Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.

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Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.
260 Ratings
Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

112 Pleasant St
Brunswick, Maine, 04011-2207
United States

(207) 373-1840 | map

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Added by ToasterChef on 07-03-2009

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View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of ToasterChef
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This review was written on July 1, as soon as I got home from the Lion's Pride. I think I may have just had the best beer experience of my life. I walked into the empty restaurant and was asked by a server if I wanted I table. I told him I wanted to sit at the bar and he said I was welcome to. As I walked to the beautiful copper topped bar, the woman behind the bar said "You're Nissa's [my wife] significant other...Josh..or something with a J." I told her it was Jim and sat down, amazed that I'm already known by name at a place I've never been to before. [I've been to Ebenezer's, so Jess already knew me]

This initial experience showed me that this place is just as inviting and friendly as Ebenezer's is. Every patron is a friend and is always welcome. Within ten minutes of sitting down I was introduced to Chris Lively (the owner) as a Beer Advocate, and he handed me a $600 bottle of 3 Fonteinen J & J Oude Gueuze that he was planning on uncorking for the official opening of the bar on July 3. You don't get an experience like that at just any bar.

The Lion's Pride is laid out in three sections. As you walk in the front door you enter the dining room. It's full of comfortable looking tables. To your left is a former sun room that provides the closest thing to outdoor seating you'll find here with its glass walls. To your right is the bar area, where I spent all of my time and which I will cover in my review.

As I mentioned, there is an L-shaped copper topped bar. Behind one side of it are the 35 taps, each topped with a custom made blown glass tap handle. There are no brewery labels on the taps, all you have to go by is the wall-length chalkboard listing all 35 draft selections. Continuing the no labels theme is the glassware section behind the other side of the bar. Here you'll find wine, pilsner, tulip and snifter glasses, all unadorned with any markings [No pint glasses! This is a bar with no pint glasses!]. Later on in the evening, they put up a selection of Allagash glasses; it was the only labeled barware in sight, save one random St. Bernadus chalice that looked out of place on it's shelf. I doubt that the Allagash glasses will last much longer than the kegs of Fedelta and White that are currently on offer, unless another Allagash keg is tapped.

Surrounding the glassware are the bottle coolers, although you could easily call them a beer museum. In my quick perusal I spied a bottle of Gargamel, numerous vintages of Cantillons, a selection of De Rankes, and some 3 Fonteinens (including the aforementioned 03 J & J Oude Gueuze), and that was jsut the labmic cooler. At the other end of the bar are a number of Trappist selections, abbey ales and other Belgian goodies.

Elsewhere in the barroom you'll find a flat screen television, a long upholstered bench on one wall, a number of tables with upholstered chairs that match the bench, and satellite blues music on the loudspeakers. On the walls are an assortment of bar signs. Even better than the bar signs are the large murals representing a number of different beer labels form around the country. The walls are either dark red, yellow or black, representing the three colors on the Belgian flag. There is a tin ceiling. I don't recall what the lighting was like, but it was bright enough to feel comfortable. There are a few windows that look onto Pleasant street. It was very cozy and comfortable without feeling forced.

The service was excellent, with everyone eager and willing to discuss beer. They were also quick to ask you if you wanted a refill once your glass got empty (for both beer and water). I forget all the names of the people I met, but each of them would be a perfect server; to have a team this prepared and competent on opening day is amazing.

I didn't try the food, but it looked great. The beef and pork come from the same farm that provides the meat for Ebenezer's Pub, and those selections are to die for. All of the fruit and vegetables are purchased fresh at the local farmer's market. I imagine the seafood is local as well. The cheeses are all artisanal, including some Trappist selections.

One aspect of the bar I cannot review yet is the brewery side. All of the brewing equipment is visible through large windows in the dining room. It will be a few months before anything drinkable is produced, but if it is even half the quality of the rest of this bar, then the beers will be something to go far out of your way for.

In summary, I can't say enough good things about the Lion's Pride. Previously, any beer fan would need to go to any of three places in Maine: Ebenezer's, Novare Res or the Great Lost Bear. We can now safely add a fourth location to that list, and it may very well enter the list at number 1. If God were a craft beer drinker, he's be a regular here. Do whatever you can to get to the Lion's Pride. You will not be disappointed. For me, it is brewpub perfection.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Anyone who has been to Ebenezers and heard about the opening of this place had high hopes for what was originally going to be the Pannepot Cafe.

