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Sunday, October 30, 2005
Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, PA
So, a funny thing happened on the way to Nodding Head Friday night! Adam and I went to the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philly (Mayfair) instead. The original goal was to taste the last of the gold-medal winning "George's Fault" brewed by Nodding Head Brewery and inspired by George Hummel of Home Sweet Home Brew.
But, it struck us that maybe we should call before we drive all the way into Center City to fight for a parking spot. As we get to the Manayunk exit on the Schuylkill Expressway, we learn that the sixtel of George's Fault has already expired (tapped at 3pm).
So, plan B......head up to Grey Lodge instead.......great decision!! It was a great decision because, for both us, it was the first time paying a visit to this beer destination. Also, across the region, Grey Lodge is known as a place to find beers on tap that you likely won't find in many other establishments. They also have a moderately impressive selection of bottled beer as well.
Perhaps the most striking thing about this location is the fact that it's in the most unlikely of places. This isn't Center City....this isn't Old City.....this isn't Manayunk.....this isn't really a neighborhood where you'll find any tourists and, let's be honest, even people from the Philly area would admit venturing into.
People of Mayfair please don't take that the wrong way; afterall, I grew up visiting my aunt and uncle on St. Vincent and walking "the boulevard" (Frankford Ave.) with my uncle and appreciate the area for what it is.
But, I digress.... After scoring a great parking spot out front, Adam and I walked in and immediately started with Southampton Double White Ale. Although not quite as fully-rounded, complex, and delicious as the bottled version that I had from Beer Yard, this was still a very good beer with a noticable, yet understated, apricot nose. Adam picked up on this more than I did; I attributed that in part to what I thought was a smoky environment.
Our second choice of beers was the cask-conditioned Flying Fish Grand Cru. The beer poured even more flat that we expected it to. And the taste itself was fairly unmemorable. What I do remember, though, is that it had a strong malty flavor upfront that disappeared quickly into a nondescript finish. That should be a reminder to me why I should be using my new leather bound pocket notebook to record my thoughts immediately. Hm, sorry Patty...(it was a gift from my wife). I'll use it better next time!
Our second beer would've been our last, if it hadn't been for the subpar experience with the Flying Fish. So, our last beer now became the Cricket Hill Col. Blide's Bitter. Good move on our part :) Neither of us had experience with any of Cricket Hill's beers. It was a tough choice amongst some strong competition on the draft list.....Rogue, Brooklyn, Sly Fox.....and a couple handful of great bottles. But, we wanted to try something that we haven't seen much of before. This is a very drinkable beer, with moderate hop content balanced between bitter and floral (my comment), and a biscuity finish (Adam's comment).
A few comments about the place itself. Apart from the average environs at Grey Lodge, the restrooms must be seen for the wall art. You'll know what we mean when you see it. Ah, nevermind, here's a picture! And, the upstairs has a bit of more relaxed scene, with tables and more loungy feel, than downstairs.
The downstairs has two dartboards, a jukebox, an area for live music, and a typical bar scene. Sorry for the length....hope through all the words I made it clear that we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit in the 2 hours that we were there and will be headed back as soon as possible, and would recommend that you do the same!