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$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
299 Forest Ave
phone: (207) 200-6258
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | $$
On our way back from the Allagash tour back to downtown Portland, we stopped here to pick up some beers for the hotel room. Not the easiest place to find tucked in there next to another business. The store itself is laid out by region, which is cool. Local beers, Euro beers, etc. It was fun to just walk around and browse. Great selection all around (they have cider and wine too). The prices all seemed reasonable also. I picked up some Gritty's and Rising Tide bombers. The guy at the cash register struck up a friendly conversation about local craft beer. If you are going to visit, be sure to stop in on the way to Allagash, but heading back to Portland from Allagash, be prepared to make a weird U-Turn to get to the correct side of the street.
05-07-2013 18:23:37 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Not long after this place opened (three months I think if I remember the owner telling me correctly), I decided I needed to check it out.
A: The atmosphere was definitely an alcohol store. I didn't take a look at the wine/mead side, but pretty much stayed to my alcohol of choice side and was thoroughly impressed. I took a good look around and saw a great amount of six packs, bombers and 12 ounce singles. The store was very clean. With mostly a warm section, there was still a decent chilled side as well.
Q/S/S: The quality was really good as beers were laid out by six pack/bomber and 12 ounce singles (I liked the layout of that). The owner was exceptionally friendly, though I didn't introduce myself, I really liked how I got a 10% discount for buying a mix a six pack of whatever 12 ouncer. I would say the service was great because I got to look for what I was looking for without being bothered (but that's just me). The selection had a large New England variety with some other brands such as Mikkeler, Rogue, Sixpoint, Flying Dog and Dogfish Head (there's a bunch of other brands that I'm forgetting to say).
F/V: Yeah, its an liquor store, so there was no food to buy. So with the 10% discount, I would say the value was pretty good.
Despite a tight parking lot that made me turn right, I eventually found my way back to 295. However, I would say at least there is a parking lot (why I haven't gone back to Downeast Beverage), its close to 295 so one doesn't have to go all the way out to RSVP, yet its still within walking distance of Great Lost Bear. I'll be going back there and plan on taking my friends.
05-06-2013 22:11:43 |
More by kangarooAdam59
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I've been shopping at the Bier Cellar since it opened last year so figured it was about time that I reviewed it.
This place is awesome. Very diverse selection of beer, wine, cider and mead. No BMC in sight. Greg really knows his stuff and is happy to just chat about beer when things are slow. They offer a monthly beer club, have some pretty cool glassware, bring in new beers all the time and do a few tasting each month - what more could you ask for? Shit, even the music played in the store is great.
Hard to really knock anything about the store other than prices are slightly higher than other stores in the area, but that is negated by the 5% discount for a mixed 4 or 10% discount for a mixed 6.
In summary, if you haven't been there already, get to Bier Cellar and prepare to forget about all other stores in Southern Maine.
03-06-2013 17:14:20 |
More by Brez07
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is the best beer store in Maine. 100% craft - no junk - with every quality beer that's distributed in the state, as well as ciders, meads and a careful selection of wines. No liquor, no lottery tickets, no Red Bull, minimal (but good & local) snack foods. Everything is organized thoughtfully and displayed cleanly. As all the comments note, Greg, the owner who almost always is working, is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, but respects that most of the clientele are beer geeks who will enjoy browsing without much help. If you want excellent opinions or suggestions he's got them (a home brewer, he knows his stuff). Mixed sixes are a great deal, as are loyalty discounts. Getting on his email list is a great idea, as it gives you advance notice of (and the chance to reserve) every limited release that hits the state. Emails also note other essential beer geek info (e.g., limited brewery-only releases at Allagash). Atmosphere is great, with a turntable and good music.
03-02-2013 19:16:09 |
More by troughnbrew
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is ridiculously awesome. They clearly mark every bottles price, including singles, and allow for a mix a six with 10% discount.
Very clean, everything is easily accessible and clearly marked. One thing that bothers me is the beers on the outermost aisle facing the open unshaded window which allow the sun to beam directly on them for most of the day. Other than that it seems like they put a lot of care into their business. Very friendly staff, knowledgable but they do allow me to beer hunt without pestering me, which is generally a long process.
Distribution/selection wise they have everything you can find in Maine, for the most part. Ie I was able to get brown shugga there whereas I couldn't find it elsewhere, but I couldn't get BCBS when It first hit Maine, maybe they sold out though. I buy all the beer I can there, I only go elsewhere for convenience (I live in Auburn).
