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Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

63 Ratings
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 13.04%
Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 81
Beer Avg: 4.1
Taps: 35
Bottles: 700
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

112 Pleasant St
Brunswick, Maine, 04011-2207
United States
phone: (207) 373-1840

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: ToasterChef on 07-03-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Burt
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%

Walking up to the front door they have empty beer bottles on the window sill. Walked straight to the bar that was covered in copper. About 12 seats at the bar and another 20 or so at tables in back of the bar. Big chalkboard with 35 beers that are tap. Awesome selection to choose from. Two coolers that are fill with and assortment of great beers. They separated by shelving, on the bottom with liquor and rack and hanging rack for glasses.

Top notch beer that was served fresh.

Service was top notch, bartender/manager/owner (not sure) was very informative and attentive.

Had the steak tips that were good.

Prices were high but worth it.

Took a 1 hour and half ride up from where we were vacationing and was happy we did. Prices were a little high but worth what we got. Reminds me a little of another great beer bar in Maine. If you are in the area a most visit.

Burt, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of beerfan99
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%

While vacationing in Maine this summer, I decided to make a special trip to this place, after reading all the positive reviews. When I visited, they had 35 beers on draft, mostly belgians, and an extensive bottle list. The draft list had prices, while the bottle list did not. I decided that there was plenty on draft that I was interested in, so I didn't inquire about any of the bottle prices.

Since I was in Maine and hadn't had any Allagash yet, I was pretty much only drinking Maine Beer Company Zoe and Peeper, I decided to have a Victor, Victoria, and Black. For dinner, I ordered one of the chicken dishes, which was incredible and one of the best meals I had on the trip.

The service was great, did I mention the bar tender was wearing a Dissident shirt. The bar tender was very knowledgeable about all the beers and stopped by our table a couple times to talk about beer. The fact that I was wearing a Hop 15 shirt probably indicated that I like beer. By the way, the restaurant has a huge Hop 15 logo behind the bar which is really neat. Their decorations are pretty much all beer related. They have huge pictures of the Stone Gargoyle and Pliny the Elder hanging on the wall, not too mention hundreds of rare beer bottles lining window sills.

Overall, a very cool place that I look forward to going to next summer. Definitely worth seeking out, especially if you are in the neighborhood.

beerfan99, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%

Came in here a couple nights before going to Eb's Belgian Feast for a few beers. I had a Pannepot Wild, Oxbow Farms Pale Ale (I was told it was the first keg of beer from that brewery anywhere!), and a Stillwater Debutante.

All the beers were fantastic and they had a ton of very solid Belgians on the list. They had quite a few good Belgian bottles as well including Cantillon, Drei Fontinen and Fantome.

There was a live band doing classic rock covers, I chatted with Ryan I believe and he was super friendly and knowledgable, the waitstaff had great recommendations and the bar itself had a ton of cool signs, bottles, etc.

Really this was one of the best bars I've been to period - if you're ever in the area be sure to check it out!

kingcrowing, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Cmack15
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

I finally decided to review this place after my second visit, because my first visit was so close to the opening. I wanted to see how this place would develop and become. I really like all the posters and beer paraphernalia on the walls. The two hop vines growing outside were also a nice touch. the beer selection was simply amazing, over 30 quality beers on tap and not one let down. The food was great also, we had the cheese plate and some Belgian frites. Our server was awesome she knew the beers and was really cool about explaining the beers and showing us which bottles she had in the case. Definitely a beer destination. can't wait to go back for another visit.
Cheers
Cory

Cmack15, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of bkett01
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%

Decided to break up my week at a lake house in Maine with a visit to the Lions Pride. It was worth it.

At least a half dozen hop vines grow along the otherwise unimpressive exterior of the building. We stepped inside and were seated at a table near the bar with nice views of the 35 tap lines, bottle refrigerators & glassware collection. A quick glance at the ceiling confirms that this was at one time a Chinese restaurant. The walls are painted in bright colors with a nice array of beer art (from paintings to tin signs) and the karaoke stage rotated through 5 or 6 musicians of varied talent taking advantage of open mic night.

Not surprisingly there were many good choices on tap and I enjoyed a Big A IPA & De Ranke XX Bitter. The waitress/bartender was very knowledgeable and helpful in recommending bottles and explaining any questions we had. She was a bit overworked though and could’ve used some help despite the fact that it was only a Tuesday night. Others reviewers have done more justice to the beer selection, but suffice it to say there is plenty of beer menu to be studied.

