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Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

19 Ratings
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 8.39%
Taps: 3
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

80 S Main St
Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22801-3761
United States
phone: (540) 433-5225

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-20-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Iamjeff6
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of ElGordito
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Camjmorton
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of hophead_87
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Awesome awesome burgers! Decent beer selection as well. As a JMU grad, this place was always a must visit.

Photo of Rarrar
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of dbrowning626
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of JWalterWeatherman
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.25

Jack Brown’s in Harrisonburg occupies an extremely small space, with a nice outdoor patio alongside the building. There are heaters for the colder nights. The owner is open about wanting to create a “true bar” experience, which apparently involves cramped quarters, loud music, and big screen televisions; bras hanging from a chandelier, and a disco ball. The atmosphere is definitely geared towards a particular market.

What Jack Brown’s lacks in class, it makes up for in food in drink. The menu is extremely limited to delicious burgers, hotdogs, fries, and fried oreos, but there are specialty burgers, cheeseburgers, and sweet potato fries available. All the beef is Waygu, though the fries are frozen crinkle cut.

Grease abounds, so don’t go unless you feel like punishing your waistline. Speaking of things that get punished, your wallet will be hurting as well. The average cost of a full meal with a beer is close to $13-15 bucks. Plus, the burgers are pretty small, so don’t bring an appetite if you are on a budget.

There is a great selection of beer in bottles and cans, but much of it is pretty mediocre and doesn't rotate. There are only three or four drafts, and a few big bottles, though they are usually $10 more than prices found in the bottle shop that is located 150ft. away. The ladies, and the occasional gent, that works here offer pretty great service, but their knowledge of beer ranges from nominal to reasonably informed

Essentially, Jack Brown’s serves as a decent bar for those who want to drink better beer than Bud Light, but aren't interested in exploring the full depth of the craft beer world. You can get some great “drunk” food while you are there, but you’ll pay for it. Check it out for yourself, but the neighboring Billy Jack’s is a much better beer geek choice.

Photo of Mantooth
3.86/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Very cool & tiny spot with a focus on adventurous burgers and beer. The grill's popping pretty much right in front of you and it's fun watching the cooks churn out interesting takes on ground beef... a burger with peanut butter? Yep. Over easy egg on a burger? Yep. Even a mystery burger... who knows what's on that beast. They have 100 bottles of above average stuff for this small college town and a modest selection of drafts. Cool place and definitely a spot to stop if you're in town.

Photo of VBWharfRat
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

So what can I say about this place that others haven't said.

Actually just got back from Lockn' Festival (BEST TIME EVER!) and JB's had a booth there. Finally broke down and grubbed out on a burger and sweet potato fries (drenched in sauce of course) on Sunday afternoon.

If I had to complain, my two gripes would be I have a hard time walking out of here spending less than $25 if I get food and there are only a measly five taps. Granted, they're all craft beer but I mean c'mon? Five taps? Haha only kind of kidding.

Anyways, super cool atmosphere, total dive bar, maybe like fifteen seats total inside. Cool porch area that is dog friendly.

Burgers are amazing. I was ordering take-out from here before I could even drink beer (well, legally at least).

Do yourself a favor and get in here.

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

An accident that brought I-81 to a standstill caused us to get off the highway and look for a beer and a snack to wait it out. Fortunately we were at Harrisonburg which gave us some options (as opposed to, say Martinsburg, WV). Jack Brown's was the highest rated place in town and it was open so here we stopped.

Downtown is pretty sleepy on a Sunday but there was a cluster of eating and drinking places on Main St. that were open. Jack Brown's is small inside but has some nice outdoor seating. We opted for the small straight bar. Just the right level of small, gritty and dark. I am not sure if the bras hanging from the chandelier and other high up spots represent a rite of passage for JMU coeds, the relic of past wet t-shirt contests or what.

Small tap list (only 4) but all were good choices. I kicked the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp black IPA, then followed up with a Peak Organic IPA, which I rarely see and enjoy a lot. The bottle list was extensive, with local selections and national craft brands, and reasonably priced at that.

We both had hot dogs, which were deliciously deep fried. The burgers looked tempting as well. Service was very good.

I'd certainly stop back. HV

Photo of lillitnn92
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Although I frequent Billy Jack's (owners other bar a building over) more, I do come to JB's a few times a month; more in the summer because of the outdoor seating. JB's is a great little place. Seating can be an issue and it can get packed pretty quick, but that's the JB character. Get there early!! :)

There's 3 beers on tap with 100+ bottles. Seasonal specials. Like Billy Jack's, there's usually Pint Nights a few times a month as well. Burgers specials daily and Fries, Fried Oreo's.

Jacktown (what we locals call both bars) are the best places within 30 miles of H'burg. Service and quality are top notch always. You can't go wrong here (or there).

Photo of thegrimone
5/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Jack Browns is a phenomenal place. The selection is constantly rotating. The place is very low tech chalk boards tell whats on tap. A chalk board is also used for seasonal/big bottles and the basic menu.

The burgers, oh so delicious. Everyday has a special or two, with Friday being the best. Greg Brady burgers on Friday are where its at, macaroni and cheese with barbecue chips (Martins for those who know) on a cheeseburger. Although Sunday comes in a close second with a bacon egg cheese burger on a regular potato bun or a doughnut bun.

The staff is very knowledgeable, many being temporary locals attending collage.

If you think you will be back ask about the notch club, drink 100 different beers (they have over 100 different in stock) and become a member.

Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Awesome place.

When I lived near Harrisonburg, this was the place I most frequented. They have a ton of beers. I prefer getting a beer on tap when I go out, so a few points off for selection, but the quality is there. Sometimes they feature certain brewery’s, and if you buy a beer on that day, you get a free pint glass from that brewery. Not bad.

The food is also a home run. Their burgers are creative and delicious. They try new things, deep fried oreo's, burgers with peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese, etc. Sounds nasty, just give it a try.

This is one place I would go out of my way to drive and visit. If you prefer beers on tap, you can always walk next door to Billy Jack's (owned/operated by same folks), which is also outstanding.

Photo of Boatmike
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Jack's is very small but homey. I'd suggest getting there before beer drinking rush hour if you want a seat.

Beer selection is excellent. True, only three beers on tap but they change so you have a reason to keep coming back.

Wait staff are very knowledgeable about beer. And they are attentive and appropriately talkative.

As for food, it's a burger joint which is probably why burgers are in the name of the place. The burgers were excellent - like home-made on the grill. Fries, both French and Sweet Potato were ok. By my hometown standards, the price of burgers is cheap. I didn't try the fried Oreos because I was too full from the beers and hamburger, but person next to me highly recommended them.

My kid is at JMU in Harrisonburg so I'll definitely go back there. I plan to go there every time I'm in Harrisonburg. Every beer fan should.

Photo of mcaulifww
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to college in town and spent two years frequenting Jack Brown's. Out of all the places in Harrisonburg JB's is the best.

It's small, and if you go on a weekend night there will probably be a line to get in. It's set up like a rustic dive with some funky touches. The small space and limited seating (seats 25 inside) actually enhances the atmosphere.

The overall quality and selection is excellent, only three taps which rotate constantly, but enough bottle choices to give a man a heart attack. When ordering on tap they use the right glasses for each beer.

The service is exactly what I'd expect from a beer bar.

The food is great too. The burgers are kobe beef, french fries, and sweet potato fries, and the infamous fried Oreo. I admit I haven't had it, but I hear good things. They also have a daily burger special (The Elvis: peanut butter, mayo, smoked bacon, and cheese) which is usually crazy, but people love 'em.

The only knock to the food is that there isn't much selection. But, good news, they recently opened a wing joint two stores down the street.

The price is reasonable too. I can get a burger, and a great beer for 10 bucks. The best place in town for sure.

Photo of legatovibrato24
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Outstanding selection of craft beers in bottles, not so much on tap, but nonetheless something for everyone. I enjoyed a Stone IPA with my delicious cheeseburger, which wasn't overly huge, but paired nicely with ale.

The server/bartender was friendly and knowledgeable and even laughed at my girlfriend calling me a pig, which was a nice touch.

At first glance the joint can seem cramped but once seated at the bar the character and charm on the walls seems to allow you to gloss over the cramped quarters. The corner location also allows for outdoor seating which could accommodate the more claustrophobic among us.

Finally the fried Oreo, where to begin? The way the oreo seems to melt into the surrounding breading is heavenly, which tastes of donuts and moderately sweet sticky buns. What a great finish to a delicious meal at Jack Browns.

Photo of advill88
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I went here for the first time for lunch recently. The burgers are excellent, if a bit on the pricey side. I would also recommend trying the fried oreos, which I've never had before, and are really good. The beer selection is quite a highlight as well, with about 80 micros available, and a good variety of styles at that. There were definitely some beers (e.g. Chimay) that I don't commonly see in Harrisonburg eateries. I ended up spending about 14 bucks plus tip for a burger, fries, a fried oreo, and a beer. Good place overall, but a bit too expensive for me to come back too often.

Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint in Harrisonburg, VA
94 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.