Allentown Brew Works
Active Beers: 59
Beer Ratings: 1,782
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by deanhead:
2.5/5 rDev -36.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$$
I was down in the Lehigh Valley last weekend to officiate a wedding ceremony for one of my best friends. He got a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn center city. The Brew works is less than a block a way so it was the perfect meeting spot.
It is situated in center city Allentown, which is also happens to be a pretty sketchy area of the All American City. The brewery is housed in the historic Harold's furniture building. There are huge windows in the front of the building which displays the assorted fermentation tanks.
The main bar area is very open. The dark lighting gives this place a bit of a cavernous feel. There seems to be several seating area's on different levels for dining. We arrived around 9:30 pm on Friday night and the place was very quiet. We took up some real estate in the bar area and joined about ten to twelve other patrons seated or standing around the bar. There were two bartenders present and several servers milling about.
We encountered around ten beers on tap with an extensive bottle menu of beers from both near and far. Despite the fact that there were so few people present in the bar, it was next to impossible to get either bartenders attention. After what seemed like ten minutes and some hand waving we finally got a chance to ask some questions and place an order. The first bartender had very little knowledge of the beers on tap. Perhaps he was the resident mixologist. At any rate he could not offer any information on the beers other than pointing out the placard at the bar which did little a little more than identify the beer, abv, and the style.
We opted for a sampler which we designed on our own. It consisted of the pawn shop porter, the copper kettle pale ale, pig pen pilsner, hop explosion, and the Hefeweizen.
The porter was decent, as well as the Hop Explosion. All the others were meh, just average beers.
From there I moved onto the bottle beer menu and we decided to try a bluepoint product, LeTrapp Tripel and a baltic porter. I can't recall it's origin, but it was European. We experienced an equally challenging time trying to get the bartender attention so that we could quench our thirst. One bartender was engage in conversation with a patron (which is fine), the other was busy texting on his phone. WTF?
I must so though that the bartender was quick to return with our bottles once we were able to flag the bloke down.
The Bluepoint and porter were fine.
The LaTrappe, was clearly past it's prime. It had a distinct ring around the neck and some major floaties in the beer. I'm not talking about yeast floaties, I'm talking about something that looked like coagulated proteins. Globs of stuff, not haze. Once again it took a few minutes to get the bartender attention. See a pattern here about the service? WTF?
I explained to the barkeep that these floaters are bad, the ring arounf the neck of the beer is not a good sign either. He scoffed it off and said... The brewer said it's supposed to be there. It's unfiltered. I tried to explain the difference between unfiltered and old beer. He again said, The brewer said it's supposed to be like that, and then he walked off.
We ended up getting charged for that shitty old beer. This beer was undrinkable.
After that I got a pint of the hop explosion. I enjoyed, and would have it again. The shitty service I could do without. This place would get another chance as we had plans to meet up with some friends on Saturday night after the wedding and fireworks.
We came back Saturday night after the fireworks to find a sign that said Closing at 10:00 pm for the holiday". So much for a second chance.
Despite the otherwise nice atmosphere in this place, the vibe from the employees really sucked. Service was beyond awful, while the beer selection was good. We did find it a bit pricey (8.00 for that bad LaTrappe). I would like to go back and give the table service a try here. As for the bar, steer clear the service was terrible.
07-11-2009 15:00:40 | More by deanhead
More User Reviews:
3.71/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
Food was good. Selection of in house beers was good. Decent selection of guest beers. The barrel aged insidious was good, not earth shaking but a solid BA Stout and it was by far the best beer available. A decent atop if your in Allentown and looking for some local craft beer.
05-01-2014 02:01:05 | More by Docrock
Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, PA
88 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.