The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery

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Based on:
23 Beers
164 Ratings
Place Score: 90
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: n/a
Taps: 6
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ 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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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 26
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Usually, we're Freeport one day, Portland one day, but Karl's heading to points north, I can tell. Won't give up too much 'cept he's heard about a place. I like these every year or other up north adventures, 'specially when I don't have to drive which is like, never. So I'm sitting back, taking in the Maine landscape 'til we arrive to lunch at the 'Cup, a rustic little place in a strip in a Maine town on the river Kennebec...

Ground floor room holds a shiny laminated twisted tree "C" shaped bar seating 14, set back to the left, with a brick base & foot rest; I put my feet there settling in at the bar. 3 tiered booze on a barback counter, glassware shelved below. Horizontal board above boasts "Brewed in Halowell, drunk in Halowell", and lists bottled selections (PBR, Miller Light, Harpoon Cider, Claushaler), and weekly wine specials. Old beer cans line the top of the board, brewery shirts displayed on the ends. Taps displayed on slat chain boards on center with "gallons remaining" marks written in chalk next to each one. Ceramic mug club mugs hang overhead, not many, but it's not about the quantity and you only need one anyway.

Wood plank floorings and ceiling over rafters above. Lots of brick play with cut throughs to the kitchen or somewhere. Old bottles line the trim along the ceilings, and displayed on racks & closed off window sills mirrored. A small semi enclosed dart area sits across from the bar, with a bar counter seating 3 just past there bellying up to a rear tiny hop lined glass front brewroom, old brewery signage, ads & trays (Ballantine, Narrangasset) displayed there and elsewhere. An angled bench table sits forward the darts, with an adjacent bar counter within a triptych glass window wall divider. Up front, 9 tables all sizes and shapes, high, low, crazy mismatched seating, something coffeetablish even. Through to the side room of brick & wood, a dozen tables some sharing common benchage. The room lightly decorated with coaster displays, annoying Red Sox stuff, and a large 1930 Federal census map of Maine in the side room (bad ass, I have 2 at home).

A single copper tower on the bar holds 6 taps, plus a lone guest tap (Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine) down on the end, and 2 horse & hound decorated handpumps on the bar up front. The 6 beer sampler paddle contained the 5 beers of their own they had up (Taxbox Stout, Alewife Ale, Brown Ale, Bug Lager, and a cask ESB) and the guest tap Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine. We all agreed that the Taxbox Stout was the best of the lot, and I also enjoyed the Alewife Ale. The Brown Ale was kind of weak though.

We didn't get to do food as we're Freeport bound and there's going to be a crazy chicken sandwich in my near future, but we saw some pretty generous portions being served to others, and it looked a-good. Friendly folks and a decent crowd. Nice, comfortable place for a beer, too bad we won't be lunching here but maybe next time.

***revisit 6 years out, the aforementioned lunch one day on the way up around the bend cutting the corner and out east.

I do the sampler, I always do the sampler, you know I do. 6 house beers served on a paddle. We All (S)cream Ale, a cream ale on nitro, some nice bitterness; the Bug Lager, sweet like honey or something, it's not unpleasant; the Tilted Kilt Scottish Ale, some band-aidiness, the miss of the hit or miss scotch ale style; the Tarbox Cream Stout, also on nitro, molasses or something strangely sweet going on there; the Mudflap Spring Bock, a tasty bock; and the cask Brickhouse Bitter; hoppy, with a pronounced bitterness. The Bug Lager, Mudflap Spring Bock & the cask Brickhouse Bitter were the best of the lot.

Garlic Parmesean wings were wonderful, served with the crispiest crunchiest of celery, and the 2 sausage & chicken Jambalaya, the content somewhat dry and not so stewy, done over white rice, had some good heat, I'm somewhat snotty now, I'm sure novryone's noticed.

I'm watching the clock over the kitchen cut through, 'cause I've miles yet to do and don't want to be late for dinner again. But then she turned on the tunes and we caught Like a Rolling Stone at "like Napolean in rags, and the language that he used...", and I felt like I had time for a pint of Mudflap Spring Bock, and I did, so I did.

More User Reviews:
Photo of illpass78
5/5  rDev +23.8%

One of my favorite spots on the Maine beer trail. Terrific food, great beer on cask or draft, super knowledgable staff. Go there!

