Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny

Union Jack's Inn on the ManatawnyUnion Jack's Inn on the Manatawny
Union Jack's Inn on the ManatawnyUnion Jack's Inn on the Manatawny
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

546 Manatawny Rd
Boyertown, Pennsylvania, 19512-8056
United States

(610) 689-0189 | map
unionjacksmanatawny.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.54
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
51
pDev:
7.05%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

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

Heeere's Johnny!

Well Now, here is a really nice surprise.

Stop #2 during a quiet Sunday drive round PA with BA Erica. First off it’s listed as in Boyertown, but it is not actually in Boyertown. You need to take Rte. 73 *from* Boyertown & head West for about 5 miles until you get to Pheasantland (no really it is called that), once through there you turn left onto Tollhouse Road, be careful not to miss it, we did, look for the sign that says Pheasantland Roller Rink and Reppert’s Candy. Once in the back lanes take a left at the stop sign onto Manatawny Road and it’s on your right hand side set down the hill after about a mile.

Remember the driving sequence up the hills to the Overlook Hotel (Oregon’s Timberline Lodge) in The Shining??…..oh I digress, but needless to say we seemed to be in the back of beyond by the time we got here. After a lonely drive we ended up outside a large wooden lodge affair….ooh spooky. My attention was immediately drawn to an Old London Black Cab (Hackney Carriage) sitting to the left of the driveway that leads down to the largish parking lot.

A small deck area fronts Union Jack’s, it was dark when we arrived, it felt like 9pm but it was barely 6pm when we got there, the clocks had just gone back that day so it seemed much later than it really was. Quiet as a Church Mouse inside, we were outnumbered by the staff & the focus of much giggling attention it seemed. Surely we must be lost tourists!?

Nevertheless, once inside the bar, which is a large L-shape affair, lots of wood & the cabin feel are accentuated by the darkened interior. The bar area sits towards & in front of you and dog-legs to your left as you enter, whilst the nicely appointed restaurant area is to the right which is visible through a glass pane from the bar area.

Even though there was no sound on the TV, it wasn’t hard to work out that the Eagles were getting their proverbial arses pasted by the Broncos when we arrived. 30 minutes later an Eagles fan turned up for the “Football Night”, he was alone; needless to say he fought hard to get the volume on the TV raised.

None of this mattered to me, for I was fixated on the great draft beer range. Divine providence had me sit at the bar right in front of Russian River Pliny the Elder…naahhh….YEP! Sure enough, I started with a PtE. Erica chose a Victory Moonglow, which was too sweet & way too Bananery for my liking, and I suspect hers too, yet even though she bravely soldiered through it. Some 15 plus taps with a seriously impressive range of draft brews, lots of choice, style and source and no crap on tap. My second draft brew was a Rogue Saison from the John’s Locker range, weird to say the least but the chance to try it out here at the Outlook Hotel was awesome. Beyond the drafts the coolers behind the bar contains some real serious eye candy. Well over 300 brews to choose from in total, far too many to mention but suffice to say that it ranged from Coast to Coast and North to South as well as overseas. An immensely impressive range of brews that bowled me over, well except for the bottle of Flying Fish crap that I tried, did I really order that (slaps forehead). Nevertheless, I did manage to snaffle a DFH Olde School and Raison D’Extra to take out though.

Service was superb, a little quiet at first but once the beers were ordered the guy behind the bar was incredibly helpful, was his name Jack Torrance? Later on one of the waitresses, Shelly Duvall I think, joined us in the conversation with a few locals. Warm and friendly the attitude was great and very welcome.

The toilets were clean and well appointed, I just followed the directions from the two young twin girls stood next to each other in the hallway saying “Hello Darren, Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Darren" but I hated having to wade through all that gushing blood as the toilet doors opened.

I couldn’t resist food here, not usually a good idea in a quiet bar, but I was hungry by the time we got here. Fear not, I opted for a spicy El Paso Burger whilst Erica opted for a Non-Carnivorous Veggie version called a “Hey Vinnie” whatever that meant. A basket of home-made Fries completed the sides as did the Ketchup and Malt Vinegar. Both the Burgers were superb and demolished in no time, I thoroughly enjoyed mine and Erica was quiet so I am sure she enjoyed hers. The food menu was varied and seemed to offer a lot of home made options. I would eat here again no worries.

