Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 1,000
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
2.45/5 rDev -48.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3 | $$$
I guess I came to Ebenezer's with expectations sky high, and the fact that the owner wasn't present on the day of my visit probably didn't help the case either. But it started out well on a sunny Saturday at the end of March 2010; the place looked stunning from the outside, I loved the decorated walls inside and the woman that greeted us had a friendly, familiar aura.
The first let-down was that Chris wasn't there. The female bartender (his wife?), despite her friendly aura, just wasn't a beer lover; she admitted as much to a couple that ordered wine with their meal. The beer selection on draft was reasonably good, with a number of smaller Belgian breweries as well as Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter. However, they were out of Black Albert which I had come half the world for. Well, I thought, then I could go for bottles instead. That's when I got my big let-down. They only had an old beer menu, with about 70 types of bottled beer. About half these entries were sold out and the other half of little interest!
In the five hours I spent at Ebenezer's, which cost me $170 (incl dinner), I had not a single stunning beer (a few were good, most just OK) and I left the pub with a shattered dream. This was not the beer haven I had envisioned.
For a better beer selection, better atmosphere and more beer knowledge try the Novare Res pub in Portland - about an hour by car south of Lovell.
04-07-2010 11:37:05 | More by beeroverwithme
3.05/5 rDev -35.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Great selection of draft Belgium's you won't find too many places, except maybe in Bruges. Lots to choose from, with the true sour Lambics, IPA's, Dubbels, Tripel’s, Strongs and Saisons, you get the picture. The staff is somewhat knowledgeable, well, much better in past visits. The owners were not on site the day we visited and I think they were short staffed. I went with several friends to have some appetizers and some special beer and take in the Patriots game. It turned out to be a complete sh*t show!
Took at least a half hour to get a drink, by that point everyone was annoyed. The last time at Ebenezer’s we experience very slow service, but chalked it up as being in Maine, “can’t get there from here”. This was the straw that broke the camel’s preverbal back, I will not go back to this establishment unless the owner calls me to tell me he has just tapped a new keg of Black Albert and are not serving it until I arrive. Truly the owners need to hire Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue to straighten this place out. The bathroom looked like an old frat house bathroom I may have visited a few times, doesn’t say much for cleanliness. I always check the bathroom in a bar/restaurant, good indicator of what the kitchen will look like, never ordered food in fear it would arrive the day after.
We received a first beer, slugged it down as if we were playing a good game of quarters and paid the bill and left. As I see it, we would have spent all afternoon there enjoying the fine selection of beers and some food. They lost out on a lot of money, but maybe they don’t really care. Sorry Ebenezer’s, I won’t be back and neither will 12 of my friends. This visit took place on Octover 13th 2013.
10-15-2013 16:18:47 | More by BeerBellyBrew
3.45/5 rDev -27.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Ebenezer’s is a good beer bar. The beer list is first class (assuming the brews are in stock). However, I do not believe this is even the best beer bar in Maine, and certainly isn’t the best in New England, let alone with world!
We stopped in for lunch recently and were pleased (though admittedly a little underwhelmed, based on our expectation) with the atmosphere. It was comfortable, inviting and felt like any decent pub you might find. Not world class beer bar atmosphere by any means, it kind of felt like somebody made a pub-themed room in their house. There is an incredible array of Belgian-centric beer memorabilia throughout the place which was awesome to check out.
Service was fine but the woman tending bar was either not particularly knowledgeable in beer or assumed we weren’t – so she really took no interest in discussing any of our selections. After ordering a lambic, I was warned that it was going to be sour. Although I found this to be condescending, I tried to look past it and engage in a discussion about the beer - but apparently that it was “sour” was all she was able or willing to express.
Next I ordered a 't Smisje BBBourgondier (bottle) which was served ICE COLD. I don’t think I’ve ever been served a colder beverage in my life. I don’t expect my beers to generally be kept and served at proper temperatures… but when they are, you win my respect. If Ebenezer's is truly great international beer destination, I would think that some more thought would be given to a detail like this. I realize this brew isn’t from the show-off cellar but still, I did expect more.
They were notably out of several of the beers I attempted to order, including the Black Albert (funny how that brew is kept in stock at Novare Res just an hour away). Maybe if I was the type of beer drinker who knew that lambics can be sour they would have found one for me!
