General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by woodychandler:
5/5 rDev +20.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I was recently telling BlitheringIdiot of the jealousy that visiting Californians have expressed upon entering the Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, since they have nothing comparable on the Left Coast.
Hey, Ev, here's another place to get their panties in a bunch! I get here a lot less often than I would like, but perhaps more often than they would like, but it tends to make each visit that much more memorable. My latest was the occasion of their Comfort Foods Dinner with the previous coming during the 2005 PHL BA Rally.
If you are coming here, do NOT approach from the east! You will be robbed of one of the most stunning visuals ever. You really need to experience the visual of rounding the bend on Germantown Pike, shortly after crossing the Montgomery County line, and having the building's glass facade with the brewhouse visible in the window (!) greet you. Fear not, you Speedy Gonzalezes in the crowd, because even if you come around the bend too quickly to really allow it to sink in, then once you make the left to get into the parking lot, walk back to the southeast corner, camera in hand, and take your time. It is understood.
Returning to the parking lot, the entrance is under a green canvas canopy with crossed US and French flags emblazoned on it in commemoration of the Revolutionary War. Historians, take note: this place dates back to 1732 and was a waystation during the Battle of Germantown. Left Coasters, eat your hearts out.
As you enter through the front door, you pass through a short vestibule and into a carpeted area with two frosted glass doors on your right. The maitre d' station is off to the left, just above a short flight of stairs to the right of the station. Going down these steps puts you in their restaurant area, which is absolutely gorgeous. There is a short series of tables with booth-style seats on one side with the majority of the space dedicated to tables and chairs. All of the way aft are a pair of double doors that open onto an open-air patio, which is where they hold their homebrew club meetings. The one wall is wood witha built-in working fireplace. There are red velvet curtains over many of the windows, each decorated with a portrait of a Native American. The exposed wood beams, soft lighting, and iron candlesticks above the fireplace lend a unique ambiance.
Returning to the front, those frosted glass doors hide a billiards room that is accessible down a short set of steps into the bar area and then a button-hook right turn to go in. One pool table, one rotating electronic video game, and a couple of television monitors are what this area has to offer.
The bar is an oval, divided at either end by a short wall. At the front end is the plexiglass window overlooking the brewhouse, and on the other side of the bar, moving from left to right on your radio dial, are a window constructed of several panes of 3/8" glass mounted in the floor looking onto the chill box beneath; a pair of wine cabinets with vintage Squires & Sons padlocks that Gunner's Mate Johnny Ray Logsdon would drool over; a four-person booth; another working fireplace, above which are two working vintage muskets; and more colonial-themed artwork.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the owner and his wife, Chris (Hackleo) and Kristin Leonard, whose hospitality and patience with yours truly is always appreciated. I look forward to the upcoming barleywine tasting to be held on the same day as my 41st birthday. See you then!
01-19-2006 23:28:19 | More by woodychandler
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
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.
05-02-2010 15:41:35 | More by BARFLYB
3.3/5 rDev -20.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$
I've been a regular at The General for maybe ten years. The atmosphere is warm dark spacious and friendly. The American Revolution period history of the place very cool. Service is always friendly and efficient. Great people. The food to me has always been disappointing so I rarely eat there anymore. I recently had their new flatbread pizza. It was disappointing as well with the crust like a cracker, uninspiring meat and absent tasting cheese. The beers have been better too. I recall the Chocolate Thunder stout being better. It now has an undesireable tart flavor which dominates. Their ESB recently had a similar tartness. The Pacific Pale Ale and Sunset Red Ale are still solid though and they have decent guest beers from Sly Fox and others. They feature two cask beers which is nice as well. They also installed flat screens which were sorely needed to replace the CRT sets they had before.
There are several new casual restaurants in the Northwest that have a clear edge on The General in all areas save atmosphere and service. My advice would be that they've done a great job with the guest beers and flatscreens. I'd suggest though that they get all their beers back to where they were and foodwise to invest in doing one thing great. Right now there is nothing that I go to the General for in regard to their food.
01-19-2010 01:24:19 | More by Chinon01
4.06/5 rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
12-18-2009 16:27:59 | More by tim9887
2.1/5 rDev -49.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 1 | $$$$
Highly overrtaed with average food, below average beers and above average prices. Stay away or bring tons of gold!!!
The quality of their beers needs to be improved. I last had the Fugazi. . How do you create a Lager out of a blend of Ales ... you don't. Their Mirage tasted more like City water than an amber ale, and their Paul's sason was one of the worst interpretations of a Framhouse Ale I have ever tried.
They wanted $9 for a cheeseburger and extra if you wanted fries. The wait staff was very unattentive.
11-12-2009 16:51:36 | More by Katahdin
4/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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.
10-21-2009 00:45:52 | More by bonkers
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
I found this one on beerfly. Made a special trip up here just for this place. As soon as you walk in you a greeted by your waiter or waitress.A stairwell that leads upstair's to the rooms, a door on the right looked like a little smoking lounge with a dart board,t.v and a couple of chair's. The bar was directly ahead with a thick translucent floor were you can see the tank's. The bar was split in half by two rooms. One was a dining side which we sat later on in the evening, the other was the actual bar where the T.V.'s were and a couple of tables. We first walked to our didning area were we first sat outside than we found that it was a little cramped,so we walked back inside and sat by the fireplace. Very nice open dining area.
To the good stuff Ten beer's on tap I had a sampler of the cask conditioned pale ale,chocolate thunder porter,rasberry mead ale,and the germantown blond all were very good.
Food was average a little pricey for what you got,the waitress was very nice and helpful my wife really didn't know what to get and she gave us her input and it was very good advice. I had the angus burger as far as burger's go it was decent.
All an all it was a very nice trip and definetly worth going up there. A nice couzy little place and if I lived a little further away I probably would have spent the night.
05-31-2009 17:06:13 | More by TheFightfan1
4.2/5 rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
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.
05-22-2009 20:03:16 | More by Gilgemesh
3.53/5 rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
The bar in the basement is nice - dark, three connected rooms with a bar in 2 and nice comfortable chairs in the 3rd. The rest of the place is kind of sterile - similar to where a wedding reception would be held. The run 6-10 of their own products at a time, some a quite good, some are just OK. Friendly staff who can easily get overwhelmed as this place does get crowded. Their Abbey Bruin and Porter are particular favorites of mine. Well worth the trip, a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday, located on the turn on the Germantown Pike.
04-19-2009 15:39:39 | More by mhatters
4/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
02-19-2009 23:35:42 | More by BigMike
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.