Great Lost Bear | Portland, Maine
Places > United States > Maine > Portland

Great Lost Bear
Excellent based on 70 ratings
Type: Bar

540 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine United States 04101 [ print map ]
207 772 0300 | facebook | twitter

Hours: 11:30 AM - 11:30 PM

Mayor: AirForceHops (1) | Taps: 72 | Bottles: Not much

Great Lost Bear

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Beer Available At Great Lost Bear (arranged by most recent)
Founders Breakfast Stout 100, Long Trail Limbo IPA 97, Harviestoun Old Engine Oil (Cask) 93, Foundation Blaze , Marshall Wharf Big Twitch 86, Sebago Bump Black Ale , Bissell Brothers The Substance Ale 98, Gneiss Weiss , Banded Horn Pepperell Pilsener
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70 reviews for Great Lost Bear
 Ambiance  73%
 Service  74%
 Selection  80%
 Food  67%
 Value  75%
 Overall  78%
 Rating  87%
Rating Distribution

  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
Travlr  (1656) Washington, Washington DC | August 2, 2013
Ed from Churchkey and Maxís fame turned me on to this place. Itís a big place with lots of nooks and crannies, so you can be as public or as private as you like. The beer list was large, with a handful f things we did not see elsewhere during our entire trip. Definitely worth a look.
Beershine  (779) The Sunshine State, Florida | June 18, 2008
Dark, characterful place conducive to friendly conversation and beer geekery. Nice emphasis on Maine micros and locals. Not all the draught pours were spot-on but they trysome cask options are available and it might help to ask how fresh they are. The ability to sample makes the experience a lot of fun. A must-visit if spending time in the Portland area if for no other reason than to get a whack of experience drinking standard session ales from this gorgeous state.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 14/20
BeerandBlues2  (706) Hanover, Maryland | June 24, 2013
This seems more like a biker bar than a craft beer bar, though it seems they cater to all, given the "tower of beer" available for the macro lovers. The decor reports of yesteryear with old photographs of the area. The staff seemed like they were just going through the motions of a job that was keeping them away from other things.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 5/10   VALUE N/A   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes  (681) Vancouver, British Columbia | January 20, 2004
The good - beer selection is killer if you want Maine microbrews. Which you probably should if you're in Maine. Beer geeks hang out here, which is worth an ambiance point, too. Service - nothing to complain about

The bad - food seemed from my plate greasy and other plates around me stodgy and greasy. No bottles of warrant. Dark but not very inviting. Patio is tacky, with music far too loud. A little out of the way.

Overall - has its drawbacks but if you want to explore the Maine scene and talk to its participants, you'd struggle to do better.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 14/20
Sammy  (561) Toronto, Ontario | August 16, 2012
A big old style bar and restaurant not far from downtown Portland. Many taps, lots of selection of what comes through, not all of it great, but some of it not bad.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 6/10   VALUE N/A   OVERALL 13/20
MartinT  (521) Montreal, Quebec | December 30, 2005| Updated May 20, 2008
Stereotypical American family restaurant with way too much paraphernalia on the walls, and a greasy menu. The dark lighting wonít prevent you from reading the initially impressive menu of Maine and American taps of which Allagash Curieux on cask is a frequent highlight. There are quite a few products from far out Maine micros as well, but there isnít much rotation of these products. Moreover, much of this selection is made of beers accessible for the uinitiated palate, so there is not that much for the world-class seeking beer geek. Food is of course greasy American pub fare. A few selections I asked for on the beer menu can be absent, so expect a not-so-updated menu sometimes. A fun place to stop by close to the highway, which you can pair with RSVP Beverage and Allagash Brewery if you donít want to get into town, but I wouldnít go out of my way to get there.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 14/20
chriso  (436) London, England | July 12, 2010
Visited in April 2010. Rather a hike out of town and Iím not sure you can walk directly along Forest because there is a great big junction with the Interstate in the way, so we diverted through a park and over the Interstate on Deering before cutting back to Forest. Looks like a fairly uninspiring neighbourhood bar from the outside but already packed early evening on a Thursday so service was a little slow. Extensive tap selection but nothing particularly rare - only about 5 in total that Iíd not tried before. Just stayed for a couple as we had some places in town to hit that evening. Certainly a decent spot but not as outstanding as I was expecting.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 6/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu  (427) Cincinnati, Ohio | August 22, 2011
Great Lost Bear is a little bit outside of downtown Portland on Forest. The exterior is red bricks with a green awning and two big paintings on either side of a wide green door. The inside has wood walls absolutely covered in beer kitsch. We sat on the patio out the side door, separated from the lot by a high wood fence. 60+ taps but nothing was especially jumping out at me. I wound up with a sampler tray of Maine stuff. Which brings me to my favorite part of this place, the ability to try 1 to 5 things at a time in 5 oz. pours at a fair price. There was nothing truly special on the menu, but enough interesting locals and regionals to keep it interesting for a non-local like me. The food was all right; the buffalo sauce on my sandwich was unusual but nothing was bad. Our server was very friendly and seemed experienced and joked around with us. I didnít get a sense of how many bottles were available, if at all. They werenít on the menu. Worth a visit if youíre in Portland but not essential.
Glouglouburp  (423) Montreal, Quebec | October 14, 2009
A bit outside the busy part of town the Great Lost Bear will probably be a little detour for the tourist visiting the heart of Portland. But there are many hotels nearby so it may not be such a detour for you. The place is rather large and not my kind of atmosphere. Yet another American beer bar with that kind of large country bar feel to it, plenty of beer related memorabilia and neon signs here and there. Annoying fm-radio style of pop music. The number of taps on the other hand is quite impressive. Something like 60 tap lines + 4 casks. Mostly American micros, maybe 5 or 6 imports. About half are Maine micros and the other half are the standard American micros likes of Rogue, Dogfish, etc. With about 30 Maine micro tap lines thereís plenty of crap to be had. You wonít find unusual beer here (go to Novare Res for that). I went there late at night and the crowd was a mix bag of locals of all ages, from the 21 year old party animal to the quiet drunk fifty something. I didnít eat there. I had a pint of Allagash Burham Road (a pleasant surprise, they still donít bottle that one) and left. My hotel was in that neighbourhood so for me it was worth a visit because it wasnít much of a detour. But I wouldnít do a detour to visit that place. All in all, despite the very large number of taps this place is not a must-go. Youíre better off hanging around downtown at Novare Res, Gritty McDuff, etc.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 5/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 5/10   VALUE N/A   OVERALL 11/20
notalush  (340) Denver, Colorado | August 5, 2007
All-American, hunting lodge-like pub interior, with a large bar space, many taps, and four casks (which is pretty nice) - not a beer nerd place, so donít come expecting such - itís more of a "slam back a couple of pints" kind of place - their focus on local session brews makes this even more apparent - their menu LOOKS impressive, but the food sounds a lot better than it actually is - you might consider eating somewhere else and then coming here for a few beers - the service is pretty slow, so you kind of have to be assertive or they wonít pay you any mind - the parking lot only holds about 8 cars, and the street parking is limited, so thatís a bit of a pain in the ass - itís worth checking out, but I probably wonít ever go back.

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