Photo of johnnnniee
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I stopped in here a couple of times this week while up in the area training for work. Brick front building in the center of downtown Hallowell. Exposed brick with lots of warm wood and lots of brewanaria hanging on the walls. 6 house brews on tap with one guest tap well. The beer ranged from decent to good with no real standouts, but no real flops either. Pub grub and comfort food dominate the menu. I enjoyed the pot roast and the burger I had. Prices seem quite reasonable. I would come back if in the area.

Photo of PJK
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of SevaTse
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Photo of prestoneb
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of sprucetip
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Located in a cool little town adjacent to Augusta (did I hear someone say Disgusta?), Maine. Several other good restaurants and hip shops within a few blocks of a street running along the Kennebec River.

First time I went there we didn't stay long and I didn't get a really good feel for the place, though it seemed promising. I had the Smelt Camp Strong Ale on that visit, and wasn't very impressed. It was more bitter and less malty than I expected. Not bad, but didn't hit the spot.

Returned and had a couple of 20oz "pints" with dinner. Atmosphere is mellow and pleasant. Attractive wood and brick. Not really big. They have music a couple nights per week. My girlfriend and I both were pleased with the quality of the food. Prices are fair, portions large. She liked that they offered smaller portions of some dishes. Service was good, but I didn't pick anyones brain about beer. Not sure how knowledgeable the staff is, though the barkeep saw me straining to see the beer menu and offered some info, and told me what style a couple of beers were.

Only 6 beers on tap, including one on cask. The cask Bitter was good if not amazing, and I liked the Tarbox Stout as well. They call it a cream stout, though it is labeled an American stout on BA. It's a bit of a hyrbrid, creamy feel but with the sharp roasty flavor of an American stout. Again, not amazing but not bad. Pints, 20oz pints that is, are only $3.75. A sampler consisting of 6 beers of 3 ounces is only $4.50.

I don't know that I'd go out of my way to visit the Liberal Cup, but if in the Augusta area, it's not just your best bet, it's your only one.

Photo of LostHighway
2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I guess I'm going to be the dissenting voice here.
My wife and I drove to Hallowell today for lunch at the Liberal Cup. In retrospect I probably should have ordered a tasting paddle but their cask bitter sounded good so I ordered a pint (big plus they offer proper pints) of Backhouse Bitter. It was extremely disappointing, two dimensional with virtually no nose and none of the floral and/or fruity complexity a good bitter should offer. My wife had the Smelt Camp Strong Ale which was also devoid of depth.
My fish & chips and my wife's quesadilla were both fairly good and reasonable portions for the money. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't offered malt vinegar for the chips, our server just slammed down a bottle of ketchup and ran off.
Near the end of the meal I mentioned to our server that the bitter really wasn't very good. His response was "So, you don't like our bitter. Well that 's too bad."
I won't be back.

Photo of ktyson01
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped here during a trip to Agusta. If you've been up there in the winter you know there's not much to do so this was a nice find.

Atmosphere: This has a nice pub feel with plenty of seating. In the bar area there is seating at the bar and at high tables around it. There is also a dining room and more seating in the entry. Its all needed as this place gets busy (what else would you do but go to a pub on a cold snowy night).

Service: Our waiter was knowledgeable of the beers they had and even was able to make suggestions. And despite the crowd, kept us well serviced.

Selection: There was 5 of their own on tap and one tap for a guest beer. The guest beer was Allagash dubbel so not a bad choice here.

Food: We had burgers and fries and an appitizer. The food was very tasty and the fries were especially good. The portions were liberal but not rediculously so.

A great visit. A great small town brewpub. Hope to make it here again.

