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 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