Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny


44 Reviews
Union Jack's Inn on the ManatawnyUnion Jack's Inn on the Manatawny

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(610) 689-0189 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by jakester on 07-14-2005

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 51
Photo of Intheshadows
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

A nice place to stop by when you are out that way, but a place that does perplex me a bit.

The Good: Right next to a picture perfect creek setting. Service is generally good at the bar, less so at the tables. Very diverse selection of bottled beers, the drafts are nice for out there, but seem a little week in comparison to the "top tier bars". Decent food (not bad, not great but we do always eat when we are there.)But, then again our agenda is not the food here.

The Bad: "Next to a picture perfect creek setting", but they do not let you get close to it on a Sunday; they drop you next to they parking lot. Inside is okay, nothing special. Food is consistent, not great, not bad, but you do know what you are getting. Quality of taps beers is good, but the bottled beers are a bit touch and go. Service, a few months ago a table near me a had bad bottle (they ended up sharing with us) and the waitress still dinged them for it.

Synopsis: If you are looking for a day with a nice drive, a good place to stop. Overall, not a place I would go out of the way for unless we lived a lot closer.

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Photo of coalcracker
4.33/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nestled deep in the Oley Valley, this place is a little diamond in the rough. Driving along country roads, this place just appears like an oasis- reminds me of a ski lodge/chateau. Inside is a cozy L-shaped bar reminiscent of English style pubs. A seating area is also located in this area as well as a separate dining area in another section of the building. There is also an outdoor seating deck, though I have not yet had an opportunity to check it out. The beer selection is impressive, and for this area- enigmatic. Pliny the Younger is a typical find! Otherwise, great selections on tap and bottled. The food is respectable (only once have I eaten here). The service is good and friendly, though service speed can slow down a tad when busy. The bar area can get smoky- which knocks down 'amosphere' a little. Value: Prices are just a bit above average for beers, but well worth the price when you come across worthy beers that are not easy to find (especially on tap).

This is a great place to visit. Enjoy the selection and the comfortable confines!

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Photo of davide169
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This review is a long time coming. I've been a regular here for at least 2 years now. I'm unbelievably lucky to have such a great place less than 10 mins away from my house.

When I first found this place I wondered if I was lost. You pass house after house and never see a business and then as if dropped from the heavens there it is sitting right along the quiet rolling waters of the Manatawny.

I remember first sitting down and being handed a draft list, a current bottle list and their permanent bottle list. I quickly realized I must be in beer heaven. How did I not know about this place in the 2 years I had already lived in the area.

When you first enter, you are dropped into the bar area with a largish L shaped bar. To your left you will find "smoking" seating with booths and 2 rather large booths. There are also a few high tops. To the right of the bar is a good sized dining room. The real jewel is during the warmer months when they open the outdoor seating area. Its not often you find outdoor seating area and in PA and this one has the atmosphere to go along with it. You can listen to quietly meandering Manatawny or look over the newly transplanted log cabin. Plus on weekends the outdoor bar has seating for about 8 people.

The draft list always consists of at least 10 craft beers. Many of it some of the highest rated beer from this site. The bottle list is extensive and well picked out. There are great beers from the US, Belgian, Germany and many other European countrys. I could go own and on about the beer, but if you love beer, you will simply fall in love with UJ's.

The food is always good. The wings are some of the best I have ever had. Plus you will find everything from a sandwich to a nice steak to seafood. There is something for everyone.

The service is always great. The people who work here know their beer and if they are unsure they will find someone to ask. Most of the wait staff has even tried much of the beer being served. The manager Tom is top notch and goes out his way to make you feel welcome.

I could go on and on about how great this place is, but all you have to do is visit and quickly realize this is a gem in the woods and very much worth the drive.

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Photo of CaptainObvious
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went to this little restaurant this past Sunday with a few friends. Our first impression was that it was an extremely cozy feeling little place. Very dimly lit, with a number of people relaxing at the bar, and even a family sitting down to a meal. It was rather quiet, which was good because we just wanted to chat instead of getting loud and wild. The beer menu was rather overwhelming at first, but we were able to round it down to a couple of beers each that we wanted to try out. Prices on the beers were pretty reasonable, about a dollar less than what I'm used to paying in Philly.

Next was the food. As soon as we all opened our menus, we were pretty surprised as to how cheap the food was. Burgers for 5 and 6 dollars, pork BBQ for 8, most appetizers were 4 or 5. It was really reasonable, but it got us worried that the food was going to suck. I got a burger and everyone else got the wings, and we all really enjoyed our meals. We also had a couple of orders of their homemade french fries which were delicious.