Photo of spiffysamurai
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Walking in this place reminds me of a local at home pub. I would not say it is British or anything, but homely for those of us from Augusta/Hallowell area. The quality of food and beer is out there. I just do not give this rating to anyone but the fact that there is something for everyone from portabellas to steaks adds a bonus for everything. The beer is the same way, they have light beers on tab and dark beers like the tarbox for everyone. The service here is great as well, as someone who goes a lot, its almost like they have gotten to know me personally. The selection is out there too, like i said for the food and beer. The food is good and quite affordable as well.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Nice little place, very cozy. Brick walls, wood floors. You enter a long, narrow room with tables and booths up front, bar back left, more seating back right. A small room for dining is off to the left, before the bar. 2 TVs, a dart board.
Seven selections on tap, written above the bar, and on the menus at the tables. Not a huge selection, but the ones we had (cask IPA, strong ale, and a pilsener) were all very good. They were also a great bargain at $3.00 and $3.50 a pint.
Our server was knowledgable, efficient, and attentive.
The food was quite good, reasonably priced (except for the Maine shrimp dinner which my wife had to have. I'm not complaining; it was great. Most everything, though, was under $10.00, and this was $16.00). Anyway, back on point, the food is very good. Plus, they give you malt vinegar for your fries, which is always a plus with me.
The Liberal Cup is obviously very popular. We got there early, around 5:30PM, and by 6:00PM the place was packed, with people waiting to be seated. Seemed like people knew each other, and were having a good time.
A definite stop if you're in that area.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The best bar in the area in my opinion. Better-than-average bar-fare food. Nice setup, kind of a dark European pub type place. As far as selection goes, they have around 8 of their own taps and a "guest tap" (recently Geary's Pale Ale), so the focus is on their beers. The selection is limited, but the beers they make are quite good IMO. The stout and the pale ale are the best in my opinion, but all the beers I've tried from them have been decent. They even have their own cask-conditioned beer, which impressed me for such a non-descript bar in a part of the state not known for its bars or brewing. Service has also been good when I've been here (and I'm not just saying that because one of my students works there). The waitstaff seems to have some knowledge and familiarity with the beers made here. If you're in the Augusta-Gardiner area, this is the pub to go to.

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Met a friend at the Liberal Cup for a couple pints. Downtown Hallowell seems to be an artsy kind of town, so I thought it would be a nice place to sit and drink.
From the outside, you can see all the bottles that someone has collected over the years, local stuff (Shipyard), saw some other craft bottles in racks or in a crevas (Magic Hat, Troegs, Unibreu, Full Sail, etc.) Went to ask the bartender if they had any of these in a bottle to buy, I find that they only sell Miller and Bud in bottles. Kind of a disappointment.
Live music was being played by a guy in front of the bar, a couple tv's on with a baseball of pre season football game on. The live music was over by 10 and most people had cleared out by 11, which was a disappointment.
Had a cream stout and the summer bitter (cask-conditioned), both were good brews. Nothing terribly impressive, good for the price.
Overall not a bad place, would like to go on a busier night when there was more going on.

Photo of villainchiwwin
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

nice little main street in hallowell next to the used book store and right near funky slate's restauraunt, the liberal cup has a cozy interior with a bar, a bar-like table behind it, and conventional tables near the entrance. the food menu is nothing beyond the ordinary, just staple pub food and a couple interesting sandwiches. the beer menu, however, boasted 6 or 7 brews on tap in various styles. very impressed with the beer aspect of it, my buffalo wings were nothing to write home about. the atmosphere was relaxed and calm on a sunday afternoon with a ball game on the tv and a few people chillin over a pint. i was impressed with this brew pub for its pub-iness and its tasty beer. the food was applebee's quality, which is to say in the par to sub-par range. i'd need to order an entree to be completely sure about it tho....
if you're near augusta, don't miss it!

Photo of Jaynuze
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Ah Hallowell ... like the t-shirt says (available for purchase at the bar!), "A drinking town with an antique problem". It couldn't be more true! The LC is a great little place to settle in for the afternoon with a few friends, especially during the winter months. The atmosphere is very cozy. Low ceilings with exposed beams, creaky floor boards worn in by the cold waters of the Kennebec from each spring thaw, exposed brick, and the cross-cut pine bar top remind one of what an "old tavern" might have felt like.

I had come into town to visit my parents one summer and discovered this little jewel in the rough. In my opinion, Maine has some of the best micros around (Allagash, Shipyard, Gritty McDuffs, Carabassett, etc.), the LC is no exception. They serve some great beers (the cask drawn bitter and the winter brew are my favorites) with some traditional and some "untraditional" bar food. Service is always friendly and when you are lucky enough to catch him, Geoff (brewer/owner) is a great conversationalist and is always happy to discuss beer and brewing. Though the beers are not too complex, they are quite tasty and that's what's important in my book! Plus, you can't beat the $3.25 20 Oz galsses. Knock the price up to "city rates" and get yourself a souvenir glass to take home.

If you ever find yourself in the Augusta area, treat yourself to the Liberal Cup. Arguably one of the best little brew pubs in Maine.

