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Blue Dog Pub
Taps: 23 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
850 S Valley Forge Rd
phone: (215) 368-6620
(Place added by: dmarch)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I traded up slices in Schwenksville (yes, that’s a real place) for a beer & a better meal. My 3rd time out; I pretty know what I’m getting into. Located in a strip mall on 363, here, much like their other location, albeit not here. My ‘don’t feel like heading down to Philly proper alternative’, sort of kind of almost on the way back to the hotel the long way around...
Front corner beer, well it’s not exactly a store, no, it’s more its own room and then not really even that, more like a corner sectioned off with a ‘pay here’ cut through to the bar side. Singles & sixes, 22’s, 750’s, magnums, gifty stuff, warm & coolered cold. I see Bells, Port Brewing, Russian River, Great Lakes, Deschutes; things we don’t get in NY (fuckers!) and some girl’s getting’ her 40’s on; something for everyone, I suppose. The beer store piece gets some action.
Past there, the down and around ‘U’ shaped bar with a black laminate top, worn wood lip, panel base, and a brick foot box; seating for 2 dozen or so on wood chairs. Glassware stacked on a cooler at the end of the bar, wellings below all around.
Yellow panel & painted walls over slat wood lowers, and large sheet mirrors on the backside of the bar wall. Black & white marbled tiling looking floors, and strip mall store drop ceiling. 9 flatscreens for game (I’ll be looking for Yankees baseball on one of them in short order, please), viewable from anywhere you are in the place, and other than the dog prints on the far wall, the décor is that of brewery & pub signage, mirrors, neons, things that spin, etc. 5 booths on the wall and 4 tables sharing a bench length down past there. 2 hightops & a lowboy to the rear beyond the small pool table there, along with electronic darts and a juke.
On one side of the bar, 6 taps on a copper roundy tower, and a pair of solo handles. On the other side, a row of 10, a fruity beer duo, and a solo nitro. The paper beer menus list the lucky 21 taps on up atop and items coming soon down below. When something kicks, they cross it out and draw an arrow to show what’s just come up. Seems they rip through some beer here. Pretty quickly. It’s an, um, interesting mix. Roughly 1/3 craft beer (which I took nearly entirely in on a set of samplers, we’ll get to that), and the other 2/3 made up of mostly meh imports (Jandrain-Jandrenouille VI Saison, Palm, Konig Ludwig Weiss, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Lindemans Framboise, Van Diest Fruli Strawberry, Stella, Heineken), macros, big brands, and a cider (Miller Lite, Bud Light, Leinenkugel Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Yuengling, Woodchuck).
Monday is sampler night; 4 shorty 4oz glasses for $4.99 (down from their usual $6.50). I will play. First round brought the Bells Java Stout (lovely), Founders Centennial IPA (yes), Stoudts Housefest (Octo, pretty good), & Prism/Evil Genius/Round Guys collab Belgian Black IPA (just okay). The second round saw the Shawnee Apiarius Ale (an APA brewed with honey, actually not bad), Fish 10 Fish Tale Ale (‘cause I need to be drinking barleywine, almost DIPAish, this one did not suck), Arcadia Hop Rocket Impy IPA (okay), and I opted out of the last remaing craft beer (Manayunk Yunkers Noctornum) for the Jandrain Jandrenouille VI Saison (pleasant enough as Saisons go).
And the dinner I upgraded to from crappy pizza at work. Last time out, I had the salmon (kickin’), and the time before that, the twin chicken breasts with a mango salsa (seriously solid), so I’m expecting the food of the good again, good again, good again. Started with the French onion soup, which was pretty killer. With the ordering of an entrée, you’re dealt a side salad (dressings of the not French so I slummed it with something vinaigrette). It was a good croutony salad, I did dig. And the blackened twin chicken breasts (It’s a well known fact that the blackening of anything ups its base awesomeness threefold), with caramelized onions, avocado salad, & black bean sauce. This was yet another great entrée, arriving over smashed potatoes of really good and a veggie side, as usual. Portions, they are plentiful. Good kitchenings here.
