Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

The King's Head

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

21 Reviews
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

254 Commercial St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4664
United States

(207) 805-1252 | map
thekingsheadportland.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by Panamamo42 on 06-30-2014

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
65
Avg:
4.46
pDev:
4.71%
 
 
Taps:
35
Bottles/Cans:
6
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 65
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.06/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Really nice location, with a bar area and separate dining room. Tap list was very good and the food was good, but it was very dead on the Saturday afternoon we went. No complaints on that end, but kind of a strange vibe.

 220 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

One of the many Commercial Street bars, but this one has a nice beer selection. Old brick building with a U-Shaped old school wood bar that can seat about 20. Separate dining area in the back. 30 beers on draft with a good number of local brews and some easy to get national brands. Blackboard behind the wall lists them out, bu they also have a paper menu. During my visit I enjoyed a few pints but didn't eat. Service was friendly and personable. An enjoyable stop on my bar crawl around town.

 495 characters

Photo of kevincasey
5/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The King's Head is favorite new beer bar in Portland! The tap list is always changing, with a great selection of local and beers from away. The food is great without being pretentious, and it's the best scotch egg in town!

 224 characters

Photo of almostinzen
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Met up with some friends here to have some cocktails and had to totally switch gears when I saw the beer and bourbon selection. The location is really cool right near the water, almost kind of hidden from the rest of the busy old port. Probably had the best fish n chips I've eaten yet in town.

 294 characters

Photo of Microbarbie
5/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Tap list is impressive! Totally blown away with how good the food is, not your average pub food by any means! A little off the beaten path but well worth the trip! Really chill atmosphere, sat at the bar but would definitely come back with friends and grab a table. Also i should add they have cocktails too, which worked out great because my best friend isnt a beer junkie like me!

 382 characters

Photo of SenatorSpaceman
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Best taplist in Maine. Maybe I just caught them on a good day, but there were probably close to a dozen beers on tap that I was salivating over. The food is good enough and the service was perfectly acceptable. If you're in Portland, this place is a must!

 255 characters

Photo of jhavs
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great little pub in the Old Port. Has an old school feel similar to pubs in the UK. Tucked around the corner on a wharf and built into an old factory style building. Large bar area in main room with a few long tables. Side room has another smaller bar area. Great beer list including around 30 taps which included big local names (Bissell, Foundation, MBC, Allagash, etc.), other high quality US offerings and a good amount from around the world. Tap list broken down by style with a good selection of each. Nice glassware, beer is handled and served with care. Small, but well made menu including small plates and charcuterie as well as larger entrée items.

 667 characters

Photo of bksanf01
4.95/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Can't say enough good about The King's Head. Visiting from Louisville, KY, where we have the likes of Holy Graile and New Albanian (Richo's). The beer list was a nice hybrid of locals plus everywhere else. Food was fab. (I can say that; I'm 64). Great service. So it was the complete package and real deal. If you're visiting Portland, I just don't think you can be disappointed at The King's Head.

 398 characters

Photo of E190DRVR
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Excellent beer selection. The guy behind the bar didn't seem very friendly at all. Apparently, the only serve real food after 5pm. Appetizers only until then. At least thats what we were told on Saturday afternoon at about 3:30pm.

 235 characters

Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

A shorty long weekend between Christmas and New Year’s in Portland. There’d been some talk about the new player in town, fairly so, anyway. Mad taps, they say, right around the corner from that other place been. Used to be the Blackback guy, that there alone is enough for me to look in on it, I suppose...

Located set back on a pier you can’t park on. Enter and in, you’re greeted by the bowling lane slat topped wrench head shaped bar, with a wood panel base & phat phoot rail; seating for 27 all around. Taps taps taps everywhere; 3 on an upright in front of me, a barbell of 8, another 8, a 6 tap, a 10 tower, and a few more in the next room. Tiered booze over the corner taps and an expansive dangle glassware rack for stem, tulip, & snifter.

