Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4 Canal Plz
phone: (207) 761-2437
(Place added by: indiapaleale on 05-28-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
next › last »
| Reviews: 109 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
I've been going to Novare Res for a while now. One of my first discoveries when I turned 21. Novare Res is probably my favorite place. With the option to sit outside on a nice open patio or sit inside the atmosphere is great. Inside, it's dimly lit with a handful of tables and a long bar. Honestly, kind of looks like a dungeon with out an iron maiden. Lots of tables on the patio where I've always chosen to sit.
The beers are mostly always top notch. I've had a handfull of misses there but it's usually rock solid. Good service for the most part. It's usally busy so waiting is something I understand and I feel the staff is genuinely friendly. Good rotating taps and an extensive bottle really make this a destination. There's always something new to try.
05-10-2011 22:22:42 |
More by Bendurgin
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
What a score...
A little hidden "Bier Cafe" that only took me and my girlfriend about 20 minutes to find. It is well hidden down an alley if you are not from the area.
A solid 10 page / draft lift. I would say they offered a strong 30 to 35 beers on draft including Dogfish 120 Minute and Pannepot Reserva 2009.
Prices were reasonable. 120 ranging about 12 dollars for an 8 oz pour. Pannepot about the same for a full 12 oz.
Overall a great experience and will definitely be going back.
01-07-2012 12:55:25 |
More by bluesplit63
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
I think it's going to be difficult to find a place in New England that's doing a better job with Beer lists than Novare Res. They have amazing selections, Cantillon is almost always available, and there's a list long enough to put some wine bars to shame.
The food is good, but there's something missing and I don't quite know how to put my finger on it. I've ordered food from them 3-5 times in the last year. Every time the foods been good, but not something I feel compelled to order again. So I'm happt to be eating, but I'm not thinking, "I need to go back there for the ___."
Service is hit or miss. Some of the servers appear to favor favorite/regular customers. I've had to ask for my bill or stop them for another drink most times. Increased tipping doesn't appear to impact the quality or frequency of attention/service here.
09-05-2013 03:43:19 |
More by Kirk_Grant
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
My wife and I recently moved to Maine, and went to Portland for our first wedding anniversary. I had noticed a mention of Novare Res in a one-paragraph blurb in the latest Yankee Brew News (a free brew publication here in the NE), but there was no mention of where the darn place was. After googling the address, but failing to write directions down, and not really having a good knowledge of Portland (we live about 3 hours away, and it was only my 2nd visit), it took me about an hour to find this place.
But once I did, oh man, it was like I had gone to beer heaven. Yes, as everyone above has mentioned above the prices can be a little steep, and the food wasn't really what I went there for, so we passed on the meager menu they had - but what an amazing place.
I'd like to think I'd know a little more than the average bear about imports and craft brews, but other than a couple of Dogfishhead, Unibroue, and Allagash taps (including Allagash Black on cask - which was a treat for me), the other taps were totally foreign (excuse the pun) to me. Thankfully, there was a kind and helpful staff that not only knew what to recommend when I told them what I was looking to try, but did it well. This is the place I'd kill to have for my neighborhood bar, even if I had to watch my wallet a little bit and drink a little less. The decor inside was fantastic, and the outside, although next to a bank parking lot was tucked enough away that you felt like you were sitting in someone's backyard, having a great brew and hanging with like-minded people and friends.
All said, if you ever find yourself near Portland, ME and you even have a passing interest in great beer, you owe it to yourself to stop by and gawk at the amazing selection that such a "hideaway" can find.
08-02-2008 05:12:18 |
More by foursquare
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Novare is my default bar for the Old Port. I enjoy it because it isn't a dive, and as a young woman you can go in there alone and not feel uncomfortable. It is also nice because you actually have a conversation and hang out with your friends without shouting at each other, though on the busier weekends it can get a bit loud. In the summer I love it because--strangely for Portland--it is one of the few places that has a large deck where you can enjoy your beer and the summer weather. I love their selection, and they rotate it regularly. I tend to go for whatever is on tap, but they have an amazing bottle selection. The food is really good, and reasonably priced, and they try to feature as much local and organic food as possible.
Service is where they suffer. A few of the bartenders are really great, and I've gotten to know them since I go there fairly regularly. Russ, Jeff, and Sharif know their stuff. Its weird, but I'm not so much impressed with the female waitstaff or bartenders. Especially the waitstaff, they are not particularly attentive, especially when it comes to deck service, which is why I tend to go into bar to get my beer when on the deck, instead of ordering from the waitstaff. Granted, it can get very busy and loud, but I've felt pretty darn neglected by the female waitstaff when on the deck. As other reviewers have said, it can be very hit or miss, and sometimes you feel that some of the staff suffer from a bit of froideur.
10-22-2010 16:25:07 |
More by milliontruths
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
Love to make Novare regular stop when i'm in town. The beer selection is unparalleled in Maine. The draught selection is good although it concentrates on Belgian beers heavier than I like. Sometimes hard to find a good dark beer on draught. Bottle prices are high, but there are some beers that you just aren't going to find regularly. Love the selections from ME brewers Marshall Wharf and Maine Beer Co.
Food is good and fresh. Great breads and the yellowfin tuna sandwich is great.
Place can be hard to get a beer from waitstaff sometimes, especially on busy days.
Bring your wallet.
01-21-2011 00:39:24 |
More by BestBrown4ME
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This is certainly one of my favorite destinations in Portland. A good combination of dimly lit cellar, and open air beer garden. A friendly, knowledgeable staff. Great food, appropriate portions, surprisingly affordable, when compared to the cost of drinking from their fine beer selection. Seems to be the first place I take friends who come from out of town. If you have a lot of fun there, it can get expensive.
The Beer selection is exceptional, dominated by Belgians, but also a great collection of American Craft brews, and classic British ales and German lagers. Generally, there is two beers on cask. Some offerings are occasionally out of stock, though, it is hard not to find something you would like.
08-16-2011 17:53:53 |
More by Hopilator
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
next › last »
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address