The Grey Lodge Public House
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 65
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
4.24/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Yes, we grabbed a cab from downtown, and our cabbie, a man named "Vhrooom" or something as such, first says, "I have no idea where this is" and then, "but it's going to cost you $30". So there's a flat charge in Phily for driver education or something?? I have to pay you to learn your city?? Yes, get off the highway onto Harbison. "Har-bi-bi"? "Ummm, Har-bi-son!!!" After he drops us off on the corner of Frankford and vhroooms away, we're left to look for the Lodge which we find with relative ease...
The place is packed for Friday the Firkinteenth, my first, and it's good that we got there when we did because any later, we would have been curbside with the recyclables waiting for a long long long time to get in.
The place is divey, yes, but I'm here for the beer. Of course this event had 15 casks but the normal tap list was on the wall. Some very good local and regional micros (Victory, Heavyweight, Flying Fish, Weyerbacher, Yards, Sly Fox, Riverhorse), a cask, and PBR and Coors light for the locals. The beers they had on cask for the event were mostly excellent (Heavyweight Hammer Porter with Treacle, Nodding Head IPA) although there were a few clunkers (Brewer's Art Jeannie Triplehorn Green Peppercorn Triple, Dogfish Head Aprihop). Service was good for the madness they had to insue. At one point as I'm trying to get a beer, one of the guys behind the bar looks up at me and I start spewing, "Okay, I need a.. and a ... and...", and he says, "I'm just a barback, I can't serve you any beer". I might have raised my voice a lot when I said accusingly, "Then you can't look at me!!!! You can't make eye contact!!!" (sorry about that, Mo).
Funny bathroom scene. Beer caps shapes and Mosaic tile patterns with beer quotes (my favorite being something like, "Beer is a food staple but food is not a beer staple". True that!!!)
For this event, they were serving one food item, the tomato pie, which runs just under $5 a clip. A tomato pie, also called a "Tomada Pie" in Utica, NY, is what's known as a half assed pizza. It's dough and sauce, cheeseless. Sustainance, that's all I know. That's all I need.
I'd really like to get back here on a normal night and see what it's like.
02-21-2004 17:49:11 | More by slander
4.3/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
What a wild place! I first visited during last year's (2004) Friday the Firkenteenth, but the improvements, plus my desire to take part in Scoats' SugarMom odyssey ISO Split Thy PHL Skull have recently brought me back.
The exterior looks like it could be any other neighborhood joint, were it not for the Chimay, Flying Fish, and Yards signs that hang from the front of the building. Upon entering, the wall directly to the left is done in a tile mosaic, which goes with the floor (as well as something else to be mentioned). The bar begins just inside the door and is an island, surrounded by chairs on three sides. Also just inside the door are a couple of tables with chairs and benches. As you proceed aft, you pass a couple of murals of outdoor scenes and more tables and chairs.
Further on, a leather sofa sits next to the CD jukebox, just before the tile floor gives way to wood and finally, a couple of English dart boards. I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the lavatories (both men's and women's). They are literally festooned with mosaic tiles that include beer-related sayings and fragmented mirrors.
The second floor is all new, with a blonde wood floor, a beautiful red wood bar, eleven taps, a cozy seating area upholstered in red and gold fabric, and a nifty hand-made mural of caps and labels. Finally, there is a huge window overlooking the street, for those who may be inclined to do so.
04-14-2005 00:44:15 | More by woodychandler
3.65/5 rDev -15.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $
The Grey Lodge is the ultimate bar's bar, if you know what I mean. Located in the ultimate blue-collar area of Philadelphia, where bars open at 9am or earlier and faded bar signs often advertise beers even your grandpa may not remember.
I love the atmosphere here around. So real and unpretentious! The Grey Lodge is one of these working-class bars, only it happens to have great beer and better-than-average food (which I did not try but looks promising).
I was there right after 10am when they first open and was the only customer. Was expecting a heftier beer selection, but had a nice Stone Double Dry-Hopped Ruination. Also a Deschutes on tap, which I cannot get in NYC, Great Lakes Erie and lots of local and Pennsylvania beers (I had Roy Pitz Chicken Leg).
Wish I could have gotten some of those rarer brews they get at the Lodge from time to time, like Pliny, Lost Abbey and Port Brewing...
