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The Great Lost Bear
Taps: 69 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
540 Forest Ave
phone: (207) 772-0300
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was recommended this place my a fellow BA member and was glad I took his advise thanks mathematizer. The brick building is a little out of "downtown" Portland but not to bad. I was able to find off street parking which was a plus in their parking lot.
Once you walk in staring in front of you is the bar with dinner tables etc. off to the left as well as and outside patio. The bar is separated from the dining room by a glass wall which is nice the decor is dark wood with a local vibe with lots of yearbook looking pictures.
I was with a group that wanted to sit at table instead of the bar. The service was good maybe a little slow but I wasn't in a rush so it didn't bother me. I order a 5 oz. sample of all the Allagash beers which was great I believe they had 7 on tap.Once I was done with that I order another sampler round of Maine beers which I hadn't had before. With close to 70 taps you can bet there's probably something you haven't had before.
The food was good with plenty left over there was something for everybody. You willn't go hungry or thirsty here.
Overall I thought the place was a great value for the price with a very good tap list. Not being fom Maine I enjoyed all the great beers brewed in Maine that they had on tap. I would recommend this bar/restaurant if you looking for good local beer and decent food.
09-17-2012 21:59:23 |
More by shueyy
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
A big old style bar and restaurant not far from downtown Portland. Many taps, lots of selection of what comes through, not all of it great, but some of it not bad. Environment not bad to have a beer by day, but there were nicer in terms of more modern or snazzy places to have beer by night. Service was fine, though understaffed.Prices were fair so that one can have their fill of beer a fraction of the big cities. A go to place for bar food but lots of beer. Cask occasionally on.Worth a stop if in area seeing the brewers.
08-16-2012 20:41:05 |
More by northyorksammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped for some lunch and beers with the wife last weekend and enjoyed it very much. Lots of taps, with the selection highlighting many interesting Maine brews-all in proper glassware. The bartender was gregarious and offered up several excellent beer suggestions, and didn’t even grumble when I asked for a flight to facilitate trying several. Extra points for the good attitude.
My wife ate lunch, a concoction called Buffalo Mac and Cheese which was very tasty and equally bad for you and your new year’s diet.
The place felt quite comfortable, and they were quite hospitable to us, even though we were only Masshole tourists. Nice folks, great beer and good food. I’m a fan and I’ll certainly be back.
01-10-2012 01:01:59 |
More by andylipp
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Finally made it to this northern New England craft beer destination and was not disappointed. Great selection of beers, many Maine beers and many New England beers, great to see a place that focuses strongly on local and regional selections. Dark interior, a little gritty, slightly edgy, interesting breweriana and eclectic photos, plaques, banners, etc. on the walls.
Great job of having updated tap lists printed and easily available throughout the restaurant and at the bar, and good categorizations of origins and styles. Nice touch, sorely missing at so many places.
12-27-2011 02:19:23 |
More by far333
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I can't believe I've lived in the state of Maine for almost close to 3 years and just tonight I tried this place for the first time.
A: I was thoroughly impressed by the selection of beers they had on tap (69 at all times). I enjoyed the interior that was speckled with yearbook class photos, the high school and college pennants hung on the wall.
S/F: The selection of food was impressive with a wide enough selection that it took me at least a half an hour to decide what I wanted.
S: The service was great I was surprised on a Friday night.
Q/V: The quality was pretty good too, and the value was reasonable. I would go back here in a heart beat. My only issue is the parking lot for as popular as this place is, I would think they would have a larger lot. Its also really tight.
11-19-2011 03:22:14 |
More by kangarooAdam59
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is another must-visit gem for those in Portland, Maine!
The interior is somewhat dim-lit, with stuff like old yearbook class photos from area high schools, along with breweriana on the walls. The selection is pretty huge- lots of locals and quality imports, and themed sampler flights are offered. You can also design your own flight to try several things you haven't had before.
For food they have pretty solid comfort fried foods, with lots of unique(for this area) items.
They have a lot of promos and theme nights.
On a recent visit, they had 5 good to awesome offerings from Allagash(and since they occupied their own draft system, it looked liked a dedicated set of taps), as well as Ommegang Aphrodite and some good stuff on cask!
It's also next door to a homebrew store, so I see no excuse not to hit this place up while getting some supplies.
