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 MarcGetty
2.58/5  rDev -40.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

After seing the Grey Lodge on Beer Advocate for quite some time, I decided to try it last night with a friend. Less then a 10 minute drive for a bar that gets high BA rankings is definitely worth a try.

We arrived at 6:45 PM on a Monday night, not quite the best time and day of the week for a crowd, but at least the place will not be packed. Packed it was not. My friend and I doubled the number of customers in the place when we arrived!

Dingy is the best way to describe the bar area. A favorite of mine is the 1960s era wall mount with curly cord phone behind the bar. While they do have 10 different beers on tap, most micros and a nice selection of bottles in a glass doored cooler across the bar. No complaints about the selection but definitely not enough to put it on the top three bars in Phila.

The bartender, when not on the phone, was a plesent chap who was more then eager to remove my 80% empty bottles from the bar before I was done with them. I had the mussels which were very good and appropriately priced. Took a while, but I did not exactly expect the cook to be on standby with 4 customers in the entire place.

The bathroom is indeed top notch, mosaics of beer related quotes put the bathroom at the top of the list, but not enough to make the Gray Lodge worth going back to right away.

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Photo of madcow09
3.15/5  rDev -27.4%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 1

I've heard so much about this place but I have to say, I was a little disappointed. The beer selection is fantastic but the overall vibe of the place was just awful. We ordered some appetizers because the menu was similar to one you'd find at a pizza shop. They really need to hire a chef to create a menu that compliments the beers they serve. We had one beer and moved on to the Standard Tap which never disappoints.

I don't live too far from the pub but I really don't see myself visiting anytime soon.

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Photo of fnoffagain
3.2/5  rDev -26.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Recently visited the Lodge and was highly disappointed. This was my fourth visit and the excellent beer menu aside, the female waitress was awful and it appeared that we were bothering her. It was damn near impossible to get a table, as it is first come first serve. This caused much tension between patrons who were waiting for tables, and folks coming right in and stealing the tables. I ordered a Belgian Trippel that was served to me by the "happy" waitress in a pint glass. The beer was also flat. Love the beer selection, but could do without the "Philly" attitude from the waitress.

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Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.25/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of mltobin
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Along NE Philly, a good ways from any part of the actual city. Its kind of like trekking from Manhattan to Far Rockaway. Anyways, the atmosphere was loud and happy on the evening that we visited. Some beer signs scattered the wall of a large bar area. They had around 16 beers on tap, with a focus on regional options such as Sly Fox, Manayunk and Yards. As well as other options from the US craft beer scene. No standouts when I was there. They carry bottles from Chimay, Rogue, Founders, Hoegaarden and some more. Staff was friendly and quick. As a couple others mentioned, I was a bit underwhelmed by some of the offerings. But it is certainly a great place to kick back some decent beer, especially if you find yourself living or passing through this random part of the city.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

The Grey Lodge is the ultimate bar's bar, if you know what I mean. Located in the ultimate blue-collar area of Philadelphia, where bars open at 9am or earlier and faded bar signs often advertise beers even your grandpa may not remember.

I love the atmosphere here around. So real and unpretentious! The Grey Lodge is one of these working-class bars, only it happens to have great beer and better-than-average food (which I did not try but looks promising).

I was there right after 10am when they first open and was the only customer. Was expecting a heftier beer selection, but had a nice Stone Double Dry-Hopped Ruination. Also a Deschutes on tap, which I cannot get in NYC, Great Lakes Erie and lots of local and Pennsylvania beers (I had Roy Pitz Chicken Leg).

Wish I could have gotten some of those rarer brews they get at the Lodge from time to time, like Pliny, Lost Abbey and Port Brewing...

The bottle selection is small but focused, with some gems like Alesmith and Firestone Walker Parabola. One thing I do enjoy is the variety of their serving sizes, including 8-oz, 16-oz, 60-oz pitcher and 64-oz growler. That's how it should be!

Service was fine, beer was fresh, atmosphere is great. The Grey Lodge is a good alright bar, one I would frequent if I lived nearby, but it is not the world-class joint some consider it to be, and not really worth a detour unless they happen to tap a crazy keg.