Music is a mix of generally not my play list (Chili Peppers ‘Zephyr’ & The Four Tops ‘Baby, I need your loving’ intermingled), and has now done the country shift again. It’s dead here tonight, but usually there’s a funny mix of non craft beer regulars and not. Servers are pleasant, some more beery than others. Got a Founders Breakfast Stout once before that was not that beer. You can tell me otherwise all you want, and I don’t care what the tap marker says; I’m the 1% who would actually know the difference. Otherwise, it’s all been good. Tap selection goes hit or miss and carries a lot of meh, I get it. But they do do promos (Next up: High hops & extra rare beers), and I think you can get anything from the store upfront and consume here. Food is really good, and they mix it up some. This could become my Monday night house.
10-25-2012 17:37:29 |
More by slander
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This is a completely dichotomous place. It struck me as a cross between a sports bar (8 monitors), a neighborhood hang-out (2 pool tables and a large crowd watching the play), and at base, the end of a strip mall that could be anything, but thankfully, it is a good beer bar. Their motto, "Come. Sit. Stay." is either meant for the submissive set or the canine at heart.
They have three real claims to fame, as far as I could tell. The first is their bank of upright coolers for take-away beer, and especially the first two doors, where they have a lot of marvelous singles. The owner told me that he is not out to gouge people on singles and thusly charges the cost of a six-pack, divided by six. Fair dinkum, since I've been in some PA bottle/single places where they make their living by making you pay dearly for the privilege of buying something less than a sixer or a case. I was also told that once the renovations next door (the demolition of a Rite Aid) are complete, they will be expanding to nine (9) cooler "doors". The second is their array of ~ twenty (20) taps, which runs the gamut from BMC to locals like Troegs, LNCBC, and Legacy, who makes the house Wit, to Belgians, like Lindeman's. They have a hand pump and, on the night that I visited, a firkin of LNCBC A4G sitting on the bar under gravity-pour! Wow! I cannot remember the last time that I had A4G on cask at LNCBC, but there it was at this local place. The third is their extensive menu, which looked great, but since I had eaten prior to arrival, I wasn't in the mood for more food.
The Mens' and Ladies' rooms are all of the way aft on the left hand side. I always like to know where the are ahead of time to save a litle time, should the need arise. Clean and well-maintained, which is a plus.
Finally, The Idiot Test: Would I bring Mom? Nope. The menu would not be enough to sustain her and the atmosphere just wasn't all that pleasant.
06-03-2006 12:05:01 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5
I was not impressed with the blue dog pub. The atmosphere is not good. This place is in a strip mall, and the inside screams strip mall sports bar. The selection here is VERY good, the tap list of near-20 was peppered with a few macros, but mostly micros were filling up the bill. The service, however, was lame. It took a long time for the 1 bartender to take our order, and the place wasnt even full! I mean we were sittting at the bar! The quality of the brews was also not very good. My Dock Street Pils was sour, and wrong, and Ericas Mad Hatter was very buttery, and also not quite right. The food looked good, but we did not order any. I will not be back here again.
11-24-2004 00:09:31 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
*** EDIT ***
New review: The Blue Dawg Lansdale is now 1.1 miles from my work. I hit it about twice a month. It has measurably improved since my last review!!!
Beers on tap are top notch, albeit limited. The two tap stations offer a decent selection from DFH, The Bruery, Ipswich...ya can catch my drift. Staff is educated with a formidable knowledge base that seems to be handed down from the Top BD Brass.
Smoke is no longer a factor like it used to be. Despite 90% of the clientele harking up a Heineken or mulling over a Miller Lite, the Blue Dog offers up an insatiable bottle selection rife with Rougue, deep with DFG, and chimed with Chimay.
The food menu reads like a diner bible of whos who in PA.
Last swigs: Blue Dog is worth a new walk. Come, sit, Stay.
Found the Blue Dog one night with a couple other BAs looking for something different. We found it on Heineken $2 bottle nite. Guess what was all over the bar? Anyways, this drop ceiling strip-mall joint was a sports bar with good beer selection. A "flower in a mudpuddle" if I may quote Crane. Otherwise, this is macro haven for locals. No beer lovers in sight. The interior decor: 15 "big three" macro brew neon signs across the 12' tall walls peppered by eight color t.v.s showing sports.
Seemed to be ok in the quality department. $2 take out bottles for average $35 a case beers, up to $5 and up for true odd ball bottles like big Rogue.