09-16-2011 12:28:25 |
More by SevaTse
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My first stop in Portland, and what a way to start!
Family restaurant it seems to me (is it next to a brewing store??) with several rooms and a bar. Older looking place--confirmed by my friend who had come here when she was child (like 30 years ago or so). Wood dominates, a bit dark. We got a table in the corner to catch up and chat....and for me to drink.
Yes, the beer selection is the best in the area--for local offerings. Not a huge Belgian, or strong ale, or whatever specialty. It has beer, and plenty of it. I went with a flight of custom selections: all locals!
I got a tuna melt and shared some nachos. Food will fill you up, for sure. Watch it, cuz you'll have to drink more and you better have room. Perhaps my favorite place in Portland. While not the best "beer bar", it's easy to find, easy to get comfy and a good place to chill out
08-18-2011 04:57:58 |
More by Mebuzzard
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Okay, the best thing about the GLB is the beer selection of course. Huge selection of Maine brews and others from around the world make this place a must stop. Not on the waterfront but still in Portland, one of the best cities in New England.
The second best thing about this place is the bar itself. This place is like a museum inside. You can easily spend hours looking at the walls. GLB has a true pub look and feel inside, with millions of things (stickers from around the world, old beer ads, porcelain advertisement signs, vintage posters & photographs, police badges, foreign currency, neon, vintage beer cans, etc., etc., etc...) on the walls and behind the bar to look at. It really sets the right vibe. Well done. If you have ever been to the Dark Horse in Boulder, CO, this has a similar feel. A knick-knack lover's dream bar. Check it out.
07-21-2011 16:15:25 |
More by dugmar
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Was planning to spend the day in Portland drinking in several places, but due to unforeseen circumstances (fog in Bar Harbor postponing our tour boat a day), we didn't get to Portland until 9 pm instead of noon. Oops. With enough energy for one place, we took a cab to The Great Lost Bear. Hard to compare without hitting other places, but we were very happy with the Bear as our only stop in Portland (and Becky's Diner for breakfast on the way out of town).
Well served and in the proper glasses, our waiter brought us each of the Allagash beers on the extensive draft menu. Ended the night with Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet, which was a great Black IPA. For food, the waiter steered us toward a house made veggie dinner, the Fresh Grizzly Burritto with rice, beans, cheese and veggie chili. We had started with cup of veggie chili (something we found in several NE bars, which I would love to see in the midwest more). Both were really great and topped off the night after a long day being tourists and not having really stopped to eat.
GLB clearly lives up to their reputation as a great beer bar. Our waiter was knowledgeable and helpful choosing the beers, and also got us to meal we enjoyed. After a week of travelling and eating out, we really appreciated a very honest, straight forward waiter who gave us a clear, informed opinion of beer and food when ask. Not shying away from making a statement instead of being a cheerleader for whatever a patron picks is a really great quality that is appreciated.
We liked Portland and plan to return to it and The Great Lost Bear.
07-09-2011 19:11:47 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
We almost drove right by this location, but once it was spotted we knew we had to stop by for a pint.
This place reminds me of a well diversified beer garden fused with a college town diner. It was approximately 2pm on a Saturday, but the place was fairly packed, especially the bar. However, we still grabbed two bar seats with ease.
Looking around I wondered where they managed to squeeze in 69 taps. However, browsing through the available draughts I realized they provided an incredibly comprehensive selection with both local and classic beer choices. It was no longer my concern where they were hiding all of these taps, more pressing issues concerning my tap and food selection we at hand.
My favorite part about their tap listing was the option for sampling; you could sample one 5oz sample or as many as five 5oz samples on a panel. Because we were literally just coming from the Allagash tasting and tour, I opted to share three 5oz samples instead of completing an entire panel. During the Allagash tour I wanted to try the Grand cru, Black, and confluence and now I would finally get the chance.
The food selection was well priced and included traditional pub fare. I went for the buffalo chicken mac and cheese, while my pub-crawling partner ordered their "famous chili." It was a rainy day, so comfort food was deemed appropriate. My mac and cheese was decent and the chili was delicious.
We spent about one hour at the great lost bear and thoroughly enjoyed our time. I would have liked to check out their night life, but time would not permit. I shall venture back next time I'm in Portland.
06-19-2011 19:44:56 |
More by ThePorterSorter
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The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME