Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub
Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +2.5%
Lost reception in eastern New Hampshire coming up on the Maine line but I'm pretty sure Eppi said he was going to meet me at Ebenezer's before the call dropped. And then no reception, no nothing, for quite some time until the sudden ding of a signal again somewhere on rte 5 south of Lowell. A quick redial and he says he's also on rte 5 somewhere, pulled over to make a goodnight call to the kiddies while he still has reception. Came over the next rise and caught him, parked. Followed me up and suddenly started flashing his headlights like a madman. What's he doing, we're still 8 miles out, he's slowing to turn, no, I couldn't have passed it, but yes, I did. Let's just say that it's not where googlemaps says it is, be warned...
Copper topped bar, angled & angled again, seating 7 with a copper foot rail. 31 taps in a row on a bar back slat wood box, plus 3 on a tower off the bar and a single handpump. Wait. There's another tap handle over there, I somehow missed the Delirium pink elephant tower, duh. Box shelving below with booze & more below, and 4 coolers on the end with old tap handles displayed atop. A pair of suspended boxes with bottles displayed within and glassware dangling from slot racks underside; one over the bar seating, the other over the taps.
White walls with wood slat lowers & the trim in pale green, in this light anyway. Lots of brewing signage, but its good stuff, vintage stuff, some stuff I can't get and I've been looking. Magnums in the front windows, and TV's at opposite ends of the bar. 2 hightop tables off the bar, and a side room holding 7 tables below rear view windows, strung lighting above. Far staircase to upstairs; 4 tables in a ski chalet like arched room with a deck for 3rd tee golfer heckling right out back.
35 taps in all; roughly 2/3 of them Belgian, 5 of them alone from Cantillon (Saint Lamvinus, Vigneronne, Rose De Gambrinus, and Kriek & Framboise '06, and not on the heels of a Cantillon event, but just because), and some serious goods in the other dozen and a half Belgian offerings (Eb's crazytown namesake house beer Black Albert, Abbaye De St Bon-Chien '07, Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, Oude Beersel Framboise, De Proef Signature Les Deux Brasseurs, Des Geants Goliath Triple, Ichtegem's Grand Cru, t' Smisje Dubbel, Val-Dieu Triple, Verhaeghe Echte Kriekenbier, Bacchus, De Ranke Pere Noel, Het Kapittel Abt, Scaldis Noel, Baladin Nora, Bruegel Amber, Balthazar, Ertvelds Wit, Stella). The other 1/3 a mix of the mostly micro (Allagash Fedelta, Brooklyn Blunderbuss Old Ale, Smutty Real Old Brown Dog & Wheat Wine, DogFishHead 90 Minute & 120 Minute IPA, North Coast Old Rasputin, Rogue Old Crustacean, Stone Double Bastard '05) and an import or two (Samichlaus Helles, Fullers London Pride).
The bottled menu is a riddle of disorganization, unreasonable categories & duplicate entries throughout (fix it, fix it now). They've got the goods but it's really hard for me to detail what's what without lifting a beer menu and I won't. At least 150 Belgian bottles, with very little fucking around. Nearly all the Trappists, but no Westies (for you anyway). A tight collection of Gueuzes & Lambics (Cantillon, Hanssens, Drie Fonteinen), 750's (damn, nearly a dozen offerings from Fantome), and other Belgian fun. A smattering or more of everything else, from light domestic play (Rogue, Southampton, DogFishHead, Anchor, Sierra Nevada), to vintage & obscure (Anchor OSA & Sierra Bigfoot '95-'07, JW Lees '88-'89, Gales Old Prize Ale '97 & Jubilee '02, A Le Coq '99), to magnums, to imports UK & Euro, to various stouts & porters. It's a serious list, and note the note, "If you don't see it on the menu, just ask. We might have it (wink wink)".
Started with the Saint Lamvinus, lovely, and then they cracked a De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva '07 for us. I mentioned the alleged beer cellar, just curious really, wasn't expecting anything, and Frank said, "You wanna see it?" Well, yeah, and holy shit. I was actually giggling in the cellar. I wouldn't tell you that normally but Eppi's going to talk about it tomorrow so I might as well get out in front of it. A whole lot of stuff that you can't get, don't ever see, or have never heard of. We drank a Struiselensis Pale Ale & a Bells Expedition Stout down there and just talked beer. Looked around some, reached into a random box and the beer I pulled was a Bass Queens Ale '27. Yeah, it's like that. Back upstairs again, Frank cracked some '88 Faro for the patrons to share, it did not suck.
