The Grey Lodge Public House

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The Grey Lodge Public HouseThe Grey Lodge Public House
105 Ratings
The Grey Lodge Public HouseThe Grey Lodge Public House

Type: Bar, Eatery

6235 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19135-3404
United States

(215) 856-3591 | map

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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of RollingRock
3.73/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

A great place for great beer. Does not have a huge German and/or Belgian beer selection. However I really like the large selection of local brews they have. Plus, the beer menu changes every week so you can always go there and have a new beer. I love how the upstairs, which was really nice and clean was smokefree. Thats a major plus. Another plus was that I was able to watch a game and hear the TV for there was no music. Old-fashioned yet modern looking at the same time. Beer I had was excellent. Bartender I had should have known more about beer and different beer styles.

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Photo of carlosd74
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I was here during a recent Victory Brewing-sponsored evening. I was hesitant at first because I have a certain disdain for the "Great Northeast". I have family there and being from Philly it has always sucked for beer lovers. That has all changed thanks to one man - Scoats!

Not only did he take a corner dive and rehab it into a 1st rate beer hall but he did so without completely removing the diviness and the local "color". It feels genuine. I say this because it is now the cool thing to design "dives" and sell $2 PBR pounders to hipsters. Don't know what the hell I mean - just go to Fishtown or Bella Vista. Pretentious with a capital "P". LOL!

Now the place has 2 personalities. The 1st floor is the dive floor. It truely is Mayfair. It may as well be a VFW but don't let appearances fool you. Oh no - this Oasis has a killer selection that rotates faster than the lies that come out of GW Bush's mouth. The second floor is more posh and refined....smoke-free too. The volume is lower so you can hold a conversation.

I must tip my hat on the excellent website that gives you a weekly update on the beers tapped and on deck. Plus it has events, menu and the friggin' jukebox playlist! Oh and these guys really flush their taps daily to ensure no FUNK.

A word or two about the jukebox, you'd have to head downtown to find its equal. Any bar owner who gives me Joy Division and The Smiths has my business. More importantly it is about the beer and service. There is something for every taste at all times. The service is so friendly you will forget you are in jaded Philly. I had arrived alone but was made to feel like one of the regulars in no time.

I would like to see a more expensive menu but maybe I am asking for too much. I am spoiled by Monks, Standfard Tap and Ten Stone's menus I suppose.

My only gripe is that the jukebox is only available to the 1st floor. I would love to have that same playlist available on the CD changer upstairs. Perhaps you could get an MP3 like Noddinghead. Can't I enojy a pint and be depressed by Morrissey or Ian Curtis??? :-)

In closing, this is a diamond in the rough. Finally people in lower Bucks, NE Phily and Eastern Montco have a exceptional place to drink. All Hail Scoats!!!

***Update: Oh and did I mention the lovely female patrons that roll in after 9:00? Don't act like that doesn't matter in deciding an Atmospher score.***

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Several brews at the excellent “new” Sly Fox in Royersford were followed by an equally great set of brews at the atmospheric General Lafayette, and a revisit to the Standard Tap, it was soon late-afternoon and time to head out to the much-vaunted Grey Lodge Pub on the outskirts of Philly.

First things first, I have to tip my English Bowler Hat to fellow BA Ericaweizen for driving during the entire awesome road trip during this Memorial Day Weekend Saturday BA-PA-CA Pubcrawl, however, that being said…..the Grey Lodge is definitely *not* located at 3562 Frankford Avenue…’s erm, well 6235 Erica, I told her she typed way too fast when doing the MapQuest thingy…..LOL…..well after we escaped the drug ravaged rather dodgy looking “other end” of Frankford Avenue and made it to the right end and address, street parking was relatively easy to find, as indeed was the Grey Lodge.

I digress; the exterior has one of those horrid false looking “stuck-on” stone cladding wall appearances. The words ‘The Grey Lodge Public House’ are plainly adhered to a wooden planked board that runs the width of the Pub. Nice to see for once that the spelling of the word ‘Grey’ is correct. A Post Office red door, situated to the right of an alleyway entrance and to the left of paned black window full of neon signs, yearns to be opened.

Once the red door is pivoted on its hinges, the Grey Lodge opens up like a Pandora’s Box and back into a long rectangular corridor. The streaming daylight of the outside of Philly juxta-posed against the darkened interior of the Grey Lodge, the eyes took a while to adjust, but the dim dark wood fittings lend a den-like feel once inside and the door closed behind you.

A flight of wooden stairs rises to the first floor as soon as you enter, which during a “reckie”, was quietly abandoned during our Saturday evening visit, but I noted that it opens daily at 5pm and is…deep breath…SMOKE FREE!! Cool.

Downstairs ground floor is definitely not smoke-free, more of a smoke all the hell you want sort of atmosphere. The Carcinogens didn’t bother me too much for the few brews we had here. Basic interior typical of a working class boozer with a few Dartboards I noted. Funky fittings include one of those red-dot matrix signs that constantly scrolls the names of brews on offer and the Gents toilets, oh yeah..the Gents!!! Simply amazing, decorated with bottle caps, beery stuff here & there but more stunningly, the vast majority of the walls are covered in what seems like a plethora of hand made, extremely colorful tiles. The individual tiles which contain single words are placed together, seemingly in random patterns, but rather cleverly to form famous phrases, sayings and many beery quotes; very cool, now why did I come in here….oh yeah for a piss….

It is fair to say that I was quite nicely buzzed by the time I got here….so I didn’t pay too much attention to noting the Beer List to memory; but I recall it had beers from Yuengling (Porter), Troegs, Stone (Porter again), Sly Fox, Flying Fish, Magic Hat and the excellent Middle Ages….oh yeah and Coors Light. I didn’t get any food, but the Pizza place nearby is pretty cool and proved to be a great source of entertainment before we headed out back to Bethlehem.

The Grey Lodge is a superb Beer Bar, a real local’s bar in a neighborhood that has seen much better times it seems, but the Grey Lodge retains a super-cool dive-like décor and an impressive beer list. I’d love to get here during one of the Firkin Fridays or better still a Friday the Firkinteenth Night.

Thanks to Ericaweizen for showing me 2/3rds of Frankford Avenue and getting me here, much appreciated despite the constant piss-taking.

The Grey Lodge is my kind of Bar.

Last Visit: Saturday 28th May, 2005.

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Photo of BrianB
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The biggest reason it took me so long to get to this place is the location--I don't make it to too many Philly bars outside of walking distance (give or take 20 blocks) of center city. The 15 minute walk after the 15 minute ride on the El was a lot more convenient than I thought it'd be.

The downstairs has a typical neighborhood bar feel (give it a 4) but could use more seating, and the newly renovated upstairs is really nice, and more importantly smoke free (give it a 5). Average the two out to a 4.5.

The service is spectacular. I've never met a more friendly, knowledgable and fast set of bartenders, and owner Scoats sat and talked with my wife and I for a few minutes before the last Firkinteenth because he hadn't met us before. Extra credit for maintaining one the best beer websites in Philly.

The beer is terrific. Eight rotating micro drafts, tending more towards breweries special offerings rather than their standards. Good bottle list too. Draft list on the website is accurate and updated frequently.

Awesome barfood. My wife had a buffalo chicken cheesesteak that was delicious, I had the lodge steak (cheesesteak with salami) that was also really good. Probably another half dozen things on the menu that looked equally interesting.

Great place that's worth the trip!

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Photo of dberger624
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is my local bar. Been going since 1999, 5 minute drive 30 minute walk, so getting there is never a problem. Really!! Is it that difficult to find? :) I really can't say anything that hasn't been said before me. The tap and bottle selection is always great for the geek and the macro person.
Aah the changes. Now that's where it's at. Yes it's my local but before the smoke free upstairs opened I dreaded coming out of the place because you smelled like a cigerette. Actually you still do but I haven't been downstairs, with the exception of getting my beer season beer shirt, since upstairs opened. That's not a knock on you smokers but come on I'm I right.
Now let's talk about the upstairs. SMOKE FREE!!. Whoopie!!
That is a big plus for me. Nice and clean with the big window looking down at Frankford Av. Bathroom is a little tough to get out of and it does need a tv but that's minor.
Always clean. Nice mix of local stuff.
I've sampled some mussles and fries, all very good, but I just can't get enough of the Lodge Steak (Cheesestake with salmi (sp) and peeper sauce). And it's very reasonably priced.
Quick and always friendly.
This place has some great events. As I mentioned earlier they have beer season and stout season where you get a free tshirt, Groundhog day (drinking 2003 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and having pancakes at 7 in the morning is pure genusis), and lastly Friday the 13th is huge and gets bigger with each one. Just check out the GL website for all the info you need. It's updated just about every other day.
For those who have been here already. You know what I'm talking about.
For newbies who haven't been here yet. You have to check the Grey Lodge out!!!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What a wild place! I first visited during last year's (2004) Friday the Firkenteenth, but the improvements, plus my desire to take part in Scoats' SugarMom odyssey ISO Split Thy PHL Skull have recently brought me back.

The exterior looks like it could be any other neighborhood joint, were it not for the Chimay, Flying Fish, and Yards signs that hang from the front of the building. Upon entering, the wall directly to the left is done in a tile mosaic, which goes with the floor (as well as something else to be mentioned). The bar begins just inside the door and is an island, surrounded by chairs on three sides. Also just inside the door are a couple of tables with chairs and benches. As you proceed aft, you pass a couple of murals of outdoor scenes and more tables and chairs.