The service was pretty decent at Union Jack's. Our waitress made an excellent recommendation of Two Hearted Ale to my friend who loves IPA's. She was very helpful and when we ordered our beers, she was back with them in only a couple of minutes. The only mishap was that we got charged for a beer that we had ordered but then were told that they were out of, but the waitress was very apologetic and took care of it right away.

All in all, I can guarantee I'll be going back to this place, regardless of how out of the way it was for me. The beer selection is great. I can find some things here that I have never seen in Philly, and the place is small and quiet unlike the Philly bars. Great place for families, too. I can't wait to go back again.

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Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

It was mid to late morning. Handsome Ed had cut out to work at an ungodly hour earlier; otherwise everyone was still asleep. I was standing in the kitchen looking out the back windows over the deck that'll be built someday, listening to the birds chirping, and contemplating the day, when Not Terribly Unattractive Heather came downstairs. Coffee, Ed having to leave for work in the wee hours, our day ahead, eventually the conversation turned to the crazy chirping of the birds.
So Heather says, "You know that's Phil, right?"
And I'm like, "What?"
"Yeah, that's Phil making that chirping noise".
"Shut up".
Now she's laughing, and with a "this way" motioning gesture, we tip toe into the living room and sure enough, the noise that I thought was being made by birds chirping outside was actually Phil's head whistling as he inhaled and exhaled, sleeping there on the lazyboy. I approached a sleeping (Evil) Davo on the couch in the corner to quietly wake him so he could hear this too, and he just sprung up as if alerted to danger somehow. I gave him the "Shhh" and then the 3 of us sat listening to the song of the endangered "Phil bird", until it suddenly opened its eyes and flew for the bathroom...

Took some time to get out here and I don't even know where here is. It's not near nothin' close or otherwise. A long stand alone building in a lot on a rural road, we entered off to the far left into the bar area. The 12 seat "L" shaped wood paneled top bar with a dark wood lip runs 2 walls here, the bar back on one side being shelves of booze over small windows looking in on the adjacent dining room and a corner cooler full of beer, the other holding a much larger cooler with 3 rows of bottled beer and more displayed below on the counter on half the wall, and a pair of arched shelving units housing booze (Tequila, hooray!!) to both sides of a center mirror and booze, specialty giant bottles, figurines and growlers below on the other half. 3 bar tables and a half dozen booths about the room. Brewery mirrors mounted on the bar overhang, lined with chili pepper strung lighting, and hanging glassware racks at both ends of the bar. Green wall uppers over slat wood lowers, brewery mirrors between blinded windows, and tap handles displayed above. Low lamps and candles on the bar. TV's in opposite corners, a CD juke, electronic darts, and a corner bar video game. A corner door near the entrance leads you into the dining room holding upwards of 2 dozen tables and booths, and through to a large banquet room beyond that. Off the bar, a doorway to an exterior 3 tiered brick seating deck and another elevated deck below separated where they set up for live music, all this with good views over the Manatawny River out back just yards away.

Perused the food menu some and came up with a cup of chili (topped with cheddar and served with garlic bread), and the sirloin tips sandwich (good, yeah!!, in fact, the food was good all around and a shot of the Cuervo Reserva De La Familia helped nicely. You don't see it out everywhere and it's well worth whatever they're charging for it).

And beer... 17 taps across different points along the bar on towers of 2's and 3's. Nearly half of them micros from Pennsylvania (Stoudts Double Blonde & Mai Bock, Sly Fox Galena IPA, Legacy Hoptimus Prime Double IPA), and beyond (Avery Collaborator, Rogue Imperial Stout, Smuttynose Hanami, Boulder Mojo IPA), the other half a mix of imports (Warsteiner Pils, Franziskaner Hefe, Spaten Optimator, Lindemans Peche & Framboise, Murphys), a cider (Strongbow), and then Yuengling and Coors Light. Apparently, I just missed the Verhaeghe Echte Kriekenbier on tap (what a world, what a world). No cask beer, but infrequent firkins.

And, uh, yeah, 300 or so bottles. At least 1/3 of them American micros, with goodies from Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and then 5 dozen plus Belgians, 2 dozen UK, a dozen and a half German, etc. Some hard to find vintage stuff, too (I bought a '93 Courage Russian Impy just because).

Sick selection here, not near anywhere, but well worth the jaunt in the country.

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Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

What a great location. I wish I could get to this place more often. The following notes Carolyn took from our visit on 9/23/06 for the King of Hops contest.

On Friday, September 23, D and I were joined by our friend Mark to make a trip into the countryside where we would help crown the King of Hop Beers at Union Jack’s Inn. What a beautiful building - an old brick house with a patio - the perfect country setting and two of my favorite people accompanying me. The beer didn’t even need to be good, but thank goodness it was!

The tap list at Union Jack’s was pretty amazing, and the bottle list was equally impressive. Picking our pre-contest beer was a chore (and, unfortunately, after I ordered a Sly Fox Simcoe, there was no more to be had!) D started with a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Mark had the Rodenbach. Inspired by the despised podcast title, I decided on a Lindeman’s Peche, which was really quite refreshing on that early fall evening.

Shortly after our dinner, the taps were switched over, and the King of Hops contest began! We each ordered one of every contestant, and they were served in perfect glassware for tasting - 6 oz glasses with a wide rim. The hops were pretty overwhelming - I’m not suggesting that is a bad thing - and I was finished after those five samples.

D went on to order the additional Russian River selections (Deification and Damnation - obviously not part of the contest) so we could enjoy those together. It seems a limited number of these Russian River kegs were released in PA, and we had already missed out on two opportunities to enjoy them, so we were going to take in one of each while we had the chance!

The King of Hop Beers contest ballot asked us to rate each beer from 1 to 5; 1 being not so hoppy; 5 being hoppiest (now THAT answer would have been obvious.) Upon further questioning, we learned that we were really to rate them according to our preferences; 5 being our favorite.

Now for the contestants:

Russian River Pliney the Elder - 8% (which they would serve in 6oz or 18oz)
This one made us all say WOW! What an easy drinking beer! It was full of flavor, yet light (in comparison to the others.) Very tasty! On the final table rating scale, this averaged a 4 (I rated it 3, D rated it a 4 and Mark rated it a 5.)

Russian River Pliney the Younger - 11% (also available in 6oz or 18oz)

On first tasting, this one just made us all exclaim WHOA! It blew us all away with the high alcohol and the strong citrusy hops flavor. As it warmed up to room temperature, I became more and more impressed, and in the end, I rated this one a fabulous 5. The final table rating was a 3.33 (D waffled on his #3, so we allowed him to rate two beers in that level; Mark rated it a 2.)

Union Jack’s Hoptimus Prime - 9.4% (6oz or 18oz)

This particular beer was brewed for Union Jack’s by Legacy Brewing Co. in Reading, and the brewer was just around the corner at the bar. What a moment that could have been - an opportunity to meet the brewer and congratulate him on a job well done - except it just wasn’t. The flavor was so very harsh, and no one enjoyed it (Mark and I didn’t even finish our 6oz glass!) This got a final table rating of 1, with ones all around.

Weyerbacher Eleven - 11% (6oz or 10oz)

Brewed for the 11th anniversary of Weyerbacher, this was a superb glass of beer. D commented that it was the “Cognac of IPA”, and he was pretty good in that assessment. It was SO smooth, and it was hard to tell this was such a high-alcohol beer. I rated it a 2 only because something had to be a 2…in my mind, however, a this 2 was so much closer to 5 (and the 1 was much closer to -5.) The final table rating was a 3.33 as D rated it a 5 and Mark rated it a 3.

Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA - 11% (6oz or 10oz)

It had only been two weeks since D and I enjoyed Unearthly onsite and by the growler, so it was fun to taste it side-by-side with other big IPAs. This is such an excellent example of this style. We gave it a collective table rating of 3.66 (Mark and I agreed on a placement of 4, and this was D’s other 3.)

As I said before, for a Friday night with a drive ahead, that was plenty of beer for the moment, but D did order the other two Russian River beers for us to try. Deification had a very nice candy sugar sort of flavor to it, and Damnation was very unique, reminiscent of a cider. We liked them both very much!

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Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This place is pretty amazing, but what it's doing out in the middle of nowhere, I'll never understand. I drove up from Baltimore to visit this place for the first time, and was beginning to think I was lost when I finally spotted UJ's Inn on the Manatawny. From the outside the place kind of looks like an old farmhouse or barn, something that's been transformed into some kind of knick-knack goods and antique store. However, that impression quickly ends as soon as you walk in the door.

I really liked how low key the bar area seemed, with it's kind of cool, dark and informal vibe. The place just seems like an ideal place to hang out and while away a quiet afternoon drinking good beer. The day I was there I think they had between 12 and 16 beers on tap, most of which were very well thought out and interesting. From previous posts I was a bit afraid they would not pour/sell samples size glasses (which given the number of great beers they had available, would have been a huge problem for me), but fortunately this was not the case. I didn't look closely at my bill, but it appeared that sample size glasses were around $1.50 to $2 for a 4 to 5 ounce pour. In my opinion, this was more then fair for what they were letting me sample (Founder's Dirty Bastard scotch ale, among other things)

The service here was pretty good for the most part, especially as it appeared they were preparing for a large party in the dining room next door. Chatted a bit with the bar tender about the selection, as well as DIPA's in general.

As for food, I ordered the wings, which while pretty good, I would not describe them as outstanding (though they were good size). No complaints, again they were fine for what they were.

This is an excellent place, though given where it's located, you have to really want to visit the place. I'm guessing no one just happens to drop in to UJ's Manatawny by accident. Amazing.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I met April & her husband for a few pints on this random Saturday. It is a bit of a hike to get there: over an hour for me from the burbs of Philly. Google maps 422 route was faster (an hour with no traffic) but boring while I took 73 home (slower by ten minutes but a nicer drive).

Neat place. Old rustic hotel with a great deck overlooking a creek (thus it takes a while to get there). The service was good and the manager Tom is a good guy who chatted me up while I waited for April to arrive. Great bottle list (Founders, Belgians, Lost Abbey, RR, etc) plus great beers on tap (Bell's, Arcardia, locals, RR on deck). I had a tasty pulled pork sandwich. Prices were reasonable for the quality of the brew. I will be heading back there for sure.


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Photo of Phatz
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What an absolutely magnificent destination!!! I was at Union Jack's Inn On The Manatawny a week ago but the delay in the review is because I wanted to take the proper time to tell you why you *must* visit this place.

First and foremost, Tom. Tom is the owner / manager of UJ's and he truly is a Beer Advocate in all respects. This is a man who loves great beer, cares about great beer talks beer and serves great beer. The service from Tom and from his staff was *far* beyond my expectations!

Second; UJ's On The Manatawny is gorgeous! It is a site to behold. You will get lost trying to find this remote location in the middle of nowhere, (I did) but that is part of the beauty. When you find it, it'll be worth the effort. The building is located right on the bank of the Manatawny river. I was there while snow covered the patio, the outdoor seating, the banks of the river, the trees and everything else. Still, it was amazing. I love the sound of the water running over the rocks and the ambience it creates. I will be back, with my wife in the spring (despite the hour and a half drive). The building has a lodge appearance with woodwork and Breweriana to tease the eye.

Third; The most important of all. THE BEER! I started to jot down the breweries represented in the cooler (from which he does sell takeout) and I stopped and changed my notes to “most brewery’s available in PA”. And he has some of the best beers from them as well. Trust me on this; you will not be disappointed in the beer quality or selection. Period.
-- oh and by the way the food is good too but the beer is my focus and decent food... just a plus!

No matter where you live you are going to need to travel to find your way to the Union Jack's Inn On The Manatawny. There is no two ways about that. Still, it is a *must* see beer destination in my very humble opinion.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of donotknowme
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The selection and service are the best of any bar I have ever been to. In this state with its miserable liquor laws this place is an escape to another state or country.

I avoid going on weekends and Friday nights as much as possible as the cigarette smoke changes the taste of food and more importantly the smell/taste of beer. In the warmer months the deck is open and that is the time to go.

The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about their massive selection. Tell them what you like and they can usually recommend something new that is good.

I never go there to eat but usually eat when I am there. Their wings are the best but I have never had anything bad from them.

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Photo of Matteox3
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This spot is great for the beer connissuer. I attended a beer tasting at this locale and tried several beers (on tap and in bottles) that I probably would not have found anywhere else in the general vicinity. The location is a bit off the beaten path, but that adds to the ambience. Beers I tried here for the first time:

Russian River - Pliny the Younger, Damnation
Allagash - Interlude, Musette
Legacy - Fantasy, Hoptimus Prime
Nugget Nectar in a cask.

The servers behind the bar were very pleasant and very very knowledgable about their selection. The crowd on this specific night were pleasant and very knowledgable as well about beer.

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Photo of Brewery88
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

In starting I must say that I am not only a close neighbor of this fine establishment for the past year, but also an experienced beer home brewer, judge, traveler and all-around geek for the past 15 years. And this place keeps me busy. So let me simply quantify some of my ratings.
The Quality (and Selection) ratings applies to every one of the 325+ micros and imports in the coolers and taps. There are everyday beers enough to please those not so inclined. (Somebody has to drive!) Bear in mind, too that the selection morphs by the WEEK. We are not worthy. By the way, they often feature import beers that are exclusive within the state, and sometimes the nation.
The Food is entirely high quality and mostly innovative. The soups are entirely to die for. Do not miss the patio grill in the summer, with live music. You'll thank me.
The Value rating is well earned. This beer is a tad pricey, but for two important reasons: it is the best the world's most creative brewers have to offer, and also brewing and transportation costs have been skyrocketing. Expensive, but, all things considered, a bargain.
These opinions were all given in regard to how this establishment rates as a beer bar and great place to hang.Even if only once, treat yourself.

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Photo of nekobun
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have to admit some bias, as by the time this review is being written, I've been a regular at this establishment for nearly a year. But it's just that good.

As has been said in previous reviews, it is out in the middle of nowhere. A couple of friends who came up for my birthday from Cherry Hill, NJ one time told me they were convinced they would get lost and die on the way there. But it's not -that- hard to find once you know the key landmark (the roller rink sign), and it's worth the trip every time.

When my friends, with whom I went to high school in the area, first introduced me to the place, my mind was blown. So many bottles. So many taps. So much I never knew existed. So I came back. And again. And again and again. And now, it's become a weekly pilgrimmage despite the half hour between there and home.

The lights tend to be turned down low, but it's not to hide anything in the shadows. The place is immaculate, both the dining room and the main bar areas. The decor may seem a bit peculiar to first-time visitors; a patchwork of beer and liquor promotional items and pop-culture icons, with a world's worth of old taps lining shelves towards the ceiling. But it's kept to a point where it keeps your eyes interested rather than being garish.

Service is always timely and friendly, even when it gets busier towards the weekend. The staff tend to know their beers, even if you do end up picking one off the menu that's huddled back in the corner of the cooler, forcing them to look around for a bit. The food tends to be excellent, with a menu covering all the bases from finger food to sandwiches, salads to entrees, and new items find their way onto the menu from time to time without supplanting any of the existing favorites.

While it may be a bit of a trip for anyone besides the locals, that trip is always worth it. Definitely check this place out at least once, and more than once if you can.

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Photo of carlosd74
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

It has been said many times but if you are not from around there - you will drive by the road that leads into the woods to their location. So be smarter than I and don't attempt your first run in the dark of night. The key to not missing the turn off West Philly Street onto Toll House is to be looking for a small billboard advertising Pheasantland Roller rink. Once you see it - TURN!

Anyways, the place looks like some Pocono lodge circa1950 - think that place in the crappy movie - Dirty Dancing. So it is very rustic and woodsy. However, it is in great shape and not a bit rundown.

It was a chilly night so I did not make it onto the deck overlooking the "river" (hey my Girlfriend is from Cali and thinks 60 degrees is cold). It didn't matter because fruits of our trek lay inside.

They have a bottle selection that easily rivals Monk's Cafe and surpasses it as far as non-Belgian micros go. They have 8 taps (I think) and only a few stinkers (Coors, Yuengling, and Stella). The rest were a mix of local & national craft brews and one Belgian (Lindemanns). They served their beers in appropriate glassware and temperature.

The menu looked good but the best things are the wings. I grew up in North Hills (near their original location) and these wings have a reputation. I asked the barkeep what was the deal with their flavored wings (I only had hot wings). He recommended this stuff that was like Chinese Sesame Chicken/General Zuo's...but not sickly sweet or like it was a sauce from a bottle.

The staff was a highlight and that is rare for me. They offered their opinions and actually liked drinking craft beers. Bonus:
It turns out the one gal is the wife of the owner (or did she say owner's brother?). Anyways, she kicked butt!!! Thank you Jennifer Daily's younger sister!!! LOL

It was worth the 1 hour drive and I will go again....btw it is very reasonable. Two people drinking and an order of 10 wings and we paid less than $40 (b4 tip).

P.S. - the beer menu is great. Dare I say it is even better than The Beer Bible???

