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Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4 Canal Plz
phone: (207) 761-2437
(Place added by: indiapaleale on 05-28-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 109 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Novare is my default bar for the Old Port. I enjoy it because it isn't a dive, and as a young woman you can go in there alone and not feel uncomfortable. It is also nice because you actually have a conversation and hang out with your friends without shouting at each other, though on the busier weekends it can get a bit loud. In the summer I love it because--strangely for Portland--it is one of the few places that has a large deck where you can enjoy your beer and the summer weather. I love their selection, and they rotate it regularly. I tend to go for whatever is on tap, but they have an amazing bottle selection. The food is really good, and reasonably priced, and they try to feature as much local and organic food as possible.
Service is where they suffer. A few of the bartenders are really great, and I've gotten to know them since I go there fairly regularly. Russ, Jeff, and Sharif know their stuff. Its weird, but I'm not so much impressed with the female waitstaff or bartenders. Especially the waitstaff, they are not particularly attentive, especially when it comes to deck service, which is why I tend to go into bar to get my beer when on the deck, instead of ordering from the waitstaff. Granted, it can get very busy and loud, but I've felt pretty darn neglected by the female waitstaff when on the deck. As other reviewers have said, it can be very hit or miss, and sometimes you feel that some of the staff suffer from a bit of froideur.
10-22-2010 16:25:07 |
More by milliontruths
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I had the opportunity to drop by Novare Res Bier Café this past weekend while on a mini vacation up in Portland. The weather provided a classic New England backdrop with a crisp and sunny feel on this start of autumn. This place is a tad off the beaten path and I had asked a local storeowner how to get here and was fortunate enough to get some accurate directions. It should be noted however that this place is easy to walk to in the Old Port/Downtown Portland area.
The vibe inside is pretty chill with long wooden tables that have a communal feel. You can expect a lengthy beer menu to help guide you through some excellent beer options. I think there is about 25 or so draft options that included Dogfish Head Punkin Ale & 60 Minute IPA, Rogue Double Dead Guy, North Coast Acme IPA and some Unibroues. One thing I noticed was the great German beer options like a Helles Lager and Doppelbock.
The bottle listing is very extensive with about 200 options! I must admit there was a ton of beers offered here that I have never heard of, but completely piqued my interest. I decided on a 750 ML of Cantillon Kriek, complimented with some nice Cantillon glassware. Quality appears to be one of the strong points of this beer bar.
We decided to sit outside on the patio. There is ample seating out there as well with many picnic tables. I didn't try the food as I had a big lunch earlier that day, but you can expect small plates with an emphasis on European meats & cheeses.
Without question, a "must stop" when visting the area. I continually find myself quite impressed with the abundance of great craft beer options in Portland. Just when I thought it couldn't get much better, along comes Novare Res.
09-24-2008 00:08:05 |
More by Hibernator
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Checked this place out 2 weeks ago. The atmosphere is pretty cool - dimly lit, tin ceiling, and picnic tables inside. The bar is long, and appears to wrap around - but the taps are only behind the long portion of the bar. The servers had a little bit of an edge (which I liked), and were accomodating and knowledgeable. The tap selection, for Maine, is outstanding. A lot of unique imports with Allagash (the only maine beer, which is great that the taps haven't been taken over by the old ringwood guard), Smutty, Victory, High & Mighty, and Rogue mixed in. The food menu was small, but looked quality. Overall, a great beer bar for the city of Portland and one I would gladly return to (apparently in the summer, the massive deck out front turns into a beer garden)!
01-23-2009 13:35:55 |
More by DousedInStout
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
A little late on entering this, but so what, eh? Stopped by here with Artied2 and Al H after playing game 1 of the Old Boars Summer Hockey Tourney on 05AUG11.
We parked up on the hill and found our way here easily. Down Exchange St until a small alley opened on the right; then to a large brick building and a right on the walkway to the Res. You can enter the bar itself on the left, in the basement floor of the brick building, or go right up some stairs to an open-air deck area. Artie and Al grabbed some air on the deck with a bier, while I explored inside. Upon entering, there are some benches on the left with local reading material, with the wall above displaying some fine-looking shirts for sale. A bit more to the left is a doorway to a small room with a few tables. Going right instead, you are in the main part of the pub. The place has a cool, pressed-tin ceiling, lots of exposed brick and worn wood. The lighting gives the pub a warm, inviting feel. Lots of old bier plaques and posters cover the walls. There's a bar to the rear left of this room, a long L-shaped unit. You can sit at one of about a dozen seats there, or at one of the many long, German style tables. I like the concept.
The time needed reading the bier list here rivals that of War and Peace. Shitloads... and it is top-shelf stuff, too. I was quite bummed, though, during my visit to find a Rogue tap takeover. Sorry; I don't give a flying fuck for Rogue; I came for the Belgians. Service? The place was pretty full, but I still stood at the bar for a too-long amount of time before being ackowledged. And then my bill was slow-coming as well. The prices are quite steep, imo. I'd have to plan ahead to come here, and set aside a healthy amount of coin. Seems like Res has jumped on the "gouge the bier-geek gravy train". Oh well.... I might return, under the right conditions. We'll see... Prosit!