P.S> Forgot to look at the restrooms so I must come back here

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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 corby112
3.74/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The best bar in Northeast Philly. Always a nice selection of beers on draft and a rotating bottle list. The focus is mostly on american craft and every once in a while they get something really rare like Pliny the Elder or some of the Dogfish Head Experimental brews. Also, there is always an interesting mix of people; neighborhood heads drinking Miller light and beer geeks sipping on decent micros. Also, you are always garunteed to hear some good cock rock. The last time I was there I heard Motley Crue, GNR and Metallica played back to back, immediately followed by Joy Divison. Very strange.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 5

My wife and I went here for the 75 min IPA simultap. It was a very rowdy crowd at first but once everyone got their beer everything settled down a bit. When you first walk in their is a staircase to you left (which we did not venture to look upstairs) and the bar is straight ahead. Two massive flatscreens above the bar. The looks of the place are that of a hole in the wall bar (literally there was a massive hole in the wall where I was standing). There was a big blackboard with all of the brew's on tap , bottled , and in the upcoming future. I probably wouldn't have a good reason to come back as it is a hike from our house but it was worth the expierence for the 75 min IPA.

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Photo of jim102864
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I vistied twice this week while in the Philly area on business. Very much out of the way, particularly for someone who's not from the neighborhood. Nondescript and hidden adjacent to a pizza joint. Kinda dark inside with very much a rustic "lodge" feel. Beadboard paneling, dark red decor and a few items of brewana hanging on the walls. The bar is a large rectangle that promotes conversation amongst the patrons. The local mailmen were there on night one for their pints and were soon followed by a guy and his son (I assume) who worked in the Philly beer industry (see the review immediately preceding mine). Good chat. Night two was as dead as it gets as far as the willingness of the patrons to converse which makes for a less than enjoyable experience. Anyway, Lodge is a good spot for local beer since the emphasis is clearly on that. There are only 12 taps and 30 or so bottles. Yes the local brew is tasty. Yes the bottle selection includes macrocrap along with a nice selection of local and regional stuff. Yes the lines are clean. But I can't help feeling the selection is rather pedestrian for a big city beer bar. 12 taps of primarily local brew doesn't flip my skirt. Expand your horizons! Add more taps of something outside of the PA area ! I do think they try to be different. The firkin of High and Mighty espresso stout was a nice touch. The food is very good pub food. Nice steak sandwich and fries with a cheese sauce. Night two's french onion was dead on for a cold winter's night as were the bbq ribs and fries. The barkeep on night one was pleasant and efficient but hardly conversational. Night twos barmaid was more of the same. No proper glassware for the few Belgians available from what I could see. I suppose it's because the neighborhood is primarily working class but so what?

The Lodge is worth a visit and recommended. Just don't expect an exceptional experience. I don't mean to be overly critical since this is a nice spot, but I think Philly can offer more than two exceptional Belgian bars and one slightly above average beer bar, don't you?

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Overall the cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired. Bathrooms are pretty gross.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of magine
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I always heard about the reviews from people and websites saying it was one of the best beer bars in the country so I wanted to try it. I went here with about eight of my buddy's, for the first time on Friday night. Never went here because of the area it is located in. I used to live around this area and the area never crossed my mind for a night out with the boys.

The place is small (think Philly row home) with two bars two dart boards and some tables. The upstairs is smaller with just tables and a bar.

The place is cool looking inside, with some nice old school decor (beer promotional stuff from way back) and some decent music playing in the background everything from Sinatra to Metallica. You can tell the owners care about the vibe that the place puts off. It feels like you are not in the Mayfair section when hanging inside.

The brew selection was very good, great brews with nice variety to choose from. The bartenders were quick to get you your brews, although some of my friends waited a bit too long for a place that wasn't overly packed.

The bathroom was cool inside - again they had some cool touches to the design and look of the place.

The people working there were helpful (was given some samples to try) and the patrons were decent people ranging in ages from 60 down to mid twenties. The place seemed more about chilling with friends rather then people watching. Also we did not feel we were out of place there as it may be very much a neighborhood bar with regulars. We felt very comfortable there.

Overall this place was very cool to hang and was an inviting place to hang for a night. It had a great beer selection and the food (I was told was good). The only drawback would be if you are a single guy looking to meet chicks, this would not be a place to hang for the night. The other thing (unless they are there some other night) would be no eye candy to look at behind the bar, this place could use a few good looking chicks to look at while drinking the week of work away. ALL bars gain marks for hot chicks bartending.

Overall a very good bar for hanging and drinking quality selctions of brew; It is a quiet casual place you can talk while drinking.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Made my first stop at this legendary Philadelphis establishment. Nestled in suburbia. Plenty of street parking available. The place was cozy and had the most prominent corner bar feel I have ever seen. The place was loaded with locals but I didn't feel out of place. A friend and I took a table and we were quickly attended to by a waitress. Service was good. Not great. We had to wait for our server to come over and take our second beer and food order. The selection was impressive. Lots of local and regional draft. The food was outstanding. If they didn't have all the great beer, I would still come here for the food.

