Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 1,000
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I recently attended the BA "Return of the Belgiums" festival then spent a few days touring the Northeast. Among my desired destinations was Ebenezer's. After a few wrong turns I found the establishment tucked on the edge of a golf course at the edge of town. I got there after the lunch rush but was pleased to see that the bar was occupied by several patron who were all enjoying beers from the bar amazing selection.
I sat in the sun room and was promptly served by an attentive and knowledgeable wait staff. They were friendly and accommodating to my whims and fancies. I began with a Balck Albert (on tap) then progressed to a Het Kappitel Abt (also on tap and one of the ~20 fine brews available from a keg). The latter I enjoyed with a reasonably priced Ruben sandwich which was light on sauerkraut, was loaded with corned beef, and heavy on a tasty "special" sauce.
Following lunch I surveyed the extensive beer menu and was pleased to find so many of my favorite Belgium's, as well as prime North American craft brews (~200 so so based on a fast count). My eye was attracted to a "market priced" Westmalle Extra which I ordered. The beer was served with reverence and while enjoying I was treated by a visit at my table by Chris, the owner of Ebenezer's. In addition to the fine conversation with Chris I was treated to samples including a Val-Dieu Grand Cru and a De Dolle Oerbier.
My only regret is that I was forced to leave the bar far earlier than I wanted to. I was staying the evening in Portland and then traveling on to Boston and home. I highly recommend Ebenezer's...it's a destination bar that all lovers of Belgium beers should experience.
10-21-2008 14:46:29 | More by dnichols
4.63/5 rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
If you are anywhere in New England, visit this pub! It is a gorgeous drive and it is well worth the trip.
My wife and I were stunned at the beer selection. The draft list was exceptional which included many from Cantillon, De Dolle, a whole slew of Stone (Stone's "coming out" party was the day prior) and many others. The bottle list was even more impressive. There were all the Belgian favorites plus many hard to find nuggets like Thomas Hardy from the 70's, 6-8 different De Dolle beers and even Westvleteren!
Chris the owner noticed my Toronado shirt and introduced himself. We chatted about San Diego and other California beers. He disappeared and returned with a bottle of Pliny the Elder that was bottled on his birthday. He wanted to remind us of the taste of California.
Don't miss this place!!
10-13-2008 22:39:47 | More by Myphoon
4.3/5 rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place truly is in the middle of nowhere. Well hidden near the border of Western Maine, Ebenezer's doesn't appear to have much competition in the area.
Atmosphere is almost like a summer shack with tables casually spread out throughout the interior with beer signs covering the walls. Very average atmosphere.
Service was my main issue. Granted, it was the waiters second night on the job, but when I ask what style a certain beer is the waiter should not say "I don't know" and then proceed to stare at me waiting for me to order it. Water should also not need to be asked for 3 times before finally getting it. I am assuming this service was the exception to the rule as other waitstaff appeared competent.
On to the good. Selection, Quality & Food were all fantastic. The beer list, as far as Belgian selection, is truly world-class. I had three beers, all very good, most interesting one being the Wedding Parfait. The steak tips, as others have mentioned, were delicious and very fresh.
Overall, I am glad I was able to experience Ebenezer's. Is it the best beer bar in America? Absolutely not. But if you're vacationing within an hour radius, it's worth stopping by.
10-05-2008 19:23:22 | More by bkett01
4.78/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
What can I say about Ebenezers that hasn't already been said? As Snafui mentioned in his review below, he experienced Ebe's at a unique time during the Belgian fest and w/ a large party of 13. I was among that party and concur with everything he already stated below. In addition to that though, I'd just like to reiterate how very special it is to drive out in the middle of nowhere Maine and be able to experience one of the best selections of beer on the planet from a person who is so incredibly passionate about beer, food and sharing his passion with others. It was well worth the long drive to experience what Ebe's has to offer, especially during the Belgian fest. Chris and the guys from De Struise made it a truly memorable experience. I only wish we could have stayed longer for the entire fest and the beer dinner.
I also want to mention that Chris' wife Jen was incredibly helpful when we were making our plans for the trip. She spent time with me on the phone telling me about the area, hooking me up with a discount at the inn down the street, and offering us a place to camp if necessary. She was wicked friendly and she seemed genuinely excited about introducing some new folks to the fest.
Also... BEST STEAK TIPS EVER!
09-08-2008 02:13:09 | More by sarita
4.78/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
It's going to be hard to write this review since I experienced Ebe's with a large party during a festival, but I'll do my best.
