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Mahaffey's Pub

Not Rated.
Mahaffey's PubMahaffey's Pub
BA SCORE
95
world-class

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.89%
Taps: 21
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2706 Dillon St
Baltimore, Maryland, 21224-4706
United States
phone: (410) 276-9899

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mahaffeyspub

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: NeroFiddled)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%

So Ben's got ideas, you see. As he'll be done with his work stint in Baltimore early Friday afternoon, why don't I swing in from the other end of Maryland and pick him up "along the way" to ride back up north. What?!?! How about I head down there and we put up for the night and drink and then you can ride back up with me on Saturday? (See, I've got better ideas). Benny got Rubin to sell our song and it really came together when Davo sang along...

Friday night Baltmore walking tour and a place or two to go after this. Mahaffery's; a corner not an Irish joint like you'd think. Entering off the corner, windows on brick up front, and beige painted walls over frame lowers otherwise. Slat wood floors and crazy pressed tin ceiling which looks to be painted gold (in this light, anyway), with a pair of spinny fans. Flatscreens up front and in the rear corner of the bar and elsewhere, one of which is showing the Yankees giving the dirty Red Sox an early May beat down.

Straight bar to the left seating a dozen + on green Formica with a lip & footrail. Large wood barback unit shoehorned in there with a sizable mirror on center, and smaller ones to both sides. Track drop spots over the mirrors mounted, a jaw of a skeleton of something that lost above and figurines & steins running along the top. Tiered booze to both sides of center on the counter, and bottled selections & glassware shelved below. There's something of a food prep area in the front corner of the bar. Actually, it's more like a food happening area. Deep fryer for the cooking of things in hot oil (duh) under a vent piece, should you enjoy going home smelling like hot wings (in your choice of sauce).

5 seat bar counter adjacent. ATM & video gameage there, too, below pub signage adorning, and baseball figurines above and tap handles mounted up high. CD juke for Ben to play tunes during wartime. Oh yeah, they's good, 'cause we gone picked them.

Small raised area to the rear with 7 small 2-seaters sharing common benchage on the far wall, and 3 raised roundies across the way, we're sitting at one. Brewery tins adorn the wall over the shared bench seating with tap handles lining the perimeter above. Mahaffery's 100 beer club plaques mounted on the wall alongside us. More spinny fans, and a single flatscreen to the rear. Back stairwell leading to a small bar upstairs seatsing 5 with some high tops adjacent, and an unexpected amazing Jaws movie poster in the bathroom.

A single long row 20 tap tower on the bar, handles pointing every which way; roughly 2/3 of them regional (Brewers Art Resurrection, Flying Dog Scratch Amber & Double Dog Double IPA, DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA & Shelter Pale Ale, Victory Prima, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Weyerbacher Merry Monks, River Horse Triple Horse, Southern Tier Heavyweizen & Jah-va, Mendocino White Hawk IPA , Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale), the remainder a collection of craft elsewhere (Stone Ruination & Cali-Belgique, Oskar Blues Gordon, Bear Republic Nor Cal Ale, Lagunitas Olde Gnarlywine) and a few stray imports (Unibroue Maudite, Dos Equis). And a single cask (Arcadia Nut Brown) to one side of the tap tower. Started with a Bear Republic Nor Cal Ale and then had a DogFishHead Shelter Pale Ale. Yes, it was one of those kinds of nights.

+ roughly 5 dozen bottles, a list by country, showing bottle size & ABV, but not price (boooo!) Just shy of 3 dozen American craft (DogFishHead, Allagash, Blue Point, Great Divide, Heavy Seas, North Coast, Stone, Rogue, Oskar Blues, Avery, Smuttynose, Troegs, Victory, Ommegang, Sierra Nevada, Shiner), and nearly as many imports Belgian, German & UK, with the Belgians being the strongest suit. Not too shabby, I could drink here. I should drink here. Um, I am drinking here.

