Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

Jack Brown's Beer & Burger JointJack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger JointJack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint
Bar, Eatery

80 S Main St
Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22801-3761
United States

(540) 433-5225 | map

View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Camjmorton:
Photo of Camjmorton
Rated by Camjmorton from Virginia

4/5  rDev -6.3%

Sep 09, 2014
More User Ratings:
Photo of Sludgeman
Reviewed by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75
I've found my favorite place in Harrisonburg. Not easy to access if you are flying up and down I-81, but well worth the stop over. Small but welcoming and friendly. Pa and Heather provided wonderful service. The burgers were great (a wide selection). Very good selection of beer. Ask to use the blow horn.
Oct 27, 2018
Rated: 3.9 by Boone757 from Virginia

Jan 26, 2018
Photo of Quafftastic
Rated by Quafftastic from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5
Great burgers. Excellent beer selection. Wait staff and bartender Good. Downside just too small of a place.
Dec 25, 2017
Photo of VeganUndead
Reviewed by VeganUndead from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75
Very impressive the level of quality they are able to put out in this half a shoebox sized location. Obviously a big cult following in the area, decent pub food, only 4 taps but extensive bottle list and solid service
Nov 22, 2016
Rated: 3.99 by oberon from North Carolina

Oct 11, 2015
Rated: 4.35 by JuliusPepperwood from North Carolina

Jun 22, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by uvachief from Virginia

May 11, 2015
Rated: 4.94 by TrulySlide from Virginia

Feb 18, 2015
Rated: 3.83 by HuntDaddy540 from District of Columbia

Dec 29, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Iamjeff6 from Virginia

Dec 05, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by ElGordito from Virginia

Oct 26, 2014
Photo of hophead_87
Rated by hophead_87 from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
Awesome awesome burgers! Decent beer selection as well. As a JMU grad, this place was always a must visit.
Aug 26, 2014
Rated: 4.36 by Rarrar from Virginia

Aug 26, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by JMUbrewz from Virginia

Jun 14, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by atrocity from Virginia

May 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by dbrowning626 from Delaware

Jan 15, 2014
Photo of JWalterWeatherman
Reviewed by JWalterWeatherman from Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.25
Jack Brown’s in Harrisonburg occupies an extremely small space, with a nice outdoor patio alongside the building. There are heaters for the colder nights. The owner is open about wanting to create a “true bar” experience, which apparently involves cramped quarters, loud music, and big screen televisions; bras hanging from a chandelier, and a disco ball. The atmosphere is definitely geared towards a particular market.

What Jack Brown’s lacks in class, it makes up for in food in drink. The menu is extremely limited to delicious burgers, hotdogs, fries, and fried oreos, but there are specialty burgers, cheeseburgers, and sweet potato fries available. All the beef is Waygu, though the fries are frozen crinkle cut.

Grease abounds, so don’t go unless you feel like punishing your waistline. Speaking of things that get punished, your wallet will be hurting as well. The average cost of a full meal with a beer is close to $13-15 bucks. Plus, the burgers are pretty small, so don’t bring an appetite if you are on a budget.

There is a great selection of beer in bottles and cans, but much of it is pretty mediocre and doesn't rotate. There are only three or four drafts, and a few big bottles, though they are usually $10 more than prices found in the bottle shop that is located 150ft. away. The ladies, and the occasional gent, that works here offer pretty great service, but their knowledge of beer ranges from nominal to reasonably informed

Essentially, Jack Brown’s serves as a decent bar for those who want to drink better beer than Bud Light, but aren't interested in exploring the full depth of the craft beer world. You can get some great “drunk” food while you are there, but you’ll pay for it. Check it out for yourself, but the neighboring Billy Jack’s is a much better beer geek choice.
Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Mantooth
Reviewed by Mantooth from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Very cool & tiny spot with a focus on adventurous burgers and beer. The grill's popping pretty much right in front of you and it's fun watching the cooks churn out interesting takes on ground beef... a burger with peanut butter? Yep. Over easy egg on a burger? Yep. Even a mystery burger... who knows what's on that beast. They have 100 bottles of above average stuff for this small college town and a modest selection of drafts. Cool place and definitely a spot to stop if you're in town.
Sep 22, 2013
Photo of VBWharfRat
Reviewed by VBWharfRat from Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75
So what can I say about this place that others haven't said.

Actually just got back from Lockn' Festival (BEST TIME EVER!) and JB's had a booth there. Finally broke down and grubbed out on a burger and sweet potato fries (drenched in sauce of course) on Sunday afternoon.

If I had to complain, my two gripes would be I have a hard time walking out of here spending less than $25 if I get food and there are only a measly five taps. Granted, they're all craft beer but I mean c'mon? Five taps? Haha only kind of kidding.

Anyways, super cool atmosphere, total dive bar, maybe like fifteen seats total inside. Cool porch area that is dog friendly.

Burgers are amazing. I was ordering take-out from here before I could even drink beer (well, legally at least).

Do yourself a favor and get in here.
Sep 11, 2013
Photo of sholland119
Reviewed by sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
An accident that brought I-81 to a standstill caused us to get off the highway and look for a beer and a snack to wait it out. Fortunately we were at Harrisonburg which gave us some options (as opposed to, say Martinsburg, WV). Jack Brown's was the highest rated place in town and it was open so here we stopped.

Downtown is pretty sleepy on a Sunday but there was a cluster of eating and drinking places on Main St. that were open. Jack Brown's is small inside but has some nice outdoor seating. We opted for the small straight bar. Just the right level of small, gritty and dark. I am not sure if the bras hanging from the chandelier and other high up spots represent a rite of passage for JMU coeds, the relic of past wet t-shirt contests or what.

