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Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew PubFederal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub
BA SCORE
87
very good

46 Ratings
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Active Beers: 12
Beer Ratings: 944
Beer Avg: 3.14
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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: 46 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrpunan
2.45/5  rDev -35.2%

As a restaurant, this is a decent tourist trap, family friendly with a great view of the harbor. But of course i went for the beer. Yuck. I had a Shipyard Fuggles IPA and the Tain Town Pale Ale. Both we almost flat (and i didn't even order the IPA from the cask, which was available), with nearly imperceptible hops and a too sweet maltiness; they both tasted almost the same. Not impressive at all, not worth returning IMO. I am a hops lover so that is key for me. There was a seasonal called Royal IPA which perhaps i should have tried, maybe it would have been better, but after two duds i just left. My artichoke dip was middle of the road touron fare. I guess if you are a BA and you must eat in Kbunk, it might still be worth a shot, but don't go expecting real brew pub quality. The beers seemed no fresher than any keg anywhere else, certainly not the way you would expect when it was brewed downstairs. Maybe it's just BS? Probably brewed in Portland at Shipyard's huge plant. Pass.

mrpunan, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of Royal2000H
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Royal2000H, Nov 20, 2014
Photo of tigg924
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%

Federal Jack's is a place to stop for a reasonable meal in southern Maine. The restaurant is open and airy. There are various pictures of boats along the walls, but the star of the show is the wide views of Kennebunkport harbor. When I went a few days ago, there were eight home brews being served and I cannot remember a time when there was much more than that. The beers are all fairly standard (brown ale, lager, IPA) and nothing really jumps out. That pretty much sums up the food as well. I enjoyed my shrimp and my friends all liked their meals. The service, especially on busy days is not all that great. Every time I have been there they have seemed understaffed and it showed in the service. Go for the atmosphere and have a beer to sip, but don't expect a 'Wow' experience.

tigg924, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of RKing44
3.25/5  rDev -14%

RKing44, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of purplehops
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%

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.

purplehops, Feb 10, 2003
Photo of PatandDavid
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

PatandDavid, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of Jodi215
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%

We stopped for lunch while touring the Maine coast. Loved the location and view. The atmosphere is beachtown nice. Comfortable with a great view of the harbor. Quality was good but not great. Service was friendly but reserved and reasonably fast. Selection wasn't very good but the beer my husband tried he liked. It was Shipyard's Fuggles IPA. The flavor was very good but he doesn't find the piney or citrus flavors in the eastern IPA's. I had the pulled pork which was tasty but tough so I wouldn't recommend it. Hubby had the chowder which he said was great. Price on beer was reasonable but I thought the food was a little pricy for what we got. Probably wouldn't go back.

Jodi215, May 14, 2014
Photo of Todd
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

Todd, Nov 04, 2002
Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

Dithyramb, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of morebeergood
3.44/5  rDev -9%

My wife and I had drinks here on the first night (Sat) of our long weekend in Kennebunkport. It was nighttime, but the bar is on the second floor, and I can imagine the view must be pretty nice on a clear day. Inside, it's pretty generic looking. Very plain colors, no real decorations. Televisions scattered about for sports, and pool tables off in their own room. We grabbed two seats at the bar. There were 10 beers on tap, plus a cask. We had a few rounds, and I founds the beers to be average, on par for Shipyard. I had the pale ale on cask, then the stout, and finished with the brown (on sale). My wife tried the sunfish wheat, which was oddly fruity. The pale and the stout were OK, but the brown was watery. Service was fine, as it was busy but our waiter got to us when we could. Prices were cheap, $4 pints and $3 for the brown. There was supposed to be a live band at 10pm, but we overheard the drummer at 10:30 say they could not set up until some diners moved from their tables. We took off before the music started.

morebeergood, May 31, 2011
Photo of Duhast500
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

This place was just waht I was looking for in the small town of Kennebunk, ME. I had been traleing through from Portland on my way home and wanted to see if there was a good placenearby to get dinner and a beer. The restruabt was upstairs with the brewery facilities and gift shop on the first floor. The menu was a good size and hada good selection of pub food as well as several entres. The beer selection was decent but was not very wide. At the time I came in, which was on a Friday night, there was no cask beer available. The staff seemed to be a bit procupied and not very knowledgable when it came to the beer. I did enjoy the beer I did have and the food ended up being good too. The prices seemed to be a good deal with beers around $4.00. Not a bad place to stop in when in the area but not worth going out of the way to get to.

Duhast500, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of NJBeer265
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

NJBeer265, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of bennybrew
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

bennybrew, Jul 25, 2003
Photo of Cavanaghty
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

I have been her many times before, I am just now deciding to review it. It is a small brew pub, not a lot of seating. It is located on the second floor with a nice view overlooking Kennebunk Harbor. It has the atmosphere of a typical New England seafood place. Food was very good, serving high quality items and they suggest pairings with their beers, but a limited menu. Beer selection was ok for a brew pub, they were out of a couple of the beers on tap when I was their, seems odd even in an off season for a brewery to run out of its own beers. Not a bad place if you are in the area to go check out, but be prepared to spend some money there.

Cavanaghty, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of slander
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

In Maine, hiding mostly. From work, and things worklike, and things like worklike. I need a breather from all the time on the road, so I'll pack up the car and get on the road, makes sense. Visiting nomadic college friends who at the 11th hour, opted not to wander farther to Alaska (and there was my hook for the barleywine festival next January). Might as well get my play on while I can...

