The King's Head

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

13 Reviews
Reviews: 13
Visits: 37
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: n/a
Taps: 35
Bottles: 6
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

254 Commercial St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4664
United States
phone: (207) 805-1252

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @kingsheadmaine

Notes:
Place added by: Panamamo42 on 06-30-2014

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 13 | Visits: 37
Photo of E190DRVR
4.24/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Excellent beer selection. The guy behind the bar didn't seem very friendly at all. Apparently, the only serve real food after 5pm. Appetizers only until then. At least thats what we were told on Saturday afternoon at about 3:30pm. (235 characters)

Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

A shorty long weekend between Christmas and New Year’s in Portland. There’d been some talk about the new player in town, fairly so, anyway. Mad taps, they say, right around the corner from that other place been. Used to be the Blackback guy, that there alone is enough for me to look in on it, I suppose...

Located set back on a pier you can’t park on. Enter and in, you’re greeted by the bowling lane slat topped wrench head shaped bar, with a wood panel base & phat phoot rail; seating for 27 all around. Taps taps taps everywhere; 3 on an upright in front of me, a barbell of 8, another 8, a 6 tap, a 10 tower, and a few more in the next room. Tiered booze over the corner taps and an expansive dangle glassware rack for stem, tulip, & snifter.

The walls in big brick with wood panel lowers all around, wood slat floors, & vaulted ceilings in black with matching ducts. Drop single filament softball bulbs tracing the bar and side room seating, and dangle eggplant bulb lamps throughout otherwise. A pair of horizontal framed blackboards listing tap selections in alt colored chalk on the back wall, a flat screen on the side wall with a board to each side with more taps and beer club info, and oddball beer trays. A half dozen+ 2-seat tables running an ‘L’ off to the side on shared benchage. Just brought in a bottle cooler for the filling soon.

The side room is a wine bar, with a baby horseshoe bar seating 9 and a baker’s dozen 2-seat tables in pairs mostly on shared benches, three sides around. A smattering of beers and a dozen wines on tap there.

I count 38 taps up just now, 1/3 of them from Maine (Banded Horn Norweald Stout, Allagash Dubbel, Saison, & Interlude, Gneiss Monolith & Obsius, Foundation Ember & Blaze, Bissell Brothers The Substance & Angels with Filthy Souls, Maine Beer Mean Old Tom & Another One IPA, Rising Tide Calcutta Cutter), and the remainder a mix of American craft (Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza & Bam Biere, Prairie Hop, Cherry Funk, & Christmas Bomb!, 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA, White Birch Hop Session, Evil Twin Femme Fatale Noir & Molotov Lite IPA), import (Amager Fusion & Sinner Series Envy IPA, Mikkeller Spontanrosehip & Crooked Moon Tattoo DIPA, Rodenbach Grand Cru, St Feuillien Saison, Petrus Aged Pale Ale, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Van Honsebrouck St Louis Gueuze, Paulaner Oktoberfest-Marzen & Original Municher Helles, Kapuziner Weissbier, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Thornbridge Medici Lions EBA & Jaipur IPA) and a lone cider (Woodchuck Out on a Limb BA cider). I drank the Bissell Brothers The Substance & Allagash Interlude ‘cause they are excellent.

Revisited a month later with Brophy, while Davo napped indefinitely (since 5 pm anyway). 10 IPA’s on tap, daaaaaaamn. A few beers (Hello, Bissell Brothers Swish, good to see you again, Allagash Confluence) and late night eats; I started with the tuna sashimi with maple drizzle & seaweed, and then Ricky hooked me for the duck fat BLT off the lunch menu off hours. Brophy took in the meat & cheese plate and a scotch egg. Yeah, um, no.

And suddenly, it was 12:50 AM, last call. Conversation just got real with a regular. It’s good time at closing time. Owner Ricky behind the bar both times I’ve been here. He certainly knows his beer game as he’s had the practice in Vermont. He’s a pistol, I got a good chuckle at his banter with the customers. Cool place. They’ve got a great ‘Andy Dufresne, just checking’ Raquel Welch Shawshank poster covering the tunnel to freedom in the bathroom. Music was mix & match but went old timey. Good crowd, there were some people here; a group from Chicago blew out and some young’uns rolled in. Excellent goddamn drink here. I’ll be closing this place every time I’m in town on a go forward. (3,785 characters)

Photo of ChaseBoat77
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

I've been here 3 or 4 times now and have had great experiences every time. Draught list is always full of great local beers (Allagash, Bissell) and the food is amazing. I hear they are adding even more tap lines (goal is to reach 40!). Atmosphere feels like it's been there forever; very warm, very inviting. The bar design really utilizes the space well, and the bartender and owner are very nice, knowledgeable, and personable. I've had the food, and it is exceptional. So glad this place opened up. It's my new favorite place in town, highly recommended. (558 characters)

Photo of jimpdx
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Amazing food and great selection. Kicked both kegs we were interested in but we tried a number of great local IPAs. Could use more dark beers in the lineup (155 characters)

Photo of thebeerbabe82
4.23/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

The King's Head is one of Portland's newest bars, and has opened without a lot of fanfare. It deserves a bit more acclaim. This place comes setup for beer geeks, with a selection that stands out even with other beer bars in close proximity. There are often interesting collaboration beers on - I had the Lemon Cello (HF/Siren/Mikeller collab.) and they also had Vermontoise, the De Blaugies/Hill Farmstead collaboration on, right next to some of Maine and the international community's best beers. While you won't see some of Waterbury's exclusive beers on like you do at the Black Back, their tap selection definitely as a distinct point of view and unique in the portland beer scene.