Ben just flat out stinks, and I think Clea DuVall knows it (she, our server with great presence). And I do kind of sort of totally wonder if it was this place or the one before, or the one before that, or the one that came afterwards that sent (Evil) Davo down the path of eating a hamburger he bought at CVS at 2 AM. I digress. Good house, I was totally expecting a cheese Irish joint and am pleasantly surprised. Selection's solid and the beer's fresh. And I kind of like the streets of Baltimore...

slander, Aug 25, 2010
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snowghetto, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of jimgentile90ipa
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%

While the appearance of this pub is dreary you will find it to be a place you will want to return regularly.It is a pub that makes drinking beer a "Beer Festival" 365 days a year. It accomplishes what beer lovers travel many miles each year to "Beer Mecca" (Denver)for the GABF. To sample the many brewers/beers you have heard and read about but never had access to or could afford in the typical local pub/bar or liquor stores. How does it accomplish this?
1) Of its 20+ draft taps three quarters are devoted to out of the area craft breweries.
2) The selection rotates weekly.
3) No INBEV beers are allowed on tap.
4) During the week from opening thru 7PM if you order three 10 oz. mugs at the same time they are $5 total!
The above allows both experienced and novice beer drinkers the opportunity to sample and not worry about not liking a selection. It is not costing him the traditional $8 for a 16 oz mug. But what I really like about this pub is I always find another customer, whether 21 yr to 75 yr old--rich or not--from completely opposite socio-economic circumstances, to have long and topically diverse conversations. Mahaffey's serves as both a Beer Festival and a United Nations. Every time I visit I have meet a new person I consider a friend. Enough Said!!!
PS---Check the geographic diversity of the reviewers of Mahaffey's. Beer lovers from New York, Rhode Island as well as Baltimore appreciate tipping a few or more with Wayne the owner! You will as well as HE is the reason why this pub is the #1 rated Bar for 2013 in a Baltimore Sun paper poll!

jimgentile90ipa, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -6.8%

BillRoth, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev -6.8%

bmur112, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of Gravitron
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%

Mahaffey's is one of those local corner bars that are on every other corner in Canton but there is a lot that sets it apart. The crew there loves beer and loves their customers. The rotating taps are quite impressive for an otherwise unassuming bar. They Happy Hour specials are one of the best in town. 3 10oz beers for $5. When I lived in Canton I had 2 buddies who would go to happy hour with me and each one of us choose a tap and score 3 drinks for a round. It was the perfect 3 man happy hour rotation. So hey. Grab 2 friends and hit this place up for happy hour. It's a small place though and gets packed almost all the time but it's a good crowd and people there are used to maneuvering in close quarters. Just get in where ya fit in.

Gravitron, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%

This is the definition of a hole in the wall. It is very easy to miss and unless you know where it is, you wouldn't likely pass by it at all. The place is a straight up rectangle that follows the bar and then steps up with a few tables and then the bathrooms.

The food here is quite nice, but I have only had the sliders. They offer beef, chicken, lamb and bison.

The service is decent but it can get quite busy, which means it can take a while before you get your food since they only have the one grill man. Also, there is only the one bartender.

They have a nice rotating draft, which has some good beers on it, but the best part is the happy hour special of three 10 oz. pours for $5. However, the best beers on the menu are never available as part of the "three for". There is also a nice, small selection of bottles to be had.

gillagorilla, May 17, 2013
Photo of Aewachiw
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

A joy to visit, and a Baltimore bar done right. Terrific rotating draft list, and excellent bar food. Off the square, so parking and getting in and out is easy.

Take note other area bars, if you offer a good value, people will return. Too many new places have decided to overcharge and underwhelm (heavy seas).

3 for $6 happy hour makes for a great opportunity try some new brews, or 30oz of your favorite craft brew at the same price.

Shhhh, don't tell anybody about our new favorite place.

My wife and I are the ones at the table in the corner with smiles on our faces.

Aewachiw, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of Perrumpo
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

I love Mahaffey's. I often go after work for happy hour. Happy hour deal is three 10-oz drafts for $5. Can't beat that! They focus on having craft beers on tap, and they do a great job. They even had Nugget Nectar. The owner is a fun guy, although overall service can be a bit slow because it gets crowded and there's only one guy cooking on one grill, too. The food is great though. Be sure to get your fries the rosemary garlic type. Comes with aioli. Thursdays are $5 burgers, too. The place is really small, though, so seating can be a problem, particularly if you go with a group. This is my favorite beer bar in Canton.

Perrumpo, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of ThirstyGourmet
5/5  rDev +16.6%

After walking into yet another beer bar that doesn't understand what to do with its beer club I became nostalgic for my days at Mahaffey's and felt compelled to write a review. Though I don't presently live in Baltimore I visit a couple times a year and always make Mahaffey's my first stop. It's a bar that loves its beer and its customers.

