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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 slander
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

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 morebeergood
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.

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 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 TheRealPour
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Durge
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

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.

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 NJBeer265
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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 tigg924
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.

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

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.

Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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 Chincino
4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I visited Federal Jack's Brewpub in Kennebunk, Maine in the summer which was a great time to visit because we were able to take advantage of the outdoor seating and sit outside overlooking the water of the harbor. The atmosphere was very relaxing and we had a beautiful view from our table. The inside provided a good atmosphere with extensive seating, a decent-sized bar, and lots of paraphenalia to look at while you wait for a beer.

The food was typical brewpub fare with seafood options as well. The food was moderately priced and was pretty good. The service was good despite the place being busy.

The beer selection was decent with a few shipyard beers on tap and some of the KBC's original brews as well. We split a sampler and were able to try 10 or so beer samples.

It was a nice spot to stop for lunch and enjoy beer on a summer day in Maine.

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

Came in here today after doing a road trip with my girlfriend. Decided to go up and down the coast in Southern Maine. I knew Federal Jack's was in the Bunk, but never knew where exactly since I never go there. Found it easily enough with plenty of parking. We decided to stop by for a quick drink.

The location is very nice, right near the water where plenty of small vessels dock, on a sunny day you can't beat just looking out. Inside is very clean and organized, nice large windows for you to look out and there's a deck along the building to sit as well. Decent gift shop where you can buy Shipyard stuff and other assorted things, you can also see the brewing equipment through the windows.

The waiter was kind and quick, but for drinks on a non-busy Tuesday afternoon, I can't imagine it was too difficult.

Tap list is Shipyard centric (of course), a couple of them I wasn't aware of since they're not widely distributed in bottles or kegs.

While we didn't order any food, we did notice it was rather expensive (the beer on the other hand is fairly priced).

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 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 Jodi215
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.

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

Federal Jack's- Kennebunkport

Drove up from York into Ogunquit and then into Kennebunkport. Easy to find right off Western Ave. (rte 9)

Drove around the back, parked, and walked up the stairs. Beautful interior all wood with plenty of tables looking out the windows at the boats and docks. Pool tables on the far right side of the bar. Service was friendly and quick, my Hummus sandwich and my wife's Mozzarella salad were very good. My 2 beers; Fuggles IPA and Taint Town were delicious. 2 meals and 2 beers were $30. If I'm in this area again this will be my goto spot.

-side note-

Other beers on tap; Goat Island, Export, Taint Town, Brown, Old Thumper, Fuggles IPA, Bluefin, Longfellow, Prelude.

Photo of Duhast500
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.

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 Pwbres
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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