The food was standard pub fare. The frites were, at least, frites, but certainly nothing special.
Ebenezer's is a good beer bar and I am glad I went. I might even go back one day if I am in that area (now that my expectations in the right place). There is no doubt that it is possible to have a world-class experience here, especially if the owners are in and you avail yourself of their cellar selections. But you can have that at any number of places in the world and I disagree with the general notion that this is an elite beer establishment.
EDIT: Selection is rated 4 due to the unavailability of several beers ordered during our visit.
01-02-2012 23:04:01 | More by bceagles39
3.78/5 rDev -20.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Finally made it over to this legendary spot with my girlfriend in tow. Kind of a typical, rural, golf course side bar on first glance. Closer inspection reveals a wonderful tap lineup and even better bottle selection.
No doubt some great stuff on tap but it was a little frustrating that the bottle list seemed to be pretty out of date. Also a bit annoying that some of the prices aren't listed.
Wait staff was good with prompt, pleasant service. Beers were all in great condition and served very professionally. Food was also tasty. I had the veggie lobster wrap and my girlfriend had a burger and frittes.
Had a conversation with the very enthusiastic talkative owner. Definitely passionate about beer but also pretty full of himself. A bit aggressive in sharing his 'knowledge'. This kind of killed the atmosphere a bit.
In my opinion this place pretty much has fantastic selection going for it but not much else sets it apart in a positive way from so many other places. Worth a visit bit I probably won't return.
06-30-2011 16:14:13 | More by Cascade77
3.83/5 rDev -19.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
EDIT 10/11/11: The owner has reached out to directly to address the issues presented below (text below un-edited from original review). This simple act of trying to correct the wrongs says quite about about how much they care about serving the beer geek crowd and is enough to convince me to raise the service from a 2.0 to 3.5. I will reiterate from below: make sure you visit Ebenezer's when one of the owners is around. I'm fully confident that it will be well worth your trip, regardless of how far you have to travel.
Summary: you must visit Ebenzer's, BUT make sure one of the owners is there on the day you go.
Spent a nice Thursday afternoon sitting in the screened in porch and really enjoyed ourselves. Had a couple fantastic brews on tap (Cantillon St gilloise and wild pannepot) and a third that was undrinkable. Beyond that, the draft list was very very good, and they had some impressive vintage taps. However, as a geek, you go there for the bottle cellar.
In general I don't like to "bash" places in reviews, so the example below is simply that, an example. Just something to be aware of so that you ensure that an owner is there for your visit.
<start rant> Before I went, I sent a couple emails to try to set up a time when Chris would be around for a cellar tour and some recommendations, since we had a flexible schedule and I wanted to make sure he was there. Unfortunately, I got no responses so we went anyway. Since the owners weren't there, the servers couldn't get into the cellar. Even if they could, the bottle list is very vague with a number of things, including vintages. We had planned on spending all afternoon there and dropping some $$$ on bottles, but instead, my wife and I split a sandwich and had only one beer each before leaving (after leaving the 3rd beer on the table which was oxidized beyond drinkability). This was a huge disappointment after the ridiculous drive out there and having such high hopes. In addition, the servers were bitching about the other customers behind their backs, right in front of us. Makes me wonder what they said about us when we couldn't hear. <end rant>
All that said, Ebenezer's is still a world class bar. The tap list was easily one of the best I've ever seen. Seemed like correct glassware for our beers and the food was decent. I can only imagine that events like the Belgian dinner are unreal.given how hard this is to get to from the Midwest, it'll be tough for me to ever go back, though I would like to got back again, but only if I can make sure that one of the owners is around.
