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Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew PubFederal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub
BEER AVG
3.14/5
Based on:
12 Beers
958 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

8 Western Ave
Kennebunk, Maine, 04043-7756
United States
phone: (207) 967-4322

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @federaljacks

Notes:
Home of Kennebunkport Brewing Company.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lehows
4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

It's summer in Kennebunkport and you want a good beer, where do you go? Well, you go to you're only choice, Federal Jack's. This place is located just before the bridge into town and it's location is awesome. Great waterviews of the Kennebunk River from the terrace. 2 bars in here, a big square shaped main and a smaller bar on the other side, mostly for use with the balcony/terrace. Gift shop downstairs, where you can pick up a whole mess of tourist stuff, a lot of Shipyard apparell, glassware, beer, etc. The beer selection is a range of the most popular Shipyard brews as well as some only found here. There's also a cask, but it's almost never good. This is the only place where I had cask beer that was flat and had zero head. Recently had Export ale on cask and it looked like iced tea. Enough people must've complained about the casks being too cold because they got that part right now. Anyway, if you like Shipyard brews at all you'll find something here. The Blue Fin Stout is always good. Food is ok, I think its just too busy here for the chefs to put a lot of attention into the food. I didn't think this place was that expensive like a lot of people say. You are in a tourist town here afterall. Bottom line is if you're in Kennebunkport this is a must stop and a younger crowd shows up later on weekends when all the families are done eating.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped in on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The place is in a kind of strip mall, but upstairs and overlooking the harbor. It's bright, clean, and the view is wonderful. There's seating at tables, as well as in the bar area. Nice U-shaped bar. A pool table behind the bar and plenty of TVs. There were 10 beers on tap, as well as a cask-conditioned beer. Growlers were available.

The beers are OK, not great. My wife had a Pumpkinhead, which she liked. I had a Taint Town Ale (cask), which was fair, and the Longfellow Winter, which was a lot better. One of my favorite beers, Prelude< won't be out until December.

Service was quick and efficient, without being obtrusive.

We had a couple sandwiches, which were good but a little pricey. Dinner entrees looked to be a lot more expensive.

This was a great place to enjoy some beer on a sunny day.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This place gets top notch credit for atmosphere. Though it sits in the back of some fake strip mall, the view looking over the harbor and boats is worth a stroll.

Service was a bit slow. We first checked out the bar, and the tender was slow and/or rude. Never got a drink before the table was ready. Wasn't sure if he didn't know what he was doing or was ignoring us for some reason. The waitress we had was just about average in every way.

Beers were okay. As with a lot of the Maine brews, seemed to be Ringwooded. Sessionable and nice to enjoy on the warm afternoon. Nice to stop by, but enjoy food somewhere else in prissyville before stopping off for a drink at sunset.

Photo of PatandDavid
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Went here this week with David. Lots of different rooms, we sat at one of the upstairs bars (the other one upstairs seems to be where the mug-club is). Service was prompt, and friendly. Ales is it here. I did notice that thay do have some bottles, of which I only saw a non-alcoholic one go out to a table. We tried the cask Fuggles, the Old Thumper, the Taint town Pale, and the Stout (separately reviewed). Beers were a bit butterscotchy, but to be fair, they were easy to drink. They had a few more seasonal wheat beers on as well. The food was only ok, the clam chowder was kinda salty, lets just say I've had much better. Our caesar chicken wraps were ok.

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Pulled off I-95 for a lunch stop before heading north to Portland. Its summer tourist season, so I expected a slow trip get to the brewpub. I was right. Others stated it was hard to locate, but I saw the sign for the strip mall and headed towards the back.

Located on the second floor, it is a bright room with loads of windows overlooking the harbor. Very scenic. Outdoor seating was available but it was a bit cool so no one was there. The bar was made of light colored wood and had about 15 stools. Many people were eating lunch at tables, including lots of kids with parents.

The back room has a pool table and Soprano's pinball machine. There were 10 beers on tap - a lite, export ale, pale ale, brown, Old Thumper, Old Thumper casked conditioned, fuggles IPA, summer wheat, raspberry wheat, and stout. The few pints my wife and I had were decent. Most were drinking the Shipyard beers, but a one patron was drinking a Bud Lite.

Food was pretty good. I had the fried clams and the wife enjoyed the signature mussel dish and the clam chowder. We tried the homemade rootbeer too - very good.

The two bartenders were very friendly and conversational. We talked about Portland and we got some recommendations for good eats and drinking places. They seemed to understand the offerings at the brewpub.