I had the fish & chips and the wife had moules frites. Both were good (not great).

Prices were in line with what you’d expect for beers of this quality. So the tab added up quickly but we had a great time. If you’re traveling anywhere near the area it is worth a stop. Nice to see a place as successful as Ebenezer’s begin to expand into new beer bars. I hope to see them open even more in the future.

bkett01, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of MacQ32
4.83/5  rDev +5%

We stopped here on my annual trip back home after hearing that it was part owned by the owners of Ebeneezer's (In Lovell). The Lion's Pride boasted 35 taps of both foreign and domestic craft brews (probably 70% foreign). The bartender (Ryan, I think) was of course extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Aside from the awesome service and beer, the food was nearly equally as good and was reasonably priced for the quality. We arrived at after lunch but before dinner so there were only a few parties other than ours. I would definitely recommend this to any one seeking some rare and delicious beer and a friendly bartender who is willing to guide you to a beer that you might like if unfamiliar. Awesome!

MacQ32, May 22, 2011
Photo of syrupjoe
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%

Per the recommendations of many awesome BA's, I made this place a high priority on my short visit to Maine. I went with a large group of people - beer geeks and non-beer geeks - and everyone had a blast. Ryan (our server and the manager) gave interesting but brief explanations of brews to the people who didn't know/care about beer and was more than willing to geek out with the geeks. We didn't get any food so I can't comment on that. Not cheap by any means, but there was a "Bowdoin Special" beer for those who wanted to drink for cheaper and didn't necessarily care what they drank. I had never heard of most of the beers on their tap list (apparently they often get keg quantities of one), but really liked a lot of what I tried. Great selection, cool environment, and great service. The most unique beer I tried - the "Silly Saison" - tasted like delicious raisin bread.

syrupjoe, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of higgsmax
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%

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!

higgsmax, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of 1100
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

Read about the place here on B.A. and was up that way over Christmas holiday and gave it a try. The Lion's Pride is in Brunswick Maine, a small town not far above Portland. The building is nice but nothing too fancy. The beer selection is awesome. 35 beers on tap plus 100's of bottles. The bartender, I think her name was Leigh, was very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding a couple of relative newbies into the world of quality Belgian beers. Although we didn't try the food the menu was way above the typical bar offerings, and the offerings we saw looked great. This place is a SERIOUS beer bar that is also a restaurant.

My brother and I had a wonderful time there and will definitely return when possible. The bartender Leigh from Richmond was a bonus.

You will like The Lion's Pride if you like good beer and a good place to enjoy it.

1100, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of bishopdc0
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%

I have been to the Lion's Pride a few times and every time it has been exceptional. On my most recent excursion I along with a few buddies of my spent a good amount of time and money exploring the large and unusual selection. Unlike Ebenezer's and its large Belgium selection the Pride has a variety of beers including a Norwegian IPA, a Japanese Stout and some rares from breweries around the country.

The service was top notch, the two bar tenders were very helpful, at each new round we described a beer we wanted based on taste and we the 4 of us all got 3 rounds, 12 different beers and each was perfectly suited from what we wanted.

The food well not at the same at the beer was very good. A modest selection of food but each item we received was well executed and tasted great.

I would highly suggested this place and I am pleased to see another beer bar in maine with such a high caliber.

bishopdc0, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of twelvsies
4.14/5  rDev -10%

Been to the Lion's Pride up in Brunswick several times now. Kind of tucked away amidst other random shops on Pleasant St - look for the baby blue house-like building. Cool interior - a couple dining rooms and a nice L shaped bar. As others have mentioned, tap handles are made of blown glass, rather than traditional brewery tap handles, and the beers are listed on the chalkboard above. Looking around, you see lots of emptied bottles up on the wall and as flower vases on tables - many of uberbeergeek caliber, such as J&J, Kate, Darkness, etc.

Unfortunately, I didn't see too much out of the ordinary that was actually for sale. In fact, they didn't have a beer list at all. Don't get me wrong, there's a good selection - just no list. There are two glass coolers behind the bar and "what you see is what you get". Some Cantillon, Fantome, Struise, but nothing outrageous. I asked if there was anything off-menu of interest, but no dice... Maybe you have to be in when the owner is there, or know somebody. They do have some nice draughts though. Nice Belgians, decent selection of American brews and a couple aged things, which is cool. The only problem is I've been in several times in the course of 4-5 months and I see very few changes in the draught list, which kind of surprises me. It's cool that they have Wild Pannepot on tap - but I'm not going to order a $14 beer everytime I go in. Would like to see more variety. I hear they have events - maybe I will try to head up and catch one of those to see what else they have to offer.