I was coerced into having a chicken quesadilla (sans the olives, a known disgustinagin), it was quite tasty. Gracious hosts Frank & Hanna took excellent care of us, as Chris was selfishly away vacationing. The place is just maddening, I could do a whole lot of time here. Whoop, cell phone ding again, I've got a signal. Seems Karl left me 2 messages, wants to know why I'm 3 hours late for dinner, Ebenezer's.
06-12-2009 00:57:48 | More by slander
4.13/5 rDev -12.7%
Out of the way drive from Portland, I wouldn't want to do this in bad weather. Amazing tap list, good bottle list. The cellar, I hear its legendary but did not want to chance owner not being there if I returned late afternoon. Services very young and knew something about the beer, this lunchtime shift were not major league however. The place has a small feeling however there are many available tables and a large tentlike area outside. Very rare taps on, and I did what I could to have several higher alcohol ones. Hard to find on GPS. Small bar.
08-16-2012 23:26:13 | More by Sammy
4.7/5 rDev -0.6%
After a few driving miscues in the area, finally came to Ebenezer's. If ever there was a place well worth the trouble....
As one walks in from the smallish parking lot, one notices an enclosed "outdoor" dining area, which from there one walks into the small interior dining area and bar that is Ebenezer's.
Much like the Toronado in SF, the first thing you tend to notice is just how small the bar area is. I think there were maybe 5 or 6 small tables and chairs, with no more then 9 or 10 bar stools for bellying up to the bar. As luck would have it, I missed out on meeting Chris this day, who was in Brunswick, working on the Pannepot cafe. However, we were instead served by Hanna, who was more then capable. Hanna mentioned that she has a background in wine, which she noted has helped her working at Ebenezer's. In any event, she was extremely knowledgable, friendly and efficient, easily one of the best servers/bar tenders I've ever encountered in a beer bar.
As for the selection, it pretty much goes without saying that it was excellent. I started off with a glass of Brooklynn intensified coffee stout, which I quickly followed with a glass of Black Albert. The draft list had 32 different beers this day, not one of which was anything other then exceptional. There were three different Cantillion beers, 120 minute IPA and Palo Santo Marron, Samichlaus, and so on and so forth. The bottle selection was nearly as good, with an impressive selection of Belgian beers. Along with my Black Albert, I also cracked open a bottle of Pannepot (delicious as always, but also extremely fresh, from what I could tell).
As for the food.... meh. We got the frites, house salad and spinach artichoke dip, all of which were fine. There was nothing memorable about any of the food we ordered, and I suppose it probably paled (understandably) in comparison to the beer. Prices were a bit on the high side I thought, with the beers (coffee stout, 2 black alberts and bottle of pannepot) and food coming to around $70 with tax. One thing I will say about the Black Albert. Yes, they charge $12 for a glass here, but they give you a pretty substantial 12 ounce pour. I had seen this beer on tap at Novare Res Bier Café, where the price was $10 for an 8 ounce pour. So while prices are certainly on the high side at Ebenezer's, at least I felt as if I was getting my money's worth there.
In any event, this is an outstanding place that is well deserving of all the accolades. Certainly a must visit for anyone in the area who happens to enjoy good beer.
05-24-2009 12:50:54 | More by John_M
4.5/5 rDev -4.9%
Let me pile on and say Ebenezer's is a completely amazing and awesome place! Worth every minute of the 2 hour each way detour on our trek to KtG day!
What a great vibe! We were instantly welcomed by Hanna and Frank as the legendary Chris was out on family business. Throughout the evening we were treated like long time regulars. I can not say enough good things about the service, which was amazingly attentive even at the height of the dinner rush. We had some nice conversations with other patrons as well.
A look at the tap list and we were in heaven. Among other things, we had Abby St. Bon Chien (as good as advertised), Bacchus, Fedelta, Avec Les Bon Voeux, Les Deux Brasseurs, Cantillon Kriek and Framboise '06, Really Old Brown Dog and Brooklyn Blunderbuss. And of course Black Albert, which was the closest thing to a disappointment all night. It was not as good as we remembered from the bottle we had from Belgium last summer but still really tasty.
