The Lion's Pride
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 700
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
4.9/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
10-27-2010 21:09:07 | More by slander
4.83/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
First of all, when rating some of these items for the BA, I think it has to be said that this is, in some ways, a bit upscale in the scheme of things, such as price and atmosphere. While it is not, from what I saw on my one visit two nights ago, a social Mecca or a classic place to bring your party pals, it is in it's own fairly unique way, a one-of-a-kind, awesome beer landmark in the northeast. Inside and out it appears clean and presentable. Inside it is very welcoming with shiny wooden tables and chairs, set pretty decoratively with walls full of what I found to be highly enjoyable beer art, weighted heavily toward the Chimay side of Belgian legends. It is nearly an art museum of colorful, entertaining tin signs and posters and framed advertisements, etc. Very enjoyable to my eye and sensibilities and all presented tastefully with obvious class. The bar area to the right of the entryway is fair size but generally more intimate with smallish tables and a medium sized bar presented all with a flair for the artistic, pretty classy while retaining a warm and welcoming appearance. The tap knobs were hand crafted multi-colored works of beauty, apparently made personally by one of the head guys for Stone Brewing (hope I remembered that right). They were stunning with lighting set to accent the unique design and colors of each of the 20-ish+ taps. I would have liked to have just sat at the bar to enjoy this scene up close, along with the great beer, but this night was to dine with my family so we took a table in the barroom. The other areas of the restaurant presented neat little tables with similar general beer decor. But then let's get to the great beer. Awesome selection and an impressive range of imports and domestics, hoppy goodies, Belgians, Saisons, Barleywines, Sours, stouts, most everything. Sadly I could only have a couple. The Mikkeller Amarillo (ipa) and the Cuvee des Jacobins (sour red). Both were outstanding, presented in the appropriate tulip glasses, at the optimal temperatures, and fresh as you could ever hope. Delicious and nicely complemented by a great buffalo chicken wrap (very spicey!), and as others have attested, great "frites" served in a fancy vertical cornucopia with scrumptious sauces for dipping. Everyone was pleased with their meals. But, of course, it's about the beer and this place is to be unbeaten, although you have to accept that the level of beer quality here does demand, understandably, a high price tag. I won't bother to list all the beers they had on tap, or the similarly heroic collection of bottled beauties. Suffice to say it was one of the best selections I've seen. The staff was also unbelievably knowledgeable, and attentive. They knew their stuff and most all of them stopped by to chat beer during our visit. They seemed legitimately energized to have a fellow enthusiast on hand. And the icing on the cake, as I was signing my credit card receipt, I was given a free, near full glass of Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin IPA (not even listed on the chalkboard this night) which was one of the best beers I've ever had, seriously. What can I say but I have to come back here as soon as possible. Just set aside some money and have yourself an experience. And eventually they will add their own brewing on premises to the mix! These guys seem to have special connections with the likes of Stone & Mikkeller among others, so I can only imagine that it's going to be the most incredible beer place for many a night's travel! Don't miss this place.
08-11-2010 03:09:00 | More by Durge
5/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
A few years ago, after reviewing The Great Lost Bear, I got an email from a guy named Chris up in Lovell. In the email he suggested I try his place, Ebenezer's, because it had everything I could want. As luck would have it, my wife and I were in the area for a wedding the next week, and we spent a more than enjoyable Saturday afternoon with Chris. Since then, despite the two hour drive, we've been back to Ebenezer's several times. Chris and his wife Jen are the best hosts I've ever encountered, and Ebenezer's has a comfortable, homey feel to it.
The Lion's Pride translates quite well from Lovell to Brunswick. It's located on the main drag entering town, easily accessable from the highway. It has ample parking. The exterior is not that attractive, but the inside has been beautifully done. You enter into a main dining room, with an atrium-type room off to the left and the bar to the right. Wood floors, warm colors on the walls. The bar is a beautiful wooden L-shape, with copper top. 35 crystal taps, with the tap selections on a large blackboard overhead. As with Ebenezer's a huge, eclectic, selection, both on tap and in bottles. The food is excellent, and probably a cut above Ebenezer,s.
What will keep me going back, however, are Chris and Jen. They are passionate about their work, take pride in it, and make customers always comfortable.
10-29-2009 11:00:31 | More by lordofthewiens
4.95/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
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.
03-14-2010 12:54:02 | More by brewandbbq
4.83/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
I stopped in here last night for supper, I sat near the bar and stared at the tap list for most of the time I was there. 35 taps lots of bottles in a couple of coolers behind the bar. All quality stuff you won't see well almost anywhere else. I had steak tips and also frites to eat and I thought both were done really well and the potato ball thing is different and tasty. The staff was quite attentive to my needs in fact I think all three of them waited on me at one time or another. Great selection service and food. Pricing is a bit on the high side, I think there were only 3 draft lines with pours that were under 9 dollars, and one I paid 14 for. I guess the pricing is keeping in step with the rarity of the selection, just be prepared to drop some coin. I'd gladly go back when in the area.
