Once in a great while I find a place that’s truly special. I would be extremely happy if this restaurant/bar was in Portsmouth instead of Portland, ME, but even the hour drive is worth it for someplace so interesting. 

I decided to embark on the journey to Portland on somewhat of a whim – investigating places that I could hold a potential graduation party. Really that was only an excuse, but it was a good reason to check out the Great Lost Bear.
We were seated in a rather dark corner of the restaurant, near a real bear head hanging on the wall and surrounded with beer related propaganda, art and old advertisements featuring bears. The bar was lit with tons of neon, but it really wasn’t the atmosphere I was concerned with, it was the beer list. Featuring more than 60 beers on tap, I was excited to see what was offered – but hesitant. 
Would this be a list filled with more stuff I’d already tried, lots of session beers and macros? Absolutely not. There were things on there from not only local breweries such as Sebago, but ones I had never tried before. The list (click here to see what’s currently on tap) is rather renowned in the area, and I was very happy to choose from it. I chose a few from the many on the list that I had not tried.  
The Sebago Brewing Full Throttle Double IPA was a dark copper color with a pinch of bitter and grassy hops in the aroma. It was a strong and dry hoppy brew. It had a little citrus, and the strength of the hops was not an unpleasant one. It was warming and delicious, and at 8.2% ABV was a formidable offering from Sebago. It is released only as part of their ‘Single Batch Series’ and I don’t think it hangs around much after early spring. It did make me eager to try other Sebago single batches, which are released locally and seasonally.

I followed that with the Allagash Fedelta. Described as a Belgian Pale Ale I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. The smell was like Granny Smith apples, and the color was a hazy golden yellow. It smelled almost cidery, like a Strongbow Cider would smell like if you added yeast. The tasted was very good but definitely different than what I was used to. I really enjoyed the tart note in there, and it wasn’t so heavy as to overwhelm my taste buds. 
The menu is a complex mix of different types of pub food, and I have to say that the wings we ordered were probably the best I’d ever had. They were dry (no sauce, just a rub) with Cajun spices, and were cooked perfectly. I have dreams about those wings. They were that good. The burgers we ordered, too, were satisfying, and then I spied something on the dessert menu that I just had to try.

A sundae/caramel/cake thing served in an old-school mason jar, topped with whipped cream and walnuts. Is that not the perfect Maine dessert or what?
In conclusion, I highly recommend the Great Lost Bear as an awesome stop at the end of a day of exploring Portland. They have function rooms and plenty of space, too, so bring a bunch of people. You won’t be disappointed.