The Grey Lodge Public House
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +15.5%
This was an incredible bar, which has a good reputation. It was very small, and it looks like a typical city bar. A big gaping hole in the ceiling. I loved it.
6 patrons were drinking mixed drinks or Coors Light from the tap. My friend and I were trying the microbrews. You gotta love the mix. A meeting of two beer worlds. The atmosphere takes away my normal beer snobbery.
The bartender is incredibly friendly and he was giving me a lot of information about the place. Friday the 13th is crazy apparently. A ton of people. You have to get there by 5. I had a pumpkin ale and a lambic. My friend had a milk stout and a german style lager. The barkeep gave me a taste of Victory's HopDevil for free. A wide variety to say the least.
The food is minimal but the tomato pie was cheap and tasty. It looked like they had chili but I'm not sure. I wouldn't go just for the food, but the tomato pie did hit the spot.
I'll definitely be back, and if you are in the area you gotta go.
Update: Since originally coming here on Halloween in '03 this has become a home away from home. It has a great atmosphere. And part of that atmosphere is the mixture of locals and beer people. Not to mention the excitement of Friday the Firkenteenths.
Update: Second floor has been put in and the the kitchen is open. Atmosphere combined with upstairs is perfect. No smoke upstairs! My clothes don't stink. And I am very happy. Scoats goes all out in everything he attempts. He is to be commended for his commitment to his business and to the customer. The kitchen is open as well. Early reports on the food is that it is really really good. I had the cheesesteak which was good but not as good as I was expecting. I'm going to try more on the menu, so the final word isn't in yet. There is change in the menu which is great. I'm not sure if he is still experimenting with what works or if rotation will keep going on. I should also mention that the taps are rotating, what seems to me at least, very fast right now. His website updates the tap list very frequently and there is normally something you will like on-tap. Scoats does a very good job picking his beers. His method? Whatever he thinks is interesting. Oh. And he readily takes requests over email. And, in my experience, gets pretty much anything I asked for unless it is impossible to get. That is exceptional service that you don't find in many bars.
Update: Had a chance to evaluate the food. The food is fantastic at really reasonable prices. I don't care for mussels. I had a Thai-curried mussel, and it was incredible. Scoats told me that they aren't chopping up the steak on purpose. They are using a premium cut and they want it to show forth. The spinach salad is getting raves. My friends did the fish and chips and they loved it. I had some of the steak fries, which I loved. The regular fries are spicy, akin to Checker's if you are a french fry conneseur. Also very good. The Lodge steak, similar to a Schmitter, was also getting raves. I had the chicken quesedilla. Wonderful, filling, large, and excellently presented. Only 6.50.
Update: I think they worked out the kinks in the cheesesteak. This is easily one of the best cheesesteaks I've ever eaten.
10-31-2003 22:55:59 | More by GeoffFromSJ
4.83/5 rDev +11.5%
I admit it, I was unsure the first time I walked into the Grey Lodge. I know what a crappy local bar in Philadelphia can be like (especially in the Northeast) The front of the bar is completely unassuming and ordinary. The decor is prime 1960-70's. It was dark, dank and the only patrons besides me and my girlfriend was an old guy doing shots and a few bud swillin' mulletheads.
But - after talking to the friendly bartender, ordering a pint of cask conditioned Yards ESA, and a trip to the best bar bathroom in recent memory, my fears were put to rest. They have a well rotated selection of draft local micros and usually have a cask of something behind the bar.
Friday the Firkinteenth events are a must for any beer lover (I've attended two).The bar is packed to the gills, hot, smoky and loud. They make ice water available to prevent dehydration during the event - you'll need it because it really feels like a marathon of beer.
The tomato pies are pretty good, too.
Scoats (the owner) has sort of remodeled the place. The booths are gone, fresh pine slats are on the walls, there's a nice new front door, and some "lodgey" murals of outdoor scenes have been painted on the walls. And a new floor is going in. This is a special place that many better beer drinkers have come to call their own.
One of THE best and comfortable feeling drinking establishments I've ever been to. Great staff, Great owner, Great events - and now... Great Food! Seriously, when we want to relax and have a good beer, this is where we go. Thank the Gods that we live close by!
03-31-2003 11:55:47 | More by pezoids
4.4/5 rDev +1.6%
From the outside the Grey Lodge looks like a private social club (Elks/Moose something along those lines. Upon entering (during the week) you will notice a small group of locals drinking cheap beer and shots. But there is always at least one person to talk beer with. And there's plenty of beer to discuss. Scoats keeps ten taps rotating with great local micros (Victory/Yards/FlyingFish/DogFishHead...) and different brews from each brewery. Always has the latest seasonals. On weekends there are cask conditioned selections. Friday the Firkinteenth is a great event, and where I met BAs and discovered this wonderful site.
P.S. The best bathroom in NE Philly, makes the dreded trip worth it.
Atmosphere has greatly improved. Second floor addition will make this NE Philly bar make Northern Liberty/Old city bars jealous.
10-07-2002 13:59:13 | More by boblinneman
4.04/5 rDev -6.7%
Atmosphere is really electric when I went here for the first time for the Friday the Firkinteenth. They had a bunch of local casks thrown on top of the bar, around 10, but I believe sometimes they have up to 15 or so. I met up with BAers RobBeer and NeroFiddled. This place was packed to the max no walking room left. I was there around 6 to almost 10pm then I was off to my usual Friday night card game. I had tried around six beers and I was ready to go. If I would have had a couple more brews I think I would have been sleeping there haha
I didnt get any food, but it was you basic finger food that they serve, thin pizza and tortilla roll-ups.
The bathroom walls have bottle caps in the walls, and beer quotes painted on it, check it out.
Overall this has to be one of the best stops in Northeast Philly.
09-14-2002 07:42:43 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
4.18/5 rDev -3.5%
UPDATE: The Grey Lodge has really taken huge strides forward with the opening of their upstairs and kitchen. What was once only a place that I could go by myself or with guys is now a great place to take a date for a cozy, quiet night upstairs. The food is very good!!!! and reasonable (and they've got some vegetarain items as well!). The beer selection has actually improved (although I think that just has to do with more and more good stuff becoming available in the area); and the service has gotten much better! They also run Quizzo, which is my favorite game in the world, so big points there! ...In the past I might have passed on suggesting it as a destination for out of town visitors because of its location, but I now think it more than worthy! That said.... here's my original review from 3 years ago!!!
Ya gotta love the Grey Lodge! This place can be hard to find but it's worth it. Formerly a daytime shot-and-a-beer joint, some of the regulars still come here. Stopping in at noon will bring you suspect looks from 2 or 3 craggy old men drinking Bud and soaking in the cathode rays of some long gone '70 show. But don't knock it, CHiPS and The A-Team can be quite entertaining with their bad dialogue and "full of holes" plot lines! But back to the regulars, ordering a Belgian-style beer at this time will probably gain you some "who the hell is this?" or "what the hell is that?" looks... but these guys can also be great fun if you get them going! Some of the bartenders are brain-dead, but others are sharp as a tack and extremely entertaining (and everyone loves Billy!!!). But now to the beer. The proprieter, Scoates, rotates his tap line-up like a Tilt-A-Whirl from hell. There is always something new. He runs a lot of local beers from area brewpubs and micros. He also gets a lot of "one-offs" from these breweries, which can be real exciting. Friday the Firkinteenth, held on all Friday the 13th's, is a real treat with 18 or 20 casks up on the bar and special "small glass" pricing so you can taste a few! But I almost forgot the food. Minimal is "in", isn't it? Pizzas heated in a small oven behind the bar, or tortilla roll-ups. Just something to fill your belly - but quite tasty! Now that's the taste of Northeast Philly!
07-15-2002 13:49:33 | More by NeroFiddled
3.95/5 rDev -8.8%
Interesting little place located in Northeast Philly. Although a little "divey", there is always a friendly crowd willing to talk beer. They have 9 beers and a cider on draft, specializing in local brewpubs and breweries. Every Friday at 6pm they tap a small cask of something (last week Victory Hop Devil). They call this Firkin Friday. When Firkin Friday falls on the 13th of the month (Friday the Firkinteenth) they set up at least 10 different casks and tap them all at the same time. It doesn't get any fresher than that!
06-25-2002 09:28:40 | More by jrancan
The Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.