The Great Lost Bear

The Great Lost BearThe Great Lost Bear
The Great Lost BearThe Great Lost Bear
Bar, Eatery

540 Forest Ave
Portland, Maine, 04101-1507
United States

(207) 772-0300 | map
greatlostbear.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.26
Reviews:
111
Ratings:
192
pDev:
7.98%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 192 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Sammy:
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.64/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

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

Aug 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
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A_Rad from Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Aug 09, 2019
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jun 14, 2019
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stonytokes from Maine

4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Feb 11, 2019
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ManBearPat from Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Nov 21, 2018
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PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Visited here from Boston for the first time last week.
Awesome beer-centric atmosphere and decorations, further evidenced by their huge and heavily local-based taplist.
Bartender was very knowledgeable and happy to share a few samples and chat about beer when time provided. I admired his duty and affinity for and towards his customers.
Food was good. I had the hot chicken sandwich. Not a fan of the sliced mini-potato "fries", but that could just be me.
Overall, an awesome visit to a place that was on my list to hit when I visited Portland. Will definitely hit here again.

Jul 09, 2018
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littlestevie14 from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Jul 06, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Somewhat of a place where it all started for me. Some may have called it my "descent," but I called it the place where I took my "red pill" to delve further into the world of beer. Everything I've been in there, always a clean bar. Parking may be crappy, but food was always good to fantastic. Service can be iffy at certain times of the day. Close to 70 taps of beer - mostly New England breweries, but Dogfish Head, Victory, Ommegang, Flying Dog were some of the other breweries that showed their faces for beers to be found there. It's just down the street from RSVP and further back from Bier Cellar. It's worth a stop if you're in the area.

Jun 26, 2017
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khoff5 from Connecticut

4.73/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

May 16, 2017
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StoutLover14 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5

Dec 12, 2016
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dwoolley1 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Oct 28, 2016
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Gkruszewski from New York

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Sep 18, 2016
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mynie from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A big, homey restaurant with a great deal of character. If you're not looking directly at the bar or a beer menu, it would be easy to think this was just a large, New England-style family restaurant.

The decor is woody and softly lit, with a good amount of beer swag and some kitchy/rustic bear-related decorations. It felt like the last major renovation happened sometime between the early 1960s and mid 1980s. This, to me, is a good thing, as it goes against the pretentious, prefab homogeneity of seemingly every beer bar that's been opened this decade (you notice how EVERY place looks like an ikea set piece?)

The staff is large is attentive. Meaning, there's lot of staff members (they weren't particularly big). Again, I like this. Restaurants have been cutting down on staff nationwide in an attempt to cut costs, and that leads to crappy dining experience. GLB don't mess with that.

The beer selection was fantastic. Second best in the city, after Novare Res. They have a heavier focus on American beers than Res, however, meaning they're more likely to get in rare stuff from US brewers, wheras Res gets in Cantillion and whatfor. The Bear also does semi-tap takeovers every Thursday, which they call "Microbrew" showcases.

Their website beer list is updated pretty regularly, but it's not perfect. Printed lists are done up daily.

Overall, a venerable institution that's basically a must-stop if you're in Portland.

Aug 28, 2016
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grahuba from Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Jul 28, 2016
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gr8fulbeerhead from California

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Jul 23, 2016
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7irondave from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Jul 15, 2016
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CayseyW from Connecticut

4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Jul 01, 2016
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Sound_Explorer from Washington

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

my first stop on a sweeping New England tour this really hit the spot after a long travel day. Cool to see all the Maine offerings and some national brands. Good vibe and food too. Really set the bar nicely for my trip.

May 25, 2016
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HeartofMiami from Florida

4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

May 22, 2016
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Oldportwine from Maine

4.43/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

One of the original Portland Beer Bars. Extensive selection of craft beers, number aprox. 80 on tap. Proffessional and knowledgable staff in a very busy environment. A seemingly endless food menu covers all realms of bar food. Always a good spot to find new craft beers.

May 12, 2016
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SandyMeats from Maine

4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Love this place. My favorite vibe in town. Colorful, neighborhood and non of the pretense of some other big beer spots. Still attracts tourists and people from all over without getting watered down. Selection is just crazy and changes. Wings are the best in town. I've had a bunch of the menu and would go for a slab and crab or a one eye bacon cheeseburger right now. Place has been around for about 35 years and I hope it's around for another 35.

May 12, 2016
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Usaexercise7 from Maine

4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Tons of beer! Been here many many times. Stuart is an awesome waiter!

May 12, 2016
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NYR-Zuuuuc from Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Apr 11, 2016
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scxcrunner from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Great selection of beer including Allagash, Bissell, and Foundation. Service was a bit slow and disjointed and i wasn't really crazy about the food i had but would give it another shot just for the tap list.

Jan 24, 2016
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SpAiReArGsEonNE from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Dec 16, 2015
The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME
Place rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 192 ratings