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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

General Lafayette Inn & BreweryGeneral Lafayette Inn & Brewery
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

68 Ratings
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Active Beers: 0
Beer Ratings: 0
Beer Avg: 0
[ Brewery ]

646 Germantown Pike
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, 19444
United States
phone: (610) 941-0600
// CLOSED //



Notes:
The pub is closed, but the brewery continues to produce beer for wholesale distribution.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

This place is located just outside of Philly in a cool little town near Valley Forge. The pub has a historic feel to it. You walk in and everything is dimly lit. The bar is to the right and the dining area is straight through a corridor, which I never made it to. The bar quite old and there is a fireplace in it.

The quality here was outstanding. These guys had some very tasty brews. Every style was top notch. The selection was also very good. The sampler included six beers, but I sampled nine total including a very good mead and a cask conditioned stout. They had all the regular offerings, plus some good extras such as a Dubbel, barleywine, and wit.

The service was great. The bartender was very friendly and knowledgable. I also spoke to the brewer who was really cool as well. He told a little of the beers and gave me good directions and recommendations for the upcoming places.

All in all, I this was a great stop. The beers were great and the place reaked history. I'll be back.

WesWes, Apr 01, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

I've been coming to the general on and off for a bunch of years, I have alot of good memories here and a bad one. This place is either hit or miss and like most things, everything runs in cycles.

The atmosphere is old and semi rustic and very historic. It's a big building with many knooks and crannies and to tell you the truth I have got lost in here on many occasions. If it was not for the new TV's in the game room, you would think you were living about 200 years ago. The general is a very dark place, so I always seem to get drunker quicker. A nice two sided bar area with small tables around with bigger tables in the quaint dining room.

The quality is well, it's varied. I've had beer here in the past that does not taste the same on return visits, Im all about tweaking, but some things are greatly different. The lines are not dirty or anything though. The two cask offerings keep things interesting especially when Chocolate Thunder Porter is on cask and the regular side by side. All in all, the beer tastes good.

I've never had bad service here, everybody is upbeat to an extent for such a dark and old timey place. Beers were brought forth in a timely fashion. Chris (the brewer) is good people. I was let down that the Raspberry Mead was currently on hiatus and without hesitation he pulled some Braggot(which is the mead without the raspberries) from the basement along with some other goodies. He loved to talked beer and I had a great time talking with him.

A nice selection of beer here that ranges from light to dark, low abv to higher %ages, but nothing to terribly high in ABV. They limit the amount of higher ABV offerings so you can drive home safer. I like that they care enough not to let you get to drunk, not that Im a big lush or anything, but sometimes I get a bit surly. There is also a nice selection of liquor and I believe wine. Some vintage bottles of stuff to if you talk to the right person.

I heard bad things about the food here. I've had it in the past and ate it so I could drink more, so for this recent visit, I did not partake, so I won't put it into my rating. I will say that the stuff I saw other people ordering did not look that appetizing to me. I'll give it a whirl next time.

The general puts on a few events each year. I had a good time at the stone soup although the outcome was not that good in more ways than one. They also do a pints for pets fundraiser, and since Im a dog guy, im all for that. I remember being here years ago and a bunch of dogs were chilling in one of the back rooms, interesting to say the least.

I like this place and I hope it the best. It's really a rocky time in this current economic state, so it's important that all of us beer drinkers drink local from time to time. I'll do my part as well.

BARFLYB, May 02, 2010
Photo of Chinon01
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%

I've been a regular at The General for maybe ten years. The atmosphere is warm dark spacious and friendly. The American Revolution period history of the place very cool. Service is always friendly and efficient. Great people. The food to me has always been disappointing so I rarely eat there anymore. I recently had their new flatbread pizza. It was disappointing as well with the crust like a cracker, uninspiring meat and absent tasting cheese. The beers have been better too. I recall the Chocolate Thunder stout being better. It now has an undesireable tart flavor which dominates. Their ESB recently had a similar tartness. The Pacific Pale Ale and Sunset Red Ale are still solid though and they have decent guest beers from Sly Fox and others. They feature two cask beers which is nice as well. They also installed flat screens which were sorely needed to replace the CRT sets they had before.
There are several new casual restaurants in the Northwest that have a clear edge on The General in all areas save atmosphere and service. My advice would be that they've done a great job with the guest beers and flatscreens. I'd suggest though that they get all their beers back to where they were and foodwise to invest in doing one thing great. Right now there is nothing that I go to the General for in regard to their food.