The décor is heavy with Englishness and Beer related items which lends a nice atmosphere throughout. I imagine that in the Summer this place is a really cool place to hang out, but in the Winter, the snow covered maze will probably be the only reason to venture outside.

They say that…..
...All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…..Redrum…..

So what did happen in Room 237?

The Union Jack Torrance-Nicholson’s Inn at the Outlook Hotel is highly recommended.
Well worth the drive up the Colorado Rockies. ;-)

Last Visit: Sunday 30th October, 2005

Nov 06, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of zekeman17
zekeman17 from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a beer bar that I have no problem dragging my wife to because everything else is so good. Always a solid and varied tap list to go along with a menu featuring mostly pub grub. Service has always been good and have never been disappointed with the food. It's over an hour drive and I've been there 4-5 times in the last year, that should give you an idea of my opinion. The tap list is extensive and descriptive.

Oct 09, 2015
Photo of RLW001
RLW001 from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of my fav local places. In the summer reservations are recommended. I wish they would update the menu, we have tried everything on the menu and never disappointed.

Dec 25, 2014
Photo of micropale
micropale from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Nov 05, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile from District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Jul 05, 2014
Photo of BroadStBrewing
BroadStBrewing from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.1%

Jun 13, 2014
Photo of Barleycorn
Barleycorn from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Jun 06, 2014
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555 from Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

May 28, 2014
Photo of mulrich
mulrich from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.1%

Mar 25, 2014
Photo of dth4lf
dth4lf from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Dec 07, 2013
Photo of candcholt
candcholt from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I love this place.

It is located in an out-of-the-way setting along the banks of the Manatawny Creek. Inside, it's a nice dimly lit pub. Outside, you can sit on the expansive patio at umbrella tables.

The food is great traditional pub food, fairly priced.

The tap list is always interesting and changes often. The draught menu is descriptive, informational, and often includes staff reviews. And I love it that they have Yuengling for the unadventurous, but the description just says "Duh." The bottle list is big and outstanding. And the staff is knowledgeable.

One of my favorite things is the free music on Sundays in the summer out in the band shell on the lawn. Bring your family and some chairs or blankets, sip some great beer, and listen to music. It is absolutely one of my top places to hear a band.

I go here every chance I get, and regret every time I have to drive by the road which leads to it and don't have time to stop.

Jul 06, 2013
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Had dinner and beer here on a Saturday night with some friends.

We sat in the bar area, not the dining room which had a nice pub feel to it, although a pit cramped, they fit in as many booths as possible. L shaped bar. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great so we didn't get a chance to check out their patio.

Quality of beer on their tap and bottle list was excellent, with an array of American craft beer and Belgian imports. An array of styles, so easy to find something for every palate- including some craft hard cider for my wife.

Service was good, our waiter was friendly and checked on us often. Food was tasty, our group stuck with standard bar food of wings, sandwiches, burgers, etc. They had some dinner entrees on the menu too.

My rating of $$ was based on the draft prices that were reasonable. Menu clearly indicated size and cost. Some of the limited release bottles on their list were a bit pricey.

Sep 25, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.64/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here for their Hoppy Easter event. I was expecting to get some Pliny the Younger that day but apparently they couldn't get a keg which sucks. The place is a lot larger than I thought it would be. The pub area is tiny but the dining area is a little large with a nice banquet area in the back. There is plenty of decor on the walls to look at. The selection of beers is very impressive. The service was very good, incredibly friendly people there. I wasn't able to get any food there that day. The only gripe I had about this place was that when we pulled up it was a cash only event. I'm not sure if it's like that all the time or if it was just because of the event they were having. Overall, I would hit this place up again one day in a heartbeat. I really enjoyed it there and would love to experience more of it soon.