Further on, a leather sofa sits next to the CD jukebox, just before the tile floor gives way to wood and finally, a couple of English dart boards. I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the lavatories (both men's and women's). They are literally festooned with mosaic tiles that include beer-related sayings and fragmented mirrors.

The second floor is all new, with a blonde wood floor, a beautiful red wood bar, eleven taps, a cozy seating area upholstered in red and gold fabric, and a nifty hand-made mural of caps and labels. Finally, there is a huge window overlooking the street, for those who may be inclined to do so.

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Photo of Foxman
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Talk about filling some monstrous shoes...I mean, what can be said about this Mecca that hasn't been said before? Still, one must endeavor...

Although some have said it can be tough to locate, I know just enough of the area to be able to get there in a snap over the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, making it close enough for me to want to call it my neighborhood bar. Follow the directions on GLP's website and you're there easily.

There's an aura about this place, one brought about by reputation and a rich beer past, and it is well-earned, to say the very least. Downstairs is what it is, a local bar that just happens to serve a tremendous menu of draft and bottled beers. It's like a cave with murals and mosaics, complete with local characters at the bar, a vintage table-top video game, and one of the city's best, most eclectic jukeboxes, one which gives the Standard's box a run for its money.
Upstairs is a blissfully smoke-free, homey space, with enough dark wood to create an almost dignified atmoshpere, though not quite. Tables adorn the front of the space, and the view of Frankford Ave. is, if not breathtaking, then at least potentially entertaining. And it's definitely kid-friendly, at least earlier in the evening, making this a great spot for the beer loving dads of the world to bring the brood.

Quality is superior, across the board, creating not just a visit, but an experience every time you walk through the door.

I dare say the service here is second to none. Knowledgeable, friendly, timely...I defy anyone to name a desireable characteristic in a beer bar's staff that these folks do not possess in spades.

What you get here is some of the finest bottled beers to be had in the area. I won't try to list them here, as they're readily available on the website, but there is something for evey palate to not only enjoy, but in which to revel. But for me, the main attraction is the sublime selection at the taps. The locals are certainly well-represented, including, on my visit, Flying Fish, Stoudt's, Sly Fox, and Victory, but so are various other beasties, such as Ramstein and Hennepin. (And yes, I know Ramstein is, to some, local, but as a South Jersey native I simply cannot put that neck of the woods into the local file!) SWMBO absolutely loved the Ramstein Maibock, and that alone is enough to gurantee that I will get subsequent visits out of her in the near future.

The food was, in spite of the glowing reviews, nonetheless a wonderful surprise. It's a small menu, but in my book, it just makes it that much easier to choose. From what we sampled, the batterless wings convey a damned tasty sauce mouthward, and the fries, seasoned and savory, are mighty fine either plain or with cheese. SWMBO's clams came in a white broth with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and enough heavenly flavor that she'll never likely have steamed clams again without thinking back on these. In fact, if you like clams, you'd be beyond remiss if these were on the menu and you did not try them. And my Lodge Steak was a full-bodied, beef-and-salami zesty torpedo, with a fresh roll and enough cholesterol to tax even the cleanest of arteries. But let's face it, if you're ordering a sandwich like this one, that is exactly what makes it the dripping, gustatorial delight that it is.

And so, while I know I've done little more here than echo the resounding praise of others, this is my contribution to the ever-expanding, well-deserved Grey Lodge Pub exaltation. And now that Stout Season is opening soon, I have all the reason I need to stop in regularly!

