All posts by John Fortunato

LOST TAVERN BREWING

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HELLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

Not far from the Lost River Caverns in Lehigh Valley’s Saucon Valley, LOST TAVERN BREWING opened this first location in the borough of Hellertown July 1, 2016 (with a taproom outpost launched in Bethlehem 2019). Inside a red-bricked gray stucco corner building with Lost Tavern insignia above black aproned canvasses on the main thoroughfare, this metal-wood furnished pub serves a stylistic variety of beer, specializing in expressively individualistic India Pale Ales.

The Industrial brick-walled interior features a 15-seat half-octagon bar with eight taps and seating across the way and at the elongated rear dining hall. A food truck services local patrons with great pizza.

An outside front deck with slate top community seating as well as six four-seat tables and several stooled tables gets packed on my early Saturday afternoon sojourn, August 2019.

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Crisply assertive, yet easygoing softie, Main 2 Main Pilsner, placed doughy wheat next to hay-like oats to underscore its herbal lemon spritz.

Dry pale wheat ale, Grace, brought zesty orange-peeled lemon meringue tartness to mild pretzel-like doughy breading and herbal-spiced whims.

Lemon zest, bruised orange and sweet banana surged for honey-dripped Belgian Ale, Odd Fellow, leaving peppery spicing on the baked bread back end.

Easygoing sour ale, Double The Jams: Strawberry Cherry Rhubarb, retained oaken cherry bitterness, strawberry puree tartness and lactic vanilla yogurt milking.

Then came the six stylistically intriguing, wholly assured IPA’s to really brighten the sunny day.

Sessionable IPA, Drizzle, coalesced Mosaic-Citra-Amarillo hops to prompt lemon-juiced grapefruit-orange-peach-tangerine tanginess and mild wood tones.

Tropical fruited New England IPA, Party On Main, brought cherry, berry, mango and pineapple juiciness to mild oats-sugared malts.

Another NEIPA, Music In The Park, blended orange-juiced Mandarina Bavaria hops with estery grape-soured Hallertau Blanc hops and gooseberry-limed Cashmere hops atop its floral-spiced grassy bed.

Crisply ‘citrus-forward’ Imperial IPA, The Steel, utilized Mosaic-Centennial hops to fashion its lemony grapefruit-orange tang, mild piney bittering and light herbal tinge.

Brut champagne yeast guided dry-hopped Brut By The Foot: Peach, a mildly creamed peach puree-sweetened sparkling wine alternative with lightly embittered yellow grapefruit zesting and wispy green grape esters.

Vigorous milkshake IPA, Lost In The Mix: Kiwi Strawberry Daiquiri, let rummy vanilla sugaring douse its lemon-juiced strawberry and kiwi tartness as well as its tangy mango-pineapple-grapefruit tropicalia, picking up lactic yogurt souring at the finish.

Finally, ‘hearty chocolate stout,’ Silent Partner, caressed its dark mocha mass with spicy dark fruiting, dry burgundy and black licorice above its earthen bottom.

www.losttavernbrewing.com

 

FUNK BREWING

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EMMAUS, PENNSYLVANIA

Inside a bright red brick garage-doored warehouse, the seemingly inconspicuous railroad-bound taproom for FUNK BREWING packs up bright ‘n early this Sunday at noon, August ’19. Having discovered three of Funk’s liquid gems in the recent past (piney tropical fruited Silent Disco; limey fruit-juiced Tumbleweed Pale Ale; autumnal saison Falliage), I was already intrigued by their well-designed, wide-ranging fare.

The rustic brick-walled, cement-floored pub features a simple aluminum serving station with twelve stools, theatre lighting, blackboard beer list and small TV. A hidden right-walled glistening Funk sign, a few metal-stooled tables and exposed pipes at the tan ceiling fill out the small room. Large silver tanks to the left and rear carry today’s four previously untried beers (plus a half-dozen more).

Several patrons grab seats at the rear covered deck, a spacious retreat on this sunny day. A train blows its loud whistle as I down the sassy suds.

Up first, Bikes Lemon Radler loads lemonade upon salted white wheat breading and herbal citrus hop dryness, bettering similarly profiled shandy’s.

Offbeat golden treat, Slurp Rice Lager, let sweet-spiced toasted rice and soba buckwheat contrast its straw-dried leathering above mellow chestnut roast.

Circuitous West Coast IPA, Citrus, brought slightly hazed East Coast IPA spirit to the mix as sour white grape, gooseberry and guava fruiting serenaded orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess and piney hop splurge.

Dark-roast coffee beaning settled way above the dried-out lemon musk of Crumpets Coffee Blonde, leaving a crisp tobacco roast at the back end.

Nearby Elizabethtown houses the purplish Funk Brewing, a second location, in its downtown section.

 

HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY

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BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA

A tan aluminum garage-doored warehouse hosts HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY,  a worthy red brick-walled, cement-floored nanobrewery within Bethlehem’s rural southern Lehigh University radius opened February 2017.

The unassumingly spare red brick-walled pub features an aluminum-sided L-shaped 16-seat serving station with 12 aluminum tap handles, stringed light bulbs and a stucco left wall. A makeshift front patio with benches fills up during my early afternoon August ’19 stopover as I consume eight well-designed offerings.

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Hop Hill’s lightest brew, dry-bodied cream ale, Drinking Games, linked sugar-salted lemon spritz to grassy hop astringency and musty pale malting.

Sweetly tart key lime-pied Belgian Saison contrasted lemon-candied banana sweetness and coriander-clove spicing against salty barnyard acridity.

Straightforward flagship moderation, House IPA, stayed simple as lemony orange tanginess and piney hop resin settled gently above caramel malt sugaring.

Perfumed citrus hops enlightened Hop Sloth IPA, revealing navel orange, yellow grapefruit and peach juicing above herb-speckled pale malts.

Juicy-fruited Brut IPA, Hop Siren, let its sweet champagne spritz and green grape tannins absorb dry pale malting.

Milk-sugared coffee awakened Protocol Porter, a delightful toffee-spiced java-bound brunch treat with dry black licorice snips.

 

Harmonious coffee-roasted breakfast calling card, Morning Blonde, draped roasted mocha malt goodness all over its mild lemon rind bittering.

Lovely bourbon barrel-aged Morning Wood caressed its roasted coffee bean splendor with sweet butterscotch-candied bourbon wining, leaving cream-sugared marshmallow, coconut and pecan illusions in its clean vodka wake.

 

http://www.hophillbeer.com/

CAPTAIN LAWRENCE COOKIE PUSS MILKSHAKE IPA

On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Haledon, enigmatic orange-hazed Carvel vanilla ice cream knockoff given biting citric hop blitz of an IPA. Mild vanilla creaming lightly sweetens lactose-soured orange peel, mango, grapefruit and passionfruit tropicalia, lemon-bruised floral perfuming, strawberry rhubarb tartness and swerving vodka nip above sugared pastry malts.

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