Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.
Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev -5%
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.
07-20-2011 18:45:11 | More by bkett01
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
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!
05-22-2011 21:35:44 | More by MacQ32
4.94/5 rDev +7.9%
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.
04-18-2011 01:24:11 | More by syrupjoe
4.95/5 rDev +8.1%
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!
03-08-2011 19:59:22 | More by higgsmax
4.78/5 rDev +4.4%
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.
01-06-2011 16:26:28 | More by 1100
4.53/5 rDev -1.1%
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.
01-04-2011 23:32:01 | More by bishopdc0
4.14/5 rDev -9.6%
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.
12-01-2010 15:46:16 | More by twelvsies
4.9/5 rDev +7%
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.
10-27-2010 21:09:07 | More by slander
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
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.
09-14-2010 21:17:29 | More by sogrady
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
08-11-2010 03:09:00 | More by Durge
Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co. in Brunswick, ME
100 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.