We visit one of Knoxville’s best known English pubs and are pleasantly surprised to find more beers than we could dream to drink!
“Tell me what who you are and I’ll show you your drink.”
I ordered a Ruby brewed by Olde Hickory Brewery in North Carolina and had taken a cozy side booth at Union Jack’s Pub when Brian “Tiddy”, the manager and bartender, slid in along side me and offered his confident suggestion. Tiddy then regaled us with events occurring at Jacks as well as some recently added brews.
I visited Jack’s once before and knew I would be back. Humbly decorated with the British flag (a.k.a. the Union Jack…yep, you get it now) you would miss the place if you didn’t know it was there. The inside is quaint with royal blue walls and dark wood throughout. English. The best part, only a single T.V. rested in the far corner behind the bar. Jack’s is an honest-to-goodness pub intent on supplying it’s patrons with a home for friendly conversation without requiring you to yell over the most current sporting event.
Jack’s was full, mostly with regulars, and they were aplenty. Relocating to a bar stool I found myself saddled up along side Uncle Bill, a regular since Jack’s opened in 1997. It only made sense that he would have one of the coveted metal steins emblazoned with the Union Jack’s logo. One does not just purchase these steins, oh no. To get one you must drink through a list of nearly two-hundred beers that the pub offers. Don’t worry about keeping track though because owner Patrick Young keeps a tracking list on file. Complete the list and you will find yourself the proud owner of an awesome stein which grants $1 off draft beers but your name becomes a permanent fixture on the Union Jack’s beer competition completion plaque built by none other than Uncle Bill himself. Aside from the on-going beer competition, events like the annual Chili cook-off and the Union Jack’s Softball team provide a steady supply of interest outside of the pub.
Having finished my pint of Ruby, Tiddy returned to ask if I had ever tried a Black Velvet.
I had not. Tiddy grinned.
For those who have never tasted one it starts with a hard cider, half a pint glass, filled only to be topped with one of my favorites–Guinness. What stood before me was artistry, beauty and…tasty. Both stood in contrast and compliment. Both were perfect, separate and even better together. I guess I really am best known by a man that goes by the name “Tiddy”.
It seems the task of providing more beer varieties and more flavors in the city of Knoxville that Union Jack’s set out for has been realized and the city is better for it. While it may not be the hottest spot to grab a drink and they aren’t playing the game on TV, Knoxville has a lot to thank Union Jack’s for and if the regular crowd is any indication, Knoxville sees Union Jack’s for what Patrick Young and Tiddy hoped it is– family.
Union Jack’s is in Knoxville, Tenn. They are open through the week 4pm to 3am and open early on Sundays. Check out their Facebook page or call them at (865) 584-5161