Barfly’s View: Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine

Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine

Last week I traveled to Portland, Maine, for a few days to celebrate Portland Beer Week. Portland is an amazing New England city by the sea that’s packed with great restaurants, quality breweries and brewpubs, and top-notch beer bars. I hit up nearly a dozen different bars in Portland, but one in particular really stood out: Novare Res Bier Café.

Novare Res is a dark, semi-subterranean beer bar with brick columns and other brick accents, and Belgian-themed decorations throughout, which make for a very cool, laid-back atmosphere. The beer list is amazing; Novare Res has 25 rotating drafts, two hand-pumped casks and more than 500 bottles—I drank some very hard-to-find Cantillon Lambics, Vigneronne and Saint Lamvinus. And Novare Res spotlighted a number of Maine brewers I’d never heard of, as part of Portland Beer Week. (Shout out to Oxbow Brewing Co. and Bull Jagger Brewing Co., two awesome Maine breweries that put on noteworthy events at Novare Res last week.)

Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine

The bar serves a number of meat-and-cheese hors d’oeuvres, and a few small meals, but it’s the beer not the food that makes Novare Res shine. The bartenders are also very knowledgeable and friendly. In fact, one particularly-cool bartender noticed that I was drinking sour beers and went out of his way to let me know that a nearby Japanese noodle bar had one of my favorite gueuzes, Tilquin, on draft. (If you read this, thanks man, the gueuze—and gyoza—at Pai Men Miyake was awesome.)

Boston is home to some world-class beer bars that I frequent. I travel fairly often, and I make it a point to visit all the best beer bars wherever I roam—hence, my collection of Barfly’s Views. In other words, I know my beer bars. But I was blown away by Novare Res Bier Café. Novare Res is not only the best beer bar I found in Portland, it’s one of the best beer bars I’ve ever been to. If you find yourself in Portland, Maine, you need to get your ass over to Novare Res.

UBN

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4 thoughts on “Barfly’s View: Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine

  1. Joe says:

    I was in Portland, ME this summer and happened upon Novare Res…and I am in complete agreement with your review. Excellent beer list, knowledgeable staff and awesome atmosphere. You can even sign up for their beer club, which upon completion gets you a key to the prison cell which contains all of the mugs. Everyone should do themselves a favor and stop by if they are anywhere near this bar.

    • Hey Joe,

      I was wondering about the huge mugs that were all locked up in the cell. I figured it was some kind of mug club. If I lived in Portland, I would definitely be a part of that club. And I’ll definitely be returning to Novare Res the next time I’m in or around Portland.

      UBN

  2. […] of bottles of Cantillion gueuze and a bottle of framboise, and after I had two Cantillon bottles at Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine last week. So I was psyched to see that Xinhuanet.com posted an image slide show […]

  3. […] brewery that makes “loud beer from a quite place.” I attended an Oxbow tap takeover at Novare Res Bier Cafe during Portland Beer Week, and I was very impressed with the range and quality of the brews. I had […]

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