May 15, 2012
Photo of Doorman1810
Doorman1810 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is my go-to pub. It takes some driving to get to, but that is part of why I like it. Union Jack's is located in the heart of Berks County farmland and, as the name suggests, is settled alongside the Manatawny River. This is especially nice in the spring and summer when they have their patio open and you can enjoy some open-air dining/drinking. Other seating options are the dining room or the bar area which are decorated in dark wood and English pub signs.

The menu is typical English Pub style with the highlights being fish and chips and a nice selection of burgers. They also offer a nice selection of wings with 8 or so different flavor selections.

The beer selection is second-to-none for Berks County with 10-12 selections on tap and probably 100 more in bottles. This may seem overwhelming to those new to the craft-brew world, but the knowledgeable wait-staff are great at making recommendations that match your taste. They are also skilled at recommending brews that you may have overlooked otherwise.

Union Jack's is a haven for fans of IPA's and Belgians and the beers are very fairly priced.

Mar 19, 2012
Photo of magine
magine from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Went to this place for some brews only. Would love to go back for some grub next time.... along with their world class selections of brews.

In the middle of Gods country; farms and nothing else around it. For a guy who comes from the city and now resides in a city like suburb; this place is out there.

Nice big parking lot and outdoor seating. Dark pub like atmosphere with lots of wood and tables to go along with the booths. Good size bar. Lots of pictures of breweries and beer stuff along the walls.

Huge bottle selection with lots of rare brews. Great draft selection with. Very reasonable prices. Good efficient service as well. You can really see they care about the customer and they are beer geeks as well. Was told by a member of the staff they get their beer descriptions from BA's website - nice.

Would love to venture back here again to sample some food to go along with the brews. Awesome beer selection and a good pub-like atmosphere to enjoy it in.

Aug 14, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
DaveHack from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place was great. I've been wanting to go here for some time and finally made it. When we arrived, I noticed it was a very charming place in the middle of nowhere. We walked into the bar, but chose to sit outside on the phenomenal patio area.
The beer selection was great, about 15 taps, unfortunately there were only a few I personally was interested in, but in the upcoming area, I saw several I was into. The bottle list, however, was fantastic! They had 4 RRs, FW Abacus (which I split with my GF)and many great selections. Bar tenders were knowledgeable and very helpful.
We split a crab dip app, which was really good. We then split a turkey burger w/ sweet potato fries, again another awesome selection.
Overall, this place is a hit! I can't wait to go back.

Jul 10, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went to the Manatawny location for their 3rd Annual Hopfest with a sick-ass line up. I can't believe I went to school 15 minutes from here for fourish years and never went here. Kicks rocks...

"There's no way that a beer bar is out in this area."- me on the way up. I was wrong, Manatawny's Union Jack's is a beer bar destination and a regular/local joint, and I spotted a group of biker's as well. A great mix of people. The Inn reminded me of a 'Great Outdoors' type of place with old wood and a homey feel. There is a bar area with tables, a middle room dining area with tables, and a banquet type room with a small bar area serving Hopslam when I looked. There is a upstairs to and I don't want to imagine all the foolishness that goes on up there. With all of that, an outside dining/drinking area with seating and a great view. I would drink here all day if I could, outside at least.

The quality is up there. Clean lines from what I could tell and a clean place inside and outside. The bathrooms were clean and nice looking, very relaxing, but I digress. Clean glassware and different types for different styles. The bottles were refrigerated without light so that freshness and skunkness are kept in check. The outside area looked beautiful.

I had no problems with the service, not to pushy but informative when asked some simple questions. Water filled when needed, not to mention the beer. I was up at the bar so I can't comment on table service, but from the looks of it, im going to have to eat and drink outside next time, all to easy to have a good time.

Well, I drove about an hour or so to get here from philly, so the selection is top notch, no need to drive away from philly to get good beer. It was a hopfest and I got there late to avoid the crowd but I had two top notch IPA's plus a hopslam and something in between. I also saw a plethora of bottles of beer that I want to drink, a vast selection, Im not going to spill any beans here, but there are some gems up there.

