Beese (64) Watford, England | July 3, 2008| Updated September 5, 2008
Definitely a must in Portland, a great selection of American beer, a good number of them are local. What’s particularly nice about this place is that you can try a selection of samplers, which definitely makes for more tastings. The service there was very good, possibly could have been quicker, but our waitress was very friendly. The food is also fairly good in there, nothing out of this world (well I say that, what I had was not out of this world). A really good beer bar that I would heartily recommend to anyone visiting Portland.
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.
The Great Lost Bear is a big bar with a gloomy, dark athmosphere, a little light from the outside wouldn’t hurt. They have a lot of taps available, mostly Maine micro-brews, I had Allagash Curieux on tap there, which was a nice experience, but aside Allagash, Maine micro-brews are average and most of the beer menu was the same than my first visit three years ago. The service was ok. The place is ok, but I’ve seen a lot of better beer bars than this one.
Pretty solid bar. Stopped in during the early afternoon so it was pretty empty. Fairly divey atmosphere, but rather comfortable. Solid local selection, lots of decent taps and four casks. The Allagash Four on cask was killer. A fair percentage of the beers were of the boring variety, but you can blame that on the pedestrian summer beers that the local breweries put out. Still, not bad, and it was right down the street from the Thai place where I stopped for lunch so it ended up being convenient, although it won’t be for anyone that goes right into Old Port.
Visited Memorial Day weekend. I try to get to this place when I am staying at Old Orchard Beach. Lots of great beers on tap... I was particularly fond of the Belgians that they had. Food was good, but nothing special. Waitstaff were friendly, but not that knowledgeable about the beers that they were serving. This is probably my favorite beer bar on the East coast.
Établissement visité le dimanche 18 mai vers 12h. Ambiance: Les murs sont innondés de vieux cadres. L’intérieur est sombre. Présence d’une terasse. Service: Correct sans plus. Sélection: Plus de 50 fûts, Maine surtout et quelques belges. Nourriture: Disponible mais rien pris. (94e rating d’établissement)
josarah (122) Hinesburg, Vermont | May 5, 2008| Updated May 8, 2008
This place is great. Our bartender could not have been any better. Tons of local brews on tap (4 casks going strong), 8 Belgian drafts (served in the proper glass), tasty pub food ( I’ve never seen spanikopita in a beer bar before). I could make this place home if I lived closer. The only negative is the parking, you will have hunt around to find any.
Pretty cool place, but a bit overrated. Huge focus on local beer which would be even cooler if it was in the other Portland or SF, rather than here. They don’t seem to care to offer the rarer, more interesting of the local beers, either. It’s more like flagship products and session styles. I’d recommend eating before coming, because the food is garbage. The service is fine they know what they’re serving, but aren’t truly beer geeks. Most people are knocking the ambiance, but I kinda like it. It’s dark and randomly decorated, but has character. The location is also heinous. If this were in the Old Port it would gain significant points, but it’s just out on Forest ave a few miles from downtown and near nothing. It’s the closest thing Portland has to a great beer bar, but it just isn’t that great.
The place is great for the locals and friendly to visiters. If your looking for something fancy, turn around and go elsehere. This place is good if you like good beer friendly down home service and good food. I would go back anytime.
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 don’t come expecting such - it’s 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 won’t pay you any mind - the parking lot only holds about 8 cars, and the street parking is limited, so that’s a bit of a pain in the ass - it’s worth checking out, but I probably won’t ever go back.