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McGillin's Old Ale House

Not Rated.
McGillin's Old Ale HouseMcGillin's Old Ale House

52 Ratings
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: n/a
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 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of duceswild
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of maseww22
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3 | food: 4.25

Always a favorite. Great sandwiches with free soup at lunch. Has the best bartender, John Doyle.

Photo of beer-fan-1
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Had a Lancaster double chocolate milk stout. Nitro beer and it was outstanding. Mild with good initial flavor that does not linger. Will not interfere with or kverpower food choice. To enjoy with eat and drink! Good compliment to RB McGillin's roast beef sandwich.

Photo of FightinIrish88
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

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

Photo of MattXT
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of BigRizz62
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of drtth
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of soulcougher
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Barnsley
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of shoretaxi
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of smartassboiler
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

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.

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of JRak
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

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.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

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.

Photo of JerseyKirk
4.38/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of Rifugium
2.28/5  rDev -38%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

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McGillin's Old Ale House in Philadelphia, PA
84 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.