Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub
Active Beers: 14
Beer Ratings: 857
Beer Avg: 3.19
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
2.45/5 rDev -35.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
As a restaurant, this is a decent tourist trap, family friendly with a great view of the harbor. But of course i went for the beer. Yuck. I had a Shipyard Fuggles IPA and the Tain Town Pale Ale. Both we almost flat (and i didn't even order the IPA from the cask, which was available), with nearly imperceptible hops and a too sweet maltiness; they both tasted almost the same. Not impressive at all, not worth returning IMO. I am a hops lover so that is key for me. There was a seasonal called Royal IPA which perhaps i should have tried, maybe it would have been better, but after two duds i just left. My artichoke dip was middle of the road touron fare. I guess if you are a BA and you must eat in Kbunk, it might still be worth a shot, but don't go expecting real brew pub quality. The beers seemed no fresher than any keg anywhere else, certainly not the way you would expect when it was brewed downstairs. Maybe it's just BS? Probably brewed in Portland at Shipyard's huge plant. Pass.
08-27-2009 03:50:58 | More by mrpunan
2.73/5 rDev -28.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
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.
09-07-2009 13:10:11 | More by tigg924
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.
02-10-2003 23:22:49 | More by purplehops
3.38/5 rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Went here this week with David. Lots of different rooms, we sat at one of the upstairs bars (the other one upstairs seems to be where the mug-club is). Service was prompt, and friendly. Ales is it here. I did notice that thay do have some bottles, of which I only saw a non-alcoholic one go out to a table. We tried the cask Fuggles, the Old Thumper, the Taint town Pale, and the Stout (separately reviewed). Beers were a bit butterscotchy, but to be fair, they were easy to drink. They had a few more seasonal wheat beers on as well. The food was only ok, the clam chowder was kinda salty, lets just say I've had much better. Our caesar chicken wraps were ok.
07-02-2005 16:13:34 | More by PatandDavid
3.4/5 rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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.
05-14-2014 21:05:29 | More by Jodi215
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.
11-04-2002 07:11:36 | More by Todd
3.43/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
This place gets top notch credit for atmosphere. Though it sits in the back of some fake strip mall, the view looking over the harbor and boats is worth a stroll.
Service was a bit slow. We first checked out the bar, and the tender was slow and/or rude. Never got a drink before the table was ready. Wasn't sure if he didn't know what he was doing or was ignoring us for some reason. The waitress we had was just about average in every way.
Beers were okay. As with a lot of the Maine brews, seemed to be Ringwooded. Sessionable and nice to enjoy on the warm afternoon. Nice to stop by, but enjoy food somewhere else in prissyville before stopping off for a drink at sunset.
08-17-2006 12:50:14 | More by Dithyramb
3.44/5 rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $
My wife and I had drinks here on the first night (Sat) of our long weekend in Kennebunkport. It was nighttime, but the bar is on the second floor, and I can imagine the view must be pretty nice on a clear day. Inside, it's pretty generic looking. Very plain colors, no real decorations. Televisions scattered about for sports, and pool tables off in their own room. We grabbed two seats at the bar. There were 10 beers on tap, plus a cask. We had a few rounds, and I founds the beers to be average, on par for Shipyard. I had the pale ale on cask, then the stout, and finished with the brown (on sale). My wife tried the sunfish wheat, which was oddly fruity. The pale and the stout were OK, but the brown was watery. Service was fine, as it was busy but our waiter got to us when we could. Prices were cheap, $4 pints and $3 for the brown. There was supposed to be a live band at 10pm, but we overheard the drummer at 10:30 say they could not set up until some diners moved from their tables. We took off before the music started.
05-31-2011 03:13:47 | More by morebeergood
3.45/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.
08-11-2010 04:01:35 | More by Duhast500
Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brew Pub in Kennebunk, ME
87 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.