Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub

Ebenezer's Restaurant & PubEbenezer's Restaurant & Pub
BA SCORE
96.9%
Liked This Place
4.71 w/ 160 ratings
Ebenezer's Restaurant & PubEbenezer's Restaurant & Pub
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

44 Allen Rd
Lovell, Maine, 04051-3919
United States

(207) 925-3200 | map
ebenezerspub.net

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by DarkStar2222 on 08-16-2005

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
160
Liked:
155
Avg:
4.71/5
pDev:
9.34%
 
 
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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of far333
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Finally made it to this beer geek mecca. Such a remote area for such a gem of an establishment. Luckily was on a ski trip about 45 minutes away. Looks unassuming from the outside, but the inside is friendly and warmly decorated with a smallish bar/taproom area. We bellied up to the bar directly in front of the bottle fridge to behold all that was available.

Selection was amazing, good mix of domestic and imports and we were able to sample many interesting selections while enjoying a great meal. The server Mike was very knowledgeable and helpful and attentive.

The only criticism is that the selection on the web site is a sample, and not exactly what is available at any point in time, and there was no bottle list at the bar (apparently being updated?), so it was not easy to browse all that was available. Also there was no Black Albert available, which was a disappointment. Luckily I had had it before, but imagine how disappointing that could be for someone who came very far just seeking out that beer. I would think that there could be a plan to better manage the inventory on such a rare beer that people seek out, but admittedly I don't know all the details of production, distribution, access to ingredients, etc. that may influence something like that.

Overall a great experience with great people and great beer and great food, a must-see/must-do for any craft beer fan.

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Photo of benzalman
4.85/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of blisscent
4.57/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of jim102864
4.9/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I managed to convince my wife that driving 5 1/2 hours north to a small town in the woods of Maine to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary at a Belgian beer bar last weekend was a great idea. Based upon what I'd read about Ebenezer's, it was a sure bet. We were not to be dissapointed. I'll leave the physical layout for others who've already covered that. As we walked in through the outdoor seating area, the first thing we noticed was the Pannepot sign that was obviously being hand painted. Absolutely beautiful. Upon entering the bar which was half full, there were two older bikers wearing their colors which suprised the both of us. They left shortly after arriving and we took their seats. Hanna was our waitress. she was hands-down the best server I can remember in any restaurant. Attractive, pleasant with a good sense of humor, and extremely well versed in everything served at Ebenezer's. She treated us like we were the only customers there that evening. She recommened a sampler, so we picked five Belgians to start the evening, all of course on tap: Echt Kreikenbier; Black Albert; Avec les Bon Veux; Cantillon Rose Grambinus and our mutual favorite, Oude Beersel Framboise. The Framboise had an almost meady constistency to it, slightly sweet but not cloying. A spectacular brew. Black Albert, suprisingly enough, came in second. The evening ended about five hours later, but not before we enjoyed additional brews such as Ichtegem Grand Cru, an Allagash and De Preof blend served by Chris himself who also stopped by to say hello. What a great guy. Het Kappitel Abt was buttery and delish and enjoyed by both of us. Brasserie De Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter Ale (750ML bottle). Before I forget, Hanna went out of her way to question us about flavors we sought, then brought us three bottles and described each before we selected the Special Winter Ale. After Chris stopped by (we now had four glasses on the table for the two of us), a short while later, the De Streusse brewers also stopped by and popped open a bottle of what else? Pannepot Reserva, 2005. What a thrill to meet the guys behind the beer. As I think about it, we finished with a saison from The Breury served by Chris. The food was also excellent. We enjoyed the blueberry glazed shrimp on the barbie along with some artichoke dip and chips. My wife had steak tips that were sweet and delicious. I loved the seafood plate over pasta which was chock full of lobster, shrimp, scallops and mussels. Hanna clandestinely brought the doggie bag to our table just prior to leaving (a bottle of Black Albert within). We stayed at the Old Saco Inn whic was about 3 miles down the road, which we also recommend. A great time, a great restaurant and an evening to remember because of Hanna, Chris and the boys from Desteuesse.