The food was spot on to. Having already had the Union Jack's wings's at the other two locations, I opted for some duck quesadillas which were superb. I also got some asiago crab dip and something else which I forget. In short, the food menu is much more vast than the other locations. And it's good as well.

Well, this place is the shit, it's just, how do I say this, what I want in a bar. I just wish I knew about it sooner. I would of lived here in the early 2000's. This is a place that Im coming back to if they have a great line up going on, it is a bit out of the way. This place is great!!

Apr 09, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by here before crashing at a hotel in Douglassville. A little bit out of the way...actually in the middle of nowhere!

The bar reminds me of something you would see in a ski resort. Lots of natural wood...kind of a rustic feel.

They have lots of high end brews here...both on tap and in bottles. You can read what they have available from beer menu place cards.

I was there pretty late on a Wednesday night, but from what I could tell, everyone there was a beer person...which may or may not always be the case.

Great little place that I will seek out again if I am in the area.

The only bad thing is that they do not take plastic...at least not when I was there...

Jan 26, 2010
Photo of kadelsjx
kadelsjx from New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is by far my favorite pub in the area. Secluded location adds to a laid-back pub atmosphere. Interesting decor on walls/behind bar (tab handles, statues, signs, etc.) Relaxed outside seating along the Manatawny Creek with access to additional bar.

Great beer selection very impressive given the area. Lot's of locally available brews including Slyfox and Victory as well as an endless number of Belgians. Glassware selection is excellent. Draughts are always served in the appropriate vessels.

Friendly, knowledgeable service that offers recommendations and provides updates on availablity of new beers.

Food is top-notch. I recommend the wings or the fish & chips.

Be sure to bring extra cash in case the ATM is broken (credit/debit cards not accepted at bar).

Oct 05, 2009
Photo of bbeane
bbeane from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I live relatively close to Union Jack's so I am a somewhat frequent customer... I've never really had a bad experience. Yeah, definately some better beer bars out there, but not to many in the Reading area. Service has always been good. Staff is knowledgeable in the different brews and I've always been able to find something exciting to drink. Can't get to into detail on all the food, but I can definately say that their wings are phenomenal. As far as prices go, I'd say that they're in line with other bars with the same food and beers. If your in the 20-40 minute drive radius, check it out.

Jun 22, 2009
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

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

My wife and I were in the Berks county area for other reasons but decided to find and try out this place for lupper (late lunch/early supper) and are quite pleased we did. It was a beautiful afternoon and so we sat on the upper patio enjoying the gentle breezes and the view of the grounds.

I was very impressed with the list of both draft beer and with the very very extensive list of bottled beer. The pricing seemed very reasonable. I also have the impression that the draft list I saw there matches quite well the list currently on their web site, suggesting that someone keeps the web site pretty current if you want to check that before you go.

In the end I wound up going with one of the evening's specials, which included a burger with lots of timmings and a happy hour pricing on a 16oz serving of a local DIPA on draft. My wife had the chicken fingers (almost always a safe choice for her when trying out the food in a new place).

The service was outstanding (which I'm sure was aided by the fact there were so few customers at the time we were there, but...) and friendly. We were able to chat for a while with the waitress and learn more about Union Jack's layout.

When the food was served it was hot and well prepared. We were both quite happy with the quality of the food and thought the fries that accompanied what we had were excellent.

I'm expecting we'll be going back

Jun 20, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My wife and I stopped in for the Easter Hopfest. Met up with a bunch of BA's around lunchtime. Started off with a glass of Russian River Pliny the Elder and placed my order for the burger special of the day - a Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger : bourbon glazed bacon, smoked gouda, and Boulder Mojo beer battered onion rings on a half pound burger. Everything about the burger was great except that I ordered it medium rare and when I got it, there was no pink to be found. It was still quite juicy, and not too killed, so I did not complain much. The Mojo Onion rings were killer, I should have tried to order an entire side of them. My wife had the Port Wrap - grilled chicken and portabella shrooms with spinach, feta on a pesto wrap. She was a fan of that. Due to the hopfest and all the people groveling over a sixtel of Pliny the Younger, the place was packed. Because of this, service suffered terribly. Too much attention to the time consuming sample flights. We waited around half an hour for each draft. That's unacceptable. Wish I would have been able to try a few more beers, but my patience wore thin. Didn't feel like wasting 2-3 hours there trying to get 2-3 more drafts. Prices for draft and bottles were a bit high for the location as well.