Three years later, despite legal wrangling, personal differences and a name change, I'm here to tell you that once again Chris and Jen (and Sean Paxton) have a winner!

Upon entering Lion's Pride your eyes are drawn to the beautiful gleaming copper brew kettles, the fantastic tin beer signs, posters, artwork and murals that adorn the walls and the warm and inviting copper top L-shaped bar.

Thirty-five gorgeous hand-blown glass tap handles line one wall behind the bar and they take on a very distinctive kaleidoscopic look when they are backlit when the sun goes down.

Some of the outstanding offerings on tap were Abbey de Saint bon Chein 2008, 2003 Bigfoot, 2005 Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, Old Crustacean, Smuttnose Imperial Stout, De Glazen Toren, Allagash/DeStruise Fedelta and De Ranke XX Bitter.

The bottled beers are out of this world. A cooler full of lambics - various Cantillons, Drie Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, Girardin Gueuze Black Label, etc. Another cooler with shelves of Trappists, Abbey ales, Fantome's offerings, the lion's share of DeStruise's beers, Nogne-O Dark Horizon first and second editions, Mikkeler's beers, Angelique, etc., etc.

Sitting on the bar was a 10 liter bladder of unblended, still Girardin lambic that had an amazing fino sherry quality to it. For the grand opening Chris once again wowed us with his generosity as multiple bottles of JJ Blaw and JJ Roos, Cantillon Crianza Helena, 1978 Hansens Kreik served side-by-side with the 2008 version were opened and shared amongst those in attendance.

To give you an idea of the creativity in the kitchen, Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus and Iris gelatos were supremely crafted and we were able to try a one-of-a-kind beer float that was stunning. The cheese plate was killer and a fantastic value. Generous servings of five well-chosen quality offerings served with just baked bread, grapes, cherries and other fruit. The frites are a basketful of divine inspiration - the perfect crunch matched with two wonderful aiolis. The famous steak tips and Chimay burger have made the trek eastward as well.

All of the aforementioned attributes of Lion's Pride would make it a winner, but just like Ebenezer's it is the service that takes this place to the next level.

Somehow Chris finds the right people to work for him - passionate, sincere, funny and attentive. It's clear that his passion and work ethic transfer to his staff and they feed off his energy. Some of the staff made the trip over from Ebs for the opening (the wonderful Hannah) and its clear that Chris and those who have been with him have immediately trained the new staff the right way. The place just has the right vibe. Anyone who's been to Ebenezer's knows what I'm talking about. It's a place where your feel welcomed and unhurried - a brief respite from the hectic pace of everyday life.

Congratulations Chris, Jen, Sean and DeStruise on a great opening and a fantastic restaurant and beer destination!

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Photo of seanboley
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What a place! What started out as a quick pit stop to see an old friend on a long drive turned into a truly unbelievable evening of incredible Belgian beer.

I was initially blown away by how comfortable and quiet the place was. Considering the selection (see below), if this place was in any more populated area, the line would be out the door and around the corner. But thankfully (at least for me) this was not the case.

The selection would bring tears to the eyes of any self-respecting beer lover. We visited during their first annual Belgian beer fest so the selection was understandably skewed in that direction. They have 35 taps...each and every one of them pumped out nothing but exceptional stuff. We tried the Cuvee des Jacobins, BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, Allagash Interlude, Tsimje BBB, Cambridge's Benevolence and on and on.

The food was pretty tasty as well. "Pliny The Burger" did not disappoint.

The service was exceptional. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff. Certainly some of the best beer bar servers I have come across.

Only complaint - I wish it were closer to my home. Although, it would probably mean I would have to take out another student loan to finance the more than frequent trips I would take there.

Thanks LB and Ryan for an unbelievable time. Hope to be back soon!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A few years ago, after reviewing The Great Lost Bear, I got an email from a guy named Chris up in Lovell. In the email he suggested I try his place, Ebenezer's, because it had everything I could want. As luck would have it, my wife and I were in the area for a wedding the next week, and we spent a more than enjoyable Saturday afternoon with Chris. Since then, despite the two hour drive, we've been back to Ebenezer's several times. Chris and his wife Jen are the best hosts I've ever encountered, and Ebenezer's has a comfortable, homey feel to it.

