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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:
Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev +7%

The lunch specials I do near-daily come with a choice of soup (Egg Drop, Hot & Sour, or Wonton) or an eggroll, and of course Pork Fried Rice (PFR) or steamed rice. Entreewise, I like to mix it up some. Sometimes I play the Kung Po game, maybe beef & broccoli, roast pork chow fun, but mostly I'm all about the General Lafayette's Chicken. I like that whole spicy brown sauce thing. Most places spell it funny on the menu like "Tso", but it's actually pronounced "Lah-fee-eht". Anyway, I was all psyched when I found out that we were hitting the place where they invented General Lafayette's Chicken on the Philly crawl Saturday...
It's like a large old home done up, brewpub. Entering through a foyer, you can see the main dining areas off to the left and the bar straight ahead. Actually, it's like a "not the bar", a small piece where "on deck diners" would reasonably be awaiting their tables, clearly visible and easy to be found. The real deal is a room behind the bar. It's a small room with green walls and the length wall all brick with glass windows looking in on a room with fermenters. Fireplaces at both ends, little lamps on the walls, old wooden beams overhead, drop spot lighting over the "L" shaped wood bar with seating for about 15 and a handful of adjacent tables. TV's above the bar in the corners, and hanging ceramic mug club mugs suspended above. Pictures of General Lafayette and a flag adorn the walls. It's a good comfortable room (except for that strange completely out of place strip of blue neon lighting that runs overhead). Wandered off for a bit and found some of the BA's in a small gaming room off the front with a pool table and Phil's golf game.
4 signature beers (Blonde, Raspberry Mead Ale, Red Ale, American Pale Ale), a bunch of brewmaster specialties (Imperial Stout, IPA, Belgian Amber, Dubbel), and a pair of casks (IPA & Braggot). Additionally, they do a black & tan called the Red Velvet which is a mix of their Impy & Red Ale.
I opted for the sampler of six in a wooden rack with a handle and got seven (Yay!!!) and got to pick 'em, too. The Raspberry Mead Ale was sweet but then medicinally raspberryish on the end, still very interesting, the Pacific Pale Ale was pleasant enough, although nowhere near as hoppy as the When In Doubt IPA (and the cask version was also mighty fine), the Grim Reaper Imperial Stout was all licorice (I have never had a beer so licorice, very well done), the Marquis De Lafayette, a Belgian Amber had good banana and fruit, and the Le Tete Fontaine, the Dubbel, well, my notes read "Fuck, that's nice and deep, plummy and fruity", so there you go.
Pope & Cheese ordered up some apps. Service was spot on with their food and my sampler, really. The place was kind of jammed with the crowd we were but waiter man dealt well. They make some really nice damn beers. I'm sorry we didn't get more time here, but I'll remedy that, believe you me.

slander, May 09, 2005
Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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!

woodychandler, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

After a few brews at the excellent “new” Sly Fox in Royersford, we headed out to the much anticipated General Lafayette, and it proved to be everything that I had read about.

Visually appealing from the outside, the Georgian era exterior holds a white painted double-deck frontage. Shuttered windows on the first floor look out over an L-shaped trailing roof that covers the ground floor. A third floor of windows is set into a high banked tiled roof. The Brewery is clearly visible from the Germantown Pike roadside, for it sits inside and underneath the ground floor roofed frontage behind a bank of windows. We parked in the lot at the side of the General and entered through the door located here.

Greeted by an aged smell that reeked of old father time, the interior is a lovely surprise. As I’m from the UK, I’m very familiar with buildings and pubs some 200, 300 and 400+ years old, and this Inn has “that smell”, the sort of odor that you never get in even the best reproduction copy, thankfully. As we worked our way inside, past alcoves and dining rooms on the left, the low deck ceiling and creaky feel had me feeling at home long before we took a short right into a long thin room which housed the Bar area. As I stood looking down the Bar from the end, I noted a bank of two Angrams at the end of the Bar, a perfect place to sit I suggested to my drinking companion Ericaweizen, and soon enough we were sat on the two stools here. From here, to our right, the Brewery is visible through interior windows, as indeed was the traffic on Germantown Pike through the exterior ones; both sets of windows being a muted source of light in the darkened den-like interior. The wooden floor, bare brick and stone walls, crooked fittings and dark décor was the real deal, well worn by time and as warm as the two fireplaces that bookmark the ends of the Bar area. Small TV’s were showing the violent Australian Rules Footy, La Crosse and…..oh…my….England versus USA at Soccer…….needless to say we got our own back and the Colonials kicked domestic ass in that encounter!