4.22 rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
08-27-2011 20:49:57 |
More by Bierman9
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Had a difficult time finding this place, but after stopping a few locals, we found the enterance (which is almost like heading down a back alleyway).
Anyway, on the Saturday night we stopped there, the place had a pretty lively atmosphere. Outside, there were plenty of tables and lots of room - great for enjoying the weather and for larger groups. The inside was a smallish, dim bar/cafe like setting and was very crowded. It took probably 20 minutes to get a beer, particularly since the bartenders seemed to prioritize chatting/servicing their friends. After chatting awhile with another patron, I was served and the bartender seemed to be pretty knowledgeable on their lineup. The taplist had plenty to get excited about - I think I had beers from Pretty Trees and Cisco - and the bottle list was also very good. My beer came in proper glassware and I got the impression that it was definitely a beer-centric place.
As a whole, I enjoyed my stop at Novare and would consider it one of the better beer bars in Portland.
06-27-2013 21:29:03 |
More by GeezLynn
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was the second place I went to yesterday while Jason and Todd were in town brewing with Allagash. We were joined by fellow BA "cjbmcdon" Rob and Jason from Allagash and the owner of Novare.
The atmosphere was enjoyable, and the location within the Old Port being a bonus too. It's off the main drag but still easy to get to, and once there it has a cool feel inside the basement of an old bank.
The tap selection was decent, having a good mix of Belgian and American, but the bottle selection is where they really shine. There seemed to be a lot of stuff unique to Novare and not found anywhere else in Maine. My Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere on tap was delicious, and a great chance to try a new-to-me brewery. The De Ranke Saison de Dottignies was also a great beer to have on a hot summer evening.
We didn't have much for food, instead just sampling various cheeses and meats on some fresh bread. It's hard for me to judge the value since I didn't pick up the tab, but from what I remember seeing listed, prices seemed reasonable. Overall a great place to visit, and is a must for anyone visiting Portland for the first time.
09-01-2010 19:50:30 |
More by Kinsman
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is a must-visit for any BA in the area(well...unless you really hate Belgian-style beers!).
There's sitting inside, with benches along the back wall, and brick-arch entry ways all around, and there's outside(it would be a very safe assumption, to think that it's a seasonal feature) patio/beergarden.
The selection of beer is probably among the best in Portland, and Novare Res certainly goes for quality over quantity. Lots of Belgian styles from the area, as well as Canadian stuff that is not seen in NH/Mass., and not so common in other Maine establishments.
The service on our visits was friendly and courteous. Def. recommend this to anybody, in fact this would be worth a trip by itself!
09-16-2011 12:25:13 |
More by SevaTse
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
I have been a regular of Novare Res since the place opened. It is a beer nerd's paradise for multiple reasons. It is tucked away from the beaten path, it has a communal environment where it's very easy to start up conversations with other patrons, all the servers and the owner Erik are very knowledgeable about the beers on tap, as well as the large bottled selection, and the tap selection itself changes very regularly. The most important aspect of Novare Res though, is how community driven the establishment is. Tap takeovers are very common, ranging from annual events like Smuttfest (Smuttynose takeover), to more relaxed brewery introductions from the likes of Pretty Things, etc. The service is sometimes questionable, and the food is over priced and limited, but these are minor setbacks for the overall experience.
06-23-2013 18:22:29 |
More by supercodes
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Was there for the "Grand Opening" (5/23). Tucked back off of Exchange St. where Black Tie Bistro used to be. Look for the standing sign on Exchange pointing you in the right direction.
Inside is cavernous, laden with brick and altogether a great beer drinking atmosphere. A little touch of Europe here in the Old Port. Picnic benches, church pews and other assorted tables provide the seating.
25 taps and one cask provide a pretty awesome array of draughts. Lots of great stuff (Old Rasputin, Allagash Dubbel, JW Lees on cask and even some Cantillon on tap as well). Pretty impressive!
Along with the great taplist there is also over 250 bottles and a great outdoor deck that should attract some crowds this summer.
Staff were getting their feet wet the week I was there but all of them were extremely attentive and did all they could to keep everyone happy.
Awesome place. I'm hooked...
05-28-2008 15:17:54 |
More by indiapaleale
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I was really looking forward to trying this place out after seeing ads for it in the magazine. this place was a little tricky to find since its down an alley. Outdoor seating for the warmer months and a old world basement vibe to the interior. The beer selection is really good, decent amount of good beer on tap and a nice bottle list. Food is good and well done. The only complaint I had was we ordered a gueze and the waitress brought us pint glasses, we asked for some tulips and she was happy to get them so no big deal in the end. I really like this bar and would make it a destination for any beer travelers out there.
08-21-2011 19:32:13 |
More by Cmack15
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
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