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Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
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Active Beers: 114
Beer Ratings: 3,266
Beer Avg: 3.97
Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
24 W Union St
phone: (740) 592-9686
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$
The biggest knock against this place is that it is in a college town, in a college bar area. They have to compete in this area, which is a shame. You go in here knowing that though, so I'm not complaining. Parking is a bit of a challenge, but that can be worked around if worth it.
Has that nice wooden build interior. Small but enough space. Didin't realize there were different things on the other "side" which cover had to be paid to enter.
2nd largest knock is that I couldn't get a growler of anything worth getting a growler of. Actually this is far and away the biggest knock, I can deal with the "atmosphere" just fine. This is where I go with selection-2.5, they had a nice selection of unique stuff. Not sure why they were stingy with the high gravity brews, NO ONE in the place was drinking any of these. The farthest I saw anyone venture was the Belgian Pale, and I could tell by their demenor they thought they were really reaching with that.
7 House and 11 Guest taps on whatever side it was I was on. Dark Apparition was top notch. Bolero Brown and an Imperial Porter were also on tap, but I couldn't try because my wife couldn't stand being in the loud cramped space. No big deal, I'll just grab a growler of one of the others, oops forget that. Got a growler of the red, meh. I thought the prices for all were pretty reasonable though.
Shwag is overpriced.
Service was fine, when they could give some. They were too busy slinging mixed drinks and PBRs(obviously the cheapest drink in the place) for all the 21-23 year olds.
So much potential here wasted being forced to be a college bar. The brewer does a top notch job but boy he must feel trapped here. At least the beer is good...
I imagine this place is better during a bottle release, but I won't be finding out. Looks like nearly every high review is from a special bottle release, I would not judge the day to day based on those reviews.
06-05-2011 18:29:39 |
More by Bung
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I have been here a few times now for bottle releases and once the night before a release.
The atmosphere is a little odd, at least on a non-release day. They have all of this great local beer, but on the Friday night before the bottle release the place was packed with students who couldn't care less about the beer that was brewed on premises. A ton of people were ordering bottles of macro type stuff... damn shame.
It was loud, fairly crowded, and full of the people who I used to avoid when I lived on the Ohio State campus. There was a $3 cover charge to get into the brewery side because of a local band that was playing. In good fashion the band was so-so and so loud you couldn't even order a beer from a foot across the bar. I always hate covers like this as it feels like either the establishment is just trying to profit here, or that the band refuses to play without compensation. Either way I'd be fine without it. The only reason I gave in was that each side of Jackie O's had different beers on tap; don't make me pay a cover just so I can order a pint from next door...
On a release day the atmosphere does a complete 180, and the only people inside are the truest of the true beer geeks. Almost everyone brings bottles/growlers to share, and though it is as crowded as the joint likely ever gets, everyone always seems to have a good time.
The quality isn't bad in any way, the beer is usually well crafted, bottle labels are well done, and Brad does a great job of accommodating all of us beer geeks on release day.
The service bothers me (and this has no bearing on Brad or the brewers). First off every charge on your card is broken into multiple transactions that take forever to fall off of your pending actions on your bank acct. Secondly, every time we go for a release our check is messed up and needs corrected. This last time we were charged for something like 14 sample pours, when we had only ordered 7 (one of which wasn't served to us because the waitress didn't know it was available despite the fact that it was on the menu).
Additionally, multiple times we have had to call the brewpub to try and change a bogus charge or alteration of our final bill. Both times we were argued with, made promises that weren't kept, and had to have the bank dispute the charge. The first time the waitress added a 20% tip onto our bottle tab (which came out to over $200 alone). I am sorry, but at $18+ a bottle I really don't feel like I need to be tipping huge on top of it. The second time was a much smaller difference, but we were double charged the night before the release. My only advice is pay very close attention to your bill, and even closer attention to the final amount charged to your card. Best bet - be careful and use cash.
Otherwise, the service is usually average in timeliness and demeanor.
The selection is usually very nice, and on a release day there are usually upwards of 30 or so taps to try.
The food is ok, but nothing amazing either. I've never not liked anything I ordered.
The value is tough. The pints and food is usually very well priced, but the bottles are on the expensive side imo, and so is the swag - $75 hoodie, $7 miniature snifter, etc.
Overall I enjoy coming here, but inevitably there's always a problem that pops up as we're trying to leave or several days later when the charges post on my bank account.
05-18-2011 05:09:28 |
More by Spider889
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
I have made numerous trips to Jackie O's, and it is always worth the 6 hour drive from VA. The beers continue to wow me, as everytime I go, I try at least 5 or 10 new offerings. The food is great, freshly prepared and unique menu. The staff is awlays friendly and fun loving, and the prices are incredible. You can drink and eat to your heart's content and still get out under 30 or 40 dollars for the night. The vibe is great there, although the space is a bit constricted on the brewery side. The back patio is awesome, and allows you to go back and forth between the two venues without having to put your beer down. Everyone should visit Jackie O's.
05-16-2011 03:21:54 |
More by Tripphop
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1 | $$
Let me preface this review with the fact that I visited Jackie O's during Sibs Weekend and everything was packed...
The atmosphere was that of a standard college bar, a bit on the small side. If there are too many people in there, you won't be able to move around.
The beer selection was pretty good, nothing stood out to me though.
The service was terrible. I waited at the bar for about 15 min every time I wanted to order a beer. The next morning we went to the restaurant side for breakfast. We were there for about 4 hours, only got one coffee refill (not by choice) and 2 of us didn't even get our food before we just walked out.
I'm sad I didn't get the chance to fully experience this place the way everyone else has. Unfortunately I will not be returning.
05-06-2011 13:35:54 |
More by TehB3x0R
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited in lieu of Dark Lord Day. Athens is a great place to visit and Jackie O's is one of the highlights. Two sides, brewery and eatery. We got there before the brewery side opened so got some pizza and other munchies.
Atmosphere was dark but comfortable, the place is narrow but plenty of room to move around. Doors were open and it was a bit chilly but that was no problem.
Service was quick and friendly and the food was fresh and good. Pizza was thin crust and delicious. Fish and chips were crunchy and obviously freshly prepared; same for the mushrooms.
Beer selection was nice with a wide variety of Jackie O's and some other taps. We spent a few hours there then moved to the brewery side. Same atmosphere, dark and warm. The tables are local made and they sell local made cutting boards.
All in all a very nice place to visit. I wish it wasn't so far away.
04-30-2011 14:43:05 |
More by kirok1999
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
I was at Jackie O's yesterday for the first time. I've heard about the place and Brad and the beers (and been lucky enough to try a few) before, but never been until yesterday. Even though I was hungover and pretty miserable on 4 hours of sleep after a 3 hour drive, and that on the way back that night, one of my over-indulgent companions vomited in my car, causing some mess and delay, the day I spent at Jackie O's was nearly perfect. I was in a group of 8 Cincinnati and Columbus BAs and Brad was hanging out with us. We brought some beers for a pretty epic tasting, but that's not the point.
It's a cool room that is an active brewery, with a very visible brewing process which makes you feel like you're involved, even if you aren't. The music was seriously some of the best music I've heard playing in a bar ever. It wasn't mainstream crap. I don't know exactly who or what, but as far as I was taking notice, it was a great mix of instrumental funk and jazz. That's right up my alley. The food was very good (fries were some of the best I've had), and the prices on the food are quite low, especially given the quality. The real kicker though, was Brad's enormous generosity in sharing some of his not-yet-ready barrel-aged beers.
It basically boils down to this: easily some of the best food I've had at a brewpub, easily some of the best beers I've ever had, a very cool place, and a friendly and generous owner. This day made me reconsider where I am going to school. I would go to Jackie O's daily if I could.
03-20-2011 14:41:47 |
More by ColdPoncho
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I visited Jackie O's on Feb. 4th and 5th for their bottle release. The atosphere was great. The Public House side is roomy which is a good thing since it was packed wall to wall both Friday & Saturday. The smaller Brewery side is very cozy.
The service was FANTASTIC. Every employee I met was friendly, courteous and damn efficient. Both days these folks were serving standing room only crowds. They were working their asses off. They did so with a smile on their face. Each server took pride in their bar & their beers.
The beer selection was out of this world. Their samplers were very reasonably priced. It was nice to get a small pour of 4 or 8 beers to help decide which beer you wanted next.
I did not eat at Jackies. The pizzas and burgers looked & smelled appealing.
I might not be able to wait until the next release to visit Jackie O's again. I see another 3 1/2 hour drive in my future.