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Photo of shapudding
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I remember hearing so much about The Lodge, and then finally making the trip with fellow beer appreciaters to check it out. Man, what time was wasted not going here! Driving by on Frankford it is very easy to miss it in the strip of stores. But man, it is worth finding, and worth coming back to. And now there is a smoke-free second floor. I just checked out the new upstairs that has been completed, including the introduction of "real food", upgrading the menu from "We have tomato pie, and tomato pie with cheese", to some very fine selections. Thankfully I was done eating when Lew Bryson knocked me with a visual when talking about the new menu... He shoots us with Jim Anderson's quote about "small and firm beats big and floppy". This Friday a few of us had the curry thai mussels, beer mussels, and the lodge steak. OMG, if you know what a schmitter is, you know what a lodge steak is! The lodge steak is an insanely wonderful ribeye and genoa salami steak with red pepper sauce on a good philly style roll. I tried a buddy's fish and chips, and the fluffy and fresh flakes of white fish in a nice and thick crispy batter was damn fine, especially with the malt vinegar.
Ok, I will try to stop rambling about the food and talk about what else is going on. When you come in downstairs, you see what everyone has been enjoying all along. Darker than the newer upstairs, a nice long bar with pull-up stools. There are a few games and there are darts and a juke in the back. There is one large cooler out on the floor for take-out, and another behind the bar that holds some of the better goods. That one is where you will catch some fine bottles of micros or belgian sweeties that will appear and disappear randomly. There are 10 beer taps, and man does Scoats do an impressive job with them. I found out a long while back when chatting with a friend that he just picks out what he would like to drink. That is why there is always a ton of amazing micro flowing in there, and usually something that just came out and he managed to grab hold of. The whiskey selection is crazy in there. Check the blackboard behind the bar to see what is going on with the taps and what the current whiskey being highlighted is. A nice touch with the brews is the little placards placed at the taps, they give you the brewery name, what is on, and a bit of info on what the style and flavor is for that particular brew -very nice for newbies or those who looking to experiment, but do not want to stand out by asking the bartender for information. My favorite part about the downstairs by far... the bathrooms! -and yep, I have ventured into the men's room at one event, just to see if it was a cool as the women's! The bathrooms are tiled all over with poetry and random coolness. You can catch some words of wisdom, or find some funny ramble all over the place in there. The website even has links so you can see how absolutely cool they are. I was actually very disappointed to enter the new women's room upstairs, and find a spotlessly clean, very well lit and just very functional bathroom.
There are tons of crazy events going on here. -Just take a peek at the also very wacky website to see a listing. Some are just great- the Firkinteenth's, and some are just totally so wrong that they are so right! -Like Groundhog's day! When you start drinking at 7am, and Scoats brings you out these huge amazing trays of pancakes, grits, bacon, eggs, and at 10am you are drinking Bigfoot barley-wine... and then come back to continue it for the evening session? What a day that was! I have not made "Talk like a pirate day" but will need to do that!

All in all, this is a place to go for great beer, served in totally clean lines. Now there is very good food available, and very, very well done. If Scoats is working, look him up for any info you may need for a beer or whiskey selection, there is no way he could possibly point you in the wrong direction.

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Photo of PopeDX
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Ah, the new good ol' Lodge. I was excited about the second floor and kitchen, but it honestly shocked the hell out of me.

Forget the first floor, except to check out the bathrooms and maybe play some Golden Tee or free darts. At or after 5, go upstairs! (upstairs bar and kitchen open at stays open until 1:30)

Make a left as soon as you walk in, climb up the staircase and take a deep breath. You'll smell something that you won't smell at any other bar 'round these parts...nothing. No smoke. At all. And it smells beautiful.

The second floor is composed of a lot of dark, beautifully crafted wood, brick all over, and muted dark tones of yellow and red. The ceiling is all wood with a rafter sort of look, complete with slats. It's aesthetically pleasing while still maintaining a comfy cozy pull-up-a-barstool sort of feel. The bar is much smaller than downstairs, about 10-12 stools in an "L" shape, but there's about 6 tables to the one side and a bench with another 3 tables to the other, so there's plenty of room.

The same 10 taps reach upstairs that are present downstairs. There's been a bit of a turnover recently, with PBR getting replaced with yet another rotating craft beer and the Yuengling Lager getting replaced with the very fine Yuengling Porter. What a great crossover beer that is. So overall there's 8.5 craft beer taps (Yuengling Porter being the .5) that constantly rotate. Kegs rarely stay on for more than a couple of weeks and generally last around 7-8 could easily come in twice a week, have 2 or 3 beers each time and never drink the same thing twice. They also have a very nice selection of whisk(e)ys from the US, Scotland, Ireland and Canada, but you may have to pop downstairs for them.

The service is always amazing...very knowledgeable about the beer and always seems to be right there when your cup runneth dry. And upstairs there's even *table service* (gasp!).

Woo, I finally get to talk about the food! I was expecting your average pub grub here, but the Lodge staff has really committed themselves to being a step above any other joint around. The menu opening night (which may expand a little but not a lot) consisted of wings, which were excellent...served unjointed, which was a unique touch, two kinds of mussels, both of which were drink-the-sauce tasty, two salads (not tasted), a chicken quesadilla which was really big and would highly recommend it if you're a bell pepper lover (or order it without the peppers if you aren't), and then the steaks...oh my god. There's a chicken cheese steak, which was really damn good, loaded with cheese, and a cheesesteak with Genoa salami (which you're familiar with if from Philly, and is also freakin' amazing), but my favorite is just the good ol' cheesesteak. It seems impossible to say this for a place that's been open one day considering the deep history this fine sandwich has in the City of Brotherly Love, but that was the finest damn cheesesteak I have ever had, by far. Freshly sliced, top quality ribeye cooked just right with a copious amount of cheese on a fresh local roll. The food was all reasonably priced as well, with all the aforementioned items between $5 and $7.50. The menu is indeed small, but as local beer writer Lew Bryson painfully admits that other local beer writer Jim Anderson said first even though I definitely got it from Lew, "small and firm beats big and floppy". The small menu allows them to focus on freshness, quality, and flavor.

