Right around this time a year ago, I was writing about how Draft magazine named The Great Lost Bear and Novare Res Bier Cafe in its annual list of the country’s Top 100 Beer Bars.
Now we’re back for the 2013 list, and wouldn’t you know it, both places maintained their places on the big ranking, as did the Lovell-based Ebenezer’s Pub.
Here’s what the magazine had to say about the three Maine venues (this is going to look a lot like last year’s blog post):
The Great Lost Bear, 540 Forest Ave.,(website)
Part of the beer-bar Old Guard, this Portland dive has everything you want in a beer bar: a tavern vibe, an unfussy crowd, a gigantic wing-and-burger-driven menu, and a treasure trove of beer. More than 50 taps (including a handful of casks) pour one of the greatest roundups of Northeastern brew, roping in offerings from regional stars like Maine’s Baxter, New Hampshire’s Tuckerman and Vermont’s Switchback.
Novare Res Bier Cafe, 4 Canal Plaza, (website)
Blink and you’ll miss the sign pointing the way to this off-the-beaten-cobblestone-path Old Port neighborhood bar. Once inside the delightfully warm, brick pub, grab a seat at one of the communal tables and get decisive: This little bar stocks more than 500 beers from around the world.
Ebenezer’s Pub, 44 Allen Road, Lovell (website)
Inside an old farmhouse, bar owner and beer connoisseur Chris Lively stables one of the most extensive beer collections on earth. Beyond the 18 taps pouring impossible-to-find stuff, he serves more than 1,000 bottles (including vintages dating back to the ’60s), and his cellar boasts some of the most obscure beers in the world.