Beer and bowling. Is there a better combination?

Bayside Bowl, the brainchild of state Sen. Justin Alfond and former state Rep. Charlie Mitchell, has become a staple in the recreation-meets-libation scene. The result is a funky, fun, completely accessible meeting ground where you can drink, catch some good tunes, grab a tasty bite and, yup, you guessed it, even bowl.

But Bayside Bowl is more than just balls, pins and shiny lanes. It’s also a great bar. For starters, it’s an island bar, which means you can sit on opposite sides of the bar and wave to your buddies across an expanse of cocktails and taps. And speaking of taps, there is a great selection of drafts ranging from ales and porters to stouts. There are always beer specials in addition to the regular happy-hour deals.

Every day, Bayside Bowl puts a particular draft on special for only $3. For example, Monday is Shipyard day, Thursday is Guinness day, and Saturday is a porter day (Anchor Steam, perhaps?). Depending on your beer preference, you can plan your visit for a specific beer day. Or you can take a gamble, because chances are there’s something you’ll fancy, even if it’s not on special. Other selections include Geary’s HSA, Sebago, Longtrail and Moosehead.

Bayside Bowl’s happy hour runs 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a dollar off drafts and $4 wine. And last (but certainly not least) are the champagne specials. Sunday is champagne day, and you can bowl your way through a bottle of bubbly for $10 or $15 (J.Roget or Cristalino, respectively). So whether it’s a beer special, happy hour or a Sunday-Funday, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy from Bayside’s eclectic offerings.

Between bowling and drinking, you can work up quite an appetite, and Bayside Bowl has you covered.

From small plates (coconut curry chicken bites; $7) and salads (grilled steak salad; $12) to dinner (“The Rachel” tempeh reuben; $11), you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a solid variety of good eats. There are always food specials on the chalkboard behind the bar, so be sure to take a look. And if you need dessert to top off your evening, I have two words for you: Guinness float. Sure, there are other treats, but for the discerning beer lover, is there really anything better than beer and ice cream? Together? I think not.

It’s also worth noting that Bayside Bowl is plugged into the community, with Monday nights dedicated to nonprofits (5 percent of the evening’s profits go to the organization that Bayside hosts that day). Sunday through Thursday are dedicated to various bowling leagues run by PortSports and Casco Bay Sports (but don’t worry, two to four lanes are always available for non-league play).

Because of this broad yet cohesive mix of community connectedness, Bayside draws a diverse crowd where young and old, hipster and hippie, suits and non-suits all come out to play. And yes, they even host the occasional birthday party. Go ahead, admit it. You know you want a bowling birthday party, too.

Johanna Sorrell is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.