The Lion's Pride translates quite well from Lovell to Brunswick. It's located on the main drag entering town, easily accessable from the highway. It has ample parking. The exterior is not that attractive, but the inside has been beautifully done. You enter into a main dining room, with an atrium-type room off to the left and the bar to the right. Wood floors, warm colors on the walls. The bar is a beautiful wooden L-shape, with copper top. 35 crystal taps, with the tap selections on a large blackboard overhead. As with Ebenezer's a huge, eclectic, selection, both on tap and in bottles. The food is excellent, and probably a cut above Ebenezer,s.

What will keep me going back, however, are Chris and Jen. They are passionate about their work, take pride in it, and make customers always comfortable.

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Photo of Tery_Noseworthy
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of DocHoliday
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

One of the best, if not the very best, pub-restaurants I've been to. Ranks with the Hopleaf in Chicago (though a friendlier atmosphere--and that is not intended as a slight to the HL).

Ryan and Leigh are superb managers, knowledgeable, welcoming, and they remember their patrons.

The 35 beers on tap are complemented with a large selection of bottled beers. The emphasis is on Belgian and on Maine brews.

Do not be put off by the unassuming exterior of the place. It reeks of mini-mall, but once inside you realize you have entered a beer maven's heaven.

Oh, by the way, the food and service are out of sight as well.

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Photo of parris
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of ajcormier
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of rpstevens
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a long overdue review from the Vagabond release party, but the event was more than memorable so I have no trouble writing a review. The scene was set by the Vagabond release, everyone there had just come from Allagash and was very excited, and Chris and his staff greeted everyone with open arms (and rare bottles!).

The draft list included a number of Allagash offerings, Vagabond, Interlude, Confluence, Barrel Aged Black, Hugh Malone, Odyssey. I also enjoyed a Pannepot and a couple other beers I can't get in NH (or many other places). Chris opened a Gargamel, a Ciranza Helena, and a J&J Blauw for everyone to sample, it was great.

The atmosphere was awesome, just what you'd expect from the "urban eb's", lots of beer signs, cool vibe (lots of wood, copper bar, blown glass tap handles, plenty of natural sunlight). The servers were incredibly busy because the place was packed, but they kept their composure and were friendly throughout my visit. I had a reuben and was impressed, and all the other meals at the table looked great as well. I will definitely return.

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Photo of mightyatom
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

So, I may not be mr. beer advocate, but having grown up in philadelphia and traveled most of the country, i've seen my share of bars and brewpubs.

I happened to pick the right time to return to ebenezer's last weekend (a completely different and absolutely amazing experience) only to find out that chris and jenn's new bar opened 2 days earlier. We stumbled in around noon on sunday and instantly new it was worth the extra driving. There are bars and restaurants that you go to for good food and a good drink. Then there are places like ebenezer's and lion's pride that remind you that there is more to life than what we've become accustomed to.

First off, i have to give them credit for the atmosphere they created. It is clean and fairly upscale but by no means 'snooty'. It is warm and friendly with too many small details to list (but as others have written the tap handles are incredible, the paintings were amazing, and the tanks visible at the entrance put it over the top). Everyone who worked there was friendly and only enhanced the experience.

As far as the beer, i don't see how you could ask for much more. 35 taps with beers that make you look right past the abst 12's and aged big foots. I had a cuvee de jacobins and a de glazen toren. The bottle selection was equally as impressive, with a whole case dedicated to sours. Keep in mind that this place is new and will evolve its selection too, especially when they start brewing with guest brewer's from all over! They just managed to 'throw together' this for the opening. Oh, and as he's known for there was some incredible and ultra rare stuff that chris shared with us.

The food was just right for the place, with solid app's, the ability to get a quality sandwich for $10 (the pork shoulder was marinated for 9 hours and very nice) and entree's (which i didn't have so won't comment on). They gave us some house made gelato as well which you should definitely try. The menu too will evolve as the restaurant does and i can't wait to see what it's like in a year or 2.