I honestly can't think of another bar I'd rather go to than here. Uniquely smoke-free, with a micro tap selection that meets or beats anything else in the area, comfy, great service and some amazing food. Easy to get to (beermail me if you need good directions...honestly), with free parking right in front of the place instead of $20 garages two blocks away.

Why must I live 45 minutes away? :(

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Photo of francisweizen
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

An awesome bar that whilst in Philaelphia, is actually far off of the beaten path. Atmosphere is great. Small, dimly lit, with a nice big mural, a cool jukebox, and some of the coloest bathrooms around. Quality of the beers sampled was perfect and the service was fantastic. Our bartender gave Erica several free samples, and he came around at just the right times to refill my pint glass with more resolution porter. Selection was great with many local craft beers on tap as well as pbr, and some more staple selections. The bottled selection of brews was nice as well, and the prices are very very reasonable. Thanks to Scoats for running one of the coolest litte bars that I have ever been too. Good beer, good hospitality, good conversations, and all at a good price! Who can ask for more?

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Photo of erica
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Awesome, awesome place. It was a bitch to get to, but I suppose it was well worth the drive in the rainy night in a part of Philly I've never seen in my life... Anyway, The atmosphere was really great- it's kind of small, dark with lots of wood, and one wall is a big mural of the outdoors or something, I forget exactly. It felt very welcoming and cozy, which I needed on that cold wet night I visited there. Oh, the bathrooms were way cool too- bright mosaic tiled walls with quotes about money and love, and cool mirrors, I spent too much time in there just reading all the things in there. I heard the men's room had beer quotes and the same tiled scheme. Overall a neat looking and feeling place.

The beer selection and quality was great, and price too. Very cheap for very good beers.. Francisweizen got the Victory Resolution Porter, I think the Grey Lodge was the only place to get it outside of Victory, I got a bottle of HW Perkuno's Hammer. The bartender insisted I sample a few of the draft beers that I asked about, which was cool. Very helpful in dealing with my indecisive nature... Yes, the staff were all very friendly and the service was excellent. Scoats was there so we talked to him a bit, well I talked to him anyway, mostly about that Japanese cat character actually, and about the bar... very very nice guy, he's lucky to have such a great bar, and we're all lucky he's got it too! Thanks man!

I highly recommend making a stop at the Grey Lodge, whether yer in Philly or an hour away, it's definitely worth the trip.

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Photo of PSUDREW
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

SO I went to the famous grey lodge pub last night. I even got to meet scoats, who seems like a really cool guy. And, he cares, which I think is key. you could have a bar with the best selection ever, but, if he never cared, well, the place would just be shitty. Props to him for the work in the bathroom(s - my girlfriend said the place was the same when she went in) that was well played indeed. Sam with the woodworking and the floor. The bar tender seemed allright as well. I do like the owl motif.

We could go on and on about the selection. Best way to see is go to the website and check it yourself. 1st time I got to have stuff from DFH and Brooklyn on tap, so that is always a treat.

This is, through and through, a north philly neighborhood bar, but honestly that adds to it. You'll have locals, you'll have blue collar, but that is philadelphia. It is a great time, don't expect 5 star, but expect a good time. Times like this I wish I lived closer

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Photo of slander
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Yes, we grabbed a cab from downtown, and our cabbie, a man named "Vhrooom" or something as such, first says, "I have no idea where this is" and then, "but it's going to cost you $30". So there's a flat charge in Phily for driver education or something?? I have to pay you to learn your city?? Yes, get off the highway onto Harbison. "Har-bi-bi"? "Ummm, Har-bi-son!!!" After he drops us off on the corner of Frankford and vhroooms away, we're left to look for the Lodge which we find with relative ease...
The place is packed for Friday the Firkinteenth, my first, and it's good that we got there when we did because any later, we would have been curbside with the recyclables waiting for a long long long time to get in.
The place is divey, yes, but I'm here for the beer. Of course this event had 15 casks but the normal tap list was on the wall. Some very good local and regional micros (Victory, Heavyweight, Flying Fish, Weyerbacher, Yards, Sly Fox, Riverhorse), a cask, and PBR and Coors light for the locals. The beers they had on cask for the event were mostly excellent (Heavyweight Hammer Porter with Treacle, Nodding Head IPA) although there were a few clunkers (Brewer's Art Jeannie Triplehorn Green Peppercorn Triple, Dogfish Head Aprihop). Service was good for the madness they had to insue. At one point as I'm trying to get a beer, one of the guys behind the bar looks up at me and I start spewing, "Okay, I need a.. and a ... and...", and he says, "I'm just a barback, I can't serve you any beer". I might have raised my voice a lot when I said accusingly, "Then you can't look at me!!!! You can't make eye contact!!!" (sorry about that, Mo).
Funny bathroom scene. Beer caps shapes and Mosaic tile patterns with beer quotes (my favorite being something like, "Beer is a food staple but food is not a beer staple". True that!!!)
For this event, they were serving one food item, the tomato pie, which runs just under $5 a clip. A tomato pie, also called a "Tomada Pie" in Utica, NY, is what's known as a half assed pizza. It's dough and sauce, cheeseless. Sustainance, that's all I know. That's all I need.
I'd really like to get back here on a normal night and see what it's like.

