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The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 23
Beer Ratings: 129
Beer Avg: 3.86

Taps: 6 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
very good

26 Ratings
Ratings: 26
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

115 Water St
Hallowell, Maine, 04347-1357
United States
phone: (207) 623-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coombski


3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

03-29-2014 00:38:17 | More by coombski
Photo of WallyJaz


4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

11-02-2013 19:39:54 | More by WallyJaz
Photo of PJK


4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25 | $$

The Liberal Cup, located just outside of Augusta, in nearby Hallowell, Maine, is a terrific place. For beers, I had the Ex-Wife Extra Special Bitter, while C. had Dunkel John's Band. Both beers were very much up to snuff. The beers at The Liberal Cup are well worth going out of your way for.

For dinner I had the meatloaf, rolled with bacon, garlic mashed potatoes and spinach. It was hearty and delicious, and we all enjoyed our meals. I really liked this place, not just for the beer and the food, which were both excellent, but also for the atmosphere. It's in an old mercantile building, like a hundred other restaurants in Maine, but the friendliness of the surroundings goes beyond that. The place was quite crowded with locals on a Tuesday night, and I took that as a very good sign.

If you're in the Augusta area you should definitely check this place out.

05-21-2013 00:58:39 | More by PJK
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

This is one of my favorite stops in Maine. Just outside of the capital of Augusta, it's pretty easy to get to from the highway. The place is cozy, and the dining areas are split into two sides/rooms, with the bar in the main space you first walk into. They do tours on request, and you can see some of the brewing equipment through the windows at the end of the main room. The staff was friendly and attentive, both with the beer orders and food recommendations. Very tasty grub to go along with some very tasty beers. People sometimes get confused by the list of beers on the back of the menu, which hits over twenty brews. However, on the walls there is a list of the current offerings on their 6 taps (including the cask), so don't fall in love with a beer on the menu until you check the current tap list. Great pub fare, as well as local offerings. The food choices border on comfort food, which is always great. Prices were very reasonable, and this is a great place for people to visit when in the area.

09-04-2012 21:01:13 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of smakawhat


4.05/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Situated in the antique district in Hallowell, right alongside the Kennebec is the Liberal Cup.

Inside you are welcomed to a very warm pub. The building seems to hark back to an older time, there is lots of exposed wood. Ceramic tankards hang above the bar for the regular patrons. Wooden benches, oblong tables, and warm corners abound.

The focus here is on simple but better than average pub food, and of course, beer. It delivers on all fronts.

Lots of the food items are beer centric, from Chicken in Ale, a break apart pot roast that was devine, to beer cheese soup which is real velvety, and plenty of beer battered and fried items (shrimp, clams, chips, you name it).

The beers are also real solid and inviting, and can take you away to a different place. They really picked the right beers to make here for the atmosphere, it suits everything perfectly. They only offer their own, with perhaps one guest tap, and maybe one cask, but who's complaining?

A great place to check out, keep in mind it is VERY popular. I tried in the summer with no luck, and even on a sleepy Saturday in November after Thanksgiving, the place was still quite busy. Give it a shot, but get there early.

11-27-2011 04:21:09 | More by smakawhat
Photo of SevaTse

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

Not a bad place overall if you're passing by, but I wouldn't recommend making a destination out if it. The beer I felt was average compared to other brewpubs in the region, and it was not as good as places like Portsmouth or a handful of places in Mass. For food we had beer cheese soup, for which they rotate the beer and cheese on a regular basis, so ours was cheddar and wheat. It was ok at best. However, the fried haddock was above average, but again- if you are nearby, good seafood shouldn't be that hard to find. Their entry in the Maine beer trail states that you don't need to go to England to experience the beer culture, well I wouldn't cancel any British Airways flights with this place in mind, personally.

07-15-2011 15:05:41 | More by SevaTse
Photo of prestoneb


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$

Atmosphere: The Liberal Cup has a nice pubby atmosphere. Warm, friendly and comfortable. It's right in downtown Hallowell, just a few minutes from Augusta. Surrounded by several Antique Stores, gift shops and stuff, makes very quaint placement.