The walls in big brick with wood panel lowers all around, wood slat floors, & vaulted ceilings in black with matching ducts. Drop single filament softball bulbs tracing the bar and side room seating, and dangle eggplant bulb lamps throughout otherwise. A pair of horizontal framed blackboards listing tap selections in alt colored chalk on the back wall, a flat screen on the side wall with a board to each side with more taps and beer club info, and oddball beer trays. A half dozen+ 2-seat tables running an ‘L’ off to the side on shared benchage. Just brought in a bottle cooler for the filling soon.

The side room is a wine bar, with a baby horseshoe bar seating 9 and a baker’s dozen 2-seat tables in pairs mostly on shared benches, three sides around. A smattering of beers and a dozen wines on tap there.

I count 38 taps up just now, 1/3 of them from Maine (Banded Horn Norweald Stout, Allagash Dubbel, Saison, & Interlude, Gneiss Monolith & Obsius, Foundation Ember & Blaze, Bissell Brothers The Substance & Angels with Filthy Souls, Maine Beer Mean Old Tom & Another One IPA, Rising Tide Calcutta Cutter), and the remainder a mix of American craft (Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza & Bam Biere, Prairie Hop, Cherry Funk, & Christmas Bomb!, 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA, White Birch Hop Session, Evil Twin Femme Fatale Noir & Molotov Lite IPA), import (Amager Fusion & Sinner Series Envy IPA, Mikkeller Spontanrosehip & Crooked Moon Tattoo DIPA, Rodenbach Grand Cru, St Feuillien Saison, Petrus Aged Pale Ale, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Van Honsebrouck St Louis Gueuze, Paulaner Oktoberfest-Marzen & Original Municher Helles, Kapuziner Weissbier, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Thornbridge Medici Lions EBA & Jaipur IPA) and a lone cider (Woodchuck Out on a Limb BA cider). I drank the Bissell Brothers The Substance & Allagash Interlude ‘cause they are excellent.

Revisited a month later with Brophy, while Davo napped indefinitely (since 5 pm anyway). 10 IPA’s on tap, daaaaaaamn. A few beers (Hello, Bissell Brothers Swish, good to see you again, Allagash Confluence) and late night eats; I started with the tuna sashimi with maple drizzle & seaweed, and then Ricky hooked me for the duck fat BLT off the lunch menu off hours. Brophy took in the meat & cheese plate and a scotch egg. Yeah, um, no.

And suddenly, it was 12:50 AM, last call. Conversation just got real with a regular. It’s good time at closing time. Owner Ricky behind the bar both times I’ve been here. He certainly knows his beer game as he’s had the practice in Vermont. He’s a pistol, I got a good chuckle at his banter with the customers. Cool place. They’ve got a great ‘Andy Dufresne, just checking’ Raquel Welch Shawshank poster covering the tunnel to freedom in the bathroom. Music was mix & match but went old timey. Good crowd, there were some people here; a group from Chicago blew out and some young’uns rolled in. Excellent goddamn drink here. I’ll be closing this place every time I’m in town on a go forward.

 3,785 characters

Photo of ChaseBoat77
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Had to update my review of this place as it is now one of my favorite spots to go to no matter the time of day or week. Their selection is amazing, mixing in local Maine brews (Allagash, Bissell, Foundation, Bunker, Hidden Cove, etc.) while also featuring some good stuff from the rest of the USA as well as abroad. Sit at the bar for the best experience as the bartenders are very friendly and knowledgeable. If you want good beer in Portland, go here!

 453 characters

Photo of jimpdx
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Amazing food and great selection. Kicked both kegs we were interested in but we tried a number of great local IPAs. Could use more dark beers in the lineup

 155 characters

Photo of thebeerbabe82
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

The King's Head is one of Portland's newest bars, and has opened without a lot of fanfare. It deserves a bit more acclaim. This place comes setup for beer geeks, with a selection that stands out even with other beer bars in close proximity. There are often interesting collaboration beers on - I had the Lemon Cello (HF/Siren/Mikeller collab.) and they also had Vermontoise, the De Blaugies/Hill Farmstead collaboration on, right next to some of Maine and the international community's best beers. While you won't see some of Waterbury's exclusive beers on like you do at the Black Back, their tap selection definitely as a distinct point of view and unique in the portland beer scene.

