty six pack cartons available to fill with your favorite singles and they give a discount for six packs. Their bottle returns are on the honor system. You go in back and put your empties in various containers and when you check out you just tell them how many empties you had and they deduct the value from your total price. I should mention that Oregon charges a 5 cent deposit on most bottles which is refunded when you return them. Overall a good place to buy beer.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%

My buddy from Portland goes here all the time so he took brought me here while I was on vacation. Not was I was picturing when he was describing it but it was still awesome. Huge selection of beers from all over the world. The beers are broke up into country's so all the US micros are by each other, all the Belgium's are by each other, so on and so forth. They have a ton of wine too if your into that. This place is also a market so you can get grocery's, cigarettes, and whatever else you need all in one place. They also sell kegs to go here.

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Photo of dfitch81
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%

Talk about deceiving appearances: this place looks like a dingy, dirty minimart from the outside. You would never suspect the treasures that lies within... Selection is unmatched anywhere in Portland, and probably just about anywhere else for hundreds of miles. This is the Powell's City of Books of beer stores - so vast and varied that it could absorb your attention for hours. Service? None to mention, there's a guy at the checkstand who could care less whether you're buying a Oud Bruin or an Olde English 800. Prices are a bit higher on average, but this is acceptable as the price variety (it can't be cheap to stock this kind of selection). Bottom line: if you can't find it anywhere else, odds are you'll find it here.

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Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

I don't think I have ever seen as many bottles of craft beer on the floor of a beer store as I saw at John's Marketplace. After loading up on beer at Belmont Station, we stopped in at John's to make sure we had not missed out on anything.

While Belmont had a world class selection, the selection here was even bigger. The craft beer section is in various coolers, wire racks and supermarket shelves in the back left corner of the store, and in stacks of cases on the way to it. Tons of cases of Deschutes Hop Trip, Avery Ale to the Chief, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Alesmith summer Yulesmith (and last year's winter Yulesmith. Not sure how fresh that will taste these days). Racks filled with locals like Ninkasi, Lazy Boy, Rogue, more Deschutes, Hair of the Dog. Two or three long shelves across the aisle were filled with Belgian and other European selections. Simply amazing!

My only minor complaint is that the wire racks of American craft beer are so close together that it is difficult to see what is on the bottom shelf. Also, staff members passed us constantly during our visit and never asked if we needed help, had questions, were looking for something, etc. We didn't, didn't and weren't. But I have almost always had good conversations with a local beer enthusiast wherever we go. And heck, I usually buy something I was not planning to buy as a result.

But I'd still highly recommend this place.


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Photo of John_M
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%

Truly, this place is amazing.

Stopped off the other night for a German wine tasting. Had not been to John's in a while, though suffice it say, little has changed since last I was here (except the selection was possibly even better).

The thing that is fascinating about John's, is that when you first walk in, the place looks like a fairly typical neighborhood market/grocery store. After a moment or two you notice off to the right a fairly nice looking wine selection, though it appears to be nothing really out of the ordinairy (at least for Portland; most grocery stores in Portland have pretty impressive wine selections). It's actually pretty impressive as well, but you wouldn't know that until you actually wander around.

The same is true of the beer selection. If you look around you notice what appears to be a beer section in the back, but unless you walk on back, you probably wouldn't give it a second look. However, when you do walk back, you are confronted by a beer selection that is jaw dropping amazing.

I confess I have seen a few stores on the East Coast that have a somewhat better selection of imports, but when it comes to craft brew, John's is the king and there's no one close in second. It's almost like being in a warehouse, with aisle after aisle of great beer stacked 4 or 5 rows high. I believe there were also 3 or 4 beer coolers, as well as displays for staff favorites, specials, beer of the month, etc.

Prices looked pretty good, certainly on a par (or a bit cheaper) then what you will find at most places in Portland. The only criticism I would make has to do with service. I was there on a Thursday evening (around 6:30), and there wasn't really anyone there who could answer any questions I might have. The wine guy indicated he could help with some things if I needed assistance, but that otherwise I would need to wait until Dave (?) the beer guy was around. No problem, but a store with this kind of selection, I guess I would expect a bit more knowledgable staff (though I guess not everyplace can be State Line in Elkton).

In any event, this is an outstanding store, one I would recommend to anyone interested in filling his car or suitcase with great craft brew (many of the selections are pretty uncommon to any area other then the NW). Highly recommended.