The atmosphere in the brick mill building is comfortable - sitting at the U-shaped bar allows groups of people to interact and to talk with the servers, who are talkative and helpful. There is lots of additional seating in a dining room area but I usually just go up to the bar. When they were first getting started, things were slightly rough (a few foamy kegs, servers learning the POS, etc.), but I was just back last night and things are great. The servers are attentive, knowledgeable, friendly and got everything right. Beer is properly served, well-explained and the worst part is trying to pick which to order.

The food that I've had there so far has been of high quality. Portions are satisfying and they're well done - I haven't been disappointed by anything. Also, they make their own beef jerky - yum!

It's leapt up into my top places I recommend for visiting beer geeks in Portland. (1,584 characters)

Photo of privateguy603
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

The Kings Head is relatively new to Portland. One of the owners Justin told me they were the former owners of the Blackback Pub in Waterbury VT and they sold to open the Kings Head in Portland. Waterbury's loss is Portland's gain.

The brew selection is outstanding, rivaling Novares Res for taps in both selection and diversity. From Le Vermontoise (a Hill Farmstead Blaugies colab to Dieu Du Ceil Roses D' Hibiscus to Bissell Bros. Baby Genius, they have it covered.

The food is also outstanding - from lamb burger, to a smoke rabbit pot pie to a perfect Scotch Egg, it was never a disappointment. Service was knowledgable and prompt. The ambienance is good - they are ktty corner behind Infiniti down on the wharf a bit off Commerical in the Pierce Atwood bldg.

As we were leaving Todd Alstrom came in with the BA contigent from Beer Camp so the word is out! Great addition to the Portland beer scene. (909 characters)

Photo of maddogg
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

First time in Maine and went here with capra12. They open at 1130, we arrived early but they let us in anyway. They have a nice selection of local breweries and actually put up a keg from bissell brewing that was just delivered since we haven't had anything from them. Lobster roll was outstanding and ambiance was rustic and earthy.
Bottom line, if you are looking for great food and drink. This place is definitely worth a visit. (432 characters)

Photo of capra12
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Stopped in while in town for beer camp.
Great local selection of brews.
Food was good. Love the grass fed burger with a fried egg.
My friends first lobster roll was great.
If you want good food and beer, drop in and you'll be sure to have a great time. (255 characters)

Photo of jperks18
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Kings Head is a great new place in Portland. It is set in an old brick building right on the water and we enjoyed the cool, comfortable atmosphere. The beer selection is a good mix of local, US craft and interesting imports. The food is very good, a creative take on English food. (280 characters)

Photo of cbone
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I had a great time at Portland’s newest bar. Their beer list was amazing; I enjoyed Cantillon’s St. Gilloise, Foundation’s Wanderlust, and Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel. The interior of exposed brick and wood offers a relaxed atmosphere and this hidden gem is right off Commercial St. Definitely check it out. (311 characters)

Photo of Tajmohol
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

You walk into a gorgeous wrap around bar with great english style food and 25 beers on draft. I enjoyed some IPA's and my girlfriend had a few different pilsners she really liked. The menu was small and well thought out. The staff was friendly and well educated about beer. I had smoked rabbit pot pie that was incredible. I am defiantly going to be a regular here. (365 characters)

Photo of venisonale79
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

What a great list. Cantillon St Giloise on tap Dr Struise Panneput and Motuecha
Great lineup of local beers including Bissell Substance and Banded Horn Green Warden as well as Maine beer company La Vermontoise Blaugies/Hill Farmstead collab was fantastic as was Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel w the smoked rabbit pot pie!! (317 characters)

Photo of Panamamo42
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Yes they do have $9 De Struise taps but they also had $5 Bissell Substance. They had Cantillon Iris when they opened three weeks ago and they will be getting another keg of Cantillon for the Fourth of July. I've eaten the Short Rib Pot Pie and the Fish and Chips and the Burger and all were outstanding. A very well put together draft list of 25 and with ten more taps to be added soon I'm told.
No fake poseur craft beer here. No shipyard or Sam Adams or anything like it
Lots of local breweries and great international breweries. It's in the pierce Atwood building on the water 50 yards from Infiniti. A must visit!! (619 characters)

The King's Head in Portland, ME
97 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.