I first visited in 2007 with a friend who had heard about their rotating drafts (13 at the time, now 19). Rotating drafts were not as common then so it piqued my interest. As someone who mostly hung out in Federal Hill I didn't usually drink in Canton and all of my prior experiences had been less than memorable. Mahaffey's hit a homerun right from the start. The atmosphere was just what you would want from a neighborhood bar, the beer selection was terrific, the food was delicious, the happy hour "three for" promotion was a steal and the service made you feel at home.

But what truly won me over was the 100 beer club. I am a sucker for beer clubs in general but a couple of things make this one stand out. First, you are not forced to drink any beers you don't like. Unlike bars which try to push overpriced bottles collecting dust in the cooler, Mahaffey's doesn't say THESE are the beers you must drink. It simply rewards you for trying 100 different beers. Since the draft selections are constantly changing and first time beers are consistently making their way into the rotation there is always something for even the most seasoned club member to try.

Second, Wayne the owner uses the bar's website as a tool for assisting and recognizing club members. He does an incredible job of keeping track of what you already had so you don't duplicate. Every club member is listed and can be listed in order of top drinkers. Everything on tap or available in bottles is listed and you can even see what is currently in stock that you haven't had yet. Why every bar with a beer club doesn't do this is a mystery to me but I suppose it just comes down to time and effort.

Wayne has always been a wonderful host and still remembers me by both name and club number whenever he sees me. One of the few regrets for this place is that Wayne, who now has multiple locations to run, is not seen as frequently around the bar pulling out his hair playing keno. All the other members of the staff are pleasant and make for great atmosphere.

Everything I have ever ordered in the way of food has been delicious but I particularly enjoyed Tuesday night Steak night. Its been a couple of years so I don't know if they still do this but the steaks I've had were as good as anything I paid twice as much for at one of the harbor steak houses. Everything is reasonably priced and the happy hour draft special is one of the best deals in town. Beware though, discounted beers don't count for the club.

Finally, I would like to point out that even thought this bar is in Canton it's not on the square and is refreshingly light on 20 something douche bags. It's also light on beer geek pretentiousness. You don't have to know anything about craft beer to enjoy yourself but you'll have every opportunity to get an education. And hey, if you don't feel like joining the beer club, feel free to write down my beer club number on your guest check.

ThirstyGourmet, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%

Mahaffey's is yet another one of those quintessential B'more neighborhood bars where you can feel at home right away in your first visit. There are a good number of these cozy joints around Fells Point and Canton, and Mahaffey's is one the best.

It was not crowded at all when my wife and I got there on a Friday night at 9:30pm, but it rapidly got busy (we got that magic touch, you know, the instant we're there, people are drawn). Still, service was always good, efficient, brisk, nice.

The bar is not big but roomy enough, with beautiful copper ceilings and lots of old wood, plus taps all around, hanging like sculptures. Cool! There were 15 beers on tap, less than I expected but all of them interesting.

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, wow! The only place in Bawlmer so far to have it. One of my favorite beers of course, and the one that gave me my BA name. :-)

Also Brooklyn Brewmaster Reserve (it's hard to find Brooklyn in B'more, believe it or not), Avery Porter, Boulder Fresh Track, Sierra Celebration, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, Long Trail, Brewer's Art, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Anchor and Dogfish Head... not bad at all! Pretty much ALL fifteen taps are GOOD.

Didn't try food, but the grill guy has his kitchen right there at the bar, so the whole place gets smokey and smells like burgers. Weird, but not bad. My wife said it made it even cozier and homier, like being at home by the fireplace (if we had one).

Prices are NICE! Five bucks for everything, including Double Simcoe, which would cost eight bucks in New York and six or seven at Max's Taphouse served in a smaller glass. Can't complain.

Cheers to Mahaffey's and Bawlmer!!

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of BmoreBeerGuy
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%

The short and sweet about Mahaffey's Pub is that this is a local bar run by a true beer lover with a constantly rotating selection of great brews.

The atmosphere is usually good, though it should be noted that the atmosphere can vary greatly depending on when you stop in. Week evenings/nights are the best time to drop by as the crowd is very local and mainly consists of people who appreciate a good beer at a great local bar. Weekends tend to draw the younger crowd which means louder and more excitable company (we were all young once).

The beer selection is excellent. There are 15+ beers always on tap and they are constantly rotating with very rare kegs popping up all the time. There is also a cask adding a nice option not available in most bars. Add in a number of rotating bottles available and Mahaffey's offers one of the best overall beer selections in the Baltimore area.