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Photo of BierBliss
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of mbonugli
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.73/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Nothing to say except, WOW. The best selection in the USA. Easily some of the rarest and most amazing Belgian beers I have ever laid eyes on. Go for the beer, stay for the food, it also does not disappoint.
And some day I will attend Night of the Great Thirst, then my life will be complete....

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I can't believe it's taken me this long to get to Ebenezer's. While staying in Maine with some friends we decided to visit the pub on a cloudy Saturday afternoon. None of us realized reservations are accepted and almost the entire restaurant was reserved tables. Luckily we got 2 separate tables in the back. The restaurant itself isn't anything special. There's lots of Belgian beer paraphernalia on the wall and the glass tap handles were pretty cool. Other than that, it's a typical restaurant setting. I think I was expecting something a little more 'coffee shop' like. A place where you can go and hang out with your friends over some beers.

The service was very slow when we arrived. It was almost a half hour before the waitress came by to take our drink/food order. At the time a lot of tables were clearing out (early dinner crowd) and the late eaters have not arrived yet. So it wasn't really that busy. Overall though, our server was fine once we got into her rotation.

Everything was top notch. We wanted to save room for beer so we only ordered some appetizers. The Frites and quesadilla's were awesome and the Brie ragoons (If I remember correctly) were fantastic. I've had their burgers at Lion's Pride, and must say they are fantastic. Every beer on the menu is world class and most not something you'll typically find at a bar. All six of us ordered something different and passed it around so everyone could enjoy a sip.

The beer prices are on the high side ($8-14 for a draft glass of beer), but the food prices seemed reasonable.

Overall, I enjoyed the food and beer at Ebenezer's and will definitely return again. However, the next time I'm going to be sure to make a reservation.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Recently my wife and I made our first trip up to this bastion of great beer for the annual Belgian Beer Fest, and though our expectations were sky high, they were exceeded in every way. It's safe to say we will be venturing up frequently now that we know that this place does indeed truly exist!

Set in the evergreens on the edge of the Lake Kezar Country Club, Ebenezer's is a beer oasis - only you travel through some stunning scenery that includes the Saco River and White Mountains, rather than cross a desert on a camel to reach your destination.

The first sense you get that you are in for something special and unique in this rural Maine environment is when you notice the Delerium Tremens umbrellas covering the outside tables and the St. Sixtus Banner hanging from the building.

Beer paraphernalia can be found throughout the cozy pub and the 10-12 seat bar is both inviting and a great place to take in all the action when things get hopping, as they did on the first Saturday of the fest when wall-to-wall beer lovers of all ages (ok, not under 21!) were enjoying the phenominal line-up and lively conversations.

Plastic checkered tablecloths cover the tables on the screened in porch and in the main dinning and drinking area, more seating can be found. It is certainly not an upscale joint but it seems perfect for the setting and the friendliness of the staff and owners, Chris and Jeni Lively. You're made to feel like family almost immediately and you can not help but relax and enjoy the fine beers and company.

Since this was the Belgian Beer Fest, the line-up of beers on tap was jaw dropping. Gouden Carolus Cuvee de Emperor, Gulden Draak, Unblended three-year-old Boon Gueuze, Stille Nacht, the only keg of Westmalle Tripel in the world! These were (are) just a few of the beers to be had on the new thirty-plus tap system. The bottle list is just as amazing and contains some truly rare gems including 1968 Thomas Hardy's, 1975 Gales Prized Old Ale and Westvleteren 12.

The food was excellent! Pomme frites were cooked to perfection with rosemary mayonaisse to dip them in. Flemish Carbonade, Witloof with ham, Waterzooi and a killer Belgian cheese plate were all outstanding.

But the thing that really sets Ebenezers apart from every other beer destination that I've been to is the passion of the people who run it on a day-to-day basis. Chris is truly a beer advocate of the highest order and he organized a fest the likes of which has never been seen. The lengths that he went to to bring together the beers and food for the fest is amazing and to top it all off he was busting his ass in the kitchen cooking, along with a belgian chef also brought in for the event, when he wasn't out entertaining his guests. His wife, Jeni, was tending bar for the multitudes and making sure everyone was happy with their beers.

Carlo and Urbain, two of the brewers from Struise (creators of Pannepot) who were in attendence throughout most of the week, were flown in just for the event and brought with them a beer (Black Albert) brewed just for the fest. They are true gentlemen and their knowledge of beer was humbling. I will never forget them blending 1977 George Gales Prized Ale, 27 and 26 year-old Westvleteren 12's along with fresh Westy 12 to make a drink that could only be considered revelatory -- a one-of-a kind treat that left all in attendence in awe.

In conclusion, I can not recommend Ebenezer's enough to anyone with an appreciation for fine beer, food and conversation in a comfortable, inviting setting.

Also, if you make the trip up to Lovell, make sure to stay at the Center Lovell Inn, located about three miles from the pub. It is a quaint old-fashioned B&B with great service and the best breakfast I have ever had. It's been featured in Bon Appetite, the New York Times and the Boston Globe. I also have to recommend golf at the Lake Kezar Country Club, with its Donald Ross designed front nine and new and exciting back layout. It's certainly a bargain at $66 for two with cart on a summer weekend!

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Photo of Burt
5/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Overlooking a golf course, screened in porch area with plenty of seating. Inside it is decorated with posters, banners and beer bottles of brewery's from all over the world. The bar is copper topped with seating for 8. It overlooks a large 4 door cooler with great selection of beer and a line of taps that has about 30 with 4 or 5 more taps in front.

Everything that we had to drink was top notch.

The service was great, the two bartenders were very attentive and made suggestions for us.

Can't say anything but wow with the selection to choose from on tap and bottle.

Food was well prepared and delicious. Recommend the steak tips.

Value was reasonable to pricey but well worth it.

I was lucky enough to meet Chris Lively, he offered us a tour of his beer cellar and was blown away with his collection that he had. Chris was nice enough to ask what beers I liked and he made some awesome suggestions that we took advantage of. Chris thank you for the great conversation and beers that our group had.

If you are in the area this is the place to go.

 1,060 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

At this point, with nothing but A+ ratings, the only thing I can do is "ding" the bell one more time.

I am happy to write that I spent the time & the money to visit this awesome place. While on vacation last week from Florida, we reached our northern-most point, Portland, on Saturday afternoon. Needing to catch a plane the next morning, my wife sacrificed having to drive the return trip to Boston at 10 PM in order for me to drive another hour from Portland to experience Ebenezer's.

When I walked in the bar area, the lady server grinned and said, "Welcome to Heaven". Well, I must say, if there is such a place, my dream is that my arrival would go exactly like this :-)

I had time to try only six beers, all never before seen by my eyes. They were all great. The price? I found them no more expensive than any other place where beers of this quality are served. I say this for people concerned about price---personally, for me, price is secondary.

fwiw, my GPS (Garmin 765) did find it, however you might try your avoidance settings. Once in Lovell, the device wanted me to turn on a one-lane road filled with large pockets of water (due to a lot of recent rains). I simply kept going, allowing the GPS to recompute a new route, and in 5 minutes, we were there!

Also, we had no cell signal (AT&T, iPhone), so if it's your first time there, you might want to go before it gets dark in case you are forced to ask someone where the place is.

Don't be afraid of this though---GO if you've never been. Once there you will be blown away seeing license plates from all parts of the US, and you will feel at home. I hope to return again & spend two days next time instead of two hours.

Some say that we Americans are living in the best times in our 400 year history for beer in the United States. After visiting this terrific place, I AGREE. Ebenezer's is on the cutting edge of this Renaissance.

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Photo of SevaTse
4.3/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Reviewed on: 08-15-2011 14:54:20
Finally made it out there- booked a camp site nearby, so everything finally fell into place for me to cross this place off my list(and to come back again and again!)

The beer selection was outstanding. I prefer to see all the breweries and pour sizes listed, but the descriptions and quality made up for the fact that not all beers listed the maker and no pour sizes were provided. To other bar owners- if you are gonna be vague about what and how much of it you're serving, you better have a tap list comparable to these guys!
We sat at a table overlooking the golf course, and than moved to the bar, to get a real feel of the place after were done with our meal. I ordered a burger and my wife ordered a turkey reuben- both were outstanding and not ordinary. The waitress did not automatically offer home-made mayo for the frites, but was happy to bring it over once we asked(good thing we remembered to ask- it was goood).
Once we ventured over to the bar, which was tended by the owner and his wife, we got more good recommendations from them and got the world famous tour of the cellar. Overall a great experience.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.53/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of kingcrowing
4.94/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Came in here on Friday 8-30 for the 6th annual Belgian Beer Fest with a few friends. I've wanted to come here for a long time and I'm glad I was able to make it.

First off, I was at the fest and that's the menu I was looking at so I don't know if the prices were normal or higher than normal but this was hands down the most expensive bar I've ever been to. Most of the pours were around $10, some as high as $14. However, the pours were all of an appropriate size and the beers were all amazing. I think that $12 for a glass of beer is expensive, but I can't get Cantillon or Drie Fontenin on tap anywhere else, so it's hard to compare.

I had a Black Albert Batch 0, Cantillon Vigeronne, Cantillon Cuvee des Champions, and I split a bottle of Victor Francenstein. I was blown away by every beer, Chris seemed really nice and our Waitress seemed pretty knowledgeable as well.

This place is very much worth seeking out (I'd say stop if you were close but it's in the middle of nowhere!), just make sure you've got some money. I didn't eat while I was there but the food looked fantastic. Hopefully next time I'm in Maine I'll be able to stop back!

 1,150 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Well, I hate to be a bandwagon jumper here, but damn, Ebenezer's is awesome. Stopped by on a Monday night in early June, which ended up being good timing since this place apparently gets packed during peak season. This place really is in the middle of nowhere. It's on the edge of a golf course outside a tiny town in the lake region of Maine. If you haven't been to this area, it's worth it even without Ebenezer's. Ebenezer's, though, can be a beer experience unlike any other.

Make sure to get in touch with Chris before you go, and also make sure they won't be closed. Chris is about as interesting of a guy as you'll meet in the beer world. He's got all kinds of stories and opinions about beer and everything else. He's also extremely generous - he shared several awesome and rare beers with my fiance and me free of charge. We sat around for awhile after they closed just shooting the shit and drinking excellent beer. We also got to take a look at his cellar, which is absolutely mind-blowing.

Besides the "VIP treatment" however, the standard tap and bottle selections are excellent. Prices can seem a little high, but they're really not when you consider what you're getting. I had a Pannepot Wild, a Brooklyn Dark Matter, a Cantillon Vigneronne, and a couple others. Like Chris himself said, it may not be the absolute rarest draft list in the world, but if you can't find enough amazing beers to drink here, you need to check yourself into the mental institution. I got the impression that if super-rare is what you're looking for, Chris can definitely hook you up. In general though, it seems that he's not trying to cater to the "ticker" crowd.

Finally, the food is awesome. The lobster roll was one of the best I had in Maine, the Ruger burger, fries, and calamari special were all excellent. Chris also gave us a cheese and beer pairing that was incredible.

At best, Ebenezer's is going to be flat-out one of the greatest beer experiences you've ever had. At worst, you're going to sit in a bar in one of the most scenic parts of the country, eat great food, and drink world class beer. If that doesn't do it for you, just admit it, guy: you probably don't like beer.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.78/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of my favorite pubs (if not my favorite!). Tucked away in this small, sleepy town in Maine. Nice atmosphere, very cozy. Small bar though (only like 7 or 8 seats). Lots of quality taps (can't quite remember them all because the last time I was here was in February but off the top of my head: Ayinger Celebrator, Cantillon Kriek, De Ranke, Allagash Black and Curieux, Pizza Port, etc etc.) Not many American beers, this pub specializes in imports, particularly Belgians. A huge Fantome collection, plus some rarities including Chimay Doree and Westvleteren. Lots of Struise too, of course. The owner, Chris, is awesome and very generous, if you get the chance to talk with him. The food is superb too. Truly a must visit, even if you're 7+ hours away. Probably the best pub in America, at least on the East coast.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.72/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have made two visits to Ebenezer's, the first was last fall, and the second was this month. My friend and I plan to make an annual pilgrimage to Lovell to visit Eb's because it's fun to get lost in the woods, on narrow dirt roads, and then GPS your way to the best beer selection in the country.

The food is quite good. I recommend the Chimay burger - gooey and delicious. It is also entertaining to sit on the patio and watch the local golfers hit in to the green adjacent to the parking lot. Oh, right, the beer...

To toss out examples of Chris Lively's killer selection, last year I started with a flight of four Cantillon tasters. Four Cantillons on draft - incredible. Fell in love with Val Dieu Grand Cru, then split my first bottle of Fantome Saison. This year the drafts I sampled included Struise Pannepot Wild, De Ranke XX Bitter, Petrus Aged Pale, Troubadour Magma, and La Rulles Tripel. There are so many tasty Belgian draft options, and the bottle list goes on forever.

This is a destination where the service is great, the surrounding area - in the shadow of the White Mountains - is breathtaking, and there's more great beer available than you can imagine. A must visit for any beer enthusiast.

And maybe one of these years I can sweet-talk Chris into giving me and my buddy a tour of the infamous cellar, although I'm starting to think it's just an urban legend, doctored up in a Portland TV studio. You know, like the Moon landing...

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Photo of mcintire78
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of BeTheBall
4.83/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went there this past weekend from souht of Boston for my birthday. Got there first for lunch on Saturday. The place is filled with great beer paraphenalia, and loved that! Small but cozy bar with maybe 10 seats, a few tables in the bar area, and a larger room with more tables for larger parties, looking out on a Donald Ross course!
It was kind of slow, so my wife and I sat at the bar. Had very helpful and attentive service from the waitress/bartender upon arrival; she made us feel right at home. Chris, the owner was also around, and I had told him a week before I was coming, so he guessed correctly and we talked lots about his place, beer, and life. I drank a couple of Belgian ales and ate the Killer Chicken sandwich for lunch. Great sandwich, and great beer. I was extremely fortunate to also get a tour of Chri's cellar, which was a humbling and incredible experience. I can't imagine that there is anywhere in the world quite like it. All I can say is WOW!
Took a few hour break and returned for dinner, and more drinks. Drank a couple of bottles of Schneider Aventinus from 2007 and 2008 that were amazing, along with a couple of Belgians that were very good. I had the Sausage Fest for dinner and was very pleased. It was tasty and huge, a perfect coimbination. Later in the evening as the place thinned out a little and it was just the two waitresses/bartenders running the whole place, frankly it wasn't easy to get their attention at the bar seats, but I would go back in a heartbeat.
We drove 3.5 hours each way basically to go to a pub, and I am very, very happy that I did it. I honestly can't wait to do it again. I loved everything about the place; well the service toward the end could have been better, but it didn't spoil the experience.
I highly suggest getting to Ebenezer's, a must, must journey for any serious beer lover. We also stayed the night at the Old Saco Inn, which was lovely and also very pleasant. Thanks Chris!

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.68/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A big thanks goes out to Sean (Truh) and Tiana for guiding us to this place...visited with this fantastic pair and of course my wife and daughter. In the middle of nowhere, but oddly enough, right next to a golf course, so accesible to locals and others looking to unwind after a round of golf.

Enter to a decent sized enclosed patio, with an entranceway into a handful of tables inside and the magnificent bar that is Ebenezer's.
Greeted upon arrival by Chris and escorted promptly to our table...service was very attentive and they certainly knew we were there for the beer first and foremost.

Excellent draft choices...all served in the proper glassware (duh)...a few non-belgian beers, but this was not what we came for.
I enjoyed a Boon Unblended Gueze, a Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic, and a few samples thanks to Chris.
Three huge coolers filled with some expected offerings, but also many of the rarest, and surprisingly affordable bottles available in the US.

The Coconut shrimp I had was top notch...fresh and served with an awesome sweet and sour sauce...my wife was very happy with her burger (mmmm...buttered roll) and the kids menu was typical.
Plenty of room outside for the kids to unwind, especially in the milder months.

Service was (as mentioned) quick and no glass was left unfilled.
A true beer destination for not only the location, but for the top notch selection of both draft, but bottled selection as well.

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Photo of MsRif
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

What can be said about Ebenezer's that hasn't been said before? Unlike many places that are overrated, this little establishment is worth the hype! My husband and I planned our entire wedding trip/honeymoon around traveling through New England for a "beercation", and Ebenezer's was a major motivating factor in heading up to Maine (where we got married). Unfortunately we hadn't checked in advance to make sure they were open, and it was the off-season so they were making their own hours at the time. Luckily, they opened the bar just for us. Yes...you heard right. We were the only two people there because they were good enough to open up the place so we could experience what we had traveled so far for. Not only that, but Chris gave us a tour of his AMAZING cellar and gave us some very rare Ebenezer's glassware as a souvenir.

If I could give 10/10 for service, I would. Not only was the service amazing, but the selection was out of this world. I have seen some more expansive selections in terms of number of tap handles/bottles, but in terms of quality Ebenezer's is really unparalleled. As an extra treat, Chris was giving us some free samples of beers that were not supposed to be available for sampling. Really wonderful experience...I only wish we could have stayed longer but we had to run off to make it to get our marriage license. Darn! Food was great...I had some brats and my husband had the buffalo chicken soup which was apparently "the best ever." I look forward to going back to Ebenezer's soon, and trying out The Lion's Pride next time as well!

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Photo of berley31
4.83/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A: Smaller than I expected, at least in terms of the bar. Lots of tables in back and outside, but the bar only seats about 7 or 8. Luckily, my wife and I were able to snag a couple of seats there, next to another BA couple who we ended up talking to quite a bit. Very homey, comfortable place... lots of regulars, everyone seemed very friendly. Soft, old music playing in the background. One TV, I think, sound turned off.

Q + Selection: As good as you've heard. The 35 taps lean heavily towards Belgian beers, of course, and they're great selections. The bottle coolers have a lot of great stuff too.

F: Awesome. We shared a quesdilla appetizer and I had the Chimay burger later... both were fantastic.

Service: What can I say that hasn't already been said? We briefly met Chris, who had to leave early to head to the OTHER awesome place (Lion's Pride), so we barely missed out on a cellar tour... but I wouldn't rate this place based on whether I got a cellar tour or not <cough>. However, the generosity from Chris and Jen, who luckily for us was there most of the evening, was just unbelievable. I'll keep it short: 3F Straffe Winter, Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2008, Russian River Beatification. 'Nuff said.

I don't know how Maine manages to have so many awesome beer bars, but I'm glad they do... and glad I don't live TOO far away. We'll be back. The place is awesome.

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Photo of Truh
4.94/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

"Well, I've been in the business my whole life, and coming up here the same amount of time, and they do it right," the bear of a man said sitting two seats away from me with the Tip O'Neil nose. The mini-me version of Sonny Barger sitting between us nodded in agreement, and tipped back his Bud that he had poured into a pilsener glass.
"Yep, we've been coming up here for years, mostly for snowmobiling, and Ann here always takes care of us," he said and winked at the bartender leaning against the back of the bar under a large Guinness mirror. She laughed and noticed that Kumar was in need of another libation.
"I'll have a Scotch Silly, please," and with that we were off.