Thanks

Chinon01, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of tim9887
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%

Great atmosphere - very intimate and cozy and I was welcomed by the aroma of a fire going in the fireplace. I didn't have any of their food so I can't speak for that. However, the beer is great. They had their Chocolate Thunder Porter & Phantom Spawn (an English-style bitter) on cask, which were both awesome. Also, I tried their Holiday Cheer & highly-rated Alt! Who Goes There? which were both really good as well. The Alt! is a great German-style altbier, very smooth and malty. The Holiday Cheer is comparable to Harpoon's Winter Warmer - has a great holiday spice statement. The bar area is small so it can get crowded but overall it's a fun place to go check out and drink some really fresh and really good beer. The bartenders were very friendly and provided good service as well. I don't mind paying $5/pint when the beer is this fresh and this good.

tim9887, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of Katahdin
2.1/5  rDev -49.5%

Highly overrtaed with average food, below average beers and above average prices. Stay away or bring tons of gold!!!

The quality of their beers needs to be improved. I last had the Fugazi. . How do you create a Lager out of a blend of Ales ... you don't. Their Mirage tasted more like City water than an amber ale, and their Paul's sason was one of the worst interpretations of a Framhouse Ale I have ever tried.

They wanted $9 for a cheeseburger and extra if you wanted fries. The wait staff was very unattentive.

Katahdin, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev -3.8%

My wife and I had dinner here the other night. The Inn is a Colonial era building, and the architecture and ambiance are reflected in this. The bar area is a bit dark, and this is where we ate. I was very suprised at how dead the place was-maybe 10 people in there Sunday at 6 during an Eagles game. We sat at a small table and our server was courteous and knowledgedable about the menu. My tuna was very good and my wife enjoyed her meal. The beer was solid overall. I would go back if I was in the area, but would not make a special trip.

bonkers, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

I found this one on beerfly. Made a special trip up here just for this place. As soon as you walk in you a greeted by your waiter or waitress.A stairwell that leads upstair's to the rooms, a door on the right looked like a little smoking lounge with a dart board,t.v and a couple of chair's. The bar was directly ahead with a thick translucent floor were you can see the tank's. The bar was split in half by two rooms. One was a dining side which we sat later on in the evening, the other was the actual bar where the T.V.'s were and a couple of tables. We first walked to our didning area were we first sat outside than we found that it was a little cramped,so we walked back inside and sat by the fireplace. Very nice open dining area.

To the good stuff Ten beer's on tap I had a sampler of the cask conditioned pale ale,chocolate thunder porter,rasberry mead ale,and the germantown blond all were very good.

Food was average a little pricey for what you got,the waitress was very nice and helpful my wife really didn't know what to get and she gave us her input and it was very good advice. I had the angus burger as far as burger's go it was decent.

All an all it was a very nice trip and definetly worth going up there. A nice couzy little place and if I lived a little further away I probably would have spent the night.

TheFightfan1, May 31, 2009
Photo of Gilgemesh
4.2/5  rDev +1%

Ok. On the recommendation of someone I respect I am rereviewing this place when it isn't innundated with BAs for stone soup. I am glad i did. I will leave the original comments below and just fill in the new stuff here.

Service this time was much improved. I had just decided what to order when the server stopped to check on me. The beer came quickly and was very good. I like session beers and this one was served from a firkin. Perfect temperature right now too. Price was great too.

I still like the atmosphere. The music is unassuming and at a nice level to promote conversation. I'd like the lights over the bar to be a bit dimmer but that's nitpicking.

I did not get food so I'm not going to alter the score there. The other numbers have been Altered to reflect a normal visit when the bar isn't full of BA members shouting for beers.

I went here recently for the Stone Soup gathering and had a really good time. I tried the Abbey Brun while we waited to get things going. It was a good way to start. The atmosphere was what I would expect from a circa 1800 type inn and brew pub. Dark, but with a sense of warmth that was inviting. I am looking forward to returning to try a few more of the brew varieties. My only issue was that it took a while to get served. However, once my order was in the service was prompt. On a side note, the gathering was a blast, the beers were great, and the people were just as good.

Gilgemesh, May 22, 2009
Photo of mhatters
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%

The bar in the basement is nice - dark, three connected rooms with a bar in 2 and nice comfortable chairs in the 3rd. The rest of the place is kind of sterile - similar to where a wedding reception would be held. The run 6-10 of their own products at a time, some a quite good, some are just OK. Friendly staff who can easily get overwhelmed as this place does get crowded. Their Abbey Bruin and Porter are particular favorites of mine. Well worth the trip, a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday, located on the turn on the Germantown Pike.

mhatters, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of BigMike
4/5  rDev -3.8%

I used to frequent this place a lot when i was younger.
Place looks like its a million years old but thats part of its character.
I've seen a lot of live musical acts there as well.
Beer selection is pretty good and you can buy your own mug that they keep there and you can reuse each time you come.
I'll be honest. I can't remember ever eating here so i can't review the food.
They do have a pool table though and this place can get crowded too.

