Perched up in the Lehigh Valley just a few miles from older sister brewpub, Bethlehem Brew Works, FEGLEY’S ALLENTOWN BREW WORKS opened 2007 in the center of an old industrial steel town still reeling from hard times but definitely on the rebound. A cavernous upscale midtown restaurant-brewery known for good food and fine beer, this pristine four-story facility features a prominent 16-seat right side bar with large brown-gold trimmed glass mural and two TV’s, several scattered brew tanks (front-windowed and bar sidled), L-shaped blue metal lodge terrace, and umbrella-decked Der Biergarten. Aluminum-lettered brown-outlined sign greets patrons to café-styled tavern area (where pictures of President Obama quaffing an amber-hued brew on premises during the campaign trail are showcased). Banquet space and lounge areas consume the upper floors.
Amongst old brick buildings scrunched together, Fegley’s currently supplies nearby Coca Cola Ballpark with original brews. A small bottling machine with several house brews serves take-out patrons and local delis. Alongside Americana lunch consisting of hummus and crusted chicken potpie, my wife and I consumed brewer Beau Baden’s lighter offerings for starters. Dry lime-peeled lemon-puckered soft-hopped blue agave-finishing Loco Lime Light Lager, phenol grassy-hopped maize-dried grapefruit-embittered vegetal-grazed Pig Pen Pilsener, and soothing moderate-bodied Belgian-styled Curacao orange-peeled chamomile-herbed coriander-spiced Steelgaarden Wit were dainty openers. Sweetly soured blueberries consumed tart raspberry-cranberry fruiting and cracked wheat spine of Blueberry Belch, a light dessert treat more approachable than lemony lime-puckered brimstone-soured lemongrass-grouted raspberry spritzer, Space Monkey Raspberry Saison.
Better choices included lemon-wedged fizzy-hopped banana-soured clove-sweetened Hefeweizen and soft-watered hop-roasted oats-toasted coffee-burnt cocoa-dried Pawn Shop Porter. West Coast-styled hop-head delight, Hop Explosion, brought pine-barked grapefruit rind bittering to tart candi-sugared lemon-dried sourness. Best bet: creamy brown-sugared caramel-malted tropical-fruited Hop’solutely Triple IPA, a less bitter stylistic changeup dousing floral-spiced apple-candied peach, pear, mango, and tangerine fruiting above resinous hemp-hopped nuttiness.
Bought bottled versions of Fegley’s Bagpipers Scotch Ale, Monkey Wrench Saison, Insidious Imperial Stout, and above-mentioned Space Monkey Raspberry Saison for the road (reviewed in Beer Index).