Log in or Sign up
Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4 Canal Plz
phone: (207) 761-2437
« first ‹ prev
Reviews by Kinsman:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was the second place I went to yesterday while Jason and Todd were in town brewing with Allagash. We were joined by fellow BA "cjbmcdon" Rob and Jason from Allagash and the owner of Novare.
The atmosphere was enjoyable, and the location within the Old Port being a bonus too. It's off the main drag but still easy to get to, and once there it has a cool feel inside the basement of an old bank.
The tap selection was decent, having a good mix of Belgian and American, but the bottle selection is where they really shine. There seemed to be a lot of stuff unique to Novare and not found anywhere else in Maine. My Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere on tap was delicious, and a great chance to try a new-to-me brewery. The De Ranke Saison de Dottignies was also a great beer to have on a hot summer evening.
We didn't have much for food, instead just sampling various cheeses and meats on some fresh bread. It's hard for me to judge the value since I didn't pick up the tab, but from what I remember seeing listed, prices seemed reasonable. Overall a great place to visit, and is a must for anyone visiting Portland for the first time.
09-01-2010 19:50:30 |
More by Kinsman
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I went on a Thursday evening, so I may not have gotten the typical experience, but the place had a slightly unwelcoming atmosphere. It was self-seating, and it took about 15 minutes for a server to approach my table, and it was difficult to get her attention throughout the night.
The beer selection was tremendous.
The food options are very limited. My party ordered several appetizers. They were all good but not great.
The prices were normal for the offerings.
05-10-2013 02:49:06 |
More by Sudcutter
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
I read about this place on BA, and figured out of the bunch in Portland, ME this is the one I had to attend to. Glad I made the decision. Their beer lineup is fantastic, and the atmosphere matches it well. It's not the most massive tap list out there but its very finely procured. Great list of locals (although no Allagash and being a visitor, it would have been cool to try one on tap). The people at this beer joint definitely "get" what's going on with beer culture right now at the nerd level. Which is awesome. Keep it up.
If I'm ever back in Portland, ME I'm going to come here again just to see what they have on tap. Oh and if the Oxbow guys read this.... you make f**king rad beer.
Hit this place up! And get the pork belly tacos if they got them. Just ask the bartender Louis about them.
02-07-2013 05:14:37 |
More by mrocksmith
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
After a long weekend of beer and food greatness in Portland I feel obligated to review a places on here.
This was my second time visiting Novare Res and certainly won't be the last. The atmosphere of this bar is superb. Brick interior with big long communal tables and two bars. It is simple and works very well for a craft beer bar. Very dark, no TVs, just the beer and the people. They have an outdoor patio/Bier Garden if you will but it was extremely cold while we visited. If it was warmer out, I would be there in a second. Just a good mix of dive, beer bar and how did I escape to Belgium.
Quality and service were great both times I visited. There are plenty of bartenders/waiters who are ready to serve you beer in proper glassware in a timely fashion. They know their stuff about the products and will answer any questions you have about pretty much anything they are serving. The staff members who have served me were always nice and did not put up that wall of snark you often find at higher end beer bars.
Beer selection, probably the most important thing in a beer bar review, is stellar. Great draft selections which range from $5-$10 and cover a great deal of styles. The bottle selection is also fairly amazing. The first time I visited they had some of the best lambics in the world and probably stock up on them whenever they possibly can. The second visit I had a delicious Rasputin XII and a Pannepot 2006 with my friend.
Prices are comparable to any other specialty craft beer bar, if not just a tad lower than most of the ones I am used to in MA. Truly one of the best places to get good beer in New England.
01-23-2013 02:12:20 |
More by cbutova
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I'm not a tourist but not a Portlander either, and Novare is one of my go-to places in Portland. Really like everything about this place: the atmosphere (12 degrees below zero in the dead of winter as well as hot & humid summers on the big hops-laced beer garden / deck), the selection, the clientele, and the staff.
The bottled beer selection is great and the draughts are fresh (super-clean tap lines!) and are rotated very frequently. Check their website for the latest draught lineup -- as others have said here, they update their list online faithfully (seemingly daily). Prices are a bit high *for Portland* but are still lower than any comparable place in Boston, Burlington, Providence, or NY. I've always -- and I mean always -- found the staff very helpful and engaging and have been recommended some amazing beers I would not have otherwise tried on my own. They know their stuff and will share their knowledge if you're not a jerk.
Yes, they do a 2-day Octoberfest fun thing where they have but two O-fest beers on tap and served in 1 liter maas mugs. Surprised some people find that annoying; most of us sorta regulars look forward to it and take it in the fun spirit in which it's intended. Novare also does other events nights / weeks that are cool: Caskfest, Smuttfest, Belgian Bier Fest, Roguepalooza, and so on.