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Photo of nomad
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Easy to miss because the façade is small and unassuming, inside the Grey Lodge is a thin sliver with a bar in the middle. Paintings of outdoor scenes on the wall and the occasional breweriana hanging, too, the best piece of décor is in the bathrooms. Floor-to-ceiling colorful mosaics, displaying a number of famous beer quotes from the venerable Plato, Homer Simpson, Shakespeare, some drunk old man, etc. – a really nice touch. Good work, Mr. Publican. Also, there is a thin and long electronic screen, like one’s you’ll find in train stations, scrolling info about the available beers and upcoming events. Again, a really nice touch. Hopefully the upstairs will be open soon.

And about the publican, a BA named Scoats, this guy really puts his heart out. Friday the Firkinteenth, Groundhog Day, Stout Season, the list of unique, fun, and recurring events he puts on are a further testament to the effort and care. I say further because the selection is excellent, with the taps rotating through every micro within a three-hour drive, and not just the well-known like Victory or Troegs, but the smaller brewpubs like Brewer’s Art and Sly Fox. His whiskey list, partly formed per the advice of Lew Bryson, is stellar, too, if you’re into that. Check out the Lodge’s often updated website with plenty of cool info to pique your interest.

Somebody called the patrons of this place “Philbillies” – yes, it’s a working class neighborhood that saw better days a long time ago, but can you really hate on the local regular Joes? So what if they’re drinking Coors, they’re good people. Little in the way of food, but those simple tomato pies taste damn good after a couple pints. Great management, good bartenders. Plenty of parking because it’s a flat and open neighborhood. Glad to find out its an easy drive up 95 and a quick jaunt down Aramingo, or you can take the slow and mediocre-at-best Philly public transportation, or pay an arm-and-a-leg for a cab ride. Regardless, check it out, its quite a nice dive.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

The Grey Lodge is unique in my experience. It is a standard local taproom in a working class neighborhood of Philadelphia with the usual clientele most of the time. The big difference is their beer selection. They specialize in microbrews, having ten on tap the night I visited. The place is retro-seedy, but the bar tenders are friendly and knowledgeable. The beer is served at the perfect temperature. It is well poured, and their beer is always fresh. They change the pours weekly so that you know it is fresh. At about 7:00, they bring out a cask-conditioned beer and serve that. The night we were there it was a undistinguished Flying Fish Dubble but many weeks they serve much better stuff.

We had a selection from Troegs, Brewer's Art, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher, Victory, Yard's, and Appalachian. They also had Yuengling's Lager, PBR, and Coors Light on tap, and they were popular with the locals.

This place has a lot of characters with many special celebrations, the most unique restrooms in the world, and plenty of sports TV and talk. The menu is very, very limited. They have two things: tomato pies, and a pepperoni pizza wrap. Sometimes they have a mushroom pizza wrap. What they have is delicious, and it is unreasonable to expect more since they don't have a real kitchen, but I would have liked even some cold sandwiches. Anyway, the place is worth another visit or three.

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Photo of fes1
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I had three reason to stop by the Grey Lodge this past weekend.

I wanted to see the new decor. Heard that they ripped out the booths , the new tables look realy nice and roomy.

GL was one of only four bars to have Victory Hop Wallop
on tap. Fantastic beer, Im a Hop Devil drinker but the Wallop
was amazing. If you get a chance get some before its gone.

I had just spent another wonderful day Christmas shopping
and needed a break.

Got to catch some football, talk with the locals about
junk food, and enjoy a new beer.

Great way to kill an hour

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Photo of bostonstoutman
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

wow, absolutely worth the short trip from west philly. (thumbs up for proximity to Steve's Prince of Steaks.) Aforementioned chalkboard made me drool. Weyerbacher Old Heathen, Sly Fox Christmas Ale etc. I had a short conversation with the owner, absolutely great guy, really cares about providing a place to drink fantastic beers on draught. Great neighborhood atmosphere, (we went on Quiz night--didn't win the $25 dollar bar tab, though we were leading after round 1!!) Beer enthusiasts all around. Two thumbs up, I will return shortly, though I'm sad I have to miss the christmas eve tapping of the Dogfishhead Pumpkin Ale (I think he told me this was the night, possibly new years eve though, you should double check.) A fine public house

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Photo of FelixLeech
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The Chalkboard. Oh my, oh yes, thee almighty chalkboard. How I love thee, let me count the ways...