Overall, you can't ask for a better bar. They really poured their heart and soul into the place, and while ebenezer's will always be my favorite, one of the servers said it right by calling lion's pride an 'evolution'.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The sister bar to the world renowned and remote Ebenezer's, The Lion's Pride is also certainly worth the haul from all parts.

Hand-made woodwork fits up the bar area with custom blown-glass tap handles, a copper top bar, reproductions of brewing artwork, and vintage tins. Coolers stand at attention, bellies full of rare lambics and Geuzes.
A tap-spanning chaulkboard spills out a drooling variety of Belgian draughts, leaving one bewildered and thirsty.
Earthy colors, inviting woodwork, and warm lighting round out the interior.

The night we visited Chris Lively the owner was there presenting a night of Lambics. A variety of rare, hard-as-tacks and funky as farmyard spontaneously fermented beers were sampled including:

Upland Peach, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Kiwi, Allagash Resurgam Gueze, Red Framboise, and Koelschip with cherries, Jolly Pumpkin Bier de Mars Grand Reserve, Luciernaga Grand Reserve, 3F J+J Blau, and Millenium Gueze.
I also enjoyed a Brooklyn Flemish Gold and my wife had several St. Bernardus Prior 8 from the taps and were in perfect condition.

Our bartender that night was attentive, friendly, and educated.

As for the food, a plate of blazing, gooey nachos slid by us and looked amazing as well as authentic Belgain Frites.

Chris and Jen Lively have done it again with the Lion's Pride.
An incredible selection with world class hospitality in a gorgeous setting.

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Photo of higgsmax
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I live in the New York City area, so my standards for beer bars are pretty high, and I have to say, this might be one of the most exceptional beer bars I've ever been to.

Let's start with the selection: It's truly amazing. At least half (or more) of the taps are beers that you will have a hard time finding anywhere else - rare Belgians, an amazing selection of sours, and really special small batch American craft brews. While they have a handful of standby's that are nearly always on tap, there's plenty of variety to keep things interesting. There's never been a time when I've been to the pub and not had at least a handful of beers that I regretted not being able to try.

Second of all, the service: The couple that runs this place don't just know beer, they are truly educated and passionate about it. They handpick all the drafts, and have good reasons for each of their choices (which they'll tell you about). If you want to really learn something, ask them about sours sometime! Everyone that works there is efficient and pleasant without being saccharine.

The environment is pretty great for the most part. The music is usually good - at the very least, they never play terrible cheesy pop songs. The food is excellent, and the bartenders/waitstaff can suggest pairings. Try the mussels and frites. It's a great place for a nice dinner date, but also functions fine as a casual hang-out. It's not super cheap, but you pay for what you get. You're going to pay a little more for some of the really exceptional beers.

This place has elevated my whole experience and appreciation for beer in ways I'll always be thankful for. In short, Brunswick is seriously lucky to have this place: Lion's Pride ROCKS!

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Photo of Chowdahead
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

As a Brunswick resident I have to say The Lion's Pride is by far my favorite eating and drinking destination in the area. It's definitely a can't miss stop for any serious or aspiring beer lover who even gets within an hour drive of Brunswick.

As other posters have mentioned the, decor inside is incredible. My favorite aspect is the hand blown glass tap handles which are very unique. The service is always top notch and the waitstaff and especially the bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable about the selections.
The food is also outstanding with the burgers being the highlight for me. Then of course there is the beer selection which I just can't say enough about. It's absolutely top notch and I have sampled so many beers here that I never would have been able to find anywhere else.

My only quibble with The Lion's Pride would be that the crowd can be extremely small during what I would consider normal drinking hours and I do have trouble convincing my non beer geek friends to join me there due to the cost of all the beers. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go into this place and have it packed so tight I can't move but I have been in there a number of times at 8:00 or 9:00 on a weekend night and the place has been dead with only a handful of customers which is kind of depressing. Like the previous poster said I think having a few more solid but lower priced beers on tap would draw in more of a crowd, attract people who weren't hard core beer lovers (or simply don't have the means to spend $8-10 on a 10 ounce beer) and improve the atmosphere a bit. With 35 taps maybe dedicate between 5 and 10 taps to quality beers that didn't cost more then $5 for a full pint then leave the remaining 25-30 for the premium beers.