I like me my Novare a lot and appreciate it for what it is -- one of the top beer bars in my state of Maine.
10-13-2012 22:13:49 |
More by zamboni1
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
A classy restaurant with a large patio. Pretty pretty good cellar list and decent tap list, with correct poured temperature and over a large bar. Hard to find, we circled one way streets a few times until I found a tourist map with the clue on how to enter by foot. A number of weird and ordinary people here, they make up a good part of the city but in the end they are harmless. Service was decent and there were people like me there, for the beer. I would come back again. Newer place that can become something. Would like an earlier opening time for the bar.
08-16-2012 23:21:22 |
More by northyorksammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Been here many a time. Some thoughts on Novare Res:
The servers have a laissez fair attitude towards service and they'll get to you when they get to you. On a lazy afternoon that's not a bad thing.
Atmosphere is nifty. It’s like a beer cellar. Drinking beer in a beer cellar is indeed nifty.
A bit pricey considering Sebago and Gritty's are right down the street and Great Lost Bear is a few minutes car ride away. Novare does have a better Belgian selection than all three combined though. Sort of a mini Ebenezer's.
I went here once during Octoberfest and in the traditional German manner NR only had 1 festbier on tap. All taps, one beer. That sucked at the time but if I was a local I think it's pretty neat.
A bit of Cambridge has seeped up into downeast Maine as a lot of the stronger or hard to find beers come in 10oz. servings. I hate that. I'm a big boy and I want a big boy glass of beer.
07-26-2012 15:48:19 |
More by donkeyrunner
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
This place is a beer lover's dream. A bit hard to find, as it is not on any of the main drags in Portland, but it is worth seeking out. We went over the weekend, which is currently Belgian Beer Week at Novare, so most of the taps were filled with Belgian style offerings. The place is a little dark, with two separate bar spaces. Because of the insane beer list at Novare, people tend to camp out at the bar, so don't wait for people to move to try and place an order. Belly up in there and make yourself known. They do a really good job of replacing a tap line when a particular beer runs out, as well as marking it up on the wall so people know the MOST current tap list. Huge selection, as I said earlier, including a "vault" where you can get your hands on some rare and aged bottles. Definitely the place to go to knock some whales off of your "to do" list. The beers are a bit on the pricey side, but as I said, this is a place to get some very hard to find beers, so it kind of balances out. Very beer friendly crowd here, and there is a huge patio in front if you don't want to mingle with the crowd indoors. At the back of the patio there is a cornhole/beanbag toss set up to play. A section of the patio is also marked off for the smoking crowd, if that be your pleasure. Definitely a "must go" spot if you are visiting Portland, ME. Awesome time there!
05-14-2012 02:27:12 |
More by GarthDanielson
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I make sure I always stop by whenever I'm in Portland. Have had some amazing experiences at this place, including Maine Beer Week opening night this past year with Oxbow, drinking Cantillon Fou' Foune on tap for the first time, and showing the place off to family and friends visiting the area.
Honestly, there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beer bars in Maine. This place, Ebenezer's in Lovell, The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, and When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in Kittery are all world-class. Nothing more needs to be said about their selection. It's epic.
The food is tasty. They have a good selection to go along with what they serve, and I could even eat there when I was vegan for a month, but I have yet to get a sense that the servers take any pride in the food they serve, which, along with the cold sausage I got one time when it was pretty busy makes me second guess giving them a higher rating. Also, I've only ever heard people praise their cheeses and meats, which is a la carte, but When Pigs Fly in Kittery actually make their own charcuterie meats in house, so I'll reserve being impressed for that over capable ordering, which they obviously have considering their beer selection.
Also, I did find that they listed two Unibroue Anniversary ales on their bottle list that they didn't have in stock, which is a bit annoying, since those particular vintages are incredibly rare and really shouldn't have been in stock for a long time. I had already told my neighbor at the bar, whom I was planning on sharing the bottle with, all about the beer when the bartender informed me of the predicament. Bummer.
03-28-2012 20:49:59 |
More by TMath524
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
Hands down my favorite public place to drink beer. I like that it's a hole in the wall kind of place. Usually not difficult get a seat or get served. Always awesome beer selection. Naheed (sp?) the bartender is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Usually serve in proper glassware. They have the most exciting gems in the beer list. Perhaps a bit pricey, but bars usually are. As long as we get what we desire and have good service, I'm happy. And the food is great beer food. Nothing too fancy.
03-22-2012 18:21:32 |
More by mlazzaro
« first ‹ prev
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME