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Bethlehem Brew Works

Not Rated.
Bethlehem Brew WorksBethlehem Brew Works
BEER AVG
3.74/5
Based on:
87 Beers
1,525 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

569 Main Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18018
United States
phone: (610) 882-1300

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 87
Reviews by ggroller:
Photo of ggroller
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I visit the Brew Works about once a week and I go there for the atmosphere and the beer.

Upstairs the atmosphere is earthy and industrial. Dimly lit and smokey in the bar area. Just how I like it. Downstairs the scene is industrial and trendy. A nice departure when you want to have a change of scenery after your meal.

I gave the quality a 4.5 based upon the atmosphere and the beer alone. The food is just o.k. with the exception of the wings which are always either above average or outstanding. The house beers are always tasty and fresh while the beer menu downstairs is adequate.

The service is great sometimes and lousy others. I really hate having to wait for five or ten minutes to get my second or third beer.

The selection of house beers is diverse yet stable because you can always count on the Brew Works flagships like Fegley's ESB or Oatmeal Stout everytime you visit. The bottle beer selection downstairs is diverse and always changing. I usually see three or four different beers on the menu everytime I am there.

The food, as I mentioned above, is just o.k. It is usually fresh but not at all exciting. In my opinion, a chef with a menu similiar to Which Brew would make Brew Works four star.

Thank You to the Fegleys for a cool place with great beer. Cheers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jake_eff
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Mike is a great guy and bartender.

Photo of Bierman9
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I swung by here for lunch on 05JUN14, enroute to the Reading WWII Weekend. BBW was easily found on the first floor of a corner building in downtown Bethlehem. The place runs long from front to back, with brewing equipment visible right up front at the windows. There were plenty of tables and booths, and about halfway in I found the bar, running back along the left side. The whole area was bright and airy, and a mix of rock and pop was playing in the background.

They had about 10 brews on tap, with a few bottles also available. I settled for the well-made Maibock, which hit the spot. It paired well with my tasty chicken cheese-steak sammich. The bartender was very friendly, helpful and attentive throughout my visit. I would not hesitate to stop by again if in the area. Prosit!

4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

271

Photo of skiofpinsk
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I’ve been a resident of the area for slightly over a year now, so I figured it was time to review this place.
Situated in the historic downtown area, the Brew Works is right on the corner inside the Bethlehem Commons. Parking is either in the metered lot behind it, or on the street. I’ve never really had an issue with finding a spot.
The entrance can get a bit crowded at the busier times with people walking in and out, and waiting to be seated. They recently started using texting to notify you when your table is ready if there’s a wait. Pretty convenient.
The seating is mostly booths in the downstairs area, with a fairly long bar on the one side. Upstairs is more seating with a mix of tables and booths. It’s usually a bit quieter up here if the bar is busy. They have their fermentation and conditioning tanks up here as well. During the appropriate seasons they also have outside seating on the sidewalk.
Service is pretty quick, even at busy times. They have a lot of staff moving about. I’ve never had any issues with anyone; in addition to being quick the service is almost always with a smile and good attitude.
Food is more upscale pub food, and very good. I think in the dozens of times I’ve been here there’s been maybe one time where I didn’t like what was ordered (it was a special so it wasn’t a regularly offered dish).
Their beer is very well done. Their standard lineup is solid, and they usually have a couple rotating beers as well as a couple one-offs. Thursday nights they have a cask beer on to benefit a charity. They usually don’t last the evening. Over the past year they’ve had a few sours on, with a Flanders Red being the most recent. Usually a style I’m pretty particular about, their take on it was very good. They also offer some of their beers in bottles for consumption on premise or take out. I believe they only fill their 64 oz growlers so something to keep in mind.
Overall it’s a no-brainer for me if I’m looking for a decent meal and good beer. If you’re in the area and looking for a place to stop I’d definitely recommend it for anyone.

Update 1/28/15: Felt the need to update this review as the food tends to vary wildly. I've gotten the same dishes several times over the years and they range from pretty good to kinda bland. Even the ingredients can vary from visit to visit. More recently a buddy ordered the high gravity mac 'n cheese and basically received egg noodles in alfredo sauce. The SO has basically given up on their food since she's never happy with what she gets. From what I understand they go through kitchen staff regularly but they need to do something to retain them for consistency's sake, let alone quality.

Photo of Budinetz
2.61/5  rDev -33.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2.25 | food: 3

Basic pub fair for a somewhat reasonable price. Service is something left to be desired, however the bartenders seem to have their shit together. Most of them know their product as far as beer, wine, and
Spirits are concerned. The brew works does produce a couple above average brews throughout the year and the ESB is a solid staple of theirs, however there really is nothing they make that puts them on the map. Yeah yeah, A couple GABF awards for a Scottish ale and Christmas ale...meh...I've had
Better brews from places that haven't made it to the GABF, but are just as big as the brew works.

One thing that disappoints me as a beer drinker is that I cannot get anything that their main brewery in Allentown produces at their place in Bethlehem...most of those brews are more solid than what Bethlehem puts out. It may be more beneficial for some to go right up the street to another place that has better beer on tap and far better cuisine...just my 2 cents.

Do better.

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

I have eaten (and drank) at this brew pub on Main Street in Bethlehem many times. The atmosphere of the brew pub is nice, and I like how they renovated the building. It is always good to be able to see the brew tanks. I have been there with just my wife, as well as the kids. The atmosphere is fine for the whole family.

The beer is good and there is always some unique types of beer of tap, as well as the usual standards. The food is typical pub fare. The service has been good for me, but I tend to go earlier in there in the afternoon so I can not comment on how it is during a busy evening.

Photo of TTripp725
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

The restaurant itself is excellent but the steel garden can't make up if it is a night club or a bar. The service was less than expected but the recommend choices of beer was point on as to what I was looking for. Lucky I live close by and I can go back, hopefully we have a better experience.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is on the corner of Main Street in downtown Bethlehem. From the street you can see the giant copper beer vats inside the front window. The inside is inviting with a relaxed vibe. This brewpub has incorporated a lot of steel inside to pay homage to this town that was once a a small epicenter of the steel industry. Much like many local brewpubs, Brew Works has an industrial look, is dimly lit, and has a good selection of house made beers. Their oatmeal stout is one of the best I've had. They offer a small group of steady beers as well as new brews and seasonal selections that rotate. Beer flights are available year round as well as bottle selections for enjoying there or taking home. There is also a good several handfuls of other craft and international beer. The food menu is just as full, with a number of solid pub choices, Pennsylvania German dishes, and fare made with their beer. A must have is the Bavarian soft pretzel rods rolled in cheese and butter served with a cup of beer cheese. There is plenty of room and also a lounge downstairs called the Steelgarden Lounge. This establishment is a definite if you are in the Lehigh Valley.

Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Grabbed dinner and a few beers at BBW while passing through Bethlehem this past Friday night. The atmosphere is typical for a moderately sized brewpub with lots of bar seating and tables with brewing equipment constituting most of the decor. Taps included approximately 10 house brews. I tried the Heart of Darkness, a strong dark Belgian, and the Devil's Hearth, a strong pale Belgian. Both offerings were good, but nothing special. Service was timely even for a somewhat busy Friday night. I ordered the mac n' cheese with bacon which was good, but a bit heavy. All in all, reminiscent of the Beer Works chain in the northeast: it's nice for a local brewpub, but don't expect incredible quality or selection.

Photo of Rifugium
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I got a very mixed impression of this place. I'm pretty familiar with what Fegley's has to offer, as their beers pop up all over eastern PA quite often, but I was in the area and figured I'd go to the source.

The place is nice enough, with a casual dining atmosphere leaning towards a vintage industrial / steel-mill theme that pervades pretty much everything in the general area. Moravian College is nearby, so the crowd is [unfortunately] a bit heavy with these students, at least it was during my visit. There was a rather large bar that was completely full, forcing us to snag a table, of which there was quite an abundance.

As for the beer, well, the Fegley's/Allentown/Bethlehem project has a fairly large output, and many of the beers are made to appease a less discriminating crowd. As such, the beers are generally "okay" on average. Four flagships included a wit, ESB, blonde ale, and oatmeal stout, with about 6 or 7 seasonals also on tap. Also available are bottles of many of their house brews, as well as a decent selection of standard craft desirables (Chimay, etc.). I only really had one beer here that I'd ever consider having again, which was their Black Friday Scotch Ale. Everything else was--like I said before--just "okay." Good variety of styles if you look at their entire annual output, but not much is really very good.

