Allentown Brew Works

Not Rated.
Allentown Brew WorksAllentown Brew Works
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
60 Beers
2,219 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

812-816 W. Hamilton Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania, 18101
United States
phone: (610) 433-7777

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-11-2007

In 2010 the beers from both brewpubs will be called Fegley Brew Works brands, though the names of the brew pubs will remain the same.
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

ERICA!!

Missed my kid sister and her Bum in from the west for cousin Lauren's vegan wedding (which as the black alpaca of the family, I was not invited to), so I trudged out the next day to PA for a Labor day gathering at mom's. So long a time since I've last been home, my own family didn't even remember me. Was due out there for 3, but how's about I come out around say, noonish and we go grab a beer or two beforehand somewhere (the somewhere I already know where). Promised mom I'd have them back early enough for set up and that we wouldn't get all shitty, and off we went. Mapquested fairly short but came up longer and weren't we (mis)fortunate to have seen the scenes of blight on the scary detoured around town tour. Holy crap, Allentown is dodgytown...

Scored a sweet street spot just up the way from the big old bargain for a buck building on the block. A large cavernous space here and it ain't the half of it. A wall of windows up front with a half dozen tables below, and past there, a row of serving tanks in a pen along the far wall with a row of booths running adjacent.

To the rear, a long "C" shaped bar with a lit yellow splotchy pebble plexi panel top seating a dozen and a half off to one side. We deemed the lack of a foot rail to be "not cool". Barback is a long counter with glass front coolers in the center holding bottled selections, and 4 tiered booze below a tall vertical mirror. Rows of mugs two deep to both sides below mounted flat screens, and further out on more vertical mirrors above towers of 12 at each end. 5 raised bar tables run adjacent to the bar/dining side separator on large beams, a dozen or so booths on the other side, and more seating in a rear perch "L" above around the back and side offering views of the room. Drop blue cone lamps above the bar, brown rough walls, mounted lampage, and exposed duct work.

Elevators and staircases, I got the kind tour without even asking for it. Starting upstairs, in the High Gravity Room; a "C" shaped bar seating 13, with a good deal of seating to the rear, roughly a dozen booths running the near wall past the bar, and about 2 dozen tables riddled about. Up front, a few tables in the bar area looking over the seating in the front windows down below, and a row of alternating sized fermenters in the large front windows above. Forewent the banquet room up upstairs to have a look at the Silk Lounge down in the basement; low lit and chill, with an "L" shaped bar seating a dozen, cushy couches, and a pair of pool tables there.

Currently 10 taps on, 6 flagship and 4 seasonals. The sampler only gives you 6 served in a cog wheel but you get to pick which ones you want, so we did (And then ordered up second samplers to fill in the blanks). Starting with the flagships, the Pig Pen Pilsener was somewhat corny; the Fegley's Amber Lager, slightly malty, okay; the Copper Kettle Pale Ale, pleasant enough, not too hoppy; the Steelgaarden Wit, unfiltered, you got chamomile more than anything, and it was very tasty; the Hop Explosion IPA, at 7%, "An APA with liquid bitterness", so says the Bum; the Pawn Shop Porter, chocolatey roasty goodness; and the seasonals, Belgian Triple, at 9%, pale color, a sickly sweet mess; the Grand Cru, at 6.3%, pepper spicy weird assness, really odd and just not good; the Old Allentown Ale, an English brown, very nicely done; and the West End Red, with a nice hoppy bitterness, Cascade & Chinook. Thought the best of the lot were the Steelgaarden Wit, Pawn Shop Porter & Old Allentown Ale. They've also got a large bottle list, some 90+ offerings. Nearly a dozen and a half American micros, and just as many UK, and then just over a dozen Belgians and just as many Germans. The remainder being just too many crappy beers of the world for my liking. Amongst the American micros... Port Wipeout, Bells Two Hearted, Lost Abbey Avant Garde, New Holland, Stone, Left Hand.

