The Grey Lodge Public House
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 65
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ithacabaron:
4.5/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I always used to get lost getting to the Grey Lodge, and then I realized "the route," and it was all gravy from there. Easy as pie now. That being said, for the record: I still can't stand the Northeast (and particularly its traffic patterns). The Lodge, however, is good enough, that I'll even overcome my geographic bias.
Onto the review. The Grey Lodge attained great cosmic beer balance for years as both the local macro hangout and haven for beer geeks, serving up rarities and a solid (if not huge) number of tap selections. Well, folks, now they've somehow gone and pulled the trifecta -- macro hangout, beer geek haven, and restaurant made for casual diners and even families.
To steal blitheringidiot's question, "Could you take your mother here?," I can tell you that now, with the expanded, non-smoking second floor, you not only can take your mother, but your infant child and grandmother as well -- one table was sporting three generations just this Friday. Things are still a little sparse up there, but it's definately solid. Time, I bet, will make it awesome. Downstairs there's still free darts, a fun crowd, and that continued commitment to small but good selection.
As far as their selection, the best analogy I can give you is this -- the Grey Lodge is sort of the neighborhood indie record store of the Philly bar scene. You'll find things on tap here that other bars will never get their hands on, and beers will appear here months before they become the darlings of the beer geek scene. Others will show up here, and then fade into beer obscurity. Just as with that indie record store, some are hits and some are misses -- but that's part of the fun.
Because the tap list is small (only about 8 taps, I believe), turnover is just incredible. The bad part? New releases will kick out before you ever get to them. If you do get there in time, however, everything's always fresh, and you'll always see something new on tap. Lines are cleaned and flushed every Monday morning -- I've never had a sour pint here.
Service gets a five here, because Scoats is among that higher echelon of bar owners -- always coming by to chat, extremely attentive, generous in all ways. If I could give a 5.5 or a 6, I would. Just a truly great guy. Need a darts partner? Grab his arm.
Selection is bolstered by their many events, from the serious -- brewery owners doing special one-night-only cask presentations of their beers -- to the silly -- High Five Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, etc. Every special event calls for at least a few special brews, and it keeps things interesting,
Food can be ordered off a small, but solid menu. Like with his beer, Scoats is committed to freshness and quality. Everything I've had has been delicious -- the duck spring rolls and the fish and chips deserve special mention.
The Grey Lodge is a fine establishment, one of...ah, screw it. It's probably the best beer bar in the Philadelphia area.
Doesn't have the widest selection in Philly, doesn't have the rarest beer treasures in Philly, Doesn't have the longest vintage list in Philly (although they come close with some local rare treats). There are other places to go for those things.
What's most important about this place is this question: If you had to ask me, where do I always feel welcome, where would I want to spend a night drinking with my friends? Who's the finest publican in all of Philadelphia?
Grey Lodge. Scoats. Simple as that.
Make it over here sometime soon -- you never know, you might find the next big thing on tap.
Why To Make The Scene: Because the Grey Lodge is the best kept beer geek secret in Philly -- and your Coors Light-drinking friend will be comfortable here as well.
11-28-2005 16:38:55 | More by ithacabaron
More User Reviews:
The Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.