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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

General Lafayette Inn & BreweryGeneral Lafayette Inn & Brewery

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 //

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:
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.


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
Photo of beertwisted
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%

I became a member of the "mug club" during my first visit. The great thing (for me) was that I was so close to work, so how could I go wrong. The food was a little on the pricey side, but the quality was good to better then good. The service was mediocre at best, maybe because we were regulars and were demanding at times, but no more then the average Joe off the street.

The mug club allowed a free selection from the menu and a mug of beer after the first 10 fills of approx. 20oz. This kind of offering to members was a bargain if you came at least once a week and became a mug club member at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately for me this was not the case, and I was not told the details of the club when I bought it. It was ok considering I started in early July and still had half a year to get my monies worth.

Their beers fluctuated in quality from one week to the next, even if you were drinking the same beer you had a week ago. Most of the beers I tried, and I tried them all, were nothing to write home about. They were decent beers but nothing really memorable. One of my associates loved the mead and I too enjoyed its company from time to time.

The "General's" service is what kept me from coming back after six months of diligent service. This is a brewpub for the occasional visit, not for someone entertaining the notion of being in the mug club. Being dedicated to any one bar/brewery/pub is enough work as it is without having to pay$40+ for a mug that you will feel obligated to get your moneys worth.

Still some beers are worth a try and the food will make amends for the service.


beertwisted, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of coalcracker
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

This place has been at the top of my favorite beer destinations for some time now. I have always been a fan of the old and ancient taverns that have been around for 200+ years- the history, ambiance, and architecture is always fascinating. This place does not disappoint. An ancient tavern previously known as "Three Tuns' prior to the American Revolution, it sits at the crest of Barren Hill along Germantown Pike and was witness to the Battle of Barren Hill. Atmosphere inside is great, the fine dining area is partitioned from the pub itself, which happens to be cozy with just enough seating. The beers here are fantastic with the 'house populars' being Pacific Pale Ale and Sunset Red. They usually have about ten to a dozen available at one time (which also include seasonals and cask-conditioned ales). There is also some vintage ale in reserve, from what I hear. Service is reliable but can slow if you arrive later on hot nights- this has become a popular spot! The bar food is typical but good- the chicken cheesesteak is awesome! If you opt for the main seating, make a reservation. The meals on this side are delicious. Pricing is about right for the Philly suburbs, but quite affordable.

If you happen to be in the area, make a stop. You'll be in heaven if you are a true beer lover and appreciate the history of this great little corner of the state. Local attractions include Valley Forge, the King of Prussia mall, and Philly itself!

coalcracker, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Jredner
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Historic old building complete with a widow’s walk and hand-hewn beams. Very cool setting for a brewpub. I was told the food was good and while the menu was a bit sparse the food did not dissapoint and was fairly reasonably priced. 4 of us with a sampler, pint and a $15 bomber only set us back a touch of $100 with a 20% tip. We ate in the dining room rather than having pub grub in the bar side- I understand there is a different menu on that side.

At first the service was fairly slow, but our waiter was working five tables. When he finally got some help he was very attentive.

The beer was very good. I had the Scotch Ale and the Imperial Stout....both solid....and also shared the sampler with my wife. It was a great time and I’d love to go back.

Jredner, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Visited for the BA Gathering on 1/27 - once again, it was great to finally meet all of you! Very easy to find once on the Germantown Pike...very close to King of Prussia, so in case any of your wives want to drop you off and go shopping...

I spent the whole time in the downstairs bar and restaurant areas. Enjoyed the Sunset Red on-tap...rather enjoyable red ale. Bar staff was very friendly and helpful to a first-time visitor. When it was time to move into the restaurant to share our goodies, the staff stayed on top of things, frequently filling empty water pitchers being very patient of us. Considering there were 30-some people cracking open bottles and being rather boisterous, I felt they did a great job and should be commended.

A very enjoyable atmosphere for a large gathering or small dinner...I really like the bar setup. I'm very much looking forward to returning for another visit.

JohnnyM2002, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%

The General Lafayette Inn & Brewery is absolutely gorgeous place. Colonial style mansion with attractive woodwork all over. Classy but fun I went to the downstairs bar. a pool table through one door and restaurant seating through the other. Expansive bar. Good selection of their own brews including vintage bottles available. A big food menu and wine as well. The pub grub looks decent but I didn't try any to comment on. I did try the platter of cold cut meats and cheeses they prepare. Very fancy. Very nice. The most important thing is good beer. The Porter is classic and right on the money. The red ale is easy drinking. The McGlynn’s Ghost Barleywine from the cellar is a real treat. And if you have a few too many there is a B&B right there.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of Beerquester
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Came back to visit this place about a year later because we enjoyed the Holiday Cheer so much last year. We were not disappointed at all. In fact, I think it may even be better this year. We had to get one for the road. Forgot to bring an empty growler along, so had to purchase one for $5. They do have a nice logo on it, so its a nice one to keep. The holiday cheer cost $18 for the fill, but was worth it. I think its about an 8% abv, so lots of bang for the buck. This was definitely my favorite beer here.