Regular Beers on Tap;

• Germantown Blonde
• Raspberry Mead Ale
• Sunset Red Ale
• Pacific Pale Ale

Brewmaster Specials were;

• Canseco Pale Ale
• John Doe Oat Stout
• The Phantom Barleywine
• The Emperor’s New Clothes
• Matrimoniale

Served from a selection of nine tightly packed taps, even though we sat right in front of the brace of Angram Beer Engines, I never elected to go for any of the Cask brews, mainly in part because I am often disappointed with the flat/low conditioning in the US, not that that was the case here, but as I had not yet tried any of the Lafayette brews, I wanted to try the brews from the taps first. I will most certainly be hitting the Cask Ales the next time I’m here though.

The Blonde was a solid Kölsch, the Pacific Pale Ale was a dry tasty and mildly hoppy treat, the Canseco Pale Ale is split at the bright tank, with one line of the Pale Ale sent to the GL ‘secret’, "super duper hops infuser" - a very nice treat. I tried the Matrimoniale, described in the listing as “similar to a Belgian Saison”, well not any that I have tried, it was more like a damn tasty luscious Wit, lovely regardless of it’s tag. However, I have to say that the “stand-outs” from the crowd were the creamy John Doe Oat Stout on Nitro and the simply outstanding Phantom Barleywine, utterly fantastic. I could have gone for a Growler of the latter but it was simply too pricey in the end when I did the Math. Service was very friendly and attentive - just right.

Superb building, excellent location, friendly feel, nice staff and great brews. I really like the fact that this is one BrewPub that avoids the “strongest/biggest/hoppiest” temptation to retain a solid portfolio of high quality well-balanced brews. All this and in a Pub just barely 200 years old ;-)

A Big Thanks to the PA General, Major Ericaweizen for the ride out here.

Extremely....Highly Recommended.

Last Visit: Saturday 28th May, 2005.

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

NeroFiddled, Jul 18, 2002
Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%

Not many taps, and a smoking and non-smoking side. Most of the action was on the former, and they seemed challenged and testy in serving a moderate volume of clients. The inside has an interesting unique history, but you have to research it elsewhere. Some high A.B.V. selections, and several written warnings not to overdo it, maximum 3 points of these. A long drive, but not a complicated one, to a deep suburb in Philadelphia, which we did not mind on a beautiful night. Lots of free parking out here.

Sammy, May 12, 2005
Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Just off the Norristown exit of the PA Turnpike, very easy to find. Got stuck in Friday afternoon school bus traffic from the local school, so the getting there was a little slower than normal. Keep an eye out as it is located on a sharp turn and may be easily missed.

The building is an old house, and when you walk in you enter a foyer and then step down to the double bar. One in two different rooms, but bartenders have easy access to both with a doorway in the middle of the wall. Nice plexiglass cutout on the floor to let you look into the brewing room below. One bar has a view of more brewing equipment. Several TVs and music played at a comfortable level. There is a seperate dining room just off one bar. There is a pool table and darts in another room.

The beer selection was very nice, as they had a wide variety of styles available to satisfy all tastes: pale ale, red, weizen, bock, oatmeal stout, strong scoth ale, a mead, and a blonde. Quality of the beers was good, and the food was OK as we had a few appetizers and a onion soup. The bartender understood the selections and was friendly, almost a little over talkative.

There is a B&B just behind the brewpub too. Room rates looked reasonable for the area ($109 - $159). This is a must visit for anyone in the area.

Gavage, Oct 21, 2004
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 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 francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

General Lafayette Inn & Brewery is located in a nice little suburb of Philadelphia. The atmosphere is absoluteley wonderful. This old 18th century Inn has been converted into an absolutely gorgeous little bar. As you walk in from outside there is a small vestibule which leads to a small "loungy" sort of room with two rest rooms and some big chairs. There is a door to the right but it was closed on my last visit. After you go down a step or two you are at a small bar, and on the other side of this bar is another, larger, "main?" bar. The rooms of this place are all old, with dark wood, and some perioid looking furniture as well. The quality and freshness of the beers on tap is excellent and the bartenders are pleasant and fast as well. The food we had (hummus plate) was excellent, and the portion was just right for the price. The selection of brews here is absolutely awesome. four year round brews, two cask conditioned brews, and 5 or 6 seasonals. We tried 12 brews here between the two of us, and there was really not a stinker in the lot. The quality and consistency of this brewpub is simply amazing, and I will definately be back in a few weeks to sample some more of their fine wares. Oh, and I stronlgy recommend the raspberry mead. At 9.6%ABV they will only sell you 3 glasses of it in a night, but you may just want a fourth!

francisweizen, Nov 01, 2004
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 blitheringidiot
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Wanna know what's funny about reviewing brewpubs? I always think what it would be like if the brewpub I am reviewing were near my hometown. Well, The General Lafayette Inn IS my local brewpub. So now I need to review it.

First and foremost this colonial style 18th century style makes me feel like George Washington is going to walk in the door at any minute. When you think General, think wood. Everything is wood in this place. The inner circle bar is divided by two rooms. When you walk in, you're better off trying to to make a right and hang on the bar side instead of the restaurant side. The waitstaff spends more time on that half. Bonus points to GLI for the always up-to-date beer chalkboard across from the bar on the brick wall. The year round beers are on the left and the seasonals are on the right. There is also another chalk board to the right that tells you what beers are on the two handpumps. Usually, Pacific Pale is one of them, and the other can be anything from a stout to a braggot.

Other ameneties include a back room with darts and a pool table. Bonus points for The General go to support of local home brew clubs and even beer tasting events. Usually, a chacuterie platter is available for the beer geeks.

Count on good bartending and beer knowledgeable staff. My only gripe about the General is that there are never enough seats despite the huge size of the building, the bar is sorta crowded.

Beer selection rotates often enough that things stay interesting. Lately the Phantom barley wine has been the absolute BEST ever at the General and the Weinstephaner is amazing.

There is a high end restaurant (y'know with wine and big menus and stuff) and then there is the pub grub menu. Too bad that they 86'ed the salmon sandwich, but there is always good pub grub til late hours. Oh, by the way you can always rent a room or a back house for special occasions.

Finally, the General definitely passes the "Could you bring your Mom here?" test. My Ma loves this joint. See ya there!

blitheringidiot, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of ecoboy
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

ecoboy, Apr 11, 2003
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 DarkerTheBetter
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

The General Lafayette is arguably the most beautiful drinking establishment I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a patron of. The quaint and cozy bar is indeed cozy in the truest sense and not in the real estate euphemism for cramped. There is a certain un-forced antiquity feel of the bar area that seems perfectly natural, as if I stepped back in time to have a pint with a little snot-nosed French general in the continental army. Even the dishes we were served on had an honest ancient feel to them. Adding to the effect are flint lock rifles hanging on the walls, exposed wooded beams in the ceilings and a bare minimum of televisions. Very nice indeed.

The layout of the building is quite remarkable with the beautiful, rustic, divided bar in the far back, over looking the stainless steel goodies out the window that in turn overlooks Germantown pike. Just in front is another room for playing pool. Also, the dining room (I haven’t yet been in) is intimidating formal. There is also a bed and breakfast of sorts in an adjacent building that I may need to check out in the future. This place is just oozing with class.

Each time I’ve been here, the food has been exemplary. I had a well prepared veggie burger and the brie platter this time and the time before, a simple grilled cheese and tomato soup. Both were fantastic. Each time, my dining companions had nothing but positive things to say as well. The food here is really destination dining. Oh, and I hear they brew their own beer.
-Update- The Buffalo ChickenSteak was wonderful. If you dig wings, try this for sure.

The beer’s I had were pretty good. I’m getting a lot of pale malt flavors, a flavor my palate is ill suited to, so I’ll try to be objective. The chocolate porter was tasty, the cask Sunset Red was all right, but the Germantown Blonde was really something. It was really a perfect summer session beer and just what I needed on a warm summer night. If you’re feeling a bit done in by the sun, grab a Blonde for sure.
-Update- The Biere de Framboise was freakin’ amazing. It tasted like wild raspberries! Also, the Malted Oat Stout was fantastic.