Other then that I have absolutely no complaints about this amazing beer bar/restaurant. I can't wait until the brewery gets up and running!

REVIEW UPDATE 3/10/11: One year after I first reviewed Lion's Pride I feel I must update my review. My original complaint about small crowds and no lower priced beer is no longer relevant. Over the past year Lion's Pride has built an incredibly solid following and great reputation in the area. The place is frequently filled with great crowds even when other bars and restaurants in the Brunswick area are almost empty. In addition, they now consistently have about 5 lower priced but still quality beer selections on tap at all times for people who are not extreme beer geeks (yet). Because of these changes my non beer geek friends now love joining me at Lion's Pride to throw a few back or have a bite to eat. I give 100% of the credit for this extremely positive change to the managers, Leigh and Ryan, who are top notch. Great job guys!

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Photo of citan133
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Finally made it up to this place after a few months of anticipation. What a great little place. Chris and the crew have done a fantastic job with not only the beer selection (which is obviously way above par w/ around 35 taps and an extensive bottle collection) but also with the food and decor.

Beautiful copper bar, lots of cool beer signs, hand-blown tap handles, their own glassware (which looked and felt great), a bottle selection to match the taps (an entire door of sours/lambics!). Went for lunch and Chris, Jen and the whole staff were more than hospitable. Chris came out and chatted us up while opening beers (poured us a bottle of Duchessic Ale and the fonteinen kriek) and treated us like old friends. The food was great, much of it made using beer, which is always nice to see at a place like this. We only had sandwiches but some of the entrees looked interesting (duck is always a good thing).

I really can't recommend this place enough. Even without meeting Chris the restaurant would be worth the drive but if there's even a chance you get some time with him you'll see why everyone loves the guy. Worth the trip no matter how far away you are. Tentative plans for a few different fests (an IPA and a Belgian, if I remember correctly. Also, really excited about their plans to brew their own stuff. Once that happens this place will be unstoppable.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

So I finally got a chance to make it up to Lion's Pride for the Vagabond post release party. I've made many trips to Ebanezer's over the years and I had real high expectations for Chris and Jen's new place. It did not dissapoint.

Upon first entering the place I was greated my Chris and immediately felt right at home.

The place is wonderfully decorated with beer related decorations. The hand painted beer signs were amazing. The hand-blown glass taps were gorgous. Plenty of seats in the restaurant and plenty of room to belly up to the actual bar. The staff was accomidating and extremely knowlegable about the beers. Great service!

Great food. I had a excellent burger that was cooked perfectly. The menu seemed pretty simular to the regular menu at Eb's. Nothing real crazy but great pub fare.

The tap list was insane. I had a Pannepot, Vagagond (2oz) and a very tasty Berliner Weiss (with woodriff!). There were many other things (20+ taps) available on including a large Allagash selection. Every possible Belgian bottle that is distributed to Maine was in the fridge waiting to be poured.

What has always set Chris apart is his amazing hospitality. With in 15 minutes of us sitting down he poured every one at my table a taste of both J & J lambics and Cantillion Helana. WTF!

It was a bit expensive for some of the beers. My Pannapoet was 12$. But it was a FULL pour and where are you ever gonna find that on tap? Definately worth it for me.

I have a feeling that this place is only get better with time. Chris filled me in out some tenative plans for a German fest and a Belgian beer fest in the future. Also appearently the ball is rolling on the brewing at the Lion's Pride. It sounds like they are gonna be brewing some pretty wild stuff. I can't wait for that.

Highly recomended if you are anywhere on the east coast of Maine. Another world class beer establishment for Chris and Jen.

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Photo of AlexUmass
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped there with my boyfriend Sunday July 5 around 5. It was pretty empty, but that was because of the odd time. Apparently, Friday and Saturday nights, they were very busy. At the risk of echoing the previous reviews, here is our experience:

The outside of the place is sort of hard to recognize as your destination (it's on a busy street and we almost drove right by it), but once you walk in, it has the vibe you were expecting! The three rooms each have a bit of a different feel, all comfortable. We sat in the bar room. The paintings of brewery logos are awesome. The tap handles are beautiful, and there are a ton of them! Our server was Jeremy (I think), and he was very attentive. He told us about the beers, helped us understand the sizing options, etc. We opted to sample 5 beers (all half size, half price). These beers were amazing! Stuff you never see on tap! Let's see, we tried Cuvee de Jacobins, Alagash Fedelta, can't remember the rest. But none disappointed, and it was exciting to try these beers on tap knowing it is a rare opportunity. The bottle selection was also amazing.

