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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

General Lafayette Inn & BreweryGeneral Lafayette Inn & Brewery

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

68 Ratings
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[ 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)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 68
Photo of ark57
ark57

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I went here with a group on New Years and we loved it. The food was excellent and the beer was fantastic. The Biere de framboise was my favorite and I could have sat there drinking that all night. Also notable is their Raspberry Mead. I had never had a fruited mead before and was interested to give this a try. To eat I had rack of lamb and was expecting what you ghet in most restauarants, 3 or 4 ribs. They served 8. It was a lot and I was stuffed by the end.
It was a limited menu that night, but waht they had was good enough for me.

02-12-2004 17:22:26 | More by ark57
Photo of pezoids
pezoids

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

We stopped by the General for a few drinks on an early Saturday evening. This was my first and only visit. This was a very interesting old building. The downstair bar area had low ceilings and exposed wood beams, and the walls white-washed. We were ushered into a wooden booth without any wait. There was a fire burning in the corner (and it was COLD outside), complete with muskats hanging over the fireplace. I ordered the beer sampler, which included 6 of their beers. I had the waitress choose them for me. ( I mean they only had about 8 draught beers) They were served in small 5 oz. mugs. Almost like shots. My better half got a wine glass full of their Biere de Framboises, which was very good.

I liked the atmosphere of the place. It was old, small, quaint and down to earth. I could easily picture some colonials gathered around in the cramped bar enjoying pints of ale and chatting it up.

We didn't eat, but I have heard from reliable sources tha the food is pretty damn good. The beers were very good and I felt like I stepped back in time visiting this place (until we went outside and you saw the gleaming stainless steel tanks in the atrium!) I want to go back already.

Recommended for beer lovers and history buffs alike.

01-26-2004 06:44:26 | More by pezoids
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

I frequent this place alot because I live close and I love the old building,nice old wrap around bar with one room having a nice fireplace although it does get really smokey in there on a weekend night.Now in the restaurant the service is usually pretty bad it seems like alot of time they forget about you,but in the bar area it seems to get a little better although when busy it can get bad at times.The food has been hit or miss as well,have gotten cold soup a few times but have had some good dishes as well.The beer is by far the best ranging from raspberry mead to Belgian dark ales to pilsners most are of real good quality and there are usually two on hand pump.I go there alot if that tells ya somethin at times rough around the edges but hey maybe thats the way it should be.

01-22-2004 00:28:03 | More by oberon
Photo of rdrummer
rdrummer

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The General Lafayette Inn is an old 1730s Inn that has been completely renovated inside, but left to look like the original inside and out. There are obvious modernizations such as the shiny new brewery equipment on display on the other side of the glass in one of the back to back bars, but the large fireplaces in the pool room and in the cozy dining room are authentic.

The bars are unique in that the back bars abut a wall that has a cutout so that a bartender can walk through to tend either bar. There is a nitro system in place for the eight or nine beers brewed on premises, plus a two pump beer engine that delives some superb brew. There are four banks of taps so the bartender doesn't have to walk far to pour a beer.

I visited for a Saturday lunch, and there was little other business so I had almost perfect service. The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable about both the beer and the food. Samples are encouraged so that you get a pint that you like. There is also a six beer sample for only $5.00 that is a bargain. I started with the ESB on the beer engine. It was the perfect temperature, about 52-55 degrees, and a very representative example of the style. It was extremely flavorful. The Oatmeal Stout was also excellent with some strong caramel, malt, and a little chocolate in the taste. My wife liked the German blonde but I thought it was a little weak. I also thought that the Brown Ale was not memorable. The Pacific Pale Ale was outstanding. It was a bartender recommendation that I sampled and then couldn't resist ordering. The other beers of the day were red ale, a Bock, a Pilsner, and a Raspberry Mead that the locals were drinking as a spritzer. It was about 9.8 percent so I think they must have been driving.

The food was good. I had a nice escarole soup that was definitely homemade but a little thin. The spring rolls and dipping sauces were great. My wife got a pate, cheese, fruit, and breads platter that was huge so I got to help her finish it. It was also good.

Others in the bar got Philly cheesesteaks, which smelled great and a Mexican tortilla concoction that sounded good, but this is definitely not a Mexican place. The restaurant also has fish, seafood, burgers, and at least one beef entree. The crab cakes looked huge and like they were all crab.

The best thing I can say about the Inn is that I will definitely be back.