The bartenders are great - once they find out you are into beer they are very willing to shoot the shit and give you tastes n such. Actually, I don't know why I said "they", because it's been the same guy every time I'm in. Anyway, looks like they hire people who are way into beer.

Is this a cool beer bar? Most definitely. Some interesting draughts and a good overall vibe. But is it a world class beer bar as advertised? Not really. A great spot for sure, but I can't help but feel a "that's it?" sort of feeling, after having visited several times. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe it's the fact that they touted this place as "the #2 beer bar in America" and got everyone's hope's up for an on-site Struise brewery, which did not happen. I haven't been to Ebenezer's, and I'm sure it's all that and a bag of chips, but it seems like people are lumping the Lion's Pride in with it by association, and I just don't see it. Nevertheless, great to have another quality beer bar not too far away. I will try to make it up some time when they are having a beer event so I can see the place in it's element.

twelvsies, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of slander
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

Still hiding from work not far enough away and running out of days to play. Bunk, Saco, Portland and points north from Freeport, this is oh, so stupidly convenient to where I'm playing this side of the state of Maine. Making my way slowly up the coast to Belfast, but I think I can work two beers and out into my day. Hunting for the pride, a standaloney streetside that used to being something else before the this. Low key and not calling out at me, deserving of the passing by I gave it before turning around to come back...

Was somewhat hoppy this Tuesday evening past and now empty on a Thursday afternoon revisit at opening, still sure to cut the day short. "L" shaped bar, copper sheet topped with a brass foot rail, with seating for a dozen on backed chairs, at the far end of the far room. The barback is a center wood unit with slotted stemware hanging of configs; flutes, tulips, snifters, oh my. A Chouffe figurine sits below baby logoed snifters to both sides along with bottles random tucked, and random glassware, booze, sampler racks, etc. Lion statues above and a nice framed piece. Bottles and bottles housed in a 3 door glass front cooler on one end, and a single to the other. On the side wall, a looong row of 35 taps with blown glass handles all swirly colorful on a long wood box, copper sheet panel atop and drain. Long horizontal split blackboards above list tap selections, and glassware housed below in boxed framings.

7 square tables away from the bar, with fabric chairs and matched shared benchings on 3 tables to one side. Red walls with a single flatscreen mounted, and brewery tins, trays & signs mostly Belgian, but an American micro piece here or there. Through to the front room, a space with 15 round & square tables sporting dry flowers in bottles and a corner brewroom for someday collaborations or guestings. Plank wood floorings and drop pressed tinesque ceiling tiles painted gold with a painting on center of a sprawling dragon holding an Ebeneezer's chalice. A collection of large mixed shaped plank brewery logo paintings (Fantome, New Belgium, DogFishHead, Cantillon, Port Brewing, Surly, Stone, Allagash, Boskeun, Orval, Brooklyn, Mikkeller, Pliny, Bieken, and the Pannepot people, too) between the 2 rooms. And out the other side to a small rear sun room holding another 9 tables. Its space done in walls painted red & yellow, adorned with brewery banners. Spots throughout except for the sunroom wherest drop buttercup lamps be.

Foodings this afternoon, I started with a wish it could have been a bowl but was only a cup of the French onion soup, with cheese 'o goo and a chunk of bread so crunchy. And then the duck, herb roasted,crispy crispy, oooh, sprinkled with sea salt, all herbed up. Ducked the potato and doubled down on the vegetable medley of zuc, carrot, and beans green & yellow. It was real damn good.

