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.
Dark and gloomy bar to walk into after enjoying a lovely clear spring day around the breweries. The tap selection has a good representation of Maine breweries but much of it can be found around Portlandís beer bars. A lot of pedestrian and easily accessible interstate beers on that list. Service was OK. I guess itís a true local pub but somehow doesnít have much character and kind of souless. It probably didnít help I had an old drunk dude sitting next to me on his sixth can of whatever crap swill he was drinking. Anyway itís worth a look if heading back from the breweries further north.
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.
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.
Its definitely a dive bar and not in a good way. Parking is very tight next to the bar. It looks like it was much nicer a decade or two ago. They have a lot of taps but aside from the Allagash taps not a lot of interesting or rare beer. The wings were just this side of edible. The bartender was in the weeds the whole time and seemed confused as to why Iíd want a separate check for beer. Hello Business trip.
Oakes (816) 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.
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.
This place was depressing, itís like where the townies all went to die. It was dead quiet as people drank away their sorrows lonely. The server seemed to busy, and not friendly at all. As a plus they offer flights on their 70 drafts so you can go to tick, but not a place I found very fun.
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.