Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny
Taps: 17 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 42 | Show All Ratings:
4.7/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
My wife and I were in the Berks county area for other reasons but decided to find and try out this place for lupper (late lunch/early supper) and are quite pleased we did. It was a beautiful afternoon and so we sat on the upper patio enjoying the gentle breezes and the view of the grounds.
I was very impressed with the list of both draft beer and with the very very extensive list of bottled beer. The pricing seemed very reasonable. I also have the impression that the draft list I saw there matches quite well the list currently on their web site, suggesting that someone keeps the web site pretty current if you want to check that before you go.
In the end I wound up going with one of the evening's specials, which included a burger with lots of timmings and a happy hour pricing on a 16oz serving of a local DIPA on draft. My wife had the chicken fingers (almost always a safe choice for her when trying out the food in a new place).
The service was outstanding (which I'm sure was aided by the fact there were so few customers at the time we were there, but...) and friendly. We were able to chat for a while with the waitress and learn more about Union Jack's layout.
When the food was served it was hot and well prepared. We were both quite happy with the quality of the food and thought the fries that accompanied what we had were excellent.
I'm expecting we'll be going back
06-20-2009 19:53:07 | More by drtth
3.88/5 rDev -14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
My wife and I stopped in for the Easter Hopfest. Met up with a bunch of BA's around lunchtime. Started off with a glass of Russian River Pliny the Elder and placed my order for the burger special of the day - a Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger : bourbon glazed bacon, smoked gouda, and Boulder Mojo beer battered onion rings on a half pound burger. Everything about the burger was great except that I ordered it medium rare and when I got it, there was no pink to be found. It was still quite juicy, and not too killed, so I did not complain much. The Mojo Onion rings were killer, I should have tried to order an entire side of them. My wife had the Port Wrap - grilled chicken and portabella shrooms with spinach, feta on a pesto wrap. She was a fan of that. Due to the hopfest and all the people groveling over a sixtel of Pliny the Younger, the place was packed. Because of this, service suffered terribly. Too much attention to the time consuming sample flights. We waited around half an hour for each draft. That's unacceptable. Wish I would have been able to try a few more beers, but my patience wore thin. Didn't feel like wasting 2-3 hours there trying to get 2-3 more drafts. Prices for draft and bottles were a bit high for the location as well.
Edit - I've bumped the service from 1.5 to 3.0 after being contacted by management stating they will make things right on my next visit. That alone, after this review was posted just a few hours earlier, shows class on their part as well as a true concern for their customers satisfaction. I'll revisit this review on my next trip down to UJ's and update it accordingly.
04-13-2009 03:41:56 | More by ClockworkOrange
3.78/5 rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place it out in the sticks. I drive over an hour to get there. And I've done it several times. Why? Because it's been awesome. Awesomely awesome.
So, last time I made the trek, and found the tap selection to be completely off-season and medicore (at best!), I was more than a little disappointed. Onto the beer bible I went for U.Jack's bottle selection. Struck out here a few times.
This was a Monday. Barkeep said they were super busy over the weekend so things weren't what they should be. Wasn't buying it. Somebody dropped the ball.
It's still on my list. I still like the place. But when I'm closer to a whole barrel of brewpubs and awesome bars with selections that are always good, I'll think twice before spending almost 2.5 total hours in the car to sit at this bar and be disappointed by its lack of "world class" selections.
Food is good. I like it. But let's be honest. That's not why you're there. Not in a place like this.
There once was a place called Kclingers out in Hanover, PA. (Well, it still exists, but it's a shell of its former self.) Journeyed there one weekend last year. The owner's let it slip so badly - a place that used to boast THE best beer selection on the East Coast - that we got one bottle for every 10 we ordered. One. And the worst part? The barkeep mocked us for ordering from such a long outdated list.
I mention this only because this place used to be a beer mecca. I'm sure it started slipping, in much the same way U.Jack's did that recent and fateful December Monday afternoon I was just there. Hope it doesn't go that route and it was just a one-time blunder, a temporary glitch in the fantastic beerdom that is U.Jack's.
My next review after my next visit will tell as much. Fingers crossed, friends. Fingers crossed. World class establishments shouldn't slip up, not if they intend to remain world class.
02-03-2009 21:37:31 | More by BeerBishop
4.65/5 rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
A - Ok, this place in absolutely in the middle of nowhere, but very nice. Nice looking bar with some booths in the bar area. Didn't go into the dining area, but there is one. They frequently have live music on the weekends.
Q - Excellent, excellent beer. Great wings - best in the area, IMHO.
S - Was good I guess. Don't remember anything good or bad, which I guess makes it good.
S - Best beer selection you'll find in this area. Lot's of local favorites, stuff you won't find anywhere else.
F - Loved the wings, loved the fresh cut fries, and the crab dip was to die for.
V - A little pricy, especially the food. But I drive 20 minutes to get these wings for take out. Worth the price. They only take cash, which is a bit of a pain. Who only takes cash these days??? But they do have an ATM on site.
12-31-2008 01:16:27 | More by smedley
4.1/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by UJs on the Manatawny on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The bar was crowded obviously. It's really amazing anyone can find this place.
A: The bar area is rather small with some bar height tables and some booths. The bar is an L shaped but maybe only has 12 seats or so. Dark inside with minimal windows. The decoration is cool with lots of bar signs and old tap handles. The bar is very rustic.
Q: Here is where UJs shines. What a great lineup of quality beer. It amazes me that the bar has this quality located in basically the middle of nowhere.
S: I was a bit disappointed here as they only had one bartender serving the entire bar area. It was crowded and I had to get up from our table to get our beers.
S: Excellent, I don't know how many taps they had, but damn the selection was great. Local brews like Victory, hard to find beers like Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide and other very good hard to find beers. Nice, nice selection.
F: Did not eat, sorry.
V: Reasonably priced. 6 beers cost us $ 34.00.
Overall a great beer bar in the Berks County area. I'll definitely get there again.
11-28-2008 18:27:50 | More by Kadonny
4.78/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I'm not really sure of what to say after this place has been heralded by so many other reviewers. I'll do my best...
Atmosphere - well, if you don't mind drives(speaking to the people that aren't from the Boyertown/Pheasantville area), this is the place to actually drive to as a destination.
Across the street from this establishment, that's set back in the woods, is a roller rink...I thought most of these went the way of the dinosaur by the early 90's but I guess I'm wrong. It's a nice, 2 storied building resembling a back-woods lodge complete with a beautiful outdoor seating venue that even boasts a stage. To me, this is a wonderful place to sit outdoors while the weather is good. Inside the bar area, it's dimly lit with beer memorabilia, and retired tap handles. To the right, is a medium sized dining room with some older booths that are still holding their own.
The quality of the beers, and the food is top notch. Having dined here on several occasions now, it's safe to say that I really enjoy the food. It's not going to blow you away as some fine dining experience would but for tavern food, it's certainly on the top notch.
The service is usually pretty good and they are well informed about the beers. We had one snafu where our server was done and we got a replacement waiter, who remembered us before eventually forgetting about us(though - he did buy me a parting gift to make up for it!) but it wasn't that big of a deal.
The selection...what can be said? Several hundred bottles...mostly winners. Several taps...mostly winners. In fact, I was able to catch all the Port Brewing / Lost Abbey beers the day after the event, which were offered in 2 different flights. Great deal.
I love this place, and my wife loves this place. Heck, even my daughter enjoyed it here.
If for nothing else, try the wings. They are great. My favorite is the Bourbon Molasses.
BTW - cash only establishment. This does help keep the cost of some of the bottles down though. See for yourself.
10-21-2008 15:25:46 | More by weeare138
4.78/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I've made a few visits out to UJ's and each time my experience gets better and better.
ATMOSPHERE: Inside is a dimly-lit seating area with a few booths surrounded by a big L-shaped bar with no less than 5 tap towers with several beers on each. It's very comfortable inside, but the real atmosphere comes as soon as you step out the door. The back deck has to be my favorite drinking atmosphere I've ever come across. There's something to be said about sitting out with nothing but the creek and a beer to occupy you.