The bottle selection is small but focused, with some gems like Alesmith and Firestone Walker Parabola. One thing I do enjoy is the variety of their serving sizes, including 8-oz, 16-oz, 60-oz pitcher and 64-oz growler. That's how it should be!
Service was fine, beer was fresh, atmosphere is great. The Grey Lodge is a good alright bar, one I would frequent if I lived nearby, but it is not the world-class joint some consider it to be, and not really worth a detour unless they happen to tap a crazy keg.
P.S> Forgot to look at the restrooms so I must come back here
08-03-2011 22:10:06 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4/5 rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Several brews at the excellent new Sly Fox in Royersford were followed by an equally great set of brews at the atmospheric General Lafayette, and a revisit to the Standard Tap, it was soon late-afternoon and time to head out to the much-vaunted Grey Lodge Pub on the outskirts of Philly.
First things first, I have to tip my English Bowler Hat to fellow BA Ericaweizen for driving during the entire awesome road trip during this Memorial Day Weekend Saturday BA-PA-CA Pubcrawl, however, that being said ..the Grey Lodge is definitely *not* located at 3562 Frankford Avenue ..its erm, well 6235 Erica, I told her she typed way too fast when doing the MapQuest thingy ..LOL ..well after we escaped the drug ravaged rather dodgy looking other end of Frankford Avenue and made it to the right end and address, street parking was relatively easy to find, as indeed was the Grey Lodge.
I digress; the exterior has one of those horrid false looking stuck-on stone cladding wall appearances. The words The Grey Lodge Public House are plainly adhered to a wooden planked board that runs the width of the Pub. Nice to see for once that the spelling of the word Grey is correct. A Post Office red door, situated to the right of an alleyway entrance and to the left of paned black window full of neon signs, yearns to be opened.
Once the red door is pivoted on its hinges, the Grey Lodge opens up like a Pandoras Box and back into a long rectangular corridor. The streaming daylight of the outside of Philly juxta-posed against the darkened interior of the Grey Lodge, the eyes took a while to adjust, but the dim dark wood fittings lend a den-like feel once inside and the door closed behind you.
A flight of wooden stairs rises to the first floor as soon as you enter, which during a reckie, was quietly abandoned during our Saturday evening visit, but I noted that it opens daily at 5pm and is deep breath SMOKE FREE!! Cool.
Downstairs ground floor is definitely not smoke-free, more of a smoke all the hell you want sort of atmosphere. The Carcinogens didnt bother me too much for the few brews we had here. Basic interior typical of a working class boozer with a few Dartboards I noted. Funky fittings include one of those red-dot matrix signs that constantly scrolls the names of brews on offer and the Gents toilets, oh yeah..the Gents!!! Simply amazing, decorated with bottle caps, beery stuff here & there but more stunningly, the vast majority of the walls are covered in what seems like a plethora of hand made, extremely colorful tiles. The individual tiles which contain single words are placed together, seemingly in random patterns, but rather cleverly to form famous phrases, sayings and many beery quotes; very cool, now why did I come in here .oh yeah for a piss .
It is fair to say that I was quite nicely buzzed by the time I got here .so I didnt pay too much attention to noting the Beer List to memory; but I recall it had beers from Yuengling (Porter), Troegs, Stone (Porter again), Sly Fox, Flying Fish, Magic Hat and the excellent Middle Ages .oh yeah and Coors Light. I didnt get any food, but the Pizza place nearby is pretty cool and proved to be a great source of entertainment before we headed out back to Bethlehem.
The Grey Lodge is a superb Beer Bar, a real locals bar in a neighborhood that has seen much better times it seems, but the Grey Lodge retains a super-cool dive-like décor and an impressive beer list. Id love to get here during one of the Firkin Fridays or better still a Friday the Firkinteenth Night.
Thanks to Ericaweizen for showing me 2/3rds of Frankford Avenue and getting me here, much appreciated despite the constant piss-taking.
The Grey Lodge is my kind of Bar.
Last Visit: Saturday 28th May, 2005.
06-05-2005 03:12:39 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.18/5 rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
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
4.34/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Had been wanting to check this place out for some time. Last night all the stars aligned properly and I made it up from Baltimore.
