LOVELL (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- A cozy small town in Maine is on the map thanks to a local bar with raving reviews.
Ebenezer's Pub, located on Allen Road, was recently named one of the best beer bars in the country by Thrillist.
"Sure, it’s a little odd to call a small Maine town with a population hovering around 1,000 a beer destination," reads their take, "but even if Ebenezer’s was located in the seventh circle of hell (or, even worse, Gary, Indiana), we’d be flocking."
Thrillist cites their more than 700 bottles and a Belgian-intensive tap selection "in a cozy house that could easily be mistaken for one of the many farmhouses that double as bars in the Belgian countryside" as reasons Ebenezer's is a surefire destination.
Chris Lively, owner of Ebenezer's Pub, said he first heard about the article when customers tagged them on Facebook.
"We felt tremendously proud of our staff that has worked toward fulfilling our common goal of great customer service, beer, and food," he said.
Although Lively comes from seven generation of beer business, this adventure wasn't in his life plan. He used to work a corporate job and had a sidegig as a bartender in Los Angeles, when the World Cup inspired him to leave.
“I’m working in this British pub," he said. "And you’d have the Irish screaming their alma mater, and you had Hispanics saying, 'Si se puede!' And I’m pouring beer, the place is packed, the music’s blaring. I’m like, this is what makes me happy. For the first time in my life, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to pour beer.”
Maine was a natural decision to start that dream; his wife has family in the state. In 2004, the pub opened for business. Within three years, Beer Advocate would list Ebenezer's as the No. 1 Beer Bar in the World.
Ebenezer's has gotten similar recognition in the past. According to Maine Today, It was also rated as Top Beer Destination in the World by ratebeer.com and Top Beer Destination in America by Travel + Leisure and Men’s Journal.
The Thrillist article states the brewers at Belgium’s De Struise brewery developed Black Albert, a royal stout considered one of the world’s finest, just for Ebenezer’s.
"When you have a successful restaurant for 15 years, you tend to ask yourself, 'do we still got it?'" Lively said. "And getting this recognition again helps us answer that question with a 'yes!'"