My first impression of the atmosphere was "hmm we traveled a long way for this, is this it?" To put this in context though, we arrived with a party of 13 late on a Saturday night after driving around lost and without cell coverage to find the place, including traveling 2 miles on a dirt road (which Google thought was a good idea). We got to Ebe's and it was in full swing, Somehow we found a table large enough but it was mostly SRO near the bar. The beer selection was great, but we were all very tired, I had a headache, and the table we were at had someone else's old food plates which started to smell not so good. 2-3 beers later we all left for some sleep. The next day was a WHOLE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE!
We arrived at Ebe's before noon on Sunday. The place was clean, quiet, inviting. We had some amazing beers, mouthwatering food, chatted with the other patrons and staff, and genuinely enjoyed ourselves. We came back later for dinner and I'm still stunned by the experience. Again the food is amazing, the beers were just fantastic. Then the fun started.
The owner, Chris Lively, treated us to an amazing selection of rare beers including some Westmalle extra, some Chimay grand reserve 1999, a russian river bottle line-up, and some innovative blended beers made up on the spot by Urbain of De Struise. From what I understand, Chris is known for his passion, generosity, and amazing beer blending skills and we were not disappointed!
I understand now that the Saturday session, late at night, in the midst of a belgian fest, was probably very taxing on the facilities and wait staff and likely not indicative of a normal night of operation - coupled with the long trip - I'm not judging Ebe's on our Saturday experience.
I guess there are some atmosphere improvements I'd like to see. More comfortable chairs in the dining and porch areas. I think the carpeting should be replaced with something easier to clean, it felt kinda sticky at the end of the night. And I know the mosquitoes were unusually active due to the rain and you're doing your best, but perhaps the screen doors could be improved a bit or something.
My only other complaint is that with the De Struise guys (who are really nice and a lot of fun) around, I really wanted to try their beers but I didn't see any on tap and didn't notice any bottles for sale(though perhaps I missed them). Our crew got psyched up for their beer, most had never had it, and we left a little unsatisfied in that respect. But as I understand it their beer will be served with a special dinner later in the week so I understand holding off on serving until then. Just wish we had some. And you know what? It could just be that we never asked! How embarrassing for us.
Complaining/feedback aside, I am still in awe at what a wonderful time we had there. I'm aching to go back. Earlier in the day while seated in the bar area I felt perfectly at home and didn't ever want to leave. Then later Sunday night we experienced what makes Ebe's truly unique. To top it all off we were back at Ebe's around 10 AM Monday morning tasting lambics and blending beer with Chris and the Struise guys.
Chris thank you for a wonderful time and for being so generous!
08-26-2008 15:56:43 | More by snafui
4.72/5 rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Well- I don't know where to start. Vacationed in Maine, about 15 minutes from here a week ago. It was on my radar from the get-go and I made the most of it. My wife and I went 5 times during the week. It is that good. We went with the kids for lunch and dinner and we also got to go out and hang at the bar a few nites because we had a sitter.
First of all- the selection is that good! The number of draft beers that I had never seen on draft before was amazing! Not to mention the coolers full of amazing bottles (no beer list available to me as they were re-doing it- kind of a pain in the ass, but the waitresses and bartender (Dianne) were great.)
I tried - (and forgive me but I cant remember all)
Cantillion St. Lamvinus, vigeronne, and lou pepe
St bernardus dubbel and tripel
de glazen saison
De Ranke XX
and that was just draft
Also had Kreik de Ranke, Struiselensis, Fantome printemps and more.
We even got my wife to drink some funky stuff!! (although she loved the St Bernardus Witte on draft)
The food was good, as well. The steak tips are amazing and everything else was very good. The kids liked their food, too, and it was great for my son who has a peanut allergy. Pizza was great to pick on at night.
All and all, a really cool place- a bit small in the bar area, and when it gets crowded you may have to wait a bit. But those are hardly worth complaining about. I can not wait to get back up there again. Hoping to return for the Belgian fest at the end of the month!!
08-04-2008 18:36:23 | More by DrDogbeer
4.9/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Everything anyone else has said about this unbelievable place is absolutely true. The beer list is just unparalleled, Chris's generosity is unbelievable, and the entire experience bordered on surreal. Some of the highlights of our trip included:
Russian River Supplication
Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise 2005, St. Lamnivus, and Vingeronne
Fantome La Gourmand
a blend of Boon gueueze and Cantillon lambic (I think) done by Struise
Brooklyn Black Ops
We were planning our next visit on our way out the door that night. Spectacular. Make sure you let Chris know you're coming and ask for him when you get there.