Tucked on the end of a simple complex on the river Kennebunkebunk. And around the backside. And upstairs. And in. Seems they've got some room up here but you're ushered to one side. I'm going to say 2 dozen mismatched tables, squares, 'tangles, longies, hightops, and a few booths; much of it with crazy views over the river from the big bay windows, some of them blinded or you'd be.

Red walls over yellow slat wood lowers, and windows and trim all around. Wood floorings with faux tile area around the bar, exposed ducts and slat wood ceilings with some kind of framing, holding track spots or not, and wall mounted lamps. Drop cone lamps & quisps on the flipside center, and a few cooling spinnys. Walls done with nautical prints & paintings, including one of a guy riding a giant lobster, which technically qualifies, I guess. And a large logo piece with Federal Jack himself holding a pint with this "Yeaaah man!" expression over the wall of windows up front where they do bands and karaoke (of which I am glad to have caught neither). 4 x 8 blackboard on the far wall listing events & tap list, and flatscreens everywhere for all angles.

Slat wood topped "U" shaped bar with a slight lip in the center of the room seating 18 or so. Some booze welled below and shelved on something of a barback, and a horizontal "Home of Shipyard Ales" sign above. Oh, that explains some things. Ceramic mug club mugs run in rows from heavy chained racks overhead. Shirts & bottles displayed on the backside of the backside. A barometer mounted next to me at the bar reads between "Fair" and "Chance" on the heels of the rain I've been driving through for the last 4 hours.

2 row towers of 8 each below the bar with glassware stacked in between, and a live handpump on the end. You can do a sampler of 3, 5 or everything. You know me; I'll go with anything that's everything. Sampler is dealt loaded surrounding the menu card. 7 standards (Goat Island Light, lightly everything; Taint Town Pale Ale, made with actual taints, buttery and eeew; Brown Ale, an English Brown with a pleasant maltiness, similar to others; Blue Fin Stout, soft, silky, roasty goodness on nitro; Fuggles IPA, bitter, tastes, I don't know, meh; Old Thumper, English Bitter, decent balance, not bad; Shipyard Export Ale, malty okayness with hop something), 3 seasonals (Sirius Summer Wheat, an American Wheat, crisp & pleasant; Sunfish Wheat, on peach, which you can smell from New Hampshire, it's peach soda, it's too much, make it stop!), and a cask offering (Independence Ale, good hoppiness, the 'tender called it a Pale Ale, I don't think it is). The Brown Ale, Blue Fin Stout, Sirius Summer Wheat & Independence Ale were the best of the lot.

Started with a cup of the New England Clam Chowder. It was good, but you're in New England, so it had damn well better be. And then something something, I'm thinking the spicy stir fry done chicken. There were vegetables & rice 'cause that's how stir fry works. It was tasty but not so terribly spicy. I wanted the heat!

Had a look around. Past the bar counter space off the end of the bar lies a rear gaming room holding 4 pool tables, Big Buck Hunter, Phil's Golf Game (live), Daytona USA, a Roller Coaster Tycoon pinball machine, and a Galaga/Ms. Pac Man/Frogger unholy trinity machine. The walls adorned with Shipyard logo pieces proudly boasting their Ringwoodedness (They oughtn't). Acoustic Dave Matthews currently Crashing here. And out front, a porch of sorts for not being inside and the other side of the restaurant not open yet. But soon, oh yes, soon. And now sitting back at the bar, having some fun with Bobtender and the regular folks. It's a good crowd this rainy Monday night. Food was good and some of the beers I did quite like, but others, no. I might drink some of them again, but others, no. Comfortable place with nice views, I do dig looking down the river. As such is Maine.

slander, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

lordofthewiens, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of gixxerman
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

This place was sort of a nice surprise.

A bit off the beaten path, but worth finding.

I had a few Blue Fin Stouts, an order of steamed mussels and a nice bowl of lobster bisque. Nothing diappointed.

There is nice deck with a great view of the Kennebunk and very laid back and relaxing atmosphere. There is also a pool and game room in the back. the restraurant area is the more focal part of the inside, with the bar sort of out of the way. The outside probably sees the majority of the action during the summer months.

Parking was a bit of a pain, but besides that it was right on.

gixxerman, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

Jason, Nov 04, 2002
Photo of CharlesRiver
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

CharlesRiver, Nov 07, 2002
Photo of TheRealPour
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

TheRealPour, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

coombski, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Pwbres
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Pwbres, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Durge
3.78/5  rDev 0%

This is a big pub with plenty of space and television coverage throughout the bar, dining area and pool room. Great views of the harbor from this second floor pub, right there with outside deck seating available. Friendly and knowledgeable staff, quick service and fair brews on the 9 taps and one cask ale. I was offered samples and had a delicious bowl of New England clam chowder to boot. It's got lots of windows to enjoy the view of the boats and water, bright and cheerful with modest but attractive seaside decor. A very enjoyable visit with decent brews. I would agree it may be more about the views and setting here than the beer, but I will be happy to revisit some day. A suitable place for family as well as a hang out with the guys.

Durge, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of Hobbz
3.78/5  rDev 0%

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.

Hobbz, Oct 12, 2003
Photo of cbreitro
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

Federal Jack's is a great place to go if you are visiting Kennebunk. I saw it in the Yankee Brew News list of brewpubs, and was very impressed when I first went there. You can sit the small inside area or on the covered deck. The deck has an great view of the harbor, so you can just kick back and watch the boats float by.

Not a huge selection.I enjoyed the Summer Solstice and the porter. The food is pretty good, too. The bar also seems to be one of the few in the area with cable, which is key if you want to catch the Sox.

cbreitro, May 18, 2007
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Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub in Kennebunk, ME
87 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.