Abe's Cold Beer
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by engisch:
4/5 rDev -11.5%
I found this place on here and decided to check it out being that it has such a good rating and I was visiting the area. First impression as I'm turning my car into the well sized parking lot is: "WTF?! This place looks like a converted convenient store and looks like it won't have anything, but swill." Walking in the door, I notice the place is small, but well packed with good beer and organized a bit by country. The mix your own six pack is quite a gem for the area, as PA has a stupid case law. I will make sure to visit this place occasionally to see what hard to get beers they newly stock. Some of the staff was not very knowledgeable as I found on this first visit, but in subsequent visits I've found certain staff are very knowledgeable and helpful.
I use to live in the area, so I'm familiar with quite a few locations in the Lehigh Valley. In comparison this place has one of the best, if not the best selection. Living in a more beer friendly state now... I wouldn't say this is the best place I've been, but it is amazing for the location.
It would be nicer if they had more size as often times some of their stock is not on the shelves or is behind other beers (especially in the fridge which seems to have no organization). So my suggestion if you make it here is to look behind and under everything. You may find something special!
04-15-2009 21:08:43 | More by engisch
More User Reviews:
2.58/5 rDev -42.9%
There are two arguments, I believe, that I hear most frequently regarding the value of supporting locally owned small businesses. The first, perhaps more quintessentially "liberal," centers on distribution of resources; a society with more independent owners distributes resources among a wider group of persons. The second, perhaps more quintessentially "conservative," centers on the value of localism as such; the local community is preferable to a larger society of unknowns and local business owners deserve money in a way out-of-town big businesses do not.
I'm nonplussed as to these two arguments, for reasons I need not concern you with. Frankly, I prefer smaller-scale establishments in the most selfish way -- what they have to offer me. In the abstract, the human touch of (for our purposes here) a small six-pack store provides benefits out of reach in the faceless retail outlet of big-box bureaucracy: attention to details with which only beer consumers concern themselves; friendly and personal service; a sense of passion in seller as well as buyer for the goods being transacted. These things, moreso than abstract structural concerns, make me inclined to pay a higher price for beer from a small business than from a large seller peddling six-packs within its echoing facade.
Abe's, the six-pack store of the locality of my youth, unfortunately offers few of the benefits for which I'm happily willing to pay a premium. To be sure, they offer a wide variety of beers; and although that advantage is dwindling in the Lehigh Valley market, they remain the only place to buy singles of great beers (the make-your own six-pack section at Wegman's remains sparsely populated with good brews) and do have a spread of six-packs only approached by the recently-renovated Allentown Wegman's. However, service is often surly and they attend to remarkably few details. Beers can be many months out of date; organization, layout, and general upkeep evince a general lack of respect for consumers; and they can't be bothered to shave off the price stickers on every bottle with a razor, a staple of dingy corner liquor stores and high-end wine boutiques, but lost on Abe's.
All of which would be no sweat off my back, frankly, even for a slight premium. The ability to make your own six-pack of top-tier brews really is worth that much to me, even if you need to check the born on date of every bottle you pick up. But Abe's isn't just a few dollars more than Wegman's, a fact which I could accept unblinkingly. Abe's is as expensive as beer stores in New York and Washington, D.C. Hell, I recently had a bottled beer at a craft beer *bar* in New York shortly before returning to the Valley to visit family; when I stopped in Abe's I saw they were selling it to-go for just a dollar less. That would border on unacceptable even if Abe's offered the benefits of a small business that cares about its goods and its consumers. That Abe's is run like a convenience store with a six-pack license that stumbled into the world of craft beer in a beer-starved Lehigh Valley market only makes this more ridiculous.
06-24-2014 02:10:40 | More by macesq
Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA
99 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.