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The Great Lost Bear

Not Rated.
The Great Lost BearThe Great Lost Bear

Taps: 69 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N

126 Ratings
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

540 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine, 04101-1507
United States
phone: (207) 772-0300

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @greatlostbear

None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander

New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I counted roughly 51 taps, including the 3 casks and a cider. The beer menu breaks it all out for you by beer type which makes for easy reading. Currently, roughly 30 are from Maine breweries, and about another dozen and a half hail from the other New England states. That means the beer's pretty damn fresh.
They have specials nights (Mondays & Tuesdays are "short beer nights", where they serve jumbo drafts at pint prices and then there's the Thursday Showcase where they feature a specific brewery @ $1.99 a pint). You can do a taster paddle or a beer tower, they've got a weekly draft special, it's a beautiful thing.
Service was good and the place was nicely comfortable. They have dining areas along the perimeters with pleasant collectibles posters throughtout. If there's a better beerbar up North I ain't heard about it.

03-02-2003 19:09:49 | More by slander
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

First stop in Portland, after a too long drive from the home base. Multiple rooms, ample room at the u shaped bar to belly up and scan the extensive draft menu...plenty of local micros, highlighted by 6 from neighbor Allagash, further focus on Belgians and Belgian style. I tried the Sebago Full Throttle DIPA, mighty fresh and flavorful. We got a table as things began to thin out....service all around was low key and on the mark, food was a bit sloppy, fish was overcooked and marginally flavorful. So to recap, def. go for the major league beer choices, the relaxed and low key athmosphere...maybe consider having dinner somewhere else

04-13-2011 01:16:57 | More by Billolick
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome! Cool digs, very comfortable, great atmosphere, excellent service, amazing beer selection, REALLY good food - everything. Now, I'm normally a brewpub guy, but I'd much rather stop at the Bear when I'm in Maine. Kudos! Do not miss!

07-23-2002 13:34:17 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.64/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$

A big old style bar and restaurant not far from downtown Portland. Many taps, lots of selection of what comes through, not all of it great, but some of it not bad. Environment not bad to have a beer by day, but there were nicer in terms of more modern or snazzy places to have beer by night. Service was fine, though understaffed.Prices were fair so that one can have their fill of beer a fraction of the big cities. A go to place for bar food but lots of beer. Cask occasionally on.Worth a stop if in area seeing the brewers.

08-16-2012 20:41:05 | More by Sammy
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

A short drive from the Old Port and easy to find. Small parking lot and plenty of street parking. The building is rather dark when you walk in so your eyes need to adjust from the afternoon light. The bar is a nice big size with plenty of stools with a nice view of the 50 beers on tap. The selection was great - all Maine brews like Allagash, Casco, Shipyard, Sparhawk, etc. and some popular micros like Sierra Nevada. I like the fact they focus on the local beer market. Signs, bumper stickers, breweriana, and beer cans adorn the place.

My wife and I decided to eat lunch here since there was such a big selection of sandwiches. I opted for the Bayou Burger which was one of the best flavored burgers I have ever had. My wife had a crab wrap which she liked but didn't rave about.

The bartender was friendly, but was quite busy serving lunches to the bar and table area just outside the bar. Only stayed for 2 beers, but I wish I could have stayed all afternoon to sample more of the local Maine beers. If you are in the area you must visit this place.

06-22-2005 11:11:06 | More by Gavage
Photo of John_M


3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$

Had not been to this place in several years, and have to confess I was quite looking forward to my return visit. Maybe it's me that has changed somewhat since then, but for some reason I was just a bit disappointed in the GLB after my last visit for lunch.

The GLB is a good size beer bar/restaurant, that for all the world reminds me of a TGIF. There are quite a lot of bear related decorations on the wall, as well as some interesting pictures, newspaper articles, etc. It's good enough for what it is I suppose, but there was nothing particularly warm or interesting about the surroundings here.