QUALITY: Tom, the owner/manager, keeps this place running at tip-top shape. Beers are all taken care of impeccably and all served at correct temperature in correct glassware. In addition, there are periodically style-themed events that are fantastic for the side-by-side tasting experiences they give. First-class all the way.
SERVICE: The staff is all fairly knowledgeable about the beers they serve and are quick to offer their favorites. But even better is that Tom is usually on-hand to talk beer and offer personal attention. Thanks for the bottle of Pumking, Tom!
SELECTION: If Pliny finds it's way to PA, UJ's will probably be one of the places to get a keg. Anything else PA gets is guaranteed to show up on tap here. Plus the bottle selection is as extensive as most other bars I've come across. I could go on and on listing what I've had here, but this paragraph would never end.
FOOD: A variety of things from some standard bar food to full-on entrees. All are above-average to excellent. But my all-time favorite here are the wings. Over 10 sauces and all are really unique and delicious. You've gotta try the Bourbon Molasses and Southern Country. I'd come here for these even if they didn't have beer.
It'd be hard for anywhere to top what Union Jack's has going on. It's a bit out of the way but undoubtedly worth the drive every time. You MUST visit!
08-03-2008 21:52:50 | More by jmalex
4.15/5 rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
A very nice pub in a beautiful country setting. We have only sat inside as the weather has not been right to sit outside when we have been there. But there is a beautiful deck in a wooded setting by a riverbank.
The bar area inside has a nice neighborhood pub vibe to it, with about 15 seats at an L-shaped bar.
The beer selection is excellent with about 15 taps with lots of good choices (recently Cane & Ebel, Southern Tier Hoppe and Cherry Saison) to go with a couple of taps from Sly Fox. The bottle list is outstanding, with about 150 selections (give or take 50; too many to count).
Service is always very pleasant and the food is tasty pub grub. Despite the wealth of great beer bars and brewpubs nearby, we always enjoy our one hour excursion to see what's going on.
Make sure to bring cashm or your ATM card, as they do not accept credit cards here.
07-03-2008 18:48:15 | More by sholland119
3.75/5 rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
A nice place to stop by when you are out that way, but a place that does perplex me a bit.
The Good: Right next to a picture perfect creek setting. Service is generally good at the bar, less so at the tables. Very diverse selection of bottled beers, the drafts are nice for out there, but seem a little week in comparison to the "top tier bars". Decent food (not bad, not great but we do always eat when we are there.)But, then again our agenda is not the food here.
The Bad: "Next to a picture perfect creek setting", but they do not let you get close to it on a Sunday; they drop you next to they parking lot. Inside is okay, nothing special. Food is consistent, not great, not bad, but you do know what you are getting. Quality of taps beers is good, but the bottled beers are a bit touch and go. Service, a few months ago a table near me a had bad bottle (they ended up sharing with us) and the waitress still dinged them for it.
Synopsis: If you are looking for a day with a nice drive, a good place to stop. Overall, not a place I would go out of the way for unless we lived a lot closer.
02-18-2008 03:55:35 | More by Intheshadows
4.33/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Nestled deep in the Oley Valley, this place is a little diamond in the rough. Driving along country roads, this place just appears like an oasis- reminds me of a ski lodge/chateau. Inside is a cozy L-shaped bar reminiscent of English style pubs. A seating area is also located in this area as well as a separate dining area in another section of the building. There is also an outdoor seating deck, though I have not yet had an opportunity to check it out. The beer selection is impressive, and for this area- enigmatic. Pliny the Younger is a typical find! Otherwise, great selections on tap and bottled. The food is respectable (only once have I eaten here). The service is good and friendly, though service speed can slow down a tad when busy. The bar area can get smoky- which knocks down 'amosphere' a little. Value: Prices are just a bit above average for beers, but well worth the price when you come across worthy beers that are not easy to find (especially on tap).
This is a great place to visit. Enjoy the selection and the comfortable confines!
02-09-2008 18:12:31 | More by coalcracker
Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny in Boyertown, PA
99 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.