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Mahaffey's Pub

Not Rated.
Mahaffey's PubMahaffey's Pub
BA SCORE
96
world-class

51 Ratings
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.81%
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: 51 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dogum
5/5  rDev +15.7%

This place consistently, and continuously has a great selection of rotating beers on tap. They always have fun events planned. And who doesn't like a good challenge. Drink 100 unique beers and have your name on the wall, with different rewards for every 100 milestone. Great small neighborhood bar that beats out the overly loud, and too crowded mainstream craft beer establishments.

Photo of mcattrone
5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've only been a local to Baltimore for a year now and since the second month I've lived here I've called Mr. Wayne Mahaffey's bar my second home. I discovered it on a walk down to the local grocery when I noticed a set of Sandpeople's tracks side by side. You see, Sandpeople always ride in single file to hide their numbers. This wasn't the average Jawa's beer bar I was lead to believe it was. Ahhh Christ....

Anyhow, the beer selection is fantastic and the food is prepared to match the quality of libations served at Mahaffey's. Originally I was a fan of the 3 10 oz. mugs for $4 happy hour deal but once I joined the beer club and got going its been all pints from there. From U.S. Micro's to Belgian ales there is always an interesting draft choice available. Also, a quick nodd to the culinary stylings of Jack who cooks up some of the best beer accompanying food in Baltimore - if not the best.

To comment on the service, you are more than lucky to be served up delicious drinks and food by Stacy and Alice. "Do they Serve Fast?" Ha! Serve fast? They're the servers that made the kessel run in less than twelve parsecs! They're fast enough for you, old man... Plus they are sweethearts.

Besides a fantastic beer selection and accompanying food choices the atmosphere of Mahaffey's is not only the best in Baltimore but can never be duplicated. This is the local I've longed for. Thank you Wayne and Happy Holidays...

Photo of Hoppy_End
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of snowghetto
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of ThirstyGourmet
5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of roan22
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

edited 5/20/08...
I have upped the selection and service to 5's, and the food to a 4.5 because Wayne the owner has gone above and beyond when it comes to having great beers on tap. Green Flash Hop Head Red was on tap here before it was in Philadelphia, and I happened to stop in here last Sunday and was extremely and pleasantly surprised to find HHR on tap here. Plus there was Ola Dubh 30, and the new Sierra Nevada wet-hop beer brewed with New Zealand hops [not as good as Green Flash!]. Service is great..there is a new "chef" who called himself a cook, and the menu is different and VERY much improved. Wayne your bar rocks and is in my top 5 for the entire United States.

edited 9/30/07...
Returned to Mahaffey's pub this weekend and had their rosemary fries and a pint of Loose Cannon from the cask and was VERY impressed. I love this bar, I'd be in here every day if I lived down the block. I've upped the food score and quality score as a result.

Mahaffey's is a little neighborhood beer bar, with a solid yet small tap list. There were some quirky folks in this jawn...I was very amused and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent here. Anytime you get to meet a few liquor board chairmen drunkenly singing along to Morrissey and Smiths songs on the jukebox is a good time in my book! Was sort of personally disappointed in the selection because there was nothing hoppy on draft at the time, but I don't hold it against the bar. We met the owner who was Irish and very into craft beer, and I'm very pleased to see this bar highly rated on this site. The people who come here are here for the beer, and it just so happens to also be a fun place.

Photo of asabreed
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of Ross_Miller
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of SundeyPSU
4.75/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This bar is a great addition to my local area. The selection is always interesting, and is always changing. Wayne, the owner of Mahaffey's Pub, always seems to be there is always willing to answer a question and/or talk beer. He is a real enthusiast, which is what makes going there a must. His dinner specials are hard to beat. If you have never been there, or have not been on a Tuesday, I highly recommend the Tuesday night steak deal. It is a huge steak, potato (baked or mashed), dinner roll and salad all for around $13. Then you got the beer selection to boot? You cannot go wrong. He also always seems to be having some sort of event or tasting, and recently opened the second floor area for beer tasting Thursdays. Mahaffey's Pub is a real social experience and very friendly place to visit, with MANY beer choices and good food.

Photo of JakeDebus
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Metalmaniac915
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Scottliff
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jimgentile90ipa
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 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!

Photo of davestar
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stop in at Mahaffey's with frightening frequency. I can't help it though - 8 new beers on tap and 1 or 2 casks per week means that it pays to drop by often. Dominion, Sierra Nevada Dogfish Head, Troeg's, Otter Creek, and Lancaster brews are on tap more often than not. Specials don't pop up too often, but when they do, they're fairly spectacular. For example, a Mahaff's regular came back from a business trip to Maine with 2 coolers of lobster, so fresh Maine lobsters became the special of the night. Wayne, the owner, had just gotten in a few Dogfish Head kegs, so he tapped not only the 60 and 90 Minute IPA's, but also a 120 Minute keg. Not bad for a random Thursday.

Wayne is quite knowledgable and very personable. The bartenders are also very friendly and quick to remember names/faces.

Photo of kevinglin
4.58/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Was fortunate to have a buddy take me to Mahaffey's when visiting him in Baltimore. He knew I liked good beers and picked a winner by taking me to this pub.

Very comfortable, laid back atmosphere with a great selection of brews. Excellent rotating beer list that is updated weekly, with a long list of craft beers/Trappists/imports they maintain on hand all the time.

