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Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4 Canal Plz
phone: (207) 761-2437
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Reviews by Slatetank:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I had the pleasure of visiting Novare Res Bier Cafe with friends recently on a trip which included Kate the Great day. We were checking out Portland and this was a place that was recommended. The actual location was not one that was simple to find -we almost walked right by, but the Dogfish head sign in the window tipped me off and we walked in to find a wonderful bier cafe!
the place is below an outdoor patio and seems kind of like the underground bar - we were told the establishment used to be a bank at the end of our visit. I really dug the atmosphere - cool metal and brick w/ wooden bar with light colored finish. the lighting sets the mood which is chill/casual with a modern feel. They have a nice lounge the left as you come inside with art and the place is clean and decorated with bottles of prized ales and lagers that were previously consumed.
The selection is a great mix of German/British/American and..Belgian -Wow the types of Belgian ales that you hope to see on the menue of better beer bars. They had a limite local - Mean old Tom w/ vanilla bean and plenty of unique taps like Cookie Jar Porter from Brooklyn on while we were there.
The Quality was very good, better than I expected and was very, very pleased to the staff for making us feel welcome. The 'tender even took our picture in the 'vault' which was what used to be the vault of the bank- it now serves as beer cooler. The service was really friendly and we couldn't have a better time with so much beer knowledge and genuine passion for craft beer.
I tasted Kristen's Hummus and olives - the pita was very fresh and the Hummus was smooth and tasty. I appreciated the variety on the menu and would love to come back for a meal. The value is good -some prices are a little high, but I would rather pay a little more for quality. I can't really say enough good things about Novare Res -the experience was top-notch in every way -Killer place you won't be dissapointed.
03-08-2010 20:03:37 |
More by Slatetank
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
My GPS told me I was there, but I couldn't see it even after I drove by it, parked, and walked back by. Luckily Matt was already there and saw me circling and provided me with much needed directions. The entrance is at an alleyway/courtyard off exchange st near middle st and they have a 3 by 3 a frame sign there. Anyhow, huge kick ass deck at the entrance where I sat holds a dozen or so long tables, think German beer garden communal seating. There is a remote bar on the deck that was closed on my visit. Inside is the bar area with a cool cellar like feel to it holding maybe 20 tables and some bar seating. Small food menu but the meat and cheese plate that we tried was great and you can pick from a list. Beer, yup they have it. Quality taps and a huge bottle list make this place a winner in my book. Our server was attentive and helpful. A hint on the pricy side, but I feel that most of Portland has the same pricing structure. I will make this my first stop the next time I'm in Portland.
06-16-2013 01:57:23 |
More by johnnnniee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
WOW! wish I lived closer to this bar. selection is over 6pages long. saw a lot of limited beers on the list as well as great bottle selection. awesome outdoor area and the vibe is real chill. will most certainly be referring my friends to this place and ill be going to this bar again!
06-07-2013 14:46:12 |
More by spence3208
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
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Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME