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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
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 10.77%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Lewdd:
Photo of Lewdd
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Lewdd, Feb 23, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

RoyalT, May 15, 2004
Photo of Leeshka410
3.89/5  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!

Leeshka410, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -17.1%

acurtis, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
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!

NJpadreFan, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of Varkias41
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Varkias41, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of Metalmonk
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Metalmonk, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Sammy, May 21, 2006
Photo of cfadams17
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%

cfadams17, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

tempest, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of strictly4DK
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

strictly4DK, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of elsinore
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

elsinore, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of pat_usher
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

pat_usher, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of macesq
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

macesq, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of Luweezy
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Luweezy, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev +10.5%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of jjd315
4/5  rDev +10.5%

jjd315, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of yuenglingade
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

yuenglingade, May 13, 2013
Photo of rfgetz
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

rfgetz, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of shockrocker65
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

shockrocker65, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Rifugium, May 08, 2012
Photo of hopdog
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
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

hopdog, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +10.5%

nh2032, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of 57md
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

57md, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of Navysqurl
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%

Navysqurl, Aug 16, 2014
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Fegley's ESB from Bethlehem Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.