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Novare Res Bier Café
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4 Canal Plz
phone: (207) 761-2437
(Place added by: indiapaleale on 05-28-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 109 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
If you are in Maine you need to stop reading this and go to Novare right now... What's better?? The beer, the atmosphere or the help? Wait also the music.
What a treasure in Portland. The beer selection is fantastic and with plenty of Belgian offerings... We enjoyed some snacks that were fantastic and beautifully presented. Very authentic.. All glassware matched offerings and serving temp was perfect. The help could not have been better. And this was before we spent a great deal of time with the owner. (Eric) Their friendly nature and generosity bordered on obscene.
In addition to the phenomenal Belgian collection they have a nice selection of German beers and also some great local micro's on tap...
A must stop with no close second in Portland.
Novare & Eric. Thanks for a memorable night... I shall return and send as many others as I can..
01-17-2009 00:57:11 |
More by Reagan1984
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
A very cool place. Cool interior design, nice low lighting. It isn't overly stocked with kitsch or something like that. Novare res is just a good beer bar. The dedication is CLEARLY there. I didn't see a beer I would never drink. Had a cask selection, couple drafts, bottle of buffalo stout, and a few snorts of various taps.The service was very nice and I was well taken care of. There is little bad to speak of this place. If every "beer bar" was as dedicated as this people would rarely be of wont.
03-21-2009 03:40:53 |
More by GreatPondBrewer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This is sort of in the middle of the block in downtown Portland at Canal Plaza. It's on the bottom floor of the building (is there another floor) with a few long beer hall tables, about 20 or so taps and regular tables on the wall by the window. Pretty dark inside 'cause it faces a wall with tables up top outside. We were there mid-PM on a Sunday so it was pretty quiet. Cool tunes.
The service was very friendly and suggested a couple of small plates for us - we had the tap menu covered pretty well. I had a Lou Pepe Framboise and a Saison Dupont...the Beautiful Bride had a Saison Avril and kept it clean with an Allagash White. They were cool with us having our 5-year-old along at that hour - he just wanted some water and hung out and played with his trains.
Beer list is amazing. 20 taps - lots of Belgian flair (no, not "pieces of flair") with some decent off-the-wall selections. I was wicked bummed the keg of Confluence just kicked though. The bottle list is certifiably insane. I mean, it's ten &*(%ing pages long. And most (almost all) of it is very good stuff.
Food for us was again, just some small plates...salami and aged gouda. Hey, it hit the spot as a mid-afternoon snack.
OK, let's be honest. It's not that cheap. But hey, it's not like it's ridiculous when considering standard bottle markup from retail. And it's a very cool place, so it's a must stop when in Portland.
05-26-2009 22:11:36 |
More by IBUnit63
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
My GPS told me I was there, but I couldn't see it even after I drove by it, parked, and walked back by. Luckily Matt was already there and saw me circling and provided me with much needed directions. The entrance is at an alleyway/courtyard off exchange st near middle st and they have a 3 by 3 a frame sign there. Anyhow, huge kick ass deck at the entrance where I sat holds a dozen or so long tables, think German beer garden communal seating. There is a remote bar on the deck that was closed on my visit. Inside is the bar area with a cool cellar like feel to it holding maybe 20 tables and some bar seating. Small food menu but the meat and cheese plate that we tried was great and you can pick from a list. Beer, yup they have it. Quality taps and a huge bottle list make this place a winner in my book. Our server was attentive and helpful. A hint on the pricy side, but I feel that most of Portland has the same pricing structure. I will make this my first stop the next time I'm in Portland.
06-16-2013 01:57:23 |
More by johnnnniee
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
benny finally gets to novare res. in town for a meeting i went here 2 nights. friday it was more crowded and loud. saturday night was surprisingly less busy (there were a lot of people outside) and i really got to look through the bottle menu. overall i was very impressed.
the space itself was nice enough. a few long tables in the middle and some smaller ones about with a long bar. some brewerania about. lots of taps in view and a glass door into the bottle cooler room.
quality and selection were both great. 20 or so taps and i don't even know how many bottles (they had 9 cantillons and that was only half the lambics).
service was decent friday (it was loud and i had some trouble making myself heard). service was very good saturday.
prices were a little high. only a little though. you pay for what you get.
well worth a trip. if you can find it. look for the sandwich board on exchange st.
09-14-2008 20:59:54 |
More by bennybrew
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Seriously, this was my third and final stop of a beer tour of Portland and I'm glad that I left this one for last because it is the best beer bar I've ever been in.