35 taps, a real damn nice mix if I may type so. Roughly a 5:1 import to US craft ratio on my visit. A dozen + Belgians, a good few of them your unusual suspects (De Struise Pannepot Wild, Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, Straffe Hendrik Brugse Tripel, Glazen Toren Saison D'Erpe-Mere, 't Smisje Kerst, Alvinne Caper Fumatis, Houblon Chouffe, St Feuillien Saison, Urthel Hop-It & Saissonniere, Caracole Saxo, Podge Belgian Imperial Stout, Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Framboise). What else? Oh, 10 offerings from Mikkeller; 9 single hop varietals (Nelson Sauvin, East Kent Golding, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial, Nugget, Warrior) and the Green Gold. And another ½ dozen mix & match; a pair from BFM (La Madragore & La Meule), a few Germs (Bahnhof Berliner Weisse, Reissdorf Kolsch, Schneider Weisse) and a lone Scotsman (Brewdog Paradox). The remainder a mix of craft near (Allagash White) and not (Sierra Nevada Bigfoot & Pale Ale, Stone Ruination & Sublimely Self Righteous, Eel River Amber). I drank the Pannepot Wild, Mikkeller Nelson & Cuvee Des Jacobins the 1st time out, and the BFM La Mandragore, Mikkeller Green Gold & Bahnhof Berliner Weisse the 2nd time out. The Pannepot Wild & Cuvee Des Jacobins were stellar. I felt so bad for you not being me at that moment. It passed quickly.

And a sick bottled list, too, maybe 250 entries. Very Belgian heavy (Cantillon, Fantome, Fonteinen, Dupont, De Proef, De Ranke, Hanssens, the available trappists with the benchmark Orval running a reasonable $10, Panil vintages, big bottle 1.5L magnums, 3L Jeroboams, the 6L Methuselah & 9L Salmanazar, and other wonders of crazy), and some US, UK & beyond for effect.

Caught Zac the other night, and Ryan today, with his new bride, Leigh (congrats, kids). Nice folks, and a good educated staff overall. We've been talking beer for hours now (Really? You dig the Fou Foune? It's okay I suppose but it's no Iris, is all I'm sayin'). Beer selection was excellent, as was the care & the know, and I caught a great meal. Went for lunch and stayed 4 hours. All the Eb without everything that makes you feel dirty.

slander, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of sogrady
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%

When your only complaint about a venue is the building's exterior, it's doing more than a few things right.

The Lion's Pride is situated on Brunswick's strip just off of 295, in what was formerly a Chinese food restaurant as far as we can remember. The building shoots for something akin to a Tudor style, but ends up nondescript. Which is probably why I drove past it time after time after time. It was only after a trip to the incomparable Ebenezer's, while lamenting the remoteness of that location, that we discovered its sister bar was none other than the building I'd driven by so many times I'd forgotten it was there.

Since then, I've been making up for lost time, because the Lion's Pride is my favorite restaurant, no qualifier. Once you get beyond the exterior, the interior of the space is dark wood accented by a healthy selection of classic beer related posters, bottles and signs. The bar area, off to the right, is spacious and comfortable, and the copper top bar is a classic. While I've never sat in it, the restaurant area is large but open; good news since they regularly host larger groups down from Bowdoin.

The worst thing I can say about the food is that it doesn't live up to the beer. Which means only that it isn't world class. What it is is several notches above your typical pub fare, both in variety and preparation. They have staples like burgers, true, but you'll find a much wider variety on the menu from mussels and frites to Indian eggrolls to a big caesar to brie wontons. Everything that I've had in there has been very good, and I've been there enough to have half a dozen entrees at varying times. So the food is great.

The beer, however, is excellent. As the other reviewers note, the 35 kegs are all mounted into custom glass tap handles below a big board listing the drafts. The selection is tremendous on one visit, but what's more impressive is how dynamic it is. I've been in almost weekly, at times, and I never have to have the same beer twice: the turnover on their kegs is outstanding. The range of styles is apparent; at any given times they'll have on IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Dubbels, Tripels and Quads, strong ales, barleywines, saisons, brown ales and porters. For the less than adventurous in your party, they always have at least one tap with something basic. This week it's Stella, next week it's Anchor Liberty.

In short, then, it's a beer lover's paradise. One of my favorite things to do is to walk in and have the staff pick the beers for me. I've sent wine drinkers in here, and they walked away happy, having been pointed towards beers they didn't know existed.

Like all pubs, though, the Lion's Pride is a reflection of their staff. My first visit, I have to admit, my expectations were low. How could a small college town thirty miles north of Portland realistically expect to attract people who really knew their beer? They managed, as you'll find out if you're lucky enough to visit. They don't just know the beers they carry, they know beer period. They're beer geeks of the highest order, and they're only to happy to educate. Even better, they are to a person fun and friendly, whether you're new to beer or a BA regular.