07-29-2008 22:43:16 | More by JohnQVegas
4.83/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
To say that I had high expectations for this place would be an understatement.
To say that myself and three friends based the location of our annual kayaking/golfing trip on the proximity of Kezar Lake to Ebenezer's is somewhat embarrassing, but true. A lofty reputation indeed.
When all was said and done, we were blown away by everything about this incredible beer oasis in the most random/desolate (if not absolutely beautiful) of locations.
I will leave out the various descriptions of the atmosphere since other reviews have covered that area well. This will also allow me to focus more on my individual experience.
The first words blurted from my mouth when greeted by our amiable waitress on a Sunday afternoon was "Do you have any Black Albert in stock"? She claimed that she was not sure and that she would check. She proceeded to take my back up order (St. Lamvinus, poor me) which was brought to the table along with the other drinks promptly. About 5 minutes later Chris showed up with two bottles of Black Albert in his hand. He then poured a round for our table and explained the wonder that is indeed Black Albert.
Um, it was pretty damn good. We then chatted with him for a while and barraged him with questions. Throughout this time he would disappear and reappear with all sorts of treats that I have not had the honor of trying before (Cantillon Cuvee de Champions, Fantome La Gourmand, and a special west cost DIPA that shall remain nameless to name a few).
In between sips, some sample questions included:
"How in the hell do you get this stuff?"
"Why this location?"
"Do you offer lines of credit?"
I'll let you visit yourself to find out the answers and ask your own.
Needless to say, we were amazed by the great and rare beer we tried and the hospitality of Chris. Here I thought I was a beer geek, but damn, Chris lives and breathes beer. Amongst all this I enjoyed a great lobster roll and a nice piece of blueberry pie. When in Maine...
A few more subsequent visits throughout the week would prove just as amazing. We were treated to some great beers. Chris's love of sour beers is very apparent and we partook in some truly unique ones.
Struiselensis is one of the most amazing and complex beers I have ever had. Sour goodness! Chris is to thank for the recommendation.
We were even treated to having a tour of his beer cellar (along with more amazing samples).
I cannot say enough about Ebenezer's. It was the most unique beer bar and overall bar experience I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
From the rare beers hardly never found in the country, great hospitality by Chris and the rest of the staff, and the food (Chimay burger!) make this place one of a kind and a MUST VISIT for any serious beer drinker who can make it there. Well worth the 7 hour drive from the Hudson Valley.
The only downside: We missed the upcoming Belgian beer fest by a little over a month. Drat!!
It is safe to say my fellow travelers had the same feelings as well. Indeed, we will be back next year.
07-17-2008 21:42:58 | More by belhav0322
4.9/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Recently my wife and I visited Ebenezer's with some friends of ours. Need less to say we had a &^%$#@! blast!! Chris, Jen and the staff were awesome. I was amazed at the beer selection. I was especially pleased with the Black Albert Chris shared with us, very, very good. I'm a big fan of Stout's and think this is one of the best I've ever had at 13%. The food was awesome as well. I've had several dishes during my visits and haven't had a bad one yet. The last dish I had was the prime rib, what a meal. If you ever get a chance to visit Ebenezer's make sure you do. You won't be disappointed. Chris and Jen are about the best Hosts you'll find.
07-10-2008 01:58:50 | More by 05Harley
4.9/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Rode into town in a pouring rainstorm to try this place for the first time.
This place is a bit off the beaten path, but still close enough to North Conway to get your ass up there. Ebenezer's is on a side road off of route 5 right next to a golf course. Coming north on 5 there will be a sign noting where to turn, and then its only 3/10ths of a mile.
The place doesn't look like much from the outside, kind of a bar inside a barn kinda thing. Inside there are 3 seating areas: a patio as you first walk in, seating inside, and a bar tucked off in the right corner. I sat at the bar and studied the tap handles for a bit, there were between 20-30 and not a BMC to be seen. Off to the right side of the bar is a cooler with LOTS of bottles.
There were 2 menus on the bar in front of me a food menu and a beer menu. The beer menu was larger I think. The beer menu is full of rare and vintage brews from all over the world. The food menu had your standard pub fare and also "real" food.
I had a Chimay burger that was great and a couple of beers that were as well.
I can't say enough good things about this place, the food, the beer, the service, everything was awesome. I hope to return soon and sample some more from this fine establishment.
06-22-2008 14:06:58 | More by johnnnniee
Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub in Lovell, ME
100 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.