6235 Frankford Ave * Northeast Philadelphia * 215-856-3591
Friday the Firkinteenth

Friday the 13th is a special day at The Grey Lodge. We don't worry about black cats crossing our paths or broken mirrors because we have 25 or more firkins of cask conditioned ale ready to tap. So walk under a ladder or whatever you have to do to get to The Grey Lodge on Friday the 13th.

"This whole thing makes no sense whatsoever. It's totally random because the timing is entirely at the mercy of the calendar. It's held in this tiny neighborhood bar in Northeast Philadelphia, an area which is not exactly your mecca for great beer. Yet virtually every brewer within shouting distance would kill to be a part of it and people come from all over to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and hope they can get a beer from bartenders who are incredibly overworked. Scoats is either a genius or an idiot savant, I can't decide which. But God bless him." - Jack Curtin, beer writer


In July 2007, the nice folks at Jimmy Craic Head TV made this great video of Friday the Firkinteenth 16. 



Here's a cheat sheet for all the cask beer, that you can print out if you'd like, or look at one your phone.

The next Friday the 13th is April 2012. Then we have one coming in July.

April 2012 Firkinteenth Details
updated as of 13 April 2012

  • tapping begins at noon.
  • At 10am, we will have special breakfast menu, a sort of greatest hits from our weekend brunch menu. Getting a good base of food on is usually a good idea.
  • At 11am our full menu will be available. For the Firkinteenth, all food service will be 2nd floor only.
  • Looks like we will have 21 firkins this time around, so we should have cask ale going until at least 10pm, probably later. Time permitting Scoats will be updating the news page and tweeting throughout the day with cask status.
  • 7 firkins will be pouring at any time (except when we get down to less than 7), tapping a new one as one kicks. The order of the casks will be random, but hey there should be no stinkers in the line-up.
  • Casks tapped/on deck/kicked will be updated on our news page throughout the day.

Current Cask List

  • Cricket Hill Hopnotic IPA
  • Dark Horse Crooked Tree
  • Dock Street Rye IPA, dry-hopped
  • Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
  • Flying Fish Farmhouse
  • Free Will Citra Pale Ale
  • Ithaca Nut Brown
  • Manayunk Dreamin Double IPA
  • Manayunk Oatmeal Stout
  • Nodding Head 60 Shilling
  • Philadelphia 1892 Stout
  • Prism White Lightning
  • Ruddles Country Ale
  • Sly Fox Chester County Brown
  • Sly Fox Oatmeal Stout
  • Sixpoint Brownstone
  • Stoudts Scarlet Lady ESB
  • Troegs Hopback Amber
  • Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
  • Weyerbacher Blanche
  • Yards Brawler
  • Yards ESA

and be patient. We will do our best to let as many people in as safely and quickly as we can. Since we opened our second floor back in 2005, this hasn't been a problem, but you never know.

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As usual, We will be stocking up on 8oz glasses so you can safely try several of these great beers. Also, as usual, there will be pitchers of water all over.

An interesting bit of trivia, this is probably the only beer event in the world whose frequency and timing are completely at the mercy of the calendar.

Events like Groundhog Day and Friday the Firkinteenth are too hectic for us run tabs or accept credit cards. On rare days like those we are cash only.

The Friday the Firkinteenth FAQ

How do I know what's currently on tap?
 Every Firkinteenth, a sign for each beer is printed out from Open Office Presentations, as well as signs for On Deck, Tapped, and Kicked. These signs are cut out and duct tape is affixed to the backs. The signs are then taped up at the front and back of the bar, high enough to be visible. With the help of tall people and/or a step ladder, as beers progress from On deck to Tapped to Kicked, the sign is moved to appropriate column. It's super low tech, but it works.

What's the deal with ringing the bell?
Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets it's wings. We ring the bell every time we kick a cask. Ergo kick a cask, an angel gets it's wings. Last firkinteenth, 25 angels got their wings. Sounds a bit random to us, but we are not ones to question God's plans. So come out drink some cask ale and help an angel get it's wings.

What's cask conditioned ale and why should I care?
Additional hops and sugars or wort are added to cask conditioned ales when they are barreled resulting in a secondary fermentation in the barrel. These ales tend to have very pleasing natural carbonation and are served at a higher temperature than regular draft beer. Due to the oxygen that enters the cask once it is opened, the shelf life is only a few days. This is beer at its freshest.

Cask conditioned ales are dispensed using gravity or a hand pump. Regular draft beer is pushed using either CO2, nitrogen or a combination of the two. Since the barrels will be sitting on the bar, we will be using gravity. We've stocked up on extra gravity for Friday the Firkenteenth; we'd hate to run out of it.

What's a pin? What's a firkin?
Firkins and pins are two sizes of casks. A firkin is 40.8 liters (10.8 US gallons). A pin is 20.4 liters (5.4 gallons). A typical US 1/2 barrel is 15.5 gallons.

How many Friday the Firkinteenth's are there per year?
Every 11 years (or so) there are three; 1998 was one of those years, when they fell in February, March and November. 2009 will have three. 2010 will have just one, in August. 2011 will have just one as well, in May. Here is an interesting article on the frequency of Friday the 13th. 2012 has 3, January, April and July; this our first year seeing this combination. 

Firkinteenths - Past and Future
1Feb 1998
2Mar 1998
3Nov 1998
4Aug 1999
5Oct 2000
6Apr 2001
7Jul 2001
8Sep 2002
9Dec 2002
10Jun 2003
11Feb 2004
12Aug 2004
13May 2005
14Jan 2006
15Oct 2006
16Apr 2007
17July 2007
18June 2008
19Feb 2009
20Mar 2009
21Nov 2009
22Aug 2010
23May 2011
24Jan 2012
25Apr 2012
26Jul 2012
27Sep 2013
28Dec 2013
29June 2014
30Feb 2015
31Mar 2015
32Nov 2015
33May 2016
34Jan 2017
35Oct 2017
36Apr 2018
37Jul 2018
38Set 2019
39Dec 2019
40Mar 2020
41Nov 2020

Was the first Friday the Firkinteenth another First Time in the Northeast for The Grey Lodge Pub?
Sort of. Cask conditioned ales probably first found their way to Northeast Philadelphia about 350 years ago. We are, however, the first to bring them back after an absence of many decades.

How or even better why did Friday the Firkinteenth start?
Scoats wanted start serving cask-conditioned ales at The Grey Lodge, but thought it needed some sort of push to get it going. He saw somewhere, and with enough time to plan ahead, that 1998 was going to have three Friday the 13ths (this happens about every 11 years). The phrase "Friday the Firkinteenth" came to him in a vision while riding the Market Frankford El and the rest is history.

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One of the Best Bars in America - Esquire Magazine

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