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A lovely place right off of 663 in suburban berks county close to the bucks line. Easy to get too but seemingly in the middle of nowhere in a batty location tucked in the woods by some big lake or river or something. Atmosphere is great, this place is HUGE, and decked out like a boathouse from the 40's or something of that ilk. The quality of the beer is top notch and the serive was fantastic. The tenders' are friendly and love talking beer. The selection was also killer, with two russian rivers on tap! (Benediction and Pliny the younger) with the elder on deck apparantly. I was sad to see the deification was gone, but apparantly there was a problem with a foamy keg :-( Wow, this is one of the best beer bars that I have been to recently and it is only 40 minutes from my house...Awesome! The food looked great too! It's worth a special trip here for the Russian River beers alone (who else has em'!?). If you live within an hour of here I suggest going (multiple times)...I know I will!

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Photo of rdrummer
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I finally got a chance to give UJ's on the Manatawny a visit for an early Sunday lunch. Many things have been said about the location because it seems to be in the middle of nowhere. It is actually not hard to find and the spot where it is situated is beautiful. The building is well maintained and the inside was spotless.

The bar was quiet but it was early. Tom, the Manager (Owner?) was friendly, beer savvy, and easy to talk to. The taps were incredible with two Russian River beers, including Pliny the Elder, Nugget Nectar, and Speakeasy Big Daddy with 7 or 8 others. There were only one or two macros, which is strange for the area.

The food was very good. There were three soups on the menu, salads, other appetizers, a bunch of burgers with combinations of toppings, veggie burgers, and some more hearty platters. We had the crab soup, the Italian Wedding soup, and the pulled barbecue pork sandwich, which came with fries and coleslaw. A very hearty repast, even though my wife and I split the sandwich.

The bottle selection is huge. I wouldn't want to make a guess how many bottles were on hand but it had to be more than 150. I selected an assortment of bottles that I can't get in southern NJ and ended up with 11 bottles. Tom threw in an aged bottle of Cantillon Kriek Lambic that I really look forward to trying. I also picked up two more Russian River beers, Temptation and Damnation, the Middle Ages 10th Anniversary Ale, and the Southampton Cuvee des Fleurs. Tom also took $2 off the bottle price for each bottle since I was taking they with me.

This is a destination place that I will definitely be returning to. I have family in Pottstown and Boyertown so the trip for me is not a long one. In fact, it's a pleasant drive.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I just visited Union Jack's the other night with my wife and cousin after hitting a winery on the way up from the Paoli area. A woman at the winery highly recommended UJ's and the wine maker is a huge Belgian beer fan and a fan of UJ's as well. Although we had already planned on visiting UJ's after we left the winery, if we didn't have those plans we would have been convinced by the kind folks at the winery to head there.

Our directions got us a little off track but we eventually got our barings straight and found UJ's without alot of trouble. I was suprised at the overall size of the place although the bar area is somewhat small, it has a very cool vibe to it and the number of quality taps and bottles per square foot was off the charts.

When we arrived there were only a few other customers at the bar but that changed over the 2 hours or so we were there as the bar filled up quickly and so did the restaurant. Unfortunately we didn't stay to eat dinner as we already had plans to go somewhere else for that but I heard their food is also very good.

The bartenders were very friendly and when I sat down at the bar I prompty got a nice glass of RR Pliny the Elder in a nice gobet. Heaven it was. My wife got an equally tasty glass of RR Benediction which I also enjoyed myself later. The bartenders were very friendly and came over to talk when they were not busy and the manager, Tom, also came over and chatted with us for awhile and recognized me from BA based on some of the questions I asked and recent posts I had made on this site. I thought that was pretty cool.

The tap selection was very good including the two RR beers I mentioned, Bell's Two Hearted Ale and a few from Troeg's and Victory to name a few. We sat right at the bar in front of their impressive collection of bottles on the shelf and in a cooler. Some of the newer bottles they had included DFH Fort and Panil and they have a great selection of Belgian's that were too numberous to mention or remember at this time. There was also a very stocked cooler of more domestic bottles that I didn't get a chance to look into that much but it looked very impressive.

