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Fegley's ESB - Bethlehem Brew Works

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Fegley's ESB
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BA SCORE
82
good

64 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bethlehem Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 30
Photo of Leeshka410
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was expecting something different when I sampled this beer but really was pleasantly surprised by its smoothness. It is a reddish color with a semi-sweetness, not-too-hoppy flavor, and I could easily drink many pints of this, but I did not! (I'm driving) ABV=5.4 so it is very drinkable with no bite involved. Smoooth!

Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is burnt copper with half a finger of head. The head had modest retention and left a trace of lacing behind. The nose has mild bready notes. The flavor profile is malty and hearty, but it is just a bit shy of earning the title of "full-bodied." There is a mild dry hop bitterness on the finish.

An excellent example of the style and very sessionable, indeed.

Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Bethlehem

Poured a clear amber color with a small white head that nonetheless left copious lacing. Basic, light aroma of toasty malts and light leafy hops. Taste of mild herbal and earthy hops, light caramel, homebrewish malt extract, moderately bitter in the finish. Not too bad, but not great. Light body, light flavor, went down pretty smooth. Not much else to say.

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a copper colored brew with a decent looking head on top. There is some light sticky lacing that holds on for a little bit. The smell of the beer is loaded up with malts. The taste is a bit sweet upfront like a dry caramel flavor, it then finishes nicely with a bitter taste. The mouthfeel is very drinkable. Overall it's not a bad brew for this style.

Photo of rfgetz
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery amber color, minimal head. Scent is light carmel, light roasted nuts, touch of honey. taste again brings a faint carmel and nut presence, hints of bready yeast and very faint earthy hop presence. Lighter side of medium bodied, low carbonation. Thin flavor profile and all the material at the brewpub seem to say this is an entry level craft (along with their pilsner) for BMC drinkers and I agree.

Photo of shockrocker65
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 64 oz brown growler

Appearence: Medium amber color with next to no head. Poured into a 22 oz. pint glass.

Smell:A phenominal aroma of toasted malts. Hints of caramel and slight honey.

Taste: A light body, lighter than I expected being it is an extra special/strong bitter beer. I think it was due to the watery texture. Some bitterness with the finish along with mild sweetness from the malt.

Notes: I feel that the beer from Brew Works is watered down. I actually went back to the brewery to see if something was wrong with the tap or if the batch was getting old because of the watery taste, which takes alot away from the flavor. They respected my opinion and gave me a free growler of their Dubbel. Great service.

Photo of strictly4DK
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BBW

A - Pours deep amber with 1 finger white creamy head, receds to just a collar with a moderate amount sticky lacing

S - Not too much here. Primarily toasty grain, some caramel malt and faint hop bitterness.

T - That's better. Starts off with some caramel malt and faint fruit esters. Sweet light fruits. Then comes a nice dose of roasted nuts and mild coffee. Finishes with toasty grains and English bittering hops.

M - Thin body. A little watery, my biggest beef with this beer. Nice carbonation, creamy at times and slightly biting to finish.

D - Pretty solid local ESB, especially for $8 bucks a growler fill!

Photo of dashmartino
4.29/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this beer expecting a very hoppy beer. Had on tap at the Brewworks in Bethlehem. What an excellent beer, great smell and aroma, wonderful taste. Dark brown color, darker than yeungling. Not too heavy on the hops, just right kick. Very drinkable. No wonder its an award winner.

Photo of hopdog
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Bethlehem Brew Works Brew Pub.

Poured a medium copper color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of caramel malts, light floralness and a little fruity. Medium sweet. Better than I expected since being billed as a 'great Yeungling Lager alternative'.

Notes from 5/15/05

Photo of Durge
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep clear copper color poured into a pint glass with a fair white cover and very good lacing. After eating my meal with a IPA I can scarcely smell a thing here. Maybe a slightly smokey, dusty wheat with some nuttiness. The taste accentuates the charcoal and wheat. Not terribly sweet, a bit peppery with a sort of rye feel in there. Very subtle and drinkable, light bodied, maybe too watery but the interesting smoke quietly overcomes this and makes it very much worth a try. If this was a bit thicker it might be a great brew. Tingly carbonation. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of wheelinshirt
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First growler from BBW. Picked it up on my walk back from work. $8 for the beer, $3 deposit on the growler itself.

Pours a deep amber with little head that fades to a collar and leaves no lace. Smell is roasted and caramel malts with some hops--pretty faint overall.

Taste is more bitter than i would have expected, but not overpoweringly so. The dominance of the roasted character also took me a bit by surprise. Mouthfeel is inoffensive, medium with enough carbonation. Drinkability is good, it goes down fairly easily, but this is not a beer that i will be reaching for time and time again. Hope i can find one there that suits my tastes a bit better.

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good, but doesn't quite hold up to the best of the ESBs. The flavor is quite good, but it doesn't linger and develop like Fuller's ESB for instance. This one had smooth caramel malts that were sweet and paired with a balancing bitterness and touch of spicy hops flavor.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bethlehem Brew Works- ESB

Appearance- Golden brown with very little head.
Smell- Light sweet caramel malt.
Taste- Sweet caramel malt with a light dry nutty hop flavor.
Mouthfeel- Light and crisp. Slight dryness in the end.

Overall- My favorite beer of the night at the Brew Works. Not a big flavorful ESB but an easy drinker. I had 3 of them!