We spent about 2 hours here and had a nice time. Stopped in the gift store below for a quick look. They have growlers and variety 12 packs available. Plenty of t-shirts too.This place is worth a stop if you are travelling through this lovely state. Nice and scenic.

Photo of mdavis31481
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Overlooking the Kennebunk River in the picturesque village of Kennebunk, Federal Jack's never fails to provide a convivial experience. I have enjoyed myself at this fine brewpub on numerous occasions at various times of day. The dining room provides a family atmosphere and beautiful views of the river. The bar offers ample seating, numerous televisions often tuned to sports, and a fine selection of brews. Taint Town Pale Ale, Goat Island Light, Old Thumper, Shipyard Export, Longfellow winter, Blue Fin Stout, Brown ale, Fuggles IPA, and Pumpkinhead ale can currently be found on tap. I personally recommend Taint Town, Old Thumper, Longfellow, and Blue Fin.

The restaurant has a decidedly family feel prior to 10pm. Soon after the bar takes on a jovial adult atmosphere often bolstered by live music. A tiny unimpressive "after-hours" menu is available. The few highlights are chili and chips and salsa. This isn't a great selection, but it compliments a few beers well enough. Service at the bar is unquestionably average. Granted the bar has often been quite crowded, but how long does it take to get three pints, honestly.

If you choose to sit in the dining room you will be greeted with fine service and an extensive menu. This being Maine there are many seafood options to select from. Personally I do not eat seafood and therefore am unable to review this specific aspect. I can attest to my companions enjoyment of the fried clams though. The remaining menu offers standard pub fare of hamburgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. The blooming onion, and the pepper burger are always wise choices. There are a few vegetarian offerings for the herbivores among us.

Federal Jack's provides a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy a good brew with friends and is well worth a visit if you find yourself in the York County/Southern Maine area. Enjoy!!

Photo of bewley
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Overlooking a harbor in Kennebunk (right on the border of Kennebunkport) this establishment is worth stopping for the beer, but the food is so-so. The menu is quite impressive and looks quite promising at first glance, but the delivered product was uninspired.

The location is pleasant, overlooking the harbor. More of a family place to have lunch vs a hang-out for those looking for a beer session.

Service was good, but the bartender was a bit slow pouring the drinks.

We tried the Raspberry Wheat which was quite refreshing. The Blue Fin Stout was pretty good, though a bit on the light side for my taste and not very complex in the flavor dept.

There's a gift shop downstairs where growlers are sold in a cooler.

Photo of Hobbz
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Been here now twice on visits up to the area over the past two years. The location is fine and on the days we have been there, there has been quite the lively, if not young, crowd. I used to enjoy the Old Thumper beer at a local RI sports bar when they carried it some years ago, and on this visit I had a cask version which was enjoyable. They also produced a draft pale ale which was fresh and tasty. A sticking point was when moving to the ouside area, by law one must give up the glass for a pour into plastic, but I managed to circumvent the bouncer and carried on (slap, slap that wrist)... We ended the eve there at closing and were surprised how time just flew by. And just about everyone we met as locals were great to hang with.

Photo of bennybrew
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

bar upstairs. gift shoppe downstairs (ground level).

pub like surroundings. bar. tables. pool room in back. but the bartender is wearing a tie. oddly unsettling.

shipyard quality ales. some casks even.

service was good when they could be found.

i had brunch when i went and it was some good stuff. banana french toast which turned out to be french toast made with banana bread. tasty but didn't go too well with my cask longfellow.

(1/5/04) re-reviewing so this rates where i think it should against other brewpubs. have a nice day.

Photo of kelticblood
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Although a bit hard to find as it is not directly in the downtown area of Kennebunkport I still found it.I really liked this place with its view over the port and all that goes on.Very scenic and quiet.We went during lunchtime and it wasnt busy at all.We stopped at the gift shop below first to look at the ton of merchandise they sold for Shipyard,Smuttynose,and Federal Jack's.I was confused about where the actual brewpub was and was told it was upstairs.The food was great and so was the service.I think they only brewed two beers at federal jacks and the rest were Shipyards on tap.I was told Shipyard owned this restaurant.I tried the two brews that were brewed there as I have tried most of Shipyards,and were quite good,especially the raspberry wheat.Tons of Shipyard and Federal Jacks breweriana adorned the walls.The gift shop is very expensive so watch out.I will surely visit here again on my next trip to Maine.

Photo of purplehops
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Federal Jack's is the original home of Shipyard Brewery. The pub is located above the brewery at the back of a strip-mall in downtown Kennebunk (a Kennebunk type strip mall built in the eighties). When you walk in table seating is in front of you and to the left. The bar is in the back and to the right. Behind the bar and through another doorway is a game room with pool tables and dart boards. The view out the large plate glass windows is of Kennebunk Harbor and the river marsh.