Most restaurants I've frequented in the past had something wrong. The beer was good, the food not so much. The food was excellent, the service poor. And so on.

I can't find a similar flaw with the Lion's Pride, which is probably why I'm there a lot. Which in turn why I've been able to drink so many of the amazing beers on here.

If you're in or around Brunswick then - anywhere within driving distance, really - you owe it to yourself a visit. I'm just sad it took me so long.

sogrady, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of Durge
4.83/5  rDev +5%

First of all, when rating some of these items for the BA, I think it has to be said that this is, in some ways, a bit upscale in the scheme of things, such as price and atmosphere. While it is not, from what I saw on my one visit two nights ago, a social Mecca or a classic place to bring your party pals, it is in it's own fairly unique way, a one-of-a-kind, awesome beer landmark in the northeast. Inside and out it appears clean and presentable. Inside it is very welcoming with shiny wooden tables and chairs, set pretty decoratively with walls full of what I found to be highly enjoyable beer art, weighted heavily toward the Chimay side of Belgian legends. It is nearly an art museum of colorful, entertaining tin signs and posters and framed advertisements, etc. Very enjoyable to my eye and sensibilities and all presented tastefully with obvious class. The bar area to the right of the entryway is fair size but generally more intimate with smallish tables and a medium sized bar presented all with a flair for the artistic, pretty classy while retaining a warm and welcoming appearance. The tap knobs were hand crafted multi-colored works of beauty, apparently made personally by one of the head guys for Stone Brewing (hope I remembered that right). They were stunning with lighting set to accent the unique design and colors of each of the 20-ish+ taps. I would have liked to have just sat at the bar to enjoy this scene up close, along with the great beer, but this night was to dine with my family so we took a table in the barroom. The other areas of the restaurant presented neat little tables with similar general beer decor. But then let's get to the great beer. Awesome selection and an impressive range of imports and domestics, hoppy goodies, Belgians, Saisons, Barleywines, Sours, stouts, most everything. Sadly I could only have a couple. The Mikkeller Amarillo (ipa) and the Cuvee des Jacobins (sour red). Both were outstanding, presented in the appropriate tulip glasses, at the optimal temperatures, and fresh as you could ever hope. Delicious and nicely complemented by a great buffalo chicken wrap (very spicey!), and as others have attested, great "frites" served in a fancy vertical cornucopia with scrumptious sauces for dipping. Everyone was pleased with their meals. But, of course, it's about the beer and this place is to be unbeaten, although you have to accept that the level of beer quality here does demand, understandably, a high price tag. I won't bother to list all the beers they had on tap, or the similarly heroic collection of bottled beauties. Suffice to say it was one of the best selections I've seen. The staff was also unbelievably knowledgeable, and attentive. They knew their stuff and most all of them stopped by to chat beer during our visit. They seemed legitimately energized to have a fellow enthusiast on hand. And the icing on the cake, as I was signing my credit card receipt, I was given a free, near full glass of Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin IPA (not even listed on the chalkboard this night) which was one of the best beers I've ever had, seriously. What can I say but I have to come back here as soon as possible. Just set aside some money and have yourself an experience. And eventually they will add their own brewing on premises to the mix! These guys seem to have special connections with the likes of Stone & Mikkeller among others, so I can only imagine that it's going to be the most incredible beer place for many a night's travel! Don't miss this place.

Durge, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of berley31
4.83/5  rDev +5%

Finally decided to stop by for a night in Brunswick on the way to a weekend trip in Portland... all of the positive things I have read about the Lion's Pride couldn't be ignored any longer.

We arrived at around 8:00 on a Thursday. There were several people at the bar and a few tables taken, but otherwise the place was extremely quiet. Thursday is normally Gank the Goblet night, but not tonight. We sat at the bar... very nice place, beer posters and signs all over, a couple of very well-stocked beer fridges, and probably the nicest set up of taps I've ever seen.

The beer selection was awesome... leaning heavily on Belgian beers, of course, but there were some fantastic American offerings, as well as Norway, Germany, etc. I had no problems at all finding 4-5 beers to try over the night; if anything it was hard to decide b/c the tap list was so great. Probably more than 200 in bottles as well. We also shared a couple of appetizers (Belgian frites and some hummus), which were great... I'd love to try some more of the food on another visit.

