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The Lion's Pride
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 700
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
112 Pleasant St
phone: (207) 373-1840
(Place added by: ToasterChef on 07-03-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ToasterChef:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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.
07-04-2009 04:30:43 |
More by ToasterChef
More User Reviews:
12-02-2013 01:21:51 |
More by tango22
10-31-2013 18:51:16 |
More by ajcormier
10-08-2013 14:06:59 |
More by mcintire78
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Only 14 taps were pouring when I was there (8/31/13) so the number of selections was not as I had hoped. What was there though was fine, although it was tipped in Allagash's favor on this day (4 taps). I had Alvinne Wild Undressed. Mort Subite White Lambic. Oxbow Original Deluxe.
Service was little slow, but I landed on a day of cooler problems, so this slowed the pours down tremendously. Tim the beeroligist was exceptional though---lots of knowledge and friendly.
I chose a burger for food, with frites. My cohort selected a chicken sandwich. Both were very good. I suspect anything picked food-wise would be good.
Prices were a bit steep (8-9 bucks for the more rare entries, 7-ish for the others). What can you do though? You want good beer. You must pay.
If I were a local this would undoubtedly be my goto place.
09-01-2013 13:46:11 |
More by WynnO
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
I stopped in here last night for supper, I sat near the bar and stared at the tap list for most of the time I was there. 35 taps lots of bottles in a couple of coolers behind the bar. All quality stuff you won't see well almost anywhere else. I had steak tips and also frites to eat and I thought both were done really well and the potato ball thing is different and tasty. The staff was quite attentive to my needs in fact I think all three of them waited on me at one time or another. Great selection service and food. Pricing is a bit on the high side, I think there were only 3 draft lines with pours that were under 9 dollars, and one I paid 14 for. I guess the pricing is keeping in step with the rarity of the selection, just be prepared to drop some coin. I'd gladly go back when in the area.
07-17-2012 21:21:07 |
More by johnnnniee
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
This place has gone seriously downhill! Such a bummer....used to be my favorite beer restaurant. The Lion’s Pride used to have a fantastic staff. Leigh, Ryan and Katie are greatly missed. I don’t know where the owners found their current staff or what happened with the previous staff, but the new staff is inattentive, doesn’t know much about the product, and clearly has no concept of how to run a restaurant. My wife and I used to go to the Lion’s Pride at least twice a week. We no longer do, after having multiple bad experiences with the new staff. Many of our friends have also stopped going. The last time my wife and I went to the Lion’s Pride, towards the end of February, we were both presented with completely different beers than we ordered! The food seems to have gone downhill as well. We used to love the burgers and fish & chips, but lately everything has been either overly greasy or way overdone. Again, such a bummer.
04-02-2012 20:53:27 |
More by Grady546
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
One of the best, if not the very best, pub-restaurants I've been to. Ranks with the Hopleaf in Chicago (though a friendlier atmosphere--and that is not intended as a slight to the HL).
Ryan and Leigh are superb managers, knowledgeable, welcoming, and they remember their patrons.
The 35 beers on tap are complemented with a large selection of bottled beers. The emphasis is on Belgian and on Maine brews.
Do not be put off by the unassuming exterior of the place. It reeks of mini-mall, but once inside you realize you have entered a beer maven's heaven.
Oh, by the way, the food and service are out of sight as well.
01-12-2012 01:50:23 |
More by DocHoliday
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place, simply put, was awesome.
Service was excpetional. The manager (I am assuming) kept making awesome reccomendations throughout the night. He really took the time to understand what each of us was in the mood for, and then obviosuly knew what he was talking about when he made suggestions. My fiance and I really like the funk and there was some great selections of beer available. They also did not seem to mind that we ended up camping in a corner eating and drinking over about a five hour time span. (Yes our tab was astonomical but worth every penny)
Selection: Defeintly Belgian heavy, but had a nice variety of locals as well as American styles, including the Dogfish 120 on tap. There was also a nice, but limited assortment of other styles in the bottle (definetly check out those refridgerators) I also liked that they had a couple meads on tap as well.
Food: Appetizers were pretty tiny quantity wise, but both of our entrees were appropriatly portioned and very good. My fiance indicated that his steak tips were some of the best that he has ever had. I had a veggie pasta with fresh vegetables.
We stayed on the Knights Inn which was walking distance away...our room, despite being non-smoking, smelled like an ashtray but was otherwise clean and cheap.
12-21-2011 19:53:41 |
More by angiesaysgobucks
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Had to stop by the Lion's Pride during the beerventure through Maine
A - Sat down at the nice copper bar right at opening with friends. We were the only people that and were able to take in all the little quirks of the place. Beers were listed up on the chalkboard and then on fresh menu's with a little blurb about each.
Q - Top notch quality of the beer. Everything was served in appropriate glassware.
Svc - Excellent job behind the bar, as the gentleman went into great intricate detail about each and every beer, offer reccomendations to my friends, etc.
S - Very nice selection of beers on the board. Would have liked to see some stouts or porters on the days lineup though. Very nice bottle selection.
This was the place where we all got to try Oxbow beer, which led to an even more insanely epic journey to that brewery. A wonderful time here and would DEFINATELY hit up again when in Maine. Well worth the drive from Portland.
11-07-2011 22:35:55 |
More by rudzud
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The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, ME
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