Fortunately, I had a friend help me with navigation or I'm not sure I would have found this place (I have a positive knack for losing my way in the greater Philly area). It was a little bit of a drive up 95 to the NorthWest Philly area, and some of the local neighborhoods were a bit "interesting," to say the least. Finally, however, we arrived at the Grey Lodge.
To say the GL wasn't quite what I was expecting would be an understatment. Granted, I wasn't expecting Kennedy School or Edgefield (Portland, Oregon), but I guess the word lodge conjurs up a certain image. Suffice it to say there was nothing "lodge-like" about the GL.
From the outside the GL looks like a nothing special, kind of smallish dive bar... but walk through the doors and all preconceptions are instantly dispersed.
The GL has a good size downstairs area with a largess bar. I confess I didn't get a good look at it, as I was told upstairs is where the action is and that's where we went. The GL is yet another Philly beer bar with a warm, relaxed, comfortable vibe. It's the kind of place you just know would be perfect for idling away a lazy afternoon, sloshing down pint after pint of good beer. The GL has a nice size draft list, with some 12 to 15 beers on tap. These mostly consisted of local brews from Weyerbacher, Slyfox and Stoudt's, but this night they also had the simply delicious nugget nectar on the handpump (I'm drinking a glass right this moment at Max's and it pales in comparison to the NN had at GL last night).
Service this night really couldn't have been any better. The bartender was friendly, prompt and very well informed. Also, the NN was only available downstairs, and while we offered to go downstairs for a glass, the bartender was good enough to run downstairs and grab a couple of pints from the main bar. There was also a solid bottle list, and the bartender directed our attention to a new to us NY IPA (very tasty - a very nice find).
What can I say? Yet another place in the greater Philly area that I would give anything to see here in Baltimore. Oh well... a 250 mile round trip drive every now and again isn't too much to ask.... just a good stretch of the legs, no?
02-23-2008 19:54:17 | More by John_M
4.64/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
An awesome bar that whilst in Philaelphia, is actually far off of the beaten path. Atmosphere is great. Small, dimly lit, with a nice big mural, a cool jukebox, and some of the coloest bathrooms around. Quality of the beers sampled was perfect and the service was fantastic. Our bartender gave Erica several free samples, and he came around at just the right times to refill my pint glass with more resolution porter. Selection was great with many local craft beers on tap as well as pbr, and some more staple selections. The bottled selection of brews was nice as well, and the prices are very very reasonable. Thanks to Scoats for running one of the coolest litte bars that I have ever been too. Good beer, good hospitality, good conversations, and all at a good price! Who can ask for more?
01-13-2005 20:00:43 | More by francisweizen
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Having been to TGL many times this is a long time coming. Visited last Friday for X-mas in July. X-mas in July is a fun little fest offering a bunch of on tap holiday beers in July...fun.
Food has always been solid. Nothing crazy but always tasty and filling. Had some poutine last time...not as good as what you get in Montreal but hey...this is Philly, not Montreal so I was glad to even have something that was close. Our friend got a fish sandwich that I swear had an entire fish on...VERY filling for sure!
The selection and service scores are due to the tireless efforts of THE man of TGL, Scoats. The man is a beer finding dynamo, plus a hell of a nice guy always willing to take time out of his VERY busy day to chat for a few minutes about this and that.
As far as atmosphere....well, I prefer the cozier and more comfortable upstairs area. The downstairs bar is more "old school" and not as inviting.
TGL is a must stop if in Philly on a beer tour or if you find yourself in the area. Scoats is ALWAYS throwing special events....a trip for a Friday the Firkenteenth cannot be missed....and even on a normal day the tap selection is impressive to say the least.
I am a big fan of TGL and try to hit it up whenever I am in the area. Keep up the great work Scoats!
07-13-2009 18:03:13 | More by Deuane
3.74/5 rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The best bar in Northeast Philly. Always a nice selection of beers on draft and a rotating bottle list. The focus is mostly on american craft and every once in a while they get something really rare like Pliny the Elder or some of the Dogfish Head Experimental brews. Also, there is always an interesting mix of people; neighborhood heads drinking Miller light and beer geeks sipping on decent micros. Also, you are always garunteed to hear some good cock rock. The last time I was there I heard Motley Crue, GNR and Metallica played back to back, immediately followed by Joy Divison. Very strange.
11-26-2008 07:33:21 | More by corby112
The Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.