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The Maiden Publick House

Your Rating: None
The Maiden Publick HouseThe Maiden Publick House
12 Ratings
The Maiden Publick HouseThe Maiden Publick House

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

46840 Highway 1
Big Sur, California, 93920-9507
United States

(831) 667-2355 | map

Located at the Big Sur River Inn.

Added by hopdevil2112 on 09-08-2005

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by ALECOHOLIC:
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

We hit the pub on our way north after a night of camping and some day hikes. As mentioned in previous reviews, the pub is not within eye shot of route 1. We parked on the inland side of the highway and walked across. It was easy enough to find at the south end of the "village".
We sat down at the large bar and were promptly greeted by the barkeep. There was a nice draft selection to choose from so I didn't bother to look over the bottle list. We started with the beer battered artichoke hearts. That were fantastic! I had the BLTA sandwich and the GF ordered some kind of roast beef / horseradishy sandwich. Both of them were yummy. Next time I will camp closer to the pub. We were down at Limekiln which is a great spot for camping but more isolated from nearby eating and drinking options. BTW you can gas up here too.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Cubro
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of axxe
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Sort of a transcendental crossroads, a meeting place full of travelers, locals, tourists, old hippies (wizard-bearded Clyde was blowing bubbles outside on the patio), all manner of people. The cozy, worn-in barroom has been here for a couple decades I was told, but under new ownership as of 2008. A woodburning stove sat in one corner, with random wooden tables and chairs scattered about, and a seriously worn wood floor. Small bar is front and center, with seating for 10 maybe. It was very cozy, like a traditional neighborhood pub in the UK or Ireland. Some dusty obscure Belgian bottles lined the shelves above the bar (not for sale) like Verboten Vrucht, a random Belgian Pils, and others.

A chalkboard above the bar detailed a few new beers and draft selections. Drafts were: Wipeout IPA, 21st Amendment IPA, Sierra Nevada Tumbler, Fat Tire, Guinness, and one other craft tap that escapes me. The beer list was well designed, organized by style, with full descriptions. For a beer geek there was a good range of styles though the imports felt a bit by the books and not overly extensive. Surely the list is plenty adequate for the tourist crowd though. There were some great CA beers here, like Wipeout and a couple cans from Uncommon Brewers in Santa Cruz. They also had Goudenband, Duchesse, Chimay, and a few other Belgians. Also a dedicated shelf of Hamms... this being "the land of sky blue waters" and all, old Johnny from Chicago would be proud.

Ate here twice, and the beer battered salmon fish & chips were the standout. Excellent flavor and crisp texture. Other specials were the roast beef & brie sandwich, and fried "dixie pickle" spears. Mostly pub grub with some quality touches here and there.

The real draw here is the feel and atmosphere, in the hidden, isolated environs of the surrounding forests. A gem of a place to be sure, and one to return to again in the future.

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Photo of bbothen
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Located right on Ca highway 1 in the Big Sur village. You have to look for it. No storefront visable from 1. The entrance & patio face the Big Sur river.

5 or so taps and an extensive beer list. The list is nicely put together by style with descriptions of each beer & how they fit into that style. Lots of Nor Cal micros like Speakeasy, Bear Republic, North Coast, Lost Coast, etc. Nice selection of belgians as well with Delerium Tremens & Chimay. Everything served in proper glassware.

The first few times I was here there was a bit of Iron Maiden memoribilia on the walls as the owner is/was a huge fan apparently. On my visit in June 2008, it was all gone so possibly new ownership. Although the same bartender was there. Heck of a nice guy, wish I asked his name. Will for sure next time.

If you are in the Big Sur area & looking for a good beer this is your best & only option. Good on them for having the selection they do, when they probably don't have to.

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Photo of Maerzen
4.1/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

After noticing The Maiden Publick House on a California camping map and reading the reviews on BA, we knew that we just had to check this place out on our way to Pismo. The other reviews are right; if you didn't know this place was here you would drive right by it, which I have done a couple of times. The sign on the road just says "Pub" along with a couple of other stores in the "Village." The only sign saying Maiden Publick House that I saw was on the portable fold out sign in front of the door.

The atmosphere was that of a nice, small beer pub with darts in the back. A band came in toward the end of our dinner. A bit small for band but enjoyed it all the same. Typical pub fare at reasonable prices and a nice guy behind the bar. The great thing about this place is the beer menu - 5 or 6 pages long with a well written discription of each category of beer of which there were many.

