Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland is the best beer bar in New England, according to USA Today.

The 10-year-old Old Port watering hole was ranked as the 5th-best beer bar in America, and the only one in New England among the 10 on USA Today’s list. The winner was Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, while other bars on the list were in Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Chicago.

“Anytime we can represent New England, and especially Maine, it’s a good feeling,” said Shahin Khojastehzad, co-owner and general manager of Novare Res. “If being on the list brings one more customer in whose hand we can shake, that’s great.”

The list was compiled after USA Today had a panel of beer experts – brewers, editors, and critics – nominate 20 bars. Then readers were allowed to vote online for the nominees.  In describing Novare Res, USA Today cited the bar’s “more than two dozen rotating taps and some 300 bottles.”

But the bar’s selection seems to be growing. Khojastehzad said Tuesday there’s at least 34 draft lines and 400 to 500 bottle varieties in the place at any one time.

Khojastehzad said he’s pretty sure the bar was on USA Today’s list before, but he wasn’t sure where it placed.  He said that, although he’d like his bar to come in first, he considers several of the other bars on the list friends.


“We all have the same struggles with freshness of kegs, things like that,” he said. “It’s an honor to be on that list with all those great places.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @RayRouthier

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