Located in the basement of an alley downtown. I feel like I was entering a trappist monk's monastery. The place is a dark little bar with very plan decor some beer stuff, but mostly dark, brick walls. The outside patio was awesome! large picnic tables in a nice courtyard area surrounded by ivy laden brick walls.
Fucking ridiculous beer list a think is was like five pages long of perfectly chosen beers. Mostly Belgian or Belgian inspired ales. If it wasn't on tap it was definitely in bottle. The staff was very friendly and informative and provided samples to help make decisions.
I sat with my wife for the better part of the afternoon at Novare Res drinking excellent beers and sampling some really good cheeses and cured meats. The place had such a good vibe everyone was very nice.
After visiting Novare Res, I want to pack up my shit and move to Portland. A MUST STOP!
07-26-2009 17:34:57 |
More by SteveO1231
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Novare Res is a beer geeks Nirvana. On one page is a long list of the beers available on tap and in a multi-page, style organized book are all the beers available in bottles. The bottle list had beers I've only heard of and never tried such as a German Gose. The tap list included some rare treats like Brooklyn Cookie Jar and Cantillion Gueze. In addition, the beers are served in the proper glassware including the brewers logo.
The bar feels like you're sitting in a basement instead of the first floor of a building. The windows are high and the sills are covered with empty bottles of amazing beers. The bar snakes around the back end while several long tables fill the middle. I'd guess there's seating for about 60 people. There's no TV and the nondescript music doesn't blast out the conversation with your friends.
I was there on a busy Saturday night and got there early enough to get a seat at the bar. The bar tender was attentive when my glass neared empty and was very knowledgeable about the beers they served.
Half way through my night a woman was admitted to the Challis Club. To join you need to drink 230 beers on a special list within a year. Once you're in the club you get a key to the Challis room and served all your beers in one of these larger vessels. I wish I lived closer so I could take up the challenge. It looks like a very exclusive club.
The limited food menu has several sandwiches and appetizers. There is no hot food. My friends and I ordered a couple cheese and meat platters, which were incredible. They take just as much pride in their cheese and cold cut selection as they do in their beers. If you like fancy cheese you won't be disappointed.
Prices are reasonable considering the quality and selection of beers they carry. Most of the beers on tap were around $6 to $8 with some costing more/less. Bottles ranged from $5 to $40. Spending a couple hours here with friends could easily cost you $50, but you'll enjoy spending every one of those dollars.
In summary Novare Res is a world class beer bar with a fantastic selection of beers at reasonable prices. Food is available, but is not the main focus of this bar. The staff is very knowledgeable about what they serve and passionate about beer.
03-08-2010 01:56:47 |
More by WanderingFool
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I went to this place with a friend who had heard of its good reputation. The visit to Novare Res was in September 2010. We went here after making a brief stop at Gritty McDuff's first. i was immediately impressed with the atmosphere of this place and it reminded me of biergartens I's visited in Europe, particularly of a place I visited in the Bavarian part of Germany.
As far as food was concerned, I believe we had a cheese sampler plate which was good.
The beer we had was a Cantillon Lou Pepe 2006 which was amazing. I plan on visiting the Cantillon brewery in Belgium in the spring.
Overall, it was a great experience at Novare Res and I would definitely recommend it. I hope to go back again someday soon.
11-22-2010 00:28:37 |
More by Chincino
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Dope setting, dope beers. This place is great.
I love the basement-like setting, works really nice in foggy, damp Portland. Off the beaten path for sure - this place feels exclusive even though it's 100 feet from the tourist/shopping scene.
This was my first stop in Maine, so I grabbed an Allagash Black, then a Curieux. The wife had Dogfish Head Sah'tea, also very nice. While we weren't there for food, we did grab something to tide us over: the cheese plate we chose was fantastic and I doubt you could have picked a bad one. Everything looked good.
Cheap? Not exactly, but the pricing is premium, not luxury. You get what you pay for, and Novare Res is the good stuff. You would find me hear a LOT if I lived in greater Portland.
09-28-2009 03:59:32 |
More by BretSikkink
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
The best thing about this place is the selection, other places in the area have great selections, but they tend to be dominated by Maine beers (although you can't go wrong with them either, haha). They typically have an excellent selection on-tap, many of which get rotated out cause I imagine they go fast, the bottled list is very extensive (over 200!) and if you try everyone of them (about $2000 total) you get to have a place in the "Chalice Room".
The atmosphere has changed dramatically since opening, they've added more lighting (a good thing because it was really dark at first), added some couches and dart boards, really shaping up to be the "it" place to have drinks and chill out at.
07-02-2008 23:49:21 |
More by deltatauhobbit
Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, ME
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