Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
3.56/5 rDev -6.3%
Stopped by today for a pint...
BB looks pretty interesting from the outside, consisting of a good size, two story red building with an outside deck area. Inside it's your pretty typical faux Irish pub, with lots of brick and wood all around. The place has a very informal, relaxed vibe, and it seemed like a nice place to hang with a beer or three.
With regard to the beer selection, my 3.5 score is proabably generous. BB has 12 craft beers on tap, which includes the usual slew of macros from great britain (guinness, bass, harp and smithwicks). Otherwise, they had a couple of beers from Geary and shipyard, a samuel adams seasonal, allagash white and the long trail IPA (which I ended up getting by default). They also had around 20 bottled beers as well, but it's not anything anyone would ever want to buy or drink (bmc swill, corona, heineken, etc.). There's also a local cider on tap and PBR. To say I was a bit underwhelmed by the selection here would be an understatement.
Service was OK. I didn't get the impression anyone had a whole lot of beer savvy (but then, given the selection, why would they need any), but everyone was friendly enough. Prices were decent, with my IPA going for $4.25. There was a band playing pretty much your typical Irish standards on this particular day, and there seemed to be a fair crowd enjoying the music (which is probably the only thing that would explain the modest crowd this Sunday afternoon).
I don't mean to sound snarky, but it's pretty hard for me to understand the attraction of BB. Faux Irish pubs are a dime a dozen these days (certainly there are plenty of them in Portland), and I saw nothing otherwise on tap or bottle to distinguish BB from any other faux Irish pub I've been to. Can't imagine any reason why I'd ever want to go here again.
05-22-2011 21:32:23 | More by John_M
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.34/5 rDev -12.1%
Been here twice now, once on a weeknight and another on a weekend evening. The beer selection is decent; some of your standard Irish selections, and then some Maine beers on tap. Some bottles that looked pretty good as well. Didn't try the food at either time.
The difference in atmosphere and service varied widely, however. The weeknight we were there was quite slow, of course, and the bartender was friendly and informative, and the place in general was warm and inviting. The Saturday evening, however, was PACKED with people and it was extremely noisy. I know this is normal, probably, for a Saturday, but it was a much younger crowd... every couple there looked like they were dressing to impress the other, and trying to shout louder than everyone else. Service was pretty inattentive and distracted, as well, but could have been because they were so busy.
Anyway, worth checking out... but try to hit it on a slower night.
12-12-2009 16:11:32 | More by berley31
3.95/5 rDev +3.9%
Brian Boru is a pretty sweet little pub to hang out in on a random night but it gets even better when there is live music or some sort of event like Halloween or the like.
Decent beer selection, don't expect anything too crazy its pretty standard Maine fare like Geary's and Shipyard mixed in with some other decent stuff but nothing amazing and don't expect to find some hard to find Allagash offering.
Food is pretty standard pub fare but still good stuff especially for lunch on the weekends or a quick bite before a nearby Pirates game.
If you are looking for a generic "Oirish" pub in Portland you're better off going to Ri-Ra.
03-21-2009 02:14:03 | More by indiapaleale
4.06/5 rDev +6.8%
Stumbled onto this place after seeing a concert at Cumberland County Civic Center. Didn't want to try and get out of the madhouse parking situation, so decided to stroll around Portland and grab a drink or two.
We only had drinks since it was around 11-12 at night. The place was packed, which I imagine isn't difficult considering the small size. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, even though is was crowded, the crowd itself was pretty laid back and just having fun. Upstairs had a live band going on, which was where we stayed most of the time. The upstairs is pretty nifty with a balcony of sorts to look down on the entrance area.
There's a larger bar downstairs with the majority of the stuff on tap and a smaller bar upstairs with a limited selection. Because it was pretty popular, expect to be waiting in line to get a beer, especially if you're picky and don't want to get why they have on the limited bar upstairs.
I will caution that if you don't like smaller places (which also means places that are louder), this might not be for you. My girlfriend complained on the size and noise since it was difficult to sit back and talk when compared to some other traditional Irish pubs.
12-07-2007 02:05:04 | More by deltatauhobbit
3.56/5 rDev -6.3%
Brian Boru was part of our mini pub-crawl in Portlands Old Port area. It was easy to see this place from a good distance with its huge outside walls painted in bright red and showcasing a Guinness pelican.
During my experience on this particular Saturday night, the place was packed with people. We headed directly upstairs to check the band out. There was a pretty good band playing some funky/jam/ rock stuff. Most of the people were getting into the music, dancing and enjoying themselves. The atmosphere here creates a nice authentic Irish pub experience with various Celtic designs.
As far as the beer selection goes, my experience was pretty limited. My friend told me the selection downstairs is a tad better and more extensive. I think they have Allagash White on tap at the downstairs bar. There was around 10 taps upstairs and most of the beer was marco beer uninteresting stuff with the only exception possibly being Widmer Hefeweizen. Bottle selection is more of the same, but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was a saving grace for me. You can obviously bank on a fresh pint of Guinness too.
I was glad we stopped by for a little bit. We had the chance to enjoy some good live music with no cover, which is a unique experience living in Boston. Id like to return again to try the food when things arent as busy on a weekend night.
03-06-2006 00:00:37 | More by Hibernator
Brian Boru in Portland, ME
88 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.