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The Great Lost Bear
Taps: 69 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
540 Forest Ave
phone: (207) 772-0300
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is one of my favorite bier-bars anywhere. Can be viewed as having a bit of a divey aspect to it, what with Christmas lights and odds 'n' ends stuck to the walls, but it's really a gem. Many bier-related items like trays, cans, coasters also dominate the decor. They serve 50-plus (is that the right number?) draft biers, with the majority being fresh Maine biers. Nothing like Geary's Hampshire or Gritty's Halloween from cask! Service is quite good, though if you don't want a lemon in your Hefeweizen you'd best be letting them know beforehand! Otherwise, "major faux pas!". Food is varied, tasty and comes in ample portions. A MUST visit if you're in the area!
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
11-04-2002 06:47:40 |
More by Bierman9
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
I counted roughly 51 taps, including the 3 casks and a cider. The beer menu breaks it all out for you by beer type which makes for easy reading. Currently, roughly 30 are from Maine breweries, and about another dozen and a half hail from the other New England states. That means the beer's pretty damn fresh.
They have specials nights (Mondays & Tuesdays are "short beer nights", where they serve jumbo drafts at pint prices and then there's the Thursday Showcase where they feature a specific brewery @ $1.99 a pint). You can do a taster paddle or a beer tower, they've got a weekly draft special, it's a beautiful thing.
Service was good and the place was nicely comfortable. They have dining areas along the perimeters with pleasant collectibles posters throughtout. If there's a better beerbar up North I ain't heard about it.
03-02-2003 19:09:49 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Oh my, this is the one of the best bars I have ever been in. The service was great the beers are good and plenty. The atmosphere was like nothing I have ever been in, the beer signs and tins are all over the place. The Christmas lights all over is also a nice touch. The towers of beer also make this place one of a kind. The food was amazing we stayed for 2 meals and both were very good.
11-03-2003 21:52:23 |
More by kunzbrew
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This place is awesome! Cool digs, very comfortable, great atmosphere, excellent service, amazing beer selection, REALLY good food - everything. I tried a few beers here, but the best by far was the availability of Boothbay's Cadillac Mountain Stout. Seriously, the beer selection here is amazing. They have over 60 beers on tap, and then there is their bottled selection - which is how I got the Cadillac Mountain Stout. This is one of my favorite beers that you simply can't anywhere! The food was downright amazing! For an appetizer, we had the terriyaki grilled mushrooms - can I just say, I could make a meal out of this altogether! Since I didn't, I had their Pesto Burger. A little too much pesto, but after scrapping some off - it was perfect.
Next time I am in Portland - this is where I am going!
09-24-2008 18:02:34 |
More by Jayli
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have had the great opportunity to live within a mile of this place. For those ever considering a visit to Maine this is a must stop. They currently have 69 beers on tap, over half are Maine made, including a great section of Allagash brews. They also brewery showcases, having on tap 4 to 5 beer from a brewery with sometimes the brewer serving them up. Perhaps the best is the opportunity to try cask selections that are only available here, Geary's HSA comes to mind. The staff are always friendly and will help you with your sampler selection or choose from the huge menu, might I suggest the buffalo wings and the chili, don't forget the special board.
12-08-2010 19:22:20 |
More by bishopdc0
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Okay, the best thing about the GLB is the beer selection of course. Huge selection of Maine brews and others from around the world make this place a must stop. Not on the waterfront but still in Portland, one of the best cities in New England.
The second best thing about this place is the bar itself. This place is like a museum inside. You can easily spend hours looking at the walls. GLB has a true pub look and feel inside, with millions of things (stickers from around the world, old beer ads, porcelain advertisement signs, vintage posters & photographs, police badges, foreign currency, neon, vintage beer cans, etc., etc., etc...) on the walls and behind the bar to look at. It really sets the right vibe. Well done. If you have ever been to the Dark Horse in Boulder, CO, this has a similar feel. A knick-knack lover's dream bar. Check it out.
07-21-2011 16:15:25 |
More by dugmar
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $
Being married with a young child, I have lived in Maine for nearly four years and just made it down the The Great Lost Bear this past weekend. Now that I know they have highchairs I will be back real soon...
A great atmosphere. Very Maine. Dark and pub-like inside with all kind of brewery artifacts and signs (along with antiques and the like) We went for lunch but I could've sworn it was after dark if I hadn't been sure of the contrary. No windows to speak of. TV's either.
Quality and selection are outstanding. I had cask-conditioned Old Thumper and Allagash Grand Cru. My wife enjoyed a Gritty's Black Fly Stout and a Jinx. All the pints were only $3.75. I was expecting beer of such quality to go for $4.50 easy. So a great value to go with everything else. Just about every Maine brewery seemed to be represented among their 50 taps including selections from the hard to find Sheepscot Brewery and lots of seasonals. Having beer on cask is a big plus for me, hadn't had cask ale since I was in Wales nearly 7 years ago.
The crowd was light when we were there but the service was prompt, friendly and knowledgeable. The food was bar food. I don't want to slam the food too much but it was nothing special. I did not have the burgers which are supposed to be the best choice here. Maybe next time. Here, as it should be, the beer is the star. If only I lived close enough to make their Thursday night events.
10-27-2003 04:16:01 |
More by ViveLaChouffe
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Great restaurant with a great beer selection that is frequently updated. The atmosphere at the bar is always fun and boisterous, but not over-the-top loud and not rowdy. I am a huge fan of their mac n' cheese. Also, the sampler option is a great value for trying up to five beers. I highly recommend this place as the second best beer-drinking option in Portland (second only to Novare Res).
06-22-2013 03:21:56 |
More by Sudcutter
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
This is a great spot, especially if you are looking to drink lots of different beers at a big, dark, wooden bar that dominates the entire center of this establishment. We ended up in one of the outlying tables, which was fine because it was away from the hustle and bustle, but I took a long stroll around the place: lots of different nooks and crannys to accomodate your fancy. But you're there for the beer, and they have an enoromous selection on tap and in bottles. I sampled four different IPAs, all on tap, and I know I could have sampled a whole lot more.
The service is solid, though the waitress was not all that familiar with the wide variety of beers available. But she was efficient, considerate, and cheerful.
The food was good.
03-11-2004 23:50:51 |
More by longpondbeerman
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
After I visit RSVP while in Portland, I ALWAYS head right down Forest Ave and grab a stool at the bar of the Great Lost Bear. There's a reason this place is legendary.
They mostly carry Maine micros, then national micros, and it would seem that they have made it a point to have 6 or so belgian beers on tap at any given time nowadays. In addition to the belgian draft tower, they also have a dedicated tower of 6 taps for Allagash.
To give an idea, last time I was there I had Witkap Pater Dubbel, Kapittel Abt, Deux Brasseurs, and cask-pulled Allagash Black. They also had St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Delerium Noel on tap, but I had had those before (and had to drive home). Usually there's a few amazing brews sitting in casks, from Sheepscot to Grittys to Allagash. I usually get a flight of belgian samples, at $2 each. Samples of normal micros are $1 each, so feel free to try 20 of the 80 or so beers they have on tap.
The food is NOT normal pub food. It's weel beyond that. The soups are hearty and usually made with something on tap, the wings are the best in portland, the burgers are varied, inspired, and delicious. They have an extensive vegetarian menu as well.
12-01-2008 20:09:38 |
More by Pamola
The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME
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