Mahaffey's Pub

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

52 Ratings
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: n/a
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: 52 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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...

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 NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
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!

Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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 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 BillRoth
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of jjboesen
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of mltobin
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
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 !

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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 yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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 DrBier
4/5  rDev -7.4%

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 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 mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Umbra
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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!

Photo of qchic
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of briang01
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of sinistrsam
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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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Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore, MD
95 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.