Food...meh. The menu had quite an impressive selection, and I do give them credit for that. However, aside from the soup, everything that the wife and I had was pretty sub-par, and in fact, her salmon salad went mostly untouched. And considering the quality of the mid-priced items we got, I think their food is quite overpriced and I wouldn't even go near the high-end entrees.

Service was decent. I imagine this place gets extremely busy during games and weekend nights. It was fairly busy when we visited, and the servers all seemed pretty much on the ball, so I can't really complain.

To sum up this place with one simple phrase: the quantity outdoes the quality. And that goes for the beer and the food. I'm glad I went, but I would never go back.

Photo of richbrew
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Brew Works is convenient to beer shopping @ Abe's 3 minutes one way and gambling @ the Sand's 5 minutes the other. Win Win!
Been here a few times and loved it each time. Sat at the bar everytime and had great service. The beer lineup is always good as there's something for everyone each time I've been. This past stop they had BA Insidious on tap and carry out 4 packs so that was a treat. Cool industrial interior, clean and layed back. Super comfortable place to have a beer and some wings. Great prices and the blast furnace wings were no joke after about 6. They creep up on you. Great brew pub as NJ lacks such luster.

Photo of DrKnoskelson
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited Bethlehem Brew Works on Sunday November 6, 2011. My overall impression was great food and good but slightly pricey beer. The food menu had a nice selection of options. The beer menu contained a brief description of the brew but lacked prices. Our entres were served in a reasonable amount of time and were great. The beers that we ordered were also served promptly and were good representatives of their style. A great plave to grab a few brews and have a grat burger. It seems like this place would also be an awesome place for a midweek happy hour.

Photo of mattgreger
4.3/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a great place right in downtown Bethlehem. I actually got a chance to go here with my brother during Music Fest.

Its got a great bar/brewpub style place. As you walk in you smell the aroma of food and beer. You just see giant copper color casks all throughout the room.

Once sat down, there was a lot to see. The beer list was amazing. So many different brews, they seem to follow with the seasons, because many of the available brews on tap were centered around the late summer/early fall. The had some of there classics as well.

The staff is good as well, the waiter we had was very knowledgable. We had chosen our meals and he actually suggested particular brews that go well with each. It was just a nice personal touch.

This is a great place, I will be sure to come here again and try some of the other brews throughout other seasons, as well as other classics that they have during different times of the year.

Photo of VegasBill
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped here at the worst possible time,5:30,but I was going to Easton next so I had no choice.The atmosphere is not my thing the commercial/industrial look,I guess it goes with the theme of the area.
For beer I tried the Valley Golden and the Devils Hearth , both were great. I saw some food being delivered to tables and it looked outstanding. I wanted to eat here but there was no space at the bar, I stood off in a corner, and there was a line waiting for tables. If I were to be in the area again I would plan on spending more time here.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Bethlehem Brew Works has two sections, an upstairs and a downstairs. The upstairs is your more typical bar atmosphere, while the downstairs is darker, a little more club like. Upstairs you can get all the brewery's beers, which range from pretty good to really good. Downstairs they have about 75 Belgian beers (mostly in bottles) if you want to go that route. The food was absolutely amazing the two times I've been there, and the service was really good as well. Value is also really good. I would recommmend Bethlehem Brew Works to anyone traveling through the area- it's a great place to hang out w/ great food and good beer. Check it out if you're in the area!

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Downstairs or up either way the selection at the Brew Works is pretty good most of the time. The atmosphere has it's mix of people. You got some of the college kids that come there from the area and just some other people who enjoy the Brew Works from the area too. The service has usually been pretty good there whenever I've gone. The bartenders know the products they're selling and are helpful with selections. The food has always been impressive too for me. I never disliked anything I ever ordered there in way of food. Their beers are constantly flowing and being switched up. There has been a good number of really good brews to come out of the Brew Works over the last few years that I'm really glad I've gotten to try. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and the Bier De Pharaoh have got to be 2 of the best beers I've ever had. I managed to have them both on tap here and at the Allentown building. Overall they make enough beers to give anyone a fair choice of finding something right for them. They even have a decent amount of guest beers there too. It's worth checking out when you're in the area.

Photo of thain709
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

From the outside, the brick building is in nice condition with bay windows filled with brewing kettels. You enter into a hallway (I forget the fany word) and BBW is on your right. As I walked to the bar I passed a few tables and some memorabilia for sale.

The place is really long and has seating for a lot of people. The bar was a horseshoe with mini sides, but it could sit quite a few. I believe there were 10 people at the bar and everyone had a seat or two between them.

I was greeted and asked if I wanted a menu as I sat down. I declined to both, as I had already done the research on which beer I wanted to try. I opted for an Aggressive which was labeled as a West Coast IPA. They had about eight other brews on tap ranging from their four flagship to a regular version and barrel aged version of Insidious to an East Coast IPA and finally a Belgian Style Brown Ale. So the selection variety was nice and they didn't have to overdo it. The Aggressive was nice and hoppy and towards the bottom it became caramely and hoppy.

As for the service, like I said, I was greeted upon sitting down and not bothered with until my glass was empty. To one his own. I'd like to try the food when I return, or at least look at a menu.

Make sure to bring quarters or at least some dollar bills for change as there are meters and parking garages.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went here with a couple friends who just moved to the area, on my quest to hit every major brewpub in PA. The interior reminded me a lot of Bullfrog, with the brew kettles set up inside the door. Booths lined up along one side of the restaurant, with the bar taking up the other side. They had...I wanna say ten beers on the menu, including a bal-aged version of their Insidious Imperial Stout, which I tried and was tasty. Also had the oatmeal stout (hoppy, but par for the course for the style) and their award-winning HopSolutely (poured from a bottle, which was odd...underwhelmed overall by the beer too). What I did enjoy a lot was being served the beer in proper glassware. The DIPA came in a tulip, the impy stout in a snifter, and the oatmeal stout in a pint glass. I got the pancetta mac & cheese for my meal, and it was solid, though it could have used more pancetta. My friends got a burger and pulled pork sandwich respectively, and enjoyed them. Service was good, as the server was able to answer all questions we had and make recommendations. Looking forward to coming back again

Photo of TmoNyc
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

While mapping out my trip to Stoudt's for their annual Winterfest, I came across this place in the directory here & based on previous reviews I figured it was worth checking out for lunch.

First off, it's a big beautiful space which was really inviting. However, the way the brewing equipment was set up, it makes me think they were more for show then for actual production. Combine that w/the fact that they have a couple of sister brewpubs, and maybe they brew elsewhere (doesn't really matter).

Took a seat at the bar where I found that the bartender really couldn't care if I was there or not. It was more his attitude and not anything he said. Like he didn't have his coffee that morning or something. People have off days, it happens.

Kept it simple and ordered a burger (which was really good) and a sampler. The sampler consisted of 6 beers, their 4 year round offerings, and 2 seasonal/special releases of your choosing (want to say they were 4oz samples). W/o going into specifics, as far the beers go, I say darker is better here. I did highly enjoy the Star Wars themed "It's Not My Alt!" beer for it taste, uniqueness of style, and good use of Star Wars.

Price wise, the sampler & burger cost $25 (tip included), so I will say that it was highly reasonable and worth the trip.

Photo of rfgetz
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Exterior retains the look and feel of a 1950's small town America Main Street, only the mash tun visible in the front window distinguishes whats inside. Nice steel/copper/brick/wood industrial decor, plays up to the rich steel-town history of Bethlehem, great exposed visable brewing set up unlike many other brewpubs which isolate the equipment to one small area, sometimes behind glass or closed doors. Long tarnished metal topped bar on the right hand side room with ample booth seating, slightly elevated dinning area holds the conditioning and storage tanks and a basement holds another bar.

9 beers on tap this visit with a capacity for up to 14 it appears. Good selection for a brew pub, however 3-4 of the beers could be seen as entry-level craft, but thats more than made up for by the multiple IPA's, a smoked beer, winter seasonal and a big imperial stout on hand. A bottle menu of about 100 beers focuses on Belgians, mostly middle ground like the Chimay's but nothing crazy like Cantillon.