The service was just as impressive as the selection and environment. Our main server (for some reason, I never got his name) had to be one of the most enthusiastic beer servers I've ever encountered. Very informative and willing to make recommendations, he also gave us a tour of the place afterwards and even gave us each a glass since the Gank the Goblet night had been cancelled (he and his wife, also a bartender there, had just been married that week).

Any complaints about this place would be extremely minor. The TV, which was very close to us, got turned on about 30 minutes into our visit, but I guess I can understand since it was the final game of the NBA playoffs with Boston vs. L.A. There was also a mix-up with the first beer ordered with the two people I was with, where they received the other person's beer and didn't realize it until a couple hours later when they each ordered the OTHER beer... but this stuff does happen, and I know the servers were pretty fantastic overall.

Definitely worth stopping at if you're in the area. Overall, great food and beer, fantastic staff, really nice atmosphere... maybe it gets a lot busier on the weekend, but it was quite quiet on Thursday and therefore very enjoyable.

berley31, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of ElGallo
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

I first visited The Lion's Pride back in October (after a visit to Ebenezer's Pub the same day) but waited until now to review this extraordinary place. I have no idea why Chris Lively picked this location, but there is a little slice of beer heaven in southern Maine that compliments its sibling in Lovell quite well.

I went to The Lion's Pride for the last day of their 1st Annual Belgian Beer Fest. While I missed out on the beer dinner, Allagash night, and the night of the lambics over the course of the festival, the staff had some great stuff on tap for the finale. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgable and friendly and always have a great recommendation based on your tastes. I won't even go into the details of all the stellar and rare beers I sampled that day, but the Cantillon Cuvee des Champions, DFH/Birra del Borgo My Antonia, and Kasteel Cuvee du Chateau stand out as my favorites. If you go, the burgers, mussels, and Belgian frites are superb.

Beer Education is a focus of the staff, and Ryan is by far one of the most well-rounded beer geeks I have ever met - there is a wealth of beer history, culture, and up-to-date news in this guy's head. Fascinating to say the least.

By far my favorite beer bar (along with Ebenezer's, of course). Seek this place out if you truly want to sample the best beers available in the U.S.A.

ElGallo, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of Oktoberfesting
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

This place is a real find. I've never seen such an incredible beer menu. The service is great. The bartenders could answer many questions with enthusiasm. The food is outstanding! You can certainly take any friends or family members who may not be really into beer here, and they will be very happy with their dining experience. Fresh and prepared perfectly. I've taken several friends there and everyone has been very pleased. The bar area is usually relaxed and fun. The restaurant area can be a little empty but that will pick up with time, and as they start to market events more I think. I'd like to see more notices about their events around town and online-- I think that would draw a bigger crowd. It looks like they've had some good ones, and the Belgian Beer Festival was certainly fun and memorable. Always incredible beer, great food, and a good time at The Lion's Pride.

Oktoberfesting, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of seanboley
5/5  rDev +8.7%

What a place! What started out as a quick pit stop to see an old friend on a long drive turned into a truly unbelievable evening of incredible Belgian beer.

I was initially blown away by how comfortable and quiet the place was. Considering the selection (see below), if this place was in any more populated area, the line would be out the door and around the corner. But thankfully (at least for me) this was not the case.

The selection would bring tears to the eyes of any self-respecting beer lover. We visited during their first annual Belgian beer fest so the selection was understandably skewed in that direction. They have 35 taps...each and every one of them pumped out nothing but exceptional stuff. We tried the Cuvee des Jacobins, BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, Allagash Interlude, Tsimje BBB, Cambridge's Benevolence and on and on.

The food was pretty tasty as well. "Pliny The Burger" did not disappoint.

The service was exceptional. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff. Certainly some of the best beer bar servers I have come across.

Only complaint - I wish it were closer to my home. Although, it would probably mean I would have to take out another student loan to finance the more than frequent trips I would take there.

Thanks LB and Ryan for an unbelievable time. Hope to be back soon!

seanboley, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of brewandbbq
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%

The sister bar to the world renowned and remote Ebenezer's, The Lion's Pride is also certainly worth the haul from all parts.

Hand-made woodwork fits up the bar area with custom blown-glass tap handles, a copper top bar, reproductions of brewing artwork, and vintage tins. Coolers stand at attention, bellies full of rare lambics and Geuzes.
A tap-spanning chaulkboard spills out a drooling variety of Belgian draughts, leaving one bewildered and thirsty.
Earthy colors, inviting woodwork, and warm lighting round out the interior.