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

After visiting a couple spots on the Philadelphia map, me & my newly relocated tour guide entered the Grey Lodge.

The first floor was quite occupied for the early evening, but word of mouth had us floating to the top level, where BAs were known to migrate.

Quite cozy up top, nothing like the heavy air that circumvents the masses underneath. I have nothing against the patrons downstairs, but I was hungry. :) The lighting was a little better too, so I could at least read the beer list & menu with these squinters. The menu was quite hefty for a bar, so we took our beers first. Not too much going on that night, but enough to try on a first visit. My friend killed the keg of Hooker Doppelback, but being the gracious patron he is, let me have the honor. Five minutes later, I was already halfway through that tasty brew, when the food arrived. The curry mussels looked really good, but I didn't order that. I had the steak sandwich, which sadly was a big disappointment. It was basically Steak-Ums & white cheddar cheese wiz. Now, I heard a rumor that an authentic cheese steak uses cheese wiz, but the menu read a bit differently. The side order of clam chowder though, was pleasantly better then expected.

We met a handful of BAs locals during the meal that made the experience all the better. Eventually moving up to the bar, the conversations continued a little past my expertise, but still quite friendly.
We casually argued about a few brews, & then we would be treated to samples by the lovely barkeep.

Before you knew it, it was time to leave. A parting pint of Blackbird oatmeal stout made the walk back into town oh so much easier on my knees.

I came away with two thoughts from my trip:

1)The two chicks at the end of the bar must of felt very lonely sipping Miller lites all evening.


Seriously, I had a very pleasant evening & definately look foward to visiting this fine establishment again.

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

Visited the establishment on a Friday evening. It was easy to find using Yahoo directions. but finding a place to park was something else. Its been over 30 years since I went to college (and lived) in Philly, and it was strange to see cars parked in the middle of the street. It was sTonenight and the downstairs was pretty packed, but my wife and I were able to get a table upstairs. When I asked the bartender what was on tap he pointed a list on the wall. I was a bit dissapointed but I was hoping for something new, but I had already had everything on the list (it turned out he list was incomplete because the had an additional Stone beer on-tap that wasn't on the list) The food was good, but nothing exceptional. I'm glad I went and the next time I am in the area I will stop again. (my son is starting college in Philly in the fall anf I'm sure I will have a number of reasons to return.

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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 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 little_star
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Robjvoorhees
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

After hearing about the Grey Lodge on this site & various other publications, I was real happy my friend's best man chose this as a surprise destination for his bachelor party.

Very unassuming exterior, which I liked. Inside was welcoming: awesome beer memorabilia all over, & the restroom mosaic was a thing of majesty. It was nice that they had a second floor tap room, & the party pretty much took it over.

The tap list was impressive: I'm pretty proud of the variety Pittsburgh has to offer, but was thrilled to see some great stuff not available in my part of the state. Pliny the Elder & Roy Pitz Ludwig's Revenge topped my list.

The two female bartenders, while not appearing particularly thrilled to be serving 18 rowdy guys in the mid-afternoon, suffered us fools adequately. They also didn't seem especially versed in the beer, but were helped by cliffnotes for each tap.

I wasn't knocked over by the food menu at first -- seemed like typical heavy pub fare -- but was very satisfied by the biggest crab cake sandwich I've ever seen. And who's going to complain about delicious, starchy pub food anyway?

All in all a great time, at what struck me as a down-to-earth, beer-fearing and -loving establishment.

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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 BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Been coming here for the last siz years off and on, the Grey lodge is the best thing going for beer in NE philly.

The surrounding neighborhood aside, the grey lodge has a nice vibe going for it. The upstairs bar is a bit more polished and new looking while the downstairs looks more like your average bar. Good, friendly people & the GL always have some sort of wacky event going on that is original.

The quality is up there. Clean lines, making for clean beer and a bottle selection that has a good turn around leaving for fresh beer. The presentation of the food is also nice. I never had a problem with the service here. The bartenders are nice and the servers are quick, depending on how busy it is.

The selection is always the best when Friday the Firkenteenth rolls around. At least 20 firkins from various brewers always make for a good time. They also save some sixtels for various events throughout the year. The bottle selection is OK with some goodies and macro's to keep the lights on. The tap selection is also nice and changing but the focus seems to be on local beers and surrounding states. I've never been wowed at the tap selection for some reason, maybe im spoiled. The food is great and they infuse beers in some of their dishes as well. I always go for a cheesesteak and fries though, Im not so adventerous when it comes to food.

Go her and have a good time, that's what they seem to strive for. The firkin selections are top notch.

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