Photo of elsinore
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this from BBW today on a lunch trip. It's not my first growler of this beer, which apparently is one of the favorites at BBW.

Small, clean white head that fades quickly. Pours a nice dark amber caramel color -- I try to keep my hands off it for a minute and just enjoy looking at the stuff.
Smell is nice enough -- some malt, a little hops, nothing overwhelming in either category.
Nice creamy mouthfeel makes this an easy beer to drink; a moderate dose of crisp English hops at the end makes it one to enjoy.

It's strange -- ESB is not my favorite style, and this isn't the best ESB I've ever had. And BBW has plenty of other beers in different styles that are good.
But every month or so, when I feel the urge to fill my BBW growler, *this* is the beer I taste in my mouth and fantasize about having.
If you're checking out BBW, I definitely recommend including this ESB in your rotation. Well-made and tasty.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber color from the tap, a little head and lotsa lace as the glass emptied (always a bittersweet event, no?).

Malt was faint in the nose, hardly there, but what little aroma did waft out was sweet, caramel-like, and promising.

In the tasting things seemed to be dominated by hops rather than malt, but it was all balanced well enough and certainly did it's job as a solid and very drinkable ESB.

Photo of Sammy
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy aroma, a combination of British hops to add a layer of complexity. Creamy and bitter to the end. A good palate cleaner that's all, and begs for food accompanment. Medium mouthfeel. Apparently popular after the golden, and fancied by their more trained beer crowd.

Photo of monkeybutler
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this two days ago, and I'm writing this review from my notes.

It wasn't the best time to be there, as the son of the family who own the place had died a week before of a heart attack. It was a dour occasion.

Poured a brown-caramel with a thin diminishing head, low carbonation and some lace.

The nose was just slightly hoppy and malty, definitely on target.

The taste was smooth, roasty and just a tiny bit hoppy. I didn't really see it as an esb flavor, more of a brown ale, with all of the roasted grain flavor.

The body was a success, it was very smooth, and unobtrusive.

Drinkable: yes. No failure there.

It was good, it just wasn't an ESB.

Photo of tgbljb
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

part of sampler tray at the brewpub.
Served as a light copper color with slight white head. smell is of roasted hops with a background of maltiness. Taste is a bit light with slight hops. Mouthfeel leaves a small dry bitter taste. An ok brew but a bit ordinary for me.

Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a grainy pale and crystal malt scent with some light hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a nice malty flavor that is fruity and slightly bitter with a nice hop finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent ESB. It could use a little more hops in the aroma as well as a little more crystal malts for flavor and body. Overall, it is a good drinker.

Photo of claytri
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a good looking beer. A nice clear amber with an off-white head. The smell was decent with a bit of malt and lot of hops. It had a little bit of sweet upfront and a lot of bitter in the back. It was light and crisp with a dry finish. This is not really my style of beer, and I had it as part of a sampler. Not the beer I would come back for.

Photo of psugrad98
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clearish golden amber with white clingy head. Moderate lace. Hoppy flowery aroma, coaxed out as beer warms.

Full and bitter with mouthcoating body and light malt character. Finishes slighty sweet with woody flavor. A good ESB which, though like all their beers are served much too cold.

Photo of deejaydan
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a growler on a GIF. At first, I wasn't horribly impressed (it was still pretty warm). After I let the beer properly chill in my fridge, I was impressed by this ale and the style. Pours a nice darkish amber color with a proper head. Aroma is slightly hoppy, slightly malty. Something going on in the aroma though I can't put my finger on. Tastes, well, it reminds me of iced tea. I know that you think that might be strange, but Teatley's draught cans do as well, must be english hopping and/or yeast. A very solid drinkable beer.

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice, malty dark ESB brown with a decent, tanned head.

Smell – This one has a toasted malt base to it along with some playful, bitter hops.

Taste – Ah, this is where the rubber hits the road. The fuggles are in full effect here and the malts are a little darker than I thought from the nose. There’s a hint of burnt toast that mixes well with the distinct, tangy hops. There’s a mild almost citrusy sweetness to the dry finish (if that makes any sense).

Mouthfeel – This is where this ale shines. It is smooth as silk with an incredible mouthfeel. It’s medium-bodied and very entertaining.

Drinkability – This is one of the funnest session beers that I’ve had in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed the first pint and look forward to finishing off the 64 oz growler on this glorious Friday night.

Comments – There’s nothing like long distance pub crawling. As I sit in Seattle sipping (well, not exactly “sipping”) on this local PA brew I can’t help but think what a wonderful organization we have here at BeerAdvocate. A big thumbs up to francisweizen for sending this growler out my way.

Photo of ark57
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is sweet with a very good bitter finish. You can really taste the use of the English variety of hops. It says they use Cluster, Fuggles, and EKG. The Fuggles and the EKG are the most evcident and they contribute a lovely aroma and finish to this beer.

Photo of ElGuapo
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An amber colored brew topped in a strong standing covering of foam that will coat your glass in lace. The nose starts off with sweet aromas, but is then dominated by a rich hop aroma.

It has a nice rich medium body with lots of flavor. The start is big on the sweet malts. A mix of nice bitter hops come in to balance and take over command in the flavor of this brew. The finish dries out a bit and picks up some bready flavors. It is very smooth all the way down. A nice one.

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Fegley's ESB from Bethlehem Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.