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McGillin's Old Ale House

Not Rated.
McGillin's Old Ale HouseMcGillin's Old Ale House
BA SCORE
84
good

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 10.35%
Taps: 36
Bottles: 8
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1310 Drury Ln
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107-4520
United States
phone: (215) 735-5562

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mcgillins

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%

I've seen a whole lotta hoopla about this place over the last few years, so we decided to finally hit it. The first thing that hit me was the smell. I've been in some dives that looked like toilets, but didn't smell like them; this place was the reverse..laid-back decor but a rancid smell that may have originated from the four dumpsters in the nearby alley. As for the patrons, it was a mixture of tourists, local fratboys/sorority girls, and wedding parties from local hotels. Super loud. It didn't exactly make me want to sit down for a session.

Once we got accustomed to the smell, I noticed an above average selection on the chalkboard, including most of the good PA breweries..Troegs, Yards, SlyFox, Stoudts, etc...as well as some rarities from outside the box, like Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Ale, but they could've had a little more of the latter. I did notice that they had three of their own beers (contract brewed by Stoudts), which I then proceeded to sample. The Lager and the Ale were average at best, but the 1860 IPA was impressive in that the hop flavor hit you at the finish, and left you with a pleasant aftertaste, as opposed to most modern day examples which overwhelm you at the start and fizzle out at the finish. Well done, McGillan's/Stoudt's.

We didn't have any of the food, but the prices were cheap, and the service was amazingly friendly. I say amazing, because it was impressive, given how crowded the bar was. That alone would make me want to come back to this place.

donniecuffs, Sep 08, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of tkdchampxi
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Beer selection is disappointing, and I feel like it is always too crowded here

tkdchampxi, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of MattXT
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

MattXT, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of BigRizz62
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

BigRizz62, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

mvanaskie13, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of drtth
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

drtth, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

BeerForMuscle, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

jmdrpi, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of soulcougher
4/5  rDev +9%

soulcougher, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of Barnsley
4/5  rDev +9%

Barnsley, May 21, 2014
Photo of shoretaxi
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

shoretaxi, May 10, 2014
Photo of smartassboiler
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%

My coworkers and I stopped in while wandering through downtown Philly.

Atmosphere - I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It's a quaint little bar with an old, European vibe, which is exactly what it's going for.

Quality - Nothing to complain about, nothing to get excited about either.

Service - Received a cheerful, helpful waitress who was prompt with everything.

Selection - The Selection was OK. I was pretty happy they had Nugget Nectar on tap, but nothing else they offered at that time really stood out.

Food - did not eat here.

Value - Solid value here - no complaints.

Very cool atmosphere, and if they had a better selection of beer, I would make this a regular visitation. As such, I'd still enjoy coming here again for a beer.

smartassboiler, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +9%

InspectorBob, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

BigBry, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of JohneHoodlum
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

JohneHoodlum, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

IdrinkGas, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of JRak
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%

Descent beer selection but nothing to write home about. My biggest gripe was I ordered the "Local Beer Sampler" but wasn't told all the beers that were in it. The generic sampler diagram listed 3 of the beers by name but for the others just listed the name of the brewery and in one case just "seasonal selection". I tried to match the beers up to the local draft list but they didn't seem to mesh. Overall rather disapointing.

JRak, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Stopped in here for a couple of beers after a long quest for cheese steak. Wed night around 9 pm down the alley way past the neon sign and the place was packed with 20 somethings singing karaoke. Downstairs is a big open room with lots of wood around the tightly backed bar off on the right side wall. Certainly a college dive bar vibe here, but there's never anything wrong with that. Decent taps maybe 20 deep with a focus on local the reminded my of how VT respects their homegrown. Lots of beer I hadn't heard of and enough the keep me interested. I sat at the bar and had bouts of chit chat with a busy barista. I didn't have any food while I was here but it seemed to skew towards the pub grub variety. Pricing was pretty good and the bar is kind of cool, I'd head back for a pop if I was in town again.

johnnnniee, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of JerseyKirk
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%

This is the best bar in Philadelphia. It was established in 1860 and is the longest continuously operating bar in Philly. This is the place to go to see a Phillies, Eagles or Flyers game. They turn on the game's sound and play great music during commercials. Everyone's a sports fan so go early to ensure a table spot.

The food and beer selection are great. This place isn't fancy so expect your typical irish pub fare along with wings and cheesesteaks. I personally like their open face roast beer sandwiches with gravy and mashed potatoes. As for beer this place has a ton. They serve over 15 beers on tap many of them local craft beers. In fact they have their own beer brand which is contract brewed by Stoudt's.

Music and nightlife is good here too but the best time to go is during a sports game. It gets crowded at night but the pitchers of beer are cheap. Great place with tons of character. Good bang for your buck too.

JerseyKirk, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
2.28/5  rDev -37.9%

A few words about this "reputable" place. It's pretty terrible overall. There is a somewhat decent selection of good beer to be found here. But it's a loud, noisy joint that also serves a lot of macros and otherwise bad beer to obnoxious people who don't appreciate good beer. It's not the kind of place you can go to relax, enjoy a rare brew, and maybe chat about it with your bartender. It's more of a hipster/d-bag joint that incidentally serves some good brews. The food is actually really pretty good, and I'd go back just for the sake of exploring the menu a bit more. But I'd much rather go to Monk's a few blocks away, or pretty much any bar in the general vicinity.

If you think Applebee's is a good restaurant, and/or you're an annoying Philly sports fan, you'll probably think McGillan's is the greatest bar ever.

Not recommended, at least not for any serious beer drinker. Total hipster/d-bag joint / tourist trap / non-beer destination.

Rifugium, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%

This place was awesome-went there twice with some old classmates while in Philly over the weekend.

The bar has a very revolutionary feel to it. You know like the countried founding fathers sitting around drinking and writing the constitution. Old wooden floors and dark wood all around. Its two floors of awesome history.

This place has 30some beers on tap. It does have the standard BMC and InBev offerings but it also has a lot of local craft brews from PA as well as 3 beers made just for McGillan's by Stoudts.

If you are looking for somewhere local, and cool where you can share a few local beers with friends-then this is the place. If you are out to find the rarest available in Philly-this is not the place.

I really like this place-the atmosphere is unbeatable and it really does have a good draft list. I'd love to stop here again my next trip to Philly.

PittBeerGirl, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -12%

This place is famous for being one of the oldest bars in the city so it can be slightly touristy but it's still a fun place to hang out with a group of friends. There's something for everyone, even your non-craft drinking friends and the food is very good.

The place is actually pretty big, especially for a bar in that neighborhood. There's an upstairs that I've never been to but the main space is open with lots of seating and a long bar. It can get crowded, especially when there is a karaoke night. Also, the people who go to this night take the singing way to seriously. My friends and I like to get hammered and scream CCR songs, pissing off the douchebags singing Sinatra for the 1,000th time.

Not the best selection but they usually have a few local crafts in addition to Guinness, Murphy's, Stella and BMC. They make up for this with atmosphere and very good food. They make your basic pub fare but everything is of the highest quality. Amazing burgers and possibly the best wings in the city. Definitely in the running.

corby112, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

McGillin's Old Ale House is tucked away in an alley and the entrance is in a darkish small street. It's all part of the strange character. The beer selection is good. Two of us got the local beer sampler, which is six samples of local beers. Some of the beers were good, some not so much. It depends on your personal taste. The seasonal sampler is only $8 and it includes six full glasses of beer. It's ideal for sharing between 2 or 3 people. The downsides of this place is that it can get too packed over the weekends and that there aren't those "rare or hard to find" beers. Yet, this is a historical landmark/institution. Everything is quite old and authentic here. They have pictures all over the place especialy if you go up the stairs to the second floor. I had their steak special for like $12.99 and it was quite decent. Good times here!

CuriousMonk, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of stephadelphia
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

Have been here a few times, and enjoyed my experiences. Their beer selection offers something for everyone, and the atmosphere is great - especially on weekends. It's fun to catch a game here, too.

Though the place tends to get busy, the bartenders are always friendly and food comes out pretty quickly. Typical barfare - nothing gourmet, but nothing inedible, either. If you're hungry, you'll be able to find something to chow down on.

McGillin's is what you'd expect of an Irish pub, and gives great life to the little alleyway where it sits. The bar crowd is typically friendly (and a bit rowdy) and if you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the city, this place is a MUST to stop in at.

stephadelphia, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of zoso1967
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

McGillin's holds the distinction of being the oldest continually operating bar in Philly, and they even have the nasty old liquor license to prove it.

The bar is pretty impressive in size given its center city location. It has two floors and can really back in a crowd. I found it sort of hard to review this bar because it is sort of two things at once.

It is at one time your run of the mill sort of fake Irish pub/sports bar with BMC and greasy food. On the other hand, they have a fairly decent selection of craft offerings, including pretty decent house beers that are brewed by Stoudts.

The beer selection is not as good as a place like City Tap House, and the food is not as good as a place like Sidecar, and when it is busy the charming worn in building can get a bit crazy, but I still really dig this place.

The prices tend to be reasonable, and if you are on a budget or with none beer enthusiast friends you can always get some pretty darn cheap pitchers of Yuengling. All in all I think it is a worthwhile place to stop in for a few pints and watch a game with some friends.

zoso1967, Nov 12, 2010
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McGillin's Old Ale House in Philadelphia, PA
84 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.