One of the bartenders was nice enough to talk to my cousin on the phone and give him directions to get there after he got lost from his mapquest directions. Overall it was just a really cool place, with great staff and great beers on tap and bottle. I will surely make this a regular stop on the weekends. I am already planning my next trip here for some beers and to try their food.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This had to be one of my most enjoyable visits to a beer bar ever.
After my twists, turns, (and one wrong turn), my wife and I arrived at Union Jack's. It has a very impressive from the outside, and the scene was complete with an English Taxi parked in the front. We arrived shortly after noon on a Friday and we were the only patrons. We were offered any table in the place, and selected a corner booth. The waiter came with a menu and asked for our drink selections. When I asked what was on tap, he presented me with a listing that was fabulous. They also have a list of their new bottle arriveals and are in the process of printing up a full listing. I selected a Russian River Benediction for the tap list, and was not disappointed. The lunch menu selection was typical, with some nice wraps and several portabella mushroom selections available, in addition to your standard burgers, chicken dishes, and appetizers. I chose a chicken and portabella wrap, and my wife sselected the Maryland crab soup and the ceasar salad. I also ordered my second beer selection, a Bell's Two hearted Ale on tap. The food was excellent, ane the beers were fresh and delicious. I also purchased theur last bottle of Russian River Temptation. The manager, Tom, was very familiar with the beers being served and it was enjoyable talking to him. Our waiter was also very attentive, and gave us a tour of the outside when we were leaving. Definitely a first rate operation. While talking with Tom I mentioned that I found out the place from BA, and he says he frequently is on line. My wife and I also looked at the dinner menu, and it seemed to have some nice selections at reasonable prices. I hope to return in the near future.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What kind of place is this? When I sat at the bar on my first visit, the manager caught my attention and asked if I was GnomeKing on BA--he recognized me from my avatar.

UJ's really makes the effort not just to stock beer from great breweries (which they do), but also to pick the top notch beers from each. For instance, they had World Wide Stout on tap on my visit, which is a rare site. DFH has plenty of wonderful beers, and WWS is perhaps tops among them, although it's rarely on tap anywhere. The effort to have WWS on draft shows the commitment UJ's has to quality. There are lots of beers--so many that you might not see them all unless you make the effort to scan thoroughly behind the bar for every cooler or cabinet. A few examples: Alphaklaus, Southampton (Cuvee), Sly Fox Rare Vos, Stone Double Bastard/Oaked Bastard/Ruination, Oaked Yeti, Storm King...the list went on and on.

The bartenders know their beer and are happy to give honest, informed opinions. They're really friendly--naturally so, not the fake "yes, sir" kind of formality you get in some places, but an unaffected way of treating you like a friend and a geniune appreciation for your business.

Lots of their beers are in big bottles, so bring a friend or your whole crew to share. You can take out single bottles also.

It was after dinner, so I only sampled a little food. The crab soup was as good as what I've had in Maryland, and my toasted ravioli dish was creative and tasty.

This place has little competition out in Blair Witch country, so they could easily just have macros. It's not like a place in the city that has to step up its selection to compete. UJ's dishes out the beer kung fu just because it wants to.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I finally was able to pop into another UJs after practically growing up in UJs Glenside. This place is stunning. A beer lover's dream! It's a little tricky to find this joint but well worth finding. Appearing like a hunting lodge or a bed & breakfast type building out of the blue as you turn the corner, it's a beautiful spacious building. Inside, the bar, booths and band are to the left and a second restaurant type room is to the right where you'll find the little boy's room replete with antique style. Lots of dark wood enhance the beauty of this beer geek heaven. There is also an outdoor deck that is open for beers when it is warmer, and a babbling brook to boot. Free entrance with a reggae band that was really good.

I was most impressed with the knowledge of the bar staff. I ordered a couple esoteric beergeek bottles of Luciérnaga, The Firefly and Middle Ages for $22. They actually asked if I wanted them cold or not. How cool! Also take out was further enhanced by AlphaKlaus, Panil Barque, and the taps are to die for. As good as anywhere with Urthel Hop-it, Vic'ry Storm King and Hop Wallop, Sly Fox, Russian River Pliny the Elder and more! About 20 taps overall. Awesome! UJs pays attention to good local beer and good beer in general. Mad props.

Last call: Could you take your Mother here? Absolutely. An inviting ambiance. Top notch beer and top notch people. Even Stevie Wonder can see that UJs cares about beer. A little off the beaten track, but only by about an hour from other great places like Sly Fox and Vic'ry.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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

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Photo of erica
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Wow, what a super place in the absolute middle of nowhere!! I drove out here over the weekend with TheLongBeachBum, my confidence in directions shattered after going to Ortino's first (I sort of had wrong directions, but it wasn't that out of the way). Finally we found it via a sign on a main road to turn down a smaller road into really the middle of nowhere. Great looking place, all wood exterior, with an old London cab out in the 'front yard'. Inside the bar area is straight ahead, very dim, and the more restaurant area is to the right. We sat at the bar, and were the only ones in there. VERY quiet for a football season Sunday late afternoon. Anyway, the bar was actually almost too dim, and they had an eclectic music mix going, most of it pretty good, and a few muted TVs with football. A band started playing a half hour or so after we got there, and we thought the place would get crowded then, but, sadly for the band, it did not. They played in the restaurant part, so we could hear them but not see them. I wonder if they get bands there often..

