Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny
Taps: 17 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by UJs on the Manatawny on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The bar was crowded obviously. It's really amazing anyone can find this place.
A: The bar area is rather small with some bar height tables and some booths. The bar is an L shaped but maybe only has 12 seats or so. Dark inside with minimal windows. The decoration is cool with lots of bar signs and old tap handles. The bar is very rustic.
Q: Here is where UJs shines. What a great lineup of quality beer. It amazes me that the bar has this quality located in basically the middle of nowhere.
S: I was a bit disappointed here as they only had one bartender serving the entire bar area. It was crowded and I had to get up from our table to get our beers.
S: Excellent, I don't know how many taps they had, but damn the selection was great. Local brews like Victory, hard to find beers like Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide and other very good hard to find beers. Nice, nice selection.
F: Did not eat, sorry.
V: Reasonably priced. 6 beers cost us $ 34.00.
Overall a great beer bar in the Berks County area. I'll definitely get there again.
11-28-2008 18:27:50 | More by Kadonny
4.78/5 rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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 +4.6%
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 -9.2%
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 -17.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
A nice place to stop by when you are out that way, but a place that does perplex me a bit.
The Good: Right next to a picture perfect creek setting. Service is generally good at the bar, less so at the tables. Very diverse selection of bottled beers, the drafts are nice for out there, but seem a little week in comparison to the "top tier bars". Decent food (not bad, not great but we do always eat when we are there.)But, then again our agenda is not the food here.
The Bad: "Next to a picture perfect creek setting", but they do not let you get close to it on a Sunday; they drop you next to they parking lot. Inside is okay, nothing special. Food is consistent, not great, not bad, but you do know what you are getting. Quality of taps beers is good, but the bottled beers are a bit touch and go. Service, a few months ago a table near me a had bad bottle (they ended up sharing with us) and the waitress still dinged them for it.
Synopsis: If you are looking for a day with a nice drive, a good place to stop. Overall, not a place I would go out of the way for unless we lived a lot closer.
02-18-2008 03:55:35 | More by Intheshadows
4.33/5 rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
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
4.95/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This review is a long time coming. I've been a regular here for at least 2 years now. I'm unbelievably lucky to have such a great place less than 10 mins away from my house.
When I first found this place I wondered if I was lost. You pass house after house and never see a business and then as if dropped from the heavens there it is sitting right along the quiet rolling waters of the Manatawny.
I remember first sitting down and being handed a draft list, a current bottle list and their permanent bottle list. I quickly realized I must be in beer heaven. How did I not know about this place in the 2 years I had already lived in the area.
When you first enter, you are dropped into the bar area with a largish L shaped bar. To your left you will find "smoking" seating with booths and 2 rather large booths. There are also a few high tops. To the right of the bar is a good sized dining room. The real jewel is during the warmer months when they open the outdoor seating area. Its not often you find outdoor seating area and in PA and this one has the atmosphere to go along with it. You can listen to quietly meandering Manatawny or look over the newly transplanted log cabin. Plus on weekends the outdoor bar has seating for about 8 people.
The draft list always consists of at least 10 craft beers. Many of it some of the highest rated beer from this site. The bottle list is extensive and well picked out. There are great beers from the US, Belgian, Germany and many other European countrys. I could go own and on about the beer, but if you love beer, you will simply fall in love with UJ's.
The food is always good. The wings are some of the best I have ever had. Plus you will find everything from a sandwich to a nice steak to seafood. There is something for everyone.
The service is always great. The people who work here know their beer and if they are unsure they will find someone to ask. Most of the wait staff has even tried much of the beer being served. The manager Tom is top notch and goes out his way to make you feel welcome.
I could go on and on about how great this place is, but all you have to do is visit and quickly realize this is a gem in the woods and very much worth the drive.
02-07-2008 17:49:29 | More by davide169
4.5/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I went to this little restaurant this past Sunday with a few friends. Our first impression was that it was an extremely cozy feeling little place. Very dimly lit, with a number of people relaxing at the bar, and even a family sitting down to a meal. It was rather quiet, which was good because we just wanted to chat instead of getting loud and wild. The beer menu was rather overwhelming at first, but we were able to round it down to a couple of beers each that we wanted to try out. Prices on the beers were pretty reasonable, about a dollar less than what I'm used to paying in Philly.
Next was the food. As soon as we all opened our menus, we were pretty surprised as to how cheap the food was. Burgers for 5 and 6 dollars, pork BBQ for 8, most appetizers were 4 or 5. It was really reasonable, but it got us worried that the food was going to suck. I got a burger and everyone else got the wings, and we all really enjoyed our meals. We also had a couple of orders of their homemade french fries which were delicious.
The service was pretty decent at Union Jack's. Our waitress made an excellent recommendation of Two Hearted Ale to my friend who loves IPA's. She was very helpful and when we ordered our beers, she was back with them in only a couple of minutes. The only mishap was that we got charged for a beer that we had ordered but then were told that they were out of, but the waitress was very apologetic and took care of it right away.
All in all, I can guarantee I'll be going back to this place, regardless of how out of the way it was for me. The beer selection is great. I can find some things here that I have never seen in Philly, and the place is small and quiet unlike the Philly bars. Great place for families, too. I can't wait to go back again.
10-23-2007 05:34:44 | More by CaptainObvious
4.58/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
It was mid to late morning. Handsome Ed had cut out to work at an ungodly hour earlier; otherwise everyone was still asleep. I was standing in the kitchen looking out the back windows over the deck that'll be built someday, listening to the birds chirping, and contemplating the day, when Not Terribly Unattractive Heather came downstairs. Coffee, Ed having to leave for work in the wee hours, our day ahead, eventually the conversation turned to the crazy chirping of the birds.
So Heather says, "You know that's Phil, right?"
And I'm like, "What?"
"Yeah, that's Phil making that chirping noise".
Now she's laughing, and with a "this way" motioning gesture, we tip toe into the living room and sure enough, the noise that I thought was being made by birds chirping outside was actually Phil's head whistling as he inhaled and exhaled, sleeping there on the lazyboy. I approached a sleeping (Evil) Davo on the couch in the corner to quietly wake him so he could hear this too, and he just sprung up as if alerted to danger somehow. I gave him the "Shhh" and then the 3 of us sat listening to the song of the endangered "Phil bird", until it suddenly opened its eyes and flew for the bathroom...
Took some time to get out here and I don't even know where here is. It's not near nothin' close or otherwise. A long stand alone building in a lot on a rural road, we entered off to the far left into the bar area. The 12 seat "L" shaped wood paneled top bar with a dark wood lip runs 2 walls here, the bar back on one side being shelves of booze over small windows looking in on the adjacent dining room and a corner cooler full of beer, the other holding a much larger cooler with 3 rows of bottled beer and more displayed below on the counter on half the wall, and a pair of arched shelving units housing booze (Tequila, hooray!!) to both sides of a center mirror and booze, specialty giant bottles, figurines and growlers below on the other half. 3 bar tables and a half dozen booths about the room. Brewery mirrors mounted on the bar overhang, lined with chili pepper strung lighting, and hanging glassware racks at both ends of the bar. Green wall uppers over slat wood lowers, brewery mirrors between blinded windows, and tap handles displayed above. Low lamps and candles on the bar. TV's in opposite corners, a CD juke, electronic darts, and a corner bar video game. A corner door near the entrance leads you into the dining room holding upwards of 2 dozen tables and booths, and through to a large banquet room beyond that. Off the bar, a doorway to an exterior 3 tiered brick seating deck and another elevated deck below separated where they set up for live music, all this with good views over the Manatawny River out back just yards away.
Perused the food menu some and came up with a cup of chili (topped with cheddar and served with garlic bread), and the sirloin tips sandwich (good, yeah!!, in fact, the food was good all around and a shot of the Cuervo Reserva De La Familia helped nicely. You don't see it out everywhere and it's well worth whatever they're charging for it).
And beer... 17 taps across different points along the bar on towers of 2's and 3's. Nearly half of them micros from Pennsylvania (Stoudts Double Blonde & Mai Bock, Sly Fox Galena IPA, Legacy Hoptimus Prime Double IPA), and beyond (Avery Collaborator, Rogue Imperial Stout, Smuttynose Hanami, Boulder Mojo IPA), the other half a mix of imports (Warsteiner Pils, Franziskaner Hefe, Spaten Optimator, Lindemans Peche & Framboise, Murphys), a cider (Strongbow), and then Yuengling and Coors Light. Apparently, I just missed the Verhaeghe Echte Kriekenbier on tap (what a world, what a world). No cask beer, but infrequent firkins.