07-17-2012 21:21:07 | More by johnnnniee
4.78/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited the Lion's Pride on 10/19/2009 after the Vagabond release. A quick 30 minutes up 295 from Portland. The establishment seems to be right on the main drag. Ample parking and fairly easy on/off the interstate. The building essentially consists of three rooms (four if you count the brewery) - a main dining room as you enter, a three season room to the left and the bar area to the right. Most of the action was in the bar area - a beautiful copper top, L-shaped bar with copper ceiling tiles and enough room to seat approximately 12-15 comfortably. The rest of the bar area consisted of several tables. A beautiful new establishment with great brewery decor - I love the Aardmonnik sign above the bar. Behind the bar a plentiful amount of non-branded, beverage-appropriate glassware (except for the Allagash tulips), a large chalk board listing the tap list hung above the 35 hand-blown glass tap handles and a large bottle cooler was situated in the middle of the adjacent wall. Approximately 6-8 Allagash on draft, including Vagabond, BA Black, Curieux and Odyssey, just to name a few. Also St. Bernardus Xmas, Rose de Gambrinus, Pannepot, Weyerbacher 14 and Double Simcoe, as well as several other Belgians a few Germans (e.g. 1809 & Aventinus) and some additional American varietals. Service was impeccable - waitstaff were very friendly, attentive and beer knowledgeable. Never had a dry glass or an empty water glass for long. Food was great and quite filling. I had the Chimay burger, which was top notch. Chris Lively was present and extremely friendly, welcoming and generous - who opens a Cantillon Crianza Helena and Geuze Cuvée J&J Blauw to share with the patrons. A truly memorable experience. I can't wait to visit Ebenezer's this winter. A must stop if you are in the area (or even if you're not).
10-19-2009 23:46:49 | More by Jwale73
4.85/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
In a nondescript building on a nondescript street in Maine is one of the most amazing beer bars in New England. The restaurant is plastered with posters from many brewery's and the large windows gives plenty of light to the dark wooden furniture. In the back of the restaurant is a brewing set up that sits unused. Hopefully some brews will start flowing out of the system soon. An amazing site that can't be missed are the glass blown tap handles.
I took a little bit off of my atmosphere score because there was a large TV in the bar area that was not on at the time of my visit. I'd prefer having no TV at all to eliminate the distraction from the comfortable bar atmosphere.
The day I was there was the beginning of their week long Belgian Beerfest. The list we received for these out of the ordinary beers was incredible. My only complaint about the Lion's Pride if I had to have one was that the list did not include descriptions. However, the well educated waitress knew about each beer and described them perfectly. Outside of the special Belgian beers their everyday tap list had many hard to find beers and local favorites.
Not to be outdone by the beer, the food at the Lion's Pride is also remarkable. Burgers made with Stilton cheese, Lamb burgers made with homemade ketchup, Quiche, Rubens, and several other well made dishes. The food list isn't long, so you may not find exactly what you're looking for, however the quality is very good.
Service is excellent. Our waitress was very knowledgeable and passionate about all the beers on the menu. She answered every question we had and attended to all our needs. I wish I could remember her name and find servers like her at other restaurants I visit.
The price of the beer is steeper than other bars, but take into account what you are drinking and the price is fair. Most of the beers on the Belgian list was around $8 for a 10 oz. sample. Some cost more for smaller samples and some cost less. Food prices were average. My burger and fries was around $12. Depending on the number of beers you order dinner for two could easily cost $60 to $80 before tip.
In summary, the Lion's Pride is worth the trip. Incredible beer list, tasty food, comfortable atmosphere and courteous staff.
03-08-2010 01:13:13 | More by WanderingFool
4.75/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I absolutely loved this place. I went to the Lion's Pride for the first time last month and it was a great experience.
The atmosphere was very laid-back and it was fun to look at all the beer posters on the walls.
Our server was excellent-she explained about all our beer choices and gave some really good selections of beers to try.
We split a Cantillon and I also was able to try samples of several great beers including Wild Pannepot. The beer selection was great.
The Lion's place is great for trying good beers and good food in a relaxing atmosphere.
09-15-2011 10:02:26 | More by Chincino
4.95/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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.
07-07-2009 03:41:14 | More by deltatauhobbit
4.9/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Here's a truly wonderful treat in the middle of nowhere. Not that Brunswick Maine is nowhere, but this place would be phenomenal anywhere in the world. It's off the highway in a mini-mall like setting. So, you have to drive to it. Without my GPS, I might have missed it. I'm glad I didn't.
Since Lion's Pride opened only 2 months ago, I think it needs to get itself established. My family arrived at 12: 15 and we were the first ones there. When we left an hour later, there were maybe five tables. Our waiter admitted that he didn't know beers really well yet, but he offered to find out the answers to any questions I might have. In fact, the Master Brewer (for the future brew pub) came by many time to see what we thought of the offering (an impressive tasting tray of six of their 35 beers on tap).
This is the best service beer place I've ever been to. Even the cook came to our table to see if we liked our lunch (an excellent Reuben, a pot of mussels, and a plate of sausage). For all of this, you will have to pay an above-average price. For three of us, we spent $84 (without tip) for lunch. The tasting tray was $29, which is priced by taking the full glass price and halving it for each of the approximately 5 ounce pours.
Anyway, this is a place that is worth going out of your way to find. While the food is very, very good, this is a story of phenomenal selection of superior beers.
09-06-2009 01:59:24 | More by smcolw
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The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, ME
100 out of 100 based on 54 user ratings.