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Photo of PdxBeerNut
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

I recently visited this place for the first time. I had been shopping a bit closer to home when a colleague of mine asked me "if you like beer so much, how come you haven't been to John's Market?" I had a hard time believing that another store could have a greater selection than my current haunt.

I was absolutely blown away when I walked into John's. If you ever need one of those moments when you hear angel's sing, this is it. Hundreds of beers on shelves, many more in refrigerators. My only wish was that all of the beers saw refrigeration or at least cellar temp.

Great place to locate hard to find items, rare beers and large bottles. This will be my new shop for years to come!

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Photo of GJ40
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%

I've seen some pretty good beer stores since using Beer Advocate and I went to John's thinking it couldn't get much better. I was wrong. John's is phenomenal. The sheer number of beers is mind boggling. And the quality is top of the line. There are some mass produced crap (as you would expect) but the percentage is low.

The only flaw is that most of the beers aren't refrigerated. But I can overlook that, especially for the local beers that are fresh anyway.

John's is as good as it gets. If you're in the area, it's well worth a visit. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of golden1
5/5  rDev +16.6%

"Never judge a book by it's cover" has never been a more apt statement to make regarding this location. From the outside, you would never guess at the wealth inside. Hell, from 10 feet inside the door, you still wouldn't guess. But once you wander to the back third of this shabby corner store, it's advised to hold your hands below your chin because your jaw will be dropping into them in short order.

Quick - think of a beer you love. A beer that, if given the chance, could be in your hands right this very second. Got it? Good - they have that here. The selection is epic, vast, and other words that basically translate to "Wow." The 22oz. racks alone will lock your brain as you try to imagine how they could cram that much selection into so few rows. The other reviews are not lying and neither am I: best location to get hard-to-find brew in Portland, bar none. I'm just ashamed that I've been in the area for a year and finally walked in the door two months ago.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This is a cumulative review of the 15-20 times I've visited John's in the past 2.5 years, since my eyes were opened to the world of better beer (summer 2005).

Little needs to be added to the many fine reviews here. John's is a modest, some might say rundown-looking, little grocery in SW Portland's 'Multnomah Village' area. Their large sign above the drive-under often adverises keg sales or some fairly 'average' case discount and much of the front signage & neon is macro- or local-oriented.That said, it never ceases to amaze me, even on a most recent visit, how awesome/overwhelming the wealth of beer is here....just go to the back of the store.

Incredible loads of craft brew from all over. The West, not just PacNW; the largest selection of Belgians I've seen (outside of Belgium); loads of Germans , UK, Eastern European, and Asian, each group within a section of the display area. Displays are generally arranged by country/region but sometimes the lines are a little blurred, especially when it comes to the open coolers. How many varieties I won't guess, but suffice to say it's well above the 1000+ bottles it's nearest local rival, Belmont Station, carries.

Though I haven't personally had a bad beer yet, I do tend to avoid some of the older-looking, dusty internationals; even some of the domestic stuff can get lost on the shelves and may be past it's prime. That's my only complaint with the quality is the seeming lack of rotation of some beers and also the fairly chaotic nature of the claustrophobia-inducing layout.

Service can at times be very good and friendly, though usually it's the chatty person at the register rather than anyone helping in the beer department. But I have visits where service was bored disinterest, too. This is a grocery store after all, with all the jars and cans, fruits and meats you'd expect... although I never seem to shop that 2/3rds of the store...

Prices are OK for singles, sixers and cases, though occasionally something will seem out of line on the high end. On the flip side, I've found a few absolute bargains here, too - whether they were mis-marked, overstock, clearance or whatever...also, there is a discount of 10% off when buying a certain number of bottles (I believe it's 12 or more)...

A must visit beer store in Portland...don't miss it!

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Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

i visit oregon at least once a year, and finally paid john's marketplace a visit on the strength of its reviews by fellow BAers. as many have already stated, the outside appearance doesn't tell the story. i wonder how many people have driven or walked right by it, unaware of the amazing selection of beers within its walls.

the staff kept their distance, but one employee did offer me a shopping cart. i think he could tell by the savage look in my eyes that i had an agenda. the craft beer selection is extensive and fairly well organized. that said, the majority of the beer selection is tucked in the back corner of the store, with not a lot of space to navigate. it proved somewhat difficult w/ a cart, and since it's in a confined area, you have to patient if there's other customers. a small price to pay for quality brew.

brews of note during my visit included alesmith, bear republic, rogue and hair of the dog. i would venture to guess they carried 95% of the entire rogue line. they also had a huge assortment of stone and alesmith products.