Edit - I've bumped the service from 1.5 to 3.0 after being contacted by management stating they will make things right on my next visit. That alone, after this review was posted just a few hours earlier, shows class on their part as well as a true concern for their customers satisfaction. I'll revisit this review on my next trip down to UJ's and update it accordingly.

Apr 13, 2009
Photo of BeerBishop
BeerBishop from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This place it out in the sticks. I drive over an hour to get there. And I've done it several times. Why? Because it's been awesome. Awesomely awesome.

So, last time I made the trek, and found the tap selection to be completely off-season and medicore (at best!), I was more than a little disappointed. Onto the beer bible I went for U.Jack's bottle selection. Struck out here a few times.

This was a Monday. Barkeep said they were super busy over the weekend so things weren't what they should be. Wasn't buying it. Somebody dropped the ball.

It's still on my list. I still like the place. But when I'm closer to a whole barrel of brewpubs and awesome bars with selections that are always good, I'll think twice before spending almost 2.5 total hours in the car to sit at this bar and be disappointed by its lack of "world class" selections.

Food is good. I like it. But let's be honest. That's not why you're there. Not in a place like this.

There once was a place called Kclingers out in Hanover, PA. (Well, it still exists, but it's a shell of its former self.) Journeyed there one weekend last year. The owner's let it slip so badly - a place that used to boast THE best beer selection on the East Coast - that we got one bottle for every 10 we ordered. One. And the worst part? The barkeep mocked us for ordering from such a long outdated list.

I mention this only because this place used to be a beer mecca. I'm sure it started slipping, in much the same way U.Jack's did that recent and fateful December Monday afternoon I was just there. Hope it doesn't go that route and it was just a one-time blunder, a temporary glitch in the fantastic beerdom that is U.Jack's.

My next review after my next visit will tell as much. Fingers crossed, friends. Fingers crossed. World class establishments shouldn't slip up, not if they intend to remain world class.

Feb 03, 2009
Photo of smedley
smedley from Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A - Ok, this place in absolutely in the middle of nowhere, but very nice. Nice looking bar with some booths in the bar area. Didn't go into the dining area, but there is one. They frequently have live music on the weekends.

Q - Excellent, excellent beer. Great wings - best in the area, IMHO.

S - Was good I guess. Don't remember anything good or bad, which I guess makes it good.

S - Best beer selection you'll find in this area. Lot's of local favorites, stuff you won't find anywhere else.

F - Loved the wings, loved the fresh cut fries, and the crab dip was to die for.

V - A little pricy, especially the food. But I drive 20 minutes to get these wings for take out. Worth the price. They only take cash, which is a bit of a pain. Who only takes cash these days??? But they do have an ATM on site.

Dec 31, 2008
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by UJs on the Manatawny on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The bar was crowded obviously. It's really amazing anyone can find this place.

A: The bar area is rather small with some bar height tables and some booths. The bar is an L shaped but maybe only has 12 seats or so. Dark inside with minimal windows. The decoration is cool with lots of bar signs and old tap handles. The bar is very rustic.

Q: Here is where UJs shines. What a great lineup of quality beer. It amazes me that the bar has this quality located in basically the middle of nowhere.

S: I was a bit disappointed here as they only had one bartender serving the entire bar area. It was crowded and I had to get up from our table to get our beers.

S: Excellent, I don't know how many taps they had, but damn the selection was great. Local brews like Victory, hard to find beers like Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide and other very good hard to find beers. Nice, nice selection.

F: Did not eat, sorry.

V: Reasonably priced. 6 beers cost us $ 34.00.

Overall a great beer bar in the Berks County area. I'll definitely get there again.

Nov 28, 2008
Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny in Boyertown, PA
Place rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 51 ratings