The chalkboard or rotating beers is the highlight of the place. If you find yourself in the Grey Lodge with no one to talk to you will soon end up staring at this board for very long periods of time. The chalkboard is the list of what is on tap, and it is the center piece of the Grey Lodge (at least to those who would end up reading this review).

The Grey Lodge has a wonderful selection of local microbrews, with usually only one major macro brew on tap, plus one or two macro-microbrews (Pabst Blue Ribbon). The tap's microbrews all rotate several times per week, so you will always find something new and exciting to drink.

This review is actually a work in progress. I've yet to see the bathrooms (I hear they are cool) and I haven't made it on a Friday the 13th yet (in my favor, there hasn't been one since I found out about the place). This review will be expanded upon.

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Photo of dmarch
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Congratulations to Scoats for have a fine establishment. Looks like a typical local bar where the regulars come in after work to have a pint, but this is really a gem for Northeast Philly. Fine selection of micros and the taps are constantly rotating. I hear the tomato pies are good, but I didn't try the food. Old school arcade games and darts. Plus the finest bathroom I've ever seen. Mosaic tile that spells out famous beer quotes with bottle caps stuck in the grout, very cool. Awsome murals in the bar area as well. Can't wait to go back.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
5/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was an incredible bar, which has a good reputation. It was very small, and it looks like a typical city bar. A big gaping hole in the ceiling. I loved it.

6 patrons were drinking mixed drinks or Coors Light from the tap. My friend and I were trying the microbrews. You gotta love the mix. A meeting of two beer worlds. The atmosphere takes away my normal beer snobbery.

The bartender is incredibly friendly and he was giving me a lot of information about the place. Friday the 13th is crazy apparently. A ton of people. You have to get there by 5. I had a pumpkin ale and a lambic. My friend had a milk stout and a german style lager. The barkeep gave me a taste of Victory's HopDevil for free. A wide variety to say the least.

The food is minimal but the tomato pie was cheap and tasty. It looked like they had chili but I'm not sure. I wouldn't go just for the food, but the tomato pie did hit the spot.

I'll definitely be back, and if you are in the area you gotta go.

Update: Since originally coming here on Halloween in '03 this has become a home away from home. It has a great atmosphere. And part of that atmosphere is the mixture of locals and beer people. Not to mention the excitement of Friday the Firkenteenths.

Update: Second floor has been put in and the the kitchen is open. Atmosphere combined with upstairs is perfect. No smoke upstairs! My clothes don't stink. And I am very happy. Scoats goes all out in everything he attempts. He is to be commended for his commitment to his business and to the customer. The kitchen is open as well. Early reports on the food is that it is really really good. I had the cheesesteak which was good but not as good as I was expecting. I'm going to try more on the menu, so the final word isn't in yet. There is change in the menu which is great. I'm not sure if he is still experimenting with what works or if rotation will keep going on. I should also mention that the taps are rotating, what seems to me at least, very fast right now. His website updates the tap list very frequently and there is normally something you will like on-tap. Scoats does a very good job picking his beers. His method? Whatever he thinks is interesting. Oh. And he readily takes requests over email. And, in my experience, gets pretty much anything I asked for unless it is impossible to get. That is exceptional service that you don't find in many bars.

Update: Had a chance to evaluate the food. The food is fantastic at really reasonable prices. I don't care for mussels. I had a Thai-curried mussel, and it was incredible. Scoats told me that they aren't chopping up the steak on purpose. They are using a premium cut and they want it to show forth. The spinach salad is getting raves. My friends did the fish and chips and they loved it. I had some of the steak fries, which I loved. The regular fries are spicy, akin to Checker's if you are a french fry conneseur. Also very good. The Lodge steak, similar to a Schmitter, was also getting raves. I had the chicken quesedilla. Wonderful, filling, large, and excellently presented. Only 6.50.

Update: I think they worked out the kinks in the cheesesteak. This is easily one of the best cheesesteaks I've ever eaten.

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Photo of stirgy
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I admit it, I was unsure the first time I walked into the Grey Lodge. I know what a crappy local bar in Philadelphia can be like (especially in the Northeast) The front of the bar is completely unassuming and ordinary. The decor is prime 1960-70's. It was dark, dank and the only patrons besides me and my girlfriend was an old guy doing shots and a few bud swillin' mulletheads.

But - after talking to the friendly bartender, ordering a pint of cask conditioned Yards ESA, and a trip to the best bar bathroom in recent memory, my fears were put to rest. They have a well rotated selection of draft local micros and usually have a cask of something behind the bar.