Lovell, Maine, was in the middle of nowhere. But we happened to be up in the area for a bachelor's party and had heard about this hidden gem and decided to check it out for ourselves. The bachelor, Little John, couldn't join us, but we made our way over from Bridgton and Rt. 302, only a fifteen minute drive. After a spirited round of golf at the Kezar Lake Country Club during which time Jim "lost" his 7-iron in a pond, and Kumar quit on the 14th hole while lining up a shot from a sand trap due to yet another disparaging remark about his heritage from Jim concerning Bedouins, we walked through the covered patio area of the restaurant and went around the corner to the bar. We considered sitting at one of the tables in the covered area with pristine views of the golf course, but I steered us in to the bar knowing that if we set up shop within view of the holes, Jim would have made a new game out of tormenting those still on the course, and this would only grow in direct proportion to the amount of excellent Belgian ale that we would be consuming.

The bar area was made up of a small, copper-topped jagged bar top with seven high stools, two high tables pinioned into the floor space in front of the bar proper. There were a number of other chairs lined up against the wall, likely for use when things got hopping on late evenings. All in all, pretty small, and yet, also decidedly cozy with some metal brewery signs up and about, some interesting empty bottles above the swinging doors into the kitchen, and the pastiche of tap handles alone would have made the place. We sat down next to the two locals up from Smithfield, RI, and surveyed the taps. Never had I seen such a Belgian draught line-up in Vacationland:

Maredsous 8
Cherish Raspberry Lambic
Scotch Silly
Duchesse Du Bourgogne
Piraat
Gulden Drak
Bornem Tripel
Petrus Triple
Leute Bok
Tripel Karmeliet
Kwak
Stella Artois
420 IPA
Gritty's Halloween Ale
Murphy's
Boddington's

So, out of sixteen tap lines, only four were not Belgian. And many of the Belgian lines were things I had never seen on draught. And not only that, but everything was being served in proper glassware, a wonderful rack of which hung over us at the bar, a tremendous sight. They even had the Kwak and Leute glasses with stands. To the left of the bar was a cooler on full display with over ninety bottles to choose from, including a good selection of 750ml, as well as magnums of Piraat, Gulden Drak, and Leute Bok at $45/apiece. Truly amazing. Prices were a tad stiff at $6.50 for all of the Belgian pours, but well worth it considering where we were. I mean, this was like finding Shangri-la. We didn't even glance at the food menu, but the guys next to us swore by their meat dishes. As we sat and enjoyed our second or third ales, an elderly couple walked in and, without skipping a beat, the gentleman asked for a Kwak. As Ann was bringing it over to him in its stand, Jim swiveled with ferocity and stared bug-eyed at the contraption.
"What in living hell is that," he stammered. "Jesus, give me one of those," and Ann did not disappoint.

The hours went on and I looked over at Kumar with a huge grin who was starting to dip his nose in to his Karmeliet, a quiet whisper of some tune slipping out of his foam covered lips. Jim pushed back from the bar and stuck his head down between Kumar and I, now holding a Gritty's in almost full tilt.
"So, Kumar, are you going to be next? I mean, the way my sister's been talking about you and that night of our Mass. Ave. crawl, you two are pretty much picking out the silverware pattern, right?"
Kumar turned as if his neck were caught in a vice, and quietly said, "Jim, I don't know what you're talking about," as steely a look in his eyes as he could muster. Jim stared back, his ale coming precipitously close to the edge of his glass, and then like a balloon losing it's air, Jim sloughed backwards and yelled, "Fucking cheers," to which our two compatriots on our right, in Pavlovian response, raised their glasses and gave cheers. Disaster averted, and there was no question we'd be coming back here.

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Photo of parris
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub in Lovell, ME
Place rating: 96.9% out of 100 with 160 ratings
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