The Irish Pub Brittinghams thats next door is a neat little place too. I went there on my 21st B-day.

BigMike, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of cartagena
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

We went there for lunch and were very impress with this old time bar place. Service was very good and tap selection was very good, had their brew and it was B and above). We had lunch (turkey chili and chicken cheese steak) and played some pool. Check the place out and you should agree we us as we loved it!. We will come again. You should too!!! Saturday afternoon looks like a good time for first timers.

This place also has an inn to stay over (if you had too may drinks or in town). There is a story that there are scary thing happing in the place.

cartagena, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of Seanibus
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%

A strange little place - a mix of history and pleasant bar-like squalor. The interior is warm and welcoming, but clearly rundown (the recent cable TV show talking about this as one of America's most haunted inns definitely made it look tidier than it is). But still, it looks like a well-worn watering hole. The day I visited, I found the service friendly but spotty - one bartender dealing with the entire bar dining area. It wasn't crowded, but he was obviously a bit stressed by the experience. The food was basic, clean and tasty and offered at a reasonable price. The beer, however, is the reason to go - it's not perhaps the best beer in the world, but its creative, interesting and drinkable - the very mild Mirage Belgian Pale Ale, weighing in at only 2.7 ABV, was the hit - it is dense and flavorful far beyond its near-beer alcohol content. Well worth a trip out to this place. But we never did see a ghost.

Seanibus, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of DIM
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

First of all, they were willing to fill my foreign growler. Big points for that.

This place just feels old. Plenty of wood, a sprawling, almost random floorplan, and the ghosts of course. I went first to the bar which is divided between two seperate rooms. I ordered a Mirage and watched the Red Sox give up some early runs while I waited for my friend.

We were the first to be seated, but they did get pretty busy for a monday. Our waitress was fantastic. She brought us some free "short fills", improperly filled bottles, of the Abbey Brune. We both just had sandwiches, passing on some of the more interesting dinner options. I closed out the evening with the Framboises which was a very pleasant surprise.

Overall, this is a place I definitely intend to visit again.

DIM, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of gixxerman
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

This place is 270 years old, I was sitting at the bar wondering who might have been here. I bet a few of the people who signed our Declaration of Independence had to have passed through this place....and it is haunted, how cool is that!

A few Chocolate Thunders, how could I resist, they were great.

Oh, and they are officially going NONSMOKING starting on September 2, 2008. Even though I didn't experience it, others have noted this place could get quite smokey, no longer an issue.

The only disappointment was the lack of paranormal activity I encountered, maybe I should have stayed the night.

This is a great historic place I hope it sticks around for another 270 years.

gixxerman, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of philbe311
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

One of my all time favorites... I used to spend massive amounts of time at this fine establishment, but now that I'm a tad older, I don't get there as much as I would like. Both the bar and restaurant food are great. The historic and quaint setting is terrific. The quality of brews (especially the Matrimonial Ale, Sunset Red, and Chocolate Thunder Porter) are excellent. Usually it's not that crowded and the service is typically above average... I wish I got there 1/10th as much as I used to, which would be close to 100% increase over how often I get there now...

philbe311, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

The wife and I stopped into General Lafayette on a recent trip to Philadelphia. We actually stayed the night at the adjoining inn, but since this is a beer website, I'll just focus on the tavern/brewery. It was later in the evening and the dining room was closed, so we seated ourselves in a corner table in the bar area, which is in the basement. It was a very cozy with dim lighting and a grand looking bar built in the center of the room. Giving the age of the building, it had a bit of historic charm happening. Our waitress was quick, attentive and knew the beer she was serving. She even brought us a taste of the 'secret' beer shortly after she brought us our sampler that we ordered. All beers in the sampler were very well done, but I settled on the cask ale and then afterwards had the secret beer. The late night menu is limited to bar food, but our sandwiches were tasty nonetheless. Given the quality of the atmosphere and quality of the beer, I would stop in next time we're in the area.

scoobybrew, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of Hautacam
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Others have described the place well. The bar is really cool , but the smoking bar next to it kind of takes away from the atmosphere...or adds a little shit to it. The dining room is a little beat and smells like cigarettes.
We sat in the dining room and had dinner and a few beers. The waitress was super nice and patient as we had a tough time deciding what to order beerwise and foodwise. One of us got the beer sampler. I went straight to the tripel, which was great. My girlfriend had the Belgian Blonde and was very happy with it, then a tripel which she liked even more. I switched gears and went for the Pacific Pale Ale...very good. I also like the Red Ale.
The food was really good and very reasonable. I had a pork loin with an apricot sauce and my girlfriend had the crab cakes, which were excellent.
I would definitely recommend this place....especially for the beers. I'm sure that we will stop in again when we are in the area.

