Abe's Cold Beer

Not Rated.
Abe's Cold BeerAbe's Cold Beer
BA SCORE
99
world-class

79 Reviews
Reviews: 79
Visits: 98
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: 2,000
Cask: N
[ Eatery, Store ]

1301 W Broad St
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18018-4920
United States
phone: (610) 997-0831

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-15-2007

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Visits: 98
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%

Talking beer with a tender of bar nearbyish who says "Hey, you know where you should go?" "Of course I do", I'm thinking, "I just don't know where you think I should go". The where it is is Abe's (See, this is why you talk to people at the bar). Says "there's this guy who runs the store, but it's really the beer lady who knows what's what". We'll see. It's on the along the way or back...

Not too big a place but doesn't need to be. Well carved out for the most part by country, with racks of mostly craft 750's and 22's goods just inside the door running halfway down that first aisle (Port & Lost Abbey and more that we hate Pennsylvania for having) and then continuing on and back up the next aisle with the imports. And then across the room, racks running a good length with the American micros; again more resentment for Pennsylvania (Dark Horse, Speakeasy, Founders, Bells, Great Lakes, Duck Rabbit, Terrapin, New Holland). On the far side of these are a run of coolers and more to the rear.

I've been rolling in for my Mikkeller & Nogne O fix mostly, they are quite nice; especially that Tyttebaer, with its lingonberries of crazy. But they've also got reasonably priced make your own six packs so I can mix and match Bells singles and cross state lines with them. And then on fishing around for a six of the Founders Porter, I came up empty. But having been spied by beer lady (her actual name as it turns out) who asked and I told, she says "No, I'm sure we have that" and hunted about low moving other sixes out of the way until she found them hidden behind tucked. Well played, and thank you, ma'am.

Currently all done up for Christmas a-coming, with Winter imports displayed in that first aisle and pyramids of Winter micros in the center of the room. Also, candy canes hooked on the shelving throughout for walk by licking.

Jerky, chips, snacks, candy, I love candy, candy good, yeah, they've got all that. And apparently, although I've never actually seen them, they have sandwiches or frozen foods or whatever it is that allows them to hold the kind of license to dodge dirty Pennsylvania case law without having a 2 tap old man bar set up.

Very reasonably priced, easy access, good knowledgeable service, great selection, and ridiculously excellent hours of operation. Feel the love. (2,306 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Brushkanna
3.81/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

MKy complaint is the bad 70's almost disco music one guy in there plays and his constant whistling to the terrible music, makes me want to leave. The beer selection is good. Prices are high, but i belive that is due to the weird PA beer laws. (242 characters)

Photo of Statu
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1

Photo of JNForsyth
3.75/5  rDev -16.9%

Vast inventory of beer, not organized but a good way to browse an hour away. Pricing seems to trend on the high side for the area. (131 characters)

Photo of notjaredsmith
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of anteater
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of BigRizz62
4.96/5  rDev +10%

Photo of pep
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of Afroman
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of gl1800rider
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of TrackcoachLVPA
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of macesq
2.58/5  rDev -42.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

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. (3,113 characters)

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Latarnik
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of bshiban
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

excellent selection but $$$$ (29 characters)

Photo of NJBeer265
4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Went here on the way to a bachelor party in the Pocono's and glad I did. The place doesn't look like much from the outside but huge selection inside, I could have spent hours in this place. Big Make-Your-Own 6-Pack section, big bomber section and a ton of International beers. Emma is amazing and if you e-mail ahead of time they will set aside large quantities if you are looking. Sign-up for the e-mail blasts. (412 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Josh1981
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of JohnnyPoops
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of derek984
4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

A great local place to find beers from all around the world, some very rare and hard to find. Sign up for their email blast to get up to date emails on some of the rare things they get. It can get disorganized from time to time, but they have thousands of bottles of inventory, ask if you are looking for something specific. They have a very nice and knowledgeable staff. You could shop at Wegmans which has a small selection or shop and support a local business with an even better selection! (493 characters)

Photo of NonicPanic
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of TTripp725
2.48/5  rDev -45%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.75 | selection: 3.5

A decent selection of beers. Not of the greatest of places but with limited options to get craft beer six packs, I don't have much of an option. The arrangement of the store is very poor and has no reasoning. Its like they get the beer in stock and then just place in on the shelf so you have rows of beer three six pack deep and none of the six packs are the same, so it is very time consuming. When asked if they can obtain a certain been beer its like it's an inconvenience for them and they brush you off (508 characters)

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Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA
99 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.