So then, when we sat down at the bar, we sat in front of one of the 4 or so sets of taps (about 15 taps total I think) and right in front of our faces is Pliny The Elder. Wow!! English bar in PA with Russian River on tap. Nice. However, I ordered a Moonglow. Which I started to regret towards the end of the glass, watching LBB drinking that hop juice while I was sipping at a sweet weizenbock. Still good though. Service was excellent. The bartender, whose name I never got, really seemed to know his beer, and casually mentioned Beer Advocate while talking to some other customers a bit later on. Interesting. He was also very nice and joked a lot, which made the place more interesting, since it was mostly empty. I asked for a beer list, which just had the taps (almost all micros or imports) and the new bottles. Pretty many new bottles. TONS more bottles in the fridges. Honestly I can't think of another bar who has such a huge and varied selection! Bad news for someone like me who can't make a quick decision. I trusted Mr. Bartender's suggestion for my 2nd beer on a Humbolt... I think it was Golden Nectar? It was a good choice. Thanks!!

We ordered food, too, which was excellent. Not an extreme amount of veggie food on the menu, but you could substitute a veggie burger or portabella for a cow on any of their burgers for $1 more. I got a Hey Vinnie burger, which was an Italian, cheesy-saucy-basily thing on a veggie burger, which seemed to be homemade. Yum! Split a basket of fresh-cut fries with malt vinegar with Mr. Bum, who had the spicy El Paso burger on a 'real' burger 'for real people.' Ha. Ha.

Everything at that place was awesome, except for the location. The Bartender, the few other people who came into the bar, were all great people. So nice and friendly and helpful. The prices weren't out of control either, considering what you get there. I highly recommend venturing out into the woods or wherever, and paying a visit to this fine establishment. You will not be disappointed!!!

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have been waiting a long time to review this gem. I have been to Union Jack's about 5 times now and eaten there twice. I can honestly say that this has to be the most in the middle of nowhere great beer bar that even local BA's have never heard of. Hopefully that will change.

Inside is a typcial pub setting. Some booths and tables, with plenty of space at the S shaped bar. Outside there is a a great deck and patio that overlook the Manatawny. Truly one of the best places to grab a beer outside. They also have a separate bar outside with a pretty solid bottle selection.

The tap lines here are a great start, I think there are about 16 with many standards (Corsendonk comes to mind, will update with the rest when they come to mind). They rotate about 5 taps and always have great finds here. Recently I have had Ruination and 90 Minute to name a few.

What moves the selection up to a 5.0 is the bottle selection which is the best in the area (and I am talking about a pretty large area). I actually can't remember a bar that had as many great bottles. When stocking my cellar over the past year I have left Union Jack's with a new 6 pack each time. Just some great stuff. The bottle selection has also been different every time I have been there...recently I have gotten Three Philosophers, Saison DuPont, Nostradamus, etc... just killer.

I have eaten there twice now and the bar food is really top notch stuff. I have also had one dinner there which was very good. This place does not exude the most confidence when you walk in or see it from the road, but you will be quickly put at ease.

For the most part the bartenders haven been great and knowledgeable. The owners son (I believe) runs the place and is up on his beer and has gone out of his way to be especially gracious to me every time I have been there.

Biggest shortcoming - only jakester and I have ever been there!!! Get out there people while the weather is still good.

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Photo of jakester
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place has been here for three years, and I only found it in February, when the nurse at the vet, who is a waitress here, heard us talking beer. There are two other Union Jack's, both in the Philly area. I haven't visited either place, but I assume they are similar.

There are 17 taps, only one crap. They always have some hoppy drafts, and a few Belgians on draft as well. The real beer story, IMHO, is the bottled selection. There are @ 200-250 bottles to chose from, and Tom, the manager, knows his beer. I was introduced to Hercules DIPA, Stone Ruination, and Gumballhead, just to name a few. They are usually very fresh, a hard thing to do, especially in Berks County.

The food is good, and so is the service. The prices are reasonable. I've been there many times, and have taken my whole family on occasion. My only complaint would be the bar area can be smoky from time to time, but nothing outrageous or anything.

Also, during the summer, there is live music outside along the banks of the Manatawny Creek. This place needs to be seen to be appreciated. For Berks County, it doesn't get any better than this.

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Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny in Boyertown, PA
4.56 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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