I don’t know what I did in my youth to keep getting sent to Irish pubs, but I’m so happy I did it.

Stepping inside the door of The Kerrymen Pub in Saco is like stepping back to the pubs at the turn of the century. The building itself is actually two post-and-beam barns, moved here from the Dayton and Old Orchard Beach area. I kept glancing around, looking for nails and drywall and other modern building accessories, but none were to be found.

Even better, before I started feeling warm and fuzzy from my Smithwick’s pint ($3.25), the bar area was one of the warmest barns I’ve ever been in.

History and family is the name of the game at The Kerrymen Pub. The rough-cut lumber bar, situated in the center of the room, boasts items from the family and establishment’s history, forever captured under a resin top. This rustic bar, complete with captain’s chair bar stools, was where I took up residence with my friend.

Folks at the end of the bar chatted us up immediately, inquiring where we were from and what brought us down to Saco for the night. I love places where you can just randomly strike up conversation with people at the bar. Add to it a great bartender like Judy, who has worked at The Kerrymen Pub for more than 30 years, and the atmosphere was perfect for meeting new and interesting folks.

Since it is autumn, it is almost imperative to make the most of fall brews. We did just that with a black and tan, Kerrymen Pub-style. Half Guinness, half Shipyard Pumpkinhead ($3.75), it is a delicious way to spend an autumn night.

In case you didn’t notice, with the same dripping fascination and awe that I experienced, The Kerrymen Pub is also not a bar that is looking to gouge its patrons on drink prices. Even in the summer, when you can’t find a draft in the Old Orchard Beach area for under $5, the pub’s prices stay consistent. It certainly quiets down after the tourists leave, but many of the patrons stay on through all four seasons.

The Kerrymen Pub is probably most recognizable to folks in Greater Portland because of the annual Mary’s Walk that takes place every March. The event raises money for breast cancer research and is in memory of Mary Kerry Libby, who died from cancer in 1997. The walk is held in conjunction with The Kerrymen Pub 5K. Frequently capped off with a Guinness after the finish line, The Kerrymen is a fixture on the Maine road-race circuit.

Throw in live music, happy-hour specials, a game room, a lounge, dinner tables and sporting event nights, and The Kerrymen Pub makes for a great night at a bar where you definitely want to hang out.

 Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.