The chili and steak tips I had for dinner were quite good.
The highlight of the evening was the famous cellar tour, which exceeded any expectations. The first thing the 8 of us saw on entering the cellar was a wire rack with 48 bombers of Beatification. We got to share one, courtesy of Chris's wife Jen, as well as a bottle of the Mikkeller Striuse DIPA and some LaChouffe coffee liqueur. All while taking in the amazing sights (a bunch of 6L bottles of St. Bernie 12, Earthmonk bottles in various sizes, a bunch of Firestone Walker 12, what appeared to be a case (!) of Cherry Adam from the Wood, a lone bottle of HotD Dave reserve sitting in a milk crate...a beer geek's dream shrine!
We were still in good condition to drive the 2 miles back to our B&B but the staff, in a final flourish of awesomeness, will even drive you back to your hotel if you need a ride at the end of the night.
Update: On a recent visit, staff changes made the place a bit less warm and welcoming. Food was also not as good as it has been. Cellar tour still rocks my world, and the tap list is still pretty amazing.
02-18-2009 17:38:48 | More by sholland119
4.63/5 rDev -2.1%
It was great. Lots and lots of beer on tap, much of it rare or otherwise unobtainable, especially on tap. Lots and lots of bottles. Good food...including the amazing buffalo chicken soup. I tried to get a growler of it, but it was not to be. I visited this place with my lovely wife-to-be on our wedding trip, and Chris Lively, the owner, gave us special treatment. We got a private cellar tour and witnessed some amazing things down there, including bottled beer from the 18th century that apparently was owned by King Edward VII. Also, they have a German Shepherd named "Chimay." Do you love it? Otherwise, the bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, and inquisitive. We went during Maine's off season, so the atmosphere was subdued and intimate.
04-29-2011 13:45:02 | More by Rifugium
4.9/5 rDev +3.6%
Well, what can I say? Carolyn and I visited Ebenezer's with the intent of having "a few" and then heading off to points west in VT later in the evening...it never happened!
Impressed by the tap selection (~20 taps with plans in the works to double that number!!).... Just about something for everybody, plus some crazy rare Belgians and Domaine Dupont Cider (from France!!--Possibly the BEST cider in the world--IMHO) on tap!! We started off with a few drafts and then got caught up in the whirlwind that is Chris and Jen Lively---owners of the place.
Chris was on to our BA status right off and after that it was all over. With LOTS of chatting and LOTS of, "have you had that one or this one"---Well, by then it was after 5 PM--we arrived around 2:30 PM---we knew that our plans to head off to VT were over.
So, being able to relax we REALLY started to enjoy ourselves. Had a bomber of Thierez X--hop (a SUPER fine, big hopped and dry hopped Belgian style IPA) and then a 750 ml bottle of De Ranke XX Bitter---good but not as good as the Thierez---hopped with Hallertau hops and therefore "peppery" where the Thierez was more citrusy--what I like. Oh, this is a beerfly review not a beer rating!
So, on the night went and we enjoyed it immensely. Talking to locals and more to Jen through the evening. By 1130 PM our ship had come ashore and we could not go any longer. What a night!
I cannot give across the board 5's---No place is perfect, not even beloved Founder's or SelinsGrove! But this place sure comes close. I really enjoyed every aspect of our visit. We will make it a point to visit again for sure!
If you have the time and are anywhere near this place...like within 100 miles...and have the time to spend GO HERE! I assure, you will not be disappointed. Of the hundreds of places I have been to our experience at Ebenezer's ranks near the top!
08-07-2007 08:52:49 | More by Deuane
4.95/5 rDev +4.7%
I always imagined a time when I might be able to visit Ebenezer's and I was fortunate that this place was on the itinerary when fellow Ba's FooFaa and his wife Kristen and ffejherb invited me along on a roadtrip to Kate the great day. We decided to make this the first 'big' destination on the first day of the trip and were able to make the journey from PA even in inclement weather (we saw another vehicle that slid onto the edge of the road hanging with tires not in contact with the road). We found the place after first heading a little bit past the driveway.