Not too bad overall, but not outstanding either. Service was pleasant and gave me the tour without me having asked for it (maybe it was the red pen jotting). Held the lunch menu but never got to it as I was informed that I was expected to eat back home, which reminds me; that second sampler put us over a tad on time, we need to move.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jhartley
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Stopped by on May 24, 2015 for dinner with the family. Nice and inviting atmosphere with a nice look to it. Our waitress came over quickly to take our drink orders and I had the Time Bomb IPA, while everyone else had water or soda. The beer was just tapped at the Allentown and Bethlehem locations on May 21st, so this was fresh and I added it to the website as well! Our waitress was more than helpful; made a couple of suggestions and was patient while we decided on what we wanted to eat. There are plenty of food and drink selections to choose from, to fit all appetites and preferences. I had the newly added fish and chips, which the beer batter was made with the brewpubs own amber lager, the 2 pieces of cod were HUGE, looked a little over-fried but were excellent and the fresh cut fries were delicious too! The wife got the grilled chicken sandwich with cheese (she enjoyed it), oldest son chose the Iron Pigs pulled pork (named after the local AAA minor league baseball team of the Phillies: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs; which is also served at Coca-Cola Stadium) we has to stop him from eating it too quickly! Our daughter got the mac and cheese; it was fantastic and our youngest son got a cheeseburger (his usual), he ate the whole thing quickly too! The desserts were great too! Chocolate cheesecakes made with the house porter! Creme brulee for the wife and I and an ice cream sundae to round it out for the youngest.
The check came and we thought the menu said that kids eat free on Sunday's from 4-6, The waitress told us it was for "mug club members" and asked us if we wanted to sign up; which of course we did! Which was really helpful!
Definitely gonna head back again some day!

Photo of XsoldoutX
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Went to Allentown BrewWorks on May 24th, 2015. Our bartender was Kyle and dude was pretty awesome. I had the bean soup and the nachos w/ guacamole and enjoyed both. Sat at the bar, which had 4 or 5 large tv's with various sporting events on. Thankfully, I don't live in Allentown, but if I did this would easily be my go-to place. Excellent vibe inside, liked the place so much I bought a t-shirt.

Photo of Abeevee
4.88/5  rDev +25.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Outstanding family brewery, you will not be disappointed.

Photo of craigdb
3/5  rDev -23.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Extremely average experience and food quality has slipped since it was opened.

Photo of Paul432_1
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Great quality beer selection, but very pricey. You'll pay for the vibe

Photo of Wenhodav
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Great Beers and good variety. Kid friendly environment too.

Photo of Irishbeerdrinker
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great food and great microbrews.

Photo of timmos1
2.75/5  rDev -29.5%

Kind of flashy. Not really a beer geek kind of place. I felt underdressed if that's possible. Food good, joint is loud and busy, not really conducive for beer loving.

Photo of Docrock
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of themind
4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Up and coming Allentown has this hidden gem on Hamilton Street. Excellent selection of brewery only beers on tap with excellent seasonal beers. The food was decent and service was good. All in all a nice place to swing by and have a brew. If in season give the barrel aged Devious pumpkin a try it's amazing!

Photo of allentownpaguy
3.16/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25 | food: 2.75

A little on the Stuffy and Snobby side. I get the opinion when I am here that theirs is the only opinion that matters. Their beer is good but not great. The food is often overpriced for what you get. I am very happy to pay for a quality meal but that is not what you always get here. Located in the up and coming center of Allentown, virtually no parking.

Photo of bigflatsbeerman
4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Went here with my wife and daughter who was checking out a college in the area. We all thought the food was very good, the service was excellent and my IPA and my wife's Wit beer were great. I would definitely recommend this place. It seemed like a very vibrant part of the community.

Editorial: I have been seeking out brew pubs when I'm out of town for the last 10-12 years. We have never been to one that did not have good food (I hope I don't jinx it).

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My wife, son and I came here after picking up a case of hopslam in Emmaus. This is a nice place to pick up lunch. Right in the middle of town on hamilton street. After walking through the two sets of double glass doors. We were greeted by cases of hop explosion. Damn shame I didn't have enough money for a case. Anyway a stairwell is kind of hidden to the left of the hosstess desk with a nice dining area to the left and awesome looking bar to the right. Our seats back were we came in in front of the window to the city of Allentown.

Our server was a bit unpleasant but besides being grumpy he was very quick to ask if we needed anything.

Beers were a bit pricey as well as the samples at $10 for six. Brew works is some of the cheapest cases I have seen and for good quality but at the brewpub the seem to charge a bit more.

I will say the is the cleanest brewpub and restaraunt I have ever been in. Very pleased to go to the bathroom and smell potpouri and not stand in a puddle of urine.

The family and I were very happy to come here.

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.25/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had lunch with my family here yesterday. Food was much better than expected. My wife liked what she had (fish tacos) very much. I had the turkey burger and it was impressive. My son had the "grass fed" burger and pretty much demolished it. Fries were excellent as was the cole slaw. The food is of a high quality for this kind of establishment.

The waiter was very much above average and gave me a mini-tour of the brewing facility. Service was excellent.

I didn't have beer with lunch though I bought some to bring home. I don't drink at all when I have to drive a car. They do sell beer in bottles that you can bring home as well as growlers. (I'm sipping a Fegley's Hop Explosion that I bought yesterday as I type this and it's quite good. I'd rate it an "A" if this were a beer review.)

All in all, I hope to make my way to Allentown again and feast at this establishment. Hopefully I'll not have to drive next time and can enjoy the beer on tap as well as the food.

Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Allentown brew works is a pretty nice place in an area that's seen better days. The brewpub itself is very nice. Very spacious and well lit. The vibe is pretty relaxed and casual. The service hasn't been bad since I started going there. The food has been really good every time I've had any. The beer selection is also pretty top notch, they've got plenty to choose from.

Each year they put on a beerfest with breweries that come from all over to give samples out. They have it all setup on the upper levels of the place. The festivals have been great the last 2 years I've gone. Overall it's a nice place in my opinion and they make good stuff. Worth checking out for sure.

Photo of Hoops4life511
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Took a trip to Allentown Brew Works for dinner and some drinks with 3 friends. Neighborhood isn't the greatest, but I'll try not to let that detract too much from the establishment. Parking was available in a deck nearby for a few dollars, not terrible. Upon entering the aesthetic was pretty cool. Dark and industrial looking with uncovered bricks, high ceilings and exposed duct work, but very clean. The place was a little crowded, but I'd expect that on a Saturday night. Got seated at a tiny table across from the bar. Seating wasn't ideal, but given the time I'll have to deal with it. Service was prompt initially and got our drink orders. The sampler was a great value and the flagship beers which I might have turned down otherwise were as good as or better than the specialty beers. Took a little while to get our food order in, and a little bit longer to get the food, but when it arrived it was very tasty. Pasta with a porter reduction was a brilliant use or beer in food. The value was on par with most other places of this nature, a little bit pricier than a chain restaurant but leaps and bounds higher in quality. All in all I plan on visiting many more times in my travels through Allentown.

Photo of pvequalsnrt
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

stopped in after i picked up my case of hopslam at shangy's...

randomly showed up at a perfect time! saturdays from 12-1, they run a free tour/tasting. the tour was a typical tour and they gave out 6 free tastes. you can't choose, but they give you at least one of the higher gravity beers.

tasted the amber lager, pale ale, wheat, porter, ipa, scottish, imperial stout. ordered a glass of the hop'solutely.