Small tap list (only 4) but all were good choices. I kicked the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp black IPA, then followed up with a Peak Organic IPA, which I rarely see and enjoy a lot. The bottle list was extensive, with local selections and national craft brands, and reasonably priced at that.

We both had hot dogs, which were deliciously deep fried. The burgers looked tempting as well. Service was very good.

I'd certainly stop back. HV
Aug 01, 2013
Photo of lillitnn92
Reviewed by lillitnn92 from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Although I frequent Billy Jack's (owners other bar a building over) more, I do come to JB's a few times a month; more in the summer because of the outdoor seating. JB's is a great little place. Seating can be an issue and it can get packed pretty quick, but that's the JB character. Get there early!! :)

There's 3 beers on tap with 100+ bottles. Seasonal specials. Like Billy Jack's, there's usually Pint Nights a few times a month as well. Burgers specials daily and Fries, Fried Oreo's.

Jacktown (what we locals call both bars) are the best places within 30 miles of H'burg. Service and quality are top notch always. You can't go wrong here (or there).
Dec 10, 2012
Photo of thegrimone
Reviewed by thegrimone from Virginia

5/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Jack Browns is a phenomenal place. The selection is constantly rotating. The place is very low tech chalk boards tell whats on tap. A chalk board is also used for seasonal/big bottles and the basic menu.

The burgers, oh so delicious. Everyday has a special or two, with Friday being the best. Greg Brady burgers on Friday are where its at, macaroni and cheese with barbecue chips (Martins for those who know) on a cheeseburger. Although Sunday comes in a close second with a bacon egg cheese burger on a regular potato bun or a doughnut bun.

The staff is very knowledgeable, many being temporary locals attending collage.

If you think you will be back ask about the notch club, drink 100 different beers (they have over 100 different in stock) and become a member.
Jan 20, 2012
Photo of SirWalkAbout
Reviewed by SirWalkAbout from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Awesome place.

When I lived near Harrisonburg, this was the place I most frequented. They have a ton of beers. I prefer getting a beer on tap when I go out, so a few points off for selection, but the quality is there. Sometimes they feature certain brewery’s, and if you buy a beer on that day, you get a free pint glass from that brewery. Not bad.

The food is also a home run. Their burgers are creative and delicious. They try new things, deep fried oreo's, burgers with peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese, etc. Sounds nasty, just give it a try.

This is one place I would go out of my way to drive and visit. If you prefer beers on tap, you can always walk next door to Billy Jack's (owned/operated by same folks), which is also outstanding.
Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Boatmike
Reviewed by Boatmike from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Jack's is very small but homey. I'd suggest getting there before beer drinking rush hour if you want a seat.

Beer selection is excellent. True, only three beers on tap but they change so you have a reason to keep coming back.

Wait staff are very knowledgeable about beer. And they are attentive and appropriately talkative.

As for food, it's a burger joint which is probably why burgers are in the name of the place. The burgers were excellent - like home-made on the grill. Fries, both French and Sweet Potato were ok. By my hometown standards, the price of burgers is cheap. I didn't try the fried Oreos because I was too full from the beers and hamburger, but person next to me highly recommended them.

My kid is at JMU in Harrisonburg so I'll definitely go back there. I plan to go there every time I'm in Harrisonburg. Every beer fan should.
Sep 05, 2011
Photo of mcaulifww
Reviewed by mcaulifww from Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
I went to college in town and spent two years frequenting Jack Brown's. Out of all the places in Harrisonburg JB's is the best.

It's small, and if you go on a weekend night there will probably be a line to get in. It's set up like a rustic dive with some funky touches. The small space and limited seating (seats 25 inside) actually enhances the atmosphere.

The overall quality and selection is excellent, only three taps which rotate constantly, but enough bottle choices to give a man a heart attack. When ordering on tap they use the right glasses for each beer.

The service is exactly what I'd expect from a beer bar.

The food is great too. The burgers are kobe beef, french fries, and sweet potato fries, and the infamous fried Oreo. I admit I haven't had it, but I hear good things. They also have a daily burger special (The Elvis: peanut butter, mayo, smoked bacon, and cheese) which is usually crazy, but people love 'em.

The only knock to the food is that there isn't much selection. But, good news, they recently opened a wing joint two stores down the street.

The price is reasonable too. I can get a burger, and a great beer for 10 bucks. The best place in town for sure.
Sep 02, 2011
Photo of legatovibrato24
Reviewed by legatovibrato24 from Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Outstanding selection of craft beers in bottles, not so much on tap, but nonetheless something for everyone. I enjoyed a Stone IPA with my delicious cheeseburger, which wasn't overly huge, but paired nicely with ale.

The server/bartender was friendly and knowledgeable and even laughed at my girlfriend calling me a pig, which was a nice touch.

At first glance the joint can seem cramped but once seated at the bar the character and charm on the walls seems to allow you to gloss over the cramped quarters. The corner location also allows for outdoor seating which could accommodate the more claustrophobic among us.

Finally the fried Oreo, where to begin? The way the oreo seems to melt into the surrounding breading is heavenly, which tastes of donuts and moderately sweet sticky buns. What a great finish to a delicious meal at Jack Browns.
Apr 06, 2010
Photo of advill88
Reviewed by advill88 from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
I went here for the first time for lunch recently. The burgers are excellent, if a bit on the pricey side. I would also recommend trying the fried oreos, which I've never had before, and are really good. The beer selection is quite a highlight as well, with about 80 micros available, and a good variety of styles at that. There were definitely some beers (e.g. Chimay) that I don't commonly see in Harrisonburg eateries. I ended up spending about 14 bucks plus tip for a burger, fries, a fried oreo, and a beer. Good place overall, but a bit too expensive for me to come back too often.
Nov 25, 2009
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint in Harrisonburg, VA
Place rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 28 ratings