Bar Review: The Thirsty Pig (Portland, ME)

Bar Review of The Thirsty Pig in Portland, ME

Imagine if a really good food truck also served fresh local beer and was big enough to have some seating. If you did imagine that, you’d have The Thirsty Pig. For those of you that haven’t been paying attention, a gourmet food truck culture has been sweeping through our hipper cities, where you have trucks that specialize in one type of cuisine (like dumplings, tacos, crepes, etc.) and do them really well and with a high level of innovation. The Thirsty Pig embodies that ideal, but is able to do it better.

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They are not a large establishment by any means, with only room for a handful of booths and bar stools, and at any peak hours you’re likely going to be standing, but that’s because this place is so good. Their specialty cuisine is house-made sausage, and the menu revolves around them, but unlike a food truck they are able to offer us 8-9 draught beers to wash them down with. Most of the draughts they had the night I was there were local Maine brewers, like Bissell Bros. Reciprocal IPA (review here), Maine Beer Co. Lunch IPA & Peeper Pale Ale and even a beer from Marsh Island Brewing.

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This isn’t a food blog, so I’m not here to critique the menu, but let’s just say I ate my fill (along with several Reciprocal IPAs). This bar has a real “locals” feel to it, and has an awesome speed of service. You could settle in for a while if you wanted, or you could pop in for some great grub and a beer and be in-and-out in 10-15 minutes, which is a convenience you can’t get from most restaurants. The bartenders were really knowledgeable about all the products and this pig certainly didn’t leave thirsty.

This bar isn’t going to blow you away with a huge draught selection or diverse food menu, but if you’re in Portland, ME and looking for a place that falls somewhere between a gourmet food truck and a gastropub on an imaginary restaurant hierarchy (that I just made up in my head), this is your stop. I’ve also made up a hierarchy for every episode of Magnum P.I. if anyone cares, but I’m guessing you don’t…

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