Hautacam, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Stopped in on a Saturday just after lunchtime. The place was easy to find (although the road it's on is a pain with traffic and lights) and parking is ample. Walking in we found the bar area ahead of us and the dining area to the left. As the one dining area was occupied by a party, we decided to head into the bar for our stay.

The bar (and the rest of the place as well) is very historic, dark, and old, with wood everywhere. The bar is actually split into two separate rooms, one smoking, one nonsmoking, both with plenty of seats at the bar as well as a few tables. I believe the smoking bar was larger and had more seating. A chalkboard as well as taps menu shows the current selection, which consisted of 11 taps, 10 regular and 1 on cask, and all brewed on premises. There is actually a plexiglass hole in the floor of the bar to see downstairs where the tanks are held.

We found a table in the bar area and were quickly welcomed and given menus by the bartender. All the beers we tried were very good for the styles, my favorite being the Chocolate Thunder Porter. The food was also very good and at reasonable prices for the portions, and served on old pewter plates. Items ranged from salads, calamari, sandwiches, burgers, and cheese plates to main entrees like crabcakes, salmon, steak, and chicken.

The General Lafayette Inn has a really cool historic feel, very good food, and a nice selection of quality beers. I'll definitely go back.

HopDerek, May 05, 2008
Photo of foureyedgeek
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

A coworker and I stopped here while we were out east for training. After stopping at Capone's this place was very easy to get to, right down the road.

We parked in the back and tried to go in through the kitchen before realizing the real entrance was around front. What can I say, it was a dark and rainy night.

Atmosphere was very nice, reeking of history, great wooden bar. I wish we'd walked around the place a little more, but we never ventured into the dining room or upstairs. Still a smoky bar, but no huge complaints, we were spoiled being at Sly Fox and Iron Hill the night before.

Quality was good, tasty beers were had. I had short pours of the IPA, the Red on cask and the Pacific Pale. Really enjoyed the first two but the Pale was just ok. Would have liked to try a few more, but they were out of growlers. No huge deal, but kind of an off point. My coworker really enjoyed his beers.

Food menu was interesting. My corworker had the chicken breast and I wanted the fish & chips, but they were out. Doh!
I ended up getting the cheese plate and the quail. Both were very tasty. My coworker's meal came with mac and cheese, of which he ordered seconds. I got to eat some of that and it was very tasty.

Service was good, attentive but not pressing.

Very cool place, one I'd like to go back to when I'm in the area. Hoepfully that time they will have the fish & chips.

foureyedgeek, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Yetiman420
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

General Lafayatte was the final stop of my short business trip to Pennsylvania that got me to Stoudt's, ABC Harrisburg, and Victory. I decided to stay at General Lafayatte because I had meeting in Villanova the next morning and it seemed reasonably close. My rating is based on beer, food, and atmosphere of the bar. I would not recommend staying at the Inn. I spent $190 and felt totally ripped off by the experience. I'm not big into antiques to begin with but this place is more of a dump than a historical shrine. It was dirty, lacked attention to detail (especially on the exterior), and lacked the updates that a room for $190 a night should garner. With that being said, I found the pub to be an enjoyable experience. I had their pacific pale, winter, IPA, and porter and they were all very enjoyable. I had a chicken cheese steak sandwhich for dinner and it was remarkably good. There was a big ice storm the night I was there so it was a good thing I could walk across the parking lot to my overpriced "room." There were only a couple of people in the bar but I could see how it could get very smoky when crowded. I endorse the beer and food aspect but would advise against staying there unless you really like historic charm and are not used to staying at business-class hotels.

Yetiman420, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of NolanGTI
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

This is one of the best brewpubs in the area. An incredible old historic building about as far away from TGIMcFunster's as you can find. This place has an incredibly unique and wonderful setting with multiple different rooms and two bars, one for smokers, one for people who would like to live a little longer.

The beer is top notch and very different than a lot of what is found in SE PA, the focus here is on English styles. Their porter and mild, especially on cask are top notch. You will not find hop bombs here, you need to adjust your expectations and you will be rewarded. They have put out some incredible barleywines over the years as well.

The food here is great pub grub as well as a more upscale dining menu for the back room, which is a bit more formal. I never go to the General and don't get something to eat, it just has too many great things to pass up.

NolanGTI, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

The General is in a great old buildng and the bar is very cool. The smoke is a bit much at times (which is reflected in my vibe score) so I only go off-hours. The beer quality is always very good with anywhere from 8-10 drafts plus two on cask. The General is best IMO at German & English style beers. The bottle list from the cellar is always a treat. I am very pleased that they are starting to bottle for outside consumption. I have never had "dinner" there but the bar food is always good. Staff is friendly & prices are reasonable.

Recommended.

SkinnyElvis, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.7/5  rDev +13%

Talk about fate.

So we drop someone off for their two hour meeting and I hit the GPS for a list of nearby restaurants from our current position. What? General Lafayette Inn is 25 yards away? I think to myself: "What? THE General Lafayette Inn? Like...the brewpub??" I had no idea I was going to be in the area, so hadn't planned any excursions. But alas, what is meant to be is meant to be.

Great decor. I love the old building. Just wreaks of history and being a standard of the area. Great paint on the walls, nice wood bar. It's nice. And the plexiglass floor so that you can see brewing equipment in the basement? Good touch, whoever had that idea. To me, this place just exemplifies the area and the region.

Quality of brews was nice. All was fresh and as it should be.

Service was good. I ordered the sampler (more to follow) and told the 'tender to just pick the four I should have. All good choices were presented.

Selection is very good. I think there are 10 taps on? And it is of a wide variety of stuff. They did have the 275th Anniversary barleywine on. A sampler cost $6 and you get four 4 ounce glasses. I don't think I have seen sampling glasses like this ever. It is a very generous portion and you truly get a full sense of what the experience is with each beer. If I had more time (though I doubt one trip would be enough), they do have vintage bottles available for purchase, but only for consumption at the bar. (well...you can buy the 275th anniversary barleywine to take home)

I didn't go for the food as I had eaten already.

Overall I am very glad I was able to check this place out. I mean what are the odds? I wasn't even 25 yards away when I hit the GPS! I realized later it was right to our left just as I hit the menu on the Tomtom. I am very glad I got to go.

RblWthACoz, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

As I was in the area and had been wanting to try this place, a stop at General Lafayette was clearly in order.

The entire establishment is situated within a colonial era building/inn and that theme is thankfully continued within the building. Save for the necessary modern twists, you do indeed feel as if you are stepping back in time here. The building is divided up with bathrooms off in one direction, the main dining area in another and the bar in it's own little nook as well.

I walked in just about noon time and the crowd was minimal at first so I was able to chat with the bartender about the selections. He was quite helpful and knowledgeable and kept up with a friendly banter throughout my visit. As the lunch crowd picked up conversation was easily and unexpectedly struck with other patrons making for a lively and homey visit.

The selections were fairly plentiful and varied, with about 8 or so items on tap that ranged from brewpub standards to more diverse styles that you don't find everywhere. Everything that I tried was quite fresh, with one or two of the lines just being added that morning or the previous night. You can't get much fresher than that.

Food came out rather quickly and was very good overall.

As I perused the menu for a growler of something to take home, the bartender thankfully noted to me that some of the special brews would end up being quite pricey, especially with having to purchase the growler itself. That said, they then informed me the there were currently no growlers available as the few they had remaining on-site at the time were being held for an upcoming event. After chatting with the bartender and the manager for a while about beer in general and other topics, they were kind enough to try to see what they could do re: finding a growler, and lo and behold one appeared for me. Kudos to them for making the extra effort.

Overall, the General Lafayette is an enjoyable experience. Prices are reasonable for the most part, just watch out for certain beers' growler pricing. I'll certainly re-visit again when I can.

SixpointJMH, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%

Stop here on a recent pub crawl. Easy to find right on the Germantown Pike.

The atmposphere was old. This place is a bit anncient but quaint look. A lot of little spaces and many things to look at. We were surprised to see the bar full at 2:00 on a Saturday. That is always a good sign.

We went up to the bar to order our drinks and the barternder took our orders and brought our beers over to our table quickly. The beers were $5 for a pint. I thought this was a bit pricey so we only stayed for one. My fear of inflated prices was confirmed when my growler of Rasberry Meade cost me $30. Yikes. But it was very good.

Didn't try the food but it looked good.

mymrnngjckt, Oct 24, 2007
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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.