amber lager was pretty solid, actually. good malty backbone, nice sweet finish. pale ale was decent... i liked it better than the IPA (a west coast offering) which was kinda thin, with a big hop presence, with not quite enough malt backbone. the porter smelled AMAZING... the smell betrayed the taste. it was a solid porter... nothing knocking your socks off here, just a solid offering. i won't really mention the wheat beer because i'm not huge on that style. the insidious (impy stout) is a solid, affordable stout. again, not ground breaking but a very good example of the style. even had a good hop finish. it was MUCH better when i let the sample warm. the scottish ale was malty and sweet with not a huge hop mouthfeel, but tasty nonetheless. walked out with a bomber.

last was the glass of hop'solutely i had with my lunch. this is the beer joe sixpack equated to pliny the younger. while a younger clone it is not, it is still a tasty beer, and COMPLETELY affordable ($10/4 pack... i took one home!). it has a nice hop nose and good malty mouthfeel. a little on the sweeter side because of the alcohol (11.5%!!), but you can't taste it at all. only feel its effects.

my lunch was very good.. my buddy had the bratwurst and fries and said it was pretty good. i had a spicy chicken wrap which was awesome. the service was excellent, although there was not very many people there; so maybe not a representative sample. the allentown location is HUGE. 4 floors. only the bottom floor was open when i was there. so i'm not sure how busy it gets at night.

all in all, a good day. good beers and i arrived home with a hop'solutely 4 pack and a case of hopslam from shangy's. bam.

Photo of acurtis
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Allentown Brew Works is great. It is a solid 45 min drive for me and ...
Food: ...the pretzels are worth it alone. They are amazing and I don't even really like pretzels. The cheese steak is also the best I've had and I've had many, including the top rated ones in Philly. Burgers are also excellent, I like the Melter.
Beer: The beer is very good with about 8 - 12 brews on tap from serving tanks. Growlers to go and there are also a few 750ml bottles for take home (usually these beers are only on tap once a year for a short time when bottled.) There is also a large selection of other imports and local bottles. I refill my growler just about every visit.
Service: I have sat the bar 3 times and had 2 different tenders, they were both very good. I've sat at tables inside and outside, each time the wait staff was different but always good. This has become one of my favorite destinations and I've been visiting at least twice a month. I have never had a hard time finding a parking spot in front but there are not many spots. I always go for lunch so it may be more difficult to park in the evening. They also offer free tours with tastings each Saturday around noon.

Photo of jwhancher
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Came here last night for a beer competition on the 3rd floor. The place looked nice. Nice & clean facilities. Staff was friendly & helpful. The two beers I had tasted good. Later had dinner downstairs on the 1st floor. Dimly lit, but nice modern decor. Got a burger which hit the spot and shared some spinach dip which was tasty. Service was good - no problems here. Being from Philly, it was a bit of a drive to get to. Parked in a lot around the corner a short walk away. Cost maybe $5 which was not a problem. However, if I was back in the area again I'd definitely stop by to sample more beers & try more food.

Photo of cooch69
4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Allentown Brew Works is a great brew pub situated in the heart of downtown Allentown. It has a few different beers than it's sister in Bethlehem, but they are all top notch .
The food is mostly the same as the other location. This means great cuisines.
Even though they may have a few more drafts on it seems like this one is a bit more cramed. The dining area is actually on a second floor. Plus this is in the middle of the downtown area in allentown. I prefer the setting of the other location, with the historical buildings and the shopping areas.

Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is an odd little place - the beers are perfectly OK, but the experience was just a shade off. Hard to say why - kind of like everything was about half a second out of phase with reality.

Start with the location. The downtown area is, to put it charitably, a little sketchy. And parking is a nuisance. Not to say there isn't plenty, because there is - acres of parking. But it is strictly metered for blocks and blocks in every direction. Bring quarters.

The restaurant is severely modern - wood and steel, with a high ceiling and a gigantic bar area. It's not bad looking, but the effect is rather austere and cold, and the net effect is to amplify the noise from the bar to an uncomfortable degree.

The menu is huge - page after page of food options. Too big, in fact. The dishes get lost in a sea of options.

And the execution is a little odd. Caramelized onions on a gyro? Seriously? It's not that the food is bad, it is just strangely conceived and not a wow - lacking in salt, featuring odd accents.

