The Great Lost Bear
Taps: 69 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The Great Lost Bear was recommended to me by a bar tender in Boothbay Harbor. It's a great bar/restaurant in Portland Maine. It's on a main street and very easy to find. I cannot say enough about the beer selection. It was stellar. Four beers on cask including Allagash Black, which was very tasty. Plenty of good quality Belgain's, American, and local beers to choose from on tap. It was more of a "quality over quantity" type of selection. The waitress seemed to know information about the beers. I had 3 different styles of beer and all were served in the proper glassware. We ordered the Jalapeno poppers and were pretty good as well. Highly recommended if you're in Portland, ME.
10-08-2010 21:11:50 | More by StaveHooks
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Great Lost Bear is awesome! This is my home away from home. If you are away from home you can sit in front of the "Bearcam" and it can be a poor man's version of "Skype". The beer selection is great. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The food is good and they have a huge menu. If I lived in Portland I would have to live in the neighborhood around the corner so this could be my regular watering hole. I am on their e-mail list so they send me the "Bear's Growl" every week which is a hoot. Can you tell I am a big fan of this place? The Great Lost Bear deserves all the praise I am giving it.
10-07-2010 21:50:37 | More by adirondack88
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Was able to make my first visit to GLB yesterday when Jason and Todd were in town to brew with Allagash. Fellow BA "cjbmcdon" as well as Rob(founder) and Jason (brewmaster) from Allagash were there too.
We were there about mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, so understandably they were not very busy. Right away the bartender gave us all a chance to try Brewers Blackbeard IPA, a Black IPA from the Sierra Nevada Brewers Camp. A great opportunity to try a beer that only a few people will ever get the chance to try. I also gave Peeper Ale from Maine Beer Co. a try and was fairly impressed and look forward to more from them.
The beer selection was pretty solid, with a heavy focus on Maine/ New England Breweries. Jason (from Allagash), pointed out the tap tower that was installed just for Allagash brews, making it possibly the best place in town for Allagash on tap.
Overall, a great experience with a great group of people.
09-01-2010 19:38:07 | More by Kinsman
4/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I have been going to the GLB for about ten years now, and for better or worse, it doesn't seem to have changed a bit.
In the past few years, the beer list has been modified to include a very solid and much larger Belgian section. The rest of the taps are all craft beers, and the selection is crazy.
"Allagash Row", the section of taps dedicated to Allagash beers, means you can get some Allagash drafts in one place that usually you have to go searching for. For example, we were there Sunday night and they had Allagash Blonde and Fluxus 2010 on tap, two beers I haven't seen in the same place before.
Now the big weakness for me at the GLB is the service. Slow, slow, slow and understaffed. Definitely not Novare Res in terms of knowledge of the staff, I had an argument with a waitress when she brought me Rogue Dead Guy when I ordered Rogue Half-E-Weizen. I don't expect staff to talk about rare lambics with inticate knowledge, but knowing a hefe should be cloudy, come on.
The food is very solid pub food. Nothing amazing, but the prices are really solid. The beer is what shines here.
08-12-2010 18:25:34 | More by gtn80
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Great folks and great beer selection (69 taps), many you don't see anywhere else in Portland. PBR and Narraganset in cans. The Bear is the type of place where you sit at the bar with good friends drinking great beer: Stone, Rogue, Dogfish Head, Victory, Leffe, Monk's, Ommegang, Chimay, Delerium Tremens, St. Bernadus, Hoegaarden, Unibroue, Smuttynose, Harpoon, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Loose Cannon, North Coast, Brooklyn, Southern Tier, Sierra Nevada, Red Hook, Abita, etc. and Maine beers like Allagash, Geary's, Gritty's, Shipyard, Atlantic, Sheepscot, Andrew's, Belfast Bay, Sea Dog, Peak, Marshall Wharf and Run of the Mill.
Food is just alright compared to the beer. Not to sound odd (for a Mainer), but I'd add some cheeses and meats, hummus and smoked salmon plates - like the Ginger Man in NYC or the Flying Saucers.
