Video #49: The Great Lost Bear!

The Guys make another stop in Portland, Maine, where folks are VERY serious about their craft brews. This is a Third Place of the finest order. The Great Lost Bear features 65 different taps, a focus on Maine microbrews, and a cribbage board. (Okay, there are a few other things to enjoy as well.) Top ten ratings from folks all over the world, and Gourmet magazine says it's "One of the greatest bars on earth"! AND, Bumper stickers are free! Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 

Bumper Sticker, Great Lost Bear

540 Forest Ave

Portland, ME 04101          Cheers!

Video #47: The earliest Happy Hour...ever. Ruski's.

The Guys make their way back to Maine, and the earliest Happy Hour on record (as far as they've ever seen). Ruski's is also a historic bar, open through prohibition, and is now Portland's oldest pub. It was built in the 1860's and became a beer parlor in 1900. It remained open through Prohibition as a "lunch parlor", but still sold alcohol through the back door. It has remained in business as one name or another since 1900.

The highest price menu item is the surf&turf at 13.95. By far most things are under 10. A burger is still only 4.95, and coffee is 80 cents!

Join Mark and Jimmy as they coffee up, wake up, and then start their 'good night' at Ruski's!

Maine-ly useful bits and pieces.

As Jimmy heads off to Hawaii for some ‘research’, I respond by visiting the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, ME and experiencing the brand new aquarium and its “human bubble” feature where you can almost become one of the fish. What does this have to do with Happy Hour? Well, nothing. There is liquid involved. Can you ferment fish-water? But Jimmy gets to go to Hawaii and I wanted some sort of aquatic adventure. Thus, I got up close and personal with some brook trout. It’s a great break from the outlet shopping and will keep cranky kids and adults grinning and distracted. It is next door to the Jameson Tavern, does that count? Speaking of the Jameson…


A follow up to our earlier entry on the Jameson Tavern ghostly activity (History and a Haunting): 

I had the pleasure of talking to Christina, who was working the bar when I dropped in this time. She shared with me a first hand story of a mustard jar literally flinging itself across the entrance to the bar area in front of a startled group of employees. Was it the spirit of the young girl, Emily, or the mysterious man in the hat apparition that was responsible? The Happy Hour team will be making return visits to get the latest. Who knows? We may bring our cameras and spend a late night here.  Stay tuned!

One of the most renowned beer bars in Maine is The Great Lost Bear. A decent alternative in the Old Port of Portland, though, is $3 Dewey’s ( Contrary to its name, the beer is not three dollars. However, the selection is very good, with roughly three dozen taps and an equal number of bottles. The emphasis is on Maine and New England beers, including the rare but highly sought after Cadillac Mountain Stout. Decent food (I’m told the chowder is great) and free popcorn will keep you full and happy as you work your way through the list (there is a full bar and a nice single malt selection for non beer drinkers). Its convenient location makes it an easy and welcome stop while exploring the shops and restaurants of Old Port without having to get in the car and drive elsewhere.

Lastly, if you’re spending some time in Maine, it’s good to know that the grocery stores not only sell beer and wine, but have a full liquor selection, as well. Many have a surprisingly complete selection and feature local beer and wine.  Just a little tip to make provisioning that much easier.  Cheers!