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Mahaffey's Pub

Not Rated.
Mahaffey's PubMahaffey's Pub

37 Reviews
Reviews: 37
Visits: 53
Avg: 4.3
pDev: n/a
Taps: 21
Bottles: 100
Cask: 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

Place added by: NeroFiddled

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Reviews: 37 | Visits: 53
Photo of Beauregard
1.55/5  rDev -64%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 1

Manager was rude on my last visit. She didn't seem to know too much about beer, and was more interested in sharing shots with people. The cask was served way too warm (at least 80 degrees... this is not cellar temperature), and yet they didn't want to take it back. Beer selection has lagged behind other bars in the area. Food has also been incredibly inconsistent, and downright terrible at times. The beer market has changed, for the better, and Mahaffeys hasn't kept up in my opinion. I'd recommend you head to some of the newer places in the area for a class beer experience.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

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.

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Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

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Photo of Gravitron
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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.

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Photo of qchic
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of danadeny
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 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.

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Photo of mltobin
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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 !

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I have to agree with Dithyramb, Mahaffey's is my favorite place north of The Cat's Eye in Fell's Point! It's a cute little corner bar with a great crowd (they have a mug club) and friendly servers. And with one exception (I think), it's pretty much all there is for good beers in Canton. They have 12 taps, a hand pump, and 100 bottles... mostly good stuff. The menu is somewhat limited, but it's quick as they cook right behind the bar (how cool is that!?!?!), which is a fair trade-off. The 10 seat bar is quite nice with a new "old-fashioned" back bar; and there are 21 seats divided between the dining and cocktail area. If you'd like to actually sit and eat, they offer more than just bar food at what seem to be reasonable prices (I've only ever had fries and shrimp at the bar myself). Worth a trip!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I enjoyed a stop at Mahaffey's w/ friends from the LBC on the recent pub crawl to Baltimore. The atmosphere is very inviting and I was talking beer w/ some locals almost immediately.

The quality of beer and food was good as well as the selection of menu choices. There is a very good selection of beers - local drafts as well as Mid-Atlantic and West coast Choices. I enjoyed sharing a Unibroue Edition 2005 w/ johnmichaelsen, Phatz, and mac300.
The food and service are both above average and I would recommend Mahaffey's to anyone with some time to kill in Baltimore.

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Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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...

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Photo of
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in for a couple beers and an in-person trade.

Atmosphere was very comfortable, as others have described. Very much a neighborhood bar, a little worn around the edges, but very friendly and fun.

Quality of the beer I had was quite good. Enjoyed a couple Nugget Nectars on tap. Served at the right temperature and in appropriate glassware.

Service was quick and friendly. Seemed knowledgeable regarding the beer options.

Selection was not stellar, but I had no problem finding stuff I wanted to drink. 10 or so taps, and quite a few bottles I didn't explore.

I had already eaten, so I didn't try the food. I was, however, sitting right in front of the grill, and the food smelled great, looked great, and was served in plentiful portions.

Value was reasonable, both beer and the prices I saw on the food menu. I missed out, but the happy hour prices make it even more reasonable.

If you are in the area, I would absolutely encourage you to stop in. One of Baltimore's better beer destinations in the Inner Harbor area. A very different feel from Max's or DuClaws, but one worth trying out.

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Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Kind of an ideal neighborhood bar. The guys werer middle aged plus, the music a little too rock for them or anywhere. Around for 5 years, and Babe Ruth's reincarnation at the bar. COmpetitive 3 pints for $5. About a dozen taps, mostly craft with a decent assortment. ABelgium, a stout, a Rogue. I was amused. Fresh beer, perfect pours. Nothing to blow me away, but a large friendly bar, home away from home in a rvived port area.The beer tap list changes often, though nothing to fly in or even drive downtown special for.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

For someone not from Canton, Mahaffey’s is hard to find; and the locals appreciate this fact, since it really belongs to them. With that said, anyone willing to seek it will find a warm welcome, good food and a reasonably priced and well-maintained, though not extensive, draught selection that consists of local brews (including the excellent Brewer’s Art Resurrection Ale) and a selection on cask. Mahaffey’s rotates their selection often, but during my visit they offered: Great Divide’s Racer 5 IPA, Lancaster Dunkelweizzen (rather sweet), several selections from nearby Capitol City Brewing Company and the indomitable Orkney Dark Island.

It is not a large pub; upon entry there is a small bar accommodating about 20 people that opens into a dimly lit dining area complete with large screen television for when the O’s or Ravens are on the field (in their respective seasons, of course). Mahaffey’s may be hard to find, but it is a hidden gem in a quiet neighborhood that is worth the effort.

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Photo of nickss
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Hooray Wayne and hooray Mahaffey's.

This place is the most friendly bar I have EVER been to.
The bartenders remembered my name just the second time I came in, and Wayne, despite his "quirkiness" is dedicated to bringing in quality brews.

The beers rotate frequently, and nearly all of them are craft brews.
Selection currently includes Unibroue Ephemere, Clipper City Peg Leg, Resurrection, Hoptical Illusion, OD Irish Stout, and about 5 more, including one on cask.

Bottle selection included Koeninghoven, Youngs Oatmeal Stout, Christian Morlein (although I believe they may have just run out of this one), DFH 90min, Unibroue Fin du Monde, and Trois Pistoles, along with some typical shtuff (i.e. Miller Lite, Amstel Light, etc).

Now... the bartenders are very knowledgable, and one went to Wake Forest, which wins her bonus points with me. They are also very quick to serve, and are, as I mentioned before, very friendly.

On to the food.... oh the food. Their chef specializes in carribean food, and does a very good job with anything spicy. He's not afraid to be creative and make his own sauces and recipes, which I greatly respect.

All in all, excellent bar... highly recommended.

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Photo of Umbra
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Mahaffrey’s is an unassuming corner beer bar in a neighborhood mainly known for smoky, loud sports bars. Although it has the mural in the back painted by the same guy that did the murals in Lager’s and Claddagh, everything else sets them head and shoulders over their neighbors. Old-school tin ceilings, nice wooden bar, and jukebox on the side. There are a few tables in the back that sit in front of a mural. Upstairs is non-smoking with nice teevees. For those of you from out of town, there is ample parking in the nearby Safeway.

Selection just rocks; including proper glassware and a cask that doesn’t last very long. The recent 12 days of Christmas (each with its own new brew) filled the time during Christmas vacation. There are about eight taps to be had. Even if you were short sighted and didn’t see the taps, you’d definitely catch a peak at the stellar collection of beers in bottles. They are presented hanging on the mirror behind the bar, lined up in no particular order, but there is a menu with the heavy hitters, since he has more than what is up there.

Besides Wayne, the service people have a good knowledge and are very fast and friendly to help. On top of all that, they have specials. Pints can be had frequently for $2.75.

The food has steadily improved as they've been open. Most stuff will be cooked in front of you if you are sitting at the bar. Steak night and other phat specials are awesome. the overall menu seems to change slightly every time I'm there.

Overall: Literally leaves me on the fence when trying to consider the best beer bar in Baltimore. Max’s only beats out Wayne’s place because of their age and hugeness. If you are looking for a great corner neighborhood joint with great beer, good food, and a good time, Mahaffey’s is for you.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

It might be a blessing or a curse that I found this place mere stumbling distance from my apartment. A little corner neighborhood bar, this place has a good old-time neighborhood feel without being dingy and divey. The waitstaff was helpful and honest (my waitress admitting that she wasn't a beer-drinker but recommended talking to another waiter who was), the selection was made up of some great local, domestic and import drafts as well as tons of great botttles. Belgians galore, as well as great American microbrews, some local to the area. I didn't have the food but it looked awesome and the prices were very reasonable. Same goes for the beer, and there look to be drink specials often, including a happy hour that can't be beat. I think I've found my neighborhood bar.

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Photo of cracker
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I am very impressed with this place. Heard about it through pubcrawler.com and decided to check it out. As the previous reviewer mentioned, there area about 8 or so taps. They seem to always have Brewer's Art Resurrection but the remaining taps are rotated regularly. Some I've seen are several beers styles from microbrews such Troegs, Stouts, Old Dominion, Avery, Victory, Dogfish Head, Celebration from Sierra Nevada, a Belgian here and there, German wheats, locals from Capital City (even Fuel!!) and so on. There are about 20+ bottles as well. Food that I've tasted has been very good (esp. the Jamaican jerked chicken sandwich). The amosphere can sometimes be a little too much of the O'Donnel square crowd (i.e. Miller, Bud drinkers who are looking to get laid). Fortunately most of them stay in O'Donnel square, but you can easily escape them by going to the back tables or even upstairs.

Last but not least, the owner Wayne is very friendly and knowledgeable about what he has to offer. He will make great recommendations to you if you're not sure. Two thumbs up for Mahaffey's. Only wish it were closer to where I live.

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Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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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Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
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!!

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

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Photo of Aewachiw
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Perrumpo
4.43/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of brewandstew
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore, MD
94 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.