I got fish and chips which were great. My boyfriend got the Chimay sandwich which was also very tasty. My main thought on the food is that I'd prefer more options. Everything looked good, but there just wasn't that much to choose from, especially for a vegetarian. If it were just a bar, the current menu would be okay, but with the separate dining room, it is clear there is also a focus on meals, and more options would help that side.

All the people who worked there were very friendly. They asked us how our beers were, stopped and chatted etc. It was great to feel welcomed and chat about beer right away. For me, the vibe and energy of a place is a key element in wanting to return, and the atmosphere combined with the staff's friendliness definitely made it a place I want to be a regular at. Too bad I live in Cambridge, MA. But it'd be a great little road trip for any beer lover. I'll definitely be back. Thanks!

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Photo of Casey10
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Have been to the Lion's Pride about 5 or 6 times so wanted to feel this place out and didn't want to give this a local advantage rating.

That being said, this place is amazing, everything there is just right, with the unbelevable beer, great atmosphere, and the bar with the glass blown taps.

I was there on Vagabond release day and they had that on tap (mind you this was a limited release of 500 bottles) but yet they had it.

The food is really good, but in my opinion needs a bigger menu, other than that a website might help and actual brews being made would make this place over the top.

Edit: I just discovered the website is now up !!

I feel very lucky to have a place like this in the Brunswick area hopefully other BA's get a chance to try this out as well !!!!

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Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have been frequenting this bar since they opened last summer. At the very begginning things were a little rocky as to be expected from any new undertaking. However it has since become one of my favorite places to be. I learn a lot every time I go and the bartenders are extremely friendly and very enthusiastic. I have been to beer 101 (the wednesday night tastings) many times. The selection of samples during these events are well worth the fifteen dollars they charge. I live in portland and much closer to novare res but routinely travel to Lions Pride as the atmopshere is better and the service and attention given by the bartenders is leaps and bounds higher. I feel very priveleged to have a bar of this caliber here in Maine.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Note: This review is way back when Ebenezer's Brewpub was known as "Lion's Pride".

Came here last Friday night with my girlfriend. Another excellent beer bar that has opened in Maine and the Brunswick area could definitely use it. Although, I'm not sure on the building location, I can imagine it being lost along that 4 lane drag.

First off, my girlfriend hates beer, been trying to get her onto it, so far only lambics have worked. Fortunately, they had lambics on-tap, as well as many bottled selections, but I was able to convince her to try one of the flanders reds that they had on-tap (she already likes the Duchesses, but we went with something unknown) and low-and-behold, she liked it. I have a hard time bringing her to place when I want to get a good drink because she usually has to resort to mixed drinks at most places and she prefers doing that at home. So the selections have that Chris and Jen have assembled so far make it much easier for me to ask if she wants to go out (and hopefully here, she's not so much a fan of Novare Res, not enough lambics on-tap and the bottles are expensive).

Our waitress was very kind and when we asked questions about a couple of the beers, if she didn't have an answer she went to find out and told us everything we wanted to know. A little slow on getting the check (according to the gf but she wanted to leave asap, I was fine watching the sox game, they lost though), of course this was shortly after a group of 12 came in.

As I mentioned earlier, the location of the building could have been better but I know they had some difficulties finding a suitable location for quite awhile (the former Eggspectations building, current Sea Dog location). The insides are crisp and clean with minimalistic beer artwork adorning the walls, the dragon on the ceiling is awesome, as well as the glass tap handles. Although, the Surly artwork is just cruel and unusual punishment, I know Surly isn't distributed in Maine and although Chris has some wicked connections, any hope of Surly products being in the bar is of course dashed right away with a quick glance, grrr ;)

Addition Review (7-12-09):

Decided to come here for lunch for my birthday and it ended up being a great choice. The food was great (I had the Allagash sandwich, I'm a sucker for pulled pork), we had an appetizer of buffalo wings that were quite spicy but not too painful (Chris, my mom wants the recipe, or at least a container to take home, haha). My parents both enjoyed their meals, all the staff was very attentive and very nice, we were checked on by no less than three different people throughout the drinks and food. Glad I picked this place for my birthday meal.