02-11-2011 20:26:28 |
More by Auslander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Drove down to Jackie O's for the Feb. 5th Stout & Big Beer Fest/bottle release; my first time there, and I was in for a treat.
The atmosphere of the place is great (and if you go to a release, made even better by the friendly beer folks crawling all over the place, especially the ones from BA). It's divided up into two sides: the public house and what I believe is called the brewery side. The public house side was fantastic: lots of room to get around/fit people in, easy to talk in, and with an overall good vibe. The brewery side was nice as well, although with everything packed together a bit more.
The quality of everything was absolutely outstanding; I've touched on the building, etc. but the beer and the people were both OUTSTANDING. Considering the much larger than expected turnout for the Fest, every single person I spoke to was great, from the bar staff to Brad the brewmaster. I couldn't have hoped for anything better; by far the best bar experience I've ever had.
The beer selection might not ordinarily have 30+ (34?) beers on tap, but they went all out for the fest- easy 5 here. Such a huge variety of beers, even outside of the realms of stouts or big beers, that I could have drank well without so much as touching a black beer. The guest taps feature better selections than most bars would ever carry, but I had to skip over most of them to accommodate more Jackie O's beers- but really a win/win situation. If the normal tap list was only a quarter of what it was when I was there (which I'm confident it is more than), Jackie O's would still be a 4.5 in my book.
Didn't get a chance to try as much of their food as I would have liked... but what I did have was great. Props to them for using spent grain (and probably more by-products of the brewing process that I didn't hear about) in their bread products.
In short, I can't recommend Jackie O's enough- what a great place.
02-07-2011 06:03:34 |
More by AwYeh
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Made the long haul to Jackie O's for their limited bottle release on 2/5/11.
Hung out at the public house side for most of the day while waiting for and after we bought our bottles of beer. Public side larger than the brewery side. Everything has a warm feel, almost like a lodge. Only ate breakfast, had some french toast, which was really good. Even with a lot of people, the staff kept up great and kept the drinks coming.
After getting a power nap in, went back to the brewery side for the evening. Smaller and even more lodgelike. Smaller stage set up, but a great bar that makes you want to cozy up to all night long. Bartenders were awesome! We mostly drank all the stouts (considering it was a big stout day), and nothing disappointed! Everything we had was awesome and truly unique. We did order some apps to eat. We got fried pickles and kurds, which were both the best we've ever had. My wife said she would come back just for the fried pickles and Dark Apparition!
The only bad thing about this place is.... it isn't closer to me! I'll be back for sure at least once this year, either for a release or just to hang out.
02-07-2011 04:11:03 |
More by HosP
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by Jackie O's for the release of 2 one-off treatments of Dark Apparition (BA kopi and vanilla rum BA) and some other assorted goodies during the weekend of 2/5/11.
Jackie O's is a split building with a back porch so to speak that connects the two establishments. The left half of the building is the brewery side, the right is the brewpub side. Both buildings have a very comforting atmosphere. I had the feeling like I was drinking in my hunting camp, except without the mounted animals. There is plenty of hand crafted wood decor which adds to the experience, even the tap handles have a uniqueness to them. Both sides of the building have stages where live entertainment is held. The brewery side is a little smaller and features a copper top bar. The brewpub side is larger with a wooden top and larger stage area for performances. Plenty of bar space as well as tables to sit at.
Our visit to the pub lasted between a couple hour long Friday night session and an all day long liver beating assault of a Saturday. We got to try a full array of the beer offerings all of which were phenomenal. Being a stout lover, I was in heaven as there was roughly 20 different stout options to choose from as well as ipas, pales, barleywines, wheat wines, smoked offerings and strong ales. You get the idea they had it all including guest taps of Founders, Kuhnhenn, and Bells.
The service was great. I never went longer than a few minutes with an empty glass. We ordered a few appetizers and had a pizza that was made with the spent brewery grains, very well done. Throughout my entire experience I couldn't help but constantly feel like I was welcomed. They made me feel like it was their pleasure that I was there and everyone I encountered was thankful for me being there. They seemed happy to help me with anything I wanted. I felt welcomed and I look forward to going back. If only this place was closer, I would go there all the time.
02-07-2011 03:02:37 |
More by stakem
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery in Athens, OH