The service was disappointing. Not because our server was half-assed, but because it looked like there was only one server for the entire bar area. This poor girl was running around, frazzled trying to do her job. My rating on service does not reflect our servers maximum effort and great attitude, but the managements decision to over work the poor girl!
-Update- Oh, it’s not that bad…

I like the General so far. What’s needed is a few more return visits to sample the spectrum of offerings so I can get a better feel for what’s hot and what’s to be avoided. Regardless of the beer, the great atmosphere and killer food will keep me coming back. That, and the general is 5 miles from my new place!
-Update- 4.5 miles!
-Update- The buffalo chicken cheese steak keeps rocking my world. Also, I'll give the service a boost.

DarkerTheBetter, Jun 23, 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 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 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 jrancan
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

jrancan, May 22, 2003
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 goodbyeohio
4.2/5  rDev +1%

the final stop (not counting pee stops or toll booths) on my 2005 pennsylvania brew vacation. and what a stop it was. big ups to venom for the recommendation on this suburban gem.

first off, this place looks nothing like the BA picture during the day. i drove right past it. its at a big three way intersection and the sign is small so squint hard. it is a big, olde-time house with that civil war era feel to it. place is broken up into several rooms, and the rooms that make up the bar area are very moody and gothic with history and dark wood highlights. the bar is split between two rooms.. one smaller room with no tv's and about 8 seats. the other is more of a lively bar.. 15 seats and tv's, some tables and an adjoining game room with pool and arcade game. in the smaller bar area, you have a see-thru floor section to get a look at the fermenters.. also there are some tanks behind glass here. lots of country kitchen stuff on the wall.

bartenders were all mid-20's cute townie girls who weren't quite beer-savvy but also not beer-retarded. they knew enough to not screw up any of my orders and were friendly, especially to the depressing looking regulars. the customers there with the exception of ourselves and one other couple were very annoying. this place is very family oriented and draws teenagers and kids into the bar area, with tv's and video game close by. a group of 18 year olds took a table behind me in the bar area so they could smoke.. ordering pepsi's and fries. for this, atmosphere suffers a bit.

we ordered a few dishes here. $12 charcuterie plate was overpriced and offered mild enjoyment.. wasn't the best cured meat.. 2 selections which both seemed like hickory farms. cheese all tasted the same, from a mild cheddar variety. the grilled cheese (which i ordered with bacon) was fabulous on the other hand, showcasing tasty whole grain bread and crisp, fresh bacon. fries also decent but somewhat soggy. i left most of them. allie's french onion soup was a nice balance of sweet onion and salty broth.

HOWEVER... we're not here for the onion soup. here for the beer, which was the best brewpub beer of the entire trip. weizenbock which knocked moonglow into orbit.. framboise lambic with perfect balance, a nice estery and mildly sweet counterbalance to the sour peche from bethelhem. double thunder is a chocolatey porter dream and the raspberry mead was dangerously drinkable pushing 10%. i was planning to stay here all day, but the dangerous drinkabilites of the beers plus the fact that half of them were over 9% made an early day of it.

you can bet a growler came home with me, and you can bet ill be back here.

goodbyeohio, Oct 25, 2005
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 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.
Cheers!

Phatz, Jan 30, 2007
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 PopeJonPaul
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

The atmosphere was so rustic, I half expected to see a historical monument that "General Lafayette Slept Here," or at least stopped for an Ale. Maybe he did...

Looked like an old cottage that's been hollowed out, 360 oval bar in what was probably the front room or parlor, a billiard room off to the side, and two large dining rooms (one with a Citizen Kane-level fireplace) in what was probably the rest of the house. Small brewing operation is visible from the road in an atrium-greenhouse area. All very cozy. About the only thing that looks out of place is the 80s stripe of blue neon above the bar.

Beers were excellent, I wish I had time for more than one (Russian Imperial) but it was a beer crawl (via bus) and time was of the essence. Had a sip of the lambic-like Raspberry mead, I should have taken some of that with me...

Food was especially good (you cannot resist the spring roll appetizer), better than average bar fare. Service was especially good, we were a scheduled party of 20 but our waiter pulled out all the stops, was extra attentive and lighting-fast, and liberal with the water. My only complaint was the tiny 2-toilet men's room. I thought I was going to lose my kidneys waiting in line.

I will certainly make an effort to visit this place again, on my next trip to Philly!

PopeJonPaul, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

oberon, Jan 22, 2004
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General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.