Bartenders just wanna pour swill from what I saw. The one bartender kinda shrugged his shoulders when it came to our expression of beer appreciation. When one gal noticed our beer appreciation, she actually asked, "How is the beer?"
Best aspect: BLUE DOG had a great takeout selection for our locale of Landsdale and a two-way Framboise/Peche tap section, Murphy's Nitro, Young's Double Choc. Magic Hat #9, Victory Mad King Weisse, Troegs DreamWeaver Wheat, Labatts Blue, Yuengling LAger, Mich. Ultra, Scud (a.k.a. Bud) Coors Lite, St. Pauli, Legacy Euphoria (* best of show) Stone IPA, Brewers Art Resurection, Chimay, Yards Saison, Hacker-Schorr, and an empty cask conditioned.
Vast bar menu with plenty of food pickens: Fried Olives $6.99 to Shrimp and Junmbo lump crab cakes for $17.99 and everything in between. We had a platter of nachos that would have made Jabba the Hutt cry. BLUE DOG PUB is practically a restaraunt bar. The drawback is the smokey brew slugging atmosphere. Worth a repeat visit. Snagged some rare brews on takeout, to boot.
Last call: Could you take your Mother here? I'm saying No. It's a bar first and foremost, and it can get smoky. Great take out and a huge menu.
09-28-2004 04:16:09 |
More by blitheringidiot
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
Been coming here for a few years on and off but mostly for take out.
A- This place has a idenity crisis. I would say it's pretty much a sports bar with some good beer on tap as well as the swill. A locals kind a place, not a destination bar.
Q- I had a DFH Pangeea that tasted like str8 up ass once and a swore off the taps for a bit, it was horrid. Nowadays the beer is tasting somewhat better so I guess they are cleaning the lines on a more regular basis. Bot the cleanest looking estabishment here either, the bathrooms are well kept though.
S- It's either hit or miss but mostly the latter. The bartenders here really just dont know their beer and it shows. Some help does come with a smile but it's once in a blue moon. On one hand they have a lady who kinda knows her beer and on the other is a guy with a huge attitude and could care less about the beer, not to mention the customers.
S- I like the to go selection here, there is always something that i'm trying to pick up. I don't know what other people are saying but the prices here are kinda lower than other beer destinations in the area. It's true that some bottles are priced higher than regular but it's mostly lower. They have some nice tap selections mixed in with BMC, it just depends on what day you show up.
F- Truthfully, I think the food here is not all that great, I've never been impressed with anything I've had here, which is odd because I love bar food. A pretty extensive menu though.
All in all I like the Blue Dog Tavern leaps and bounds from the pub version.Come here and get some take out, but watch your tap choices because some will amaze you on how unkept they are.
07-04-2010 17:16:33 |
More by BARFLYB
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
So you're in Lansdale and you're looking for a beer? Look no further than the Blue Dog in that strip mall off that road that looks like every other road in Landsdale.
Nothing that'll knock you're socks off, but a nice selection and a nice place overall for this area.
From what I remember: Celebrator, Ephemere, Legacy Euphoria, Murphy's, Golden Monkey...all on tap amongst others. Very good bottled selection with pretty much the whole Dogfish Head line-up, a few Stone and Rogue products being the highlights for me.
Nothing real cozy about the atmosphere, but good enough to throw down some quality beers.
04-25-2004 05:19:20 |
More by jrancan
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I have been to the Blue Dog a few times to eat, many times to drink, altough lately more for to-go beer, as they have expanded from just the coolers to some shelves of warm bottles.
The atomsphere is more of sports bar, with a lot of TVs, a pool table and dart board. On weekend nights there is jukebox, and sometimes DJ or karaoke.
The quality of beers they have on tap is always great, ranging from Belgian to US craft brew from all over.
The selection for take-out is great too as previously mentioned. some of the rarer special release bombers and 750ml bottles are a little too pricey for me, but i'm probably not the only one, as some seem to sit for awhile. I more enjoy being able to try single 12oz bottles from some of the quality out-of-state breweries (like bells, founders, great divide, dark horse, etc) that they have carried.
the food is standard pub food, the cheese fries are a favorite late night snack
08-16-2010 18:32:08 |
More by jmdrpi
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3
Dropped the old crap, the place has deteriorated since. Sandwiches are good, about 7 good beers on tap, not taken care of at all. The atmosphere sucks, it's trying to be a beer bar, a sports bar, a family restaurant and a local club sort of place all at once. Any place with a tequila-chilling machine and weed sprayers for spraying shots probably isn't the best beer bar. You may get looked at funny for ordering a decent beer, and don't even bother asking the waitress or bartender what a particular tap is.