Quality: I got the sampler paddle. Came with six different offerings on tap. Cassk-Kickin' IPA, Dunkel John's Band, (s)Cream Ale, Alewife Ale, Tarbox Stout and... Harp Lager(!?). Yes, THAT Harp Lager. The Brews were good. No complaints there. I'm confused though. It's a brewpub, but a quick BA search shows Cassk-Kickin' IPA & Dunkel John's Band are brewed by Run of the Mill in Saco, ME. Not sure if they're affiliated or not. Harp is brewed by Guinness. Apparently, Alewife & Tarbox are brewed by the Liberal Cup and were fine beers indeed. Though the Dunkel John's Band was my personal favorite.

Service: Good service. Nice and friendly waitress. Made sure I knew which was which on the paddle and everything. No complaints there.

Selection: Pretty average. Six beers on tap. Regular pub grub.

Food: I gotta say, I was pleasantly impressed. Great food, yummy garlic mashed potatoes, great serving size. It's always nice when a pub doesn't skimp on food quality.

09-10-2009 13:18:31 | More by prestoneb
Photo of babyhobbes


3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

I'm on my way home from my brewery tour of New England and figured I should stop here since I'm staying near Augusta. I can't say I'm glad I did.

This is clearly a locals-only sort of place. I was obviously not a local and so, was treated poorly. It's a loud pub, even on a Wednesday night, with lots of regulars screaming to the servers and their friends. The lighting is dim and everything is wood, with beer paraphernalia on the walls. It's a very nice-looking, cozy bar/restaurant. There is a Please Wait to be Seated sign, so I diligently waited, watching the hostess walk back and forth many times, talking to her friends, flirting with the staff...having some soda, before I finally asked her politely if I need to give my name or just sit anywhere. Then, of course, I got seated.

I started with a sampler paddle that included their wheat, stout, porter, bitter, lager and an amber. It was nice to see such a large selection from such a small place. I've been touring New England and even some of the larger breweries don't offer 6 taps. None of them were particularly good, but none were particularly bad. They all tasted like something you'd make from one of those extract kit boxes with no grain addition.

I would have ordered a pint of the wheat had I been offered the chance. Hell, I would have liked some water or some sort of beverage with my meal...but the server just took my paddle, left my dinner and then took off.

I had a fish sandwich, figuring I should go with something simple. It was like any fish sandwich anywhere else.

I wasn't expecting fantastic brews so, the average quality is acceptable to me. There are no other options in the Augusta area, anyway. Where this place really suffers is service. I sat for at least 20 minutes with no beverage at all. I tried to flag down some staff, even asking another server for water or a beer. She just let me know that I was not her table. I certainly wouldn't recommend this place to my friends, and even if in the area, I'd go elsewhere.

08-19-2009 23:50:44 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of kingcrowing


4.05/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

Went here for dinner and some beer after a long day of exploring Maine. Awesome end to the day.

I got their sample paddle with 6 of their house brews. Quite a selection for such small brew pub. They had everything from a Czech Pilsner to a Nitro Dry Stout along with a cask conditioned ale and a pretty solid IPA. All the beers were quite solid and fairly tasty.

On top of that I got the Down East Ruben, and interesting take on a classic sandwich with a fish twist to it. Very tasty and a good price. Also their beers all come in 20oz glasses so you've always got a nice big glass of good beer! Worth a stop I really enjoyed it!

08-06-2009 02:31:08 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of Yeastcakes


3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $

Atmosphere - Small and warm. The pub is on a nice small-town Maine main street. The interior has a low wood beam ceiling. It is a pub that is deeper than it is wide. A nice bar with some stools set away from the bar and the clay kilned mug-club steins hanging from the ceiling.
Quality - I had the IPA (The Old Hallow Ale - a nice play on the town's name) and an cask ESB whose name escapes me. The IPA had a nice American hop flavor and a nice IPA haze to it. The cask was a great room-temp English ale with a nice smooth bitterness and carmel sweetness. I sipped my friend's Alewife Ale and it had a wonderful spiciness and hop flavor to it.
Service - The pub was not that full when we came in but the server was particularly slow. Fortunately we were not in a hurry. The guy at the bar was very quick with the beer though, so it all balanced out.
Selection - They had six beers on tap to include one cask. The menu was standard pub fair.
Food - I got the fish n' chips - my standard pub calibrator. The big portion was a nice crisp slap of haddock on some nice chips. It was a great meal even if it came a little slow.
Overall Impressions - This was a great Maine brew pub that I will seek out if I am ever in the area. They have a great creative streak to their beer names and a nice, small-town location.

04-05-2009 23:52:57 | More by Yeastcakes
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The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery in Hallowell, ME
89 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.