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Photo of tegelaar
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I was there last Sunday and had a wonderful time. Enjoyed a Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien and a Pannepot on draft - both amazing. My girlfriend got a Val Dieu tripel and Cuvée Des Trolls and enjoyed both. They have an awesome beer draft list and the bar and restaurant are beautifully done. We sat at the bar and Michael was so personable and very helpful in picking out beer for us and others at the bar. Their cheese plate was a great compliment to the beer. Definitely a must visit when in the Portland area.

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Per the recommendations of many awesome BA's, I made this place a high priority on my short visit to Maine. I went with a large group of people - beer geeks and non-beer geeks - and everyone had a blast. Ryan (our server and the manager) gave interesting but brief explanations of brews to the people who didn't know/care about beer and was more than willing to geek out with the geeks. We didn't get any food so I can't comment on that. Not cheap by any means, but there was a "Bowdoin Special" beer for those who wanted to drink for cheaper and didn't necessarily care what they drank. I had never heard of most of the beers on their tap list (apparently they often get keg quantities of one), but really liked a lot of what I tried. Great selection, cool environment, and great service. The most unique beer I tried - the "Silly Saison" - tasted like delicious raisin bread.

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Photo of MrTarkanian
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I came in for the first time last night w/ my 2 younger brothers and I couldn't have been more impressed with the entire experience... Our server was VERY friendly and personable and really seemed to know her beer...

She ALSO ended up picking my brother's favorite of the night (Buffalo stout)...as he wasn't really digging MY choices

Besides the Brooklyn blunderbuss and the Allagash we stuck with mostly Belgium and couldn't have been more pleased with the complexity and quality of everything we tried

Chris the owner really impressed me w/ service as he asked us if we were here for a Beer Advocate event...I said No, BUT I AM a member... he then gave myself and my 2 brothers some "Framboise beer gelato" on the house and a taste of some 1982 sour beer which was REALLY over the top hospitality:)

I may not move to Portland now with this place in my backyard...


Jeremie Buck

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Photo of slander
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Still hiding from work not far enough away and running out of days to play. Bunk, Saco, Portland and points north from Freeport, this is oh, so stupidly convenient to where I'm playing this side of the state of Maine. Making my way slowly up the coast to Belfast, but I think I can work two beers and out into my day. Hunting for the pride, a standaloney streetside that used to being something else before the this. Low key and not calling out at me, deserving of the passing by I gave it before turning around to come back...

Was somewhat hoppy this Tuesday evening past and now empty on a Thursday afternoon revisit at opening, still sure to cut the day short. "L" shaped bar, copper sheet topped with a brass foot rail, with seating for a dozen on backed chairs, at the far end of the far room. The barback is a center wood unit with slotted stemware hanging of configs; flutes, tulips, snifters, oh my. A Chouffe figurine sits below baby logoed snifters to both sides along with bottles random tucked, and random glassware, booze, sampler racks, etc. Lion statues above and a nice framed piece. Bottles and bottles housed in a 3 door glass front cooler on one end, and a single to the other. On the side wall, a looong row of 35 taps with blown glass handles all swirly colorful on a long wood box, copper sheet panel atop and drain. Long horizontal split blackboards above list tap selections, and glassware housed below in boxed framings.

7 square tables away from the bar, with fabric chairs and matched shared benchings on 3 tables to one side. Red walls with a single flatscreen mounted, and brewery tins, trays & signs mostly Belgian, but an American micro piece here or there. Through to the front room, a space with 15 round & square tables sporting dry flowers in bottles and a corner brewroom for someday collaborations or guestings. Plank wood floorings and drop pressed tinesque ceiling tiles painted gold with a painting on center of a sprawling dragon holding an Ebeneezer's chalice. A collection of large mixed shaped plank brewery logo paintings (Fantome, New Belgium, DogFishHead, Cantillon, Port Brewing, Surly, Stone, Allagash, Boskeun, Orval, Brooklyn, Mikkeller, Pliny, Bieken, and the Pannepot people, too) between the 2 rooms. And out the other side to a small rear sun room holding another 9 tables. Its space done in walls painted red & yellow, adorned with brewery banners. Spots throughout except for the sunroom wherest drop buttercup lamps be.