Friday the Firkinteenth events are a must for any beer lover (I've attended two).The bar is packed to the gills, hot, smoky and loud. They make ice water available to prevent dehydration during the event - you'll need it because it really feels like a marathon of beer.

The tomato pies are pretty good, too.

9/03: UPDATE!
Scoats (the owner) has sort of remodeled the place. The booths are gone, fresh pine slats are on the walls, there's a nice new front door, and some "lodgey" murals of outdoor scenes have been painted on the walls. And a new floor is going in. This is a special place that many better beer drinkers have come to call their own.

4/05: UPDATE!
One of THE best and comfortable feeling drinking establishments I've ever been to. Great staff, Great owner, Great events - and now... Great Food! Seriously, when we want to relax and have a good beer, this is where we go. Thank the Gods that we live close by!

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Photo of boblinneman
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

From the outside the Grey Lodge looks like a private social club (Elks/Moose something along those lines. Upon entering (during the week) you will notice a small group of locals drinking cheap beer and shots. But there is always at least one person to talk beer with. And there's plenty of beer to discuss. Scoats keeps ten taps rotating with great local micros (Victory/Yards/FlyingFish/DogFishHead...) and different brews from each brewery. Always has the latest seasonals. On weekends there are cask conditioned selections. Friday the Firkinteenth is a great event, and where I met BAs and discovered this wonderful site.
P.S. The best bathroom in NE Philly, makes the dreded trip worth it.
Thanks Scoats!
Atmosphere has greatly improved. Second floor addition will make this NE Philly bar make Northern Liberty/Old city bars jealous.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere is really electric when I went here for the first time for the Friday the Firkinteenth. They had a bunch of local casks thrown on top of the bar, around 10, but I believe sometimes they have up to 15 or so. I met up with BA’ers RobBeer and NeroFiddled. This place was packed to the max…no walking room left. I was there around 6 to almost 10pm then I was off to my usual Friday night card game. I had tried around six beers and I was ready to go. If I would have had a couple more brews I think I would have been sleeping there…haha
I didn’t get any food, but it was you basic finger food that they serve, thin pizza and tortilla roll-ups.
The bathroom walls have bottle caps in the walls, and beer quotes painted on it, check it out.
Overall this has to be one of the best stops in Northeast Philly.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

UPDATE: The Grey Lodge has really taken huge strides forward with the opening of their upstairs and kitchen. What was once only a place that I could go by myself or with guys is now a great place to take a date for a cozy, quiet night upstairs. The food is very good!!!! and reasonable (and they've got some vegetarain items as well!). The beer selection has actually improved (although I think that just has to do with more and more good stuff becoming available in the area); and the service has gotten much better! They also run Quizzo, which is my favorite game in the world, so big points there! ...In the past I might have passed on suggesting it as a destination for out of town visitors because of its location, but I now think it more than worthy! That said.... here's my original review from 3 years ago!!!

Ya gotta love the Grey Lodge! This place can be hard to find but it's worth it. Formerly a daytime shot-and-a-beer joint, some of the regulars still come here. Stopping in at noon will bring you suspect looks from 2 or 3 craggy old men drinking Bud and soaking in the cathode rays of some long gone '70 show. But don't knock it, CHiPS and The A-Team can be quite entertaining with their bad dialogue and "full of holes" plot lines! But back to the regulars, ordering a Belgian-style beer at this time will probably gain you some "who the hell is this?" or "what the hell is that?" looks... but these guys can also be great fun if you get them going! Some of the bartenders are brain-dead, but others are sharp as a tack and extremely entertaining (and everyone loves Billy!!!). But now to the beer. The proprieter, Scoates, rotates his tap line-up like a Tilt-A-Whirl from hell. There is always something new. He runs a lot of local beers from area brewpubs and micros. He also gets a lot of "one-offs" from these breweries, which can be real exciting. Friday the Firkinteenth, held on all Friday the 13th's, is a real treat with 18 or 20 casks up on the bar and special "small glass" pricing so you can taste a few! But I almost forgot the food. Minimal is "in", isn't it? Pizzas heated in a small oven behind the bar, or tortilla roll-ups. Just something to fill your belly - but quite tasty! Now that's the taste of Northeast Philly!

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Photo of jrancan
3.95/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Interesting little place located in Northeast Philly. Although a little "divey", there is always a friendly crowd willing to talk beer. They have 9 beers and a cider on draft, specializing in local brewpubs and breweries. Every Friday at 6pm they tap a small cask of something (last week Victory Hop Devil). They call this Firkin Friday. When Firkin Friday falls on the 13th of the month (Friday the Firkinteenth) they set up at least 10 different casks and tap them all at the same time. It doesn't get any fresher than that!

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The Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.34 out of 5 with 105 ratings