Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
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!!
11-20-2010 05:21:22 | More by DoubleSimcoe
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...
08-25-2010 13:34:54 | More by slander
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.
07-08-2010 02:32:32 | More by BmoreBeerGuy
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.
04-03-2010 17:25:04 | More by MaltistLupulist
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.
11-23-2009 20:48:26 | More by asabreed
3.95/5 rDev -7.9%
A neat beer bar with around a dozen taps of ever-rotating craft beers. Some rarer stuff has been seen here, in fact I just had SN triple there, which I didn't even know existed. I often rave about Mahaffey's having the best deal in town w/ their 3 for 4 deal during happy hour everyday which sometimes justifies trying things I might not at regular bar prices. Hopefully you get the 3 glass mugs and not plastic cups when they run out! Food specials during the week are also some of the best around, so for value (don't worry it's tasty, too), this is a must try. The downside is that it's not a big place and crowds quickly, sometimes not leaving even standing room. Can be a little loud, too. Service is usually fine, though has been a little manic at times in the past. Recommended.
09-12-2009 18:48:33 | More by qchic
4.55/5 rDev +6.1%
A great neighborhood pub. From the outside you would never guess that it has such an incredible beer selection and fantastic food!
If you go on the right night, they'll have a nice firkin on the bar... if not you'll have plenty to choose from between their numerous drafts and bottles.
If you're coming-in from out of town, this is a great place to meet the "locals", and feel instantly at home. It can get a bit crowded on the weekends as it's not a big building... but certainly worth visiting (and then visiting again, and again, and again...)
07-20-2009 16:05:11 | More by jgasparine
4.44/5 rDev +3.5%
Located in a historic Canton in East Baltimore, Mahaffey's evokes the spirit of the neighborhood bar. Mahaffey's is one of those places where investment bankers sit next to construction workers, young twenty somethings next to seasoned townies.
The beer, oh the beer is amazing. The selection at Mahaffey's includes high quality american craft brews as well as local baltimore and MD brews. Always on tap is the Charles Street favorite The Brewer's Art Resurrection Ale, a belgian style dubbel and main staple in Baltimore's best beer bars. This past week the line-up also included MD brewers Flying Dog and White Marsh Brewing Co, as well as Clipper City's Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night on Cask (a belgian style session/ farmhouse ale). Mahaffey's also does not hesitate to rotate in Belgian and German offerings.
What makes this place a real winner is their happy hour. Three-fer's as they're called are 3 ten oz draughts for 4 bucks, are offered all-day all-night on Mondays, and 4-7 Mon-Fri. Nearly all of the beers are included in the happy hour special minus the high octane or rare brews.
Haven't tried the food but everything is prepared on the flame broiler/ grill next to the bar (really it's behind the bar).
If you come to baltimore, be sure to stop here before you leave; you'll thank yourself.
06-16-2009 15:39:55 | More by brewandstew
4.08/5 rDev -4.9%
Located east of the popular main harbor area in Baltimore on a quiet street, you have the neighborhood bar, Mahaffey`s.
A long narrow bar, with a few tables in the back for groups.
The tap selection is 16 or so, and had Wolavers white, Avery Maharaja, St Bernardus 12, Dogfish Immort, Great Divide Titan IPA, Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Stout and others flowing when I was there. They seem to have a lot of regulars from all walks of life and a friendly staff that keeps them coming back. Affordable craft beers away from the main drag, my kind of place !
05-25-2009 00:13:41 | More by mltobin
4.06/5 rDev -5.4%
This is a typical Baltimore locals bar (neighborhood bar). Whats nice is that all the generic, party time, young drunk kids, just turned 21, fake Irish, bars are a couple blocks away in Canton square. So the crowd and atmosphere at mahaffey's are more laidback and friendly. To me it's an honest come as you are bar. The beer quality is good, service was spot on, selection of styles were varied from fruity Belgians, barrel aged stouts, and crazy hoped IPA's. But they did not for get us malt heads and threw in some classic German beers that are unbeatable for their simplicity. So far my favorite spot in Canton. This bar doesn't try to be hip, cool, loud, and trendy to compete for business with canton square; the beers do the talking for it.
05-16-2009 19:53:02 | More by danadeny
Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore, MD
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.