11-30-2003 23:26:07 | More by rdrummer
Photo of fuchebu
fuchebu

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

General Lafayette Inn is a great brewpub in the Philly suburbs. It is an 18th Century building with much history. When they first opened, I was unimpressed with their beers but that has changed in the last few years. Somewhere along the line, they got very good at brewing. They brew a wide range of beers from pilsners to Imperial Stouts to barley wines and even mead ales.

My last visit came after a Revolutionary War re-enactment so I was drinking with people in 18th Century garb. I had their raspberry mead ale which registered 9.6% abv and had a dry, fruity flavor. I also indulged in their Shut eye Stout and Loch Ness Scotch Ale. Both were very good beers and over 8.5%. The stout had a rich, creamy character. The Scotch ale struck a nice smoky chord.

This is a very comfortable brewpub. It is a lovely building with a fireplace. The historic aesthetics add to the experience. It's a must stop for brewpub crawlers in the Philly area.

11-02-2003 16:34:33 | More by fuchebu
Photo of jrancan
jrancan

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

It's been a long time coming writing a review of the General. I've always loved the atmosphere because of the history of the building and the huge fireplace in the dining room. As mentioned in prior reviews, too much smoke.
Beers are always top notch and the food, especially the hearty soup, is always tasty. My only complaint, is sometimes the service is slow. It's not the bartenders fault, the bar is built connecting two rooms, so if one side is busy it's hard to notice that someone is waiting on the other side. It seems I always find myself coming here in the winter to sit by the fire and waste the day away. Well worth a visit.

05-22-2003 11:40:11 | More by jrancan
Photo of ecoboy
ecoboy

Rhode Island

3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

An immediate caveat. I gave this place a 4 on atmosphere because of the actual structure that houses it, but it's between this and Nodding Head for most second hand smoke. Non-smokers should adjust atmosphere to a 1.5.

This is, in fact, the brewpub that got me to begin railing against the limitations on brewpubs' ratings. A General Lafayette experience is only connected to a brewpub in a strip mall experience in that there are copper kettles in the building. It made me want to create a column like our local weekly free paper has, sort of a situational brewpub finder: "If you have only seven dollars..." "If you like water views..." "If you simply must have one beer and get going in ten minutes..." Then, for GL, I'd list it under "If you have a love of American History..." and "If you want to stay upstairs from the mash tun..." (although the B and B is actually just on the grounds) with inns in Norwich, VT and Woodstock, NH.

Enough: Built in 1732, the building is a classic atlantic states inn. Absolutely bee-yoo-ti-ful. Historical art. Low ceilings. Patterned wallpaper in the entry! (Think about it for a minute and how that might fit in at your local.)

It was a Monday night in winter, and I felt the bar a bit understaffed. One girl seemed to be trying to handle the entire downstairs bar area. No big deal, sat down to $4 pint of "Holiday Cheer." Not for the added flavor haters, but I thought the brewer had done a great service to the notion of cranberries and spices in an ale. 6.1% abv and tasty! then a pint of Miracle Ale which surprised me. A mistake in brewing (refrigeration had broken down) a regular offering had resulted in something I would descibe as a cross between an Anchor Steam and a Double Brown. I thought it interesting that there on the chalkboard, they would explain their malfunction and let the drinker judge the result.

A really cool place that asthmatics should avoid.

04-11-2003 09:29:50 | More by ecoboy
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The General Lafayette Inn & Brewery has had a slightly rocky history in it's short years. I remember really enjoyable nights listening to the Greatful Dead, playing pool or darts, and enjoying a myriad of different style beers in my mug club stein from brewer Owen Hutchins. But there's no more "Dead nights", and there's no more Owen, and the beers aren't the same "free form" expressions of malt and hops that they used to be, but... they're all really pretty good! The bar itself is very small, but the crowd usually isn't too big either. Brewer Chris Leonard is producing some really nice beers, particularily his "Over The Hop IPA" and the "Alt, who goes there?" But the seasonals change like the wind and they usually offer something especially nice. The restaurant almost operates as a seperate entity, and I'd recommend it, but it is a bit pricey. I generally just have something from the bar menu. The food is good. The beers are better. An excellent place to hang out for an afternoon away from work, or to spend a laid back night out. And if you're coming in from out of town, they have a B&B as well.

07-18-2002 19:34:43 | More by NeroFiddled
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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.