Photo of twilight
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Where are the brewtanks? Where is the brewer taking samples of beer and holding it up to the light to check for color and clarity. Okay, so I didn't come here to chat up the brewer, but because I didn't want to go to The Wharf, the other local bar in the Greater Hallowell Area. I was visiting friends in Hallowell over Thanksgiving weekend.

The atmosphere was nice and chill. We sat at this area by the bar which was sort of a separate table with a bar area on it and were served right away. I had the bitter (on cask!) as well as the Tarbox Stout and a taste of "A Taste of Victory" before getting a full pint. I had actually asked for "A Taste of Victory," thinking how funny it would be if they gave me a tasting glass. They did, and I followed it up with a full pint. The funny thing about this place is that they serve their beers in 20 oz. shaker pints! Though it was quite "liberal" (oh, I crack me up!), I would have preferred some eye candy such as an Imperial tulip or a Nonick Pint.

They have a decent selection of beers. Thankfully they were out of the Bug Lager, so my company had to be more adventurous and order the Alewife Amber. I finished my evening off with a Tarbox Stout.

Unfortunately, they seem to close early, as the bar was emptying out slowly, so my party decided to finish off at The Wharf, across the way. I finished off with a HSA, but the rowdy atmosphere was nowhere near as chill or comforting as The Liberal Cup. A definite visit if you ever end up just ouside of Augusta.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A great cozy Maine beer bar. Lots of wood, not the least of which is the enormous log that has been cut in half and varnished to act as the actual bar surface. A chalkboard behind the bar details their tap selections: 5 of their own beers (including a delicious bittter on cask served at perfect cellar temperature) and a guest tap: Geary's London Porter the day I went. Beer was really good and served in the true pint of 20oz. A great value for $3.25. It was pretty empty the day I happened in and I sat at the bar but the service was friendly and prompt. Selection was just their 6 beers on tap I believe but I wasn't looking for any others. I didn't have the food. A must visit if you are near Augusta or traveling north on 95.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Been here several times, thank god it is close to where David's relatives live. Have only ever sat at the bar, and service has always been prompt, cheerful, and courteous. The beers are good, tasty, and best of all they have 20 oz. glasses (they have smaller sizes as well). You can purchase a house glass to take home, and I think they have t-shirts as well. A good selection of on-tap brews, plus casks, the styles range from their IPA, Stout, Lager...I think the only 'style' I've never seen on would be a Belgian style. They also have guest taps occasionally, and I know David has had Bigfoot here in the past. Food is pubgrub and other more eclectic choices, what we've had in the past has always been tasty. Would recommend, and would go again anytime. See you in Hallowell! pat

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

My fiance and I spent the good part of a week about 10 miles from this brew pub. All I can say is I wish we went to this place earlier in the week. Great beer, good atmosphere and wonderful food.

I never thought that I would find a brew pub in northern (well northern for me) Maine that served cask conditioned ales. During the multiple times that we went there they served one cask, one lager and five other ales. Their IPA and cask bitter were both great.

Thanks to ecoboy's suggestion we sampled the fish and chips multiple times and were never disappointed. The salmon was great as well as their homemade soups.

If you are in the area, or even somewhat close, do yourself a favor and stop by.

There is a sign in the bar the reads:

"Hallowell, a small drinking town with a big antique problem!" Nice!

Photo of ecoboy
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Why do I travel an hour each way to eat at Liberal Cup? The fish and chips are my favorite in Maine. Skinny little fries with the skin on, and mammoth portions of fresh whitefish without too much batter. I've only ever eaten two other things there (holy cow! fried oysters!,) and that was on a Sunday when they had run out of fish (which is also a good sign.)

If you can get there when a band is playing on the crowded picnic-table sized stage, do. The acts I've seen have fit just about perfectly with the atmosphere of the place: irregular tables, irregular bar in a rustic low-ceilinged place. It's on the first floor, but it almost has that skellar feeling. You can see the brewing tanks through the back glass, and if you ask, they will show you the photo album of all the construction that went on to get 'em and the rest of the bar in there. There is a small restaurant room through a doorway to the left, if you want to avoid the "bar" atmosphere (Horrors!)

I have taken a couple of points off for the lack of consistency I have tasted in their ales over the last couple of years. When they first opened, it was distinctly hit-or-miss, but has seemed to stabilize. (A re-visit in 1/04, left me distinctly impressed with the overall quality, having tasted a solid IPA and an imaginative Strong Ale. One more good trip puts them up into the "4" range.)

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The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery in Hallowell, ME
90 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.