tdtm82 (129) , England | August 26, 2015| Updated November 6, 2015
Chris Lively is one of the most accommodating hosts I’ve come across yet. Amazing cellar. Amazing man. Great list. I was extremely happy to visit and will make arrangements to visit again. You need to come. It’s crazy.
To sum it up, I’d call this place a very good bar that is very overrated. That being said, it is still a great bar with a great selection of Belgian beers, but I don’t feel I experienced the "best beer bar" in the country.
I don’t think they have as many Belgian beers on tap as they used to, as they have several taps devoted now to their own beers from Lively brewing. Several from Allagash and 1 or 2 from Oxbow brewing (definitely worth a trip if you’re in Maine) as well. The Lively brewing beers were good, most seemed about average for a craft brewery. I didn’t try anything that I had to have again.
A good bottle selection, could be close to 80-100 or so in the cooler. As for the beer cellar, forget it ... staff said only the cooler was available, and there’s no list. So you have to peer over people sitting at the bar to even see what might be in there. What good is a world class beer cellar if you can’t buy and drink anything out of it? We aren’t rating private collections here.
The food was good, and the service was great, but they seemed to know little about the actual Belgian beer that was on tap or what bottles were available.
The beer was a little pricey, but that’s to be expected. I’m willing to pay more if the value was there, but most of the bottles I saw were available in my local bottle shop. So it’s hard to justify the standard "bar" markup, plus another 20% or so on a beer that is already $15-$20 in your local bottle shop.
Atmosphere was very nice.
I’d certainly go back again .... with my expectations a bit more realistic this time :).
What a great place! In the middle of nowhere but we stopped by on our way to Jackson, NH. The place itself has a great ambience, the staff was very friendly and the selection was very good. Loads of Belgian stuff of course but also a very good tap list with good variation including several beers from Oxbow and Allagash. Got a chance to speak to the owner, Chris, who was very friendly and who has a greater passion for beer than most. If we follow the Guide Michelin principles, this is a three star: worth a trip of its own.
Visited here over a two years ago with jrallen34. With both had high expectations of this place but didn’t live up to for us. Way out of the way from anything and we showed up was understaffed for a Friday at lunch time. We came hoping to meet the ownership, chat about beer and drink some great beer, overall a few winners on tap but the beer cooler of bottles available to us were things we generally have access too. The real draw is being able to try something from the cellar bottle list however she did not have access to it nor could locate anyone who did. My friend, based on recommendations, emailed (over 3+ times) ahead to the owners to see if they were going to be around during our visit but never received a response after 3 to 4 emails. We had plans to go regardless of the lack of response but left disappointed and as he said likely will never be back. When you are known for your tap list and unbelievable beer cellar that makes you a top 50 beer destination, not being able to access anything from there without the owners lends itself to an above average beer bar but not world class. Believe me, we saw the bottle list which was outstanding and asked about getting anything outside of what was in the beer cooler but told they had no access to get anything from cellar. I’ll say, I’ve been very fortunate to have traveled all around the world and US to visit some of the best beer destinations and you have to be able to meet the level of expectations of your clientele most of the time. We did everything we were told to help ensure we had a unbelievable visit and probably should have never went but its so far away from anything making a hard place to visit for even the most adventurous beer nerd. I read a few of the reviews where everything was perfect attacking people’s reviews like my friend and I’s saying we are just being obnoxious, well, if I showed up met the ownership there chatting about there place, beer and cellar, getting an opportunity to see the cellar and sharing a beer or two from there would not only have met but exceeded our expectations. Again, we reached out based on recommendations of others to try and coordinate with the owners with hopes of having those same experiences but unfortunately just didn’t work out and too far away to visit on even an infrequent basis.
Ebenezers was the best part of a great birthday weekend in the Maine and NH mountains. Before I went I’d obviously heard of all the hype, but even so it lived up to expectations. The ambiance is just right for the Maine woods and it helps balance the world-class beers on offer. And man do I mean world class! The draft list read like a beer collector’s private fantasy, with rare belgians, imperial stouts, and even a straight up Whale (Pannepot Wild) all ON TAP, and that’s before you even start getting lost in the bottle list. This is the real deal, and an experience any beer afficianado needs to have at least once.
I guess all these haters don’t know how to enjoy the woods.... This place lived up to all the hype and all the visions of what it would be like I had made up in my head. First off it’s a beautiful setting in the woods. The place is yes small but this is not a bad thing unless you are so snooty that you are too good to talk to the people around you. The beers on tap were amazing, some from their newly opened brew pub, and TONS of great Belgian’s on tap. Some I have had in bottles others I had never even heard of, and all were delicious. Chris and his lovely wife were there and chatted with us for a good amount of time. Chris even was nice enough to take my wife and myself down into the hallowed ground of the cellar. This was possibly the most incredible beer cellar I have ever seen, Thomas Hardy’s from 68. Every sour you could think of, especially cantillion . I would come back to Maine just to go drink a few consecutive nights here!
Stoned99 (56) St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec | December 3, 2014| Updated January 20, 2015
Let me start by saying my expectations were really high so as soon as I placed a foot inside, I knew it wouldn’t be close to my expectations.The place is quite small. They have a small fridge which consists of Belgian beer but really not that much. They also have some beer on tap. The first 2 I wanted to order they didn’t have it. We got there around 8h30 PM and kitchen was already closed. One of the barmaid was kind enough to give us some chips. The chips were homemade and not that good and anyway we wanted a full meal. Location of this bar is far from everything and in the woods, almost a scary location.
We won’t be going back.I think that place is overrated.
Was a planned stop on a trip. Turned out to be during their Belgian fest. Food, beers, both delicious. Crazy drafts, insane cellar. And these guys love their beer. Really wish there was closer places to stay. Would definitely recommend, and return.
I was staying within an hour of Lovell, so of course had to check out the famous Ebenezer’s. And truly, it’s well worth the drive, given the paucity of decent places in the area. Chris and Jan were on their way back from Brunswick, so I missed seeing them and the famous cellar, but no complaints here. My brother-in-law and I sat at the bar, got great service, and relaxed over several tasty beers. I’d definitely return if I were back in the area, but it wouldn’t be worth coming up from Portland or further unless it was during a festival.
lots of hype with so little to back it up. truly not worth the go. chris lively ruins the whole experience with his false bravado and not quite accurate knowlege of beer. the place is small, hard to get to, and once you are there it is hand over fist cash for very little, including the beer