The atmosphere at Federal Jack's is up scale family orientated. Light wood and wall colors along with plenty of glass and metal makes for a very bright environment. The place is also spotless and roomy.

The quality is a step above average but nothing special. The beers are fresh and there are some cask-conditioned ones but the food is pretty average and skimpy for a pub.

The service is good and friendly but they don't let you forget that it is a business. The staff is a wee bit too stiff and formal for me. They also lack anything more than a very basic understanding of what they are serving.

The selection of beers is good in that there is always something for every taste. Most of the time there are at least six to eight beers on tap.

The food menu has some light foods to go along with traditional pub food but is no more than about a dozen items for lunch. And as stated earlier small portions and a bit pricy (it is Kennebunk!).

Overall Federal Jack's is worth a visit just for the view and its history. But I'm not sure it is worth going way out of your way for.

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited Federal Jack's twice this summer on two different camping trips. The location is great. It is tucked away in a little cove right on the water. My girlfriend likes it for the atmosphere but I go for the beer. The seasonal selection was been great both times. From their standards, I prefer the stout. It looked like they had a mug club that used beautiful ceramic mugs.
The food was above average but not amazing. This is a place that I will go out of my way to visit.

Photo of Todd
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

A lunch stop with some fellow BeerAdvocate.com'ers before the Maine fest ...

Atmosphere was a bit bright, ultra-clean and geared toward an older / family crowd. View of the water was pretty damn cool. Service was good, but lacked any real beer knowledge.

Beer selection was good, seemed to have about 8 on-tap, all of which were served way too cold, including the cask which was conditioned in a normal keg (so it wasn't really a cask beer). Still, the beer was pretty tasty and fresh.

Food was okay. Loved the steamed clams, but the clam chowder had pratically no meat (more like a potato chowder). Haddock sandwich was medicore, not all that fresh and was served with too much bread.

Brewing system was on the ground floor, but closed off. Got a glimpse at the old-school Grundy tanks, which looked like lunar landing vehicles. Nice!

Federal Jack's is a bit off the beaten path ... but the birth place of Shipyard beers is worth a visit. Good place to have lunch, perhaps, but not a place that I'd hang out drinking in.

Photo of Bierman9
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is the hangout of the irrepresible JohnnyP. It's a nice, open, airy place, with a great view of the Marina. The outdoor, 2nd floor patio must be great in summer. They had about 9 of their biers on tap here, which is a very nice thing, yet the quality of the bier did not overly impress me. The "cask" porter was not hand-pulled, and it was from a metal keg and served much too cold. The have a decent menu, and the chili was tasty (yet nowhere near hot enough for me). A buffalo chicken sammich hit the spot, too, though it was a bit small for the price. Still worth a visit, imo.

overall: 3.98
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

45

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Not a bad little stop if you are on your way to Portland, fresh tasting beers. The Bluefin was top notch though the cask was not even a cask beer as I did not even see a proper beer engine and the cask porter tasted a bit green and was served way too cold.

The food was sadly just ok, steamed mussels were the best but the clam chowder and haddock sandwich could have used some work. Other than that it is certainly worth a visit for a couple of pints.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great place, great location, uneducated crowd. What kind of brewpub serves Bud? Here's your answer. Playing pool here, I was shocked to see more bud bottles then pints. Do not be fooled .... this is a pickup bar. The beer on tap is outstanding, but most people come here to party and meet the opposite sex. I have been going here for years. The front part is a family dining area during the day, particullarly in the summer. But at night, voila! The food is standard pub food. Come and enjoy the beer, but keep in mind the atmosphere.

Photo of StevieW
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I made two trips here on my trip through Maine. It was about a 300 yard walk from my Hotel. I had the sampler after a great Maine lobster dinner and enjoyed most all of them. The only bummer was the Brown Ale on cask, very stale and slimy. I did find the Blue Fin Stout, which is knock your d*#k in the dirt good. My girlfriend loved the Raspberry Wheat. The next day we went back for a lobster roll on the patio. With just a hint of a cool fall breeze in the air, I enjoyed a pint of Blue Fin. We hit the gift shop downstairs for some growlers, unbelievably cheap bombers to go ($1.50) and I even bought an Old Thumper ball cap. I left fat and happy, looking like a stupid tourist with my new hat on, and beer under each arm. I'm already thinking about Maine for my next summer vacation, unless some beer advocates can persuade me to go elsewhere. Missed meeting up with the world renowned JohnnyP (before he hit big with the slogan) by one day. Maybe next year.

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Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub in Kennebunk, ME
87 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.