Over the river and through the woods, you might just find the country’s best beer bar. Tucked away in the outskirts of tiny Lovell, Maine, Ebenezer’s Pub is a cozy, unassuming spot that features some of Belgium’s finest brews.
‘Bezer’s, as my dad calls it, is located (relatively) close to the town in Maine where my family spends a lot of our time. We have become increasingly impressed with Ebenezer’s offerings over the years, and paying a visit to the pub each time we are in Maine is now somewhat of a family tradition. However, despite our growing love and appreciation of the place, we were still quite surprised to find out that it had earned the honor of being named #1 Beer Bar in America by the guys from Beer Advocate. In addition, in recent months, Ebenezer’s has been highlighted in both the Maine Sunday Telegram and the Boston Globe. Our little pub-in-the-woods was becoming famous! I wanted to know more about Ebenezer’s and the folks behind its unique success, so I began to dig a bit deeper.
The lovely couple that runs the place, Jen and Chris Lively, were based in Los Angeles when they came upon an old bar in Lovell during a visit to family in the area. Attracted by the prospect (and the price), the Livelys made the leap, moved east, and opened up Ebenezer’s.
When they started, they offered a few quality beers, like Chimay, and built up their renowned collection bit by bit. Today, Ebenezer’s features one of the best collections of Belgian beers in the world. ‘Bezer’s also features some of the best English, Scandinavian, and German beers found anywhere. Their American offerings include special beers from Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, Russian River, and the local favorite; Portland’s Allagash Brewery. The pub also serves great food that goes well with the beers, such as moules frites and hearty burgers.
Ebenezer’s represents a really interesting cross section of people. Local residents, who used to imbibe here when the only beer offered was Bud and Miller, have continued to visit the place, becoming friendly with the owners and experts in beer brewed by Belgian monks. Vacationers visiting the lakes region and the nearby White Mountains of New Hampshire fill the screened porch during the summer months and cozy up to the bar after a day of skiing in the wintertime. Now, a brand new breed of customers, the beer tourist, have descended on Ebenezer’s, coming from afar to sample their famous line-up of beers. The combination of patrons makes for a really comfortable and somewhat fascinating crowd.
Whether you are looking to sample some of Belgium’s biggest and most famous abbey-brewed beers or curious about trying unfamiliar types of beer like barleywine or sour beer, you may want to plan a trip to Lovell, Maine. Plus, if still you aren’t convinced, they offer all your standby domestic beers too. This pretension-free pub is a fun, relaxed place to enjoy something new.