I also tried (in sampler-size amounts) and enjoyed: rasberry mead ale, sunset red ale, holiday cheer, novemberfest, chocolate thunder porter, pacific pale from tap, and pacific pale cask conditioned. I tried the pacific ale cask first and was really pleased with it. An astoundingly good ale with excellent hop aroma. This time of year I like to concentrate my drinking interests on darker beers, but this was definitely a standout that I could not ignore. I ordered one on tap because i thought the co2 bubbles would bring out the aroma even more. I was wrong on this effect, maybe because the beer was served a little too cold. Still good, though i preferred the cask a lot more. The chocolate thunder porter was a very good beer, my only disappointment being that it had a little too much alcohol for my taste (6.7%, which technically is fine for a robust porter). Being a little higher in alcohol, I would not be able to sit back and drink too many of these in a row.

I ordered only beer-battered onion rings with jalepeno ketchup, but the portion was large and they tasted really great!

The thing that makes this place so great is that it is in an ancient stone tavern, with low beam ceilings, and fireplaces and dark corners. A really cozy feeling that makes you think you are back in a different era. I love it when historical buildings are preserved in this way. They are really treasures. Their were some locals at the bar this Friday night visit and it seemed like they were good ordinary people with a good sense of humor. A great place to visit for some dependably good brews on a cold winter night.

Beerquester, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

Went there Friday night to see a friend's band, Downtown Harvest. Great Band, but thats not what this is for is it?

Got banged for a $5 cover charge, but that happens when they have good live music or some other special occasion. Great selection on tap, the number was around 8-10 different house made beers.

The highlight by far is the cask conditioned ales, Their cask Pale Ale is some of the best beer I can find fresh locally. Its too bad they won't fill growlers of their cask stuff, but thats normal and you can't subtract points for that.

Good place to visit if your local or in the area, but try to go on off nights (or during the day), Friday and Saturday night brings in a crowd, and makes it a little more difficult to enjoy the beer without being distracted to go party down like its on sale for $19.99.

leftmindedrighty, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Visited the establishment on a Saturday afternoon at about 2PM. We were offered seats in the dining room or the bar area. My wife and I selected the bar area. We selected a table and were promptly offered a beer and food menu. I selected the sampler which was served in an acceptable time frame. The 3 ounce samplers are a bit small to really get much of the taste of the beer. We gave our food menu choices which were served within an acceptable time frame. The food protions were moderate, sereved at the correct temperature, and very tasty. Other than the small size of the sampler tray, It was an enjoyable dining and drinking experience.

tgbljb, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%

During a visit to the in-laws, we made a stop at the General Lafayette.

A: The place is a converted old farmhouse that is high on charm. There are several dining areas, including a semi-private room that our large party was given without question.

Q: Food was decent, service was not, beer was. Basically a zero-sum.

Ser: Service was slow at best, completely inattentive at worst. During a full meal in which you could expect 3 or so pints, I got one and had to beg three times to get the vintage beer listing.

Sel: They offered 9 house brews, an additional on cask as well as a true jewel, a vintage beer listing from which I chose a 2003 barleywine that aged nicely.

F: Food came out somewhat bland, with my meatloaf lacking any personality and in desperate need of some spices. Sausage and cheese plate was also just okay.

Follow-up: As a result of the Winterfest and the 275th Anniversary celebration, food makes a big jump from 2.5 to 4.0 and the overall quality jumps from 3.0 to 4.0.

akorsak, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Wow, does this place reek of history! Great atmosphere with dark rooms, low ceilings, and slightly cramped spaces that transport you to another era. I showed up at lunch on a Sunday, so the brunch buffet was in full swing in the dining room. Only one of the two bars was open, which was fine since there weren't many people in this section. Decent ventilation kept smoke to a minimum. I tried a sampler of beers and was impressed with the lot - I had six out of ~10 that were available. Overall, these were top notch brews that all had superb texture and body. Unfortunately there was no cask on at the time. So I ordered a pint with my lunch (Sunset Red - very nice) and was pleasantly surprised that it came in a 20oz glass! I hadn't seen one of those since heading across the border from Toronto. My fish & chips were okay, the burgers and wings looked pretty good too. The portion sizes were fair and quite appropriate for lunch. This is another great brew/pub that I've hit since moving to the Philly burbs. I'll definitely try to make my way back here on a regular basis.

DrJay, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of Suds
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

On our recent trip to the Philadelphia area, I had to make a stop at this place. I loved reading about the history behind the Inn, so I was pretty excited to get there. We spent time on both the Restaurant and Tavern sides of the establishment. The formal restaurant is a first class establishment, with impeccable service and great ambiance. I have to admit, however, that I was more drawn to the tavern. The low ceilings and old-style tavern mystique were really enchanting. The service was prompt, knowledgeable, and courteous (even going above and beyond with direction assistance). The beer was very well made. I loved the ESB on cask (which, regrettably they wouldn’t put in a growler). The Frambioses was notably good, as was the Tripel. It’s obvious that they take the beer seriously. As for food, I had a salmon, which was quite good as well. All in all, this place was first rate and well worth the trip.

Suds, Jun 28, 2006
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.