The night we visited Chris Lively the owner was there presenting a night of Lambics. A variety of rare, hard-as-tacks and funky as farmyard spontaneously fermented beers were sampled including:

Upland Peach, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Kiwi, Allagash Resurgam Gueze, Red Framboise, and Koelschip with cherries, Jolly Pumpkin Bier de Mars Grand Reserve, Luciernaga Grand Reserve, 3F J+J Blau, and Millenium Gueze.
I also enjoyed a Brooklyn Flemish Gold and my wife had several St. Bernardus Prior 8 from the taps and were in perfect condition.

Our bartender that night was attentive, friendly, and educated.

As for the food, a plate of blazing, gooey nachos slid by us and looked amazing as well as authentic Belgain Frites.

Chris and Jen Lively have done it again with the Lion's Pride.
An incredible selection with world class hospitality in a gorgeous setting.

brewandbbq, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%

I have been frequenting this bar since they opened last summer. At the very begginning things were a little rocky as to be expected from any new undertaking. However it has since become one of my favorite places to be. I learn a lot every time I go and the bartenders are extremely friendly and very enthusiastic. I have been to beer 101 (the wednesday night tastings) many times. The selection of samples during these events are well worth the fifteen dollars they charge. I live in portland and much closer to novare res but routinely travel to Lions Pride as the atmopshere is better and the service and attention given by the bartenders is leaps and bounds higher. I feel very priveleged to have a bar of this caliber here in Maine.

mclaughlindw4, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of WanderingFool
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

In a nondescript building on a nondescript street in Maine is one of the most amazing beer bars in New England. The restaurant is plastered with posters from many brewery's and the large windows gives plenty of light to the dark wooden furniture. In the back of the restaurant is a brewing set up that sits unused. Hopefully some brews will start flowing out of the system soon. An amazing site that can't be missed are the glass blown tap handles.

I took a little bit off of my atmosphere score because there was a large TV in the bar area that was not on at the time of my visit. I'd prefer having no TV at all to eliminate the distraction from the comfortable bar atmosphere.

The day I was there was the beginning of their week long Belgian Beerfest. The list we received for these out of the ordinary beers was incredible. My only complaint about the Lion's Pride if I had to have one was that the list did not include descriptions. However, the well educated waitress knew about each beer and described them perfectly. Outside of the special Belgian beers their everyday tap list had many hard to find beers and local favorites.

Not to be outdone by the beer, the food at the Lion's Pride is also remarkable. Burgers made with Stilton cheese, Lamb burgers made with homemade ketchup, Quiche, Rubens, and several other well made dishes. The food list isn't long, so you may not find exactly what you're looking for, however the quality is very good.

Service is excellent. Our waitress was very knowledgeable and passionate about all the beers on the menu. She answered every question we had and attended to all our needs. I wish I could remember her name and find servers like her at other restaurants I visit.

The price of the beer is steeper than other bars, but take into account what you are drinking and the price is fair. Most of the beers on the Belgian list was around $8 for a 10 oz. sample. Some cost more for smaller samples and some cost less. Food prices were average. My burger and fries was around $12. Depending on the number of beers you order dinner for two could easily cost $60 to $80 before tip.

In summary, the Lion's Pride is worth the trip. Incredible beer list, tasty food, comfortable atmosphere and courteous staff.

WanderingFool, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Chowdahead
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%

As a Brunswick resident I have to say The Lion's Pride is by far my favorite eating and drinking destination in the area. It's definitely a can't miss stop for any serious or aspiring beer lover who even gets within an hour drive of Brunswick.

As other posters have mentioned the, decor inside is incredible. My favorite aspect is the hand blown glass tap handles which are very unique. The service is always top notch and the waitstaff and especially the bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable about the selections.
The food is also outstanding with the burgers being the highlight for me. Then of course there is the beer selection which I just can't say enough about. It's absolutely top notch and I have sampled so many beers here that I never would have been able to find anywhere else.

My only quibble with The Lion's Pride would be that the crowd can be extremely small during what I would consider normal drinking hours and I do have trouble convincing my non beer geek friends to join me there due to the cost of all the beers. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go into this place and have it packed so tight I can't move but I have been in there a number of times at 8:00 or 9:00 on a weekend night and the place has been dead with only a handful of customers which is kind of depressing. Like the previous poster said I think having a few more solid but lower priced beers on tap would draw in more of a crowd, attract people who weren't hard core beer lovers (or simply don't have the means to spend $8-10 on a 10 ounce beer) and improve the atmosphere a bit. With 35 taps maybe dedicate between 5 and 10 taps to quality beers that didn't cost more then $5 for a full pint then leave the remaining 25-30 for the premium beers.