Beers served in appropriate glassware, so they took their beers seriously, but the staff wasn't at all pretentious or stuffy and seemed to know their products pretty well.

Great service - when my buddy's food order wasn't quite right, they fixed it right away with no hassles and a quick apology. Food was pretty good - we had the wings and chicken tenders - served fast and in good-sized portions.

A great night out - if you want a place to catch up with friends and drink some fine beers, go to Mahaffey's.

Photo of jgasparine
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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...)

Photo of BmoreBeerGuy
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of brewandstew
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of Perrumpo
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I'm not sure I quite understand the BA score of 93 for this place, but there's no doubt it's one of the better spots in Baltimore. Had occasion to visit this past Sunday and had a most excellent time. They were out of a couple of beers (the bar tender indicated that they expected to rotate in 4 new kegs either today or tomorrow), but nevertheless, I was quite happy with the selection. Had the excellent Loose Cannon on cask for the first time, and what a treat it was in that format. Much better then the same version on the gas.

By all accounts the owner here is really into good beer and it shows. It's not every day that you come upon a beer bar that has the Victory Weizenbock, Ayinger Celebrator and Unibrou trois pistoles on at the same time. Granted, the place only has around 15 tap handles (in fact, for beers like the TP and Celebrator, the bar tender had to go in the back to pour them), but what they have is very well chosen and thought out.

The only possible negative to this place is its size. Mahaffey's is not very big, and when a group of 10 stopped by around 5:00 it quickly felt very crowded. I have to also say that the place looks just a bit dingy, though everything was clean enough.

Didn't have a chance to try the food and I'm not sure the kitchen was even open that Sunday afternoon.

From what I can tell, pint prices are around $5 (imperial pints I should add). I'm not certain, but I believe this is one of those places that tacks on tax to the listed price for a beer. On the other hand, the place has an excellent happy hour, pouring three 10 oz. glasses of whatever they have available (with a few exceptions) for only $4. I've only ever seen this sort of thing in Baltimore (Racers either has or had this deal as well), and it sure makes it easy to try a number of good beers without breaking the bank or overdoing it. The bartender was very flexible, and allowed me to add the Trois Pistoles (not normally allowed in the three for $4 deal) for only an extra buck.

This is a great place, one I will be visiting over and over again, despite the fact it takes over half an hour to get here from my West Baltimore home.

Update. 12/24/07). Seeing as how Wayne has upgraded his excellent beer bar, it seems only fair that I do the same with my review. Recently, Wayne (the owner here) doubled the number of tap handles, which has greatly increased the diversity of his draft list, not to mention the excellence of that well thought out list. Also, while the atmosphere of this Canton square beer bar will never be its stong suit, in fairness Wayne does the absolute best with what he has. The place has a warm vibe to it, and Wayne's phenomenal memory insures that he greets just about any guest he has seen previously by name. Seriously, his memory for names is amazing. It probably doesn't hurt that Wayne is an all around great guy, and is extremely passionate about the craft beer he sells. This is a great place. Oh, and while the food is up and down, steak night is a great deal, and some of the other specials are well worth a try. Cheers!

Photo of Aewachiw
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 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.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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!!

Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We took a day trip to Baltimore to check out some good beer bars and this was our first stop. We made a great choice.

This is a great neighborhood place that I wish was in our neighborhood. The staff and customers were very friendly and it has a great vibe. There is a 12 seat (or so) bar on the lower level. There is another bar upstairs that we did not see.

There are about 20 taps with some good local choices (Clipper City and Heavy Seas), other national craft beers and a couple of belgians (including my wife's favorite, Houblon Chouffe). They have the best Happy Hour special going: 3 10oz mugs for $4. Only a couple of beers were excluded and, best of all, Happy Hour is running on Saturday at 2pm.

We had Hoptical Illusion, Otter Creek Baltic Porter, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Goose Island Oatmeal Stout, Weyerbacher Merry Monks and Clipper City BaltoMarzHon. All delicious and at $1.33 a mug...

Food was very tasty, especially the garlic rosemary fries.

Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I know very little of the Canton area in Baltimore so I can't comment on comparison to other bars in the area. This is the only one I was at in this neighborhood. Huge thanks to JohnMichaelsen for driving us over there and the suggestion to check it out. This was a really cool neighborhood bar feel but with the great beer selection. I can't put my finger on what exactly it is that makes this place feel so amazing. It is certainly not the space or the building itself. I think It is largely Wayne. Wayne is the Irishman who own this Irish Pub. Great guy. Simply cool. The Loose Cannon on Cask was magnificent. The Southerntier PumpKing Ale was very nice as well. The bottle selection is very impressive. This is a great place to sit and drink some beer, or Irish whiskey for that matter. =)

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of NolanGTI
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Wow, what a surprise. Went doen to my buddy's for his BDay and this place was around the corner from his apt. I don't know if people in BMore realize how great this place is. This place is narrow and dark, but has a cool neighborhood vibe to it.

The service the night I was there was very nice and mildly informed about the beer. No matter, get me some of that Gonzo immediamente. Solid tap and bottle list, definitely worth the stop for anyone in the area. Lots of rotating taps and a '100 Beer Club' for the locals gets the 20 something exposed to new brews. Solid!

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Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore, MD
96 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.