As before, the beer selection is the real draw here. GLB has roughly 70 beers on tap, although that also includes things like Stella, Newcastle brown ale, Guinness, etc. They also have some interesting Belgian beers on tap, as well as a nice selection of beers from Allagash, but otherwise I wasn't overwhelmed by the quality of the beers I saw on the beer list.

As mentioned above, we were here for lunch, and we got an order of nachos. While there was nothing wrong with them, they were hardly anything to write home about either. The salsa, for instance, was pretty clearly pace mild, and the rest of our food order was about as interesting. In fact the menu is pretty much made up of your typical pub grub, which here consists of various types of wings, nachos, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. Nothing wrong with that, but it's something I would keep in mind if planning to stop here for food.

As for service, it was fine. We were served by a very young lady, who I felt went a bit overboard in trying to be friendly and accommodating. I was literally starting to get a "fingernails on chalkboard" feeling by the time we left, as her excessively caring presentation started to wear a bit thin. She seemed to know very little about the beer menu, and to this day I'm still confused by her explanation as to why certain beers are not allowed as samplers (they have a regular beer sampler price, and a "Belgian beer" sampler price, yet for some reason certain IPA's couldn't be sampled, because the alcohol was too high).

This is still a good place to sample imports and local beer for a fairly reasonable price, but I'd have to think twice before visiting here again. I just wasn't all that thrilled or impressed after my latest visit.

05-25-2009 01:12:12 | More by John_M
Photo of sholland119


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

We stopped in here early Sunday afternoon for lunch and a couple of beers. Nice place.

Great Lost Bear has a great bar vibe, appropriately dark and welcoming, with a long rectangular parquet bar and a good sized dining room on the left and behind. A bajillion or so taps, very focused on Maine breweries. Lots of Allagash (Curieux on tap and cask!), Sebago and others. We had a couple of reasonably priced sampler trays to start, followed up with a local pint.

Service was good as was the food, especially the Thai Yi Yi (fried flour tortillas with a thai chili dip-simple but yummy). Definitely worth a stop.


02-25-2009 17:38:45 | More by sholland119
Photo of francisweizen


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

THE beer mecca of Portland. A wonderful atmosphere with a few cavernous dining room areas and a long L-shaped bar. Breweriana is all over the walls, lending a local flare to this place that simple can't be beat by ANY of the other local establishments. Wow, is this place cool looking inside. Damn! The quality of the beers is spot on and the prices are superb. I was here on short beer night, and what a deal that is! They also have a bunch of Bottled brews from Bar Harbor, so I opted for the awesome Cadillac mountain stout as my first brew of the night. I also tried their famous chili. Damn was that f'in good and filling or what!? Service was fast, friendly and knowledgable as well. I can't add much to what others have said. This is a true beer bar mecca, and anyone who has easy access to this place, or even better lives up the street, is truly truly lucky. One of many great beer establishments world-wide that I would love to have as "my local". It hurts having no good beer bars within thirty minutes of your home :-( Oh well, I have to get back to Portland sometime soon and quaff here again. The gem of my beery trip to RI, NH, and ME! Do not miss!

03-16-2005 20:41:23 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

This is one of my favorite bier-bars anywhere. Can be viewed as having a bit of a divey aspect to it, what with Christmas lights and odds 'n' ends stuck to the walls, but it's really a gem. Many bier-related items like trays, cans, coasters also dominate the decor. They serve 50-plus (is that the right number?) draft biers, with the majority being fresh Maine biers. Nothing like Geary's Hampshire or Gritty's Halloween from cask! Service is quite good, though if you don't want a lemon in your Hefeweizen you'd best be letting them know beforehand! Otherwise, "major faux pas!". Food is varied, tasty and comes in ample portions. A MUST visit if you're in the area!

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.5
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$


11-04-2002 06:47:40 | More by Bierman9
Photo of blackie


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
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The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME
94 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.