I won't miss this place again the next time I'm in Big Sur.

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Photo of ksullnh
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I found the Maiden on BA and then had to stop there on my vacation to the Central Coast and Big Sur in April '07 - I wasn't disappointed. It's a small spot tucked in the village center of Big Sur, just a couple miles south of Andrew Molera SP.

The selection was very impressive (I'd guess just over 100 beers in bottles, and 5/6 on draft), and the menu had great descriptions of styles, as well as diverse offerings from both the US and abroad.

Being a weekday afternoon, I had a chance to talk beer with Bill, one of the owners. He was very friendly and I was impressed by his knowledge and commitment to getting the best beer available for the pub despite distribution challenges in their somewhat isolated location.

Very reasonable prices for CA in general and especially for Big Sur.

English soccer on the tv that day - As a bonus for other displaced New Englanders (or those on vacation) they carry and show Red Sox games.


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Photo of VegasBill
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is a very interesting small pub. To get there from Carmel/Monterey, just as you are entering the small village of Big Sur on the right is the Village Shops and the pub is located there. The interior is very comfortable with a British Pub feel to it, and there is a small area in front just as you enter with a few tables.
There are only six taps but a huge bottled list with around 100 on it and very reasonabe pricing.
The food is pub fare but again fair prices and very tasty. I was with a friend and we shared the wings and an order of fish and chips, both very good.
If you are interested in talking beer you can be very happy here, as these people really know and respect good beer.
A final note, I think they have changed the hours for Winter and do not open until 3pm or so.
If anyone is in the area this is definitely worth a stop, good people, good beer and good food.

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Photo of mfallon
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wonderful place! I wish I lived closer. We were up in Big Sur for the weekend and knew we wanted to stop by the pub. I couldn’t find too much information about it before we went up there, so I didn’t know what to expect. It exceeded our expectations. I am a big fan of Belgians and they had plenty. One of my favorites is Maudite and they had that on tap, very rare, so I had to try. Again, I really wish I was closer because I would love to try all of the great beers they have available.

The owners were awesome people! Very friendly. Knew all about the beers. Danni let me try some of her Melbourn Bros. Strawberry from a sample cup which I had never had before and I loved it. If you are in the Big Sur area or anywhere near it, I highly recommend stopping by here. It is a rare find. We’ll be back again!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped here while in Big Sur after researching on BA. I never would have known otherwise, it's tucked away on the back side of another building with the only sign saying "PUB".

There were plenty of tables for eating (mostly burgers and sandwiches on the menu) and room at the bar for maybe 6-8. There were 6 taps, offering Hoegaarden, Pilsner Urquell, some IPA, and 3 others I can't remember. But in addition to that there were over 100 bottles, focusing on Belgian beers but with reasonable selection of American microbrews and some UK and Germans thrown in as well.

Prices were decent, I recommend this stop if you're cruising Highway 1 (I'd stop for the night at the campground). Just don't drink and drive, the fall off the cliff would ruin your day.

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Photo of twelly
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This part of Hwy 1 has some good camp grounds and we knew we would like to come back, which we did early June 2006. The first time we stayed we didn't realise this gem was here, it's tucked away in a car park, but I found reference to it on BA. Good job, it was one of the reasons we stayed in the area for three nights instead of two. Didn't try the food as there is a place next door that we like, but the choice of ale is exceptional with nearly 90 on the Belgian style beer menu. Most are bottled, with a fantastic choice of continental European beers from Belgium and Germany to compliment the decent range from Californian micros. There were six on draught, the lone US beer was Moylan's Hopsickle Imperial IPA @ 9.2% ABV, wish I'd written some tasting notes.
Bill and Danni have done a great job with this pub, combining an English style interior with a Belgian menu and American beer, the name comes from their love of Iron Maiden (crap English rock band), and their emblems are from two crap English football sides.
Bill knows his beers and will talk at length about his love of well hopped styles. In their absence the staff are as friendly as the locals, which makes for a very pleasant, if not entirely sober evening. Well worth the 6000 miles we had to travel to get here, and with luck we'll be back for another visit.

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The Maiden Publick House in Big Sur, CA
Place rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 12 ratings
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