The food is good but not great. It's typical bar fare and though they change chefs as frequently as they change taps, there are some nice options to choose from. Honestly, you're going here for the beer more so than the food.

The value is more than fair. Wayne, the owner, is a true beer lover who is not in it to become a millionaire. Mahaffey's offers an excellent opportunity to taste a variety of beers with good company and a good atmosphere.

BmoreBeerGuy, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%

Baltimore corner taverns are a hell of a culture shock from my vantage point on Rippling Brook cul-de-sac in "Leave it to Beaver" Land, and Mahaffey's is certainly no exception. It does differ, however, from your typical Canton or Highlandtown watering hole in that the beer selection is among the best in the city outside of Max', with which no establishment can seriously compete. The rotating draft offerings are about evenly spread out between local/MD, regional/East Coast (PA's Trictobacher, NY's ST and Ommegang, New England's Smuttynose and Allagash, &c.), and domestic craft breweries from beyond (usually of the more widely distributed CO and CA persuasion), with a smattering of international offerings (an Irish stout seems to be a permanent fixture with perhaps a Belgian, German, or English beer making an appearance from time to time). As far as local offerings, you can predictably expect to find some Flying Dog or Heavy Seas beers, but it's also nice to see some of the more obscure stuff from area brewpubs and tiny batch brewers like White Marsh, Brewer's Alley, Stillwater, and Evolution. The bottle selection is extensive and includes a respectable Belgian contingent. The three ten oz. beers for $4 happy hour deal (everyday until 7p) is an unbelievable bargain, but, if you're a lightweight like I am, be careful--I tend to think of these as one round, but, in reality, it's nearly two full pints. They make an effort at providing proper glassware, but it is a feeble one.

Beer selection aside, the vibe here isn't really my scene and is repellent enough to keep me from visiting too often: a long and narrow design (typical of most of these corner pubs, really) coupled with crowded conditions and poor ventilation make for an uncomfortable and claustrophobic drinking environment; a crowd as rambunctious as it is incestuous--as an infrequent patron from outside the neighborhood I don't exactly feel unwelcome here, but I do feel a bit like an extra on "Cheers"; the hyper-Bawlmerese demeanor of the staff, especially some of the barmaids, who are otherwise quite competent and beer savvy--I know, I know, this is Baltimore and it is to be expected, but the whole "hon" thing can get to be a bit tiresome; and, lastly, but perhaps most frustratingly, the deep fryer that is in constant use is situated mere feet from where most of the patrons seated at the bar or at the semi-counter against the wall are drinking--this won't bother most people, but to an aroma fiend like myself it is a major inhibitor and doesn't make tasting one's beer any easier, either. Since I've witnessed how things are done at Selin's Grove, this is a difficult situation to accept.

Of course, one person's grievance is another's praise, and plenty will love Mahaffey's for the same reasons I was less than thrilled with it. If I lived nearby, I'm sure I'd be more open to overlooking its flaws and perhaps even eventually come around to regarding it as a neighborhood asset, but, as someone who finds himself in town only occasionally, there's little here to lure me away from the world-renowned beer emporium at Broadway and Lancaster. As far as finding craft beer in Baltimore corner taverns goes, however, you can do far, far worse.

MaltistLupulist, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%

Thanks to my friend Sinistrsam for taking me here, which has become one of my favorite bars in Baltimore. I was there for three nights, and we ended up going there at least during some part of the night for all of those three nights.

The great thing about Mahaffey's, along with the atmosphere and the people, is the rotating taps. I don't know how many there are, but whenever something runs out, there's an updated beer list with a new beer. There were maybe two different ones just after two days, because the keg ran out, and they always keep the taps stocked with good new stuff.

There's also the happy hour until 7:00, where you can get what I believe are other 10 oz. or 12 oz. mugs with three different brews (as long as they're not bolded, like Double Bastard or Allagash Four, which makes sense).

The food was good too. I got a blackened chicken sandwich one night, and before we went to dinner at another place, they had a queso dip with warm flatbread, which was pretty awesome too.

For a place that seems a bit divey from the outside, it's really not at all. Good people, good atmosphere, great prices, and awesome beer. I'll be coming back for sure. There's a reason why this place is always packed.

asabreed, Nov 23, 2009
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Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore, MD
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.