Imagine a small European pub transplants itself into a small town in Maine. There you go.... great beer selection.... food is even better.... service is top notch. Cool vibe, good music, easy parking. Overall: I have been wanting to go here for ten years....knocked it off the bucket list.
Well, this was on the must-visit list for years and I finally made it. Out in the middle of nowhere and situated right next to a beautiful golf course. Rustic feel inside, with a pretty small interior and additional outside, covered seating. Pretty spectacular taplist, largely of Belgian styles, including some lambics and other Belgian beers. No flights, but they'll do half-pours of anything and give free samples. Prices are high ($10-15 for a full-size pour), but given the beer list, is more or less warranted. We didn't eat, as it's a pretty meat-heavy menu and is expensive. Worth hitting if doing the drive from Burlington, VT to Portland, ME or vice versa.
Hmmm, how to rate this place? To begin, it is in the middle of fucking nowhere. As stated before, a very solid 88-90/100 place. The vibe is so particular, the food is more than decent (had the chicken and the pasta with pesto), the service is impeccable and the beers, well, that's just crazy. A nice selection on draught. Both Belgian en US beers. Very decent prices as well. All in all, most certainly recommended, but, it's a long drive.
And then of course there's the situation when you know Chris. I know this review is a biased opinion, but that's what these reviews are for of course. Whenever you get to know this crazy health freak, he is a world class, unseen, top notch host. You can only adore this guy, family, place (read: cellar). I hope to be back one day, if not soon enough, see you soon in Belgium Chris. My treat.
Lovely place with a great selection of beers.
There are no words that can describe the food, it's just amazing! Try their lobster roll, you will be in heaven...
Chris, Jen and their staff are also super friendly and will welcome you with open arms.
Overall it IS the best beer place in the US.
Ah, the rating of all ratings on my trip. The reason we came here, and the place where we hang out for about 4 days. We visited for Belgian Beer Dinner + Night of the great thirst. Let me tell you about the actual bar first ( in between those events ) since that better reflects the experience you will find usefull in a place rating. The bar is rather small, but they have biigger seating area in the back and on the side, as well as outside. Service is done by some amazingly friendly girls, who aren't as much of beer experts as Chris and his spaus, but still quite enjoyable to have as staff ! the beers on tap were a mixture between mostly BE beers, as well as some US beers I found interesting to try ! The bottle list was indeed a bit more limited than what you would expect. They had some great beers though, so you will find something you like. prices are very honest ! The food here is absurtly good. this is for sure one of the best places I ever ate. I don't like steak, but i LOVE their stake. I crave their lobster roll every day since I left. literally anything can be picked, you will love it. Next up, the events. Belgian beer dinner is probably the best dinner i have ever been to. it showcases Chris' passion and talents. Might be expensive, and far away, but do come here once ! you will not regret it and instantly get what Ebenezers is al about. As for the Night of the great thirst, thats just plain crazy. it is basically a full day of rare-lambic whale shooting, and a few days of crazy bottleshares around it.
Absolutely keep in mind though, DO NOT come here unless you KNOW they're open ( how rediculous is it to come down, downrate the place cause they weren't open, when they never even stated anywhere they would be open at the given time ??? ) since it really IS the middle of nowhere... A place called nature ! Second, if you are one of the Lucky ones that gets to see the cellar, it is really amazing to see. However, do not come here and instantly expect for you to be welcomed in their personal house ( and cellar ) as it is a given right... it is an extra you could hope for, but never demand...
Aaand here it is. Place rating #1000, and it is the highest rated place in America. I spent the previous night in Portland and drove up here for lunch on my way back to Burlington, so it was only a half hour out of my way or so. Agreed with Borken that that is about the best you can do for most of humanity. I had a bit of a scare about opening; the phone number listed above no longer plays a message when they are closed and the times I called I just got nothing. My emails were never answered. Fortunately they did respond on my last resort (facebook) after a day or so confirming they would be open. When I arrived the placard out front advertised new 7 days per week opening hours of 11:30AM-9PM (bar open later) You are really out in the boonies here; barely cell phone service (nothing at all inside actually), surrounded by trees and a country club golf course. Loads of deer flies and mosquitos to keep you company though. Plenty of parking - the lot itself is not large but there is parking on the approach. When I pulled in it looked like the gravel lot was full of broken glass, but its just Mica - no worries.
The sign has been updated from the one on the picture; its black and white; an old man in a rumpled tophat holding a lantern. Presumably Ebenezer Scrooge?? It is also called just Ebenezers now, but I am not going to be the one to change it here, given the iconic nature of this place!