this store rocks. do not miss out.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

From the outside of the store you would never guess that they carry over 800 beer choices. Ugly storefront with big Budweiser and Miller ads - you don't come here to buy the macros. Good selection of Belgians, English, German and of course a ton from the northwest. It has the best selection I have found in Oregon and their prices are good - better than Liquid Solutions or Haggens Supermarket (which incidentally will sell singles). Downside is that the aisles are narrow so with a cart its a little awkward. Ample parking.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%

I had been to John's a few years back but that was before I had started my quest to understand. It is the best place I can find in town to buy beer. From the economies of scale it is hard to find a better deal. I pay on average 50 to 75 cents more for each 12oz bottle. The overall selection is phenomenal and it allows me to try more non mainstream brews from the usual suspects I find in our normal stores like Hagen, Whole Foods and smaller beer and wine stores in Washington county. The didn't have any questions so service wasn't any issue for me. I am afraid this might be a weekly trip to add more ammo to my un-necessary garage fridge.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

This store quite simply has the best beer selection I've ever seen. A huge selection of West Coast micros, and in every case there are deep selections, not just one or two from each brewery. I was stunned to find such an extensive selection of Alesmith this far north- Yulesmith summer and winter, 2006 Decadence, IPA, Old Numbskull, Speedway Stout, Anvil, Grand Cru, etc. No store in the San Francisco Bay area has anywhere close to this selection. Add to this great selections of Stone, Alaskan, Midnight Sun, Pelican, Bear Republic, Moylan's, every Oregon brewery, and deep collections of Washington stuff, plus many, many more. There is a huge amount of both shelf and cooler space devoted to regional micros, and all 12 oz are sold as singles. Ditto for the Belgian, British Isle, German, East Europe, and Asian selections. All are very deep and many chilled singles are available. I've been to some great beer stores, but this place is a playland. As much as I love Bottleworks in Seattle, and Ledgers in Berkeley, and the City Beer store in San Francisco, this place has them beat- by a substantial margin. Service is unobtrusive, and prices are reasonable. If you are doing a Portland/Seattle trip or live anywhere close, do yourself the favor of stopping here- nothinh else comes close in the Northwest.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

You drive up to this place, looking like an old-school grocery, expecting to find Wonder Bread, Snapple and all the usual canned foods. Y'know, smalltown corner-store stuff. But past the front half you find what I can only guess is a great wine selection, and then the whole back third of the place is taken up by one of the best bottle selections I've ever seen. English, German, Belgian, US, Norwegian, Japanese, Dutch...holy crap, it's all there. Most impressive for an east-coaster like myself was the heavy leaning toward pacific northwest brands, and plenty of California stuff too. Finally got my Alesmith on, boyee! Even the elusive Jolly Pumpkin (elusive to me anyway) was there. The prices were fair, and while some bottles were found dusty and looking absolutely antique, for the most part this was an insanely overwhelming and satisfying shopping experience. The radio station blaring a 3-pack of classic Rush songs enhanced the enjoyment. Prices are totally fair, including Oregon's 0% sales tax and John's own discount, which you get when you buy 12 bottles. The staff were pretty much never seen, and I was told by our host that hardly anyone seems to know much about beer there, but as long as they keep their buyer, this will remain a holy-grail bottle store for anyone living in or visiting Portland.

I walked out $133 poorer, but richer in an amazing selection of US and overseas bottles that I have a tough time finding at even the best stores back home. The incredibly unassuming exterior makes the experience that much sweeter.

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Photo of IceEyes
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%

Hands down the best selection of bottled beer in Portland. And that's saying a lot. I like to browse through the northwest beers but end up taking home almost anything. The only problem I have is that it's hard not to drop $60 while shopping here. And sometimes you do get a bottle that's just not fresh. I suppose that could happen anywhere and it just depends on how quickly the merchandise turns over. For this reason I usually buy beers that are either in the refrigerated areas or I look for high alcohol beers that are less likely to go bad. I wouldn't want to buy a bottle of Samuel Smiths or some other beer in a clear glass bottle. Not here.

The staff is usually pretty hands off when you're browsing but they'll galdly help you out with a box and they give you a discount if you buy 12 beers or more. That's usually not a problem for me as I can't walk out of John's Market without buying a dozen beers at least. Also, they have a very decent selection of wine.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%

This beats Bottleworks hands down in terms of selection..too bad its not closer to home, and too bad it doesn't have mead (at least not that I saw).