07-27-2010 01:55:08 | More by mmonagh1
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
GLB was chosen as a last minute dinner spot due to a relatively high rating and easy drive from the hotel before taxi-ing to other downtown spots
very much unassuming from the outside, the inside of the place is huge with various dining rooms and a bar area separated by glass partitions, dim and heavily musty with lots of kitschy crap hanging about - mostly beer related and lots of old playbills and neons and such, skipped the outside patio due to a passing thunderstorm and took our seats in an abandoned corner inside - the place was very much dead on an early Friday evening, mostly older couples eating, music questionable to tolerable
draft selection was pretty good, mostly Maine and regional locals with a heavy Allagash representation - which was by far the best local on the list as most others were pretty average in the ratings department, small selection of Belgians, my first selection was kicked so I settled with the so-so Marshall Wharf Big Twitch IPA, current taplist available online
service was friendly and quick, but the waiter was unable to offer much helpful advice about the beers offered, perhaps the bar would be a better bet for this
not really impressed with the food, my guacamole burger was fine but uninspired - patty (cooked as ordered), guac not terribly fresh, lots of bun, and the vegetables completely forgotten; the chicken fajita would have hardly been passable at any chain Mexican food joint, okay but shallow in flavor, fries were fine
food was expensive for what was received, $10 and up, while the beer was pretty cheap, $2.99 for the Hooker Lager on special and $4.50 for the Marshall
I'd stop in again for beer, but would eat elsewhere
07-18-2010 04:12:19 | More by blackie
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Great Lost Bear is an outstanding restaurant and pub. Long bar serving about 50 taps on my visit, with a dual focus on Maine breweries and Belgian beers - Allagash being the middle of that particular Venn diagram. I enjoyed a couple of their offerings on cask, which was a pleasant surprise.
Dimly lit, log-cabin-like feel indoors. Unique enough posters and such on the walls. The bathroom was uniquely filthy, enough to lower my atmosphere score, actually. The quality of the beers on tap is good - I love the local focus, and if I had to pick one country to highlight, Belgium would be it in the brewing scene. Our waiter was very nice and very prompt, but he didn't seem to know a ton about beer.
Of which there was a lot. I was only interested in probably half the menu, but that's normal. The food was outstanding, with many options for vegetarians. We loved the Great Lost Bear and would recommend it to anyone in the greater Portland area.
07-02-2010 23:29:14 | More by BretSikkink
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The last of three stops during my evening in Portland. Could have easily been my first and only. I really dig the "dive" bar feel the place has going for it. The foreign money tacked up above the bar is interesting. Beer signs, stickers, and whatever else they had laying around adorns the walls. The menu looked very tasty...Almighty Cheesus would have been my choice...but we had just ate dinner before coming here. Next time I will eat here, for sure. Big selection of brews available. Lots of locals on tap, which I enjoy seeing when traveling. Some Belgians and Germans, too. Bottle list is a nice mix of locals, micros, and imports. Spring Peeper was my choice and a good one it was. Our bartender was very helpful and friendly. She made us feel like we were regulars. I would highly recommend a visit if you're going to be in the area. Can't wait to get back next year for a longer stay.
03-09-2010 14:01:20 | More by Imstillthegman
2.85/5 rDev -32.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
I want to really like this place. I live in Portland and I have tried on a number of occasions to make this place, "my place", but I can't get passed some basics that the GLB lack.
Most importantly is the selection. At a quick glance, this is the best selection in the state and possibly the region with 60 or so regional beers on tap. But I believe the GLB commits the greatest sin of bars with huge tap selections: not keeping fresh beer. I've had the Sebago Frye's Leap IPA hundreds of times, but I had it at the GLB and couldn't drink it. I even asked them to take it back because I figured it must have been the wrong beer, but they brought back the same gross smelling/tasting thing. This wasn't the first time I've received a beer that seemed "off". Now I'm too scared to try a beer I haven't had before because of the fear of hating a beer I possibly could love.
The atmosphere is kind of cool. It has the real deal version of what places like TGI Fridays go for with the "put any piece of junk up on the wall for decoration" thing. It's part charming, part dirty, which is ok. The food is fine, very fried, very cheesy.
Again, my main concern is the beer freshness. I take great pride in my state's brewing, and would hate for anyone to get the wrong impression by having one of those beers here. If you want to really taste a local brew, go to their own beer bar (Sebago Brewing Co, Gritty McDuff's, etc). Most have them, or try Novare Res.
01-18-2010 18:18:43 | More by Fishersold
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was highly impressed with the Great Lost Bear. I headed up there from Salem, MA for the Dogfish Head Life & Limb party. Was a bit disappointed in that they'd run out of that and Limb & Life by the time the party was supposed to begin. That's where my disappointment ended though! I'd gotten very excited upon reading reviews by other BA members and this place lived up to my expectations. The beer selection was incredible and I was very happy to have the chance to try some brews that I'd not had before, especially on tap. The beer prices were very reasonable, especially compared to what's charged in the greater Boston area.
I was equally impressed with the food. There was a great selection to choose from. I went with the Almighty Cheesus (especially after reading what others had to say about it). That as well lived up to, if not exceeding my expectations! I certainly couldn't eat them too frequently, but the usage of grilled cheese sandwiches in place of a bun is genius! I wasn't disappointed by the service that some others seemed to be. There were a few times where we waited a bit for Shane to return, but given the crowd there, it wasn't unreasonable.
I wholeheartedly recommend you visit The Great Lost Bear. I certainly will be making return trips up there.
01-15-2010 05:41:30 | More by CapnStuBing
The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME
94 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.