1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Abe's Cold Beer

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

94 Ratings
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.29%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 2,000
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: 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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-15-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

slander, Dec 02, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of anteater
4/5  rDev -11.5%

anteater, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of BigRizz62
4.96/5  rDev +9.7%

BigRizz62, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of pep
5/5  rDev +10.6%

pep, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Afroman
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Afroman, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of gl1800rider
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

gl1800rider, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of TrackcoachLVPA
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

TrackcoachLVPA, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of macesq
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.

macesq, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

GeorgiaBeerGuy, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of Latarnik
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Latarnik, May 26, 2014
Photo of bshiban
4.25/5  rDev -6%

excellent selection but $$$$

bshiban, May 23, 2014
Photo of NJBeer265
4.64/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

NJBeer265, May 20, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -11.5%

yourefragile, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of Josh1981
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Josh1981, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of JohnnyPoops
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

JohnnyPoops, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of derek984
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%

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!

derek984, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of NonicPanic
4.25/5  rDev -6%

NonicPanic, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.5%

acurtis, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -6%

djrn2, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Dawkins, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of TTripp725
2.48/5  rDev -45.1%

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

TTripp725, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of skiofpinsk
4.01/5  rDev -11.3%

As my local bottle shop now that I’ve relocated to Bethlehem, I felt it was time to put up a review for this place.
It’s an easy place to get to, but it can sneak up on you as it’s slightly set back from the street to allow for parking, and can be somewhat hidden by the Mint on one side and a dollar store on the other. Just a heads up.
They manage to pack a wide selection into a small area. A variety of countries and styles are represented. Beer is arranged mostly by country, with most brewery offerings grouped together. It can get a bit disorganized at times; if you don’t see something the first time walk by again or ask the clerk. They’re usually pretty helpful and know whether they have something or not.
Prices are fairly decent. Being familiar with Philly suburb pricing, Abe’s prices are about the same and sometimes slightly higher.
Be sure to check dates on some of the styles that have a limited shelf life. I’ve made the mistake of grabbing something past its prime a couple times.
They do get some hard to find stuff, including Cantillon and Founders Backstage series. Some of the most recent Black Note release made its way there as well.
Selection is very good; it’s hard to walk out without finding something that suites your tastes. A wide variety of styles are present; the last time I browsed through they had two Goses available. I can’t remember the last bottle shop I was in that even had one.
I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. Just be sure to check dates on some of the more time sensitive styles.

skiofpinsk, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%

Holy hops! This place is insanity. And not the Weyerbacher version. I'm talking the real-deal insanity. I walked in here and saw tons of stuff I didn't even see at The Foodery in Philly, or have seen anywhere else for that matter. Love the mix-a-six. That alone ensures I'll be back. Found a J.W. Lees Harvest '08 for a reasonable price and didn't hesitate to pull the trigger. Service will vary at times, I think. But, this place is awesome. If I lived in the area, I may be in here twice a week.

RblWthACoz, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of Budinetz
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%

This place has an awesome selection of beer, some of which is has a reasonable price tag. If you really dig around in this place, you can turn up some pretty awesome finds. Some of the main stream beer that people are really hunting for, Abe will jack up the price due to supply and demand, but that's how you do business and I get that. I must say though, overall very good value for most of the beer available and for PA this is probably the best beer store in the Lehigh Valley. The staff is very knowledgeable as is Abe the owner. Place has later hours also, which is nice for the late shift beer lovers out there. I can definitely walk in here and spend 2 hours looking around, there is THAT much selection. You are able to purchase just one bottle if you wish, or mix and match six packs! Awesome!

Budinetz, May 12, 2013
Photo of TheBigBoy
4.08/5  rDev -9.7%

Lots of Beers, all different kind of beers. I try to stop here whenever in Bethlehem area. $12 for a mixed six is pretty standard and you will likely see some beers here never encountered. Many other sixes and single bottles to pick from as well. I know they do some special orders for "hard to finds" often as well. If near, just stop here. Warms and cold to go. You'll be impressed.

TheBigBoy, May 09, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA
99 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.