Other then that I have absolutely no complaints about this amazing beer bar/restaurant. I can't wait until the brewery gets up and running!

REVIEW UPDATE 3/10/11: One year after I first reviewed Lion's Pride I feel I must update my review. My original complaint about small crowds and no lower priced beer is no longer relevant. Over the past year Lion's Pride has built an incredibly solid following and great reputation in the area. The place is frequently filled with great crowds even when other bars and restaurants in the Brunswick area are almost empty. In addition, they now consistently have about 5 lower priced but still quality beer selections on tap at all times for people who are not extreme beer geeks (yet). Because of these changes my non beer geek friends now love joining me at Lion's Pride to throw a few back or have a bite to eat. I give 100% of the credit for this extremely positive change to the managers, Leigh and Ryan, who are top notch. Great job guys!

Chowdahead, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of sprucetip
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

The Lion's Pride is a beer geek fantasy. I could just stop there. Atmosphere is comfortable and attractive, and many others have described it in detail, so I'll just leave it at that.

I rarely give 5's when rating beers or places, but the selection, service and quality are truly deserving. The service is what really sets this place, and Ebenezer's, apart from the pack. It is truly extraordinary. While we didn't get the full blown cellar tour common at Ebenezer's, the server offered quite a few more sample's than I asked for, and ultimately steered me in the direction of what proved to be the perfect choice, and one I probably wouldn't have chosen without his help (thank you, Zach). This was the Smuttynose Oak Aged Maibock, which was glorious. Though the bottle coolers are behind the bar, we were encouraged to go back and inspect the contents, as the bottle menu was reported to be in need of some updates. The bottles were served a bit cold, but I'm not docking the score for that.

The quality and selection match or exceed any place I've ever been. And again, though I'm scoring the selection perfect for the prodigious quantity of rare beers on tap and in bottles, I will offer one bit of constructive criticism of the beer menu. There could be a few more solid but not so rare or pricey beers available for folks who are not full blown beer geeks. There was SNPA, Double Simcoe, and Schneider Edel-Weisse, for example, which partly cover this territory. But for my girlfriend who is not particularly into beer, but occasionally enjoys a porter or stout, there was nothing along the lines of a Cadillac Mountain or Black Butte. She did enjoy the Peche Mortel, which is a truly great brew, but a bit of an investment for someone not crazy about beer.

The food was great and priced reasonably. I score pricing reasonable overall, and it is for what you get. But you will drop some coin there, as most of the offerings are very high quality and or somewhat rare or special. Bottles are priced about twice what you'd pay in a bottle shop, which is pretty much standard for a beer bar. A 10oz pour of Koninghoeven Quad is $8, for reference.

I look forward to visiting again!

sprucetip, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of Berue
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

I drove by this place probablly 100 times before I realized it was open - there is a "coming soon" label on the street sign that was only intended to reflect they were not brewing their own beer yet. Regardless, I decided to stop and at least peak at the place and was pleasantly suprised to find they were open for lunch.

The short and sweet is that this place has a fantastic beer selection with decent prices, fantastic food, and great service. Everyone was friendly and seemed enthusiastic about working there; probablly one of the best burgers around as well. I really can't think of anything negative to say about this place and that is hard to find nowadays. I'm anxious to see how their own brews will turn out!

Berue, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Stringth
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

Wow. Took a long time to wade through the CONSIDERABLE offerings and wound up with their last bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza Special Ale ($20 bomber)--'twas great. The wifey had a few pours of the Duchesse De Bourgogne ($8 per). We grazed on something tre'delicious called Lamb Lollipops and an order of yummy Quesadillas and were both happy campers. The two wait staff were very nice, attentive, and knowledgeable. Apparently they are gearing up for brewing--some Belgians will be over in the near future to get them up an running, after the owners navigate the miles of Maine-made red tape of course. I can't wait to visit again, maybe in a few days for their "Beer 101" series on Wednesday nights. Drop the prices a bit and it's nirvana.

Stringth, Dec 27, 2009
Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co. in Brunswick, ME
100 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.