07-24-2011 00:29:01 | More by ChrisPro
3.83/5 rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
I finally made it Ebenezer's after a couple of years stalking their website. I happened to be in North Conway NH anyway, so we headed through Lovell on our way to Portland. The atmosphere is extremely casual, big picnic tables, belgian beer posters and paraphernalia everywhere. Our waitress was not very attentive, and the food was mediocre (moules frites, reuben and chili). The big draw, of course, was the beer. The problem is, the beer menu is clearly not updated with any regularity (waitress confirmed this). Therefore, it took a few tries each time i wanted a beer to find something they actually had in stock. They also clearly had many beers available which were not on the menu. This system may work well for a totally open-minded guest who just wants to go on a Belgian beer adventure guided by a knowledgeable owner (waitress didn't know much about beer at all). As for me, I already consider myself quite familiar with the category, and would like to be able to choose my own beers, thank you very much. All that aside, the beers we did have were FANTASTIC (Dupont Saison Anniversary Celebratory Edition, Val Dieu Grand Cru, and De Ranke Noir de Dottignies), and the selection included many rare and obscure bottlings. Being from Southern New England, I plan to just stick with Deep Ellum, Publick House, Moan and Dove, and Novare Res in the future. If I do happen to be in the Lovell area again however, you can count on me coming in for another round!
10-08-2009 15:23:01 | More by phipsi102
4/5 rDev -15.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A friend at work showed me an article in Beer Connoisseur Magazine. My wife is from Portland, ME and returns every year. So, I talked her in to making the trip from OOB to Lovell. The place had a very good feel. However, I think our waitress was a manager. She ripped into 3 employees 10 feet from our table for several minutes. I was not impressed as it was inappropriate to treat the girls like that. At the very least, take them in the back where customers cannot see that. Also, their website advertised Black Albert and Chimay Doree. I really wanted to try them as I'm a huge fan of Chimay and Black Albert was brewed specifically for Ebenezer's. I was disappointed that my first two orders were unavailable. In fact, the wait staff manager stated that she had never heard of Chimay Doree. She did suggest the sister beer of Black Albert, Out Black. It was very good and a great recommendation. Next year we are going to the sister pub, Lion's Pride. Overall, I would definitely go back and recommend to anyone. I ate the Chimay Burger and it was incredible.
11-10-2012 03:01:28 | More by bgfresh
4.03/5 rDev -15%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Was really excited to stop here during Memorial Weekend. On the edge of a golf course which is kind of weird. Small and clean, nothing too special. A little crowded, and there was only a couple people in the place.
Service was good, and very helpful.
The selection was nice but a bit overpriced. Granted, there were some gems on tap but not wowing. There were some high end bottles that were "ask your server".
Had a lobster roll, and I want to say it was $15 or so.
Got the tour from the owner, the guy seemed a little bothered by us. I could understand it if we had asked him to take us to the beer basement.
Overall the place is over hyped. Probably a one time thing for me. Glad I went though.
06-28-2011 03:20:27 | More by davey
4.03/5 rDev -15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
We ventured over from the mountains of New Hampshire. First time we attempted to visit we were 20 minutes away in Conway, NH on a Wednesday art dinner time and checked the website and saw it was "open year round", although when we pulled up, it was closed and only opened Thursday-Sunday. Conveniently back in Conway the next day after a trip to Mount Washington, we called and checked and visited after confirming they were open.
Small bar and dinning area attached to a house off of a golf course on a small gravel road. Tons of spent bottles of really good brews and brewery logo adorned gear on the walls. great views of the golf course from most angles. Tiny 8 seat bar and maybe room for 30 more inside. Outside deck and its picnic tables seats as much as the inside does. Quite cozy.
The owner wasn't there, so 2 of the rarer bottles advertised on the bottle list were unobtainable at that time. Solid draft list of 25+ options allowed us to order beers rarely seen on this side of the ocean, save for maybe Monks and the newer Farmers Cabinet. The 4 door cooler had bottles, most of which were easily obtainable in these parts, for even slightly better prices. Quite pricey.
Food was adventurous and the main plates were solid to spectacular while the small bites were rather hit or miss. Service was quite friendly and did try to help me out with obtaining some of the rare bottles i sought, even going so far as to call the owner. Its a shame the employees couldn't just access some of the bottles themselves.
Overall, a bit of disappointment in the way the bottle list is managed, but still a good visit to this landmark. Being in Philadelphia, i may be spoiled with the options we have here and may have erred in making the rare bottle selection one of the major points of my visit. When attempting to visit, make sure you check the hours and see if Chris the owner is on the premises.
10-09-2011 22:29:54 | More by rfgetz
Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub in Lovell, ME
100 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.