Foodings this afternoon, I started with a wish it could have been a bowl but was only a cup of the French onion soup, with cheese 'o goo and a chunk of bread so crunchy. And then the duck, herb roasted,crispy crispy, oooh, sprinkled with sea salt, all herbed up. Ducked the potato and doubled down on the vegetable medley of zuc, carrot, and beans green & yellow. It was real damn good.

35 taps, a real damn nice mix if I may type so. Roughly a 5:1 import to US craft ratio on my visit. A dozen + Belgians, a good few of them your unusual suspects (De Struise Pannepot Wild, Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, Straffe Hendrik Brugse Tripel, Glazen Toren Saison D'Erpe-Mere, 't Smisje Kerst, Alvinne Caper Fumatis, Houblon Chouffe, St Feuillien Saison, Urthel Hop-It & Saissonniere, Caracole Saxo, Podge Belgian Imperial Stout, Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Framboise). What else? Oh, 10 offerings from Mikkeller; 9 single hop varietals (Nelson Sauvin, East Kent Golding, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial, Nugget, Warrior) and the Green Gold. And another ½ dozen mix & match; a pair from BFM (La Madragore & La Meule), a few Germs (Bahnhof Berliner Weisse, Reissdorf Kolsch, Schneider Weisse) and a lone Scotsman (Brewdog Paradox). The remainder a mix of craft near (Allagash White) and not (Sierra Nevada Bigfoot & Pale Ale, Stone Ruination & Sublimely Self Righteous, Eel River Amber). I drank the Pannepot Wild, Mikkeller Nelson & Cuvee Des Jacobins the 1st time out, and the BFM La Mandragore, Mikkeller Green Gold & Bahnhof Berliner Weisse the 2nd time out. The Pannepot Wild & Cuvee Des Jacobins were stellar. I felt so bad for you not being me at that moment. It passed quickly.

And a sick bottled list, too, maybe 250 entries. Very Belgian heavy (Cantillon, Fantome, Fonteinen, Dupont, De Proef, De Ranke, Hanssens, the available trappists with the benchmark Orval running a reasonable $10, Panil vintages, big bottle 1.5L magnums, 3L Jeroboams, the 6L Methuselah & 9L Salmanazar, and other wonders of crazy), and some US, UK & beyond for effect.

Caught Zac the other night, and Ryan today, with his new bride, Leigh (congrats, kids). Nice folks, and a good educated staff overall. We've been talking beer for hours now (Really? You dig the Fou Foune? It's okay I suppose but it's no Iris, is all I'm sayin'). Beer selection was excellent, as was the care & the know, and I caught a great meal. Went for lunch and stayed 4 hours. All the Eb without everything that makes you feel dirty.

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Photo of Stringth
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Wow. Took a long time to wade through the CONSIDERABLE offerings and wound up with their last bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza Special Ale ($20 bomber)--'twas great. The wifey had a few pours of the Duchesse De Bourgogne ($8 per). We grazed on something tre'delicious called Lamb Lollipops and an order of yummy Quesadillas and were both happy campers. The two wait staff were very nice, attentive, and knowledgeable. Apparently they are gearing up for brewing--some Belgians will be over in the near future to get them up an running, after the owners navigate the miles of Maine-made red tape of course. I can't wait to visit again, maybe in a few days for their "Beer 101" series on Wednesday nights. Drop the prices a bit and it's nirvana.

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Photo of gameface23
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped in on 7/18/09. I've been to Ebenezer's before and I've experienced Chris's hospitality, so I was expecting more of the same. I wasn't disappointed at all. The atmosphere is lively, yet relaxed. The beer selection is second to none. I had a bottle of Cantillon Gueze, Abt. 12, and a berliner weiss on tap. The waitress wasn't as well versed on the beer selections as I would've liked, but the place has only been open for a few weeks, so you can't hold her at fault. I highly recommend the Lion's Pride.

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Ebenezer's Brewpub / Lively Brewing Co. in Brunswick, ME
Brewery rating: 4 out of 5 with 260 ratings
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