And, uh, yeah, 300 or so bottles. At least 1/3 of them American micros, with goodies from Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and then 5 dozen plus Belgians, 2 dozen UK, a dozen and a half German, etc. Some hard to find vintage stuff, too (I bought a '93 Courage Russian Impy just because).
Sick selection here, not near anywhere, but well worth the jaunt in the country.
07-09-2007 02:15:50 | More by slander
4.3/5 rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
What a great location. I wish I could get to this place more often. The following notes Carolyn took from our visit on 9/23/06 for the King of Hops contest.
On Friday, September 23, D and I were joined by our friend Mark to make a trip into the countryside where we would help crown the King of Hop Beers at Union Jacks Inn. What a beautiful building - an old brick house with a patio - the perfect country setting and two of my favorite people accompanying me. The beer didnt even need to be good, but thank goodness it was!
The tap list at Union Jacks was pretty amazing, and the bottle list was equally impressive. Picking our pre-contest beer was a chore (and, unfortunately, after I ordered a Sly Fox Simcoe, there was no more to be had!) D started with a Youngs Double Chocolate Stout and Mark had the Rodenbach. Inspired by the despised podcast title, I decided on a Lindemans Peche, which was really quite refreshing on that early fall evening.
Shortly after our dinner, the taps were switched over, and the King of Hops contest began! We each ordered one of every contestant, and they were served in perfect glassware for tasting - 6 oz glasses with a wide rim. The hops were pretty overwhelming - Im not suggesting that is a bad thing - and I was finished after those five samples.
D went on to order the additional Russian River selections (Deification and Damnation - obviously not part of the contest) so we could enjoy those together. It seems a limited number of these Russian River kegs were released in PA, and we had already missed out on two opportunities to enjoy them, so we were going to take in one of each while we had the chance!
The King of Hop Beers contest ballot asked us to rate each beer from 1 to 5; 1 being not so hoppy; 5 being hoppiest (now THAT answer would have been obvious.) Upon further questioning, we learned that we were really to rate them according to our preferences; 5 being our favorite.
Now for the contestants:
Russian River Pliney the Elder - 8% (which they would serve in 6oz or 18oz)
This one made us all say WOW! What an easy drinking beer! It was full of flavor, yet light (in comparison to the others.) Very tasty! On the final table rating scale, this averaged a 4 (I rated it 3, D rated it a 4 and Mark rated it a 5.)
Russian River Pliney the Younger - 11% (also available in 6oz or 18oz)
On first tasting, this one just made us all exclaim WHOA! It blew us all away with the high alcohol and the strong citrusy hops flavor. As it warmed up to room temperature, I became more and more impressed, and in the end, I rated this one a fabulous 5. The final table rating was a 3.33 (D waffled on his #3, so we allowed him to rate two beers in that level; Mark rated it a 2.)
Union Jacks Hoptimus Prime - 9.4% (6oz or 18oz)
This particular beer was brewed for Union Jacks by Legacy Brewing Co. in Reading, and the brewer was just around the corner at the bar. What a moment that could have been - an opportunity to meet the brewer and congratulate him on a job well done - except it just wasnt. The flavor was so very harsh, and no one enjoyed it (Mark and I didnt even finish our 6oz glass!) This got a final table rating of 1, with ones all around.
Weyerbacher Eleven - 11% (6oz or 10oz)
Brewed for the 11th anniversary of Weyerbacher, this was a superb glass of beer. D commented that it was the Cognac of IPA, and he was pretty good in that assessment. It was SO smooth, and it was hard to tell this was such a high-alcohol beer. I rated it a 2 only because something had to be a 2 in my mind, however, a this 2 was so much closer to 5 (and the 1 was much closer to -5.) The final table rating was a 3.33 as D rated it a 5 and Mark rated it a 3.
Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA - 11% (6oz or 10oz)
It had only been two weeks since D and I enjoyed Unearthly onsite and by the growler, so it was fun to taste it side-by-side with other big IPAs. This is such an excellent example of this style. We gave it a collective table rating of 3.66 (Mark and I agreed on a placement of 4, and this was Ds other 3.)
As I said before, for a Friday night with a drive ahead, that was plenty of beer for the moment, but D did order the other two Russian River beers for us to try. Deification had a very nice candy sugar sort of flavor to it, and Damnation was very unique, reminiscent of a cider. We liked them both very much!
05-28-2007 09:13:51 | More by Deuane
Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny in Boyertown, PA
99 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.