The Lion’s Pride is along the super busy Highway 1 just outside of the center of Brunswick. The outside has a couple neat signs with old lions but otherwise is a modest building among other modest establishments. The inside is warm and inviting, with lots of beer signs and paintings on the walls. My wife and I sat at the L-shaped bar in the room on the right. The tap list of 35 was on a chalkboard above 35 custom glass-blown tap handles with the little labels underneath. Fridges behind the bar show a few hundred bottles with a lot of range. Belgians are more the specialty here than in most other American beer bars, but this place seems to have great relationships with the local Maine brewers and a few others, like Stillwater. The bartender was one of the friendliest guys I’ve ever had at a bar, and knew his stuff and was more than happy to share his passion. We had a great time sitting here, drinking, eating, and talking to him (in spurts) over the course of 3-4 hours. The food is excellent, and we both went with Pliny the Burger with fries. Really nice. Racked up quite a bill but the prices were fair, just a little on the high side, but maybe that’s the Midwesterner in me. We had stuff from t’Smisje, Urban Farm Fermentory, Stillwater, Oxbow, Haandbryggeriet, BFM, Gaverhopke, and B.Nektar. Amazing night at an outstanding place. I’ll find a way to get back- and a way to get over to Ebenezer’s, too.
Very nice tap selection, Not as many sour bottles as Ebenezer’s, but way more than any other bar in the Northeast. This is not on my way to anywhere I go, but the extra few hours are worth the trip every time.
Another one of our visits during our east coast vacation with the fiance. A couple of days after Ebenezer’s.
The exterior is nothing much to look at the but the inside is awesome with tons of Breweriana, paintings, bottles, and the like.
Ryan and his wife (her name skips my memory) are over-the-top nice and very very knowledgeable about their tap list. They really blew me out of the water with how much they know.
The food is just as good (or better) then Ebenezer’s. I call it high-end bar food. I went with the burger (cantillon burger or lambic burger, I forgot) and frites and my fiance ordered the chicken salad. Both wonderful!
As for the beers, not quite as good as a selection on-tap as Ebenezer’s, but hey, still damn nice. I had a lot more Pannepot Wild and my fiance went with a Stillwater Saison. We also ordered a bottle of Cantillon Mamouche...might as well go all-out!
Overall, another wonderful stop and we left full and very satisfied. Cannot wait to go back again and visit Ryan or hopes he hits me up when they’re back in Chicago! Cheers!
Forget the exterior of the Lion’s Pride, which is unassuming. The interior of the space is dark wood accented by a healthy selection of classic beer related posters, bottles and signs. The bar area is spacious and comfortable, and the copper top bar is a classic. Restaurant side is large, but open.
The worst thing I can say about the food is that it’s not quite a match for the beer, which means only that is just this side of world class. What it is is way above your typical pub fare, both in variety and preparation. They have staples like burgers, but you’ll find a much wider variety on the menu from mussels and frites to Indian eggrolls to seared tuna. Everything that I’ve had has been very good, and I’ve been enough to have half a dozen entrees at one time or another. So the food is great.
You’re there, however, for the beer, and it is transcendent. As the other reviewers note, the 35 kegs are all lined into custom glass tap handles below a big board listing the drafts. The selection is tremendous on one visit, but never gets stale. I’ve been in almost weekly at times, and I don’t drink the same beer twice: the churn on their kegs is that good. The range of styles is apparent; at any given time they’ll have on IPAs, Stouts, Tripels and Quads, barleywines, saisons, porters and - of course - sours.
Like all pubs the Lion’s Pride is a reflection of their staff. My first visit, I’ll admit, my expectations were low. How could a small college town realistically expect to attract people who really knew their beer? All I can say is: boy did they manage. These people don’t just know the beers they carry, they are savants. Savants that love to educate. Even better, they are to a person fun and friendly, whether you’re new to beer or a RateBeer regular. I generally let the staff pick for me.
I travel regularly to Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and finally made it to Brussels this winter. In all my travels, I have yet to come across a place that’s competitive. If you’re in or around Brunswick - anywhere within driving or flying distance, really - you owe it to yourself a visit. I’m just sad it took me so long.
Hands down, one of the absolute best beer bars I have ever been to. I recommend sitting at a bar table or at the bar itself if you want the full experience. The bartenders here are crazy knowledgeable, and the restaurant boasts a veritable plethora of rare belgium and artisnal beers. Lion’s Pride has an ever rotating list of 35 draught beers and coolers stocked with the best of the best.
I live in the New York City area, so my standards for beer bars are pretty high, and I have to say, this might be one of the most exceptional beer bars I’ve ever been to.
Let’s start with the selection: It’s truly amazing. At least half (or more) of the taps are beers that you will have a hard time finding anywhere else - rare Belgians, an amazing selection of sours, and really special small batch American craft brews. While they have a handful of standby’s that are nearly always on tap, there’s plenty of variety to keep things interesting. There’s never been a time when I’ve been to the pub and not had at least a handful of beers that I regretted not being able to try.
Second of all, the service: The couple that runs this place don’t just know beer, they are truly educated and passionate about it. They handpick all the drafts, and have good reasons for each of their choices (which they’ll tell you about). If you want to really learn something, ask them about sours sometime! Everyone that works there is efficient and pleasant without being saccharine.
The environment is pretty great for the most part. The music is usually good - at the very least, they never play terrible cheesy pop songs. The food is excellent, and the bartenders/waitstaff can suggest pairings. Try the mussels and frites. It’s a great place for a nice dinner date, but also functions fine as a casual hang-out. It’s not super cheap, but you pay for what you get. You’re going to pay a little more for some of the really exceptional beers.
This place has elevated my whole experience and appreciation for beer in ways I’ll always be thankful for. In short, Brunswick is seriously lucky to have this place: Lion’s Pride ROCKS!
What a wonderful place. Definately worth a visit for anyone driving anywhere near Portland.
The selection of bottled beer and beer on tap is phenomenal. I actually got to try Black Albert, and it lived up to its reputation as one the world’s finest beers.
The food is amazing as well. The menu is based on Belgian food but is varied.
The service is simply outstanding. The bartender and waitress were extremely friendly and quite knowledgable about the many brews they have.
The decor inside the restaurant/bar is classy and inviting, and the location on route 1 just off I-295 is ideal.
I just wish that they had a bottle shop attached to the restaurant. I live 5 hours away (north, if you can believe it), so I really can’t sample much.
All in all, a simply wonderful place. Do not miss it.
Very nice place (in the middle fo freaking nowhere again). Lots of beer paraphernalia and stuff. Incredible selection on tap. I had Wild Pannepot (but it was $14) and Mikkeler Simcoe. Very nice staff. Knowledgeable about beer and they seem to love it. Everyone is very friendly. I had the advantage of being there when it was not crowded but I’m sure it is great any time. I did not eat, but the food menu looked great and not as pricey as expected. Go!
Wow, this place is really in the middle of nowhere. Not at all impressive from the outside but the interior bar and restaurant is decorated with countless beer signs and posters. Excellent tap list. So excellent that I don’t even recall picking up the bottle list. The food was equally as impressive. I had a burger which was quite tasty, and there were about 20 other things on the menu that had me licking my lips. Try the lamb lollipops!
This restaurant has a very nice beer-centered ambiance. It is decorated with all sorts of beer stuff, some very cool. We had supper there, the food was very good and reasonably priced. The staff is uber-knowledgeable and friendly too. We spent the entire evening chatting beer with the people there. The selection is great, they have a wide variety on tap and an amazing bottle selection. A very cool spot.