I just can't reiterate how thankful I am for how the product is displayed and clearly priced. I am a beer advocate, and love seeking out new beers and styles and will do it despite the cost. But I am also a father with a wife and mortgage among other responsibilities who needs to budget my beer money so being able to know what I'm paying when I get rung up and not having to ask them to check prices on everything makes me a happy customer.
02-06-2013 04:22:10 |
More by MaineBrewing
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
Bier Cellar has quickly won over the hearts of beer geeks in the southern Maine area and out of staters seeking beers to bring home. The store is very clean and well lit with good music playing at all times. The wooden shelving and oak barrels immediately tell you you're not in an average liquor store. Quality is top notch, with no BMC taking up valuable space. Greg, the owner is always there to answer questions and make recommendations. There's some snack food, but let's face it, you're not going to a bottle shop for food. Overall Bier Cellar has been a great addition to the fast growing Maine beer scene.
02-02-2013 21:22:41 |
More by dciBA
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Staff is knowledgeable and approachable
Store is clean and presentable
Selection is great
Custom 4 and 6 packs offered so you can try new micros without breaking your wallet.
If you're feeling adventurous and want to try new beer while you're in Portland Maine, the Bier Cellar can show you the way.
01-31-2013 02:34:35 |
More by tecnica
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
The newest beer store in the Portland area has been open for a couple of weeks now, but it wasn't until today that I made it in. I already felt familiar with the store though. The owners have done a good job of crafting a helpful online presence that no other bottle shop in the area has been able to do. Between Twitter and Facebook updates, I have a good idea of what is happening in the store in near real-time. The e-mail updates have been a revelation though. A summary of new arrivals? Check. Special offers? Check. A loyalty program of subscribers (5% off after for each $100 spent)? Check. The only other store in Southern Maine that offers a e-mail (that I know of) is Tully's, and that generally consists of a schedule of upcoming tastings and a note to check Facebook for updates. What Bier Cellar is doing is very helpful much appreciated.
Now, onto the store itself. Being freshly opened, the space is still very clean and has the feel of a recently renovated area. None of the center aisles is very tall, letting you get a good look around the entire store no matter where you are standing. Beers are generally organized by country and then brewery. The flags from each country represented sitting atop the appropriate shelf is a nice touch. On wall has a row of coolers, holding some six packs and singles, as well as white and sparkling wines. There may have been more in the coolers, but I didn't really look them over.
The room temperature selection is well laid out. Each 4 or 6 pack has an accompanying row of singles, so you don't have to break up someone else's pack if you only want one bottle. Also, each selection has a description, pack price and single price. If you do decide to go with singles, a 5% discount is applied to mix and match 4 pack, and if you buy 6 bottles, the discount bumps up to 10%. All of the craft breweries available in Maine are represented, as far as I could tell (except for Lagunitas, because they were sold out!). There are plenty of imports as well.
The shelves directly in front of the window are empty. I assume this is to avoid and skunking/spoilage from sunlight exposure. It's a nice touch!
In the second room of the store you'll find more beer, plus wines and meads. I didn't spend any time with the non-beer selection. It looked to be smaller than the selection found at other stores in the area, but unlike the Bier Cellar, none of those places focuses mainly on beer.
There is a small area for glassware and books, but I was more interested in the stack of LPs and the records player that provide the background music. Very cool.
I got to talk to the owner, Greg, while I was there. He was very friendly and told me about all the new items into the store, plus stuff he should have soon. It never felt like a sales pitch...just two beer nerds discussing their hobby.
After this one visit, I find myself really liking Bier Cellar. It doesn't have the biggest selection of beer in the area (RSVP has all of the adjunct lagers and malt liquors not found here), but it has the best selection of craft beer in the Portland area, as well as the best organized. Plus, it has it's own parking lot, something that has caused me to not go to Downeast Beverage more than once.
I'm really excited for some of the things Greg is planing. The discounts already in place are great (other stores may have similar discounts, but if so, that aren't advertised very well). Plans for Pack Club look promising (you get a mixed 6 pack, plus 1 22 and 1 750 of classics and new releases), and the beer geek socials sound like they will be a fun and well attended event.
I know that I'll be visiting this store a lot. It outshines all the other options in the area, and is easier to get to. The only thing I can possibly say it is missing is homebrew supplies, but since Maine Brewing Supply is right down the road, I don't mind. Those of us who regularly respond to the "Where should I visit in ME/Portland" threads in the New England forum have a new store to tell all of you from away to visit first.
06-15-2012 19:01:58 |
More by ToasterChef
Bier Cellar in Portland, ME