Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

Which is more interesting at the General Lafayette Inn & Brewery in Lafayette Hill, PA? Feeling like an American soldier or colonial 200+ years ago while sitting at the bar? Or wandering throughout the building and property, feeling the history oozing from every nook and ghosts drifting around each corner? Anyway, you look at it, the General Lafayette brings together history, charm, good people and beer.

Brewmaster Christopher Leonard and family are going into their fifth year of ownership at this local gem situated just outside of Philadelphia's northwestern city limit. While the brewery doesn't bottle (not yet), their beer is distributed on draught in limited quantities to local beer bars (TJ’s, Drafting Room, Brigid’s, Monk’s, Chaucer’s, Capone’s, Etc.). They do attend local festivals and host their own; giving craft brew fans a chance to sample some of the Delaware Valley's most interesting beers. Or, if you need yet another excuse to head to Lafayette Hill, brewer Russ Czajka hosts a homebrewer club meeting.

As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on General Lafayette Brewery and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.

Name: General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Location: 646 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
Phone: 610-941-0600

Christopher Leonard; Brewmaster/Proprietor
Russ Czajka; Assistant Brewer

Major Brands
Chocolate Thunder Porter; Germantown Blonde; Pacific Pale Ale; Raspberry Mead; Red Velvet; Sunset Red Ale; Abbey Blonde Ale; Abbey Brune Ale (coming soon)

Alt! Who Goes There? (German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier)
Silver, GABF 2000

Lafayette’s Biere de Framboises
First Place Fruit Beer, Mid-Atlantic Region, US Beer Tasting Championships 2007
Silver, BTI World Beer Championships 2003

La Tete Fontaine Dubbel
Silver, BTI World Beer Championships 2003

Winner of Nodding Head's Royal Stumble 2000 & 2001

Best of Philly 2003–"Best Cheaters Bar-Suburbs" (sorry, had to throw that in, too)

On-site Brewpub sales only of 22oz. bottles; plans for 12oz. bottles of Abbey Blonde and Abbey Brune

Roughly 750 bbls/year

History & Tidbits
  • History of the Building goes back to the early 18th century (1732)
  • 19-year-old French aristocrat, Marquis de Lafayette, joined George Washington in the Philadelphia and Valley Forge area in the war against the British
  • The restaurant and brewery today carry his name in a nod to the building's history and relationship to the Major General
  • Restaurant was restored and opened in 1996
  • Bed & Breakfast opened in 1999
  • Brewmaster Christopher Leonard has brewed at the GLIB since August 1999 and owned the Inn & Brewery since 2004
  • Prior to his tenure at General Lafayette, Leonard's experience included stints at Hops! Bistro & Brewer in San Diego and Neptune Brewery
  • Russ Czajka hired full-time as assistant brewer in 2007
  • Brewpub plays host to meetings of the local homebrewers club, GLUB – usually meets the last Wednesday of each month

  • Major Yearly Events
  • Winterfest (Winter event)
  • Beer Advocate Gathering (Winter event)
  • Sixtel Saturdays (2nd Saturday, each month) Currently on hold......
  • ......as they release "secret beers" on a regular basis which includes aged beers and special blends

  • Where to Find General Lafayette During Philly Beer Week
  • Chocolate Thunder Porter will be featured as one of Joe Sixpack’s Favorite Beers on March 7th
  • Will be pairing their beer (Chocolate Thunder) with food (Beeramisu) at The Brewer's Plate at the Constitution Center on Sunday the 9th (a winning combo last year, too!)
  • Tentatively hosting a 6-course beer dinner & pairing on Saturday the 8th beginning at 5pm
  • The newly-released Lafayette's Escape will be showcased at The Aspen for Meet The Brewer on the 11th
  • Stay Tuned for a possible "Beers of Germantown Ave., of which they would certainly be included

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