The atmosphere in the brick mill building is comfortable - sitting at the U-shaped bar allows groups of people to interact and to talk with the servers, who are talkative and helpful. There is lots of additional seating in a dining room area but I usually just go up to the bar. When they were first getting started, things were slightly rough (a few foamy kegs, servers learning the POS, etc.), but I was just back last night and things are great. The servers are attentive, knowledgeable, friendly and got everything right. Beer is properly served, well-explained and the worst part is trying to pick which to order.

The food that I've had there so far has been of high quality. Portions are satisfying and they're well done - I haven't been disappointed by anything. Also, they make their own beef jerky - yum!

It's leapt up into my top places I recommend for visiting beer geeks in Portland.

 1,584 characters

Photo of privateguy603
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

The Kings Head is relatively new to Portland. One of the owners Justin told me they were the former owners of the Blackback Pub in Waterbury VT and they sold to open the Kings Head in Portland. Waterbury's loss is Portland's gain.

The brew selection is outstanding, rivaling Novares Res for taps in both selection and diversity. From Le Vermontoise (a Hill Farmstead Blaugies colab to Dieu Du Ceil Roses D' Hibiscus to Bissell Bros. Baby Genius, they have it covered.

The food is also outstanding - from lamb burger, to a smoke rabbit pot pie to a perfect Scotch Egg, it was never a disappointment. Service was knowledgable and prompt. The ambienance is good - they are ktty corner behind Infiniti down on the wharf a bit off Commerical in the Pierce Atwood bldg.

As we were leaving Todd Alstrom came in with the BA contigent from Beer Camp so the word is out! Great addition to the Portland beer scene.

 909 characters

Photo of maddogg
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

First time in Maine and went here with capra12. They open at 1130, we arrived early but they let us in anyway. They have a nice selection of local breweries and actually put up a keg from bissell brewing that was just delivered since we haven't had anything from them. Lobster roll was outstanding and ambiance was rustic and earthy.
Bottom line, if you are looking for great food and drink. This place is definitely worth a visit.

 432 characters

Photo of capra12
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Stopped in while in town for beer camp.
Great local selection of brews.
Food was good. Love the grass fed burger with a fried egg.
My friends first lobster roll was great.
If you want good food and beer, drop in and you'll be sure to have a great time.

 255 characters

Photo of jperks18
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Kings Head is a great new place in Portland. It is set in an old brick building right on the water and we enjoyed the cool, comfortable atmosphere. The beer selection is a good mix of local, US craft and interesting imports. The food is very good, a creative take on English food.

 280 characters

Photo of cbone
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I had a great time at Portland’s newest bar. Their beer list was amazing; I enjoyed Cantillon’s St. Gilloise, Foundation’s Wanderlust, and Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel. The interior of exposed brick and wood offers a relaxed atmosphere and this hidden gem is right off Commercial St. Definitely check it out.

 311 characters

Photo of Tajmohol
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

You walk into a gorgeous wrap around bar with great english style food and 25 beers on draft. I enjoyed some IPA's and my girlfriend had a few different pilsners she really liked. The menu was small and well thought out. The staff was friendly and well educated about beer. I had smoked rabbit pot pie that was incredible. I am defiantly going to be a regular here.

 365 characters

Photo of venisonale79
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

What a great list. Cantillon St Giloise on tap Dr Struise Panneput and Motuecha
Great lineup of local beers including Bissell Substance and Banded Horn Green Warden as well as Maine beer company La Vermontoise Blaugies/Hill Farmstead collab was fantastic as was Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel w the smoked rabbit pot pie!!

 317 characters

Photo of Panamamo42
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Yes they do have $9 De Struise taps but they also had $5 Bissell Substance. They had Cantillon Iris when they opened three weeks ago and they will be getting another keg of Cantillon for the Fourth of July. I've eaten the Short Rib Pot Pie and the Fish and Chips and the Burger and all were outstanding. A very well put together draft list of 25 and with ten more taps to be added soon I'm told.
No fake poseur craft beer here. No shipyard or Sam Adams or anything like it
Lots of local breweries and great international breweries. It's in the pierce Atwood building on the water 50 yards from Infiniti. A must visit!!

 619 characters

The King's Head in Portland, ME
4.46 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe