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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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no score

(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 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kja157
5/5  rDev +38.5%

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 goindownsouth
4.28/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fabulous beer that, unfortunately, is only available at this Lehigh Valley establishment. While I am not the biggest fan of ESB's, this is one of the smoothest brews I have had in recent memory. If you are ever in the vicinity, it is definately worth you while to stop by this brewery and check out this signature beer.

Photo of pep
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of Luweezy
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of jjd315
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty great brew from BBW! and one of their three flagship beers...This pured a nice dark red/copper colour with a nice head that died pretty quickly in my glass. This tasted very sharp, fruity, and a bit hoppy with some nice malt action going on, I believe. The mouthfeel was full and creamy, and this is a very drinkable brew. A very good beer indeed, and definately worth picking up a growler full of.
Good work BBW!
Cheers!

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +10.8%

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 tigerpaws
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer even though I am more of a hophead. It has a good appearance and goes down so smooth. If at the Bethlehem Brewworks be sure to sample this brew.........CHEERS

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 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 Jarod
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours into the glass dark and clear. The head seems to rise into a creamy light tan/beige foam, but does not stay long. No real lace is present. The aroma is sweet with hints of fruit (apples) and tea, slight hops. The taste comes on with a slight sweet of fruit and hops. Each does not dominate the other. The temperature changes effect the flavors of the beer, it brings the hops out. Slightly bitter, but not overpowering. Good beer.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 pat_usher
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

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