As many others have pointed out, it is unassuming from the outside. It looked to me like an inner city grocer. I love how at least 1/4 of the floor space is beer, and at least another 1/4 is wine.

Selection, as mentioned before is unrivalled. I probably walked up and down the beer section for at least ten minutes before grabbing a single bottle. My wife practically fainted when we walked in...she is a sucker for Belgians and fruit beers, especialy Belgian fruit beers.... I found stuff here I thought I would never get.

Oddly enough, I didn't buy that much. Partly it was fear of bringing beer back through Customs, and partly it was not wanting to buy stuff here and then find even more I wanted in Seattle. But I will return...and I will buy more.

Again, as others have stated, the clerks don't come up to you, but they are very friendly. What are the chances that I run into someone in Portland who used to come up to Vancouver every week?

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Photo of spickler
5/5  rDev +16.6%

In Portland at the end of May for four days of beer and wine tasting, we stopped at John's Marketplace on the way back to the airport. I visited many BA recommended establishments during our trip but must specifically praise this one.

Their opening time of 6AM (according to the website) sent me there instead of Belmont Station as my flight was at noon. Nonetheless, we were running late as we always are. I guess frantically stuffing sixers of IPA into a box drew the attention of one of the employees because he asked if he could help. I explained my dilemma and he promptly mentioned the new "liquid in carry-on baggage" rules, which I had somehow failed to consider. (We hadn't taken a wine/beer trip since those were instituted and were used to hauling as much beer and wine on board as we could carry.)

He quickly assessed my selection and retrieved a shipping box from the stock room and suggested that we replace my six packs with 22oz bottles of the same or similar brews. His suggestions have been excellent so far. After leaving a few spots for the bottles of Pinot we had already purchased, he helped me get the box to the front and even grabbed some packing tape and a free bottle opener for me all the while giving me simple directions back to I-5.

I didn't even get a chance to fully appreciate the massive selection. I had to go with recommendations and offer the VERY occasional, "I can get that in Tennessee." But the selection was beyond anything I'd ever seen, especially in the huge 22oz bottle section.

I don't run into people too often who fully understand my affection for beer. Clearly, BA is full of them, and I'm happy to say John's Marketplace seems to be as well. What great service and selection! We made our flight (barely), and all of the bottles made it to my beer fridge without so much as a scratch.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

I'm not sure how many times I passed by this place without noticing it. Like everyone else has mentioned, it's not too much to look at. And the inside doesn't get much better. This is a beer store that has a few groceries on the shelves. It's amused me several time to walk by the produce aisle and laugh at the few browning heads of lettuce or look for expired food items on the shelves.

The beer selection is extensive. I like the huge amount of foreign beers that are roughly sectioned off according to country. They even have small sections for obscure places like Italy. Not that I recommend Italian beer though, they should have stuck to wine. Belgium, England and Germany are all well represented.

They've got a great selection of Northwest beer, especially in large bottles.. Honestly, there is so much beer that it's a little overwhelming for me as I'm just beginning here at BA. My advice is to go in with a style, region or list of wants and work from there. It might make your trip little more manageable. If you don't know much about beer, it seems that it would be like walking into Blockbuster knowing very little about movies.

The folks that work there have been friendly, but don't exactly wander around asking you if they can help.

John's Marketplace is a must-try for Portland if your visiting, and the place to go when trying to find a new favorite beer. A little offbeat, but it has the best beer selection I've ever seen next to the great little Multnomah Village area.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

In my opinion this place is exceptional in all areas, I am just allowing for the fact I have not been all over the US. Great selection, nailed many of the beers from the Best of BA I wanted to try, friendly folks at the check out, nice atomosphere, just a convenient store on the outside with a sprawling inside with wine and beer. Even some nice glass wear, although the weizen glass I wanted had Blue Moon on it so it discouraged me.

If you're in Portland or live in Portland, check this place out, it brightened my day.

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Photo of phishgator
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%

I was there in the fall and I was blown away. I was out visiting a buddy of mine who is not as obsessed with good beer as me, but none the less he loves the good stuff when I'm around. The store has a great selection of all the West Coast varities: Stone, Russian River, Rogue, Big Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, etc...then they have the Colorado staples as well as DFH, Allagash, and other East Coast offerings. Their Belgian selection is out of this world I believe they had close to every offering from Cantillion. Everything is sectioned by brewery and then by region. The prices were in line with every other place I purchased beer from out there, but no sales tax! If you want to stock up this is the place to be.

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John's Market in Portland, OR
Place rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 92 ratings