We were eagerly anticipating the awesomeness that is Ebenezer's and strolled in to a fairly empty place wondering. We sat down and looked over the truly great tap list and perused the cooler checking out the interesting choices within. When we were seated and had ordered our first beers Foofaa mentioned that he wanted to meet Chris who came to our table in a matter of minutes and shortly after that offered to take him into the cellar. When he returned we were stunned by the fact that a gueuze from 1984 blended by Eylenbosch was going to be opened for us by Chris.
Chris was very much the host of the event that was tasting a beer that was over 25 years old - he explained the tradition of serving lambic in Belgium and carried out their wishes by carrying on the tradition which included 'washing' the glass and explained how you knew what type of bottle you were being treated too. I was captivated by the experience of sampling something put in the bottle and corked while I was only 11 years old - only the second time I have tasted anything with that type of age on it.
That alone was enough to give a 5 for service but later in the evening others gathered and the pub started to become more crowded. Chris explained in Belgium there is a tradtion that if you can't finish a bottle that you open at your table you are expected to share with the rest of the bar. We enjoyed some Cochonne Vapeur as a result and later bottles seemed to be appearing that I did not expect to have the experience of tasting. We were treated to an aged bottle of Three Philosophers, Mirror Mirror, The Dissident, Behemoth and this was in addition to the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and Brother Adam's Braggot I already enjoyed.
I found the place to have the best possible atmospher for enjoying craft beer - like being invited into a bar in someone's house and less like a formal beer bar situation. The quality is high and I was hoping the experience would not have to end. I enjoyed the Burger with Chimay cheese and the other food looked equally delicious. I did not a lot since I was saving room for ...beer.
The value is great- -I could not have asked for a more enjoyable experience. The tastes, the sites and sharing with other craft beer lovers was a real treat, not to mention the hard to come by in PA beers we tried. I can only echo the sentiments of the others before me when I say that you will not be dissapointed at Ebenezer's Pub - it is obvious that craft beer is the passion of this establishment!
04-20-2010 17:06:15 | More by Slatetank
4.03/5 rDev -14.8%
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
5/5 rDev +5.7%
When Beer Advocate listed the top 50 places to drink a beer, there was one glaring omission. Ebenezer's Pub should be in the top 10, if not Number 1.
Ebenezer's is located in tiny Lovell, Maine, on a back road off a golf course. If you weren't looking for it, you'd never find it, which would be a shame, because you'd be missing out on a truly mystical experience.
Out front of a house is a quaint sign of a Dickensian character. A flag announced that the pub was open. You're looking out over the golf course as you enter a screened porch. Nothing too exceptional there. As you enter the bar from the porch, you're transported to an Old World kind of place. Beautiful bar, some tables. Behind the bar are 15 taps, half of which are Belgians. To the right of the taps is a refrigerator with hundreds of different beers. In fact, Chris Lively, the owner, says he has over 500 different beers in bottles!
Since we were there with my sister and her grandkids, we sat on the porch on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and watched golfers take aim at us (the porch is right behind the 2nd green).Chris came out and introduced himself, and I put myself in his hands. I began with Abbaye Val Dieu trippel, which was wonderful. I then went to a sampler of some of the other drafts. Gulden Drak, Duchesse de Bourgnonne, St Bernardus Witte, and Leute Bok. All were served (including the Leute Bok) in the appropriate glassware. I finished the samples with 2004 Bigfoot. The final beer was a bottle of 1998 Bigfoot, a sublime experience. Chris had Bigfoot from 1997 on up, lots of Rogues, Unibroue, a zillion Belgians, and many, many more that I just couldn't take in.
Food was excellent, ranging from appetizers to pub fare to entrees. Fresh ingredients, well-prepared, and reasonably priced. While there's no kids' menu, our waitperson said the kitchen could make anything the kids wanted. Of course, they wanted hot dogs, but they could have had most anything. And, at least during the day, this is a place you could bring kids.
Chris is very knowledgeable and entertaining. He loves beer, and clearly wants his customers to feel at home and comfortable in his establishment. I can't rate Ebenezer's highly enough. It is a must stop if you're in the area, but I would also consider it a destination for any beer lover.
08-07-2006 12:01:29 | More by lordofthewiens
Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub in Lovell, ME
100 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.