The beer, however, is good. They have a generous sampling tray that comes in a nifty little holder designed like an industrial gear, the symbol of the restaurant. The Hop Explosion IPA and the Copper Kettle Pale Ale stand out.

Service was competent, but I found a little remote. The staff was friendly without actually being warm or welcoming, though I must say they were reasonably crisp in their timing.

Not a bad place, but not one I will be dreaming of returning to.

Photo of Bierman9
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped into Allentown Brew Works for lunch on 26JAN10, en route to Lancaster PA.

Located on the ground floor of a large stone building in the heart of Allentown, the front of ABC has lots of metal and large windows. Through a small foyer on the left, and you are deposited inside about 1/3 of the way down the long, front-to-back dining area. Along the right side of the 1st third of the place are large fermenting vessels, perhaps 6 or 7 of them. Tables and chairs line the front windows, as well as some booths parallel to the tanks. More booths and tables are set up heading towards the rear of the place, with a low dividing wall on the left amid some large, square pillars. The bar runs alongside the right, about 1/3 of the way from the front to the far rear. The bar itself has a cool, lemon-yellow plexiglas inlay which is illuminated from below. Behind the bar are rows of neatly arranged mug-club steins and a well-stocked collection of liquor, as well as a few large-screen TVs. Between the brew vessels and the start of the bar is an exit to a fair-weather biergarten. At the far rear, on the right, is a staircase leading to an upper level, perhaps more dining or another bar; I didn't investigate. Most of the walls and decor are brownish, the lighting is fairly low and warm, and the ceilings are high with exposed duct-work. A nice mix of mostly-classic rock with some reggae filled the airwaves.

Parked at the bar, I had to choose from about a dozen draft offerings, most from right here but 1 or 2 from their sister brewpub in Bethlehem. It was a good variety, from pale ales to belgian strongs to doppelbocks. They also have a large, quality list of domestic and imported bottled biers. I opted first for their own DBock, and some food, the 2500° Chicken Breast Sammich. Very well-proportioned, and nice and spicy! It really hit the spot, and the DBock was well-made, too. For "dessert" I went for a tulip of their DIPA. Damn, was that tasty! So much so that I had two! Wish I could have hung for more, but driving was on the horizon. Service here was quite good, staff being attentive, helpful and friendly (even comping me a DIPA. Woo-hoo!).

All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying stop while traversing PA. Prosit!!

4.3
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 - $$

198

Photo of jzeilinger
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I definitely prefer the Allentown location over the Bethlehem. The head brewer, Bo, does a nice job and from time to time, surprises you with a beer that leans more towards an "extreme" beer, I LIKE that. The food here is always good, it's much larger than the Bethlehem location, and they also offer a nice bottle selection if you don't see anything on the menu that "strikes your fancy". We have small children and so do our friends, we're all beer lovers and this place typically has good beer and is kid friendly, we frequent this location. I was impressed that BA featured their Chef in one of their issues. When I rate places, I'm usually thinking of beer, at the Allentown Brewworks, I have to say, I think food almost equally as much. They do a really nice job. If you're in the area, this place is worth a stop but be forewarned, parking can sometimes be dicey depending on the time of day or day of week - all on street parking.

Photo of JoshW
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Stopped by here for the first time within the past week or two with some friends. I hate Allentown, and going anywhere near center city so I was skeptical of coming here. Very nice, clean establishment, the staff is great! The lighting inside was a bit dim, seemed strange. The overall vibe was a little too yuppie for me as well. I wasn't super impressed with the beers that were brought out with the brew works sampler, prices on some beers were good, others were a little high. We ordered burgers and I ordered a pierogie casserole. (I don't exactly know why) It was basically a heart attack on a plate. The waiter did tell me this before I ordered it, I still felt like trying it. Had good taste, overall not bad food but considering the location I may not make it out here too often.

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Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, PA
88 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.