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J. Brian's Tap Room

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J. Brian's Tap RoomJ. Brian's Tap Room

Type: Bar, Eatery

200 Hanover St
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22401-5931
United States

(540) 373-0738 | map

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Added by GCBrewingCo

View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 9
Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Capitol Alehouse was unfortunately closed due to repairs, so choice number two J Brian's will be filling in for Thursday afternoon. Well placed near the heart of Fredericksburg, J Brian's brings a pseudo-Irish theme to the area with its exterior. Inside, several different room, including one which houses the bar. Baseball on TV above the bar, a cool (temperature) interior, and several friendly faces around the bar greeted me and gave me a good welcome.

24 different taps pouring, and more than half the craft variety. Being a native of California, it was exciting to see brands which I hadn't heard of; Otter Creek, Devil's Backbone, Starr Hill, Adventure. Not to feel homesick, Lagunitas, Bells, and Innis & Gunn had beers pouring too. Mostly nonic pints made up the glassware, and at $5.40 per pint, provided relatively good value for a bar.

Two friendly faces working the bar plus quick service results in a high service score. My steak sandwich lunch was acceptable too; hearty and a good compliment to the two fresh beers I had.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.13/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My palate having been overwhelmed the previous evening at Capital Ale House (See Review), I was seeking something less overwhelming than a choice of sixty taps. I found such a place down the street.

J. Brian's Tap House is a real casual hangout; it's quiet, relaxing, and offers about fine 20 taps - this includes Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, Duck-Rabbit Amber and Legend Lager. Not "overwhelming," but not shabby, either. There are two sections: a comfortable dining area with wooden booths and a separate "tap room," which is really a convivial and rustic bar that welcomes both strangers and locals alike. Interesting menu that lists a variety of heavy and light entrees, dishes and sandwiches, all of which being supplemented by a choice of potato or pasta salad - this, to me, a wonderful escape from the mandatory French fry. (I went for the potato salad, if you need to know.)

It's not the Capital Ale House, but then Capital Ale House is not J. Brian's.

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Photo of madtrixter787
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

If J. Brians had more of a rotating selection of taps, I would be here all the time. As it is, they have a very good selection for the size of the bar and clientele. I usually revert back to Bell's Two Hearted Ale which is almost always on tap, but I have had some other good beers here as well, namely the Williamsburg Ale Works tavern ale. I ate here once, but it was a while ago because they do not offer food after the restaurant closes. Besides that, the bar tenders are really nice and the music doesn't suck. College kids sometimes complain about the classic rock (I am one myself), but it is better than the selection at the other bars. I would rather have something comfortable and not too abrasive to my ears while I drink. A nice cozy atmosphere with a couple TV's that have sports games on with no volume. Again, nice local bar with close to 20 taps and a down home feel.

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Photo of bikehorn
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've been to J. Brian's many, many times. I lived in Fredericksburg for years. In addition to having good food, they do have a good selection of beers. It's true that their selection won't rock your world, but it will offer you a considerable upgrade from the other bars and restaurants in the area. Overall - you get a pretty good bang for your buck, with an ok selection.

The atmosphere in the bar on the other hand, is a different story. It's often smoky and crowded, without substantial amounts of seating.

I suggest aiming for dinner and drinks, rather than suffering through the bar.

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Photo of beerking1
3.55/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

For draft selection in the Fredericksburg area, this is it. Nothing special, 20 taps of large micros/small regionals (Yeungling, SNPA, etc), but the best in this area.

Selection is the fault of local distributors, so is the earlier mention of sometimes dirty lines. In VA, the owner is prohibited from cleaning the draft lines, it MUST be done by the distributor, and the local distributors are sometimes lax in this area (I have been told by at least one owner that he has asked to have lines cleaned, and been told it was done, when it wasn't.)

Food is pretty good. Standard pub grub, along with some neuvo-colonial type fare.

Can be smoky in the bar in the evening, when sometimes cigar smokers like to hangout there.

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Photo of lehows
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The guys over at Blue & Gray recommended this place and said it had the best selection in Fredericksburg. Located in the picturesque historic district, I entered through the door that leads directly to the bar. Stale cigarette smoke hit me and I was again reminded smoking in bars is still legal in Virginia. Decor was standard Irish pub with dark wood, lots of sports memorabilia, and other assorted Boston-related ephemera. About 20 taps, can't remember them all but I was drinking mostly locals Blue & Gray Fred Red Ale, and the Pale Ale. The rest of the selection was decent enough, a couple Sam Adam's seasonals, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, UFO, Harpoon, Yeungling, Smithwicks, and other usual Irish-pub suspects. Didn't ask about bottle selection. Bartender was friendly also. I only peeked in where people were eating, but it looked OK. Overall, if you find yourself in Fredericksburg it's worth a stop in.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

J. Brian's supposedly boasts the best taps in Frederickburg. They have 20 taps and most were fairly standard beers. A few interesting ones and no real crap, but no standouts.

The menu has both pub fare and upscale selections. I went off the pub menu and had a few great dishes. The prices were reasonable and the service was great. The atmosphere was good with the dining room being small but not overly noisy, and no smoke in sight. I didn't think to glance into the bar area to see what the atmosphere was there.

Not taking anything away from J. Brian's, but I would have expected a more varied selection from the place voted best place in Fredericksburg.

 663 characters

J. Brian's Tap Room in Fredericksburg, VA
3.86 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
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