In the midst of Bethlehem’s South Side at a former garage, corner cafe-styled BONN PLACE BREWING COMPANY came to fruition autumn 2016. Formerly residents of Weehawken, co-owners Sam and Gina Masotto moved to eastern Pennsylvania to set up shop at the beige freestanding building now housing their entrepreneurial business.
An assistant brewer at Newburgh, Chelsea and New Jersey Beer Company, Sam also tended bar for popular Manhattan watering hole, The Pony Bar. Originally learning the art of brewing from a Mr. Beer kit, he became obsessed with cask ales on a European stint and developed a few regal English bitters.
Inside the friendly red brick-walled Bonn Place confines, an L-shaped 10-seat bar with eight tap handles pours a variety of delicious suds from the left side steel tanks and oak foudre. There’s side entrance barrel seating, a windowed front table, industrial pendant lighting and a wooden wheeled chandelier as well as a few cornered tables with olden mirrors to complete the cozy interior.
On my Saturday afternoon August ’19 journey I discovered seven Bonn Place brews.
Softly creamed nitrogenated flagship, Nemo Dark & Mild, gathered mossy brown tea earthiness for subtle dried fruiting and chalky chocolate malts.
In homage to Boddington’s Pub Ale, smoothly eclair-creamed Mooey Ordinary Bitter brought dewy moss sweetness, fertile fungi musk and subtle citrus spritzing to its buttered biscuit base in easygoing fashion. Utilizing the same dewy malt base, lemon soda-like summertime softie, Mooey The Radler, left an herbal-spiced remnant.
Orange-juiced yellow grapefruit brightness fronted Moteuka-hopped pale ale, Don’t Look At Me, a candy-glazed moderation with sugary pale malts.
Dry-bodied hoppy wheat ale, Pretty Cool Dad, connected lemon-dried tartness to tea-like dewy earthiness and raw mineral grain resin.
Wood-smoked dark coffee roast contrasted milder pale-malted yellow fruiting for Some Pig Upon Monocracy, a well-designed mocha-induced pale ale.
Guest brewer: Sweet milk chocolate-y Imperial Stout, Stickman Breakfast For Dummies, retained toffee-sugared cinnamon and curry spicing to entice its milk-sugared brown chocolate frontage.