Most people know Freeport as the home of L.L. Bean. Yet across a little side street from the flagship store lies another treasure of the city.

The Jameson Tavern is located in a building that has been used on an off as a tavern since 1779. Nicknamed “The Birthplace of Maine” because the final papers declaring Maine a separate state from Massachusetts were signed there, the building and people within it have amazing stories to tell.

Walking up the street and peering in the bustling windows of Jameson’s giant neighbor, I found myself smiling at the quaint winter scene unfolding. Twinkle lights dotted the outside shrubs and porch while a Christmas tree (also sporting the twinkle lights) sat on the porch waiting for more decorations.

Sitting down at the old-style wooden bar, I took a quick look around while glancing over the drink menu. Inside, the scene is just as beautifully set, with snow and holiday greens hanging from the post-and-beam features of the Tap Room. Although not in operation on this night, at the front stands a wood stove nestled into the mantelpiece. It’s the perfect place to curl up with a pint on a blustery winter day.

The Jameson Tavern offers two beers brewed especially for the establishment. Both are named for prior owners of the building. Captain Jameson’s Brown Ale ($4) offers a smooth drink with a touch of characteristic sweetness, and is brewed by Gritty McDuff’s. I ordered Dr. Hyde’s Angry Ale ($4), which delivered on its promise to be more hoppy and dark. Dr. Hyde’s is brewed by Geary’s Brewing Company.

The tap selection is fiercely local and rotates frequently, as there are only 10 or so offerings at a time. The mixed drinks, however, are a main attraction, all served in pint glasses to give you a great deal for your money. One of the most popular, a Scooby Snack ($7; Malibu Rum, Midori, pineapple and a splash of cream), is a great ending to a summer trip to the area. The martinis are so strong — and so delicious — that Jameson’s enforces a two-martini maximum.

When Jameson Tavern is not hosting weary shoppers and travelers, it offers live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights in the Tap Room. Additionally, the Friday Trivia Night from 4 to 6 p.m. boasts some great drink specials, and the winner receives his entree for free. Open 364 days a year, this is a great place to hit up when you are looking for a holiday drink or meal.

Beware going it alone, though. The Jameson Tavern is thought to be haunted by multiple ghosts, and has been featured in many news stories and investigations about the supernatural. The most prevalent of the spirits is thought to be a little girl who lived in the tavern when it was a residence around the turn of the 19th century. All spirits are said to be harmless and like to joke and have fun with patrons. With such a storied history, what else would you expect?

More than just a place to visit when you are shopping the Freeport circuit, Jameson Tavern offers a cozy and historic atmosphere to kick back and share a specialty brew with a few friends and family.

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.