Inside a gothic dormer-windowed Victorian homestead, Allentown’s charmingly wood-furnished beer cafe, MC CALL COLLECTIVE BREWING COMPANY, opened August 29, 2020. Family-owned and operated by Kaitlin, Chris and Matthew Mc Call, whose colorfully designed array of beers flow from two 12-tap draught stations, this homey neighborhood street-cornered brewhouse also features fine traditional pub fare, local wines and craft spirits.
Detailing Mc Call Collective’s parlor-like ambience are the standard cafeteria tables, low exposed pipes, steel-framed studio lights, hanging pendant lamps and light Industrial sway. Right side silver brew tanks and a few windowed seats take up the rest of this cozily refined first floor space.
Gathering at the gray L-shaped marble top bar, my wife and I grab eleven brews early in the afternoon during December ’20.
Mild light lager, the spitefully snickering Lyte Done Ryte, offered a devious alternative to superficial Miller-Coors-Bud fodder. Its pleasantly spiced lemon-sugared spritz picked up wispy white wine esters and grassy hop musk over casual oats flaked graining.
Easygoing autumnal marzen, Better Call Fall, let dewy leafy-hopped foliage settle alongside crisp amber-grained toasting as spicy dried fruiting wavered below.
Lemon-peeled orange tanginess brightened Collective Contributions Wheat Ale, a brisk Mosaic/ El Dorado-hopped moderation hiding bready biscuit malts.
A fleeting corn-malted lemon spurt received resinous Nugget hop herbage and spicy floral accents for traditional cream ale, Shucksquehanna.
Spruce-tipped double dry-hopped West Coast Pale Ale, I Voted Today, contrasted its juniper-nipped hop pining with orange cotton-candied sugaring and wafting floral sweetness above gentle wheat wafer flouring.
Knocking off a cinnamon donut pastry, adjunct blonde ale, Cinnablonde, crossed its initial sugary dough spicing with lactose-soured lemon tartness and delicate citric-hopped astringency.
Tart peach goodness soaked up lemon-soured green grape esters for Peach Hittin’ Dingers, leaving wispy apricot, tangerine and lime nips.
Sessionable Little Lehigh India Pale Ale stayed smooth as lemony grapefruit briskness and mandarin orange tartness invited modest piney hop astringency.
Juicily tropical-fruited ‘hazy’ NEIPA, Lehigh IPA, stepped forward with its tangy pineapple, mango and orange glaze gaining sweet nectarine and tart plantain illusions to push back the resinous piney hop pungency.
Coffee-roasted amber graining embedded caramelized toffee malts for Roast Malone, an adjunct red ale with red and orange fruiting nipping at the mild mocha influence.
Decadent stroop-waffled cookie wafer knockoff, Stroop Kid Imperial Stroopwafel Stout, added dark chocolate syrup to pastry-sugared cinnamon raisin breading, molasses cookie sweetness and mild vanilla creaming.