Walk up an it seems a bit like you are coming up on somebodies house. Find the correct entrance and step in to the covered patio, which is nice and offers views of the golf course. Step inside from there and there is a seating area and a fairly small bar. The place certainly had customers, but was not busy on a Friday at lunchtime. Most folks seemed like locals to me with the exception of one neckbeard and his wife who were clearly here because of the place’s iconic status in beer nerddom. Lots of people came and picked up to go orders. Two sided tap list was pretty interesting indeed, fairly IPA focused which seemed strange. About 2/3 of the beers were New England in origin, but there were a smattering of other things ranging from the obvious (St Bernardus 12) to the unusual (a 2012 keg of Makers Mark Riporter). Lively brewing was well represented on the list, but was not explicitly advertised as the owners brewery. Tap beers were available in full or half pours, no taster glass sizes, although they will give you a Danish pour of anything you want to try, literally in a small shot glass. I asked about the bottle list and was directed to the coolers, which held an interesting, but not mind-blowing, set of Belgian and others. Nowhere near 1000+ bottles; perhaps 100? Cantillon and De Cam were well represented, along with vintages of things like Pannepot. Nothing shot out as a must try so I did not ask about prices. I did not ask and was not offered a glimpse at the rumored private cellar. I have no idea whether there is some secret handshake into the Ebenezar Kezar private cellar, but just being able to visit the place was a lot of fun, even without being read in to the full monte experience.
Service was cheerful and helpful. I did not get the feel that my server had any deep understanding of beer, but she recognized that I was a beer dork quickly and let me do my thing. Food (I had a Cobb Salad) was amazingly fresh and tasty. I would not be surprised if everything on my place was sourced from within 30 minutes. Carrot slices were cut into butterflies, which my kids would have loved. All in all an outstanding beer destination, and well worth the (likely one time) visit in celebration of my 1000th place review on RateBeer. Given that I have already been to Grote Dorst, I am not sure what I could do for #2000, but I have a while to think about it I guess. Sante!
Visited February 2016. Interesting location and I am not really sure what is the business plan. Visit was very short and I only had coffee and one of their own beers. Taplist was full of interesting Belgian beers.
So, we "only" drove a half hour each way out of the way to get here. Considering we’re from California, that is probably about as good as a tourist/traveler can do. We came from Moat Mountain after hiking in Crawford Notch. The very odd backroad way the GPS advised us to take actually paid off as we saw some black bears ambling across the road. Neat!
Anyway, yeah, this place is kind of in the middle of nowhere. Sort of a bucket list beer place for me as well, since it was one of those mystical places when I first started getting really into beer. Small parking lot and pretty modest sized outdoor dining room and bar as well. Very cozy and homely. Seems the Belgian beer festival had ended just a few days prior, so a lot of Belgian beers still on draft and bottles in the cooler.
The draft list was pretty eclectic and actually had a handful of beers from Lively Brewing (the owners’ brewery). Now, I’m sure that the cellar here is insane and if you know the right people, you can get just about anything you might want. I would say the draft list and bottles available during our visit were certainly very much above average and had some nice finds. But I guess considering the unreasonable hype that surrounds this place, it was impossible to meet those expectations.
The women working the bar were incredibly friendly and helpful. Happy to let us, and other patrons, try any beers before committing to a purchase. I appreciated that as some of the beers were quite expensive (many at $10 or $12 for maybe 8 to 10 ounce pours).
I really enjoyed my visit here, but I would caution those that come here expecting to be able to just order every rare beer they can imagine on a whim and have it appear in front of them. If you want that, you probably should try to make some sort of arrangement ahead of time. Otherwise, just show up and drink some good beers.
I thought this would be a good place for my 500th review (gold explorer). So many opinions...mostly good...some not. Some of the ones that aren’t good...I can at least understand...others maybe not. Cutting to the chase though...as it concerns my visit...I had a really fine experience. For me after one visit...it’s not a 100..but easily the 96 I gave it. If I come back and have some more in depth experiences I will rate higher...but I don’t automatically expect to get those on a first visit...even given the long drive. I feel bad for someone who came from another country and only had one shot...and it didn’t work out for them they way they’d hoped. I came with the attitude that I’d like this place...maybe a lot...and if less than a lot...I’d come back again (I realize that’s not easy for many...but the place deserves that kind of attention..."and" patience). As far as service...My wife and I were fortunate to get a seat at the bar at about 5:30PM on Sunday evening of this past Memorial Day weekend. I’m sure that helped with the service we got (our bartender/server was amazing!). I could see that many of the tables were being served by younger waiters/waitresses...that "may" have not been as beer savvy as a long traveling beer nerd (like myself) might have hoped for. As for the food...the spicy tuna sashimi in avocado flowers and Ponzi sauce was freakin amazing! My wife had the fish and frites and I had the house burger...with English Stilton, bacon, avocado on a brioche...it was cooked perfectly. Now for the beer...I drank a couple of the "Lovely" drafts...a hoppy one...and a hempy one. My wife had the amazing Piccolo...which I shared with her. I finished with the incredible Black Albert. All in all...we came on a great night...and had a great time. I couldn’t have been more pleased had I been visiting a place that had a rating average of 85-95...but of course given it’s a 100 in so many people’s books and given the history and all the awards...well of course I came away wanting an even better experience...wanting even more...but that’s not a negative for me...it’s a reason to come back.