Service was good, bar was crowded with only one tender in mid-afternoon and he handled it well. Night crew was very friendly and chatty. We were on the way to a family event, so no dinner this visit, but will be back.

Photo of wampahoofus
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The place has a cool industrial look to it. Lots of brick and steel with big beer kettles all over the place. Two great bars and a nice game room. Dining room can vary from a fancy night out to a casual place to kick back.

They always have at least 8 decent brews, brewed on their site. They do the strong stuff well. Good Bocks and IPAs. Beer varies in strength and style well enough to accommodate beer lovers and novices alike.

Service has been fast, knowledgeable friendly. No complaints here.

Beer is all about their brews. The variety of styles among their 8 to 10 brews well planned to satisfy all. New beers appear almost weekly.

Food is a nice variety of bar food, sandwiches and entrees with a German theme running through many of them. Not too many German styles of beer to match. That's OK by me...

Beers and food are reasonably priced. About average value. Beer sampler of 6 beers (5.5oz) for $8.50 is fun and a nice deal as well.

Photo of mgbickel
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Stopped in here for dinner on a Monday night. Decent crowd, but it is summer and the local Univ. is not in session. The brewpub is located in a small (almost mall) shopping area. You enter into a bar area that has some seating down the right side and a straight bar down the left. We sat in the upper level where some additional tables and booths are set up.

The décor is typical for the area...and something a Pittsburgher can appreciate. Lots of industrial materials...steel piping, diamond plate and copper. The beer selection is nice...a variety to choose from ranging from very light to dark. They bottle some of their special beers, so take home is a possibility.

Our waitress was very helpful and knowledgeable. She offered samples and made suggestions.

The food was fantastic and the portions were perfect...probably the highlight of the experience!

Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone...beer lover or not. The pricing is fair and you can combine this with a trip to Abe's!

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Narrow but deep seating area, with the bar running 1/2 the length and offering about 20 tall chairs. Additional seating for maybe 100 more primarily with booths, also some tables. Copper brew kettles along 2 sides of the restaurant, but no smell of wort in the eating area (unfortunately). The beers are very good quality, this is an exceptional brewpub in that regard. House beers only, but those that I tried were excellent. They had the house beers (Fegley's ESB, Steel Garden Wit, Valley Golden Ale, Steelworkers' Oatmeal Stout, Hop'solutely. Also seasonals like Apricot Coriander, Hop Explosion, Belgian Dubbel, and Insidious.

No complaints about service, prompt and friendly. This is they type of brewpub I want in my hometown, a bit formulaic in layout but all the beers I tried were exceptionally good. I saw a cask, which naturally pulled me in by its own gravity (complicated ironic pun), but they only use the engine on Thursdays.

Photo of cooch69
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Bethlehem Brewworks was a nice Brewpub that I actually visited on the spur of the moment. I am very glad I got the chance to eat and drink there. It's located in a kinda sorta mall. Actually it's more of a boutique mall. But anyways, the building was nice clean and welcoming. They had same of their brewing equipment right in the front window so you know youre not just going into a regular corner bar. The food that I got was delicious(open faced chicken pot pie) as were the drinks. It was pretty cool they had 3 doppelbocks on draft. They also have casks, but I think thats only on Thursday's. The service was pretty good all around.

I'm hoping to return sometime soon so I can check out their Steelgaarden club downstairs. It's pretty gnarly looking down there, plus it looks like they had around 80-100 Belgians.

Photo of Minotaur
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I was at the Brew Works once two years ago and was not impressed with either the food or the beer. I was there again two weeks ago and found it had greatly improved in all respects.

I'm not particularly fond of the atmosphere; it is on the main tourist trip of Bethlehem and I've been there only during the holiday rush. So it was crowded, filled with screaming children, and definitely not primarily a beer/pub patronage. However i believe this would be radically different outside of the Christmas season or during the week.

The standard beer selections are good. However the seasonal beers for this season Rude Elf and Black Friday - were both exceptional in my opinion. The food was greatly improved and the service, even with the mobs, was attentive and somewhat knowledgeable.

The price was a little high for that part of PA, but all told was not overly expensive compared to what you pay closer to any large city.

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Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, PA
88 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.