Recent edit - last time I was there I had the crab claws, which were stone crab claws served cold, cooked with no seasoning whatsoever. Not good. From my experience and the reviews of others I'd stick with sandwiches and wings.
Even more recent edit: Ug, every time I stop in this place it makes me desire less and less to go back. This time I stopped in to look for some takeout for Decemberween presents and decided to have a pint while I was there. I ordered a Petrus and there was this black crap floating in it. Absolutely disgusting. The bartender gave me a new one, which tasted nothing like Petrus at all. I don't know if they've ever cleaned the lines there, the beer never tastes anything like what it's supposed to. It's an absolute waste of good beer, and if I had a local brewery I would 100% refuse to have my beer on tap there. I can't remember the last time I was there and had a beer that tasted how it was actually supposed to taste. Hey, there's plenty of Heineken and Bud Light specials during the week though :P
Still, not a bad takeout at prices par for the PA singles course, with a particularly good selection of Stone, Rogue and DFH. Just stay out of the bar/restaurant area, or stick with bottles when you're there. Just get ready for weird looks and apathetic service.
I really want to like this place, since I live about 5 minutes away and there's nothing else near it, but every time I go there I leave with an increasingly sour taste in my mouth, both from the spoiled beer and my bad experience.
12-29-2004 03:34:40 |
More by PopeDX
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
This place is right near my house, so I've been there many times. While being a strip mall sports bar setting, the trained eye can spot the benefits of having a bar like this around. First of all, the food is great. One of the best Philly cheese steaks I've had in a while. The service is fantastic. The best part, though, is the beer selection. I had Murphy's Stout, and a Chimay. Both were skillfully poured from the tap and tasted great. A large selection of domestics, micros, imports, and Belgians on tap as well as bottled. The trash beer is there to keep the bills paid. 19 taps, I think. Great bottled beer selection. The takeout selection offers anything you desire at reasonable prices. This is not a hangout for beer geeks. A great option, though, that I can get great Belgians and watch the Eagles and the Phillies.
Blue Dog Upate: 9-11-05
Having visited several times since I last reviewed. I must say that this place really needs someone to wake them up. The food is still ok, but the rest is surely lacking. The waitstaff is more interested in hanging out at the bar than hustling tips. Sort of like they're doing you a favor. The last time I was there, I stopped in for a beer and a little relaxation. I ordered a Murphy's on tap. OK, so during the pour, she starts, then leaves it under the tap to settle, then forgets about it. I had to wave another bartender to finish pouring my beer because she had gone on to other important tasks-like shooting the s*** with one of her cronies. In all my years of haning out in bars, this is a first. A real shame because they have some decent beers on tap. They just don't care to go the next level.
When in Lansdale, go for the takeout at the Blue Dog. Skip the rest.
01-11-2004 00:55:55 |
More by thefireman
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
The front entrance is littered with various beer brand signs and posters. When you walk in there selection is directly to the right of you. Theres a shelf about 6' high by about 3 1/2' wide with 4 shelves of different beer lined up. On the side wall is about 5 cooler doors worth of brews, some macros at the end but theres more craft and imports in there. Then in front of the cooler is another desk with various bottles displayed. Its not a very large area, but their selections is pretty damn good. Not too mention the times I've been in there the bottles have changed, so they seem to rotate frequently. Their tap selection is excellent also.
The bar itself has some booth seating along the left wall for eating. The bar is a large U shape and extends almost the length of the establishment. The food is standard pub grub, cheese steaks, mozzarella stix, fries, that stuff.
The atmosphere is that of a sportsbar. They've got about 5 flat screens in the place, all of them playing sports center or a game if theres one on. The jukebox always seems to be on and at a fairly audible level even if theres no one in the place. The service was ok, I asked for a beer menu and then was left alone for about 10 minutes. That could've been better. But hey, this place is all about the beer and I always take some home with me when I leave. I could drop tons of money in there just on their selection alone if I had a better job.
02-15-2011 18:57:12 |
More by haazer
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Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale, PA
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